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I am a weirdo who occasionally writes about books from my childhood.

(Note: I wrote this a long time ago. I didn’t want to delay this one, but in light of the recent allegations against Blizzard, the timing on this one is not great. I want to say the following as someone who has played every Diablo, and was a Vanilla WoW player from the beginning and played until just two years ago: Blizzard can fuck clear off for the way it treated its female employees and if the company goes down because they won’t take the allegations seriously and make substantial changes, it can drown in the shit that they themselves…

Practical jokes are stupid. It’s a way for someone to be mean to another for no reason and then say, “Hey, it’s a practical joke!” as if those few words negate convincing your family is dead or whatever dumb joke they concocted. Granted, not every practical joke is like that. If the real victim is the joker, then I don’t think there’s a problem, besides, maybe, wasting time.

Maybe my thoughts on practical jokes have been skewed by the jokes gone wrong in R. L. Stine novels and terrible jokes on YouTube that are thinly veiled, monetized ways to…

Saturday Morning Cartoons were weird. Normal ones, Looney Tunes, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the like, existed. Properties for children, like G.I. Joe and, my personal favorite, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, were also common. And then there were the shows that had no business being a kids’ cartoon.

Robocop was actually turned into a Saturday Morning Cartoon, as well as Rambo. These were hard-R adult movies that were thrust in a timeslot between Dragonball and Sonic the Hedgehog.

I have never been to New York City. I would like to visit someday, particularly the Natural History Museum because I love dinosaurs. However, I don’t have the same reverence that others have for the home of Central Park. I love the west coast. I’ve been to Los Angeles, which is kind of like New York City, but with better weather, impossibly beautiful waiters, and a sheen of friendliness that may be fake, but it really doesn’t matter for the three minutes you interact with someone. New York City seems cold and unfriendly and another city with skyscrapers — nothing…

It’s happened.

I read a Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, or Fear Street book once a week. I make my notes on each page and I flag any passages that I find particularly quote-worthy. I finally sit down at my computer and start writing a review. I usually have some topic from my childhood that I want to ruminate on using the book I just read.

But it’s finally happened.

I read The Mind Reader a few weeks ago. When I sat down to write this, I realized that the only thing I could remember about this book is that the title…

It’s easy to ascribe your troubles to an unseen force. Toss your problems to the wind — there’s nothing you can do to change your luck, so you better just suck it up and ride it out!

It’s even easier to say that it’s because of bad luck brought on by something you did and it can be remedied through mystical means. It’s not just a part of life! You did something! You need to rectify it! No need to just ride it out until it ends! Here’s a convoluted placebo!

This week, Mary Anne and the BSC are having…

Instant friendship is a childhood art that is lost when we hit puberty. We gain boobs or cracked voices while we lose some fundamental part of us that can make a friend in five minutes. My family traveled during every school vacation and when we arrived at our destination, one of the first things I did was make friends with either some other kids on vacation or, as is the case in Goosebumps: Ghost Beach, some of the locals. However, unlike most of my vacation buddies, they didn’t ask me to trap a ghost. Let’s get to it.

A spooky ghost hovers over a graveyard with the words “No swimming, no surfing, no haunting” above it.
A spooky ghost hovers over a graveyard with the words “No swimming, no surfing, no haunting” above it.
The ghost of Christmas Future has a condo there.

Our protagonist…

I wish I knew about linguistics when I was eighteen. Maybe if I had known about linguistics when I was eighteen, I wouldn’t have entered university as a Computer Science Major, instead of an English major. It took me a college dropout and ten years later to learn about the perfect major for me — linguistics. There is a degree where you just play with grammar and learn languages? Those are the two things I sit around and do all day.

It seems that Jessi Ramsey and I share a common interest — language. Unlike some other people, we put…

I’ve gone my whole life without ever seeing those vast cornfields that Boomer and Gen X writers are obsessed with. Children of the Corn, In the Tall Grass, and countless other examples demonstrate how terrifying cornfields are to them. Now, I have never seen these interminable rows of clustered vegetation because I have never been to the midwest. And when my family traveled, it was into deserts or so far west that we ended up in the east. The closest example to cornfields in my life might be the rice paddies that patterned every roadside in the Philippines. While they…

There’s no point in trying to conceal my bias — I think child beauty pageants are creepy and gross. I don’t like the idea of forcing children to compete against one another for really no reason. They’ll have enough competition in their futures. However, I don’t blame the children. …

Amy A. Cowan

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