27 November 2012

Thanksgiving and Vampires

Belle Whittington on Thanksgiving 2012A lot of readers have written my mother asking about our Thanksgiving. I find it very curious how many people overseas are so intrigued by traditional American Thanksgivings. It's not particularly anything I would think about, since I've celebrated the holiday my whole life. To sum it all up, Americans get together with their families eat an ungodly amount of food, and bicker. 

The truth of the matter is, many cultures and religions have a harvest celebration. Thanksgiving happens to be the American (and Canadian) version. There is a lot of debate on what the first Thanksgiving entailed. Let's just say it involved pilgrims, puritans, and Native Americans. You can read about the traditional Thanksgiving story that most Americans learn in school here. Typical food served is roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing (or "stuffing"), yams, various vegetables or casseroles, and pumpkin pie.

This year our family had a very special Thanksgiving. The whole family attended, plus a few of our friends. We arrived at my aunt's house early (around 10 AM) to help prepare the food. Most of us were in and out of the kitchen, each working on our own dishes. I went easy this year and just made a pistachio pudding salad. We had roasted chicken, yams, green beans with potatoes, gravy, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, cranberry salad, carrots with honey, corn, salad, fruit, and.... well, a whole bunch of stuff I can't remember. We ate at around 12:30 PM, then just sat around and talked. Later Panda and I found some cards and inspired some people to play Crazy 8 for the rest of the night. It was loads of fun.

Panda was kind enough to take pictures!




Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell A Novel by Susanna Clarke
Currently, I'm reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke with The Viking (who has not read it). It's a rather long novel and this is my second time reading it. It's taking me a little longer to read it just because it's been difficult to concentrate, especially since I'm run down with a horribad cold (thanks to mom). So, since I'm being slow and lazy and all together a whiny sea slug with a cold, I'm watching Vampire Diaries instead.

That's right, I know this is Books and Broomsticks, but I'm sick and addicted to a TV show, so we're going to talk about that right now. I realize that this is also a book series. I don't naturally gravitate towards vampire books or movies. I think I read the first two Twilight books before realizing the series wasn't really my cup of tea. I was spoiled on Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Christopher Pike, and Stephen King as a teenager; to me vampires shouldn't be romantic, they should be horrifying.

But, I'm also known for taking on a guilty pleasure or twelve. Let's call the show a guilty pleasure. I'm watching season one on Netflix. It seems pretty run of the mill vampire drama and romance. Sort of a teenage version of True Blood, but hey... I love True Blood, so not too bad. In fact, my mother has read all of the Sookie Stackhouse series and she's even met Charlaine Harris (apparently they got on famously). I tried to read the books, but I did so in the middle of a semester and that turned out to not work out so well. In fact, I took to reading them out loud to Panda when we lived in the dorms together, but we got a rather passive-aggressive note slid under our door in response. Apparently, I'm a loud reader.

Warning: The following contains spoilers of the Vampire Diaries season 1. Read with caution.

I have come across an issue with the Vampire Diaries though. It's an issue that both bothers and frustrates me. I don't expect much out of a vampire drama TV show, I really don't. It's entertainment and I'm obviously entertained (I can't stop watching!) However, there was a scene with the story's "antihero", Damon, which was very disturbing. The scene was where he discovers that Katherine wasn't in the tomb and he goes on a vampire bender. 

Stephan and Elena discover him in the mansion with about five co-ed half-naked co-ed girls partying with and feeding off them. Stephan asks if Damon will kill the girls, however, Damon says they'll be fine. They will just wake up in the morning with some memory loss and a bad headache. Stephan nods. Elena makes an angry face. Then cut to the next scene.

Hold the phone, what?

The smoldering, attractive vampire that I've seen so many viewers drool over practically date rapes a group of girls and no one has an opinion on the matter? I understand that the show is trying to build Damon into an ever maniacal, evil character. However, they also are interweaving these redeemable traits within him. The message sent to young girls that this hunk who has no disregard for women should at all be attractive or redeemed is wrong. What bothers me most is that the show's moral compass characters, Stephan and Elena had absolutely nothing to say about this.

I'll still keep watching, but I just had to vent. Not cool.


  1. I know. I keep wishing I could eat everything all over again! But, the left overs are gone. :(

  2. I saw your blog for a short but find him already just great. :-)