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."