Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Boy Turns Six!

Yesterday Maximus turned six and kicked off his big day by crawling into my bed at 6:00. That was okay because Lucifer's Birds (which make their unhallowed nest right outside my bedroom window) start their unearthly cackling and screeching at about 3:00 AM, so I was already awake-ish.

The Birthday Plan of Attack was simple; pool, pizza, a little Pop-a-Shot and some golf (pee wee style, cause that's how we roll). It can't all be about fun though; lessons were learned on this day. Take note: 
  • Boys and girls, it's not okay to sneak a sip of Mom's fruity looking drink when Mom is in the pool. That's a no-no.
  • Mom doesn't like her fruity looking drink diluted with water, especially pool whatever. Tisk tisk, little man.
  • It's not okay to pee in the pool, however it is okay to pee in the corner by the bushes (thanks, Grandma).
  • Caution: An amputated Hannah Montana Barbie does not float. Mom learned that she prefers Hannah Montana at the bottom of the pool, without arms and without hope.
  • Birthday Boy learned that Mom has impeccable aim and can hit him in the eye with a water gun from clear across the pool. (Mom didn't hang out at the Carnival just to flirt with TB inflicted clowns, people. Mom has some mad Be-the-First-to-Pop-the-Balloon-With-Your-Squirt-Gun skills.)
  • Mom learned that for a six year old, Max has a tremendous capacity to inflict revenge upon his attackers in a very covert, Navy Seal sort of way.
  • Mom learned that $20 in tokens earns 390 tickets which buys a booty consisting of two miniaturized packs of Fun Dip, three boxes of Snaps and a microscopic plush fish.
  • Mom learned that Bonnie and Clyde are savvy with the top lock to the front door and prefer to play with their Snaps outside in their underwear while Mom showers, which is funny 'cause that's exactly how Mom likes to play Snaps.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Heart Porn

Me and porn are old friends. We go way back. Way back to when I was seven years old and found a hand drawn comic buried in the sand dunes of a San Francisco beach. Turned out to be porn; gay porn. God, I wish I still had that book! I'd take it to the Antiques Roadshow for televised appraisal. My beloved vintage gay porn nestled between antique farm tools and art deco vases. Heavy sigh.

My Highway of Porn led to cutting class in high school to watch Marilyn Chambers get pleasured by nuns and three trapeze artists in Behind the Green Door. Brazen teenagers, watching the classics, drinking Brass Monkey while the guys shifted uncomfortably on the couch, pillows over their laps. Good times.

But then there was that unexpected detour when I stumbled upon something that can only be described as Disney Porn. The Little Mermaid with that mop of a sheep dog; Cinderella and her hatchet-faced step-sisters; Beauty and the Beast. It got me thinking of what that loud-mouthed, bossy little bitch Dora would look like in full Dominatrix gear. Her and her sex slave monkey, Boots. Those were dark times, my friends. Dark times.

There were other pornographic pit stops, too. Like the time when I became fascinated with porn magazines. One magazine came with a poster of four women having a picnic and buttering each other's biscuits, so to speak. I promptly hung this in my hallway and glued googly eyes on all of the girls. I thought it was hysterical. My Grandpa (who stopped by unexpectedly) did not. Then there was the time I considered selling my panties on Craig's List under the name Kitty Litter. Or the time I wanted to dust off my thigh high boots and latex catsuit, march my way over to the local Internet Porn Distributor and demand a job. Maybe something in Human Resources ("Give me your filthy timecard, Pig Boy!"). These dreams of adult-industry fame and fortune lay dormant... unfulfilled.

And now I find myself obsessed with the Sundance Channel's Green Porno. It stars the gorgeous Isabella Rossellini.  Who has gone from this:

To this:

Green Porno is a series of short films dedicated to the mating habits and reproductive lives of insects and marine life -- spiders, snails, whales and then some. In the film, Why Vagina, Madame Rossellini casually walks around a virtual forest of erect paper penises, explaining how our vaginas are species-specific so that us ladies won't accidentally get screwed by a bear. Clearly she hasn't come across German porn or spent any time trolling the Internet's vast collection of woman vs. farm animal. Nonetheless, I will happily give up three minutes of my day to watch her dressed as a hermaphroditic earthworm or simulate sex with a snail. Foam, fabric and wild kingdom orgasms. My new fetish.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Magnetically Yours Review & Giveaway (Closed)

Look good, feel great! For centuries people have worn magnetic jewelry but none quite so alluring as the collection found at the Etsy shop, Magnetically Yours.

Magnetically Yours offers a wide selection of magnetic wraps, bracelets, anklets and beaded earrings ranging from $5 to $37. Beautifully designed by owner Nicole Kelly, her creations often include the smooth, strong polish of hematite balanced with a parade of color; vibrant greens, watery blues, soft pinks and lilac. With pieces named Visions of Spring and Sandy Beach, you can sense an earthen, almost organic inspiration behind her work. The collection is contemporary, yet ground in the craftsmanship of traditional jewelry making.

I was fortunate enough to review the Rocky Point Magnetic Wrap ($25). Even the best photo could not accurately capture the beauty of this brilliantly colored piece in which twisted black hematite is offset by luminous cat's eye beads in black, turquoise and pearly white. This wrap almost glows. Uncoiled, it measures 39" in length and can be worn as a bracelet (as I chose to), an anklet and even a necklace.  

Need more incentive to adorn yourself this summer?
  • Place your order before June 30th and be entered to receive a free magnetic wrap!
  • Add "All You Review Shipping" in the notes to seller box and receive free shipping!
  • Be the 15th sale and receive a free gift with purchase!
Magnetically Yours is generously sponsoring a giveaway for my personal favorite, the Sandy Beach Magnetic Wrap ($24). This stunner is 33" in length and features black hematite with cat's eye beads in pale yellow, turquoise and white. Casual and sophisticated, this wrap will take you from an afternoon on the beach to dinner in the City with complete ease.

Main Entry
  • Go to Magnetically Yours.  Browse the collection, pick your favorite (other than the giveaway item) and then come back here and leave a comment or paste the link.
  • If your email is not publicly available, please post it in your entry so that I can reach you in the event that you are the lucky winner.
Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each)
  • Follow or become a follower of The All You Review (link on right sidebar)
  • Make a purchase from Magnetically Yours before midnight, June 30
  • Blog about this giveaway.  Leave link for verification.

Contest ends midnight, June 30 (PST)
Open to US mailing addresses only
Winner chosen using a Random Number Generator
Winner will be contacted by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Black Satin Shoes Review & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Ladies .... go slip into your favorite cashmere sweater and gloss those lips. Now slink on over to the Etsy shop, Black Satin Shoes, and tell me if the song I Enjoy Being a Girl doesn't play in your mind for the rest of the day.

Owner, Chante Magpusao, has a self-described obsession with ribbons and bows and has channeled this love into an impressive collection of headbands, hair pins, jewelry and more. Her work has vintage charm yet is decidedly modern. Some of my top picks are the Black Rose Headband, Feather Headband, Zebra Bow Pins and her ingenious Zipper Flower Ring.

This Kilt Pin ($10) came to me neatly packaged, confection-like, in a white box wrapped in pale pink ribbon. The piece itself is made extremely well; the findings are secure, the charms are perfectly weighted and there isn't a spot of glue visible (my personal pet peeve). The best part however is that bow! The bow is handmade (we're talking about actual stitching here, people) from an almost sheer black and white striped fabric and it gives this piece a bit of an edge .... turns it into something current and chic.

Black Satin Shoes is so reasonably priced ($1.25 on the low end; $17.50 on the high end), you can afford to indulge the girl in you. And until June 21, you can afford to indulge a lot. All purchases made before June 21 will receive 25% off of the total order. Simply mention The All You Review when placing your order and Chante will take care of the rest.

Black Satin Shoes is generously sponsoring a giveaway with not one, but TWO pieces from her fabulous shop.

Kilt Pin ($10)

Pink Bow Stud Earrings ($6)

Main Entry
  • Go to Black Satin Shoes.  Browse through her shop, pick your favorite item (other than the giveaway items) and then come back here and leave a comment or paste the link.
  • If your email is not publicly available, please post it in your entry so that I can reach you in the event that you win.

Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each extra credit)
  • Follow or become a follower of the The All You Review (link on right sidebar)
  • Make a purchase from Black Satin Shoes before midnight, June 21
  • Blog about this giveaway. Leave link for verification.

Contest ends midnight, June 21 (Pacific)
Open to US mailing addresses only
Winner chosen using a Random Number Generator
Winner will be contacted by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's Funnier Than Food Poisoning? Almost Everything

Your girl here has been in a funk as of late. I think the roots to this particular blue period can be traced back to the day Max graduated Kindergarten. That was a week ago. I also happened to look at the calendar and noticed that the 10-month anniversary of Seltar's passing falls on Father's Day. That's just super.

So after spending an unspecified number of days in self-imposed confinement, I decided enough was enough. It was time to crawl off of my cross, make my face less scary and do a little retail therapy with the lady I call Mom.  I even sprang for a nice lunch and even nicer, two rounds of Chardonnay.

Everything was going fine.

That is until I realized that something wasn't quite right with me. I noticed that every time I thought about what I ate, I had a not so fun bodily reaction. Palms sweating. Mouth salivating. Shudder. Ugh, food poisoning! Damn it! And even though I want to, I won't disgust you with the details of what it feels like to vomit previously eaten fish and undigested Thai salad.

In fact, I've probably already said too much. 

And because the Universe thinks I'm a good sport and can take a joke, my neighborhood suffered a blackout. Thankfully, all those years of under age drinking have led to impeccable aim. You know, the kind of aim you wish your five year old son has when he pisses so that when you have food poisoning and are hurling by candlelight you aren't face to face with his imprecision. 

Once again, I've said too much. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Say It Again and Get Slapped

It can't just be me.

I can't be the only one that feels the need to lash out with unexpected violence when certain phrases are uttered. And when used over and over again, it makes a girl think penitentiary-style thoughts like how can I get this shiv into that ribcage without being sent to the hole.

Some words or phrases just don't make sense. Like cat person. If you were really a Cat Person, you'd bring home dead birds, have a sandpaper tongue and be afraid of water. No-Host Bar also makes no sense. Don't tease me. If it's a No-Host Bar, I shouldn't have to bring any cash 'cause there will be no host. The opposite is true. Bastards. 

But Cat Person and No-Host Bar register pretty low on my Say It Again and Get Slapped Meter. These phrases ... these really set me off:
  • Cream of the crop - Yeah, that's just gross.
  • You go, girl - You go play in heavy traffic, girl.
  • Keep your eyes peeled - Thank you, but I'd rather not.
  • Cool beans - Idiot.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - Huh?
  • Raining cats and dogs - I prefer it to rain pitchforks and hammer heads.
  • There's more than one way to skin a cat - True, but that's the first way of letting society know that something is wrong ...  something is really, really wrong.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Devil Girl Needs Cash

My daughter is four years old and ruthless.

How do I know this? Because last night she told me she needed $50,000. Not a nickel .... not a dollar ...... $50,000. Her request for this pay-out was smooth; nothing but butter in her voice. All whiskey colored eyes and batting lashes. She might have even caressed my cheek --- Devil Girl. Trickster.

Just look at her. This girl ain't afraid to get her hands a little dirty. She handles her business, yo.

I was curious. Why would such a little palm require so much grease? My guess was the ice cream truck. You know, give him a big tip and he'd keep circling the block. Maybe slide her and her brother an extra Creamsicle. Hell, maybe just park his annoying ass right in front of our house for a couple of months.

Or maybe she was planning on getting the hell out of here. Get a swanky little spot of her own. She talks about her Life When She's Big all the time. And not the normal ramblings of a normal kid. This chick has plans.  Her words:

Four bedrooms
Pink and purple walls
Cinderella bed
A cat, no dog, one horse
Her job: Fixing houses and overthrowing Lex Luthor
She will eat eggs and cheese
She will not eat soup
Yes, her brother can live with her
No, her mother cannot

Maybe the money is actually for her sister. Maybe Big Sister had a little pow-wow with Little Sister in the dead of night. Told her to hit Mom up for the money 'cause Mom wouldn't give it to Big Sister who is almost 18 and might actually do something fun with it like end up in County Jail. But no, Devil Girl wouldn't fall for that old trick. Devil Girl is smart.

So, I just asked her straight out.  

"Harlowe, what do you need $50,000 for?"  
"Yeah.  Different parents."  (Devil Girl smiles and bounces off my lap)

Two thoughts go through my mind. Either (1) my daughter is mixing it up with the local Goodfellas and is planning to have me whacked or (2) she's mixing it up with the Asian Underground and is planning on buying a pair of slightly used parents straight off the Black Market.

Either way, things aren't looking too good for me. And now I have to go because I'm pretty sure I hear the rustle of a tutu creeping up behind me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Annie Lennox < Pi

Either I'm old or he's young.  A conversation with my brother's boyfriend (yeah, you heard me):

Him: Let's go out for drinks and Karaoke!
Me: Sure, I'll do some Eurythmics.
Him: What is that, some kind of mathematics?

Summer Sucks and So Do Martha Stewart/Carol Brady Crossbreeds

Screw summer vacation.  That's right, screw it.

Tomorrow is D-Day... the start of summer vacation for Max and Harlowe.  Too young for any kind of summer camp, they'll be stuck with me and in turn, I with them.  I'm sure there are Good Moms out there who already have a hefty roster of activities and mind developing crusades that will prepare Jack and Jill for an outstanding 2nd and 3rd grade.  Not me.  I got nothin'.  No elaborate crafts involving gluing beans to paper plates; no educational field trips; no fun.  Plus, my kids are like farmers, rising with the sun.  This leaves me with far too many hours to fill.  What to do.... what to do.  All I really want to do is eat some fruit salad and wait until it's 5:00 somewhere (wink, wink).

And screw you Martha Stewart/Carol Brady crossbreeds.  I call bullshit!  I've seen the pictures of you in your Lands End one-piece, sipping sun-brewed iced tea while you and your crew of civic-minded brats clean up the local beach.  Whatever.  I'm not buying it.  So what if I'm the mom who keeps her kids in the shallow end of the pool while I trade vodka recipes with the other moms who can't get wet for fear of melting Wicked Witch style.

I think it's time we quit perpetuating this myth.  Summer with kids isn't all berry picking, frolicking in the surf and finger painting.  In my world (i.e. The Real World), it's about begging your kids to go to sleep even though the sun is still burning outside; it's sweaty legs stuck to plastic chairs in suffocating heat; it's countless vacant hours of I'm Bored and Pasta, Again?; it's Hell.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunday Dinner: McDonalds

Normally on a Monday, you'd expect to find a recipe for whatever it was I served at our ritualistic Sunday night dinner. This would be accompanied by some quick witted comments (or at I least I think they're witty) about why I made it or what oddball thing happened during the course of the day. Nope, not today.  Because the kids ate McDonalds and the night before that they had grilled cheese sandwiches and I'm sure most of us know how to make that. And if you don't, oh well.

So here's why I boycotted being a fully functional Mother this weekend.  Don't worry, this Pity Party comes to you in its abbreviated form:

Sage calling from SF to ask for money
Me stupid enough to send it
Max's kindergarten graduation
Missing his Dad
My mom questioning my father-in-law about bedding Asian women while in the military
Me wanting to crawl into the center of the Earth
Saturday & Sunday
Me reading two, count'em two novels
Blues Clues marathon
Thunder storms
Kids in PJs
Me in their Dad's sweatshirt (why do I do this) 
More crying
Spilled milk
Ants in the damn kitchen
Are my eyes bleeding
Screw it