Episode 82: Little Lambs Eat Ivy

NBO or die! Alison and Jody discuss chapters 3-4 of Judy Blume’s beloved adult novel “Summer Sisters” (1977). So much is happening at the Psycho House in Martha’s Vineyard: Vix and Caitlin discover their Power and get up to some secret shenanigans, Sharkey speaks, Von and Bru turn heads, Trisha makes her debut, and the whole gang hits up a nude beach. Jody and Al talk about Pogs, wearing children’s clothing, and long-haired men. They read a near-perfect listener letter from Ellen and play some vintage ‘70s-era commercials. Shout out to Iron Betty, this week’s Blume Head of the week!

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Alison Michael
Episode 81: Lavacious

Nothin’ like a NEW BOOK! Alison and Jody start reading Judy Blume’s 1998 fan favorite adult novel, “Summer Sisters” (chapters 1-2). The girls set the scene for ‘77, the year Vix meets Caitlin and her life is changed forever. There’s already so much intrigue, surprise, and serious questions to ponder: who the hell is Bru? How does a Pizza Wagon work? Does Judy have an animal nickname fetish? And what is “IT”? Jody recounts 1977’s notable events (did you know that Argentina sent a pregnant lady to Antarctica for first dibs on the South Pole?), while Alison talks about music, TV, movies, and the tragic Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. They also read two heartwarming/tear-jerking Blume Head letters and announce this week’s Blume Head of the Week, Lizza!

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Alison Michael
Odds and Ends #10: Goodbye Gymsuit

Calling all Danziger Heads! This one's for you. Jody and Alison tie up "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" (1974) with special guest Jack, and the Blume Cocoon spins a little out of control. The gang reads some A+ listener letters and a follow-up from Paula not long before she passed. Alison presents a Special Report on The Pledge of Allegiance, Jack schools us on the PTA, and Jody does the origins and evolution of the word "Ms." Listen in for school suspension stories, magic blue potion, star spangled cookies, weird anti-drinking PSAs, amateur songwriting, Pillow People, and a quiz about grown-ups who love stuffed animals. You will learn SO MUCH this episode. Giant congratulations to this week's Blume Head of the Week, Aimee Hagerty Johnson!

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Alison Michael
Episode 80: Platform Crocs

Can you believe it's the final "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" episode?! Alison and Jody read chapters 16-18 of Paula Danziger's super awesome 1974 YA novel about a gal learning to be okay with herself. Marcy and Joel go on a wild shopping plaza rampage, Stuart learns a Very Important Lesson, Mom figures out how to be her own woman, and Ms. Finney FINALLY has her hearing (hint: it does not play as you'd expect). Join the gals for more Blume Head letters and dramatic reenactments as Jody recovers from jet lag and Alison endures a cold. But everything's amazing because there are AUSSIE SNACKS in the Cocoon.

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Alison Michael
Episode 79: Dysfunction Junction

It's time for Marcy's first party! Join Alison and Jody for chapters 14-15 of Paula Danziger's beloved novel about teen rebellion, teen love, and teen angst, "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" (1974). Marcy and Joel hit up Nancy's unchaperoned basement party, where things start to get a little wild with flying pretzels and beer karate. Marcy also gets her FIRST KISS... but it's not what she had imagined. Dad proves to be an even bigger dick than we thought, mom remains helpless, and grandma remains nameless. The girls read two very awesome letters from Blume Heads describing awkward dates, first protests, and body image coping mechanisms. Congratulations to Melissa, this week's Blume Head of the Week!

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Alison Michael
Episode 78: Purple Pants Suit

Marcy’s suspension is going swimmingly! In chapters 12-13 of Paula Danziger’s “The Cat Ate My Gymsuit” (1974), our heroine gets an awesome new outfit, spends quality time with Stuart and Wolf, learns about boys from Nancy, and prepares for her first date! The girls receive a fantastic letter from Blume Head Jennie, Alison presents her findings on the Pledge of Allegiance and its legal ramifications, and Jody forces her sister to sing “Advance Australia Fair” in two-part harmony. Come inside the Blume Cocoon for some whiskey, Oreo Creme Eggs, giggle fits, dramatic readings, sweet nostalgia, and astute literary analysis. Shout out to this week’s Blume Head of the Week, Sharifa!

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Alison Michael
Episode 77: Single Dad on the School Board

Get ready for some old-fashioned teenage rebellion! Jody and Alison read chapters 10-11 of Paula Danziger's YA classic, "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" (1974). Marcy and the Four Horsemen of Finney plan a sit-in to save their favorite teacher from getting fired. Evil Principal Stone puts the kibosh on their radical plot and (spoiler!) Marcy ends up with a suspension. But Joel asks her to Nancy's party so everything's fine! The gals read some wonderful letters and notes from Blume Head listeners, reminisce about getting in trouble at school, Jody gives a Special Dream Analysis Report, and Alison rallies with a decadent Targ-Bucks beverage. Tune in for plenty of dramatic readings, the Star Spangled Banner, and too much caffeine. Lastly, congratulations to Blume Head of the Week, Surfer Girlie.

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Alison Michael
Episode 76: Loquacious Siblings

Damn the man! Poor Marcy's entire world is crumbling. In chapters 7-9 of Paula Danziger's 1974 YA novel, "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit," Ms. Finney disappears and everyone's freaking out. The whole class gets detention for sassing Principal Stone, but this only brings Marcy and Joel closer together. Dad sucks, Mom can't function without tranquilizers, and Stuart never has enough orange pits. Jody and Alison talk about farts and the Pledge of Allegiance, peppered with some maudlin reenactments and vintage commercials. Congrats to TWO Blume Heads of the Week: Sojourner Sleuth and Anna Crossley.

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Alison Michael
Episode 75: Je Suis La Jeune Fille

OMG Dad is such a jerk! Welcome to chapters 3-6 of Paula Danziger's "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit," published in 1974. Alison and Jody recap all the Smedley goings-on, the Lewis household arguments, and the budding friendship between Marcy and Joel Anderson. We also learn about the deal with Wolf and those orange pits. The girls read three awesome letters (thank you Kate, Ingrid, and Helen!) and do a follow-up with Blume Head Bex on golf calligraphy sets. Come inside the Cocoon for over-the-top dramatic readings and laughs, with a shiny coat of nostalgia.

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Alison Michael
Episode 74: Fluffy Fluff Fluff Fluff

New book y’all! Jody and Alison are thrilled to begin Paula Danziger’s debut novel, “The Cat Ate My Gymsuit,” chapters 1-3. They start with a 1974 primer and delve into some wild specifics: Rumble in the Jungle, Marina Abramovic’s uncomfortable performance art, the worst music in modern history, and Saturday morning cartoons. Our protagonist Marcy pretty much hates her life until the mysteriously hip Ms. Finney shows up at school. What’s up with this crazy teacher? Will Marcy work up the courage to chat with nerdy hunk Joel? What the heck is Smedley? In other news, the gals read two amazing Blume Head letters, reenact their favorite scenes, and sing some Blind Melon. Shout out to Amy Mason Doan, this week’s Blume Head of the Week!

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Alison Michael
Odds and Ends #9: A Sheila Screening

Happy Valentine's Day Blume Heads! It's pure chaos with four ladies in the Cocoon to discuss the "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great" movie and to bid adieu to our favorite scaredy-cat. There's a special report on the infamous chopped and screwed 1995 Olsen Twins hit, "Gimme Pizza." There's correspondence with a real life Sheila Blume Head, who ALSO started her own handwritten newspaper. And of course, there is in-depth critical analysis of the movie, a sweet homage that Judy Blume made with her son, Larry. Join Jody, Alison, and special guests Lizzy and Cathy for pineapple upside-down cake and lots of chat about the '90s. Congrats to Sheila Jo Spencer, this week's Blume Head of the Week!

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Alison Michael
Episode 73: Wiccan Rock Band

Alison, Jody, and special guest Lizzy finish "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great," Judy Blume's 1972 novel about a fabulous ten-year-old who conquers her fears. Sheila takes the dreaded swim test and doesn't drown! The Tubmans have a farewell party and everyone's invited – even Jennifer's baby daddy! The gals read one fascinating letter from a Blume Head who works with an adorable rodent named Mouse Ellis. Lizzy tells us all about her childhood show dogs with stripper names, while Alison presents a comprehensive Special Report on Tarrytown: the pre-WWI bombings, historic mansions, summer camps with towel service, and local SAT scores. And then Jody reveals a secret surprise involving our Most Famous Sheila, Sheila E.! Lastly, there's a super duper difficult 1972 trivia quiz, drafted by Blume Head Willie. No Whitewaters to be found. Congrats to Becky and Mouse Ellis for being Blume Heads of the Week!

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Alison Michael
Episode 72: Put it in the Pizza

It's sleepover time! The gals read chapters 13-14 of Judy Blume's kid lit classic, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great." Sheila hosts her very first slumber party, get crushed by a Slam Book, trashes Bobby Egran's prized possessions, and winds up with a butt-full of toothpaste. Great night, all in all! There's also a very scary hayride with a possible werewolf sighting. Jody and Alison re-enact all the best scenes, and discuss sleeping bag couture and how awful pre-teen girls can be. Then Jody gives an impromptu Special Report on how to get ready for a date in 1972. Hint: you need to spare 5 hours. Join the gals for laughs, weird facts, and a little bit of Olsen Twins. Big ups to this week's Blume Head of the Week, Margret Caulton!

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Alison Michael
Episode 71: Have a Banana

Well hello there, 2019! Jody and Alison return with chapters 11-12 of Judy Blume's 1972 novel, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great." There's a very pregnant pup, a super profesh camp production of "Peter Pan," and of course, more swimming lessons with Marty. Sheila finally puts her face in the water! The girls read a hilarious letter from Blume Head Willie (spoiler: he started his own camp newspaper, just like Sheila), engage in the usual melodramatic readings, and reminisce about their own wannabe thespian experiences. And congratulations to Blume Head of the Week, Rebecca McGoldrick, for telling us about Dr. Drill 'N Fill!

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Alison Michael
Episode 70: WORT

Alison and Jody close out 2018 with chapters 9-10 of "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great", written by Judy Blume in 1972. Intrepid Sheila starts a gossip-y camp newspaper, won't let anyone help her, and gets schooled by the mimeograph machine. After a terrifying dog-lick attack, Mouse gives Sheila another chance to own up to her faults, but our girl refuses to crack. Meanwhile, Jennifer makes a "friend" and that "friend" goes and knocks her up. What's Sheila gonna do with ALL THESE DOGS?! Alison and Jody discuss Barbie Dream Houses, dumb waiters, sisterly competition, and read a great letter from Blume Head Helen. Heartfelt congratulations to Blume Head of the Week, Anna Lamprey!

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Alison Michael
Episode 69: Once, Twice, Three, Shoot

Epic night! Sheila saves Sondra Van Arden from the milk door and partakes in a super scary game of hide-and-seek. Alison and Jody cover chapters 6-8 of Judy Blume's kid lit novel, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great" (1972). They reenact all the crucial scenes, play some great ads from the early '70s, and Jody reads aloud from her early-'90s diary. Big ups to this week's Blume Head of the Week, Sindy Purr! Be sure to send in your Sheilas and tell us about your hometown hide-and-seek traditions.

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Alison Michael
Episode 68: The Ballad of Bon Qui Qui

Sheila Tubman meets Mouse Ellis, the yo-yo Junior Champion of Tarrytown! Your hosts Alison and Jody read chapters 4-5 of Judy Blume's 1972 children's novel, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great." This summer ain't so bad after all – Sheila's making friends, avoiding dogs, and signing up for day camp. But things start to crack when she gets caught in a lie and is forced to take swimming lessons. Will our gal ever be able to gain Mouse's trust? Will she learn to swim without getting her face wet? On the flip side, Alison and Jody unbox some gorgeous Lip Smackers and an OREO RECORD PLAYER (!!!) from a very generous Blume Head. They also take a quiz on all things Sheila, tell stories about deceased chickens, listen to vintage TV commercials, and embark on some primo dramatic readings.

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Alison Michael
Episode 67: Whitewater

New book alert! Jody and Alison get back on the Fudge Train with the second in the series, "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great," written by Judy Blume in 1972. The girls are joined by longtime Blume Head Lizzy as they read chapters 1-3. To set the scene, Jody talks 1972 current events, movies, and hosts a trivia quiz where everyone's a winner! Alison presents her pop music findings, and Lizzy gives us the low-down on fashion of the era. They also dig up Judy's musings on Sheila, and an amazing book review by a real life 10-year-old. Sheila's family moves to Tarrytown for the summer, and it could not be worse. There's a howling dog, a scary spider, and NO YELLOW CARPET WITH A RED ROSE IN THE MIDDLE. Just lots and lots of Testor’s glue. Finally, congrats to Stephanie (otherwise known as Bookshelf Bombshell) for being this week's Blume Head of the Week!

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Alison Michael
Odds and Ends #8: Lolita vs. Marathon Bars

Alison and Jody conduct a thorough post-mortem of Norma Klein's edgy YA novel, "Domestic Arrangements." They read some awesome listener letters about hot record store boys, '80s triangle perms, and Judy Blume eBay treasures. Alison shares her obsession with French chanteuse Alizée, and Jody discovers who wrote the iconic beat poem "Now-Times for People with Now-Dreams." The girls discuss Adrian Lyne's 1997 adaptation of "Lolita," DominiqueSwain's film legacy, and the truth about Marathon Bars. They say their final goodbye to Rusty and Co. with some thought-provoking Goodreads reviews and unveiling their NEXT BOOK! Can you guess what it is?

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Alison Michael
Episode 66: Now-Times

The "Domestic Arrangements" finale! Alison and Jody read chapters 23-25 of Norma Klein's 1981 YA novel, in which Rusty gets a bootleg pixie cut, finally meets Pam from Andover, learns the truth about her parents' marriage, and appears on the Today Show. You absolutely don't want to miss Alison's far out beat poetry or Jody's Medieval chamber singing! And congratulations to Rosemary's Ladies, this week's Blume Head(s) of the Week! It's a Judy Blume book club. Join us every week!

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Alison Michael