Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"I have stolen a man's suitcase with a murder victim inside it, the mob is about to close in, I'm making my European debut looking like a cover model for Parenting magazine, and you're making fun of me!" BONUS BOOK! BSC Super Special #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation (1998)

I just got this in via interlibrary loan; I first requested it six months ago. Therefore, despite the fact that Logan does not go on this particular ridiculous vacation (and doesn't even get a chapter, despite being in the story), I just had to read and blog it. You have no idea how ridiculously happy receiving this book made me.
The main idea of this one should be obvious: some of the girls are going on another school trip, to London and Paris. They're going with a group of Canadian students, as in, the two groups travel completely together. The rest of the club stays home and works at a day camp. As with other super specials, each girl has her own story. Let's start with the girls who went on the trip:
Kristy: meets one of the Canadian students, Michel, and hates him on sight. The two of them get lost together in Paris. Of course, they end up having a romance, because someone had to, and Kristy hadn't had one in a SS yet. Or something.
Stacey: is upset that her mom is one of the chaperones. She also gets the wrong suitcase and ends up meeting the owner in Paris, where she learns all about D-Day.
Mallory: meets her mother's cousin, who is a British author. She starts writing a book and ignores all the sights of Paris. She also finds out she's distantly related to Shakespeare.
Abby: meets Victoria from #102, and gets to accompany her to meet the Queen. However, she's disappointed that she doesn't actually get to meet the Queen herself, and then she steps on a royal's toes. Literally.
Jessi: the dance troupe she almost joined is performing in London, so she arranges tickets. When one of the dancers hurts herself, Jessi gets thrown into one of the numbers. (I almost forgot to include her, which shows how thrilling this story was. It was over by half-way through the book.)
Back in Stoneybrook:
Claudia: Janine ends up working as a head counselor at the camp where Claudia, Dawn, MA and Logan are working. She's particularly hard on Claudia. Eventually Claudia finds out the other head counselor, Janine's ex, is being just as tough on Janine as Janine is on her, and she felt Claudia was the safest place to vent.
Dawn: spends a day filling in at the camp for special needs kids where Janine was supposed to work. Susan, from #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan, is among the campers.
Mary Anne: doesn't really have her own story. She just deals with Cokie being an ass (nothing new there.)
Interesting tidbits
Becca's jealous of Jessi, so she's been going around using a British accent and watching Pepe Le Pew cartoons.
Jessi splits the difference and says that Mallory has reddish-brown hair.
Kristy's hair is described as shoulder-length, yet they always illustrate her as having longer hair.
Jessi caught the Caps Bug. She said that Claudia's parents approve of Creativity but not of Bad Nutrition.
This is actually about right: "...because she's, well, Abby. Dedicated to the art of saying weird things and making people laugh." This is after Abby answers the phone by saying, "No job too small, no kid too big!"
Speaking of Abby, I had to transcribe this from her notebook entry:
Checklist for meeting the Queen
1. Avoid scaring her: brush hair
2. Check between teeth for unsightly bits of lunch
3. De-gooberize nose in advance
4. Shake hands gently to avoid breaking elderly fingers
5. Do not kiss her on lips
6. Ask about Elvis only if the opportunity presents itself....
Claudia speaks with her mouth full, and Stacey actually turns to her and says, "Swallow, please," so that she can be understood.
Abby suggests that Elvis was in the Civil War and then asks Kristy if cricket stadiums are like flea markets. (Kristy responds to the latter by throwing a dinner roll at her.)
The group toasts at their party with "champagne." Jessi toasts MA, Claudia and Dawn (who are not going on the trip) and Logan, who is also at the event and not going on the trip, adds, "Uh, hello?"
Jessi says this is the first time she's left the country. Dawn says she's been to France before, and Stacey took a trip with her parents to Ireland as a child.
Alan Gray gets in trouble at customs because he was, big surprise, acting like an idiot.
I about died laughing at this part. Stacey and Kristy are sharing a motel room in London, and when Stacey opens her suitcase, not only is it not hers, but it also contains a canister of cremains. Ew! Stacey's mom makes her go wash her hands after she picks up the cremains. Kristy finds the whole thing amusing.
Stacey assumes the cremains are of a murder victim. Because all serial killers carry their victims in their suitcases.
Even though Claudia is not on the trip, we get to see her fabulous spelling. Eczotic, allready, untill, counsler, didnt', yestrday, hed, recroot, geuss. She also uses hear for here and their for there. Unlike a lot of her spellings, these actually kind of make sense.
Janine makes Claudia, Dawn, Mary Anne check the playground equipment. She then proceeds to check inside the mouth of a fiberglass t-rex. Claudia suggests she's checking for half-eaten chunks of fiberglass triceratops.
The six eighth grade camp counselors are Mary Anne, Dawn, Claudia, Logan, a guy named Bruce that Claudia thinks is cute, and Cokie.
Mallory gets to see a family tree for her mother's side of the family, and you learn a few of the nerdy nit-picky facts I love. Mrs. Pike's maiden name is Bennett, and Dee (which Stacey's mom calls her in an earlier book) is short for Diana. In this book, Mallory's dad is Jonathan. One of Mrs. Pike's brothers is named Jordan, and her father's name is Adam.
Alan acts like an idiot at the Tate Gallery, and Kristy announces to everyone who can hear her that he's not a member of their group.
The other chaperone, Mr. Dougherty, is worse than Alan, if that's possible. He keeps trying to talk with a British accent, gets lost in the Tate Gallery (and a couple other places) and acts like a kid in a candy store.
There are several references to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
YES! There's actually a picture of Cokie in the book! Claudia and MA are soaked by rain and she refers to them as the BSC wet t-shirt contest.
Cokie only got onto the camp staff because her mother is a member of the board of education, which sponsored the camp.
Among the campers are the Hobarts, Papadakises, Dewitt and Barrett kids, Kuhns, Kormans, and the Arnold twins.
Kristy and Stacey are half-arguing about Michel, with Abby throwing in comments for fun. It's like reading several conversations at the same time. Stacey suggests Kristy must really hate Michel, Kristy asks her what she means, Stacey goes back to her book and ignores Kristy, and Abby suggests Stacey will get sick reading and walking at the same time. (This is a skill Stacey must have picked up from Janine. It is also one that I myself am very good at.)
Mallory calls Abby a philistine, and no one else knows what it means.
We get a Robert chapter, and it's mercifully short. A girl named Jacqui has been trying to get in his pants throughout the whole book, and he ends up yelling at her to leave him alone. After that, he's mentioned again a whopping once more in the book (by Jessi, no less). There is one weird bit. Jacqui says, "Stacey has, like, totally deaded you." Is that a real term people actually ever used?
Susan has gotten a hug machine--I totally want one of those. It envelops the body in deep pressure for a short period of time. It's kind of like lying under the mattress of a bed while someone puts weights on top of it. Doesn't sound good to most people, but for those with sensory integration issues, it's amazing.
Kristy apparently enjoys throwing food--this time, she throws a crumpet at Stacey. (BTW, I <3 crumpets!) Later, she dumps a pastry in Michel's lap and leaves a white powdery stain on his crotch.
There's a photo of the girls in England. Stacey's writing something, with Mallory and Jessi looking on. Kristy looks disgusted and Abby looks like she's laughing at her.
That "thing" Stacey is writing is some math, determining how Mallory is related to Shakespeare. She determines that he's Mallory's seventeen greats grandfather, and that each person has 131,072 seventeen greats grandparents.
Kristy and Michel fight like a couple five year olds. Kristy asks Stacey to stay between them at all times. Stacey's response? "Just kiss him and put both of you out of your misery."
Abby calls Westminster Abbey her namesake.
Abby is freaking out about not looking like an idiot when she goes to see the Queen. She says there are starlings nesting in her hair and that her face is covered in zits. I think this is only about the second time in the series zits have been mentioned, other than when they say Claudia rarely gets them. Later, Abby says she doesn't know how to greet the queen. When told to just be natural, she says, "Yo, what's up, my lady?"
More Claudia spelling: Im', leve, minut, Coky, exept, didnt', newmonia, thats, mam, eye-eye (instead of aye-aye). And she uses to instead of too.
Janine calls Claudia a laggard. When Claud asks what that is, Dawn replies, "I don't know. Some kind of drink?" Claudia calls it a delayed reaction insult, because she doesn't get insulted until later. (It's Mary Anne who tells her the meaning.)
Mr. Dougherty goes missing again right as they're supposed to leave England for France. Mallory says he's at Virginia Woolf's house, and Ms. McGill goes nuts: "What's he doing there? Virginia Woolf is dead!"
I read through the whole book before I realized that Stacey's mom is always referred to as Ms. McGill. Makes sense--Ms. started as a way of indicating that one was no longer married to the person whose surname she had taken. (Personally, I've always preferred to be called Ms. rather than Miss, and I've never been married.) I've never really thought too much about it, though.
Abby raids the newspapers before leaving, to see if the picture of her was printed. Stacey asks where the shot of her attacking the prince is.
Stacey refers to the Chunnel as new. Seems odd now.
Kristy's writing about the wonderful food of Paris, and Abby interrupts her to add in snails and frogs' legs.
Kristy totally embarrasses Michel when they're lost together. He plays a prank on her and she ends up yelling at him in front of a crowd of people about how much she hates him. It's pretty bad because even if Kristy doesn't actually like him before this point, you can tell from the start that Michel was teasing her because he had a thing for her. He asks her to pretend they're friends, since he can speak French and she can't. By the end of their four hours together, she's rested her head on his shoulder and let him put his arm around her.
Mary Anne is a big wuss. She volunteers to help Logan with softball at camp, but Cokie gets the job because Jerry picks her. Janine starts a fight over it, and Mary Anne backs down. (Even though Logan is motioning at her, basically saying NOOOO!) After she catches that, Cokie quits, but Janine convinces her not to go, and she ends up having fun after all. Janine with balls = way better than mean Janine.
In the picture of Mallory writing, her hair is straight, and she's wearing huge glasses and CLOGS. I've always thought that if any BSC member should wear clogs, it should be Dawn. Don't ask me why...or even why I've ever thought about that before.
Mallory's story character is Mariel, and she lives in Stoneyfield.
Abby and Kristy went to Centre Georges Pompidou, which is an inside-out art museum...and spent pretty much the entire visit riding up and down the elevator.
Abby brushes her teeth before going into the Parisian sewers...her logic is that the sewer smells bad enough without her monster breath. Her biggest surprise at the sewers is that Kristy's all grumpy, and it's because Michel joined the rest of the group at Euro Disney instead of coming with her. Kristy refuses to admit that she likes him, but that night, she kisses him.
Is this supposed to make us think good things? "The night air had a faint flowery smell mixed with the pollution."
You finally get to see the photo of Abby and the prince in the epilogue. The prince looks vaguely like a young George Clooney and he's holding his foot. Abby looks shocked.
There aren't really any outfits in this one. The closest you get is that Stacey has to wear her mom's clothes until she gets her suitcase back. She's mortified and Kristy, of course, makes fun of her. Also, the photos show some attire, but other than Stacey and Abby, just about everyone is wearing shorts or jeans in every photo. Here's the photo clothing:
Stacey and Robert at the ticket desk of the airport. Stacey's wearing a dress with spaghetti straps. Robert's you really care what Robert's wearing? Jeans and a t-shirt.
Claudia and Janine on the playground: Janine is in dark shorts and a dark polo shirt. Her glasses are so thick you can't see her eyes. Claudia has jeans and a t-shirt.
Claudia, Mary Anne and Cokie in front of a Coke machine. (I find this humorous, as I keep trying to type Cokie as Coke anyway.): Both MA and Cokie are wearing t-shirts and shorts. Cokie's shirt is dark, and she's got dark, curly hair, sort of like Abby's. MA's wearing a white shirt. Claudia's in jeans and t-shirt again, but the shirt does look sort of artsy. Not in a crazy, normal Claudia way, just artsy. (Also, Mary Anne appears to have bigger boobs than Claudia does.)
Jessi and Tanisha (one of the dancers): they're in dance attire. Duh.
Dawn and Susan: Dawn is wearing a t-shirt with a sun on it, jean shorts and sandals. Susan is notable for looking very similar to her other appearance, on the cover of #32. She's wearing a polo shirt and playing the piano.
The five girls at the table, as described above: Kristy's wearing an oversized t-shirt; Mallory's shirt is more fitted. Stacey's wearing a v-neck dress. Jessi's wearing a polo shirt and Abby's also wearing a dress, but it looks like a t-shirt dress (she's wearing something similar in one of the photos in SS #12.)
Stacey and Mr. Anderson, the man with the cremains (he dumps them into the water at the beach he and his friend stormed at Normandy): Stacey, who looks about 30, is wearing a sweater or sweatshirt with a collar and khakis.
Kristy and Michel at the Eiffel Tower: Kristy's wearing an oversized t-shirt and a baseball cap; Michel has on an oversized polo shirt, dark colored jeans, and a baseball cap. Kristy looks super-cute, with dimples.
Mallory writing when she should be sight-seeing: of course, I mentioned the clogs. She's also wearing a sleeveless polo and either a skirt or very short shorts.
Abby and the prince: he's wearing a suit; she's dressed up in a floral dress and sandals. She must have a very heavy tread to hurt his foot; it's not as if she were wearing Docs or something.
BTW, Abby's attire inside the book is MUCH better than what she's wearing on the cover. The cover shows the five girls in London with one of the Palace Guards. Jessi is wearing a green shirt and jeans. Mallory's wearing a red and white striped shirt with a blue collar with what I think is brown overalls. It kinda looks like a brown burlap sack. (Since I got the book through ILL, there's a paper on the cover I can't remove, so I have to peak underneath it. Makes it a little hard to see.) Either it's a huge overall skirt, or it's really baggy overall pants. Stacey's wearing a cute little blue and green striped dress. Kristy is wearing a t-shirt with the Union Jack on it--of course. She's also the one who wore the Statue of Liberty headwear when they were in NYC, so this is not surprising. I think she's wearing jeans, but there's a sticker declaring the book to be property of the Davenport, IA, library over her lower half. And....Abby is wearing a Pepto-Bismol pink shirt that would look better at home on a three year old, with a pair of horrid green pants. I think the green would best be called spinach green, or Oscar the Grouch green. Add in the fact that the shirt is cut at a weird length, and she looks like she has absolutely no fashion sense.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"There aren't any tats here." BSC #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan (1991)

My local library's being lame and slacking off in the Logan department. I do have a copy of Logan's Story on the way, but it's coming from a library branch I've never even heard of before, so I will have to chronicle that one next week. I was faced with three Logan related choices that were in-house at my (second-closest) library branch. Given that two of them related to breaking up with Logan, I skipped one of those. The other, I'll blog in a couple of weeks, if I don't locate Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-sitter. But this one was pretty much a gimme.

This was one of my all-time favorites as a kid. I remembered the vast majority of the story before I even opened it, from the Cokie goodness to the "resolution" of the Toilet Monster story. I think I liked it so much because I was so sure Logan and Mary Anne would be together forever and this helped with that illusion. I read it so much I nearly wore my cover off. It was the second-most worn looking book in my collection--right after #2, but I dropped that one in the bathtub and it was missing a half-dozen pages.
Anyhoo....the main idea of this plot should be pretty obvious from the brilliantly awesome title. Mary Anne and Logan broke up five books ago, and any cojones MA gained in dumping the dead weight have left. She's paired up in a school author project with Logan, Cokie and Pete Black. She freaks out, especially since Logan and Cokie are going out and slacking on the project. Eventually, she and Logan talk, Logan does his part of the project, Cokie looks like an idiot in front of their author and MA and Logan get back together.

In the B-plot, the Korman children have totally overactive imaginations and create a Toilet Monster...then start believing it really exists.
Interesting tidbits

I loved this cover growing up. It features Mary Anne, Kristy, Claudia (wearing a fedora!!!) and, I think, Stacey, roller skating and having fun. And while I fail to see what it has to do with missing Logan (to me, it makes hanging out without a guy look like a great time), it was basically representative of what I thought my teen years would be like. (This copy is one of the re-covers from the late 90s, so it has the pictures down the left hand side. It is also a bright blue...I am fairly certain my childhood copy from 1991 was not blue. I think it was pink.)

The copy from the library is a large-print edition. Is it sad that I really enjoy the huge print?
If you couldn't tell the plot of this book from the title, the first line is, "I missed Logan."

Tigger goes crazy and starts tearing around the living room. I happen to know an insane gray tabby cat who does this as often as not. We call it being on kitty crack. (This same insane cat got his rabies shot earlier today and purred and licked the vet while it was happening.)
The Korman kids always have hotdogs when there are babysitters...except I remember in another story where one of the BSC members is serving them fish sticks (to the ghostwriter's credit, one of the kids asks if they're having hotdogs in that one.)

MA uses "like" in several sentences in the style of a Valley girl. "Skylar has, like, eight teeth."
MA describes the Korman house, when owned by the Delaneys', as ostentatious, and then tells the reader to go look it up. Heh heh.

MA starts the Toilet Monster shit by suggesting that if the Kormans had a cat, a Cat Monster would get it. Bill and Melody start suggesting everything has a monster attached to it, at first as a joke.
Jessi tells the world's oldest, stupidest jokes at a club meeting, while Stacey tells Claudia she looks like she's having a daymare.

Mary Anne says she likes school. *nerd!*
The girls are eating beef bourguinon for school lunch, and it's Dawn who gives them the correct pronunciation.

List of authors the BSC are excited they might get to study: Lois Lowry, Madeleine L'Engle, Paul Zindel, Paula Danziger, Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, and fake author Megan Rinehart (whom MA is assigned).
Kristy thinks it would be funny if Alan were assigned to read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret because of all the "bra stuff" in it. But that book is full of Margaret and her friends wishing for their periods, which should be way more embarrassing. But, it doesn't appear that periods even exist in the BSC-universe. No one ever has PMS or anything...wouldn't it have been great to get a book where one of them got her first period and was all crabby? (I'm picturing a Degrassi episode.)

MA's original group was Logan, Pete and Miranda Schillaber, one of the twins that MA and Kristy were friends with in the early books, before it was decided that BSC members could only be friends with BSC members.
I don't know why this seems so weird, but they refer to Skylar's room as the nursery.

Isn't Bill, at nine, a little too old to really believe in monsters?
Dawn takes Melody and Bill on a ghostbusting trip through the house, only she calls it a Monster Hunt. And of course, it doesn't help.

The teachers make an exception to the no-group-switching rule for Cokie, because she actually shows interest in an author, but I'm not sure how she did this. Later, she gets the author's name wrong and completely validates MA's theory that Cokie only wanted to switch groups so she could be near Logan.
I think this is the book where I started to really like Pete. He and MA really want the project to go well, but Cokie is sitting there being stupid and "hypnotizing" Logan, and they get nothing accomplished. Pete really steps up and he and MA attempt to salvage the project on their own.

MA retells the events of #17, but with one mistake: she says that Cokie wanted Logan and that is why she tried to make the BSC look stupid. Actually, it was her crony Grace who was interested in Logan in that book.
Heh. Cokie wants to know why each of the group members needs his own copy of the books--why can't they just read aloud to each other? Pete replies, "Yes, that's always been my read aloud to Logan."

Claudia spelling: didnt, beter, wold, ther, realy, shold, Melidy, theres, monstir, growel, monstur, dont, excape, fluch, frist, anoying, waht. She also uses thing instead of think.
Mary Anne muses on the gender of the toilet monster.

Bill asks if there's a law that babysitters have to fix hotdogs, and Claudia tells him it's rule 116 in the Babysitter's Handbook, under the section about hotdogs.
Bill wants to play the telephone game with Skylar because he thinks it would be funny. I once played telephone with my friend's little sister (Pye) when she was about that age. It was pretty humorous. Instead, they just teach her to say Cowabunga, dude!

Heh. After Bill and Melody decide the only way to be safe from the Toilet Monster is to be safely on their bed before the flushing stops, Skylar decides to play with the toilet flusher.
MA thinks Pete sounds like Kristy when he "adjourns" their group meeting after learning that Megan Rinehart will be at an assembly and they'll have to present their project in front of her. I wonder if this comment is what led them to have Pete be Kristy's main rival for eighth grade president.

Kristy's notebook entry is really self-congratulatory. She says that, in her first sitting job with the Kormans since the TM first appeared, she solved the problem. There's an unwritten OF COURSE in it. She does, at least, admit she's bragging...and she also happens to be wrong. (She mentions that she might become a child psychologist. In my long, winding, ridiculous fanfiction (which isn't actually written out in a readable fashion, so don't ask to see it), Mary Anne is a play therapist who nearly gets divorced from her husband because he wants kids and she wants to wait until she finishes her Ph.D. Kristy...yeah. She goes a completely different path.)
Cokie may not be much of a student, but she's never been shown to be stupid. Why she thought she could get away with copying, word for word, the information on the back cover of the book as her section of the report, I don't know.

MA can't wait until they're sixteen and can drive. She pictures Logan having a red convertible. I guess she doesn't realize most sixteen year olds drive crappy little old compact cars.
And of course, Logan and MA get back together until the Forever Friends series. I may be blogging that entry (FF #4 Mary Anne's Big Breakup) later this month. We'll see.

Stacey: paisley-print leggings, giant shirt, black boots, silver jewelry (I remember when this was fashionable, but it never, ever looked good. On anyone!)
Mary Anne: red tights and a big blue shirt (I hope the tights were at least opaque and the shirt was ass-covering.)

New Characters
Bill, Melody and Skylar Korman (9, 7, and 1)--31, 29 and 23

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Okay, Okay...

I got all perturbed reading the last book and freaking out over names and zip codes. So I went through my other super specials, because I knew that in at least one case, they did the "full postcard" format of SS #2. So I pulled out California Girls (SS #5) and dug through that one. The zip codes and addresses are all still the same. And, most of the first names are the same too--only one different is Jessi's parents, but she just addresses that to the Ramseys.

Because I am a ridiculous, here are the addresses for just about anyone who receives a letter in these two books. I also added the names of the moms, when available:

Watson and Elizabeth Brewer:
1210 McLelland Rd
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

John and Miyoshi Kishi
58 Bradford Ct
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

John and ??? Ramsey*
612 Fawcett Ave
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Richard Spier (pre-marriage to Sharon)/Ben Hobart
59 Bradford Ct
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Jack Schafer and Carol Olson**
22 Buena Vista
Palo City, CA 92800

Laine Cummings***
The Dakota
72nd and Central Park West
New York, NY 10000

Daniel and Dee Pike
31 Slate St
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Lyman Bruno
689 Burnt Hill Rd
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Sharon Schafer/Richard and Sharon Spier
177 Burnt Hill Rd
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Henry and Grace Walker
14 West 81st St. Apt 18E
New York, NY 10000

Bart Taylor
65 Edgerstoun Dr
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Granny and Pop-Pop Porter
747 Bertrand Dr
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Ashley Wyeth
12 Reilly Ln
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Edward and Maureen McGill (pre-divorce)
14 West 81st St. Apt 12E
New York, NY 10000

Keisha Ramsey
8320 Wagner Ln
Oakley, NJ 07400

Maureen McGill (post-divorce)
89 Elm St
Stoneybrook, CT 06800

Edward McGill (post-divorce)
321 E 65th St Apt 2F
New York, NY 10000

*Anyone know Jessi's mom's first name? Aunt Cecelia or Jessi's dad must use it at some point, right?

**Carol keeps her last name, as is firmly established in California Diaries. Their daughter Gracie's full name is Elizabeth Grace Schafer Olson.

***I wonder if this is how one would really address mail to someone in The Dakota, or if it has an actual street address.

"You sure know a lot about pinkeye." BSC Super Special #2: Babysitter's Summer Vacation (1989)

Until I'm able to get ahold of the two Logan Reader's Request books, we're starting with super specials with at least one Logan chapter in them. This kinda limits things a bit, as he only shows up in some of them.

There's always some kooky gimmick as to why a super special gets written. In this one, Stacey's living in NYC and her Stoneybrook friends convince her she has to come be a camp counselor with them, so she convinces them they have to write in her journal. All seven BSC members and a number of sitting charges head off to the girls' camp, while Logan and an equal number of charges head to the boys' camp.

Of course, everyone has their own stories:

Kristy: lets her other CITs make her over. Also has to deal with a very homesick Charlotte
Claudia: falls in LUV with a boy CIT after seeing him for about two minutes
Mary Anne: to impress her co-CIT, she tries to sneak over to the boys' side of the lake. She gets caught but wins the other CITs' respect
Stacey: gets poison ivy and about thirty thousand other things and spends a large amount of time in the infirmary
Dawn: goes on an overnight with her girls and gets lost. A bookish camper helps them find their way home
Mal and Jessi: deal with racist campers, but make most of them see the light in a very cheesy, afterschool-special manner
Logan: starts a food fight. The other CITs all think MA is a "feeb" until they actually meet her and lay off

Interesting tidbits

This book is dedicated to Jean, Barry and Bonkie. And I...just don't want to know.

Stacey addresses a letter to her parents as Mr. and Mrs. Edward McGill. I need to start keeping a database to keep track of these things, as I think he's had a different name in a different book.

Most of the campers at Camp Mohawk are only going to be at camp for 2 weeks. I wonder how much they had to pay for all the required camp clothing. I can see having uniforms for a camp where children spend the whole summer, but otherwise, it's pretty ridiculous.

Stacey says she didn't join in the conversation going on around her on the bus because she's not that bold. But she's not really shy either, and it's not as if the girls on the bus should consider their conversation to be private.

Different ways the lake name is spelled throughout the book: Dekanawida (the correct name, I believe--used by Kristy, Stacey and Randi), Dekadonka,  Dekanunga (Claudia), Dukakis, Deckasaga, Duckanawooda (Mary Anne),  Dekadeka (Logan), and Dekadoo (Kristy). In the epilogue, Stacey calls it Lake Whatever.

I'll have to check some other books, but I feel like normally, they don't use zip codes when they write letters. But in this one, Stacey's zip is 10000 while Stoneybrook's is 06800. Palo City is 92800.

Real movies: Meatballs and the Parent Trap. Both about camp, of course.

This book occurs after Emily Michelle is adopted but shortly before Mimi dies. So far, this is the only super special I've been able to exactly place.

When Mimi passes away, they use Mimi as her name in the obituary. Yet Claudia addresses a letter to Mimi with Mrs. L. Yamamoto.

Claudia spelling: havnt (twice), realy (twice), asinments (assignments), whos (who's), Bradock (Braddock), tonigt. She also says who instead of how, your instead of you're, to instead of too, and hole instead of whole.

Cabin assignments: Mal and Jessi are in the same eleven year old cabin; Dawn is on the other side with the other eleven year olds. Claudia has nine year olds (including Vanessa and Haley); Mary Anne, seven year olds (including Margo and Nancy Dawes, Karen's friend); Kristy, eight year olds (including Charlotte and Becca) and Stacey, six year olds (including Karen.) Logan's seven year olds include Jackie R., Buddy (who is usually eight) and Matt Braddock--because Logan knows a little sign language.

Of course, keeping with super special #1, Claudia steps on her fellow CIT, Sally, every time she gets off the top bunk. They should probably start restricting her to the bottom.

Somehow, Jessi's dad is named Alex in this one. Yet, his son is John Philip Jr. Someone needed to give the people who do the "letters" the chapter 2 backstory. (Although, it's actually pretty much missing in this one. We don't get to learn how the club started or hear about everyone's positions or crazy families. That comes out more organically.)

Jessi ends her letter WBS, and then has to explain that means write back soon.

Real books, all of them about horseys: Misty of Chincoteague; Stormy, Misty's Foal; A Morgan for Melinda; and Impossible Charley.

Mary Anne draws a picture of Tigger on her letter. It's better than the picture of Tigger in super special is truly awful. (I'm trying to track down a picture of it online.)

MA is always waaaaaay too worried about who is sophisticated.

Dawn says her co-CIT Amy went to Camp Mohawk last year. I'm trying to puzzle this one out. When Mallory and Jessi say they want to be CITs, they're told CITs must be thirteen. Yet the eleven year olds are the oldest campers. As a kid, I remember thinking that twelve year olds were just out of luck, but Amy must have been at camp the year before somehow.

Dawn's caught a case of MA's sophisticated sickness. She mentions that her camper Freddie is more sophisticated than the other girls, and knows about things "such as fur storage and dining al fresco." Fur storage? Really? (Later in the series, Dawn would have started railing about fur being murder.)

Stacey is surprised when Karen gets all hyper at camp. But why? I would expect nothing less (more?) out of her.

One of Mallory and Jessi's cabin-mates calls them Oreos. It was the first (and really only) time I'd ever heard that term. And of course, the girl used it wrong...unless she's suggesting Mal is like an inside-out Oreo. Double the cream, one cookie? Hmmm....

Kristy says she looked her name up in a baby name book once and couldn't find it. I don't even know why she really would need to look it up. Kristin is pretty clearly a version of Christina, and it's pretty obvious that that relates in some way to Christ. (Or maybe it's not so obvious and I've just too much time looking at baby name books. This is a very distinct possibility.)

Kristy realizes that all the other CITs are wearing bras, while she isn't. I know I've said it before, but even flat chested girls usually get a bra by this age. Mostly because they have to change for gym class and it would be embarrassing to wear an undershirt, or worse, nothing at all.

Kristy just sits there and lets her fellow CITs make her over verbally. She should have just told them to go to hell and that she was happy the way she was. (If only they could curse; then, all the dirty jokes told by one of Dawn's campers could actually be heard, too!)

This sounds wrong: "She was headed to the lake, wearing swim trunks and trying to walk in flippers." It's a girl. Shouldn't she be wearing a swim SUIT?

More Claudia misspellings: realy (twice, again!), riden, mosty, hav, potery, niddlework (needlework), imergine (imagine), com, Bradock (again). She also spells Mary Ann wrong, and the cream of the crop--she writes "Me just fine". I'm not sure exactly how to take that, whether she's saying, "Me, I'm just fine" or if she's really (realy) just supposed to be that stupid.

Oh my Lord (as Claudia would say). Claudia's postcard is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Kishi. I'm pretty certain another book establishes him as having a different name, first off; second, in different books, Jessi's dad, Mallory's dad and Claudia's dad have all been called John, while Dawn's dad is Jack. Crazy.

They (of course) make fun of the camp food. Sally, Claudia's co-CIT, suggests that the boys eat the same food the girls do but don't care: "They'd happily eat pond scum and gorilla feet."

Mary Anne writes the world's cheesiest love letter to Logan, and then is so embarrassed when she's caught and the authorities actually GIVE the letter to Logan.

Hee hee! I'd totally forgotten about this part! When MA gets caught, she tells them not to kill her because she has a kitten at home that needs her, and she has a gun!

I think this one is actually consistent: Logan's dad's name is Lyman. I seem to remember that from a book just a short time ago.

In Logan's very first sentence, he calls Stacey's book (the book I'm reading) dumb. Very astute.

During the food fight, one kid sucks Coke through a straw and squirts it out. I spent four summers at camp, and we had to drink three cups of water at every meal before we could have any other liquid. And you wanted that water, because the only other choice was (chunky, watered-down) Kool-Aid.

Isn't it convenient? Both MA and Logan get in trouble (her for sneaking across the lake, him for the food fight). They both get banned from an activity for three days for it (and are soooooooo disappointed). And both their counselors tell them they did the same thing and got in trouble for it when they were CITS. Also, they're both counselors for seven year olds, which I didn't notice until later.

After Dawn's counselor has to go home, they leave Dawn in charge. Yes, there's an adult next door in the other half of the cabin, but really. It doesn't get any better though: the replacement counselor who arrives, Debra, is only fifteen. I don't know about 1989, but by 1997, you had to have an eighteen year old in any group of campers. I worked that summer with a 17 year old counselor, and any time we went anywhere, someone who was 18 or older had to come with us. Of course, the campers at this camp also go all over the place unescorted and can choose their own activities. No one under 16 was allowed to wander without an adult at my Girl Scout camps and our units all did activities together as a group.

When Stacey goes to the infirmary, she is convinced she has "everything". At various points she describes her illness as the plague and leprosy. She tells the nurse she has Lyme disease, allergies, dyspepsia and chicken pox. In reality, she's diagnosed with a horrible case of poison ivy, pinkeye, a cold, impetigo, and lots of insect bites.

Kristy thinks it's hilarious that Becca is so bad at dancing she knocked over a bunch of girls like bowling pins. This was apparently so funny that both Becca and another girl wet their pants.

Ahh, Claudia. In a post card to Janine, she asks (for the second time in this book) Who are you. (just like that, no question mark). More misspellings: boyfreind, sonds, Im', waht, certin, dont', i'l (like that, no capital), reprot. Also, no for know, others for other's. She also attempts to spell particular and dilemma before crossing them out. (I don't blame her; I had to have spell check help me solve dilemma.)

Claudia is thrilled when her mystery Asian boy turns out to be Japanese (she can tell by his last name, Yamakawa, which is distinctively Japanese) because she's sure her parents would like her to marry a Japanese man and have Japanese babies. At least she acknowledges that a) she doesn't even know this boy yet and b) she's only thirteen!

It's been a long time since I've seen Meatballs, but is it really the type of thing they'd show 13 year olds at a camp? If camp's anything like school, they'd probably show movies that are rated G.

Clumsy foreshadowing: Will's grandmother, who had always lived with his family, passed away last month.

Dawn actually address her postcard to her grandparents to "Granny and Pop-Pop Porter."

Dawn says she doesn't really know how to read a map, and she barely knows her left from her right. This must explain why she's usually the one to get horribly lost. (In this one and in SS #4.)

Dawn actually eats a hot dog!!!!!!!!

Mary Anne actually agrees to let the other CITs pierce her ears, but of course, they chicken out.

Kristy gets made over for the dance, and Logan thinks she looks great caked in makeup.

Yet more Claudia misspellings: draems (twice), isnt', realy (of course!), nigth, daced (danced...after she had just spelled it correctly, too!), matrial (material), alway, expreinces, bracking, abel, sclupture.

Claudia thinks Will is a funny name, for some reason.

Kristy says no one ate the veggie burgers at dinner. I bet Dawn did!

I think "feeb" is the BSC version of "retard." It's the insult to use when you don't have any good insults at your disposal. (When I used to teach school, I actually banned the kids from using the words "gay" and "retarded" and they got pretty good about correcting themselves and policing one another: "Ms. C. doesn't like that word. We don't use it.")

This book was back when diabetics used to test their urine instead of their blood.

Jessi writes a postcard to her cousin Keisha. She writes so much and her handwriting is so flowy that I had a hard time reading it. There's way more print on there than would fit on a standard postcard, that's for sure.

Mallory and Jessi's number they perform with Becca and Charlotte and Kristy's other campers is so preachy and silly. They made B & C twins and had the rest of the girls be neighbors who taunt them, until one girl makes friends with them, so all the rest do. Of course, this makes most of Jessi and Mal's cabin-mates apologize for their behavior.

Right before they leave, Mallory and her camping sisters have a happy reunion with Claire, who was too young for camp. Mallory points out it won't last: "We'll be fighting before we've even left the parking lot, and then Margo will puke in our Barf Bucket."

Why do they Capitalize Barf Bucket?

After the various people (the Pikes, the Brewer/Thomases) leave the girls' side of the camp, they go to the boys' side to pick up their sons. Does that mean that the boys' side doesn't have a parents' day activity, or that they do, and those families have to sit through another meal and another bunch of skits?

Final Claudia misspellings: Im', im' (in the same sentence, too), worryed, thinck, wasnt, waht, surprize, Wills (Will's), addres, dont', Stoneybrooke, writ, leter, thrid. Also, she doesn't capitalize Pike, uses no for know and bake for back. (Funniest part of the letter: she writes a P.S. stating that this is the third day in a row she's not worn something with a teepee (or as she writes, TP) on it.)

Epilogue: Stacey regularly exchanges Christmas cards with one of her campers. Claudia decided to keep up a relationship with Will. Kristy now occasionally wears mascara...when she thinks she might run into Bart. MA has decided to never, ever pierce her ears. Dawn enjoyed getting lost in the wilderness and stays close to Heather, the girl who led them back to safety.

I'd forgotten how old and bad AMM looked in her photo in the early books. She looks much younger and better in the late books, circa 1997 on. Must be better photo editing. Heh heh heh.


No real outfits in this one, because everyone is wearing their teepee clothes. However....

Mal and Jessi: armbands that say "junior CIT"

Randi: parrot earrings, friendship bracelet (book says "braided string bracelet," but whatever), bangle bracelets, beaded anklet spelling out her name, headband with a neon green bow

"Mohawk" Jo: a mohawk (duh) with half dyed red and half blue (at least until Mrs. Means sees her)

Will: "punk" hair that sticks up, black hightop sneakers

Logan: (best...outfit...ever!) teepee short, teepee polo, teepee sweater tied around shoulders, teepee socks, Reeboks, aftershave

Mary Anne: yellow ribbon in hair, yellow flower (as dictated by her ridiculous letter)

Kristy: tons of makeup, clip on earrings, barrettes, bracelet, Reeboks (not hers)

New Characters

Thirteen year old CITs: Sally, Gwen, Corinne, Randi, Faye, Julie, Amy, Joanne, Lauren, Izzy, Tansy, Will, Rick, John, Henry, Cliff, Jeremy, Miko (37)

Eleven year olds: Mary, Mary, Mandi, Maureen, Rachel, Shari, Freddie, Donna, Caryn (which, Dawn makes a point of saying, is pronounced Karen), Heather (35)

Nine year olds: Leeann, Brandy, Jayme, Gail (33)

Eight year olds: You actually don't get the names of any of Kristy's other campers. Sorry!

Seven year olds: Tara, Curtis, Russell, Thomas (aka T) (31)

Six year olds: Nonie, Valerie, Monique (30)

New Year, New Format!

So, I was going to blog all about Jessi's holiday miseries in #103 Happy Holidays Jessi, but seeing as I had the stomach flu and I'm dealing with a terminally ill kitty cat, I just didn't have the heart to read about little Squirt's head injury.

So I was remembering something I read on a short-lived BSC blog and decided to steal adapt the idea for mine. The BSC members, despite never really aging, had established birthdays. So each month, I'm going to dedicate myself to reading about the BSC member who has a birthday that month. Conveniently, each month, January through October, has one BSC member's birth. Some of the months will be harder than others--Shannon only has one book, you know--but I'm bound and determined to find enough super specials to fill out the rougher months. Including this one.

So, happy birthday this month to Logan! I'm going to dedicate each book to the only BSC member to join just so they could get in someone else's pants.

Also, since it's a new year, all "ages now" will be after a 2013 birthday.