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Posts Tagged ‘craziness’

Except if those heads belong to two blonde twins with a serious case of the stupids. Because after reading Sweet Valley Confidential, I have come to the conclusion that there is no fate worse than the Wakefields. They are the worst twins ever!


Well except for maybe these twins, because, ew.

Anyway to prepare you for this, I ask you to think back to high school, or perhaps say, junior high. You remember how you had that one friend you thought was supercool and who could pretty much do no wrong in your eyes? But then, you got older and you realized they were kind of a gigantic dickbag loser? That is what reading this book is like. You start out with happy memories and then watch them get slowly destroyed by poor continuity and even crappier writing.

When I was much younger, I thought that the Wakefields were the $h!t. I related heavily to Elizabeth because I fancied myself a thoughtful literary type, but there was part of me that wished I could be a little more like Jessica and possess more of her sultry, boy-nabbing qualities. In fact, when I was very young and used to steal my babysitter’s Sweet Valley High books, I remember thinking that it would be awesome to be a cheerleader. I have no idea why I thought this considering:
a) I am not a joiner,
b) I find all sports except hockey incredibly boring,
c) I am so uncoordinated I was once stabbed by a tree,
but there you have it. The seven-year-old heart wants what it wants.

But enough complaining, it’s time to get to the meat of the thing and start my recap. Needless to say, if you want to read the book and haven’t got the chance yet, this is your warning because HERE BE SPOILERS!

The book starts off with Elizabeth, who is now living in New York like the serious-minded good girl she is. No more being a bubble-headed California girl! She’s a real writer now! She is returning to her apartment after a dinner out with her boss when the phone rings. Because this is New York and therefore a scary, crime ridden place according to literature, it takes them too long to get into the apartment to answer the phone because of all of her door locks, so Elizabeth’s answering machine picks up instead.

It is Jessica, whose voice is whining codependantly at them through the speaker. Elizabeth ignores it. Elizabeth’s boss is baffled by the fact that the voice on the machine sounds exactly like Elizabeth and is somehow not her. You know, for someone who is supposed to be the mastermind behind the crappy theatre magazine she works for, he seems a little bit dumb, like, if you worked at it, you could manage to convince him that Elizabeth was a sorcerer.

Anyway, Elizabeth doesn’t want to talk about HER INFINITE SADNESS, so she gives her boss a glass of wine and considers sleeping with him to stop his annoying questions. She spends a moment drooling over his apparently doable body, but then decides better of it because she cries after her orgasms now. Aren’t you happy that Francine Pascal mentioned your childhood literary pal Elizabeth having orgasms? How thoughtful of her! I mean think of how much more enjoyable Little Women would have been if Louisa May Alcott had been saavy enough to mention Jo March’s favourite sexual position! Totally pertinant to the story and not creepy at all, right?

Oh, and also as a minor note, Elizabeth also doesn’t sleep with him because he’s her boss and, you know, professionalism and all that.

So, having decided that there are no sexytimes to be had, Elizabeth unceremoniously dismisses her boss from her apartment. She briefly thinks of calling her best friend Bruce Patman (I think I speak for all of us when I say WTF?!), but decides not to so she can truly Garbo it up and feel sorry for herself. I don’t know what it is you guys, but I think something superbad happened between Elizabeth and Jessica! Cue the sad music! This is mucho serious!

The next thing you know, we’re treated to a flashback of the twins in high school. They are driving to school and stop to pick up Elizabeth’s friend Enid Rollins who Jessica thinks is the lamest of the lame. They also discuss uberdreamy Todd Wilkins a.k.a. The Todd who Jessica thinks is going to invite her to “the big dance,” as though they don’t have dances ever damn day of the week in Sweet Valley.

Anyway, two funny things about this sequence:

1) It’s supposed to take place 10 years ago which is awesome because, going by the timeline of the books, the twins started high school in 1983 which means that they were either incredibly stupid, which I would totally believe, or time in Sweet Valley moves at a practically glacial pace, which is also possible considering how much crap the twins got up to. I mean with all the spa-based face stealing and werewolf boyfriend having and white supremacist battling they were doing, I would imagine they would have pretty packed schedules!

2) If this storyline is true to what happened in the original books, this means that this is the dance from the first Sweet Valley High book Double Love. Many things happen in that book, but two of the most noteworthy are The Todd mistaking Jessica for Liz and subsequently thinking Liz is a slut and deciding Jessica is more worthy of dating him and Jessica getting so mad at the fact that The Todd has no interest in her she fabricates a story that he tried to force himself on her so that Liz doesn’t like him anymore. But apparently, neither the slut shaming or the supposed sexual assault are a big deal to anyone and everything ties up in a nice happy bow at the end of the book. Sweet Valley: perpetuating horrible sexual standards since 1983!

Moving back into present day, Jessica is kvetching to The Todd about how Elizabeth is ignoring her. The word “Facebook” is used several times to indicate that Francine Pascal is hip and with it. This is not your Meemaw’s Sweet Valley y’all! . . . you know, in case you didn’t get that from the orgasm talk. They don’t get into everything that happened to cause the rift between the two sisters, but they tell us enough so that we know that Elizabeth and  The Todd, Sweet Valley’s Original OTP!, were engaged and about eight months ago, he left her for Jessica and now they are getting married instead. Oooh burn!

To throw old Sweet Valley lovers a bone, Jessica and  The Todd head over to a party at Lila Fowler’s house. I have discussed my love for haughty Miss Lila before, so I won’t get into it again, but Lila is criminally underused in this book. If anyone should be calling the twins on their crap, it’s her, but instead she just stays in the background, wearing tiny shorts. Remember when your Viscount husband tragically died and then you hooked $h!t up with Bruce Patman in the forest, Lila? That was awesome! You are better than this! Now Lila’s only defining characteristic – aside from the tiny shorts – is that she is married to Ken Matthews. To jog your memory, Ken was the Aryan posterchild who played football in high school . . . and as a grown up, he plays in the NFL. That is what you call smooth character development, people! Actually just to stay on Ken for a minute as this is an interesting tidbit: in the high school, he dated Olivia Davidson who was crushed to death by a fridge during a horrible earthquake at the series’ end. However, when the twins came back from their first University break in SVU, Olivia was at a party they attended. So Ken has actually dated a zombie, which is pretty progressive if you think about it.

But back to the party. In attendance are:
– Elizabeth’s old soccer playing high school boyfriend Jeffrey French. He is now a dentist and has a boring nameless wife.
– Sweet Valley Gossip Monger Caroline Pearce. She apparently had cancer (SAD!) and now runs a gossip website that gets upwards of 500 hits a day!
– Elizabeth’s old Debbie Downer friend Enid Rollins. She is now a gyno doc and has become a crazy right wing conservative . . . but apparently, she’s not too conservative to knock boots with . . .
– A.J. Morgan. AJ Morgan was apparently some hot ginger kid Jessica was into. He works as a shoe salesman at the mall.
And to round out the group, we have:
-Former fatty cheerleading captain Robin Wilson. She is apparently a caterer now and Jessica is impressed she hasn’t gorged herself to death on all the free food.

It seems kind of weird to me that a bunch of these people were Elizabeth’s friends and are now at Lila and Ken’s party, but I guess that all of them are pals now. Or they all belong to some secret underground Stonecutter’s cult and this is a meeting or something. At least that would be interesting, which is more than what I can say for the book thus far. Let’s pretend, shall we?

Who condescends with every glace?
Who wears some nifty jumpsuit pants?
We do! We do!
Who has a sister looking mom?
Who spikes the punch at jungle prom?
We do! We do!

Sorry, but I really needed to listen to that song. So yes, we’re at Lila and Ken’s palatial estate for num-nums or whatever and everyone is kind of standing around bored, until Caroline Pearce makes the tragic mistake of asking about Elizabeth which sends Jessica into a rage. Jessica is so pissed in fact that she yells “You’re sick!” at Caroline who is currently regrowing her hair after chemo which . . . yeah . . . awkward. Jessica storms out of the party, The Todd in tow, but not before yelling at Lila for having the nerve to invite Caroline to her own house for her own party. *sigh*

Switching coasts back to New York, Elizabeth is heading out to interview some playwright guy for the crappy theatre magazine she works for. The playwright’s name is Will Connolly and addition to being a prick (language!), he is a dead ringer for The Todd! *gasp* Seeing this of course, sends Elizabeth into flashback land . . .

Where she and The Todd are in college and supposed to go to a party. However, Elizabeth’s superior physical makeup (stunning aquamarine eyes and size six figure!) wasn’t enough to keep her from catching the plague, so she is not well enough to go. Instead she suggests that The Todd go with Jessica . . .

In a weird bit of happenstance – perhaps they’re in the Matrix?- Jessica and The Todd are remembering the same party . . .
Where people mistake Jessica for Elizabeth and Jessica and The Todd decide that it’s fun and don’t bother correcting them because they are both kind of into it . . . and in a creepy turn, they sort of forget that they were pretending and then head back to The Todd’s apartment to bone. Just . . . so many . . . wrong things about that.

Back in present day NYC, Elizabeth runs into Will a.k.a. Prick Todd at a bar and they start drinking together. They are served by random Irish stereotype bartender Liam who Elizabeth notes, is so hot her favourite cheaty twin sister Jessica would be all over him. This of course leads to a discussion about family and relationships and drama, things that Prick Todd and Elizabeth have in common. They bond over this and then Prick Todd invites her back to his apartment where they fool around a bit. Go Elizabeth! You get your mack on!

Elizabeth heads home after some decent heavy petting and gets a call from her mom. Apparently, her grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday and they want Elizabeth to return to Sweet Valley for her birthday party. Elizabeth says no way, but then thinks that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if she had Prick Todd come with her as her date. She calls him up and tries to lure him into her trap asks him to come with her but with his play only a couple of weeks from launching, he tells her that he can’t afford to get away. He does however joke that Elizabeth should bring hot Irish sterotype Liam with her to use as boy bait for stupid flaky Jessica. So the fool, I’m afraid she gets thinking . . .


A dangerous pasttime I know. But that crazy blonde bitch is her sister and her fidelity’s only so so . . . So the wheels in her head they get turning as Liz thinks of that loony old tart, see, with quite cunning use of that dumb Irish dude, little Lizzy can split them apart!

But before it gets too good, we’re back in flashbackland again. This time we’ve moved up from Jessica and The Todd boning on his futon to a mere 8 months ago where Jessica is married to a dude named Regan. You remember the name Regan, don’t you Jess? He was president when you first started high school! Anyway, Regan is Jess’ husband (second one by my count!) and he’s much older and basically pays for her to shop and jetset around the world. However, Jess is unhappy. Apparently, he doesn’t like to party enough and he gets jealous when she flashes her boobs at other guys. I know, right? What a monster. So, six months into being married for a second time before she hits 30, Jessica decides that she wants to end the relationship. Instead of talking to him about it like an adult, she lets him believe that he’s taking her shopping for the millionth time and then ditches him to run off to the airport where she catches a plane back to Sweet Valley. My eyes are rolling so hard in my head right now, I am afraid they’ll get stuck at an odd angle.

Oh and a couple of sidenotes before we head back into present day:
1) Steven Wakefield is now a successful lawyer and is married to Cara Walker. According to Jessica, Steven cheats on Cara regularly and Cara copes by turning into one of those girls who eat their feelings.
2) Winston Egbert developed some software or something that he made a bunch of money on and now everyone says he’s a jerk. You know, considering what a prick everyone else in Sweet Valley is, I have to wonder what the hell Winston did to make everyone hate him. I mean is he running a child prostitution ring or hosting dogfights? Because from what I’ve seen so far, I think Winston’s golden.

Back to present day for a double shot of the twins!
In NYC, Elizabeth goes back to the bar where Liam works and pumps him for personal information. When she finds out that he in fact has family in California, she manipulates him into coming to the party for “Grandmommy” (yuck).
In Sweet Valley, we learn that Jessica works for an environmentally conscious cosmetics company. We also learn that her boss has the hots for her, but Jessica has too much integrity . . .

Sorry, I had to stop for a minute there since my eyes were watering from the hysterical laughter . . . Jessica has too much integrity to sleep with him and instead heads home to The Todd. This gets her to thinking about the past and when she came back to Sweet Valley after escaping her tyrannical husband.

In flashbackland, Jessica is living with Elizabeth and The Todd. Elizabeth thinks that Jessica and The Todd are getting on eachothers nerves, but anyone with eyes can see that they are really just sporting wood/ladywood for eachother. To get out of the house and away from The Todd so they don’t accidentally have sex again, Jessica goes for a walk on the beach and comes upon her brother who is locked in a loving embrace with . . . not Lila as many first supposed, but Aaron Dallas!

Steven Wakefield’s totally gay, everybody! I think this deserves a super sassy dance break because it is the first interesting thing that’s happened all book!


It’s Mercutio from The Edge! He seems to be having a much better time in this video than he ever did being mauled by THE EVIL BEAR.

There are many back and forth flashbacks to Steven’s new gayness but for the sake of not jumping around so much, let me just keep it all in one tidy section.

Steven was out and about running Wakefieldian errands one day when he ran into Aaron. They had been friendly in high school but never really close, so Steven gets caught up with Aaron quickly. Apparently after high school, Aaron went off to a real University (Stanford) and studied architecture. After that, he lived in San Francisco for a while (I think this is Francine Pascal’s version of a pink flag) before coming back to Sweet Valley. I am not  really sure why, after living in a place as exciting and progressive as San Francisco, one would want to come back to Sweet Valley. It’s like a crazy sinkhole for hopes and dreams! But yeah, he’s back and they arrange to get together. The night that they are supposed to meet, Steven doesn’t tell Cara where he’s going and he gets really excited at every dude who walks in the door thinking it’s Aaron. They hang out in the bar for a bit before Aaron tells Steven that they are heading back to his (Aaron’s) place. Holy $h!t, you guys! Steven Wakefield is keeping it on the downlow! Fifteen minutes in a Chili’s with Aaron Dallas and he’s totally up for gay sex! And those jalapeno poppers weren’t even laced with anything so he can claim ignorance later! And now I am wondering if he is a top or bottom! Aah! My head is so filled with questions! Why, Francine Pascal? Why are you putting these things in my head?

So Jessica knows and Steven is freaking out because everyone else still thinks he’s straight and he’s not ready to tell them that he isn’t yet . . . and you know guys, I’m not really one for advocating spousal deception, but knowing a lot of people who have come out, it can be heart-breakingly difficult. Coming out, even when the people around you support you, is hard. Because there are a lot of people who won’t support you and those assholes can be loud and mean and sometimes they carry rocks as one of my awesome friends learned the hard way. Hell, putting aside other people, even just admitting it to yourself can be a major emotional struggle. According to this book, Steven not only just discovered he liked dudes in his late twenties, but he just discovered it like a month ago and now he’s forced into the awkward situation of having to incidentally come out to a family member. It’s scary.

Steven begs Jessica not to tell anyone yet because he kind of needs to process this himself and figure out how to deal with his own personal situation and Jessica agrees. Well, let me amend that. Jessica agrees for about five seconds, then drives over to Steven’s house and interrupts one of Cara’s marathon pie baking sessions to out Steven to her. Jessica does this as she thinks it is her duty to get involved and believes that Steven will thank her for it later. Because it’s better to be dragged out of the closet than to come out of your own accord. Man, Jessica, sometimes (by which I mean all the time) you are one cold, conceited bitch.

Back to our present non-outing time, Liz has lunch with Prick Todd and tells him she took his advice and is now bringing yummy yummy mantreat Liam with her to her grandmother’s birthday. Will is like “Yeah, I was joking about that, you lunatic. That is a supreme bad idea and you will live to regret it.” You know, Prick Todd, you actually speak some decent sanity! I’m changing your name to Nonprick Todd! Unfortunately, the sanity is not really working for Liz who is annoyed that someone is finally calling her on her bull$h!t and, instead of directing her anger at her stupid no-good sister and stupid no-good The Todd, she turns on Nonprick Todd and yells “Fuck you!” right in his face. According to Elizabeth, she is 27-years-old and that is the first time she has ever said those words. Seriously, Liz? You’ve never even song along to this song?


(Yes, this is the real song with the real swear word in it so if you’re at work, sport some headphones. The clean version drives me crazy.)

After she swears at Nonprick Todd like a Tourette’s Sufferer and runs back to her apartment, she decides the most awesome thing to do is to call up her bestie Bruce and discuss the grandmother birthday party happenings. As it is, he has already been invited to the party by Mrs. Wakefield to act as Liz’s pseudodate, so he’s feeling a little put out that Liz is now bringing her own party guest. And why is Bruce feeling so put out, you might ask? Because he secretly loves her!

Flashing back to some years ago, Bruce’s parents got in a horrible accident and were both rushed to the hospital where they both later died. However, while poor Bruce was waiting to discover their fates in the hospital, Elizabeth came to be with him. In fact, she came every day and held his hand when no one else would. It was one of the few things that got him through that horrible time and it made him realize that he truly loved her. Oh my God, you guys, is Bruce Patman my favourite character in this book? Because I think he is.

At some point, before the truth is revealed to Liz, Bruce finds out that Jessica and Todd have been carrying on behind her back. Bruce wants to tell her, but is incredibly conflicted because he feels like he would just be telling her for his own personal gain and that would be kind of malicious. These doubts are removed from his mind when, over burgers at local restaurant, Elizabeth tells him that she and The Todd are close to setting a wedding date. Not wanting her to marry a man who is secretly horrible to her, Bruce bucks up the courage to tell her the truth when Ken Matthews runs into the diner they are sitting in (because there was an APB out on them?) to announce what is the most surreal and thankless thing that happens in the entire book.

Winston Egbert is dead.

. . .

I cannot even tell you how annoyed by this I am. Winston gets one scene in this entire book where he is actually present and do you want to know what that scene is? He almost unknowingly spilled the beans about Jessica and The Todd cheating (he shared the apartment with The Todd and thought he and Elizabeth were having sex in it) and then The Todd moved out and totally dumped him as a friend because he was scared Winston would rat him out! So from there on out, none of his friends talked to him and he was completely abandoned! And then, all anyone did was talk about what a dickbag they thought he was! Until one day, when he got sad and drunk and fell off his balcony and died! All Winston ever wanted to do was to make people laugh and have friends and wear glasses and then, for the sake of drama, Francine Pascal unceremoniously offed him! What the suck, dude?!

While Elizabeth and Bruce are off at the diner hearing about poor dead Winston, Steven has been home and I guess been confronted by Cara about the whole gay thing and the fact that Jessica told her. So, as he is super angry at Jessica – and kind of rightly so since it was not her secret to tell – he barges over to Elizabeth and The Todd’s where Jessica is staying and yells in her face about it. Steven calls Jessica a selfish bitch (AMEN!) and because she can’t deal with being confronted with her $h!tty behaviour (doesn’t that sound familiar, LIZ?!), she starts to cry. The Todd, being a sucker for a damsel in distress, goes to comfort her and the comfort turns to kissing and Elizabeth walks in on them . . . except she isn’t really looking at them and doesn’t see what they’re doing so, instead, she assumes someone told them about Winston and they are comforting each other. Bruce, however, totally sees them and thinks they’re jerks.

Later at Winston’s funeral, Jessica gets all sappy and sad about his passing and Elizabeth actually thinks that Jessica is sorry for how crappily she treated Winston, but it is totally a ploy to get Elizabeth to agree that forgiveness is important. If it’s not a self-serving bitch, then it’s not Jessica Wakefield.

Sometime after the funeral, Jessica’s rich old husband Regan shows up at Elizabeth and The Todd’s place in Sweet Valley. I am not really sure to what real end since he doesn’t seem to have divorce papers or even be all that invested in getting Jessica back. But Regan does totally see Jessica and The Todd jonesing for each other which he manages to point out to Elizabeth before scooting away in his sports car.

Elizabeth finally totally notices the fact that they’re kind of inches away from doing it again and she confronts them. They are so lame that they neither try to deny it or apologize for it. C’mon The Todd! At least, play her a meaningful song or something! In fact, I have the perfect one!


“I know you won’t believe it’s true, I only went with her ’cause she looks like you!”

And that is the last flashback! THANK FREAKING GOD!

In now permanent present time, Elizabeth has arrived at Grandmommy’s birthday with man-bait Liam. There is some reference to how this is just like a movie (Picture Perfect?) except that Liam doesn’t sound as charming as Jay Mohr. Much to Elizabeth’s irritation, Jessica doesn’t seem interested in Liam but Liam seems hella-interested in Jessica and keeps fawning all over her. This makes The Todd pretty angry and before you know it, all the Wakefield siblings are fighting and Alice is yelling at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake!” I kind of like that Alice has finally reached her limit with her stupid scheming children to the point that she starts yelling about fucking cake in the middle of her octagenarian mother’s birthday. That’s kind of boss.

Elizabeth leaves Sweet Valley and heads back to New York where she still has to interview Nonprick Todd. I’m going to switch it back to Will now because I am tired of typing the word Todd more than I have to. She is a little stressed out about how it’s going to go due to the “Fuck you!” face-shouting incident, but he somehow apologies to her and they manage to get through the interview relatively painlessly. Then, when the interview is over, out of both horniness and a desire to keep him from asking questions about her family, Elizabeth has sex with Will. And she doesn’t even cry once! Hooray? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of creepy that Elizabeth is constantly using sex to shut dudes up. Is her vagina some sort of crazy cone of silence? Does sex with her cause select muteness? I don’t get it.

So after sex with her interview subject (at least it’s slightly more professional than sex with her boss?), Liz returns home to her apartment to find Jessica waiting for her. Jessica has apparently left The Todd! *sigh* For Christ Sakes, you stupid moron! You are pushing 30 now! Running away should no longer be your go-to relationship move. Because, seriously? Relationships can be hard. Sure, there are awesome, kick ass, fun times, but there are other times that are not so fun where people lose their jobs or your sex drives are at odds or one of you gets sick or whatever. And part of loving someone – I mean truly loving someone – is realizing that no matter what you are enduring at the moment, you’re enduring it with your partner because you are a team and they have your back. That’s what love is. Getting through life together. And you know what? At the end of the day, sometimes getting through the crappy parts together means more. Getting through all the great stuff together is nothing, because anyone can stand by you through the great stuff. It takes someone who loves you to hold your hand and help you make it through the hellish parts. Grownups don’t run!

And yes, readers, I do realize that I just lectured a fictional character but it annoyed me so much I had to. Make of my mental state what you will.

Back to the twins. Jessica starts crying over The Todd and Elizabeth sees that she loves him and with like five teardrops, their 8 month feud is at an end. Can you believe it? Jessica’s tears must be made of diamonds or something because I have never gotten out of anything that easily.

Jessica heads back home to be with The Todd and Elizabeth stays in New York to finish her article and see Will’s play. The play does pretty well and Liz is happy for Will but she realizes when she sees him with his ex-girlfriend that she is not in love with him and that they are better off as friends. Is this a mature decision from Miss Elizabeth Wakefield? Did someone switch the book I am reading? Because I don’t believe it.

I also don’t believe it when Elizabeth heads back to Sweet Valley to be Jessica’s Maid of Honour in her Wedding to Elizabeth’s long time boyfriend. When Wakefields mend fences, they do it with iron posts, bitch! But before she goes and deals with wedding stuff, Elizabeth pops by to see Bruce Patman who has big news. First, he tells her he sold his house in Sweet Valley (for $10,000 less that they buyers were willing to pay because he doesn’t care about money anymore. Is this really Bruce Patman?!) and second, he’s moving to New York because he loves her and wants to be where she is. Bruce Patman is my favourite character in this whole book you guys! What is up with the universe?!

Now I could go into the description that follows of them having sex, but I am going to forego that creepiness and instead post another song because that is how I role today. But know this – Elizabeth Wakefield has taut nipples!


Let the soothing sounds of Mr. Big wash that mental image out of your head.
I know bands don’t have slogan, but if they did, theirs should have been “Mr. Big = Huge hair. Rhythmic clapping. Denim.”

So both Wakefield sisters end up with people who have personalities that match their opposing twin. Snarky and brash Jessica marries sensitive and thoughtful The Todd and sensitive and thoughtful Elizabeth is lovers with snarky and brash Bruce! I am sure there is some sort of weird Freudian theory that this is an example of, but the book’s happy ending is Jessica and Todd’s wedding, so I don’t want to get too far into that.

Mini character recaps for anyone who is interested:
Bill Chase – The surfer dude who dated Dee Dee Gordon back in the day married a female basketball player.
Mr. Collins (Roger, if you’re nasty) – The twins’ old English teacher is in a long term relationship but never got remarried. His son is at UCLA.
Lila Fowler – Divorced Ken and attended Jessica’s wedding with Jeffrey French who seems to have lost the wife he was saddled with a couple of hundred pages ago.
Ken Matthews – Divorced Lila and was injured in the NFL but now works as a commentator.
DeeDee Gordon – Bill’s ex is a working artist.
Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman, the slutty cheerleader that Jessica and her friends almost pushed to commit suicide. He is a writer.
Annie Whitman – Married Charlie and has a baby now (see what all your slutty, slutty sex has led to, Annie?)
Betsey Martin – Still the crazy drunken sister of beautiful dead Tricia Martin, Steven’s first girlfriend.
A.J. Morgan – Broke up with Enid but still selling Reeboks.
Enid Rollins – Broke up with A.J. Morgan, planning to run for city council.
Roger Barrett Patman – Bruce’s illegitimate cousin. Works as a music producer and is married to a rock star.
Caroline Pearce – Still recovering from cancer. Still a gossip.
Nicky Shephard – Former Sweet Valley bad boy. Now in AA.
Cara Walker – Divorced from Steven. A math student baking her way to a Masters degree.
Robin Wilson – Still a caterer. Still surprisingly thin according to Jessica.
Bruce Patman – Once a snide rich kid, now reformed by the love of Elizabeth.
Aaron Dallas – Steven Walkfield’s boyfriend.
Alice Wakefield – Still the twins’ mom and survivor of breast cancer because Francine Pascal needed to give her another character trait in the epilogue.
Ned Wakefield – Still the twins’ dad and a successful lawyer.
Todd Wilkins – Married to Jessica and clueless about what a harpy she is.
Elizabeth Wakefield – Twin sister of Jessica, now happily sexing it up with her lover Bruce.
Jessica Wakefield – Married to Todd, twin sister of Elizabeth and learner of no pertinant lessons whatsoever.

As for poor Winston, if you were hoping he might get a last second reprieve from his drunken balcony death like Olivia got a last minute reprieve from that stupid refrigerator, it looks like you are shit out of luck as he remains dead.

Poor, poor Winston.

So that is the entire book. Now don’t get me wrong, it was pretty awful, but I also fully acknowledge that if she writes another one, I will still be all over that garbage because there’s nothing quite like a good train wreck. Oh Sweet Valley, you are totally, yet fascinatingly, awful.

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By MIA, I mean "Missing In Action," not MIA the music star. However, if I could be brave enough to dress like that when I get knocked up, that would be kind of cool.

Wow, I didn’t even realize until now that it had been as long as it’s been. Granted, I am not particularly surprised. With the way things work with my job, the later half of the summer always gets eaten up by work craziness . . . plus, this year our summer was incredibly busy and I kind of have this rule that if it comes down to writing about my life or going out and living my life, living always wins.

So yeah, I guess this calls for a cliff notes kind of update:

Boy’s job stuff:

Boy got a new job! And it’s only an hour or so away from our place! This is the most awesome thing by far. He’d been unemployed since April and with summer almost over, it was making us both a little anxious about what we would do in the months ahead. However, the third week of August, he got a call about an application, went in for an interview and bam! New job! It was funny, we went out for dinner a while ago with some friends of ours who had gone through a similar situation and they said to us “Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it will ever get better and then suddenly it does and you don’t know what the problem was,” and it was definitely like that for us. Not having to worry about money or the possibility of living apart was such a relief.

My job stuff:

I interviewed for a pretty awesome gig a few months ago and according to an inside line, I was in a shoo-in for the job. That is until the department I interviewed with was downsized and the position eliminated. This was a major bummer since I REALLY wanted that job, but I reasoned that at least they didn’t hire me and then downsize the position. Anyway, I was holding on in my job and feeling frustrated when someone in my department announced they were quitting. At this point, my department was already understaffed so I felt anxious, but this person’s departure left a spot open for me to slip in and gain some managerial control . . . which is what happened as of September 1st when I became head of my department. So yeah, I am still here slugging away, but this time it’s with a pay raise and some actual say as to how my job works. Granted, it hasn’t been that long yet, but I’m feeling much happier about what is happening now that I am not reliant on other people. I still have goals and plans for the future, but this is at least a good step forward.

Family stuff:

The last time I updated, things were a little rough on this front, but they’ve gotten better. I’ve written a lot about the problems I’ve had with my parents, but I wanted to definitely take a moment to say that as hard as things have been with them sometimes, they do actually care about me and they are supportive when I really need them to be. With all my job frustrations, they sat down and told me if things at work got too bad, they would jump in and be willing to help me out for a few months if I really needed to quit and look for something else. Although I would never take them up on something like that unless I was in a completely dire situation, it allowed me to feel like I had a little breathing room in a very stressful situation which I really, really needed. Anyway, we’ve had a couple of lunches over the past month or so (one for my mom’s birthday and one for mine) and we’ve talked and things have felt right again, which puts my heart at ease.

Friend Stuff:

We had some people distance themselves from us when we were going through these hard times. I even had one person say to me when I was explaining our situation (at this point we were still thinking Ben might have to move) “That’s depressing. I don’t want to talk about that.” While I know that these people didn’t mean to be mean, it still really sucked. Just going through something stressful like that already makes you feel like you’re alone and having people you consider to be your friends bail on you just heightens that feeling of isolation. So, to those of you who haven’t been through this with friends, here is my advice to you: It’s not all about having to say the right thing. Sometimes it’s about admitting you have no f*cking clue what to say and just checking in once in a while. Drop a line via e-mail. Swing by with some beer. Invite them over for dinner. We had some people do these incredibly simple things for us and they made a world of difference and made us that much more aware how kick ass some of our friends truly are. Thanks guys!

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff:

I was just updating my summer vacation photo album on Facebook and I realized that I have actually done a lot of stuff including:
1. Going to see Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene and Pavement live on Toronto Island. We thought it was going to rain but we had great weather for this. Unfortunately, maybe a little too great since I got pretty burned. Whoops!
2. Meeting one of my blog friends in person. Looking back on it now, it feels like a lifetime ago I was bloggin’ for the ‘Bee, but I am grateful I did it since it introduced me to a bunch of awesome people.
3. Going to see Patton Oswalt live at Just for Laughs. He was just as good as I was hoping he’d be.
4. Going to my art class’ art show. Boy helped set it up and had two pieces in it. As for me, I didn’t submit this time, but maybe next year if I am feeling braver.
5. Visiting my niece Abbey and her awesome parents. Seriously, a huge part of this summer would have been unbearable without these three people.
6.  Visiting with my Godmother who came in from Montreal. She is one of the nicest people ever but anytime I see her, it’s kind of funny because she is incredibly short and I am almost two feet taller than her.
7. Throwing a “dramatic reenactment” party with a bunch of my friends. Some people bailed last minute, but the people who did come were awesome reenactors.
8. Going to see Arcade Fire live. One of the best, if not the best, concert I have ever seen.
9. Hosting some lovely friends of ours and their three kids for a swim and dinner the August long weekend. Their kids are awesome and our friends are such good parents, it was a really nice afternoon.
10. Going to Boy’s extended family reunion. We didn’t know half the people, but we got to drink and hang out with Boy’s immediate family, so that was cool.
11. Celebrating my mom’s 59 birthday and my 28th birthday. I have a distinct feeling that 28 is going to be my year.
12.  Throwing an art show opening for Boy. He was a little bummed about the turnout, but people really liked his stuff and he sold some prints which is good.
13. Attending the 10th wedding anniversary party of two of our good friends. This might have possibly inspired us to throw an anniversary party next year, but we have to wait and see how that plays out.
14. Enjoying a fondue party with friends new and old. Melted cheese and groovy ’70s rock make everything all right.
15. Going to Fort York for the first time ever. Way to go History!

Not all of those things are in sequence and I am sure there is other stuff I am missing, but those are the biggies and they kind of help explain why I’ve been AWOL.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping once the craziness at work subsides, I’ll be able to blog more. To that end, I’ve even been in touch with a couple of people about guest blogging to kick my butt into gear, so I’ll update when that happens. But, in the meantime, here is a picture of my adorable niece. There is pretty much nothing cuter than this little bean.

Hope this blog post finds you all well and that you had an excellent summer!

Love,

Girl

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Then you don’t blog.

It’s been a little over a month since my last blog post and, I’ve got to say, it’s been one hell of a rough month.

Boy continues to go without response to his resume and as for me, well, let’s just say, I’ve had many interviews, but no job offers.

On top of all of that, I’ve been experiencing Family Drama, capital F and capital D. I privatized some old posts about my family issues a while ago, but I have decided to unprivatize them because I have finally realized the insanity of others is not my fault.

For those who don’t want to go hunting through the backlog, I’ll cliff note the back story: My mother has an anxiety disorder and refuses to acknowledge or deal with it on any level. My father in turn protects her from reality and makes excuses for her wacky behaviour.

So bringing us back to present day. Things have been very, very hard. I am not making enough money to support Boy and I through this time and neither of us can get new jobs so we’re in a bind. We had at one point discussed moving out of province, but as an in between measure Boy has applied for a job in a city two hours away. If he got a job with the company in question, it would mean that he would move there for it and we would live apart for a period of time yet to be determined (I think we’d discussed a minimum of 6 months or so). Needless to say, I have been upset about this. I understand the logic of the situation and if this wound up being the best solution, I know we could make it work, but it sucks. It just sucks.

So, being an only child, I wanted to do what I was used to doing growing up – talk to my parents about the situation. However, a while ago, I was told by my mother that she only wanted to hear about good news, and that if it was bad news, I should just keep it to myself until things were resolved. Now initially, I understood the logic behind this idea because, due to the anxiety disorder, she gets really upset about things easily. But the more time that went by and the harder things got, the more it hurt to keep everything inside.

So last week,  My dad contacted me about hanging out when he heard how upset I was with the state of things right now (I am allowed to talk to him, but not my mom) and suggested we all go out for lunch or something. “All of us” meaning all four of us, meaning “you’ll be treated to a free burger or something, but don’t bring up anything that will upset your mother.” And I just couldn’t take it any more and I snapped.

I said that I wasn’t interested in going around pretending I was fine anymore because that ship has sailed. I said I was too exhausted to bother with coddling anyone and that if my mother was going to be involved in my life, she had to be an adult, stop making everything that happened to me about her and be supportive of me without caveats. I said that sensoring parts of my life because they were unpleasant was no longer acceptable and that the situation needed to be addressed, without any excuses because I needed my family to be there for me unconditionally. I said that if this could not be the case, then I would not be in contact with them.

It has been four days since I sent that message and I haven’t heard anything from either of them.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s disheartening to feel abandoned by your family during a time when you need them most, but in a weird way, it is also sort of liberating. I’ve spent a lot of my life getting tied up in what my family thought or felt about things, but taking them out of the picture makes things easier. I don’t have to feel bad or guilty or like a disappointment. I can just go through my life doing what I need to do.

Life is a messy business and it seldom turns out the way you want it to, but the people who truly love you make things easier. And love is not about being selective about the circumstances under which you’ll participate in someone’s life – it’s about getting your hands dirty with them and slogging through with them the best you can.

If my parents prefer to keep their hands clean this time through, well, they can continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Me, I’m going to get into the muck with Boy and try to dig ourselves out as best we can.

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(I’m a bit under the weather today so between regular sick day activities I’m planning to mini-post to entertain myself and hopefully you readers – enjoy!)

beefjerky
This totally baffles me. I mean how did this happen?

1. Does Elizabeth Hurley have some sort of weird connection to the cattle industry? Like, instead of paying her for one of her modeling shoots, did someone give her the title to a dude ranch or something?
2. I don’t eat it, but doesn’t beef jerky make you fart like the dickens? Is that something appealing to weight watching skinny chicks?
3. Isn’t she married to an Indian dude and don’t Indian people generally find the cow to be a sacred animal?

All that said, I do have to admit that I am highly entertained by a model’s name being slapped on something so bizarre and incongruous with their public persona. Who knows? Maybe this will start a trend and we’ll see Adriana Lima Bologna and Elle Macpherson Kettle Corn on the shelves in time for Christmas!

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It’s funny sometimes to think about all the technological advancements that have happened in our lives. When I was a little kid,  I listened to music on a little plastic record player. I called my best friend Snuffy on a stationary rotary phone. I handwrote all of my school assignments.
But slowly but surely, these things began to change. Records became tapes which became CDs which are now non-tangible digital files. Rotary phones became touchtone phones which became bulky yet portable cellphones which are now so small women everywhere spent half of their days rooting through their purses to find them. And computers . . . well they’ve gone from taking up entire rooms to being small enough to carry on our person*.
Anyway, I often wonder, with the kind of leaps and bounds we’ve experienced in the last couple of decades, what will happen in the next decade of development. I mean I like to think that the stuff we’ve got now is less crazy than the stuff in a Life Magazine gallery I came across recently . . .

tvglasses(1963 TV glasses by Hugo Gernsback)

But who knows? Maybe my kids will look back at my now state-of-the-art iPod and laugh at how quaint it is in the face of their new streaming audio Cochlear implants. 

Not being an inventor/engineer it’s hard to anticipate how things will go from here and sometimes progress takes longer than expected (I’m still waiting for my hoverboard, Robert Zemeckis!), but it’s still pretty interesting stuff. What say you, blogging audience? What technological developments can you see taking place in the next ten years? Guess now so we can all marvel at your forward thinking/intellectual sorcery in 2019!

**As an added bonus, two more of my favourite pictures from the dumb inventions gallery**

babycageThe 1937 Baby Cage! Attaching to the frame of any modern window, the cage was designed to allow infants to get fresh air and sunshine. I guess the idea of taking them for a walk in a pram paled in comparison/excitement to shoving them into a rickerty modified chicken coop suspended over a busy street. You go, baby daredevils!

curvedbarrelThe 1953 Curved Barrel Shotgun! If you’ve ever been in a trench shooting at Germans and thought “You know, I have way too much face to be doing this!” then this gun is for you! (It can also be used for shooting around corners.)

*Funnily enough, the save icon in many computer programs is still designed to resemble the floppy disk, the last version of which was produced in 1999 and the drive for which no longer exists on most modern computers.

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Hey there Strangers!

Long time, no write I know! I don’t know exactly what happened, but somehow, it feels like somewhere in me a switch was flipped that left me totally unable to focus on blogging about anything.

Part of it probably has to do with the fact that work has started to speed up for me and Boy (my work in academics keeps me busy and the video game Boy has been working on for three years is about ready to launch), but the other part is probably the whole outdoors/being Canadian thing. I don’t mean to say it as though we are all crazy Eskimo lumberjacks up here and that we need to be chopping down trees or commanding dogsleds to survive (although some movies would have you believe that), but more that, because half of our year is so crappy weather wise, we have to get outside and enjoy the good weather while we can. Making hay while the sun shines as it were.

Anyway, things in the Park household have been good. As with every year, we’ve been catching summer movies when we can. I don’t know if it is just me but I’ve been feeling generally disappointed by the big summer blockbuster movies. Star Trek was fun and had two of my movie crushes in it (Simon Pegg and John Cho) but Terminator Salvation was kind of a bummer.

As I have written previously, I am a big fan of the franchise, so in anticipation of the fourth flick, I put aside a day (the Monday of Victoria Day weekend) to hunker down in my pajamas* and watch all three previous installments back to back. If you haven’t watched them in a while, you really ought to again, at least 1 and 2.

So I went into Salvation hoping for the best and while I liked parts of it, it was so uneven and unemotional that I felt kind of bummed. I think, unfortunately, this had a lot to do with Christian Bale and the fact that his acting range leaves a little to be desired. He’s either whispering forlornedly or shouting SUPER! INTENSE! THINGS!, but it’s all played in this kind of bland disinterested way, so it’s really hard to give a crap. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed it better if the movie had just focused on the Anthony Michael Hall-esqe Kyle Reese and the hot Terminator dude and if Bale had just shown up at the end for a cameo or something. I mean I know he’s Batman and everything, but I think the dude needs to lay-off the superbutch man’s man parts for a while and do something more fun like a sequel to Newsies. Does anyone else remember that movie? I used to love the crap out of that flick and I still remember some of the songs (specifically this one – so deliciously cheesy).

In any case, I’ve found on the whole that going in for some of the smaller art house fare has turned out better. So far, I’ve caught The Brothers Bloom and Away We Go which were both good and Boy and I have plans to catch 500 Days of Summer later this week which I’m really excited about. Have I moved into the age group where explosions just don’t cut it anymore? Say it ain’t so movies!

In addition to movies, I’ve also been reading a lot. The book club seems to have died a sad little death (maybe I’ll try resurrecting it in the fall?), but in spite of that, I’m trying to keep exercising my brain and have been ploughing through title after title. I finally starting logging the stuff I’ve read in a book journal and it would appear I am currently working on my 36 title of the year with several others on the horizon. As of this morning, my Amazon Wishlist had 227 items on it so hopefully towards the end of the month when I get paid again (my company only pays us once a month), I’ll be able to binge a little and grab a few more books.

Anyway, that’s a bit of what I’ve been up to these past few weeks. I’ll hopefully have a chance to get into more stuff soon when I am feeling a little less keyboard-phobic.

Love,
Girl

*I slipped out in between 2 and 3 to get lunch but I managed to stay in my pajamas all day by putting my regular clothes overtop of them.

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If you have been worrying that the people marketing the new Star Trek movie weren’t doing a thorough enough job or if you have a Star Trek geek to buy for but you just don’t know what to get them, my friend, this is your lucky day as Trekmovie.com has announced three upcoming Star Trek fragrances!

tiberius

According to the site, Tiberius “has sweet citron zest, black pepper, and cedar as its top notes and warm vanilla, white musk, and sandalwood as its base notes” . . .

redshirt

While Red Shirt “has top notes of green mandarin, bergamot, and lavender, with base notes of leather and grey musk. ”

Also to be available this year is Ponn Farr, a scent said to be named after a Vulcan mating ritual and designed for female fans.

While all this sounds well and good, I’m waiting for them to unveil a Tribbles fragrance! (Actually, on second thought, that would probably just smell like wet dog hair so maybe not . . .)

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