Friday, October 12, 2007

I am insane. No, seriously.

I've had some big news since my last post. Namely, I'm starting a new job on Halloween. And it's about 500 miles away. And I have just about two weeks to plan and execute the move. So, my posting for the next few weeks will be irregular at best. So, keep checking back!! But don't expect too much. I have a ton of shit to do. But I do plan on getting "Mallory's Cooties" posted at some point next week. So there!

(And go Sox!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The summer was going to be all right, after all; or, BSC #55: Jessi's Gold Medal

Rereading this book, I discovered what might be the epitome of "even more boring to read about than it is to watch." [Even worse than NASCAR, RNL.] Synchronized swimming. Yep.

Even the cover is boring.


The people in the background are seriously freaking me out, though. Are they kids? Adults? I just can't tell.  And there are some rad hats in the audience. Oh, and Jessi's supposed to be the graceful half of the pair, but white girl's form seems a little better here. Her name is Elise.

Yeah, so this is another book that tries to make up for its sheer dullness by adding far too many inane subplots. Just a warning. I'll try to muddle through it for you. [Look at me, being all self-sacrificing...]

It's spring and it's hot. [Fuck you! It's October and it's hitting 90 here. Sorry. Digression.] Jessi wants a pool. Instead, her fam decides to get a membership at the Stoneybrook Pool Complex. And then there's the upcoming SMS Sports Festival; everybody but Mary Anne and Mallory want to compete in an event. And the gym classes are doing a swimming unit, so each class walks over to the pool to go swimming. (Outdoors. In the spring. In New England. Don't care how warm the air is, that pool better be heated.) Um, and during the first swimming class, the synchro [That's what the cool kids call it. And by cool, I mean really lame.] coach spots Jessi's dance training and asks her if she wants to join the synchro team. Jessi's into it [what a hobby slut!], and even has to switch her lunch period around. And she gets partnered up with Elise, who's a swimmer of the racing persuasion.  And they're all going to be in the Sports Festival as a team, then the pairs will compete against each other. Follow me so far? Well, they're working hard, and if this were a movie, there'd totally be a training montage with some sort of peppy power-pop. Meanwhile, the other girls are trying to figure out what they're competing in, and Kristy challenges Alan Gray to the obstacle course. Oh, and because the Summer Olympics are going on (during the fucking spring, while school is still in session, cause...likely), and all the kids in town are kind of obsessed, Jessi comes up with yet another "great" idea [that is actually monumentally dumb]. Yeah, the BSC decide to have a mini-olympics for the kiddies. And they're all giddy and over-enthusiastic, right? Oh, except for Charlotte and Becca. And Andrew, cause he can't do anything [perhaps because he's only 4????]. So, all this is going on, and Mal accidentally sprains her ankle while trying to pretend to sprain her ankle to get out of the Sports Festival instead just copping to the fact that she doesn't want to/is afraid to participate. And Charlotte and Mary Anne talk it out and decide that they're angry that they can't participate because they're klutzes/shy/whatever. Oh, and there are multiple chapters describing the sports festival, making me wish again for a montage. And Kristy beats Alan. And Mary Anne works the refreshments. And Jessi and Elise, who think they're gonna totally lose, win the gold medal. Of course. Um, and the mini-olympics are a success. And Jessi and Elise both decide that neither really loves synchro. Elise is never heard from again. The end.

I think that's all the big stuff that happened. Here's the little stuff:

  • I think every other Jessi book starts with Jessi in ballet class. And then she doesn't have anymore for the rest of the book.

  • Oh, this is the book with the sweating vs. glowing cage match.

  • One of Jessi's heroes is Misha Baryshnikov. Apparently, they're so tight she calls him by his nickname. [From his IMDB bio: "Boyishly cute, diminutive and strong as a bull, but as graceful as any gazelle or swan, Mikhail Baryshnikov is a household name even to non-balletomanes." Heh.]

  • "Gracefool" does not equal "graceful" with a French accent.

  • Actually, Jessi, your professional career would not last the rest of your life. Just sayin'.

  • First on the list of things that come with being a pro 'rina? "Watching what I eat. (Have you ever seen a fat ballerina?)." You'd think she'd be working on that already.

  • Jessi's dad laughs like Darth Vader. I mean, James Earl Jones.

  • Is a/c really bad for dancers? It's better than getting dehydrated when it's really hot. And I've never been to a ballet performance that wasn't climate-controlled.

  • Kristy wears her visor backwards at the BSC meeting.

  • Jessi knows the word "dietetic," but she eats two bowls of cereal for breakfast? I'm so confused.

  • Ah, an outfit: "At that meeting, [Claudia] was wearing these sharply creased, pastel-green [sometimes, I think they just throw in random hyphens to fuck with me], cuffed shorts; a wild Hawaiian shirt tied at her waist, with vibrant colors that perfectly picked up the green [but those colors shall remain nameless, to hide their shame]; and sandals with crisscrossing ankle straps to her knees [how many fucking sandals like that does she have?!?!?]. Her hair was swept to one side and held in place with a long, fake-flowered barrette that looked like a Hawaiian lei."

  • I always forget that supposedly, Dawn's house was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

  • Oh, yeah. All that "gross" food that Dawn eats. Like "whole wheat, unsalted sesame crackers." That's the best you could do? Not seaweed, or steamed lentil loaf or something that at least looks a little odd? Crackers that sound like they'd be delicious? Especially with hummus? Probably not a good example.

  • If Jessi goes pro, she's going to move to New York. Shocker!

  • The Sports Festival is mostly track and swimming. Two sports which will never be mentioned again. Cause it's the 'Brook.

  • The BSC are all shocked that Mary Anne doesn't want to get involved in Festival. Because they've never, ever met her before.

  • Claud wants to find an event that's "not too embarrassing." Huh? [Then, she goes and enters the "backward race," which is totally a fake sport.] What would be embarrassing? The "naked run?" The "confess your love while tripping over hurdles" race? The "match the kid with the STD" contest? I don't get it.

  • Blah, Alan's a jerk, he's immature, crush on Kristy...[yawn].

  • They're really taking entire gym classes and making them walk to the pool complex? And, conveniently, it's only a five minute walk each way? Still, permission slips? Liability? Anyone?


  • Jessi thinks she flunked her swimming test so badly that she'll be put in..."remedial swimming." The fuck?

  • Becca gave each other "high-fives, low-fives, and as many different kinds of fives as [they] could think of." I miss Scrubs; the Todd would've come up with some awesome fives.

  • This book is full of "startling revelations" and "Maybe there was something I could do about it..." moments of fake drama.

  • The stakes in the Kristy-Alan showdown? A week of 'personal service'...Um, yeah. That could one's mind took it in that direction. Which mine totally didn't. Not even close. No internal jokes about blowjobs in the broom closet during study hall. Nope, none at all.

  • Again with "I was expecting an easy job" whining.

  • I will not repeat really stupid pun-innuendos. I will not do it.

  • I have never thought that synchronized swimming looked easy.

  • Why are they all so pushy in this book? They're all about trying to get the holdouts to join the sporty fun.

  • Fuckin' Claud. Extpretion is nothing at all like the word "expression."

  • There's a fake Olympic coach named "Spuds Diamond."

  • Okay, so the Sports Festival is on a Wednesday, right? And there are tons of parents there to watch the competitions. Don't they have to work? Can all these people duck out all day in the middle of the week to watch a stupid sports thing? Can I work there?

  • Since when does Kristy sprint? And why isn't she on the track team if she's that fast?

  • Oh, yeah. I think Claud thinks the Sports Festival is a fashion show: "She was wearing electric-pink track shorts with a turquoise racing stripe, a matching top with cut-off sleeves, brand-new high top track shoes with no socks, and floral-print suspenders." And a barrette shaped like the Olympic logo. I don't even know where to start. That outfit is too tacky for the Fly Girls, back in, like, 1990.

  • No, Mal. Nothing in this book even remotely qualifies as exciting.

  • And ladies? Kristy's had a ton of shit ideas. You just ignore those.

  • They have all these consolation prize type awards for the kids at the mini-olympics, and they're so full of shit.

  • Kristy is a bitch. During her week of "personal service," she makes Alan call her ma'am.

  • Ever notice that none of the BSC 'rents ever say, "No, you can't have fifty million children over here. I will not be responsible for that many kids in my yard."

A little bit of wisdom from this book? "You know, they're just kids, but sometimes you can really learn things from them." And sometimes, you're just projecting. And sometimes, you're trying to drag a lesson out of a really stupid story. The end.

Next week, I think I'm going to do Get Well Soon, Mallory! Mainly because I want to make terrible mono jokes.


Also, if I were to write something BSC-related beyond this blog, like an essay or a book or something like that, what would you want my opinionated ranting to be about? Throw some stuff out there...