Welcome to My Big Ole’ Blog

I started this blog because I’m a writer and they (you know, the mysterious “they” who know everything about everything) said all writers should have a blog. I suppose to shamelessly promote oneself. If that is the case, I promise to label said shameless promotion prominently with this delightful graphic, which I created in MS Paint:

Delightful shameless self-promotion alert graphic

Delightful shameless self-promotion alert graphic

Otherwise, I will just write what I want to write. In other words, not the stuff I do for the people who so generously send me checks or fund my PayPal account. More like the world as I see it stuff – which is occasionally a bit twisted. Well, maybe more than occasionally, but that’s OK, isn’t it?

So welcome to my world. Kick your shoes off, grab a cup o’coffee or a tasty adult beverage, and let’s hang out for a bit.

[Image via Pixabay]

Chapter 3: The Eyebrows of Her Subconscious

This wasn’t the most exciting chapter, but we did learn a few things we didn’t know before:

  1. Curiosity can ooze through a phone. I would like to thank Ms. James for giving me the vivid mental image of a gooey substance – like the blob in that old movie, The Blob – oozing through the phone from Kate’s mouth to Ana’s ear, and then running down her arm, engulfing her body as she rolls her eyes and blushes in annoyance.
  2. Rich people have their drivers accompany them to photo shoots, even though they are only on a different floor of the hotel they are staying in and require no driving.

I was happy to see Ana stand up to the mean girl in her head, though. You know, the part where she smacked her subconscious down for raising its eyebrows at her?

I was a little surprised to find out that her subconscious had eyebrows, though I was kind of glad because it put the image of the blob out of my mind.

I don’t think my subconscious has eyebrows. Does yours?

Don’t’ tell me. I don’t want to find out I have an eyebrowless subconscious if everyone else’s has them.

Now, for some reason, I am convinced that Ana’s subconscious resembles Groucho Marx.

That would confirm my belief that Sandra Bullock should have played Ana in the movie. What actress on earth could carry off the part of a woman with a bitchy subconscious that has Groucho Marx eyebrows except Sandra Bullock?

Well, maybe Meryl Streep. Meryl can do anything.

After all that contemplation about eyebrows, I found the photo shoot a bit boring, other than the part where the men do a lot of scowling and sizing each other up like moose during mating season.  I was expecting them to whip out some swords and do battle.

No, not swords, fencing foils. Yeah, Christian would be a fencer, wouldn’t he?

Photo shoot, coffee date. Blah, blah, blah.

Ana stumbles; Christian saves her from getting run over by a bicycle by pulling her to his chest. Blah, blah, blah.

We leave our happy couple with Ana against his Christian’s chest, him stroking her face with his giant foam finger while she huffs his expensive body wash and hopes he will kiss her.

Will he kiss her? Will she like it? Will her subconscious get an eyebrow wax?

On to chapter 4 my pretties.

[Image via Photobucket]

Chapter 2: Would You Like Nipple Clamps With That? [Blush]

In this chapter, we learn that Ana blushes. A lot.

Being a mother of a young woman about Ana’s age, I found myself more than a little concerned about the amount of blushing she does. So I checked Web MD to see if she might have a medical condition causing it.

We mothers do stuff like that.

Since she isn’t menopausal and there is no mention of her having any terminal diseases, I have come to the conclusion that it must be caused by erythrophobia, the irrational fear of blushing – which causes sufferers to blush frequently because they are embarrassed by the fact that they might blush, thereby embarrassing themselves and making them blush, which in turn, embarrasses them, causing them to blush more. You get the idea.

Yeah, it’s a real disorder. You can look it up. Here’s the link.

REAL DISORDER

Poor child, I wonder if a psychiatrist can help her with that.

We also meet Jose; a male friend of Ana’s who is a perfectly nice, intelligent, good-looking guy with prospects who would jump at the chance to prove his love for her. Unfortunately, and for no apparent reason other than it isn’t in the plot, she is not interested in him.

Maybe she should talk to a psychiatrist about that too.

Finally, we learn that:

  1. Christian is a stalker
  2. Ana isn’t as innocent as the we think she is

This is made clear by the hardware store scene.

Christian drives many miles to shop in the hardware store in which Ana works. Ana, good employee that she is, provides great customer service – although she is a bit rattled by him showing up dressed like a ship’s captain in an Old Spice commercial. He then proceeds to shake her up even more by gazing at her intently, stroking his face with his giant foam finger, and asking for several everyday hardware-store-type items. This makes her blush.

My point here is, would a woman with no sexual experience think of rope and masking tape in a manner that would make her blush? I think not.

Now duct tape on the other hand…

Anyway, this scene makes us suspect that girlfriend has, at one time or another, gotten her freak on, had some pretty wild fantasies, or maybe just read The Story of O. Either way, she ain’t the Pollyanna she would have us believe.

Personally, if a man drove that far just to ask me to assist him in purchasing things one would normally find binding a dead body in the trunk of a car, all the while stroking himself with his freakishly long finger and staring intently at me with his piercing grey eyes, I would be more afraid than aroused.

Can we say serial killer my pretties?

Of course, I probably would have been happily engaged to Jose anyway, ruining the entire book before we got out of the second chapter.

But that’s just me.

On to chapter three

[Image via Wikipedia Commons]

Chapter 1: The Man with the Freakishly Long Finger

Let me preface this by saying haven’t read “Twilight,” nor did I see the movies. I feel I can justify the omission of “Twilight” from my literary repertoire because it was written for teenagers, sparing me the agony of having to experience a dumb, brooding little snot of a heroine and some sparkly vampires. For this, I am grateful.

I did, however, see the YouTube Bad Lip Reading version of one of the scenes from the movie, which was pretty amusing.

But I digress.

My point is that having never read “Twilight,” I can’t make the fanfic comparisons others have with this book, so I hope I don’t offend any Bella and Edward fans out there who think I should have caught some obscure reference that I may miss in my ignorance – if I didn’t already offend you by calling Bella a dumb, brooding little snot.

Now on to the book.

I must say I find it admirable that Ms. James wrote “Fifty Shades of Grey” in a style that can be appreciated by all, from nine to ninety. She has managed to give a narrow genre mass appeal – which is slightly disturbing considering the genre is erotica, but admirable none the less.

I was also impressed with the way she portrayed the characters as cardboard cutout romance novel types, thus allowing the reader to project their own fantasies onto them. Luckily, as part of her avant-garde writing style, the author kindly reminds us repeatedly of a few important characteristics, lest we forget before we get to the next page that Christian is stunningly good-looking and Anastasia is awkward.

And I love the fact that Anastasia also has a mean girl living in her head who constantly belittles her, and Christian has a freakishly long index finger. Oh the possibilities! I assume these two little tidbits will be a part of the story later. I hope so, because I find myself fascinated with that freakish finger and it figures prominently into my fantasy version of Christian Grey.

So, based on the minimal, yet oft repeated, descriptions Ms. James has provided, here are my brief first impressions of Miss Steel and Mr. Grey, including who I think should have been cast in their parts for the upcoming movie. Because they got it wrong.

Anastasia is geeky-sexy in a literary, spinster librarian sort of way. I envision her owning several cats with cute names and never dating because she has more important things to do, like reading the complete annotated works of Charles Dickens.

I see her character being played by Sandra Bullock à la “Miss Congeniality.” Mainly because the sex scenes would be much more interesting if she fell off her stilettos or got tangled in the ropes a few times, giving her a reason to say, “Double crap.”

And can’t you just hear her saying in a sing-song voice, “You are so kinky, you want to spank me”?

Christian is a little more complex. I picture him as more of a sexy-cool character, like a young Sean Connery as James Bond. Or the illegitimate and incredibly worldly son of the Dos Equis guy (aka The Most Interesting Man in the World.) And because the freakishly long finger made such an impression on me, I see him wearing one of those giant foam fingers on his left hand all the time. I can’t get that image out of my mind.

It goes without saying that it would be northwest green for the Mariners because it coordinates with his striking grey eyes. Besides, a worldly man like Christian would never be a Seahawks fan – football is a much less civilized game than baseball.

As for the movie casting, I think any brooding, drop-dead gorgeous guy could play him. As long as they had a giant foam finger.

Side Note: As is everything in Christian’s life, the true story of the giant foam finger is a mystery. But there are rumors it was given to him by a gorgeous female hot dog vendor he met when she brought some specially ordered gourmet sausages to his elegantly appointed private box at Safeco Field, where he was entertaining business associates.

They hit it off, and developed a mutually satisfying kinky arrangement. As their relationship became more intimate, he showered her with diamond studded dog collars and crystal platform shoes with live goldfish in the heels. She, being a poor, struggling aspiring model, could only afford to give him the giant foam finger she found laying on the bleachers as she was helping Stan the custodian clean after a game one evening.

Tragically, she was found murdered under the bleachers a few months into their relationship, the victim of a vicious serial killer who targets female hot dog vendors. It is said Christian has vowed to wear the giant foam finger until her killer is brought to justice.

Or maybe he just has a giant foam finger fetish.

And thus we begin our adventure.

Onward to chapter 2 my pretties.

[Image via Lids/Locker Room]

Prologue – In Which I Research “Fifty Shades of Grey” as a Way to Delay Reading the Book

The book has been downloaded as promised. I even got it for the low, low price of $4.99. Don’t hate. Sometimes it pays to wait.

I haven’t started reading it yet, but I have a good excuse. I’ve been researching.

After Goggling “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I ran across this article on Yahoo News citing a recent study by some University of Michigan researchers. The subjects were 18 to 24-year-old women, roughly half of whom had read the entire trilogy and half who had either read only the first book, or none at all. The study found the women who read all three books were more likely to be binge-drinkers, have eating disorders, or be involved in unhealthy relationships.

Oh course, I was a little skeptical. I mean, come on. They were 18 to 24-year-old college students, half of which are binge drinkers, have eating disorders, or are involved in unhealthy relationships anyway, regardless of their taste in literature. But it did get a lot of news coverage online, and we all know anything that gets that much coverage on the internet must be accurate. Right?

Unfortunately, since the grad student who typed the survey into the computer was hung-over and fighting with her boyfriend at the time, she forgot to include the questions about past behaviors. Therefore, the researchers couldn’t confirm if the women were that way before they read the books or if the gawd-awful writing somehow damaged them psychologically, causing them to take up self-destructive behaviors.

As we all know, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation (except on the internet), so I decided to do a little research of my own to see if there were other common, non-age-related ties among the trilogy’s fans.

Back to Google I went, searching for studies showing these women tended to be children of divorced parents, prescription drug abusers, or maybe dyed their hair before the age of 12.

Something?

Anything?

Nope.

So I went to the “Fifty Shades” trilogy Facebook page and spent an hour or so checking out some of the fans’ profiles, looking for tell-tale signs such as drunken selfies, misspelled tattoos, mug shots of their baby-daddies, or screen shots from the time they were on the “Jerry Springer Show.”.

No luck there either.

Most of them were just normal people who liked to read mommy-porn while the kids were at soccer practice and post pictures of cute cats.

This confirmed my suspicions that the study was a load of hooey, and the researchers just had to come up with something to justify the fact that they spent all their summer semester grant money on wine and expensive catered lunches while attending that weekend symposium in Chicago on the reading habits of 18 to 24 year-old-women.

Well, that was a bust. I couldn’t manage to find an excuse NOT to read it.

So I decided I should go to Amazon and read the reviews for “Fifty Shades” before actually diving into the book, enabling me to approach this thing with an open mind.

There were plenty of 5-star reviews; but I must say, it was reassuring to see that quite a few other people noticed the bad writing and lack of character development also. I have to admit I was a bit envious of these brave souls who, unlike me, had the fortitude to see the ordeal through to the end so they could write scathing, witty reviews. I wanted to join the fun.

But alas, being one of the approximately 27 women remaining on earth who has not yet read the book, I have been excluded from the scathing and witting.

I did, however, manage to waste some more time gathering a sampling of my favorite reviews so far – good and bad. Of course, like the thorough little researcher that I am, I have included the star ratings so you don’t have to go look them up yourself. You’re welcome.

*Really? WTF is wrong with you people?

*** Wife reads this crap.

**** hgfghhybbbfdsdjkibhyghbcdrrhn Dha xjen sj sd enc fn c kc kd ofnf kncks. Os jc djs jc dond fkcjdn co k

And my absolute favorite, a review posted just today by a women who knows what really matters in a book:

***Very good condition.

When I got tired of reading reviews, I looked for a good picture for this post and found the sign above. It makes no sense whatsoever and has nothing to do with “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but I it made me happy and that’s all that matters.

Anyway, having now reassured myself that I will not become an 18 to 24-year-old binge drinker with a stalker boyfriend, and that had I ordered the print version of the book it would have arrived in very good condition, I can begin reading with confidence.

After I have a bowl of soup.

Later my pretties.

[Image via fanpop]

Fifty Shades of Eh

I’ve done some serious soul-searching and have finally decided to admit my deepest, darkest secret to the world.

I realize that I run the risk of losing my Woman Card for this, but I can’t go on hiding such a shockingly shameful secret.

{Deep breath}

I didn’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

{Sob}

There, I said it.

I tried, really I did. I even downloaded the sample chapter to my Kindle, with high hopes of becoming as enthralled by the kinky adventures of Anastasia and Christian as my friends, co-workers, strangers with whom I played Farmville on Facebook, and the entire internet assured me I would be.

I didn’t make it through the first couple of pages before I started to feel as if I was reading a bad parody of a Harlequin Romance written by a teenager. Apparently a horny teenager, from what I had heard.

Since several highly intelligent, well-read women had actually recommended this book to me, I though maybe I was missing something. Maybe it would get better after the first few pages.

It didn’t. I have to admit that I never even made it to the end of the first chapter.

Please, someone tell me I am not the only one who noticed the gawd-awful writing in this book? Didn’t anyone else have a hard time slogging through all the emoting of dialog instead of just saying it? The unrealistic characters?

Anybody?

It’s not that I don’t enjoy a bit of lady-porn every now and then, or even some cheesy porn. I mean, really, I’m a baby boomer; we’re the generation that invented cheesy porn. You know what I’m talking about – the kind where a plumber with a 10 inch penis shows up at the door during an all blonde, bisexual cheerleader sorority baby-doll pajama party to “service the drains” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and an orgy ensues, accompanied by boom-chicka-waa-waa disco music.

Yeah, well. I found “Fifty Shades” almost as believable as that.

When I mentioned this to a friend recently she seemed offended, saying “Fifty Shades” was one of the best books EVER and I was a literary snob.

A literary snob? My idea of a great book is anything written by Steven King. As great a writer as he is, I hardly think that qualifies me for the category of literary snob.

So to disprove this notion, I have decided to give the book another chance. I pledge to not only download it, but actually read the entire thing. And to prove to the world I have done it (thereby allowing me to keep my Woman Card) I will blog about it chapter by chapter.

Better yet, I promise to only say positive things.

This should be interesting.

Stay tuned my pretties.

[Image via Izismile]