Friday, June 29, 2012

Special: Baby-Sitters Club All Grown Up! Mary Anne!

Are you ready for another edition of the Baby-Sitters Club, All Grown Up?? I am! :) It's time for Mary Anne, that super-organized, super-sensitive secretary, to step up into the limelight. I hope she doesn't freak and throw her shoe at me hah!

(click here for a closeup view & details)
(also, Grown Up MA is courtesy of a lovely blog called The Sew Weekly)

Mary Anne has finally grown out of her shyness and has learned to stand up for herself and speak out when she feels strongly about something. It probably started when she convinced her dad that she wasn't a 5 year old in pigtails anymore, but Mary Anne really grew a backbone when she finally kicked that loser Logan Bruno to the curb for good in high school. (More on him in his own AGU later on!) She is the librarian at Stoneybrook Elementary and boy, is she a multi-tasker. She heads multiple committees at the school, organizes annual book drives that far exceed all the previous years, and is a stickler for late or damaged book fees. Despite her "stern librarian" exterior, she is still quiet and sensitive with the kids and they love her for that. Plus, all her BSC training and Kid Kit assembling has given her a huge advantage in making reading fun and entertaining. And she credits Jenny Prezzioso for giving her the fortitude to deal with even the worst children.

Her love for the hit TV show, Glee, and all things Emma Pillsbury, has inspired Mary Anne to completely revamp her wardrobe in the past few years. She adores classic-cut dresses and skirts, neutral shoes and accessories, and of course, cardigans. Cardigans in every color of the rainbow, with ruffles, with bows, long sleeve, short sleeve, and everything in between. When Claudia saw her cardigan collection, she was a little shocked (and that's saying a lot!). But Mary Anne doesn't care. She has 2 vices that take her money: cardigans and toys for Tigger Jr. (Born out of wedlock between Tigger and the hairless kitty Logan's little sister finally got.)

Mary Anne has made so many trips to her beloved Big Apple (as she still insists on calling it) over the years that she now calls it a second home. She had plans to move there after school, but her dad fell ill and she couldn't bear to leave him in the care of that scatter-brained Sharon. Luckily, he recovered fully but she never made it to NYC permanently. She makes do with frequent trips up to see Stacey and Claudia (usually separately) and every Christmas break spends a week in the swankiest hotel she can afford. She also spends 2 weeks every summer vacation in sunny California with Dawn and her family. She always makes sure to pack extra anti-bacterial and some emergency beef jerky. Her new dream vacation is to go to London one day and people have started noticing the stacks of travel books on her desk and the distinct British theme in the library.

What about her love life, you ask? Well, Mary Anne is single and happy. She stayed with Logan off and on for many years and even gave him her "special gift" (first BSCer to get a boyfriend, first to lose her V-Card. Stacey was soooo pissed when she found out), but after she finally dumped him, she steered clear of guys well into her college years (which her father was very happy about, even though he didn't know about the "gift" thing). Her sophomore year of college, she randomly ran into Alex, her first love from Sea City and they started dating. This lasted 3 years but eventually they drifted apart and broke up. She still sends him cute little postcards with kittens and beach scenes on them occasionally. Mary Anne has casual dates every now and then, but like her father, she seems content to be single for the time being.

Whew...I had a lot to say about Ms Spier! I hope you enjoyed this 3rd installment of BSC All Grown Up; I do enjoy doing them. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

TILT: Crazy Bookshelves!

Yay! Back to Things I Love Thursday! :) you may or may not know, I have issues with bookshelves. Mine is old and rickety and exploding at the seams and overflowing onto my trunk and another shelf that I really want to get rid of. And yet, I haven't replaced it because it's really hard to find the perfect one! I'm sure I'll eventually want one custom built. But for now, let's enjoy these crazy bookshelves I found on Pinterest, k? Oooo-tay!!

Spiral Bookshelf: I think this would be awesome for my Baby-Sitters Club books, don't you? I'd probably need two or three and it to go around the outside too though lol.

Piano Books: What a great way to upcycle an old piano! I have a family friend who plays the piano that this would be perfect for! ;)

Under the Stairs: Even better than a cupboard under the stairs, how about some book storage?

Dr Who Phone Booth: Okay, I know nothing about Dr Who, except that there is a phone booth a lot of the time? Does he change costumes there? Travel back in time? Or maybe just store his books in there? I don't know, but this is cool!

(my apologies for not giving the original links; if you are the owner of one of these fabulous bookshelves/pictures and want credit or your pic removed, please contact me or comment below!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: "Baby-Sitters' Winter Vacation: The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #3"

2 out of 5 stars
Darn you, younger self, for stealing my Special Postcard from Ann M Martin inside!! It's time for another ridiculous premise for a BSC vacation special and it is a doozy. Stoneybrook Middle School is taking the ENTIRE SCHOOL (all 3 grades) to a ski lodge in Vermont for a week. Go back and read that sentence again, I'll wait. Is that not the most absurd thing you've ever heard or what?? So this special diary is going to be for Logan from Mary Anne, because he "has" to go with his parents to Aruba or something and she thinks that a 13 year old boy will just *love* a journal written by a bunch of girls. Okay.
The action at the beginning is probably the best part of this book. The Stoneybrook kids get to the lodge after a slightly harrowing drive up thru a snowstorm and barely get unpacked when two people come bursting into the lobby and collapse on the floor. We find out that they are chaperones for an elementary school trip and their bus crashed on the highway, injuring the bus driver pretty bad. The BSCers, of course, jump into action and volunteer to go along on the rescue and help keep the little kids calm. All the kids are okay, except for one obnoxious little girl named Pinky, who has a sprained ankle. Kristy offers the club to stay with the kids and be sort-of in charge of them, because the chaperones (is that spelling right? I can't figure it out) are mostly out of commission. And now on to the individual stories...

Mary Anne was so awful and soppy in this one, it was really pathetic. She kept trying to write all these love letters to Logan and daydreaming that he was meeting all these hot 8th graders in Aruba and holding hands with them and maybe more. Really Ann? You're getting a little risque there! You already had Mary Anne have a girl crush thing on the cruise ship, now you've got Logan doing it with some girl on the beach?! So between that and the "ghost mystery" at the lodge, Mary Anne is pretty preoccupied for most of the week.

The ski lodge holds Olympic-style games each winter, so you know Kristy is all over that with her bossy, sports-obsessed self. She's captain of the Red Team and she is so determined to win that she forces half the school to join, even clumsy Dawn who apparently has never seen or been on snow/ice. Kristy doesn't even realize she's turned into a sports Nazi until a boy breaks his ankle while competing.

It turns out Claudia is an awesome skier and is up against Kristy in the big race. I think it's because of her super awesome ski outfit I came up with for her. :) And yes, I know the Powerpuff Girls weren't around then, but how cute is that sweatshirt?! Claud takes some expert ski lessons from this hot French dude named Guy and she automatically thinks he has a crush on her because she's so freakin' hot herself. But it'll never work because he's married and has a kid and duh, she's only thirteen.  Oh and also, Kristy gets super pissed at Claud because C doesn't pick K's team as the winning ice sculpture. Even though K's kinda sucked and C has the "artist eye" or some junk.
(click here for details)

Stacey also falls in LUV with a boy named Pierre (what's with the French?) and makes out with him a bit, which Mallory spies on hoping to get some pointers. Come on Mallory, who's gonna want to kiss you with that unruly hair, glasses, freckles, and braces? (I kid, I kid) Stacey is pretty boring in this one. She doesn't even have any diabetic scares. Mallory and Dawn's stories are dullsville too. Mal goes back to her "Harriet the Spy" days from the cruise ship, claims she's only going to write down the truth, and immediately starts making up wacky stories about the chef trying to poison people, etc... Dawn is a total klutz in all the winter sports and gets really down about it, tries to complain to Mary Anne, who is too preoccupied writing smutty letters to Logan, they get in a fight, make-up, the end.

And finally, there's Jessi, who gets this book's "big lesson". (Didn't she get the "big lesson" in the last Super Special too?)  She is hosting and organizing the talent show and also keeping Pinky company while her ankle heals. Pinky is understandably Little Miss CrankyPants, what with her ankle and being away from her family after a frightening ordeal. But, somehow, Jessi takes her behaviour to mean that Pinky is racist and wants nothing to do with her. What?? She figures things out in the end and decides to have a conversation with her parents when she gets home about racism and seeing it when it's not there. (I think there's a term for that, but I can't think of it right now.) Also, Jessi gets to dance for her peers for the first time and is a raging success.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Did You Miss Me? I Missed You.

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone?? Lol...I apologize for the unexpected break, I really didn't mean to take off for a full month. But lots of things happened, including losing our sweet Fuzzy kitty unexpectedly, and I just didn't feel like writing for a while. :( Here she is in my sister's bright pink room, with a cute little bow on her head. <3

Okay...moving on! I have of course been reading still. I am at 47% of my reading goal for the year, which is good enough for me. You can check out my progress here if you are interested! I stopped reading the BSC books until I got my Super Special review done, which I am happy to say I did yesterday and it will be up tomorrow! I hope to have the 3rd BSC All Grown Up out Friday or Saturday too. :) So, now I have to get back to reading those. (I have the next "What Claudia Should Have Worn" already done and everything!)

I finished 1Q84 and enjoyed it immensely, while also being completely confused. I read my classic for June last week, Cannery Row, and loved it. I will have a review of it up early next week. I'm going to start The Fault In Our Stars finally for July's book club and am very excited for that. And I think I'm going to read Bitterblue for my work book after I finish The White Queen (which is just as good and trashy as any other Philippa Gregory book lol).

So that's where I am personal and book-wise. How about you? Anyone still out there? What are you reading, did read, looking forward to reading? Any suggestions for future classics? I have a couple on my to-read shelf, but I want to hear what you loved and think I should read too!

And I leave you with this silly little drawing that I found on Pinterest, which has been taking up waaaay too much of my time lately! (As always, follow me here & comment below for an invite!)