Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Very Fancy Morning

Look at the cute little package that came in today!

Fancy Feast was running a promotion on their Facebook page a few weeks ago, and the freebie just came in this morning. One the one hand, it's a neat idea: a breakfast-themed snack for the cat, and a package of instant coffee for the human. On the other...well, it's a small step from being a crazy cat lady gift. I don't really know where I come down on this one, but the box is a great stroke of marketing, and I'm sure the coffee will come in handy when school starts next month!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

50 Shades of Aaargh

I try so very hard not to judge a book without at least attempting to read it - which is why I've never trash-talked Twilight, although I will happily mock the movies I have seen, and this kind of bit me in the behind with 50 Shades of Grey. 

I'd been hearing a lot about it, from both ends of the spectrum: people (hilariously) trashing the novel online, and people declaring it the best piece of erotic fiction ever. Although I had an instinctive dislike of 50 Shades of Grey, I reserved judgment...until I saw a librarian writing about how nice it was that any book was getting his teenagers to spend more time reading. 

At that point, I couldn't resist the urge to examine 50 Shades more closely, so I ponied up for an ereader copy. The housemates fortunately joined me in what turned out to be an incredibly painful experience, and we spent the next five nights taking turns reading out loud and doing voices for all the characters.

Result: I have many, many problems with 50 Shades of Grey. The most superficial complaint is that the writing is shoddy. This book could have benefited greatly from a few good editors, particularly ones willing to point out that no one cares very much about the main character's "inner goddess." 

My other complains are much more bothersome, at least to me personally:

  1. The relationship between Anastasia and Christian Grey is borderline abusive, yet never really identified as such.
  2. People who choose to practice BDSM, either as a lifestyle or just in the bedroom, are portrayed as suffering from deep-seated personal issues.
  3. I'm completely certain this writer has never, ever, done any of the sexual things mentioned in the book. There just isn't very much "erotic" in this fiction.
Of course, I feel that I should also give some space to people who don't hate the book quite as much as I do (which still making great points), such as the Bitch Magazine article Thinking Kink: Safewords:
Whatever else 50 Shades of Grey may have got wrong—and I know many of you feel that it got A LOT wrong!—the book does at least acknowledge the existence of safewords. Unlike other media representations of kink that I've already discussed here, 50 Shades reminds readers that in BDSM, “the Dominant may make demands of the Submissive that cannot be met without...harm” and therefore “the Submissive may make use of a Safeword.” The infamous contract that Christian Grey presents to Anastasia Steele also helpfully details the difference between "yellow" and "red" as safewords (the former tells the dominant the sub is close to their limits, the latter is a call for the dom to stop everything 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Upcoming Giveaway from Tropical Traditions!

I am so excited - I received a nice package from Tropical Traditions the other day! It contained a jar of cocoanut oil for myself and the roommates to experiment with, and a letter informing me that I've been approved to run a giveaway so another reader can try it out, too.

I am of course going to use the oil myself, so I can review it when I host the giveaway, but I'm completely jazzed to be able to put up my first giveaway soon :)

Two of my friends (Gamer and The Cowboy) have told me cocoanut oil is great for popping popcorn. Considering that we're about to introduce one of the roomies to the Indiana Jones series, I'll have an occasion to try that out very soon...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

SneakPeeq Necklace (not sponsored!)

After seeing it mentioned on a bunch of freebie sites, I signed up for Sneakpeeq just a few weeks ago. I'll admit that a large part of the draw was the chance to get a necklace for "free" (in actuality, there was a $1.00 shipping fee tacked on, which I don't see as a huge problem), but I actually had a lot of fun looking at the new items every day. A lot of them are, frankly, not my style - like the "sex canvases" that went on sale the other day, but many of the other products made me wish I had more free spending money!

The fact that you have to "peeq" to see a price, and can only check 20 prices per day, makes the site just a little more exciting. It's kind of nice to check and get a new badge, too. You'll randomly get free shipping, or $$ off, or any one of a bunch of other badges. My collection's sparse so far, but I'm working on it:

Anyway, I'm posting today because my $1 necklace finally arrived!

It's actually very nice. The ribbon looked slightly off when I put it on, but one of my roommates tied it into a tiny bow and that completely fixed the problem. Sneakpeeq sends you a random color and I was seriously hoping for the green pictured above, but instead I got the purple heart:

And, you know what? I'm not even disappointed. It's a lovely color and it probably would have been my second choice. I also thought it was cute of the company to send a little extra with my package - I got a white-stone costume jewelry ring as an added bonus!

I'll try and get a photo of my necklace with the bow up soon :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Magic Mike?

So, has anyone out there seen Magic Mike yet? I didn't even know this movie existed until last week. I invited a friend out for karaoke (which. was. amazing.), and she made some comment about compromising her self-respect to go see Magic Mike. I wasn't sure if she was joking, so of course, I went to look it up.

On the one hand, the IMDB description doesn't really grab me:

A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.
On the other, this article has a few interesting comments to make, that alleviate some of my fears:
It isn't a romance. Promos for this film make it seem like a rom-com with some butt action, but at its heartMagic Mike is about students and teachers. The primary relationship in the film is between Mike and his protege "The Kid" (Alex Pettyfer), and I'd argue that the secondary relationship is between Mike and Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). Romantic relationships come in at a distant third, or maybe even fourth after the camaraderie among the Xquisite male strippers. Overall, the centrality of the mentor/mentee dynamic makes this more of aKarate Kid or a Training Day than a gender-swapped version of Pretty Woman. Who knew?
So, has anyone seen it so they can let me know what they think?