Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I'm reading 50 Shades today. I'm one chapter into the three I was planning to read tonight and I'm already getting very pissed off about it. I'm going to take a break for a few hours and do real life stuff, but at 8:00 pm GMT I'm going to live tweet the other two chapters I'm reading today over on my Twitter account. A brief recount of what I just read so you don't feel behind: Ana and Christian fight for the entire chapter and then a bombshell happens. Since it's impossible to actually spoil this story, the bombshell is that Jack Hyde calls her. Can't wait to see what that insanity is all about. So, 8:00 pm GMT (3:00 pm EST, 2:00 Central, noon Pacific if you don't feel like doing that math, America. Europe, you're on your own.) on Twitter. Hope to see you there!

P.S. I realize I should have announced this like two days ago so people would have had time to plan, but I've just thought of it and I won't have time to do it later this week with school and Thanksgiving. And I'll add the tweets to this post later on, so no one will miss anything, really.


Here's the results of the live tweet, including page numbers so I could remember what I was talking about.

Got my rum. Got the book. Here we go #50live

445: This is an insane amount of hatred. Hyde could have just gotten a new job by now

445: Can't they just find him based on the cell signal?

446: Well, he has her phone, that's a good clue. Also it's this book so of course he has her. Asshat.

446: FACT: terror tastes like metal.

446: Your plan to free Mia starts with go home and change clothes? What is wrong with you?

447: You have to keep CHRISTIAN safe? Are you high? Also, where was Mia's security. You're slipping Christian.

448: You can't complain about Christian's unsafe gun storage and then put it in the waistband of your pants dumbshit.

448: Yeah call him from inside the house. That's not suspicious.

449: "I have to collect five million dollars." Kidnap Monopoly!

450: He's not following you because I'm sure Christian has a tracker on your car.


451: NO. One bank doesn't hold the cash reserve for that entire part of the country. That's not how banks work. Jesus fuck

451: Oh your name doesn't match your account on official ID? No problem! - No bank, ever in recorded history

451: Your husband is not the authority here IT'S A FUCKING BANK

451: I'm going to stab something. This is not how banking works. I WORKED FOR A BANK

452: He's a rapist and he hates you. She'd already be raped by now.

452: Oh Jesus Christ. Plus you lie to him ALL THE FUCKING TIME


454: Why would you tell the police? You never tell the police about anything.

455: It is absurd, he's going to rape the crap out of you, not be like "kthxbye!"

456: Because he's following you, how can you possibly be this stupid?

457: In what universe would that even work?

459: Unprovoked. Are you fucking serious? Only an idiot would have gotten in that car. Or done any of this really.

460: "Darkness.....peace." I FUCKING HATE YOU SO HARD

460: Exactly how I thought it would end. Your attempt at unpredictability has failed again, James.

Ok, Chapter 23. Just had a short break to vent to StereoNinja and down my rum and coke.

461: He wants the baby. THAT'S what you're thinking about? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

461: Seriously, why can't I move and where is Mia should be your first two thoughts if you are a normal person. Oh wait...

462: If he roofied her and DIDN'T rape her I will buy a hat and eat it.

462: No, she was incredibly STUPID. It's different. Also Christian will heart guns now, I can already tell.

463: More paperwork! Can't have that! NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS

463: This is a horrible story telling device, James. Just pure shit.

463: Oh my god this conversation is not happening.

463: No, the ones you love are the ones you should be trying NOT to hurt you jackass.

464: I beg to differ, I am truly LIVID at this author.


466: Oh you DO have one. Then it's in wrong because YOU SHOULDN'T NEED TO PEE WITH A CATHETER.

466: Good idea Christian, tell the nurse how to do her job and to rush while she's at it. I fucking hate you.

469: "She wasn't harmed." I don't believe you.

470: No Ana, that's what he ALWAYS thinks. Jesus how do you no know this?

471: Why does it matter that the doctor is African-American? It's like you've only seen 3 black people in your whole life

474: Tracking device on the Saab. I WIN ONE TO NOTHING

475: No Ana, a hospital that knows you are pregnant prescribed you pain meds that would hurt the baby. Idiot.

480: You'll be a terrible father Christian. TERRIBLE


That's it tonight. I'm going to go wash the terrible off me now.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tip Top

I had the BEST day yesterday you guys.

So we've bought a lot of IKEA furniture since moving here, since I sold all of mine (it is cheaper to buy everything again than it is to ship it, and given how long it took my not furniture things to ship I'd just as soon not be living out of a suitcase for three months anyway) and as everyone knows, when you buy IKEA furniture, you end up with a mountain of cardboard and Styrofoam you need to get rid of. Now, for all the Americans, let me explain something to you about England. There's no room here. The houses are small, the streets are narrow, the standard size refrigerator is  roughly the size of the one you took to college with you freshman year. And because there's nowhere to, say, bury a big pile of trash out in the vast desert (and also no desert), you have to recycle pretty much everything (I say have to, but you should be recycling crap anyway you bums). And this involves a visit to the tip.

Again, for the benefit of the Americans, the tip is pretty much the dump, except sorted for recycling to a degree our country isn't even aware of and you have to drive your junk there yourself. Top Gear did an episode where James and Jeremy go caravaning and spend the bulk of the episode either washing their caravans or throwing things away at the tip, including the Stig.

I am fucking in love with the tip. You just drive up to it, park, and run around throwing your crap into various absolutely enormous bins. If you're not sure which bin you crap goes in, there are friendly guys in orange vests who will direct you to the right place. The also have humongous metal claw reachy-thingys (technical term) that they use to fish out things people have already put into the wrong bin. I was so fascinated I almost forgot to throw my 7000 Coke cans into the scrap metal bin. And then an actual caravan drove up to throw things away and I almost peed my pants.

On the way there, we passed a sign saying they were selling real Christmas trees at this garden center practically across the street from the tip, so on the way back we decided to stop and have a look at their inventory. I've been growing more and more concerned with each passing day that I would be unable to get a suitable tree since I don't have a single friend who has ever bought one taller than about 4 feet, which is only half a tree and totally unacceptable. Not only did this place have Christmas trees that could actually reach my ceiling, but they also had a pet shop, which we went in to look at birds because StereoNinja loves them and also so I could try to have a conversation with the bunnies. We noticed a door leading to another part of the shop, and when we went through we discovered they were selling dishes and aprons and beers that were all Christmas themed. I was super psyched, picked up a Santa spoon rest and a gravy boat, took one last glance around the store and noticed a ramp leading to yet another store area above us...and it was twinkling. "OH MY GOD SHINY THINGS!" I shouted, for real, as I ran up the ramp to a GIANT CHRISTMAS STORE leaving StereoNinja in my dust and presumably shaking his head in frustration and wondering why he'd brought me there in the first place. You guys. It was a MAGICAL WONDERLAND. I may have said several times that I would go back there later this week and just sit in there the entire day.

I don't even remember what we did the rest of the day since all I could think about was the tip and the Christmas store and how everything was coming up Milhouse for me. It was the best day ever.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Segment - Short Movie Reviews

I just watched Powder for the first time, because StereoNinja hadn't seen it either and the reviews on Netflix were good. It was a mistake. Here's my take:

Synopsis: An electromagnetic albino teenager with alopecia gets ripped away from his home "for his own good". Everyone is a complete asshole to him, including several adults who try to beat him up. He accidentally kills a kid, then saves him, then runs away, then gets struck by lightning and then the sky eats him.

Seriously. The sky eats him.

That's the movie.

Oh except for the part where Jeff Goldblum starts stroking his face like a creepy pedophile. Jeff Goldblum is supposed to be the good guy, by the way.

I give it 3 out 5 what the fucks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Who Dat?

Today is Doctor Who Day, or for the three readers I have who aren't gigantic nerds, today is the day that the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special episode airs. I have prepared by putting on Dalek socks and forcing StereoNinja to sit through episodes from the 10th doctor era that he had somehow missed. (He hadn't actually seen 'Blink' until Wednesday somehow. I'm not sure he's a real nerd. Or a real ninja*.) I also got lost on Cake Wrecks for a few hours after the cake master sent me this link to some amazing Doctor Who cakes, which is what happens every time I wind up looking at Cake Wrecks. I'll come back and update this post with my reaction after it airs. Whee!


Friday, November 22, 2013

I Think I'll Just Take A Nap For A Week

I have just finished my paper and turned it in. I'm pretty sure it's fucking terrible, mainly because I have no idea what I'm doing. I've been assured by my classmates that their papers also suck, and by the stranger that all grad students think they don't know what they're doing.

It's a miracle I even got it done, actually. I had been at the kitchen table all morning revising and trying to relearn how to write references and in line citations since I'm in a different country now. I needed a break so I thought I'd fold some laundry. By the way, I do laundry now. So I picked up some things I had folded the day before to put on the table...


An outside spider even, I don't know what the fuck it was doing in the house (yes I do, it was trying to GET ON ME). It jumped out of the laundry I WAS HOLDING IN MY HANDS and started running around my kitchen table and ALL OVER MY FUCKING PAPERS. I grabbed the raid and sprayed it. Like, seven fucking times because the motherfucker just would not die. Then I called StereoNinja in hysterics because there was now a dead spider (which had just tried to GET ON ME) in between me and my laptop and he crawled on my papers and I'll have to throw them all out and HOW WILL I FINISH MY PAPER IF I CAN'T GET TO MY LAPTOP? I am not kidding - a dead spider is only slightly less dangerous than a live one, plus what if his friends come looking for him?

StereoNinja, by the way, is either the most amazing boyfriend in recorded history or a terrible enabler. He actually came home from work to clean up the dead spider carcass, check all the laundry for more spiders, lay all my papers that the spider had crawled on out on the table so I could look at them without having to touch them, and eat a bacon sandwich (ok, that last one has nothing to do with rescuing me from spiders, but still). I seriously have no idea how he puts up with this.

Anyway, once the house was despidered, I was able to finish my paper, and since then I've just been staring at my screen wondering what I used to do before I wrote papers for school. Anyone remember?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Important Safety Information

Still working on my paper. Here for your entertainment is something from years ago that popped into my head the other day for reasons I can't remember:

Terrorism Preparedness Guide

Stay vigilant against those arrows, y'all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The closest car park to Shepard's Bush Empire (where They Might Be Giants played last night) is at the Westfield mall, and since they have a discount for showgoers at that venue and there's food inside, we decided that's where we should park.

I'm not a shopper. This is known. Before yesterday I hadn't even been to a mall in years. There really aren't malls in Chicago, or at least, not away from Michigan Avenue, and even those ones aren't malls in the way that suburban people understand them. Even if there were though, if I have a choice between ordering shit online and having it delivered to my house without interacting with anyone else or going to a shopping mall and having to fend off shop girls trying to "help me", be personable at the cashier's desk and fighting a tide of strangers in the open areas who always seem to be moving en masse in the direction opposite mine, I am always going to chose to stay the fuck home.

Imagine my surprise, then, when we walked into the Westfield mall last night in search of quick and cheap food and I discovered I felt something I haven't felt since I got here - I felt like I was at home. Because while I haven't been to a mall in years, I did grow up in the suburbs, and I got dragged to the mall by parents and friends ALL THE TIME. I understand shopping malls. I know how they work. It felt familiar. It felt American. It felt...right. I found myself eating a quesadilla and wondering when I could go back there and walk around. Not to shop - I really and truly HATE to shop and will do almost anything to get out of it - I just want to go and wander around and, I don't know, just be there.

I'd noticed a similar feeling on the way to Gary Numan the night before, when we'd stopped for food at services (Americans: rest stop) and I'd gone straight over to the KFC. In America, I would never have done any such thing. There's no reason to eat chicken if it's not going to be from Boston Market, and there's not really any reason to get fast food at all that isn't from either Chipotle or Potbelly. KFC is not even on my radar. I couldn't even tell you where to find one. But here, I find myself thinking "I'll go to KFC" because I know exactly what I'm getting into with that decision (by the way Americans, popcorn chicken is ALWAYS on the menu here. It's not a limited time thing. Though this is offset by the fact that there's no honey mustard (a reader commented that I can steal some from Domino's but I haven't tried it yet).). I've probably had KFC about half a dozen times since I've been here. Prior to that, I hadn't eaten there in AT LEAST 10 years.

I don't even know who I am anymore.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dial A Blogpost

I am currently enjoying the They Might Be Giants concert. They have an out of tune melodica and some sock puppets. Describing it any further would be futile, so instead please enjoy this video of The Mesopotamians.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Total Written Nonsense

It's not really helping with my paper situation that I just happened to have packed as many social obligations into this week as I normally allow for in 6 months. On Saturday night, StereoNinja and I were at a charity ball. I wore a long evening gown because it was a ball and in my head that's what you wear to a ball. I've seen Cinderella, I know what goes down. Realizing that I am the worst ever at being a girl, StereoNinja checked with a couple women at work who were going and who told him no one wears long dresses, which he relayed to me in fear that I would be the only one in a long dress and would be mortified. And there was a time when that may have been the case, but once you've been naked on stage, wearing any sort of clothes in public seems pointless, so I wore it anyway. I was not the only one - there were loads of women in long dresses which I pointed out triumphantly and repeatedly every time another one walked in to the room, though in absolute fairness I think I was the only one under 50 wearing one. WHATEVER I LOOKED FABULOUS. Particularly after I took the little confetti foil stars that were adorning our table and stuck a dozen of them to my chest. They stayed on all night and now our house has a bunch of stars all over the floor.

Tonight was a Gary Numan concert in Brighton. I was complaining on the way home that I had nothing to write about for NaBloPoMo this week and StereoNinja was all "But we just left Gary Numan" and I was like "It's a blog, not a fucking diary. Nobody wants to hear about every stupid thing that I'm doing." and he frowned at me and said "Maybe you should write about how your boyfriend doesn't know the difference between a blog and a diary." So...that happened.

Tomorrow we are going to a They Might Be Giants concert, so maybe there will be something I can write about that, or if not I'm sure there's some kind of new cat video I could get my hands on. This is the internet, after all. As soon as my paper is done on Friday, I'll get to work on another 50 Shades post.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm Already Pretty Good At This, Actually

I am really busy writing a paper for class this week. (I am also really busy freaking out about it because I don't remember how to write a fucking paper without swearing or sarcasm. See?) So my NaBloPoMo posts this week are going to be pretty shitty, at least until Friday. In the meantime, please enjoy the new Reverend Horton Heat Video, which stars my dance teacher Michelle L'Amour and some of the Chicago Starlets, two of whom are friends from my student show class who I am very proud of:

Reverend Horton Heat - Let Me Teach You How to Eat

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Forty Days!

It's the first day of The Forty Days of Christmas today! Unfortunately, I can't really start decorating for it since I have Thanksgiving dinner coming up and I need to buy step down converters for pretty much all of the decorations I own anyway. Similarly, I can't watch any of my Christmas movies as they are all coded for region 1 and won't play on StereoNinja's DVD player (they will play on my Xbox I brought with me, but again, need a voltage converter). Instead I think I will just dress up in some of my Christmas getup and walk around town singing Christmas carols. I'm sure that will be annoying to no one.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Exactly What Are People Doing With These Books?

Apparently if you want some cocaine, you should just go get a library book, and if you want herpes, you should specifically check out Fifty Shades of Grey.

Incidentally, I take issue with this article classifying that book as erotica.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

50 Shades Asinine

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

Here it comes, people. And it's a long one, so get your tea and snacks together now. God I hate this.

Chapter 17, as is now James' custom, starts off with the resolution to the cliffhanger she leaves at the end of the last chapter because she doesn't know how to write drama properly and has to manufacture it. Jose's dad has called Ana to tell her that they were in a bad car accident near Portland on their way back from a fishing trip. Ana panics, as I would, then calls someone at work to let them know she has a family emergency, tells her assistant the same thing, runs across the parking lot to get to Sawyer waiting by the car and tells him what's going on, and then gets in the car to be driven to the hospital, which is when she calls Christian. Christian's assistant answers the phone. Hearing in Ana's voice that she is terribly upset, she asks Ana if she would like her to track Christian down to speak with him, and then if she would like to leave a message for him. Ana says no to both of these things, because when your father is in an accident and you don't know how serious it is, it is very important that you give that information in detail to everyone you know except for your own husband. When he calls her back to find out what her problem is he tells her he will come to Portland...as soon as he's finished with this meeting he has with some guys from Taiwan which he'd told her nothing about and which is somehow SO important that family emergencies will have to wait.

When she gets to the hospital, she is told by the ER receptionist that Ray has been taken to surgery, so she goes there and asks after him. The nurse at the desk calls her Miss Steele (since she's just said she's Raymond Steele's daughter) and Ana actually pauses in her panic to wonder about whether she should correct her, as she is MRS. CHRISTIAN GREY now after all. In the waiting room she finds Jose and his dad. Jose's dad has one arm and one leg in a cast and bruises on his face from the accident. Jose, who was also on the fishing trip, does not appear to be injured. They fill Ana in: they were on the way back when they were hit by a drunk driver. Ray took the brunt of the impact and had to be airlifted to the hospital, where he has been in surgery for several hours apparently. James peppers this entire scene with things we've been primed to know that Christian would not put up with if he were there - Jose holds Ana while she cries; he puts his jacket around her shoulders when she says she's cold; he holds her hand to calm her panic.

When Christian finally shows up, he sees Jose holding Ana's hand and "his face darkens momentarily". She jumps up and runs to him and I honestly can't tell if it's because she's relieved that he's there or to mitigate the damage of having been seen holding hands with someone at a time that she desperately needed comfort and her husband was too busy working to be there. When the surgeon comes in, he also calls Ana Miss Steele, and is sharply corrected by Christian. Yes, I know her father just had emergency surgery, but THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. The doctor tells her Ray is in critical condition. He's had serious internal organ damage, which they have repaired, had a heart attack on the table from blood loss but survived, and most worryingly, suffered some severe head trauma and his brain is swelling. They've induced a coma while they monitor the brain swelling. It sounds remarkably serious and as though his life is still in grave danger, which will become important later when Christian does a bunch of inexplicably stupid things. But we'll get to that.

While they wait for their chance to go see Ray in ICU, Christian fills Ana in on his very important business meeting that made him so late in comforting his wife that she wound up wearing another guy's jacket (yes, he's clearly upset about it but smart enough not to say anything right now; yes, Ana pauses in worrying that her father might die to be nervous that Christian's little fee-fees might be hurt because a boy other than him was nice to her. I hate these people). Turns out he's bought a shipyard in Taiwan for some ships that he's building for some reason. Two and a half books into the story and I still can't tell you what it is the main character's company actually does. Ana goes to see Ray for a bit, and then Christian decides they need to go and rest for a while before they come back.

They are staying in the exact same suite they stayed in the first time Christian kidnapped her. Taylor has gone out and bought her a crap ton of new clothes. I think that Christian having several hours to tell his staff that they'd be going to Portland would be plenty of time for them to pack some of her clothes to take with him, but of course if he'd done that we wouldn't get reminded that he's so rich he can just buy new clothes for every trip when he gets there.

When they go back to the hospital, Jose is just leaving from visiting Ana's dad. He gives Ana a comforting hug goodbye, and Ana CONGRATULATES Christian on not killing him for it. Christian tells Ana he has a surprise for her, and when they walk into the ICU she finds out what it is - Christian has had his mother flown up from Seattle to look after Ray. His mother in turn has gotten her friend and colleague to lead the team of doctors overseeing Ray - we are made to understand she is one of the leading doctors "in her field". Given that the main issue facing Ray's recovery/survival is head trauma, I assume that's what she's an expert in.

The next day (Chapter 18) is Ana's 22nd birthday. She and Christian wake up in their hotel and he gives her a charm bracelet. They get ready to go to the hospital and go downstairs for Ana to discover Christian has also bought her an Audi R8. She asks if she can drive it to the hospital and when Christian says yes, she promptly does a dangerous U-turn in the middle of the busy street and then speeds off like a maniac. Hey dipshit, aren't you on your way to see your comatose father in the hospital because someone driving recklessly  nearly killed him yesterday? Ana goes in to visit with her father (who is recovering at a fucking miraculous rate by the way) while Christian calls his father to tell him to "throw the book" at the drunk driver who hit Ray's car. I know his dad is a lawyer, but the last time I checked, he wasn't the District Attorney for Portland. He's in no position to throw the book at this guy or probably be involved in the case at all given that he practices law in a different state.

It finally occurs to Ana that she should maybe call her mom and tell her that her stepfather may be dying, but her mother doesn't answer the phone. Ana immediately decides her mother has forgotten her birthday, though nowhere in any of the books does she make her mother out to be the sort of person who would do that. The mystery is solved (for me, not Ana) when Christian takes a foreshadowy phone call from his assistant asking if the hotel "has all the details". Gee I wonder if Christian flew everyone Ana knows to Portland for her birthday?

After a bunch of fucking around all day while Ray's unprecedented recovery continues (his brain swelling is all gone and totally back to normal!), Christian tells Ana it's time to go to dinner and when they get there, SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKERS EVERYONE ANA KNOWS IS THERE. WOW I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. Did he send his private plane to pick everyone up from around the country? YOU BET YOUR ASS HE DID. They have an entirely forgettable dinner party and the next day everyone but Christian and Ana go home.

Ray is awakened from his coma at the beginning of Chapter 19 (actually it's the very last sentence of Chapter 18 because OMFG DRAMA!). On hearing this news, Christian immediately begins preparations to have him transferred to Seattle. This is where the major head trauma/massive internal injuries become important. To me, not to anyone in the book. You see, Christian has WORK to do because he is VERY IMPORTANT, and he simply can't stay in Portland and do his work, and he certainly can't leave his wife there unsupervised because WHO KNOWS what she might get up to if he's not watching her every minute. Therefore, the only solution is to pick up a man who had major emergency surgery and a heart attack two days before, and who is still in intensive care, and move him to a different hospital. In fact, this is WHAT'S BEST for Ray - if he's at the hospital in Seattle, Christian's mother can look after him. The fact that the head doctor on his case, the one who is a specialist in traumatic brain injuries, which is his main problem, will NOT be at that hospital in Seattle and that Christian's mother is NOT a specialist in this field does not even cross his mind.

Back at the hotel, it is TIME FOR SEX. Ana is scandalized when Christian ties her legs apart and then tells her she has to touch herself. Keep in mind, up until now, Ana has never ever masturbated in her whole life. In fact, I'm pretty sure there were some passages in earlier books where Christian was just fine with that, because it meant that every orgasm she had ever had in her entire life was because of him. YOU ARE SUCH A MASSIVE STUD CHRISTIAN, YOU FUCKING OWN THAT PUSSY.

I had temporarily forgotten that Jack Hyde was in custody for his breaking and entering Christian's home. Luckily, Detective Clark, lead investigator on the case, has not forgotten at all. In fact, he is so conscientious and diligent about his investigation that he comes all the way to Portland to re-interview Ana. And he is very clear that he only wants Ana in the interview as well, but Christian is NOT having that: "Anything you wish to say to my wife you can say in front of me," he declares, which confuses me because that decision is really hers, is it not? Oh wait of course not, Ana has no agency in this or anything else. Christian is the sole decider of all. I'd forgotten. My bad. Anycock, the reason Detective Clark came all the way to Portland wanting to talk to Ana alone is that it seems Jack Hyde is alleging that it was actually Ana who had sexually harassed him, and when he wouldn't bang her, she got him fired. I write in my notes "this is why you go to the POLICE you fucktards" because, as you'll recall, when Hyde tried to rape her, all they did was fire him and allow him to roam free. If they'd told the police at the time it had happened, she'd already be on record with her side of the story AND he wouldn't have been free to skulk around Seattle trying to murder them. Also, I'm not really sure why Hyde thinks that some story about sexual harassment by Ana is going to justify his breaking into her house to try to kill her and her husband. That's kind of a massive escalation. Probably the place to start would have been a wrongful termination lawsuit. But what do I know? I'm just some nitwit who goes straight to the police when crimes are committed against my person. Ana calmly explains what actually happened, and the detective appears to believe her...for now. Christian asks after the other investigation from the first time Hyde tried to kill Christian by sabotaging his helicopter, but is told they haven't found any evidence. There is also some mysterious mention of a note that has not been mentioned in the book before. It's something foreshadowy again I imagine, and I assume some threatening or blackmail "anonymous" note from Hyde indicating his desire to kill or financially ruin Christian and Ana, no doubt spelled out in letters painfully cut from a newspaper and glued to another sheet of paper, that Christian didn't tell his wife about because he actually believes that ignorance = safety. Whatever, I'm sure we'll find out soon enough when they have a massive screaming match about it that ends in sex.

Back in Seattle the next day, Ana checks Ray into his new room at the hospital. She ignores a phone call from a number she doesn't know purely to set up the last scene in the chapter, which is that on her way out of the hospital, Ana is accosted by her gynecologist. How in the world this woman knew Ana was even at the hospital is not explained. Dr. Greene, who was the person phoning Ana earlier, wants to know why she has missed her last four, that's FOUR, appointments to come in and get her birth control shot. She's WAY overdue for one, so she goes back inside with Dr. Greene to get that taken care of. Before she gives the injection though, Dr. Greene wants to make sure that Ana is not already pregnant, so she sends her off to pee in a cup, and when Ana comes back, sure as shit she is all kinds of knocked up. This is the point in the review where I am about to lose my shit. I'll try not to come off as too much of a soulless asshole, but I make no guarantees.

Chapter 20. The conversation with Dr. Greene continues. Ana freaks the fuck out and can't figure out how this could possibly have happened. Keep in mind, the reason she is taking birth control shots is because she couldn't remember to take the pill with any kind of regularity. They switched her to this because she wouldn't have to remember anything - all she had to do was show up for her appointments when prompted to do so. But somehow, she can't even remember to do something she gets telephone reminders about. Immediately the first thing she does is cast around for someone else to blame for her ineptitude at life. "I thought this was a reliable form of birth control," she says to her doctor accusingly. Her doctor responds that, much like other forms of birth control, it is very effective IF YOU ACTUALLY FUCKING TAKE IT. This is definitely a person who is mature and responsible enough to be a parent. They have to do a transvaginal ultrasound in order to find the baby since it's so fresh and Ana sees a little blip on the screen which will lead her to call the baby through the ENTIRE CHAPTER "my little blip!" Jesus fuck, it's like if a 9 year old was pregnant. Ana is absolutely fucking panicking, mainly because she thinks Christian is going to completely lose his shit when he finds out. I wasn't so sure. I was picturing two possible scenarios for when she told him: either he would be absolutely fucking ecstatic about it because he's secretly always wanted to be a daddy, or he was going to be upset, but only because he thinks he is a worthless monster person who doesn't deserve happiness or a child.

Ana leaves the doctor's office and is driven to work. On the way she obsesses about all the reasons she doesn't want to have a baby right now. What about her job? What about Christian? And the part where I became enraged: "I should be happy. I know I should be happy. But I'm not." Why Ana? Why *should* you be happy? You're pregnant with a baby you don't want at 22 years old, you're looking at the end of your career because we all know there is no chance in hell that Christian is going to let you be anything but a stay at home mom, and speaking of Christian, you are totally convinced that he is going to hate you for this. Exactly why *should* you be happy? Is it because you your author believes that every woman ever wants a baby, that that is the destiny and should be the express goal of every single person born with a vagina, that you are not a "real" woman until you've squeezed a human being out of your twat? Here's a thought: fuck you. It is NOT a requirement for you to be happy about a child that neither you nor your husband want or are prepared for. As a matter of fact, and here is where I'm worried I'm going to get hate mail, I actually fail to see how there's any problem here at all. You don't want the baby, Christian doesn't want the baby, neither of you appear to have any religious affiliation or moral objection, why aren't you just having an abortion? Problem solved! In fact, you can just go have an abortion and never even tell Christian at all! Normally I don't advocate for dishonesty of that magnitude, but since the entirety of your relationship seems to be based on constantly lying to each other, why not just get it taken care of and move on with your life? And I get that for a lot of people it's not as easy of a decision as that, and maybe I'm a heartless monster, but you can have other children, down the road and when you ready, and if you stop this now and wait for that, maybe you'll fuck your kid up a lot less than you will if you have this one.

When Ana gets to work, her first order of business is to continue looking for someone else to blame for her irresponsibility. She calls her assistant into her office to ask if she's ever moved any of Ana's gynecology appointments. Indeed she has, due to Ana being in other meetings or running late, and generally at Ana's express request. "I don't always check my calendar," Ana explains, as if Hannah should fucking know that she can't handle even the most basic tasks of a person with a job (you don't always check your calendar? How many other meetings are you missing you colossal moron?) "You see that woman?" she asks her little blip as her assistant leaves the room. "She may be the reason why you're here." Yes, it's not because you can't ever be on time for anything, look at a calendar, answer your phone, or listen to your voicemail. Nothing is ever your fault, is it Ana? You're going to be a fucking amazing mother.

Unlike Ana, I'm a big enough person to admit when I'm wrong. And I was incredibly wrong about how I thought Christian was going to react to the big news. Ana was spot on. In fact short of immediately getting up from the table and kicking her in the stomach several times before pushing her down a flight of stairs, he really couldn't have reacted any worse. "How could you be so stupid?" he wants to know, and my favorite line, "We've known each other five fucking minutes!" Oh so NOW that's a problem for you? Because you didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with that when you fucking got married after three months. "Did you do this on purpose?" he asks, and when she starts crying over that remark, continues with "Don't start with the waterworks now." and "This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn't come along and fuck everything up." He screams a bunch more fuck yous at her and storms out of the house. Yep, great husband you have there, Ana. And already gunning for father of the year I see. What a fucking prick.

Christian is gone for hours, and when he comes back he is fall down drunk. Ana tries putting him to bed which he is a huge pain in the ass about and then he says easily the most immature thing to come out of these books yet, "You'll choose him over me." Jesus fuck, you kid isn't even born and you're already jealous of it and preparing yourself to competitively destroy it. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU GUYS PLEASE DON'T HAVE THIS BABY. Christian finally passes out and Ana goes to clean up his clothes that are strewn all over the floor. In so doing, she knocks his phone out of his pocket and "accidentally" unlocks it, and it must be the end of a chapter now, because when she looks at it she sees a text message:

"It was good to see you. I understand now. Don't fret. You'll make a wonderful father."

You guys know who it's from? Who he's been with all night? The first person he ran to? Why, that would be Elena Fucking Robinson, his former domme and ruiner of his ability to have "normal" sex! FUCKIN' A Y'ALL, SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Here We Go Again.

Well, since I promised you guys and since it's NaBloPoMo and I need things to write about, I have gone back to reading 50 Shades Freed. And I can honestly say it's far worse than I remembered it being. I read four chapters yesterday and then spent the entirety of the evening ruining every conversation by stopping in the middle of it and saying "And another thing!" and then raging about something else that happened.

Since it's been so long since I've read it or written anything, StereoNinja has asked for a brief synopsis of everything I've done so far: two sentences on each of the first two books and two sentences on each chapter I've done in the third book up til now. Since I had to go back and read my own reviews to remember the plot, this seems reasonable, so here it is:

Fifty Shades of Grey - A naive and stupid college student meet an abusive rich asshole who stalks her. They treat each other horribly and then break up.

Fifty Shades Darker - The asshole and the idiot get back together. The relationship is abusive, chaotic and unstable, so they decide to get married.

Fifty Shades Freed
Chapter 1 - Ana and Christian go to France on their honeymoon. Ana has a flashback to her wedding where everyone she knows told her she was making a horrible mistake.

Chapter 2 - Ana takes her top off on the beach to piss off Christian, and then is surprised and upset that Christian gets pissed off. They fight and then have sex.

Chapter 3 - Christian and Ana go shopping for expensive tat. Back in Seattle, someone tries to burn up Christian's server room.

Chapter 4 - Ana buys Christian a camera. Christian is an asshole about it.

Chapter 5 - Ana and Christian get chased by someone evil in the car. No one bothers to tell the police.

Chapter 6 - Ana and Christian have boring sex. Ana doesn't want to change her name to Grey.

Chapter 7 - Ana tells Christian about not wanting to change her name and he freaks the fuck out. Everyone at work hates her because she got a job she isn't remotely qualified for.

Chapter 8 - Ana hates the architect building their house because she hates everyone who has a vagina. Ana gives Christian a haircut so they can have terrible sex.

Chapter 9 - Ana finds out Christian keeps a loaded gun in his unlocked desk drawer with the safety off all the time, which is somehow because he hates guns. Ana goes out for a drink with her best friend after she told Christian she wouldn't do that.

Chapter 10 - Ana's rapist ex-boss breaks into the house to try to kill them but no one is home. Christian comes back early from a business trip in order to control his dumbass wife.

Chapter 11 - Ana picks a fight with Christian about nothing while simultaneously outing herself as the world's biggest misogynist. Then she deliberately misunderstands and demonizes BDSM (again).

Chapter 12 - Christian has a dream about Ana that he mistakes for a premonition. Ana and Christian take all their friends to Aspen.

Chapter 13 - In Aspen, Ana sees conspiracies around every corner. Christian's brother and Ana's best friend haven't been getting along well, so they too decide the solution is marriage.

Chapter 14 - The gang goes out to celebrate the ill-advised engagement. Some rapey guy tries to assault Ana so she hits him.

Chapter 15 - Ana and Christian have sex. Ana and Christian send each other e-mail all day instead of working.

Chapter 16 - Christian's ex-subs turn up at Ana's office to speak with her and Christian shits a brick. Ana gets a phone call saying her father has been in an accident.

Additionally, I've added a tab at the top of the blog that has all the 50 Shades posts in one place and listed in chronological order so they are easier to find. Let me know if I need to fix any of the links, as I am too lazy to actually test them.

Chapters 17-20 up tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doctor Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are

So my first interaction with the medical system here didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I went in this morning to get my prescriptions here, because they don't transfer when you move countries. And in all fairness, I did get them written for me, at least enough to cover this month. But not without a long lecture about how no one should be on depression medication long term, from a man who 1. had only met me about three minutes earlier; 2. isn't a specialist in mental health; 3. hasn't reviewed any of the records from my previous doctor; 4. has no idea what it's been like to live with me these past few months while I've been freaking out because I have literally changed every single thing about my life; 5. has no idea what I'm like without medication. He said, with no basis whatsoever, that I needed to look into some alternatives - alternatives he didn't bother to specify or ask me whether I was already doing, but which I assume would include the exercise I already take four or five times a week, the meditation I do,  and the friends I turn to when I need to talk. Apart from not eating a healthy diet, which is never going to happen because, let's face it, Doritos are DELICIOUS while green vegetables taste like pee, I'm doing all the things you're supposed to do. Oh except seeing a psychiatrist here, but when I asked him for a referral, he told me that psychiatrists in this country don't treat "minor problems" and it's really not for me unless I'm on an anti-psychotic (he did eventually give me a phone number).

Is that what doctors are like here, or is this guy just a judgemental ass who thinks he knows everything because it says "Dr." in front of his name? Should I just make sure I always see another doctor from that practice? It's much easier to get the healthcare you need when you don't have a completely adversarial relationship with your doctor.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day!

It's Veteran's Day today, or Remembrance Day, depending on where you're reading this. Thank a vet today*.

*Thanks dad, Uncle John, E-town, Erin, Marcus, Terry, and Corporal!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cake or Death

I made cupcakes and cookies for my class on Thursday, which was in no way an attempt to impress people with my baking skills or distract anyone from the my crappy presentation/uncontrollable shaking. My friend ate five of them and wrote a nice compliment on my notes for my presentation:

Now if I could just change how my professor feels about me talking in class I'd be all set.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Luckiest

Today marks two years since the day I met StereoNinja. He's spent the entirety of it in bed moaning or running to the toilet to be sick. I spent most of the day wandering around a friend's house checking out all the Doctor Who toys they have (it's A LOT) waiting for him to be well enough to go home, and then I got to drive home on some of England's darkest, twistiest, scariest roads trying to get him home as quickly as possible without going so fast he gets sick in the car (or I hit a badger or a deer or something). I'm going to go make him a piece of dry toast now and see if he can keep it down. It's all been incredibly romantic, I assure you.

(I am also missing Bizzybizzers Steve and Maya's game party and therefore Cards Against Humanity because god hates me. I plan to buy the new UK version of it in protest.)

Friday, November 08, 2013

Back At My Home On Whore Island

As I've mentioned before, I live on an island in the Thames on the outskirts of a very posh town I clearly don't belong in. The island is populated mostly by retirees and posh lunatics, or posh retirees who are lunatics. And it's not just an island, it's a community - there are organized functions and progressive dinners and notes slipped through your door inviting you to "supper". I was sure I was going to get thrown out.

Until Sunday, which was the day of the island's official bonfire party. £5 buys you a chance to stand next to a large fire, a sausage roll, and all the mulled wine you can drink. The fire wasn't lit yet when we got there, so we went to get some mulled wine and said hello to our next door neighbor - a 93 year old man who just spent most of the summer driving around France on his own, going from pub to pub, meeting new people and generally being more adventurous than I was at 20. He introduced us to another neighbor, an older lady who he claimed owns 10 Alfa Romeos but she corrected him - she has pared that down to "only" two. We chatted with them for a while until we noticed someone had lit the bonfire, so we walked over to check that out and to laugh at the men in charge of it, who were busily throwing all the things in the piles of wood meant to feed the bonfire through the night into it at once.

In the 15 minutes it took them to use up all the fuel for the fire, it had started to rain pretty hard, and people started wandering back to the garage where the wine and the sausage rolls were being distributed. It was there that I was introduced to the pilot. The pilot is a woman who does not live on the island, but just across the bridge from it so is kind of an honorary islander. As per my naming her the pilot, she flies passenger jets for a living. That's what she does now anyway; she used to be a veterinarian. Which is a hell of a career change, I thought, to which she replied, "Well, once you've wanked off a dog for 30 minutes to find out why none of his mates are being impregnated, you realize it might be time for a new career." I decided to just stand next to her all night. This turned out to be a good decision: I got to watch her give a sex education lecture to a grown man using his sausage roll ("You have a sausage, and I have a...roll.") (also, I got to add, in answer to his query of what the tomato sauce* represented, "Oh, that's just a timing issue.") and hear how much she loves Chicago (she used to fly there when she did transatlantic flights).

And then, somehow, and I swear to Xenu you guys, I was NOT the one who started it, there came a point in the conversation where she told us of her wish to learn to twirl nipple tassels in different directions. Obviously it was my obligation to tell her both that I knew exactly how to do that and that it was actually much easier than getting them to twirl in the same direction. And obviously they wanted to know why and I explained about the burlesque and the student show and that I even knew how to make them myself. The pilot was VERY excited, and before I knew it two things had happened: she'd told virtually everyone on the island that I was an expert at stripping, and she'd gotten half a dozen retired and semi-retired women to agree to a girly night at her house wherein, it seems, I will be teaching them to make and twirl nipple tassels. There was also some talk of me teaching them a general burlesque workshop and/or a basic burlesque class at the fitness center just next to the island.

So..... that happened.

I think I might fit in here better than I thought.


Thursday, November 07, 2013

My Second Worst Nightmare

So tonight I learned that if you do a presentation in class because it's required which took you all day to psyche yourself up for because you are terrified of speaking in public, your professor will corner you later on and tell you that with such an interesting take on the subject, you are going to have to start participating in class. Now all I need is for all my classmates to turn out to be giant spiders in disguise and I can die in the worst way imaginable! I need to go lay in bed wide awake and stare at the ceiling wondering if I'm having a heart attack for a while.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Nice Tits, England.

Per the cake master halfway through this three way conversation with H-Town, "We are not mature enough for birds to be called tits."

amberance: there's a bird here just called a tit*

H-Town: wow, so you could say "look at the tits on that tree!"
and no one would slap you
and if tits landed on a woman, "Look at the tits on that gal?"

The cake master: "There are so many tits on that tree! I've never seen so many tits in one place!"

H-Town: I wish I had more tits around my house!
I’m moving

The cake master: "Aren't the tits beautiful?"
Are the tits noisy?

H-Town: we wouldn't have such a mosquito problem if there are more tits
I hear tits make a slapping noise

The cake master: Are they soft and fluffy?


H-Town: oh, now those tits just flew right into the window!

The cake master: Do they swing around in circles?

H-Town: do they hang low and/or wobble to and fro?

amberance: I want them to have really pointy beaks
like "man those are some sharp tits"

The cake master: Yeah, are there low-hanging tits?
They're only on the saggy branches?

H-Town: and if they're male, look at those man tits!

amberance: also they should always fly in pairs

H-Town: their nests should be called bras
The cake master: If there a bunch of nests built on top of each other, are they called support bras?

H-Town: training bras
and if the nests are all mashed together into one sort of uni-nest, it's a sports bra
i hope when they walk, they bounce

The cake master: There's birds that look like tits
But they’re fake tits
You can tell by feeling them.

H-Town: you can tell because they don't move as much

The cake master: I hear the male tit is smaller though.
And not as bouncy

H-Town: People must wonder why male tits have beaks

The cake master: I sure do

H-Town: tits usually show up about spring break each year

The cake master: well, in the winter they're all covered up

H-Town: and sometimes it's so cold their beaks could cut glass

The cake master: I hear you can tell if it's cold just by looking at a naked tit
As they get older, the more their beaks point at the ground

H-Town: the older tits just walk around naked at the local YMCA in the locker rooms

*In America we don't have tits, but instead the related titmouse and chickadee.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Second Delay

....and NOW I can't tell you about the party because apparently today is self-hatred and depression day. It's pretty piss poor timing too, since I have a presentation due Thursday and today I've worked on it for exactly zero minutes. Other things I haven't done today: get dressed, work out, turn any lights on, have a rational thought, be nice to StereoNinja, make plans for bonfire night, answer my email or put my contacts in. Things I have done: eat cookie dough, cry, tell H-Town and the cake master that I am a selfish monster, and look at one way flights to Chicago because giving up sounds really good to me today.

I absolutely HATE this part of myself, because I really am not this person. I want things to be fun. I look for things to do that might be fun. I take mundane or unpleasant activities and try to inject them with fun, because if I have to do some chore, it might as well be fun. I made swearing into a hobby reading that 50 Shades of Horseshit right here on this blog. But today it's like I've never even met fun. Like if fun was walking toward me down the sidewalk, I would cross to the other side of the street to avoid it because that dude looks like a creepy weirdo and is scaring me and I want no part of it. And fun is jumping up and down and waving at me like "Hey! HEY! We were supposed to make robot sculptures out of canary feathers and cooked noodles today! Where are you going?" and I'm pretending like I don't see him and muttering "Fuck you, fun. You don't know me. You're not the boss of me!" And then fun starts crying and says "Why are you being like this? I thought we were friends." and look you guys, I JUST MADE FUN CRY. I'M THAT BIG OF AN ASSHOLE TODAY.

So, HOPEFULLY, tomorrow I will not feel like a bag of flaming elephant shit, and I can tell you about what happens when a stripper goes to a party with a bunch of old people, which by the way, is not what you would automatically think would happen. Um, at all. If not, I promise to challenge fun to a fist fight and see if I can make him get stitches in his stupid fun face.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Something completely awesome happened last night that I can't wait to tell you about it, but it's not happening today because TODAY my stuff is here.

It took two and a half months for my things to get here. None of it was of particular importance, but it left me wondering what happens to people who do ship things like furniture and appliances. Do they live in a hotel for months? Eat take out every night? Turn tricks on the street in exchange for food and shelter?

I say my things weren't of particular importance. What I mean is not of particular importance to a sane person. They are of massive importance to me, mainly because 75% of the things I shipped are Christmas decorations AND I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THEM. (this was after paring down my Christmas decorations by more than half because I had no idea where I was going to put all of it. I might have a problem.) SO right now there's a pile of boxes in my kitchen mostly filled with Christmas decorations and I am gleefully opening them and looking at my stuff instead of telling you about the insanity that went down at the party I was at last night. SHUT UP IT'S SPARKLY.

Oh, I also found 50 Shades Freed in there, so I'll be finishing up that review, probably all in one post, as soon as I turn in my paper for class in a couple weeks, because holy shit grad school is a lot of work.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

For Reference, My Home Team Won The Stanley Cup Last Year

You guys. YOU GUYS. Did you know they had ice hockey in the UK? Because I didn't know. But there is. And last night, StereoNinja and I decided to check it out a game OH MY GOD it was the best* thing I've ever seen in my life.

We went to see the Bracknell Bees take on the Guildford Flames at Bracknell's home ice rink at the John Nike Leisuresport Complex. Driving up to it I thought it looked like a youth center, and I said so. I also said the car park was about a quarter of the size of the one for the high school down the street from where I lived in Chicago. The was a massive banner on the side of the building advertising that the rink was Olympic sized, which based on the exterior of the building I was loathe to believe. "With about three rows of seats going around it," I estimated sarcastically, at which point StereoNinja threatened to put me back in the car and take me home if I didn't stop it.

We were early for the start of the game because we weren't sure how the parking situation was going to be (HAHAHAHAHAHA), and we were hungry, so we went to the cafeteria and ordered two "cheeseburgers" that turned out to be made of grade triple Z meat which was grey and may have had chunks of hooves baked in. StereoNinja described this athletic event fare as "typical" of such things in the UK, and for the first time I think ever in my life, I couldn't finish my burger because it tasted that bad.

We decided to wash that horrifying experience down with a beer. This was much more challenging than it needed to be. The bar was at center ice, and from where we were sitting in the third row (out of four. Four.) behind the goal, we started walking around to get to it, only to find a barrier set up blocking off the section of seating directly in front of it. So obviously we climbed right over it because, duh, beer. This brought a kid in some sort of official staff shirt running over telling us we couldn't go in there because THAT IS VIP SEATING and OMGWTFBBQ. StereoNinja explained that we had no intention of sitting there, we just wanted to go get a stupid beer, and the kid countered that we would have to go all the way downstairs, through a series of tunnels and possibly a coal mine and back up a different set of stairs in order to get a beer from the bar that was literally 15 feet away from us. We ignored him.

Back at our seats, the pregame ritual had started. This included a 16 year old Zamboni driver who I'm pretty sure is a member of One Direction resurfacing ice which does not appear to have ever been replaced since the structure was built. Certainly no one has repainted the lines underneath the ice which are more a suggestion of where one might draw some lines rather than actual markings. The visiting team skated out first which the PA announcer did not deem important enough to mention, and then the Bees were introduced (following an air raid siren sound effect because of course there was), in numerical order, with no positions given, and each with their own individual sponsor (you can sponsor a player for £200 and make the announcer say pretty much whatever you want, as evidenced by one player being sponsored by "Damned: Pleasure and Pain").

And then they started playing.

Sorry if you're a fan, but Bracknell are a TERRIBLE hockey team. They managed to make it through the first period with no score from either side, mostly by skating slowly and passing the puck to just about anywhere on the ice that didn't have a player nearby to receive it. I also noticed a stunning lack of checking players into the walls. Earlier I had been perusing the game program (which is HILARIOUS) and had noticed that boarding was not among the penalties listed on the "Why is the ref gesticulating like that?" page, so presumably it's missing because it would never occur to the players to do any such thing. There was one minor skirmish in the first period which prompted a man in our row to shout "YEAH! Knock his teeth out!"

"What teeth?" I wanted to know. "Why does he still have teeth? Is he new?" StereoNinja thought this was hilarious, but I swear I heard an audible sigh of disappointment coming from the direction of Canada.

The beat down began in the second period. The Flames (who by the way seem to have just taken Calgary's logo and added a little hook at the end to make it a G and not a C) scored 4 goals inside of about 6 or 7 minutes (it's hard to tell since the scoreboard is either broken or not plugged in and the only time you know how much time is left in a period is when the announcer deigns to mention it), prompting the Bees to pull their goalie, only to have the replacement goalie scored on 30 seconds later. The entire period was just painful and embarrassing to watch, with the Bees making such basic pee-wee hockey mistakes that I postulated I might be able to carve out a career as a coach here (note: I have never played a game of hockey in my life). I noticed a sign on the wall behind us warning about the danger of flying pucks. "Ice hockey is probably the fastest team game in the world," it began, but not the way they were playing it.

At the end of that disaster (which may have been a full 20 minutes or may have been called for mercy, I couldn't tell), there was a contest during intermission that seemed to involve people throwing rubber duckies on the ice. I don't really understand what was happening, I was busy diagramming plays to show the Bees front office during my interview for the head coaching position.

After three more sad goals in the third period, the Bees suddenly decided to actually play hockey for the last 10 minutes, which was a large and pleasant surprise, but which was also far too late and they ended the game losing 8-0 which can only accurately be described as getting bitch-slapped.

What followed was the politest post game ritual I have ever been witness to. First the teams lined up for the center ice handshake, a tradition in hockey, but one normally reserved for games during the playoffs in most leagues. In the NHL that would pretty much be the end of it. But here, as the players got to the end of the line, they then skated to the opposing teams' bench to shake the hands of all the coaches, trainers and equipment managers, then circled back to the other side of the ice to shake hands with all four officials. After THAT, the opposing team got together and did a full skate all the way around the ice applauding all the fans in the audience. AND THEN the Bees went all the way around the rink doing the exact same thing. I have never seen anything like it. I was half expecting the players to be waiting outside when we got downstairs to personally walk everyone to their cars. I turned to StereoNinja and said "That was the most English thing that has ever happened."

So, yeah. There's ice hockey here. And it is hilarious.


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Meep Meep

I've just realized I never blogged about my student show over the summer, which is incredibly convenient as I had no idea what I was going to write about today (I am at StereoNinja's office right now as both of us needed to get some work done. It is not very exciting, despite there being a flamingo standing in the corner and goofy little puppets everywhere. Though the arm fell off one of them and we did turn it into a penis.)

I ended up going with a temporary stage name that I came up with myself, Phoebe Moon, after Saturn's irregular and probably captured satellite, because I am a massive, massive geek.
Phoebe. Sexy as FUCK

I also got StereoNinja to edit my music and add the Merrie Melodies theme to the beginning and end of my song (Bo Diddley's Roadrunner): at the beginning to compliment the title cards for my number that StereoNinja designed for me, and at the end for maximum ridiculousness whilst twirling the tassels on my pasties (followed immediately by a cartwheel. Seriously.)
Sorry, Warner Brothers.
I'd had a bit of trouble pulling the costume together. The woman I hired on Etsy to make my bustier and frilly panties did a beautiful job, but the fabric wasn't the right color, which is exactly why you don't try to color match things over the internet. I bought another cheap, shitty bustier that the zipper immediately fell off of, and took it to the world's most incredible tailor to cover in appropriately colored fabric and sew a better zipper on, which he accomplished with less than three days turn around (finding a new zipper in the correct color and length was also an adventure and ended with me in the basement of L Z Fabrics poking around in the zipper over stock section, a portion of the store I had no idea was there until that exact moment). My biggest costuming issue was my tail and how to attach it to me. The final solution was to wig tape it to my ass, the process of which is the least attractive thing ever to happen to stripping. I also had to spray paint some heels orange since the first pair I bought was far too high to dance in comfortably, let alone do a cartwheel. Similarly, I ended up dying several pairs of fishnets before I got them to the correct orange for the roadrunner's legs.
My legs are blurry because I am running REALLY FAST. Because, you know, roadrunner.

StereoNinja and the cake master both flew into town for the show, and BrownsFan and her husband, my former boss and his partner, and the CEO all came as well, because the first time you take all your clothes off in public, you should definitely invite all of your former co-workers. I was the last solo act to go on (StereoNinja says it's because I was one of the best acts, but I think it's just because it was the most ridiculous) before the finale group act, which was 10 women dancing to the Scissor Sisters' Filthy Gorgeous doing the choreography from Michael Jackson's beat it video and opening up our legs like Christmas, among other things. I can't show you my number because my normally rule flouting boyfriend was afraid to video it after Michelle said not to (in fairness, she is a bit terrifying), but I do remember everyone laughing in all the right places and audible surprise over the cartwheel (I had decided I was doing a cartwheel long before I decided what my number was going to be).
Wile E. Coyote knew something the kiddies did not, evidently. 
After the show, the bar was having a 90's hip hop party, which some of us stayed for, and during which I recited all the words to The Humpty Dance from memory approximately 10 minutes before they played the song because I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.

I haven't performed since I moved to the U.K., in part because I'm still waiting for the shipping company to send me my things, one of which is my tail, but allegedly it will be here next week, if anyone knows of a burlesque show they think I should try to get booked for. I've also been working on a BDSM themed number with a flogger because of course I have.

(All show photos by the wonderful Ethan Coal. He recently took some other photos of me, but they are in no way appropriate for a general audience or anyone not into soft core porn. But if I know and trust you, email me and I might give you the password to the online gallery. Maybe.)

Friday, November 01, 2013

Let The Posting Begin

So it's NaBloPoMo starting to day, which seems as good a time as any to remember that I have a blog which has an audience that I enjoy entertaining.

I thought I'd start with an update to get that out of the way and force me to (mostly) write real posts going forward. Many of you were touchingly concerned about my financial situation. After an extraordinary number of phone calls and bombarding them with every document I could possibly think of, I have finally got PayPal to reinstate both of my accounts and lift the withdrawal limit on my UK account, so I can now get at my money, at least temporarily until I start actually sending it and they block everything again. I've also been able to pay back StereoNinja who had to front me the money to buy my car because of the whole my money was stranded issue. I bought another MINI because it seemed like a bad idea to be learning to drive a new car at the same time that I was learning a new road system, particularly since I live in between a terrifyingly busy roundabout and a terrifyingly narrow bridge and I was thoroughly convinced I was never going to be able to leave the island at all. I named him Basil to make a point about the difference between a person's name and a herb that goes on your pizza. It hasn't gone well.

I had been under the impression that moving here wouldn't be a terribly big adjustment, given that I've been coming here almost exclusively on holiday for years and I thought I knew the culture pretty well. But having knowledge about a place and actually living it day to day are two very different things. For example, the other day the toast got stuck in the toaster and despite the fact that I am perfectly aware that the voltage running through the walls here is twice as much as it is in my home country, StereoNinja ended up more or less vaulting the countertop to prevent me from trying to fish the toast out with a knife. Not that you should fish things out of the toaster with a knife in America either, but it's far less likely to kill you.

I've also struggled with doing the shopping. For the benefit of other Americans who may be considering moving here, allow me to give you a few tips:

  • If you ask for tomato sauce, you will invariably be given ketchup. Even though it says ketchup on the bottle and not tomato sauce. If you actually want tomato sauce you'll have to look for a package that reads "tomato passata" and it will be in a box, NOT in a can. Knowing this ahead of time could save you an hour or more.
  • The bread here is delicious, but the reason it is delicious is that it's not made almost entirely of preservatives, so if you're buying a loaf of bread, you better be prepared to eat all of it in about 2 days or else feed it to some ducks. Or swans. Feel free to come over - we have both.
  • The powdered sugar you're looking for is called icing sugar and no one knows what you're talking about if you say frosting.
  • The things over by the milk that say "milkshake" on the side in no way resemble a milkshake. Similarly, anything that says lemonade is actually Sprite. There is no actual lemonade here.
  • Hot dogs come in a can. Make of that what you will.
  • There are a ton of different kinds of sausage for sale. None of them are the sausage you are looking for.
School has also started. In typical fashion, on a course made up almost entirely of women, I've managed to befriend three people, all of whom are men. So far I haven't been shouted at for any of my t-shirts, although I was worried on Wednesday about the "I should be in the kitchen" one I was wearing. Fortunately I ended up sitting behind one of my new dude friends and no one noticed. I've also managed to use the phrase "bitches be crazy" without any adverse consequences. Though I should probably stop pushing my luck.

So that's what I've been up to so far here. Stay tuned all month for daily posts that may or may not be more interesting than this one!