Thursday, May 24, 2012

Living Dead in Dallas: Chapter 5 - Sookie and Hugo, the Church Bunnies

This chapter starts out with descriptions of what the mindset of vampires has been like since the public had become aware of their existence. Some, like Bill, want to mainstream. Some want to remain in the shadows. Some are tired of life and just want it all to end. I guess this would be Godfrey. Sookie thinks about all the ways that having Bill as a boyfriend has fucked up her life, then asks if Farrell is dead. The vamps think it's likely, but there is a chance that Farrell is still alive somewhere. They mention the priest who was at the airport and at the bar, and Sookie wonders how the priest would know she'd be at both places. Stan suggests there's a traitor in their midst, and Sookie writes down on a paper that his house could be bugged. This gets her dirty looks from both Stan and Bill. She, of course, wonders why, since she's given the best explanation of what could have happened. Sookie, being Sookie, takes this opportunity to crawl around and show off her ass while looking for a bug. You know, because she'd seen where people put bugs in movies, so it shouldn't take her long to find. And of course she finds one. She lets Stan and Bill know where it is (under a coffee table). Man, that Sookie is amazing. Bill leaves the room, so Sookie starts grinning like the idiot she is at Stan until Bill comes back. Bill comes back with Isabel and some kitchen dude, and announces that Farrell is dead. He knows this because of what happened during the evening. Stan gives Sookie and Bill the go-ahead to leave and go back to Bon Temps. Isabel yells at Sookie, calling her a stupid human for spilling her drink. Bill takes the opportunity to drop the bug in a glass of water. Now that they've fooled whoever was listening, they all kind of relax. They start talking about the Fellowship of the Sun church/cult. The kitchen guy suggests that he and Sookie hit the church up, and everyone thinks it's a great idea. Bill figures that the priest guy probably works for the church. Sookie is thinking that she can save everyone from a vampire attack, but she doesn't want to include Isabel's human consort (kitchen guy). Isabel comes back into the room after dumping the soaked bug and Sookie thinks about how much of a loser the guy is, because he reacts positively to Isabel's return. Harris uses the term "mouth water". Nice. Sookie hopes that she's not as much of a loser when Bill comes in the room. No, Sook, it's not your mouth that waters. It's other parts of your anatomy.

Stan lets Isabel in on the church invasion plan, and she's cool with it. They talk about new people in Stan's home, and figure out there is a new vamp named Leif. They bring him in, and low and's Eric! Since Sookie is not the sharpest tool in the shed, Bill has to give her some kind of sign not to indicate they know him. Stan accuses Eric/Leif of bugging the room and Eric says he has no problem with Stan's crew. Sookie sticks up for Eric and says the bug had to be put in the room quite a bit in advance to know all the deets of her flight, etc. Sookie then asks if it's okay if Bill takes her to the hotel, because she's a tired little kitten. Stan says that Isabel will take her, and she says no. Wow, she has balls. Or no brain. It's delightful how everyone should bow to her royal douchiness. She tells Stan that it will be Bill or there will be trouble. After a while, Stan says fine. Isabel drives Sookie and Bill to the hotel and tells Sookie what time to be ready to go to the church. Turns out kitchen boy's name is Hugo. Harris has an amazing variety of creeper names. I miss Re-Bar. Once they get up to the room, Bill's all horny and wants to see Sookie get her key out of her vag. But she's tired, so he fishes it out for her. Because she's fishy. And I'm a bit disgusted at myself. So Bill and Sookie fuck...or are about to when Eric shows up. I'm surprised Sookie didn't suggest a threesome, but then again, she's only lost her virginity. Sookie gets her bitch on and throws on a robe. Eric arranges for them to talk the next day, and Sookie and Bill get on with the fucking. 

The next day, Sookie wakes up and rinses the stink of sex off her, and orders breakfast. Of course, the waiter who comes up checks out her goodies. Is there anyone who doesn't? And, of course since unnecessary minor details matter, we get a list of what Sookie eats: sausage, pancakes and melon balls. Oh, and real maple syrup. Maybe it's just because I'm Canadian, but real maple syrup isn't that huge of a deal, I wouldn't think. After eating, she starts getting ready. I'm sure there will be an amazing detailed description of her hideous clothes. First she gets out her short, brunette wig (the horror of not being blonde) and gets out some glasses. She then stereotypes "fanatics" as "conservative" in dress. I'm sorry, but that would be my stereotype of biblethumpers as well, and in the series, we're told over and over again how much of a good Christian Sookie tries to be. Even while she's killing or hurting people. Whatevs. Anyhow, she orders clothes from the front desk. A long denim skirt and a pastel flowered blouse. Wow. I didn't know she was going to join a Hutterite or Amish colony. We are also told that Sookie gets a kick out of ordering the front desk person around and spending other people's money. While she's waiting impatiently for the clothes to be delivered (and if I were the front desk person, I'd take my sweet time and be laughing at the lack of fashion sense this moron from Bon Temps had with my co-workers), she watches the news. Turns out there was a woman's body found in a dumpster outside their hotel, that her name was Bethany (remember her?), she worked in a vampire bar as an entertainer (we all know that means she was a dirty, dirty stripper or else she would have been glorified as a waitress), and that the cops didn't think she'd been murdered there - that the body had been dumped as a message to the vamps. 

Because Bethany and Sookie were such close friends (??), Sookie has to hold back the tears. Um, I seem to recall Sookie being a semi-cunt to Bethany. Whatever. The same dude who brought Sookie her breakfast brings up her clothes. Sookie's all upset that she was brought khaki instead of denim. How dare someone try to improve (questionably) her already stellar sense of fashion!!?? Especially when she was lamenting the fact that she didn't have time to go to WAL-MART to pick out her own clothes. Haymaker to the baby maker. So she puts on her clothes and puts earrings in her "pierced ears". Really? Did we need to be told that? I know for a fact that she's put in earrings before. Bah. 

So she leaves to wait for Hugo, and is all freaked out because of the guards and the silence of the hotel. She figures it's because there's an attack about to be made. Then she slowly figures out it must be because the vampires want heavy duty security. Atta you, brainiac. Everyone in the hotel is wearing black, and she mocks this. Um, doesn't she have to wear a uniform to that's the same as everyone else? And doesn't it consist of black shorts and, if I remember correctly, black running shoes? So shut yer piehole, Sookie. 

Hugo is waiting in the lounge and is all confused by Sookie's brunette-ness. She patiently explains she's wearing a wig, and he tells her how good it looks. Of course it looks good, silly Hugo. She's The Sookie. They talk as they drive to the church, about how long Hugo and Isabel have been together, if he was previously married (yes, and he's divorced), if he had kids (yes), and he asks her if she can really read minds, and says that's probably why vampires like her (it's true...that and another reason). Turns out that Hugo is a lawyer. Sookie makes a snide comment about that being the reason that vampires tolerate him. They decide that they're going to say they just met at church...more specifically, at Sunday School. Do they even have Sunday School for adults? I thought it was to brainwash get the kids out of the way let the kids have a more child-friendly religious education. But what to I know? I went to church as a kid because they gave us juice and cookies. And it was regular juice, not Jesus juice. Anyhow, Sookie and Hugo get their stories together and get ready to go into the church. 

Sookie, being Sookie, points out a mistake in the church's sign. It said that only Jesus rose from the dead, and she points out that Lazarus did as well. Now, if I were a minister or someone high up in the church, I'd be firing that the sign person, because I'm not a bible thumper and even I knew that. 

I also think that Jesus was the first zombie. True story.

Hugo tells Sookie to smarten and shut the fuck up with that noise. The Fellowship are dangerous, have admitted to handing over vampires so they can be drained, and are basically very bad people. Sookie is shocked and sickened. Um, didn't she know this shit before she went in? Hugo did his homework, maybe Sookie should have done hers. As they're walking up to the door, Sookie is judging the cars, and the nicest one belongs to the head of the Fellowship, Steve Newlin. Hugo goes to hold Sookie's hand and she jumps because she's an artard. This leads to her being able to clearly read his mind. Turns out, Hugo finds it a bit disgusting to hold Sookie's hand. Oh oh...someone doesn't like Sookie. We know how this will end. 

They head into the church, and a woman comes up and asks if she can help them. Hugo says they want to learn more about the church. The woman is Steve Newlin's wife, Sarah. Sookie describes her as in her forties and "unexpectedly sensuous". Interesting. Looks like Sookie wants to bat for the other team now. Sarah seems pretty pleasant and helpful, leading them through doors and showing them through the church. Sarah eventually leads them to Steve Newlin's office - it's pointed out that this is the only closed door Sookie has seen so far. Really? I'm sure that the bathroom doors would be closed too. But then this door wouldn't be so ominous. Sarah leads them in and Steve has a huge grin on his face to greet them. Maybe he and Sookie are related. Sookie thinks his head is too small for his body. He also doesn't seem to fit her stereotype of what a cult leader should be. 

Hugo introduces Sookie as Marigold (which is delightful and to which Sookie takes offense - I have to answer with: who the hell names their daughter Sookie?). Steve wonders if they've heard Hugo's name before, and they figure out it was because he'd represented some vampires. Steve asks if it's because he's seen the error of his ways, and goes on and on about bloodsucking vampires, and how all the vamps will burn in hell after they've been staked, all that good stuff. 

Suddenly, a huge muscular guy comes in, Gabe, and says that someone is waiting for Steve. Sookie figures that Farrell is somehow involved, that she'll have to tell Stan, and that the vamps will attack the church. Steve tells Gabe he can wait until Sookie and Hugo have left. Hugo says again that they just want some information on the church, and since a communication person is there, a woman named Polly, that she can probably give them that info. Polly talks about a Sunday dawn ritual, which any moron could tell is code for a vamp's going to blow up real good when the sun comes up. There's also a lock-in before the ritual, and Sookie gushes about how awesome that sounds. Steve says that they want members in the church before "they rise". Sookie, being the amazing intellectual she is, thinks they're talking about bread rising before she realises he means vampires. Fucking moron. The churchies talk about the lock-in like it's a big slumber party, and say that Sook and Hugo are welcome to join. Sarah volunteers to show them the rest of the church, and Hugo tells Sookie mentally that they need to get the fuck outta there. Sookie says they'd be interested in the lock-in but they need to go home and pack up, and Hugo says they need to feed their cat. Sarah comes back offering them some extra sleeping bags. So, ya, it's quite obvious that they don't want Sook and Hugo leaving. Steve puts the kybosh on either of them leaving. So Sookie starts thinking about killing Steve. You know, because that's the obvious solution for all her problems. Just kill the bastards. Sookie starts noticing the people she's passing, and notices that...there are a few non-Caucasians in the crew!! Wowzers...that must be a rareity. 

Sarah  Newlin keeps up a running dialogue while she and Steve lead Sookie and Hugo through the church, and Sookie's getting more and more nervous. Hugo, because he's not at all as observant and mind-reader-ly like Sookie, is chatting back. But Sookie knows where this party is going. It's leading to a door, but not one that goes outside - one that leads into a basement.

Duh duh duuuuuuuuuh!!

Overview: Sookie finds a hidden bug because she's seen how they do it in the movies. Eric tries to cockblock Bill but is unsuccessful. Sookie and Hugo go to church and stay there.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Living Dead in Dallas: Chapter 4 - Sookie Does Dallas

So, the chapter starts out with Sookie and Bill arriving in Dallas, and Sookie is sweating like a pig. I guess she's never heard of deodorant. But whatevs. A priest comes up to her and asks if he can help her. Because Sookie is a master of judging people, she notices that he doesn't look like a priest because his hair isn't military shaved and he has a moustache...aka pussy tickler. Um, Sook? Yeah, can't you read minds? If you think this guy is sketchy, why don't you just do a little mind reading to see what is going on? But I guess that would make too much sense.

We get a rundown of Anubis Air, which is pretty boring. Note: Anubis is a Greek god who is the protector of the dead and their tombs, so haha, how funny it is that it's the airline for vampires. Harris must have had a real hard on for Greek mythology in this book. A+ for trying to be witty and intelligent. Please note I said trying, not succeeding.

Anyhow, the priest wants to help because he assumes that she's bringing a deceased loved one to Dallas. I guess technically she is, but he's the living dead. So, finally, she decides to do some mind reading. The priest is waiting for some people to show up. Sookie is getting some creeper vibes from this dude, grabs her pepper spray, and talks to him for a bit. It's not very interesting. The baggage/coffin handlers bow for some reason and the priest yells "Help me, Jesus" and grabs Sookie's arm. So, yeah, the priest isn't a priest. Sookie starts flailing around and yells for Bill. Bill wakes up and the priest runs away. Sookie dismisses the incident as being weird. You know what's weird? Being a mind reader and not knowing what the fuck is going on inside people's heads. Anyhow...

Bill asks Sookie if she's okay, and of course she is. Bill asks if there was anything unusual about the flight, and Sookie puts on her bitch face and says that since it was her first flight, how the fuck would she know if anything unusual happened. Um, because you'd notice if something weird was going on? You don't have to be a seasoned flyer to realise if something unusual is going on. Asshole. She talks about the priest, and Bill says they'll talk about it later. Bill bitches out the baggage handlers for not helping her. Um, why would they help her? Because a priest was talking to her and she freaked out? They're not fooking mind-readers. Bill asks her why she didn't listen into his thoughts (good question) and she said it's because she had shielded her mind during the flight. What a shitty excuse. Five paragraphs ago, Harris mentions that the priest-dude was a clear broadcaster. If he was so clear, why couldn't she see what he was thinking. But that would make too much sense. Sookie tells Bill she thinks the priest was there to kidnap her. Bill doesn't really say anything about that and asks about the flight again. Sookie describes it as exciting. Now, I've been on plenty of planes, both national and international flights, and let me tell you, unless you're in a small plane where you get to steer for 2 seconds, flights are NOT exciting. Sookie talks about how she was shown what to do if the plane crashed, bla bla bla. That is the most boring part of the flight, and nobody pays attention. Oh, and she got drinks. Wow. You're fucking amazing, Sookie. So, yeah, that's how interesting their conversation is. You get a whole page of that. 


So, they start to head out of the airport. We get another description of what Sookie's wearing, because Bill says she looks pretty. She's wearing a grey suit over a white shell (is she a mermaid? Can't she say blouse or camisole?), earrings, heels and has a purse. Oh, and what the hell is a Hairagamis? That's what she's wearing. Let's Google, shall we? Oh, she put her hair in a friggin bun. And needed a piece of wire in order to do so.

Of course, she looks super professional (??) and Bill thinks she looks hot. But she wishes she were in her white t-shirt and black shorts. Wah, bitch. It's called dressing the part. I'm sorry you can't wear your Walmart clothes everywhere. 

They get to the vampire hotel and the bellboy comes out. His name is Barry and...HE'S A MIND READER!! Oh my goodness gracious! Of course, he's not as good as Sookie (who is?), and she critiques his blocking abilities. I'm sorry, but didn't Bill teach Sookie how to block, oh...a book ago? Fucking hypocritical wench. Anyhow, the stupid part about this is that Barry's kind of intimidated by vampires, yet chose to work at a vampire hotel. I'm starting to think that telepaths are quasi-mentally handicapped.  Of course, after reading this is Barry's mind, Sookie is smug with herself that she was never scared of Bill like Barry is. Shaddup. 

A woman vampire meets Bill and Sookie in the lobby (for some reason, we don't get a breakdown of what she's wearing - I'm slightly disappointed in you, Harris). Her name is Isabel, and she tells them that she wants to meet with them when they're done putting their luggage away. Bill says he's hungry (yum yum) and Isabel says to order room service. I love it!! Sookie says something about ordering from a menu, but I don't really care. Bill orders someone to feed from, and Sookie gets all jealous. Instead of communicating this with Bill (who already told her this scenario would most likely happen), she suppresses her feelings, as always, and puts her shit away. Bill finishes up and fetches Sookie. Bill tells her not to carry her purse, and to put the room card in her underwear. Now, if I were Sookie, I'd slip it into my bra. That would the the most reasonable place to put it. I mean, really, would you want to put a hotel key in your gitch? What if it went into...places? You know that Harris has a reason for saying this. It's because she wants you to know that Sookie is wearing a THONG!! I guess she's moved up from French cut underwear. This is also a way to go on about Sookie's tanned, silky skin, and I'm going to vomit. So she puts it under the thong on the side. Bill says the card will probably fall out, so she changes the position of the card. Like, seriously people. I want to slap the book. Put it in your fucking bra, you artard. Anyhow, after Bill calms his urges, they hit the lobby, and head out somewhere in Isabel's car. She gives them a bit of a tour, but who cares. Sookie gets excited about doing some tourist stuff, and here is a quote "Bill smiled...He could pick up on my slightest mood, which was wonderful most of the time." Really, Sookie? Because you seem like a supreme bitch most of the time. 

They get to a mansion and we get a boring description of the fact that there are humans and vampires in this mansion, and a boring description of the mansion. Bill is welcomed by Stan Davis, who is, in Sookie's opinion, a geek. He wears:

  a pinstriped oxford cloth shirt and

cotton-poly blend pants. 

Sounds better than most of Sookie's hideous outfits, besides the blend pants, and she's judging him? Okay, douche. She finds out she can kind of read his mind, but then "wipes" her mind clean of reading his thoughts. How come? I have no idea. The vamps aren't mind readers. It's probably because she's an idiot. Of course, Stan thinks Sookie's hot. But who doesn't? So yeah, Stan Davis is a head vampire. He gets one of his minions to bring in a human woman, and she freaks out. She yells at Sookie for help, and Sookie immediately judges her as stupid. Need I comment on this? Sookie thinks about how non-threatening she is, and we get a description of how she sees herself: "blond and bosomy and tan and young." Shut the fuck up. Seriously. Haven't we heard it enough? But she's not dumb, oh no, she just looks stupid. I wonder if she's met herself, haha. 

So, Stan says he wants Sookie to read this woman's mind and find out where their "brother" is. Vamps that are close to one another apparently call each other "brother" and "sister". This vamp, Farrell, has been missing for five days. He was last seen at the bar he works at, The Bat's Wing. Harris goes on about vampire bars again, and I could give a fuck. Sookie says if she reads this woman's (Bethany) mind and finds out what they want to know, Bethany goes free. Stan agrees (but he's mad about it - blah). Sookie asks for a description of Farrell and gets one. Sookie judges Farrell on his clothing, as she does everyone else. I think she really needs therapy to get an idea of what kind of judgemental and narcissistic person she is. I know this has nothing really to do with the book, but here's a definition of narcissism:
  • Reacts to criticism with anger, shame or humiliation
  • May take advantage of others to reach their own goal
  • Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
  • Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Easily becomes jealous
  • Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
  • Obsessed with oneself
  • Mainly pursues selfish goals
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Is easily hurt and rejected
  • Sets unrealistic goals
  • Wants "the best" of everything
  • Appears as tough-minded or unemotional
The above is the Wikipedia definition. Below is the definition from the DSM V:

  • Excessive reference to others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation; exaggerated self-appraisal may be inflated or deflated, or vacillate between extremes; emotional regulation mirrors fluctuations in self-esteem.
  • Goal-setting is based on gaining approval from others; personal standards are unreasonably high in order to see oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often aware of own motivations.
  • Impaired ability to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others; excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self; over-or underestimate own effect on others.
  • Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation; mutuality constrained by little genuine interest in others' experiences and predominant of a need for personal gain.
  • Feelings of entitlement, either overt or covert; self-centerness; firmly holding to the belief that one is better than others; condescending toward others.
  • Excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of the attention of others; admiration seeking.
Sound like anyone you know? Okay, there's my psych degree coming into play. Sorry. On with the summary.

Stan gets everyone to leave the room, and Sookie starts the interrogation. Sookie amazes Bethany with her mind reading skills and Sookie mentally makes fun of Bethany because Bethany is so amazed. Bethany thinks she's a psychic, but Sookie talks down to Bethany, and says that she's a telepath. Then Sookie starts to think hey, what if I am a psychic? Then she'd be doubly talented. I mean, really, could she be any more amazing? She's so hogging all the paranormal talents. So Sookie gets to business, and Bethany tells Sookie how pretty she is. For fucks sake, really? Sookie returns the compliment, then goes on to break down how unattractive Bethany is. Her mouth is too small. She's thin with small breasts. She has brown hair. In short, she ain't no Sookie. Oh, we find out now that Sookie can also hypnotise people. I don't remember reading that, but it might have been mentioned. When I get bored with Harris's prattle, I tend to skim over parts. She starts talking about Bethany getting her hair done because that's her favourite thing in the world. We're told about this hair shit IN DETAIL for a page and a half. Sookie starts reading her mind, and it's dull as fuck. Even Sookie is bored. Harris, how do you think the reader feels? Bethany has a roommate, Desiree. A description? Sure!! "...self-designated siren, a little too plump, a little too blond, and convinced of her own eroticism." Wow, that sounds familiar. So, after 2 pages of describing nothing important, Sookie sees Farrell in Bethany's mind. Bethany concentrates on Farrell and bla bla bla, boring. He goes into a bathroom with a vampire. Blond, 16 years old-ish, tattoo. She describes this vamp to Stan, and Stan reacts in surprise. Bethany doesn't remember Farrell or Blondie coming out of the bathroom. Then a name flashes in her mind, and Sookie asks about it. Bethany freaks out, but thinks the name again. Stan lets Bethany go home, but not before he erases her memory. Turns out, the guy who Bethany thought of is a bouncer at the club. We get a summary of what Sookie got while in Bethany's head (why? Just to fucking torture me by reading it again). Harris goes on again about how sometimes Sookie can read vampire minds. Boring. Stan says he doesn't know Blondie, but does know the bouncer. His name is Re-Bar. Seriously. Re-bar. He's human, and only takes care of human rowdies. Stan goes to get him, and in the meantime, Sookie has a flash of one of the patrons in the bar from Bethany's memories. It's the priest-dude. Sookie asks if Farrell is gay, since he frequents bathrooms with other dudes. Stan confirms this, and Sookie emphasises that she's cool with the gay crowd. I guess we'll see if this is at all important information later.

Re-Bar comes in, and isn't exactly how Bethany sees him in her mind. In real life, he's fatter and sloppy. So, apparently, Sookie is completely superficial. Re-Bar greets everyone in the room, and Sookie speaks to him in a gentle, soothing voice. How come? Because someone has fucked with Re-Bar's brain.

Oh god, here we go again with the amazing Sookie. Another quote? Sure! Just so you can feel my pain. "I read a lot. School was tough for me with my little problem, but reading by myself gave me a means of escape from my situation. I guess I'm self-educated." I think what she means by self-educated is self-delusional. Why do we get this gem of a quote? Because she knows what a fucking lobotomy is. Congratulations. Anyhow, Stan wants to take care of Re-Bar because this was done while working for him. That's pretty nice, I guess. He could have kicked the lobotomised dude out on the street, and Re-Bar wouldn't have done anything about it.

The vamps start analysing who could have done this. A chick vamp, Rachel, comes in who had been there the night of Farrell's disappearance, and Sookie is no help here. Rachel talks about Blondie a bit, says there was a human there, we get a description of what Rachel is wearing for no reason, and Rachel gives a quick description of the human Blondie was with. Bill leaves to go do some research on a computer and leaves Sookie with Stan and his crew. Stan grills Sookie on how long she's been with Bill, if she's happy with him, etc. Stan calls in more humans for Sookie to read, and nothing really comes up, except for Sookie's judgemental skills (people are dull, have bad memories, etc.). Bill comes back and announces he's found out who Blondie is. His name is Godric, and he wants to die by going out in the sun. He's gone to the Fellowship (a cult who hates vampires - it's compared in the book as being the Ku Klux Klan but for vampires). Sookie realises she's in some deep shit.

Overview:  Sookie flies for the first time, arrives in Dallas and almost pepper-sprays a "priest". She does some mind-reading for Stan, the head vamp in Dallas, and shits a brick when she finds out that the Fellowship is involved in a vampire disappearance.