So this was a really big weekend for us! First, we graduated from, you know, college. Yep, the people who run this blog have Bachelor’s Degrees now, so it’s only gonna get more pretentious.
Second, Bad Books Good Times turned one year old! We never expected to have the sort of success that we’ve enjoyed when we started this blog a year ago. We have more regular readers than we can keep track of, we’ve self-published an eBook, we actually make some money from this thing, so we thought it was definitely an important occasion to celebrate. We asked you (you) to ask us questions – be they silly or serious or seriously silly – that we would answer for our celebration, and here they are!
Julia: How did your friends and families react when you told them you were starting this blog?
Ariel: I was immediately disowned. But actually everyone was very excited and supportive. So supportive, in fact, that I think both our Facebook walls were covered in links to every Fifty Shades related article or video in no time. At our graduation on Sunday, my mom and Matt’s mom bonded over their shared pride for our blog. Also my dad told Matt’s dad that when he’s at work and sees one of our post titles is “Ass Training” or “Anal” he immediately has to exit the screen. NSFW sometimes!
Matthew: My friends were ecstatic because they thought it was really funny; some of them might actually read it! My younger sister was highly amused and brags about me to her friends and teachers at her high school, which has yet to cause any problems I’m aware of. My parents are also thoroughly amused and very supportive of the blog. My mom enthusiastically ran into a bookstore and asked loudly for a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey when I needed to get my own copy.
Lily: Happy Birthday, so here’s an awkward question. If you had to live with any fictional couple for all of eternity, would you choose to live with Anastasia Steele and Christian, or Gideon and Eva? And you would have to sleep in the room just beneath them, by the way.
Ariel: Wait wait wait. You said ANY! So neither. I would live with Liz and Criss from 30 Rock because they are both fictional and also a couple. And who wouldn’t want to hang with Liz?! But if I have to pick between our favorite couples, then I choose Eva and Gideon because at least Eva has a personality. I would probably punch Ana in her bland face repeatedly if I lived with her.
Matthew: Ana and Christian. Either way I’m overhearing a lot of sex, but having gone through four years of college, I’m pretty used to that, so really it just comes down to how safe they make me feel. Gideon and Eva would be uncomfortable to live with because I’d always be uncertain if I should call the police for domestic abuse or something, whereas Christian and Ana are just stupid. They’d just be like my friendly dumb neighbors.
Judy (Ariel’s Mom, You Guys!): If you were a “Soul” what “Host” character in any book you have read for this blog would you choose to be inserted into?
Ariel: Wait? Judy has been my mom this whole time?! Twist! Well, I would obviously choose to be either Christian Grey’s penis or Ana’s inner goddess.
Matthew: I would be Christian Grey’s penis’s inner goddess. That’d be an interesting perspective.
Beatriz: What advice would you give to someone starting their own blog?
Matthew: Updating regularly. As important as it is to be able to choose an interesting area to focus on and to actually be able to write, the best way you can keep an audience is by looking legit enough to state what your update schedule is and sticking to it. The more professional you can trick people into thinking you are, the better.
Ariel: This won’t apply to everyone, but my best advice is to find a supportive blogging partner who you can rely on and who actually cares as much as you do (if they care too much more or too much less it ain’t gonna work). It’s amazing to have someone to bounce ideas off of or remind you about an upcoming post. If I didn’t have Matt, I don’t think the e-book would have ever gotten done and I probably wouldn’t have stayed so committed to the update schedule.
BookBaron: Has anyone actually stopped you on the street with “Hey! I know you! You write that blog!” yet?
Ariel: No. But maybe one day a rabid Fifty Shades fan will stop me and try to punch me in the face or something.
Matthew: Nobody’s stopped me on the street, but I have had people I don’t personally know talk to me about the blog. And one time my friend saw two freshmen neither of us knew reading the blog on the computers in our college’s science building. That was a weird one.
Tâmara: How was your first date?
Ariel: I went to the movies and had the worst first kiss on my first date ever! So slobbery and gross!
Matthew: Depends if two people sitting alone in the school cafeteria with very different opinions on whether or not they were going to get laid any time soon counts as a date. (It was bad.)
Beatriz: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ariel: Cinnamon Oreo. Yes. That exists and it blew my mind.
Matthew: Either mint chocolate chip or cookie dough, but I’m really not picky and basically any ice cream. Except for jalapeno cornbread, which, yes, is a real ice cream flavor and I have had it before.
Shivani: So do you guys like vanilla icecream?? 😉
Ariel: I like it so much I have a charm bracelet with vanilla ice cream on it that my super cute bf Christian Grey bought me.
Matthew: I like vanilla ice cream and vanilla sex. I live an exciting life.
Jane Lovering: Have you ever run with scissors? What is your view of those who *do* run with scissors?
Ariel: No, I don’t think I have. I’m also confused as to what circumstances surround instances where people do run with scissors? Is this mainly just a problem with children because they’re constantly doing arts and crafts in school? Do adult crafters often find themselves faced with the difficult decision not to run with scissors? I seem to have come out of this with more questions than answers.
Matthew: Some people just want to watch the world burn. Or get poked and cut a lot.
Bellomy: Can you do “Chicken, Chicken” for your Goosebumps book this Halloween? WORST. GOOSEBUMPS. EVER.
Matthew: Honestly, I’d really like to make Ariel and I doing one Goosebumps each every Halloween an annual feature, but we probably need to be, you know, annual for that to be a thing. Which we technically are now! We’ll see come October!
Ariel: I second that!
Annie: Best/worst College experience you have made?
Ariel: The best was being abroad because I made some of my best friends there, met Boyfriend, started the blog, and had an amazing internship. In fact, I loved it so much I’m going back!
One of the worst was when this guy took me to a party and I thought he was gay and it turned out he thought it was a date. When he leaned over to kiss me, I was like, “I thought you were gay…?” And then he never talked to me again even though we were in the same class. That was awkward.
Matthew: The best college experience I have was probably getting to study abroad, although the best part of college for me was always the people I got to meet, so it feels weird picking any one way in which I got to make friends. Something tells me you’re looking for a crazy story, though, so how about the two Halloween parties I went to this past year, both of which I cross-dressed for? The first was when Ariel and I participated in a group costume as a gender-bending cast of How I Met Your Mother, and the second was when – as a joke that was taken seriously – I dressed up as a female friend of mine. And then a guy we both knew was really drunk and hit on me, thinking I was her. And he grabbed my ass.
Going in the complete opposite direction, one of the worst experiences I have was this one time I drank too much, blacked out, and discovered in the morning that I ate all of my roommate’s Chinese food the previous night. I wasn’t hungover and didn’t throw up or anything, nor was he even mad at me because he offered me the Chinese food in question when I came back to the room that night. I was just really sad I didn’t remember eating any of the Chinese food. I really like Chinese food.
Purplexed: Are aliens real? *say no
Ariel: I will not say no. I just think it’s too possible! Especially when you read something as convincing as The Host.
Matthew: The universe is too big for there not to be life somewhere else. It’s just math.
Chlobo: what super power would you want?
Matthew: Christian Grey’s penis
Ariel: Gideon Cross’s penis.
Annie: (This one is super important, btw) Damon or Stefan Salvatore?
Matthew: Okay, being completely unfamiliar with Vampire Diaries, but being a huge LOST fan, I’m gonna go with Damon. No idea what the implications of this are. I’m sorry if I chose the worst vampire, everybody. I don’t know any better.
Ariel: Matt made a wise choice despite never seeing the show! I used to hate Damon, but now he has captured my heart (then again I’m not caught up on the current season). As of season three, Damon is my man and Stefan is *insert fart noise*.
Beatriz: Would you prefer win a lot of money writing a book you don’t like, or being a complete failure writing the book you always dreamed of writing?
Ariel: Make money, baby.
Matthew: I’m super critical of my work, so I imagine I could actually do both of these with one book. I’ll write the book I always dreamed of writing and won’t like it.
Chlobo: do you prefer songs that you can get DOWN and DIRTY to, or songs with meaningful lyrics?
Ariel: It depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to cry over Liz Phair’s angsty and meaningful songs but other times I just want to dance to Flo Rida. I’m sorry, but I find his music super catchy.
Matthew: I much prefer songs with meaningful lyrics, and I do not recommend trying to get down and dirty to them.
Tâmara: What’s your favorite Pixar movie?
Ariel: Up! So many tears and laughs.
Matthew: It keeps going back and forth between The Incredibles and Up. Depends what sort of thing I feel like crying about that day.
Annie: Best movie ever?
Matthew: My absolute favorite movie without question is Casablanca, although Rear Window and Clerks are up there too (as well as the aforementioned Pixar movies).
Ariel: Matt’s all fancy. I don’t have a best movie ever, but my favorite is probably Fight Club for me because I’m a cliche. Idiocracy is one of my favorite comedies. Well, that and 21 Jump Street. I’m more of a television person, though.
Beatriz: Dogs or cats?
Matthew: Dogs on average, but individual cats have stolen my heart before.
Tâmara: Do you have a favorite dog breed?
Ariel: Pugs. I am fucking obsessed with pugs. I like a page on Facebook dedicated to them and I like every picture that comes up in my feed.
Matthew: I grew up with a Sheltie. Here’s a picture of him!
BookBaron: Was there one thing in any of the books you have thus far reviewed that you were ashamed that you actually liked? What was it?
Ariel: There was this one line Gideon said to Eva like “I must have wished for you so much you had no choice to come true,” that I liked. But that’s mostly because I believe in 11:11 a little too much and believe that wishing to find someone amazing led me to boyfriend. So yes, I know it was a lame line but it touched me.
Matthew: I actually really liked when Ana gave Christian the model glider around the end of the first Fifty Shades because it was a thoughtful gift and tricked me for a moment into thinking they had a nice relationship. Every now and again there is a legitimately cute moment between those two that makes me wish the books were worthy of having them.
E.H. Taylor: Do you ever think you will run out of bad books to write about?
Ariel: Thankfully no.
Matthew: As long as we have artists, we’ll have bad artists.
Nadja (@Chapuran): What’ll you do if there are no bad books anymore? Greetings from Germany! 🙂 Love you guys!
Ariel: Greetings from America! It would be a bittersweet moment. I mean if there were still bad books floating around from the past we could keep blogging, but I’d also be happy to only read good books!
Matthew: I guess then we’d spin off into Bad Television, Good Times. I bet Ariel would be game.
Julia: who do you think would win in a fist fight: Batman or Iron Man?
Matthew: Probably Iron Man, on account of the iron.
Ariel: I want to say Batman just because it’s freaking Batman. But I agree with Matt.
E.H. Taylor: Since starting this blog, have you ever asked yourself, “What would my inner goddess do?”
Ariel: Only when I need a good laugh.
Matthew: Every day of my life.
Tâmara: What’s your favorite fruit? That’s important, ok?
Ariel: Bananas! Or strawberries. I love strawberry banana smoothies, can that count as a fruit?
Matthew: Plums. Or pears. Look, you’re all asking really difficult questions, I just don’t know sometimes.
E.H. Taylor: We know that orange juice is just ‘divine’. What drink would you consider as celestial?
Ariel: Grapefruit juice! Its close rival.
Matthew: Woodford Reserve bourbon. Tip: now you all know exactly how to get my attention if you run into me in real life.
Chlobo: what’s your favorite book?
Ariel: White Oleander by Janet Fitch and pretty much anything by Francesca Lia Block.
Matthew: It’s a tie between Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses. I just really like stories about really miserable people.
Annie: If you were to start a “Great Books, Good Times”-Version of your blog, what sort of books would you like to write about?
Ariel: Good erotic fiction! I don’t want to write about great books, though.
Matthew: Really depressing ones. Like in my answer for my favorite book. It would be a lot like the Bad Books, Good Times you know and love, except instead of making jokes, we’d just be going super in-depth into every little thing that creates some sort of interesting emotional response and talking about our feelings.
E.H. Taylor: Is there a book you have read that you thought was absolutely amazing until you really thought about it or talked to someone else and realized it’s actually quite terrible?
Ariel: The Time Traveler’s Wife. I loved it so much at first, then I started talking about it and realized I fucking hated it. I wish I could give you more details as to why, but it was so long ago.
Matthew: Probably Eragon and its sequels. I read it at the end of middle school and, you know, the books are so damn long that by the time I finished Eldest, I was in college, and I was all “wait, why am I still reading this”.
Chlobo: (this one is sorta depressing) if your significant other died and you were facebook official about the relationship, would you immediately change back to single or would you keep it “in a relationship” for a while after their death?
Ariel: I probably wouldn’t change it right away because that would be the last thing on my mind. I’m sure eventually I’d just hide it altogether or delete my Facebook for awhile.
Matthew: I really hope you’re not asking us because you actually need an answer.
E.H. Taylor: Now that you’re almost done with school, if someone were to offer you your dream job, what would it be?
Ariel: Professional Puppy Hugger.
Matthew: Running this blog =) but, like, on the scale that Penny Arcade is run. Those guys have an office and are people’s bosses. I want to be someone’s boss over ridiculous internet shit! I can see it now: “This is good, but it needs more dick jokes.”
Annie: Where do you see yourselves in 10 years time?
Ariel: Waiting for the 50th Harvest Moon to be released (god willing).
Matthew: Still unable to finish The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
Tash: Fuck, marry, kill…. Christian, Gideon, and, the best character ever, Ray?
Ariel: Fuck Gideon, marry Christian, kill Ray. I don’t feel the need to explain myself to you people! Okay, I’d marry Christian because his family seems very nice but Gideon’s seems creepy.
Matthew: Okay, I put serious thought into this, because it is the best question ever, and I’d fuck Ray. Because I’m a guy, these are all guys, and so based on the type of sex we’d be having and what we know about the size of Christian and Gideon’s penises – as well as the fact that we know they wouldn’t be the ones receiving – Ray seems like the safest bet for me. Then I guess I’d marry Gideon because of the obvious reason: I get to kill Christian Grey.