Monday, August 27, 2007

Liking a guy is so weird; or, BSC #59: Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym)

Let me just get this out of the way: Mal is fucking retarded. Seriously. Even if I didn't already think she was a waste of literary oxygen, this book would have convinced me.

Now, let's discuss the cover:

1. Mal's not hideous-looking, but those fucking glasses turn her into a 60-year-old single man who spends all his days in short-sleeved polyester shirts. Damn.
2. For gym uniforms, those ain't half bad.
3. Okay, the blond? The most crushed upon guy in my sixth grade class had that haircut, AND he did that thing where he spiked the hair at the part. [I can totally picture it, but it's kind of hard to describe.]
4. That one kid's shorts are wicked short. Did he get stuck with the petite size?

This book has a plot. Sort of. It's just really fucking lame. In case you couldn't tell from the super-retarded title of the book, in this one, Mal hates gym class and thinks boys are evil. Oh, excuse me, pains. Sometimes, I really wish these bitches could've cursed like longshoremen. It would've made the books sooooo much more interesting. So, gym class (which Mal hates already) goes co-ed, and she acts like a brat. She hates volleyball, too, and thinks everyone who's trying is being mean and picking on her. So, she sits out a bunch and gets detentions. And in a sort of subplot, lots of the male children in the 'Brook are acting particularly bad or something. So, Mal concludes that gym class turns Stoneybrook boys into nightmares. Again, she's a friggin' idiot. And the ending? Mal discovers that she's good at archery (thanks to the dreaded gym class) and makes the archery team, an activity that is never heard from again. And everything's hunky dory, with apologies to Bowie. So, so stupid.

There is a lot to destroy in this little Permabound package:

  • Mal starts off the book by talking about vocabulary words. And, hate!

  • Does playing with a Nerf ball really count as playing ball inside the house?

  • Poor, poor Byron. "He's not as athletic as Adam and Jordan." Also, Mal can pick him out of the triplets "just from the way he slouches." Ah, indie rock god in the making.

  • Um, Mal, you're their sister! You should be able to (fairly) easily tell the triplets apart!

  • Can I blame these books for my tendency to find accents hot?

  • Mal's description of Ben: "By movie-star standards, Ben isn't a hunk or anything. (Even though I think he's totally adorable. [That's good, you're actually attracted to your friggin' boyfriend.]) He has reddish-blond hair, sort of a round face, and freckles. He's tall. And he wears glasses. (Which makes me feel less self-conscious about my glasses.) Yeah, that's really selling him.

  • Mal keeps calling her siblings geeks.

  • Dude! Typo! "leavfjing" is supposed to be leaving. Hee.

  • Mal is deluded; she thinks that Ben's brothers are always perfect. Cause she sees them how often?

  • "Until I met Ben, I thought making a cake from scratch meant you started by opening a box of cake mix!" Yeah, your mom's got a giant litter of children. Heaven forbid she make cake from a mix. You poor neglected girl. Bitch.

  • "Jessi isn't stuck-up about her dancing. Not at all. Everything about her is very normal." Thanks for clearing that up. I was totally worked up thinking she'd be stuck up about her dancing. [Also, is a 10-year age difference between the oldest and youngest kid "very normal?" Not saying it's freakish or anything, but it's hardly 2.54 kids-style normal.]

  • "Claudia was waring a pair of soft, balloony, purple pants ["Can't touch do do-do do-do" you get the picture.]; a neon green long-sleeve leotard top [um, where's the rest of the leotard?]; a wide, red braided belt; and a pair of soft, red ballet shoes." Yeah, purple, neon green and red, all mixed up in one nasty, fugly mess. Oh, and according to Mal, "If I wore an outfit like that, I'd look like a lunatic. But not Claudia. She looked like a fashion model." Nope, I can't even see her and I want to burn my eyes out with lemon juice and salt covered hot pokers.

  • Wow, an actual example of "California casual!" "For example, today she was wearing black stirrup pants, a long, fleecy red-and-pink rose-print top and black high-top sneakers." Doesn't really sound very Cali to me.

  • Okay. This is...yeah. "I fished through the jumble of clothes until, way in the back, I found a one-piece denim jumpsuit. It had been a present for my last birthday. I never wear it. Not because I hate it or anything. It's just not me. It's a little too high-style or something." Okay, for someone who bitches and moans about looking like ass and being treated like a baby, you'd think she'd want to wear something more high-style.

  • Mrs. Pike actually considers letting Mal stay home to avoid gym class. The fuck?

  • Okay, their gym uniforms aren't that bad! Baggy shorts and a white shirt? It's not like they have to wear the polyester hot-pants/jumpsuits that my mom had to wear in the early 70s!

  • Aunt Cecilia irons Jessi's gym clothes. And Mal tries it out, too. Dumbass.

  • Pinnies? I always thought they were pennies. You know, the colored mesh things to differentiate the teams?

  • Mal ducks and runs away from the ball and doesn't try at all. And then she wonders why everybody on her team hates her. Plus, 10 people on a volleyball team? Are they rotating people in and out? I'm so confused...[I used to play volleyball, so some of this shit totally bugged me.]

  • Okay. Why do these bitches always expect their baby-sitting jobs to be easy? If a parent says the kid's all kindsa wound up, you might want to listen. That doesn't mean that it'll be a cakewalk for you! Plus, if you don't like it when the kids are all crazy, why sit at all????? "Oh, that kid's never any problem..." My ass!!! If you do soooo much sitting, then you shouldn't ever be fucking surprised when kids are bad! They're fucking kids!!!!!

  • Okay, not every boy in gym class is all crazy competitive. Also, some of the girls are. So, shut up Mal! Your stupid theory is fucking dumb!!!!!

  • Also, very little in middle school matters in the long run, not just gym class.

  • Suck it up. So, you hate volleyball and you hate gym class. You're hardly the only one. Just do what you need to get through it and shut the fuck up, you stupid twat!!!!!

  • Mal's first detention. Awwww...

  • Ben and Logan are different. I see. *cough* (GAY!)

  • Ben keeps waiting for Mal after detention. Isn't that sweet?

  • Logan thinks all the kids are being monsters, but he can't see that only the boys are being monsters because he is, in fact, a boy. And a boy who likes boys, at that.

  • Logan flirts by hitting. So do I.

  • Mal can't believe that Jessi kinda likes volleyball.

  • Mal's theory: "American boys from Stoneybrook were the biggest pains on earth." As opposed to European boys from Stoneybrook? Also, she recognizes that boys from Kentucky aren't pains--I'll buy that.

  • Mal never even considers that "benching herself" and getting detentions might hurt her gym grade. Asshat.

  • Aw, Ben thinks about Mal. A lot.

  • One of Mal's punishments=awesome. She has to wash all the smelly pinnies in the home ec room after school.

  • G.I. Joe! Knowing is half the battle!

  • Mal hides all the detention notices from her parents, and they're not nearly as pissed as my parents would've been. Hiding the fact that I was getting detentions would have resulted in severe punishment.

  • Mal and Ben trade brothers for an evening. AND THEIR PARENTS GO ALONG WITH IT!?!?!?!?!

  • Mal's crazy surprised when the Hobart boys are crazy at her house, and her brothers are well-behaved and polite at the Hobarts'. My theory? Mal makes boys into monsters.

  • Mal finally talks to her gym teacher about the problems she's having. And the boys' gym teacher asks the boys not to pick on Mal anymore.

  • Okay, supposedly neither Mal nor Jessi has ever done archery before their archery unit in gym class. But wait! Wasn't there some mention of archery at Camp Mohawk? Hmmm...

Phew. So much crap. Shut up, Mal.

The end.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Baby-sitters Club is special that way; or, BSC #27: Jessi and the Superbrat

So, this is the first mention of Derek Masters. Yep. All of a sudden, there's a famous kid from the 'Brook. And he shows up from time to time, sure, but this is another great example of the random Stoneybrook-ites...

Cover fun? First of all, there are two different covers, but literally the only
thing that's different is Jessi's head!!!! It's freaky!!!!

Okay, her shirt is a little different, too. And it's still wigging me out!!!!

Also, one of the twins is wearing a t-shirt that just says "Skating" on it! Hee. And is it just me, or does Derek look like a very small man as opposed to a little boy?

Mmmm, acid washed.

So, in this book, Stoneybrook's own child star moves back to town while his TV show, P.S. 162 is on break. [It took me years and years before I figured out what P.S. stood for in this context. See, I grew up in the suburbs? Where public schools--actually, all schools--have names. The school on Head of the Class was the closest thing I got to NYC public schools, and that one had a name, right?] And Jessi winds up sitting for him a bunch. Oh, yeah, and he has trouble adjusting or whatever, cause the kids are all mean to him cause he's famous. And there's this one kid who does especially nasty shit, and his name's John, but Jessi calls him the Superbrat. And Derek finally starts making friends, blah blah blah. And, it turns out, DEREK WAS JOHN, AND JOHN WAS DEREK!!!!! DA DA DAAAAAAA!!!! Yet, Jessi doesn't get all pissed about him being a little dickhead to his classmates, cause it's all better now. Oh, and then he has to move back to L.A. to shoot a made-for-TV movie. Bye for now! See you in a Super Special!

And the subplot? Jessi decides to audition for a performance of Swan Lake at the Stoneybrook Civic Center [Um, how is Stoneybrook such a small town, yet it has a fucking civic center??? And apparently, performances there get written up in the New York papers? Yep. I'm a little confused about just how much of a "small town" the 'Brook is...] And she makes it through the first two auditions, but then, all of a sudden, she doesn't really care about ballet and decides that she's going to take up modeling and acting...She even calls a bunch of agents in Stamford. But when she lands a role as a swan maiden, she gives up the charade and is all OMG! BALLET IS THE ONLY THING I'VE EVER CARED ABOUT!!!!! DENIAL? WHAT DENIAL?

Yep, that's the basic idea...Here are the specifics:

  • Blah, why do all the books either start wicked boring like "I have feelings. Listen to them!" or "Ooh! Look at my crazy life!!!" Why can't they start the book like a normal book????? Why is it all, "Oh, my sister's freaking out!!! But it's not what you think!!! It's a "clever" plot device to introduce a new character!!!!"? Huh? Why not just something normal???

  • "I also found myself another best friend." Um, that was fast...And that's a really callous way of saying it, no?

  • The inner city school on P.S. 162 includes all different kinds of kids. Of course it does! It's a show for kids! And it's a sugar-coated image of the real world! Sound familiar, ANM?

  • Oh, the most popular kid is "smart, funny, and good-looking." Ah, remember when you thought that was how people got to be popular?

  • So, the character Derek plays? He's the nerd, Waldo, who is officially a member of the Biggest Cliches Ever club: "He's got weird, spiky hair and he wears this pair of thick black glasses and he's an incredible science whiz. You know, one of those kids who lives and breathes science, but put him in the real world and he can barely tie his shoes..." You get the drift. He's also the comic relief on the show. Of course.

  • I can't figure out if the teacher on the show is actually named Miss Pedagogue, or if it's Waldo being "clever." It's probably just the ghostwriter being "clever."

  • Becca keeps saying L.P. instead of L.A. And it's not funny.

  • Blah, Jessi's wicked psyched that someone who doesn't currently live in Stoneybrook is on TV. And she can't believe no one's told her before! Maybe because it hasn't come up?

  • "That Monday, for instance, she had two French braids pulled back and wound into one. [Huh?] She's also a wild dresser. [Yes, Claud is a crazy piece of furniture.] At that meeting she was wearing a bright pink T-shirt, a short red flouncy skirt, and underneath the skirt she had on black footless tights that she had rolled up to mid calf." Rolled footless tights? For real? Also, bright pink and red together? Equals risky and she's probably not pulling it off.

  • How convenient...Jessi's job with the Braddocks is taking up less of her time!

  • Stupid fake French accent!!!!

  • "This may sound corny, but every once in awhile in class my overwhelming love for ballet just comes flooding into me." Gee, Jessi, you forget that really fucking frequently.

  • Gack! More fake French accent!!!! NO MORE!!!! [Actually, that is the last mention of Jessi's ballet classes in the book. Huh.]

  • Apparently, a lot of dancers from New York will be auditioning for this show. Yet New York is soooo far away or something.

  • Also, all these girls can act out scenes from A Chorus Line. At like, 11, 12, 13, & 14. Yet none of them are musical theatre nerds, just ballet dancers...Hmm...

  • What kind of 8-year-old (other than Dakota Fanning, however the hell old she is) talks like this: "Nicky's a great guy."? Huh? Derek sounds like he's in his mid-20s, talking about a guy he dumped.

  • Oh, and Mal goes all kindsa retarded around Derek, talking like she's in high society, or she has a giant pole up her ass, take your pick.

  • Damn, I hate the little kid insults!!!! I know I say that, like, every book, but I don't care!!!! They are stupid!!!! And they keep showing up!!!!

  • Kristy's handwriting looks really odd in this book.

  • I fucking hate Karen, and her desire to be A STAR!!! I desire to smack her in the mouth. So, now we're both disappointed.

  • Jessi's mom types her resume for the audition. Even at 11, my mom would've been all, "I'll help you, but I won't do it for you." Yep.

  • Would the dancers auditioning really wear flashy dance gear? I really don't know, but I would think that would distract from the dancing?

  • Since when is Mal the voice of wisdom? "And she said I shouldn't let my fears stop me from doing what I wanted in life." Dude, is she the next Dalai Lama or what?

  • Yes, little kids can be so mean. But so can pre-teen girls. And teenagers. And adults. And me.

  • Actually, no matter what you do, Jessi, there will be a group of bitchy girls (and/or boys) tearing you apart. It's not just ballet.

  • Derek's trying to lure Jessi to L.A. Yep.

  • Really? You think modeling and acting will be less stressful than ballet? Really? *cough* (Dumbass!)

  • The BSC decide to throw Derek a going-away party. And they decide to make it a breakfast party, which is actually not a horrible idea. But they totally should've served bacon.

  • Why can't you have cake at a breakfast party? I've eaten cake for breakfast on many mornings...

  • "Modeling can't be as nerve-racking as ballet." Actually, it can. And even more cutthroat! Woo! New season of ANTM coming soon!

  • "'I'll make you a star, kid,' he was saying. He lit a cigar and slapped me on the back. 'You've got the face. We'll plaster your picture in every magazine across the country." Um, this is how Jessi pictures the exciting world of modeling? And in Connecticut at that? Yeah, someone's been watching too many movies on AMC.

  • All the BSCers are wearing robes at the party, but they refuse to wear curlers (Kristy's idea. Cause, yeah.).

  • "Nothing's fair in love or ballet." Or having to read these stupid books. Yikes.

  • Oh, and if it's such a big deal performance, how on earth can Jessi fit rehearsals in around dance class, school, AND baby-sitting. Good to know that the whole thing just disappears after this book!

The end.

Thanks for all the nice comments wishing for me to get better. I'm sure none of them were at all selfish, wishing that I'd come back and entertain you. Hee. I'm feeling better, but I'm not 100% yet. So, if I wasn't as bitchy as usual, that's why.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Heads Up...

So, I am sick. I'm hoping to be feeling better soon, but getting better trumps blogging.

I'm still planning on posting this week, but it probably won't be for a few days...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stace is also our resident New Yawka (she doesn't talk like one, though); or, BSC Super Special #10: Sea City, Here We Come!

Don't forget the exclamation point in the title! It's exciting! It really, really is! EXCITING!!!!! And summertime is fun time! Fun, I say! Fun, dammit!!!!!

Okay, before we get to the ridiculousness of this book, let's talk about the cover:

One, Mal is truly fug. She looks kinda like Napoleon Dynamite, only with girly hair and bigger glasses. Two, Dawn's fucking lit. Three, Claud and Stace are WILD! Look, they're screaming and stylish! Four, Kristy is totes in love with Stacey. Five, Jessi looks really normal, if a little older than eleven. Also, this book is set towards the end of the summer, like the beginning of August. And some of these idiots are wearing fucking sweaters. On the fucking beach. [Sure, maybe they're just long sleeve tees, but they look like sweaters, and it's stupid either way. So there!]

Now, this has a monstrously complicated plot, even for a Super Special. Seriously, how many fucking plot lines need to be in one book?  [And, as an aside, why on earth did ANM think her readers wanted chapters from the point of view of the kiddies? Sometimes Jeff, sometimes one Pike kid or another, fucking Karen. And they're so stupid! I didn't care, even when I was closer in age to those kids. I only read these books for the "teenagers." I wanted dates and clothes and bitchy classmates. I didn't give a shit about the kids they sat for, and I care even less now. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled bitching...]

The set-up: The Pikes are going on their yearly jaunt to Sea City, and this year, Mal and Jessi are going to be the mother's (or "parents'") helpers. And Stacey's going to be the Barretts' mother's helper. Then, the Pikes invited the rest of the BSC to stay for the second week of their vacation. I'm not sure why. Or how they can fit more girls. Or if the BSC are paying their own way or what. Details and logic are somewhat lacking. Oh, and Logan's going there for a long(?) weekend, too. And they're all getting there because Mrs. Barrett's boy toy, Mr. Harris, is bringing his offspring for the weekend. I think that's it...But don't think that it's that simple. Because there's a fucking hurricane that knocks out the causeway to Sea City, trapping the BSC!!!! [Hurricane? Check. Snowstorm? Check. Shipwrecked? Check. Tornado? Check. Hmmm...Earthquake? Did they ever deal with an earthquake?]

The individual "stories:"

Jessi: She's trying to be a super sitter, for reasons that are never really explained [imagine that]. I guess it's to prove herself or something. And there's this whole stupid thing with Margo and Claire wanting to enter a big fancy sand castle contest, but the hurricane intervenes in a total cop-out.

Mal: Toby asks her out, so she completely forgets about her "steady boyfriend" Ben Hobart. In the end, though, she decides to be "true" to Ben and decides not to go on the date. And she thinks Stacey is jealous of her...[because Stacey really wants to be lame, dumb, ugly, and retarded.]

Stacey: She's miserable, because Mrs. Barrett is a spaz. On the drive to Sea City, Mrs. B's a fucking wreck. Actually, she's kind of a fucking wreck the whole trip. And Stace is all kinds of fighty with Mal. [Has anyone else noticed that the second Stacey gets to Sea City, she turns into a raging bitch? Fightin' with her friends, shirking her responsibilities, whining and moaning, that sort of thing.]

Dawn: She and Mary Anne run a fucking day camp before they leave. And Dawn decides that the last activity will be a sleepover. In her barn. Cause she's a fucking moron. And she makes up more to the Jared Mullray [is that right? I keep thinking it's Mullaney. Nope, I checked. It's Mullray.] ghost story. And she tells it to a group of children. Cause she's downright stupid.

Mary Anne: Yeah, all the stuff with Dawn. Plus, Sea City's all romantic for her and Logan or whatever.

Logan: He's wicked jealous of Alex (remember him from previous Sea City adventures?), especially cause he thinks that M.A. and Alex are getting all kinds of hurricane close. And he welcomes Mary Anne back to Stoneybrook with a horse and carriage. Cause he's thirteen. [Coincidentally, one of his busboy coworkers can help him set it up. Again, he's thirteen!!!! Who's going to hire him, even as a busboy??? It's not legal!!!!]

Claudia: Goes to summer school!!!! Ha ha!!!! And she makes some non-BSC friends that are never heard from again...

Kristy: Rather than forfeit (or attempt to reschedule) her Krushers game (because a bunch of her players are on vacation), she recruits a bunch of kids from her neighborhood to play. And, predictably, they lose.

Yeah. Them's the major points. Now, for everything else...[And there's a lot of crap in this...]

  • Woo, candy taste test.

  • The BSC is a success because they're "a well-run organization (also because [they] happen to be nice and charming and responsible)." Charming is not a word I would use for, well, any of the BSC. But especially not Kristy.

  • "That Friday, for instance, she was wearing ripped cut-off jeans held up by a frayed rope belt, a T-shirt with the collar torn off, hug white socks all bunched around the ankle, and old-fashioned black lace-up shoes. She looked totally cool." I love when Claud rocks the hobo-chic look.

  • Mary Anne's hair continuity seems to be particularly difficult for the ghostwriters.

  • "At our Friday meeting she was wearing this white T-shirt that hung practically to her knees (Stacey calls it a "jersey tunic" or something), white stretch pants ("ribbed leggings" [for her pleasure?]) to mid-calf, a tan leather belt over the T-shirt, and leather-strap sandals." Um...sounds flattering?

  • Also, I would tend to think the "Big D" would be death, not divorce. But I am sort of morbid.

  • Um, actually, Logan is the jealous type.

  • Ha, Claud jokes that summer school helped her learn how to count! She's so clever! Cracking jokes about "enducational" experiences. Ha!

  • Um, they really hold all the summer school classes from all grades in the high school? And the "scary" delinquents actually show for summer school?

  • Carly, one of Claud's summer school friends does watercolors and pottery. She even has a pottery wheel. Because so many parents would spend that kind of money on their 13-year-old's hobbies.

  • Dude, you go to the same school, and your school is not that big. It shouldn't be that hard to stay friends, no matter "how strong [your] BSC friendships" are.

  • This time around, [the pressure's on. You hope for happiness, your hands are scarred...Oops, sorry. Lapsed into Luna for a minute.], the Pikes decide to rent a van and only take one of their station wagons. Cause they're transporting almost the entire BSC back to the 'Brook.

  • They get all kinds of weepy when they'll be separated for (only) a whole week. They don't even know.

  • Thanks, Mal. I'm sure Dawn really wants to know about Nicky's puke and the aftermath, just as much as I do. Wait, I don't.

  • Mal is all "my fam's soooo immature. They're counting people picking their noses in their cars." [Well, not in so many words.] Shut up, Mal. They're fucking children. They're not supposed to be mature.

  • Woot! Remember car phones?

  • Heh. Weiner's Wieners. Ah, gotta love a dick joke in a book for young ladies.

  • Ooh, foreshadowing...The causeway got washed out during a storm "ages ago."

  • Ever notice how the BSCers really like moms who are pretty? According to Stacey, Mrs. Barrett "is, like, stunning. She seems younger than a lot of moms. She wears the coolest clothes, which look great on her incredible Cosmo-model figure. Her hair is a gorgeous chestnut color, with natural curls that spill to her shoulders." Yep, she must be a good person, cause she looks like she could be a model in, of all things, Cosmo.

  • You'd think these dumb bitches would figure out that none of their carefully planned activities for large groups of children will ever go off with out a hitch. They seem soooooo surprised that things go all wonky. When large groups of kids are involved. Dumbasses.

  • Apparently, I really should read The Lorax.

  • Charlotte is the most serious and mature kid that Dawn knows, so she shouldn't ever lose her shit? She's, what, 8? Even if she's mature and serious, she should still laugh.

  • Wow, an 8-year-old having panic attacks?

  • Bart "is seriously cute. He has deep brown eyes. His smile is a little crooked, and his hair looks naturally as if he just stepped out of a stylist's." He sounds like he's in a boy band.

  • Gotta love the rich kid names. Um, they call S. Emerson Pinckney IV "Quad" because he's the fourth, and quad means 4. And P. Archibald Pinckney, or "Moon." Um, aren't they a little young to do the first initial and middle name thing? Wouldn't they do the first and middle? Or just the middle? Why the initial? Did ANM use the last name Nofziger in some other book?

  • Blah, Margo tries to charge admission to a tide pool.

  • I hate the "clever" store names.

  • Mmmm, falafel. Though the sauce usually isn't the dominant smell.

  • Dawn's just makin' shit up in her ghost story.

  • Completing summer school doesn't make you not stupid. Just sayin'.

  • Kristy, rescheduling a game isn't quitting.

  • Um, they're letting Logan and Mary Anne stay in the same house for the weekend, without any real adult supervision. And Richard's okay with that? My ass. He won't even let Logan go in the house with Mary Anne when no adults are home. You'd think he would've had to stay with the Barretts and the Harrises, especially since he's leaving with the Harrises.

  • They have a fucking BSC "meeting." Cause heaven forbid they just hang out like normal girls.

  • Jealous Logan thinks Alex's looks are "solid."

  • The stuffed penguin is the most realistic part of this illustration:

  • These bitches know entirely too much about I Love Lucy.

  • Everyone can be competitive at mini golf, not just boys.

  • "I have red hair and freckles to begin with, so I look like a ripe, hairy tomato when I blush." Tell me again why Toby thinks Mal's cute...

  • And suddenly Mal's "in love" with Toby. Ben who?

  • Lameass circus.

  • "He'd draw inward, which isn't like Logan at all." Actually, it is. These girls are so fucking deluded about Logan's personality.

  • I hate the stupid little kid insults. Fucking stupid.

  • Claud's just jocking about dying in the hurrycan.

  • Fucking Claud. She's worried about what clothes to bring while they're being evacuated. "I was wearing the only long pants I had packed, these overdyed navy jeans. I was also wearing a loose black cotton sweater over a white tank top. [Um, dark navy and black? And, again, it's fucking August, storm or not.] So if I packed my big purple Hawaiian shorts, which were the next warmest pants, I'd be stuck having to wear an orange striped shirt, which was the only long-sleeved one I'd brought. Unless I wore the sweater again over it..." I tend to over pack, but that's fucking redonk.

  • Dude, they don't have Marnie in a car seat during the evacuation?!?!?

  • "And there was certainly nothing normal about being stranded on an island at sea." Um, except it kind of is, for the BSC.

  • And, of course, Karen lets us know how the hurricane rolls through Stoneybrook.

  • Buddy decides his mom is cool. That might change when all his friends hang at his place because they all drool over her "Cosmo-model" figure.

  • I really don't like picturing this: "Remember when we went into the haunted house, and the lights went out? I pulled you close. You put your arms around my shoulder. We turned to each other and started to kiss." Yep, M.A. will be the first girl in their class to "go all the way."

  • "Claudia found me a pair of barrettes in the shape of flamingoes--but cool, not corny-looking. Then we bought about ten tiny buttons with pictures on them. The faces included Virginia Woolf, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Hawking [the fuck?], and Janis Joplin, but Claud didn't know who any of them were. She just picked them because they looked 'funky.'" I doubt Mal knows most of those, either. Um, and spell check says that it's spelled flamingos. And they're always kinda corny looking.

  • Mal's big date outfit: "I ended up choosing a short, flared, white-on-blue polka-dotted skirt (mine); a white, ribbed tanktop (Jessi's); and a long, royal-blue men's shirt with the tails tied in front (Claudia had run to her room for that)...We carefully placed some of the buttons we'd bought on the tanktop." Dude, tank top is either two words or a hyphenate. Is Jessi the only one with a wife beater? And why would you put the buttons on the tank, not the shirt worn over the tank???? The illustrator agrees with me:

  • Mal's pretty fickle, if she hasn't thought about Ben once. And how much could she really like him if that's the case?

  • "Aloiv." Fucking fake Aussie accent.

  • Dude, Stacey is updating her dad on her friends' love lives. For real?

  • The book totally ends with Toby scamming for Jessi's address!!!!!

Holy fucking crap this book sucked big time.

Not sure what's coming up next week...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I adore being in charge; or, BSC #24: Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise

This book really should've been called "Kristy and the Mom Jeans." Cause check these babies out:

Plus, she looks like she's wearing tons of blush. All the little kiddies look a little crazy.

The gist: The BSC, in their complete lack of wisdom, decide to take a small army of children for a day as a special Mother's Day gift for a bunch of Stoneybrook moms, including a few of their own. See, it all starts cause they're all (except poor, poor Mary Anne) stumped for Mom's Day presents. So, they coordinate with Stoneybrook's perfect fathers to arrange a shindig for the day before Mother's Day...Dad's drop off kids & lunches at Claud's. BSC-ers (+Stacey, who comes to visit JUST TO HELP WITH THIS THING!!!!) and kids then head off to Sudsy's Carnival (which is in a local parking lot) until lunch. Then Mr. Kishi & the Mimi bring all the lunches to the playground where all the kiddies and sitters eat and play for a little while. Then they all go to Claudia's backyard for stories and crafty goodness.

Oh, and Watson and Elizabeth keep talking about another brother or sister. All the Watson-Brewer clan think that Lizzie's knocked up. But, in the real Mother's Day surprise [gag me gently with a chainsaw], they adopted a Vietnamese baby! A two-year-old! And they'll name her Emily Michelle! And they don't even have to go to Vietnam to pick her up! Ah, happy ending.

[I don't get why they adopted a Vietnamese baby, specifically. It seems a little overly complicated. Like, why not just any baby? Why not a Chinese girl? This book was written 14 years after the end of the Vietnam War, so it's not even like she could've been a war baby. And I know there were refugees from Vietnam into the mid-80s, but...I don't know. Again, it just seems so needlessly specific. It is a book for pre-teens anyway, they wouldn't know how hard it would be to adopt any baby, why not just have a orphan from Stamford? Anyway...enough of me trying to fathom out ANM's lack of logic...]

Insanity checklist:

  • Worst opening line ever? "I've been thinking about families lately, wondering what makes one." Way to smack us in the face with the moral of the story before it's even been told.

  • Also, "Nannie, Mom's mother, lives all by herself. But I still think of her as a family--a one-person family...I guess." Um, she's a part of your family, dumbass. Families don't have to live in the same house. In fact, they often don't. When Charlie goes away to college, is he out of the fam? Cause that's weak.

  • Dawn's tan in the summer, freckly the rest of the year. Also known as skin cancer in the making.

  • "And her clothes are casual and as individualistic as she is. She likes to wear layers of things--a short tank top over a long tank top, or socks over tights. Dawn is pretty cool." Damn, I'm going to have to stop layering now. Except mine's mainly functional. Plus, that doesn't seem particularly different from how any of the other BSCers dress. So, perhaps not terribly individualistic after all?

  • "And then there's my real father...But no, he doesn't count. Somebody who never writes, never calls, never remembers your birthday, never says he loves you, doesn't count at all." Gotta love when Kristy gets heavy like this. And why is she this bitter only when it serves to further the plot? Huh?

  • No, Kristy, a visor doesn't make you look like you're in charge. It makes you look like you have a summer job at an off-track betting establishment.

  • I love how they always have to add how nice Stacey is, like it's crazy rare to be both sophisticated and nice. Especially when it seems like the only sophisticated person they've ever met is Stacey.

  • Blah, comparing the BSC to family. Blah, they're really different but they do nice things for each other. Blah. Thank you, Captain Obvious, for telling me what to think.

  • Mother's Day is very awkward for Mary Anne. Did you know she doesn't have a mom? Also, her "best friend" Kristy forgets about that until somebody starts saying something about Mom's Day and Mary Anne gets all weird. I guess she's just not a sensitive as M.A. [Also, this whole thing seems really forced. While I see the point of including this, it's just awkward.]

  • Apparently, Charlie has quite the way with the ladies.

  • Oh, I hated that whole "Your epidermis is showing" joke.

  • ANM always included these songs that I had never heard of.  Anyone else?

  • Elizabeth had Charlie right after she graduated from college. That took some planning, I'm sure.

  • I seriously, seriously doubt that a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old would be soooo fucking cool with the idea of their mom getting preggers. Not least of all because that would be physical evidence of their mother having sex. And the little kids are all anti-baby. I think maybe she got it backwards. Cause I really doubt the teenagers would be so chillaxed about the whole deal.

  • Also, I don't care if you love babies, Kristy. You don't want one "in [your] house, twenty-four hours a day."

  • Part of Kristy's logic for the big Mother's Day gift? "And I thought, what would a mom like more than anything else? Then the answer came to me--not to be a mom for a while." She gets that, but she doesn't get why she might not want a fucking baby around the house?

  • Oooh, outfits! "Mallory, with her new short haircut, was sitting on the floor, leaning against Claud's bed. She was wearing jeans with zippers up the bottoms of the legs, and a sweat shirt that said STONEYBROOK MIDDLE SCHOOL across the front. In her new pierced ears were tiny gold hoops." Nice...I'm totally picturing acid-washed jeans. And that's a really grown-up sweatshirt, Mal. Just sayin'.

  • "Jessi was wearing matching hoops (I think she and Mal had gone shopping together), a purple dance leotard, and jeans. Over the leotard she was wearing a purple-and-white striped shirt, unbuttoned." Ah, remember when you and your best friend had to have matching shit?

  • We're not done yet..."Mary Anne's hair was pulled back in a ponytail and held in place with a black-and-white checkered bow that matched the short skirt she was wearing. Around her neck was a chain and dangling from it were gold letters that spelled out Mary Anne."

  • "Dawn was wearing a necklace, too, only hers said I'M AWESOME. [If you have to tell people you're awesome, YOU'RE REALLY FUCKING LAME!!!! Also, I'm totally reminded of that fake commercial on SNL where Will Ferrell's selling a hat that says "I'm #1" or something to that extent. Anyone remember what it said exactly? And wasn't there a necklace at the end that said something for women???] ... Also she was wearing a fairly tame dress, but on her feet were plaid high-top sneakers." Ooh, crazy. She's so unique.

  • "Then there was Claudia. She was wearing a pretty tame dress, too--with a red necktie! Then, she had on these new, very cool roll socks. When she pushed them down just right, they fell into three rolls. The top roll was red, the middle one was peacock blue, and the bottom one was purple. She looked as if she were wearing ice-cream cones on her feet. In her hair was a braided band in red, blue and purple, like her socks. And dangling from her ears were--get this--spiders in webs." My 10th grade English teacher would've bitchslapped ANM for using so much fucking passive sentence structure. Why not "She wore spiders in webs dangling from her ears?" The way she says it is so fucking boring and awkward.

  • Claud "babbysat" again. And "printinding" for pretending doesn't even make sense...I can kinda get behind transposing letters or spelling things phonetically. But making words that don't even look close to how they sound is just retarded.

  • I also hate how ANM tries to be all clever by making little kids screw up the words to songs. Always annoyed the piss out of me.

  • When M.A. suggests inviting Jenny Prezzioso, Kristy keeps saying, "Ew." The fuck? The most prissy-ass kid on the planet is hardly skeeving her out. I can understand a less than joyful reaction, but seriously, couldn't she think of anything better than ew?

  • I also have a really hard time believing that Stacey's super-psyched about her first trip back to the 'Brook is an unpaid sitting extravaganza. Also, her parents are cool with her not being in New York for most of Mother's Day?

  • Claud illustrates the invites, and it shows a harried mom and a relaxed mom. How dreadfully clever.

  • I agree with you Kristy. "The members of the Baby-sitters Club would like to give our special moms a special gift" is dead corny.

  • I know I uttered the phrase "he's gorgeous" when I was 13, but I don't really think a 13-year-old boy can really be gorgeous. Plus, either go out with Bart or don't, Kristy. This whole "we sort of like each other" thing is boring.

  • "A math test with an E on the top?" What the hell kind of grade is E? Is it some fake-y grade between D and F to make kids feel better about themselves while still failing?

  • They're taking care of 21 fucking kids of different ages for an entire day. They really are fucking crazy.

  • Actually, Jessi, I think it would be weirder if you knew Stacey and slept in her old bedroom.

  • Foreshadowing of the McGill divorce!!!

  • Stacey got a haircut: "I went to this really punk place and told the guy not to make it too punk." Why go to a punk place, then? Why not go somewhere sophisticated? Huh?

  • Wow, Claud hasn't made a new best friend since Stacey left, what, a few months ago? Shocking!

  • "I try hard not to be bossy, but after all, I am the president." Wow. Someone's a little full of herself.

  • Mal: "Dad loves little kid. Why do you think there are eight of us?" Tiff: "Cause your mom lost her diaphragm? She's never heard of the pill?"

  • To rememberize: "to remember something really well." Why does that need a special word? That's not what Urban Dictionary says it means, anyway.

  • More outfits? Yes, please! "Stacey, however, put on a tight-fitting pink jumpsuit over a white T-shirt, lacy white socks, and those plastic shoes. What are they called--jellies? And Claudia wore a pale blue baggy shirt over black and blue leopard-spotted pants that tied in neat [as in cool? or as in tidy?] knots at her ankles. On her feet she wore purple high-tops. And they both wore all this jewelry and these accessories, like big, big earrings, and headbands with rosettes on them, and nail polish. Claudia even wore her snake bracelet." Wow. Practical outfits for chasing small children around.

  • I hate the whole "Stacey can't stand the sight of barf" thing. Like anyone particularly likes looking at puke? I understand some people are pussies and run away rather than helping their drunk, puking friends, but it's not really something that needs to be explicitly stated.

  • Blah, let's turn Jackie R. into a walking joke again.

  • And more stupid public domain songs.

  • Claud helps the BSCers who don't have younger sibs to make personalized brooches for Mom's Day. Yay.

  • And Mary Anne decides to give her dad a Mother's Day gift (a book, because it's hard to buy for a man). I can't believe she never thought of that before.

  • Conveniently, Watson explains to Andrew what adoption is off-screen.

  • I have always remembered Dawn's weird made up lyrics to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

  • For some reason, the book changes to present tense when describing Emily. [Why is she Emily sometimes and Emily Michelle sometimes?] It's really fucking weird.

And that's that! Hoorah! It's done!

[Before the hate mail starts, I'm not making fun of Mary Anne's lack of a mother or the fact that some girls may have identified with her Mother's Day awkwardness. I'm just making fun of the way that ANM just kind of throws it in there but never really deals with it...See?]

Don't know what I'm doing for next week. We'll all have to be surprised, I guess...