Monday, April 30, 2012


So I spent a long weekend in Florida, and I thought I'd share it with you.  Hopefully in an amusing way,  not in a rubbing-your-face-in-my-vacation way.

Arrived on Friday.  Just in time for some lovely sunshine and a gorgeous sunset.

This was the beach.  Beautiful sugar sand and clear water.

Next on the schedule was drinking an adult beverage at the bar on the deck.

Lovely Drink!
Why is the rum always gone? :(
Sadly, Friday was the best weather of the weekend. But I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I am mesmerized by the ocean.  I was content to stare at it and think for hours on end - no exaggeration. 

It was overcast on Saturday, but I stayed out until the thunderstorms closed down the beach.

This view was from the restaurant we escaped to after the storms rolled in.

I discovered that I really like Shrimp & Grits, which (if you can't tell) is a very southern dish.  It's also one of those things that everyone seems to make slightly differently.  The version I had was sort of a shrimp & sausage stew on top of some cheesy grits.  

Yummy!  Going to have to figure out how to make a this without sausage.

Sunday was very sunny - but terrifically windy.  No umbrellas.  Like I cared.  I sat on my beach chair, ignoring the sand blowing around, chasing after my hat - and shoes - a couple of times.  And staring at the hypnotic waves.

One of the friends I made on Sunday.
So of course, on Monday, as we got ready to leave, the weather was perfect.  Still a bit windy, but gorgeous.

Perfect Monday.  Sigh.

I did not want to leave at all, but alas I have neither unlimited vacation days nor money, so I had to return home.  I hope to return again someday!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Way to go, media.

Let me start with saying I read a lot of stuff.  Some of it is “literature” – some of it is crap.  I have a degree in English Literature, so I can tell the difference between the two.  But I also don’t feel the need to justify reading what I like.

So, recently I stumbled across an article similar to this one:  nytimes article about 50 Shades of Grey.

My eyebrows immediately raised.  Really?  “This book has been credited with… introducing women who usually read run-of-the-mill literary or commercial fiction to graphic, heavy-breathing erotica.”

Hmmm.  I was very curious.  I have a Kindle, so I downloaded a sample of the first book for free. 

After reading the sample, I bought all three books and read them.

I enjoyed the novels.  They do contain explicit sexual material.  But I would personally categorize them as romance novels, not erotica.  (To me, erotica is sex-centric.  These are relationship-centric.)  They are fun, but they aren’t going to win any prizes for literary excellence.

So why the blog post?

What I find strange is the firestorm of media coverage.  I just don't understand what the media is thinking.

First, let’s make a sensationalistic title for this genre.  “Mommy-porn.”   
Well, I am not a mother, and these are not pornographic.  So -1, media coverage.

Second, let’s make a big deal about the sexual content in these books.  “It contains BDSM.”   
Well, actually it portrays a consensual, monogamous relationship between a man and a woman that involves BDSM at times.  If you want to talk about some non-vanilla sexual content, media, may I refer you to Laurell K Hamilton's multiple-species and multiple-partner content.  Or if you really want to talk about BDSM, go read the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey.

Third, why the hell does it matter in 2012 if women are reading sexually explicit novels?  
If the media were presenting this more from a pro-feminist, “these books help women explore their sexuality” perspective, I would get it more.  But to sensationalize it, to present the story from the viewpoint of titillation, that just cheapens it.  Way to go, media (sarcasm font).

So BOO media.  YAY girl power.  Read whatever it is you want to, and let others do the same.