Monday, August 31, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I haven't had time to snark all of Lauren Lowsky, 100% babysitter, so I'm sneaking in a quickie first. This short story was an entry in my fifth grade school journal, and I thought it was totally eeeeeeerie and could definitely get me a gig writing for The Preteen Twilight Zone. (And yes, by that I mean Are You Afraid of the Dark? Or was that more like Tales from the Preteen Crypt? Discuss.)


Two Friends: The Story of Friendship

Once upon a summer day, two friends, Janet and Heather, were sitting in the grass.

"I don't want to move." Heather said stubbornly, crying

"I don't want you to either." said Janet, crying, too. "But you have to promise me we'll always be best friends, no matter what. If the end of the world comes, I'll still be there for you."

These five... er, six... words I swear to you. But awww, how sweet. If the end of the world comes, I'll totally be there for all of YOU GUYS! We'll hang out in my underground (or inner-tree) bunker and play MASH until we can play MASH no more. And maybe kiss some Chad Allen posters and choreograph a new routine to "I've Had the Time of My Life." We'll go out in a blaze of 1989 glory. If anyone can find nonperishable Cool Ranch Doritos, it is ON.

"I promise." said Heather.

"Here," said Janet, taking off her necklace. "I want you to have this." She handed it to Heather.

"Your shell necklace!" gasped Heather. "The one your mother gave you before she died. OH, I can't!"

It's nice how the girls are so helpful with the exposition! Also, if my mother were on her deathbed and bequeathed to me a SHELL NECKLACE, I might get rid of it too.

My mom died and all I got was this stupid shell necklace.

"Take it." said Janet.

"Here," said Heather, digging into her pocket. "I want you to have this."

"Your lucky stone! The one you found on the beach! Thank you!"

They both have special beach objects! You have goosebumps already, just admit it.

"Thank you!" cried Heather. And then she was gone.

In a puff of smoke? What happened? Did she just apparate? Is she moving to HOGWARTS?

7 years later, when the girls were 17, there was a plane crash. Only one girl was killed. Her name was Janet McCall. Heather cried for days after she heard. Janet had been coming to visit Heather. Heather had never worn the shell necklace, but now she took it out of it's case and put it on.

Like, just how ugly is that necklace? Seriously.

Two days after Janet was killed, there was a second plane crash. Only one person died. Her name was Heather Dobbins. She was going to her friend Janet McCall's funeral. So, then they were together again.

Woooo-oooooo-ooooooh! Wasn't it EERIE, with the exchange of oceanic items and the really implausible only-one-person-on-the-entire-plane-dying thing happening TWICE? You'll be up all night trying to make sense of it, I know.

So, what was the story of friendship? A few theories:
  • Visiting your be-fri means risking your life. Even if she's already dead and you haven't seen her in seven years and you're just going to pay your respects to her family or whatever, you're pretty much taking your life into your hands.
  • Wearing a fugly shell necklace might just cause your plane to crash. (That necklace is so cursed. I want a sequel.)
  • If your friend moves away, forget her. You can give her your lucky stone, but you'll never see her alive again. But don't worry! You two can totally hang in the afterlife!
NEXT TIME: We'll finally be babysat by Lauren Lowsky.

Until then, since I know how much you like reading other peoples' diaries, you might want to check out this post on Jezebel. I'm not the only one who likes to embarrass myself on the Internets!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Book Report

My fifth grade Language Arts teacher decided to liven up book reporting... by making us write our reports on scoops of paper ice cream. She made a bulletin board featuring construction-paper ice cream cones inscribed with every student's name. Each time we read a book, we'd write a short description on a scoop of ice cream and staple it atop our cone.

Nothing motivates children to read like paper ice cream!

I, of course, had the World's Tallest Paper Ice Cream Cone. Because I was super cool. The following are a few extra credit book reports I turned in at the tail end of fifth grade (June 1989). Did I need the extra credit? Of course not! I was strictly in it for the glory.

QUICK DISCLAIMER: Most of these books I read only once, 20 years ago, so my commentary is largely based on the reports themselves. If you read any of these, have mercy and let us know what happened! Especially if you know the fate of the Gray Ghost or exactly how the Mystery Cat began a life of feline crime-solving.

Where Evil Is
Carol Beach York

You know where evil is? In her hair, you guys. In her HAIR.

I'd read several other creepy-ass Carol Beach York books involving dead people and/or murderous plots (Remember Me When I Am Dead and Secrets in the Attic, I'm looking at you), so I was pretty psyched about this one.

My report: When Marjore is invited to stay with her cousin, Charlene, she's thrilled. Charlene is her idol! Then Charlene gets strange letters in the mail saying how her husband's first wife's death wasn't an accident. But the one night in the house by the lake, Charlene shoots at a robber in the dark and Marjore comes to a startling conclusion.

How can you tell I didn't plagiarize this from the back cover? Because her name is really Marjorie, not Marjore.

Here's some copy I found online:
Sixteen-year-old Marjorie is the unknowing accomplice to her glamorous cousin's elaborate plot . . . to murder her husband. But her cousin makes the fatal mistake of underestimating Marjorie's ability to unmask Where Evil Is.
Way to school me, marketing team. My reports would be SO much better if I figured out a way to incorporate the book's title!

Mystery Cat
Susan Saunders
Animal Story

This was the first book in another series by the author of Sleepover Friends, only instead of binge eaters, this was about a crime-busting cat. No, really. It actually says that on the cover.

"There's a new crime-busting cat in town!"

Move over, OLD crime-busting cat! This cat has a really weird face and is straddling a fat mound of cash! And what's with the girls peeking in on him? I find something about this cover very unsettling.

My report: A mysterious cat with a nick in his ear and a kink in his tail, lives at Kelly Ann's and Hillary's. They found out that he's M.C. (Mystery Cat). Now the girls are following M.C. to find the counterfeiters. When Hillary goes out alone, she is kidnapped by the counterfeiters. Can Kelly Ann and M.C. find Hillary... and solve the mystery?

WHAT? It's like Ann M. Martin wrote a BSC Mystery where Tigger cracked the case. The mind reels. Plus, how did they "find out" that he's Mystery Cat? By reading his tags? Watching him analyze some DNA samples? Can someone please explain this to me??

The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank

I read another Jewish-girl-hiding-from-the-Nazis book this same year, although I can't remember the title. Instead of a secret annex, the protagonist and her sister hid in a closet. For YEARS. Turns out it was a good hiding spot, because the Nazis never found them, although I remember that when the girls finally got out and went to a victory parade, it was hard for them to walk because their legs had atrophied. (Thanks, Nazis! You guys were awesome!) We had an assignment to dress up as a character from a book, and this was who I picked. I think I limped? I remember someone else was Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia—which I hadn't read yet—and she totally ruined the ending by being all, "Hi, I'm Leslie. And I'm dead."

You can't really snark Anne Frank.

My report: The diary of Anne Frank, who lived in hiding during World War II. The story of how she left her home and lived with another family that she couldn't stand for years until they were discovered by the Nazis. How she never got along with her mother, always clinging to her father. How she fell in love. How her life changed.

I got a little Angela Chase with this one, didn't I? If Angela Chase were 11 and wrote only in fragments, that is.

Middle School Blues
Lou Kassem

Cindy = A Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael–era Winona Ryder?

My report: Cindy never wanted to start middle school. [Oh yeah. Staying in fifth grade for seven more years is a way better idea.] Right off, she makes two enemies, Miss Kilper and the pretty, popular Brandy Wine. Cindy's losing her best friend, Becca, to Brandy. Then Cindy's sisters, Grace & Ellen, move away to college. So Cindy makes a new friend, Margo. When her old friend, Jeff, disappears, Cindy takes charge. It's all up to her, can she sort out her life and survive middle school too?

Brandy Wine? Seriously? Like, do her parents want her to become a stripper? I like how this one ends with a question to accentuate its cliffhangerness. I don't know, CAN she survive middle school? (My money's on NO. I don't think she's making it out alive.)

And if you were like, "Hmmm, I really wish I could find out more about this Margo character who was haphazardly inserted into that synopsis," well, my friend, then today is your lucky day!

Secret Wishes
Lou Kassem

Screw cheerleading. Margo should have secretly wished for better hair.

My report: Margo's secret wish is to be a cheerleader, so her grandmother helps her lose weight and Margo helps her grandmother walk. Margo makes the squad! But her secret wish isn't what is seems. Brandy Wine is always using her, she's always busy, she has no time for her friends, and her cheerleading teacher is pushing for champions. Then Margo starts cheating for her fellow "sisters". Then Margo has to make a decision.

Want to be a cheerleader? All you need to do is lose weight and help your grandmother walk, apparently. Thanks for the tip, Lou Kassem! But beware: being a skinny cheerleader with a mobile grandma isn't all it's cracked up to be. Subtext: Brandy Wine will send you to the exotic dancer supply store and make you buy her new shoes for tonight's gig.

But I'll bet she reuses the cheerleading uniform.

Pets Are For Keeps

Virginia Vail
Animal Story

Look! The cover promises wacky animal hijinks!

My report: Val is working at Animal Inn, her father's animal hospital. It's a busy Saturday when her father gets a call saying "The Gray Ghost hurt his leg." The Gray Ghost is a champion horse jumper. His leg will heal, but he can never jump again - he's going blind! The Ghost's owner wants him put to sleep! Val won't stand for that. She's got an idea - she'll buy the Gray Ghost herself!

This would be a million times better if Val was ALSO going blind. And if Jake Ryan was somehow involved...

Right? RIGHT?

This next one I originally purchased at a school book fair for $1.95. Then a few months ago I re-bought it at Goodwill for $1.99. You heard me: a five-cent markup on a used book from 1985! About a frigging ghost in a reflective device! What crap!!! Goodwill, I love to hate you and hate to love you.

The Ghost in the Mirror

Marcia Krutchen

"Help! My mirror is possessed by the ghost of Nelly Oleson!"

The marketing team wrote:
What's wrong with Jenny Morgan? Why do strange things keep happening to her?

Jenny knows the old house her family moved into is different. She doesn't know why until she finds herself in danger. That's when she meets...

The GHOST in the Mirror
My report: Jenny has just moved and she doesn't like it. She faints and sees disappearing figures. She even hears voices. There is one nice thing, she finds a room that's perfect for her. Then she has a strange dream that helps her save her brother's life. One day she sees a ghost in the mirror, the ghost of her grandma, who helps her uncover her great-uncle's secret.
I loved this book because it involved creepiness and ghosts but nothing overly sinister. Here's a quick recap: Jenny's family inherits her great-uncle's house and moves to a Small Town That Shall Not Be Named (why, Marcia Kruchten, why?). She sees a ghost in the backyard and yet seems semi-possessed by the ghost at the same time. Like, she keeps humming this tune she's never heard before, knows how to work some old clock (I quote: "It's a shy little clock. If you bother it much, it won't run."), and knows just where everything should go in her new room, which was once her great-grandmother's. And she faints a few times. It doesn't really make sense.

Meanwhile, the dead uncle has left them a letter with this mysterious riddle:
Sunshine chases cloudy skies
Behind the face the treasure lies
Yes, he wills them something in riddle form. How obnoxious is that? After this, a prowler breaks into the house, and since there are only about four characters in the book outside of Jenny's immediate family, it's pretty obvious who it is.

Meanwhile, Jenny saves her brother from drowning during a Picnic Gone Wrong, all thanks to some dream she had the night before. So the ghost is also psychic? After the life-saving, Jenny is all feverish and some roses turn to slime and the prowler comes back trying to figure out which face the treasure might lie behind. The ghost (who is actually Jenny's great-grandma, not Nelly Oleson) alerts Jenny, scares away the prowler, and then breaks the mirror when Jenny is too stupid to realize that's where the treasure is. Then the "treasure" turns out to be bearer bonds, which according to Jenny's dad will not make them rich, but will be "enough to help out." BORING!

And the ghost was only in the mirror ONCE! But I guess The Ghost in the Backyard isn't that catchy of a title.

William Steig

I read this the same year that I read Anne Frank? Really?

My report: The sequel to CDB, another book full of puzzling letter phrases. A fun book to read and figure out. Packed full of silly, amusing sayings that will keep you looking for more.

Here's an example:

C D C ? = See the sea?
E-R I M ! = Here I am!
U F B-D I-S = You have beady eyes.

I'll bet you're looking for more already! The best part about this one is that I classified it as poetry. Although "U F B-D I-S"
is quite lyrical.

NEXT TIME: The trials and tribulations of Lauren Lowsky, 100% babysitter.

In the meantime, have you ever wondered what would happen if you crossed
Slumdog Millionaire with Transformers? (I mean, WHO HASN'T?) Then be sure to check out Worst of the Worst Fanfiction, the new blog of former guest author Michelle (of "Shorlock Homes the Cowgirl" fame). I think she may have taken snarking to a whole new level.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

P.S. Longer Letter Later

In fifth grade, my friends and I had many activities we enjoyed doing together: rating the boys in our class on various predetermined qualities; singing along to Paula Abdul; eating Cool Ranch Doritos; choreographing elaborate dance routines to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack; and, of course, creating fictional characters who would then engage in epistolary feuds. The former is what we'll be covering here.

I had tried coauthoring a book before with my friends Katie and Jessica. The plan was that each of us would write a paragraph, then hand it off to the next person. The problem? We never made it to page two. We did, however, write some preadolescent promo material:

Courtney used to think her life was great. She isn't popular and she isn't a total dweeb. Her and her best friend, Teri, have it made. And Courtney's boyfriend is the most popular boy in school. Then Courtney's parents are having a baby, and Courtney eavesdrops and discovers the fact that she's adopted and she knows that her parents don't want her. When her boyfriend dumps her, that's when she decides that life isn't fair. So she [wait for it...] runs away.

Of course she does! By the way, I think we may need to resurrect the word "dweeb."

For our next cowritten venture, Katie and I decided to simplify things. Our book would be a series of letters written by two friends who were having a much more interesting summer than we were. Plus, this would give us an excuse to utilize a four-color pen (Katie) and dot our i's with hearts (me).

But first we had to jot down a list of our respective four-color pen pals' vital statistics and favorite T.V. shows—this allowed us to make extraneous pop culture references and concoct zany hobbies that no real-life fifth grader would ever admit to being interested in. My character, Andrea Forleene, loved goats and Corey Haim.

Full name: Andrea Heather Forleene
D.O.B.: October 4, 1977
Sex: Female
Fav. Food: Chocolate cigars

Because everyone knows chocolate tastes better when it's shaped like a phallus. Mmm!

Fav. Colors: Black and hot pink
Fav. T.V. show: The Wonder Years
Fav. Animal: Goat
Fav. Song: I Saw Him Standing There Only In My Dreams
Fav. Actor: Cory Haim
Fav. Actress: Kristy Swanson

I was very impressed with her performance in Flowers in the Attic. And that movie where she narrowly escapes death by becoming a killer robot.

Fav. Singer(s): Debbie Gibson
Fav. Movie: Three Men And A Baby

Remember those rumors about how there was a ghost of a little boy in Three Men and a Baby—but it turned out some sloppy crew member just left a cardboard cutout of Ted Danson wearing a top hat and tuxedo in the scene? Lame!

Worst urban legend ever. It should at least be the ghost of Guttenberg!

Height: 4'8"
Weight: 79½
Family: dad - Christopher (41), mom - Stephanie (39), sister - Christina (16), sister - Brittany (14½), brother - Sean (12½), and me!! Andrea (10½)
Fav. Sport: Kickball
Hair Color: Brown wavy, shoulder-length
Eye Color: Brown

Are you ready for the hobbies? This is when we get into WTF territory.

Hobbies: Writing Letters, Singing, Riding Trains, Collecting fake flowers, making pyramids out of old pop cans, recycling, eating chocolate, collecting flashlights, wearing tons of jewelry, making my family members pissed.

Making pyramids out of old pop cans? Seriously? That's how Andrea spends her time? And I thought the flashlight collection was so genius, I actually reused it in another story. !!! Or perhaps you could say I "recycled" it, because recycling is one of my hobbies. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to catch a train to the fake flower shop. Right after I tell off my mom.

Katie's character was Leslie Nettles, a creative speller who belonged to organizations with unwieldy acronyms for names.

Full Name: Leslie Elizabeth Nettles
D.O.B.: July 7, 1977

Sex: Female

Favorite Food: Corean Chiken Balls

Neither Katie nor I had ever eaten a Korean chicken ball, but we HAD seen the movie Hello Again, starring Shelley Long as a woman who chokes to death on a Korean chicken ball only to be magically raised from the grave one year later by her woo-woo sister, Zelda. Unfortunately, Shelley Long does not come back as a zombie, but she does end up making out with Gabriel Byrne, so I guess that's cool too.

Favorite Color: Peach
Favorite T.V. Show: Miami Vice
Favorite Animal: Saint Bernardo

Saint Bernardo?

Do you get it? Do you get it?

You might if you realize that's Bernardo from West Side Story, and that's he's wearing a shoddily drawn halo. (Crap, jokes aren't funny if you have to explain them, are they?)

Favorite Song: Pour Some Sugar on Me
Favorite Singer(s): Def Leppard
Favorite Movie: [Blank]
Hieght: [Blank]
Wieght: [Blank]
Family Members: Mom: Frances (38), Dad Francis (39), Maria (7), Sandra (16), Marx (16), Alan (13)

We thought it would be beyond hilarious to have two parents with the same name. In retrospect, I think it would be better if their last name was Francis too. Also, MARX? What do we think? Are Frances and Francis commie pinkos or Marx Brothers fans? Or both?

Favorite Sport: Horse Back Riding, Water Skiing
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Hobbies: Basket Ball, Dancing, Acting, Bug Collecting, Pillow Case Collecting, Cooking, A.C.A.O.A.F.G.W., making my sister jealous, Water Skiing, Horse Back Riding, Listening to the OLDIES [do you think she sweats to them as well?], collecting podel skirts (Todd)

I know what you're thinking—that is, after you've gotten past the pillow case collection and the podel skirts (Todd, by the way, is not the name of one of the podels; he's Leslie's love interest, as you'll see shortly). What you're wondering is "What the hell is the A.C.A.O.A.F.G.W.?" The disturbing part is that IT DIDN'T TAKE ME THAT LONG TO FIGURE IT OUT. I'm pretty sure Leslie belongs to the Anti-Chauvinist Association of America for Girls and Women. And the protagonist from Life Isn't Fair was also a member! [Courtney Allison Sett also had a pet iguana named Igor (who she would totally fall for if she were an iguana!), her boyfriend was a georgiouse skater, and she had a weird habit of stating facts about herself aloud.] I'm not exactly sure what the A.C.A.O.A.F.G.W. did at their meetings, but I suspect it may have involved comparing men to farm animals.

Katie started off the letter writing. Her character had way more exciting vacation plans than mine did.

Dear Andrea,

Hi, how are you? I'm fine! How do you like being with your cousins all of the time? It gets really hot down here. You know Australia always get to be 90° everyday? Well, it's true! I miss my dog Duchess sooooooo much! Do you miss your house?

My grandparents, well, really my grandma can be such a NAG, with a capital N! There's one kangaroo who is hurt and is really tame who eats out of my hand. COOL, huh? I bet you could never get an animal to eat out of your hands!

Well, gotta go!

Chow-Chow, Taa

Your Friend
Leslie E. Nettles

Hello, and welcome to the portion of our story entitled Awesomely True Facts About Australia! As you probably know, the seasons Down Under are opposite those of the U.S. So when we are experiencing summer here, in Australia it's wintertime. What you may not know is that IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER, because it's always 90° in Australia, every single day! It's also a little-known fact that all Ozzies have wild kangaroos in their backyards. Kangaroos are kind of like the raccoons of Australia. Except they don't have opposable thumbs. And they like to be stroked when injured.

DearTO: Leslie Elizabeth Nettles,

For your information, ELIZABETH, my Aunt & Uncle and cousins live on a farm (SORT OF) here in Vermont. SO animals like goats and stuff eat RIGHT out of my hands. SO THERE! So chow yourself out!

Andrea Heather Forleene

P.S. Your grandma's right to NAG you!

In patented Sada style, my character goes totally frigging psycho after the smallest provocation. Also, I think there was some (unwritten) backstory about how Leslie hated her middle name, hence Andrea referring to her as Elizabeth in CRAZY CAPS™. However, I do enjoy "Chow yourself out!" as an insult. I like to think of it as a less-sophisticated version of "Why don't you take a long walk off a short pier?"—except I think it might involve overindulgence at the Old Country Buffet.

Dear Andrea,

Listen, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be a brat but I was just sooooo excited about the KANGAROO eating out of my hand. By the way, my grandmother does NOT have the right to nag me.

In your next letter, I hope you aren't mad at me! Gueese what? I met this really neat boy/guy? named Todd. He's got brown hair and green eyes! His grandmother lives down here too. He seems like he's pretty smart but I don't know.

Write Back Soon!

Chow-Chow, Taa

Your Friend,
Leslie E. Nettles

Well, I'm not surprised she doesn't know if Todd's smart. She can't even tell if he's a boy/guy!

Dear Leslie Patricia, [Because Patricia is a waaaay hipper name that Elizabeth.]

Well O.K. you're forgiven, just don't act so conceited! O.K. I guess you can't help it. [Ooh, BURN!] Tell me more about TODD! He sounds SUPER GREAT! No boys around here except for my dad, Sean, and my cousins Danny (10) and Aaron (5). Danny has a crush on me! MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD. Isn't that sick? I hope the KANGAROO feels better. O.K. so my other cousin is a girl and her name is Allison and she's 12 and we call her Allie.

Your friend, Andi

P.S. Write back soon.

Thankfully, all those Flowers in the Attic viewings haven't warp Andrea's ideas about what activities are appropriate to engage in with your own flesh and blood.

Dear Andrea,

Hi! Listen, I don't think Andi is such a good name, I mean it's just really not your style! Really, who gave you that name? Any way if you like it, Andi.

Sooo, you want to know more about MY Todd?
["MY" is actually underlined three times in three different colors, but I could only use one here.] You're probably thinking: "her Todd," huh? Well, he asked me to go to the BEACH with him! ALONE! Without any adults! COOL!

It really is gross about Danny! Listen is he cute? How's your aunt? My grandma is just great. Oh, my grandpa caught a 27 bl. fish. Gotta go

Chow-Chow, Taa
Your Friend,
Leslie, (Lesi)

More Awesomely True Facts About Australia: They don't actually use the metric system there. Instead, they use an obscure version the United States customary system in which everything is spelled backwards. That fish weighed 27 sdnuop!

Also, I'm not going to make a joke about Leslie's new nickname and Todd's questionable gender. I AM TAKING THE HIGH ROAD.

Dear Les,

Well, I don't think Lesi is the name for you. Les and Lesli would be O.K. I can't believe you asked if Danny was cute! I mean, he's only a child, besides you have "your Todd" remember. Anyway, O.K., what did you DO at the beach and I'm not being gross, Les. My cousin Allie is really cool and really nice! She took me to the mall yesterday and I got you a present. Wait and see what it is.

Your friend,
Hillary Diana

P.S. I'm changing my name to Hillary, OK?

If you've been paying attention, you may have noted that Andrea's wantin'-to-be-kissin' cousin is only six months younger than she is. An infant, clearly.

Dear Hillary,

You know I like that name! I think I'd like to meet Allie! She sounds cool! When I come back you have to take me to Vermont! Anyway, you have a sick mind! Todd and I went on a walk along the beach and then we went for a soda. Cool, huh!? Your right though, it was gross asking about Danny! I found out something you might be interested in! Todd has got a brother, TWin brother!

Write Soon

Chow-Chow, Taa


Nothing like a walk on the beach in winter. Good thing Australia is 90° year-round! I must say, though, I have my doubts about this intercontinental blind date scheme.

Dear Lesli,

You are right! Allie is cool! What's Todd's brother's name? And I don't have a sick mind!!! By the way, did you share a soda!?! O.K. I was only joking, Les. So when's the wedding? O.K. No more. I stopped. Allie is really nice! We went to the movies and she introduced me to Jeremy, this super-great seventh grader! My new name is Diane. Do you like that name? There are so many names. I hate the name "Andrea"!

Your friend,


I don't know why I had all these characters who were dissatisfied with their names. I've always been kind of fond of mine. I do, however, remember constantly coming up with nicknames for myself (for example, Biff) that never, ever stuck. I can't imagine why.

Dear Di,

I've got a new image! I've got a totally COOL new wardrobe. Todd has this cousin, Glory, who is really cool and she went shopping with me! I got a cool pink skirt with a yellow shirt. So COOL! Todd and I went to the movies and he, well, he sort of, well..., he, uh, he KISSED ME! Uggg! asked me to go to a party with him. Glory helped me pick out this cool dress too! It's just so cool! Oh, yeah, Brian, well, he wants to meet you! But, it's going to be sort of hard for you to meet, but I gave him your address!

Chow-Chow, Taa


And that's it. I mean, if Katie was going to RENEGE ON THE KISSING (the hell?!), where was this story going to go? Plus, she totally stole my getting-made-over-by-a-cool-cousin plotline. Godammit! How was I ever going to top the pink skirt and yellow shirt combo??? She set the coolness bar way too high.

NEXT TIME: Fifth grade book reports, a.k.a. an excuse for 11-year-old me to write some pretty terrible jacket copy.

Until then... Chow-Chow, Taa!