Fifty Shades of Grumpy Reviews


I really got excited about turning my idea for Fifty Shades of Grumpy into a novel.  It could even become a major motion picture!

Fifty Review1

I already had the basic formula sketched out.  I then turned that sketch into an outline.  Finally I set to work on a preliminary draft.  Before going any further I thought it best to send the draft to selected reviewers to get input.  I got back some of their comments and I see that I need to do a little more work.


I have never read anything like it and hope I never do again.                            –New York Times


If you only read one book this year, don’t make it this one.                  –Washington Post


This is a book for which the words “out of print” will be a blessing.           –Chicago Tribune


Spectacular!  Sexy and erotic!  Brilliant!  A sensational read!                             These are the words I would use to describe some other book but not this one. –Los Angeles Times


The book should be made of toilet paper so that it would at least be useful for something.                                                                                                                    –Barron’s


Thinking of all the starving children in the world is preferable to reading this nonsense.                                                                                                                             –The Wall Street Journal


This book sucks!                                                                                                                    –Rolling Stone


Mixing the book with sewage would improve it.                                                         –The New York Review of Books


Yet another indication that America never mastered the English language. –Guardian (UK)


The critics have spoken, the bastards!

Fifty Shades of Grumpy,                                                                                               NOT coming to a book store near you anytime soon;                                             NOT to be a major motion picture.


Fifty Review2

Fifty Shades of Grumpy


I am looking for volunteers to fulfill my deepest fantasy – a fully compliant recipient of my endless complaining.

I will be your master: you will be my slave.  I will complain, bitch and moan at will: you will not be allowed to resist.

You will have to sign a 26 page agreement beforehand written entirely in indecipherable legalese in the smallest available font size.  You will then have to listen to me sing it back to you in its entirety off-key.

I will speak to you through a voice modulator so that my complaints will be heard by you in various unpleasant voices:

  1. Screech from Saved by the Bell
  2. Howard’s mother from The Big Bang Theory
  3. Marge Simpson
  4. The 38th Vice President of the United States, Hubert H. Humphrey
  5. Gilbert Gottfried

If you fail to heed my commands or stop listening attentively to my bitching and moaning or show the slightest degree of resistance, you will be subjected to various forms of torture:

  1. Participating in endless sessions of Richard Simmons’ workout tapes;
  2. Watching prerecorded sessions of Meet the Press starting with the original series from the 1950’s with Lawrence E. Spivak;
  3. Listening to Donald Trump’s previous presidential campaign speeches;
  4. Reading all of Tori Spelling’s “books;”
  5. Sitting in a public restroom stall yelling “I am not committing an unnatural act” over and over.

In order to speak, you will first have to ask permission by crossing your knees and your eyes, doubling over in an expression of pain, raising your right hand and pointing at your crotch with your left hand.  This is also the method you will employ when requesting a bathroom break.

I may, from time to time, have you dress up in different attire of my choosing.  Some examples are:

  1. Captain Kangaroo
  2. Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady
  3. Lurch
  4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  5. Queen Victoria

Your reward for your participation will be to receive an autographed copy of my upcoming book Fifty Shades of Grumpy at a discounted price.


You’re welcome.


Bonfire of the Vanity Plates


Vanity plates have served for a long time as both a source of revenue (for the licensing authorities) and as a source of amusement for the rest of us.  Lawrence Welk had a vanity plate that read NE1NE2.  In the eponymous Seinfeld TV series, wacky neighbor Kramer kept looking for a license plate that read ASSMAN until it turned up on a car belonging to a proctologist.  The new Breaking Bad spinoff – Better Call Saul – shows the back of a Cadillac with the plate LWYRUP.

All too often, people go overboard or cannot get exactly the right plate, resulting in poor spelling and questionable taste.  A friend of mine (the second F in Friend of a Friend – FOAF) has collected vanity plate names for decades as a hobby and, when I see an amusing one, I send it on to him.  Here is a list of recent ones I’ve seen that, in a number of cases, asks the inevitable question “Why?”  How a few of these got past the prudish censors is beyond me.


And my favorite…



Well, I gotta go.  If you see an amusing or questionable plate, pass it on.



Hi, I’m Rob Lowe


I get really tired of commercials that are repeated over and over again until your head aches.  At first, they are interesting and often humorous and then they just become tedious.  There are always several in this category at any given time – are your ears burning AFLAC, GEICO and Nationwide? – but the one that I currently dislike is the one for Direct TV with Rob Lowe and altered Rob Lowe.  (I have nothing against Rob Lowe, just the repetition.)  Here’s a suggestion for the next version in this endless progression:

“Hi, I’m Rob Lowe and I advertise everything.”


“And I’m Black Death Rob Lowe and I advertise, well, you know…”



“As Rob Lowe, I have a fantastic smile.”







“As Black Death Rob Lowe, so do I.”



“I’m known for my fantastic body so I dress like this.                                                   I say to women ‘Do you want to see my fantastic bod?’”








“I only have a skeleton so I dress like this.                                                                       I say to women ‘Do you want to see my scythe?’”



“I occasionally indulge but I normally eat healthy.”


“I normally eat people.”



“As Rob Lowe, crowds are attracted to me.”


“As Black Death Rob Lowe, crowds avoid me like the black plague.                     Get it, get it?  Avoid me like the black plague?”



So don’t be like any of these Rob Lowe’s, stop these damned boring, inane, repetitive, nonsensical commercials!!


Blogging at the Three Year Mark

I was responding to a post by nursekelly on the trials and tribulations of blogging.  It piqued my interest and resulted in a post of its own.  As of this January, I have now been blogging for 3 years (on and off) and I make the following observations:


It was very hard to start.  I was fearful of saying something stupid or wrong and of not getting any response.  Over time, I found it easier to post, although finding new topics is still difficult and seems to come in spurts.  Saying stupid things comes naturally to me so I got over that quickly.

I picked a theme to find “my voice.”  Being a curmudgeon-at-large wasn’t that hard. Even though there were and are others with the same idea, my innate warped sense of humor gave me focus.  Can you blog successfully without a focus?  Well, Jerry Seinfeld made millions of dollars with a comedy show “based on nothing,” but most of us need a focus.

Building a set of loyal followers takes time but it only takes a few who have a rather large following and an interest in your blog to increase activity.  Commenting on other peoples’ blogs also helps (but does not guarantee) to increase activity on your own and, quite frankly, I need to do more of it.

I have not encountered “super bloggers” (100,000+ followers) but I have noticed several who get a very large number of likes and comments even though the actual post seem inane or lacking content.  I still don’t know why this happens.  I find more revealing those bloggers who write well or have a creative view, have a sizable audience (100’s or 1000’s, not 100,000), get a sizable number of comments and still have time to reply to most.  These bloggers are dedicated to interaction and exchange of ideas.  Personally, I would prefer to be the latter rather than the former.

I have several fellow bloggers who are writers – no surprise that many bloggers are writers – who unabashedly use their blogs to advertise their books.  Not one (so far) has asked for a contribution and I believe it fair to use a blog for marketing promotion.  If you like the way the blogger writes, then you will be more likely to be interested in their books.

Bloggers come and go.  Some get exhausted; many run out of ideas; some have reached their primary goal (sobriety, end of a bad relationship, fear of writing, etc.). While I still read and follow many that I started with, others have, regrettably, stopped blogging.  The upside is to encourage looking for new ones.

Obscenity and vulgarity – I don’t mind it and I use it occasionally for emphasis but I’m not good at it.  Besides, there are already too many “fuck you” rants posts as it is.

I try to read as many different types of blogs as possible, from the creative, inspirational and poetic to those that others might find offensive, weird or unusual.  I want to stretch my aging brain, not restrict it.  While I have written posts about subjects like elderporn, alien anal probing and sex with animals, I would hope that no one takes me seriously.  (Sorry to disappoint you, Fido.)

So, what’s your blogging view and experience, whether newbie or veteran?  Is it up, down, sideways, ever-changing or static?  I await your reply with bated breath.  (Does bated breath leave a taste in your mouth?)