Monday, April 30, 2007

A twenty-five percent chance of getting a snobby jerk; or BSC #20: Kristy and the Walking Disaster

[Note: Somebody just pointed out that I already did this book. Oops. I can't find my checklist of what I've done and haven't done, and I could've sworn this was one I hadn't done. But, I guess I did this book originally ages ago, before I was doing lists or cover art, etc. So, next week, I'll be more conscientious or something.]

Full disclosure: I was kinda sporty as a kid, and I still hated this book. And pretty much everything to do with the Krushers. And the Bashers. Cause nothing is more boring than reading about a bunch of little kids that can't really play, but try to play a sport anyway. Boring. Plus, I found the basic premise that two 13-year-old kids would each start baseball/softball/wiffleball teams for kids that aren't in legitimate leagues a little...suspect.

Yeah. That's the plot. Kristy forms a rag tag team of misfits...oh, wait, isn't there a joke about this Wet Hot American Summer? About this being a mega-cliche? Yeah, the average age of her players, as is mentioned 15 million fucking times is 5.8 years old. And she has a two and half year old on the team, and none of the older kids care? Anyhoo, the Krushers play the Bashers (that's Bart's team, for those who don't read ESPN.com). And they lose! (Cause, seriously?  If they had won, it would be only slightly more believable than Jessi's parents leaving her in charge for the weekend, and that's saying a lot!) But they played a good game, and they threw their hearts into it, and they did their best, and I feel like I'm watching
Rudy, or, more likely, Lucas.

Oh, and the subplot? Kristy li-ikes Bart! Cause he's a boy that likes sports and is cute. And it's instant crush. Because there are no cute boys that like sports. Nope, none at all. Never met a cute boy who is into sports. Or something. (I suppose the fact that he likes kids helps, though that's not really laid out for us.)

So, in this book:

  • Kristy can't believe her at least 37-year-old mom is talking about another kid. Wait, I thought she (and every other fucking girl in these books) was all about more, more, more babies! And she doesn't know how old her mom is? Weak.

  • I love when Kristy describes Claud's clothes: "You should see how she dresses--wild! Baggy jeans, skintight pants, miniskirts, odd layers of things, bright colors, and weird jewelry."

  • Mary Anne brings Tigger to a BSC meeting.  Why? And Claud doesn't mind? Seriously?

  • "A very, very, cute guy was in the Taylors' yard, raking up dead grass and twigs and things. It couldn't be Bart. Most people around here have gardeners to take care of their lawns." Wah-chicka-wah-wah! [Sing it like bad 70s porn music. It's hard to spell.]

  • Kristy likes the word "trepidation." I, on the other hand, like the word "trepanation."

  • Woo, go Red Sox. I think it's funny that a group of kids in Connecticut mention the Sox, the Mets and the Dodgers. Notice any team missing? One that has a following in CT? Like the Yankees?

  • Dude, Woolworth's? Hello, 1946.

  • Claud spells Mallory "Mallery." Bitch can't spell my name, bitch is no longer my friend.

  • I had totally forgotten about Claire's baseball tantrums. "Nofe-air! Nofe-air! Nofe-air!"

  • The lesson in the book is beaten over our head at every chance: they have heart and team spirit, so they're winners!" Blah.

  • Claud pulls one of Jackie's teeth during a practice. [He gets hit in the face while playing catcher. I know how much that fucking sucks.] I think my parents mighta gotten a little pissed if a babysitter pulled out a loose tooth. But, then again, it's the "walking disaster." I should get that on my business cards: Best cataloger on the planet and walking disaster. Yeah.

  • Karen won't spell Krushers on her shirt. Because she's an annoying little twat, she has a shirt that says Kristy's Crushers.

  • Since when do softball teams have cheerleaders?

  • The elementary school is making the Rodowskys pay for a window that Jackie breaks while practicing. Isn't that what insurance is for?

  • The Bashers distract Bart so they can mock the Krushers during a practice. And it's all so very unnecessary. I mean, in terms of plot.

  • Bad grammar alert! "Us Baby-sitters Club members were even giving up on our meeting so we could cheer the Krushers on."

  • I've never understood exactly what Kristy means when she says Watson sounds "jerky." Any clue?

  • Aw, Bart likes Kristy's collie hat. It must be luv. And they hold hands even though they've talked, like, four times.



The cover:




Kristy looks my age. And an awful lot of those kids have really round, red noses. Weird.

Okay, I seriously hate hate hate how ANM is actually pretty mean-spirited when it comes to Jackie Rodowsky.  We get it, he's a klutz.  And we also get it, you hate him. Enough! And as someone who has been called "entertainingly cruel" [thank you, thank you, roses aren't necessary], there's funny and then there's just cruel. Sure, sometimes it's a tightrope walk, but if you're PMSing or nic-fitting, don't mock anything that's iffy! Just sayin'.

[Wow, this one's kinda short. Oh, well. I'm actually surprised I managed this
much about this stinker.]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Most of the people sounded too good to be true; or, BSC #71: Claudia and the Perfect Boy

Ah, yes...can you remember what 13-year-old-you thought the perfect boy would be like?  Now picture what 9-year-old-you thought 13-year-old-you would want in a boyfriend. Are you totally embarrassed now?  Good.  Now I've got your attention.
So, this was my first time reading this one.  And I picked it purely for the cover.



Oh, yeah.  One, I still think arcade dates are awesome.  I'm not even kidding about that.  Two, Claudia's rocking this weird pseudo-goth, pseudo-prom dress on a date.  Plus, she looks wicked stuck up.  I don't care if "This wasn't exactly what Claudia had in mind..." I think maybe she caught some of the Bitch from Laine.

And this doesn't happen in the book!  Weak!!!!

So, Claud starts the book all moony cause she wants a boy.  But not just any boy.  She wants the perfect boy.  Because there no way to ensure failure like setting your standards way way way way too high.  Anyway...Claud winds up running a personals column in the SMS paper.  And it's a lot of work. And she starts matching people together by their ads. But she can't find any boys for herself.  Well, she goes out on a couple of dates, but they're all duds.  And she decides that she can wait, because...wait for it..."I also discovered that finding Mr. Perfect wasn't so important after all. I had my friends. And I had myself. Everything I needed to be happy had been right here all along."

Subplot: Marnie Barrett's all allergy-rific (I hear ya, sister!), and it turns out she's allergic to the dog, Pow. So, much to the horror of Buddy and Suzie, they have to get rid of the dog...by giving him to the Pikes!  Because they're insane! And eight children aren't enough time/money/space/cleanliness strain! 

Yeah.


  • This one even starts out a winner: "I would have died if anyone had seen what I was doing! I mean, it was so embarrassing...I was sitting at the end of my bed, hugging myself. Why? Because I wanted to know how it would feel to be locked in a dreamy, romantic embrace with the boy of my dreams." Yep.

  • Claud comes up with a(n overly ambitious) list of her own...I'll keep her spelling:
    Hansome
    Mussels (not too many, not to few)
    Taller than me
    Funny (extreamly)
    Athletic
    Sensative
    Easy to talk to (a good lisner)
    Intresting (lots to say)
    Artistic
    Good dresser
    Good spellar (willing to corect mine)
    Not criticul
    Crazey about me

  • "You'd be amazed by the colors that go together. Take pink and gold. You might not think to wear pink socks with gold stretch pants [because the gold stretch pants aren't the big problem here, no matter what American Apparel ads are telling me], and then add a gold turtleneck under a pink sweater." Um, don't they make fun of Kristy for wearing turtlenecks and sweaters?

  • Kristy starts a meeting by saying "This meeting of the Baby-sitters Club is about to start."  That's not right.

  • Oh, yeah. Mal's out sick, so Shannon's coming to meetings.  I never read the one where Mal gets mono. And Dawn's out in Cali for six months.

  • "Tough thing number two: the number of times she's had to move." Okay, Stacey's moved three times, between the same places. By thirteen, I'd moved seven times, twice from coast to coast (literally).  So she can suck it.

  • Oh, yeah, and Stacey's already started dating Robert.

  • Hee! "Or she has the personality of Homer Simpson."  Let's see what the random Simpsons quote generator has to say about that: "Nelson: Hey I'm sure it's just a phase, like when I used to stand on the overpass and drop computers on the freeway."

  • It's really hard not to include all the personal ads.  But I don't have the energy.  So, I'll only put in the ones that Claudia goes out with. "Eighth-grade boy seeks beautiful, interesting girl. I swim, sketch, and enjoy stand-up comedy. If this sounds good to you, I'd love to get to know you better. Call Good Listener at 555-3829, or write to this address..." Brian Hall.  Date doesn't go well.

  • Stacey teaches Claud how to use a computer for word processing. And spellcheck.  And my thought was this was [check title page verso] 1994, have they never had a computer class? Cause I started having them in, oh, 1987 or so.

  • I still remember some of my old DOS commands. Hee!

  • I always forget that Mary Anne wound up in therapy.

  • I almost forgot! One of the personals includes the horrible line: "Other days I want to crawl into a shell like a teenage mutant, injured turtle." I didn't make that shit up.  There's also a reference to the real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Which I can't believe is still around, in whatever new forms.  And, I have it on good authority, the new cartoon includes lots of bad shell puns.  Which seems apt for this bullet point.

  • Claud responds to personals with the following letter:
    Claudia here. Let me tell you about myself. I'm good-looking, pashionate about art, like laffter, freinds, and I want to meet sumone who will like me as I am and not try to change me. From your ad I got the idea that we mite have a lot in comon. There is nuthing to lose by finding out. Sincerly, Claudia Kishi.

  • It was a second attempt. Sad, but true. Oh, and don't worry, she used spell check to fix it.

  • Claudia's big date-with-Brian Hall outfit? "a long white shirt under a green tapestry vest, green corduroy pants, and low boots." Sounds a little earthy, casual even, for Claud.

  • Blah.  I don't want to read about a bad, boring date.  I've had my own, thanks.

  • Oh, Rock.  (Real name: Richard.) He's a winner.
    I'm getting desperate. [Great start to a personal ad, there.] I need a girl who doesn't giggle and act like a little kid and preferably one who doesn't wear pink. She should be smart, funny, pretty, and sort of hip. I've been told I'm good-looking, I play rock guitar, paint, and study eastern culture. No cheerleaders, please. Call Rock at 555-2984.

  • Claud's initial response: "He sounded pretty cool to me. Also, I fit his qualifications and I don't look good in pink." But wait! Didn't you wear gold and pink together just a few bullets up? You little liar.

  • He goes to a private school.  So, how/why is he posting a personal in the SMS Express?

  • "From that moment on, I thought of nothing but Rock: how I would create the cover for his first rock album; how he'd insist that I sing backup vocals onstage with him, although before that moment I'd never known I had singing talent. We'd ride around the countryside on his motorcycle (which I was sure he'd eventually get even though he was too young for one right now). We'd sit on a hillside and paint together. It would be so wonderful." Yeah, with that buildup, are you surprised the date doesn't go well?

  • Claud's date outfit: "new brown suede cloth pants...with a simple yellow button down shirt and a brown and yellow brocade vest."  Is she rocking the hippie look intentionally?  Does she think it's 1974?

  • As for Rock, he's got a mad case of Yellow Fever. He's obsessed with everything "oriental." And he has a tattoo! Of "a skull with roses growing out of it and worms crawling on top." Yep, he's gonna be wicked metal someday.

  • Claud decides to place an ad herself: "Eigth-grade girl how loves art, misteries, and lafter seeks boy who is handsum with some musles, medium height or taller, athletic, sensative, artistic, a good dreser, not too criticil, has no tattos, and can make me lagh. Write Chosey but Fair at..." She gets a lot of response, none great.

  • Stacey sends fake Mr. Perfect responses in a misguided attempt to make Claud feel better.  Yeah.

  • Hee! Fake "Mr. Perfect" looks like Jason Priestly

  • One of the responses to her ad asks if Claud looks like Paula Abdul.



Yeah.  Lame. Also, all the Claud quotes are totally pissing off my
spellcheck.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I guess you could call them girlfriend and boyfriend; or, BSC #51: Stacey's Ex-Best Friend

I did not mean to do two Stacey books in a row.  Seriously.  But shit happens.  And I'm posting this early, because I'm going to see Yo La Tengo tomorrow night!!!! Yay!!!!

Okay, so the cover question: "Is Stacey's friend Laine super mature or just a super snob?" I think it should say: "What's with the bitch-face, Sweetheart?" Cause Laine even looks like she caught a raging case of the Bitch.  And she looks older than  me. 

See?

So, Laine's getting a week long vacation from school, and Stacey convinces her to come visit Stoneybrook. And it sucks.  For both of them.  Laine's got a massive stick up her rich-girl ass, and Stacey feels all confused and dissed and blah.  And everything winds up in a massive fight at the Valentine's Day dance.  And Stacey and Laine friend-break up. 

Subplot: The BSC organize a Valentine's Day Masquerade for a bunch of the kids.  It's a party, and the kids have to sign their Valentines in code.  Blah.

Who wants a list?

  • Oooh, prescient.  Stacey talks about global warming on the very first page.  Al Gore thinks he's all on top of this issue? Bitch, please...

  • Also, not everyone "in the country" curls up in front of the fireplace and acts all old-timey.

  • Laine insists on calling Stacey "Anastasia" because it sounds "more grown-up." Except, no, it doesn't.

  • Oh, yeah, Laine's got this older boyfriend, King, who's 15.  And he calls her "Babe." And she calls him "Heart." And when she gets on the phone with him, Laine actually says, "It's Babe."  And he has a ponytail. Hawt.

  • Stacey's actually excited to bring Laine on a baby-sitting job.  Because she sucks.

  • Wait.  Stacey has diabetes?  Really?  I had no idea.  Does she know that she might qualify to get her diabetes testing supplies for free from Liberty Medical?  Or whatever.

  • Shoot me if I ever describe any one of my close friends as "such a character."

  • Clothes! "If I may say so so, we are pretty sophisticated. We both like wild outfits--leggings, cowboy boots, short skirts, the layered look, cool hats." I know I've said it before, but I can't help it!  It's like the little tabloid starlets are looking to these books for fashion advice.  Or their stylists are.

  • "My hair is blonde and wavy; the perm makes it look even wavier."  Yeah.  Hon, if your hair's already wavy, you don't need a perm.

  • Jessi's got a date for the dance: a seventh grader.  And her "real boyfriend" Quint lives in NYC.

  • I can't believe not one of these girls can think of anything better to do than throw a V-Day party for a bunch of kids.

  • Oh, and I can't believe I'm going to agree with Laine the Bitch, but I also have a hard time believing that a bunch of 11- and 13-year-old girls give a shit about the "love lives" of a bunch of little kids. (Cause Nicky Pike has a crush on Marilyn Arnold, and Carolyn Arnold has the hots for one of the Hobart boys. Boring.)

  • Side note: I always wondered how to say Laine's name.  I always said it "Lane," until I saw that dreadful movie "Dream a Little Dream."  The hot girl in that was Laine, pronounced "Lane-y." Right?  Am I totally full of shit?  (Well, about this anyway.)

  • Stacey, you shouldn't have to hide things or redecorate your room for your best friend's visit. 

  • Stacey dresses up to pick Laine up at the airport train station [Oops. Thanks for the correction...I think I've been in the Midwest too long]: "a purple shirtwaist top over flowered leggings, my cowboy boots...a purple hair ornament made from shoelaces, and long dangly silver earrings." [Sounds like the outfit on the cover of Mary Anne's Makeover. Wild!]

  • But Laine out-fashions her: "She was hard to miss, considering she was wearing a jean coat with a fur collar (I sincerely hoped the fur was fake), black capri pants edged with lace, very chic black ankle boots, and on her head, a brilliant red oversized beret." [There are a lot of outfits in this book!  Fuckin' sweet!]

  • Example of Laine saying stupid things: "Price...Awesome name." And "Dude?...Sheesh. That word went out with the sixties." One, dude was mighty 80s.  Two, shut up.

  • They get all excited at a BSC sleepover because To Kill a Mockingbird is on.  I mean, it's a good movie and all, but it's hardly sleepover material.  Dirty Dancing or Pet Semetary, yes.  You get where I'm going with this, right?

  • There are a lot of examples of Laine's bitchy tendencies.  I'm just not motivated enough to included them all.  So, suck it up.  You'll just have to read it yourselves.

  • Oh, yeah. Pete Black gets a mega-crush on the bitch. And she makes fun of him. A lot.

  • I really don't think the Hobarts have been in town long enough to start to lose their accents.

  • And the Hobart boys don't understand Valentine's Day.  Or American parties.  Does ANM hate the Australians?  Huh?

  • Mal & Ben got in a fight over the card catalogue!  Fucking dorks!

  • Apparently, in New York, they don't have child labor laws.  Because I sure as hell couldn't LEGALLY get a job as a cashier at a trendy boutique at 13, yet Laine could.  And did.  And apparently beat out all the hipster 20-somethings desperate to work for an employee discount.

  • Laine's all grown-up, cause she's reading romance novels.  Like Danielle Steele style romance novels. 

  • Laine, who's on a diet, tells Stacey to lose weight.  Yep. That's a good friend right there.

  • "Laine was dressed in black from head to toe. Black leotard, long black jacket, black leggings over black stockings [why?], black shoes. Her jewelry was silver, though."

  • Well, bully for you, Laine.  I'm sooooo glad people tell you look 18.  Who cares?  You're actually only 13.

  • And she expects the boys to pick them up for the dance.  Does that normally happen in NYC, I wonder?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

  • Hee! Kristy wears a dress!

  • Poll time! Does Stacey look too much like a red elf? "I was wearing red leggings, red ankle boots, a bulky red sweater and red barrettes."

  • And Stacey sends Laine a letter ending it all. 


So, yeah.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Boyfriendless and momless on a beautiful afternoon; or, BSC #65: Stacey's Big Crush

Scientologists (sort of) and baby goats and love poems, oh dear.  And a very deluded 13-year-old. Who honestly thinks she has a shot with her student teacher ("He's smart. He's handsome. He's 22!"). 

So, the basic idea here is that Stacey develops a mega-crush on Wesley "Wes" Ellenburg, who's teaching her math class for a few weeks.  She stays after class to help him out, and she actually thinks that he has feelings for her, too.  And that he's too shy or confused to tell her.  Or something.  Finally, she writes him a love poem, but she keeps hoping that things will work out between them.  But he pretty much sets her straight at the Spring Dance. 


Subplot: Some people with a farm on the edge of town ask Dawn and Mary Anne to take care of their baby goat (a "kid" named Elvira). And they BRING THE GOAT ON THEIR SITTING JOBS!!!!! In what universe is that considered "professional?"  Huh? And, if I may, wackiness ensues.


The cover cracks my shit up!

A. Stacey looks really young, and Wes looks way older than 22.
B. The name of the dance is in single quotes.
C. Jessi's coolly appraising his ass.


List time! [Forgive me in advance for any Twin Peaks references.  I'm watching Season 2 which is FINALLY out on DVD.  I'm obsessed.  I was actually in the Twin Peaks Club in college..."She acted like she wanted to do it with me through the bars..." Hee!]

  • La, la, la. I'm Stacey, and I'm from New York. Look at how city-girl I am, what with getting distracted by flowers during my favorite class. Boring.

  • Okay, so Wes is in the master's program at Stoneybrook Community College (but later, he says he's getting his B.A.).  Um, they don't even offer bachelor's degrees at most community colleges.  And apparently, he lives in the dorms there...Um, wrong?  Community college=commuter school. I'm so confused.

  • Stacey has this whole thing about the name Wesley Ellenburg being really nerdy until she sees him.  And thinks he's Tom Cruise.  Yup.

  • Yum. "All-natural Crispy Rancho-style Veggie-Rice Nuggets with Nacho Substitute Cheese-food Flavor." Or, as PoBal calls it, Veggie Crack.  Am I the only one who doubts that Claudia could find the health food store?

  • Apparently, the whole B.C.E./C.E. (or B.C./A.D., if you prefer) is obsolete in Stoneybrook. Rather, there's BBSC (Before Baby-sitters Club). And, I'm guessing, BSC.

  • Here's what Stacey has to say about Watson: "He's a really sweet guy, very quiet, and a terrific gardener." Oh, sure, she mentions the whole millionaire thing, too, don't worry.  But he's a gardener, most of all.

  • Wow, Stacey loves the expression "Go figure." And thus, I will never be able to say that again without thinking of blondie there.

  • Nothing says "mature" like the following sentence: "Logan has been bitten by the cute bug (definition: major hunk)."

  • Blah, misunderstandings. Stacey hears Mrs. Stone talking about the baby goat, but thinks she's talking about a little kid.  LAME. And seriously played out.

  • Stacey's dad went to Wesleyan.  Interesting.

  • Seriously, read this book just for the many retarded things Stacey says in medias crush.  Definite word vomit that could easily induce actual vomit.

  • I got entirely too excited about the reappearance of Sabrina Bouvier. 

  • Oh hells yeah!
    Then I thought of something extremely important. My clothes. I had gone to class wearing an oldish pair of stretch pants and an oversized turquoise men's shirt. Not awful, but not spectacular. There was no way I'd make that mistake the next day.

    I rifled through my closet. One by one, I looked at my best outfits.

    Long red gown? Too dressy. [Ya think?] Stone-washed jeans (with a knit top)? Too casual. Paisley-print stirrup pants? Too faded.

    I started the process at 4:35. By 5:05, I found myself staring at a short, rayon challis [huh?] tank dress my mom had ordered for me. It was navy with white polka dots. The fitted top tapered down to a flared skirt, with white buttons down the front. It was feminine, yet comfortable-looking. Absolutely perfect.


  • Charlotte's romantic foil is named Diane Dumschat.  Say that out loud.  Try it. It's fun.

  • Stacey actually thinks she's in love. 

  • Dawn and Mary Anne think they know how to take care of a goat better than the goat's fucking owner.  Good to know it's not just non-goat kids that happens with. [Ugh.  That is a grammatically horrendous sentence.  Much apologies.]

  • The only thing worse than ANM's Louisville dialect?  Her Aussie one.

  • Okay, Wes's Toyota Corolla is pretty beat-ass for only being 7.  The bumper is held on with rope.  Heh, and Toyotas are Stace's favorite car. 

  • Join me in the coffee house for a poetry reading (note the capitalization of "Fortune," very arty):
    I see two stars in summer's night
    Hovering, lost, in blinding light,
    Each so dull in heaven's net,
    So each remains, as yet unmet.


    But Fortune moves in strangest ways;
    It lengthens nights, it shortens days.
    May this night end, and day begin
    And bring two young people back again.


  • Oh, yeah! Dance clothes!

    • Stacey: "It was a calf-length silk/cotton dress with pastel floral print, a scoop neck, and a shirred skirt that was slit to above the knee on one side." Huh?  Sounds...kinda ugly, actually.

    • "Jessi looked sensational, in an indigo blue unitard with a matching open-mesh oversized cardigan." The fuck?  And the fug?  This even offends my joke-obsession with unitards.  And a hole-y cardigan?  Is that what open-mesh is???? It hurts even thinking about this outfit. Seriously!

    • What 22-year-old wears a tux to a middle school dance????? Wes.


  • Okay, now.  They feed a baby goat Doritos, Twinkies, Snickers, Milk Duds, a Chunky bar and Reese's peanut butter cups.  It's just wrong.

  • Ah, Charlotte's got the philosophy about boys early on: "They're just dumb. It's stupid to even think about them." Right on.

  • Blah, Stacey's heartbroken.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to watch HAWT Agent Cooper leaning over dying Leland, with the wet hair flopping in his face.  Sigh.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I think he'd have trouble choosing between them; or BSC #52: Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies

[Sorry this entry's late.  When I have a busy weekend, I don't have time to
read one of the books...Booze, sure I've got time for that, but not so much for
the BSC.  I'm a horrible person.  But I had fun!]


The tag line for this winner is "How much trouble can a bunch of babies
be?"  But, just maybe, it should be "How retarded can a group of
13-year-olds be?"  It's a good question.  Seriously.


The plot: Um, Dawn and Mary Anne want their parents to have a baby.  Mary
Anne babysits for the Salem twins; they're babies.  And all the 8th graders
have to take "Modern Living."  That's a course that teaches them about
adulthood, using the narrowest possible definition (marriage and babies). 
So, they "marry" a classmate and have an egg baby.  And it's hard! And most of the BSC and their "spouses" take it all entirely too seriously.  They, like, name the "babies" and have arguments about how much the baby should eat and if it's cold and shit.  And, yes, I'm talking about the boys, too (especially Logan and Alan Gray).  LAME!!!  Um, in the end, Dawn and MA decide that maybe their parents' decision not to further populate Stoneybrook might actually be the right one.  Oh, and they learn that being a grownup and a married and a parent is hard! (But don't worry, I'm sure they forget that last lesson by the next book.) BABIES!  Woot. (Sorry, don't care much for babies myself, and my uterus threatens to perform a self-hysterectomy at the thought of birthin' one.  Remember that as you read through this.)


Okay, first things first.  The cover.  Mary Anne already looks like a
suburban housewife, pushing the stroller, wearing stretch pants and a baggy
sweatshirt.  She's given up at 13, folks.  Pour a Zima for the girl.



Also, the + 2 thing is far too cutesy. 


Roll call!

  • Worst first line of any of the books: "I was thirteen years old before I became a sister, and guess what."  I challenge you to bring me a worse, less interesting opener.

  • I get wicked sick of all the "Oh, we all eat normal, and Dawn eats like a fucking freak!" I don't need ANM to catalog the dietary differences between the two sisters.  She doesn't even describe the food so that it sounds good.  For either girl!  What's the point of that?  If you're going to describe food, make me drool.  All I'm asking.

  • MA wonders what the opposite of outgoing is; she considers "ingoing" and "ingrown." Heh.  Once, PoBal and I had a months long discussion about whether or not "integreous" was the adjective form of "integrity."  Did I spell that right?

  • Ooh! Claud clothes: "A typical Claudia outfit might include a sequined shirt, stirrup pants (maybe black), low black boots, [Wait!  How can anyone tell they're stirrups if she's wearing boots?] dangly turquoise earrings, and ribbons woven through tiny braids in her hair. And she wouldn't forget sparkly nail polish." [Bitch!  That's totally Stacey's thing!] I love that the pants just may be black, but no one's quite sure.

  • Does anyone remember the book in which the BSC took an infant care class?  MA mentions it, but I don't remember anything about that.

  • Teacher:"Despite how old or young you may feel, the truth is that you are now biologically capable of becoming parents, or you will be soon. How many think you are capable of parenting, of being part of a couple, or of living on your own?" And, of course, MA thinks cause she babysits a few times a week for a few hours a shot, she could be a fucking parent. 

  • ANM really hates the character Shawna Riverson.  Seriously, the dumbass things she pushes out through Shawna's mouth make me think that ANM's romantic rival in high school was named Shawna. 

  • Heh, ANM makes an inadvertent stand for gay marriage when there are four boys who can't pair up with girls, so they have to pair up with each other.  Of course, there's no mention of "gay," and, surprisingly (well, actually, not very much so), they never get mentioned again.

  • Y'all know how much I hate whenever ANM mentions prices that just don't make any sense.  Well, she's at it again.  Just don't even attempt it!  1993 prices that are pretty spot on for these days?  I think she overshot the prices, but I honestly can't be sure.  But it seems a little suspect. 

  • Oh, and apparently, MA and Logan never looked at the prices in the grocery store.  And they decide to be vegetarians to save money.

  • And their whole "playing married" thing gets really old, like, instantly.

  • Given that they're all such experienced sitters, you'd think they'd know that sitting for twin infants is hard work.  And they're all huffy about the Salems waiting until the babies were 6 mos. before hiring the BSC. 

  • Shut up about the babies, girls!!!!!!!! It's boring.

  • Oh, the egg thing.  Thank gawd I never had to do that shit. 

  • Okay, the BSCers bring their stupid egg babies to jobs.  How unprofessional is that?  And the parents are all "ha, ha," and the kids are all "the fuck?"

  • Logan and MA name their "kid" Samantha, Sammie for short.

  • Kristy and Alan name theirs Izzy.

  • Damn, these girls and boys took this waaaaaay too seriously.

  • And the older girls get all pissy with Jessi and Mal, cause they just don't get being an egg parent. Shut up!

  • Feel like getting smacked with a lesson as blunt as a sledgehammer?
    Stacey sat in a patch of dry grass and thought. What if Bobby [her "kid"] had been her real child and she had had no husband to call on for help? she wondered. What did you do if you were a single parent and you were at work and your child got sick and the nurse called and said he should go home from school? What if you couldn't leave your job? Or what if you were at home and something happened to you and you simply needed help?


    "I bet my mom is scared sometimes..."


  • Ah, Logan and MA fight a lot about money and the kid. Imagine that.

  • The Pike kids decide to pair up in incestuous marriages and raise egg-children.  And the triplets go along with it?  Perhaps that is the single least believable aspect of this book.

  • Um, since when is there a kid at SMS named Tarik?

  • Blah, now they understand how hard their parents have it.

  • Heh.  The single most realistic event in this entire book? "Miles tried to look on the bright side. 'Isn't sex education part of Health?" I heard him say. Logan laughed. I blushed."  Wow. ANM actually admitted that 13-year-old boys think about sex!  Crazy! 

  • MA and Logan turn in a 32 page single-spaced typed report, causing their teacher to swear. A lot. In my mind.

  • [Overall, I preferred the Buffy treatment of the egg project!]

  • Oh, sweetie, 25 isn't that old.  Just you wait.

  • Fucking fuck fuck!!!!!!! Worst ending ever! "'Yeah. Dad,' I said, 'you have no idea how hard it is to be a parent.'" Richard, I'll fucking smack her for you! ANM, for that, you (or your ghostwriter) need to be dragged out behind the Burger King and beaten with a cricket bat.  There was no reason for that.  Even people with no sense of humor know that's just not funny.




Whew. Sorry for the violence at the end there.  Nothing pisses me off more
than a cheap joke, told non-self-mockingly. And what a shitty way to start and
end the book!  Not that the middle was any less shitty!

Until next time.