Sunday, December 23, 2012

50 Shades Irate

I read Fifty Shades Freed so you don't have to.

I just want to quickly mention that I got a book for Christmas from StereoNinja called "How Not To Write A Novel". I'm only a few chapters into it, but so far, every mistake that's been outlined has appeared somewhere in the Fifty Shades books. Every. Single. One. I'm mentioning this because one piece of advice in particular: "PLOT: Not just a bunch of stuff that happens" is exactly the note I would have sent to E.L. James if I'd been sent this manuscript for possible publication and it made me laugh so hard I was actually sore from it the next day.

All right, I suppose I've stalled on doing this long enough. So.

Chapter 9 begins with Ana waking up to find Christian wrapped around her "like ivy", which she informs us is what she always wakes up to when they've had a fight, so I assume she means "how I wake up every single fucking day". She thinks it is a romantic expression of how much he needs her. I think he's trying to kill her in his sleep.

At breakfast, Christian informs Ana that he needs to go to New York, sparking - GUESS WHAT? - an argument about whether or not Ana should come with him because OMFG SAFETY! or stay in Seattle and work because part of having a real job is you don't get to only show up whenever you feel like it. Speaking of safety, Ana suddenly becomes very concerned because oh my god, what if he's taking the helicopter to New York because remember that one time when someone messed with it and it crashed? Remember that? Ermigerd it was, like, so scary! Once again, I am absolutely shocked by Ana's lack of knowledge about how helicopters work, i.e. they are SHORT RANGE AIRCRAFT with very low airspeed as compared to an airplane and therefore would never be used to fly all the way from fucking Seattle to New York City, which according to Google (note to E.L. James: Google is that thing people use to find stuff out instead of just fucking guessing. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY IT YOU LAZY DICKBAG) is a flight distance of 2408 miles. I did some math (of course I did): At the top speed of Christian's particular helicopter, that's a 13.5 hour flight. At its normal cruising speed it's more than 15 hours. That is not counting having to stop SIX FUCKING TIMES on the way to refuel given that it has a range of just under 400 miles. I don't expect her to know all of that, but I do expect her to have seen at least one fucking episode of M.A.S.H. in her lifetime, or at the very least to realize that until she met Christian, she'd never heard of people flying in helicopters, only airplanes, so it would be logical to assume that it is generally the more efficient method of transportation. Christian explains that much more succinctly than I just did, and also tells her that Charlie Tango is back to being a safe aircraft because "Five people have been fired because of that." He doesn't explain which five people, but if Christian handled this situation the way he handles every other situation in his life, I'm quite certain it was just the first five people he ran into when he was angry, and probably not the people who were in charge of security at the airfield or the person who did the last pre-flight safety check. The point is SOMEONE WAS PUNISHED AND THE PROBLEM IS THEREFORE SOLVED.

Which brings us to the beginning of what I didn't want to write about. "That reminds me," says Ana immediately following the news that five people were most likely terminated without cause, "There's a gun in your desk." After which we learn (or re-learn) the following things:
  • The gun is fully loaded,
  • and there's no safety on it (which Christian doesn't realize until she tells him).
  • The gun belongs to Leila.
  • Christian despises guns, supports gun control legislation in Washington State, and disapproves of Taylor "sometimes" carrying one.
If the last thing is true, than the first three things, as we've come to expect, don't make any fucking sense. If he hates guns so much, when he took Leila's off her, why didn't he turn it in to the police? They would be more than happy to take in guns you don't want to keep them off the street. And when he didn't do that, why did he instead decide to leave it fully loaded and to put it in his unlocked desk drawer? WE KNOW HE HAS A SAFE. At any rate, since it appears he's going to have a loaded gun in the house against everything he claims to believe in, Ana wants Christian to learn how to use it properly, and Christian wants no part of it, because somehow ignorance is the best way to improve this already terrifying situation.

Anyway. Christian gets on a plane for New York, and about five minutes later Ana starts panicking because he hasn't called her yet and OH NO WHAT IF HE'S DEAD? I myself am a natural worrier, but I'm pretty sure if I thought my entire world was crumbling around me every time someone I loved left the fucking room the stress would have killed me a long time ago. PLEASE DIE, ANA. I AM BEGGING YOU. Sadly, Christian's plane has not gone down in a fiery blaze of epic incompetence, and he calls her while the plane is still taxiing to the gate, because he promised to call her as soon as he landed. "See? He does what he says he's going to do," is what her increasingly abusive subconscious tells her. I rarely bother to tell you guys what either of her alternate personalities are saying, but in this case I felt like it made a nice counterpoint to what Ana's about to do. Because Ana has agreed to have a drink with Kate, something Ana originally told Christian was going to occur at the apartment because, again, SAFETY!, but she has now decided they should go out to a bar instead. Christian badgers her into a promise that she'll have her drinks with Kate at the apartment after all. The minute Kate arrives at the office and says she'd rather go to a bar, Ana ignores the promise she JUST made, and immediately heads to some bar with Kate, telling the security team of three that they would just have one drink. This never ends well and I write in my notes "over/under 1.5 pages for when the shit hits the fan." Being the most irresponsible and inconsiderate woman on the entire fucking planet, one strawberry mojito turns into four strawberry mojitos, she doesn't bother to eat any food at all to counter this sizable alcohol intake, and she's missed five calls, one text message, and one email from her alarmed husband whom she promised not three hours ago that she wouldn't do exactly the thing she just fucking did. This point goes to Christian.

At the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next one (Drama! Intrigue! Stuff that happens!), Ana and her bodyguards arrive home to find security guard Ryan standing over an unconscious Jack Hyde. I write two notes in quick succession: "Swiss Cheese Security strikes again!" and "I don't have words for how stupid this is." Ryan explains how everything went down: He was monitoring the security camera when he saw Jack Hyde get in the service elevator (wearing gloves so we would know he's up to no good), and decided to LET HIM GET IN THE APARTMENT so that Ryan could tackle him and be the hero of the day, or as he put it, "That way I knew we'd have him." No, you didn't know that, turdbrain, he could have had a taser and incapacitated you immediately, or had his gun drawn (he had a gun, we'll get to that) and shot you the second the elevator door opened, or he could have been a master of Taekwondo and beat the ever loving shit out of you before you had time to think "Oops", or any number of various scenarios in which you lose because you had no knowledge of what you were dealing with, and then you would be dead and a psychopath would be loose in the house. CAN YOU EVEN SPELL SECURITY? HOLY FUCK YOU ARE DUMBER THAN ANA. As he's explaining this COLOSSALLY STUPID decision, it suddenly occurs to him that *maybe* they should think about tying the intruder up. OH MY FUCKING GOD YOU STEAMING BOWL OF MONKEY JIZZ, HOW IS THAT NOT THE FIRST THING YOU DID? Ana goes to get some cable ties with great embarrassment because everyone in the world knows that cable ties are only used for dirty sex and that can be the only reason why there would be some in the apartment. When she returns, she notices Jack's gun laying on the floor right fucking next to him because Ryan the rocket scientist didn't know that it might be a good idea to kick it out of the reach of the deranged man he just deliberately let in the apartment. AND THEN I realize with a sickening feeling in my stomach that Ana is not only smarter than Ryan, she's actually the smartest person in the entire room when she asks "Should we call the police?" and four professional motherfucking security guards blink at her in confusion because they GENUINELY DON'T KNOW if this situation warrants involving the police, and they can't get Taylor on the phone to ask him. I write "Entire security team doesn't know how security works." Ana's wisdom (I am sick to my stomach from writing that phrase) prevails and the police come over and ask a bunch of police questions, telling her she'll have to come down to the station later to make a statement, because James' entire knowledge of how the police work is based on television shows. In reality, you can generally make a statement anywhere that contains both a detective and a piece of paper.

After a few more attempts at getting touch with Christian, who she believes isn't picking up the phone because he's angry, even though everyone else on the fucking planet knows he's on a plane coming back there because she can't follow through on a single thing she ever says to him, she goes to bed. When she wakes up, Christian is sitting in a chair next to the bed watching her sleep, and she is confused that he's back already, and I stab an icepick into my ear because Ana is incapable of learning ANYTHING from past experiences. Apparently Christian has never been so angry with her in their entire relationship (which, just to reiterate since I haven't said it in a while, is roughly 5-6 months long), and we can tell this because HE DOESN'T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH HER. She even gets in the shower with him but he pushes her away. Ana is immediately convinced that this means he isn't attracted to her anymore. She says "I gasp as the pain sears through me." I can't wait to see how much self-loathing and jumping to conclusions she'll do the first time he tells her he's too tired for sex. OH MY GOD HE'S TIRED? HE MUST NOT LOVE ME ANYMORE.

Ana goes to work for no real reason since she spends the entirety of the day emailing Christian repeatedly. For some reason it is very important to her whether he flew back from New York early because he couldn't get her on the phone while she was out with Kate, or because he heard about Jack breaking into the apartment. GUESS ANA. GUESS WHICH ONE IT IS. She is also angry at things that haven't even happened yet, because she thinks Christian won't tell her what Jack has actually been charged with, something he wouldn't be able to keep from her if Ana knew how to use a fucking computer since that information is a public record. She has also convinced herself that she was right to go out with Kate last night, since IF she'd been at home she would have been in much more danger. You know, since accidentally being in the right place at the right time makes you retroactively right in the first place and therefore justifies behaving like a complete shitpencil. I can't even follow what the "plot" of this book is anymore. I have never read a longer series of random stuff that happens which does nothing to advance the story and doesn't even try to make any sort of logical sense. I need someone who read these books and enjoyed them to sit down with me and explain to me what, in the ACTUAL FUCK, they found compelling about this story because every single word of it so far sounds like it was written by a horny fifteen year old school dropout on crack.

Some housekeeping: If you've emailed me about meeting up to play the board game when I'm back in the UK in early March, and I haven't emailed you back yet, please be patient - it's Christmas and I've been running around like a crazy person since I got back from Florida. For those interested who didn't see my comment after that post, my email address is now in my blogger profile. We are trying to find some place that everyone will be able to get to, and since we have people who want to come from Scotland and  London and just about everywhere in between, we are looking at places that are roughly in the middle of the country (Birmingham? Nottingham?) I WILL respond to everyone who emails because I think, somehow, we all NEED for this to happen. I think I will also bring Cards Against Humanity in case the Fifty Shades game gets too terrible and we need to say horrible things. Or maybe we can find a way to combine them?

Also, StereoNinja finished editing the spare notes video I made on vacation. Sorry that the first part was so out of focus, but I make up for it by repeating "That's not how you suck a dick" about 97 times. You're welcome. You can watch it here:


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Final Frontier

Me: [My boss] just gave me a model NCC-1701 to build.

StereoNinja: and that is????

Me: The Enterprise. You lose 5 nerd points for that question.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bad Idea, Good Idea

OH MY WIENER YOU GUYS, THIS ACTUALLY EXISTS: Fifty Shades of Grey Party Game

Apparently, you win "inner goddess" tokens when you answer a question right. I DON'T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE AT ALL. StereoNinja and I spent the morning brainstorming a better game with better questions than the example cited in the product description: "Light-hearted and fun questions such as 'Who is most likely to have a hidden tattoo?' ", which as far as I can remember applies to exactly no characters in these books so far. It went like this:

me: Maybe we should invent a better version of it
"your husband is an abusive asshole, go back three spaces"

StereoNinja: haha I like that
you don't know what the internet is, lose a turn

me: HELICOPTERS CAN FLY AT NIGHT?!?!? Pay each player $200 for having to listen to you

StereoNinja: you use your teeth when giving a blow job. go back to start.

me: that should get you kicked out of the game

StereoNinja: or the other players are allowed to punch you directly in the mouth

me: you meet a black person! roll again!

StereoNinja: haha

Here's the thing though: This has given me the BEST IDEA. I've been talking about meeting some of my UK readers one of the times that I come over (I was far too busy on this last trip, sorry everyone!). I'm back in February (dates TBD), but I am thinking, how about if we pick a place to meet up for drinks and I will bring this game and we can play it and make fun of it and swear a lot? Because I really don't think I can get away with NOT reviewing this game (just like I know I'm going to be forced to see the eventual movie to tell you how bad it is), but I need some people to play it with. I think it would be hilarious. Who's in?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Delay

Hey everyone - I read some chapters last night and was all set to write you a nice little ranty review with lots of rage and burning hatred, but then some shit went down this morning and it seemed like posting sarcastic comments about how much Christian sucks at guns would be in exceptionally poor taste today, so I'm going to post that on a different day. Instead I'm going to head home and sort out my vacation photos so I can illustrate some of the nonsense I got up to this last week. I'll post the next review over the weekend.

Great big old sad face, y'all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hiatus

Hey you guys! I haven't forgotten I have a blog or anything, I'm just on vacation. StereoNinja and I decided it was cold in Chicago so we have escaped to Miami for a little while. There will be stories about our crazy times with the Word Whore from Air Out My Shorts, a douchebag art dealer, shenanigans at Walgreens, and hotel remodeling (aka fights with security). There will not be any stories about Christmas dildos. We also made you a video of my leftover notes from Chapters 7 and 8 in which I give good but vague advice on how to perform oral sex. Also StereoNinja bought me a camera light for Christmas so now everyone can see what my face looks like, so there's that. Back soon with more reviews my little candy canes!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Oh Holy Fuck

As she always does, H-Town reminded me this morning about our favorite Christmas song ever. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

50 Shades Drunker

Happy December everyone! StereoNinja has painstakingly edited the drunk video I made of my spare notes from Chapters 4-6 of Fifty Shades Freed into something resembling coherency. He had to cut out some excellent points I had about how Ana is not James Bond because while my point was good, my explanation was unintelligible, and also a part with a REALLY inappropriate show and tell. There's also a link to a page from the show How Stuff Works which contains an alarming number of identical phrases to what E. L. James wrote about Versailles, which makes me very suspicious that she just copied and pasted the entire paragraph. I'm going to organize my notes from Chapters 7 and 8 and record that video tonight or tomorrow. Anyway, enjoy, and I apologize in advance for using the word cunt about 47 times.

Friday, November 30, 2012

On BDSM And Writing About It (Or About Anything)

So there's a discussion going on in the comments of my last book review about an interview of E. L. James on BBC news this week and I had more thoughts than I could fit in a reasonable length comment so here they are.

James says that she read a couple of BDSM books that sparked her curiosity. I wish she had cited what particular books she'd read, or even what kind. Reading BDSM erotica is not the same as reading a BDSM how to do it guide, and as someone who doesn't know anything about it, I'm not even sure whether what she read really was BDSM and not some general erotica that had one spanking scene in it, or even an old copy of Cosmo she mistook for an actual book. But let's say she did. Reading two books is not a whole lot of research, particularly if you are going to go ahead and expand that limited knowledge into three books of your own. There are many facets of BDSM and people have many wide ranging and varying kinks. There is no one size fits all in the community. If she had done any real research, there would not be lines in these books about how Christian didn't have to have detailed conversations with his former subs because they were already experienced and knew what to expect. There would not be lines about Christian having to rub the feeling back into Ana's hands and feet all the time if she had done any reading about safe play (in fact, Ana wouldn't have been bound with cable ties to begin with, that is so dangerous). There would not be a line in Christian's contract that referenced maintaining a risk-free environment. There is no such thing. One of the things that greatly concerns me about these books are the number of people who claim is has changed their lives sexually. If these books caused them to seek out GOOD information about these topics, great, I'm happy for them. But I am also hearing a lot of people defend the quality of these books by saying how much they hate to read, but these books were GREAT! If the people saying that are the same people saying the books changed their lives, I am worried that a lot of people out there are going to wind up getting seriously hurt both physically and emotionally. Which in turn will perpetuate the stereotype that BDSM is sick and wrong and a desire for it indicates that one was abused at some point, or became broken in some sort of traumatic way.

 James says that from those handful of words, she became interested in what would happen if someone who wasn't into BDSM and knew nothing about it met someone who was. Again, if she was REALLY interested in how that would play out, doing the research to find out instead of making up some bullshit in her own head based on the stereotypes she holds about what kind of person would want to do this would not have been that hard because guess what? That happens ALL THE TIME. Seattle based sex-advice columnist Dan Savage (who I would recommend reading to anyone looking for sex positive advice of any kind) frequently points out that there are two kinds of people in the community: those who have always been that way and always knew that about themselves, and those who met/dated/married/fell in love with someone who had those interests and tried them out for their partner and discovered that they really really liked it. It happens a lot, and it happens a lot largely because of the stereotypes about people into BDSM. Because many people grow up with a lot of shame issues involving their kinks due to the way those kinks are perceived by society, and for many people it isn't until much later on in their lives - often after getting into a serious relationship or getting married - that they feel comfortable enough with themselves to come out about their kinks to a partner. So it turns out that scenario James was wondering about is actually pretty common. The woman lives in LONDON. It would not have been hard to find people who had been through this and ask them about it. All she would have to do is google BDSM sex clubs in London, email the contact person who runs it, and ask for help. Most people would have been happy to help educate her. They're good at it, they do it all the time with people who are new to the scene. For her to have written the story that she did in the way that she did it is horrifyingly irresponsible.

James also tells us in the interview that she didn't outline the story at all, that it just "came spilling out" of her. That really couldn't be more obvious. The story follows no logical progression whatsoever and often rambles on for pages and pages about the same thing whenever James got stuck on an idea. But she also makes a comment that when writing without an outline, all you have is what came before in your own story, and on that point I need to call bullshit on her. Because that statement would be true if she had bothered to go back and look at what she's written before, but it is painfully obvious that she doesn't. I have never read a book before whose main characters had such astonishingly inconsistent personalities. Even if you are writing without an outline, once you have established a character, you need to stick with the traits of that character. You can't write a Christian who maintains a mindblowing amount of control over every minute facet of his life, and then suddenly have him squirming and uncomfortable and unable to handle the situation without help when an architect doing work for him makes a pass at him. I'm not sure George R. R. Martin writes with a particularly detailed outline given that his planned trilogy is now going to span seven books (so far), only five of which are finished to date despite the fact he's been writing them for over 20 years. There are dozens of characters he has to keep track of, but every single one of those characters behaves the way the reader would expect them to behave because he thought about who all these people were and what defined each of them as a person before he started writing about them. The story grows out of the way those established characters interact with each other, not the other way around. To decide - on the fly, because you have no outline and no plan - how you want the story to go and then constantly contort your characters to behave in completely different ways from how they've acted before in order to fit some idea you had is a horrible way to write about anything.

The other thing James said in this interview is that she is "embarrassed" because so many men have now read her private fantasies. There would have been a very simple solution to that if the author weren't the real life embodiment of her fuckwit character Ana Steele, which is that if she had a fantasy she didn't want strange men to see, she shouldn't have WRITTEN IT DOWN IN A BOOK AND PUBLISHED IT.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Carol Of The Belts

I haven't talked nearly enough about how it's almost Christmas. Guess what you guys? IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! Please enjoy this dose of Christmas cheer from Here Come The Mummies:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CHEESE

StereoNinja: What are you doing?

me: Boiling water

StereoNinja: tea?

me: Ravioli!

StereoNinja: oh I love ravioli
I think it is my favorite pasta

me: Depends what is inside, but yeah, ravioli is awesome

StereoNinja: meat
or mushroom

me: Today we have two kinds
Beef and Parmesan

StereoNinja: YES

me: And mozzarella and tomatoes

StereoNinja: NO

me: You don't like cheese ravioli?

StereoNinja: I do
I'm just not keen on mozzarella

me: NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

StereoNinja: it's a boring cheese

me: It's good with other things. It doesn't overwhelm everything with cheese taste

StereoNinja: exactly
it's very mild

me: I love it

StereoNinja: I like cheese that gets up, punches you in the face and then sleeps with your wife

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

50 Shades Furious

I read and review Fifty Shades Freed so you don't have to.

The hardest thing about reviewing this book, more so than the first two books, is the fact that nearly every scene has multiple things wrong with it, or shouldn't have happened at all, but most often both. It is getting increasingly hard to not write five paragraphs for any one of hers and explain both why the event would never have occurred at all, AND all the overlapping things that were ridiculous once it did. Also, since Christian and Ana are always both wrong for different reasons, I feel like I should maybe start keeping score of who was the least wrong in every argument so we can see who wins at the end (spoiler: it won't be ME). Keeping score of who is "winning" tends to be extremely harmful to relationships, but this relationship is going nowhere anyway, and frankly I just need something else to do besides scribble notes in all caps and do all the research the author should have done but didn't, otherwise I'm going to hurt someone and I don't want it to be me.

We start off Chapter 7 with Ana explaining that the mysterious saboteur in the server room is Jack Hyde, followed by Christian being pissy with her for knowing what her FORMER BOSS WHO TRIED TO RAPE HER looks like. Though in his defense, the way she describes that she knows it's him - the "line of his jaw", the "shape of his shoulders" - does make me wonder why she was examining him in such minute detail. But hey, maybe she was trying to memorize his build so she could give an accurate description of her assaulter to the police, and she just never got to because her idiot husband never bothered to tell the police. Advantage Ana. Anywhore, Barney in security positively identifies Jack Hyde using facial recognition software (in no universe does a company in Christian's line of work need any such thing unless he's secretly running a casino) and then assures Christian he will "also scan the city CCTV and see if I can track his movements." I almost wanted to give this one to James since she does live in a country that has CCTV everywhere, but it took me 5 whole minutes to do the research so no dice. Seattle has no city wide CCTV coverage. The state of Washington has traffic cameras on major roadways throughout the state, and I found a mention on Boing Boing about someone protesting the CCTV cameras that had been installed at four public parks in the city, but it was from 2008 and there hasn't been a word about it since. This is a good example of what I was talking about above: He can't check the city CCTV because it doesn't exist, but EVEN IF IT DID, you still can't (legally anyway) just hack into the city's CCTV system to track the movements of one specific person. You would need to inform the police who would then either use the CCTV or not at their discretion to find him IF they felt it was warranted. Knock it the fuck off, James, Christian isn't the goddamn Batman.

Ana then goes off to make sandwiches for them (sub sandwiches because HAHA GET IT?), which is where Christian finds her and makes some dumb comment about her being barefoot in the kitchen. Ana asks if he meant to add "and pregnant" and this is the first time it dawns on them to discuss whether either of them wants to have children and when. Three weeks AFTER the wedding. This discussion is short, and then they move on to the much more important topic of the plans for the new house. Fab, guys, you will make awesome parents. Ana asks if Christian wants to put in a playroom and he is completely taken aback by the question. Not because his sexually ignorant wife made such a bold suggestion, but because "this will be a family home." And god in heaven knows, you simply can't have kinks AND children at the same time. You know what? I'm actually fine with that particular stupidism, it just gives me one more fabulous reason to avoid breeding.

The next day, Ana goes to work ("You know you don't have to do this," Christian reminds her for the 423,346,348,936th time) and everyone but her assistant and the moron at the door are treating her with barely disguised hostility, which for once she has enough social awareness to know is because she was handed a job she didn't earn and isn't qualified for because her husband owns the company. Speaking of her husband, an hour after dropping her off he emails her to complain that his first email bounced back to him because she hasn't changed her email address yet. Which is because she didn't want to change her name and hasn't told him, but that doesn't make it any more reasonable to expect that the first thing she would do after three weeks away from a job she's only just learning how to do is to make fucking sure her email has her magic new married name attached to it. She responds to his email telling him she doesn't want to change her name at work and she will explain why later on at home. She doesn't get an email back and assumes this means he's ok. Honest to fuck, I don't understand how she can be the one married to him yet I know him about a trillion times better. You are in so much trouble, Ana.

The reason for his lack of a response becomes clear a couple hours later, when Christian (I am fucking serious, you guys, what in the shit does this man actually DO?) storms into the office to chew her out over this point. In the course of this, he manages to refer to her as an "asset" in need of "rebranding" and that he likes to stop by the companies he owns to keep management sharp and "wives in their place." IN THEIR PLACE. IN THEIR MOTHERFUCKING PLACE. I honestly don't give a shit whether Ana's argument is stupid or not, she has won this contest already (my contest, she has no hope of winning autonomy from her husband at her job). Not that I'm not angry with her. Because oh no, not wanting to change her name has hurt Christian right in his tender little feelings! She never wants to hurt his feelings! He just showed up to your job to put you in your place and call you an asset as if you were actual property that could be owned. FUCK his feelings. Fuck his feelings with an entire goddamn rose bush. Other completely retarded statements he makes during this argument:
  • "I want everyone to know that you're mine."/"It's not enough." That she MARRIED him. She married him and it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST SEW HER TO YOUR SHIRT LIKE A MERIT BADGE SO EVERYONE WILL KNOW.
  • "I want your world to begin and end with me." Followed almost immediately by genuine shock that she feels suffocated. You could not be more suffocating if you held a plastic bag against her face with a pillow on top of it and a rope around her neck and you are underwater AND ALSO IN SPACE.
He goes on to explain that in addition to coming by to "deal with my errant wife" (Jesus fucking fuck), he also wanted to tell her that he was planning to change the name of the company to Grey Publishing (presumably because he just likes to see his name written on things since there is no real marketing reason to do this) and that in a year's time he's going to give it to Ana - as a wedding present. By the way, this is a wedding present she's going to spend the rest of this chapter and the next one repeatedly trying to explain to him she doesn't want. She has her dream job now, she doesn't know how to run a company, she doesn't WANT to run a company, she doesn't want anything at all to do with this plan. None of which matters, because Christian is on a roll now, trying to bribe her to do something she doesn't want to do by insisting that she do ANOTHER thing she doesn't want to do. But he's sure it will all be fine and here's why: "You are also the most well-read person I know." Because CLEARLY having read several books makes a person with no business experience and who couldn't find her head if it wasn't attached to her neck qualified to run a fucking company. How in the name of Lindsay Lohan's skidmarked underpants have you had any success in business EVER if these are the sort of business decisions you make? Where did you acquire these amazing skills, Christian, Enron? Why do I get the feeling that if anyone took a look at how your companies actually operate they would find nothing but fraud and waste and breathtaking corruption? Because I have not seen you make one single sound decision about anything business related AND you have time to STALK YOUR WIFE ALL DAY LONG EVERY SINGLE DAY, so it seems like the only way you could have built an empire like this is through fraud, crime, or suspiciously good luck (which is likely to turn out to be fraud or crime).

Sorry, I got a little off track there. Anyway, she eventually gives in to all his demands, but she's still angry about it when they get home  ("I thought we had sorted all this in your office." CHOKE ON A DICK) so they fight some more even though the outcome will ultimately be the same, mainly because James wants to have Christian say more misogynistic and patronizing things since SEXISM IS SUPER FUCKING ROMANTIC: "Don't be mad. You're so precious to me. Like a priceless asset, like a child." FUCK YOU CHRISTIAN, I HOPE YOU GET TEABAGGED BY A GANG OF ELEPHANTS.

Chapter 8 consists of three things: Ana behaves like a psycho, Ana gets off playing Tune In Tokyo, and Christian gets a haircut. Or if you look at it another way, one thing: Amber wonders if jumping out her third floor bedroom window will kill her or at least put her in a prolonged coma. Gia Matteo is the architect Christian and Ana have chosen to remodel their new house. She is, of course, one of the finest architects in all of Seattle if not the world. Ana despises her because she is obviously trying to steal Christian, but she doesn't want to fire her because her drawings are breathtaking. Even in terms of first world problems this isn't a problem. Guess what, Ana? There are other architects, and you have enough money to hire any or probably ALL of them. Fuck, you could probably afford to have Frank Lloyd Wright exhumed and have his body reanimated so he can build you a pretty house. HIRE SOMEONE ELSE. She's not going to consider the most obvious option though. No, instead when Gia comes over to discuss the drawings, Ana is going to dress like a tart, because hey lady, two can play the "I am a desperate slut with no self esteem" game! Certainly the most mature way to deal with people who dare think you have an attractive husband. This scene is one of the finest examples of "everything is wrong with it" I have ever seen. James has really outdone herself with this one. Because for starters what's about to happen would never actually happen. I don't care how good an architect you are, if you behave grossly inappropriately toward your clients, let alone right in front of their wives' faces, you will no longer have any clients. So when Gia comes in and virtually ignores Ana while getting uncomfortably close to Christian and flirtatiously touches his arm, I am once again reminded that E.L. James isn't going to let plausibility get in the way of writing the soap opera she wants to write. But even if you can suspend disbelief that the scene even exists, what happens in it STILL doesn't make sense. When Gia touches Christian, who we know from two and a half books worth of nauseatingly frequent reminders HATES TO BE TOUCHED and must CONTROL ALL THE THINGS, his response is to timidly take a step away from her, say nothing at all about it, and wait for Ana to come stand in between them, giving her a relieved look at being "rescued". THEN, when Christian leaves the room for some urgent matter with Taylor, Ana goes into full on jealous psychopath mode and threatens Gia several times to stay away from her man OR ELSE. And then another thing that would never happen happens: Gia becomes terrified of Ana and suddenly starts to treat her with respect. In real life, no commission is worth having to deal with an unhinged crazy bitch who has hallucinated some sort of threat to her marriage, and certainly not the greatest architect since god, and a real life Gia Matteo would have said "fuck this shit" and walked away from the job. The only thing that could have made this scene any more preposterous is if they got into an actual Jerry Springer style cat fight (it comes close though - Ana thinks to herself at one point "Yeah bitch, mine" which is exactly the kind of thing you would hear on Springer, but she doesn't say it out loud).

After that debacle and another several pages of the same argument about her name they've had twice already, Ana decides that Christian needs a haircut so she's going to do it all super romantic-like and drags him in the bathroom to sensuously wash his hair, which is when I make a horrified choking noise in my throat and write "please god no, don't do this." The haircut doesn't go so well at first because they haven't fucked in FIVE WHOLE MINUTES. The hair washing is interrupted by Christian who is overwhelmed with lust over it, so he ties Ana's hands behind her back with her underwear and more or less gives her a titty twister until she comes everywhere. While this is happening he tells her how beautiful her breasts are and how he's going to fuck them someday. I'm not sure why that day isn't today and actually right now, but I'm in better shape than Ana is over that statement: What the hell does that mean? she wonders. Oh my god, I hate you. Ok, fine, you've never done that before, but you are having sex ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE, you must understand the mechanics by now, you should be able to sort this one out yourself without breaking all three of your brain cells. When Ana comes (the second time) while sitting on Christian's magical Boner of Ecstasy, she starts crying, which she does pretty much every single time she has an orgasm, and frankly I hope she drowns in her emo, emo tears. Especially after she thinks "After all our arguing today, my frustration with him, his with me - we still have this." Holy bananas do you suck at life. Hey, at least we have sex since the rest of our relationship is fucking terrible!

Once Ana's teargasm has subsided, she remembers that the whole point of this exercise was to cut Christian's hair, so she goes down the hall to his study to get some scissors and two things happen. The first is that she happens to see Taylor and Mrs. Jones kissing and HOLY SHIT IT IS EXPLOSIVE NEWS. Just to Ana, though - Christian already knows and points out that they are both adults and single and free to do whatever the fuck they want. But Ana just can't wrap her head around this because - no, for real this is her ACTUAL reason - "I always thought Mrs. Jones was older than Taylor." The woman ALWAYS has to be younger, how else will the man be able to romantically treat her like a helpless child? YOU ARE SUCH AN ASSHOLE ANA. The second thing that happens is while going through Christian's desk looking for scissors she finds a gun. Fully loaded. In an unlocked drawer. Despite multiple attempts on his life, a high speed car chase, and a mentally unstable ex stalking them, Ana is totally perplexed about why Christian would have a gun. I am only perplexed by the fact that every other sentence out of Christian's mouth hole is about how he is so afraid of anything ever happening to Ana, and keeping a loaded weapon in an unlocked drawer in an unlocked room in an apartment housing at least two other people besides Christian and Ana that has already had its security breached once by a woman who was so disoriented she couldn't even wash herself is pretty much the definition of asking for an accident to happen in which Ana gets killed. In fact, the only law of gun safety he hasn't violated right here is that he apparently doesn't sleep with a loaded gun under his fucking pillow. YET. P.S. This is the second gun you've mentioned in this alleged love story, Ms. James...you DO know that the stereotype of "every single American owns a gun" is not actually true, right? Right? Ana doesn't mention the gun to Christian when she goes back to finish cutting his hair, because if there's one thing they are both good at, it's never ever discussing anything important until it becomes a fucking crisis. Instead the chapter ends with her cutting his hair, another argument about her running a company, her fundamentally misunderstanding something he said earlier in a way that makes him panic, and frantic, desperate sex that solves everything. So, basically EXACTLY THE SAME FUCKING THING AS EVERY OTHER SHITTY PAGE OF THIS SHITTY ASS BOOK OF SHIT. SHIT.

Oh, the tally for these two chapters is Ana - 2, Christian - nil (I am counting the half dozen fights about the same fucking thing as just one long extra stupid thing).

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Lame Excuses

I've started writing a couple different posts for today, but one will never be finished in time (the next review, which will only cover two chapters because HOLY BALLS ALL OF THE STUPID), and the other one I got 90% finished with before I realized I wasn't emotionally prepared to post that announcement yet (or maybe I am, but I need to talk to a few more people so they don't find out the news from my blog instead of in person because they will be maybe not so pleased if I tell the entire internets first). So basically, you get a new review tomorrow!, a new video maybe tomorrow, but definitely soon (it's being edited), and a major life announcement whenever I stop dragging my feet and tell my family anything that goes on in my life.

In much more important news, there are ONLY 47 DAYS LEFT UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Factory Of False Hope

So the Browns beat the Steelers today for the first time in years and only the third time in their last 25 meetings. Which I'm happy about, but, you know, not actually happy, just Browns happy. Because the hardest thing about being a Browns fan is that over time you will learn to never, ever get excited. They will let you down in the end if you give them enough time. With all the other sportsball teams I follow, when my team has a lead I can relax and enjoy the game. When the Browns have a lead, I can't enjoy anything because I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I spent all of the last three minutes of today's game with my eyes squeezed shut and my heart pounding with anxiety wondering how they would screw it up. They didn't, and I got to be genuinely happy at the end of the game. For about 12 seconds. Until it dawned on me we have to play them again on their home field in a month and Ben Rapistberger will probably be back by then and oh yeah, I'm a Browns fan. Let's try to enjoy it (well, Browns enjoy it) while it lasts, other Browns fans, before we go back to this:


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meaningless Post To Make My Quota

I made a video today after getting drunk with StereoNinja which may or may not make any sense. I tried watching it, but I was gesturing a lot and it was making me dizzy since I was still drunk. Then I passed out. Then I woke up in the middle of the night from Fringe nightmares (I KNEW IT) and remembered that I didn't get around to posting anything for today. Then I wrote this crappy explanation and (hopefully) went back to sleep. Worst NaBloPoMo post ever. But a video is coming, so there's that.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Damn You, Science Channel

I've spent almost the entire day today watching Fringe on Science Channel, which is really, really stupid because this is exactly the sort of show that will give me nightmares. After I collapsed from making dinner for five hours and then eating the crap out of it yesterday, I spent a good part of the evening watching Dark Matters, also on the Science Channel, which I got completely obsessed with last season even though it scares the shit out of me. So basically, the Science Channel is stealing my days and is probably about to steal my night as well. If that show about extrasolar planets is on tomorrow I might end up fused to the couch forever. DAMN IT, SCIENCE, STOP BEING INTERESTING.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things I Learned This Thanksgiving

1. My least favorite knife to cut myself with while cooking is a serrated bread knife.
2. The Jets suck even worse than I thought, and I thought they sucked giant purple donkey balls.
3. Eating 900 pounds of food makes me too tired to get drunk. I'll do it tomorrow.
4. Getting drunk is a weird chore anyway.
5. Jason Bourne is delicious.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve And Responsibilities


Many apologies for the very late (ok, fine, backdated, but only by like half an hour - if I were in California right now this would totally count) and mostly substanceless NaBloPoMo post today. It's the day before Thanksgiving here in America, or as I like to call it "Practice Christmas" (I am the only person who calls it that as well as the only person who thinks it's funny), which meant that after I got home from work I needed to bake a pie, cube some bread, clean the dining room, and take Jason Bourne swimming. I should point out that Jason Bourne is what I named our turkey this year due to his being super fucking awesome but having no idea who he is.
WHAT IS TREADSTONE?!?

 Depending on how much of a cheeseball you are, you may find that name not quite as hilarious as what I named my turkey last year, Tennille. Right before he went in the oven I set the bottle of Captain Morgan I was drinking next to him so I could take a photo of The Captain and Tennille. Tennille Two wouldn't have worked for this turkey though since the only rum I have in the house right now is Sailor Jerry*. ANYWANK - Jason Bourne went swimming for a few hours in a pool of brine I lovingly made him so he can be all nice and juicy when I cook his awesome ass tomorrow, assuming he doesn't somehow reanimate in the middle of the night and kill me with his amazing headless turkey stealth. My point is I had a lot to do, as I will tomorrow, so that post will probably be some rambling bullshit just like this. THE GOOD NEWS IS that I plan to get drunk at dinner and then do some reading after the bartender goes to work, which is likely to lead to a video of the result. If we're very lucky, StereoNinja will be able to garner a few minutes that make sense and where I'm not making out with the camera lens and then you guys will get to see it. He is a genius. Though not a real ninja**.

One other Thanksgiving fact for you guys: The number of times I will have to see Planes Trains and Automobiles to be able to watch it without crying at the end is somewhere between infinity and whatever is bigger than that.

*Also that would be funnier if I spelled it Tennille Too. Shut up, I'm really tired.
**OR IS HE?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Have The Coolest Readers

Here's how you know you've made it, internet-wise. I was hanging out on Twitter yesterday with a couple of friendly Bizzybiz readers (Hi!) and they told me they invented a drinking game based on my reviews:


@amberance We've turned your reviews into a drinking game. Drink when you laugh. Drink when Ana is a moron. Drink when Christian is a dick...


I mentioned they may be endangering their livers. StereoNinja thinks they should film it. He is also jealous because he is not a drinking game. (He is also not really a ninja*.)Point is, A DRINKING GAME HAS HAPPENED AND YOU GUYS SHOULD TOTALLY PLAY IT.

* OR IS HE?

Monday, November 19, 2012

50 Shades Ridiculous

It has become clear to me that E.L. James watched every Bond movie ever back to back before writing the second two books, because it is obvious she has a checklist of things that are "exciting" and she is bound and determined to include every single fucking one of them regardless of how regoddamndiculous they are or whether they do anything to advance the overall plot. But we'll come back to that.

The nonsense in Chapter 4 begins right off the bat. Ana decides she wants to go shopping in town and also take the jet ski to shore, but when she tells Taylor this he visibly shrinks back and says that allowing her to do any such thing would imperil his job. This is 100% true and I'm not sure why he doesn't get a better job. Ana's not having it, because she's a strong confident woman who can make her own decisions! Except, you know, NO SHE FUCKING ISN'T. So she marches into Christian's office and announces in no uncertain terms that she is going shopping and will be taking the jet ski to do so. This is the claim she makes to Taylor anyway. In reality she is flat out lying to him because her husband terrifies her. What she REALLY did was go into his office and meekly state that she would like to go shopping and will take security with her, without ever mentioning the jet ski. He approves this plan, she points out, without asking any other questions, because he is preoccupied with the fire back in Seattle, the implication being that if he were not distracted she would have been grilled endlessly about her intentions on this "shopping" trip. Such a trusting marriage already, three weeks in! I write in my notes "this relationship is sickening."

Outside, Taylor is teaching her how a jet ski works, which takes ages, and then once she gets it going, instead of going to shore she decides to race full speed around the boat a couple times, drawing Christian out onto the deck. Guess who is not happy? And guess who, just as he predicted, gets an irate phone call from Christian asking what in the actual fuck he was thinking letting Christian's completely inept wife ride a jet ski ALL BY HERSELF? Once on shore, Taylor relays Christian's displeasure to Ana who is instantly remorseful - Christian has so much else to deal with, and then she goes and upsets him by doing something any normal adult married to another normal adult should not need "permission" to do! How could she do this to him? What was she thinking? I'm left confused again, as I am more and more with every turn of the page. Is Christian an unreasonable, controlling, abusive prick? Or is Ana a thoughtless, self centered, entitled princess who is also genuinely incapable of handling the responsibilities of an adult? Or both? HELP ME YOU GUYS I DON'T KNOW WHO TO HATE ANYMORE.

So Ana goes shopping and buys herself a little ankle bracelet for 5 euros because she is just not comfortable wearing that 30,000 euro bracelet from Christian and money won't change her you guys! SHUT. UP. Telling me the exact cost of the inexpensive things you buy does nothing to make you appear LESS obsessed with money. Look at you. We know who you married. If a broke ass recent graduate you were dating tried to treat you the way Christian treats you you would be out of there in a heartbeat. You married for money, Ana, so why don't you just go ahead and own it? She also decides to get Christian a present - a camera for taking photos of her (which apparently he can't do with the camera he already owns). Thing is, she doesn't know shit about cameras. Not a problem though, because Jose does! So she calls him, waking him up since it's the middle of the goddamn night in Portland, but fuck it, the whole world revolves around Ana, why be considerate of anyone else?

When Ana gets back, Christian is mercifully already over her transgression with the jet ski, but if they aren't going to fight about that, they are sure as fuck going to argue about something else, so when Ana gives Christian his new camera and tells him what she's hoping he'll do with it, instead of being excited it makes him fucking miserable. Christian, you see, has only ever taken photos of his lovers for the purposes of blackmail. At no time ever did it occur to him that he could actually also use them as wank fodder. He finds the gift confusing. Would taking nudie pics of his wife AT HER OWN REQUEST make him a misogynist? Is this the slippery slope that will lead him back to the path of darkness and dysfunction that James feels characterizes all BDSM activities? Christian shuts down and won't talk to her, so Ana goes into a tailspin for many pages wondering how she went so wrong and does this have something to do with his dead mother and what can she do to fix this huge mistake...the only thing I write in this whole section is "MELODRAMA". I don't even remember how she manages to bring him back to his happy place. All I know it that eventually they fuck and it solves everything, exactly the way life works in real life.

The next day, after an afternoon at Versailles, Ana is online checking her email to make sure everyone is missing her the appropriate amount when a fucking miracle happens: KATE INSTANT MESSAGES HER ON SKYPE. I write "FINALLY JESUS FUCK." Ana has finally discovered something on the internet that people decades her senior who did not even grow up having constant access to the internet have been using with great success and regularity for years. Ana, we also have these amazing things called electric lightbulbs that let you see stuff at night, you should check them out, it's way beyond our time. Anyway, Kate and all of Seattle are abuzz about the fire and wondering if it is arson. Christian has confirmed previously that this was the case, and apparently someone did eventually bother to inform the police, but Ana can't tell Kate because for some reason SHHH DIS A SEKRET.

Chapter 5 - The Stupid Explodes. The honeymoon is over, and for some reason Christian and Ana take a commercial flight home. And while jet lag is absolutely to be expected in this situation, Ana's amazement that she's been awake for eighteen whole hours in a row! is not impressive to me. When you get up to around 30 hours or more, call me and I'll tell you about the time that not only was I up for that long, but my evil friends in Hitchin got me completely pissed AND THEN I got up at 7 the next morning and rode roller coasters the entire day. This is point where we begin all manor of in your face foreshadowing about Ana's pregnancy, with Christian pointing out that Ana has "put on a little weight" on their honeymoon. Later, Ana asks if Christian would ever let her drive the Audi and he tells her yes but  not to dent it and she gets SUPER FUCKING PISSED because he OBVIOUSLY LOVES HIS CAR MORE THAN HE LOVES HER. PREGNANT BITCHES BE CRAZY Y'ALL.

The next day they go over to his parents' house for the day and Ana is bitchy and out of sorts the entire time because I wonder if she's pregnant. After the party, Christian tells her that now is her chance and she can drive the Audi! Elated at this show of trust, she respects it and drives carefully home. Haha just kidding! She IMMEDIATELY fucking floors it the second they are out of the driveway and leaves their security team in the dust. Eventually she slows down when she realizes she has upset Christian, surprised as always that her irresponsible selfish actions get her the exact reaction she intended. It is at this point that Christian gets a phone call setting off a series of events that made me throw the book across the room twice. THEY ARE BEING FOLLOWED YOU GUYS. The security team knows this because there is a car with fictitious plates directly behind them. At no point is it explained how they managed to run someone's plates without the help of the police or access to the state motor vehicle database, or whether or not they are running the plates of every single car Christian shares the road with just in case there's bad guys lurking. Christian and the security team know exactly what to do, though: they instruct Ana that when she gets to the highway, she should start driving as fast as she can. Ana is concerned about this because oh my god, what if she gets pulled over by the police and gets a ticket? Christian tells her, rightly, that that would actually be a good thing because then the police would be involved. What he does not do, nor anyone else in their entourage, is ACTUALLY CALL 911 AND INVOLVE THE POLICE. (throws book) For once Ana does as she is told. She pushes the car past 110 miles an hour and additionally weaves recklessly in and out of traffic and cuts across multiple lanes because a good way to solve the problem of someone chasing you is to make sure you also endanger the lives of every single other person on the road by driving like a fucking asshole. And hey, as long as you're not calling the police to report a suspicious car following you, why not also decide not to drive directly to the nearest police station like a sane person would, and instead lead your pursuer STRAIGHT TO YOUR FUCKING HOME? (throws book) Actually, they didn't, they pulled off in a parking lot a couple blocks from home to see if the mysterious pursuer would notice. He/she doesn't and instead proceeds to their home and, according to security, "cases the joint". I don't have time to wonder exactly what the fucking plan would have been if they HAD been followed into the parking lot, because Ana is so shaken up from the experience that they are going to have to fuck right there in the car, immediately, even though someone apparently wishing them harm is still driving around somewhere looking for them. I don't even

In Chapter 6 they get back to the apartment. It turns out the car sex just wasn't enough sex to calm Ana's frayed nerves, so they end up spending the bulk of the chapter in the playroom having what would be entirely forgettable sex if it weren't the first time Ana had a tiny butt plug up her ass. Also, she is bent over (gasp!) a table! That husband of hers is so very naughty. She actually says naughty right there. Once the sex is over and everything has calmed down, Christian has a minor freak out because if something happened to Ana he wouldn't know what to do with himself. Not that this stopped him from telling her to drive like wannabe crash test dummy just an hour before. Christian goes off to get "debriefed" on the situation by his security team (who also get screamed at for losing them in traffic since they should be omniscient and know his dumb ass wife is going to drive like she stole the damn thing), and Ana decides she's going to wash the butt plug, despite the fact that she knows nothing at all about sex toys or how to properly sterilize them. On the way, she runs into the housekeeper and becomes super embarrassed because she probably knows that Ana and Christian have sex, a fact which no one except Ana would find scandalizing and in fact they probably don't ever think about it at all. Ana takes this opportunity to continue complaining about how very hard it is to be rich and have a staff. I write "go fuck bears."

Ana goes off to the library to have a think, not exactly one of her strengths. She first thinks about how badly Christian is going to react when she tells him she wants to continue to go by the name Steele professionally, especially since they argue constantly about whether she should be working at all. I am confused again. In real life, I think the decision to change one's name to that of one's spouse is a personal decision and none of anyone else's business. I have no plans to ever get married, but if I did I certainly wouldn't want to change mine, I fucking love my surname. If it were that important to my spouse that we have the same name, I'd be happy to share mine. However, in this case, Ana HAS changed her name to Grey, she only wants to use Steele "professionally". Again, lots of people do this, but most of those people have established careers at the point where they make this decision. Ana is 21 years old and has been working in publishing for about two months now, three weeks of which she was away on her honeymoon. She has no established career. Based on her character and how desperately she wants to morph with Christian into a single physical entity, I feel like the only reason for her to make this decision is because James wants them to fight over it. They will, I'm sure, even though Christian's OWN MOTHER goes by her maiden name professionally. Anyway, after she thinks about that, she downloads the photos off the memory card from Christian's new camera and discovers he has covertly taken HUNDREDS of photos of her. YOU GUYS ISN'T THAT SO ROMANTIC AND NOT FUCKING CREEPY AT ALL? Ana is suddenly overwhelmed by her feelings for Christian, because WHAT IF SOMETHING EVER HAPPENED TO HIM? so she runs sobbing into his office to "check that he's safe." She finds him on the phone with a security guy from his office, which in no way stops her from climbing into his lap like a frightened child. Christian is looking at his monitor, where the security team has enhanced the video from inside the server room showing a mysterious figure lurking there on the day of the fire. Ana looks up from her weeping and realizes that HOLY SHIT she knows who it is!

Guess what? It's her ex-boss/attempted rapist Jack Hyde! Thank god someone solved that mystery! I was beginning to fear we would never know who wants to kill Christian. Besides me.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

50 Shades Bonus Video #1

I've done the reading and I'm going to start writing the next review in a few hours following 1) a nap and 2) football watching. In the meantime, here is the video of my spare notes from the first three chapters. Please disregard my frequent gesturing to my crotch. Or don't, I don't know your preferences.




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bah Humbug

The bartender and I have spent the past few days arguing because we can't figure out what to get each other for Christmas this year.

The bartender: See? I'm easy to buy for. You can get me Dragon software, and a little bottle of cologne...

Me: That's two things.

The bartender: It's two more than you.

Me: I already said! You can get me socks with kitties on them...

The bartender: Great. Socks.

Me: ...and...another pair of kitty socks...See? That's two things right there.

The bartender: Oh my god, shut up.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Silver Medal Try, But No

Despite advice to the contrary from an interested party with ulterior motives, posting a strategically framed photo of myself nude and inviting my readers to play a game I invented called "Tits or Knees" is not something I am actually drunk enough to do. I probably was at the time of suggestion, but then I drank a crap ton of milk and watched old episodes of Doctor Who for three hours until I sobered up enough to realize that that was dumb and to type well enough for spell check to guess what I was actually trying to say. Sorry, pervs.

Besides, it was definitely knees.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

AGAIN.

You know what would be awesome? If people who moved into my building actually knew their address. Alternatively, it would be awesome if the utility companies did anything at all to verify that they have the correct address before closing someone's account.

I got a "final bill" today from my electric company. I did not at any point cancel my service and I enjoy having electricity as it is hard to power a laptop with hamsters on wheels and I have a blog to write, so I did something that I absolutely dread and phoned the electric company to find out what the hell was going on. Thing is though, I already knew what was going on. Someone new moved into my building and called to set up their service, but didn't quite know what unit number to use and ended up giving them mine. Then the electric company cancelled my account despite my not calling to say I was moving because hey! Why double check that? The reason I know this is what happened is because this is the THIRD TIME. The last time it happened I not only had to call, argue with, and eventually go through the hassle of setting up a new account (for whatever reason if they close your account by accident they can't just reopen it, you have to get a whole new account number, and then re-set up any electronic bill delivery or payment you had going on before which takes a month or two to kick in, it is SUPER CONVENIENT), but I also spent several months arguing with the post office because they stopped delivering my mail, which I eventually solved not because of anything they did to help me but because I outsmarted them.

So far my gas bill appears to be fine, but I will be watching my mailbox like a hawk for the next few days because I ordered a shit ton of Christmas presents that I need before the end of the month or I will not be a happy bunny.

In completely unrelated news, I have just recorded a video with my outtake notes from the first three chapters and have sent it to StereoNinja who will hopefully make my aimless ranting into some kind of coherent order worthy of the internets.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Got Nuthin'

I'm having some serious writer's block tonight, either because I did actual work all day long and nothing interesting happened, or because two and a half hours of stripper classes is fucking exhausting. Therefore, I will be cheapening the NaBloPoMo experience tonight by simply posting a video of something else that has nothing to do with me, other than this being the woman who just put me through an evening of very fun torture that I will no doubt be paying for with soreness for the next two days.

Here is Michelle L'Amour in "The Most Naked Woman".


Michelle L'amour in "The Most Naked Woman" from franky vivid on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

H-Town Rescues Me From The Internets

H-Town:  jesus christ on a pogo stick
a facebook friend just shared "I Fucking Love Science's" FB photo for today
DO NOT LOOK AT IT
 
me:  It has to be spiders. now i am afraid.
no facebook for me today
 
H-Town:  yeah, it's spiders
and it's awful
don't risk it
 
me: there needs to be another facebook page called "Fuck You, Science" where they put all the horrible things

Monday, November 12, 2012

50 Shades Tedious

I read and review Fifty Shades Freed so you won't have to.

Reading this book is absolutely draining. I am four chapters in and I'm still waiting for there to be any kind of plot at all. So far it's been nothing but stupid fights, boring fucks, and Ana reciting the monetary value of every fucking thing Christian touches. Also I've become a terrible person, because despite Christian's terrible and blatantly abusive behavior, I find myself constantly engaging in victim blaming. 

The book opens with the now obligatory prologue in which Christian has a nightmare/flashback about hanging out with the corpse of his dead mother, then wakes up and tells Ana that she's the only one who can save him from his epic sad, which is basically the same thing as saying "if you ever leave me I'll kill myself". So, you know, off to fun, abusey start.

Chapter 1 starts (depending on which estimate of time you want to use, since James couldn't decide and had Ana make several contradictory statements) either a month or six weeks after the last book ended, meaning Ana and Christian have known each other roughly three months. THEY ARE ON THEIR HONEYMOON. Lest you think (as I did before all my hopes were crushed) we get to skip all the inane melodrama we know ensued in between, James has adopted a new writing style that involves constant flashbacks preceded by terribly contrived set ups. In the present, though, Ana and Christian are on a beach in the south of France, having a scream inducing conversation about whether Christian would be ok with Ana taking her top off on the beach. Surprising no one, he would not. In fact, he is not particularly happy with her being dressed only in a bikini as it is. ON THE BEACH. Ana thinks to herself "Oh, Christian...my possessive, jealous, control freak Christian." because it is SO ROMANTIC to be threatened and controlled constantly. I write in my notes "I hope he kills you."

They decide to go for a swim, during which Christian jokes that they should fuck in the water in full view of everyone. Ana gets very excited at this prospect. Apparently she just met her husband five minutes ago - the idea that he would allow anyone else to view her having sex is absolutely ludicrous and it is proof of Ana's monumental stupidity that she thinks this is something that could actually occur. The entire point of the scene is to set up a situation where Ana feels she needs to do something childish because she didn't get exactly what she wanted: "...what can I do to get him back?" she thinks, before deciding the obvious thing to do is take her top off exactly the way he just told her not to.

Before we get to the fight scene though, it's time for a flashback to their wedding, at which every single person she knows warns her that she's making a huge mistake, including herself: "Marry in haste, repent at leisure. The saying haunts me." Oh everyone, except her mother that is. Carla's well reasoned parental advice is to remind Ana that men are from a different planet. Excellent, I'm sure that hyperbolic and vague statement will solve all their problems.

After the wedding, Ana and Christian are driven to the airport by Taylor so they can leave on their honeymoon. Here James inserts one of her most utterly stupid details to date when she has Taylor drive Ana and Christian right onto the tarmac at the airport without having to stop and prove to a single person who they are or that they belong there. Clearly James was visiting Mars on the day people decided to fly planes into the tallest buildings on the planet 11 years ago. It's the only excuse for thinking it would be possible to do anything like what she wrote.

Ana and Christian get on his private plane and meet the flight crew. We've been to this party before: Ana is out of her element because ermigerd a private plane! and is instantly jealous of every damn person they'll be flying with because every one of them is eyefucking the shit out of Christian. Christian finally condescends to tell her where they are going on their honeymoon (a decision in which she had no input whatsoever). They are going to London, and then Paris, and then the south of France. But before they get to London they have to stop to refuel. In Ireland. Which, if you have enough fuel to get to Ireland I imagine you probably have enough to get to England. I checked the commercial airlines and you can fly non-stop from Seattle to London, but even the one stop flights all stopped somewhere near the middle of the trip like in Vancouver or New York. Refueling 8 hours into your 9 hour flight is ridiculous. After dinner it's time to fuck, but not before Ana is astonished to find out that you can, in fact, fuck in an airplane ("oh...here?") and then three sentences later remembering that that is actually a thing ("...the mile high club. I've heard about this.") Awful sex happens, and then he makes a comment about touching down in the Emerald Isle and Ana thinks "Oh my...I'd forgotten. Europe." Which he told her about five fucking minutes ago and she was SO EXCITED as she has always wanted to go to Europe. You didn't forget Ana. Your creator is just a terrible writer.

FLASHBACK OVER and TIME TO FIGHT! Chapter 2 starts with Christian in the blindest rage we've seen from him yet standing over a topless Ana, screaming at her about the fact that she can be seen by both the security crew that trails them everywhere (seriously) AND the paparazzi, because Christian is so famous and important. Mind you they are on a topless beach and Ana points out rightly that wearing her bikini top makes her stand out even more since she's the only person wearing one. However, I have sided with her abuser and I hate myself for it. Should Christian dictate what she does and doesn't wear 100% of the time and fly into a blind rage every time she is disobedient? Of course not, but she knows perfectly well who the fuck she married, in fact she finds it FUCKING ADORABLE, so if she's going to DELIBERATELY FUCKING ANTAGONIZE HIM on a near CONSTANT basis, I'm sorry, but she does not get to act surprised when he flies of the handle and she ESPECIALLY doesn't get to say things like "I thought Christian would see the funny side..." NO YOU FUCKING DIDN'T. YOU FUCKING KNEW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN YOU BRAINLESS FUCKING FUCK.

Christian decrees that they are going back to the boat they are staying on. He and Ana are taking the jet ski, the security crew (Taylor, and a couple French guys named Philippe and Gaston because of course they are) are following in the motorboat. There is no explanation given at any time of why they can't just all go in the motorboat. Back at the boat Christian outwardly appears to calm down when Ana asks if she's going to be punished. I, however, do not calm down, because his answer to that question is "Anastasia, you're my wife, not my sub." I write "Those aren't mutually exclusive things you judgemental prick." He goes on to talk about the boat they are on and how unfathomably rich he is. The boat belongs to a British knight, whose daughter is married to "one of the crown princes of Europe." It is apropos of nothing really, but James hasn't worked out how to be subtle about her new found literary device, so this conversation has to happen so that Ana can ask if the knight is rich like Christian because he needs to respond "and like you" because it's time for another flashback about the prenup argument. The wavy lines and "doo-doo-ly-doo, doo-doo-ly-doo" from Wayne's World is much more subtle than this.

In the flashback, Ana and Christian are sitting around with his parents and siblings, chilling and reading the paper, when Mia finds an article about the engagement which contains the joking line "Bet she's reading one helluva prenup." Christian obviously has no intention of there being any prenup because HE'S IN LOVE, even though he is a billionaire and she is drowning in student loan debt, not to mention the fact that they barely know each other and fight fucking constantly. His father is not a fan of this plan, and his entire family proceeds to argue about this with him as though Ana were not sitting right there in the same fucking room, proving that money buys neither tact nor class. I hate all these fucking people.

FLASHBACK OVER and ALMOST TIME TO FUCK. But first two things happen: Ana begins her obnoxious litany of narrating the cost of every single thing Christian buys her, and she escalates the descriptions of what her subconscious is doing to heretofore unseen heights of absurdity. In case you were wondering (I was not), her bikini that she only bothered to wear half of cost what Ana believes to be the obscene amount of $540. In the glamorous world of Hollywood, that would be considered a bargain. To her multi-billionaire husband it's the equivalent of a nickel. On the way to fuck, Christian tells her not to pee and "My subconscious looks up from her book - The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, Volume One - with alarm." No. Goddamn it, James, NO. YOU DID NOT JUST SPECIFY THE TITLE OF THE BOOK HER SUBCONSCIOUS IS READING. THAT IS FUCKING RETARDED. Why is is this being allowed? Why hasn't every keyboard and writing implement in her home been confiscated?

During fuck time, Christian handcuffs Ana's wrists to her ankles. It's a good thing he's her husband and not her Dom (you can NEVER be both), because he puts these handcuffs on way too tight for anything remotely resembling safe play. Later when he takes them off he will have to rub feeling back into all her extremities, and she will wind up with deep bruising from it. She is very lucky she didn't have permanent nerve damage. For anyone who is still foolish enough to be reading this book for sex advice, I beg of you to ignore this entire scene, it is extremely dangerous.

After the sex (and an orgasm that leaves her sobbing. SOBBING), she heads to the bathroom for that piss she wasn't allowed to take earlier, and is incensed to discover that Christian has left hickeys all over her chest. How she managed to not notice this while it was happening is anybody's guess. It is obvious that Christian has marked her like this ON PURPOSE in order to prevent her from ever sunbathing again. Her reaction to this temporary problem, which actually could easily be fixed except for the fact that Ana has apparently never heard of MAKE UP, is on par with how a normal person would react to being chloroformed and waking up to find their entire body has been covered in tattoos depicting their mom fucking various farm animals. She throws a hairbrush at him and runs out of the room where they proceed to have a massive screaming match on the deck. I honestly can't remember what makes her finally calm down, but then they fuck and everything is fine.

The next day they go into town and everything out of Ana's mouth irritates the living fuck out of me. Christian  wants to buy some art for the new house, and Ana is totally freaked out because she doesn't "know how" to buy art. Let me help you with that difficult procedure, Ana. The best way to buy art is to go look at some art, pick out something that you like, and then FUCKING BUY IT. You aren't running a fucking gallery, you twat, you are decorating your own goddamn house. Jesus Christ. Eventually she picks out some paintings of peppers that she likes and is shocked, SHOCKED at their astronomical cost of 5 thousand euros each. Again, for Christian this is pocket change, but the fact that her plan is to hang this fine art in her kitchen leads me to kind of agree with her - if you are going to ruin your pepper paintings with grease and smoke, you can probably find paintings of peppers for about 5 euros each at a nearby IKEA. All day long Christian has been fretting about the bruises on her wrists from the handcuffs he doesn't know how to safely use. He decides to solve the problem by buying her a bracelet to cover them up. The bracelet cost him 30 thousand euros. I want to liquefy Ana's eyeballs with my thumbs.

On the way back from super expensive shopping day, Christian gets a call from Seattle - there has been a fire in the server room at Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. headquarters. Despite suspecting it's arson, Christian inexplicably instructs his people not to call the police or the fire department. This is the same thing he did when a deranged woman with a gun was running around town trying to kill Ana, and short of his company being a secret criminal enterprise or Christian having delusions that he is some kind of vigilante superhero it makes no fucking sense. There's no serious damage thanks to the argon gas fire suppression system. When Ana hears the word argon she thinks "It rings a distant bell from chemistry class - an element, I think." Congratulations, Einstein, argon IS an element! One of the noble gases on the right hand side of your periodic table, a fact I know without looking it up because it's a common element everyfuckingbody has heard of, and which is commonly used as a fire suppressant in server rooms because it doesn't damage the equipment like a water suppression system would. Ana's a girl, you guys! Science is hard! I hate this book worse than E.L. James hates her own gender. Incidentally, if Jack Hyde spent half as much time looking for work as he did trying to kill Christian he'd have another job by now.

So that's the first three chapters. Much like the other book, I took a shit ton of notes about things I hated that I haven't addressed in this review because if I did my reviews would literally be longer than the actual books.  What I'm going to do instead is make some videos as I go along where I talk about some of the other terrible stuff that bothers me, usually things that happen again and again on every page and do nothing to advance the plot. I'll post them as supplemental material on my YouTube channel. There is also a video up of me reading and reacting to the first chapter I read, which StereoNinja was kind enough to sift through a half hour of footage and edit together about five minutes of me yelling into an empty room. I hope you enjoy it:


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Rememberance Day, Veterans!

It's Veteran's Day everyone! Go hug someone who served.

Last year I posted a great story told by my friend Erin from her days in the army. Some of you have read it before, but I have a lot of new readers since then, so I don't feel guilty about posting it again. So, in honor of service people everywhere, I give you The Bird Story.

The Bird Story I joined the Army on September 10, 2001 because I have magnificent timing. "What could go wrong?" Yep. Anyway, I became an Engineer in the Army and ended up getting stationed in Germany. Incidentally, I was the only female engineer in my company for nine months straight. Please remind me in the future to tell you about the initial hilarity/eventual nightmare that this entailed.

Anyway.

I got to Germany right about the time when George W. was busy pissing off all of Europe with his stupid WMD bullshit about Iraq-- he *especially* had pissed off the French and the German people. Fantastic. We were not very welcome in Germany. I remember being on Guard Duty (standing at the entrance of the base, fully armed and prepared to blow away anybody who posed a threat) and an elderly German man rode past on his bicycle, giving me the finger and yelling, "Go back to your own country!" I completely agreed with him. Anyway, bad things started to happen-- people yelling at us on the street, bar fights and eventually a stabbing at the local pub. We were put on Base Restriction for our own protection.

There were exactly four things to do on base: go to the movies, rent movies, bowl and get drunk. Usually, the first three activities involved the fourth.

One night, after going bowling (while drinking), coming back to the barracks and watching a movie with some friends (while drinking) and then finally settling in alone in my room (while drinking), I decided that I was not quite drunk enough. Mind you, in the course of four hours, I had consumed three giant German beers and one... it's not a pint, and it's not a fifth-- it's the one in between-- let's call it a fish bowl-- so, I had consumed three giant German beers and one fishbowl of tequila. But I wasn't drunk enough, so I went to the base liquor store and bought another fish bowl of tequila, went back to my room and popped in another movie. I got about halfway through my second fish bowl and... I started to not feel so good.

Are you familiar with the stage of inebriation when you know you're going to be sick but you *really* think that you can prevent it from happening? This stage usually involves food.

It was around one in the morning at this point and everything on base was closed. The only food I had in my room: bread and peanut butter. Score. Peanut butter sandwiches. I made myself a stack of peanut butter sandwiches, maybe 5 or 6 of them, and started happily munching away at them. Halfway into the second sandwich, I realized that I did indeed feel better...but I was so thirsty from the peanut butter. I didn't feel like going *all the way* down the hall to get some water, and after all, I had that half-bottle of tequila sitting right there next to me, and I *was* feeling better, soooo... I washed all 5 or 6 sandwiches down with the rest of that bottle of tequila.

Strangely enough, shortly after, I started to feel not so good again. And again, I thought I could fix the problem. "I'm just hot. I should take my clothes off." So I did, and that helped a little, but I was still not feeling so good. "The window," I thought, "I need to open the window." And I did. These were old Nazi barracks (I'm not kidding, seriously, they used to be Nazi barracks), and they had the giant windows that went all the way to the ceiling. So, three in the morning, wintertime in Germany, I am naked, relishing the cold winter air on my naked body. After a minute, I felt okay and I left the window open and slipped into bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow, the room started spinning out of control and I shot right back up, stumbled over to the open window and proceeded to vomit for what seemed like an eternity. Remember, I'm 5'7" and weigh all of 120 pounds and I've consumed three giant beers, two fish bowls of tequila and 5 or 6 peanut butter sandwiches, all of which were brewing in my stomach the whole night. Drunk as I was, I can still remember thinking-- as I was puking-- "Jesus, this is taking FOREVER." At some point, I stopped and made it back to bed.

I woke up the next morning cold and confused. "It's freezing in here! Why is the window open? Why am I naked? What did I DO last night?" It all came back to me when I went to close the window and saw that I had not *quite* cleared the ledge all the way while I was puking my guts out the night before, as there was a huge, frozen mound of tequila/peanut butter sandwich vomit right outside my window. Fuck. Me.

One of the many things that blow about the military is something called Base Inspection, and this usually involves the Commander of the base strolling around and seeing what's fucked up. It can happen at any time. Knowing this, I went outside to see what the damage looked like from the ground. This is when I discovered the 15-foot long puke-cicle stretching from my window to the ground along the side of the building, with another little frozen mound of puke at the bottom. "I'm too hung-over for this. I'll deal with this tomorrow and hope for the best."

There was no inspection that day, thank goodness.

The next morning, I woke up unpleasantly early to sound of 10,000 birds chirping right outside my window. "What the fuck!" I opened my curtains to find that the puke mound was gone, and all sorts of birds were hanging out on my ledge, pecking away at what was left of it. "That's disgusting." I immediately went outside to see what was still left on the side of the building, and holy shit, it was ALL gone. All of it, the mound on my ledge, the puke-cicle, the mound on the ground, all of it. "Oh my god, thank goodness, I really didn't want to clean that up. But that's fucking disgusting." Relieved, I went back inside and didn't think much of it again.

Yes, at least not for a day or two when I started seeing dead birds around base. And not just one or two, but a whole mess of them. The first dead bird: "Aww, a dead bird." The second: "Huh, that's weird, I just saw a dead bird." The third: "What's with all the dead birds?" The fourth, fifth and so on and so on... "Wait a minute. Oh, fuck." I finally realized that all the dead birds on base were right next to buildings. I looked up at some point and that's when I discovered what clearly appeared to be a bird splat mark on one of the building windows. The birds, who were completely shitfaced on my tequila vomit, were drunkenly flying into windows and accidentally killing themselves.

I never harmed a single human being when I served. But I think I killed a shit-ton of birds.

In conclusion, birds are gross.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm Going To Get In Serious Trouble For This One

Feel free to just skip this one - it's late and I'm rambling, and I've just finished chapters 2-4 of a book that should have been called Fifty Times More Tedious (Than My Other Two Piece of Shit Books) in the hope that I could cover their entire honeymoon in one blog post, apparently having forgotten that James narrates every single second of every single day and that the entirety of the book probably only covers the last three days of the honeymoon. I've talked someone else into editing the video for me, but he's quite busy so it will be ready when it's ready and then you can all see me yelling and gesturing at no one. Also, apparently I rest my hand on my chest while I'm reading a lot. It looks like I'm reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. My point is I'm kind of crabby right now, and the rest of this post is kind of crabby as well and likely to make some relatives very, very angry, and I'm just too tired to care.

Today would have been my mother's 64th birthday. I'm feeling guilty about it because I had forgotten until evening, and when I remembered I felt nothing.

I spent a long time getting upset on days like today, but I seem to have stopped around five or six years ago. I also seem to be the only one. My brother did a charity bike race this year in her honor, and the rest of my family had some sort of dinner thing, both to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death. I went to see H-Town in an improv festival instead. The whole thing seemed sort of morbid and arbitrary to me. I'm not sure why people enjoy round numbers so much, or why 20 years should be more important somehow than 19 years or 21.

Six years ago marked the point where I'd spent as much time on the earth after her death as I had before it. I think that's when I realized how much of my life had been defined by losing my mother at 14. That's a pretty shitty experience to make the focal point of your entire life and I got really, really irritated about it, which is why I stopped doing the family stuff surrounding it and stopped reading the inevitable emails I get from family members on the "important" days. I get that a lot of people find rituals important and cleansing and that's great for them, but I'm not one of them. And I'm done now pretending to be someone I'm not. For me, the time to remember my mother has nothing to do with when her birthday is or when she died. I think of my mother at Christmas. Christmas was her favorite holiday just like mine, which is probably because she made it something magical when I was a kid and I never managed to outgrow it (or because I am fascinated by shiny things). And it holds much better memories than her birthday (I don't remember a single one of them) or her death day (fucking TERRIBLE).

I don't really know where I was going with this - like I said, I'm really tired. But it's the best I can do by way of apologizing to my family for not getting wrapped up in The Great Mourning twice a year the way I suppose it makes sense that I'm expected to. It's just not for me. You guys can do what you like, but imma stick with the days that had smiles.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Deja Puke

I stayed up very late reading last night and only got one chapter done, but it was enough to make all the rage come rushing back, and I had to call StereoNinja who patiently listened to me scream about how E.L. James has obviously never seen a map. I also shot a video of me reading it, which I plan to edit on Saturday as well as read a couple more chapters, but I am telling you right now - the spoiler of knowing she's going to get pregnant in this book is making me read everything through a whole new filter and the idea that these two fuckwits are going to breed makes me want to cry.

I need a nap. Or a drink.