My So-Called Life
On The Wagon

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Sars: D | Grade It Now!
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On The Wagon

Under the bleachers, Jordan narrates the events of band practice the previous evening: "So he just said, 'This isn't working for me,' then he threw his mic into Joey's bass drum, and then he...left." Angela, hanging precariously from his every word, says all over-involved, "So he quit, Tino quit Frozen Embryos?" Shot of Rayanne, crossing the yard and looking for Angela, then smiling happily when she spots her. Jordan smoothes a lock of lank hair away from his face and says he doesn't think they can call the band Frozen Embryos anymore, "'cause it was Tino's name," and now it's "like, off-limits or something." He takes a drag of his cigarette. "I'm really sorry," Angela says, stroking his arm. Another shot of Rayanne, shifting from foot to foot at the edge of the bleachers and waiting for Angela to notice her. AVO: "I'm just really, like, low. I'll just find any excuse...to touch him." Again, Sars VO has so been there. Rayanne swings herself under the bleachers and hops up and down next to Jordan, apparently to announce herself; Angela, who up to this point seems to have studiously avoided looking directly at Rayanne, arranges her face into a smile. Rayanne asks if she's interrupting, and as Jordan prepares to drift away, Angela falsely tells Rayanne, "No. Hi!" and then tells Jordan, "No -- you don't have to --" "Whatever. Later," Jordan grunts; the spell is broken, so he walks away.

Rayanne makes a "what was that about" noise, and Angela, watching Jordan go, shrugs that "he's just a bit upset," and she starts to recount the whole Tino-pulls-a-John-Lennon but then stops herself, figuring that Rayanne "must have heard what happened, right?" "Oh, yeah!" Rayanne snorts, then asks, "So what happened?" They sit down to snack on raisins, and Angela tells her that Tino quit Frozen Embryos, but says that "I only know 'cause he told me" so Rayanne won't feel too out of the loop. Rayanne asks with a wide grin if Angela thinks it bothers Rayanne that she knows, adding defensively that Tino would tell her himself "if he was, like, in school." "I know," Angela says, looking worried. They commune silently with their raisins for a moment before Rayanne asks, "So Angelika, what's the deal, do I ever get to see you again?" Angela starts to apologize, but Rayanne quickly says that she's kidding, "get outta here, I see you too much -- don't flatter yourself." Angela sees through her, though, and says no, really, Rayanne should come over after school. Rayanne asks if that's cool with Patty. "Yeah, of course it is, don't be crazy," Angela says, but immediately after she says it, her face falls; she's wondering to herself if it is in fact cool with Patty, and she adds aloud that Patty never gets home before six anyway. Rayanne thinks this over, then says that maybe she will come over.

Rayanne's in the kitchen with Graham "Irony Chef" Chase, who's telling her not to break the egg yolk. Rayanne, clearly thrilled at the positive attention from a male adult, separates and asks, "So, you actually, like, teach people how to cook?" "Yeah, I actually, like, do," Graham says mildly, before taking a bottle of cognac down from a shelf and telling Rayanne that he's sorry Angela isn't home yet: "Did you guys have definite plans?" "Like this?" Rayanne says, holding up the eggshell. "That's perfect, you're a natural," Graham tells her. Knocking at the back door. "Ah -- this must be her," Graham says, and he puts the cognac down on the counter beside Rayanne and heads for the door. It's actually Patty "Bubelatty" Chase, who enters with her arms full of grocery bags just in time to see Rayanne casually examine the bottle and put it back down. "Hi," she says. Rayanne, embarrassed, says "hey" and retreats from the counter to a corner of the kitchen. Patty puts down the bags, looks down for a moment at the bottle, takes a moment to maintain her fixed-and-dilated smile, and offers Rayanne something to drink, "like a soda?" Rayanne shyly accepts: "Anything with sugar and caffeine." "So where's Angela?" Patty asks, putting the cognac away. Rayanne shrugs that Angela must have "better things to do, or what have you." Patty studies her, then says with a too-casual half-laugh, "So she's with, um...I mean...I, I, I thought they weren't, uh," and Rayanne snarks, "Exactly -- you figure it out." Patty comes back over to Rayanne, still giving her a "what exactly is going on here" look, as Rayanne continues, "It's like watching a roller-coaster. Actually, I think they're in the ticket line, like, really close to the roller-coaster." Patty pours herself a glass of soda and considers this, and she's about to ask Rayanne something when Rayanne eagerly volunteers, "So, did Angela tell you? I got thirty-three days." A puzzled look from Patty. "I'm squeaky-clean, like a rubber ducky," Rayanne confides, deflating a bit. "No, Angela didn't tell me -- congratulations," Patty beams, and they clink glasses. Enter "Shut Up" Danielle Chase. Rayanne chooses that moment to let rip with a soda belch, and Danielle brats, "You're supposed to say 'excuse me,'" and Rayanne quickly says "excuse me" and apologizes. Then there's a minor kerfuffle over whether or not the chocolate sauce is burning, and the Chases (minus Angela) cluster around the pot, Danielle whining for a taste and Patty looking on benevolently. From the counter, Rayanne watches the family with a mixture of fondness and envy. Patty sees this in Rayanne's face and invites her to stay for dinner, but Rayanne lies that she's "gotta go, my mom's making dinner -- later," and she grabs her bag and jets. Patty watches her go and mutters to Graham, "You know, that girl...never said 'thank you.'" "For what?" Graham asks, stirring the sauce. "For saving her life," Patty says grimly.

Graffhaus. On an episode of Sesame Street, Ernie can't sleep, and Bert advises him to count sheep. Focus pull to the foreground, where a blender starts whirring; focus push back out to Rayanne, who regards the blender sulkily before turning back to the TV. Amber "I Hardly Even Know 'Er!" Vallone, dressed in several layers of floaty patterned silk, pours herself a frosty cold margarita and comes to sit down next to Rayanne. "So, when's dinner?" Rayanne asks pointedly. "Oh...you're hungry?" Amber asks. "I haven't eaten since breakfast," Rayanne huffs. Amber asks why Rayanne didn't eat lunch, and Rayanne reminds her that "it's Tuesday -- I saw my counselor today." "What counselor?" Amber asks, going into the kitchen. "My drug counselor," Rayanne says, sounding close to tears, "Mrs. Krzyzanowski -- remember, I told you!" "Ohhh-kay!" Amber calls out, opening the freezer and listing its contents: egg rolls, mini-quiche, and "ooh, pirogues!" Heh. "I'm sick of appetizers," Rayanne grumbles sadly. Amber arches a brow at her and closes the freezer. Rayanne goes on, her voice rising, "I want a real meal...with all four basic food groups, and just for once, can it not be such an amazing surprise that I wanna eat dinner like every other American on the planet?" Amber, patiently: "Okay, what's up?" "Nothing!" Rayanne wails. Another brow arch from Amber, and sure enough, Rayanne immediately whirls around and complains, "Angela invites me over today, and -- and -- and when I get there she's nowhere to be found." Amber asks if they had a fight. Rayanne says no. Amber gives her a hug and asks what Rayanne did. "What'd I do?" Rayanne asks. "Yeah, to make Angela mad at you?" Amber asks. Oh, that's supportive. "Nothing -- she's just with Jordan Catalano all the time," Rayanne sneers. Amber nods and advises Rayanne, "Well, then you be with him too," and tells her to hang out with Angela while Angela hangs out with Jordan, blah dee blah: "Become a part of it, Raynie!" Ugh. That's the worst advice ever, in my opinion, and as a girl who spent most of high school playing fifth wheel to her boy-stung friends, sitting politely while the couples pretty much ignored me, I'd just like to say that horning in on your friends' action because you can't get your pals to give you face time otherwise is just about the most depressing thing you can do to yourself -- like, where did Amber get that pearl of non-wisdom, Seventeen? If your friends attach themselves to their love interests' hips, do yourself a favor and get new friends. Okay, PSA over. Rayanne seems to agree with me; she slumps back over to the couch. Amber, head down in the fridge, lets out a victorious shriek: "Look what I forgot we had -- leftover Chinese!" Rayanne smiles wanly. "Raynie...butterfly shrimp." Amber feeds her a shrimp, wipes her hands, and tells her seriously that she's seen a lot of Rayanne's friends come and go, "and most of them I could have cared less about [sic]. But Angela...she's special." Rayanne chews her shrimp and nods.

Front seat of Jordan's car. Angela stares through the rain-flecked windshield; Jordan bitches, "What I still can't understand...is why Tino quit. That's what's so...frustratin'." Angela tries to look interested as Jordan goes on, "Can you imagine what that's like -- to have to, like, sit around, tryin' to figure out what someone else is, like...thinking." Like, ha ha. Not. Angela squelches a laugh. After a moment of silence, Rayanne, wearing a bowler hat and about ten thousand necklaces, bursts into the car and giggles, "Hey, what's up?" "Oh, Rayanne, hi," Angela says, in just about the weakest simulation

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My So-Called Life

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