Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mamas, The Papas, The Junkies and The Pedophiles

Mackenzie Phillips ... Miss Spoken gets it. What's worse is Miss Spoken is not surprised by it.

Because you see, Miss Spoken has a Dad who is also a drug addict, who could also be charming, who could suck the air out of a room and who treated her more like a wife than a daughter. Actually, that's not true. He treated His Old Lady to derogatory remarks and bloodied noses. She was stupid, didn't dress right, didn't pass the white glove inspection at home and should just shut the fuck up when he caroused with other women. Even when one of those women was her own sister. So I suppose Miss Spoken was treated more like Dad's girlfriend.

Miss Spoken understands that the siblings that weren't exposed to this love probably think you are a liar. Of course. Because the whole purpose of this love is to let you know that you are Special.Like.Him. Miss Spoken's Dad has no use for his step-sons and despises her sister, Miss Led. Miss Spoken's Dad could talk to her for hours about life on other planets, governmental conspiracy theories and his former life as a Shaman. During fights with His Old Lady, he would turn his back to her, march around the house and sing "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead." Then he'd tell Miss Spoken to get on the back of his Harley and they'd drive off into the sunset for a burger. A burger that was paid for with His Old Lady's money because he was too smart for silly things like employment. And when he did have a job (once), he'd blow his entire paycheck on shrimp and cocaine. Did I also mention that he speaks in tongues? Yep. Some might call it the delirious dribble of a man who hasn't slept in thirty years and who sounds like he's attempting to swallow his own tongue but to him he is speaking with God. Yes, God. Because God likes to talk to meth addicts and assholes.

Know what else was special to Miss Spoken? Joining him on his drug runs. Cruising by the homes of pimps, addicts and anybody else that had "it." "It" was usually cocaine bundled in neat triangles that were fashioned from the pages of Hustler. Miss Spoken watched as he got high. Who cared, right? At least she was with him. Better than sitting on the curb waiting for him to come home which he never did when he said he would. Nightfall. No Dad. Just an inflamed mother. But Miss Spoken loooved her Dad.

Nope, Miss Spoken never had an incestuous relationship with her father. But when she was 8 years old and he was 26, his girlfriend was 14. Doesn't take a Shaman or a direct line to God to know that that's not right. One might say improper. The rest of us might say illegal. And that wasn't his first underage love, nor would it be his last. The actual Love Of His Life, his Soul Mate, was a pretty blond 16 year old homeless girl free spirit who hopped on the back of his Harley one beautiful afternoon at a beach in San Francisco. He had never met her before but once again, the Universe told him what to do. In this case, what to do meant taking her home, moving her in and proposing to her. She eventually cut her losses and ran. Dad gave the engagement ring to who else? Miss Spoken.

Then there is the argument as to whether or not John Phillips would have done such a horrific thing had he not been a lifelong drug abuser. Who cares? What difference does it make? His life was drugs. Miss Spoken's Dad is 55 and still pushes anything into his veins that can be liquefied. Smoke anything that fits into a glass pipe.

Ahhhh, memories.....

Like the time his friends broke in and robbed the house while Little Miss Spoken and her family were asleep. And the time he was smoking crack and fell asleep with the torch on. Or the time, convinced he could communicate on a different vibration than the rest of us, went to stay with the tree people in Golden Gate Park for a few days.

Good times, good times.

What's the purpose of this rant? I guess to tell the nay-sayers that there are people out there who buy their own bullshit. That screw their kids and call it love. That use drugs as an excuse for depravity.

Have fun in Hell, boys.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Power of Women United Giveaway (Closed)

The Power of Women United
by Tina Dezsi & Lia Bandola
Published August 2009

First, we are cast by society in roles for which we are unprepared and perhaps ill-suited. We play by rules we didn't write. Then we are chastised for not succeeding in those roles or for failing to follow 'the rules'. The unrealistic expectations imposed by those roles and rules steal our confidence, damage our self-esteem, and mask our true identity. The Power of Women United explores the triumphs and tragedies of 22 amazing women who each forged their own path to success. They starred in roles they sought, and wrote their own rules.

Once upon a lifetime, I was a bank executive. During that time I attended what felt like every seminar every created that dealt with success and how to achieve it, time management and how to maximize it, efficiency in the workplace and how to increase it. You get the picture. So when I picked up the book The Power of Women United, I was expecting to read through pages filled with words I'd already heard before with somebody else's opinion on how I could become flushed with my own success. I typically cringe at self-help, can you tell?

Fortunately, this book is not written as an instruction manual or from the perspective of one person. On the contrary, authors Tina Dezsi and Lia Bandola have compiled 22 essays by 22 different women. These women have vastly different backgrounds and have found success in professions that are just as diverse. The book confronts the unique challenges women face in their professional and personal lives and offers advise on everything from public speaking to of course, networking (the authors are founders of the Power of Women Exchange).

This is a great book for entrepreneurial-minded women and those looking for a source of inspiration, motivation and encouragement to capitalize on your own value.

Thanks to Author Marketing Experts, Inc., I am giving away one copy of The Power of Women United to one lucky reader.

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Vaginas, Mummies and 19 Pound Newborns

Every mother has a birthing story and for some reason many of them desperately want to share that experience with friends, relatives and total strangers. They have some kind of primitive need to give the play-by-play, discuss the narcotics they screamed for or didn't scream for. They want to get all chatty about weight and length and shoulder width and cranial circumferences. They want to talk about feelings and how the heavens sang and ice caps melted and Jupiter aligned with Mars when little Emma Isabella or Jacob Michael finally graced the world with their presence.


Unless some senile doctor high on Oxycontin used medieval forceps to suck Precious from your uterus (and let's see the temporal dents and learning disabilities to prove it) or you accomplished a four-way tear through your clitoris, urethra, labia and anal muscle, then I don't want to hear about it.

And I don't want to see pictures. 

And I don't care how much Precious weighed unless it's this sideshow act bundle of love and butterflies and sunshine:

HolyBankruptedByBabies! This newborn tips the freight scales at almost 20 pounds. Kinda makes bragging about your little 8 pounder seem rather lame now, doesn't it? Too bad it was a C-section (cheater!). I did a bit o'research though and discovered that once upon a time in a vagina far, far away... a woman did deliver a 15 pound baby vaginally. Today her Goodness looks a little like this:

But 20 pounds is nothing to shrug at. Know what else weighs 20 pounds? Meet Sylvia:

Isn't she pretty? Sylvia is a desiccated mummy who was found in a cave in Central America but now resides in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Also weighing in at 20 pounds --  an $8 watermelon, about 4,000 quarters, an adult giraffe's heart (gratuitous useless fact) and your average marching band snare drum.

Yeah, try hauling that around while it's clutched on to your nipple like a ravenous mountain gorilla and tell me if it hurts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Now Playing: Santa Barbara & the Dick Beaters

"I'm squeezing it as tight as I can!"

Those are the words I usually (a) love to say and (b) love to hear. But those aren't exactly the words I want to hear from my son as we try to make our way over Donner Pass after being in a car for eight hours. You see, during our four-day trip from Nevada to Half Moon Bay to Sunnyvale to Santa Barbara to San Francisco and back ... The Boy who normally does not eat, consumed actual food. Food and tootsie pops. And now with the closest rest stop two miles away, The Boy's body has decided to say AhhHellNo. This is after one previous stop where I had to toss his briefs into the women's tampon disposal. Sorry 'bout that Marie Callender's employees but Miss Spoken doesn't like to hold shitty underpants in her purse while sipping on your godawful house Chardonnay. Actually, Miss Spoken can't think of a time when she likes to hold on to crappy underpants.


We made it home without The Boy blowing up Johnny Boy's car and having to ride into Reno as a hood ornament. That's almost never fun when it happens to you.  Almost.

The trip was worth every mile spent twisting my 5'10 frame around to rip toys from one offspring to another, push batteries back where they belong, create makeshift pillows from blankets using one hand and threatening bodily injury to my Brat Pack.

And for those taking a trip to Santa Barbara, you have to stay at the Lemon Tree Inn. Salt water pool, balconies for every room and Bloody Marys on site. Leadbetter Beach is also a great spot to barbecue, roll down hills and fall in the ocean. If you get there early enough, as Kick Ass Corrina did, you might even get the chance to ear-hustle on a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Stay late enough and you can watch the homeless, twackers, my dad nonconformists create spatulas out of beer cans because they don't want to use their "dick beaters."

This will probably be my last trip of the year. Miss Spoken is tired of road trips even if she's not the one doing the driving. She is the one doing the drinking and cursing and that my friends can be done in Babbleville.

P.S. Corrina ..... The Boy sends hearts and love and kisses and sexual harassment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silverstein & me: A Memoir (Closed)

Silverstein & me: A Memoir
by Marv Gold
Published June 2009

Is this the Silverstein so many have come to know and love? Yes, because it presents his human and humorous side, and goes beyond, into the many hurdles he confronted. Told as a fast-paced narrative, it unveils a spectrum of characters. As a memoir filled with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and insights, it is the first and only close look at the legend and the person.

In this memoir, written by his childhood friend Marv Gold, readers get the chance to look beyond the infamous beard and witty humor of this exceptional talent. Shel Silverstein was an author, poet, cartoonist and songwriter most noted for his work with Playboy and childhood classics like, The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Not quite the tell-all book that some fans must certainly crave, it does deliver on it's promise to fill-in-the-blanks for an artist who was loved by many but refused public appearances and press interviews.

The book is funny, sometimes campy and nearly every page includes a drawing from his vast body or work. There is a great deal of candor with respect to the writer's observations of Silverstein, from his childhood through his Playboy era and his death in 1999. 

Wild times. Timeless art. A lifetime of ink.

Whether you're a fan of his Playboy cartoons, read A Light In the Attic a hundred times or like to sip whiskey while singing along to A Boy Named Sue, you're sure to be entertained by this memoir.

"Listen to the mustn'ts child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the wont's. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me ... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
-- Shel Silverstein

Thanks to Author Marketing Experts, Inc., I have one copy of Silverstein & me: A Memoir to give away to one lucky reader.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Destination: Santa Barbara!

So we're out of here. All except Legal. I'm going to try not to freak out over the fact that she's here alone, if alone means under surveillance. Miss Perceived lives next door and has been given authorization to kick ass when necessary or at least when fun. And Grandma is five minutes away and will be doing the Drop-In-And-See-If-You're-Drunk-Or-Having-Sex thing. Grandpa can remove his belt with one mighty tug and has also been given authorization to impose corporal punishment.

She'll be fine, right? 

Gigantic Fuckup - Part Dos

Remember my Gigantic Fuckup when I booked two rooms at the Days Inn for September 11 instead of September 18 because I'm an idiot who makes lots of organizing checklists, can scramble eggs with her toes while doing the dishes and simultaneously spreading joy throughout the land but can't seem to read a calendar?  


Well, to my relief they waived that pesky 48 hour cancellation requirement and put the cash back in my account.  Wheeeeewww. Close one.

Then came Part Two of the previously mentioned Gigantic Fuckup. It appeared as though the entire hamlet known as Santa Barbara was booked solid. Ass face! I'm pretty sure there isn't a holiday that weekend but then again, how the hell would I know since I can't read a calendar. Just as I was giving in to despair, I found not one, but TWO rooms available at the Sandyland Reef Inn in Carpinteria which sounds like a warehouse full of area rugs made by Middle Eastern orphans with bloody carpet weaving fingers but is really a town just 9 miles from Santa Barbara. Perfect! I book the rooms and decide to find some more photos of this slice of Eden because with a name like Sandyland ... it has to be good. I'm picturing sand and surf and daiquiris and coconut oil and Frankie Avalon making time with Annette Funicello

Instead, what I find is this:

Oooohhhh, and some of this:

Along with a stream of warnings like Don't Stay Here! What a Dump! Got Infected Here! Don't Forget Your Crack Pipe! So ... I promptly cancel yet another reservation, pull out two thirds of my hair, throw something solid across the room and declare this trip O-V-E-R.

That is until my girl Corrina emailed the words that made me pull my thumb out of my mouth and uncurl myself from the fetal position:  

(Insert God-like light from above followed by Herald Angels singing) 

Queen beds, swimming pool, onsite restaurant and wait for it ..... wait for it ..... an onsite bar.

Trip back on!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Do Cannibalism and Miss Spoken Have In Common?

Donner Memorial State Park

Where else would the residents of Babbleville decide to pitch tents and expose themselves to the elements? Ya'll know your history, right? Here are Miss Spoken's cliff notes for those who were smoking pot in the sixth grade:

It was the winter of 1846 when some hardboiled emigrants tried to make their way to California via the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cue blizzards, human suffering, exhaustion, starvation, frostbite and cannibalization of the dead. Forty-one deaths, forty-six survivors.

Alright. Now that that's out of the way let's cut to modern day times where Miss Spoken and Miss Perceived, along with our party of thrill-seeking campers, are making our way to the very spot where this great American tragedy occurred.

That's when all hell breaks lose in my covered wagon.

With Johnny Boy at the reins, I'm looking over our reservations when it occurs to me that our reservations are for September 11 which means today is September 11 which means that I made a Gigantic Fuck Up when I booked two rooms at the Days Inn in Santa Barbara for September 11 when they should have been for September 18! Ugh!! I could vomit, I might vomit but either way I'm certainly going to cry or punch myself in the face because those rooms cost me almost $400 and I missed the 48 hour cancellation time and I'm freaking the fuckmesideways out when Legal alerts me to the fact that The Boy has a bloody nose. I look in the backseat and there is blood everywhere. It's a hyrdrant. Legal deftly whips the cover off her pillow and stops the river that is my son's blood. One disaster averted, I make about 40 desperate calls to my mom who is always home but for some reason isn't today but needs to be so she can call the Days Inn, pretend to be me and weave some bullshit story that gets me my money back.

Once this Babbleville Party makes it to Donner, things get better. I'm able to reach my mom and The Boy isn't dead. We unload fourteen days worth of survival goods for our two night stay. This cache of riches includes things like sleeping bags, crayons, bats, Xanax, etc. The tents go up, the beer goes down and the kids already look homeless and hungry.

Always the paradox, Miss Perceived pulls out flavored vodka (girlie, right?) but then drinks it straight out of tin cup (manly, right). Legal probably takes one too many pulls from the bottle because the next morning she is dry heaving behind our tent. And because I'm a caring kind of mom, I pat her on the back before I tell her to take her ass deeper into the woods because the last thing I want is that Thug Gang of Chipmunks, that has been circling our site, to get all crazy drunk with her undigested Smirnoff Citrus Vodka. Nobody wants to see boozy chipmunks fist-fighting their brothers and having regrettable sex. Not only that, but this is Bear Country. Bears. Hence the metal bear-resistant food lockers and the warnings not to keep toothpaste in your tent. 

This second day also brought on a game of hide-and-go-seek in which Johnny Boy got caught like a three-toed sloth half way up a tree and Miss Perceived proved that she could haul ass. My gay brother kept trying to get everybody to go see the beaver dam which of course led to many a joke about beavers of the vagina kind. So much so that Legal declared us disgusting. Cause we are. And we love talking about vaginas.

I continued my trend of fucking up greatly when, as I prepared to make our traditional breakfast of french toast and sausage, I realized that I had forgotten to pack the butter, the sausage and oh yeah, the freakin' eggs. And at dinner, I realized I forgot ketchup and mustard for the hotdogs and hamburgers. Unlike the Donner Party 163 years before us, the Babbleville Party was able to remedy my clusterfuck by saddling up for the Safeway ten minutes away. Plus, we got more of this for Miss Perceived:

Miss Spoken likes her ladies liquored up.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Congratulations to . . .

Linda K

Winner of the Babyhopper Castile Soap, sponsored by The Dancing Grasshopper!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Introducing .... Miss Perceived

Remember when Miss Spoken (that's me) promised to introduce you to my saucy neighbor, Miss Perceived?

Well, wait no longer because Miss Perceived and I, along with Johnny Boy, Puppet Boy, Legal and a small army of children are heading up to Donner Lake for one final farewell to the heat-goddess-bitch Nevada likes to call Summer. I have to make these introductions pre-camping trip because who knows what kind of shenanigans will ensue and I just want to make it clear ahead of time that she is not what she seems.

Oh, Miss Perceived ......

Don't let the blonde hair, the golden tan, the lashes dipped in eight coats of mascara, the sprightly disposition or that Colgate smile fool you.

When I first met Miss Perceived I was sure that she had spent some time at the top of some sophomoric cheerleading pyramid. Did she have jazz hands? Bet she actually had a high school sweetheart and his name was Chad "the Chadster" Bingham. Did she listen to Britney Spears and sip Slim Fast through a straw while cursing her trumpet-tongued Chardonnay slurping neighbor (yours truly)?

Miss Spoken did not want to like Miss Perceived. Miss Perceived appeared to be so good-natured, so nice, so good with her son The Regulator, so ... I don't know ... blonde. But as time trickled on here in Babbleville, Miss Spoken was reminded of one very simple truth:

All blondes are evil.

Miss Perceived is like a carnivorous plant.... gorgeous, but with an arsenal of unexpected traps and rapid movements meant to distract you from her objective -- consumption and survival

Miss Perceived was never on top of that cheerleading pyramid but I bet she probably kicked down a formation or two back in the day. It's possible she screwed the quarterback and maybe his girlfriend, too. You're more likely to find a Brown Eyed Girl on her Ipod than a Womanizer and in fact she likes a shot or two of Grey Goose in the morning when Dick Head (also known as her ex-husband) decides to live up to his name and be an actual dick head. Miss Spoken likes that; she likes that a lot.

So in summary, Miss Spoken was in fact completely wrong about Miss Perceived and is now truly, madly, deeply in love with her. Or is at least willing to sneak into her tent and use her portable toilet this weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Letter to a Vagabond

Dear Lady at School Who Only Wears Pajamas,

School has been in session now for what, a week and a half? Everyday I do the drop off and the pick-up thing. Actually, I do that little routine twice because Boss Lady gets out at 11:30 and The Boy isn't released until 3:00.

Every morning I manage to throw two waffles in the toaster for The Boy because without his waffles he will in fact go screwball ape shit crazy and every morning Boss Lady gets her cereal. I consume coffee. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's cold, sometimes it's vodka. The Boy's hair gets all spikey and semi-mohawked and Boss Lady gets a ponytail. If these early morning hours go smooth enough, she might even get her beloved pigtails which is saying something for my time management skills because Boss Lady has more insane intersections in her hair than downtown LA which means getting a straight part down the center is damn near impossible. I do it because Boss Lady is ... well ... bossy and she sometimes rubs my back when Legal makes me want to drink lots of Nyquil and sprinkle Flexeril all over my Raisin Bran.

Anyway, in the midst of this regularly scheduled chaos, guess what lady? I manage to walk out of the house in actual clothes. I sometimes even dismiss my bedhead by running my fingers through my hair and on occasion, I have even found the time to throw on a pair of sunglasses so as not to frighten the little ones. So why JesusHellChristShit do you always arrive at the school in your Powerpuff Girls flannel pajama bottoms, a flimsy tank top, no bra and some slippers? And why are you wearing Powerpuff Girls clothing in the first place?

It drives me C.R.A.Z.Y!

You arrive at 3:00 in the exact same thing! Oh, and by "arrive" I mean that you walk. You walk to and from school in your pajamas and slippers with four kids; two of them trailing behind you in their pajamas as well. Can you not find 60 seconds within that 6 hours that the kids are in school to, ohh I don't know .....  get dressed? Are you writing the Great American Novel? Studying quantum mechanics? Or are you watching General Hospital and re-runs of Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Look, I don't know if you reside within Babbleville's finest real estate or if you live in the prettiest little double-wide you ever did see. Either way, I'm just tired of being confronted by your nipples at 8:45 every morning and hearing the sound of those damn slippers as you shuffle and flop your way back to the couch.

Enough with the damn pajamas and buy a fucking bra.

- Miss Spoken

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Gay, Lady Gaga and the Texas Roadhouse: A Love Story

Last week My Gay turned 25. By everybody else's standards he's irritatingly young but, as I mentioned, he's gay so he's all aflutter with concerns that he might be past his Purchase By date. Whatever. I'm 37 so in Gay Land, I'm already expired. Soured. Curdled.

Regardless, it's a day of celebration or at the very least consumption. I checked out our Babbleville Local Directory of Crappy Happenings but alas, the Gay Rodeo was nowhere to be found. Because what better way to say Happy Birthday than with a little bit of this:

And a whole lot of this:

I had to settle for the culinary stylings of the Texas Roadhouse which was fine by me because with My Gay and Puppet Boy in tow, I was confident we could bring some Brokeback swagger wherever we went. And at this point, I'd go anywhere if it meant getting my posterior out of this house and my feet into these Fergalicious Red Croc heels. 

Ahhhh ..... heels. Paired with Mac's Viva Glam Matte Red Lipstick.
Sweet nectar of love.......

The Roadhouse did not disappoint. I feasted (yes.... feasted) on the world's most well endowed chicken smothered in Guaranteed-To-Make-Your-Ass-Wider White Gravy with a side of Straight-To-The-Thighs Mashed Potatoes. Lady Gaga was our bartender. My Gay line danced with the staff while twirling his napkin in the air and also rode on a saddle that they wheeled to our table while we sang his Birthday praises. My little Annie Oakley is all done and grownded up. Sniff. Sniff. 

P.S. Told you we could bring a little Rainbow colored funk to the joint.  Yee-haw bitches!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Dancing Grasshopper - Handmade Bath & Body Products (Closed)

In my ongoing quest to find more things to rave than rant about, I happened across an Etsy shop called, The Dancing Grasshopper. 

This family and home based business is a treasure, offering beautifully handcrafted olive oil soaps, lotions and lip balms; soy candles, bath salts and organic buckwheat pillows. Using only the purest ingredients and botanicals, it is clear that this is a labor born of love. A great deal of attention and care is poured into each product from inception to the simple yet stylish packaging. I am a collector of bath and body products. Actually, the term hoarder might be more appropriate. My point is that I know a good product when I see one and this is the real deal.

I sampled their Mint Julep Lip Balm ($2.95) which comes in this very cool retro slide-top tin. Think of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies and you get a sense of just how delicious this stuff is. I wanted to devour it. With olive oil as a primary ingredient, this lip balm doesn't just smell great, it works great too. And who doesn't love the slight tingle that mint leaves on your lips?

Also on my menu of indulgence, their Tomato Leaf Olive Oil Lotion ($7.95).  Living in Nevada, my skin gets so dry it hurts. So I prepared to slather some on this morning with the nagging suspicion that nothing would ever make my skin feel good again. The first thing I noticed was the smell - clean, fresh, balanced. This light lotion absorbs into the skin fairly quickly and never once did I feel the need to wash my hands after using it. Hours later, my skin is still as soft as it was this morning. Lovely.

Finally... my favorite. Their Blackberry Sage Soy Candle ($5.95). This is six ounces of hand-poured heaven. The smell of ripe blackberries and the earthy notes of sage conjure up memories of long summer nights. This candle makes me want to place an order for anything and everything they sell with this scent. Intoxicating.

The Dancing Grasshopper is also looking out for your little ones with their Babyhopper line of Beeswax Body Lotion and Castile Soap. Enter today to win this bar of unscented, 100% olive oil soap made specifically for your baby's sensitive skin.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Boy's First Misdemeanor

Does this look like the face of a criminal?  

Look closer ....  closer ...

Last night The Boy, Boss Lady and I had dinner at Grandma's house. And when I say dinner, I mean that while most of us ate enchiladas, The Boy had pasta (remember that pesky eating disorder I diagnosed him with?) and not much else.

On the way back home, we had a brief layover at The Store That Claims To Sell Things Way Cheaper Than The Other Stores. I don't usually hit this particular spot but was lured by the promise of that creamy garlicky goodness known as Boursin cheese. Alas, some Boursin-Cheese-Eating-Harlot must have snatched every last one of them because they were all gone. I did however learn that Wolfgang Puck has a new line of frozen appetizers out on the market. So with my cart full of chilled risotto balls, snacks for my wicked children and an array of lotions and potions that I don't really need, I pay for my haul. Needless shopping done, we arrive home and I throw The Boy and Boss Lady in bed. No bath because I said so. Lights out.

Cut to the next morning.

Before I can even peel my eyes open, there is a small warm body next to me softly whispering in my ear, "Mom, don't look at the gum in the drawer. Plllleeease."


Is there sticky sweet and strawberry scented gum attached to everything in my makeup drawer? Is it his drawer? Is there a web of fruity gluey goodness entangling his new school clothes? Or is it (gasp!) a ball of gum, partially eaten by The Boy and partially feasted on by a colony of ants?! 

His pleading is escalating as I approach what I think to be The Drawer. Sure enough, inside there is a pack of candy. Not gum though, it turns out to be Jawbreakers. It also turns out that while I was distracted by frozen Wolfgang Puck and bottles of $3 wine, The Boy put the jawbreakers in his pocket, i.e. he stole them!

I've been down this road before with my oldest daughter. When she was two years old, I took her to the Berkeley Flea Market and she "accidentally" took off with some hippy chick's stash of string bracelets. That probably really was just an accident. It wasn't an accident however when she was busted stealing energy drinks at the local grocery store. Or lifting eyeliner from Walgreens. 

The Boy feels bad and wants to know if he'll be going to jail. Not this time. He will however, be going back to that store, confessing his crime and paying for his Jawbreakers.

Get off the junk, son

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Babbleville ... An Introduction

Welcome to Babbleville!

Babbleville is my fictional name for my very factual neighborhood. You could say we're located in Northern Nevada, but I prefer "majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains." It just sounds ... better. Here we get to sweat like whores in church during the summer and pay small children to shovel snow in the winter. Spring is nice; fall is even better.

Sounds good so far, right?

We're also close to Reno which hails itself as The Biggest Little City in the World. This qualifies us as a 24-hour community. Aside from higher auto insurance rates, it also means that the freaks don't just come out at night. They slither about all day long.

Let me take you to my block.

I live in a community of townhouses, all individually owned which makes for some good fun but, I'll get to that a little later. Also on the block -- a gas station that is always conveniently out of regular gas but not premium, an over-priced grocery store where I like to buy my 1.5 liters of Barefoot Chardonnay, a hippy sort of mystical thrift store that sells bikes with plush animals somehow sewn to the actual bike frames (huh?), a laundromat, a place that sells a pretty good chicken burrito, a Christian book/gift store, a tattoo shop and a hair salon that caters to the bingo crowd and AARP members.

In time you'll get to know the other residents but for now let me introduce myself. My name is Gina but in Babbleville, I am Miss Spoken. I can be guilty of letting my words get away from me. Like darts dipped in poison, they can sometimes sting a bit. Not always. Kinda. Maybe. I think I'm funny but I'm not always. I like a glass of Chardonnay at 3:00. I like more later. I have three kids I've nicknamed Legal, The Boy and Boss Lady. Legal used to tell her friends that I only liked the Disney villains. She was right. Me and Maleficent are like twins separated at birth (hey Malef, I want my horned headdress back whenever you get the chance. Text me!). 

So that's a snapshot of Babbleville and a brief look at Miss Spoken. Maybe tomorrow I'll introduce you to my next door neighbor, Miss Perceived. But it's almost 3:00 and Miss Spoken has a nagging sensation that there is something else she's supposed to be doing right now.