Sunday, July 29, 2007

I hate being called "miss"; or, BSC #25: Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger

There is so very much wrong with this book. Starting with the spandex that Mary Anne's wearing on the cover:

Yeah, that's classy. I have always thought that she looks like Punky Brewster here. And I can't figure out if those kids are supposed to be Pikes or what. And check out the size of the tongues on Logan's hightops...Oh, yeah. Hawt.

Plot. Sure, I suppose it has one. Mary Anne leaves Tigger outside during a BSC meeting, and he goes missing! So, the BSC search for him and plaster the neighborhood with posters and offer a reward for a whopping $30. And M.A. gets a mysterious note from someone claiming to have Tigger. So the BSC set up a sting (of course, no adults are involved), and catch the perp, who turns out to be a greedy little kid that M.A. had talked to while she was hanging up posters. Finally, turns out that Logan's kid sister Kerry has been hiding Tigger in her room, aggravating Hunter's already terrible allergies. Oh, and Mary Anne and Logan aren't getting along too well. He's snappy and distant, and she's a doormat. What's new? Seriously, aren't they a little too new into their relationship to be having problems like this already? Huh? Oh, but they make up.


  • Time to get nitpicky...So, on the cover, Tigger's bowl says "Tigger" on it. It includes the quotes. Kinda like the "Spring Fling" sign on the cover of Stacey Loves Wes or whatever it's called. Why? Did someone take a pitch too literally? Like, 'So, for the cover art, she's holding a bowl that says "Tigger" on it...' And the cover painter didn't even think to leave the quotes off..

  • The only thing more boring than listening to people talk about mundane pet details is reading about them talking about mundane pet details.

  • Apparently, M.A. drops mad cash on toys for Tigger, cause he loses them all. "Thank goodness I earn lots of money baby-sitting." Yes. Thank goodness. I feel so much better now.

  • "They go out with other people, too, but when Dawn's mom has a date with my dad, she puts on all this makeup and checks her clothes twenty times and then asks Dawn to check her clothes again. And my dad puts on after-shave that smell like the dentist's office [the fuck????] and gets nervous and can barely speak to me. Then they go somewhere together." I don't remember any other references to Richard dating other women. And what kind of aftershave smells like the dentist's office? And why would someone as fussy as Richard put it on his face????

  • Heh. "Logan is basically my boyfriend, and he is incredible in every way. He's incredible-looking and incredibly nice and incredibly thoughtful and, well, incredibly incredible." And he's an incredible prick. Seriously, he's an ass in this book. Not nice, not thoughtful, certainly not "incredible."

  • "Claud mixes and matches the weirdest stuff and comes up with the coolest outfits. Like a loose blouse with a fake coat of arms on it worn over a very short black skirt. Around her waist, a scarf. On her feet, short black boots. Dangling from her ears, dinosaurs." In her sentence structure, awkwardness. Seriously! Also, does it matter if a coat of arms is fake? And how does she know it's fake, anyway?

  • I always forget that Jessi needs reading glasses.

  • Gotta love fake product names: Doctor Herkie's Flea Tonic. And King Kat Liver 'n' Beef.

  • Mary Anne calls Claud's room a "rat hole." Heh. It's gotta be. After all, messy craft supplies, junk food and wrappers all over the place, you know there are crumbs abso-fucking-lutely everywhere, and that doesn't even count the clothes and shit lying around.

  • OH MY FUCKING SHUT THE HELL UP! "Lummy fummy dummy fuff ooeey" is, apparently, what "looking for Double Stuf Oreos" sounds like when muffled by a bed. Sure.

  • Kristy gets bitchface when the girls get personal calls during meetings.

  • Also, none of the BSC have sat for the Bruno kids before this point? For real?

  • Richard's pretty smart. If Logan comes over when he's not home, he's not allowed in the house. So, M.A. and Loverboy spend a lot of time sitting on her stoop (or porch or yard--details are kinda lacking in this one) in this book.

  • Mary Anne has a healthy paranoia about getting caught breaking rules.

  • Mary Anne thinks about her cat more than she thinks about her boyfriend. I'm thinking spinster-in-the-making.

  • Logan won't even talk about sports, but M.A. can't pick up on the fact that something might be off...Cause she's sensitive. Or something.

  • Hee!!! At one point while M.A. and Logan are sitting outside, a bunch of neighborhood kids come over to play with the kitten, and Logan says "Overrun with kids!!!!" Yes!!!! Vaguely normal 13-year-old boy (or girl, for that matter) behavior!!!!!

  • Oh, I remember M.A.'s little lecture about whether or not milk is good for cats.

  • I think Mary Anne might be even more of a paranoid worrier than me! I didn't think that was possible, even from a fictional character!

  • Someone who cares less about their sanity than I do should count the number of times the word Tigger (or some variant of that) appears in this book. Cause, a lot.

  • Hate hate hate the "allergy" dialect. HATE HATE HATE HATE!!!!!!

  • I think it's funny that I never remember that Logan had curly hair. I think it's cause he always has straight hair on the covers. And in the illustrations. Huh.

  • So, Hunter's room is like a sterile, bare prison cell. Fun!

  • Hunter has so many allergies, I feel like I'm being set up for a joke. He's like Kyle (2)'s cousin Kyle on South Park, minus the Judaism. And, you know, Southern. He's even got a stack of food allergies, including wheat and milk. What, no nuts?

  • Yes, a missing pet equals...say it with emergency meeting of the BSC!!!!!! Whoopee.

  • So, instead of putting an actual picture of Tigger on the posters, they have Claud make a drawing of Tigger based on a stack of photos. The fuck?

  • When Kristy starts to get an idea, she starts wriggling like a puppy. I think she might need to get that checked out. But who am I to judge? I dance to songs in my head.

  • "Answers to the name of Tigger." Nothing'll bring him back like old-timey sayings.

  • I really don't need a detailed description of a fucking hamster. Sure, it's cute. Most rodents are. But I don't care!!!!!

  • M.A. gets pissed cause Logan thinks the following statement is a bit overdramatic: "I think that this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me." 'Kay, Mary Anne? Your mom died. And you think that your kitten going missing is the worst thing that's ever happened to you? Can't believe I'm agreeing with a dicklicker like Logan.

  • Hee. I blame these books for some of my weird verbal ticks. For years, I used the word "gaped" entirely too much, mainly because I read it sooooo many times in this series.

  • Um, you'd think someone as attached to her could kitten would've, I don't know, gotten tags to put on his collar?

  • Ew. "The lavender overalls [Lucy had] worn in the morning were covered with milk, grape juice, and mashed banana." Did the baby sleep in that shit? And that must smell monumentally rank.

  • The so-called ransom note: "If you want to see your cat alive again, leave $100 in an envelope on the big rock in Brenner Field at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon." Sociopathic kid has better spelling than Claudia. Hee.

  • Again, why on earth wouldn't they call the cops or at least somebody's parents???? Sure, they think it's from a kid, but how the fuck do they know? Dumbasses.

  • I hate how awkward meetings are when Logan's there. He's a thirteen-year-old boy. I really don't think he'd mind you talking about your bras. Hell, twenty-whatever-year-old guys certainly don't mind. In fact, they rather enjoy it.

  • Heh. Logan tells Mary Anne she's acting like a girl.

  • Adults will get in the way. Yeah, not they might be able to help. Whatever.

  • And the entire neighborhood knows about the ransom note. Awesomely responsible, scaring a bunch of kids.

  • Yeah, Logan's being an ass cause he's having some trouble with baseball. Apparently, he's sucking it up so hard, he's gonna get cut.

  • Lameass Kristy and her attempts to disgust her friends. Classy.

  • Um, yeah. Logan can't really pull off the bad cop role.

  • Claud "babbysat." Cause she's a fucking idiot. And she thought it was "Elbow Presley" for years...but she doesn't say when she figured it out.

  • Also, Claud wonders if Tigger's dead. And she wonders it in the club notebook.

  • Yay! Nantucket Nectars Half & Half makes me happy!

  • Oh, the fucking allergy talk just drives me up the fucking wall...Cancelling out all the good feelings from the Half & Half...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE!

  • Mary Anne thinks that Logan knew that Kerry had the cat. And if he knew, "then we couldn't be friends anymore." And she's all worked up about it.

  • When she decides to talk to him about it, she brings him cookies and soda. I guess she's trying to make things special? Or pleasant? I have no idea.

  • "Logan took a soda and drank about half the glass in one gulp. How do boys do that? I mean, without exploding from the carbonation." Okay...Of all the "boys are weird" things to pick on?

  • Aw, "And you're my Mary Anne...I could never hurt you. Not on purpose. I couldn't lie to you. Don't you know that?" Isn't he sweet?

  • They can't kiss cause the neighbors are watching!!!!

  • And...Mary Anne brings Tigger to the next BSC meeting. Why??? How does nobody mind??? And how do none of the BSCers have cat allergies? And would M.A. really want to bring her precious kitten to a rat hole?

  • I'm not even going to bother with the fucking retarded ending. Let me put it this way. If it were a sitcom, it would end with a freeze frame of everyone laughing.

Yep. That's that...

No clue what I'm doing next week...Maybe there will be more outfits. We can only hope.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Feelings are weird; or, BSC #72: Dawn and the We [Heart] Kids Club

Holy fucking shit! This one is abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous. I literally can't stop fucking swearing about it. [Big surprise there, right?]

First of all, there's this cover:

Who's who? I can't tell, other than the brunette young'un. And at a money place like that? Why the fuck are they on those broke-ass lounge chairs? Did somebody blow all the money on the waterfall in the background and the phone line by the pool? Plus, one of these bitches is wearing slouch socks...outside...with a bathing suit...while pouring tanning oil!!! Plus, I spy...some awkward tan lines. And they're all majorly sunburned.

As for the plot, damn is it convoluted. Seriously, there's all kinds of stuff going on that's only sorta related to everything else. The major points:

  1. The local (that's Palo City, for those just tuning in) newspaper and the local TV news team profile the We [Heart] Kids Club, drumming up both business and jealousy (by way of Miss Kristin Amanda Thomas. That's her full name, right?).

  2. Carol & Mr. Schafer announce their engagement, causing Dawn to freak out and FUCKING RUN AWAY BACK TO CONNECTICUT BY STEALING HER DAD'S CREDIT CARD NUMBER!!!!!!!

  3. Dawn feels rejected and unwelcome in both Palo City home and Stoneybrook home.

  4. Dawn thinks Stephie thinks of Dawn has her mother. Or something. But Stephie def wants a mommy.

  5. Kristy goes on a media blitz, but it doesn't work.

  6. Nicky Pike loves his brothers, even as he hates them. [How very, very deep.]

  7. Dawn kind of resigns herself to Carol, but then Carol & the Schaf call it quits.

  8. I think that's all the major stuff.

Righty, then. Another list:

  • Did you know that schools in Cali don't have bells? And nobody ever needs a coat? And that all teachers are easy-going? Yeah, me neither. Guess I really missed out. Fuckin' a. Decrying stereotypes even as she reinforces them.

  • Dawn's Cali school is called Vista.

  • I don't necessarily think being bicoastal sounds particularly glamorous. 'Kay?

  • "Vegetable chips are the best. They're like potato chips, except they're made with carrots and parsnips and sweet potatoes and other great stuff...Okay, stop gagging. I just happen to like natural foods." ARGH! SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You can actually like both potato chips and veggie chips. AND it's not like she's comparing pork rinds and, like, sprouts. She's really just talking about two different kinds of fried veggies.

  • Heh, Logan calls Dawn "Runs With Squirrels." Cause of the health foods. Heh.

  • "Having best friends on both coasts in pretty fantastic." Except not. Being far away from your best friend sucks giant donkey balls. I don't care if you have other people around to distract you. Dumbass.

  • Why have meetings at all? What do they do at meetings if they don't have regular meetings? I'm so confused!

  • Stephie's nanny's looking hawt: "Joanna came in, dressed in a short fringed skirt and a tight-fitting beaded top, her dark hair pulled back in a sleek, elegant style." Somebody's ho-ing it up for her birthday date!

  • Ah, yes, Stephie's tragic asthma.

  • Oh, yeah. I forgot Jeff spends like the whole fucking book telling really terrible jokes.

  • Carol's "young and tries to be hip." Which, Dawn tells us, is both good and bad. How fantastically fucking specific.

  • Carol uses the word bodacious. Heh.

  • Yes, Dawn has the lightest hair, and Sunny has strawberry-blonde hair.

  • When did Dawn start to like surfing?

  • Ah, they do not mock the hippies enough for my taste. ["I ated too much hippie pie."]

  • Apparently, Maggie has a movie mogul dad, and, as Dawn keeps mentioning, she had dinner with Keanu Reeves. Wow. [Incidentally, I would love to have dinner with Mr. Reeves, and I'd totally badger him with quotes from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.]

  • Oh, and "Maggie has the coolest look (which is constantly changing). Her hair is short and punkish, with a thin tail in back. She usually streaks it purple or green or black. Her fashion sense runs toward leather bomber jackets [in L.A.? where it's too warm for jackets in the winter, according to Dawn?] and lace-up black boots." Punk rock. Or, like, baby punk rock.

  • "Even though he's a carnivore and a jock, I like him. He talks in this cute Kentucky accent, and he's great-looking." Well, I like him already. Oh, wait, she's talking about Logan.

  • A whole wheat cracker with cashew butter. Yum! Oh, wait, is that supposed to be an example of "weird" health food? Later, there's all this talk about Thai food, and I might have to hit up my fave Thai joint this weekend, just because of that.

  • The journalist from the paper? "She had short brown hair, a friendly smile, and was wearing a beautiful cotton cardigan over a white T-shirt and gray stirrup slacks. She could have been a college student." Wow, I, uh, stirrup slacks? Also, that's not what college kids in 1994 were wearing, as far as I can tell. Dude, middle of grunge. All I'm saying.

  • Journalist used to baby-sit through college. Because she went to a college without a library. Or student office workers. Or any other fucking job on campus. I guess.

  • The photographer, Lance? He was "a hunk. He was in his twenties, dressed in black, with dark brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, and the deepest, most luscious eyes..." Sounds dreamy. Except for the ponytail.

  • I can't even begin to describe the treacly article. Puff piece.

  • They're all acting like they're famous movie stars after they're on the news for an entire 4 minutes.

  • How can you have an early dinner when it's pitch-dark out? In New Hampshire, in the dead of winter, it's dark by 4:30, 4:45. So, let's say you eat at 5. That's really not a terribly early dinner. Might be early for you, but still. It's California. It stays light later there all year round. Ugh. Leaps of logic.

  • Dawn thinks she looks wide and pale on TV.

  • Sunny doesn't realize that she's using last year's calendar. But they make fun of Sharon. And Claudia. Hmm.

  • The whole "Kristy's jealous" story got wicked old wicked fucking fast.

  • And, according to this book, Kristy and Dawn never really got past the whole sharing Mary Anne thing.

  • Yes, Stephie, sisters forget just as much as anyone. And Dawn's not really your sister.

  • "Mrs. DeWitt is tall and thin, with huge brown eyes and a wonderful smile. She's an actress..." Blah. In what world are there all these model-type moms and actress moms. They never describe the dumpy moms, or the mom-jeans.

  • "Carol was wearing a dress, with a big, colorful [what colors????] beret in her red hair--and makeup, which is very unusual for her." So many details, it hurts.

  • After announcing the engagement, they have champagne, even Jeff & Dawn. Ooooh, I'm calling Child Protective Services!

  • Oh, heaven forbid! Carol doesn't use chopsticks to eat Thai food! And she uses environmentally suspect paper towels to clean up spills! She's a horrible, horrible bitch.

  • SHE STOLE HER DAD'S FUCKING CREDIT CARD TO BUY PLANE TICKETS!!!!! I don't care if she feels guilty, bitch doesn't feel guilty enough.

  • And she takes an hour-long cab ride, then is shocked by the price.

  • "And it was so easy. I've never felt so independent in my life." Well, sweetheart, you should be feeling like the little fuckwit you are. Stupid bitch. Don't be all pleased with yourself, you did a really terrible thing.

  • And she was surprised that her dad called the cops. And she was pissed that she had to go back the next day. That's a really fucking expensive temper tantrum.

  • Mary Anne sleeps in L.L. Bean.

  • Dawn is also surprised that things are weird and unhappy after she gets back.

  • Pensive Dawn = BORING.

  • Oh, and the We [Heart] Kids Club gets a little more organized. Cause they had to tie back into the title of the fucking book.

  • A break in the fighting and Jeff asks Dawn if Carol & Father Schafer killed each other! Active imagination, that one.

  • Yes, Dawn, you are a spoiled baby.

The end.

Anyone else appalled by this one?

Next week, probably Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Like most best friends they're different in some ways...; or, BSC #40: Claudia and the Middle School Mystery

What mystery? Argh!!!! I'll come back to this...

First, let's talk about this:

I love the look on Cheatie McCheaterson's face. Claud's all "I have no idea, I look like an idiot." But Cheatie's like "Ha,'re busted."

Also, Claud's outfit is not at all outrageous. And it's nothing like the outfit she wore to take the test. It's actually kinda how my mom used to dress in the late 70s. Plus, Mr. Zorzi? Totally looks like his name.

Alrighty, then. The "plot." So, Claud studies really hard for a math test (with Stacey and Janine), and gets an A-. But... Shawna Riverson (super-popular and over-involved in extra-curriculars) got the same grade and made the exact same mistakes, and then the teacher accuses Claudia of cheating. So, the BSC take it upon themselves to prove that Shawna's the Cheat. I mean, the cheater. [The Cheat is way to cool to make a cameo in this series.] And Claud follows Shawna & friends into the bathroom, where they talk about how & why Shawna cheated. And because of a mix-up (and a major coincidence), Dawn knows the combination for Shawna's locker, so they go through it looking for evidence. Which they find, but Claud realizes they can't use, cause, well, they fucking stole it. Finally, Janine helps out by talking to the principal or the vice principal or whoever, and convinces them to let Claudia prove herself. Which she does by "acing" a test with little or no prep time. And when Shawna is offered the same opportunity, she breaks down and confesses. And Claud gets the good grade and all is happy!!!!!! I cannot contain my joy. Or something.

Subplot: The Pike triplets break their fourth window in three months, but they won't narc on each other, so they're all kindsa  punished until Mal convinces them to reenact the event, and they're all equally not-at-fault or something. Boring.

Before I start the listy goodness, I need to go off. If I may, THIS IS NOT A FUCKING MYSTERY!!!!!! THEY KNOW WHO DID IT, THEY KNOW HOW, THEY EVEN KNOW WHY (fairly early on)!!!!!!!! It's a problem, sure. A situation. But it is not a fucking mystery!!!! I know, semantics, I'm picky, whatever. Somebody's gotta have my back here. They're not solving a whodunnit! They're being idiot kids, but they're not solving any mysteries whatsoever. Anyway...

  • Claud hates the name Gertrude. Is it the name? Or just because it's in a word problem? [I used to have an alter-ego name Gertrude. She was German. And she smoked cigarettes in a very peculiar manner. I have pictures. That all but one or two of you will never see.]

  • Seriously, where did they come up with the name Zorzi?

  • "Janine would be happy wearing the same white blouse, plaid skirt, red cardigan, and flat shoes every day." I still say that sounds way cuter than 98.5% of Claud's outfits.

  • What, you might be wondering, did Claud wear for her test? Glad you asked..."I thought I'd start with my lucky earrings--the ones that look like Princess Di's. They're huge (pretend) emeralds, surrounded by thousands of tiny (phony) diamonds. Then I thought I'd work downward from there, wearing my new green-and-blue-tie-dyed T-shirt dress (the casualness of the dress would be an interesting contrast to those fancy earrings) over green leggings." Um, hawt? [Hey, RNL, if the Painkiller costumes don't come together, I can wear this, and you can dress up as a long-term substitute teacher for Halloween. And you can go around accusing me of cheating. Or we can challenge people to fight as though we were wearing the Painkiller costumes. Suitable backup plan?]

  • Watson is only one of Stoneybrook's millionaires. Where did all the money come from? Can I have some?

  • I love how they always make a crazy big deal about how Mary Anne has two best friends.

  • Okay, Dawn is not mellow. Like, ever. Granted, she's not as ball-of-neuroses as me, but the girl turns everything into dramarama. She's the one who suggests breaking into Shawna's locker, after all...and can't decide if she wants to live in Cali or the 'Brook. And don't get her started on the environment.

  • Heh. Mal & Jessi are younger, "but they're pretty cool."

  • Eleven is a hard age? Shut up. I'm beginning to think there are no easy ages, but I'm really sick of hearing how hard it is to be 11.

  • When I took tests, our books had to be under our desks, not next to them on the floor.

  • Aw, Claud gets embarrassed by her spelling. But not embarrassed enough to do anything about it, it seems. Maybe her friends need to intervene with a little ridicule.

  • Claudia never really defends herself when she's accused. She's all dumbfounded, but she's never like "I didn't cheat. Period. It wasn't me."

  • And, of course, the teacher just believes Ms. Popular. As I prolly would, too. Cause it's like the highest grade Claud's ever gotten. Plus, who would ever cheat off Claudia? Really. That was sheer luck on Shawna's part, even if she heard Janine was helping Claud study.

  • And why didn't Claud tell her parents the story right off the bat? Why not just get them on her side from the start? Plus, you always get in less trouble if they hear it from you first.

  • The "popcorn-y smell of tacos?" Really?

  • Also, the fuck? Claud won't let her parents talk to the principal. Why not? I'm not all for parents getting involved in every little thing, but being falsely accused? Let them help, for fuck's sake. Some things are bigger than a 13-year-old.

  • They're all whining about how mean Mr. Zorzi is. Oh, poor babies.

  • I kinda laughed when Shawna's all "I don't even have to feel bad about it. It doesn't even matter to her that she's getting an F." And Claud's all outraged or whatever, but really? That's how it looks when you roll over and take it...

  • How disgusting can a sprouts on wheatberry-bread sandwich look? It's greens on bread. Shut up about the health food...

  • Heh. Claud goes through this elaborate act to prove Shawna cheated, and she just winds up looking even more like a cheater.

  • I think I need a button that says "If you can read this, you are a cheater and you might as well admit it!" Only I'll wear it to professional conferences and meetings and such. Just to fuck with people.

  • They're all trying to think of ways to get Shawna to confess. Instead of Claud standing up for herself to the people in charge. Dumbasses.

  • Claud decides to not care anymore. Cause that works.

  • And she decides to dress crazy and thematically, like Ms. Frizzle (from the Magic School Bus books). Her outfit? "I decided my theme for the day would be The Sea. I put on a blue skirt with brightly colored tropical fish printed all over it. Then I put on a green blouse. I figured that could represent seaweed or something. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, over to one side, and I pinned it with a sand-dollar barrette I made last summer." And she wears jellies with sea-type stickers all over them. Okay, not really that crazy. It's not like she was wearing plastic fish tied together as a scarf or something...Hmm...

  • Then she feels like an idiot when she gets called into the principal's office wearing that outfit.

  • Also, I've always thought "acing" a test means a perfect score. Just saying.

  • The Kishi's get a giant cake for Claud. For a single A- on a test. Setting the bar high, there.

So, that's that...Again, not sure what I'm doing next week...


Okay, this isn't BSC related, strictly speaking. But, if you're in your late 20s, and you used to watch a lot of Nickelodeon, you might find this a little interesting. Yep, that's Big Pete, and Ferguson (from Clarissa), and one of the guys from "Salute Your Shorts." Oh, and Marc Summers (or however the hell you spell his name). Plus, the song's not bad...

Also, slime.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm not exactly Doctor Science; or, BSC Mystery #16: Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph

I'm back!!! Did you miss me? Lots and lots??? I had a decent conference and a great vacation, full of booze and food and soccer and music and Short Attention Span Theater. That's enough of me. What has the BSC been up to while I was away?

Well, to be honest, they have been working on one of the least likely plots I've come across since...yeah.

The cover says a lot...

One: Claud can shlub it up like the rest of us.
Two: Her "darkroom" is sparsely furnished.
Three: I don't miss side ponytails AT ALL.

As for the plot, well, the title is kind of misleading. It starts out with Claud in summer school, taking both math (cause she has to) and photography (cause she wants to). She's all about photography (as in doesn't even think about any of her other artistic talents) in this book, and she's got a darkroom in the bathroom. And Buddy Barrett really misses Dawn or something, so the club decides to figure out a project to lure Dawn back to the 'Brook. (She's on her 6 month visit to Cali at this point. I think. I'm very confused. Big surprise there.) Inspired by this book, they decide to create "A Day in the Life of Stoneybrook." So, all the sitters (except Stacey, cause she'll be New Yorking, and Logan, for some other reason) and a shit-ton of kids are going to take pictures all around Stoneybrook on a Sunday, and they'll assemble them into an album soooooo goooooood that it'll make Dawn want to come back!!!! Or something. Wait, where's the mystery? Right? Right. Well, after all this happens, the BSC hear that the bank was robbed during the time that they were shooting pictures! And Claudia was all kinds of OCD about taking 1500 rolls of film of the bank (well, one and half rolls, but who needs facts when we have hyperbole?). So, Claud studies her pictures looking for clues. And they find two suspects, blah blah blah. Then they study all the pictures taken around the bank and put them all in chronological order blah blah blah. And the pictures provide the final straw that the police need to make the vice president of the bank, Mr. Zibreski, CONFESS!!!! It's like an episode of fucking Law & Order in here! Yeah, I don't really care either.

Bullets!!! And conspiracy theories!!! Or not!!!

  • Any idea how Claudia is supposed to become a real artist if she keeps switching media?

  • "First I'd learned how to use a camera--a real camera, not the automatic kind you take snapshots with. And while I hate math, somehow I had no problem figuring out exposures and shutter speeds." One, bad grammar. Two, ooh, a "real" camera! [eyes rolling] Shut up, Claud. Three, somehow I doubt she really picked up on all the technical aspects of photography that quickly, given that she's not just bad at math, she's bad at EVERYTHING.

  • Dude, the Kishi's are loaded if they can set up a temporary darkroom for a thirteen-year-old that will probably move on to something new by the end of the summer. And chemicals and paper and film? Not cheap.

  • Janine's a research assistant for the summer, but they keep calling it a "work-study program."

  • Claudia doesn't really know what her dad does, except that it "has something to do with stocks and bonds and money."

  • Janine takes offense at the phrase "crunching numbers." I hate that she's written with absolutely zero sense of humor.

  • "Staring back at me was a medium-height Japanese-American girl with almond-shaped eyes and long, black hair held back by a pink, star-shaped barrette. She wore a silky pink tank top with a man's white shirt tied casually over it, white jeans, and flip-flops decorated with more pink stars." Wow. Wild. And kind of generic. Medium height? What does that mean? Tied casually? LAME!!!

  • I'm so fucking sick of the whole "Claud's mom wants her to read literature." Seriously, I don't fucking care.

  • "The Scarlet Pimple?" Not clever.

  • Claud took some "fashion shots of Stacey acting like a model." A born artist, that one.

  • The descriptions of developing film and prints actually sounded pretty right on, but my memory might be slightly foggy. It's been ten years since I took photography classes.

  • Oops. Janine ruins Claud's film. Is it wrong of me to take joy in that???

  • I really like using too many punctuation marks tonight.

  • Lamest premise for introducing the members of the BSC? Claud decides to take a picture of each of them as the enter the meeting, and she tries to catch their "essence." Which leads to the standard intro to each of the girls.

  • "Stacey just got this really cool pair of blue suede clogs." Are those supposed to be sophisticated? Were they ever? Well, I guess it was 1994, height of high-fashion grunge.

  • Stacey and Robert. I'll actually have to read about that one of these days.

  • "We had a big fight about that recently, but of course we made up. We always do. That's how best friends operate." Ten bucks says that the fight was resolved without anyone really apologizing or making any changes or even really talking about what's going on. Plus, if I remember correctly, 13-year-old girls are way fickle. Sorry, I'll stop now.

  • Did you know that pliĆ© is "French for, um, bend-the-knee?" Yeah, me neither.

  • Claud is planning on calling her portrait series "A Portrait of the BSC...And the subtitle would be, My Best Friends." She's among her own best friends, you know.

  • Did you know that Mrs. Barrett could be a model? Really? Cause they mention it EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME SHE SHOWS UP!!!! Aside from which, what does that even mean? Be specific, ghost writers!!!!

  • This book actually mentions shit from other books, like Claud's personals and giving Pow to the Pikes. [RNL-I think that "Pow to the Pikes" might be a song that bears would rock out to...Might even make a good video, if you know what I mean.]

  • "I dressed quickly, in jeans and my Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt (no high fashion today; I was planning to work hard)." Somehow, this doesn't seem to mesh with the Claud we all know and love. You know, the one who dresses up for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING?

  • Wait, Janine has a boyfriend? Named Jerry? Huh?

  • Claud wants to "capture the essence" of the bank. Cause, she's not all there, upstairs. Dig? Just kidding. I like taking pictures of buildings, too. I just try not to describe it in such a lameass way.

  • Billy Blue. Ah, fake pop stars.

  • Wow. Claud has read her favorite Nancy Drew book, like, four times! Crazy! [Back in the day, I read my favorite BSC books, like 15 times each. I was bookish. Still am, kinda.]

  • There's this whole thing about bankers' pocket watches. Like, on fobs. Because it's the 1920s. Or something. [Hee!!! I totally have a picture of old-timey BSC in my head right now!!! And it's hilarious!!!!! For me, at least.]

  • Claud can't spell Charlotte's name. She thinks it's Sharlote. She's been sitting for her for how long now? And read about her how many times in the notebook? [shakes head sadly]

  • Jamie's OCD in the making: he "kept himself busy counting everything--cracks in the sidewalk, cars in the driveway--everything."

  • Is it really appropriate for Stacey to carry the BSC treasury around town with her?

  • Apparently, it is suspicious for a man to wear a dark suit in the summer. There were tons of suspicious men at ALA, then. And in every business and every city.

  • Aw, the BSC has a friend in the Stoneybrook Police Department. How much do you think the other officers rip on him for his little girls?

  • What on earth possesses these bitches to think that they can do a better job than the fucking police?

  • "Maybe the carriage is actually full of moneybags." I just...I...yeah.

  • So, Stoneybrook's pretty small. Yet none of them have been to Thelma's Cafe downtown? Seriously?

  • They get bored by the conversation between two men in suits, one of whom is a bank veep. What were they expecting? Talk about the latest teen pop superstar? One of them to confess?

  • "My feelings about him were more complicated than just a crush. Have you ever had a teacher who really inspired  you? A teacher who seemed to believe you were capable of doing anything you put your mind to? A teacher who encouraged you..."

    Oh, wait...That's not right...

  • "That day I'd worn one of my favorite outfits to school: a lacy white shirt with big ruffled sleeves over a deep green leotard, with short blue-jeans skirt and my favorite shoes (at least my favorites that summer): big black clunky boots." Sweetie, big black boots never go out of style. "Since I knew I was going to be in the darkroom, I threw off all my good clothes and pulled on an old pair of shorts and my ancient green Sea City T-shirt."

  • "Maybe Mr. Zibreski is the head of a big gang..." Blood or Crip? Personally, I think he's more of a Latin King.

  • Claudia, I don't think you're allowed to say "Duh." Ever.

  • I really doubt Sergeant Johnson is really going to tell the BSC that Zibreski is a suspect.

  • I have never rigged up a fake burglar alarm. Not even after my fucking apartment was robbed and my roommate was too scared to sleep there. Yet the BSC set them up ALL THE FUCKING TIME!

  • Claud explains the ATM. Yawn.

  • Mrs. Kishi uses her birthday as her PIN. Dumbass.

  • So, the pocket watch is a FAKE!!! Shannon thinks he might be hiding a microchip in it. ["The bad people put a chip in my brain..." Heh.] But it's a key!!! Wow!!

  • Um, Sergeant Johnson lets the BSC into THE INTERROGATION ROOM WITH A SUSPECT!!!!!! (Sure, he's not happy about it, but THE FUCK!!!!) THAT'S TOTALLY NOT ALLOWED! AND IT'S UNPROFESSIONAL! AND FUCKING STUPID!!! AND WHY?????????

  • Oh, and it works! He confesses in front of them! Again, the fuck?

  • Oh, and the book works. I guess. Dawn says she'll be back soon.

Done. The suck.

No idea what I'm doing next week.


Also, if you enjoy really funny shit and a lot randomness, check out the new Teen Girl Squad. "Don't you remember health class? You'll microwave the baby!"