"I’m yesterday’s girl," Or California Diaries #3

 Image thanks to goodreads.

Guys?  Before I get into CD #3, I just want to point out that I’m a leeeetle disappointed that in my last post, no one seemed to get the Pickering Industries reference.  I thought for sure there were some readers here who must have enjoyed what I believe to be the second greatest sitcom ever made even though it lasted less than a season.  If you never watched Andy Richter Controls the Universe, I blame YOU for taking away my second favorite sitcom ever.  (First favorite: Arrested Development.  Duh. I mean, obviously, right?)

Anyway, on to our girl Maggie Blume.  Maggie’s diary is better than Sunny’s or Dawn’s for a couple reasons.  First – she uses a laptop (because she’s rich, yo) to keep her journal, which means no handwriting!  (Except for her poems, which for some reason are handwritten) and second – she actually journals the way most people do.  It’s a little more introspective and a little less narrative.

Maggie’s biggest problem is that she’s a perfectionist.  She gets straight A’s in school.  She excels at the piano, she has a great singing voice and she was just named the youngest ever poetry editor of the school’s literary magazine, Inner Vistas.  Despite all this, she never feels like she’s good enough.  And the reason for that is mostly her dad.  Yay!  She can join Dawn in the BSC daddy-issues club.  Maggie’s dad is a big-time movie producer and is rarely home.  When he is home though, he loves to control Maggie’s life, down to ordering which extracurricular activities she may join.  As for mom – she’s usually either drunk or hungover.  Not much of a presence in Maggie’s life. What Maggie does love to do which she never told her father is write poetry.  And her poetry is…kind of OK for a thirteen year old privileged girl.

Another problem in Maggie’s life is Sunny. Maggie just isn’t happy with Sunny’s behavior, but is being patient with her, because she knows Sunny’s going through some shit.  She calls Sunny a high-maintenance friend.  These days, you give a lot more than you get.  Sunny is kind of a bitch in this one, telling Maggie that she should try to ‘trap’ Justin Randall (the hottie sophomore) into going out with her by promising him an audition for her dad’s next movie.  Maggie doesn’t want to, but Sunny just won’t fucking drop it.

One day, Maggie, Dawn and Sunny are goofing around after school singing some songs, and Amalia overhears them.  She is wowed by Maggie’s voice, though Maggie doesn’t believe it when Amalia, Dawn and Sunny all insist she has a good voice.  Amalia wants Maggie to audition for backup singer of her “sometimes boyfriend” James.  The band is called Vanish (which is so 90’s!).  Maggie thinks Amalia is crazy, but she does agree to just go watch a rehearsal.  Where Justin Randall is just going to happen to be…

We all know what happens right?  Maggie ends up going to the auditions, totally not intending to actually audition but ends up kind of being forced into it by Amalia and she’s the OMG BEST BACKUP SINGER EVAR!!!!!  She’s totally in the band now.   But….this is so NOT an activity that Papa Blume agreed to.  You know what else?  One of Vanish’s songs has lyrics that Maggie thinks are ridic.  So because she’s the OMG BEST EIGHTH GRADE POET EVAR, she writes new lyrics.  And not surprisingly, the band luuuuurves them.  And they use her lyrics instead.

Rut-roh. Turns out the Battle of the Bands competition is the same night as Pa Blume’s big premiere for his new movie Fatal Judgment (which is so 90’s!).  What’s Mags to do?  Well, seeing as this is the ‘edgy’ BSC and this was ghostwritten by Lerangis, we get a dose of Maggie disobeying her parents and sneaking behind their backs.   The big plan is for Maggie to go to the premiere with her parents.  Then tell them she’s sitting with some friends, but Ducky will be down the street waiting in his car where he’ll take her to Battle of the Bands.  They’ll leave right after Vanish performs and Maggie will be back in time for the after-premiere party.

And the plan should work.  Except Maggie’s little brother Zeke rats her out.  She does get to the party, but the folks know she wasn’t there for the movie.  Even mom who is fitshaced already knows that Maggie wasn’t there.  Daddy Blume is super disappointed in his little girl, especially when he learns that Maggie’s band did NOT come in first.  Dad just doesn’t get her. All Mags knows is that she isn’t going to stop.  She’s not going to stop writing or singing or doing the things she loves whether her father wants her to or not.

  • Maggie makes a couple references to feeling fat.  Could that possibly be some foreshadowing for a later Maggie Diary?
  • Maggie becomes really good friends with Amalia in this one.  Before she only kind of knew Amalia.
  • I wish Maggie didn’t care so much what her dad thinks.  Cause he’s totally a dick.
  • Oh, and I may have mentioned before that I don’t really care for perfectionist Type-A personalities.  In fact, I think my whole Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson blog post was based on the idea of me asking Rachel to chill the fuck out.  But…..I kind of like Maggie.   I mean, yeah it’s annoying that she’s so good at everything she touches.   And it’s kind of annoying that she’s convinced she’s failed every single test only to find out later she got an A.  But it’s hard to hate someone who is calling herself Stupid Stupid Stupid for missing two whole questions on the math test.  It just really bothered me and made me feel  sympathetic toward her.   And, of course the whole reason she’s like that in the first place is her fucking father.
  • Oh and while Sunny was definitely sympathetic in her own journal, in this book she’s pretty unbearable.
  • Maggie decides she needs a new Look once she makes the band.  She asks her friends for advice for a new look.  Sunny wants her to go with green make up and spiky white hair.  Dawn wants barefoot, no makeup natural look (of course) and Ducky says to go with cat’s eye glasses, flats and a neon fifties dress.
  • And there is one more notch in the Ducky is totally gay column.
  • Maggie still can’t decide on a look, and she didn’t do so well at rehearsal because she got a node (whatever that is) in her throat.  So she started cutting.  No – not her skin.  That might be a little too edgy even for California Diaries.  She cut her hair.  And she did it willy nilly, no plan.  And you know what???? It looked perfect and cool.  Because everything Maggie touches turns to gold!  (Except for her relationship with her parents of course….)
  • Mom hates Maggie’s haircut and believes Maggie has regressed to her wilder days.  Wilder days?  She’s only thirteen for fuck’s sake!  Her wilder days should be a good two to three years in front of her.  But mom’s really just being a bitch because she’s wicked hung over.
  • I know nothing about poetry.  I think Maggie’s might be good for a thirteen year old?   Her poem for Sunny:

We held hands at the Hollywood Bowl
As the summer sun set
I was afraid I’d be lost
If I let go.
We were two, we were three
We were thirteen.
And still the sun sets
But my fingers grip air
And I feel lost
Have I let go
Or have you?
Rise, my friend
Blaze, my friend
Use your light
And find me, my friend.

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About nikkihb

Wife. Mother. Reader. Blogger.
This entry was posted in Ann M. Martin, BSC, California Diaries. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to "I’m yesterday’s girl," Or California Diaries #3

  1. Amber says:

    I've only seen a couple of episodes of Andy Richter Controls the Universe but I really dug the one where he had that racist girlfriend. I wonder if Sandra Bullock went through something similar with Jesse James…?And I don't know much about poetry either but from what I remember from my grad school unit on poetry, it looks like Maggie has made use of "enjambment" in her poem. And that's the first time I've ever typed the word "enjambment" in a comment box.

  2. Mia says:

    Out of the four(?) California Diaries I read this was my favorite. I remember thinking that Maggie whined the least of all the girls. I'm not sure if this was actually true or if I just related to her type of whining. Come to think of it, I was probably just relating to those Type A personality traits.I do remember being particularly impressed with Maggie's poetry. I don't really remember what it was I liked about it, though.

  3. Sadako says:

    I remember liking Maggie the most. Yeah, the laptop helped but I could definitely sympathize. I'm one of those insane worrying types who is convinced they messed up everything even when they do well, somehow. And I liked that a main character could have an eating disorder (later on, anyway)–in BSC world, it was only that girl that Jessi sort of knew. Or like when Stacey's ex Robert is depressed–it's never a protagonist going through heavy stuff. I liked that they actually gave a voice to someone going through an issue instead of trotting them out to sort of show, "See, this is anorexia" and then getting rid of them when the very special book was over.

  4. ali says:

    I wish I'd known Maggie's journals weren't handwritten! I don't mind the whole type A personality thing so I think I would've liked reading Maggie's books. She does seem a little crazy though, what with the random hair cutting and all. I'm just amazed to see this kind of stuff in the BSC universe.

  5. Caroline says:

    Maggie's diaries being typed was such a relief. I don't think I've read this one, but I know I've read at least one other Maggie diary.

  6. Anonymous says:

    She sounds like a bit of a sue. I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates the perfectionist type who wangst if they don't get an A! I was a dumb kid in school. Maybe she meant toddler years by wilder days. We know how hardcore toddlers are.

  7. Late to the party and a TOTAL type-A perfectionist here. I liked Maggie the best too. (Really wish the other diaries coulda been typed. Just sayin'.)Keep 'em coming, Nikki!

  8. charmecia says:

    dude, i always loved maggie blume. ever since the bsc books where dawn goes to california to visit, ive always had a thing for maggie, though i gotta confess.i always thought maggie was always the rebellious one, especially according to the bsc, she would keep her hair kind of dyed, and would wear cutting edge, punk, gothic looks. this is totally a whole new maggie ive never seen before. wow.oh, and sadako, the name of the girl who jessi talked to in book 61: jessi and the awful secret, is named mary.(who i actually liked)even though i hate robert brewster, i gotta admit, his issues were indeed most revealing.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Ah! My favorite of the Diaries, before Maggie descended into a stereotype of a teen problem. I LOVED Maggie’s poetry when I read these, as I read these in fifth grade, but even now, it’s not bad (and compared to some in the Creative Writing course I took in college, it’s excellent). And as a fifth grader, I thought Ducky just had an excellent sense of style? ::embarassed face::

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