STICKY POST: Citizens of Trout Nation! We need your domestic violence and rape support donation links!

THIS IS A STICKY POST. ANY NEW CONTENT WILL HAPPEN UNDERNEATH THIS POST.

Hey everybody out there in Trout Nation! With the 50 Shades of Grey movie barreling down on us like an out-of-control ostrich armed with dynamite and a thirst for vengeance, we need to make a plan. A big, awesome plan.

We’ve talked before about donating the price of a movie ticket to an anti-domestic violence organization instead of paying to see 50 Shades of Grey. Or, donating it in penance for the ticket you’re going to buy. It’s time to put our money where our mouths are. We need to make a list of places that provide resources (food, shelter, counseling, etc.) for victims of domestic violence and/or rape, by state/province/country whatever. That way, people can give locally! Suggestions for national charities is good, also!

Some of these links will take you straight to organizations you can donate to. Others will take you to coalition sites where you can find a local organization.

You can email me your links at jenny@jennytrout.com (please don’t tweet or facebook message them, there’s too big a chance they’ll get overlooked) and I’ll keep listing them until February 28th.

Hit the read more link to see the list. Continue reading

“Nobody wants to hear about your stupid dream, Jenny!” Fuck that, yes you totally do.

If you’re new here, you should know that I’m one of those horrible people who hates to hear about other people’s dreams but constantly talks about their own. I figure this is okay because I love dogs, so that kind of evens things out and keeps my dick level low to moderate.

Anyway, like the last dream I forced upon the public, this one requires some understanding of who people are. Like these two ladies, here:

broad city

This is Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, whose show, Broad City, is one of my current television favorites due to the consistently cringe-inducing second-hand embarrassment-based story lines.

You also should know who Craig Ferguson is. I can’t imagine that you are on the internet and you don’t; they’ll practically delete your Tumblr if you haven’t reblogged a minimum of two .gifs of him:

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He’s also the face/voice inspiration for Ian Pratchett in my Bossverse novels, and since Ian is the hero of the project I’ll be working on in March, I’ve had him and Penny on the brain. So, I’m not sure if it’s Craig Ferguson in my dream, or Ian Pratchett. Either way, this is what he looked like.

The last component here is this dude:

Two-Balls-Comedy-Gold-4-550x687

The evil King Richard from Galavant.

So, here’s how the dream went: I was somehow, miraculously, hanging out with Abbi and Ilana, and I get a call. It’s from Craig/Ian (actually, now I’m pretty sure it was Ian, because he’s the only person in this scenario who is an extension of my own thought and therefore would know my telephone number) and he’s like, “I just had knee surgery, can you bring me an ice pack?” We’re like, yeah, totally, we can bring you an ice pack, and we all head off to go.

So, we took off and I was being totally hilarious and witty just like them, and we were the very best of friends. And our adventures were awesome, but the entire time I was thinking, “Man, Craig Ferguson really needs this ice pack, I bet his knee is killing him.” We went to a store to buy ice packs, and they didn’t have any, so for some reason we went…

to a castle.

And apparently, a castle where bad things could happen to us, because we were suddenly plunged into this whole “evade the guards” scenario where we were trying to sneak around, but we were just getting lost deeper and deeper in the castle, until we found ourselves in this bedroom full of like, powder wigs and crowns. And I was like, “Guys. This is the king’s bedroom. We better get out of here, because we’re going to get caught and executed for treason or some shit.”

Then some guards came in, and the king was with them. We hid under the bed, but my cell phone rang, and it was Craig/Ian saying, “Where the hell is my ice pack? I asked you to do this one thing.” I don’t know why I answered, since we were hiding, but Abbi and I ran, and somehow, the way dreams are, I guess Ilana got separated from us. We looped back around and found Ilana hanging out with King Richard and vaping weed on this giant king bed. So we all sat around and got high and were having a generally good time until I remembered, holy shit, we have to get Craig/Ian that ice pack!

I called home and asked Mr. Jen if we still had any ice packs, and he was like, “No, we had to throw them out.” Which checks out, because our daughter is a total hypochondriac and she’s always hoarding disposable ice packs and hot water bottles and heating pads in her room, and we’ve had to throw out so many ice packs she’s just kind of wandered off and left to get punctured or stepped on or whatnot. So I’m like, shit. I need to find an ice pack.

In the end, we went to Mr. Jen’s store and just bought up all the frozen peas, and raced to the address Craig/Ian gave us. It was the fucking hospital! We were all furious, because obviously they have ice packs in a hospital, right?

That’s when the dream ended and I woke up.

I have no idea what this dream was about. I guess it was probably about nothing, because my dreams often don’t have any real significance. But it was a nice change from the dreams where I’m looking for a public restroom and all of them are filthy.

 

Merlin Club S05E01-02: “Arthur’s Bane”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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Dakota Johnson’s facial expressions in this 2014 interview are the best early reviews of the Fifty Shades film

I was going to schedule this for Monday, but since I’ll have an Apolonia recap that will be done by then and since it’s been a long time since I was able to have fun with Twilight or whatever this movie is, I thought what the hell, I’ll just post it when I’m done.

Continuing the mockery of this cultural phenomenon that has swept in like some sort of alien invasion where only some human bodies got snatched and the rest of us were unaffected and had to pretend to be Nicole Kidman pretending to have been body snatched, I present to you:

DAKOTA JOHNSON’S FACIAL EXPRESSIONS ARE SHOWING US HOW MUCH THIS MOVIE IS PROBABLY GOING TO SUCK.

In this Vanity Fair interview in mid-2014, Johnson is filming her role as Anastasia Rose Steele-(spoilers)-Grey. The fist thing I noticed about this interview is how awkward she seems talking to journalists. She reminds me of another young actress, who played a similarly awkward role, in film based off of a bestselling novel that was almost exactly like this one except it had vampires in it.

The second thing I noticed was how much Johnson resembled a woman predicting her own imminent death. I don’t want to guess at Johnson’s state of mind, but her face, at least, seems to know that this movie is not going to be heralded as a critical achievement.

For example, this happened as she answered a question about working with her co-star and director:

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Now, of course, we know that the production was an absolute fucking war zone as Sam Taylor-Johnson and E.L. James fought each other over apparently everything. Of course, the production wants you very much to believe that everything was super fine. Producer Michael De Luca told Vanity Fair:

Was there a time you thought Taylor-Johnson, or James, was going to walk off the set? I ask De Luca. “No, because it wasn’t something that could ever be allowed to happen,” he says. “Our mantra through the whole movie was ‘When debates come up, we’re going to work it out, because this thing is going to shoot, and it’s going to wrap, and it’s going to get released.’ None of us are going anywhere, so we might as well lock arms and have a good time.”

But in the same article, director Sam Taylor-Johnson said:

“I kept trying to remind myself that they hired me for a reason. Some people said to me, ‘I’m surprised you haven’t quit.’ I was like, ‘Why would you think I’d quit?’ I never quit anything. Not without a fight.” She admits, of James, “We battled all the way through. She’d say the same. There were tough times and revelatory times. There were sparring contests. It was definitely not an easy process, but that doesn’t mean to say that it didn’t come out the right way.”

If there was such can-do, teamwork spirit behind the scenes, why would people ask if the director wanted to quit?

Then there’s the co-star component. Lots of people have commented on how uneasy Dornan and Johnson seem around each other. But I’ll just present this:

50 shades ewglamour cover

 

On the left we have the cover of Entertainment Weekly just after casting was announced, in November 2013. On the right we have the cover of Glamour magazine’s upcoming March issue (scanned by DakotaJohnsonDaily.com, who also have the transcript of the article), over a year and the filming of an entire movie together later. They have more chemistry in the first picture than the the last, in which Johnson and Dornan seem reluctant to touch each other.

So, what happened when Johnson, working on this totally not fraught and probably not disastrous movie, was asked if she would be sad when filming was over?

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The only time she seems genuinely at ease is when she’s talking about how boring Ana is:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.10.39 AM

Now, is all of this irrefutable proof that the movie is going to suck? Not at all. We won’t know until it’s out. But I think it should probably make fans nervous to see interviews like this one, from last July, in which you can’t tell if the stars are joking about their lack of chemistry, or grimly acknowledging it to each other while thinking, look at us, trapped in our mutual hell as they all laugh from the other side. Well. We’ll see who has the last laugh…

Or something possibly less threatening.

50 Shades of oh god I can’t watch Toy Story ever again.

So, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company Fifty Shades of Grey Bear is a thing. And apparently I’m in the wrong fucking business, if people are willing to pay ninety bucks for a teddy bear.

Anyway, I thought their description needed work, so I fixed it for them (you may need to click the image to read the text at full size).

Vermont Bear Idiocy

 

Thank you to everyone who alerted me to the existence of this abomination.

Let’s get creative on the subject of 50 Shades of Grey

I have written 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction. I know, I know. But it’s for a good cause. Cosmopolitan is running a contest on Wattpad.com. They’re looking for the very best 50SoG fanfic Wattpad writers can supply for their “Fifty Days of Fifty Shades” celebration, and I feel like, you know, we have a lot of really talented people here in Trout Nation. Surely, surely we can help Cosmo out.

Here’s the deal: you write a Fifty Shades of Grey inspired fanfic, you post it on Wattpad and you tag it CosmoFiftyShades. It’s that easy.

Here’s my offering. Why not write your own little drabble, use Cosmo’s handy tag, and let your righteous fury shine? When you’re done, post a link in the comment, so you can share with the rest of the class. You have until February 3rd to enter the contest, though I’m pretty sure none of us can provide what Cosmo is looking for.

 

Merlin Club S04E12-13, “The Sword In The Stone” or “Why isn’t anybody supervising that dragon?”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch S02E14: “Innocence”

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone is considering moving to a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. She will also recap every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with an eye to the following themes:

  1. Sex is the real villain of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer universe.
  2. Giles is totally in love with Buffy.
  3. Joyce is a fucking terrible parent.
  4. Willow’s magic is utterly useless (this one won’t be an issue until season 2, when she gets a chance to become a witch)
  5. Xander is a textbook Nice Guy.
  6. The show isn’t as feminist as people claim.
  7. All the monsters look like wieners.
  8. If ambivalence to possible danger were an Olympic sport, Team Sunnydale would take the gold.
  9. Angel is a dick.
  10. Harmony is the strongest female character on the show.
  11. Team sports are portrayed in an extremely negative light.
  12. Some of this shit is racist as fuck.
  13. Science and technology are not to be trusted.
  14. Mental illness is stigmatized.
  15. Only Willow can use a computer.
  16. Buffy’s strength is flexible at the plot’s convenience.
  17. Cheap laughs and desperate grabs at plot plausibility are made through Xenophobia.
  18. Oz is the Anti-Xander
  19. Spike is capable of love despite his lack of soul
  20. Don’t freaking tell me the vampires don’t need to breathe because they’re constantly out of frickin’ breath.
  21. The foreshadowing on this show is freaking amazing.
  22. Smoking is evil.

Have I missed any that were added in past recaps? Let me know in the comments.  Even though I might forget that you mentioned it.

WARNING: Some people have mentioned they’re watching along with me, and that’s awesome, but I’ve seen the entire series already and I’ll probably mention things that happen in later seasons. So… you know, take that under consideration, if you’re a person who can’t enjoy something if you know future details about it. 

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50 Shades Tie-In (Tie-Up?) Merchandise Blowout

Remember 2014? It was a shitty year for a lot of things, but one big positive came out of it: we got a break in the 50 Shades of Grey mania. The title was barely on the radar for all of 2014. News about the film trickled out the way it does for any highly anticipated book-to-movie adaptation, and the trailer came out, but between those brief flashes, blessed radio silence. There were no thinkpieces on women’s sexuality and how positive the books were for it. Nobody made jokes about spankings on morning news shows. Everything was generally calm, and 50 Shades of Grey barely flitted through the consciousness of anyone trying to avoid it.

Brace yourselves. Bullshit is coming.

The 50 Shades of Grey movie is on its way to ruin your Valentine’s Day like a bad breakup on February 13th. The movie premiers on that most romantic of the commercially-driven gift-giving holidays, which makes sense because it is undisputedly the greatest love story of all time. Who doesn’t swoon when they imagine being trapped into a relationship that stresses them out, chained to a person they’re terrified of but unable to leave because that person has enough money to track them down no matter where they may flee?

Dreamy. Sigh.

In addition to all the magazine and gossip page articles we’re going to be subjected to–”Dakota and Jamie! Such Sexy! Much Hot!”–we’re also going to get shat upon by the commercial machine that is movie tie-in merchandising.

There’s already been a dustup about Target’s rather iffy placement of sexy 50 Shades merchandise, and one big giant crybaby started a change.org petition back in December to urge the superstore to stop selling copies of the novel, lest men who feel oppressed by the impossibly high sexual standards set forth in the book become, I shit you not, violent when they can’t satisfy a woman (but don’t, you know, stop selling the book because it promotes violence toward women in a more blatant and totally obvious sense. Do it to protect the male fee-fees). But the first actual movie tie-in product to come to my attention ahead of the landslide of cheap plastic shit that will no doubt flood shelves anew this February is OPI’s underwhelming nail color collection.

fifty shades of gross

Finally, nail polish that goes well with my dislocated shoulder.

OPI is a brand known for splashy gimmick collections based on movies and celebrities. They’re basically the MAC of the nail polish world in that regard. If you’ve got a movie coming out and your target demographic is females ages 18 – 50, OPI is going to be a part of your merchandising. As you would expect, the 50 Shades of Grey line has four gray polishes, a red that they didn’t even bother to name Red Room of Pain, and some kind of multi-dimensional creme/gray frost. If you go to the OPI site, you’ll find the collection, with names like, “Shine For Me,” and “Embrace the Gray,” but strangely no, “It Takes Two to Charlie Tango” which I personally thought was a shoe-in considering the fucking awful puns OPI’s marketing department comes up with already.

Since the polish names don’t match, I took the liberty of fixing them:

50 Shades nailpolish

 

If OPI’s dilution of their own brand with endless repeats of the same colors repackaged every time Gwen Stefani wants to sneeze out a collection hadn’t already driven me far, far from their products already, I would stop buying them. If you’re looking to vote with your wallet out of the mean satisfaction you’ll get (because let’s be honest, there are more idiots in this world than not, and they’d snap up an actual, human turd if someone put it in a box that had Jamie Dornan on it, so boycotting won’t do a damn thing), then I suggest you do the same.

In the meantime, if you find a 50 Shades of Grey movie tie-in product (not the book-related tie-ins that are already out there, like the godawful swill they’re selling as wine or the laughably shoddy sex toys they’re slinging), let me know. I’d like to make fun of it.

Inspired by a Melody: “I Messed Up,” Ed Sheeran (SPOILERS THROUGH THE EX)

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Bronwyn Green • Jenny Trout • Kellie St. James • Gwendolyn Cease • Jessica De La Rosa
Jessica Jarman • Kris Norris • Kayleigh Jones

A couple times a month (but I’ll probably miss a few), I’ll be posting fiction inspired by either a song or a picture. I’m doing this in conjunction with some of the Wednesday Bloggers listed above (if their names are links, they’re participating in the prompt). I thought I would kick it off with something from the Bossverse. This isn’t necessarily anything that will show up in anything published. And it hasn’t been edited or beta read, either, so this gives you a chance to see what my writing looks like before my wizard friends throw their editing magic at it.

This month’s song was Ed Sheeran’s “I Messed Up.” Which I hadn’t heard before, and I don’t really “get” it, so I just went with the mopey vibe of thing.

BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER: spoilers through The Ex!

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