Thursday, February 28, 2013

50 Shades Darker Chapter 8 in which Erika decides Grey being a warlock is canon

So I took a slightly different approach with this chapter. I read and took notes (preserving the WHAT reactions) to try and trim down on how long these posts take/get a better grasp of the issues. Let me know what you think in the comments. (Will Wildman note: Also, now that I'm an official contributor, it's way easier for me to get in and edit these things, so the typo count will probably go down.  I might throw in some semicolons and stuff just to show off.)

Ana asks as Grey tucks her into bed if they'll call the cops about Leila slashing her tires/throwing paint on her car and he says no. Why? Because he doesn't want to involve the police, they'll just lock her up! He'll handle it! He just needs to TRY HARDER! I'm sad Ana doesn't smack him upside the head and say "Or the court will mandate she gets psychiatric help. Something you can't actually force her to do and stick with. They can. They can also offer further protection to me/your family and be a whole extra group of people keeping an eye open for her. People who have legal and total access to things that you have to work really hard to get access to." There's a lot of talk about how worried Grey is for Ana (foreshadowing that he'll leave her to keep her safe again) but I think he's more worried about being worried then actually being worried. Ana's a bit freaked out when he puts her to bed, and asks him to come to bed, too. He says no, leaving her alone. Because, you know, all she wanted was snuggles. No emotional vulnerability at all. When she wanders out later he scolds her for it, and he really doesn't seem to care that much about Ana, the person. It's like he sees her as some frail little doll, but her needs for safety/security do not outweigh his want to protect and "save" his ex.

“Your beard grows quickly,” I whisper, unable to hide the wonder in my voice at this beautiful, fucked-up man who stands before me.

Don't be silly. Stubble never gets soft.

I trace the line of his bottom lip then trail my fingers down his throat, to the faint smudge of lipstick at the base of his neck.

What the hell kind of lipstick IS this?

I don’t want to touch him. Well, I do . . . but I won’t.

 Oh my god is Ana learning?!

“In the bedroom. I want you in your bed.”
“Do you now? Miss Steele, you are insatiable.”

Fixing problems with sex. Again.

Grey notices the balcony door open and Ana tells him about the woman she thought she saw. Grey's response is to snarl at her and demand she put more clothes on (only wearing a shirt) as he calls to hiss at his security dudes.

Christian gives them a précis of what has happened.

Is this because the book is supposed to be aimed at older women? Is this why Ana talks like a pretentious jackass?

So the men discuss how they will handle things because Ana is just a silly little woman and Grey decides they'll go to a hotel.

“Aren’t we all overreacting slightly?” I ask.
Christian glowers at me. “She may have a gun,” he growls.
“Christian, she was standing at the end of the bed. She could have shot me then, if that’s what she wanted to do.”
Christian pauses for a moment to rein in his temper, I think. In a menacingly soft voice he says, “I’m not prepared to take the risk.

Seriously? This woman has broken into a house, trashed your car, and you think getting the fuck out of a giant condo (so big Ana hasn't seen it all yet!) with lots of hidey-holes is a bad idea? She is obviously not well at this point in time, and I think counting on her to act consistently is... optimistic? Her actions have also been escalating. Yes, she didn't shoot you yet. She just showed up outside of your work, trashed your car, and watched you sleep. This should seem like a fantastic idea to Ana, and I'm confused as hell as to why she's arguing.

“Why don’t you just call her . . . tell her you want to talk to her?”
“Anastasia, she’s unstable, and she may be armed,” he says irritably.
“So we just run?”
“For now—yes.”

THIS also confuses me. (WW: Is it just me or does this read like Grey is afraid she will shoot him over the phone?  Bullets do not travel through phone lines, Grey.  You would know that if you didn't have a pathological need to use email for everything.) Grey has been trying to hunt down this woman/refusing to go to the cops. Yet he'll run from her when calling her is apparently an option? This seems.... suboptimal. Unless he plans to have his "obviously competent" security team deal with her?

“Yes.” I am affronted. “I can shoot, Mr. Grey, so you’d better beware. It’s not just crazy ex-subs you need to worry about.”
“I’ll bear that in mind, Miss Steele,” he answers dryly, amused, and it feels good to know that even in this ridiculously tense situation, I can make him smile.

I'm torn on this. On one hand, I love Ana's intentions here. She's trying to make light of an awful situation but this book just throws the word "crazy" around like there's no tomorrow. She's not "crazy"; she's sick. Let's be blunt about that. She isn't some frothing at the mouth rabies infected beast, she's a human being who is struggling, and struggling hard. I don't blame Grey for wanting to help her, I just think he's doing it all wrong.

Ana wonders about what to do with the car, and rather then file an insurance claim (because that would mean a police report) Grey tells her he'll just buy her a new one. Because money fixes everything, you know.

“How could she have known it was my car?”
He glances anxiously at me and sighs. “She had an Audi A3. I buy one for all my submissives—it’s one of the safest cars in its class.”

How long could this car have been around for? I also feel this underlines that all of his subs (before Ana who is the most special and unique snowflake ever) are interchangeable. (WW: I just think this would make the best Audi advertisement ever.) He took them shopping, they had their own rooms, he bought them all the same car, took them all to the same salon to have their hair (always brown) styled the same way and their bits waxed in ways he liked. His subs were never people, but just interchangeable play things. Which makes him wanting to help "save" Leila all the more confusing. He's shown that he has no feelings for any of his ex-subs; he took care of them because you take care of your things, so why does this one matter?

“Anastasia, despite what I hoped, you have never been my submissive, so technically it is a graduation present.” He pulls out of the parking space and speeds to the exit.
Despite what he hoped. Oh no . . . my subconscious shakes her head sadly. This is what we come back to all the time.
“Are you still hoping?” I whisper.
The in-car phone buzzes.

Tension! How can she honestly be thinking about this at the time? It's okay, Grey after a few minutes of brooding tells her "NO AND YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO READ MY MIND YOU TWIT"

They get into the whole "WHY DON'T YOU JUST KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE PERFECT THE WAY YOU ARE?!" and Ana thinks because he doesn't do X Y Z (share more about himself/tell her he loves her bluntly) that there's room for doubt. She also decides to spill everything that Carrick told her, which naturally he's downright giddy about. Ana also mentions his "running to Elena" after they broke up which Grey denies, and gets bitchy as hell when Ana is confused. Ana isn't sure if he's being honest or not. I'm now wondering if Elena is the one actually doing the tire slashing?

Here I am, in Seattle’s most prestigious hotel, dressed in an oversized denim jacket, oversized sweatpants, and an old T-shirt next to this elegant, beautiful, Greek god. No wonder the receptionist is looking from one to the other as if the equation doesn’t add up. Of course, she’s over-awed by Christian. I roll my eyes as she flushes crimson and stutters. Jeez, even her hands are shaking.

WE GET IT HE IS A GREEK GOD! THE PERFECTION OF MAN! Random woman feeding her dog in the corner is commented on, she's dark haired. Dunno if it's a random toss off or not. Also Firefox tells me over sized is two words. (WW: Firefox is behind the times.  At the very least it would need a hyphen.)

“You never cease to amaze me, Anastasia. After a day like today—or yesterday, rather—you’re not whining or running off into the hills screaming. I am in awe of you. You’re very strong.”
“You’re a very good reason to stay,” I murmur. “I told you, Christian, I’m not going anywhere, no matter what you’ve done. You know how I feel about you.”
His mouth twists as if he doubts my words, and his brow creases as if what I’m saying is painful for him to hear. Oh, Christian, what do I have to do to make you realize how I feel?
Let him beat you, my subconscious sneers at me. I scowl inwardly at her.

Ana really seems to hate herself, doesn't she? There's a lot of self-loathing in this book which I imagine will be cured by the power of LOVE! As opposed to, you know, therapy/self help. Well, at least neither of them believes the other really cares about them deep down in their heart of hearts.

“You are Aphrodite, Anastasia,” he murmurs.

Is he calling her a Greek goddess because she keeps thinking he's a Greek god? CAN HE READ HER MIND?!

 I clasp his face in my hands, tip his head up, and bend to kiss him. He groans low in his throat.

Sounds.... sexy?

along my belly to my breast, squeezing, kneading, and pulling enticingly on my nipple.

Wait, is he playing with her nipple or are they making bread?

“You make me forget everything. You are the best therapy,” he breathes, moving at an achingly leisurely pace, savoring every inch of me.

Poor Dr. Flynn. If only he had thought to just mount Grey. That would have done so much more for him! Seriously though it's vexing how sex is used as the cure-all in this book. Is Ana's snatch that magical?

I move my hands into his hair and surrender myself to his rhythm as slowly and surely my body climbs higher and higher and plateaus, then falls hard and fast as I come around him.

I clocked seven seconds.

He’s come a long way, as have I, in such 

a short time. It’s almost too much to absorb. With all the fucked-up stuff, I am losing sight of his simple, honest journey with me.

Simple and honest. Really? We're- you're- No. Bad.

“Hi,” I murmur, grateful that I am lying on my front. “How long have you been watching me?”
“I could watch you sleep for hours, Anastasia. But I’ve only been here about five minutes.” He leans over and kisses me gently.

Breathing heavily the whole time.

“No. You don’t.” He grins at me. The faint line of red lipstick is still visible around his neck.

WHAT THE HELL KIND OF LIPSTICK WAS THAT?!!?? I've gone to effort to keep mine in place and I'm lucky if it lasts an hour. What the hell is he wearing?!

As I stretch, I’m aware I ache all over . . . no doubt a result of all the sex, dancing, and teetering in expensive high-heeled shoes.

Remember at the beginning of the book when Ana wore sensible heels and Grey acted like she couldn't walk in them and last book when he scolded her for wearing heels because she's sooo clumsy?  I know he hired someone to buy these clothes for Ana, but I'm certain he gave notes to the woman. I'm surprised "no really high heels" wasn't on the list. Doubly so considering how much posturing he does about her safety and comfort.

Leila—the girl who looks like me—that’s the most startling image my brain conjures for conjecture, that and her eerie presence in Christian’s bedroom. What did she want? Me? Christian? To do what? And why the fuck has she wrecked my car?

"To wear my skin like a snuggie and pretend to be me since we already look so much alike"?

I'm going to assume the author's intent was "Because she's crazy and loooooves Grey because he's so perfect!" but I'd think she's deeply disturbed right now and is redirecting her anger and grief about losing her boyfriend into the "one that got away" and onto Ana because he hasn't gotten away from her? Although I'm annoyed that EL James is treating "crazy" as the answer to all her plot holes with this character... Maybe Grey damaged her so much that she's trying to scare Ana off for her own good? That's it! Grey mentioned she had been his sub for about two years if memory serves, that's an awful lot of black magic.

Maybe it deteriorates the brain? I mean, seeing Ana go from reasonably stable and self sufficient to... well, as we see her now... That's the perfect explanation! It's like getting indoctrinated by the Reapers in Mass Effect! You become mindlessly loyal and slowly deteriorate until you become an empty husk! So Leila managed to get out before she was totally ruined, but has been struggling ever since, a state of constant agony. She's tried to fight the control of Grey's black-magic penis* after the fact by filling the void with other men, and when that stopped working was around the time she went missing. She's now in a daze trying to warn Ana, but too damaged to do so in a way that will actually help. Alright, Leila is officially the most sympathetic character in this book. (WW: Further proof that this story works way better as survival horror.)

“Is it safe?” I ask innocently, trying and failing to keep the irony from my voice.
Christian’s face falls, and his mouth presses in a line. “Where we’re going, it is. And it’s not a joking matter,” he adds sternly, narrowing his eyes.
I flush and stare down at my breakfast. I don’t feel like being scolded after all the drama and such a late night. I eat my breakfast in silence, feeling petulant.

Weren't you okay/relieved when she was joking about it last night because it lightened the situation?

The next scene I want to talk about is Ana and the doctor giving her the shot. Ana has apparently stopped taking the pill in the week she was single. The doctor freaks out, even though Ana has 1) been using condoms this whole time and 2) gotten her period but insists she might be knocked up and she shouldn't be so reckless so getting the shot is definitely a good idea since she's obviously too scatterbrained to remember to take a pill every day! This.... This bothers me. Mostly because it's not right. No doctor would be freaking out over you missing a few days on the pill if you were still using condoms. The pill is also still effective, though not AS effective, if you miss a few days. If she has had her period, AND been using condoms, this is EL James giving us someone besides Grey to make the shot seem like a good idea. So that way we see "No, no, Grey really just knows better than Ana about what's best for her!". EL JAMES YOU COULD HAVE JUST FUCKING GOOGLED THIS SHIT!

So Ana freaks out for a bit that "OH NO I COULD BE KNOCKED UP!" while the doctor makes her go piss on things. I like to think it's Grey's shoes. Although there's something wrong with this, too. If Ana were pregnant, it would have been within a week. Isn't that too soon for a standard pregnancy test (which is what the doctor seems to use) to work?

Now, let me counsel you about this shot. We discounted it last time because of the side effects, but quite frankly, the side effects of a child are far-reaching and go on for years.”

Because there are no other solutions for an unwanted pregnancy than keeping the thing forever. Abortions? Adoption? No? Not in EL James world? People must LIVE WITH THEIR MISTAKES? Alright then.

So Ana gets jabbed with a needle, the doctor lets out a sadistic giggle (I might be making that up) and Ana is all terse and snippy at Grey because she's shocked and stunned. 

He furrows his brow at me, puzzled. “My reaction? Well, naturally I’m relieved . . . it would be the height of carelessness and bad manners to knock you up.”
“Then maybe we should abstain,” I snap.
He gazes at me for a moment, bewildered, as if I’m some kind of science experiment.

 Ana clearly isn't taking to the black magic like she should. That's why he likes her so much.

“It was just a shock, that’s all,” I repeat petulantly.
Clasping the lapels of my robe, he pulls me into a warm embrace, kisses my hair, and presses my head against his chest. I’m distracted by his chest hair as it tickles my cheek. Oh, if I could just nuzzle him!


Grey goes on to tell Ana he wants her to spit out what's bothering her (because the whole thing with having woken up with his likely violent ex/finding out she might have been preggers isn't enough for him to fill in the blanks) because his first thought it to beat it out of her. No, really.

“Ana, I’m not used to this,” he murmurs. “My natural inclination is to beat it out of you, but I seriously doubt you want that.”


The bomb represents her difficulty in ditching Grey. Okay I just wanted to use an Adam West Batman .gif.

I am once again floored by his honesty. He knows nothing about relationships, and neither do I, except what I’ve learned from him. Well, he’s asked for faith and patience; maybe I should do the same.

If "faith and patience" are what he's been doing, you know, with the whole forcing you to take money/gifts you're uncomfortable with, withholding information that could be relevant to your safety (you know, that thing he's so obsessed about) and getting snippy and bitchy when you don't drop an issue almost immediately.... Sure, return that favor.

Then it's shower time. Grey scrubs Ana down and shockingly we don't get another sex scene (boo hiss). Instead Grey asks Ana to wash off the remaining lipstick (must be warlock extra-long lasting). This means touching the edges of his no-go zone. He's trying not to freak out and start flailing around like a caged angry monkey and start throwing shit everywhere while Ana is sobbing over how damaged he is and how much he's trusting her.

Then there's some more crying and Grey goes into a little self-loathing spiral about how she shouldn't cry for him because he's just so broken and nobody understands him. He then starts sobbing about how nobody understands him and runs away from the dinner table weeping leaving his family confused/amused. Wait, no, I made that last bit up. Sorry, Ana uses the SECRET KNOWLEDGE that Mrs. R gave her (he feels unworthy of love blah blah de blah) to try and convince him he shouldn't hate himself because he is the greatest evarz. No, Ana, that's the black magic talking.

I know how you feel about me.”
He gazes down at me, his eyes wide and panicked, and all we can hear is the steady stream of water as it flows over us in the shower.
“You love me,” I whisper.
His eyes widen further and his mouth opens. He takes a huge breath as if winded. He looks tortured—vulnerable.
“Yes,” he whispers. “I do.”

I had started to scroll to the bottom of the chapter to figure out how many pages were left, and just saw "I do" and panicked that maybe he had just proposed. Thankfully, he did not. I can't pretend I didn't see this coming but I'm not sure why it's all so dramatic/tortured. Is he afraid that by loving her he'll ruin her? Is he upset because he's pretty sure she'll turn into a husk and no one wants to love/have sex with a husk?

They don't even have proper genitals.
As always comments help take the sting off of the liver pain! Please feel free to share/like/tweet/whatever other nonsense people do on social media the blog and make sure you pop in Sunday to see Will's first Ender's Game deconstruction post!

*Band name? Band name.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


My dear astute readers, you may have noticed that there are some changes afoot. I don't just mean the twitter (@SnappyErika) or the new blog specific e-mail ( or the comments being moved over to disqus (assuming I didn't screw up? It should be disqus now. I-is it disqus now? :/) or even the blogs new look (I won't lie, that's a work in progress)! Although those are all changes, and ones that I'm kind of excited about because I'm a nerd like that.

No, my dear readers, the news I want to tell you about today is that Something Short and Snappy is far too pleased with it's self for luring* the talented and insightful Will Wildman over to be a regular contributor!

Starting this Sunday (March 3rd!) and updating every other Sunday he will be running an Ender's Game deconstruction! I kind of want to use Kermit again here. Is that too much Muppet flailing? Is there a such thing as too much Muppet flailing?

Just in case.

He will also be making non-deconstruction posts on the blog, and re-blogging some of his favorite posts from Narrow and Crooked Lanes here, though those will not be on a scheduled basis. So please, join me in giving Something Short and Snappy's first (and not last! I have things in The Works. If you're interested send me an e-mail, we can talk;) ) new contributor!

Apparently I'm all about the .gifs today.

*Cupcakes and booze. That's how we do in these parts. Although I want the record to show he was sober when he agreed. The fool.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

50 Shades Darker Chapter 7 Part 2

The first half of chapter 7 saw Grey taking Ana to a lavish charity ball hosted by his family where disgusting amounts of money are spent so they can sneak off to bone. They were in the middle of dancing and being "cute" where I left off.

Now, there's something that I haven't really touched on before* that I want to get into now. Money. Ana is just out of school, and apparently has enough money that she can fly out to visit her Mother on a whim, and has yet to worry about paying rent, or for food, or about her debt. The way her parents are written, I don't think either of them were rolling in it, so this leads me to believe that Ana is actually very good with her money. She managed to find a work/living arrangement (she cooked in exchange for less rent was my understanding) and worked a fair bit all through school. I think both her Mother and Ray helped her out, but Ana has, as far as I can gleam, been managing her own money very well on her own for the last 4 years. We then have Grey who sees money as no object- he has lots, and will always have lots, so it doesn't matter, he couldn't live outside his means if he tried. I find how the fantasy of money around Grey is presented to be tacky and garrish, but in the name of trying to understand it better, perhaps I should consider Ana (the reader insert character done so wrong) here. She's supposed to be a responsible every woman, and so Grey doesn't actually present security (well, not just security) but the ability to step out of her own budget and do things she always wanted to but couldn't afford to. Like go gliding or go to fancy charity balls where she gets to be a Disney princess. This whole chapter, I think, it supposed to be about selling that part of the fantasy, not just LOL GREY'S RICH DID YOU GUYS NOTICE THAT HE'S RICH? I will finish this rant with I still think it comes off as Grey flaunting his money like a dick.

Alright, into this chapter we go! Ana and Grey keeps dancing for a while before Ana wanders off on her own. It's an innocent enough thing, and when she goes to grab her drink (why she wandered off) there's a woman hanging around.

Her mask is unique. It covers her face to her nose but also covers her hair. It’s stunning with elaborate gold filigree.

Hmmm, I wonder if her mask covering her hair has any significance? I mean, it's not like there are any people with "trade mark" hair like Mrs. Robinson running around!

“I’m so glad you’re on your own,” she says softly. “I’ve been wanting to talk to you all evening.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are.”
She pulls the mask from her face and releases her hair.
Shit! It’s Mrs. Robinson.

Oh I didn't see that coming! Wait, yes I did. I want to know what's so special about Mrs. R's hair, though. I mean, almost every woman in the book is blond (Ana, the black receptionist where she works, and Mia are the ONLY brunettes we've met). What makes Elena's hair so special? Does she have a mohawk? What ever could Mrs. R want? Well, she saves Ana (and the reader) some time by telling her she'll be quick (and yes, she knows Ana hates her).

“It must be obvious to you that Christian is in love with you. I have never seen him like this, ever.” She emphasizes the last word.
What? Loves me? No. Why is she telling me? To reassure me? I don’t understand.
“He won’t tell you because he probably doesn’t realize it himself, notwithstanding what I’ve said to him, but that’s Christian. He’s not very attuned to any positive feelings and emotions he may have. He dwells far too much on the negative. But then you’ve probably worked that out for yourself. He doesn’t think he’s worthy.”


This has nothing to do with Mrs. R though. This has to do with EL James literally having no idea of how to get Grey to come out and say "I'm in love with you" to Ana in a way that she would understand. Even Mrs. R saying it bluntly is leaving her confused. However this whole monolog is just painful to read. "He doesn't think he's worthy"? Really EL James? So Ana reels around a bit in her head wondering if all of Grey's insanity is actually love or just... insanity. She apparently decides to agree with Mrs. R.

And hearing it from this woman, having her confirm it for me is, frankly, unwelcome. I’d rather hear it from him.

And this, Mrs. R, is why you don't go around telling people that others are in love with them. Reminds me a bit of when I was single right after college. I was out with a bunch of people, and one of them was a girl I sort of knew. Being the only women there we at one point ended up on our own, and she starts asking me about my intentions of the guys in the circle. I tell her I'm not looking to date at all, and she goes on to say "Because So-and-So is practically in love with you" I had not known he was into me at all because romance did not exist in my head at that point in time. Hearing he was into me was unwelcome, and doubly so from someone who was not him. He was one of my best friends, how do you go about dealing with the fact that one of your best friends is apparently in love with you when they've never said a word to you but everyone else? Now, Ana is in a better situation than I was, what, with being in love with Grey herself, but news of love is never better second hand. There's also this "I CAN TELL YOU'RE SUPER INTO HIM IN A DEEP MEANINGFUL WAY!" thing Mrs. R is spouting here. She has seen Ana storm out on Grey earlier that day in the salon, and seen them dance and be cutesy. That is not necessarily love, that is being into someone and swept away with the atmosphere. Or Mrs. R is psychic. I'm willing to accept that as canon. Now, where's that "but"?

But what I wanted to say is if you hurt him again, I will find you, lady, and it won’t be pleasant when I do.”
She stares at me, ice-cold blue eyes boring into my skull, trying to get under my mask. Her threat is so astonishing, so off the wall that an involuntary, disbelieving giggle escapes me. Of all the things she could say to me, this is the least expected.

I'd have laughed in her face, too. And then skipped off to report this to my boyfriend and the police. So Ana promptly tells her off, and skips off. It's one of those magical back bone things.

“I’m laughing at your audacity, Mrs. Lincoln. Christian and I have nothing to do with you. And if I do leave him and you come looking for me, I’ll be waiting—don’t doubt it. And maybe I’ll give you a taste of your own medicine on behalf of the fifteen-year-old child you molested and probably fucked-up even more than he already was.”
Her mouth falls open.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have better things to do than waste my time with you.”

And flounce, stage left. I almost didn't include this bit, as at first glance it's nothing more than a casual "and fuck you very much". I realize now that isn't quite right. I've commenting on the awkward handling of Grey being friends with the woman who molested him as a child. Ana will get upset, but whenever Ana gets upset she is treated both by Grey and herself as being totally unreasonable. I've been confused on if I'm supposed to side with Grey (Yes I was young but I consented and feel it was a positive experience) or Ana (The age of consent is there for a reason, and she took advantage of a young, vulnerable boy. That is monstrous). The way the book has been presenting it, Grey's calm, evenly present stance as to Ana's shrill frantic one, made me think the author intended me to side with Grey on it. Which made me hella uncomfortable. This however makes it much more clear that no, no, you're supposed to be with Ana that this woman is clearly totes evil. Her actions are that of the stereotypical romance best friend ("hurt them and so help me"**) in the scene we've just seen, but I think the reader is supposed to see her as a villain, just one who means well.

I like humanizing villains. My favorite stories are the ones where the antagonists aren't evil or bad, they just have a very different set of goals and morals than the good guys. So on one hand I WANT to like EL James' attempts so far to soften her big bad, on the other, she's just so over the top with the "she does x,y, and z that are good, but q,t, and r that are bad. So it all balances out." that I'm just going to peg her onto the (well meaning) bad guy board. The text treating this like an epic tell off is telling of what the reader is supposed to feel about the woman.

Ana bounces, and since Grey has security flunkies everywhere, he was warned that his ex was chatting up his new squeeze and turns up to catch Ana on her way out. Confused as to why his girlfriend is seething with rage, he asks what's up.

“Why don’t you ask your ex?” I hiss acidly.
His mouth twists and his eyes frost. “I’m asking you,” he says, his voice soft but with an undertone of something far more menacing.

This strikes me as really weird. I mean, I get that he's annoyed that she's telling him to go talk to his ex, but he knows what he's told Mrs. R. He should have some vague glimmer that she just spilled some beans to Ana, and rather then get snippy at her be thinking that she feels like her privacy has been ignored, and that is valid. I think it's important to have people you can talk to your relationship about, but they have to be people who will either never meet your partner, or who will keep that shit on lock down if they ever do. Mrs. R is not the second type, apparently thinking it's okay to go out of her way to break Grey's confidence (which he should suspect and be angry about). Grey should be mad about that not at Ana being flippant. Then again, it is Grey who must be respected and in control all of the time. Apparently being lippy is a bigger indiscretion then ratting out his secrets.

Ana realizes that if she doesn't talk to him shit will turn into a fight, so she opens up.

“She’s threatening to come after me if I hurt you again—probably with a whip,” I snap at him.
Relief flashes across his face, his mouth softening with humor. “Surely the irony of that isn’t lost on you?” he says, and I can tell he’s trying hard to stifle his amusement.
“This isn’t funny, Christian!”
“No, you’re right. I’ll talk to her.” He adopts his serious face, though he’s still suppressing his amusement.

GREY YOU ARE THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE TO EVER WIPE SHIT ON OUR SOCIETY! I wish Ana would just haul off and slap him here. Grey has flown to defend her honor when Jose and her boss (who hasn't appeared in like 100 pages, so I forget his name) so much as looked at her. He was willing to get a man fired if he crossed a single boundary with Ana. However, when it's women (Mrs. R and Leila. HIS ex-girlfriends, specifically) she's given a pat on the head and a promise to "talk to them". Leila showed up outside her place of work, and has since gone out and gotten a gun (we think). Grey's more concerned about finding her to help her then finding her to make sure he, and his loved ones, are safe. Mrs. R shits all over his confidence and he thinks it's funny and Ana is just being mad for nothing. She's missing the irony you guys! I am also pretty sure that irony is the wrong word to use here. Just sayin'.

Ana nearly tells him "I want you to stop talking to her" but questions if she can get away with asking that. I like this, actually. I've had dude-friends end up loosing most of their lady friends when they got a girlfriend, so I appreciate that she's trying to respect that he is allowed to have his friends and it really isn't her place to interfere. She would, however, be well within her right to tell him "Don't talk to her about me anymore" but she's still processing so I'll let that go.

“Please don’t be mad. I didn’t know she was here. She said she wasn’t coming.” His tone is placating as if he’s talking to a child. Reaching up he runs his thumb along my pouting bottom lip.

Remember what I said before about "It's hard for me to be sure if I'm supposed to side with Ana because she's always portrayed as a kid throwing a tantrum?" because I just want to underline this.

Ana is actually being fairly reasonable here. She's well within her rights to be pissed. She was threatened, and her boyfriend thinks that it's funny. Hell, even if he didn't, she would still be within her right to be pissed. She's also still considering that "Maybe it's not fair game for me to dictate that he shouldn't hang out with people" even though Grey is policing who she hangs out with already (Remember how he acted around Jose?). This brings me to a chance to link to an awesome article from The Gloss on the stigma of men and women's upset. When men get upset, it's just how people talk, when women get upset, she's getting hysterical. When men get upset they're more likely to scream, hit things, and be generally aggressive. These are things that are apparently all fair game, but if a woman starts to get weepy, or enthused, she's being "emotional" which makes her irrational. I should own up to my own bad. Earlier this post I mentioned that I wasn't sure of the author intend on who I should side with because of how Ana was portrayed (a lot of pouting and childish language she uses to describe herself) as to Grey staying mostly calm on the surface (other then all those rage flashes). I took this to mean I was supposed to see his arguments as more valid, or at least potentially more valid. So while I often accuse EL James of being misogynistic, I do have to give points here, and an authentic selling point to women. She's showing us a woman getting emotional- and still being right. I suppose I shouldn't give points yet, the story has still yet to take Ana seriously, so we'll see if it starts to or not, but I think it will.

Ana pops off for a second, so she can calm down and Grey is given a chance to call Elena, even though Ana asked him NOT to talk to her about this (though really, I don't think she expected him not to) and she catches the gist of it as she walks back. The reader had to be certain that Grey is blameless (he really didn't know she would be there) and that he has already told Elena to leave Ana alone.

“She cares about you,” I mutter.
“Yes, and I her . . . as a friend.”
“I think it’s more than a friendship to her.”
His brow furrows. “Anastasia, Elena and I . . . it’s complicated. We have a shared history. But it is just that, history. As I’ve said to you time and time again, she’s a good friend. That’s all. Please, forget about her.”

Mrs. R is a weird mish-mash of tropes. She's supposed to be the best friend, the ex who's still in love with him and wants to steal him away, AND she's the ex who "ruined" him. It's a strange writing choice, but EL James seems to like the more over the top set ups, so to her it was probably the only way to make the woman a "real" threat. She couldn't just be the best friend who's intentions are unclear, or the ex still hung up on him, because that's not scary enough? What I find strange is Grey begging Ana to just forget about her repeatedly. He has no other move, no other solution, only tells her to ignore the issue. This seems to be an ongoing theme. There's a problem, Grey doesn't want to deal with it, so they fight until Ana drops it.

Back to the dance we go where Grey's Dad whisks Ana off to "thank" her for her donation. Ana tells us he's actually asking if she can afford it, which she tells him she can (she didn't want the money anyways, so in the case of having money that made her uncomfortable donating it to charity seems reasonable) and Ana then starts plying him for information about Grey's Dark Tragic Past! TM Shockingly, it works and the man starts to spill all of the beans. Grey's Mother was the doctor on duty when Grey was brought in ("all skin and bones") and he didn't speak for two years. Just played piano sadly. If only he'd have stayed like that... Joking aside, doesn't it seem more likely that he would have developed and eating disorder rather than become a mute? He was left alone and unfed, and he has this very complicated relationship with food, but not an eating disorder...

... But between you and me, Anastasia, it’s seeing him like he is this evening—carefree, acting his age—that’s the real thrill for his mother and me. We were both commenting on it today. I believe we have you to thank for that.”

Carric then goes on to say how much they like seeing Grey and Ana together and she should keep doing whatever she is because he is soo happy. He then realizes that's a fucking bizarre thing to say and apologizes.

This scene is so bizarre. I mean, I'm not surprised Ana starts fishing for information to further flesh out the picture of Grey's Dark Tragic Past TM but I am that Carric gave it up. Also how many people are going to tell Ana how in love with her Grey is? I have never seen anyone do this ever. I've seen "You two seem really happy together" "You guys are really cute" and in cases of particularly awful people "I'm so glad that he finally brought home a NICE girl" but this all feels so fucking weird. Further proof that EL James is an alien and this is some report back to her home world on Earthlings?

So they go and watch some fireworks, and Ana out of no where thinks about Leila and a lot of narrative detail is given to the security guards all around them in this crowd.

“Stay with me a moment. Taylor wants us to wait while the crowd disperses.”
“I think that firework display probably aged him a hundred years,” he adds.
“Doesn’t he like fireworks?”
Christian gazes down at me fondly and shakes his head but doesn’t elaborate.


So Ana decides to call it a night and they start heading home, but Mia catches up to them and it's pointed out that she can touch Grey in the no-go zones. Thankfully Ana is just surprised at him not reacting and doesn't get seethy that his sister can touchy him and she can't. Grey's boundaries. They make no sense. If he was that traumatized, I would expect it to be a consistent thing, and just a fact within his family. Grey doesn't like being touched anywhere on the torso. That's the type of thing that they would have all grown up with, so it wouldn't be so strange, unless the no-go area is from Mrs. R or some other as-of-yet unmentioned trauma.

As they wait for his car to be brought around, Ana asks what he meant about a big day tomorrow.

“Dr. Greene is coming to sort you out. Plus, I have a surprise for you.”
“Dr. Greene!” I halt.
“Because I hate condoms,” he says quietly. His eyes glint in the soft light from the paper lanterns, gauging my reaction.
“It’s my body,” I mutter, annoyed that he hasn’t asked me.
“It’s mine, too,” he whispers.

He wasn't kidding about getting her the shot (which is now discontinued in Canada because it was considered too inconsistent I'm told) while she's already on the pill?! Holy hormone imbalances Batman! Also "It's my body too"?!? What?! All this because he doesn't want to use condoms. He gets to claim ownership of her body, make medical decisions for her, based on what his wang wants. No. You never get to make medical decisions for an adult unless you have been given the legal right to when they are unable! There was a bit in the contract about medical things, but it was that the dom would make sure the sub was taken care of, not make the decisions, and they threw the contract out, which makes this all more cringe inducing. She could safe-word as a sub, she almost seems to have less power now. If he was in that big of a hurry to go bareback why wouldn't he just suggest getting the shot to start with?

What he is arranging to have done to her is dangerous. The shot can have some nasty side effects that will last for three months, and the doctor already put Ana on a very light form of birth control. A decision she, as a medical professional, made with the input of her patient. Grey is claiming ownership of Ana's body, and has said her safety is so important to him that he's willing to do things like buy entire companies to "keep her safe" but he's not willing to listen to a trained medical professional about what would be a good idea? Also another fucking surprise? When doesn't he have one for her? Also what makes this all really terrifying is that Ana agrees, her body is his. I'm just gonna go drink for a while now. Brb.

Okay, back. So they get into the car and there's a mystery note for Ana, from Mrs. Robinson (signed as such) being all "Listen, I think we've both misjudged each other. I approve wholeheartedly of you and if you want me to fill in any blanks you should give me a call, we can do lunch! PS: Hurt him and I will cut you." Grey is reasonably pissed considering that he just told her to stay the fuck out of his relationship like, two pages ago. She's now offering to tell Ana everything. Over lunch.

So they go home and Ana is sleepy and they're heading to bed, but drama!

“Will do, T,” he says and turns to face us. “Mr. Grey, the tires on Ms. Steele’s Audi have been slashed and paint thrown all over it.”

Gasp! I kind of like to think it was Elena as to Leila, as the mental image of her in her flashy mask and formal wear slashing tires is way better then or Leila doing it. Sawyer then goes on to say that she might be in the apartment! ... So it occurred to no one with all of this security to leave someone watching his house? Seriously? Taylor is supposed to be ex-military. This should have occurred to him.

“Listen, I can’t stand here and wait. Sawyer, take care of Miss Steele. Don’t let her in until you have the all clear. I am sure Taylor is overreacting. She can’t get into the apartment.”
What? “No, Christian—you have to stay with me,” I plead.
Christian releases me. “Do as you’re told, Anastasia. Wait here.”

Why can't he stand there and wait, exactly? He tells her to do as she's told and then skips on inside. I really have no idea why he would go in on his own here. He can't wait? Why the hell do you have hired security if you're not going to let them do their job? Is he hoping to find Leila so he can talk to her alone, even though we have progressively more reason to believe her dangerous? Oh, this is all so they can get alone time and she'll somehow convince him to leave Ana for her so that way EL James can introduce the next bit of plot, isn't it?

And that brings us to the end of chapter 7. Finally. Tune in next week to see if Grey gets dismembered by his unbalanced ex who probably has a knife and/or gun! As always comments make this hurt less! Till next week! Unless you're following me on Twitter, @SnappyErika in which case you can delight in my "wit" sooner than that!

*I write these posts as I read the chapter. It gives me a lot of chances for reactionary "WHAT IS THIS- I DON'T EVEN-" but takes away chances to sit down and pick things apart on a whole that I might have otherwise. What do you guys think, I should switch from the current format to reading the chapter and then talking about it as a whole?

**I have said that to dudes dating my friends before. Well, once, but it was "Hurt her again and so help me I will find where you live and leave glitter fucking everywhere"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This is what happens when I ransack my piles of old writing

I have been going through old abandoned never really started writing on my computer. I've been looking for ideas, or characters, I may want to rescue. There are a few things that were promptly set on fire to never be spoken of again, but I've had a few things that are totally useable. However, in this ongoing quest (there is a LOT of old writing on my computer. I have stuff from high school) I found this. Some context:

The summer this was written I had just finished college, moved, started a new job, and broken up with my ex of significance all in the span of a week. I was not in a great place that entire summer, but I was starting to get back on my feet and giving some thought to dating. I was working mostly with women my own age, and they were all talking about online dating and all these dates they went on and how much fun they had on it. I didn't want to commit to an actual profile on something, so I set up a secondary e-mail and put an add on Craig's list. This is what 22 year old me came up with. 

Hello there!

I see you're interested in taking over the world. Or rather, helping me do so, if you're just planning to over throw me once all is said and done, then please don't bother, for I am far too cunning for your schemes of mutiny, and they will never work. If I'm so clever why do I need your help to take over the world? Well, because I can't seem to build a giant killer robot for the life of me, ok? It's not something I'm proud of. However, like a good future ruler of the entire world, I know I can not just allow myself to run into the same road block over and over again, just because I'm too proud to admit that I'm failing. So, I look to you, a mad scientist, or maybe some sort of strategic mastermind, to help me take over the world. If your expertise do not fall into those realms, but you feel you would still be a valuable addition to the team, I still look forward to hearing from you!

Although I suppose you want to know a bit about the woman you'd be working with now, huh?

I am 22, but only physically.
I enjoy long walks across the desolated wastelands of what was once my enemies homes, feasting on the hearts of those who have opposed me in the most public manner possible, and climbing mountains to try and find the perfect place to build my fortress as well as designing said fortress.
It's going to have a ball pit, AND a bouncy castle! Or maybe it will just BE a bouncy castle?

What will happen once I take over the world:

Any mention of Christmas before December 1st will be punishable by death.
Shopping carts will be an acceptable form of transportation.
Talk like a Pirate day will be a national holiday.
So will pretend to be a time traveler day.
There will be very detailed and carefully thought through plan for what will happen in case of zombies.
The media will stop showing stick thin women and rugged, muscled men, for ads, and instead only be allowed to use Iguanas to avoid image issues.
Since the world will be one nation, instead of trying to come up with one animal to represent us, the national animal will be some sort of muppet.
All proposals for everything will be made in the form of mad-libs.

There is naturally much more, but I feel this is enough to give you a fair idea of what type of over lord I will be, and if you're interested in working with me.

Hope to hear from you soon.

The future ruler of the world. 

I apparently got more responses in a day then my co-workers in a week. Also I may be a reformed manic pixie dream girl. Don't judge me. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

50 Shades Darker Chapter 7 in which Erika wants to know WHY THIS CHAPTER IS EVEN FUCKING HERE part 1

So I hope you enjoyed The Boy in chapter 6, because he swears he's never reading another chapter of this book again. A luxury I do not have, so let's get cracking, shall we?

We left off at the end of chapter 6 with a zomg huge cliff hanger of Ana blowing almost all of the money she made on the sale on her car on a weekend for 6 in Colorado at the place her boyfriend owns. Seriously, doesn't she have student debt or something? I also have no idea WHY she felt compelled to buy that as to... I don't know, the first edition book of Pride and Prejudice* on the list? Why did she feel the need to buy the thing that was Grey's?

Holy shit, did I really just do that? It must be the alcohol. I’ve had champagne plus four glasses of four different wines. 

And that, in a nut-shell, is WHY they ply you with booze at these things. Seriously though Ana what the fuck? 

Crap, he’s going to be so angry, and we’ve been getting on so well. My subconscious has finally decided to make an appearance, and she’s wearing her Edvard Munch Scream face.

I was wearing this:

I'm not actually sure where the whatnapple is initially from. I should find out so I can give credit and/or money.

So we get a weird exchange. Ana is worried Grey is going to beat the shit out of her for this stunt, and Grey is telling her he's conflicted on if he wants to do that, or worship her. She says she'll take the spanking.


You didn't like the punishment spankings, remember Ana? But she's all turned on because apparently her vag-balls were also enchanted and she has just lost all sense of... well, sense.

Grey is pleased that Ana is horny, and his anger is gone, for now, at least, while he starts to mess with her. You know, kissing her knuckles, toying with her shoulder. Innocent enough things.

Slowly and surreptitiously, so I don’t realize his game until it’s too late, he eases my hand up his leg and against his erection. I gasp, and my eyes dart in panic around the table, but all eyes are fixed on the stage. Thank heavens for my mask.


3) HIS GRANDPARENTS ARE RIGHT FUCKING THERE AND YOU START STROKING HIS TURGID WANG UNDER THE TABLE SERIOUSLY?! I get it's supposed to be all tee hee maybe we'll get caught, but my grandparents would ruin me if they caught me pulling that shit with a guy. They would also ruin him. There would be a public, family shaming for our terrible judgement. Lynching would also be on the table. 

I feel him growing beneath my fingers, and it makes me feel so powerful.

If she keeps talking about power I expect her to start threatening to fire his balls. "I'm sorry Mr. Testicles, but it is within my power to let you go, and you really aren't fulfilling your duties..." So the final lot goes, and before they can slip off to bone, Mia drags Ana up for something she agreed to in the frenzy earlier (the reader doesn't know, but five whatnapples on it being some sort of "BUY THIS PERSON!" auction.)

“Ana!” Mia calls. “It’s time!”
What? No. Not again! “Time for what?”
“The First Dance Auction. Come on!” She stands and holds out her hand.
I glance at Christian who is, I think, scowling at Mia, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but it’s laughter that wins. I succumb to a cathartic bubble of schoolgirl giggles, as we are thwarted once more by the tall, pink powerhouse that is Mia Grey.

So Mia knows that they're trying to bone and is just cock blocking him now, right? Right? So Grey, in front of his whole family is all "THE FIRST DANCE SHALL BE MINE!" and "quietly" tells Ana "and it won't be on the dance floor". ... I will admit my experience with charity auctions where things go for over 100k regularly is limited, but for those sorts of things isn't the dance usually... in front of everyone? ALSO EVERYONE KNOWS YOU'RE TRYING TO SNEAK OFF TO FUCK! GRANDMA IS JUDGING YOU HARSHLY!

I lean over and plant a soft, chaste kiss on his mouth. Glancing around, I realize that our fellow guests at the table are astonished. Of course, they’ve never seen Christian with a date before.


So Ana is dragged up on stage where there are other girls (as well as Lilly, the mean girl from the last chapter).

“Gentlemen, the highlight of the evening!” the MC booms over the babble of voices. “The moment you’ve all been waiting for! These twelve lovely ladies have all agreed to auction their first dance to the highest bidder!”

So the highlight of the evening is a chance to buy some young girls company for a few minutes? Creepy. Also didn't most of these people come with dates? I thought they came with dates.

So, I'm going to guess that Grey will somehow loose the bid for Ana, OR Ana will get thrown in a burlap sack while his unhinged ex steals her mask and dress and takes Ana's place. I mean, even EL James isn't so bad an author as to just set all this up only to have it be a show of how rich Grey is, right? Something interesting is bound to happen. Please let something interesting be bound to happen.

But it means spending more money on you! my subconscious snarls at me. But I don’t want to dance with anyone else—I can’t dance with anyone else—and it’s not spending money on me, he’s donating it to the charity. Like the twenty-four thousand dollars he’s already spent? My subconscious narrows her eyes. 

 Wait, she spent his money, not her own from the car? What?!

 “Now, gentlemen, pray gather round, and take a good look at what could be yours for the first dance. Twelve comely and compliant wenches.”

 Ana notes, rightly so, that this feels a lot like a meat market. Comely and compliant wenches. You're selling a fucking dance, and unless this is actually all an elaborate ploy to trick girls into becoming high class strippers, it seems unlikely that this is a remotely appropriate thing for him to say at all ever. These are the daughters/wives/girlfriends of rich and influential people, this MC should be hyper aware of that. You do not call the daughters/wives/girlfriends of rich and influential people "compliant wenches" it's just a bad idea. Because there might be some over-zealous jackass warlock in the crowd who might take offense.

we shall maintain the mystery behind the masks and stick to first names only. First up we have the lovely Jada.”

Because none of these people know each other at all and "Jada" is a totally common first name.

“A thousand bucks!” one calls.
Very quickly the bidding escalates to five thousand dollars.
“Going once . . . going twice . . . sold!” the MC declares loudly, “to the gentleman in the mask!” And of course all the men are wearing masks so there are hoots of laughter, applause, and cheering. Jada beams at her purchaser and quickly exits the stage.

Just to set the scene. So as the next woman is bid off, Mia comments on how Grey better win Ana or there might be a brawl, because apparently he used to do that in his younger years. I personally am shocked that Grey would have a violent streak. It's implied that Mrs. R straightened him out when she came into the picture and it's all so, so tacky.

So Ana is shoved on stage and Grey gets into a bidding war over Ana with some random dude (who he clearly knows) and buys her for 100k. The dude gets almost no description, but Grey seems amused at his antics, that's it. Not even a hair color- unlike all the women who got hair colors and dress colors, he's just well dressed. Yes, shocking that a man in a crowd full of rich people, who is obviously one himself, would be well dressed at a formal event.

So they have a half hour before they have to be there to dance (because apparently it will take that long to sell off about 10 girls and what happens to Mia doesn't matter) so he brings her to his childhood room.

The walls are hung with movie posters: The Matrix, Fight Club, The Truman Show, and two framed posters featuring kick boxers

Don't get me wrong, Fight Club holds a very special place in my heart, but my first thought was "Wow we're trying to go for mainstream "I'm so smart and tough" I see." and I realized that, for a teenager, those are about right. So, points to James I guess? He tells Ana he's never brought a girl there before and it works. Because she wasn't already positively dripping from the black-magic vag-balls. 

Seeing him standing there on the royal blue carpet in that mask . . . it’s beyond erotic.

Note to self: Carpet the orgy room in royal blue.

So Grey takes Ana's dress off, and his jacket and shirt and socks and folds each individual article of clothing up and stacks it all nearly, largest to smallest, and asks Ana why she asked to be spanked.

“Volunteer? I don’t know. Frustration . . . too much alcohol . . . worthy cause,” I mutter meekly, shrugging. Maybe to get his attention?


He begins to monolog about how he vowed he'd never spank her again. Even if she begged (which she does) and Ana is so doped up on sexy black magic that she can't even form a full sentence or not drool on herself.

“But then I realized, you’re probably very uncomfortable at the moment, and it’s not something you’re used to.” He smirks at me knowingly, arrogant bastard, but I don’t care because he’s absolutely right.
“Yes,” I breathe.
“So, there might be a certain . . . latitude. If I do this, you must promise me one thing.”
“You will safe word if you need to, and I will just make love to you, okay?”
“Yes.” I’m panting. I want his hands on me.“You really want this, Anastasia?”
I close my eyes. This is the first time since I met him that I really want this. I need it.
“Yes,” I whisper.
“Why?” he asks softly as he caresses my behind with his palm.
I groan as soon as his hand makes contact with my skin. I don’t know why . . . You tell me not to overthink. After a day like today—arguing about the money, Leila, Mrs. Robinson, the dossier on me, the roadmap, this lavish party, the masks, the alcohol, the silver balls, the auction . . . I want this.
“Do I need a reason?”
“No, baby, you don’t,” he says. “I’m just trying to understand you.”

 I don't hate Grey here. He doesn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but he wants to know why his girlfriend who tried to dump him over spanking is now asking him to spank her. He's not pushing, but it's obvious he wants to know "what the hell?" and is trying to be careful to do this in a way she will enjoy, and not cross a boundary. These are good things. There aren't many in this book, so let me enjoy it.

This feels different than the last time—so carnal, so . . . necessary.

Necessary? Really? Care to explain what you mean by that Ana? No? Oh, er, alright, then.

I don't even know if Ana is aware of what she just agreed to. So he spanks her, and it doesn't read in a terrifying rapey sort of way this time (yay?) and then he finger blasts her a little bit.

I moan loudly as my body takes over, and I come and come, convulsing around his fingers. It’s so intense, unexpected, and quick.

I'm not convinced EL James has ever actually had an orgasm. I think she's just read about them in bad Twilight fanfiction. 

“This is going to be quick, baby,” he murmurs and grabbing my hips, he eases out then slams into me.
“Ah!” I cry out

This is not the first time Grey has been all "Welp, I'm planning to last about forty seconds, hope that's good for you" and it's been presented in a way I'm supposed to think is sexy. Ana is still doped up on the vag-balls which were obviously powerful sexy artifacts as the girl still can't even think. Also I can't be the only one who finds an attempt to write dialog for sex noises awkward always, right? "Ah!"? Sounds like he started her. "Ah! Where did THAT come from?!"

He’s hitting the bellyache square on, again and again, eradicating it with each sharp, sweet thrust. The feeling is mind-blowing, just what I need. 

Bellyache. You are using the word "bellyache" to describe deep sexual longing. What.

“Ana, no,” he grunts, trying to still me. But I want him too much, and I grind against him, matching him thrust for thrust.
“Ana, shit,” he hisses as he comes,

 So, Ana starts to move, and that is enough to make Grey loose it. I get that this is supposed to be "AND SHE ALSO IS DEVELOPING MAGIC POWERS AND HE'S SUPER DUPER INTO HER!" but it seems like the real reason he's into tying her up and restraining her is because he lasts thirteen seconds otherwise. So he convulses and explodes and she transcends time and space to become a butterfly or some shit. Sex scene over. Sad now.

So Grey says they must hurry people will start looking for them soon, and Ana takes a second to inspect a pin board that was above the bed. It's filled with pictures of Grey on different travels all to immediate and recognizable places, and of ticket stubs, all to immediately recognizable bands.

U2, Metallica, The Verve, Sheryl Crow, the New York Philharmonic performing Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet—what an eclectic mix!

Oh my god EL James will you stop beating us over the head with how eclectic his tastes are supposed to be? We get it already! There's also a picture of a woman Ana can't place, and Grey brushes off telling her who it is. I'm going to guess his Mother, but I'm sure this will come up again.

So they dance and gush at each other and then the guy who bid on Ana before asks to cut in. It's *drum roll*

I recognize the man who bid on me at the auction. Christian grudgingly lets me go, but he’s amused, too.
“Be my guest. Anastasia, this is John Flynn. John, Anastasia.”

The notorious Dr. Flynn! So, he was bidding on Ana, knowing she is dating his patient, probably BECAUSE of that. That seems... inappropriate at best. The conversation is so awkward to read, but I can tell it's supposed to be witty banter. Ana confesses that she just wants to ask about Grey, Flynn doesn't suck in response.

He smiles. “First, this is a party so I’m not on duty,” he whispers conspiratorially. “And second, I really can’t talk to you about Christian. Besides,” he teases, “we’d need until Christmas.”
I gasp in shock.
“That’s a doctor’s joke, Anastasia.”

Oh Ana, you're so clever and witty and wonderful. Also why the FUCK would you think to ask a shrink about their patient? Do you KNOW how illegal it would be for him to tell you anything? So they say all of nothing and then Grey cuts back in.

“He’s much younger than I expected,” I murmur to him. “And terribly indiscreet.”
Christian cocks his head to one side. “Indiscreet?”
“Oh yes, he told me everything,” I tease.
Christian tenses. “Well, in that case, I’ll get your bag. I’m sure you want nothing more to do with me,” he says softly.
I stop. “He didn’t tell me anything!” My voice fills with panic.

The panic should be from "Shit, what is it he isn't telling me that is so horrible I would want to run for the hills?" not "OH NO I HAVE UPSET HIM!" although this just layers of bad.

There's the whole panic for the wrong reason, but there's the implication that Ana being ignorant to Grey's life is important. Rather than reassure him "I'm sure one day you'll tell me and I won't make a break for it when you do" and that she, you know, cares about him and his issues are things she wants to try and handle. What? Acknowledging that relationships take work and that she wants to try because she's crazy about him isn't fantasy appropriate? Really? Damn. No, fantasy appropriate is "NO I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING AND NEVER WILL!" and this makes me sad. Because this implies that they will go on forever with Grey being unable to be honest with Ana, being unable to rely on her for emotional support ever. He also expects her to tell him everything always, and this is all just so unhealthy, dysfunctional, and sad. I hate that this is what is selling millions of copies and being considered a great romance.

I'll end part 1 here, because I know what comes next and you guys are going to love it. As always, love to hear your thoughts on this cluster fuck!

Also you can now follow me on Twitter for smaller, regular snark through the week at @SnappyErika

*Speaking of P&P, if you haven't come across it yet someone has been doing a modern version of it called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and they're incredible. Even if you've never read the book you should check it out just for the way they use media as a story telling medium.

Happy Valentines day!

Don't worry, 50 Shades is still coming, but since today is Thursday, AND Valentines day, here are some creepy ass cards I found for you all! Because I don't want to suffer alone think you'll get a kick out of these!

You can see more creepy vintage cards here for any one brave enough to. Seriously the guy in the first one will be in my nightmares tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Survivor's panic

Somewhere around 4 months ago I was sexually assaulted on a bus. I've talked about it a little bit in previous posts, but today I feel the need to talk about it in more depth.

I will warn that this post is very lightly edited and written very much from the moment, and consider the above a trigger warning.

So, the short story is that one lovely Fall afternoon I was catching a rush hour bus home when some creep trapped me in a corner, pressed up against my side, and rubbed his junk for a good ten minutes until it was his stop. I tried to take up less space, and when that didn't work elbow him off. His response was to glower and puff himself up.

I tried to gaslight myself the second I was off the bus. Maybe he just had super itchy balls? I mean, he was a creep either way, but you know, people on buses right?! I promptly realized what I was  doing, and pointed out that if I felt this rattled  and violated it wasn't "nothing". Some people have an angel and devil. I have an optimist who insists on seeing the good in everyone and a someone who is brutally pragmatic. The optimist wins more than you would think.

So I filed a police report and spent a few weeks being so anxious I could hardly eat. I am not an anxious person, but every day, getting on the bus to go to work and to go home (or any other running around I did) I was just a ball of rattled nerves. I was scared to take public transit alone. Something I had been doing (often late at night!) for five years. I had a few guys sit too close or ask questions like "SO YOU'RE ALONE WHERE ARE YOU GOIN BABY?" and I've had to deal with obnoxious close talkers and guys who called me a bitch when I told them no I didn't want to go out with them. None of that had traumatized me. This did. It got better, and I'm almost totally comfortable on the bus again.I mean, I still scan it every day just in case, and if I see a large bald man with a pencil thin chinstrap get panicky, but it's been (mostly) fine.

Until today.

Today I saw him again.

Not on the bus though. At work.

I work in a medical building, and there are a few coffee shops in it. One is right beside the kitchen I work in, which is right at the entrance. I was coming in for my shift and there he was. I did a double and triple take, being guided by my coworker  who I bussed in with that day. He looked puzzled as we rounded the corner into our own dining area. "You okay?"

I shook my head and told him what I had seen. He looked back but my attacker had vanished into the bowels of the building. Which is probably for the best. I wouldn't have wanted to file a second  police report.

At this point I was freaking the fuck out. I serve customers directly. I was suddenly in a situation where the man who had assaulted me on a bus could walk in and ask me to make him a sandwich. My hands were shaking, and my job involves using knives. I tried to talk myself down. I had told a few of my co-workers what was going on, if I suddenly bolted, they'd know what was up, right? I did not need to deal with him if he came in. There was also the nagging little voice in the back of my head. What if I was wrong and it WASN'T him and I was potentially about to bring a whole lot of awful onto some innocent random guy who's only crime was thinking a chin-strap was a good idea? They're really not, if anyone is thinking about it. Just, don't.

So I spent a few hours trying to calm the fuck down and get my prep done for the day. I managed the second half of that before I went to talk to my boss. I started by telling him I was freaking out and kind of needed some help getting my head back on straight. He looked intrigued if not wary. As did my kind-of-sort-of boss who was also in the office. I know many people would be shy and quiet about this sort of thing, but I've come to feel that if I can talk about something it's less scary, so I tend to be pretty open about... everything.

So I told them that I had seen the guy who assaulted me on a bus over the summer and was freaking out. For reasons I don't quite get, they asked for details of what happened, which I gave. I was a saint and didn't loose it on my not-actually boss when he started saying I should have gotten up and moved or screamed or or or. I just said "It's hard when they're twice your size and have you trapped in a corner" and he seemed so confident that had I just piped up, someone would have come to my rescue. I've been harassed in public before, and it's been loud and obvious, I've never had someone come to my rescue. I don't know why he was so certain I would have been saved. Maybe he needs to tell himself that so he doesn't hate the world? After I explained that no, I saw him IN THE BUILDING and I think at that point was on the verge of tears because why was my not just saying I was freaking out because I saw a guy who assaulted me on a bus not enough? Why did they need to know HOW? Did they have to decide if I was the "right" kind of victim (turns out I am. Yay?) before we moved on? I was told if I saw him to grab one of them and he'd be promptly banned, and my boss agreed to stick me in back for the day while he handled my station because I just couldn't stomach being on the service side that day.

So I have spent almost an entire day in a rattled, panicky state, simply because I saw the fucker. I imagine it will take a few weeks before I'm back to being almost totally okay with taking the bus again, and now I get to look around anxiously for 8 hours a day, too. What really struck me however is, my story, which isn't really that dramatic, has left me rattled and traumatized. Facing the victim blaming. People trying to push on me that I could/should have done something differently, because these are things that are stoppable if you follow the rules for their own peace of mind. A well meaning but incredibly condescending "Don't worry. We'll protect you from the big scary man" were enough to make me want to hide in dry storage and cry for a bit. I didn't because I'm stubborn like that, but damned if I didn't want to. It was so frustrating and just added to the helplessness I was already feeling. In all of this there was one thought that struck me- how much it must suck for so many other people who've lived through truly horrific things. Yes, what I went through is terrible and I shouldn't try to brush my own shit under the table because other people have it worse. I know that is the jerk-brain talking, but sometimes "It could be so much worse" is comforting in its own horrific way.

I don't have a clean way to tie this all together. I just wanted to share my sudden and horrific perspective of "Oh god if this is anything like what rape survivors deal with I need to get right the fuck to work on that mind control device so people will stop with the victim blaming and the "BUT HE SEEMED SO NICE AND YOU DRANK SO YOU'RE A DIRTY WHORE" bull shit."

So, as always, I'd like to hear your insights/thoughts in the comments, but I WILL be moderating them more closely than usual. If you slip into victim blaming, or rape apologisim, or anything of that ilk, depending on the severity you might get a single warning. If it's bad, you'll just get banned and the comment deleted. 50 Shades (and less heavy topics) on Thursday.

Also a quick note: I'll be tagging more "personal" posts with "Erika's diaries" for future searching ease.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

50 Shades Darker Chapter 6 in which I have a very special surprise for you all.

So, this chapter's recap isn't written by me. TRAGIC! I know, but I just couldn't get my shit together in time, so The Boy has bravely, and foolishly, offered to. He and I are similar in that we are both warped horrible human beings so I'm sure you'll enjoy his suffering through these books if you enjoy mine. He has never read the book, or my posts on it before now, but he's watched me drink and swear at the book enough that I feel he should know what he's getting himself into at least a little. Enjoy watching a grown man lose his mind! 

So, as alluded to (read: explicitly stated) above, I have no previous knowledge of this book. I was given a 10 second rundown on the characters, so I apologize if I make fun of something that actually makes sense.

Haha, who am I kidding? That's not a real concern here. Let's get started.

...okay, I didn't think this would happen this quickly. I can't really capture my emotions right now, because they're some kind of combination between confusion, disgust, and arousal. This is the very first thing I read:

My hands fist in his hair

Uh, I'm not sure about you guys*, but to me, fist has only one meaning as a verb. I think the author was trying to say “my hands ball into a fist” or “I grab a fistful of”... but I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out how exactly you FIST HAIR.

My hands fist in his hair while my mouth is feverish against Christian’s, consuming him, relishing the feel of his tongue against mine. And he’s the same, devouring me. It’s heavenly.

I'm trying to understand the grammar here. I read the phrase “he's the same”, and I now I need to figure out what he's the same as. The noun in the first sentence was Ana's hands, so I guess he's the same as her hands?


Realistically, I get that it was supposed to be “and he's doing the same”, but words are important. Anyway, this chapter appears to be starting with a sex scene, albeit one with some odd connotations of cannibalism. I'm kind of concerned about how they go about this though. “I want to feel you”. Really? I would say that kind of thing if I was trying to be creepy. [Erika's Note: This is a thing that has happened.] But hey, maybe that works for them. And then I read this:

Boy, I want him inside me, now.

I didn't know I was reading the Hardy Boys! “Gee whiz fellas! Lets have some good old fashioned anal play!” “Boy, that sounds swell!” “Swelling is right!”.

Sorry, I disappeared into my childhood for a second there. So, they continue on with this sex scene, and it's frankly kind of plain. Nipple play, undressing, pretty straightforward. Except that it's never been like this. I guess that means that they don't have boring sex? Nice thinking, but she's saying it like it's special. Eh... apparently she's exerting some kind of power over him, but the only evidence I'm really seeing of it is the fact that the author is explicitly having Anna tell the reader that. It would probably have been more convincing with evidence, but I guess that would be asking too much.

I don't even really want to go through the rest of this scene. There's literally nothing interesting here. I mean, the author actually uses the phrase his mouth forming a perfect O as he exhales. I probably would have stuck with “HE MADE HIS O-FACE! GUYS! GUYS! OOOOOOO-FAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!!”.

There's probably a reason I'm not a world-famous author.

There's also some weird non-sequiters in here – she talks about possessing him, possessing me, but there is zero context – it's straight up cowboy position. I honestly think it's a reminder that this is a “BDSM” book. In case you forgot. Given that the general audience for this book is fish-eyed 14 year-olds with a memory to match [EN: I explained it was in fact 50 year old Mom's and The Boy just shook for a while], I guess that's reasonable.

Actually, maybe I missed something. Is this book supposed to be post-modernist? The structure is kind of... missing.

That’s right, baby, feel me,” he says, his voice strained.
I tip my head back and do exactly that. This is what he does so well.

What does he do so well? In this sentence, you're doing something, Anna. Not Grey. I get that he's bangin' you, but you probably should have mentioned that he's good at it when YOU SAID HE WAS DOING IT.

Moving on two sentences, and OH SHIT, she's in the VOID OF PLEASURE[caps added for awesomeness]. Once you're in there, there's no escaping Zalgo's orgasm. HE COMES**.

Anyway, the scene moves on, they have their mutual orgasms, and she collapses so her head is in his no-go zone. Good thing that's a hard rule. He then proceeds to tell her how beautiful she is, for all of 5 seconds before he descends into jealous boyfriend zone. Apparently, Anna should know how beautiful she is from all the boys pursuing her. There's a list. They want what's his.

This seems healthy, Grey. Have you considered that you might have attachment issues? Let's hope he doesn't go for scorched earth tactics.

Stalin thinks you should kill her now, before someone else can harvest her fertile lands.

So I moved on a bit, straight through the sections where she wants to explore his body where she's allowed (BORING), and now he's threatening to have some doctor come give her a shot. The previous scene they used a condom, so I'm assuming that “a shot” is Depo-Provera, as opposed to like, epinepherine or something.

Note to self: get epi-pen to use as aphrodisiac. 100% guaranteed to get her excitedTM.

Right, dep shot. So Erika just told me that she's already on the pill, but he wants her to get the shot so that they can start riding bareback right away. Overdosing on hormones definitely seems like a good idea to me. Maybe she'll grow hooves. That'd be hot.

So she goes back to touching him, which is TOTALLY WORTH MY TIME READING. She strays past the no-go line (SHOCKING), and he get's all tense. Tragic past time?

Tragic past time.

But only for a minute, because Christian Grey, Man of All Men, has a refractory period of 3 minutes. Thankfully, we are spared from another bout of the author's clumsy attempt at description. Time skips forward to Ana being in the shower, talking about how well he's handling “vanilla” sex. Haha, Anna, this definitely isn't your hubris showing. Nothing's going to catch up with you here.

So Ana ponders her relationship, get's jealous about the exes, and (justifiably so) has an internal rage-on for the statutory rapist ex. I'm glad that the author isn't pretending that it's a normal thing to diddle/torture teenagers.


My sweet, sad Fifty Shades.

This is a nickname for him. That's cool. Original. ANY SUBTLY THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN MISTAKEN IN THE TITLE IS GONE FOREVER. What a stupid twit she is – he's definitely never heard that nickname before, in all his time being named “Grey”. That's like giggling at someone who's last name is “Butts”. Sure, you thought it, but it's not clever or original.

Staring at my reflection, I smile at the memory of his words, my heart brimming once more, and my face transforms with a ridiculous smile. Perhaps we can make this work. But how long will he want to do this without wanting to beat the crap out of me because I cross some arbitrary line?

My smile dissolves. This is what I don’t know. This is the shadow that hangs over us. Kinky fuckery, yes, I can do that, but more?

This is not a healthy thought to have. You're in a situation where not only will he want to beat you if you do something wrong, you have no idea what that might be?! I feel like I'm watching the horror movie where the victim is going into the haunted house, except that she knows it's haunted by a ghost that's going to spread her entrails on the walls to touch up the paint!

My subconscious stares at me blankly, for once offering no snarky words of wisdom. I head back to my bedroom to dress.

Haha, even her brain was like “Fuck it, I'm done”. LALALALA CLOTHES. [author's note: that was screamed in a semi-pubescent squeaky voice. I think I made Erika uncomfortable.][EN: He definitely made me uncomfortable.]

She starts to get dressed, but apparently only makes it as far as expensive underwear that she couldn't be bothered to remove the price tag from (a black bustier corset creation with a price tag of five hundred forty dollars). Seriously girl. Those things come off. Anyway, Ana in underpants, Grey walks in, gawks, etc. Do something interesting, dammit.

Okay, somewhat interesting: he wants to put some sliver balls in her. That's cool. And he promises not to spank her – I know, you're disappointed. That's fine, so is Anna. Oh, but before he inserts them, she has to put her shoes on.

He holds out his hand to support me while I step into the Christian Louboutin shoes, a steal at three-thousand two hundred ninety-five dollars. I must be at least five inches taller now.

First: I don't give a fuck about how expensive your shoes are. Everything about that sentence makes you sound like a pampered tool. Second: you must be at least five inches taller? Seriously? You bought three thousand dollar shoes and you don't know how big they are? I'm going to throw out a guess here and say they're FIVE INCH FUCKING HEELS, YOU STUPID.

He gets her to bend over, presumably for insertion purposes. Then he gets her to suck on is finger:

He tastes of soap . . . hmm.

I didn't know soap was a turn-on. I truly hope her parents didn't wash her mouth out with soap as a child, because that brings up uncomfortable images.

Anyway, balls go in, both are aroused, world turns some more. He gets her diamond earrings. She melts into a puddle, because diamonds make girls happy. I saw the jewelry store commercials – well played, Mr. Grey. More clothing talk, some self-consciousness about her body (I guess this is how you connect with the target reader?), some makeup. I'm having so much fun.

She heads downstairs, there's the obligatory “she's so stunning in the expensive dress” reactions from Grey and the staff, and the champagne comes out, because fuck it, that's what rich people do right? Oh, and I get to meet Taylor for the first time:

Security team?” I ask.
Close protection. They’re under Taylor’s control. He’s trained in that, too.”

He's trained in what? Controlling his staff? I should fucking well hope so, if they're the muscle. LEARN TO USE GRAMMER, E L JAMES. The word “that” refers to the preceding sentence, which was not “Close protection”. HATE HATE HATE.

Now he's giving her a present. OH NOES! A masquerade ball (Grey calls it a “masked ball”; I assume it's because the spelling of masquerade is beyond his grasp)! I'm pretty sure the “surprise masquerade” is the most clichéd rich-people activity ever. This definitely isn't going to lead to shenanigans. Also, as soon as the phrase “masked ball” came up, I immediately thought there was a face on the sphere in her vagina. I like to think it has a look of terror on it.

Okay, seriously now, does Grey do anything that isn't preceded with “I want to show you something”, or “I have a present for you”, or some other ham-fisted attempt at being “mysterious”?

You aren't being coy, Mr. Grey. You are being an asshole.

Aaaaaand you have a library called the balls room. It's okay, his brother named it that, presumably because there's a billiards table in it. I guess stupidity runs in the family. It's funny that this is her first time seeing it, but apparently Grey never gave her the tour.

It's the second book, Ms. James. Get your shit together.

Anyway, we now learn that Anna knows how to play pool. Make a note, people. This is important enough that a room was added to the building for it. And with a hint that she will meet his psychiatrist, they leave. Yaaaaay.

I'd like to say now that I've read 8 pages of this fucking book, and I really, really want to take the easy way out. I think I have a bottle of Drano kicking around, but I'm pretty sure it's the foaming kind and I'd just end up vomiting foam everywhere. In other words, it would have THE SAME EFFECT AS READING 50 SHADES. AUUUUGH.

So they're in the car now, driving to the ball. Speaking of balls (HUR HUR HUR), she's trying not to enjoy having a couple jammed up inside her. Grey takes advantage of this, and I'm reminded of David Bowie for some reason.

It's funny, that clip doesn't have the balls that I most associate that movie with in it... either way, I hope you enjoyed your taste of freedom from this. Back to Greyland, here's where I have another problem:

So what can we expect at this event?”
Oh, the usual stuff,” Christian says breezily.
Not usual for me,” I remind him.
Christian smiles fondly and kisses my hand again. “Lots of people flashing their cash. Auction, raffle, dinner, dancing—my mother knows how to throw a party.” He smiles and for the first time all day, I allow myself to feel a little excited about this party.

He says “flashing their cash” almost in a derogatory sense – this is EVERYTHING YOU ARE, CHRISTIAN. I guess we add hypocrisy to the pile, assuming it wasn't already there in spades. Also, how do you say something “breezily”? Is he having an asthma attack? Should someone maybe be helping him? Maybe providing medical attention? I digress.

Long, pale pink paper lanterns hang over the drive, and as we inch closer in the Audi, I can see they are everywhere. In the early evening light, they look magical, as if we’re entering an enchanted kingdom. I glance at Christian. How suitable for my prince—and my childish excitement blooms, eclipsing all other feelings.

Holy shit, E L James, not only didn't you get your bizarre BDSM fantasies out of life, now you have to vicariously live out your Disney fantasies too? You couldn't come up with ANYTHING more original? This Cinderella redux makes me feel like I'm watching Avatar all over again***.

Anyway, they make it inside, there's TWO photographers, and Anna's surprise at this is odd, given that she's going to a bleeding mansion with a drive full of Audi's and valets. That's all fine though; it's the second person with the camera that throws her off.

Once they get inside, they move through a crowd of people who are – you guessed it – drinking champagne. Rich people in E L James' world are so dry. Grey's sister shows up, and Ana expresses that she has never felt so grateful for the dress Christian has given her. OH, except for all those times you talked about it before you put it on, then when you put it on, then when other people saw you with it on. Yeah, except for that. The sister drags Ana off to meet some girls, dropping jokes like “We all thought he was gay” TEE HEE. As if that's an insult. What if he was? Would it have embarrassed the family? You treat it like it is worse than being single.[EN: Not that there is anything wrong with being single.]

Not that it matters, because they literally have enough time to introduce themselves and speak two sentences (total) before Grey returns to claim her. Where did he go in the intervening 40 seconds? I'd like to think he stood there, staring. Intently. Like a hungry dog.

Hey, I'm pretty good at this erotica stuff. Maybe I should try writing a book like this.

They do their rounds of the party, meeting lots of [insert high-class sounding occupation here], and she fails at not drinking too much – her explicitly stated goal. If there's anything I'm learning from reading this, it's that Ana is utterly useless. Dinner bell rings, boring description of rich dining room, boring greetings with family to emphasize that Grey doesn't like them. It's just so unimaginative and pointless – there is nothing here that hasn't been done in over 50 movies. The parents, the grandparents, their whole personalities are 1-dimensional. It hurts me.

Grey's father takes the microphone, tells each table to select a “table head” and to each put their name on a piece of currency and put it in an envelope for said table head to guard. The protagonists – and I use the word with something like vomit in the back of my throat – give their money to Grey's sister, which will totally end well.

Oh boy, then I get to look at a menu. Pro tip, E L James, I don't care what's on the menu. You didn't need to fluff an entire page in your book for it. Individual servers, nice touch. I guess you get this kind of service when you're rich like the Greys, but that's not important. What is important is that Ana and Grey are eye-fucking each other again. Wait, sorry, I got mixed up. That's not important either. Sorry.

Boring table talk continues, Ana daydreams, and now we get to my favourite thing ever:

Christian and Lance talk animatedly about a device Christian’s company is developing, inspired by Schumacher’s principle Small is Beautiful. It’s hard to keep up. Christian seems intent on empowering impoverished communities all over the world with wind-up technology—devices that need no electricity or batteries and minimal maintenance.

Watching him in full flow is astonishing. He’s passionate and committed to improving the lives of the less fortunate. Through his telecommunications company, he’s intent on being first to market with a wind-up mobile phone.

A wind-up mobile phone. For communities that have no electricity. Tell me, where are the signals going to go, Christian Grey? Are you going to have wind-up cellular distribution networks too? Are you going to provide the network service for free?

Then this: Lance seems unable to comprehend Christian’s plan to give the technology away and not patent it.

First, just because you patent something doesn't mean you have to charge for it. It DOES mean that you can protect your design from someone else who might want to patent it though. Not that patents are particularly effective in the mobile device world, other than for vexatious lawsuits. If you're ever bored one day, read up on patent law in the electronics industry. It's brutal, confusing, and pointless. Kind of like this book.

Going back to the book, someone else at the table wins a gift basket. Ana decides she has to go to the “powder room” with Grey, and his sister cock-blocks him. I cheered. She goes and removes her vagballs. I did not cheer. I did not care. Then I get to look at a list of auction prizes that E L James felt is necessary to print out on a full page. I'm pretty sure the point of the list is to beat the idea firmly into the side of your skull that the Greys are, indeed, quite rich. I got it already. The auction begins, and Ana and Grey pout at each other because they didn't get their bang on. Poor babies. Suck it up, it's for charity.

Oh, and apparently this is important: Grey has a property in Aspen, Colorado. It's up for auction. I say it's important because this is the last thing that happens in the chapter:

And I don’t know what possesses me, but I suddenly hear my own voice ringing out clearly over the throng.
Twenty-four thousand dollars!”

Haha, Ana, you don't have that money. Looks like your suffering gets to continue into the next chapter. Mine, however, blissfully ends here. I'm going to go drink some cough syrup now and fall into a pleasant stupor, hopefully to never think of this horrible book ever again.


*I'm from the Ottawa valley; I use the term “guys” in a unisex fashion. I'm sorry if I offend.
** Internet joke. It's going to be funny to me, and probably 2 other people, but that's two more than is important. HAYO.
***If you think the plot to Avatar was original, go take a 1900s culture class at your local college. Seriously. Mighty whitey ad infinitum.

That brave bastard. I hope you all show him some love in the comments, back to your regularly scheduled angry Erika for chapter 7! Also for those of you who need more fixes of my brain, you can follow me on twitter @SnappyErika