Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fuck You, Stevie. Superstition IS the Way.

Here it is ... the required post dedicated to saying goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010.

Another year gone and this one felt like a fucking landslide. Legal became legal and managed to not get arrested. The Boy graduated kindergarten and turned six. Boss Lady turned five and enrolled in college (not really, but soon pressure to excel, sweetheart). We survived Disneyland, Santa Barbara and bloody noses. I turned 37 and didn't care. We wrote messages on balloons to Seltar on the anniversary of his passing and sent them skyward.

I laughed, I cried, I ranted, I raved, I drank Chardonnay.

So to you 2009, I wrap you in pretty paper and lovely ribbons and I bid you farewell. I'll remember you in journal entries, heartfelt letters to Sel, semi-funny blog posts, recipes from Sunday night dinners and photos yet to be organized, many to be printed (maybe in 2010 but more likely in 2011).

And though I may not be the most religious person (religious art excluded), I am very much a superstitious person. You will never find my ass under a ladder, I'm constantly throwing salt over my shoulder and if you open an umbrella inside my house I'll have no choice but to remove your spleen with my teeth. I'm not kidding. Next time I see you you'd better have a rabbit's foot, a four-leaf clover and a fucking pot of gold for me.

I believe in superstitions more than I believe in resolutions (I never claimed to be rational nor sane). So instead of making a pact with the Devil myself to lose ten pounds or write the Great American Novel, I will wear polka dots for prosperity, bright yellow panties for wealth and eat twelve grapes before the final stroke of midnight. I'll eat lentils on New Years Day and if I can find it I'll also throw in a stuffed pig's trotter. I'll eat my noodles unbroken and won't sweep until January 2.

According to Stevie, when you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain't the way. Whatever. I'll take my chance and let you know this time next year just how prosperous fluorescent yellow panties can be.

Happy New Year from she who is Miss Spoken!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brandy Glaze and Fist Fights At Wal*Mart

I'm the girl that likes Christmas.

Every year I have a different theme for the tree. Last year it was red and white and decorated with glass candy canes, peppermints and snowmen. This year it was ice blue, cool green and a touch of apricot (not orange, not gold ... apricot).

I have a dining room window that's about 24 inches deep. Perfect for stringing mini-lights and suspending oversized ornaments from fishing line. It's also the perfect place for my baby deer, in all her clear-light glory, to graze upon fake snow that has been scattered on a huge mirror beneath her feet. The mirror reflects the lights from above and the effect is ... ahhhhhh, lovely.

I have candles that sit in nests of cranberries. Real fucking cranberries.

Lit garland wraps itself over and around and down the banister.

I create an enormous wreath from the cuttings of my 6-8 foot tall tree.

The kids and I make reindeer food out of oats, powdered sugar and glitter. We spread it on the rooftop and on the sidewalk.

I make things like Brandy Glazed Ham and Leek Gratin.

I fucking love Christmas.

And I'm so fucking over it, too.

My Christmas starts in early October when I see Santa's fat face looking at me in Ross's while I'm trying to forge for glass pumpkins. He shows up in my garage in November when I try to find the box marked Autumn/Fall Serving Plates and instead I find Christmas Lights Box 2 of 6.

And now, two days after my son woke up at 4:00 in the morning to tell me Santa ate the cookies and drank all the milk, I'm over it. I still have a skatepark to take out of it's protective NASA-made shell, a set of walkie talkies that need nine volt batteries (the only kind I don't have) and a Transformer mask that needs some kind of assembling. Boss Lady can't find her Moxy Girl's boots and Legal went out last night and is now puking in the bathroom.

Goodbye, Christmas.

All that's left for me to do is take down the decorations, wrap up this year's colored ornaments and recycle this 6-8 foot fire hazard.

The reindeer food is frozen and stuck to the sidewalk and must now be chiseled away.

Scotch tape has to be peeled off of the couch and I'll have to vacuum at least four more times to get the sparkles out of the carpet. Why are there sparkles in the carpet? I have no idea.

My roasting pan still has a layer of Brandy Glaze and will soak for another 2 days.

[heavy sigh]

At least I have the 50% Off All Wrapping Paper brawl to look forward to at Wal*Mart. Make no mistake ... Miss Spoken will cut a bitch over some discounted foil gift wrap.

What about you Innernetterz? Will I be seeing you at the Wal*Mart cage match or were you over the holidays a month ago?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All I Want For Christmas Is Some Good ol' Fashioned Xanax

Why is my son behaving like a total asshole?

Yes, I know he's six but he's still acting like a jerk. And the whole Santa's watching threat is completely useless. The Boy thinks he's a bad ass and probably wants Santa to watch.

He has acquired the habit of chewing on his sleeves until they are soaking fucking wet... and then he chews some more. He's even had his behavior card flipped at school because of this. For those of you not up-to-date on your elementary school penal code system, getting your card flipped is bad. I put him in short sleeves and he manages to somehow chew his collar.

And he's repeating everything I say to him.

Me:  "Go to your room."
The Boy:  "You go to your room."
Me (in my head): "Fine, but I'm taking the wine with me." (then I do twirls and spins with my wine bottle glass in hand because that's where I wanted to be anyway.)

Me:  "Stop throwing paper airplanes at my head."
The Boy:  "I didn't do it." (he says this as a fleet of paper jet fighters sit waiting for take off at his feet)
Me:  "Don't lie to me."
The Boy:  "You don't lie to me."
Me (in my head):  "Shit. He's got me on that one."

His anger manifests itself in all kinds of physical ways. Usually it goes like this (and if anybody knew his father, they'll recognize this right away):

First, his eyebrow shoots up into his hairline while he simultaneously clenches his fists and grits his teeth. Then he shakes a little or a lot. He might even look for something to throw, but he catches my eye first (my eyebrow also holds the ability to arch with menace). Then he'll storm upstairs and threaten to runaway... to the gas station. I offer to help him pack. And so ends another day.

I think I recognize this for what it is:  the struggle for power and control. Mom versus Son. I'm pretty sure that in the end I'll win, if only because I have more duct tape than he does and I know how to use zip ties.

But it's exhausting work and requires copious amounts of Chardonnay. I'm also not opposed to sedatives (and not just for my son.) Stop yelling at me, that was a joke. But seriously, a little pharmaceutical gift in my stocking would be much appreciated, Santa.

Every villain needs a monocle.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Not-So-Funny Post About Addiction

It's about 9 o'clock in the morning and my semi-collective family (Johnny Boy, my mom, The Boy and I) are making our way over the hill and through the woods to Miss Led's house we go.

Miss Led is my little sister.

Miss Led has two daughters.

Miss Led currently lives in a residential rehab for women.

Alright, I'll just say it. Addiction is not uncommon in my family. It's actually quite the norm. Think steak and potatoes (or orange juice and vodka); it's like it was just meant to be. What's abnormal, is somebody in my family getting help. And she is.

So we are making this three hour drive to celebrate Christmas a week early. The car is packed with gifts for her daughters and things to make her life in the Anti-Shangri-La more comfortable (and therefore maybe less likely for her to leave?). Pillows, cigarettes, tampax, string cheese and a huge bowl of homemade spicy peanut chicken with a bag of lettuce cups to wrap it in. Because I know that if I were in rehab, I would want spicy peanut chicken wraps. Who wouldn't? I might also want a powerful sedative.

But enough about chicken, let's get back to the meat and potatoes. The undeniable truth is that addiction has infected every branch of this family tree. It's our root disease. It's made grandchildren steal from grandparents, fathers smoke crack with daughters and mothers pass out at the kitchen table while their jeans darken with the release of urine that their broken bodies can no longer hold. Our boys have gone to prison. Our girls have abused themselves.

If you follow the word of Miss Spoken, you might be under the impression that I'm a genius. That I would naturally be immune to this bacteria. But for the record, I am not the better sister wagging a finger at the poor choices the younger sister has made and tsk-tsking her behavior. Instead, I feel nothing but empathy, a sort of soul-symphony.

Trauma. Abuse. Neglect. Exploitation. All of these things pretend to be buried when you're high so you stay high. But the addict knows that in reality, drugs are just a lay-away plan. Recovery means cashing out and getting it all back with interest. Which is why I love my sister even more for taking these initial steps and doing the work that will give her back her identity, her confidence, her children and ultimately her life.

Two months down and many more to go before I can stop holding my breath for her. Until then, I'll keep her supplied with meat that doesn't need to be refrigerated, canned white potatoes and whatever my heart can afford.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Totally Shredded My Cheese!

Guess what guys? Mother Nature totally reads my blog!

She must be one of those anonymous followers that are too embarrassed to follow me publicly. Maybe I'm her guilty pleasure. I'm her Flava of Love. Her Pour Some Sugar On Me

Here's proof.

Remember when I posted about missing my City by the Bay and the thick fog and how I wasn't sure how to handle this Winter offensive? Well, she must have read it because the next day, she made sure to deliver me a bit o'sunshine. Just enough to make the trees start to drip their winter coat. Just enough to turn driveways into slush puddles and to streak the sidewalks with little rivers of melted powder. But then she must have gotten a phone call or something because that night, she let the temperature drop and all that melted snow and slush turned into ice. Lots of ice. So that when I went to hide wine bottles in the garbage outside take out the trash, my slippered feet touched down on one of these Devil's Slides and I was soon airborne. Not to worry Innernetterz, my tailbone totally absorbed the shock of the fall. A bit dumbstruck, I laid there for a second or two, looking up at the sky and saying to myself, "Fuckallhell. I totally just shredded my cheese."

Maybe Mother Nature felt bad about my ass-landing because the next day she delivered me some fog. Lots of fog. But like a backhanded compliment ("You're pretty ... all things considered"), the bitch delivered it frozen.

The fuck is frozen fog?

Technically speaking, frozen fog is fog composed of minute ice crystals. They just hang there, midair. Suspended. Untechnically speaking, it's kind of like looking at something beautiful through dirty contact lenses. Kind of like this:

So the normal ten minute walk to school took more like 30 minutes because (a) I broke my ass the night before and (b) because what was once sidewalks and streets was now one huge ice skating rink/death trap and (c) because I had my mother with me who is only 55 but is petrified of falling and breaking her hip even though I assure her she can still fry chicken with a broken hip. In fact at one point, she considers getting on her hands and knees and crawling. It's not that I haven't seen her do this before. There was that one time when I was little and couldn't sleep and walked into her bedroom unannounced.


To this day I blame her for my nearsightedness.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Letters Are Stupid (I Know This Because I Used To Be Gifted)

We're standing in the middle of an indoor fun zone. We've all gathered here to celebrate The Regulator's birthday and pray at this temple of inflatable obstacle courses and all things bouncy. Even the floor has springs in it. The only thing missing is a few hits of Ecstasy, the repetitive thump of overly mixed House music and a bunch of almost-adults with pacifiers in their mouths and synthetic wings on their backs.

I remind myself that this is a birthday party for a four year old. This is not a warehouse in SOMA. It is not 1995.

With a literal spring in my step, I walk into a conversation about Christmas. Christmas correspondence, to be exact. The Keynote Speaker is The Regulator's mother herself, Miss Perceived.

"I'm doing a Christmas Letter this year," she says with a roll of her eyes.

By now I should expect her to do or say whatever it is that I don't expect her to do or say. Like talking about her drawer of sex toys with my father-in-law sitting at the table beside her. There is a reason she is dubbed Miss Perceived. But I cannot hide the what-the-fuck expression smeared all over my face. Nor can I stop myself from speaking, and by speaking I of course mean laughing.

"You don't even talk on the phone! Why would you send a Christmas Letter and what the fuck is a Christmas Letter anyway?" 

I'm not completely dense. I understand the word Christmas (def: a day when it's okay to sip alcohol in the morning as long as it has bubbles or is an appropriate mixer in coffee) and I know what a letter is (def: something one writes when one is incarcerated). But what, Sweet Jesus, does one have to do with the other?

I scan my memory card for things I know nothing about and couldn't care less about and that's where I find it: a long forgotten memory of finding a Christmas Letter written by my Grandma's sister. In a beautiful longhand of swirls and loops, Great Aunt Katherine set about describing her year of family happenings on a farm in Missouri. I recall that something animal died and something human lived. Somebody gained a husband. Somebody lost a finger. Merry Christmas.

Christmas Letters, I told myself, were stupid. I was in the gifted program at school so I knew that I could not be wrong. Today, although no longer thought of as gifted (unless you consider the ability to give two kids a complete bath in under six minutes "gifted"), I still think Christmas Letters are stupid.

First of all, I have a blog. If you want to know how my year went, spend some time in Miss Spoken's archives. Bring alcohol and a Snuggie.

And what could I possibly say in a Christmas Letter? Legal is eighteen now and still spends her days social networking; The Boy turned six and graduated to wiping his own ass effectively; Boss Lady is five and started composing the soundtrack of my life on her new Kawasaki (thanks Miss Dee). Yes it sounds like popcorn kernels in the garbage disposal but it's a wonderful start to her future career as somebody way more awesome than her mother.

Miss Perceived defends herself. Kind of.

"I know, I know. If you want to get ahold of me, text me. If you call me, I'll just text you back. I'm a texter. Text, text, text. But I haven't sent out Christmas cards in years!"

Miss Perceived is a huge supporter of this blog and the written word of she who is Miss Spoken. Because of this (and the fact that she lives next door and could babysit in case I have one of those Ambien blackouts), I will support her Christmas Letter.

And if it is blog-worthy, God help her.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry Christmas ... I Can't Feel My Feet

As some of you know (and most of you don't care) Miss Spoken was conceived, born and raised in San Francisco. And she loved it there. And she never wanted to leave. But it costs a quadrabillion dollars a month just to get by. And The Family was definitely not getting by. And so with an ultimatum in one hand and a crowbar in the other, Seltar convinced Miss Spoken that she could leave her heart in her beloved city, but her ass would be living in Reno (aka Babbleville).

[Dabbing tears and putting on a brave face]

Miss Spoken still thinks of San Francisco and sometimes writes her love letters and bakes her strawberry cupcakes. But for the most part, Babbleville is treating her and The Family just fine. And if she were really honest with herself (which she can be in enormously self depreciating ways) she would admit that, despite the devastating loss of Seltar, her and The Family are better than fine. Lots of bad habits were left in the City by the Bay. Like Legal's love for a gang banger, The Boy's uncontrollable urge to eat Sharpie markers and Boss Lady's propensity to throw kitty litter in the air like confetti.

But one thing has not been so easy to acclimate to and that is .... the weather.

Miss Spoken's roots and petals are used to a mild climate and the moderate temperature swings  delivered with a gentle hand by the Pacific Ocean. She likes her fog heavy and all-encompassing. That's why summers in Babbleville are spent at the pool sipping vodka and eating cubed fruit because otherwise she would wilt. Or turn into a harpy. And nobody likes a harpy. Especially one who's been drinking vodka.

But that was Summer and her calendar now says Winter. Miss Spoken is still not used to the concept of seasons. Did you know there are four of them? That's three more than she's accustomed to. And that's why there are still tank tops hanging in the closet and board shorts in the drawers. It's why the water wings and the inflatable seal that gushes a spray of water out it's nose, are still full of air. She can vaguely recall a commercial about space bags and putting away seasonal clothing, or was it a magazine that said something about white and Labor Day? She's not sure what to do so she does nothing. She is sure that when the snow comes, it will come in slow, delicate, dream-like flurries. She'll have plenty of time to prepare.

It's this novice mindset that sent her, along with Johnny Boy and The Family, to the Annual Sparks Hometowne Christmas parade completely unprepared. Johnny Boy was savvy enough to bring folding chairs and Miss Spoken knew enough to bring gloves and a hat. But that was about it. Two toe-numbing hours later, after hearing Kimberley Locke sing for about five seconds and after seeing no less than seventeen boy scout troops hurl frozen, broken candy canes into the crowd, Santa finally made an appearance. "Ho-ho- ho, Merry Christmas ... I can't feel my feet."

[Mental Note: Next year bring a chair that won't break during the middle of the parade, a thermos full of Irish coffee and some buffalo hides to keep warm]

And then Winter arrived in the form of something hideous called a Snow Day. And the slow, delicate, dream-like flurries look like this:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday: Also Known as Take Your Gun to the Mall Day

For those who were too afraid to ask and also don't care, Miss Spoken had a splendid Thanksgiving.

Yes, she had a cold but applied therapeutic Mimosas. This was followed by a healthy dose of Chardonnay. Miss Spoken doesn't have the luxury of health insurance so she treats everything with Chardonnay and Voodoo. Sometimes vodka. Ya'll need a prescription you just let her know. She's a giver.

But here's where things do a bit of a nose dive:  Miss Spoken, her mother and Her Gay decided to do the whole Black Friday thing.

Miss Spoken had no business getting up at 2:30 in the morning ... but she did. She had no business leaving the house decaffeinated but Legal broke her promise to pre-set the coffee, thereby forfeiting all rights to receive gifts wrapped in pretty paper. 

So it was that Miss Spoken found herself in the abyss that is Old Navy at 3:15 AM, with no coffee and a line that wrapped the entire square footage of the store. She stood in that line for an hour and a half. Translation:  For 90 minutes, Miss Spoken had to resist the urge to punch the little Asian chick in front of her who insisted on confiscating a plastic chair from the dressing room and dragging it under her size zero ass. She also refrained from hurting the woman who decided to bring of all things ... a stroller and a fucking baby. Really? You brought a baby to Armageddon? In a fucking stroller?

Then came Wal*Mart.

[Did you hear that? That's the sound of somebody's mind splintering]

Then came Toys R Us.

[Did you hear that? That's the sound of somebody re-loading]

Miss Spoken thinks she learned a valuable lesson, Innerneterz. Unless you're actually in the market to buy a plasma screen for Christmas, stay the hell home. And Johnny Boy, if you're reading this (and you damned well better be), next year when Miss Spoken tells you that's she's going to get up at 2:30 to drop kick somebody for the last fleece pullover, you remind her of this post and how much better her life will be if she just stays home and has a Bloody Mary. Just like her witch doctor prescribed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Lucky Bastard Am I

Miss Spoken is Irish. Not completely, but she's more Irish than she is Greek. More Irish than she is Portuguese. And more Irish than she is German.

Let's see just how Irish she is. To do this, we shall start with (and end with) Irish stereotypes:

  1. Yes, she's Catholic. No, she's not a practicing Catholic, unless you count the religious art hanging in her house ('cause she thinks it's cool) or the neck-weary crucifixes she wore in the 80s or the time(s) she actually did go to church but told her mother that the holy water burned. Which reminds me ... Miss Spoken's sister, Miss Led,  thinks her bedroom is haunted and therefore has asked her mother to send her holy water. Miss Spoken has suggested to said mother that she instead send toilet water. Sort of like a placebo. This proves that not only is Miss Spoken a certified genius, but she is also funny(ish).
  2. Yes, she loves the Kennedy Family. Once upon a time, Miss Spoken was the proud owner of a gorgeous black dining room table that was supposedly owned by a Kennedy. Which Kennedy, you ask? Who cares. Any Kennedy. And because the owner before Miss Spoken bought this table at Christie's, she believed it with all her heart and would spend weekends loving this table, polishing this table and totally making out with this table (which is a reoccurring theme for Miss Spoken).
  3. Yes, she loves potatoes! She loves them fried, mashed, baked, baked again and stuffed with wonderful things like cheese and onion. God help her, she's even had them on her pizza.
  4. Yes, she's a brawler? No, she's not a brawler? Miss Spoken refuses to answer, citing some bullshit excuse about self-incrimination and outstanding warrants. Blah-blah.
  5. No, she's not an alcoholic ... per se. Aren't Sundays supposed to be about drinking? And so what if she relies on her 4:00 glass of Chardonnay (stop yelling at her 'cause it used to be 3:00) and Miss Perceived is the one who told her to take a shot of vodka in the morning ... just to settle down when life throws a big pile of shit at your already shit-coated extremities.
  6. No, she does not have the Luck of the Irish. She has the Potato Famine Raped By Vikings kind of Irish luck. The kind of luck that delivers your menstrual cycle like a tsunami while you're in the middle of the woods camping. The kind of luck that always finds you in a Wal*Mart line where a price check needs to be done and the person doing the checking is fucking brainless. The kind of luck that shapes itself into a virus resting in Miss Spoken's chest and sinuses the day before she is to host a dozen people in her house for Thanksgiving. 
Conclusion:  Miss Spoken is too Irish for her own good and should consider being more Greek or maybe more German. More Greek/German stereotype tests to follow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giveaway! The Rasner Effect by Mark Rosendorf

The Rasner Effect
by Mark Rosendorf
Published January 2009

When the Duke Organization, a group of ruthless killers, set off a violent explosion, they wiped out Rick Rasner's life as he knew it.

Many years later, as he still struggled to remember any shred of his former existence, he put a new life together - as a therapist in the Brookhill Children's Psychiatric Residence, a facility for troubled urban teens.

Brookhill's policies, set by head director Katherine Miller, seemed brutal and oppressive. She bullied the therapists too - Rick's meek personality left him incapable of handling her attacks.

He developed an unexplainable bond with fifteen-year old patient Clara Blue - something about her conflicted, volatile personality struck a cord deep inside his psyche. Rick wanted to help her and the other patients, yet met with non-stop opposition from the staff.

The Duke Organization resurfaced, searching for Rick Rasner. When they found him at the Brookhill facility a bloody hostage situation ensued. The lives of both Rick and Clara were about to change - but for the better or worse?

Disgraced mercenary Jake Scarberry was forced out of the witness protection program and back into action - after the Duke Organization. An unpredictable chain of events result between Jake, Rick and the Duke Organization - and Clara Blue.

I love a book with a villain and The Rasner Effect has them in spades. 

This psychological thriller is a page-turner and the plot is relentless.  In The Rasner Effect, Rosendorf introduces us to a lineup of characters that are apathetic and brutal. The reader is never sure who the good guys are ... or if they exist at all. 

The dialogue is gritty and the narrative is fast-paced. Each character is a little more diabolical than the previous and the result is a book that is difficult, if not impossible, to put down.

Thanks to Author Marketing Experts, Inc., I am giving away a copy of The Rasner Effect to one lucky reader.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Morning Such As This

She hears them....

They're not even attempting to speak in hushed voices. She's half asleep but able to make out a few words; Mine. Downstairs. Waffles. Give it back. Ouch!

With a heavy sigh, Miss Spoken turns in her bed and begins the process of determining just what the hell time it is. This is made all the more difficult because of the infection that has taken up residence in her left eye. Her right eye is telling her that it's still dark outside. It's also dark inside except for the crack of light beneath her door which lets her know that The Boy and Boss Lady have made their way downstairs.


She cracks the curtain of crust over her left eye and stares at the alarm clock. It's 5:45 in the fucking morning! That can't be right. She pulls the clock closer to her face. It's still 5:45.  Her mouth opens and out pours a chorus of profanity but nobody hears.

She kicks off the covers and starts to feel her way to the bathroom but is hindered by the gauntlet of oversized Legos that litter the floor. And the thing about oversized Legos is that they are made by The Devil who, with his underworldly knowledge of such things, made them large enough to impale every tender spot of a foot which is the entire foot.

She falls into the bathroom, cursing the day she was born. And when her ass hits the splatter that The Boy left on the toilet seat, she curses him, too. How is it that he has the dexterity to connect a bat to a ball, can balance quite nicely on a skateboard in motion, can stand on his head for fuck's sake, but he cannot manage to piss directly into the toilet bowl without hitting the seat or the floor or the ceiling or the damn window?? Miss Spoken thinks he's fucking with her.

Miss Spoken takes a deep breath and politely tells her mind to stop trying to get her hands to rip her hair out. She takes her piss-stained ass into the shower, carefully stepping around little plastic figurines of Strawberry Shortcake and more fucking Legos that are laid out in the tub like a forgotten minefield.

Telling herself that she will start this morning over as soon as she is sufficiently caffeinated, she steps out of the shower nude (because why would a towel be readily available on a morning such as this) and is met by Boss Lady.

Boss Lady smiles at her mother who is dripping wet and trying to find a towel or a robe or a sheep dog or something to dry herself off with. Boss Lady is clearly considering the fact that her mother is naked and then says this... "I see your butt. Don't worry Mom...I won't laugh."

And this is not the first time Boss Lady has told her this which makes Miss Spoken think that this little five year old is fucking with her, too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Miss Spoken + Verona ..2gether 4ever!

Behold, Innerneterz . . 

This is what Miss Spoken's dining room looks like every morning at 9:15.

What you don't see are the scratches on the floor from a chair that somebody dragged across the boards with about as much care as somebody who could give a fuck. You don't see the crumbs on the table or the months of maple syrup drippings that The Boy has been collecting for about a year now. You also don't see Miss Spoken's broken heart because what she really wants is a dining room plucked from the heart of the wine country. But despite what HGTV tells you, it's not easy nor is it cheap to find an appropriately weathered barn door in a salvage yard and 30 minutes later you're sipping wine and nibbling cracked crab at your very own salvaged barn door dining room table.

What you are seeing is the aftermath of The Boy and Boss Lady preparing for school. Their routine is always the same. Always.

Awake before 6:00, they immediately head to the dining room for thirty minutes of coloring in over-sized coloring books (see the torn out page positioned under the table like a dwarfed area rug?) and they search for the glitter glue that Miss Spoken has hidden because she knows The Devil made glitter glue and good parents don't give their children toys made by The Devil. They create indoor blizzards by cutting paper, any paper, into impossibly small triangles and smile as the paper flurries dance toward the floor to create a mess that they won't be around to clean up. And they color and argue and cut paper and fight and roll bouncy balls made out of some kind of super NASA rubber until Miss Spoken cannot stand it anymore.

She gets up, fumbles her way to the Get-Up-And-Go-Juice (not to be confused with her other Get-Up-And-Go-Juice that's shaped like a Chardonnay bottle). Then and only then does The Boy get his waffles and Boss Lady get her cereal. This is followed by thirty minutes of Sponge Bob's annoying cackle being drilled into Miss Spoken's head until she is sure, yes, she is positive that The Devil made him too. More blessed coffee. Clothes to put on, lunches to pack, mohawks to gel, tangles to brush, tears to wipe, shoes to find, weather to check, gloves to wrestle (why is it so hard for little fingers to fit little gloves?) and out the door. Then back in the door because something important was left behind ... more coffee.

And that's why Miss Spoken's dining room looks like this every morning at 9:15.

Except this morning. Because on this morning, Miss Spoken will be taking this pile of boxes . . .

. . . and turning them into something spectacular.

And by spectacular, she means not the iron and glass patio furniture that she's been living with. And she's going to do this all by herself because she knows that you know that she knows she is awesome.

So awesome, that by noon it looks like this:

Please hold your applause, it's embarrassing.

Miss Spoken assures you that after this photo was taken, she returned to the garage, allen wrenches in hand and banged out some furniture. Everything, that is,  except the actual table because that shit was heavy and there was a table extension to contend with and Miss Spoken's body was telling her it was wine time and she's never wrong about that.

So Puppet Boy took over. 

And now here is a picture of Miss Spoken laying naked on Verona, her new table:

Okay, so she's not actually in the picture because she's the one who took the picture but she was naked. And then she totally made out with Verona.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stranger Danger, Popcorn and Rape Whistles

Miss Spoken catches The Boy doing a lot of things he shouldn't be doing. She imagines that most of these things are rather normal for a six year old boy. For example, she often catches him shoving Skittles up his nose even after that time she had to remove them from said nasal cavity using a pair of tweezers and a miner's cap.

On more than one occasion, she has caught him sticking his little gel-coated head into a 350 degree oven to see if his beloved pepperoni pizza was done.

He's been caught stealing; been caught hacking into the computer; been caught storing random things like Barbie heads, Hawaiian sweetbread and a parking garage full of Matchbox cars between his sheets and under his pillow.

All of these things are relatively minor, except maybe for the whole flammable head thing.

But yesterday, The Boy told Miss Spoken that his after-school program took all 6 million kids to the skatepark. And then came that delicious tune that makes small children scream and parents cringe ... the song of the ice cream truck. Who, in Miss Spoken's humble opinion, shouldn't be hawking his wares in November, but whatever ... he showed up and The Boy bought a lollipop because Lord knows that the 18 pounds of refined sugar he scored during Halloween wasn't enough.

The problem is Miss Spoken didn't give The Boy any money. So where did he get it from?

Did he find it on the playground? Answer:  No

Did a teacher give it to him? Answer: No

Did (deep intake of breath) a stranger give it to him? Answer: Yes

[Insert montage of serial killers, kidnappers, duct tape and windowless vans playing on a loop in Miss Spoken's panic-soaked mind]

When further pressed on the subject (where further pressed means waving arms, yelling and repeating over and over again, "You know you are not supposed to talk to strangers!!") The Boy admitted that A Lady Stranger gave him fifteen cents but it was okay because, "she didn't kill me."

Miss Spoken closes her eyes. She shakes another pill into her sweaty palm, places her mouth comfortably around the Franzia spout and opens the valve. She then proceeds, yet again, to tell The Boy and Boss Lady all about stranger awareness and how to be safe. She is serious. And scared. Because she can totally see her kids being lured by stories of lost puppies and the promise of cotton candy unicorns.

Miss Spoken fondly remembers her own childhood which was appropriately riddled with fear. Like the time her mother ran into the liquor store for a pack of Benson & Hedges Menthol and left Miss Spoken and Miss Led in the Pinto alone. A man began to approach the car but when her mom came out of the store he stopped, smiled, gave Miss Spoken a wave, turned on his heels and walked away. 

Miss Spoken grew up looking at the face of Adam Walsh who stared back at her from every street light in San Francisco. She played in Golden Gate Park where they discovered nude bodies stuffed inside cement-sealed barrels. Later she would read about the horrors committed by Leonard Lake and Charles Ng and learned that some of the victims were from her neighborhood. And when the Night Stalker crept around her city, she took little comfort in knowing that her older brother slept with a baseball bat and a steak knife. Big deal. This guy was called the fucking Night Stalker, not The Guy Who Is Intimidated By A Boy And His Bat.

Miss Spoken wants her kids to understand danger and be instinctive. She doesn't understand why they insist on talking to everybody; why they are so damned friendly. They did not inherit this from her because she doesn't even talk to people that she knows and likes.

She has thought about hosting a Nancy Grace marathon. Invite the neighborhood kids. Maybe hand out popcorn, rape whistles and a map of local sex offenders. But Miss Spoken doesn't want to suffocate her children with fear. At least not until they are in their teens and she is able to use crime scene photos. However, she also does not want them to walk up to cars, point to their house and say, "Second bedroom on the left. Yeah, the one with the broken screen on the window."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

UPrinting Business Cards Giveaway

UPrinting, the online printing company, is back with another giveaway. This time you could win yourself 250 business cards.  Here are the specs:

  • Sizes: 2x3.5", 2x3", 2x2" (square card) or 1.5x3.5" (skinny card)
  • Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
  • Specs: Full color both sides
These high-quality business cards are perfect for whatever it is you want to market and promote: a business, your Etsy shop, your blog or simply yourself. They would also make perfect calling cards for moms who network at playgrounds and school functions. 

Thanks to, I am giving away 250 business cards to one lucky reader.  (P.S. for hosting this giveaway, I will receive an appreciation gift of 250 business cards to promote the wisdom that is Miss Spoken)

Main Entry
  • Go check out's business cards and tell me what you would use them for.
  • If your email is not publicly available, please post it in your comment.

Extra Entries 
  • Tell me how you found Miss Spoken
  • Follow Miss Spoken's All You Review
  • Post Miss Spoken's All You Review button (leave link)
  • Blog about this giveaway (leave link)
  • Get you Twitter on and tweet this giveaway (one tweet per day; leave link)

The Fine Print
  • Contest ends midnight, November 1 (PST)
  • Free UPS Ground Shipping in the USA
  • Offer not available to residents outside the USA
  • Winner chosen using Random Number Generator
  • Winner will be contacted by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boss Lady Turns Five!

Happy Birthday Boss Lady!

I suppose being born four days before Halloween has it's advantages. But maybe not so much when you want unicorns and rainbows and hearts and sunshine as your theme.

Not when Miss Spoken is your mother.

Because what she got was a pinata shaped like an eyeball. And as tradition dictates (and Miss Spoken's family never strays from tradition), Boss Lady was blindfolded, handed a bat and told to swing. This made Boss Lady cry because 1) the blindfold made her feel like she wasn't in control and Boss Lady always likes to be in control and 2) people were laughing. Laughing at her. Again, not acceptable to she who is named Boss Lady.

And instead of a cake decorated with ladybugs and lollipops, she got a cemetery cake that took Miss Spoken two days to make. Because Miss Spoken considers everything a challenge to her creativity and the execution of such must be perfect. So with hot glue in hand and a bevy of paint at the ready, she created a wrought iron-like fence, headstones and grave markers, shovels, ghosts and fresh dirt painstakingly made using Oreo wafers and a food processor (suck it Martha).

Miss Spoken thought it was rather clever of her to insist on this Halloween-themed birthday party. Sort of like two birds, one stone. But it ended up costing her like a kagillion dollars to turn Boss Lady into Cinderella and The Boy into her sword-carrying knight. Even Legal decided to play along and dressed as Wilma Flintstone, complete with a highlighter-orange wig and oversized pearl necklace. And when Miss Spoken decided to dress as Kim from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the cost of this party steadily crept toward What The Hell Was I Thinking.

But it was worth it to see the whole gang in drag costume. There was Big Poppa (Kim's married lover/fiance/sugar daddy), a bloody surgeon as well as Sir Johnny. Spiderman showed up as did his mother, Miss Perceived, who was appropriately dressed as a cheerleader from the wrong side of the tracks.

And when the dry ice melted and the spinach dip was gone; when the eyeball was crushed and the last of the cemetery was eaten, this little band of costumed circus freaks moved the party to the Grand Sierra for a public display of bowling. In costume. Which caused strangers to take pictures and lesbians to hit on Wilma.

There were spills (vodka), injuries (Spiderman doesn't always land on his feet), tears (The Boy) and the world record for the longest public urination was broken (Big Poppa).

Boss Lady declared it the best birthday e-v-e-r.

And she got to take cupcakes and treats to her class today. And they were pink and pretty and confetti-decorated so everybody can stop yelling at me now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fuck You EliSSSabeth

Miss Spoken was just sitting there, minding her own business; innocently rolling around naked in a batch of towels plucked fresh from the dryer when her regularly scheduled program was interrupted. Interrupted by Balloon Boy and his Media-Whoring Family of FuckNuts.

But Miss Spoken didn't know at the time that they were Media-Whoring FuckNuts. So Miss Spoke was captivated and sad and asked Legal to come sit with her and watch the horror unfold.

Because Miss Spoken has a son, The Boy. And The Boy is also six. And Miss Spoken can't help but look at this Jiffy Pop balloon, soaring 10'000 feet above the ground, spinning and tilting and she's picturing The Boy inside and it makes her stomach hurt.

She is sure this will end tragically. And then the news lady who knows nothing and speculates everything says that they think Balloon Boy fell out somewhere. And now Miss Spoken is held hostage by her television and Balloon Boy, who isn't her son but could be. And so she watches until she can't take it anymore.

But now it looks like it was all a stunt. Not just a hoax, but something more vile. A means to get on TV and pimp your family. This makes Miss Spoken very angry. And then Elisabeth Hasselbeck (aka Fuck You EliSSSabeth) has the nerve to say that "this is what we deserved." Miss Spoken, who detests Elisabeth, knows exactly what she deserves. She deserves to have her fallopian tubes incinerated. She deserves to have her mouth stitched shut. She deserves a bitch slap. She deserves a BFF like Sarah Palin.

Miss Spoken can dish a joke and she can take one too. But this is not funny. Know what else isn't funny? Dry birth and rectal drip. Unless it happens to Fuck You EliSSSabeth and then Miss Spoken would laugh until her bladder dribbled.

Monday, October 19, 2009

UPrinting Custom Postcards Giveaway

UPrinting, the online printing company, is super generous this month. Along with the Custom Sticker Giveaway, they are now sponsoring (drumroll) the Custom Postcard Giveaway!

These customized postcards can be used for just about anything .....  holiday cards, invitations, business promotions and the list goes on and on.  The postcards come in a variety of sizes, are printed on a high quality glossy cardstock and are in full color. Sounds good, right? Right.

Thanks to, I am giving away 100 customized postcards (4x6) to one lucky reader.  (P.S. for hosting this giveaway, I will receive an appreciation gift of 100 postcards for me-self)

Main Entry
  • Go check out's postcards and tell me what you would use them for.
  • If your email is not publicly available, please post it in your comment.

Extra Entries 
  • Enter my UPrinting Custom Stickers Giveaway
  • Follow Miss Spoken's All You Review
  • Post Miss Spoken's All You Review button (leave link)
  • Blog about this giveaway (leave link)
  • Get you Twitter on and tweet this giveaway (one tweet per day; leave link)

The Fine Print
  • Contest ends midnight, October 26 (PST)
  • Free UPS Ground Shipping in the USA (Canadian residents must pay taxes and shipping)
  • Offer not available to residents outside the USA and Canada
  • Winner chosen using Random Number Generator
  • Winner will be contacted by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shooby Doo Bop, Shoo Doo Bop, I Wanna Love You

Miss Spoken has a super sexy exciting life.

Not really.

Mostly she shuttles her kids to and from school and begs her 18 year old to get up and do something. She gets her 21st century house-slave on by hosting Sunday dinners with the clan and she talks about distributing chores amongst her brood via a Super Elaborate But Easy to Follow Chore Chart but can't find one she likes. She pays bills online (cause she's savvy like that) and she blogs online (because blogging offline is stupid). She drinks coffee. She consumes wine. Sometimes she takes trips that don't involve Wal*Mart. One time she got drunk at a Busdriver show. She threw up the next morning.

Fun stuff.

Don't cry for her, Innernetterz, because this is the super sexy part.

Miss Spoken has lots of fake boyfriends and future ex-husbands that live inside her shattered mind and vacant vagina. Don't worry, this is safe sexy. No restraining orders this time. No stealing their puppy then taking photos of it wrapped in duct tape then demanding a bit of the ol' slap and tickle in exchange for its safe return. Miss Spoken knows they are just pretend boyfriends. Unless she forgets to take her blue pill and then they are soooo real.

Here's the lineup:

Mike Rowe. Because he's dirty and has a job. A Dirty Job. And his voice makes her panties fall off. Like magic. Dirty magic.

Vince Vaughn. Cause Miss Spoken likes a scrapper. And a man with a record.

Sherilyn Fenn. Okay, she's clearly not a boy. But she's soft and pretty and probably smells like jasmine and did you not see Boxing Helena?!

Henry Rollins. Two words: Black Flag

Just kidding. Miss Spoken is crazy, not c.r.a.z.y.

Now it's your turn. Spill it Innernetterz. Who's your fake boyfriend/girlfriend/future witness for the prosecution?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

UPrinting Custom Stickers Giveaway

Blogs are buzzing about and for good reason. They are an online printing company, offering a wide variety of delivery tools to help you spread the word, whatever the word is that you want spread. With their help, you can customize everything from business cards to nightclub flyers. also offers customized stickers that can be used on your mail-out gifts, as promotional labels and much more. Don't own a business? Not a blogger? Use them as unique gift tags or personalized bookplates. You're limited only by your imagination.

Thanks to, I am giving away 250 customized stickers/labels to one lucky reader. Oh yeah ... Dear FTC: I'll be receiving 250 customized stickers/labels for hosting this fine giveaway.

Main Entry
  • Go check out's stickers and tell me what you would use the stickers for. 
  • If your email is not publicly available, please post it in your comment.

Extra Entries
  • Follow Miss Spoken's All You Review
  • Post Miss Spoken's All You Review button (leave link)
  • Blog about this giveaway (leave link)
  • Tweet this giveaway (leave link; one tweet per day)

The Fine Print
  • Contest ends midnight, October 23 (PST)
  • Open to US and Canadian mailing addresses only
  • Free UPS Ground Shipping in the USA (Canadian residents need to pay shipping and taxes)
  • Winner chosen using Random Number Generator
  • Winner will be contacted by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours

Thursday, October 8, 2009

There's a cat in a bag in a hole in the ground and the green grass grows all around, all around...

Once upon a time, there was a boy cat named Dingy. Dingy was loved very much by his family, Miss Perceived and The Regulator. Dingy loved them, too. But Dingy had room in his heart ... he had more love to give.

You see kids, when Dingy was a kitten, he discovered his very own nipple. Dingy fell in love with this nipple and would spend entire afternoons sucking his nipple, laughing at its jokes and calling it sweetheart. Dingy's nipple grew and grew from the love. Like an inch. Miss Perceived was proud of this love and shared it with the world. When friends came to visit, she would greet them with her Cheshire smile and say, "Come in ya'll! Come see my cat suck his own nipple!" And there in the corner of this love shack, Dingy could be found, curled into a ball and loving his nipple; curled into a ball because his nipple was placed in a not so convenient place which made loving it hard. But relationships take work, right? "Isn't he just the cat's meow?" she would say. 

Like the flocks of zealots who travel to see the image of Jesus Christ in the shadows of a tree trunk, people came from far and wide to see for themselves this cat named Dingy who loved his nipple. 

But then something terrible happened.

One day when Miss Spoken was drinking beer making sand castles in Santa Barbara, Miss Perceived heard a howl and then watched as Dingy seized up and died. This left Miss Perceived sad. The kind of sad that makes you not wear makeup which is a big deal for Miss Perceived who likes makeup very much. And this wasn't a good time for Miss Perceived to be sad because her mother was moving out of state and Miss Perceived was busy packing. And Miss Perceived's mom had a lot of collections to be packed. Like her collection of Kleenex, lamps, suckers, canned goods from 1991 and pens with no ink. I'm not saying she was a hoarder or anything, I'm just sayin' ...

Anyway, Miss Perceived hadn't sold any of her panties online yet and so she was strapped for cash and didn't have the means to give Dingy and his nipple a proper burial. So she called Puppet Boy and together they put Dingy in a bag and put him in a hole in the ground. In the front yard. Which is by no means private. Not even a fence.

Then late last night, with a storm raging and the winds blowing, there was a knock at my door. And there they were ... Miss Perceived and The Regulator. But why did she look so crazed? And why was she holding a shovel? And why was she wearing a cloak?

"Will you watch The Regulator for a few minutes?"

"Sure! Is everything okay?"

"Huh? Oh ... yeah. I just gotta go dig up Dingy."

**Thunder cracks and lightening splits the sky**

Okay, maybe it was four o'clock in the afternoon  and 69 degrees outside. And maybe she didn't have a shovel. And it might not have been a cloak but a pink t-shirt that said Princess. But she was going to go dig up her dead cat.

Prior to the excavation, aka grave digging, Miss Perceived called the Kitty Crematorium and explained her situation. Which now has made her the most popular girl there and everybody knows her by name. And Miss Spoken never knows when she might have to move a body and it's good to know that Miss Perceived can help her. Because, as Dionne Warwick would say, that's what friends are for.

But hold on to your crackers kiddies because here's the best part of this tale.

Miss Perceived is a busy lady. She has things to do. So before she goes to the Kitty Crematorium, she has to stop by Wal*Mart, go to the post office and of course, The Regulator needs to go to Jump Man Jump for an hour or so.

Where is Dingy and his nipple, you ask?

Oh .... in the back of her mini van.

RIP Dingy ... I mean, you know... as soon as you're buried again and all.

The End.