Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Ready(ish)...

Well, folks, it's not completely finished, but it's to the point where I feel comfortable making it known. My new blog, One Random B, is up and ready to party. From now on, I will post exclusively over there. Both this blog and Tarnished Halo will remain up until I import all posts, and then they will be removed from the interwebs forever. But that won't be for awhile, because there is a shit-load left to do.

So chickety-check out the new site, yo! And be kind--it's a work in progress.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Since this is taking longer than anticipated...

I haven't been posting on here because I've been busy creating a sexy new blog into which I'll import this blog as well as Tarnished Halo. The new blog is being designed from scratch by yours truly, and once it's finished, I will be posting exclusively on there and un-publish (de-publish?) the other two. It'll be my own brand, my own domain name; truly my own space.

However, it's taking longer than anticipated. I thought I'd just import the existing blog posts, design my header, pick out some fonts, add a few widgets, bada bing, bada boom--sexy new blog. What I didn't anticipate was that the post formats would be all effed up and a lot of the posts not even being imported. So I'm having to go back and re-format and manually enter and back-date all the rest. Guys, it's a shit-show. Do you know how much I use italics and pictures in my posts? I kind of want to kill myself. And to add insult to injury, I have enough little stories from the past week or so to write a hodge-podge post. It's killing me. Like today I got a new shower head installed, which blasts out hurricane-force water. The thing creates its own wind. Even Ava was all, "What the fuck?" and poked her head in to investigate. I feel like I'm in a natural disaster every time I take a shower. And it's awesome.

Right now, gems like that are on hold whilst I work on the new blog and get that ready to go. But once it's done, it's on 'til the break of dawn. My inspiration is The Bloggess. She's made a career out of writing ridiculous things, and I hope to follow suit. This is America, folks, and this is my American Dream.

Man, how patriotic was that? That was John Mellencamp patriotic.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Books I Read: Fifty Shades of Grey (pt. 3)

I had big plans for Memorial Day. Well, if I'm being honest, they weren't exactly big plans, but they were plans to get me out of the apartment and out and about for a few hours. Window shopping. Browsing Barnes & Noble. Walking around Hyde Park Village. But around mid-morning, I decided to do "a bit of reading," and before I knew it, it was four o'clock and I had finished Fifty Shades. Oh well. 

In case you are just joining us, I have been reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and blogging my thoughts along the way. The original idea was to do a regular review after I finished the book, but it turned out to be so spectacularly bad (in the best possible way) that I couldn't save all my snarky comments for one post. If you are currently reading, or are planning to read, this book, then I will warn you--there are spoilers. So stay away if you don't want to know what happens. This series is probably also not very safe for work, as past posts have  discussed butt plugs and claiming one's ass, and those might set off alarms in HR if your computer is monitored. If you don't care about any of the aforementioned items, however, then grab a cup of coffee and stick around (and catch up on parts 1 and 2 if you haven't done so already).  

Alright, ready? Here we go. When we last left off, Ana verbally agreed to Christian's contract, but still couldn't quite bring herself to sign on the dotted line. So in order to get some space and think things over, she goes to Georgia to visit her mom. Of course, for the entire first part of her trip she's constantly emailing and texting Christian, so her plan to "get away" is pretty much going down the crapper. Then Christian shows up at the hotel in which Ana and her mom are having drinks (because that's not creepy), and Ana decides to go up to his room to try to talk to him about she's feeling in regards to their situation. They just end up having lots of sex and conversations that go nowhere, but she inexplicably thinks they make some sort of breakthrough. Upon getting back to Seattle, she and Christian have more sex, where she gets brave and asks Christian to show her how bad the punishment portion of his lifestyle can get. After beating her with a belt, Ana is all, "Hells naw, you're fucked up, son" (which is what she knew all along--even Christian told her that) and leaves him. Fin. 

Okay, now let's start the trash-talking!

-It takes Ana until page 413 to Google stalk Christian. My question is, why hasn't she done it sooner? Most women I know know a potential boyfriend's hometown, religious views, favorite TV shows, and whether or not he has a rap sheet before the first date. Sure that's crazy, but we do it in the name of safety because these days, dating is a shit-show and you need to know just how bad the shit's gonna stink before you sink your feet into it. Or something. Guys, that's a really awful metaphor. Even while I was typing it, my brain was all, "What the fuck?" Sorry about that. My point is, Christian tells her about his effed-up lifestyle and the type of person he is right off the bat, and he doesn't give up much more than that. My fingers would be bleeding by the time I finished with Google. 

-For all her awkwardness and naivety, Ana manages to get lots of sex out of Christian without signing anything. She never signs the contract, but still manages to finagle the closest thing to a relationship out of Christian, which is more than what women who have signed the contract get. So I have to give her props there. 

-I got tired of Ana always thinking, Oh my. I actually found it down right creepy, because in my head it sounded George Takei. Let me tell you, nothing puts a damper faster on a hot sex scene than George Takei. 

-Ana has some of dumbest thoughts. Cases in point: on p. 464, Christian backs out of having dinner with Ana's family because he has to go back to Seattle to handle a "situation." Ana's response?

"Oh no. The last 'situation' he had was my virginity. Jeez, I hope it's nothing like that.

In another scene, Christian has Ana naked, her wrists and ankles chained to the bed in his playroom. She is blindfolded, and she has on headphones, and Christian informs her that music will be playing so she won't be able to see or hear him. He promises her an intense experience, and her response?

"[Regarding the music] Jeez, I hope it's not rap." (p. 487)

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, ANA?! How can you have such banal thoughts? Now I've thought about some stupid shit (like what if barking like a dog were a language you could learn?) but I would hope that if I found myself in a situation similar to the latter one mentioned above, I would be preoccupied with more than just what type of music I'd be hearing. It's like Ana just misses the point. The very obvious point. All the time.

As much as I love making fun of this book, the joke is on me. I still got sucked in, hook, line, and sinker. I'm not sure why, as poorly-written books normally drive me crazy and I can't finish them. Maybe it was the sex. Maybe it was the effed-up love story. Maybe, on some deep, subconscious level, this book spoke to me.

Nah. It was totally the sex. Made wading through everything else totally worth it. And bonus--no scenes with butt plugs! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Books I Read: Fifty Shades of Grey (pt. 2)

Hello, and welcome back. For those of you who are new here, I am currently reading Fifty Shades of Grey and blogging my thoughts along the way. I am on page 284. Just a heads up, there will be spoilers, so if you are reading it, or plan to read it, you might want to skip this series. But if you don't give a crap, then by all means, stay! (If you haven't already, check out part one here.) I should also warn you that these posts are probably not safe for work unless your boss is 1) hella cool or 2) you work from home. Now that all that booshizz is out of the way, let's begin.

To recap: Our heroine(ish), Ana, meets wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey when she's forced to interview him for her college's student newspaper. Despite the fact that she's awkward and flustered around him to the point of retardation, Christian still finds her attractive, and deflowers her. Then he does it again. And again. And again. They have a lot of sex, alright? Then Christian throws a kink (see what I did there?) into things by admitting he's into the BDSM lifestyle (Google it if you don't know) and wants Ana to sign a contract, agreeing to be his submissive. In the midst of all this, she meets his mom, graduates from college, and gets ready to move to Seattle. Christian tries to sweeten the pot by buying her an expensive car as well as a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, (which totally works because Ana doesn't have a whole lot of self-esteem) and she agrees to the contract.

-Ana doesn't own a computer, so Christian lends her one. It's 2011, and she just graduated college. How did she survive all four years using only the computers at school and debo-ing her roommate's from time to time? It would be virtually impossible to do all of her schoolwork without owning a computer. What about time limits? What if it's busy and a computer isn't available? What if she's doing a project on society's relationship with porn and the sites she needs are blocked? I think that if she can afford to go to college, she can afford a computer on which to pound out a few papers.

-This line made me LOL:

"God, I'd like to give you a good hiding. You'd feel a lot better, and so would I...a man can dream, Anastasia." (pp 198-199)

Maybe this is just me, but I think the things a man says can either add to or take away from his attractiveness. If I were to meet a guy who was successful, ambitious, good-looking, and confident, and then he turned around and said he wanted to spank me, I think that might take his attractiveness level down a few notches, especially when you consider what he could have said instead:

-You're beautiful.
-I'd like to take you to Paris.
-I love being around you.
-I'm sad when I'm not around you.
-I think about you a lot, and that's not including the times I picture you naked.
-J. Lo ain't got nothin' on you.
-I want you to be the mother of my children.
-You make me into a better person.

The list could go on. But noooo, Christian tells Ana he wants to "give her a good hiding" and she still swoons. The hell?

-Ana never eats. Like, ever. She always loses her appetite when she's around Christian, and it drives me crazy. Christian is rich, so you know homeslice can afford some amazing gourmet food. She really should make the most of it, because when their relationship ends (and you know it will), the only guys she'll have to choose from are poor college graduates like herself whose idea of a fancy meal is the dinner special at Olive Garden.

-Another line that made me LOL:

"I'll agree to the fisting, but I'd really like to claim your ass, Anastasia." (p. 256)

I hope I'm never in a situation where the man I'm with says he'd like to "claim my ass," but if I do find myself there, I'd probably laugh and ask for which country he'd like to claim it before kicking him out (or leaving if we're in public or at his place). I mean, who says that? This is on the same level as the "I'd like to give you a good hiding" comment, and again, instead of running for the hills like any other normal woman, Ana stays and swoons.

Speaking of asses...

-I've finally figured out what butt plugs are used for. Not that that's been a burning desire of mine or anything. It's not like I stay awake at night saying to myself, "Gee golly, I really wish I knew what butt plugs are used for." It's just one of those terms you hear at some point in life and idly wonder what it's about. You never actually research it, though, for fear of what you might see. But the universe must have looked favorably on me (Perhaps it's because of the bird rescue yesterday?) because my idle wondering has been satisfied. Thanks, Fifty Shades of Grey!

...Aaaand that's where I'm at with the book. I kind of dread the scenes where butt plugs are used. That just doesn't sound sexy or pleasant. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Disney Princess Moment

Today I got to experience something every woman has dreamed of since she was little: I got to have a Disney princess moment. What exactly is a Disney princess moment, you ask? It's what happens when women watch Disney movies like Cinderella and Snow White when they're little girls, see scenes like this, and decide they want to commune with wild animals in the same fashion. They want random birds to perch on their fingers. They want wild deer to just come up and nuzzle them when they're outside playing with their friends. They want wise old owls watching over them, so when the evil hyenas come and try to fuck shit up, the owls will orchestrate a plan of attack like this and save the day. ALL WOMEN WANT THIS. Right after meeting their Prince Charming. And today, I got to experience it.

This morning, I met my friend Arleen at Target, our meet-up spot before heading to the beach. On the pavement next to where Arleen parked was a puddle of something red and incredibly sticky, like a melted lollipop. And stuck in that sticky red mess was a bird. No doubt it flew in to check out the puddle, see if it was edible, landed on it, and found itself in a whole heap of trouble. The poor thing kept flapping its wings and getting nowhere. I couldn't very well continue on my merry little way and just leave it like that, so I bent down, grabbed it, and gently pulled its legs out of the puddle. I then turned to Arleen to see if she wanted to pet it--I mean, how often do you get to hold a wild bird?--but I didn't have a good grip, and it flew out of my hands, narrowly missing Arleen's face.

YOU GUYS, I RESCUED A FUCKING BIRD. That is some Cinderella-type shizz. Jealous?

Cinderella singing to the birds
Me, this morning

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Books I Read: Fifty Shades of Grey (pt. 1)

Well, hello there. It's been awhile. How have you been? Me? Oh, the usual. Work has been super busy lately and I've been go-go-go for the past few weeks, so it's been hard to--

You know what? Let's cut through the bullshit. I've been busy. I've been neglecting this blog. But right now I'm on page 146 of Fifty Shades of Grey and I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW. My original plan was to be normal and write a review after I finished the book, but I have so many thoughts, there is no way they can be confined to just one post. So many thoughts, guys. They need to roam free. Like the exotic wildebeest in Africa. Or wherever exotic wildebeest live. 

First up, the writing is an absolute train wreck (except this train has a lot of sex and awkward sentence structuring), but like any train wreck worth its salt, I can't look away. It's hard not to get sucked into this story. Of course, while I'm reading, my brain is on overdrive, making snarky comments along the way, like a psychotic, but not as funny, episode of Mystery Science Theater: 3000. So instead of writing one review, I'll be writing several reviews as I read the book. And by "reviews," I mean a bunch of random thoughts I hastily wrote down in my journal with complete disregard to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Just like the book itself. Bazinga. I'll mention now that if you are currently reading, plan to read, or are thinking to yourself, "Hmm, maybe I'll take a gander one of these days" you might want to skip this series, because spoilers will abound. But if you don't give a shit and need something to read to lull you off to sleep, keep on going, Soldier. And now, my thoughts on the book thus far:

-Ana randomly gives out nicknames and starts referencing things with no introduction whatsoever. Like when she starts referring to Christian as Bluebeard out of fucking nowhere. I don't know much about pirates. I went to public school in Perry, and we skipped that chapter in World History class. And, thanks to living in Tampa, pirates are now synonymous in my mind with this:

But from what I do know about pirates, Christian in no way, shape, or form resembles a pirate. He makes his money honestly, and doesn't rape or pillage any person or thing, at least not at this point.  And if Ana means it metaphorically, as in he raped and pillaged her virginity or something, then she is a stupid moron because that was clearly consensual, and everybody knows that in order to rape and/or pillage, you must do it by force, and usually without consent. Doi. 

She also goes from referring to her subconscious as her subconscious to talking about her Inner Goddess with no warning. I'm sorry, but what the hell is an Inner Goddess? Is it her subconscious? Her mind? Did she get possessed by the Devil and we don't know about it? Is this going to turn into The Exorcist? But, like, a sexy and fucked-up version of The Exorcist

Would you hit that?

Also, how messed up would Christian have to be to still have sex with Ana while she was in fully-possessed mode? The mind boggles.

-The entire thing is told from Ana's point of view, in the first person. This isn't weird in and of itself, but I did scratch my head when she started referring to Christian's mother as Dr. Trevelyan-Grey without Christian ever telling her that she's a doctor! So, in addition to being possessed, Ana just now magically knows things? Is that the Devil's black magic? 

-There are a couple of lines that made me seriously LOL, and I don't think they were meant to be funny. From page 135:

"I want you to become well acquainted, on first name terms if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body. I'm very attached to this."

Christian says this when he and Ana are taking a bath together. He's talking about his penis. While he's holding it. And I'm sorry, but there's no nickname you can give to a man's penis that isn't funny. Mr. Winky. Big Daddy. Lil' C (Short for "Little Christian." It's urban, y'all!). Sausage Stick. See what I mean? I dare you to come up with a penis nickname that's sexy. Dare you.

The second line that made me LOL was from pages 135-136:

"It's so big and growing. His erection is above the water line, the water lapping at his hips."

I just automatically imagine an enemy submarine surfacing causing people in a far-off battleship watching through binoculars to go ape-shit and run amok along the decks. Or maybe a whale in full breach.

-Speaking of the tub, let's talk about that blowjob scene. I'm trying to work out the logistics of that one. From what I can gather, they are both sitting down. There is enough water to cover their genitals. So how in holy hell does Ana manage to give Christian a blowjob without a) drowning b) getting a mouthful of yucky tub water flavored with bath oil or c) both? I just can't wrap my mind around it. I mean, is his dick really that big?

Come on, let's be real.

Or maybe it really does just boil down to this:

Anybody else read the book? Thoughts? If you've read past page 146, you better not post any spoilers or I will find where you live, come in the night, and put this right next to you while you're sleeping so it'll be the first thing you will see when you wake up. I AM SERIOUS. I CAN BE ONE CRAZY, RANDOM BITCH. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Examiner Article!

What up, kidz. Got a new Examiner article out. Today, I visited Baristas, a coffee shop with a little somethin' extra special. What makes it extra special? Read here to find out!