Before you ask: yes, Claudia is wearing a fucking tux. And, yes, it's pretty similar to the description of the outfit she wears to her first radio show. (Did I spoil that for you? Or did you figure it out from the really fucking obvious title?) I totally used to wear formal wear to my radio show. [Yes, I was a DJ in college. So, if you were listening to 92.1 WPTS-Pittsburgh between 1998 and 2001, you could have listened to me! Go back in time and tune in, dammit! I did a show called Radio Porn. And I went by the DJ name "The Tiffinatrix." I didn't make it up; it was one of my ridiculous college nicknames. I think I came up with the show name, though. The station on the cover actually looks kind of like the studio at PTS. Ah, memories.]
So, plot. Claudia's feeling sorry for herself, what with no best friend and no prospects on the boy front. So, she decides she needs a hobby. She rules out a few stupid ideas, then enters a contest to host a children's radio show on WSTO, Stoneybrook's radio station (I'm a little confused about the station actually...I think it's kind of a community station, but it's run like a commercial station. Probably doesn't matter too much, just me being picky. Wait, isn't that why you read this blog?) And she wins! She will run a show called "For Kids Only" with the second place winner, the aforementioned Ashley. So, they have a show. With kids on as guests and talent and such. Oh, at first, they don't really work well together, but they manage to get it together. (Not sure how.) And they sort of help keep the station afloat.
Subplot: Kristy is fucking annoying. Like, surpassing Karen levels of annoying. Yep. She's obsessed with getting on the show. So she auditions with a whole bunch of shitty skits and plays until she and the Arnold twins hit upon a decent idea: kid lit Jeopardy. Seriously wanted to kill her. In fucking painful ways. Over and over again. I'm never really a big Kristy fan, but my hate for her in this book knows no bounds.
- Mmm, chipped beef with cream sauce. That recipe needs a euphemism. Like "colonial beef" or something less descriptive.
- Dawn asks "Who wants to watch you chew up murdered mammals?" Cause she's never eaten meat at all in this series. Ever. I keep waiting for her to break into "Meat is Murder." ["The flesh you so fancifully fry..." etc.]
- Logan and Mary Anne are making a mix tape together. I think they misunderstand. You're supposed to make a tape for that special someone. And they, in turn, will make one for you...But a couple making the mix for themselves? I'm not familiar with that, and I'm a bit obsessive about mixes.
- Gulp is right. "I was wearing a backward T-shirt, overalls I'd made by sewing together two halves cut from different pairs, and mismatched socks. It was my "deconstructionist" look. You know, like the art movement? Those paintings that show you the parts of objects rearranged in interesting ways? Well, that was the idea, anyway. Cool, huh?" No, Claudia. Not cool. Fucking ugly. Heh, Janine calls Claud's look "Frankenstein's jumpsuit."
- Computers hate Claudia. Yep.
- Claud changes clothes before her sitting job: "jeans and a button-down men's shirt over a stretch top." A stretch top? That's descriptive.
- Oh, yeah. Mal tells a bunch of stories about the Oogly Oogly Beast, a monster neat freak. Actually kind of clever, until Kristy steals and butchers it.
- Claudia claims not to be boy-crazy. My ass. She and Stacey (both of whom claim to have zero luck and only a passing interest in the males of the species) keep talking bullshit like that.
- Claudia's list of (mostly) ridiculous potential hobbies:
- tap dancing
- dramma club
- She rules out cooking after she fucks up an omelet in the fucking microwave. Sweetie, that's not cooking. Not hobby-style cooking, anyway.
- Why does Claudia think she might want to join chorus or drama club? She's never had any desire to sing or act before...
- Since when does Jessi take "all kinds of dance lessons?"
- Wow, this book name drops the Saddle Club books.
- Claudia thinks that tofu tastes like "eating warm socks." Who marinated the tofu in warm socks? I'm looking at you, Sharon...
- LUV? Not again.
- At this point in the story arc, Claud and Stace have started saying hi to each other at school.
- Wooo! U 4 Me!!!! [Screaming like a fucking nutjob.]
- Okay, this "kids' show" is aimed at children of all ages, from little kids to like 14 and 15 year olds. Which seems like a rather broad audience. Just sayin'.
- Wow, even in Stoneybrook DJs are annoying.
- While writing her application essay, Claud consumes "a Milky Way, a box of Peppermint Patties, two Chunkies, and half a bag of Cape Cod potato chips." Holy shit. I got fatter just reading that. It's like she's a 15-year-old boy! Or Cartman. [BTW, Cape Cod's are the best fucking chips on the planet.] And how did she not get sick?
- "Here is my idea of a great host for a kids' show:" = worst intro ever. Where's the hook, Claud?
- Also, your essay is not terribly humorous.
- How the hell does Claud know what a Pulitzer is?
- How many kids really have radio experience? Especially kids between the ages of 10 and 14? And how many of them live in Stoneybrook. Cause I don't think the number is very big.
- "An old, moldy, good, and goldy...the Beatles..." The fuck?
- Woo! Route 95, my old (and hopefully future) stomping grounds.
- Claud suddenly thinks Janine's great, cause she's the only one of the Kishi fam who's happy for Claudia (at first, anyway).
- Charlie agrees to drive Claud to the radio station. Does this kid have anything better to do than to shuttle a bunch of 13-year-olds around?
- Kristy waltzes in with Claud and acts like it's her fucking show. Bossy doesn't even begin to describe the obnoxious here.
- Hee, Ashley's dressed all normal.
- An intern (who is apparently paid!!! Though it's only a pittance?) is assigned to help Claud and Ashley.
- Wow, they get a tech staff? I ran my own boards...
- Apparently, Ashely has changed, and she no longer thinks that art is the ONLY FUCKING THING WORTH DOING WITH ALL HER TIME. Or something.
- Ashley makes fun of Claud's spelling. Heh.
- Oh yeah, Kristy even tries to commandeer the planning session for the show. You know, the show that Claudia and Ashley are in charge of? The one that Kristy has nothing to do with? [I know I'm ending with prepositions, but fuck it. If Claud doesn't have to spell in a way that vaguely resembles what she's trying to convey, why should I have to follow my MLA closely?]
- Claud keeps using the SMS Express computer. Why doesn't she just use Janine's?
- One of the reasons for the contest was to fill up some air time without paying. Ashley's all sorts of offended that they're being "used." Whatever, chickie. You're getting good experience, you're only 13, and it's gonna be fun. Suck it up. You don't have student loans. Or any expenses, really. Hmm.
- Kristy's ideas for segments on the show are terrible, goody-goody shows. Like segments about fucking babysitting. Dumb bitch.
- Plus, unscripted lameass skits? Bad idea. You have to prepare a little more before an audition. And what makes you think you can come up with dialogue anyway? Just go play some softball.
- Also, music jokes ("some unknown key. Q maybe") only work if the character telling the jokes has anything to do with music. Ever.
- Yep, another mention of I Love Lucy. And a list of random talents from random kids.
- Even though Claud knows she'll be on the radio and no one will see her, she indeed wears a tux to her first show: "Anyway, I wore the coolest tuxedo I'd recently bought in a thrift shop, including a silky, piped shirt and a bright red velvet cummerbund. I removed the shoulder pads from the jacket [do tux jackets usually have shoulder pads?], which made it really slouchy (I love that look). Then I bought a pair of white socks with silver glitter [wait, what? She bought them when? When she got the tux? When she was getting dressed? So confused!]. I decided to wear a pair of red sneakers to match the cummerbund. I swept my hair up and fastened it with a rhinestone barrette in the shape of a musical note." Wow. I think she's destined for a future as a backup dancer at the Tonys circa 1982.
- To fill time, Claud waxes all wistful ON THE AIR about her ex-best friend. You remember Stacey?
- Mal's handwriting looks really different in this book.
- Reading about Kristy forcefully taking Mal's character is truly painful. And monstrously cringe worthy.
- Without his "small stipend" from WSTO, intern will have to drop out of college!!!!!
- They have an advice segment on "For Kids Only." It's a call-in show. And it's boring.
- Heh...the Arnold twins totally shoot down Kristy's ideas. "That's pretty stupid." Hee.
- I realize they have no budget, but they live close enough to New York that they shouldn't have to limit their children's author search to Connecticut.
- A band called the "Curious Quartet" made up children playing the banjo, the tin whistle, the Jew's harp and the washboard? Really? No, really?
- A parent makes a huge donation to the station as a thank you for the girls giving her kid good advice. And the station is saved! Wahoo!
- Oh, and Stacey and Claud talk about how they both hope they can be friends again. Ah, foreshadowing.
Again, no idea what's coming up...