Living With Don Johnson

Archive for August 2012

As the school year approaches, everyone seems to be heading down memory lane and talking about their favorite teachers. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that before, so I figured that I’d might as well try my hand at it.

I’ve had lots of great teachers throughout my educational lifetime. And I’ve had teachers who weren’t so great. There are two who I’d like to highlight, Mr. Fix and Kim.

Mr. Fix was my 8th grade history teacher. We had just moved to Texas from Washington states, and I didn’t really know anyone yet. Mr. Fix had a way of making each student feel important. I wasn’t the bravest student in the class. I was shy and usually had to be called upon before I would speak up in class. There were lessons in self confidence and bravery that weren’t on the lesson plans. Everyone I have ever talked to who had Mr. Fix as a teacher always speaks highly of him. A few years later, my brother, Doug, had Mr. Fix for history in the 8th grade. And Doug felt the same way about Mr. Fix as my mom did. Mr. Fix was the inspiration behind Doug wanting to be a history teacher. And he was looking forward to doing that this year. Every single student who went through Mr. Fix’s class had a favorite project. My favorite project was the history presentation. Each student had to create a person from a specific time period. We also had to create the entire history for our character. And then we had to present our character to the class. We got bonus points for dressing up and using props. It was such a fun project.

Kim was my aerobics teacher at CTC. I remember being nervous the first day of class because I was not an athletic kid. I used marching band as my PE credit in high school. My mom had been in Kim’s class a few semesters before and had mentioned to Kim that I’d be in her class.  After class, I mentioned to my mom that I didn’t think she knew who I was. She mentioned it to Kim, and the next class, as we were doing crunches, Kim said “I know who you are.” Kim loved what she was doing. And she showed us that love every day in class. You can’t help but get excited when you’ve got a bubbly blonde at the front of the gym bouncing around. She made exercise fun. And somewhere along the way, I became a teacher’s pet (TP). I’m still TP to her.

I loved going to classes with Mr. Fix and Kim. Learning was fun, and I learned more than just what was on the lesson plans each day. I learned a lot about myself in their classes. I can only hope and pray that as Abigail continues on her education, she has teachers like Mr. Fix and Kim. Teachers who become friends and remain friends long after you step out of their classroom.

I finished 50 Shades of Grey on Saturday night, and I’m just now sitting down to write my review. I could, essentially, sum the entire book up in one sentence like I did on Facebook. 50 Shades of Grey is a pornified version of Twilight. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that it started as fan fiction. That being said, I’ve always encountered fan fiction that expanded on the story or the characters rather than just renaming the characters and retelling the story. I found several lines in the book that were pretty much copied directly out of Twilight.

I didn’t feel like there was any character development throughout the book. The female lead, Ana Steele, is a contrived stereotype of every classic literary heroine out there.  She’s a virgin, never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, and all of those other “good girl” qualities that we’ve come to expect. She can’t fight off the advances of an overly romantic friend, so she winds up being rescued by Christian Grey.

I found Christian Grey, the male lead [who the books are titled after], to be a compilation of both the hero and the villain. I don’t know if this was the authors plan, but I found myself annoyed by his, oh, let’s just call if a bipolar personality. He’s quick to go from one extreme to the other. Christian obviously wants to pursue Ana, but it is much more than wanting to pursue her. He wants to possess her and think for her. Due to the human sexuality class I had a TAMUCT, I’ve done some research on the BDSM lifestyle. (Yes, that was an interesting class. We actually had to read erotica and discuss what themes were going on and whatnot. It was actually an interesting class, and I learned a lot. But, I digress.) I know that in the Dom/sub lifestyle, there is a pattern of the Dom thinking and making decisions for the sub. I get that part of it. However, Christian decides that he wants to control Ana’s choices outside of their relationship.

The sex scenes I found to be just so-so. I think I’ve heard better descriptions of sex sitting in the ladies locker room at a gym. Although, I did read a section to Don, and he thought it was pretty decent. But, this is my review and my thoughts, so we aren’t going to include Don’s thoughts on the books. I understand stream of consciousness, and it has its use in writing. But, I don’t like it so much in these scenes. I feel like I’m inside the mind of someone with ADHD or a toddler. Things start to go in one direction, and I think “Okay, this has potential” and then all of a sudden she’s focusing on something else.

There were a few spots in the book where I thought the author was on to something, and I started to get intrigued. I wanted to know more. Most of those moments happened during the email exchanges between Ana and Christian. I think I liked those moments the best because they were playful moments, and they were moments where we started to have some character development. The emails were the only spots where I started to care about the characters. It’s the spots where James attempts to delve into what makes Christian tick that are the most interesting. I think that if she had pursued the book from Christian’s point of view and given us more information about Christian that the story would have been amazing.

Would I recommend the book? Meh. Perhaps if you had run out of cereal boxes to read. Was it worth the ten bucks I spent on it? Not really.

So, I haven’t decided if I am ashamed of the fact that I just bought this for my eReader or not. I have heard so many conflicting reviews and thoughts on the series that I decided that I should just see what the fuss is about it. I get asked about this book on a daily basis by customers at work. And some honestly ask me what I think of it. And I have to say “I’ve never read it, but I’ve heard mixed reviews. My sister in law loved it, but one of my best friends couldn’t even finish the first book.”

So, I am going to attempt to read it. And then, most likely, I’ll post a review with my thoughts about the book. I don’t have a problem with smut. I do, however, have a problem with stories and books that are poorly written. So, that will obviously play a factor in what I think of the book. If I have to mentally add commas or rephrase a sentence in my head in order for it to make sense, then we’re gonna have some problems.

All I can say is “Thank God I have an eReader so no one will actually be able to tell what book I am reading at the coffee shop.”


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