Friday, 30 May 2008

From the Trenches


Guess who has spent $150 this week on gas? This girl!

Seriously, though, I've been driving back and forth from my life and a "family" "situation" which is why the Collective schedule has been all fucked up. Sorryz. My "family" "situation" isn't something that is emotional for me, but it does involve dealing with a lot of emotional people and I've lost count of the glasses of wine I've had this week. For example, I know I've had at least four Thursday night because that's how many I counted and THEN these AWESOME people I am related to kept refilling my glass. (White wine, for those counting. I don't know which kind because I kept mixing them which is APPARENTLY a crime, but whatevs, I'm 23, I'm immune to alcohol-related crimes.)

Speaking of people I'm related to:

I have one sibling. His name is Jeremy and he lives in Chicago and he is three years younger than me. Our relationship now is fairly awesome, but when Jeremy and I were little babies we were not BFF on account of his inability to play fair, nice, or be fun at all. Three ways he totally marred my childhood:

Playmobile Pirate Ship

This thing was huge and took up up at least forty percent of the bathtub at any given time. We had several pirates that went with it as well as a sizable army of dinosaurs, city folk, and legos that filled in has pirates, and had developed several story lines to follow when playing with it. However, my brother would get tired of the story lines and push the boat down just enough so that water would start to fill the lower cavities of the ship and eventually sink it, Titanic-style.


This was the only damn card game Jeremy would play. I spent many years trying to get him to do something--ANYTHING--different including the old standbys like Old Maid, Fish, etc. I wasn't asking him to learn all the rules of Poker or anything, I was asking for simple stuff. But noooo even Egyptian War was too outside the box. He would make me play War until someone won which can take upwards of three hours when you've only got two players and I totally did it because it was my only opportunity to play cards. He still refuses to play other card games and I DON'T KNOW WHY.

Ranger Rick magazine

We had a bit that seems very bit-ish to me in retrospect, but maybe as kids it was real, true life. Whenever he came across one of millions of Ranger Rick mags he would flip to a macro image of a particularly repulsive and slimy bug and then push it in my face. I would scream and run away. And then he would chase me around the house menacingly.

These days we bond over video games and the internet. More neutral ground, I think.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Here's hoping Abigail! doesn't post too.

That's right, confusion reigns here at Collective HQ. I mean seriously, I have no freaking idea what month it is right now, let alone what day. Ah well, such is life. I guess.

So anyway, if a parent's love is judged by the number of toys in the toy chest, well, my parents didn't love me very much. And if a parent's love is counted in hugs and kisses it seems my parents still didn't love me.

Huh. That probably explains a lot, doesn't it?

Anyway again.

I swear to effing God this was the only toy I had as a kid. Granted, it was a good one, insofar as, you know, I get to listen to this song whenever I want. But it was a bad one because my parents only waited until you could pick up the Atari 2600 in the bargain bin, AFTER all of my friends had Nintendos and were rocking the 1-ups on Super Mario World, AFTER they stopped even making games for the damn thing.

Fucking stupid parents. I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN!!!!


Wednesday, 28 May 2008

And then I walked uphill to school. In the snow. With no shoes. Or feet.

JennieHi. This isn't Abigail, it's Jennie. We're not intentionally trying to confuse you by switching days all willy-nilly, but if that's what happens . . . um, sorry.

Fairly recently, I was complaining about how kids today have way cooler toys than I did when I was little. I never had an iPod or a Wii (hee) and the Internets didn't even exist yet. My grandma had a computer that I was sometimes allowed to play Solitaire on, and if I was REALLY lucky, Oregon Trail, but that was about as technologically advanced as it got.

I was a fairly introverted child, quiet with sudden bursts of energy (noisy energy), as likely to be tucked away somewhere with a book as getting yelled at by my a friend's mother at a birthday party for hiding under my chair during cake and ice cream time (true story). What I'm saying is, I haven't changed much. Which is why, if I still owned the following toys, I would probably never leave my apartment. Dear Internets, here are my 5 Top Toys from Childhood:

1. Little People

I went to daycare when I was but a tiny child, and the Little People were the most coveted toys in the entire building. At home, I had scores of Little People with Little People Furniture in a Little People House and Little People Cars and a Little People Bus that they took to the Little People Schoolhouse. The Little People at daycare were a bit more bedraggled than my own Little People, having been handled by countless grubby hands, but we fought over those things like they were made of candy. Willy Wonka candy, even.

2. Fisher Price skates

I was never the most coordinated child. I fell off all sorts of things, like the monkey bars, my swingset, a teeter totter (I was trying to fly). But I was determined to learn how to roller skate. I had this pair of Fisher Price skates that you could expand as your feet grew, and I tried to wear these things long after my feet had outgrown the biggest size. I never did learn how to roller skate very well, but at least the scuff marks all over my skates proved that I tried.

3. Big Wheel

My Big Wheel was my most prized possession. I rode that thing up and down the block until my legs felt like they were going to fall off. If I got too tired, sometimes I'd turn it upside-down, spin the front wheel really fast and pretend it was the sewing wheel that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on. Yeah, I don't know either.

Also, OMG:

4. Talking Whiz Kid

Do do do do, do do do do do do do INSERT CARD, is the sound of my childhood. If I knew how to record stuff, I'd sing it for you, but I don't, so here is the toy I'm talking about at least:

5. Theodore doll

Here's the thing. When I was a kid, I loved the Chipmunks more than life itself (wow), which is one reason I will never, ever see the abomination of a Chipmunks movie that was recently released. I can still recite the words to most of the songs from The Chipmunk Adventure, I had a tiny Alvin doll, but EVEN BETTER, I had a talking Theodore doll. We were BFF. For real. I think I've mentioned this before, but when I was six, I had to go to the dentist and get some teeth pulled, so I brought Theodore along with me for luck. I figured that since Theodore was a bigger chicken than I was, if he could sit there in that big, scary dentist chair, then so could I. Unfortunately, I still go to the same dentist and he hasn't forgotten this. Sometimes I think he still thinks of me as that tiny, pigtailed girl and he wonders why I'm no longer clutching my Theodore doll.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Heather's sister ate her homework


I guess The Collective is supposed to be talking about the joy of childhood, and games? The joy of rocking when they were but The Wee Collective? Well, Heather Anne is a lazy, lazy woman who shirks her duty and needs her sister, (that's me, folks) to post for her. I suppose that makes her a bad contributor, but I'll tell you what she isn't bad at, and that is all things Super Mario Brothers, most specifically Mario Three (3). We'd probably be appalled if we knew the number our hours Heather and I spent lounging in our bright yellow bean bags, eating Doritos and playing Mario Three. Well, I read The Baby-Sitter's Club and Heather played Nintendo and on the rare occasions she 'died', I'd have a go for approximately three minutes.

Of all the things Heather is great at (writing, being nice, raising lovely dogs, running, reading, organizing books) all of those things pale in comparison to her Mario skills. She rocked it morning, noon and night. She rocked it while eating Cheerios, ham pickles, and Bagel Bites. She rocked it in the rain, in the snow and occasionally in the sunshine. I suppose you could consider it tragic that she peaked around the age of nine, and that everything since has really been downhill, but I don't. All her mad gaming skills have translated nicely to the internets, and haven't you all benefited from that?

I thought so.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Some of us are writing how to articles, some of us are dealing with familial obligations, some of us have no DSL connection, some of us are drinking straight through the long weekend, and all of us are totally stoked about the last Monday in May.

We've heard that people don't really go on the internet on long weekends. I mean, this is foreign to us as we're babysitting Google Reader just to make sure we've read anything and everything new, but as for the rest of you normal people who are eating hot dogs and getting appliances on sale at Home Depot: if an asshole writes a blog post and no one reads it, did it make a sound? What?

Regularly scheduled programming will resume Tuesday. Have a beer on us.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Phone it in Friday: Your lucky day

We've had Kat!'s Three Little Pigs film on loop here at Collective HQ for the last 24 hours, and with each play it seems to increase in awesomeness. On your behalf, we have urged Kat! to make another origami film about another classic fairy tale. She has graciously agreed, and now you get to phone it in and tell her what fairy tale you'd like to watch. Leave your suggestions below, and prepare to be wowed.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

You didn't have the feet; I don't have the heart.

heather “One-and-two, and three-and-four. Clickity-click. Clickity-click. “One-and-two, and three-and-four.” ClickClickClick. ClickClickClick. One-and-two, and three-and-four” Clickty-click-click. Clickit— DING DONG!

“Keep moving, I’ll be right back!”


“Just a moment,” I shouted, over the music.


“I said just a mo—Alvin. Simon.”

“Theodore!” my brothers chorused as I swung open the door. (Let’s just get this over with: yes, I am a triplet and my brothers and I are called Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. But it’s not after those chipmunks. I am named after Theodore Roosevelt. Simon is named after my mom’s favorite musical group. And Alvin is Alvin because Garfunkel is weird, even for a pig.) “What are you… I mean… um… did we… did we have plans tonight?” I asked.

Alvin built a house of straw,” Simon offered. “It’s been blasted to smithereens.”

“Blowed over,” Alvin agreed.

Blown over,” I corrected him, even though I hadn’t the foggiest idea what he was talking about.

“Whatever,” Alvin said. “We need a place to crash, a place made of bricks, and you’d better let us in quick because there’s a big, ba—dude, what is that clacking noise? It sounds like a thunderstorm on a tin roof in there.” He pointed past me into the house.

“What do you know about tin roofs?” Simon asked. “Your house was a straw lean-to.”

“At least my plates weren’t made of sticks,” Alvin shot back.

“At least I had plates,” said Simon.

“At least my first girlfriend wasn’t Snotty Suzy from Orwell’s Farm. ‘Oh, look at me, I’m so important with my clothes and my walking on two legs’.”

“At least I didn’t piss on your floor.”

“At least I don’t TiVo cooking shows.”

“At least my life’s ambition is not to pilot a plane. It’s called ‘when pigs fly’ for a reason, wanker.”

“At least I’ve never accidentally eaten sausage.”

“At least my name’s not Garfunkel.”

“My name is NOT—”

“STOP IT, BOTH OF YOU!” I shouted. “Look, I don’t know what your issue is, but you can both just sleep here tonight. You’ll have to come back later, though. I’m busy right now. Simon, what’s in your hand?”

“TiVo,” he muttered.

“Seriously, what is that clickity-clacking?” Alvin demanded.

“And dude, what’s on your face?” Simon asked, reaching for me with his hoof.

“Stop it!” I said, ducking away.

Simon snorted. “Is that… are you growing a beard?”


“Soul patch?”




“Brah, what is with the hair on your chinny-chin-chin? It’s ridiculous.”

Alvin reached down and picked up a card at my feet. “You dropped this,” he said, flipping it over to read it. I knew at once from the look on his face what had fallen out of my pocket.

“No,” he said, his face lighting up like Christmas. “No effing way. Tapping Teddy’s School of Porcine Prancing. You’re a… dance teacher?”

“Give that back,” I said, snatching at the card.

“No way, man.” Alvin jerked the card away from me. “Dad is going to flip his shit when he sees this. I thought you were a carpenter!”

“I am a carpenter.”

“Carpenters don’t wear tutus. Jesus did not wear a tutu.”

“I do not wear a tutu! I just think dance is an expression of—”

“SHUTUP!” Simon shouted. “Here he comes.” He pointed to the hill behind my house, where a dark figure was skulking toward us.

“Who is that?” I asked.

“The big, bad wolf!” Simon said.

“What! I thought he was locked up with that woman who baked those German kids in an oven.”

“No, he’s out and he knocked down both of our houses and now he’s coming for all three of us.”

“Quick,” I said. “Get inside.”

As I shut and bolted the door behind us, Alvin burst out into a fresh round of giggles. “I cannot believe…” he bent over and clutched his side. “I cannot believe you are a ballerina.”

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

this is essentially exactly the way it happened

JennieWhen my brother asked to come stay with me, of course I let him, but I didn't like it. I value my privacy, you see, and there are certain things I can't do with a guest in the house if you know what I'm saying and I think you do. But when I heard his sob story about some big, bad wolf blowing his house down, I had to let him stay. What was I supposed to do? Leave him outside? He'd probably try to build himself another house out of straw. My brother's never been the brightest pig in the world, but I thought he'd have better sense than to build a house out of straw. Cheapskate.

That's why I built my house out of sticks. Lovely long, sturdy, thick sticks. Sure, I probably could have found a better building material, but I'm not made of money, you know. And now I have an extra mouth to feed. You'd think my brother would have offered to pay rent or buy food or something, but you'd be wrong. I did make him do the dishes, though. The dishes are made of sticks, too. The plates work OK, but I can't eat soup without it seeping out of the cracks in the bowls. It's hard to make bowls out of sticks. You try it.

My brother was trying to use a stick pan on the stove without catching it on fire and I was catching up on some TiVo (I love Top Chef, even though I cringe a bit whenever they use bacon), when some fool knocked on the door. Clearly, I was busy, so I shouted to my brother to answer it.

"Who is it?" he said.

"It's me!" a voice growled, and this was the point my brother peed all over the floor.

"Are you gonna clean that up?" I asked. Seriously. He peed on the floor. Disgusting.

"No time!" he yelled.

"What, were you raised in a barn?" I asked.

"Well . . . yes, and so were you," he answered.

"Fair enough," I said. "What's with the sudden incontinence, grandpa?"

"It's . . . it's the wolf!" he whispered. I rolled my eyes.

"Hey, wolf?" I asked.

" . . . what?" the wolf answered.

"Can you come back later? We're kinda busy right now."

"Um . . ." said the wolf. "No! I have tickets to the opera later, I really need to talk to you now."

"Fine," I said. "What do you want?"

"Let me in!" he shouted.

"How about no?"


I was starting to get pissed off. Padma was about to tell someone to pack their knives and I'd forgotten to pause TiVo. So I told the wolf that if he didn't get off of my property, I was calling the Fairy Tale Police. I know they're all unicorns and wood sprites, but they're still pretty intimidating, you know, with their guns and all. Apparently, though, they're not intimidating enough for a big, bad wolf because wouldn't you know it? He did huff and puff and blow my house in. And let me tell you, his breath was TERRIBLE. It smelled like rancid bacon, which worried me a bit. At that point, I figured it would be a good idea to follow my brother out the back door (or what was left of it) before the wolf came inside. I did manage to grab my TiVo, thank goodness. I can finish watching Top Chef at our other brother's house. He's got a big screen TV, so it'll be perfect.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Collective Presents: A Story You Already Know, Again

Here's the thing about straw: it's cheap. At least around here.

It's also plentiful.

It's cheap because it's plentiful.

That's as good an argument as I can manage--as good as a defense--for why I built a house of straw.

It's not like I was the first to do it either.

And I was new to town, okay?

It's a good defense!

I'd just made it to town, see, and all I could see was straw, for miles and miles (or yards and yards as was probably the case) and I needed somewhere to stay. I didn't want to board with anyone and I'm not useless so I stole some straw at night and developed a lean to.

It was sufficient.

I swear.

And I wasn't going to stay there forever.

It was a temporary fix. A temporary lean to. It was lean-to-ed against a WELL for crissakes! You don't really think I intended to live there permanently do you? OF COURSE it blows down easy.

It was the VERY next day--I swear!--when this wolf came a knockin'. I ignored the raps on the stone well because I wasn't accustomed to visitors in my (temporary!) home. My brother wasn't expected in town for another few days.

In fact, I though the raps were the wind or something, okay? How was I supposed to know there was a predator trying to bamboozle me?

It was a total shock when half my little home blew away! I thought the wind had picked up! My little piggy tail felt the draft first! And then the hairs on my chinny chin chin stood straight up! Only then did I turn around and see the wolf!

He greedily made eye contact and I jumped--all four feet right off the ground--and tredded air. His jowls widened into a grin and I collapsed to the ground. I didn't know what to do! He looked hungry! He could probably out run me!

And so when he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, I took off running with my little piggy tail between my legs. He blew my house down with a huff and a puff and then receded back into the woods. I played it smart; he didn't get me.

Sure, I made some poor and unsafe decisions along the way, but I'm okay now. I'M OKAY.

And I'm going to build a real house. Or go find my brother. He was always better at this life stuff.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Phone it in Friday: Here's to you

Today we salute YOU, Collective Readers. You spend your precious work hours scouring the Internets for time-wasters. Thank you for choosing us.
(cause the Internet is biiii-iiiiig)

Your comments make us think and laugh, and while it's hard to do both at the same time, we appreciate it. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
(laughed so hard I peed a liiiiiiiittle)

So today, Collective Readers, it's your turn. Raise your glasses and toast your own favorite Real Man of Genius.
(it could be aaaaanyoooooone)

Thursday, 15 May 2008

seventh inning sluts

Jennie You guys, I don't know why, but this was so hard (twss). Maybe I caught The Block from Kat, I don't know, but geez. Also, I totally ripped off Kat's Dreamy Boyfriend's idea for the chorus. Thanks, Kat's Dreamy Boyfriend!

Aaaaaaaanyway . . . raise your glasses and I'll put on my super-deep, announcer man voice.

Today we salute YOU, Miss Baseball Diamond Fashionista,

Why wear sneakers and jeans to the game when you can rock stilettos and that teeny tiny dress? While all those other suckers are sweating in their oversize jerseys, you draw stares from the crowd as you teeter down the steps, clutching the railing to keep your balance.
(if you fall, it will huuuuu-uuuurrrrt)

Don't worry that there's a line of sports fans behind you, their arms full of hot dogs and nachos and beer, who just want to get to their seats before the game is over. Take your time . . . one day Mr. Right will swoop in and carry you to your seat.
(He drives a Camaaaaarooooooo)

Sure there was that one time you tripped over your heels and fell flat on your face on your way to the bathroom. And there was that other time someone spilled nachos all over your new leather pants. But it's a small price to pay for being the best dressed in the ballpark. After all, you're just killing time until Derek Jeter gazes into the stands, sees you posing and preening in your seat, and whisks you away to a life of glamour and fancy clothes. Paris Hilton's got nothing on you.
(Paris doesn't like basebaaaaaaall)

So tug up that tube top, you pretty, pretty princess. Scotch guard that Coach purse, because beer stains are impossible to get out, and the chances that some irate fan will "accidentally" throw beer on you? Are good. Very good. Enjoy the game.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

WARNING: I did not write this.



H!A!: What shall we write about this week, ladies?

K!: Let's be snarky. I'm in the mood for snark.

All: OK!


K!: Oh noez! I have The Block!


So in swoops my own personal superhero, just returned from his latest Vegas excursion, where he realized that it's not so much Sin City any longer, but Douchbag Central. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the world's greatest boyfriend's blogging debut:

Today we salute you, Mr. World's-Most-Asinine-Drink Buyer


Wearing a neck strap to hold up your 100 ounces of frozen daiquiri, you're living the American Dream.

Walking around the Vegas Strip, golf shirt tucked into jean shorts, no belt usually but when it's there it's braided, condensation dripping down onto your leather sandals....everyone is looking at you.

As far as you know, they're all saying "Who's that lucky guy who not only looks good and has a nice refreshing cocktail, but ALSO has both of his hands free?"
You knowwww they want onnnnnne

Ohh, one of the 5 cell phones on your belt is ringing a Garth Brooks ringtone; now it's the neck strap's time to shine.

Knocking down bachelorette parties like they were bowling pins, stepping on the feet of porn slappers**, and pretending "Danger" really is your middle name, nothing will get in the way of you and your asinine drink.

And by all means, there is danger: further obesity, neck-strap tan line, and scoliosis, to name a few.
Don't sliiiiiiiip a disc nowwwwww

So drink up, Mr. World's-Most-Asinine-Drink Buyer, because I'd sure like to see you try to go to the bathroom while wearing that thing.


**(For those who haven't been to Las Vegas, Porn Slappers, as they have been dubbed, are illegal aliens who stand all over the the strip slapping these cards against their leg....When you look at the noise, they shove the cards in your face.)

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Here's to You, Mr. Pink Camoflauge Designer


You bravely went where no man has gone before. You expanded the limited fashion wardrobe of teenage girls, and provided protection for those that must go undercover in malls. You gave women a reason to visit the Army Navy surplus store and you faciliated infinite opportunities for His-and-Hers photo ops. People complain that the armed forces are too rough for women and you proved them wrong.

Thank you, Mr. Pink Camouflage Designer for reminding us--again--where women belong. Crack open a nice cold one and toast with your friends, Man's Men, I'm sure. You truly know greatness.

Monday, 12 May 2008

The Collective Presents: Real Men of Genius.

heather Today we salute you, Mr.-Too-Important-for-Television-Watching.

McDreamy. Who? McLovin. Who? Your colleagues may waste their mornings talking T.V., but you've got work to do, and what kind of person names their child after a McDonald's entree anyway?

Spencer Pratt? He sounds like a swell guy. Noted Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker? Isn't he that bloke that that used to host that show The Price Is Right?
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? How did I meet your mother? Samantha who? YOU DON'T KNOW! You don't fill your brain with useless drivel! You are intellectually superior to all of us, because you do not watch television! You do not own a television! You have never even been in the same room as a television!

You don't care that that your co-workers have replaced the word "lunch" with "tribal council," and that every day over Lean Cuisine they vote to kick you off the "island." In case they missed it, you don't work on an island. You work in an cubicle, in an office building, where, in your opinion, the Internet is far too accessible. Did I mention that you really Schruted those WEENUS Reports? But blurgh me, you have no idea what that means either.

You swear to God, if one more person mentions American Idol, you are going to lose your shit. You don't vote for television contestants; you vote in the presidential election, because America is the only democratic nation in the world where a candidate can win the popular vote but lose the election. And if there's anything you hate, it's popularity.

So pocket those 30 bucks you save each month on TiVo, oh, long lost Humphrey Cousin, and spend it on your next "date." But don't blame us when you have nothing to talk about. Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of your life, Mr.-Too-Important-for-Television-Watching.

Monday, 5 May 2008

This can't just be shagging; a mini-break means true love.

Three of us drank all of the alcohol in Philadelphia this weekend. One of us is still lamely nursing European jet lag. Collective HQ, it is in quite a state. "Why is my office ceiling wobbling?" we have asked. "The train from the airport already caused me to vomit!" "Where are my Asprin; did you delete that picture of me?" others of us have demanded. "Have you seen the Harry Potter book I bought in ITALIAN?" some of us have cried at full volume, earning withering looks from the rest of us.

What I mean to say is: we are taking a holiday this week. We'll be back next Monday with bossy lists and book reviews and who knows what all. If there is anything you'd like to see Collectivized in the coming months, just leave us a comment. We're a pretty agreeable lot... when we're not hungover or existing on Paris time of a Monday morning.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Phone it in Friday: For the Kids

Dear Internets, three fourths of The Collective has made it to Philly, the other fourth of The Collective is on the way, and, I can only speak for myself, but at least one fourth of The Collective is nursing a hangover. And so, dear Internets, forgive us for not being cleverer today, but please, oh please, tell us about your favorite childhood books.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Her boyfriend's back . . . FROM THE GRAVE

Jennie Earlier this week, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I should pick a book from my childhood to read. You know, since we're supposed to be reviewing books from our childhoods this week? Luckily, Internets, I got a package (hee) in the mail last week containing several R.L. Stine books. Now, I read my fair share of Babysitters Club books (OK all of them) but when I discovered R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, I knew I had found my people. I LOVED these books. LOVED THEM. And they obviously had some sort of effect on me (see: The Evil Summer). And so, this week, I decided to read The Boyfriend (check out that cover art) by R.L. Stine. Here's the synopsis from the back of the book:

Too bad about Dex. He was in love with Joanna. She broke up with him. And then he died. Joanna's sorry, of course. But it's not her fault he's dead, is it? Besides, she never loved him. Boys are just toys, to be used and thrown away. But this time, Joanna's gone too far. Because Dex is back. From the dead. For one last date with her . . .

Aren't you dying to read this book now? Luckily, you don't have to because I'm going to tell you what happens. OK, so sit down because this story is going to BLOW. YOUR. MIND. Our protagonist (I guess?) is a teenage girl named Joanna. She has no feelings, you see. She's cold. Brr. We know she's cold because about 80 billion people call her cold throughout the course of the book. Her dad left her mother for his secretary (how cliche) and Joanna thinks her mom is mousy and old and boring. Joanna is dating this guy named Dex, who is her opposite in every way. She's preppy and rich, he wears leather jackets and rock shirts (gasp!) and he lives in a part of town that smells like garbage. Apparently. ANYWAY. Joanna wants to break up with Dex, but instead of just telling him that it's not him, it's her, she just treats him like shit. For instance. She's supposed to meet him at the mall, but instead, she stands him up. Only she doesn't just stand him up. She hides behind a pillar or something and watches him AS SHE'S STANDING HIM UP. She's COLD.

So later, Dex shows up at her house and climbs in the window (because that's what bad boys do) and convinces her to go to the Promontory, which is this place kids go to make out. And there are cliffs there. That will be important later. For some reason, Dex's friend Pete was there, too. I guess this will be important later. Whatever. So, in the midst of hanging out by the cliffs, Dex is fucking around and accidentally falls and dies. Or so Joanna thinks. She mentions something about hearing a noise like eggs cracking, which I suppose was supposed to tell us that Dex broke all of his bones. I seem to remember this description from a lot of R.L. Stine books. Lame.

WELL. Joanna freaks out. She's afraid she's going to get in trouble for being out so late, so she runs away and leaves poor Dex at the bottom of the quarry. BUT. She's all preoccupied while she's driving (you know, because she just watched her BF fall off a cliff), so she gets in an accident. She lives, though. I mean, she has to, otherwise the story is over. When she wakes up, her mom is all worried and her friend Mary is sort of worried (Mary also tells us ALL THE TIME that Joanna is COLD) and then Pete comes to visit. He tells her Dex died and Joanna? She doesn't react at all. She doesn't even cry. Because she's COLD. Actually, she blames it on the fact that she's drugged (on account of the car accident) but we know she's lying. Because we're inside her head. Because she's the main character.

And THEN, Dex shows up and Joanna is all, "aren't you dead?" and he's like, "clearly I'm not," and she's all, "OK, let's keep dating." Because my first thought when my boyfriend comes back from the dead is, "oh, I am going to hit that." But whatever, Joanna and I are obviously different people. So she starts dating Dex again WHILE she's dating this other guy named Shep. I don't remember exactly what happens next, but suffice it to say, Joanna is a huge bitch who keeps dating Shep and Dex at the same time. Although, she starts getting weirded out when Dex's skin starts falling off. I mean, wouldn't you? And then . . . hold on, let me think. Um, OK. Oh! Mary, Shep, and Pete come over to Joanna's house and then Dex comes in! And says he's going to kill Joanna! So Joanna stabs him in the heart. Or so she thinks. Actually, this was all an elaborate prank that Dex, Pete, and Mary came up with to teach Joanna a lesson. Obviously, Shep didn't really want to talk to Joanna anymore once she killed her ex-boyfriend. Then Dex starts haunting her. But he wasn't really dead. Either time. Like, when he fell off the cliff? He didn't die. And the knife Joanna stabbed him with was a stage knife. Also, it turns out Mary and Dex were all in love or whatever.

Now, as I was reading this, I realized I'd read it before. Which makes sense, because I used to own approximately 800 R.L. Stine books. And I sort of thought I remembered how it ended, but I kept thinking, "that can't be right, that doesn't make any sense." Well. It turns out I WAS right. And it DIDN'T make any sense. It made almost as much sense as The Evil Summer, which makes me wonder why R.L. Stine is rich and I am not.

THE END (or is it?)