Saturday, December 23, 2006

Alas, not a real new entry...

I just wanted to wish everyone happy holidays! I've got some good stuff lined up for the new year, and all you readers have contributed to making this past year very, very interesting...So, cheers!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Just a heads up...

Okay, so I probably should have planned this out better, but I realized last night that I don't think I'll be able to post another entry this month. I have to complete a last minute move (stupid rent going up:(, but I found a place with a bigger kitchen!), and then come the holidays. So, I should be resuming regular posting in a few weeks, probably the first week in January. So, amuse yourselves with the archives, and don't forget to check back in a few weeks!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Are you done saying "Ew" and pretending to barf? Good.; or, BSC #67: Dawn's Big Move

Okay, I wasn't sure if I'd read this one first time around, and I don't think I did. If I did, I totally don't remember a single thing about it, which doesn't speak highly of its merits.

So, in this one, Dawn's crazy homesick for Cali and for her dad and Jeff. So, she decides she wants to go for a really long (like 6 months) visit. And her parents work it out, and the trip is happening, and then Dawn spends the rest of the book angsting about how people are coping so well with the fact that she's leaving. And of course she has second thoughts and changes her mind right before the trip, only to have a heart to heart with her mom, which helps her realize she's making the right decision. And we end with Dawn on the plane. Blah.

Subplot: There's this weird charity field-day type competition between Stoneybrook and neighboring Lawrenceville. And of course there are family teams and BSC teams and everyone is all into it, including the townie kids, and apparently we're supposed to think that these kids practicing and getting all competitive is hilarious, as opposed to mainly boring. And Stoneybrook wins, cause why would a town that's never mentioned again in the entire series win?

The plot of this one was really, really boring. Seriously, it alternated between reading about Dawn being all lame or everyone being all lame about the competition-y thing. So, the only things that propelled me through this one are:

  1. Dawn and Mary Anne making "Tofu Garden Delight." Mary Anne's never heard of arrowroot, which I found a little odd, given the fact that she's a babysitter, and babies eat arrowroot cookies. But maybe that's just me?

  2. I'm sorry, Dawn, but people in New England are allowed to say that southern California doesn't really have seasons. You can argue with them, but they will probably win.

  3. Oh, "One of our members, Stacey McGill, got a crush on some guy and started hanging out with him and his friends. Well, they were pretty wild..." is just WRONG. Stacey hung out with them cause she caught the surfing bug. She did NOT have a crush on any of the boys. Manuscript assistant should've read "California Girls" before including that little tidbit.

  4. Mal, you can only discover a magic land in a wardrobe, not in the back of closet. Narnia is not in Claud's closet. Maybe the black hole of Calcutta, but not Narnia.

  5. Shut up, Dawn, we know you're all afraid of New York. You don't need to remind us.

  6. Foosball is not table hockey, ANM. It is nothing like hockey. It's table soccer (or football, for all you non-Americans). Dumbass.

  7. Okay, so one of the events in Run for Your Money (the stupid charity thingee) is an underwear race, during which you strip and run and have to cross the finish line in your undies. Now, I've never heard of this sort of thing, but I'm hardly one to talk, as I once went to an underwear party, and I walked around looking quite fetching in my skirt and bra. But I swan (heh.). For the event, Sharon bought Richard "a Simpsons tank top undershirt and an oversized pair of boxer shorts with red hearts on them." Stupid sexy Richard.

  8. All the notebook entries in this book are wicket short. And Claud spells Jamie as Jammie. Heh.

  9. Oh, so Kristy gets crazy bitchy about Dawn leaving, like she's doing it on purpose just to fuck with Kristy and the rest of the BSC. Now, I don't like to defend Dawn, but seriously, the girl has to make the big decisions for herself, not based on how they'll affect the club. So, shut up, Kristy!

  10. Hee. It's My Big Fat Greek Family Reunion, complete with whole lambs on spits. Hee.

  11. Oh, poor Jessy. Her cousin/N.J. best friend Keisha's acting like a sullen teenager. And she has a "bad" friend and is all interested in boys...Well, it's a good thing Mal is emotionally retarded and will never act like a teenage girl.

  12. Your fashion fix this week comes not from Claud, but from the Spier household: "I put on my one-piece bathing suit, then threw a sweat suit over it [now that's California casual!], and jammed my feet into a pair of sneakers...Mom was racing aroun dthe kitchen, dressed in very chic running shorts, with a matching top, leg warmers, and brand-new white sneakers. Richard was wearing a baggy, stiff pair of jeans; a paint-stained sweat shirt; an dhis brown, hideous 'comfortable walking shoes.'" I'm totally singing "Let's get physical, physical..." while picturing Sharon.

  13. "Do you know what it's like to be a vegetarian surrounded by nothing but hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, and fried chicken? Torture!
    We finally settled on a stand that sold corn on the cob [Is it hothouse corn?] and bags of peanuts." Yes, Dawn, please bitch some more about how hard it is for you to be all healthy in Connecticut. Please, I haven't heard it enough. Really. I love hearing you whine.

  14. Oh my god. Another fucking goodbye party with lots of little kids. GET A LIFE AND SOME OTHER FRIENDS YOUR AGE, YOU STUPID BITCHES!

Wow, this was a mean entry. Oh well.

Oh, and the "Dear Reader" page at the end? ANM is all "my big decision was whether or not to go to Smith or Mt. Holyoke, and my heart led me to Smith..." which I think is funny, cause they don't really list her among the illustrious alums in all their promo materials. Hee.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mal and Jessi are lucky to get by looking like sixth-graders; or, BSC #58: Stacey's Choice

Oh, poor divorced-kid Stacey. It's so hard for her. She has to make a choice: does she stay with her mom, who has pneumonia? Or does she go to New York for her dad's big dinner?

So, the background: Stacey's mom is super tired, cause she's temping and looking for a job (which, I know, TOTALLY sucks). But Stacey's dad just got this big promotion to vice president of something or other at his company, so his career is going swimmingly. In fact, the promotion is such a big deal that the company is throwing him this fancy dinner thing, and he invites Stacey, and even tells her to get a new outfit for the occasion. And Stace is super-stoked, 'cause, new clothes! Big weekend in NYC! But then...(duh, duh, duuuuhhh) Stacey's mom collapses at a job interview, and Stacey gets called out of school to go to the hospital. And Stacey's freaking out, cause she thinks her mom's going to die of leukemia or some shit. Turns out it's a nasty case of pneumonia. Which sucks, but it's not like Mrs. McGill is all on her death bed or anything. So, Stacey goes all martyr-complexy and insists on taking care of her mom at all hours and setting up mom-sitters for the hours when she's at school, and she temporarily quits baby-sitting and stops going to club meetings and BORING! And she angsts about whether or not to leave her mom for the big New York weekend.

Finally, she decides to not really make a decision and try to do, she leaves after school Friday and goes to the dinner, but keeps leaving during the dinner to check on her mom. And she totally asks to leave early, but they don't leave until, like, midnight, which sucks cause she just has to take the 6:30 a.m. train, meaning she gets up at fucking 4:30 in the morning. Dumbass. Which riles up her relationship with her dad, who's none too pleased. And she's so tired she can't properly take care of Mom. So, Stacey just sucks all around. Finally, Mom gets better and tells Stacey that she can't take on everyone's probs.

Subplot: All the little kiddies waste all their money ordering crap from the backs of comic books and magazines. They get scammed, and wind up with tons of junk and don't have any money left to buy the yo-yos that they really want. So, they decide to have a traveling salesman-type show to sell all the crap. So, they pull their wagons from house to house and rap, recite poems and perform skits to try to sell the shit, with very little luck, but they get money for the performances. Blah. Stupid children, and stupid parents for letting them spend all their $$$ on stupid crap scams in mags.

So, here's what I really don't get. Since when does Stacey give a shit about anyone other than herself, and maybe Charlotte Johanssen (or how ever you spell it)? Seriously. And why is she all "ohmigod, my mom's dying" or whatever, when she's spent mad time in hospitals and being sick and shit? Isn't the whole point of "The Truth About Stacey" that overreacting about medical conditions is stupid? Whatever. And why do all the parents give the kids money to send away for stupid shit? My parents didn't let me order shit from the backs of mags, CAUSE IT'S A FUCKING RIPOFF!

Okay, here come the bullets!

  1. "...added Mal knowledgeably, even though she has been to New York, like, three times." Shut up, Stacey. You're a bitch on the first fucking page of the book.

  2. Oh, so Stacey's dad has a "tiny two-bedroom apartment." He must be paying a fortune in child support and alimony. I don't care if he's paying for a house and an apartment now, they were doing okay before the divorce. And now, with the promotion, he'll be able to upgrade for his stupid little daughter.

  3. Apparently, Claudia is neither fat nor thin, but just right. Huh.

  4. "But Claud and I have the exact same taste in clothes and fashion, and very similar interests. We are both sophisticated and trendy. I know I sound like I'm bragging, but everyone says this about us. We keep track of the new styles, and we wear tights and boots [ooh, trendy!], baggy tops, and big jewelry. Claud likes hats, and often wears one, and we experiment with makeup and accessories. We experiment with our hair, too, especially Claudia."

  5. Okay, so I totally remember this anecdote: "'Once,' began Kristy, 'I saw this ad on TV. The announcer said you could order this great collection of fifties and sixties rock 'n' roll songs by the original artists. You know what happened? The cassette arrived, but it turned out to be a collection of the old songs performed by a new group called the Original Artists. What a rip-off!...'" Yup, I totally remember that. And it's still stupid.

  6. So, to get her outfit for the big night, Stacey drags the girls to Zingy's, the store with "all that punk stuff." And this is the big winner: "...a hot pink (fake) silk jacket which fell to my knees, new black leggings [come on, Stace, did you really need another pair?], pink-and-black socks, and a black body suit. I planned to wear the outfit with black flats, and to dress it up with some jewelry and maybe a coupl of barrettes in my hair." Classy. You're going to a fancy business dinner, and you're dressing like you'll be spending the afternoon at the fucking mall.

  7. Heh. Arnie Swarteneggy.

  8. Ah, Stacey's imaginging the future, and her significant other's parents are divorced as well.

  9. Oh, and there's this whole thing where Stacey wishes there were a Divorce Handbook or some shit like that.

  10. I totally want a patch that says "Old bowlers never die; they end up in the gutter."

  11. Stacey bitches about delays at Grand Central. Shut up, Stacey.

  12. Heh. No one will tell Claire what a Bust Developer is.

  13. "I decided I had been away from New York too long. I was losing my grip on sophistication." Say it with me now, Shut up, Stacey!
  14. Stacey's dad says "But I swan." And I had to look that up. Apparently, to swan is to wander aimlessly or to dally. Huh.

  15. Heh, Stacey reminisces about Judy. See the archives for my Judy haiku.

  16. ANM, I'm so sure that some little kid knows what an "old-time medicine show" is.

  17. And how come Stacey gets to charge shit? I was never allowed to do that, and I would never authorize a fucking 13-year-old to use my charge card.

Oh, and one more time? Shut up, Stacey.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

They aren't a clique of girls who have to dress alike, talk alike, think alike...; or, BSC #31: Dawn's Wicked Stepsister

Okay, so the fucking Pikes gave me a fucking stomach virus. Yup, I read this book and I caught the fucking Pike plague. I'm feeling much better, but I'm still recovering. However, I'm back in New England for Thanksgiving, which will hopefully speed my, Mom-cooked food!

This book starts the moment after the cliff-hanger ending of Mary Anne and the Great Romance, with Sharon's bouquet flying through the air towards a gaggle of gaggling girls [I always hide during this part of weddings. I don't want to even accidentally catch the bouquet!] all leaping and swatting. And, much to Dawn's chagrin, MARY ANNE CATCHES THE BOUQUET! How could this "happen?" It's Dawn's mom's bouquet, she should be the one to catch it! And that's just the start of a stupid, stupid story.

Yep, now the Spiers and Schafers have combined (and I totally forgot this, but Sharon takes Richard's name, which they never seem to mention in the later books? or maybe I just ignored it...but I feel like they always refer to Mrs. Schafer, not Mrs. Spier. Anyone?), and Jeff is all uncomfortable around Richard, cause he's PBS dad...And, in the dumbest move ever OKed by parents, Mary Anne and Dawn decide to share Dawn's room. Seriously, who gave this the green light? Cause their ass is fired! Two 13-year-old girls who have never shared a room with ANYONE cramming together in one room? Especially when there's a spare room just begging for Mary Anne's stuff? And when it starts to go bad (because it starts to go very badly), instead of being mature and discussing the problems (or even acting like a child and going to their parents), Dawn takes matters into her own hands and scares Mary Anne into moving out of her room. Seriously. Dumb. And, correct me if I'm wrong, Dawn never comes clean! She never tells M.A. about the stupid pranks, even if Mary Anne knows and just uses it as an excuse or whatever, Dawn weaves a wicked web of lies about the stupid tricks...LAME!

Subplot: Pikes get sick. I hate them right now. They made me ill.

Fun stuff!

  1. Um, in this book, Mary Anne's maternal grandparents died a while ago, but I don't think that's quite right? Hmmm...stupid ghostwriter...I mean manuscript assistant.

  2. Dawn goes out of her way to note that Watson is a "divorced, balding millionaire." Heh.

  3. "Nobody dresses like Claudia. She is totally cool. She wears funky stuff like pink sparkly high-topped sneakers, or short flared skirts over skintight leggings [can I just add, with a pointed look at a number of girls I saw in JFK airport yesterday, LEGGINGS ALONE ARE NOT PANTS! THEY DO NOT LOOK GOOD, NO MATTER HOW TINY YOUR ASS IS!], or wild jewelry she's made herself...Claudia has had several boyfriends, including a long-distance one named Will, but she doesn't have a special one right now." Aw, and I thought they were made for each other...(sarcastic sad face).

  4. Okay, this made me laugh: "Jessi's skin color doesn't matter a bit to any of us..." I'm not sure why I find it so funny, though. I guess I just here that followed by "but not everyone's as open-minded as we are." Just a little self-congratulatory.

  5. Ah, poor Logan's speech impediment. Instead of "my hair," he says "mah hayer." Oh, wait! That's supposed to be his accent. I get it. And his allergic little bro says "bah hayer," cause he's always stuffed up. Which I just don't buy.

  6. They hired a moving van to move a few blocks away...I'm a little jealous. I wish I could afford that.

  7. I wanted to smack Dawn every time she bitched about how Mary Anne was all grumpy about moving. Bitch, please! She's only ever lived in one house, and now she's leaving it. Give the girl a break. She's allowed to be crabby. She's the one who has to give up a bunch of stuff for this marriage, and you get to keep all your shit. So back off!

  8. I loved every time Mary Anne got all bitchy with Dawn. For example:
    "You know," began Mary Anne, "I don't think my skirt looks so great on you, after all. It's a little...tight."
    Everyone gasped.
    "Are you implying that I'm fat?" I exclaimed, which was ridiculous, because I'm pretty thin.
    "You said it, not me."


  9. Seriously, Dawn, shut up about Richard's organizational systems. Okay, just cause he's not a brain-dead slob like your mom doesn't mean he's a freak. Got that! There is nothing wrong with organizing your books (or records or CDs or whatever), and there is nothing wrong with organizing your closet. Sure, maybe he missed out on a fabulous career as a cataloger, but THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ORGANIZED! DON'T FUCK WITH HIS SYSTEMS JUST TO FUCK WITH HIM! THAT IS SO NOT COOL! Whoa. Sorry. I'll stop now.

  10. I find it hard to believe that Richard and Sharon never talked about the food things or the cleaning things or anything before getting married and moving in together. They've both been married before, and one of those marriages ended in d-i-v-o-r-c-e, so, you'd think they'd have discussed some of the practicalities beforehand. Just sayin'

  11. I also love when Mary Anne is all, "when you get a boyfriend" and "I'm sure someone will ask you out someday." It's crazy bitchy and fun. Please, make fun of Dawn. She needs it!

  12. Enter Carol, Dawn's dad's girlfriend.

  13. Another example of "our parents do this for free everyday...they must be crazy." Yes, girls parenting is hard. But you're the crazy ones, cause you take care of other peoples kids for small quantities of money (or none at all) during your free time. So shut up already.

  14. Enter the Hobarts: Mary Anne's old house has been sold to a foreign family, possibly from Austria...nope, it's Australia. It's Mal's future luv-ah.

Okay, I know I'm being totally nitpicky, but that's what I do, so EAT IT! Mary Anne's supposed to be one of the shortest girls in her class, and she and Kristy are the short ones in the club, so why is Mary Anne taller than Dawn on the cover? Also, Mary Anne's totally wearing mom-jeans, and Jeff looks like a friggin' clown.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Very unhappy Tiff

Sorry guys, but I'm very, no post today. I'll try to get one up later on in the week or this weekend...Don't hate me, or I'll infect you through the internet!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It’s nice to know boys aren’t aliens from the planet Snorzak or something; or, BSC #10: Logan Likes Mary Anne

Oh, this week is sooooooooo much easier than last week! No guilt here!

So, in this book, Mary Anne meets Logan. Does anything else matter? Almost every fucking book in the series mentions cute Logan with his cute Kentucky accent! And this is where it all began! Aren’t you totally psyched?!?!?

The plot, broadly sketched…

Mary Anne crushes on the new boy…the BSC give him a tryout, but everyone is embarrassed by the words “bra straps” (said in a whisper)…enter Jackie Rodowski…Logan asks Mary Anne on dates…Stacey decides to throw a party and give Mary Anne a surprise cake…Mary Anne gets embarrassed at a dance and flees her own party…she gets a kitten…and a boyfriend…and Logan becomes the very first associate member of the Baby-sitters Club…the end.

The fun stuff, with bullets!

  • Number one reason to join the BSC? “We baby-sit for the kids in our neighborhoods, and we have a lot of fun – and earn pretty much money, too.” That’s convincing...

  • “I’d never been very interested in boys, either. This wasn’t because I didn’t like them; it was because I was afraid of them. I used to think, What do you say to a boy? Then I realized you can talk to a boy the same way you talk to a girl. You just have to choose your topics more carefully. Obviously, with a boy, you can’t talk about bras or cute guys you see on TV [oh, so that’s what I’m doing wrong! See, I thought boys like hearing about underwear…], but you can talk about school and movies and animals [huh?] and sports (if you know anything about sports).” Love lessons from M.A.

  • “Dawn was wearing a pretty snappy outfit – hot-pink shorts with a big, breezy island-print shirt over a white tank top.” Snappy!

  • Oh no! Don’t mention dads around Kristy, cause it makes her think of her own deadbeat one, despite her new Daddy Warbucks…

  • Mary Anne goes goo-goo over Cam Geary…going so far as using gum to hang posters in her locker.

  • Corrie Lalique. Heh. OMG, she’s 14 and she’s not flat!

  • I totally remembered this thing: “I was all set for eighth grade. My brand-new binder was filled with fresh paper; I had inserted neatly labeled dividers, one for each subject, among the paper; and a pencil case containing pens, pencil, an eraser, a ruler, and a pack of gum was clipped to the inside front cover.”

  • “We would have a real graduation ceremony in June. After that, we would go on to the high school.” Keep dreamin’, sweetheart!

  • ANM is the worst dialect writer. Ever. “ ‘In Luevulle. Ah’ve haid plainy of expuryence.’ ‘Way-ull.’” I can’t find any other examples right now, but you know what I’m saying…

  • “…so I put on a pair of small hoop earrings…” Um, I thought she didn’t have her ears pierced.

  • Oh, here’s Mr. Ohdner!

  • Yes, Claudia it must be hard to be a parent. But for more reasons than your kid putting stickers all over the door.

  • Apparently, Stacey remembers when she longed to be nine…

  • MARY ANNE’S DANCE/PARTY OUTFIT! HE-EY! “…a full white skirt with the words Paris, Rome, and London, and sketchy pink and blue pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower Bridge, and other stuff scrawled all over it. She matched it up with a pink shirt and a baggy pink sweater…white slip-ons with pink and blue edging that matched the pink and blue in the skirt…” Oh, yeah. That’s hot!

  • Kristy cancels a BSC meeting so everyone can help Mary Anne get ready for the dance. MY ASS!

  • You might be wondering what everyone else wore to the dance…”Claudia was wearing short, tight-fitting black pants and a big white shirt that said BE-BOP all over it in between pictures of rock and roll dancers. She had fixed a floppy blue bow in her hair. Stacey was wearing a white T-shirt under a hot pink [wait for it…] jumpsuit. Dawn and Kristy looked more casual. Dawn was wearing a green and white oversized sweater and stretchy green pants. Kristy was wearing a white turtleneck shirt under a pink sweater with jeans. We just couldn’t seem to get her out of blue jeans.” Yup.

  • SMS dances had bands playing? Like, live ones?

  • Poor, old Mrs. Porter. Yeah, poor, her, living next to stupid bitch Karen.

  • How is people surprising you with a cake and presents like “one of those dreams in which you go to school naked, or study and study for an important test and then sleep through your alarm clock and miss it?” I like cake, I like presents. You should give me both! You should surprise me with both!

  • “Our club had boy members. Well, one anyway.” And that’s all there’ll ever be…

Ah, yes…the cover that spawned a million future-fag-hag crushes!

And one that most certainly did not...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Boy, are they different from anyone else in the club. They are so sophisticated; or, BSC #48: Jessi’s Wish

Yes, I am fully aware that I am going to hell. I am about to make fun of a book that features children with many serious diseases, medical conditions and major problems. And I’m totally not going to make fun of the characters in these situations, because I’m not totally heartless…But I just have to make fun of Ann M. Martin’s exploitive use of these children…You forgive me, right? It’s not like I’m going to rip on the little girl with cancer! (Ahem…*cough* cancerboy *cough*)

So, Becca and Charlotte (and some Pikes and a bunch of other kids) are part of the Kids-Can-Do-Anything-Club (aka the Kids Club) at Stoneybrook Elementary. And one of the former members is Danielle, who’s in the hospital with leukemia. And one of the teachers who runs the club is taking a sabbatical (I’m sorry, but even a middle school kid can use both a dictionary and a thesaurus!), so the club might shut down. But Jessi volunteers to help run it while the teacher’s away. [Oh, and this another Jessi book that literally mentions dancing twice, and that’s it…] So, then the BSC pretty much takes a month off of baby-sitting so they can volunteer (which is a nice thing to do, but the actual logistics are kind of glossed over…).

So, Kristy volunteers taking care of the babies at a daycare center (and her description of the center is kind of “oh, these poor kids in daycare,” though I can’t quite put my finger on why). And Mary Anne is helping a family with a kid with brain damage. Stacey will be counseling kids with diabetes. Mal’s helping out at a rec program in the park. Claud’s helping at an art class at the community center. And Dawn’s volunteering at a place for kids with physical disabilities…yes, this book one giant Very Special Episode. You get cancer, cystic fibrosis, brain damage, muscular dystrophy, (implied) poverty and mean little bastards…all in one pretty short book. Which seems a little…cheap…definitely forced…mighty schlocky…take your pick. [I REALLY hate ANM’s serious books…they’re sooooo manipulative!]

And Jessi learns that it’s a cold, hard world out there, and that life isn’t fair. Phew…enough about that…I’m sure I can find something I don’t feel crazy guilty for mocking now!

  1. ”Both of my parents work. They like their jobs a lot. IN fact, Dad likes his so much that when his company told him he was being transferred to the branch office in Stamford, Connecticut, he picked up and moved us Ramseys to Stoneybrook…” But her mom’s job’s not important enough to mention.

  2. Oh, and seriously, Jessi acts like she’s way older than me even when she’s comforting Becca…like she’s seen everything and she’s so mature…my ass. [I keep accidentally typing “Jessy” instead of “Jessi” and PoBal knows why…]

  3. Does ANM get a cut of the royalties from Marguerite Henry’s books? Cause she name drops Misty of [fucking] Chincoteague every other book! And in that one super special they actually go looking for the horses or some shit like that…If she’s not getting a cut, she should hire a good lawyer!

  4. Now Jessi thinks that it’s unfair that the Pikes won’t let Mal get a nose job! How do I not remember this whole obsession with nose jobs? I remember that episode of Head of the Class about nose jobs…

  5. I’d like to formally apologize for my inability to write with a single entry (or email for that matter) that doesn’t use ellipses.

  6. Stacey “dresses in really chilly [Apparently, any synonym for cold can be new slang for cool, with apologies to the Shins. I want “super-crazy-sub-arctic-snowbound” to mean cool…Who’s with me?] clothes – leggings, cowboy boots, hats, short skirts, a lot of black, etc.” I’m beginning to suspect that Sienna Miller is mining the BSC books for outfits…

  7. “…if Claudia were to offer a fashion tip, it would be, ‘Accessorize to the max.’ She certainly follows her own advice, wearing tons of hats, belts, boots, jewelry (she makes a lot of the jewelry), and hair ornaments.” I know I’ve said this before, but hello, Urban Outfitters!

  8. Teenage mutant ninja turtles. ‘nuff said.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The bracelet on my wrist felt as heavy as an iron chain; or, BSC #41: Mary Anne vs. Logan

So, this cover:

What do I see? I see two high school sweethearts meeting up when they come home for the holidays after their first semester of college. And they’re all, “It’s soooo good to see you! How have you been these past few months?” “I’m good. I’ve missed you! So, how’s the new boyfriend?” “He’s good…how’s you’re new boyfriend? Have you come out to your parents yet?” “Yeah, they’ve been really supportive. And so have you…”

Whoa. (Record scratching sound.) Got lost there in the moment. Yeah, this cover doesn’t look like an unhappy 13-year-old couple. Nope.

So, this is yet another of the “Mary Anne grows a pair” books. See, Logan’s all clingy and take-advantagey and Mary Anne finally realizes that she’s being smothered…Logan always wants to do stuff together, and he gives her presents (shut up, I know that’s what most women want, but give the girl a break! She’s 13, she doesn’t want a hubbie quite yet!) and calls her while she’s sitting! [My theory: Logan totally wants to be the first kid in their class to a) get laid, or b) get a blow job, or c) get a hand job. Why else would a 13-year-old boy be so lovey and gifty. For chrissake, he wants to spend all his time with “his girl,” instead of playing Nintendo with his friend…Seriously?]

So, Mary Anne tells him that she needs a break. Then, after their break, Logan’s all “It’s ON!” And everything’s exactly as it was, so MARY ANNE DUMPS HIS ASS!

Oh, and the Prezzioso family gets a new addition in the form of Andrea. And Jenny’s all upset and jealous until literally the moment the new baby comes home.

But on to the fun stuff!

“A typical Claudia outfit might be black leggings, a baggy black-and-white shirtdress, low black shoes, and big wild earrings for her pierced ears.”

“Stacey also wears super-trendy clothes—layers on layers, hats, pins, cowboy boots, that short of thing. Plus she’s allowed to have her blonde hair permed and she likes to wear nail polish, usually with sparkles in it.” [I just don’t get how sparkly nail polish IN THE 80s, was the height of sophistication…]

“She was looking especially acute that day. (Acute means cool…) Claud was wearing an oversized raspberry-colored shirt, a short black skirt, and black leggings (the layered look) [no, the layered look is five pairs of scrunchy socks]. On her feet were black cowboy boots, and dangling from an earcuff was a huge collection of beads and stones.”

“Compared to Claudia, I looked like a complete nerd, even though I was wearing one of my better outfits: blue print pants that were wide on top but narrowed to cuffs at the ankles [It’s called “pegged” M.A.], and a short-cropped t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and this acute [angle? accent?] picture of a cactus wearing a cowboy boot.”

Oh, who are the Ohdners?

So, Mary Anne is all about Wuthering Heights in this book, and I went out and got it because of this book, and I still have never managed to read the whole damn thing…Stupid ANM!

Aww…Logan gets choked up when he gets dumped.

And I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of anything, and my cat won’t shut up…

Oh, I’m not sure if I’ll have an entry next week…I’m going conferencing for work, so I don’t know how much time I’ll have to work on the blogging…

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I will never pine for a boy; or, BSC #29: Mallory and the Mystery Diary

Well, I’m on a Mal-bashing kick, eh?

So, she writes a journal, not a diary. [“It’s my gournal.” “You mean journal?” “Whatever. Guess I’m not all smart like you.”] “The difference between a journal and a diary, as far as I can tell, is that a diary is a recording of daily events and you’re supposed to write in it everyday.” Yes, that hard and fast line between the diary and the journal…no, Dear Diary for her…I have to reproduce the diary entry vs. the journal entry.

Got up. Went to school. Made gum chains with Jessi during recess. Came home. Had a fight with Vanessa. Baby-sat for the Barrett kids. Went to a meeting of the Baby-sitters Club. Came home. Ate dinner. Had a fight with Mom over a pair of shoes I want that she won’t let me buy. Did homework. Went to bed.

I feel as if I’m going to be eleven forever. My ninth year went by in a flash. My tenth year went by in a flash. But my eleventh year already seems a decade long. I think that’s because I’m so anxious to be thirteen. I wonder if my twelfth year will seem a decade long, too. I hope not, because if it does, I’ll feel thirty when I’m really only thirteen.

I hate my nose. I got it from my grandfather. I wish I could have a nose job, but my parents won’t even let me get contacts so there’s no hope for anything more drastic. I wonder if other eleven-year-olds feel like this. If only I were thirteen instead of eleven. Life would be a picnic.

Yeah, sweetheart. Life’ll be a breeze when you’re thirteen. You won’t be longing for turning 16. Or 18. Or 21. And when you turn 25, you’ll want to turn back…

So, in this book, Stacey’s just moved back to the S-town. And Mal and Claud are helping Stacey move stuff into the attic and they find all this old stuff, including an old trunk that Mal gets to keep. And in said trunk is a bunch of old clothes and jewelry (which Vanessa is all about, and I would be, too!) and a diary, which Mal acts like it’s the HOLY FUCKING GRAIL [we’ve already got one]. And of course, there’s a “mystery” and 1890s-style teen angst and they all think that Stacey’s house is haunted. [Okay, when my brother got a couple of old Mac Classics, someone hadn’t cleared their hard drive, so we were able read her diary…and it was AWESOME! But neither of us were like, “We have to find out whether or not she’s actually gay! Who was she? Cause we’re not stupid.] Well, the kiddies help them solve the mystery:

1. Sophie’s grandfather really was OLD HICKORY! (see Mary Anne and the Bad Luck Mystery)

2. He had her mother’s portrait painted over! It was never stolen! BORING!

Oh, and they have a séance to try to contact Sophie. And Kristy plays dress up! She’s Madam Kristin! And she’s a gypsy in grandma makeup!

Heh…”She would never, ever get arrested by the Fashion Police. She wears long, baggy sweaters, tight leggings, dresses with flared skirts, little ballet slippers, and wild jewelry.” Now, who could that be? Could it be Claud? Why, yes it could.

Oh, yeah, Mal also helps Buddy Barrett get better at reading.

Ooooh! ANM name drops Pee-Wee’s Playhouse!!!!

Mal’s shirt that she really likes is a “big white long-sleeved T-shirt that said I <3 KIDS.

More clothes! “Mary Anne, who can be pretty funky in her own shy way, was wearing a very cool short printed jumper over a striped shirt. You might think that those two things would clash, but they didn’t. They looked great together. The jumper was white with a small red print, and the shirt was with narrow, widely-spaced stripes. Claudia called the outfit “a fashion risk that worked.” Claud herself was wearing jeans, a plain white blouse, a pink sweater, white socks, and loafers. She said she’d gone back to the fifties for the day. Stacey, on the other hand, was in a much more typical outfit—a short-sleeved blue-and-white jumpsuit with cuffed pants [Stacey loves the jumpsuits. And the cock. But mainly the jumpsuits.] Parts of it were striped, parts were solid. On her feet were high-topped sneakers laced only halfway up so that she could roll the tongue of the shoe down (extremely cool), plus she was wearing a lot of jewelry.” Sweet!

So, am I the only one who’s like…300 million people in the U.S. as of today, a whole town in Connecticut that can’t stop reproducing…coincidence? I think not!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The opposite of dibble and distant is stale!; or, BSC #39: Poor Mallory!

Or, as I kept inadvertently calling it, Mallory’s Poor!

So, in this one, Mal’s dad gets laid off (along with half of the company) from his cushy corporate lawyer gig. Except that Ms. Martin uses “fired,” “lost his job” and “laid off” interchangeably, which they are very much not.

So, they scale back, Mrs. Pike starts to temp, and all the kids try to earn money to give to their parents so they won’t become homeless and have to use food stamps…and nobody tells the kids that Mr. Pike got a severance package, so they’re not completely broke. And they have a savings account which was supposed to BE A COLLEGE FUND FOR TEN CHILDREN!!!!! Even when college was cheaper, they would have been fools to think they could save up enough money to pay for 10 college educations…especially cause you know Mal’s gonna end up somewhere like Smith or Wellesley or Vassar where she can hate boys and gym and be a writer…And despite the severance package, and the temp income and the savings account, apparently, the Pike parents take the money that the kids make…and seriously, Mr. Pike’s out of work for like a month. That’s it. And it’s like a week from his first interview (he has three) until the time he gets hired when actually finds a job.

So, to help keep them off the streets, Mal gets a month-long, three times a week gig at the Delaneys’. Yup, they of the $400 cat. [And they got a new pool, and can’t figure out who likes them and who likes their pool-style.] And she feels poor. [And her nemeses and ex-friends at school make fun of her cause her dad lost his job…boo-hoo.] And she takes as many sitting jobs as she can…Nicky gets a paper route. The triplets start an odd job “company.” Vanessa transforms herself into a playground hairstylist named Miss Vanessa after she can’t sell her poetry. And Clare and Margo sell lemonade and brownies. Did I forget a kid?

Shocker? Mrs. Pike likes working and is still going to temp from time to time, even after the mister goes back to work…

Mal uses more italics than I do, and I’m an italics-aholic.

Apparently, Kristy is “the only older BSC member who doesn’t wear a bra yet.” Sweetheart…if you don’t need a bra at 13, you probably won’t ever really need one…

Ah, Claudia: “she is so dibbly sophisticated and chic. She wears wild clothes like big hats; flowered vests over long shirts that belong to her father and which she leaves untucked; short black pants; and then, something just a little offbeat like penny loafers from the 1950s with white bobby socks [so, Claudia is the Asian Blossom?] And her jewelry. It’s the height of dibble-dom. [I shit you not, that’s what it says.] She makes most of it herself—ceramic-bead necklaces and big dangly earrings, but in shapes you wouldn’t expect…[blah blah blah] monkey in one ear and a banana in the other…”

Oh, and how do we know that Stacey is the pinnacle of New York sophistication? Cause she “likes to wear sparkly nail polish.”

You gotta love how in some books, Dawn’s a vegetarian, while in others, she just doesn’t eat red meat, and in others, it’s just that she likes healthy food.

Mr. Pike’s a real dick in this book…I know he just lost his job, and he’s all emasculated or whatever, but in every other book, he’s all into his kids and takes on a fair share of the domestic duties…so, his behavior seems a little…off, even given the situation.

How many lawyers does Stoneybrook need? Mary Anne’s dad, Mr. Delaney, Mr. Pike…And I forget what Claud’s dad does…Nobody’s dad is a mechanic, or a salesman, or a teacher or whatever…And what does Watson do anyway? They talk about him being a millionaire, but quite a few of these families probably have incomes in the six digits…

Oh, yeah…Mal’s all worried that her dad will be “reduced to going to some agency and taking a job he was overqualified for? Would he end up as a waiter in a restaurant—when he had gone to school for his law degree?” One, there are quite a few jobs in between lawyer and waiter…And he could open his own practice or start consulting…Two, he’s a lawyer with experience…he’s a little more in demand than someone with a masters in English (trust me, I know).

Apparently, Fig Newtons are a treat! As in a luxury!

Heh. Side ponytails!

According to the cover, Mal’s so poor and bitter, she’s ignoring the kids in the pool (don’t get me started on letting kids use the pool with an 11-year-old baby-sitter as long as an adult neighbor is home)…and she’s like 20! See crappy picture below…

Also, where are these other covers from? I had never seen these! And there are tons of them on the internet!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh, I could just die! What a stupid thing to say; or, BSC #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey

[Seriously guys? You’re freaking me out with your psychic requests! I had already finished this one when someone suggested it…That said, I’m not really taking requests…but, as Julie from Leftover Lunch on FNX says (or used to say…I know I heard her say it, damn you!), you can make telepathic requests.]

On the cover of this book, Ms. Martin gets downright philosophical…”Who needs baby-sitting when there are boys around!” Who indeed. One could ask who needs baby-sitting when there are dishes or laundry or any other thing at all to do or not to do…

Anyway! So, this is the first of the Sea City books. Back in real time, Stacey and Mary Anne spend two weeks of the summer before eight grade with the Pike family in Sea City, New Jersey! As mother’s helpers! Which I had never heard of before reading this book! And I’ve never heard it used anywhere but in this series!

[Side note: I’m watching the video for “Forever Young” by Alphaville on YouTube, and I just keep thinking that Claudia and Stacey would be all about the singer-with-crazy-hair’s jumpsuit. Shut up! You were thinking it too!]

So, the short version: There’s stuff about the Pike kids that really doesn’t interest me, and Mary Anne meets a boy mother’s helper and they exchange rings (cause they’re 30, not 13). She gets sunburned (this is apparently the first time she’s ever spent time out in the sun, cause I learned a lot earlier than 13 that I burn really easily), and she has her first bikini. Oh, and she gets wicked pissed (as they should be saying more, given that they live in New England) at Stacey. Why? Cause Stacey develops a mad crush on a 17-year-old life guard (I AM A CLICHÉ! I AM A CLICHÉ!) and spends all her time (you know, the time she’s getting a paid vacation for!) getting sodas and sandwiches for this creep and thinking that he’s in love with her. Cause she really is an idiot…

But after spending $10 on a box of chocolates for the boy, she spies him playing human hosepipe with a girl his own age, “curvy and gorgeous and at least eighteen.” But then she meets a 14-year-old and has her first real kiss…[eyes rolling…can’t stop!]

List time!

^Stacy’s idea of a cool (both style-wise and temperature-wise) outfit: “…I decided on this new pink shirt I got the last time we went back to New York City to visit friends. Big, bright green and yellow birds were splashed all over it. It was gigantic, so it would be cool. I put it on with a pair of baggy shorts, looped a wide green belt around my middle, and hunted up some silver jewelry—silver bangle bracelets and a pair of silver earrings shaped like bells that actually ring when they dangle back and forth.”

^Oh, yeah, apparently Stacey’s dad made enough money to afford a four bedroom apartment in Manhattan, yet they all act like Watson’s made of money.

^Stacey’s bikini is “skimpy (and we’re talking very skimpy) and yellow, with tiny bows at the sides on the bottom part. And if I do say so myself, the top part was filled out pretty nicely.” Ah, sophistication!

^I hate that Mary Anne’s all afraid of boys before this book. She’s 13! Not 8! She knows that boys don’t have cooties!

^I tend to think the Sea City town would get pretty pissed that they kept having to give lifeguard Scott new whistles every time he gave one to some young girl…

^Kristy, don’t complain that Watson has a spare car around. You’ll be sixteen in three years.

^For a big night out on the boardwalk: “I put on a white cotton vest over a pink cotton dress and tied a big white bow in my hair so that it flopped over the side of my head. Mary Anne couldn’t find anything of her own that she really liked, so I loaned her my yellow pedalpushers, a yellow and white striped tank top, and an oversized white jacket.” So matchy!

^Stacey’s second boy in two weeks…wears a headband and “plain white [um, see-through much?] swimming trunks, but his shirt was amazing—tan with silly pictures of cowboy boots and cactuses all over it. And his sunglasses—black bands with narrow slits from side to side to see through.” Yup.


Okay, so the illustration of Stacey on the cover totally reminds me of young Jenny Lewis…

Exhibit A. (Furthest to the left)

Exhibit B.

Am I totally off base?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And his voice is starting to change, which is so cool…; or, BSC Super Special #3: Baby-sitters’ Winter Vacation.

I think this might be the worst super special. Period. There is so much in this book that made me just go WHAT?!?!?!

The gist: All of Stoneybrook Middle School (except for Logan!) are going to the Leicester Lodge in Hooksett Crossing, Vermont, for a whole week. They’re off for a week of fun winter sports and the Winter War, a competition that pits half of the school against the other half. Fun! But the weather is being a bitch, making for slippery roads. One of the SMS buses skids off the road, but no one gets hurt. One of the other groups staying at the Lodge, a group of elementary school kids, is not so lucky; their bus flips or something, and all the teachers have to go to the hospital, but all the kids are fine. So, the BSC, because apparently they don’t really want a vacation, volunteer to watch the sixteen kids for the week, with some help from the teachers…yup, they’re even bunking together…DUMBASSES!!!!!!

And of course, each girl has some event or something to deal with…

Kristy: She’s the organizer for the Winter War AND she’s her team’s captain. So, she’s all competitive and bitchy and pushy. She gets pissy when people don’t want to participate, and she gets even pissier when people mess up…She even breaks a kid’s ankle…sort of. She pretty much bullies this kid into cross country skiing, and he breaks his ankle, and she feels all kinds of guilty. But he forgives her and even asks her to dance at the dance at the end of the week.

Mary Anne: She’s apparently the nerdiest person in the history of SMS, as she’s the first person to ever volunteer to be the trip historian. But instead of working on her paper, she moons about Logan, and obsesses about all the hot bikini-ed girls in Aruba. Oh, and she tries to research the legend of the lodge ghost, but, like so much else in this book, it doesn’t really go anywhere.

Stacey: Meets a boy. And she’s in love, and he’s in love.

Claudia: She’s dumb enough to think that her 25-year-old ski instructor likes her, and she’s totally heartbroken when he introduces her to his wife and two kids…

Dawn: She’s homesick and klutzy and has a fight with Mary Anne. Boring.

Jessi: She’s organizing the talent show, and she’s afraid to participate in any of the athletic events, cause she thinks she’ll hurt herself and never dance again! Oh, and she dances at the show, and everyone applauds and she finally feels like she belongs…[wipes away tears.] Oh, and she thinks this bitchy girl from the elementary school is racist. Turns out she’s homesick and she’s bitchy and she’s called Pinky.

Mal: is an idiot. She’s attempting the whole lame-o Harriet the Spy thing again AND she’s absolutely terrified of the dance. To the point where she hopes they have to evacuate before the dance…stupid bitch.

So, thems the major plot points. Not much good clothing in this one, cause they’re wearing a lot of snow gear. However, Claud has some impressive skiing goggles…

And that’s all I can say about this one…it was dreadful. Seriously trying to forget.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

People hadn’t worn buckles that size on their shoes since…the eighteen hundreds?; or, BSC #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House.

Ah, more missing children. And thirteen-year-olds more gullible than really dumb children. Yep, it’s about Dawn. (With a little Karen thrown in for torture, I mean to use “extreme interrogation techniques.”)

So, in this installment, one of the last books to maintain any sense of real time, our baby-sitting heroines have just a few weeks until school starts again. So, they’re all about the end of summer activities: slumber parties, hanging out in the hayloft,* baby-sitting. Oh, and searching for secret passages. Which I’ve done. And Dawn literally falls into hers, and she’s convinced someone died there. Which I’ve not done. She’s been hearing noises, and she finds some old stuff, and she’s just positive that someone was shut in there to die two hundred years ago. And that this person is now a ghost. And that this ghost is haunting her secret passageway. LAAAAAAMMMMMEEEEEEEE!

Turns out the noises are the house settling and Nicky Pike.

The plot’s pretty simple, but there’s plenty to say about this one, starting with the cover. Dawn’s outfit on the cover really could be called California casual. SHOCKING!

Not so shocking? I had about five shirts like that that I wore with my jeans pegged. (Though I think they’re going the wrong way on the cover…I’m pretty sure the passage goes down, not up.)

This book was also written back when Ms. Martin threw in real pop culture references, like the movies European Vacation [which has “A Town Called Malice” in it!], Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Sixteen Candles, along with the perennial faves Mary Poppins and The Parent Trap. Is it wrong of me to love that Claudia wants to watch Star Wars?

I’m also pretty sure it’s the first mention of Cam Geary, foreshadowing Mr. Logan [I seriously had a crush on the boy in the cover art. I was lame-o] Bruno.

There’s all this stuff about how missing kids freak Dawn out, and how Buddy Barrett went missing that one time, and how kids really do get kidnapped. (Someone’s been watching too much “To Catch a Predator!”)

The two biggies, though: 1. Now, I know 13-year-old girls like to scare themselves, but they don’t actually believe in ghosts.

2. Will no one shut Karen up? The baby-sitters just let her tell stories to scare other kids! I find it ridiculous that no one ever really disciplines the little bitch.

My favorite example of “health food” in the book: “a salad with cottage cheese, pineapple, peaches, and coconut topping.” Nothing wrong with this in theory, but for as much as Dawn goes on about how her health food thing is soooo different, this is not that exotic or whatever…

Also, before marrying Richard, Sharon got around. “But Mom had been going out with several different men. One of them was the son of friends of my grandparents, two were from her office [BAD IDEA!!!!!], and a couple more were men she’d met at some party.” And that’s in addition to Mr. Spier.

I’m constantly baffled by 13-year-old girls looking at small children as friends. You can feel affection or whatever, but they act like they’re close friends…It borders on creepy.

I can’t think of any good Claudia outfits, but there was on hilarious thing:

”So just put his p.j.’s on him. He’s had a long day and should go to bed—“ (she glanced at Jamie, who was listening intently) “—s-o-o-n,” she spelled out.

Yep, Mrs. Newton was spelling words to Claudia, who CAN’T SPELL LIKE! And I’m pretty sure she’s spelled “soon” as “son” in the notebook a few times.

*Um, sorry to rant here, but they live in suburban Connecticut, and they MAGICALLY have bales of hay in the barn? ‘Cause, unless you have a working farm and bale it yourself, you have to buy bales of hay! And I can’t see Dawn’s scatterbrain of a mother driving way out in the middle of nowhere just to buy some bales…and how would they get it back? Would they really be able to get multiple bales of hay in their car? And, there’s not much farmin’ country in Connecticut, so where would they even get it? Not many farms, not many feed stores…

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

She’s the only person at Camp Mohawk who actually has a Mohawk; or, BSC Super Special #2: Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation.

Ah, yes, this was pretty much my favorite super special. They all go to Camp Mohawk; Jessi and Mal are “junior CITs,” while the rest of the club, including Stacey and Logan, are CITs. That’s counselors in training, for those in the know. (Heh, my brother was a CIT at Boy Scout camp, but he got kicked out for toilet-papering the lakefront. Which I know is completely unrelated to the BSC, but I just think it’s a funny, typical “camp prank” story.) So, here’s what goes down…

Stacey has to get talked into going to camp. She’s all worried about leaving Bloomingdales. Cause she’s lame. But she gets her comeuppance, oh yes! She gets crazy sick and spends like a week in the infirmary. She has “a big mosquito bite surrounded by poison ivy, my red eyes were pinkeye…my sneezing and aches and tiredness were a cold, the disgusting thing by my mouth was impetigo [Come on Stace, don’t deny that you caught the herpes!], and all the itchiness was from more insect bites and, of course, the poison ivy. (The dyspepsia was a nervous stomach, which cleared up as soon as I found out I didn’t have Lyme disease.)” Yep, she’s got the plague. Apparently, the second you leave NYC, you catch all sorts of nasties.

Kristy lets the other CITs in her cabin give her a makeover. She actually wears makeup.

Claudia falls in LUV with a Japanese-American boy. They have lots in common, and Claud’s a smitten kitten.

Jessi and Mal don’t get along with their cabin mates, cause they act all juvenile and clingy, and they’re “special” CIT status. One of the girls in the cabin calls them “oreos,” misusing a racial slur. But, Mal and Jessi write a play for some of the younger girls to put on that “teaches” the other girls to be more accepting…LAME!

Mary Anne gets in trouble for sneaking trying to sneak around the lake that separates the boys’ and girls’ camps. Why? Cause she wants to prove that she’s cool to the other CITs, and they don’t believe Logan exists. Oh, and she decides to let the other girls pierce her ears, but they chicken out before she does.

Dawn tries to figure out the quiet girl in her cabins. Oh, and she gets a group of kids lost in the wilderness. [Um, lost in the wilderness, stuck on an island (Oh, I miss good Liz Phair!), Dawn’s got some problems with keeping kids safe. Maybe, she shouldn’t be a babysitter?]

Logan gets razzed by the boy CITs because of the lame-o love letter Mary Anne sends him. Should I transcribe it here? Why not?

Dear Logan,

I miss you so much! I am counting the days until next Wednesday. This next week will seem like a year. I think of you and want to swon swoon.Oh, to feel your arms around me at the dance! It has been too long since our last kiss.

I will be wearing the formal teepee wear, of course, and a yellow ribbon in my hair. What of you, my love? Will you wear your after-shave? If you were to bring me a yellow flower to match my ribbon, I would melt in your arms.

Love forever, kisses and hugs, your love-bunny, Mary Anne XXOO

My single favorite moment of the book? Logan’s outfit: “I put on my teepee shorts and teepee polo shirt and tied my teepee sweater casually around my shoulders.” Yup, Logan is a girl.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

He’s a real conservative type. Tortoise-shell glasses, you know what I mean; or, BSC #23: Dawn on the Coast

The short and sweet version of the plot: Dawn spends her two-week spring break (bitches! We got a week in February and a week in April, but we never got two straight weeks off!) visiting her Dad and Jeff in California. She’s so glad to be back, where everyone is blonde, the sun always shines, and everyone eats health food. So, she entertains notions of moving back, only to decide to return to the BSC. Now, for the fun stuff.

  • This book apparently takes places “about a year and half” Dawn showed up in Stoneybrook. Gotta love the magical passing of non-passing time.

  • “You can always count on Claudia to be wearing some really unusual outfit, like a white jumpsuit with a wide purple belt and purple high-top sneakers.” So, now Claud’s a gay housepainter. Unusual!

  • And this is before it was decreed from Martin-on-High that Richard and Sharon were going to get married, as one of the major reasons Dawn decides not stay in Cali is because she doesn’t want her mom to marry the Trip-Man.

  • Some of the odd things I remember from these books: all the girls yelling “No anchovies!” when ordering a pizza at Dawn’s going away slumber party; Dawn’s description of her stewardess (flight attendant, dammit!) as a Kewpie doll, and me having no clue what that was. But this is what it is:

  • Yeah, Dawn lives in Anaheim. You got a problem with her being all O.C.? Cause from now on, I’m totally picturing her as Mischa Barton with a bad bleach job. Palo City my ass.

  • Did you ever wonder why the We <3 Kids Club even bothered?

  • ”I loved the way everything in California was so easy, so free.” Has Ms. Martin ever been to Southern California? Dawn’s not from Haight Ashbury, she’s from Anaheim. Apparently, Dawn has no concept of traffic or pollution or plastic surgery or starving television stars (which did exist in the 80s, thank you Tracey Gold!). Whatever, Dawn. You and all your Cali friends look alike and like the same things and are boring me senseless.

  • I doubt that a six year old will really remember much about someone who last sat for her A YEAR AND A HALF AGO. Stupid hippie children.

  • God, even in a book that takes places on the opposite coast (aside from which, um CONNECTICUT IS ALSO THE COAST! Sure, not much by way of beaches, but it’s on the farking ocean!), we still have to suffer Karen going on about Ben Brewer haunting the third floor. Shut up, Karen.

  • Oh, yeah, the We <3 Kids Club is actually working on something cool, healthy recipes that kids can make, and Dawn turns it into “See how different it is! Healthy!”

  • Also, it cracks me up when “healthy” foods are actually “gourmet” foods. For example, Mrs. Bruen makes fish fillets baked with tomatoes and covered with cheese sauce. While not fried fast food, the dish is still covered in cheese sauce and therefore not particularly healthy. Also, it’s nothing like the barley casseroles or nut loaves or whatever Dawn normally considers health food.

  • I sincerely doubt that Dawn and her brother get along so well all the time.

  • Dawn doesn’t have Mary Anne’s number memorized. Now, I currently don’t have my best friend’s number memorized, but that’s because I only have a celly, and she’s on speed dial. However, up until I got a cell with speed dial/stopped using a land line for long distance, I had it down. And I really have a hard time believing that every time Dawn wants to call MA, she goes to her address book and looks at the first name listed under S.

  • Dawn thinks that the BSC looks like an ad for the U.N., cause it’s so diverse. I had to fight not to cross out U.N. and write Benetton in my book.

In addition to a lot of cheesiness, this book also features the best foreshadowing ever: Dawn’s dad suggests that she bring the BSC next time she visits—“The Baby-sitters Club in California? It was a great idea.”


Sunday, September 03, 2006

That hand was attached to the most Gorgeous Guy ever to walk the sands of Treasure Cay; or, BSC Super Special #1: Baby-sitters on Board.

Ah, the very first Super Special. So, the basic premise is that the Pikes win an all expenses paid trip that includes a four-day cruise through the Bahamas and three days at Disney World. They ask Stacey and Mary Anne to be mother’s helpers. Then, Watson decides to take the Brewer-Thomas brood along, too, mainly cause Kristy’s never been anywhere outside Connecticut (my first thought was: What about visiting Stacey in New York? And then I had to look in the back of the book to see which books had been published by this point, and it’s sooo confusing that time doesn’t pass, cause I can’t figure out whether or not things have already happened!) And Watson brings Claudia and Dawn along, cause he just can’t leave any baby-sitters behind! He has no consideration for all the other families in Stoneybrook. (I am constantly baffled by Watson’s willingness to drag along a slew of extra teenagers on his vacations.)

So, here are everyone’s storylines, including a few non-BSC members who are granted their own chapters…

Kristy: She makes friends with an old guy.

Mary Anne (who totally looks like Jo from the Facts of Life on the cover!): She meets the daughter of some famous singing duo, who’s a pathological liar. And Mary Anne thinks she’s a true friend until she catches her in a lie. (Mary Anne’s a sucker.)

Dawn: She falls crazy in lust with this guy (she’s in luuuv, but there barely even talk. If she were ten years older, it’d be a fuck fest), and she teaches him to not hate his stepbrothers. Oh, and he buys her a glass unicorn. How fucking sweet.

Claudia has a mystery admirer who keeps buying her gifts, and he turns out to be both the guy she’s been hanging out with and Mary Anne’s not-so-true friend’s brother.

Stacey meets a little boy who’s got a bad heart. Awwwww.

Karen’s a little liar who breaks all the rules (and bought all the souvenirs from Disney World that I used to have, like the scarf in the plastic egg).

Byron (and his brothers) find what they think is a treasure map, so they run around the cruise ship, the Bahamas and Disney World looking for gold. Turns out, it’s a schematic for a copier (a Scandanavian guy on the plane home tells them).

It pisses me off (shut up, you get worked up about this shit, too) that Karen never really gets in trouble for lying or wandering off or making shit up! She wanders off and gets a manicure and charges it to her room AND DOESN’T GET IN ANY TROUBLE!


1. Remember when little kids could go visit the cockpit? And get wings? Yeah, that was a long time ago…

2. Mary Anne’s “friend” Alexandra Carmody is sophisticated, cause she has big boobs. Or, because “she had a figure that filled out the top of the bikini nicely.” So, I must be verrrrrryyyyyy sophisticated.

3. Oh, oops. I totally forgot about Mallory. She’s all about Harriet the Spy, except for not getting caught. So, she sits around the ship/island/Disney World writing in her notebook. Things like (prepare for the block quote, Mal’s italics [sorry, my MLA training dies very very hard)

Another family goes by. The little girl drops her ice-cream cone. Cries.

A big group of people goes by. They are wearing matching T-shirts. They are very loud (the people, not the shirts). I think the people are retarded. Having fun. Lots of smiles…

Two parents and a little girl come by. The girl’s legs are in braces. She doesn’t seem to care. She is saying, “Snow White’s Adventure is the funnest ride here!”

Yup, having fun at Disney World makes you retarded. I think Mallory’s retarded.

4. Guess who wore this? “I put on my new blue-and white bikini and over that, a pink sundress with spaghertti straps at the shoulders [well, I’m glad their not around her ankles…where else would they be?] and big blue buttons down the front. Then I accessorized. I tied a pink-and-blue scarf around my waist, knotting it in the middle, added my snake bracelet and feather earrings, wound my hair on top of my head, and finally put on these white sandals with long laces that you crisscross up your legs and tie in a bow.” Jesus, how many pairs of lace-up sandals does one thirteen year old need? Especially one that lives nowhere near the tropics…

5. Sweet!!!!! Kristy and her old man play Pack-Man, Donkey Kong and Centipede! In an arcade! Sometimes I honestly miss the 80s.

6. Oh yeah, the object of Dawn’s blind lust is named Parker Harris, which Dawn thinks is funny. But it makes me think of the show Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Remember that show?

7. Stupid fucking Karen thinks that a ghost from the Haunted House is following her and is her new friend.

8. To impress her boy, Dawn borrows and “outfit” from Claudia: “a white tank to under lavender overalls, lavender push-down socks, lavender high-top sneakers and a beaded Indian belt, which we looped droopily twice around my middle. In my hair we put lavender-and-white clips that looked like birds.” Yup, nothing says date quite like lavender overalls and a belt that doesn’t match.

9. Stupid fucking Karen pretends it’s her birthday to get attention. Lame-ass.

Yup, that’s about all…

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Imitate a small child having a tantrum; or, What I did over my summer vacation.

So, I'm working on a Super Special recap, and I'll probably post it this weekend. In the meantime, I'd like to share a little something I picked up at the thrift for a mere $2...

I was browsing at books, looking to feed my habit, when I saw the board games...Maybe they'll have the BSC game, I thought to myself...

Imagine my surprise when thrift karma swung my way...

And there it was, shining in all its copyright 1989 glory...

You know you craved this game...

You wanted to answer questions like "What do you do when you're baby-sitting and the kids start a food fight?"

Or, "How would you plan to meet a cute boy who is new at your school?"

You wanted to make your best friend "Describe the cutest boy in your school and have everyone guess who is!"

Hope this will hold you until I get the Super Special recap done...

Oh, yeah...if you're in the Dayton area, pick up the City Paper this week and turn to pg. 17!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Please don't kick me out of the BSC for doing this...

...But I really need to take a few weeks off...I've been updating weekly (with one exception) since March! I've been good!

Actually, I have a couple of big projects that need my attention. However, I will be back in two weeks, with some Super Special action. So, please don't go away forever! Read the archives! Try to track down copies of the Vampire Diaries! Just please come back in two weeks!!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I bet her real name is Mobobwee or something; or, BSC #14: Hello, Mallory

Um, doesn’t Mal have red hair? I swear on every cover and in every description, she has red hair. Right? Then how come “every single one of us Pikes, even my parents, has dark brown hair (Mom calls it ‘chestnut brown’ to make it seem les ordinary)?” Huh? My very belief system is shaken.

Oh, and Mal? Stop your bitching about your glasses and your braces. Get over it. Lots of people wear glasses, and even more have braces for a while.

So, in this book, Mal whines and the BSC ride out some ego trips. Oh, and Jessi shows up.

So, the BSC has invited Mal to join, but first she has to pass some tests (oral, drawn and practical). So for the oral/written test, the BSC ask these ridiculous questions that they don’t even know the answers to, and they make Mal draw a diagram of the digestive system (yeah, a sixth-grader). And then Mal totally fucks up the sitting part of the audition, mainly cause she’s nervous and Claudia’s kinda being a bitch. So, blah she fails and quits at the same time. So she and Jessi decide to start their own BSC, called Kids Incorporated (at which point the Disney lawyers are all “CEASE AND DESIST!!!!). But the stars align and the BSC get over themselves incorporate (heh, get it!) Kids Inc, into their little club.

Okay, so this is one of Ms. Martin’s attempts at social responsibility, so all of the racists are really fucking OBVIOUS. Which is boring. Seriously. Plus this is like the only book in which Jessi’s trying to be a comedienne.

Your “Thank you Captain Obvious” moment of the book comes on page 66.

Mallory: There are a lot of things I do well, and one of them is mope.

Outfit time!

Mallory: “I finally decided on my red jumper that said Mallory across the front, a short-sleeved white blouse, and white tights with little red hearts all over them.” [Now that’s dressing for success. Or kindergarten, take you pick.]

Kristy: “She was wearing faded jeans, sneakers, a pale pink turtleneck, and a dark pink sweater.” [I have always doubted that Kristy would ever wear pink.]

Mary Anne: “…she was wearing a baggy yellow sweater with a SILVER SQUIGGLE PIN [!!!!!!!!] near the collar, a short skirt made out of sweat-shirt material, yellow tights, and ballet slippers.”

Dawn: “She wears kind of casual clothes, like baggy jeans with the cuffs rolled up, shirts with the tails out, and big belts.”

Claudia: “[She wears] things like short, tight pants with little ballet slippers, or torn T-shirts decorated with sequins, or overalls and high-topped sneakers. And her jewelry! She has a bracelet that looks like a coiled snake, and earrings that are a dog for one ear and a bone for the other, and I don’t know what else.”


YIPPEE!! So, I checked out the “Books for a dollar” shelf at the library tonight, and I bought the FIRST THREE SUPER SPECIALS!!!! And Dawn on the Coast! Yay!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

She’s the kind of person who finds mistakes in the dictionary; or, BSC # 44: Dawn and the Big Sleepover.

Why on earth do five 13-year-olds and two 11-year-olds insist on caring for large numbers of young children? Seriously. Are they masochists? Idiots? Or do they really not have any idea that people get licensed to do that for a reason? Cause no sane young miss (or young and modern, depending on how old you are) would take on this job…

The plot: Stoneybrook Elementary has a sister school in New Mexico, and the Zuni children are pen pals with all the students at SES. Then, their school and a bunch of houses burn. So, Dawn, who doesn’t have a pen pal, gets all riled up and wants to help the Zunis. She and the rest of the BSC work with the teachers at SES to set up food, clothing and money drives. As a reward, all the students that participate “get to” spend the night in the school gym. Dawn and the BSC organize the whole shebang, with some help from the teachers. And it’s a huge success, cause when do the BSC girls ever fail?

The plot of this one was pretty boring, and it’s especially full of “aw, aren’t kids sweet/cute/clever/hilarious?” Which does nothing for me…so, I present a few things of note, then I’ll be done with this stinker…

A. The Pike triplets think that Pig Latin is their secret language. Cause every elementary school student in the country doesn’t know it at some point…And who taught them? And I’m pretty sure Mal knows it…

B. Dawn describes meeting the BSC: “Well the BSC made me feel totally welcome. Everyone was open and friendly, which was great, because nothing turns me off more than cliques where everyone dresses and sounds alike. Not that there are never any conflicts in the BSC, but everyone respects everyone else’s personality.” Yup. Unless you try and do something different or hang out with anyone else, or unless you’re not IN THE BSC.

C. Dawn: “Sometimes there are no more leftovers and one wants to cook, which means getting pizza or Chinese food or something.” Mmmm, healthy.

D. I always feel bad for Jackie Rodowsky. I know he’s klutz, but the BSC seem really kinda mean to him, always sighing and acting soooo put out.

E. Um, isn’t Raffi for like toddlers, not for grades 2-6 or whatever?

Okay, Claudia tries to out ass herself in this book.

Outfit 1: “For instance, she walked into school today wearing a bright yellow, oversize man’s jacket with rolled-up sleeves; a wide paisley tie right out of the nineteen-sixties; orange stirrup pants; ankle boots; and huge hoop earrings—and you know what? On her, it looked totally cool.” No, it didn’t. I rocked a similar outfit in elementary school/junior high, but with an oversize navy blue and forest green plaid blazer. And it didn’t look cool

Outfit 2: “Claudia greeted us at the door to her room with her hair in a ponytail on top of her head, held up by a huge barrette in the shape of a bone, like Pebbles in The Flintstones. It made her hair bounce when she moved. She was even wearing a Pebbles-type outfit—a pink, off-the-shoulder blouse with huge polka dots and a ragged bottom over black tights. On anyone else it would have looked dumb or babyish, but on Claudia it looked cool.” Again, no it didn’t. Choosing a cartoon infant as your fasion inspiration is NEVER a good idea.

Phone lines are now open for you to vote for the assiest. If you don't call, you can't complain when your assiest outfit doesn't win. Remember, you make the difference.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Laine somehow seemed very young and innocent just then; or, BSC #28: Welcome Back, Stacey!

Gee, Stacey, could it be cause she’s only 13? Even if she’s worldly-wise for her age, she’s still ONLY THIRTEEN!

Anyhoo, this is one of those rare BSC books in which an outfit described in the book actually shows up on the cover of that same book. It’s true!

“Same old Claud, I thought as we trudged up our front steps. Her hair was flowing down her back, pulled away from her face by a headband with a huge pink rose attached to it. She was wearing a long, oversized black-and-white sweater, skin-tight black leggings, pink-and-black socks, and black ballet slippers.” And that’s what she’s wearing on the cover, see?

The plot: Stacey’s parents are fighting. A lot. So, they decide to get a divorce. And Stacey gets over it relatively quickly. But the problem is, she has to decide whether to stay in New York with her dad (“But I’ve never lived on the East Side”) or move back to Stoneybrook with her mom. And she decides, after literally examining the pros and cons (seriously, she’s not too upset to dot her “i”s with hearts), to go back to the BSC. Awww, aren’t we just thrilled.

So, they all pack up and move, with a few spats thrown in for good divorcing measure. And Stacey’s back in Stoneybrook, not quite happy to be back, but fairly sure she made the right decision. Blah.

Nitpicking time: Speaking of the cover, I sincerely doubt that even Stacey would move wearing a white button-down shirt, a light-colored, flimsy-looking skirt and patent leather flats. Girl’s gotta own some jeans and we know she has a small army of oversized t-shirts. And hightops. What “self-respecting” girl of the 80s didn’t? What, is she going to change before lugging boxes in? I’m just curious.

Speaking of clothes, I know Stacey’s all about clothes, and she’s sooooooo sophisticated, but I sincerely doubt she’d put crazy effort into her post-divorce-news outfit. Supposedly, she’s super upset, but she manages to put this together:

“I put on one of my better outfits—short red pants with purple suspenders over a bright yellow and black sweat shirt. On my feet I put my purple push-down socks and a pair of red hightop sneakers [see! She has some!]. I added jewelry—a big necklace with wooden bananas and oranges strung on it, and dangly earrings shaped like sunglasses.”

My first problem is…THIS IS ONE OF HER BETTER OUTFITS? Seriously, this sounds like she’s been hit by an ugly truck. Purple, red and yellow all together? Uck.

Problem #2: I could understand if Ms. Martin were using this outfit to describe how upset Stacey was, like she couldn’t even pick out an outfit. But she wears it as one of her better outfits…Now, I’ve never been through a divorce, but when I’m down, I dress all in black like any self-respecting Smiths/Joy Division fan. Or, I’m so out of it, I throw on the first thing on the pile of clean clothes. And maybe not everyone has the same sartorial reaction to downers, but I can’t imagine anyone who’s mildly upset would bother with one of her (or his) better outfits.

Finally, continuity problem of the book:

Dawn: I just wish you guys would be absent more often so I could fill in for you. Kristy, I don’t think you’ve ever missed a meeting. I’m dying to be president for a day” But, [excuse the Simpsons moment] Kristy did miss a meeting with the whole “my dog is dying” thing in BSC #11. So, there, “manuscript assistant.”

Ooh, and Laine gets the outfit of the week: “this amazing black pants suit. It was made from stretchy cotton. The bottoms of the legs were cuffed, and the top was short-cropped [um, redundant much?]. She was wearing a leopard-skin leotard under the top.” Sweet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

She’s purebred. She cost four hundred dollars; or, BSC # 11: Kristy and the Snobs

There is sooooo much wrong in this book. This is another one where something serious and real happens, and it’s kinda dealt with by the characters, but it’s not really handled realistically…

Yeah, so Louie is getting old. [Wait? Who’s Louie? Oh, yeah. Kristy’s dog.] And they have to put him to sleep. And it’s not totally glossed over, but it’s completely covered in about three chapters. The rest of the book is devoted to Kristy’s new clients in her rich people neighborhood. And to a prank war with Shannon, one of her rich girl neighbors. Yep. This whole book is about the everlasting battle between rich and step-dad rich. And she and Shannon start out as enemies, but then become friends in like five minutes, and I can’t quite figure out how they resolve things. And Shannon gives the Thomas-Brewer household a puppy from her dog Astrid of Grenville, a pedigreed Bernese Mountain dog. And Shannon becomes the second associate member of the BSC. And that’s the plot. Oh, and Dawn’s all upset cause Jeff’s miserable and wants to go back to Cali. So, this week, I’m just going to offer a few choice observations and quotes.

1. Why is Dawn so upset about Jeff? She’s at that age when she’s probably wishing she didn’t have a younger brother. While my bro and I get along fabulously now (most of the time), when I was 13 we were all about the top of our lungs screaming matches wishing death at each other and punching and kicking.

2. “A few minutes later, three other girls joined the first one. They were all wearing the exact same outfit – a private-school uniform. They were slender, three of them had blond hair, and they were wearing makeup and stockings. They looked sleek, sophisticated, and self-confident.” No one looks sophisticated in a private school uniform…they look like students. And Mary Anne’s kilts and pullovers with knee socks and penny loafers? Kinda private school uniformy. And they keep referring to her old uniform as babyish, but when the rich bitches wear the same ensemble, it’s sophisticated. And they insult Kristy cause she’s got holes in her jeans. Cause that wasn’t high style in the 80s or anything.

3. As a prank, Shannon calls Kristy while she’s sitting at the Delaneys’ and tells her the house is on fire. That’s pretty fucked up.

4. A four hundred dollar cat is not an outdoor cat. Not gonna happen.

5. I have always liked Mr. and Mrs. Pike. Despite the fact that stupid Mal thinks they treat her like a baby, they’re really cool with all the kids. And they take breaks to go out by themselves. They’re easy going, and they seem like they’d be good to go to if you’re having a problem. Mal’s a dumbass.

6. How come no one in the BSC ever misses a meeting for a sitting job? Is it magic? Does no one in Stoneybrook ever need a sitter MWF 5-5:30.

No good Claudia outfits in this book.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

He was dressed casually, but with style; or, BSC Super Special #5: California Girls

Ah, Stacey and Mallory at their jackassiest.

The basic (and really dumb) premise: The girls win $10,000 in the lottery and split it up ($1428.57 EACH!). Then they decide to use the money to go to Cali for two weeks with Dawn. Poor Dawn’s dad. And his housekeeper. And wee Jeff. And even Dawn’s dad’s trophy girlfriend. Here come the babysitters. Whooppee.

And here’s what’s up with each of the girls:

Dawn: She doesn’t like her dad’s girlfriend, Carol. Yep. She thinks Carol acts too young, trying to be all buddy buddy. But finally, after Carol (rightfully and appropriately) narcs on Stacey, Dawn respects her. And gives her “permission” if Mr. Schafer decides to marry the girl. (Because heaven forbid they have a relationship without heading for marriage, especially relatively soon after the divorce.)

Stacey: Because Stacey is so sophisticated, she gets in a car accident!!!! But doesn’t get hurt other than bruises (boooooo). Yep, Stacey catches the “surfing bug.” So, Dawn hooks her up with some people she used to know when she lived in Cali (like two years ago) who were a couple of years older than the BSC. She goes to the beach with them everyday to ride the waves (which I can’t say without picturing Spicoli, sorry.). Then, another friend of theirs tags along (his name is BEAU. LAME. ) and drives like a maniac. Or a teenager. Take your pick. And on the way back, he gets in a multi-car wreck. And he totally asks all of the surfers to cover for him and lie to the police. But Stacey does what’s right (finally, after blowing off all her friends for like two weeks) and rats him out. Then she calls Carol, cause she thinks that Carol won’t make her tell her parents. But she totally does. [Aside: um, don’t they BABY-SIT? And don’t they tell their charges’ parents if they do something stupid or go to the hospital or whatever? And doesn’t the hospital need to contact Stacey’s parents? What with the whole being a minor thing?]

Claudia: She meets this boy, Terry, on the beach. Only he’s a brainiac, so she tries to pretend she’s, well, Janine with “better” clothes. Finally, though, she tells him about her family and her art and she finds out that they have more in common than she thought. And she learns the lesson that people will like her for herself. But then she writes him letters, and he’s totally gonna dump her when he finds out she’s borderline mentally-challenged. And it’s gonna be awkward.

Mary Anne: Because she’s not on vacation or anything, Mary Anne agrees to babysit for Stephie when no one in the We <3 Kids Club can do it. But Stephie has asthma, so M.A.’s kinda freaked out. But nothing happens until M.A.’s last job with Stephie; see, Stephie gets all worked up because she really likes Mary Anne and is going to miss her, so she brings on an attack. Which M.A. handles pretty smoothly. Why is Stephie so attached after, like, 3 days? Cause she’s mini-Mary Anne. Her mom died, and her dad treats her like a toddler. And her room looks like M.A.’s used to. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Kristy: Is a dumbass. First, she gets all competitive about the We <3 Kids Club. Cause she’s an idiot. And she also takes a job, but hers if for two obnoxious little brothers who have never been disciplined in their lives and are headed straight for the Ritalin. And Kristy learns that she’s not the best baby-sitter on the whole fucking planet, and other people know something or other about sitting. Shut up, Kristy.

Jessi: 1. Jessi visits her old baby-sitting charge Derek on the set of his TV show, P.S. 162. And the director puts her in the show as an extra. And Derek tells her she should get an agent. So, she entertains fantasies of Hollywood stardom for a few days, then remembers her true love. Yeah, remember ballet? That she tends to forget very easily? Yeah, that one. And, 2. Jessi totally lets Mallory walk all over her. Jessi gets pissed at Mal for being a jackass, then keeps lending her money, etc. Then she’s all, well, I could be more supportive, and nicer about lending the money to someone who blew all her money because she’s stupid. So, Jessi makes up with Mal, and apologizes. (You know, this is the one time when she has a right to be totally pissed, and she’s such a fucking wuss about it.)

And finally, award for stupidest girl ever?

Mal: First of all? You can’t really lighten your hair with temporary hair dye. You can’t wash blonde out of red hair, cause you have to bleach it to lighten it enough to call it blonde.

So, right after getting to Cali, Mal decides she needs to be a “California Girl.” Which, apparently, means blonde hair and buckets full of makeup. Seriously, I’ve been trying to figure out how much she spent on makeup in this book (shut up, you totally want to know); and here’s what I’m thinking: around $400. Follow me:

$1400 (lottery winnings)
-900 (cross country plane trip, no stopovers, in the late 1980s)
=500 (for 2 weeks in Cali, to include trips to amusement parks, etc)

Now, let’s say she spent a little bit in the airport, some to go to the Max Factor Museum, etc. Now, let’s say she drops FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS ON MAKEUP IN ONE TRIP! Then, she’d be in a position to need to borrow buttloads of money from Jessi. Now, I know this is pure speculation, but I think $500 in spending cash is about what each of the girls would need to get into attractions, get food, buy souvenirs…Any other thoughts on this? Now, I spend a lot on makeup, and I am thoroughly addicted to Sephora and random expensive perfumes, but I have never spent more than $150 on makeup in one day, and that was once, as a college graduation present to myself, and it included a $60 bottle of perfume. And I just can’t figure out how she spent that much at one makeup counter in one sitting. And if she really did, what kind of unethical bitch would sell that much makeup to a CHILD?

So, she thinks she’s hot shit, until the director of P.S. 162 says she doesn’t have the right look. She’s devastated…how could she not look right? She was a California Girl! Or a bottle blonde with a complexion all wrong for blond hair. And tooooooo much makeup. Finally, Claud and Stacey rescue her from her depression (but not from her ugliness) by buying her makeup (I’m assuming at quite a discount). Blah. Happy ending.

The single funniest thing about this whole book? Most of the girls leave shit out when writing to their parents, and then the first sentence of the chapter following the postcard says, essentially, “there’s so much I didn’t tell my parents.” Yep.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The pros are that Watson is rich; or, BSC #6: Kristy’s Big Day

Technically, isn’t it Elizabeth’s big day? After all, she’s the one getting hitched.

Surprisingly, I found myself saying, or, um, screaming, “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” more with this book than a lot of them…Now, most of the BSC books contain at least one ridiculous moment. And I remembered this one being pretty normal…This is not the case though. Apparently I never questioned even the basic premise of this book. But I should have. For your consideration:

"I’m saying that Watson and I are going to have to get married at the end of the month so we can move into the Brewers’ house two weeks later." Let’s take a moment to consider this. Kristy’s mom will be on a business trip in Europe when they had wanted to get married (funny, she never takes that trip to Europe. Or at least never mentions it again.), so she and Watson have to change the date. And she found a buyer for the house who wants a rush job. (Okay, having moved a lot growing up, even with rushing things, it’s not easy to complete a sale and escrow that fast. And, apparently, Kristy’s dad still owns half the house, so they’re completely ignoring the fact that they’ll have to contact him and get him to sign everything.) Okay, I could buy all that. But what really bothered me was the fact that they had to GET MARRIED BEFORE MOVING IN TOGETHER! Even if they were religious (which they don’t seem particularly devout), I’m sure that they wouldn’t be run out of town for moving in together before getting married. I mean, neither of them are virgins, and they’re both divorced. And he’s got a fucking mansion! If propriety required them to have separate rooms, it wouldn’t be a problem. And they could get married soon, but they could give themselves more than two and a half weeks to plan a BIG wedding, and focus on moving with minimum stress. OR, if they really had to get married before moving in together, have a tiny ceremony quickly and then have a big reception once they’re all settled in. Cause it’s not particularly cool to your friends and family to give them two weeks notice to come to a wedding. LAME!

"Would you really hire the whole Baby-sitters Club for the whole week?" So, in order to pull of the wedding, a whole bunch of friends and families are coming early to help. And since this is the BSC, they’re all breeders who have never heard of a diaphragm, there will be 14 extra brats running around Stoneybrook. So, to free up the adults, the BSC are going to run a sort of daycare for all the kids, keeping them from 9-5. And they’re only getting $120 each for the week. They all act like that’s a fortune, and I realize this was a few years back, but that’s not a lot for caring for that many kids ALL DAY LONG. (Sam even thinks it’s a lot of money, so he’s jealous. But he has a summer job; for the second summer in a row, he’ll be delivering groceries for the A&P. But ANM never explains how someone too young to drive can deliver groceries in a town that’s apparently big enough for two middle schools.) So, they take care of all these kids with relatively few problems.


"My brothers and I would be on own for a week!" Yep. After the wedding, Watson and Elizabeth go to Vermont for their honeymoon (cause they couldn’t afford anywhere else?) and they leave Charlie, Sam, Kristy and David Michael at home. Alone. Nannie’s “on call,” but she’s not there. The fuck? Sure, maybe Charlie and Sam. But a 17-year-old who just got his driver’s license in charge of a 15-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old. Are they high?

Claudia’s classy outfit of the week: “a black leotard and skintight red pants [there are three girls at Ridgemont cultivating the Pat Benetar look] under a white shirt that was so big it looked like a lab coat. Claudia’s a wonderful artist and she had decorated the shirt herself, covering it with designs painted in acrylic.”

Oh, and Stacey? “Stacey’s blonde hair was permed, and what with that, her purple nail polish, and her Swatch accessories, she looked, well, kind of like a thirteen-year-old Madonna.” My ass, that just described a fucking mallrat, not Madonna.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

He’s sure our granddaughter will be a farmer’s wife someday; or, BSC Mystery #5: Mary Anne and the Secret of Attic

Okay, so I know I’m avoiding, in general, anything other than the regular BSC books and Super Specials, but after all the talk about Mary Anne’s mom, I decided to bend my rules a little and pick up this “mystery,” which really isn’t a mystery so much as Miss Mary Jane angsting about some letters rather than talk to her father about what she found. And it’s not like she does any digging or sleuthing or anything. She just waits for stuff to happen. What happened to the new more forceful M-A at the end of saving the day? Oh, yeah. She pussed out again.

So, yeah. In this book, Stoneybrook’s gone Heritage Day cray-zay! So, all the elementary school kids are working on history projects about the town and family trees and stuff like that. Which makes poor, motherless Mary Anne feel all left out. She can’t figure out her place in the world, cause she only has her dad and step family. So, she decides to look in the attic for family pictures. In the few albums she finds, she sees pictures of her as a baby with people she doesn’t recognize (cause that never happens to people with moms. Seriously, I don’t know half the people in my baby pictures); oh, I forgot, she’s also been having recurring dreams where she’s a little girl who’s lost and confused in a strange place with a kitten, and she keeps calling “Mama!” Then, she finds letters from her grandparents, Verna and Bill Baker in Iowa, that indicate she lived with them for some time after her mom died, and that they fought when her dad wanted her back. AND she overhears Verna calling to say Bill died and she wants MA to come to Iowa before it’s too late. So, in true BSC style, she moons about it for days and freaks out when a woman comes to the house (MA thinks she’s a social worker, but she’s a census taker, apparently) AND NEVER TALKS TO HER FATHER ABOUT IT. Because heaven forbid she actually takes action. Well, turns out grannie just wants MA to visit, and Dad just lost it when Alma died, so he sent girlie to Iowa, and they didn’t want to give her back, but then they agreed that MA would be better off with Daddy, and that it would be too difficult to see her because she’s too much like her dead mom. Convoluted? Yep. So, in the end, MA goes to visit Grannie on the farm. And goes on a date with a farm boy. And decides she likes civilization, a.k.a. Connecticut. And wants nothing to do with farm boys. But she likes her grandma. Ah, happy ending.

Claudia’s outfit of the week: an example of her being a “really sophisticated dresser.” Here we go: “a lacy white top over a solid white bodysuit [how can you tell it’s a bodysuit?], a black mini skirt with white polka dots on it, lacy white leggings [which you can currently get at your local Urban Outfitters], and red high-tops. Plus some really outrageous black-and-white jewelry (earrings and bracelets and necklaces) that she’d made herself out of papier mache.” Speaking of papier mache, there are a whole bunch of really insane p.m. sculptures all over my library, including a dinosaur/lizard type thing eating some sort of furry animal. It’s pretty rad. Oh, and did you know that “Stacey doesn’t exactly look like the stereotypical idea of a math whiz, however. She doesn’t have slicked-back hair, and she doesn’t wear black-framed glasses or carry pens and a slide rule in her pocket.” So, she’s not one of the guys in Revenge of the Nerds.

And my fave ridiculous overstatement of the book: “It’s lucky Watson is a millionaire (really, he is) and owns a mansion. That family just wouldn’t fit in any regular house.” But, if I’m not mistaken at it’s largest (i.e. when Karen and Andrew are there), it’s THE SAMING FUCKING SIZE AS THE PIKE HOUSEHOLD! Sure, fewer pets, but more, um, CHILDREN. FULL-TIME. Oh, and they always talk about how Dawn’s house was built in the 1790s, and built for shorter people. But they weren’t midgets, and I lived in a house build around 1800, and it had really high ceilings, so shut up about the historically short people, please. Especially since Mary Anne’s supposed to be “smaller” than the others.

And there’s this hilarious thing about Logan with his shirt off. Happy dreams of Logan’s chestal region, girls and boys.