Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fifty Shades Of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 7)

Exciting news! The inaugural Blog Awards were on last night AND I BLOODY WON BEST WILDCARD! So I want to say a massive, massive thank you to everyone who voted, it was such a fun night and so brilliant to win. Although I managed to miss the winners group photo, because I was outside at the time, being a wildcard. It's pretty much my excuse for everything now.

I've been blogging for around seven years (I literally remember when all this was fields) and every so often I'd get nominated for something, which is always lovely, but I'd never win and I'd tell myself that awards don't really matter. But to be completely honest, I wanted a goddamn trophy. (The stolen Best Political Blog trophy from the 2011 Irish Blog Awards on a shelf at home doesn't count.) And now I finally have one! And it says Red Lemonade on it and everything! I'm so delighted and well done to all the other bloggers on the night.

And now, onwards to volume seven!

(Catch up: Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)

Christian and Ana get dressed and Christian is wearing a "cable knit sweater" draped "artfully" over his shoulders like the complete dickhead he is. We're then put through a completely pointless and excruciating two pages of car shopping because Christian has decided that Ana needs a new car now that her Audi is covered in paint. He brings her to a Saab garage, asks her what colour she wants, overrules her decision and then Ana tells us he's "God's gift to women". In which case, God really hates us, you guys.

They go for lunch, because YOU MUST EAT ANA, so Christian drives them to the marina.

"We'll eat here. I'll open your door," he says in such a way that I know it's wise not to move, and I watch him move around the car. Will this ever get old?

Nahhh, abusive relationships in which you have to modify your behaviour to the point that you can't let yourself out of a parked car without fear of your partner flying off the handle are SO SUPER GREAT!

They walk arm in arm along the waterfront to the bar where they'll be eating.

"So many boats," I murmur in wonder.

Imagine! BOATS. In a MARINA. You can tell she went to college.

In the bar, they're greeted by a dude called Dante, who knows Christian and who Ana describes as "black and beautiful" and decides "I like him immediately." I just want to point out that back when Ana first met Franco the hairdresser a few chapters ago, she said "Franco is small, dark and gay. I love him." ANA IS TOTALLY COOL WITH MINORITIES AND GAY PEOPLE YOU GUYS, SHE'S SO GREAT.

Then there's an incredibly depressing exchange between her and Dante that shows just how beaten down and Christian-dependent she is.

"What would you like to drink, Anastasia?"
I glance at Christian, who regards me expectantly. Oh, he's going to let me choose.
"Please, call me Ana, and I'll have whatever Christian's drinking."

Apart from the fact that she's in a situation where she's surprised to be "allowed" to choose what she wants to drink, when she's actually given the opportunity she automatically defers to Christian anyway. BUT THIS BOOK IS SOOOO FUCKING ROMANTIC AND HE'S HOT SO IT'S FINE. I swear to god. I should be drinking shots while reading this steaming pile of wank.

They have chowder and beers for lunch, during which they actually talk like normal people, about things like their favourite films and books and stuff that you'd normally cover on a first date. Afterwards, Christian brings Ana to his big shiny catamaran called The Grace, after his non-crack whore mother and there's a guy already on board called Liam McConnell, or Mac as he's known.

"How's she shaping up, Mac?" Christian interjects quickly, and for a moment, I think he's talking about me.
"She's ready to rock and roll, sir," Mac beams. Oh, the boat, The Grace. Silly me.

Anastasia Steele. Too stupid to live.

Christian gives Ana a tour of the cabin and it's the usual EL James style of description, where, for example, the bedroom "is all pale blue linen and pale wood". Almost every goddamn time she describes a person or a place, it's always "all" something or other. "The ballroom is all chandeliers and monkey butlers", right now I'm "all foaming mouth and repressed urges to punch things." It really gets on my tits.

They sail to some nearby island and Mac promptly goes ashore in a small boat because it's time to make way for some fucking and apparently Ana is "so bold" and "so brave" because she unzips her boyfriend's pants. SUCH COURAGE. SOMEONE NAME A NATIONAL HOLIDAY AFTER HER, QUICK. Two pages of riding later, they finally finish when Christian, as usual, tells Ana to come. I think almost every sex scene ends with Christian saying "That's right...give it up for me" or some variation thereof. And another weird thing is the amount of times he says "come" to Ana in regular conversation. If they're going anywhere or doing almost anything, Christian will take her hand and say something like "Come, let's eat", "Come, let's go" or just "Come," like he's training a dog. He does it 48 times! And that doesn't even include the times that they're boning!

After all the boat sex, Ana lies there looking at Christian getting dressed, and does her "I can't believe this man is mine" thing, which I think she's done after every single sex scene so far. We get it Ana. You can't believe it.

Would I leave him now that he’s admitted he loves me? I gaze up into his clear gray eyes. Could I ever leave him again – no matter what he did to me? Could I betray him like that? No. I don’t think I could.

NO MATTER WHAT HE DID TO ME. That's one hell of a chilling line. And for argument's sake, what if it's not something he does to Ana? What if he drops-kicks a puppy right in its cute little puppy face? WHAT THEN, ANA?

Also, this:

He is an exceptional lover, I'm sure - though of course, I have no comparison. But Kate would have raved more if it was always like this; it's not like her to hold back on details.

Yes Ana, you're the most specialest lady in the world and the sex you've been having is the most amazing sex in the world and far better than anything stupid Kate might have ever had.

When they're getting off the boat, Ana thanks Christian "shyly", even though they've been constantly banging throughout this book so I find it hard to believe that it's even possible to be shy at this point. And then this is Ana saying goodbye to Mac: "I shake his hand shyly." STOP BEING SO FUCKING SHY YOU UNBELIEVABLE PAIN IN THE HOLE.

Oh! But! Important detail! We find out that Taylor's first name is Jason. That's about the only interesting thing in that whole chapter.

They go for dinner and Ana asks Christian if he has any friends, which he doesn't because he's an unbearable prick. Or busy with his company, whichever. Ana then brings up the playroom and is disappointed when Christian says he doesn't want to take her there again, because she left him the last time he did. Ana can't seem to make up her fucking mind, because she didn't want all the BDSM stuff earlier and now she's disappointed that Christian is actually giving her what she said she wants. Also, at this point in the book, the word "carefree" has been used three times within half a page. That poor editor, locked in the boot of EL James's car.

When they get back to Christian's apartment, he gets all tense and back on the lookout for Leila, so he reverts to being all snappy at Ana.

But his attitude makes me smile. I want to hug myself - now this man, all domineering and short with me I know. I marvel that I would have found it so threatening only a week or so ago when he spoke to me this way. But now, I understand him so much better.


When they get upstairs, Ana jokes with Taylor about how she was Mrs. Taylor the previous night, as they had checked into the hotel using his name. Christian gets angry because he's a jealous man-baby and takes Ana aside, saying "Don't be friendly with the staff or flirt with them. I don't like it." WAHHH STOP BEING NICE TO OTHER PEOPLE, YOU'RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE NICE TO ME.

Ana mentions that she's getting her clothes ready for work the next day and Christian acts like she's just announced that she's off to ride Taylor.

"Work!" Christian exclaims as if it's a dirty word, and he releases me, glaring.

He tells Ana he doesn't want her to go to work and they argue back and forth, with him telling her that she doesn't need to work for a living (because he's so rich! He sets fire to hundred dollar bills to light his cigars! Which are wrapped in money!).

"Do you think I'm going to stay here twiddling my thumbs while you're off being Master of the Universe?"

A regular day at the office for Christian.

They eventually agree that Ana will go to work, but she'll be accompanied by Sawyer. (Not Taylor, now that he's on Christian's shitlist for smiling at Ana.)

He takes Ana on a tour of the apartment, so we can see all the rooms that EL forgot to include in the first book, because this place is like the fucking TARDIS or something.

Along with the playroom and three spare bedrooms upstairs, I’m intrigued to find that Taylor and Mrs. Jones have a wing to themselves – a kitchen, spacious living area, and a bedroom each.

A wing to themselves!? Are Taylor and Mrs Jones doing it? THEY TOTALLY ARE. DETAILS PLEASE.

Also, apparently there's a wine cellar in the apartment, which is impressive seeing as it's a penthouse and therefore on the top floor, whereas a cellar by definition is below ground level. I guess when you're as rich as Christian Grey, logic and reality don't apply to you.

They end up in the library/billiards room and play a game of pool. Ana is actually quite good at it and she bets Christian that if she wins, he has to take her into the playroom again. We get a page and a half of every goddamn shot they take during their game, interspersed with Ana waving her arse at Christian while lining each one up. He wins and announces that he's going to spank her and ride her on the pool table. (Called it.)

Holy shit. Every single muscle south of my navel clenches hard.

Like her calves? Have her legs just spasmed? Wouldn't that make her fall to the floor? Dammit Ana, I thought we were making progress when you said vagina earlier, now you've gotten even more vague than "down there". MUST TRY HARDER.


Also: WILDCAAAARD! *kicks a table over*

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 6)

Alright, let's get this show on the road! The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can return to the altogether more fun and less rage-inducing Sweet Valley High recaps. At least the Wakefield twins have an endearing type of ridiculousness, rather than the type that makes me want to smash things and drink heavily.

(Catch up: Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Ana stands around in the foyer after Christian barges into the apartment, despite his security team not being finished sweeping the place, and as soon as Sawyer informs Taylor via radio that the boss has entered the place, he has to pull out his earpiece because Taylor is shouting so much. What did he say?! Give us some Taylor POV, come onnn!

While Ana is tooling around outside, she suddenly notices that the foyer is decorated with sixteen Madonna and child paintings, which sounds like something you'd definitely notice the first time you were there because it's fucking creepy.

Christian comes out the front door, announcing that it's all clear and then a few lines later says that Taylor and his team are checking all the closets and cupboards in the place for Leila. So, it's actually the opposite of all clear then, seeing as THEY'RE STILL LOOKING. But he sends Ana off to bed anyway. For fuck's sake Christian. And apparently there's no need to call the police about any of this, because that would mean this stupid subplot would be over and done with and where's the fun in that.

Ana wakes up later that night and sees a shadow at the end of her bed, which is possibly a woman. When she turns on the light, there's nothing there so she decides she imagined it. She finds Christian on the phone in his study and he looks so tired that her "heart constricts". Her heart constricts five times in this book and I'm starting to wonder if she has some kind of medical condition.

Instead of telling him about the figure she thought she saw in the bedroom, considering that there was very possibly an intruder in the house earlier, Ana spends half a page taking off Christian's shirt. They move into the bedroom, where the balcony door has been left open, although neither of them opened it and only then it occurs to Ana to tell Christian what she saw. He immediately summons Taylor, tells him to find Leila and to book them in somewhere for the night. Christian packs a bag for himself and stops Ana from going to get her own clothes, apparently she has to make do with wearing his t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, until Taylor hands her a suitcase of clothes that he packed for her, because TAYLOR IS AWESOME.

As they're leaving, Ana hugs Taylor for the suitcase and for generally being the only likeable character in this series, so OF COURSE Christian frowns and "then looks questioningly at Taylor, who smiles very slightly and adjusts his tie."
Taylor's wallet

Christian and Ana get into the car and head for the hotel that they've been booked into for the night and when Ana wonders how Leila knew the Audi was hers, Christian reveals that he bought an Audi A3 for all his submissives. Lovely. Also, while they're on the way, "Christian roars up Fifth Avenue toward the I-5", but I presume EL James means that the car he's driving did the roaring. Otherwise Christian is sitting there going "RAAARR!" with Ana next to him.

They get to the hotel and the receptionist stutters and blushes at the sight of Christian, which is how every woman seems to react to him and allows Ana to bitch about every female they encounter for eyeing up HER abusive asshole boyfrenn. (Also, Ana bestows the name Miss Flushing Crimson upon her. Because of course she does.)

Once they're in the fancy suite, they drink some brandy and bone on the four poster bed. The next morning, Christian wakes Ana up because Dr. Greene is on her way over. Even if you're on the run from a psychotic ex, there's always time for forced contraceptives! They have breakfast (YOU MUST EAT, ANA) and Christian gets narky with Ana when she jokes about whether they'll be safe wherever they're going that day. "Fifty doesn't joke about my safety - I should know this by now." To be fair though, this is also the guy who put her to bed the previous night before his apartment was fully searched for a crazy stalker.

Also, I'd just like to point out that when Christian gets cross here, "his mouth presses in a line". It happens a lot. Sometimes it's a "grim line", mostly a "hard line" and he does it 25 times in this book, which leads me to believe that he looks like this most of the time:

So fucking SEXY

Dr. Greene arrives and tells Ana that she might be pregnant because she stopped taking her pill when she left Christian and makes her do a pregnancy test, despite the fact that they've been using condoms since getting back together. Oh and she waits until AFTER the pregnancy test to ask Ana when her last period was. She doesn't seem like a very good doctor, to be honest. Way to unnecessarily freak out your patient. (Ana isn't pregnant of course, although I could have told her that.) After that though, Ana doesn't listen to a word the doctor says about the injection she's going to give her because she's too busy thinking about how terrible it would be to have to tell Christian she was pregnant. Even though she isn't. And then she proceeds to be all weird with Christian and it doesn't really make any sense because you'd think she'd be super relieved to not be pregnant, but instead she's in bad form. 

She eventually tells Christian what Dr. Greene said and when he's also relieved that she's not pregnant she gets all snappy with him and when he points out that she's in a bad temper, he says:

"My natural inclination is to beat it out of you, but I seriously doubt you want that."


They take a shower together and he gets Ana to carefully wash off the lipstick lines on his torso, which seem to have survived numerous sex scenes and the charity event at his parents house. He could do with taking more showers, really. Ana starts crying because he's so SAD and BROKEN and then Christian says overwrought things like "I'm a husk of a man. I don't have a heart."

Neither did this guy, but at least he wasn't a dick about it.
Then, after loads of build-up, he tells Ana that he loves her (well, she says "You love me" and he says "Yes I do") and it's all framed to be this huge deal but at this stage I'm just like GOD. WHATEVER. NEXT.

The following two pages are then taken up with Ana drying Christian off with a towel and telling us how AMAZING and WONDERFUL everything is now.

Gazing at us both in the mirror - his beauty, his nakedness and me with my covered hair - we look almost Biblical, as if from an Old Testament baroque painting.

This line is actually hilarious, because Old Testament paintings are dark as hell. In fact, if you Google "Old Testament baroque painting", the image results consist almost entirely of murder scenes and severed heads. Seriously, try it. It's a bloodbath. A chiaroscuro Caravaggio bloodbath.

And Caravaggio doesn't fuck around.
More banging ensues, but thankfully we're spared the details due to a paragraph break. While they're lying in bed afterwards, Ana asks Christian if he knows anything about his biological father, but he doesn't. Although he does know that it wasn't his mother's pimp and then reveals that the pimp discovered his mother's body and just left Christian there with her until the cops came, and then he breezily changes the subject. Apparently Christian has a surprise for Ana, so he tells her to get dressed and her inner goddess swoons while Christian walks around in his boxers. 

Speaking of which, let's check in with Ana's inner goddess, shall we? She makes a massive 56 appearances in this book, so I'll just list the dumbest ones.

  • is down on bended knee with her hands clasped in supplication
  • strokes her chin gently in quiet contemplation
  • cheers loudly to the rafters
  • is doing a triple axel dismount off the uneven bars
  • does three backflips over the gym floor
  • purrs with pure pleasure
  • has found her voice and is shouting from the rooftops
  • performs a perfect triple Salchow in her ice skates
  • jerks awake suddenly, all disheveled with a just-fucked look
  • is bouncing around like a five year old
  • tackles Ana's subconscious to the floor
  • performs a quick arabesque
  • stomps off pouting, her arms crossed like an angry toddler
  • is limbering up in the background, doing her floor exercises 
  • grabs a rose between her teeth and starts to tango (I'm pretty sure you need more than one person for that. Idioms don't come out of nowhere, like.)
  • backflips over her chaise longue
  • is clapping her hands in glee like a small child
  • pouts provocatively
  • pops her head out of her bunker
  • is draped in a pink feather boa and diamonds, strutting her stuff in fuck-me shoes
  • is on her knees, naked except for her panties - begging
  • fist pumps the air above her chaise longue
  • performs four arabesques and a pas de basque
  • has resurfaced after her evening of rocking and weeping in the corner and she's wearing harlot-red lipstick
  • somersaults round her chaise longue
  • is stripped naked and standing in line, ready and waiting
  • has already scissor-kicked onto the table and is watching him with adoration
It turns out most of them are dumb so that's almost every appearance. I left out all the ones where she's writhing on her chaise longue, because that happened a lot and got boring FAST. The chaise longue alone makes ten appearances for fuck's sake. Unfortunately a piano doesn't get dropped on her fucking head at any point.

Ana's subconscious manages to put in an impressive 52 appearances but spends most of them hissing and snarling and glaring at Ana and has an armchair instead of a chaise longue. She's the half moon glasses-wearing buzzkill to the inner goddess' fun-loving idiot sex pixie.

And both of them can fuck right off.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 5)

Alright! It's this week's 50 Shades Day!


(Catch up: Vol 1, 2, 3 and 4)

So, all the lipstick drawing naturally leads to yet another sex scene, identical to most of the previous ones, full of "Oh baby", "I want you", foil packets and "Oh my", as per usual.

Amount of times Ana says "Oh my" altogether: 40 (Forty. COME ON.)

Foil packets: 15

Let's talk about foil packets for a minute. I mean, surely it's not REALLY necessary for EL James to inform us of "the telltale rip" of a goddamn condom wrapper every single time Christian and Ana bang. Every time! At this stage you kind of have to wonder if there's some manner of Pavlovian response deal going on here. Like, if Christian rips the foil on a microwave dinner, or, like, some tin foil, is Ana just automatically taking her pants off? Worth investigating, surely.

Anyway, after all the sexy sexing, Christian whips off his condom "dropping it unceremoniously on the floor beside the bed" because he's gross as well as a terrible person. His poor housekeeper, having to clean up his spoogy carpets. Bleh.

"I hate those things. I've a good mind to call Dr. Greene around to give you a shot."

Hey, cool, have your girlfriend forcibly injected with birth control hormones without even consulting her first. ROMAAAANCE. After a little while, the subject of Elena comes up again when Ana starts touching his chest along the agreed lines.

"My past is my past. It's a fact. I can't change it. I'm lucky that you don't have one, because it would drive me crazy if you did."

Oh, ok, so he's telling Ana to get over the fact that he has a past, but if she had one it'd be the biggest deal EVAR? Yeah that sounds totally fair and not at all like a ridiculous double standard. Fucker.

They're supposed to be going to some big charity event that evening at Christian's parents' house, so Ana gets ready, putting on fancy clothes from the wardrobe that Christian had stocked for her, taking care to tell us exactly how much her new underwear, dress and shoes all costed. Then Christian arrives into the room with the ben-wa balls from the last book and has clearly decided that an evening where she has to hang out with his parents is the perfect time to stick them into Ana.

Before they leave for the charity thing, Christian gives Ana a decorated mask (the one on the book cover, in fact) because the event that night is a masquerade ball. Then Christian shows her the library in his apartment that EL forgot to include in the first book, which has a pool table in the middle of the floor. I can't think of any reason for this bit, other than introducing the pool table so they can angry-bone on it later.

In the car on the way to the gala thing, Ana asks Christian where he got the lipstick from earlier.

He smirks at me and points toward the front. "Taylor" he mouths.

What? Really? Is Taylor a secret ladies man? Or into drag? Either way, I want to know more. Taylor is easily the most interesting character in this entire series. MOAR TAYLOR.

They get to the party and there's a fuckload of boring descriptions of everything, including how many entrances there are to the dance floor. For real. I know any time I read about a fictional party, my first thought is to hope there's enough fire exits. Anyway, Christian's sister Mia appears and brings Ana over to her friends to introduce them.

I shoot a quick panicked glance at Christian, who shrugs in a resigned I-know-she's-impossible-I-had-to-live-with-her-for-years way, and let Mia lead me over to a group of four young women.


They sit at their table with Christian's parents and Ana is introduced to his grandparents.

"Grandmother, Grandfather, may I introduce Anastasia Steele?"
Mrs. Trevelyan is all over me like a rash. "Oh he's finally found someone, how wonderful and so pretty!"

Like a rash. This is how Ana reacts to someone's GRANDMOTHER being NICE TO HER.

For some reason, we get the entire pretentious dinner menu listed on one of the pages, because "oh my" and "holy fuck" can only fill up the word count to a certain point, I suppose. It actually really annoyed me because it's so pointless, even though I'm really into George RR Martin describing every bit of food going in A Song Of Ice And Fire. Although I suppose the major difference there is engaging and enjoyable writing, compared to EL James and her mission to ruin sex and the English language for everyone.

Ana decides she's had enough of the sex toys currently inside her (because she's still got a cooch full of ben-wa balls, remember) and gets up to go to the bathroom. Christian "darkly" says he'll show her the way (he says most things "darkly"), but Mia insists on taking Ana, so he sits there and sulks because he doesn't get to bang his girlfriend in the bathroom at his parents' party.

There's a list of auction prizes (which, like the menu, we pointlessly get the entirety of) and one of the items is a weekend in Aspen, donated by a Mr. C. Grey. Taken aback, Ana asks Christian if he owns the place in Aspen (the basement of which is presumably filled with the bones of Colorado cheerleaders). "He nods, surprised at my outburst and irritated, I think." WHY. Why would he be irritated by that? I hate this fucking guy so much.

The bidding moves on to the Aspen weekend and as it's about to go for twenty thousand dollars, Ana suddenly bids the twenty four thousand that Christian put in her account and wins. I have no idea why she does this. She's just paid for a weekend at Christian's own house.

Of course, her first thought is how mad Christian is going to be and true to form, he leans over to Ana with "a large fake smile plastered across his face" and whispers in "a very cold, controlled voice":

'I don't know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you."

Instead of finding that completely fucking terrifying, Ana finds it totally hot. Yeah, fake rictus grins and a cold, controlled voice are exactly what gets a girl going, apparently. Christian then takes her hand and puts it on his lap, so she can jack him off through his pants AT THE TABLE WITH HIS GRANDPARENTS. NO.

Their wildly inappropriate fondling is interrupted by Mia dragging Ana towards the stage for the First Dance Auction, which is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of the girls at the party line up on stage so rich men can bid on a dance with them and the MC refers to the women as "comely and compliant wenches", which is gross. The girls before Ana all go for around four or five thousand dollars and when it's her turn a mystery stranger gets into a bidding war with Christian, resulting in Christian winning the auction with a one hundred thousand dollar bid. Ana is standing there, telling us how mortified she is, but if anything I feel bad for the girl who went for three thousand earlier. Sucks to be her.

After the meat market auction there's a bit of time before the dancing kicks off, so Christian takes Ana up to his old childhood room for some spanking and banging, during which he says "This is going to be quick, baby". Between that and "put the chicken in the fridge", Christian really needs to up his dirty talk game. They go back outside for the dancing and after the first song, the mystery dude from earlier arrives to cut in and turns out to be Dr. Flynn, Christian's therapist. Who he surely shouldn't be hanging out with at social occasions, I would have thought.

"I'm glad to finally meet you, Anastasia. Are you enjoying yourself?" he asks.
"I was," I whisper.

Remind me again why everyone is so crazy about this rude, whiny, discourteous little bitch? Seriously. She's just awful. Later on, when she's alone, Ana is confronted by Elena, who tells Ana that Christian obviously loves her and that she's never seen him like this before.

A hundred images dance through my head: the iPad, the gliding, flying to see me, all his actions, his possessiveness, one hundred thousand dollars for a dance. Is this love?

At this point I actually shouted, quite loudly, "NO! NONE OF IT FUCKING IS!"


Anyway, Elena continues and says that she's happy for the two of them, but if Ana hurts Christian again, she'll come after her and...I dunno, beat her up or something? She just says "I will find you, lady, and it won't be pleasant when I do." At this point, Ana actually gets her sass on and surprisingly manages to stand up for herself instead of running off crying and biting her lip or whatever.

"Christian and I have nothing to do with you. And if I do leave him and you come looking for me, I'll be waiting - don't doubt it. And maybe I'll give you a taste of your own medicine on behalf of the fifteen year old child you molested and probably fucked up even more than he already was."

We'll just breeze past the part where Ana appears to be threatening to have sex with Elena. She storms off and finds Christian, who says he'll talk to Elena and asks Ana not to let the encounter ruin their evening. Then while Ana is in the bathroom, he rings Elena, telling her to back off, even though she's like, right over there. They can probably see each other while they're talking on the phone.

At midnight there's a fireworks display and while Christian and Ana are in the crowd, Taylor and the extra security guys that Christian has hired due to Leila are milling around. After the show, Christian mentions that the fireworks have probably aged Taylor by a hundred years. Has he got PTSD? Was he in the army? Seriously, why can't this book be about Taylor instead?

Ana is tired so they decide to leave the party and say goodbye to Christian's parents.

"Please do come again, Anastasia, it's been lovely having you here," says Grace kindly.
I am a little overwhelmed by both her and Carrick's reaction.

Overwhelmed. By people being polite to her. Which is far more than she deserves.

Fortunately, Grace's parents have retired for the evening, so at least I am spared their enthusiasm.

As Christian and Ana head back to the car, Christian says that the following day "Dr. Greene is coming to sort you out." Sort her out? Fuck you, buddy! Ana asks why and what follows made me so angry that I almost smashed my iPad.

"Because I hate condoms," he says quietly. His eyes glint in the soft light from the paper lanterns, gauging my reaction.
"It's my body," I mutter, annoyed that he hasn't asked me.
"It's mine too," he whispers.


I'm not sure what's worse though, Christian legitimately thinking he owns Ana's body, or her reaction to that rage-inducing reply.

Yes, my body is his...he knows it better than I do.

Would it too much to ask for the aforementioned paper lantern to explode in flames and set both of these assholes on fire? Or for Leila to jump out from behind some bushes and murder the fuck out of both of them? Come on Leila, step it up a notch for fuck's sake.

When they get into the car, Sawyer (new security man working with Taylor) hands Ana a note that has been addressed to her. It's from Elena, and says that they've misjudged each other and to call her if she needs to "fill in any of the blanks". Of course, what they should both do here is just ignore Elena, but I somehow doubt that's what's going to happen.

They get back to Christian's apartment, but Sawyer stops them from entering, as he has just been informed that someone has slashed the tyres of Ana's Audi and thrown paint all over it. It was clearly Leila's doing, so the security team want to be sure that she isn't in the apartment. Christian goes in too, leaving Ana outside with Sawyer, and says that Leila can't have gotten in, even though she did just that while he was in Georgia, but hey. Oh and also, Taylor is going in through the service entrance with two other security lads called...for real...RYAN and REYNOLDS.

You rang?
This book is truly the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, it's a terrible gift that no one asked for, but it sure does give.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Queen of Hearts

Drag superstar, self-proclaimed court jester "whose duty is to say the un-sayable" and national fucking treasure Panti Bliss is the subject of the perfectly-titled documentary in progress, The Queen of Ireland. The filmmakers have been following the fabulous Panti for the last few years and will continue up to next year's referendum on equal marriage. It's ALSO going to chart the behind the scenes goings-on of Panti's life, which will include this year's Pantigate, when she called out the Iona Institute for being the jerkbags they are and recorded the amazing Noble Call speech in the Abbey Theatre.

It all sounds super exciting and I just want to watch it now. However, the post-production and equipment and licensing and all that type of stuff needs dolla dolla bills y'all and as such the team have got an IndieGoGo page where people can donate to help with the funding. The rewards include fun stuff like a thank you in the credits, t-shirts, badges and a download of the finished film.

There's seven days left to go for the funding deadline, so if you've been meaning to get involved and throw a few quid towards this glittery sparklebomb, well now's the time! It's going to be like a really fun, shiny and equality-driven episode of Reeling In The Years, without the IRA bombings and U2 songs. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

And even if you weren't aware of this project, then how could you not want to help a documentary about someone who went on the Maury Povich show for a "back to boy makeover", pretending to be Katherine Lynch's brother and slipping cigarettes and pep talks to teenage tearaway show guests between filming? AND had David Quinn and John Waters (the shite John Waters) clutching their pearls and crying into their lawyer's wigs? I mean, really.

You can donate HERE and you SHOULD because it's going to be deadly.

The Queen of Ireland is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 4)

Look at that! I wrote a post about Electric Picnic earlier in the week and NOW ONE OF THESE! I've never been this organised in my life, but I did say back along that I'd endeavor to post a shady Shades post once a week and dammit I WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN.

Also, please vote for me in the Image Blog Awards if you haven't already! Thaaanks!

(Catch up on previous volumes here: 1, 2 and 3.)

Let's do this thing!

Understandably enough, Ana is not happy to be in the place where Christian has clearly brought all his former subs to be groomed and waxed and polished to his liking, like some sort of sex steaks and where his former lover now appears to be working. Although Ana being Ana, this is how she describes her unease:

My scalp is trying to leave the building. It’s prickling with apprehension, and my subconscious is screaming at me to follow it.

Which just makes me picture her hair trying to make a break for it, dragging her along through the door after it. Follow that scalp, Ana.

She watches Christian talk to Elena (Mrs Robinson if ya nasty) and tries to figure out what's going on.

She nods, and I think she's wishing him luck, but my lip-reading skills aren't highly developed.

I know, Detox. I know.
Christian says goodbye and makes his way back over to Ana, who is furious at this stage and says she wants to go. Christian is baffled by her reaction and genuinely doesn't seem to understand why she isn't totally delighted to be there. Ana storms out and Christian follows her.

She points out how messed up the whole situation is and Christian admits that she's right and runs his hands through his hair. He does it a lot in this book. Fifteen times, in fact. It's the new "pants hanging from his hips". While they're talking, his phone rings and he has another snappy conversation where we hear him say things like "Killed in a car crash? When?" in amongst lots of dot-dot-dot bits. While this is going on, Ana contemplates how amazingly special she is.

People bustle past us, lost in their Saturday morning chores. No doubt contemplating their own personal dramas. I wonder if they include stalker ex-submissives, stunning ex-Dommes and a man who has no concept of privacy under United States law.

Christian eventually finishes up and Ana has to make him tell her what's going on. It turns out that Leila left her husband three months ago and ran off with a guy who was killed in the aforementioned car crash four weeks ago. Christian then tells Ana to gets in the car and come with him back to his place, seemingly forgetting that he and Ana were in the middle of a conversation, until Ana reminds him. Amazingly, the world doesn't pause itself when he takes a phone call. He says they're going back to his place and Ana's like "eh, no, I'm getting a haircut, jerk". So Christian arranges for a hairdresser named Franco to come to his apartment and tells Ana that she's coming with him, even if he has to drag her there by her hair. How lovely! HOW ROMANTIC. EXCUSE ME WHILE I SWOON.

We glare at each other - and abruptly he sweeps down, clasps me round my thighs and lifts me. Before I know it, I am over his shoulder.

I swear I could illustrate this whole mess solely through the medium of Drag Race gifs.
Apparently passers-by in Seattle aren't concerned by the sight of a man throwing a woman over his shoulder and carrying her down the street while she screams, because the people around them just stare instead of doing anything, which doesn't really seem like real life as surely at least one person would be calling the cops right about then.

He finally releases Ana from his caveman grip when she agrees to go with him and she suddenly realises that something drastic must have happened with Leila for him to get so freaked out all of a shot. Christian (again, after much convincing because he doesn't seem to think that Ana's wellbeing is any of her business) tells her that Leila has gotten a concealed weapons permit, apparently without a background check. Many other people online have pointed out that that would actually be pretty much impossible, as background checks are mandatory in the state of Washington and after Leila's suicide attempt, there's no way that would actually happen for real. But this book doesn't concern itself with pesky and unsexy things like facts. Facts are for squares.

Ana's anger disappears at the thought of Christian being hurt, even though, newsflash idiot: Leila is gunning for you too. Self-preservation is also for squares.

On the way to Christian's place, Ana asks about Elena and is told that she runs the beauty salons and Christian is a silent partner. She was a bored trophy wife and helped him out back when he dropped out of Harvard, loaning him money to start his first business. He also mentions that her then-husband wouldn't let her work.

"You know, he was controlling. Some men are like that." 
He gives me a quick sideways grin.
"Really? A controlling man, surely a mythical creature?"


Also, while they're talking about Elena, during her narration of the conversation Ana refers to her as "Mrs. Extraordinarily-Glamorous-In-Spite-Of-Being-Old" and it's like...she's only in her late thirties or possibly early forties, you little bitch. My god, she's practically DECREPIT.

They get to Christian's apartment and we find out in passing that Taylor has a daughter. Ana asks about her, while Christian stands by impatiently and CHRIST he's just so fucking rude to everyone that works for him. He goes off to make some calls, so Ana wanders up to her room in the apartment and rings her mother. She tells Ana that her and her husband Bob are thinking about moving to Vegas from Georgia and Ana's self-involvement can pretty much be summed up by her reaction to this news:

Oh, someone else has problems. I'm not the only one.

Christian finds her and she finishes up talking to her mam immediately, even though she's had to wait around for ages every time he takes a call. Franco arrives to cut Ana's hair and speaks in a Super Mario accent the whole time and is, like, super-gay so he manages to avoid being choke-slammed into the wall by Christian for touching Ana.

After her haircut, Christian asks Ana if she's still mad at him and when she says yes, he suggests that they have sex instead of talking about it. He's intent on fucking all their problems away. Ana says no, so they decide to talk about it over lunch.

"I'm hungry, and not just for food" is what Christian says. You see, his go-to attempt at flirty humour is to pretend that he's confusing sex with food and he does this ALL THE TIME. He's practically Oscar Wilde.

Before lunch though, he explains that his repeated outrageous invasions of Ana's privacy is totally fine, because he does background checks on ALL his submissives. Because that's SO much better. He shows Ana a folder with her name on it that contains her birth certificate (which there is absolutely no good reason for him to need) and a bunch of other stuff about her, but it's fine because he doesn't MISUSE all the information that he collects about these women. In his filing cabinet. HE LITERALLY HAS BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN.

Ana points out that he does in fact misuse these details, as he put a load of money into her account that she expressly did not want. But it's ok, says Christian because he's SUPER RICH and the money meant nothing to him. Because, again, her feelings on the subject are irrelevant.

"Anastasia, I earn roughly one hundred thousand dollars an hour."


Ana makes a Spanish omlette for lunch, while dancing around to Beyoncé in the kitchen. Buzz Killington then arrives and switches the music to I Put A Spell On You.

I watch him, enthralled as slowly, like the predator he is (NOT A GOOD THING), he stalks me in time to the slow sultry beat of the music. He's barefoot, wearing just an untucked white shirt, jeans and a smouldering look.

So again, fully dressed. Also, someone "stalking" their way across a kitchen in time to music would look totally ridiculous and it's just yet another time that Christian is supposedly being devastatingly sexy, whereas in real life you'd actually laugh your ass off at him.

They eat their tortilla and then Ana goes to her room to look up multiple personality disorder on her laptop, because of Christian's mad mood swings. Seriously. Oh yeah, and she "fires up Google" again, because she's like a hundred years old when it comes to technology. (Although that's actually not fair to elderly people. My Grandad is in his nineties and on Viber for god's sake.)

Christian arrives into the room and they have some playful chit-chat about serious mental illness. Tee hee. He then produces a tube of red lipstick (that he just had lying around, I guess?) and suggests that they draw the boundaries he has when it comes to Ana touching his chest, as he's been freaking out every time she so much as glances at his torso from the beginning. He takes off his shirt and gets her to draw a bunch of lines on him, cordoning off all the bits around his still-mysterious cigarette burn scars and it takes, like an entire page of dicking around before it's done.

It looks like he's wearing a bizarre skin-coloured vest with a harlot red trim.

Don't you hate it when someone turns up in the same outfit as you?

Ana also throws out yet another "holy fuck" mid drawing session, so will we take a look at the amount of times she comes out with one of her annoying exclamations? Let's.

Holy cow: 38
Holy fuck: 29
Holy crap: 7
Holy hell: 7

Aaand for fun, the amount of times the word "crap" appears in the entire book: 34

Fitting, really.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Stradbally Shenanigans

Ah God. Another Picnic over and I had forgotten just how utterly banjaxed I tend to be after it. I appear to have developed a weird neck-pain-and-headache-combo two days later and I'M JUST SO SLEEPY.

It was however one of the best Electric Picnics yet, thanks to a combination of deadly people to hang out with, an excellent line up, mostly dry weather and just somehow managing to get loads of acts in without any stress or disappointments. And here are some of the things we saw.

A very angry girl wearing a floral headband in the Oscar Wilde campsite furiously declaring "I just want some fucking chocolate. THAT'S ALL I WANT."

Booka Brass Band's cover of Talk Dirty To Me. A terrible song made awesome by a ton of brass and whittling the stupid lyrics down to the song title. Amazing fun.

A nice bit of camping in the Janis Joplin site (or the Jackie Jormp-Jomp site - hello 30 Rock fans!) with actual space between the tents and no screaming teenagers covered in marker and stickers and Native American headdresses. Just lovely.

Sitting in Body & Soul when I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 came on, resulting in me dancing like Baby Groot, while Billy played the part of Drax.

Crow Black Chicken in both the Electric Sideshow tent and Jimmy Lee's Juke Joint, who you'd swear are from some magic Louisiana blues swamp, rather than Clonmel.

Pie. Pie pie pie. I LOVE PIE.

Rubberbandits tearing the fucking roof off the Comedy Tent. Their set was without doubt one of my all-time festival highlights. The usual sit-down affair that the comedy tent tends to be was immediately thrown out the window, as we all clambered onto our feet to dance and sing/scream along to Spoiling Ivan, Dad's Best Friend and Fight Me At Mass. Their creepy Gabriel Byrne puppet made an appearance for Fellas and they even knocked out a crafty, hilarious and perfectly-aimed song about abortion (or to be more specific, a song about trying to avoid conversations about abortion). It sounds impossible, but if anyone can do it, Rubberbandits can. I wanted to jump onstage and shift the pair of them for being such utter fucking legends.

Realising that pretty much every fun party song from the last forty years was written by Nile Rodgers.

The joy that glowsticks bring to people. They're the best €2 you'll spend before heading to a festival and you get loads of them in a cardboard tube. After the weekend I now have a new system that ranks happiness on a scale of 1 to Aoife With Glowstick Bracelets.

This Side Up at the Salty Dog at three in the morning, bringing their Sligo Shtyle hip-hop to the Stradbally forest and tearing it the hell up. I particularly love their "These lads/Are feckin' class" refrain, especially when it's followed by "See you? You're feckin' class", which is something that I then proceeded to say to everyone for the rest of the night. Or morning, as it were.

Lily Allen putting on a hell of a show, with bloody gorgeous purple hair, great stage banter and rows of giant milk bottles.

My friend Gary being held aloft in the Comedy Tent by some big strong lads, including the Bear for Abandoman's last song, which was about Gary having a jetpack and meeting Bill Clinton.

Catching Kelis just in time for Milkshake.

Beck opening with Devil's Haircut and setting the pace for a fantastic, outrageously entertaining set that included a guitar solo ending with the guitarist being good-naturedly dragged offstage by the legs, Beck proclaiming that "There's nothing quite like a moist crowd" (the Sunday night drizzle had just kicked in) and the entire band's shuffling group hug exit from the stage.

All in all, it was a blast. EP 2015 had better bring it.