Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #33: Hearts for Old Farts

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

You know what we don’t do anymore? Watch a movie just because an actor or actress we like is in it. I can’t think of a single person whom I would consider my favorite actor. There are definitely actors whom I would never want to watch in a movie ever (*cough*Louie CK*cough*), but there isn’t a single actor I would watch no matter what they were in. There are actors I like, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, other people not named Chris. But the ’90s were a different time – we had favorite actors.

This is all to justify the random name I entered when the game asked me who my favorite actress is.

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Did I enter that Amy Poehler is my favorite actress? Yes. Would I watch anything she’s in? Baby Mama proved that the answer is no. Although, I like Abby’s idea – I should have put down Lisa Simpson. Or, more accurately if we talking about fictional characters on animated television shows, Tina Belcher.

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How big are we talking? As big as the map that the kids of Stoneybrook made for Stacey when she moved back to New York? I don’t care how blind the elderly are, that’s just too big.

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Yep, you wasted bandwidth on this .jpg.

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No, I have chocolate and Edible Arrangement related plans for Valentine’s Day. At least, I do if my partner knows what’s good for him.

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That’s actually surprising, Kristy. For me, it’s Halloween. It’s the only time I can easily get Halloween decorations. Or, as I call them, decorations. If I could, I’d have a spooky tree ghost over a graveyard of zombies all year round, but the “city” thinks that it’s “inappropriate” to have bloody body “parts” in the middle of “July.”

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #30: The Late One

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

It was bound to happen eventually, folks! I forgot to do this on Tuesday, so it’s late. So let’s get this started with a letter from Jessi.

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Controversial opinion, I know. I don’t care much for Italian food. There are too many carbohydrates and I’m always hungry two hours later.

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Cool story, Kristy? Like, do I need to know this? Is it still down there? Isn’t it your job, as the babysitter, to fix the toilet?

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Uniforms are fine. Ask me this question when I was twelve and I’d probably call this fascism, completely ignoring the fact that uniforms help reduce school violence and come with many other benefits. Maybe not for high school, but middle schoolers should absolutely have uniforms. They’re monsters.

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First of all, you can’t “say whatever you want.” And there are other ways of expressing yourself. Clothes are great and all, but calm down. You’re in middle school. You’re not making a statement on the Senate floor. Y’all could do with some uniforms.

On a side note, I wonder why everyone was so concerned with school uniforms when I was a kid. It was, like, the biggest threat to our expression. I conjecture that it was a concern of the white, male Baby Boomers who wrote these stories and games. School uniforms were their biggest concern because their economy was bustling, they could go to school without putting themselves in tremendous debt, they weren’t getting shot during health class, and healthcare was a buck a month. Of course school uniforms would be a concern – they had no other concerns.

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That’s very close-minded of you, Mallory.

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #27: What Happened to Jessi?

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping that 2019 is better than 2018!

Let’s see what the BSC has been up to this week.

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Mary Anne is crying while forgetting the title of the utterly ubiquitous It’s a Wonderful Life, that’s on trend.

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The BSC is going to have BSC Night Camp instead of telling some parents that they just can’t go the New Years’ Eve Stoneybrook Orgy. Yes, yes, the usual.

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And we get to learn about Kwanzaa . . . from Claudia? Why did they leave the cultural education to the least educated member of the BSC? Why couldn’t Jessi just tell me about Kwanzaa? Why did it have to be the only other POC in Stoneybrook?

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Cool Year-In-Review, Kristy, but what happened to Jessi?

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You say you’re her best friend, Mallory, but you are a part of this cover-up! I will not rest until Jessi Ramsey is found or there’s a podcast about her disappearance. I will have an answer!

Or I’ll drop it next week when Jessi has an entry about snow or school lunches. See you then!

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #26: Sweet Camp Moolah

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I’m writing this on December 25th itself and I hope you’re having as great a day as me!

This week, Mallory Pike sent me a letter.

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One of the questions in my profile is “Do you share a room?” Since I technically share a room with my partner, I chose “No.” However, I think this means something different to Mallory.

Meanwhile, at Camp Snowflake, the kids are getting a little rambunctious.

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What do you mean “fortunately,” Mallory? The kids were attacking each other and their food, but it started snowing, so everything’s okay? That doesn’t make any sense. If you want to be a writer, you should really think about your adverbs.

Also, the weather here was rainy, and I liked it very much. Thank you for asking.

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You guys should really think about not doing a camp all the time. Summer Camp. Spring Break Camp. Winter Break Camp. Camp Camp. God, you’d think some Camp Corporation would move into Stoneybrook with all this opportunity for camp profits. Camps are money making schemes, right? Like, the people who run the camps are just flush with cash? The most camp experience I have is with the movie Sleepaway Camp and Mel really wanted that sweet camp moolah and that’s why he wouldn’t shut it down after the first attack.

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I don’t know, Abby. All the money in the world? I’d be a super villain. I guess I’d have to pour it all into impenetrable fortresses and minions. And diabolical schemes. “You’ll never catch me, Baby-Sitting Brats! My doomsday machine will trigger before you can get the shutdown sequence! Mwa hahahahahahaha!”

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #24: Vice-President Search

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

It’s finals week for me but not for the BSC, apparently! For them, it’s holiday card time.

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Looks like Abby is vying for vice-president again, trying to edge out Claudia. But you know what? I think Claudia doesn’t spend enough time on her studies, so maybe Abby should take over vice-presidential duties.

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If they only had five clients, then a holiday photo would make sense. However, the BSC has, like, twenty or so charges. You try to wrangle twenty kids for one picture. I don’t think that’s a good idea, Abby. Now I see why you should be vice-president, either. Mallory’s idea is actually do-able. Maybe she should be the new vice-president.

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Remember when we didn’t all have computers in our purses? Before we all had personal laptops? When there was one computer in the kitchen? And you had a sign-up sheet for computer time next to it? And you had an Epson printer that printed one line three times every five seconds so it took a full ten minutes to print one chapter of your Final Fantasy VIII fanfic? Those were the days.

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #23: Grades

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

With Thanksgiving gone, let’s check in on what the BSC did.

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Okay, how the hell did a toddler sit on a pie and everyone just let him? You’re not telling us the whole story here, Jessi. I wonder if the story makes them look bad. You know. A whole house filled with baby-sitters allowing a baby to do something he’s not supposed to. Maybe it makes them look like they’re, at best, inattentive, or, at worst, negligent. You’re hiding something, Jessi, and Bob Woodward and I are going to find out what it is.

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We had our first snowfall in Reno and I wanted to go to southern California. I’m with you, Dawn.

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Claudia needs to stop comparing herself to her sister. And maybe she should spend less time on art. Now hear me out, stop throwing things. You can’t get into a good art school if you can’t get past middle school. I don’t want to grade shame you, but it does seem like a fixable problem. You at least got a 60 if you got a D, so there is some room to improve. Just saying. And if you don’t stop throwing paint on me, you won’t have enough to paint a life-size replica of the BSC, or whatever you do. I’m not a painter, I don’t know what to do with paint.

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Cool story, Kristy, but I think they would stop him from “coming up and swinging” if he didn’t have many home runs. The moral of the story should be that you should make up for your shortcoming by being better in something else. Claudia doesn’t have that problem. Her problem is that she keeps comparing herself to her sister and criticizing Janine when all Janine wants to do is help her. (See: Claudia and Mean Janine. I’ll get around to writing it someday.)

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #20: Animals and Thanksgiving

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

It’s been a tough day, but I’m here to update you on the BSC. And, luckily, it was a short week the BSC, too.

Cool thinking, Mary Anne. I think it’s a great idea. What about the rest of you guys?

Okay, Stacey, but we were talking about a food drive. Also, I’m pretty sure this little story indicates that Charlotte Johanssen doesn’t understand what “luck” is. It is not finding a dog at an animal shelter. There are many great animals in shelters. It would be lucky if you found an exact replica of your childhood puppy who ran into traffic. Sorry to bring it down – it hasn’t been a great day.

It’s not a bad idea, but how will we be sure that people won’t misinterpret the animal drive and think it’s for adopting animals for Thanksgiving dinner. I wouldn’t have considered this scenario in 2015, but we live in a new world where we have to explicitly state that Nazis are bad and maybe we should consider counting every vote cast in an election.

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #18: A Spooky Idea

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

Oh, it’s an exciting one this week! It started with a letter from Kristy.

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Anchovies are fine, and Chinese food is great. Cool letter, Kristy. Thanks for writing.

Now let’s get to Stacey’s idea. What is is going to be, Stace?

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A . . . Halloween . . . Comedy . . . Club? Seriously? Who the fuck is going to book this? You guys going to have a two-drink minimum? If Jackie Radowsky starts heckling Mallory, is Kristy going to come in and throw him out?

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Excuse me? You guys are the ones who came up with this idea, why are you making me do all the work? I think all the kids should just Trick-or-Treat and then get stomach aches and nightmares from too much sugar. This is your mess, don’t drag me into it.

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Why, my favorite comedy stars are the members of the BSC! White boy comedians who have never told jokes in front of an audience will be there! This Comedy Club is shaping up to be a Halloween Treat! Can I stop making decorations now? Also, why isn’t she the Master of Scare-imonies? I have to carve pumpkins now? I shouldn’t have said anything.

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Guys? Excuse me? By “guys” do you mean me and my good friends construction paper and scissors, because I didn’t see any of you chuckle-fucks cutting anything between your jokes.

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Meanwhile, I’ve had to turn away twenty-one comedians who keep asking if they can get a tight five at that Halloween Barn Show while y’all are chatting it up with daycare directors. Yes, what do you need? No, a guy who calls himself Davie Entendre will certainly not get a spot.

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Great jokes. Hey, Abby, I’m having trouble finding a giant inflatable ghost for, how much did you want to pay? Yes, um, I can’t find a giant inflatable ghost for twenty dollars. The cheapest? Yeah, something of that size is going to run us close to $200. No, I can’t make one. Oh, hold on, I have five more e-mails asking if it’s a paying show.

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Can Mrs. Hobart make a likeness of Frankenstein out of pipe cleaners and glue? Then she’s of no use to me.

Rereading My Childhood – A Year With the BSC #17: Haunted House Explanation With My Dad

A Year With the BSC is an informal series wherein I explore the 1990’s CD-ROM video game The Baby-sitters Club Friendship Kit. The game is more of a personal organizer; it features with a calendar, an address book, a stationary kit, a flyer maker, and a personality profile. I’m focusing on the more interesting aspect of the game: the personalized letters and the journal entries. The full list of entries can be found at rereadingmychildhood.com.

I don’t normally post the “front page” of the BSC Friendship Kit, but Kristy’s advice seemed . . . strange.

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“Inside and out?” I must be unfamiliar with these magnifying glasses that enable you to see the “inside” of things, like the aforementioned bugs. Maybe Kristy shouldn’t let her babysitting charges look inside bugs, just a thought.

We have the results of Mary Anne and Hannie’s costume conundrum.

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My mother is a gifted crafter and she made most of my costumes. However, the last year I trick-or-treated (I was twelve), I put on black pants, a black sweater, and I painted my face white with a trickle of red down the side of my mouth. When people asked if I was a vampire, which would be a perfectly reasonable thing to think I was, I insisted I was a “bloodsucker.” I think its a vampire without getting the teeth or the dope outfits. I was just a crazy person who bit people, really.

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Why couldn’t the BSC have a haunted house? You could make it kid-friendly. My elementary school once had a kid-friendly haunted house. It was fine but my dad went in with me and spent the whole time explaining the gags. “You see, there are two people in that couch. One is poking out the top and he screams while another person sticks his legs out and moves them around.” Dad, I did not know that but could you do this after we leave the haunted house and not in front of the actors? We’re holding up the line.

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Got that right, Jessi.

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You heard her, guys. For some reason, she can’t just tell us. We have to wait until next time. What will her idea be? A haunted baby-sitting session? A baby-sitting session inside a haunted house they have no affiliation with? A boycott of the SMS Haunted House on the grounds it promotes Satanism? Find out next time, on A Year With the BSC!

Rereading My Childhood: A Year With the BSC #15: Let Women Live, Dammit!

It’s been a few weeks. The computer I use to run the software was out of commission. Is the BSC the same? Do they still have their funny ways? Is Mary Anne still a crybaby? Or has she grown up a little? What about Kristy? How is our favorite president? And Claudia! Has she grown a little? Decided to buckle down and study? Has she worked on her spelling?

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Of course she hasn’t. And Abby is there to don her “Abbysplaining” cap.

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That’s not helpful, Abby. You just look like a jerk.

Meanwhile, Jessi has some legitimate concerns about the test.

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Not really, since I’m past the standardized testing phase of my life. I did worry about passing my math class a few semesters ago. If you didn’t get at least a C on the final, you couldn’t pass, even if you had 100% in the class up until that point. My school is serious about math, I guess.

Kristy also did a thing.

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Oh, Kristy, you did what every woman has done: laughed at a dumb boy’s joke so you don’t make him feel bad. Welcome to womanhood, where if you don’t laugh at a man’s joke, he’ll take it as an attack. This wasn’t a good few weeks for women. (Remember to vote!)

The BSC has a new problem! This time, it’s Suzi Barrett.

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You know what? You shouldn’t do anything. Let the girl live, dammit. She’s only got a few more years of blissful ignorance, let her wallow in it. And while I’m at it, would everyone just let woman live? Like, in general? Just let us hang out with our friends and drink in peace. Stop it with the death threats. And the assaulting. Especially the assaulting. Just let women live, dammit.

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Yeah, but we all have to grow up someday. Whether it’s when you buy your first bra or the first gross dude shouts at you on the street, we all have to grow up.

Until then, let Suzi wear her Halloween costume. Hannie Papadakis can say she’s too grown up for Halloween, and that’s okay. Let her pretend to be too grown up for the best holiday of the year. (It’s true, don’t @ me.) Let the BSC worry about standardized testing. I do think Claudia should improve her spelling, though. That just seems useful. It’s very useful when you want to read a voting ballot.