Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Family Stuff

Hey All!

A quick post to keep everyone in the loop.  Ready?  Here's what's up.

  • Fiance comes home TOMORROW.  It's only a day aaaaaaaa-waaaaaaaay.  Which is great, because I sure had an ugly fit last night over my frustrations of trying to talk on the phone with a person in a country where phone reception SUUUUUUCKS.  Ready for that to be done-zo.

  • Congrats to my brides-dude and his growing family, which grew a little more this morning as they welcomed their second son.  Can't wait to meet both of your little dude[weizer*]s!

[click the picture to see what is literally the best commercial ever made.]

  • No pressure BFFJ, but with two new baby boys in my friend-family circle, a little girl would sure be awesome to round out the mix.  (plus I pinned a bunch of baby girl adorable crafts, and we can't let those go to waste.)

  • I am speeding through a few last minute house-things before Fiance's triumphant return.  Notably, I put together the grill we scored off our registry, and I picked up a dining room set at the thrifty yesterday for cheap that I'm about 50% through turning into an outdoor patio set.  I'm stupid excited about it - I'm sure you'll see a post next week on that.

  • On that note, here's a lesson for you all -  When the instructions for the grill assembly say:  "STOP.  THIS STEP REQUIRES TWO PEOPLE"  A poor idea would be to read that, laugh and say "whatever, I got this."  Because that may result in the very heavy top half of the grill trapping a piece of your palm between it and the very sturdy bottom half of the grill.  And it will bleed for hours, which will lead to you briefly wondering if you should have maybe sought out stitches, and then deciding, "meh, if it scars, I can come up with some awesome war story to go with it.  Like... I was attacked by... a wild... sabertooth tiger?"  I'll work on it.  In any case, a very sincere thank you to our grooms-chick and her beau for the grill - not only is it awesome, but I really enjoyed the streak of "I am woman hear me roar" from putting it together (except that hand-smash part, but I don't blame you for that. :)

  • Pretty much as soon as Fiance gets home, we're on the road to catch up with some of his family together.  

  • This of course means that the Friday post won't be happening.  And since it's a holiday weekend, Monday probably won't either.  Sorry.  But!...

...Check this out [click the picture]- I promise it's entertaining enough that I'll be back before you even notice I was gone.

I am fairly certain that Terry Crews can actually flex his 
muscles on command in this manner, and this may not be photo-shopy tricks.  
Well, maybe the abs.

*it's an inside joke.  it's my blog, I'll do what I want.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Starring Me; As A Mess of A Person.

I am not a fan of chick-flicks.  I do enjoy movies which have a romantic sub-plot, but I am never going to be the girl who drags her significant other to the movie theater to check out the latest thing staring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks (it is probably very telling that I couldn't think of current actors to fill that cliche joke, but you know what I mean).  Give me a good super-hero movie, or some big summer block buster, or even a ridiculous raunchy buddy-flick.  All good times.
awwwwww yusssss.

I like to think that Fiance sees that as a super plus, but I probably negate all that "no-chick-flick awesomeness" with my insistence on seeing everything that's ever been animated on the silver screen.
seriously, you want to waste $8.50 for that?

All that said, I couldn't subject myself to another "Toddlers and Tiaras" marathon on TLC while working on wedding crafts this weekend.  And thus, here is an actual snippet from my Saturday night, thanks to Facebook chat, and a very patient friend/bridesmaid  (you may note I did not even start this with a hello.  miss manners would be ashamed.):

  • 11:01PM
    • Kp

      my ovaries imploded.
  • 11:02PM
    Patient Friend/ Bridesmaid
    • hmm
    • wait
    • hadn't you seen this movie before?
  • 11:02PM
    • no, and it was on abc family and i was all "man, everyone with a uterus loves this movie, maybe i should check it out as long as i'm in tonight"
  • 11:04PM
    Patient Friend/ Bridesmaid
    • ahhh
    • uh oh
  • 11:04PM
    • Kp
      and now i am sobbing. SOBBING hysterically over two fictional old dead people.

  • 11:05PM
    Patient Friend/ Bridesmaid
    • aw
    • no worries?
    • itll be ok?
    • life isnt that dramatic
  • 11:07PM
    • haha
    • okay thanks
    • but seriously. who makes a movie like that
    • don't people go to movies to escape and enjoy themselves?
  • 11:10PM
    Patient Friend/ Bridesmaid
    • nicholas sparks
  • 11:10PM
    • that was like an emotional waterboarding
  • 11:12PM
    Patient Friend/ Bridesmaid
  • 11:15PM
    • ooOoo. that is pretty cool

      Thank goodness friends who will talk type you down.  
      And for youtube.  
      Three days until Fiance's home.  

      (fully aware that some of you read this blog for the cartoons I draw.  My sprained thumb predicament is markedly better, and I should be back to posting doodles very soon!  Thanks for hanging in there)

Friday, August 24, 2012

How To - Make the coolest fridge ever.

First things first.
i'm a horrible person for thinking this gif is funny. and that's okay.

He's a year older and just a little bit closer to being home stateside with me
 and sunshine and roses 
and happiness and glitter 
all sent via good-ju-ju vibes his way.

I *think* I originally saw something like this on pinterest, but I apparently didn't pin it, so I can't actually share my original inspiration.  Sorry to whoever I stole a good idea from.


Whatever the case, fridges.  We have the very good fortune to have gotten an appliance opportunity while we were in Mexico.  We hadn't shipped our fridge, choosing instead to use some of the moving bonus to get a new fridge for our Mexican casa.  And because there is a Whirlpool factory IN Monterrey, and because Fiance had some good connections through work, we got a good deal on a great fridge.  But this post isn't about that fridge.

This post is about the other fridge (the O.F., if you will).  The fridge that we left behind in the states, and when I returned home, found faithfully waiting for me in the kitchen like a loyal dog.  To make room for the newer fridge that we shipped back up from Mexico, the O.F. became a what I believe is a popular societal convention in the 20-30-somethings bracket:  The Beer Fridge.  Which is defined as the old fridge that lives in the garage or basement and houses most/ all of your booze and beer.  Easy access for grilling parties.

Our friend came over one day a few weeks back and helped me schlep the O.F. into the garage (who am I kidding, he moved it and I just kind of stood around and went "erm, am I helping now?").  And yesterday, I carted some beer-mugs out to the freezer, and I busted out the spray paint.  Specifically, the chalkboard spray paint.  And the after is awesome.  You can scroll down to the big reveal if you want, or you can check out the instructions and make your own.  Choose your own adventure. (seriously click that one it's fun.)

The how-to is fairly simple.  Ready?  Here we go.
You'll need:

  • Lysol wipes or similarly useful cleaning product
  • Sandpaper sponge block
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Screwdriver
  • Chalk

1.  Move your O.F. into the garage, or other area where you could spray paint that sucker and not die from poor ventilation/ accidentally spray paint the walls.

2.  Take off the door handles using your friendly house-hold screw driver.  Make sure you put all the screws and fixtures together in a space that your cat can't access.  Because he will knock that stuff off the counter and you'll spend 30 minutes searching for a single screw only to discover it's rolled under the stove.

3.  Clean the fridge inside and out.  The out, for our purposes, is really the more important part obviously, but no one's gonna hate on an inside shelf that's suddenly not sticky anymore.

4.  Take one of those spongy sandpaper blocks and sand the front door.  Corners and the sides of the door count - make sure you get those spots really well.  If there are spots (like on our fridge) where the paint had chipped and there's a little bit of rust, pay A LOT of attention there to make sure the rust is totally gone.  You don't want to cover a spot only to have it rot away under the paint.

5.  RE-clean the outside of the door.  Lysol wipes are the bomb.  Get rid of all the little bits you stirred up from sanding.  And then... WALK AWAY for a bit. A good hour.  Make sure it's dry like the Sahara.

6.  Tape it up!  Masking tape to keep the seals for the doors clean and paint free, use paper to block off the rest of the fridge from the door.

7.  Realize you forgot to take any "before pictures"  up until now.  Become amused that this picture above kind of looks like the O.F. is exploding.

8.  Spray away!  I used Rustoleum's chalkboard spray paint.  It's $4.50 a can, and I used 2 cans.  You can buy a can of regular brush-on paint, but I like the immediacy that spray paint gives.  I didn't get paid for this post, but let's be real, it's a pretty boss paint.

9.  Become grossly aware that it is super hard to use spray paint when your sprained thumb has just barely stopped hurting.  Decide to become briefly left-handed for this project.  Do two coats.  Get really antsy because this is harder with your non-dominant hand, and you'd so much rather be drawing on it already.

10.  Pull off all paper, use a lysol wipe to clean up any spots where the paint may have leaked in and gotten on the chilled plastic (the cold won't let it dry too quick so the wipes should get everything off just fine).

11.  LET IT DRY you impatient yutz!  ( what someone should have said to me, but whatever)

12.  Put the handles back on after finding that one last stupid screw.

13.  Dig out the box of sidewalk chalk you have for when friends bring little kids over to the house.

14.  "Prime" the surface by dragging the side of your chalk over the ENTIRE surface of the painted door.  Erase, and then.  THEN. Rediscover your inner little kid and draw all over that sucker.

15.  Dance around in celebration of the awesomeness.

16.  (to be postponed until Fiance is back) Throw a BYOB party to stock said fridge with more than two kinds of beer and diet soda.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, except I'm fairly certain that now I'm going to get all obsessed with tutorials on hand-lettering (like those fancy chalkboards you see in yuppie coffee shops) and I won't ever be able to let it go a week without re-doing the art on the fridge.

{case in point - looked at the picture of the fridge above, decided I didn't like the spacing, went to to garage and re-tweaked already}

Do you have a Beer Fridge?  Would you paint it like this?  What would you stock it with?
(really I'm taking suggestions)  Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clearing some brain-space.

Hey all.

I've got a lot on my plate today - an opportunity came up that I need to super mull over, so I don't have a lot of time to devote to a post today - apologies.

I would like to take a second to throw some thoughts out there though - things I've been mulling over, and need to get out into the inter-webs, so that my brain has space to work.

Fiance called last night and said "Well, I'm on my way to the airport right now!"
And I was all "OMGWFTAWESOME ARE YOU COMING HOME?"  And he was all "Course not, I'm taking a red-eye to another factory in Mexico for some electrical stuff."  And then I reached through the phone and punched him.

Actually I didn't, but seriously Fiance, you are poor at thinking about how to phrase things sometimes.  

Then the fun continued because he posted a picture of his plane ticket online and so a bunch of people were writing me to be all "OH GOSH HE'S HOME FINALLY YOU MUST BE SO EXCITED" and I was all "mer it's all a lie and now I'm even more depressed that he's not here but thank you for the kind words."

The best part of that whole run-on-sentence mess up there is I'm 100% sure that Fiance is not aware that he made any communication faux-paus.  *Insert sigh/eye roll and stereotypical "oh men." phrasing here*

Imagine if you taught a bunch of parrots how to imitate dub step and then released them into the wild.  People camping at night in their tents listening to the sound of nature.  And then the bass drops. [moment of truth - i saw that somewhere else and had to share it here, so not my original thought]

I bought chalk board spray paint today, and I have big plans for it. That's not really a thought as much as it is a big tease, but you'll probably see that in the coming week here.


This is seriously the best new tumblr on the market.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shut the Front Door.

Ten days until Fiance is back in the states, and hanging out with me, and I can look at his face whenever I want.  Except for when he's at work.  Details - the point is: 10 days.

Not that I'm counting or anything.

Who am I kidding, there's a paper chain.

I wanted to get the house as put together as possible before he arrives home to see it, a sort of validation for me being here all this time by myself sans employment.  (to clarify, this is not something Fiance puts on me, but it's something I worry about on my own a lot.)

So as you recall, in the past two months I have...
I've wanted to paint the front door for about 8 months or so.  I saw this color combo on another blog and I fell in love with it.  So I pitched it to Fiance, and he gave his classic "whatever you want to do, I don't care" response.  Still, I feel like in the back of my head, that all the colors I picked for the rest of the house were fairly neutral decisions.  

What I'm saying here is I saved the front door for last hoping that if Fiance had any big objections to anything else I'd done, he'd see the pictures in the blog, voice said concerns, and then I wouldn't paint the door.  But he didn't.  So I did. Hopefully it doesn't shock him too terrible much.  What color did I choose?

Yellow.  Specifically the yellow that I somehow got on the middle of my forehead.

Prior to this yellow (which is called Yellow Gold by Behr, if you were curious), the front door was bright blue (see above).  It was good.  I mean, it was a color other than white, so I'm not complaining.  Once I painted the dining room a blue-gray, however, I really started to dislike how the blue of the front door clashed with the blue of the walls in the room said door opened into.  

So painting happened.  And while I waited for the paint to dry, I spruced up a wreath to go on said door.  I'm a firm believer that wreaths are not just for the holidays - as long as they're done right they can be a great year-round accent on a door that makes your entry look that much more welcoming.  Thus:

Wreath that's had fake sunflowers stuck in it since June (again, see above)
Old fake sunflowers
$ 3.49 sprig of "berries" from Meijer  (Meijer is Michigan's answer to Wal-Mart, for you non-native Michiganders)
Jute-wrapped cardboard Monogram
Awesome late-summer wreath for a total of $3.50

This is one of those crafts that I do just to fill space until I take the time to actually do something nice.  Except this one turned out really a lot nicer than I had thought it would, so I think it gets a permanent home.  I can add orange leaves and tiny fake pumpkins in the fall.  I can add poinsettias in the winter.  I can add "forget me not" blue flowers in the spring.  Boom.  Awesome.

Lessons learned in this craft:
  • picking the swirly typeface does look prettier, but it is hella harder to cut out/ wrap with jute.
  • hot glue - still living up to it's name.

 the ease of stuffing berries in the wreath gave me some phenomenal false confidence.

 swirly M was WAY more swirly before the exact knife came into play.  Editing on the fly.  Go me.

my ugly "oh crap it's burrrrrrrning" hot glue face.

Pair that wreath with the door, and... well lookit it!  I am all about tootin' my own horn right now.  Here's hoping it isn't too much for Fiance. :)
 now we need a full screen door instead of the white half-door thing. 
 and a doorbell that rouge trick or treaters haven't punched in.  
ugh.  more projects.

coming into the house

That light beam?  Oh you know, it's just the heavens parting and 
the angels smiling upon our front door of awesome.

But maybe he'll read this tonight, and then he'll have 10 days to get used to it.
Or 9, because by tonight, today won't really count anymore.
Or 8, because the day he actually gets here doesn't count either.

8 days until Fiance is home!

Are you the decorator of your home?  
What project is your big pride?  Share in the comments!
(And if you're not the decorator - 
what have you come home to that your other half has done
 which you were either pleasantly surprised with, or... well, that it took you a while to let it sink in?)

PS.  Real-life friends, rejoice.  I made myself Mexican Beans today and they are JUST as delicious here in the U.S. as they were in Mexico.  Tomorrow I tackle tacos.  And then?  Dinner party.  Ooooo-lé.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Since a Child.

Oh, good gravy.  Maybe I can still get a post up before Friday ends on the west coast.  It's past 11PM here EST, and I have nothing of real value to contribute to the inter-webs today.  

My hand is still jank, though getting better.  But I can't yet give you doodles.

And then I've spent the entire day (with the exception of a quick walk around the mall), sewing my garters.  So I don't exactly have any exciting stories to share.  Though I can tell you the salted caramel latte at Gloria Jeans is pretty bomb.

It's been a lovely day - there isn't as much stress in making my garters as there has been for other aspects of the wedding, because no one else gets to care about what those look like except me and Fiance.  And I'm pretty sure he doesn't care at all past the fact that he gets to take them off me.  So I've enjoyed feeling productive and self-absorbed all day.

Moving forward, I have exactly one random thought to pluck from my brain today and share with you, fair readers.

During the day while I putz around the house, I am by myself.  I like a little background noise, it keeps my brain going through even monotonous things like sweeping birdseed off the kitchen floor.*  Thus, I have heard one particular commercial about... oh say, a thousand times.

Do you have an Everest College anywhere near you?  It's a technical college with many satellite campuses, and they specialize in certification training for students looking to get into the work force and support/ better themselves.

Excellent.  As you may have gathered from that whole "past career as a college administrator," I am definitely pro-learning.  But then there's this gal:

hey there, screen grab, what up?

She's in almost all of Everest's commercials discussing their medical assistant training.  Of course I can't find the main one that plays on a virtual loop here in Kalamazoo, because that would be helpful to this post... but in it, she spits out the following line:

"I've always wanted to be in the medical field since a child."

Just... read it again.

"I've always wanted to be in the medical field SINCE A CHILD."

That's the whole thing.  I didn't cut it off at the end or anything.

So, "since a child... {what?}"

  • Since a child died in your arms from polio and you couldn't save it but with it's dying breaths whispered "Lisa, you should become a medical assistant." And then little Timmy sputters and... *le dead*?  Since then?  Sad, but sure.  
  • Since a child turned into a zombie and ate your pet hamster, so you vowed to avenge Mr. Fluffington's death by researching the cure for Zombism?  Maybe.
  • Since a child beat you in a hot dog eating contest and you realized you were out of all other possible career paths?  I could see that.

Or did you just miss a whole flipping part of that sentence?  Like "...since [I WAS] a child?"  I'm thinking that's more it.  But you know what?  That's kind of an important part, because it really brings the whole thing together in a nice, fluid statement which actually contains all the proper parts of a sentence.  

Either way, I don't blame her; I don't speak (or for that matter type) with 100% English grammar accuracy.  But if [I was] her (see what I bolded there?), I'd be pretty pissed.

This is a national commercial.  Yet, no one on the production team could stop her for a second and ask her to re-shoot that 10 seconds using a sentence which would pass 2nd grade grammar?

Nope, apparently not.  Now she's advertising an institution of higher learning, from which she is a graduate, even though she demonstrates less intelligence in her verbal communication than a 7 year old (to be fair I have a masters degree and a severe addiction to run-on sentences... but still).

Sure makes you wish she was YOUR medical assistant, doesn't it?  Writing important stuff on your medical charts... the charts your doctor will later use to see which of your legs he has to amputate?  Yeah.  She's probably fine.

This ad also super motivates me toward wanting to further my learning at such a College.  [lie.]

I just have to wonder how great an education you can get at Everest if that's the kind of representation they put out to the world as an esteemed grad of their program.  Frankly it's lazy.  You can do better Everest.

And Miss Since-a-child?  You could do better too.

I do so very much hope this doesn't come across as a "grammar nazi" attack.  If for no other reason than I think for the most part starting internet wars about the difference between your, you're, their, there, and they're just makes one look like an arrogant elitist.

As someone who has experience in the world of advertising, I know how important it is to represent your brand in a way that makes you seem like you know... stuff.  Things.  Facts.  Expertise in your area.  Miss Since-a-child, the video production team at Everest has failed you horribly there.  Go back to them.  Tell them "I've always wanted to present myself in an intelligent manner to my peers.  Yes. I've wanted that ever since [I was] a child.  NOW RESHOOT THIS SPOT you polio-inflicted, hamster-eating, hot-dog bingeing zombies**!"

I mean, that's what I'd do.  

Do you have any commercials/ shows/ ads/ that you just CAN'T STAND 
because of some really glaring and easily fixable error?  
I want to hear about it in the comments!

*While I was at the mall, Mac decided to shuck all conventional stereotypes against being a doberman, and instead of chewing his way into the dog food to be naughty, he instead decided to eat the wild bird seed I bought for the backyard.  Great stuff to come home to.  [lie.]

He's going to make a very handsome cardinal.  Though god help him when he tries to sit on a telephone wire with his new peers.

In related news, this might have to happen now.

**That's a fantastically disorienting insult.  I have to remember that for later use.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Literary Adventures In Peer Pressure

Let's be super up front:  The thumb on my drawin' hand is still hurtin' something firece, so if you come to this blog for the silly comic drawings, today's not your day.  I'll try to make up for it with entertaining words and distracting animated gifs at the very least.

This past weekend when I was in Green Bay, there were a few "happy belated birthday!"s thrown in the mix with the bridal shower business.  From mum I got a card and some cash, with the note "spend on something JUST for you!" ear-marking it.

Can I just say how happy I am that my parents still give me birthday presents?  Because they most certainly don't have to, I am a grown-ass woman after all, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy cash in the same way a little kid opening a new video game enjoys the adventures of Mario.

I'm going to tell you what I did with that cash, and I have a feeling some of you are going to jump down my throat about it and how I'm going to get cancer and die a horrible death.  Before you do that,  let me share both what I'm doing, and give you a quote from the Sookie Stackhouse series (the books True Blood is loosely based on.):

1.  I'm using it to tan.  In a tanning bed, with the death-inducing UV lights.
2.  In the words of Sookie Stackhouse, faerie and vampire temptress extrorrdinare:
 I don't want to hear any lectures about how bad tanning is for you. That's my vice. Everybody gets one.

Preach, sister.  I don't drink alcohol but on the rare occasion anymore, I watch what I eat, drink only one soda a week, I exercise every day and I don't do drugs or smoke.  I deserve one vice, and at least for right now, that's gonna be tanning.  I've got tan lines from the summer to even out for the wedding, and the vitamin D boosting my "happy hormones" definitely doesn't hurt.  

In summary.  
If my vice was meth:
I get a jank face and likely lead a life hopping from mug shot to mug shot.

If my vice is tanning:
I get 'healthy glow' and a Swedish vampire/ viking to make kissy faces with.

So... tanning wins.
seriously.  seriously.


...Love you Fiance.

Moving on.

What's your one vice?  I want to know in the comments.

I went to the little tanning place by the house which had a "Back to School" special advertised and got myself set up.  I'm not looking to be one of those pumpkin-orange ladies, with a skin texture that matches the vinyl covering on an old subway seat.  No no, just a tish more color than a sheet of printer paper and an even tone instead of my currently well-defined farmer-tan tank-top.  I said as much to the gal behind the counter and she walked me through the options, the liability waivers, and the speech about "you may only tan once a day - so no coming in at 9am and again at 9pm."

I laughed at the logical absurdity of this speech.  She made a "yeah you don't look the type," comment, as the little bell on the door behind me chimed to signal another customer had come in.  The gal behind the counter immediately smirked and gave me a look and half head-nod to indicate that whoever was behind me was about to be a "speak of the devil" type moment.  She wasn't kidding - With her white-blonde hair, this lady's skin color matched the bricks on the outside of the building.  And while she may well have been young, the rhino-butt wrinkles and thug-jean like sagging aged her to somewhere around 120 years old.

never take candy apples from strangers tanorexics.

I dotted the i's and crossed the t's on my remaining paperwork, while Tanny McTannerson sat down to wait until the clerk could get her a room after me, and just before we headed back to the beds, the clerk offered "oh, and if you want to track your progress, we have these stickers you can place on your skin that'll leave a shape."

My options for stickers were thus: a heart, a cross (odd?), a star, an arrow, or a playboy bunny.  As I debated whether I actually wanted to essentially brand myself and/or with what, Tanny McT offered up, in her abrasive voice:

"I use the arrow - point it to my bits so my man knows where to focus.  I bet your husband would love it too."

Did I miss the memo that all normal societal conventions of talking to ABSOLUTE STRANGERS in public places was off this week?
You know, rock on with your bad self lady.  You've clearly got some mad confidence regarding bedroom tactics.  But... I don't know you.  And... I sincerely don't want to.

Yeah.  So.  I'm about to move from you trying not to picture a crazy wrinkly orange woman gettin' it on, to talking about the book Fifty Shades of Grey.  

Really truly though, I got Fifty Shades of Grey from the library this week because I wanted to know what all the hubbub was about, and my number finally came up on the reserve list.  If you are a family member of mine, or anyone else who might get squicked out at me talking about sex, that little red x in the corner of your screen is probably a good option right about now.

Are they gone?  Great.

Alright, so we all know I have a penchant for books about the sex industry - biographies from strippers who got in and out of the business and their crazy stories, memoirs from ex-playboy bunnies and how they were "discovered" by Hef, call-girls who recorded their thoughts with pen and paper regarding how they got into that line of work.  Can you honestly tell me that isn't just a little bit interesting to you?  How they do it?  Not to mention it's a little bit taboo to be reading about, so naturally I eat it up.

When I started seeing Facebook posts, tweets, new articles, and entire segments on the Today show start popping up about this book that has been affectionately labeled "Mommy Porn" months ago, I was intrigued.  When the books became a catalyst for women to talk openly about their sex lives and the sex industry saw a big uptick in sales, I officially decided I needed to know what the hype was about.  

It's a quick read, and it's left me with some thoughts (that's what she said).  Since I know many of you have read it, I want to you know your thoughts too.  My blog, so I'll start.

Alright, this isn't a book that's topping best seller lists because of it's literary accomplishments.  You already knew that.  I don't know how it managed to weasel into the main-stream book market (actually, I would suspect it's because the cover features an artfully photographed tie instead of an airbrushed portrait of Fabio dressed like a pirate), but I believe its success in said market is easy to explain in two parts.  
it wasn't even hard to find these.  these are real things that exist.

50SoG, and the publicity maelstrom it became, made it suddenly okay for all women to publicly express an interest in sex and being sexual people, without someone chastising them for not being demure little creatures on their way to the grocery store to pick up a chicken for dinner.  But let me back up.  I don't think that's an all male-imposed prison sentence upon us lady-folk.  I think women do that to each other.  I'd bet I could take that book out to the park, sit down on a bench and start flipping pages.  Men walking by might raise an eyebrow, but I'd wager it's more for getting into the hype of such an obvious fad than for reading about sex.  I'm sure some ladies would pass and give me that sisterhood type nod that says they read it too.  But I'm positive that the most judgement I would receive would come almost soley from other women, turning up their nose at me for reading smut.  It would be an interesting experiment, but it's not a good enough book for me to read it again in a park just to try.  

I also think it's popular because it's such an obvious escapist sort of thing.  Not because all women want every action that the dominant main character inflicts upon the constantly "flushed" Ana (anyone else get sick of that word every three paragraphs?), but because it takes a part out of the equation that women hate:  Actually talking about sex.  Christian always seems to know exactly what to do to get the inexperienced Ana's motor going, without any communication from Ana voicing her desires.  It goes back up to my first point - women have had the idea that talking about sex is icky and gross so pounded into their heads by society that talking about what would make them happy in the bedroom in many cases adds a stress element to sex instead of an exhilaration.  

But isn't that kind of dangerous?  Women read this book and start wondering what they can do to get their partners to suddenly develop Christian's ESP in the sack.   Not telling their significant other "I like this," but expecting them to know anyway... how is that not just setting everyone in the equation up to be wildly frustrated?

Like I mentioned above, though, book sales have corresponded with an uptick in sex-industry sales.  Driving home this past weekend, I passed a stretch referred to as "Seven-Mile Road" just south of Milwaukee, which consists almost entirely of pay-by-the-hour hotels, peep-shows, gentlemen clubs, and sex shops.  I had to chuckle that some of the signboards out front of these establishments touted phrases like "we sell 50 shades of vibrators!"   And so I guess, this book has brought a bit of experimentation into play as a normal and acceptable thing for women to do.  Which is great, and amusing.  

All that said, here's my end-all-be-all take on Fifty Shades of Grey - there are thousands of books out there with the same titilating end-goal found within it's pages, but without the more 'outlier' kinky fetish bits.  Which describe people a little more fleshed out than the control-freak Christian and the clumsily flushed Ana.  Where you could probably more realistically engross yourself with the plot line.  And that are a lot cheaper than the famous Grey books (please note that link includes the phrase "not indended for use in schools" I laughed pretty hard).  Because you can buy three such books at goodwill for a nickel.  But without the media hype, is it worth it for you?  

Sincerely.  If 50 shades is your thing, invest in a book cover and go grab a few cheap-y books at your local thrifty.  I've never been to a salvation army who's book selection wasn't roughly 75% Harlequin Romance, and if you can put up with the crappy cover art, you've got an endless supply of reading before you.
I'm not even joking (for the most part) - why did 50SoG get fame and fortune, while Scoundrel's Captive was left with nothing but a cover you'd have to... well, cover in order to actually read it?

Did you read the book?  What are your thoughts?  
Did you not? Why?  
Are you a guy?  What do you think about ladies reading this book?  
I'm insanely curious for all of these - hit the comment button already!