Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Moment with Kim: Actually, it's a Moment with Meghan and Half of TomKat

Alert Reader Meghan sent me a couple of pictures that I think you'll find very interesting.This is a great cover. Kristy is truly paving some new fashion ground, Stacey is sporting some serious Mom Jeans, Mary Anne is actually wearing jean shorts that say I ♥ New York, and, uh . . . Dawn continues her embrace of the Texas Tuxedo. Mallory is trying the best she can, I suppose. I'm not even touching Jessi's attire. Done.

I think Claud is wearing oxfords, but it's kind of hard to tell, even on the actual book cover. She's got the signature side ponytail (red scrunchie). I feel like she's lowering herself by wearing the same shirt as Stacey "Mom Jeans" McGill, but I guess 13 year old girls do those things. Overall, it's an okay outfit - there's lots of jewelry involved, a plus in my book.

(oh, and "they're not sleeping until they see all of it"? What sort of time crunch are these girls on here? Ambitious, ladies. Real ambitious.)

And here's Katie Holmes and her broken spirit. Rocking a similar pair of cuffed denim shorts over black tights.

Meghan (who is in a band named Claudia and the Kishis, which is obviously the best band name ever) thought this outfit was missing a pair of lightbulb earrings.

I don't really know how to interpret this combination of items. I'm usually all about heels but they're kind of throwing everything off for me. And the stirrup tights certainly aren't helping. I don't care for the scarf either. I mean, it's a gray rectangle. Try again.

Presented with this scarf, Claudia would have looked up traditional Native American designs and beaded her way to greatness -- on a salary of $4 per hour.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

#57: Dawn Saves the Planet

I can say - without hyperbole - that this is the greatest book in the history of the world.

Okay, maybe there is a tiny bit of hyperbole in that statement. But the ghostwriters really went to town here. Fashion! Self-righteousness! Minimal amounts of child involvement! Maximum amounts of the babysitters getting pissy*! Earrings made from paper clips!

Who could ask for more, really. So let's get right down to it, ladies and SO@24**.

"Mary Anne is sort of preppie when it comes to clothes. She wears pleated wool skirts and neat white blouses, stuff like that, while I have my own style of dress that my friends in the BSC call California Casual."

Oh, we know. Also, thanks to the prevalence of Gossip Girl in pop culture (I am thisclose to getting a straight male into the show, which I will count among my greatest life achievements), I can't even read the above sentence without picturing this. Blair Waldorf, why so fierce? Although she is about 63% less fierce this season, due to the fact that she cries, oh, 15 times per episode. (Have I talked about this before? I think I have, but whatever.) I mean, sure, I'd be sad too if I told Chuck Bass I loved him and he was basically like, "oh. Well, I love whiskey. Peace." but then I would remember that I was Blair Waldorf and I could buy all the Fryes in the world. (I would start with these. And these. . . . and these.) Duh. Suck it up, Waldorf!

"It's not hard to spot Claud. She dresses in ultra bright colors [M. M. I. I. A. A. M.I.A.] that look great with her jet black hair. She likes to wear outrageous earrings and hair ornaments that she makes herself."

We love her, Dawn. You, not so much. And where's the outfit description? Lame. Ghostwriter makes up for it with the following exchange, however:

"'Guess what?' I announced as I placed my lunch next to Claudia's. 'I'm going to save the planet.' [Ahh, the foolish optimism of youth.]

Claudia just blinked her dark eyes at me and said, 'It's about time.'"


But then Ghostwriter angers me with some straight-up blasphemy: "Of all of us, I'd say Stacey is the coolest dresser." Oh would you, Schafer? That's it, you're out of the club.

And listen to this outfit. "Today [Stacey] was wearing floral leggings, a pink shirt with big sleeves [uh, okay], and a long vest covered in antique pins. A black fedora with a red cloth rose was perched on top of her shoulder length hair." Would Stacey really wear this? Come on! That is some Blossom territory right there.

Fun fact: Dawn wants us to know that "list-making always helps [her] decide about important issues", including who she's going to invite to a dance or what outfit she's going to wear for the first day of school.

I see.

Dawn irritates the shit out of everyone in this book and manages to alienate the entire middle school. She scolds Claudia for eating candy that's individually wrapped and Claudia just sarcastically salutes her, because Claudia is too fierce for Dawn's save-the-planet schtick. She's also probably still distracted by her dough earrings.

Really! Dough earrings! She plans to paint them and cover them in shellac!

"Leave it to Claudia to think of something clever like that. [Word.] Peering through the oven door, I could see little bits of dough shaped into dogs and cats."

I would shape them into peace signs.

Oh, and remember when I promised you crazy earrings? I couldn't have dreamed up anything better than this, even at my most caffeinated: paper clips, sequins, and ribbons.

She is so awesome.

* Stacey basically threatens to disown Dawn, to which I say: what took so long?
** Shout outs are how I roll.

Finalmente, shameless semi-selfish promotion time! My dear friend Courtney Summers' debut young adult novel, Cracked Up to Be, is in stores now. If the excerpt isn't enough to make you want to read it, perhaps you should know that the "Kim H." in the acknowledgments is THIS Kim H.! Yes, I have a last initial! Your world has been rocked!

(This entry has been brought to you by exclamation points, in case you couldn't tell. What can I say, I got a snake bracelet for Christmas and I'm still pretty psyched about it. Be jealous.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Moment with Kim: Trying to out-Claudia Claudia & Gettin' Misty

Hey, wanna look at my jewelry?

(This totally counts as an entry. )

Maybe if I'm feeling magnanimous I'll include some actual BSC-related content towards the end [POST ENTRY EDIT: Don't get excited, this doesn't happen], but - honestly - this is just penance for teasing you with updates and then returning to Negligent Blogger status. I have some work to do at the library tonight, so I should probably just admit to myself now that my workstyle is 50% productivity/50% playing around on the internet and bring #63: Claudia's Freind Friend with me. You will thank me later, Claudia even takes a moment to tell us her "closet rules." They include not wearing the same outfit twice, which I'm wondering how she manages on a babysitter's budget. Then again, I have spent the latter half of this year trapped inside a fashion spin cycle of LONG CARDIGANS ONLY PLEASE (bonus points for drape/scarf cardigans) and hence have not been all that creative with my rotation.

Do you guys do this, too? I mean, I have a closet and dresser full of clothes, but I'm only interested in wearing, oh, about 10 items. And then I get frustrated and donate bags of stuff to the Salvation Army and feel all self-satisfied ("around here our ambition throws a non-perishable item in a donation bin at Christmas / and it pats itself on the fucking back because it thinks it's done something decent" - Matthew Good, 21st Century Living) and THEN about two months later get all pissy at myself for donating the sweater that now I feel like I need desperately and can't live without.

Wait. We were talking jewelry, weren't we.

I mentioned that I am slowly morphing into Stacey McGill and will shortly leave the Babysitters Club to shoplift from Bellair's and get drunk at U4Me concerts. So why not try to redeem myself by showing you some rings and necklaces that are not tasteful, elegant, and totally New York Sophisticate? Also, I've recently "written" a Mental Entry (even though I am a Negligent Blogger, I do compose Mental Entries and then tend to forget their sheer genius by the time I am actually in front of a computer) ENTIRELY ABOUT SNAKE BRACELETS. Wait for it. It's gonna be legendary*.

I've also mentioned that I am a pretty predictable dresser these days. I mean, the jeans have always been predictable, although I am slowly filtering in some widelegs and flares (flares! I know!), because there are only so many days a week (11, by my count) that you can wear skinny jeans. But yeah, the cardigans. Oh, the cardigans, I love them so. At any rate, I redeem myself (at least, TO myself) by making sure that my shoes and jewelry, more often than not, is a little bit out there.

Of course, you may look at this stuff and be like "pssh. Where are the pipe cleaners? Where are the dollhouse chairs converted into earrings? Why do you only have one set of holes in your ears? Where are the telephone cord bracelets, for fuck's sake?" To that I say: whatever.
I'm not going to bother going through piece by piece and telling you origins and why this particular ring/necklace/set of earrings reflects the unique intricacies of my very soul (but they all do, trust me), because I understand that you probably don't really care that much. Instead I'll just drop a note or two.

Above we have my earrings. My collection is pretty small because there was about a decade in which I gave up on wearing earrings because my ears were so damn sensitive. I'm not sure if I'm getting more xhardcorex with age, but suddenly they don't really give me issues anymore. So I'm gleefully dangling miniature baskets of fruit and whatnot. My favorites are the beaded hoops & the silver feathers. And yeah, the cranberry-colored pendant earrings DO say peace around the edges and feature a heart/peace sign on the backsides. What of it? I am embracing my inner Dawn Schafer. And my pseudo-bohemian image involves jewelry featuring peace signs. I really want these earrings, but they're massively heavy and the catch is extremely difficult to work with. But they're fierce, right?Oh, rings. The bigger the better. Most of these are Forever 21 (I know, I know) and of the highest quality; they turn my fingers green within about two seconds of putting them on. But whatever, they're huge and tacky and that's a win in my book. I salivate over cocktail rings on eBay and etsy (I mean, LOOK at THIS) all the time. It is a huge gripe of mine that Target never thinks about the small-fingered people of the world: they always have fun rings which they only produce in sizes 7 and 8, which certainly does not help ME. Sigh.
Necklaces, my true love. Unfortunately, I got bored/didn't manage to get good pictures (I didn't photograph my bracelets, either), so maybe I'll try again another time. I would actually like to go through my necklaces piece by piece, because I have some very interesting vintage ones & I consider my taste in mass-produced pieces pretty awesome as well. Check out that peace sign necklace! It is the height of California Casual. No, just kidding, California Casual is SO CASUAL that it doesn't even involve jewelry. Just really baggy shit that sounds horribly unflattering.
Finally, before I stop torturing you with my jewelry collection, this is one of my favorite vintage pieces. Super long chain, antique gold finish, badass elephant head - what's not to love?

Okay, what's the verdict? Stacey or Claudia? (Please god, not Stacey.) Also, I will not apologize for the bad photography, because I cannot possibly convey what a piece of crap my camera - particularly the macro setting - is and I refuse to use flash because I HATE flash photography.

. . . . .

So, let's address "Gettin' Misty." The year's almost over and I can't tell you guys how fun you've made this project. I've said it before - probably 100 times over at this point - that I am absolutely flabbergasted at how well-received my silly little blog is (my inner journalism major dislikes this sentence structure, but my outer lazy blogger is like "dude, move on"). I am not very good at letting you guys know how much I appreciate you reading & linking & commenting & thinking I am funny (it's gotten hard for me to get my head through doorways), but DAMN KIDS! You make me smile.

Sometimes I think about what I will do with myself when[/if] I try to get one of those professional-type jobs I keep hearing so much about (apparently there are dress codes involved; Claudia does not approve). I bet they would not allow me to use so many parenthesis in my company memos. But I LOVE parenthesis! How could I compromise my parenthetical integrity for the sake of a soul-sucking corporate job in which I would probably be discouraged from wearing my Reese t-straps on the grounds that they look vaguely like the type of footwear you'd see on a 1970s streetwalker?

Here is how the job interview would go:

Interviewer: "So, tell me a little bit about your hobbies." [Yes, in my imaginary job interview, they ask about my hobbies. And then we play cat's cradle.]
Me: "Oh, man, I have been WAITING for this! I am so prepared, you're going to be impressed like woah. So, I have this blog, right? But it's not a normal blog, because I am not really that interesting [Ego: yes I am], even though I force them to read inane ramblings all the time that have nothing to do with anything, really. That doesn't mean I'm not a focused and determined individual, sir. Anyway, this blog is about the Babysitters Club. Did you read those books? Probably not, you're a little too old - sorry, sir - and most guys didn't anyway except for SO@24 and that hardly counts because he's really cool - I mean, boys who write are totally hot, seriously - not like one of those regular guys you see in the UMass sweatshirts who are too busy stocking up on Coors Light to appreciate the high class and culture of re-reading books that were below your grade level when you were six. But I digress! I do that a lot, but trust me sir I am VERY FOCUSED. So it's, like, a fashion blog kinda, and to sum up it's really great and I often use it to poke fun at American Apparel. Although technically I DO link to their items so I guess you COULD say that there's a minute possibility that I'm actually influencing a purchase**. I mean, yeah, you got me, I own three of those acid wash deep v tees. But I got them on eBay for a fraction of the price! I don't support Dov Charney, sir. Have you read about him? He is such a perv, really. I mean, just look at the photoshoots; those girls have clearly been drugged. Why are they so eager to show off their vaginas? Am I just a prude? Are you allowed to say 'vagina' in a job interview? Anyway, those shirts are intense. I read the reviews and everyone's like 'these shirts are hard to wear with a bra' but I'm like, how could you NOT wear them with a bra? They are dangerous low. But they are really flattering and even manage to make a flat-chested young lady like myself - I saw you noticing, sir, and I hope this isn't a factor in your hiring decision, that secretary out front was pretty, uh, chesty - look fairly, um, let's just say chesty again, but there does have to be underwire involved. And sometimes padding."
Interviewer: " . . . "
Me: "So! Did I get the job?"

* Mildly entertaining.
Doubtful. I mean, I do consider myself to be an arbiter of taste. But not that arbit-y.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mystery #4: Kristy and the Missing Child

What's up, guys. Negligent Blogger here.

I am really sick. But I'm thinking that "really sick" might somehow translate into "really funny," (probably also "really incoherent") because it's the kind of sick that makes you wonder if someone secretly dosed you. Seriously.

I mean, yeah, I feel like crap - I have a fever and my joints hurt and I would murder fluffy kittens for a decent backrub and my eyeballs are really hot (this is my default "I'm sick" complaint: "My eyeballs are hot! The world is ending! No one has ever suffered worse than this! Ever!") - but I am also so disoriented that I feel like I'm about to suffer a disgusting, drug-induced fate like you'd see in one of those cracked-out Spun/Requiem for a Dream/Party Monster/Human Traffic/etc*. type flicks.

Like, I feel like I'm swimming in air and it takes me approximately 3 minutes after you say something for me to process it and come up with a semi-coherent response (emphasis on semi), and ALSO my equilibrium is kinda off (meaning that it was maybe not the right day to wear these shoes). So, to whomever snuck into my apartment and drugged my oatmeal: VERY FUNNY. You'll get yours.

Right. Babysitters Club. I'm all over it.

So, Kristy lost a kid. What a shit babysitter. Let's all band together and draft a petition to throw her out of the club and therefore have Our Heroine take over the all-important Club President position. Because I could see some awesome changes being made, such as less babysitting and more shopping. Seriously, Baby Kim was always SO excited whenever the babysitters went to the mall. If the army of ghostwriters had asked my opinion, a new item would have been added to the book-writing template: "every book must include a chapter where the girls go malling." Or mauling. Either would have been entertaining.

Alright, technically she didn't lose the kid. Technically, Jake Kuhn's mom told him it was okay for him to walk home by himself. Unfortunately, Jake Kuhn's mom didn't realize he was a moron who would wander into construction sites in the rain (safe!) and then fall into a hole and - naturally - break his leg, leaving him stranded and alone. And apparently Jake Kuhn's mom isn't one of those Cool Moms** who gives her kid a cellphone for, like, their 3rd birthday. Dina Lohan's children would have never had this problem.

Um, fashion. Yeah. Thanks for staying with me. Ghostwriter was feeling lazy; we don't get a full outfit in Chapter 2. However, Ghostwriter does give us one item to contemplate: "gold lamé high-tops." Which, if I know Claudia, she definitely pairs with silver lamé shiny leggings and, uh, this shirt. The future is NOW, and it is GAUDY.

I guess Stoneybrook Middle School holds some kind of awards night that is basically equivalent to senior superlatives. I don't know, it sounds dumb to me, but maybe I'm just bitter because I didn't get a senior superlative. If only they'd had a "Most Likely to Play Daria Morgendorffer in a Major Motion Picture Adaptation" category! I would have been a shoe-in. Believe it or not, I'm getting less bitter with age.

Anyway, Stacey tells Claud "I'd love to win 'Coolest Dresser,' but I bet you'll get that one." Man, there are so many things I can say to this. So many things. But maybe I better get it out there that I have somehow morphed into Stacey McGill and I kind of hate myself for it. Seriously, I wear black all the time now. I go shopping, and I wander into the dressing room, and every item I'm trying on is black. I look in my closet and I'm like "this red sweater is nice! . . . but I think I feel like wearing black today." I am embracing my inner Sophisticated New Yorker and it is very cliche and embarrassing. Whatever, at least I don't consider Bloomingdales to be the fashion capital of the world. Nor do I pin sparkly dinosaurs to my berets. But watch for it, because when I start doing so we may need to have a serious talk.

So, back to Stacey's comment: BITCH PLEASE. Your MTV-watching, Madonna-style-swiping, Sassy-reading, no-individuality, bizarrely business-casual-wearing (what's with all the slacks?) style can't even begin to compete with the queen of snake bracelets, bungee cord belts, puffy shirts, velour knickers, and teddy bear barrettes.

Ghostwriter doesn't bother telling us who DOES win "Coolest Dresser," (dammit Ghostwriter) but I think we all know.

What Claudia & Stacey wore to Awards Night: (warning: lackluster outfits ahead) Claudia: "some kind of black jumpsuit-thing with a wide red belt" (I HATE wide 80s belts, I HATE extraneous belting, I HATE waist belts, HATE) & Stacey: "tie-dyed leggings and a short dress that was kind of also like a man's shirt."

Meh. Maybe they should just give Coolest Dresser to Cokie Mason and be done with it. That girl was SASSY.

Oh, and several years later Jake's skeleton was uncovered when the homeowners tore apart their foundation in the process of rebuilding the basement. Sad. If only Kristy hadn't let him walk home alone.***

* I had a phase where I really, really loved movies about (or revolving around) . . . well, drugs. Now I can't even think about Requiem for a Dream without weeping a little. Honestly, I still cry at the end of SLC Punk. I am a total pansy. But a pansy with great footwear.
** The fact that I youtube'd "cool mom amy poehler" and did not find a single relevant Mean Girls clip makes me extremely sad, so to make up for it here's a fabulous clip of Amy & Will Arnett in Arrested Development. You're welcome.
*** Wouldn't that have been great? Or am I just really sadistic?