Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy birthday to me*; or, BSC Portrait Collection: Claudia's Book

*It's not my birthday; that's a line from the book. Sorry for any confusion.

I don't even know where to start with this one...Maybe with the freaky little clowns on the cover.

Kinda giving me nightmares...and I'm not even asleep!

Yeah. This book doesn't really have a plot. At all. The idea is that Claud has to write her "autobiography" for school. So, she recalls a few choice anecdotes that are never otherwise mentioned. Like the time she spent at a special school in Stamford. Wait, what? Don't worry, I'll go back to that one.

So, I figure the easy way to do this one (because I am nothing if not lazy) (and self-deprecating), is to give you a brief summary of the different events that Claud covers.

Big event #1: The Kishis get another baby.

Don't worry, even Claud's not stupid enough to think she can remember being born. But Janine? She remembers A LOT. Especially given that she was only 3 1/2 when Claudia was born.

Lucky us, we get an anecdote about pre-school wonder-trio Claudia, Mary Anne and Kristy putting their hands in wet cement. Yay.

Big event #2: Claudia's sixth birthday "party" hits a speedbump.

So, Claudia liked kindergarten. [I hated kindergarten. But that's another story for another therapist.]

On the last day of said kindergarten [damn, I hate typing that word!], Claud distributes invitations to her upcoming (as in a few weeks away) sixth birthday party. It's going to be all circus themed. Or something. Only nobody RSVPs, AND the only people who show up are Mary Anne and Kristy. So Claud's all crying and heartbroken, so all the parents (and Mimi) and Mary Anne and Kristy all throw together a little surprise party to cheer up the wee artist.

Big event #3: Claudia loses a tooth (but finds the truth).

Circa second grade, Claud is scared to lose any teeth because she thinks that the Tooth Fairy is a monster that eats teeth (and even yanks 'em if she's really hungry). (Oh, and all the kids in 2nd grade are apparently obsessed with losing their teeth.) But the C-dawg falls or something and knocks one of her teeth loose and then she has to have the dentist pull it. And she catches her mom in the act of being the notorious T.O.O.T.H. And then Claud realizes that *SPOILER* [NOT REALLY] Santa and the Easter Bunny are also made up. And she feels all sad and grown up. Yeah.

Big event #4: Claudia IS the new girl!

So, after a decent year in third grade, Claud really starts to lose her shit, academically speaking, in fourth grade. Halfway through the year, she winds up transferring to a special school, the Stamford Alternative Academy, where she gets a lot of special attention, etc. And she really starts to do well in school, but she's crazy depressed and anti-social and does that BSC thing where she pre-dumps Kristy and Mary Anne rather than let them "outgrow" her or whatever. Finally, she gets so depressed that her parents let her go back to Stoneybrook Elementary School. And we all know how well that worked out for her.

Big event #5: Claudia goes to the beach. Seriously. (With the Thomases.)

So, the summer when the girls are eleven, Claudia joins the Thomas (post-Mr. Thomas, pre-Watson) family for a trip to the beach; Charlie and Sam are both playing on a baseball team that's in the playoffs or something. In this little bit, we learn that the Thomases don't have much money, and Kristy has to be really responsible. Or something. Oh, yeah, cause Kristy has to watch David Michael all the time. Blah.

So, that's the general picture. Now for the rants!

  • "But as usual, I'm jumping into the middle of things. I guess that's because I see things not as having a beginning and an end, but as a big picture spreading out all around me with me (of course) at the center." Seriously. That manages to sound both stupid and pretentious. Quite a feat.
  • "I'm smart, but, well, school and I (except for art and maybe phys ed) just don't agree." Me neither, actually.
  • "Because I also have, well, an appreciation for what some people call junk food. But then, some people call wonderful works of art junk, too, right? Even Nancy Drew books! It's all in how you look at it." Okay, I've never heard the high/low art dichotomy used as a pro-Twinkie argument before. Also, even if you love Nancy Drew books, you know they're not great works of art. Not that they have no value, or aren't enjoyable or well-made or whatever. But not "wonderful works of art." Heh. "Art junk."
  • Ah, yes, the notorious "fascinating parental fact." Sometimes, though, you just don't want to know. Trust me.
  • Yes, I'm sure that "being smart and laid-back and looking totally together is the result of all those sprouts and tofu!" Oh, wait, though. Dawn's not laid-back! Damn, there goes your sales pitch.
  • Apparently, Claudia knew what an art show was when she was young enough to draw all over the bathroom. Prescient!
  • Holy fucking retardedness, Batman! When she was in kindergarten, she drew a fucking butterfly as her self portrait. Proving once again that huffing while knocked up is a baaaaad idea, Mrs. Kishi.
  • Outfit! "An enormous shirt and patchwork vest over striped leggings." How edgy! How...exactly what she wears in every fucking book.
  • In a mighty presumptuous move, Claud titles her autobiography "An Artist's Life."
  • Dumb bitch can't even spell the name of the state where she's lived her entire life.
  • Well, duh. Of course you don't remember being born or being brought home from the hospital.
  • I always thought Mimi was a nickname, but, according to Claud's birth announcement, her name is Mimi Yamamoto. So, Claud calls her grandmother by her first name. Even as a kid. Kinda weird.
  • Heh. Toddler Janine has a mullet.
  • One of Claud's earliest memories is from when she was four and a half or five. Which seems kind of late, no? [Though I know jack shit about kiddie development, so I could be totally off.]
  • On the first day of kindergarten, Kristy "looked around the room, folded her arms, and said, 'Not bad.'" The fuck? How old was she when she started school? 30?
  • Ah, undiagnosed ADD. Excuse me, ADHD.
  • L'il Claud outfit! "I was wearing black tights and my tall black rainboots and my red jacket with the brass buttons. I had a T-shirt with a lion's head painted on the front and I wore that under the jacket. I thought it made me look like a lion tamer." Um, is she wearing any pants? Or just the tights? Sure, Nancy Sinatra and Edie Sedgwick could pull it off, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for a five-going-on-six-year-old.
  • Janine, on the other hand, was wearing "a [wait for it...] Laura Ashley flowered dress and white tights and flats." So, I'm totally trying to determine the rules for the BSC drinking game. And I think part of it should be "drink twice when someone wears Laura Ashley."
  • L'il Kristy's idea of "party clothes?" So glad you asked. "Kristy was wearing navy blue shorts with a matching camp shirt, white socks, and her best sneakers."
  • There's an elaborately contrived reason for no guests. Lame.
  • I don't remember everyone being obsessed with losing their baby teeth. It just happened. I enjoyed it personally, cause I'm a sick fuck.
  • The illustrations in this book totally fucked with me. First of all, Claud looks like a different kid in each picture. Then she looks younger when she's supposed to be older and vice fucking versa. Seriously. Weak.
  • Some more "clever" homemade devices for deterring intruders. Yay. Still not amusing when the "intruder" is a creepy fairy.
  • A 3rd grade teacher that wears "business suits?" Hmmmm...
  • Claud's 4th grade teacher is both black and southern. But I thought Jessi's fam were the only black people in town?!?!? And the Brunos were the only southerners!?!?! My world is falling apart, much like when Claud realized that the tooth fairy was her mom.
  • Claud gets tested for learning disabilities!!!! But I would've gotten a second opinion if they came back clear. Cause, not bright.
  • Okay, a couple of things really bothered me about the whole special school thing.
    • One, I would think Claudia would kind of like a school that didn't make her feel stupid all the time.
    • Two, she threw a teenage hissyfit about going to school, and she alienated all the kids and didn't even try to make friends.
    • Three, did she really think that the two girls across the street wouldn't have anything to say to her if they went to different schools?
    • And, finally, is it really better to go back to the school where you were doing terribly, have to spend all kinds of time outside of school getting tutors and getting extra attention, and still not do well? Wouldn't that be worse for her self-worth? And she couldn't be in the same classes as her friends as school progressed, so what good would being at the same school be? Lunch period? This whole interlude really bothered me.
  • Also, these girls talked EXACTLY the same at eight as they do at thirteen, and it's all ridiculous.
  • Claudia never like Mr. Thomas. How convenient.
  • I don't think I ever went away with another family when I was a kid, except with my extended family. I don't think that counts. But these girls are constantly travelling with other fams. Crazy, crazy parents.
  • Claud's the only one who thinks the hotel at the beach is run down. Ha ha, Kristy's family is poor. And Claud's a snob.
  • Also, Claud's acting like Kristy's all grown-up, taking care of David Michael. At eleven. Wait a minute...isn't that how old Mal and Jessi are?
  • Of course, the written autobiography inspires some lameass art project.

Wowza. That sucked Cartman's balls.

One more thing: Mary Anne is one fugly kid.

See ya after Christmas, suckas!


110 comments:

eponine said...

First comment!

HAPPPY BIRTHDAY TIFF!!!

And this blog still owns so much.

Teezff... a hairstyle Claud would try.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about how much I wanted you to do this book! Weird haha!

I always thought the butterfly thing was super stupid. And, I never realized how young she was when she did it. What kind of kindergartener would think like that? Claudia's not that smart!

And, the tights thing...I was thinking the exact same thing! WTF, she's not wearing a skirt or pants! But...then my best friend told me she used to do the same thing. Its still weird.

srah said...

The BSC Drinking Game sounds fun, except I realized that I would either have to play it by myself (I think reading BSC and drinking alone is a sign of some kind of problem) or stage a group reading of a BSC book. Wow.

Kelly said...

I think the butterfly self-portrait thing came up in another book - maybe the super special where they're all recalling their most vivid memory? (Which is dumb, by the way; the most vivid memory I have is of typing the previous sentence.)

Anyway, Claud takes it as a metaphor, and everyone laughs at her and she fails the project (in kindergarten!) and Mimi is the only one who, like, GETS her. As usual. Because it's super-tough to understand a five-year-old who's creative but doesn't follow instructions.

Re: the drinking game - do they sell BSC books on tape? I smell an untapped market for Scholastic!

Wlda - just one of the many ways Claud would misspell "wild" while describing her outfits.

Anonymous said...

Re. the BSC drinking game: http://community.livejournal.com/babysittersclub/61579.html

Myu said...

Sorry, pasted a dud link. Here's a provisional version of the BSC drinking game posted by me a few years ago:

http://community.livejournal.com/babysittersclub/61579.html

Myu said...

Is it working yet?
http://community.livejournal.com/babysittersclub/
61579.html

Third time lucky...I'm giving up after this.

megan said...

awww, I kind of liked the butterfly thing, and thought that teacher needed to be FIRED! haha.

btw, loved the cartman's balls comment lol

author-by-night said...

Odd, I was just thinking you should do the portraits.

I wonder how many childhoods Claudia's "tooth fairy" ruined? I mean, I know of kids who read the books when they were eight. I know that's around the time kids start to wonder anyway, but still - can't Ann Martin (or her ghosties) let parents break the news without her interfering?

I actually liked the Butterfly thing enough as an idea, but I don't know that a five year old would have that forethought. It sounds more like something a reverse-emo fourteen year old listening to The Beatles would do.

eponine said...

Whoops... I retract me happy birthday.

I thought it was odd that you mentioned nothing about it in the post...

Heheh

Kylie said...

I always though Mimi was a nickname. Cause in SS2 Claudia's postcard to Mimi is addressed to Mrs L Yamamoto.

Manteli said...

Those SO do not look like "kindergardiners."

Anonymous said...

I take child development, and even though some people have long-term memories from early ages, most of the first solid long-term memories are from ages 4 1/2-5. If you asked a little kid about what they did at their birthday party yesterday, they'd be able to tell you. But if you asked them the same question when they were 13, they probably wouldn't remember.

stephanie said...

Even to this day, I can't see Laura Ashley without thinking of the BSC.

Anonymous said...

ohmigawd...i am 30 years old and have not thought about this series in a hundred years. this blog is hilarious.

why did all the numbers start with KL5?

also, didn't you want to smack claudia with her secret snacks and perfect skin?!?

Emily said...

Happy birthday, Claudia!

What IS it with these large shirts?

Miriam said...

hahaha...god, there are no words to describe how much i hate claudia XD

Laura said...

Your blog is amazingly hilarious. Ah, the never-to-be-referred-to-again backstories. Like the families who show up for one BSC book and then never ring again. It has been ages since I read this book, the most significant thing I remember is finding out who Susan B Anthony was, this impressed my mum who was doing woman's studies at uni at the time...

Lisa said...

Mary Anne's head is fucking HUGE in that picture.

Also, where are the braids? WTF, Mr. Spier? Consistency, man!

MilkMan said...

Haaaaaaa, Mary-Anne's a total heifer!!

Never read this book, but I think I vaguely remember that Claudia's self-portrait was a butterfly in that Super Special with the shiny gold cover where they all share memories at a slumber party.

I thought she was an idiot then, and an even bigger idiot now.

macaque said...

I've always called my grandparents by their first names.

kiwimusume said...

in SS2 Claudia's postcard to Mimi is addressed to Mrs L Yamamoto.

I forgot about that!! And as with Claudia And Mean Janine (in which the ghostie appeared to be under the impression that Japanese is written in English letters), I only read that book before I started studying Japanese, so it's only now that I'm WTFing over that. Note to ghostie: There IS NO "L" in Japanese. That is why so many Japanese people confuse L and R when they learn English. Kindly do not try to be teh clever with my second language. You are not clever. Even Claudia is more clever than you.

And to completely contradict my Japa-Nazi stance, did you know that "mimi" is Maori for "pee"? Every time I see Mimi's name now, I think of this historical novel I read where this Maori girl goes to this school(?) run by white settlers and when they give her a chamber pot she goes "Do my mimi in that? No!"

Ooh, my code is amtbdii - that's Claud eating candy while getting tutored in science by one of the other members.
"Shtashey? Whash a amtbdii?" I asked.
"Isprtfmmmnsshum", she mumbled through a mouthful of crackers.
"Huh?"
She swallowed. "It's a part of the immune system", she repeated.

kiwimusume said...

I always thought the butterfly thing was super stupid. And, I never realized how young she was when she did it. What kind of kindergartener would think like that? Claudia's not that smart!

I never bought that (and I generally swallowed most of the stuff I think is utter crap now.) Regardless of what Mimi said, I always thought the real reason Claud "saw herself" as a butterfly was cause they were fun to draw and she could use all her crayons.

kiwimusume said...

Also:

- Who dressed 6-year-old!Claud crazy if her parents hate that shit?

- No pants LOL!!! XD

- OK, which is it? Is she genuinely dumb, or actually smart but just not trying? Cause this book, going by your description, has her working her ass off but still not doing well, yet most of the regular BSC books seem to say she's actually really smart but just can't be fucked doing her work (which is demonstrated in one book where she actually decides to study for a test for once and gets 90-something percent.) So which is it?

- I barely remember this book at all, but I remember the "T.F." phobia and Home Alone style traps really clearly.

Lauren said...

That always bugged me about the books, that they were so inconsistent about Claudia and school. Sometimes she was smart and didn't try hard, sometimes she had learning problems, sometimes she was just dumb. And I hate that the ghostwriters throw in this random backstory about Claudia's special school because they finally figured out that the Kishies look like shits because they do nothing to help their kid.

colleenn said...

Thank you Kelly and Milkman... I was so confused because I could've sworn I'd read that butterfly story somewhere before, but the only Portrait book I've ever read is Stacey's... yes, it does also come up in that gold-covered Super Special. hehe.

And I'm also surprised they talked about the Tooth Fairy, Santa, etc. not being real. There are definitely kids still young enough to believe in all of that who read these books.

As for my earliest memory, I clearly remember my second birthday party, and lots of other things from the year I was two. And I feel like I have a few faint glimpses of fuzzy memories from slightly before that, but for all I know those could be like false "memories" that I created.

Anonymous said...

I keep waiting for you to do a book I haven't read. I was telling someone about this blog the other day and talking about when I was into the BSC. I realized it was a time span from about 3-5th grades. That's two years, and I read the regular series from 1-100 something plus most of the super specials, mysteries, portraits, whatever-the-fuck else. It made me feel pretty accomplished!

Ryan said...

I KNEW I'd read that butterfly story somewhere. . . but thought maybe I'd somehow recovered a repressed memory of this book. I had the gold super special - I hadn't thought about it i at least a decade!

"Holy fucking retardedness, Batman!"
That's awesome.

I was also one of those sick little kids who loved losing my teeth. You are not alone there.

valuemeal2 said...

I know two people in real life who did the butterfly self portrait thing in kindergarten or something. One was a butterfly and the other was a horse.

Also, I think most peoples' earliest memories are from age 3 or maybe 2. I've got a couple from age 2, but mostly they're 3-4.

Anonymous said...

In 1st grade I wore my cool hot pink tights underneath my pants, and then took my pants off and wore my hot pink tights with a really awesome souvenir T-shirt from Colorado. My sister told on me and I got in huge trouble. For not wearing pants.

Socially deviant? Yes. Possible overexposure? Definitely.

valuemeal2 said...

Also, I just read "Claudia and the Sad Goodbye" and they say something about how Mrs. Kishi (Rioko?) calls her either "mom" or "Mimi"... I always assumed it was her real name.

Phyllis said...

Who dressed 6-year-old!Claud crazy if her parents hate that shit?

Probably Mimi.

Laura said...

kiwimusume - that is probably the first time I have heard the words "Maori" and "Baby Sitters Club" in the same context. Hee! I remember being super excited in one of the later books when they mentioned Air New Zealand...

Claudia's inconsistencies in aptitude annoyed me too, but I have to say, (thinking back to my days as that age) those girls are the only eleven/thirteen year olds I know with perfect spelling. (Early) Claud was far more realistic in that sense.

Plus the whole cursive handwriting - Is that an American thing? I think I would have gotten told off if I tried to write like Jessi at age eleven...not that I could have been that tidy!

Allee said...

My friend Bonnie from across the street always came with us on vacations when we were little. But maybe that's because I was an only child and her mom and grandma didn't give a shit. I dunno. :P

In 8th grade art, I totally stole the butterfly idea. Except it was a dolphin. Mainly to fuck with the teacher though. Not some deep, Claudia type introspective shit.

Kristi, looks exactly the same. Fucked up. I can't tell if Claudia is trying to the heroin chic model pout, or is just retarded. And Mary Anne, I'd make fun of the weight; but every chubby kid I know is now thin and I'm the fat one.

Elizabeth said...

I doubt that it came up in this book, but I have been re-reading all the books (1-15, 19-21 so far) and if I have to hear one more time, "Dawn is an individual" I am going to vomit and then box it up and ship it to AMM. She can suck it.

Sorry, off topic. I don't remember this book at all. hehe no pants.

Oeogl - sounds like something a pre-teen peeping tom would do.

Elizabeth said...

KL5 = 555 = numbers that don't go through when called. You will notice on TV shows, books, and movies when they are reciting telephone numbers they usually start off as 555-xxxx. That way they don't give out your Aunt Ethel's phone number or some shit.

kiwimusume said...

I read this book when I was 5 . . .the tooth fairy was alive and well in my mind.

Damn you Claudia

brookie3000 said...

Um, is she wearing any pants? Or just the tights? Sure, Nancy Sinatra and Edie Sedgwick could pull it off, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for a five-going-on-six-year-old.

For what it's worth, when my younger sister was in first grade (circa 1991), the trend was to wear tights (or even just pantyhose) with a t-shirt.

Krista said...

Claudia's hair in that last picture always freaked me out... and Mary Anne is creeeeeepy looking. Not cute at all!

Anonymous said...

"if I have to hear one more time, "Dawn is an individual" I am going to vomit and then box it up and ship it to AMM. She can suck it."

This? Cracked me up!

Kristen said...

In the memory SS, Claudia's teacher tells the class to draw themselves "how they see themselves." So Claudia draws a butterfly, and I think the (art) teacher did a terrible thing by calling it dumb. Comparing yourself to an animal, actually seems like a pretty standard assignment in critical thinking or something.

As for the Tooth Fairy thing....I used to read books that talked about Santa not being real and would think "those silly kids in the book. Everyone knows there is a Santa Claus." Heh. I was a little nave though.

Emma said...

that gold-covered super special is called "The Baby-Sitters Remember" and i think it is #11. if i recall, it takes place when they have a slumber party but the entire book is just random flashbacks by each of the BSCers. I totally remember how Mimi tried to yell at the art teacher about how claud saw herself as a free spirit, she soared with creativity, etc. when in reality it was just claud drawing a butterfly cuz she didn't know how to draw people. or something.

Anonymous said...

MA looks like Roseanne Barr.

Mehreen said...

I went to a christmas party in Atlantic City this weekend and I saw a girl in a silver belted shirt and black stirrup pants. I immediately thought of Claudia. I don't think I read the portraits, but really? I think I need to go to my library (or call up my librarian friend) and buy out their section...or request all the graphic novels for Christmas, even though I don't celebrate it. I liked losing my teeth b/c I felt grown-up, but I liked finding out about real world things in books. I might've read BSC when I was older, but I know I found out about periods through Judy Blume.

kiwimusume said...

Someone stole my name up there!
O_o

kiwimusume said...
I read this book when I was 5 . . .the tooth fairy was alive and well in my mind.

Damn you Claudia


I thought I was going nuts when I saw that comment...it was like, "I don't remember posting that...but it has my name on it!" O_o

kiwimusume said...

I think most peoples' earliest memories are from age 3 or maybe 2. I've got a couple from age 2, but mostly they're 3-4

Yeah, same. They're pretty short, though - maybe like a second for each one. Nothing like what Janine appears to remember.

LOL, my verification code is "forsuch". That could be a word the BSC use when they're trying to sound all smart and sophisticated.

Heidi said...

Laura-I started learning to write in cursive in second grade and then we had to from then on-in fact I remember that we weren't allowed to print and got graded on our cursive writing until at least junior high, if not high school.

My word is shapz-how Claudia describes the circles and squares that she paints on an oversize shirt and wears with leggings and cowboy boots.

Ali said...

1) that pic at the bottom...is Mary Anne the chubby kid?! How sad for her.

2) my sister ran into the side of our house and killed a tooth and had to have it pulled. I'm glad Claudia knows the pain of this so my wee sister doesn't have to be alone in it.

3) Your reaction to Kristy entering kindergarten made me laugh. (On another note, I too hated kindergarten.)

eponine said...

I learned cursive in second grade and we had to write in it alll the time and got graded in it until middle school. Then cursive dropped off the face of the earth...

kiwimusume said...

I remember a ton of stuff since before I was four...

box-of-rocks said...

Wasn't Claud's hair in a sideways ponytail in every single picture in this one? I seem to remember that. In fact, I think her hair was nearly always in a sideways ponytail - they always described her as having crazy styles like a bunch of inticrate braids, but they only illustrated her with a damn sideways ponytail.

Alice said...

"Dumb bitch can't even spell the name of the state where she's lived her entire life."--Word!!!

I always loooved the autobiographies, I still own all of them, even Abby's. I think it was the pictures... definitely not the lameass anecdotes. And I definitely thought the butterfly thing was hackneyed, even when I was like, nine.

Alice said...

Oh! And even though I read this book multiple times, I had totally blocked out the part where Claud rides the short bus for a while.

kiwimusume said...

THEY DID IT AGAIN!!!! Stop it, you're scaring me!!!!!

Alessandra said...

For some reason, I totally get the butterfly thing. Maybe because I see myself as a butterfly in a way (freedom, changing from ugly to beautiful emotionally and physically...I'll shut up now.) Still, I don't see how an incredibly stupid person like Claudia could think that deep, especially at age 6 or whatever. I'm a fairly smart 21 year old and it took me about 4 years of varied personal struggle to develop that idea of myself....

By the way, freakin' Mary Ann looks so gross. I always pictured Mary Ann as petite and sort of cute...or something...until I saw this picture. Woooooo, child.

My verification? hpsokjt. It sounds funny, but I can't think of anything for it. Maybe someone else can?

Myu said...

@Alessandra:
hpsokjt - Claudia's attempt at writing 'hopscotch'?

riqwhpmk - Karen's mating call?

Stephanie said...

Okay ... so, whenever Mary Anne, Claudia, or Kristy remembers their childhood during one of the later books in the series, it's always about how the three of them were the best of buddies.

However, in the earlier books, it was that they got along and would play together, but Claudia was always on the outside, and never really felt like she belonged with Mary Anne and Kristy.

As for the cursive thing, I learned it in elementary school, and ended up having to take "special" handwriting classes because my handwriting was so terrible and therefore I would never be able to cope in the real world. I get to middle school, and the teachers tell us to write in whatever is neater. Now my handwriting is still not the greatest, but it's legible. Up yours, cursive.

emma said...

yeah, claud was on the outside cuz mary anne and kristy played with dolls while claud was trying on bras and painting masterpieces and getting crushes on boys. even as children? wooooooooooow.

loyusui- some sort of health food that dawn eats

randiradio said...

That beach section always bothered me. It was like Ann ran out of story ideas for Claudia, so she wrote one about Kristy instead.

kiwimusume said...

"logljhrl" Claudia saying Logan's name when her mouth is full of candy...

Anonymous said...

i didn't know mary anne was asian.

SMS alum '07 said...

I think I read somewhere that Kristy was AMM's favorite, so it figures there would be an "oh isn't Kristy so awesome and responsible" story in Claudia's book. Besides, she already covered the "Claudia is dumb" and the "Claudia is an artist" angles. Everyone knows those are the only two aspects of her personality.

wgsjsfn--a magic word the Pike triplets made up to scare Claire that's related to something retarded like a toilet monster

Amanda said...

Can anybody point me to the Scribd thing where you can read them online? Everything I find says it's been deleted. That's too cruel to be true!

Thanks :)

oh and of course: oukdojkm, for your v. word pleasure

Rebecca J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca J. said...

Claudia looks like she's waring a helmet with a pony tale attached to it in her kindergarten picture.

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I remember everyone wearing those leggings with the lace around the ankles that were like tights without feet. There was a girl in my class who had a black pair and she would always wear them with an oversized white sweat shirt. It really did look like she had simply forgotten to put on pants.

Also, sad to see that the scribd stuff is now gone! I think that site was slipping under the copyright law radar for awhile, but I'm sure that it was probably getting a lot of extra attention recently. Isn't that stale? (I remember them using "stale" in the one where Mal's dad loses his job) : )

kiwimusume said...

I think that site was slipping under the copyright law radar for awhile, but I'm sure that it was probably getting a lot of extra attention recently.

That would explain why someone's comprehensive collection of past papers for the Japanese exam I sat awhile ago went AWOL. A fucking month or two before the exam, too. Dibbly stale.

I think I read somewhere that Kristy was AMM's favorite, so it figures there would be an "oh isn't Kristy so awesome and responsible" story in Claudia's book.

Ick, I never thought of it from that angle before! That makes the whole "way too responsible for age 11" thing even lamer.

Mia Mamasita said...

Mary Anne, where yo' braids, girl?

Rykzul - Gozzie Kunka's boyfriend back home.

Anonymous said...

In all of the illustrations of Mary Anne in her portrait, she wasn't a chubby kid, so what's up with that photo?

Anonymous said...

Saw the pic of Mary Anne. I feel as if I'm going to throw up through my eyes. What happened to her hair???? It looks like a lump formed on top of it and grew hair.

author-by-night said...

kiwimusume: You read it when you were five? I read the books when I was eight... but yeah, that does bite. :(

Mary Ann said...

Yayyy, Claudia was always my favorite... I must have read this one a million times. The thing I remember most about this book was when she went to pick up her birthday cake before her circus party and the guy at the bakery said, "Happy birthday, circus girl! Or should I say, 'Happy circus, birthday girl!'?" And yeah, I always wondered about the no pants thing with her birthday outfit, too.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear 'Mimi', I just hear this

mouse said...

Best sneakers? Really?

ajane said...

Claud's face in that kindergarten photo looks exactly like Ted "Theodore" Logan. Dude...

eponine said...

I read BSC starting when I was juuustt under 5 (my birthday's in November, I think I started in September). I could read going into kindergarten (and I mean actually read chapter books, not picture books) and my classroom had two chapter books: one BSC one (Mary Ann Saves the Day) and a boxcar children (The 4th one, I don't remember the title...it had a purple cover).

I can still tell you the entire plot of the BSC book, but I can't tell you a think about hte boxcar children one.

sms alum '07 said...

HA! I'm still laughing at the phrase "throwing up with [your] eyes."

So perfectly descriptive!

lhmdwtxt: how Claudia spells her own name.

blossom114 said...

That picture of Mary Anne is hideous! When i rebought the book a few months ago i did a "say what???"

btw...
Claudia was in first grade whne she did the butterfly thing...which i thought was cute...cause she's an artist after all... she is able to think deeply about art...or something... Lol

Anonymous said...

I thought it was really odd how little Claudia never used contractions. Ever. Neither did Mimi but I guess that was okay since she was from the old country. Makes me think that little Claudia is an incarnation of drunken Faye from Questionable Content.

Emma said...

karen never uses contractions either and it really pisses me off ;D

Anonymous said...

" Regardless of what Mimi said, I always thought the real reason Claud "saw herself" as a butterfly was cause they were fun to draw and she could use all her crayons."

i definately would have done the exact same thing, for the exact same reason...why use only half of your 100count box of crayons when you can use ALL of them!?!

Can you do some books on Abby? From book 90 and on, she was my favorite.

Anonymous said...

i am so glad you did a portrait book! my favorite was stacey's.

oh, and to the person who asked about the phonoe numbers all starting with KL5...all phone numbers originally started with two letters, usually an abbreviated form of your town's name. as in, ET3-5555= Elizabeth Town, Exchange 3, number 5555. if you trace back historical records, or even just look at the number-letter correspondents on your telephone, you'll find that almost all towns or neighborhoods built before WWII will still have this. that's why it was called "the exchange number." we switched to simply using numbers once rotary phones with numbers and letters together were invented and also, when suburbanization rendered it impossible to keep track of what exchange numbers went with what towns/neighborhoods.

yep. i am a nerd.

Kat said...

Mary Anne is the only one who actually looks like Kindergartener in that drawing. Claudia and Kristy look like thirteen year olds (or more accurately, thirteen year olds in real life, everyone knows in BSC world 13 year olds look 30).

Kylie said...

I just have to say that the word verification is POODH. I am not making this up. It looks like what Claudia would write after going to the bathroom.

emma said...

lol! mine is ueatri, which sounds like the name of one of the charges that is the focus of and entire book and then drops off the face of the earth ;)

Anonymous said...

My word verification: ygkcq, also known as one of Kristy's reactions to Dawn's health food. Aaaah I'm ready for a new entry!

Anonymous said...

My word verification is "UNFEE" which is Kristy's new brilliant idea for their best customers. They get an "unfee" rate at certain times of the year which is a reduced rate for baby-sitting.

lemurcat04 said...

Gotta admit, this particular book was beyond my scope of BSC books, but I get the distinct impression these books were like the shit they make out of sausages -- you know, left over scrapes that they compress into some sort of discernable shape.

And yeah, that pic of MA ... YIKES. It's like she got up and wandered all kindsa Godzilla-esque up to the camera.

Mia Mamasita said...

I came for the updates, but I stay for the word verification fanfic.

Pexhnd: A fancy breed of dog that replaces Shannon the Bernese Mountain Dog the summer after she turns 17 and Kristy prepares to move from 9th to 10th grade.

M. R. said...

This is awesome. Pure... pure awesome. I have some great reading material for the next few days.

Sarah said...

This blog made my week.

Jamie said...

Hey guys,
I don't know if any of you have found this blog, but it's truly hilarious recaps of books from our dorky pasts lol. The updates are also really consistent too, so lots to keep you entertained :)

http://thedairiburger.wordpress.com/

Robin said...

Thanks Jamie, that's my blog :)

Ryan said...

So my mom brought me a box of old books to give to my kids and in it was the BSC Secret Santa Book! I'd forgotten all about this one, but it's got all handwritten cards and letters that you can pull out and look at. Oh, yeah, and it's TERRIBLE. Christmas brings out the cheesy in the BSCers. For sure.

Anonymous said...

I wish the author of thedairiburger was as snarky as you! Don't get me wrong, she's snarky... but not at your level. I was wondering... if we have old BSC books, could we send them to you? If so... I HAVE PRESENTS!

Gcpqz: How it sounds when Claudia snnezes with a mouth full of junk food.

BurtonFanatic said...

Verification word "msbovq"
A new baby-siitng client...
Lame, I now.
Come back Tiff! I've read all your past blogs... i'm having withdraws.
Seriously, I check this blog 2-3 times a day to see if you've updated it.
I'm a sick, sad individual.

Emma said...

*anonymous 12:39-- sending Tiff BSC books would is a Kristy-caliber idea!!! But if it would torment the hard-core fan(atic)s to part with their beloved sources of childhood pleasure (because Tiff probably can't give them back, as it would be extremely burdensome), then maybe said fan(atic)s could request certain titles from their BSC archives for Tiff to review.
*ryan-- Christmas not only brings out the cheesy in the BSCers, it also brings out the... even... more... cheesy. There is a Super Mystery BSC series (basically super specials for the mystery series), and #4 is called Christmas Chiller. In typical BSC fashion, the girls pretty much singlehandedly take down a vandal/thief/stalker who has been terrorizing Kristy and Abby's neighborhood. Mallory comes across an pregnant amnesiac and houses her and her identity-less, 8-or-9-months-along baby until she figures out who she is (the baby is a possible new BSC charge, but is never heard from again, as usual). In New York, Stacey and Claudia deal with paranoia over a creepy, staring Ethan, his psycho-stalker ex-girlfriend Cybil (Cybil? Bearing an EXTREME resemblance to Sybil from that movie? NOT A COINCIDENCE!!!!), a stuck elevator with jammed buttons and blood dripping from its ceiling, a jack-in-the-box with Stacey's picture taped on the head, and a pitch-black, basement confrontation scene. *play psycho theme*
*my word verification fanfic, using the word 'dogalp':
'"...So Sabrina Bouvier just went around like that all day, not even noticing that everyone could see her neon green br--" Claudia suddenly stopped talking and her cheeks grew red. The red matched the polka dots she had painted on her suspenders, which were holding up a pair of tie-dyed stirrup pants. Claudia also had on shiny silver boots, a purple velour men's shirt tied casually at her waist, and a plaid vest. In her hair was a barrette shaped like a giant pair of lips, holding up the intricate braids she had tied into a side ponytail. Dangling from her visible ear was a giant earring shaped like a fish skeleton. She had obviously made the earring herself, and was very proud of it. On anyone else, this outfit would have looked weird, but Claudia pulled it off.
Everyone gasped. They couldn't believe that Claudia had almost said 'bra strap' in front of Logan! Logan didn't come to meetings often, but when he did, conversations were very awkward. No one knew what to say around him! They all just sat around, chewing their licorice whips. Except for Stacey, who was eating pretzel sticks, and Dawn, who was eating pita chips with hummus.
The phone rang, and everyone looked around desperately, trying to swallow. Logan, being a boy, swallowed his mouthful quickly and reached for the phone.
"Dogalp! Dogalp!" Kristy yelled. She swallowed. "Don't get it. Our clients aren't used to a boy answering the phone, and, well..."
By this time, the phone was on its eighth ring. Stacey strutted over, picked it up, and said, "Hello, Babysitters Club... Oh, hi, Mrs. Newton...Jamie and Lucy?...Thursday at 7?...I'll be there! See you then!" Stacey hung up the phone and glanced around. The other girls were glaring at her.
"What did I do?" she asked.' *cue dramatic music*

Wow, I wrote a lot. I'm stopping now. ;)

BurtonFanatic said...

Emma- 4 SURE that's an outfit that Claudia would wear. And seriously, WTF is up with the girls being so weird about talking about "girl stuff" around Logan? Must have had some crazy conservative ghost writers.

V Word- Ozzil- new slang word for good-bye.

Lou said...

Laura-
when did they mention Air New Zealand! Wow, I love that we got a mention! LOL

hahaha that mimi/maori thing is awesome. I never realised that, but they never taught me it in maori class, so... :)

Ryan said...

Emma-
Wow. That's all I can say. I'm wondering how many different types of medication the ghost writer was on for THAT crap-tastic book. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I discovered your blod 2 days ago and finished reading all of the entries last night. I've been home sick with the flu and it's been such a great/funny distraction. I'm 20 and I spent my summers as a kid avoiding camp and devouring BSC books. I remember when they came out with the newer covers with their faces on the side. Ever notice how retarded Claudia looks in that?
Anyway, I feel like I'm reading myself doing this blog. I'd be saying the same shit about how retarded these fucking girls are, while at the same time remembering how much I loved them as a kid. My fave's were Mary Anne and Dawn...and Claudia. I wish people dressed like Claudia all the time actually. It would be so hilarious and fun!
I'm an english writing major and I love your grammar/sentence structure nitpicking! I never realized what a crappy writer ANM is. She wishes she was Judy Blume, I bet. Anyway, keep going! I was thinking about going back and reading some of the books but maybe I'll just get the skinny from u instead! I also thought it was really funny how u started out in 05 all nostalgic about the books but it took no time at all for every blog to start with some variation of "This book was so fucking stupid!". LOVE IT!

dreaming78 said...

Since late elementary/early junior high, my sister has had friends join them on family vacations (she's now 17). I had friends along on camping trips, sometimes more than one--we didn't do as many road trips starting at home then. At 13, my then-best friend joined our family from Ohio to PA and the NJ coast. It doesn't seem that weird to me.

Notice that I don't mention any of the rest of it. Because, well...I don't think traveling with your friends' families is weird. :)

I love the idea of a BSC drinking game. That could be incredibly fun, and I don't even LIKE drinking games.

dreaming78 said...

anonymous 10:35: Oh, and the numbers were all KL5- exchange is the same thing as movies and television using 555- (in fact, look at your phone keypad...K and L are both on the number 5). They're completely imaginary phone numbers to keep people who have real phone numbers from being harrassed.

They used to have phone exchanges that were letters or cities in the days when operators connected all of your calls. Not in recent memory, but it stems from those two things.

Sexy Sadie said...

If only Claudia had stayed in the special school, her life might have been slightly different. I say "slightly" because she still might've joined the BSC. About Laura Ashley dresses, does it seem like women in early 90s sitcoms dress like that a lot? I know Elaine from Seinfeld did, and so did Daphne from Frasier. They didn't during later seasons, though. Also, is losing a tooth still a big deal in second grade? Well, I guess it would be if you never lost a tooth before. Sort of like those girls who don't get their periods till high school.

Kristin said...

So, in reference to when Clauds goes on a trip with the Thomas's......in 3rd grade, my best friend was allowed to go on a trip to Florida with my family, and I thought nothing was wrong with it then. But now that I have a child of my own, you're right, that is totally fucked up! I would never let my kid go anywhere out of town or state with my friends or neighbors (mostly because they're all crazy drunks and my kid is only 6 months old) and not be there myself. What were Claud's parents thinking?!

TessieBambos said...

I've read MaryAnne's Book too....she didn't like Mr Thomas either. Even MORE convenient.

Oh and then Mimi was all: Claudia DID follow the instructions she sees herself as a free butterfly. ....WHAT the fuck?

And that outfit...all i can say is it better be an oversized t-shirt!!!!

Anonymous said...

Holy fucking retardedness, Batman! When she was in kindergarten, she drew a fucking butterfly as her self portrait. Proving once again that huffing while knocked up is a baaaaad idea, Mrs. Kishi.



it was first grade and the teacher said to draw what you think of your self


damn i hate you tiff

Anonymous said...

## One of Claud's earliest memories is from when she was four and a half or five. Which seems kind of late, no? [Though I know jack shit about kiddie development, so I could be totally off.]

Nah, that's actually normal. It's the later end of normal, but it's definitely there. (For that matter, I know a few people whose earliest memories are *school-aged*, like six or seven. That really is late, but so it goes.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

Vani B. said...

Claudia was actually my favorite, however I was bored to tears reading this book, and this was the one I looked forward to the most. I actually enjoyed the other books more, though I never read Abby's book.

metamorphstorm said...

As a kid (and yes, I am still a C- student, shut up!) I thought Claudia was insanely smart after reading the thing about her butterfly portrait, although I can't find that chapter in "Claudia's Book." But isn't that the same portrait, mentioned in "The Baby-sitters Remember" when she wrote her own name as "CALUDIA"?

"tadodoo" - Claudia's best attempt at writing "taboo."

metamorphstorm said...

I was just rereading some of the BSC Portrait books, and it seems to me that they were mostly an excuse for the other club members to say, again and again, how much they all worship Kristy Thomas.

In Claudia's, it's about how amazingly responsible Kristy is when they go to the beach and Kristy loses David Michael for an hour and they decide not to tell Mrs. Thomas, and in Mary Anne's, one section is devoted to Kristy's First Great Idea, a snowman-making business to "raise money" for a present for Mimi.

Did anyone else think it was at all weird that the girls add pictures and decorations to their autobiographies? Like buttons and ribbons and stickers, as if they were scrapbooks? I think any of my English teachers would have stood a kid up to show the class their assignment and say, "Does this look like art class to you?"