Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I will never pine for a boy; or, BSC #29: Mallory and the Mystery Diary

Well, I’m on a Mal-bashing kick, eh?

So, she writes a journal, not a diary. [“It’s my gournal.” “You mean journal?” “Whatever. Guess I’m not all smart like you.”] “The difference between a journal and a diary, as far as I can tell, is that a diary is a recording of daily events and you’re supposed to write in it everyday.” Yes, that hard and fast line between the diary and the journal…no, Dear Diary for her…I have to reproduce the diary entry vs. the journal entry.

Diary:
Got up. Went to school. Made gum chains with Jessi during recess. Came home. Had a fight with Vanessa. Baby-sat for the Barrett kids. Went to a meeting of the Baby-sitters Club. Came home. Ate dinner. Had a fight with Mom over a pair of shoes I want that she won’t let me buy. Did homework. Went to bed.


Journal:
I feel as if I’m going to be eleven forever. My ninth year went by in a flash. My tenth year went by in a flash. But my eleventh year already seems a decade long. I think that’s because I’m so anxious to be thirteen. I wonder if my twelfth year will seem a decade long, too. I hope not, because if it does, I’ll feel thirty when I’m really only thirteen.

I hate my nose. I got it from my grandfather. I wish I could have a nose job, but my parents won’t even let me get contacts so there’s no hope for anything more drastic. I wonder if other eleven-year-olds feel like this. If only I were thirteen instead of eleven. Life would be a picnic.


Yeah, sweetheart. Life’ll be a breeze when you’re thirteen. You won’t be longing for turning 16. Or 18. Or 21. And when you turn 25, you’ll want to turn back…

So, in this book, Stacey’s just moved back to the S-town. And Mal and Claud are helping Stacey move stuff into the attic and they find all this old stuff, including an old trunk that Mal gets to keep. And in said trunk is a bunch of old clothes and jewelry (which Vanessa is all about, and I would be, too!) and a diary, which Mal acts like it’s the HOLY FUCKING GRAIL [we’ve already got one]. And of course, there’s a “mystery” and 1890s-style teen angst and they all think that Stacey’s house is haunted. [Okay, when my brother got a couple of old Mac Classics, someone hadn’t cleared their hard drive, so we were able read her diary…and it was AWESOME! But neither of us were like, “We have to find out whether or not she’s actually gay! Who was she? Cause we’re not stupid.] Well, the kiddies help them solve the mystery:

1. Sophie’s grandfather really was OLD HICKORY! (see Mary Anne and the Bad Luck Mystery)

2. He had her mother’s portrait painted over! It was never stolen! BORING!

Oh, and they have a séance to try to contact Sophie. And Kristy plays dress up! She’s Madam Kristin! And she’s a gypsy in grandma makeup!

Heh…”She would never, ever get arrested by the Fashion Police. She wears long, baggy sweaters, tight leggings, dresses with flared skirts, little ballet slippers, and wild jewelry.” Now, who could that be? Could it be Claud? Why, yes it could.

Oh, yeah, Mal also helps Buddy Barrett get better at reading.

Ooooh! ANM name drops Pee-Wee’s Playhouse!!!!

Mal’s shirt that she really likes is a “big white long-sleeved T-shirt that said I <3 KIDS.

More clothes! “Mary Anne, who can be pretty funky in her own shy way, was wearing a very cool short printed jumper over a striped shirt. You might think that those two things would clash, but they didn’t. They looked great together. The jumper was white with a small red print, and the shirt was with narrow, widely-spaced stripes. Claudia called the outfit “a fashion risk that worked.” Claud herself was wearing jeans, a plain white blouse, a pink sweater, white socks, and loafers. She said she’d gone back to the fifties for the day. Stacey, on the other hand, was in a much more typical outfit—a short-sleeved blue-and-white jumpsuit with cuffed pants [Stacey loves the jumpsuits. And the cock. But mainly the jumpsuits.] Parts of it were striped, parts were solid. On her feet were high-topped sneakers laced only halfway up so that she could roll the tongue of the shoe down (extremely cool), plus she was wearing a lot of jewelry.” Sweet!

So, am I the only one who’s like…300 million people in the U.S. as of today, a whole town in Connecticut that can’t stop reproducing…coincidence? I think not!

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...is it me, or is Mal's I Heart Kids shirt a bit pedophile-ish, even though she is only 11?

Erin said...

Ah, Tiff, this is just glorious. The pattern seems to be that you update on Wednesdays, but I still compulsively check on Tuesdays because I get so excited for my BSC snark-fest!! And it pays off!! I've started re-reading my old books...and it looks like I outgrew them right around when Mary Anne and Logan broke up. The first time. Or maybe I was just disapponted that there wasn't more making out in the books, who knows?

Anonymous said...

And you quoted Wet Hot American Summer. This is the best blog ever, hands down. Long live the BSC!

Tenacious said...

Ok what 11 year old get contacts? Shit I was 15 before I got a pair and I had to practically beg for those...

**dead** at Stacey loves the cock...I have the feeling that Stacey would have been one of those slutty sorority girls in college.

Ah the fashion choices in BSC...how come I dont see any of Claudia's outfits in the club?

rachel said...

i love how ANM or whoever was writing these books tried to constantly convince the reader that whatever heinous mess of an outfit the person was wearing, they were stylish. i'm sorry, but i really cannot see how mary anne's outfit "works," and just having claudia say it does not really mean much to me. and pleeeease - "who can be pretty funky in her own shy way"? what does that even mean?

WHAS reference - sweet!

Anonymous said...

Love the site! There is this really cool book swap site you guys would love!

http://www.paperbackswap.com

It is a great place to get BSC books. They have over two hundred! YOu have to be willing to swap 9 books. Then you get three free credits. Each time someone requests one of your books you get a credit. You pay the shipping to send the book to them (usually $1.59). Then you use your crdits to get books from other people, and you get them free! It is a very cool and cheap way to get used books. If any of you end up using this site, be sure to say that you were referred by Deb1122. Keep up the great work Tiff!

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Mal. Not allowed to get a nose job OR contacts?! Man her life sucks. Why the HELL isn't she outside playing with her brothers and sisters!!! She's eleven freakin' years old - I didn't outgrow tree climbing til I was 15... okay so maybe I was a freak, but still - 11 was like the peak of my childhood, and I don't ever remember feeling that I wanted to be thirteen. Mal really annoys me.

Anonymous said...

Mallory always seemed to me like the stupid loser girl in school that no one liked. Its really a miracle for her that she met up with Jessi and became a babysitter. You know she thought she was cool for having "older" friends....

Annabelle said...

I've always hated this rigid definition of diary vs. journal. I personally HATE the word journal; to me a journal is, like, a scientific journal. Or when you write journal entries on a theme such as "What I would do if I won a million dollars", like we did at school. Perhaps a journal could also suit a grown man who wants to keep a diary but thinks the word "diary" is too girlish...

I have kept a diary for 13 years. It is a DIARY, not a journal, though the type of entries I write there are those classified by Mal as a journal. I love the word diary; it connotes mystery, secrets, locked books, gossip, giggling, sleepovers and just girly stuff. For though I am 20 going on 21, I am still a girl, and as much of an avid diarist as I was at 13.

I only use the word journal to describe my livejournal, to differentiate it from a diary because it is on-line and because other people read it.

little miss sunshine said...

"She would never, ever get arrested by the Fashion Police. She wears long, baggy sweaters, tight leggings, dresses with flared skirts, little ballet slippers, and wild jewelry.” Now, who could that be? Could it be Claud? Why, yes it could."

or could it be Mary Kate Olsen?

Anonymous said...

I got contacts at 11, at the urging of my parents...because I had big huge thick coke-bottle classes and they weren't that helpful. Contacts made me actually able to see. It wasn't just a vanity thing. So, yeah, it happens, but Mal is annoying.

Anonymous said...

"Stacey loves the jumpsuits. And the cock. But mainly the jumpsuits."

I've been reading your blog for a few months after hearing about it from a friend, but I've never felt compelled to comment until this post. I could not stop laughing after reading that sentence! Thanks for making my day!

Cheesesteak said...

Mal must be a LittleKidLover, like Michael from the Office

jo whittemore said...

I almost forgot about this book! Wasn't Mal teaching Buddy to read using Archie comics or something? And he was ecstatic? Cuz that's something any kid born post-1960 enjoys.

Sara said...

Dang, I never read this one....but I'm sorry I missed it!

And blog comments are a bit of a confessional for me, a la "The Real World" booth.....I was totally Mallory in middle school. Minus the glasses and nose-hating. But I had corduroy jumpers and older girls that I wanted to dress like.

*le sigh*

Jen said...

What is up with the jumpers!?! Why are these cool? Seems like the clothes are a combination of 5-7-9 and the LL Bean catalog.

I do remember being excited to baby sit so then i could buy my own, supposedly cool, clothes. harsh reality of getting paid $15 for an afternoon of babysitting and then going to the mall and realizing i could buy....socks.

Anonymous said...

^ And see back in the day, I thought they were referring to sweaters, because in Oz we call sweaters "jumpers" - and I think what Americans call jumpers we call "pinafores". Maybe.

Anonymous said...

"I heart kids". Ohmigod. Granted, she is eleven (and still a kid HERSELF) but if I was a Stoneybrookite I'd still be creeped out to see her with her red frizz walking around wearing that.

I found this book pretty boring. A locked trunk with a mystery could have been more exciting, I felt, but it just wasn't. Maybe with a different narrator it could have been but I dunno.

Anonymous said...

When I was eleven I played tag, rode bikes, =even played Barbies with younger siblings. I did not baby-sit, date, pine for nose jobs, or lounge poolside looking like the rough side of 29. I would be more likely doing cannonballs or something into the actual pool.

Anonymous said...

^ Yes. If I were babysitting for a bunch of kids who wanted to go swimming, I'd go swimming *with* them. Especially if I were 11.

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one who thought Madame Kristin's outfit was... *kinda* cool?

Sarah said...

>>> [Stacey loves the jumpsuits. And the cock. But mainly the jumpsuits.]

Ha!...This is pants peeingly funny

Anonymous said...

Hanging out for this week's instalment...! Is it a true indicator of how sad I am that I now look forward to Wednesdays?... Good work, Tiff :D

Anonymous said...

hahaha~!

what makes mal the queen of labeling your notebook?! i never thought their was a diffrence! haha~!

Anonymous said...

I love this so much! *glees*

Anonymous said...

I always kept a journal, and I after I had read this book, my 4th grade self was inspired by Mallory's journal entry, and I decided to write in my own journal my body issues- I'm too skinny... I have a weird birthmark on my leg...

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Cynthia said...

thanks for the Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference. that was great.

bazu said...

I'm so ashamed to say that I just read this a couple of months ago (summer 2007). I found it at Goodwill for, like, $.79. My husband thinks I'm nuts.
I wish our 80 year-old house had cool stuff like diaries and trunks rather than dirty jars and plywood remnants!

Anonymous said...

Diary? Journal? Flip both,I just keep a notebook full of stuff I write. Like Amelia's Notebook. Btw, I have actually read a couple other tween novels where someone makes a big thing out of differentiating between a diary and a journal. Who bloody cares!? Love, Sexy Sadie

Anonymous said...

What is a "gum chain"?? I have wondered this for years!!!!!