Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fifty Shades of WTF

*DISCLAIMER* This blog post will contain mild spoilers and sexual content (written, not visual).  *END DISCLAIMER*

So a couple days ago, I heard about this trashy romance novel that was sweeping the nation called Fifty Shades of Grey.  It just suddenly popped up everywhere I went.  My relatives talked about it, one of my favorite comic strips, Girls With Slingshots, did a bit on it, etc.  Then yesterday, I was in Barnes & Noble buying books I actually care about – the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, the next Alpha and Omega novel by Patricia Briggs – when I see this book on the shelf.  My curiosity got to me.  I bought it.  I have not made it through the entire book.  I am only at chapter nine.  But here are some things I’ve observed about it.

1. It is uncomfortably close to Twilight in many ways.  Here is the list.  If you haven’t read Twilight, take my word for it that these things are contained within it:

  • The male love interest is described as an “Adonis.”
  • The main character, Anastasia, has a harebrained mother who has recently remarried.
  • Anastasia sees herself as awkward and ugly when apparently everyone else sees her as beautiful.
  • Anastasia has multiple male suitors (two so far) that are interested in her, attractive, and friendly, but she is not interested in them.  The only one who catches her eye is the perfectly handsome Christian Grey.
  • Anastasia blushes a lot, and her biggest flaw seems to be that she is clumsy.  Worse, it seems her klutziness is supposed to be endearing.  Why oh why is this a thing all of a sudden?  I get that the female is supposed to be all meek and need Mr. Sculpted McChiseledJaw to keep her safe, but this is getting kind of ridiculous.

50Shades

The list goes on.  Anastasia doesn’t believe she is worthy of Mr. Perfect-Ass WashboardAbs because he is so much better looking than she is.  She dreams about him every night after meeting him, yadda yadda.

Here are some other things.

2. Anastasia’s last name is Steele.  And the male love interest’s last name is not WashboardAbs, it’s Grey.  So we have Steele and Grey.  Steel Grey.  This is too perfectly constructed to have been an accident.  (Just like it was no accident that the main character of Twilight was named “Beautiful Swan.”) On top of that, Christian Grey has gray eyes, and his hair is supposedly “copper,” though to be fair, Edward’s was “bronze.”

3. The author, E L James, is English.  I knew this after reading the second sentence in the novel (“…damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill…”), and then I checked the About the Author to see if I was right.  I was.  I knew because she kept saying things like “My roommate is ill,” and “I must not do this,” and “I looked smart” (As in she was dressed well).  I have nothing against the English, but it took me until she mentioned driving from Oregon to Washington to realize that the narrator is, in fact, supposed to be American.  The problem is, no editor stopped Ms. James for a moment and said, “I’m sorry, but American people don’t talk like this.  We might need to change a few things.”  It takes me out of the book entirely every time she says an Englishism, and I’m afraid I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough.

4. I haven’t even gotten to the sex.  (Here’s where the spoiler comes in) Mr. Christian Grey tries to stay away from Bella, er, Anastasia as much as he can, but he just can’t because he is so in love with her clumsiness.  So he gives in and takes her back to his place and shows her his big, dark secret: He’s a vampire.  No just kidding.  It’s worse.  He’s really into kink.  He has an entire room dedicated to the most extreme forms of S&M.  He tells Anastasia that if she wants to be with him, she will have to be his Sub while he is the Dom.  And she’s like, “Well, you’re hot, and I really want to have sex with you, so okie dokie!”  Or rather, “Well, you’re a fine-looking fellow, and I must say I cannot resist you any further.”  Something like that.

So obviously I don’t really like this book so far.  This post was long, and I’m sorry.  I’ll probably give a full review of the book once I finish it.

Word of the Day: Sadomasochism (n) – interaction, especially sexual activity, in which one person enjoys inflicting physical or mental suffering on another person, who derives pleasure from experiencing pain.

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Good News and Bad News

We’re gonna start with the bad news first, since I always like to end on a happy note.

Yesterday I found out that I am not a finalist.  I cried some, considered giving up writing, was depressed.  All the usual, expected reactions.  I knew there was very little chance that I would make it that far, but I found it was impossible to keep myself from getting my hopes up.  It is important to remember that I did make it to the semifinals, which exceeded my expectations, and I am still really proud of myself for that.  That was a big accomplishment.  And no, I’m not going to give up writing.  I’ve been sending out query letters as well as applications for internships and jobs.  I will not get any of these internships or jobs, because everybody and their mother needs a job right now.  But that’s not going to stop me from trying.

On to the good news.

 

Yes, I was able to install my Tablet software back onto my computer!  I can draw pictures again!  It took me a while to get used to things, and of course it wasn’t as easy as install, open photoshop, draw.  Oh no.  It went more like this:

So after installing it…I had to uninstall it.  And then I installed it again.  The above pictures are evidence that I was eventually able to make it work, and I’m even working on drawing all my phone booth pictures again.  So I’m really excited about that.

As for the award, I want to thank all of my readers, friends, and family for supporting me and encouraging me.  I don’t regret entering the contest at all, and I’m lucky to have had such avid supporters.

That’s all for now!  Look forward to more cartoons!

Word of the Day: Avid (adj) – Showing great enthusiasm for or interest in.

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Trying Something New

Hello!  It has been a while.  I hope you have not forgotten about me.  Here are the things that have been going on in my life over the past couple weeks that have made it hard to find time to blog:

Writing final papers, taking a sign language final, taking classes, working twice a week, finishing classes, packing my things, preparing for graduation, cleaning my apartment, sleeping, eating at IHOP.

So I’ve been kind of busy but the short of it is that I’m graduating!  Remember this picture?

That picture is from one of my older posts, which I always encourage people to read.  It also still applies!  I will soon be wearing a cap and gown, only mine will be orange and navy blue, so they will be slightly more ridiculous than the traditional black ones.

Two things have happened somewhat simultaneously.  One: I was introduced to a great video in which a young man from the UK reads Twilight and comments on it.  Two: I found I had some spare time, so I decided to share this video with you!  And in doing so, I am going to try something new!  I am going to try to put the video right here into my blog, so you don’t have to click a link.  And if that works, then that means…I don’t know…cookies?  Anyway, you should watch it.  (Here goes nothing!)

I just clicked “Preview” and it seems to have worked!  And if you want a link to that video on YouTube, you should click the two words at the end of this sentence!  If you go to that link, then you can find all the other videos where he reads the rest of the book.  They are very, very funny, and actually quite accurate.  That is, he makes good points about the writing and how it should have been done better.

Finally, I would like to quickly do a bit of grammar.  This is another one of my pet peeves.  People seem to like to say “in which” when it is not appropriate to say.  I guess they want to avoid ending sentences with prepositions, and to that I say: What do you want to do that for?  And I also say: Watch this video.  (Or just scroll down.  I’ll post it below the Word of the Day, because apparently I know how to do that now.)

Anyway, people say something like, “I had to sit through a presentation in which I fell asleep.”  So what’s wrong with the word “during”?  I ask you, because I feel like During’s feelings are probably a little hurt right now.  Here’s the rule, people.  If something happens over a period of time, probably with no clearly defined beginning or end, you use “during.”  If it’s a thing, abstract or concrete, you use “in which.”  If it’s a period of time in which something specific happens once, or with a very concrete beginning and end, you can use “in which.”  Granted in the above example the person fell asleep only once, but the implication is that the narrator continued to sleep while the presentation went on.  Therefore, the narrator was sleeping during the presentation.  Ok, so the rules are a little murky.  I’ll give you some sample sentences.

– You will have a week to complete this project, during which you may use any number of resources.

– The bomb will go off in seven minutes, during which you can try to defuse it.

– I bought a box in which I placed several toys.

– I had a dream in which a tiger ate my face.

– I had a dream during which many strange things happened.

– I wrote a blog post in which I embedded two videos.

Please don’t neglect During!  It loves you!  If you’re unsure, you can still use “in which,” and at this point it’s probably been accepted into colloquial American English anyway, but still…I don’t know.  I just think During deserves a chance.

Word of the Day: Assiduous (adj) – Constant in application or effort; working diligently at a task; persevering; industrious; attentive.

Here’s that video I promised.  Seriously.  Watch it.  It’ll blow your mind.  It certainly makes my day THROUGH.  (You’ll get it in a sec)

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