Sunday, February 27, 2011

The One Where I Almost Start a Street Fight in Las Vegas

Not counting fights with my brother, I have had exactly one fist fight in my life and that one was a set up.  I was led to a school yard and jumped because I had betrayed a confidence.  What the jumper did not expect was that I would swing wide and tag her in the ear (Fight Club anyone?) providing me with an opportunity to run like an olympian and escape. That little episode taught me two things - 1. Never, ever betray a confidence.  2. Fist fights are no fun and I don't want to ever be in one again.

From that point forward, I have lived my life by a very pacifist "Can't we all just get along?" principle.  Not to mention the fact that I keep a secret locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I take all confidences to the grave.

However, my peace loving and reasonable self gets froggy as a mutha when someone aproaches one of my kids in the wrong way.  This is something that a couple of over anxious street vendors learned the hard way in Italy.  Let's just say I taught them some new words in English.  This week in Las Vegas, another similar lesson had to be taught.

We had just seen the Beatles Love Show at the Mirage and we were walking down Las Vegas Blvd in front of the Bellagio, in the hopes of catching the fountain show.  It was about 9:00 PM.  At this time of the night, the area is buzzing with activity as tourists bustle from casino to show to restaurant. All that tourist activity is  like a magnet to the hookers, hawkers and beggars. This makes my spidey senses tingle and I go on high alert like a mama bear guarding her cubs. 

One of the most prevalent type of sidewalk slime on the strip is the Strip Club hawker.  These people pass out business cards with pictures of naked women on them and the address of whatever strip club the hawker works for.  The back of the card has a name written on it, so that the person handing out the card can get "credit" for whoever they bring in.  For the most part, these hawkers always tried to push a card on to my husband,  but reeled the card back in when my son passed.  He is 14 years old and while he's a big kid, he is clearly not an adult, passing for MAYBE 16 at the most.  There would be no reason to assume that he was even close to being of age.

As we rolled down the crowded sidewalk, I spotted her.  She was short, had frizzy black hair and bulging eyes.  She looked like the unholy spawn of an Ewok and a Bush Baby and she had her hairy little fist loaded with naked lady cards and propriety be damned, she was going to make quota.  The following unfolded in slow motion (please note that the naughty words have been substituted with a word that sounds similar.  This is to prevent any additonal freaky keyword results) -

  1. The ewok places a card in her grubby right hand, a nude, buxom vixen on clear display. 
  2. I see her look up at my son's face to catch his attention.
  3. She begins to extend the card toward his hand.
  4. I sweep in from behind and block her play,  eyballing her hard and uttering the following:   "Are you out of your mother plucking mind?  He is fourteen years old! I will slap you in your plucking mouth."
  5. The bush baby has a look of stunned disbelief on her face.  Once I am a few paces beyond her, she pulls her jaw off the ground and responds.  "You plucking b1tch!"
  6. I responded "You're exactly right.  I'm a b1tch and I will slap the taste out of your mouth."
By the time we got past the Bellagio, I snapped out of it and realized that I had just provoked a fight with a Las Vegas street person.  What the heck was I thinking?  Meanwhile, my son and husband had finally stopped laughing and were lamenting the fact that they weren't rolling the video camera. 

It was truly like an out of body experience and once I came back into my body, I had a deep regret for the terrible example that I had just set for my kids.  But I'll be damned if any leering, disgusting, porn hawking street person is going to approach my kids.  You mess with the cubs and you get mauled by the mama bear. I just hope that the kinder, gentler person that I am 99.999% of the time, is the person that has the true influence over my children and that the person that I am the other .001% of the time only has impact on bush babies and street sleeze that need to understand that mama bear don't play and it's best to mind your P's and Q's around her cubs.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Midnight Skies of Deepest Sapphire

Star of Bombay.  That is the name of my new favorite color of nail polish.  If you are not familiar with it, I'll describe it to you.  It is a rich, blue-black, so dark and velvety smooth, it evokes memories of the most magnificent winter's night sky that you have ever seen.  It envelops you in its black cloak and warms you with a sparkling undertone of deepest cobalt. . . until you spill it on the rug.

Then it becomes the most hatefully heinous shade of dog$hitty denim that you have ever seen.  Clearly a shade   that only tranny hookers and diseased, monkey-loving crack whores would ever deign to paint their infected hooves with.

I'm a clumsy dork

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Link Love Roman Style

For those of you that have been around the Mad Bathroom for a while, you know that I took a trip to Italy in the summer of 2010. To say that I was transformed by the experience would be an epic understatement.  I fell so in love with Italy, with Rome in particular, that I now eat, drink, read and cook everything that is even remotely Roman.

In my ongoing daydreaming of a return to the narrow cobblestone streets of central Rome, I have been researching the areas that I have not visited and have been thrilled to learn that there is more undiscovered territory than another three or four return trips could address. 

In the process of this research, I found the most amazing blogger.  Her name is Elizabeth Minchilli and she is a food writer and reporter in Rome. Her blog is full of beautiful images, stories and videos about all things Rome.  I highly recommend a stroll through her place, if you want to experience a little La Dolce Vita.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Not Sure How I Survived the 70's

All of these toys have complete lack of judgement and potential law suit written all over them.  I actually had a couple of them, the others, I coveted heavily.  Did I mention that the first time I shot a (real) pistol, I was 9?  I was also the same age when I first took the controls of a single engine plane.  Driving  a car while sitting on someones lap? Six.  Yes, six years old.

 Is it any wonder I'm a helicopter parent?

I don't think the milk was drinkable. But you KNOW that kids did.

Pretty sure this was just a straight razor in a plastic bird.

Yeah, with that rack, Barbie really needed that float.

There was a pin in the hat.  How do I know? I impaled my finger on it.

The name of this one sounds like something a Vietnamese prostitute would have offered an American soldier in DaNang.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Naked Grills are a Good Thing

Nothing prepares you for the day that you put your son to bed a boy and he stomps down the stairs the next morning as a full grown man. But that’s pretty much how it happens. One day he’s cataloging his Neopet collection and the next day he’s playing guitar in a hardcore band. If you’re slow, if you blink, you will miss the transformation

This is the thought that occurred to me as I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning, talking to my son about the fact that he was scheduled to get his braces off after school.  Like any “good” mother I promised him an effed up bucktoothed, beaver grill if he didn’t wear his retainer at night, and like any good son, he humored me and promised to wear it. There, at the kitchen counter, he seemed like a walking contradiction. Here was this ginormous, deep voiced man-boy, drinking a juice box and talking about looking forward to chewing gum and eating skittles again. I actually caught myself looking at him with my head tilted like the RCA dog trying to figure out how I missed the fact that he had sprouted the shoulder span of a linebacker.

It definitely wasn’t always that way. When he was little, there were a lot of "well meaning" comments and questions from my parents and in-laws about his slight build and motor-driven antics For example, every time my father saw him in the pool or the bathtub, he would invariably ask me “Does he eat?”.  It took every ounce of restraint and good humor that I had to\keep my razor-sharp tongue in its holster during these little exchanges. (Which by the way, I am still waiting for the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing. 'Cause, the questions from my in-laws? They could have made Gandhi go postal,)  I mean, I certainly understood why they might have had concerns, he was ghostly white and you could count every rib. He used to bounce off the walls and furniture like a pinball. He was so hyper that his doctor nicknamed him “perpetual motion baby”, because his arms and legs never stopped moving when you picked him up.

But like many of the concerns that you have with your children, particulaly as a first time parent, this just faded away. By the time he was 13, the question of my son’s frailness gave way to concern for our ability to continue shoveling food in his ever-chewing yap. It was around this time that my father stopped asking me whether he ate and switched over to “What’s your grocery bill like these days?”.

When I came home from work that night was all excited to see how he looked without his braces. I hadn't seen his teeth since early sixth grade and at that time, they were, ummm, bucky, for lack of a better word. He came bopping into the kitchen in his usual fashion and I was knocked back by his appearance. He had a straight, white, movie star smile. He actually looked like he aged another couple of years since breakfast. I was very happy for him, but kind of sad for myself. My little boy was clearly a man.

As I collapsed into bed that night I tried to find the silver lining in my son's silver lining-less smile. He had grown up in a blink and his 11 year old sister was running hard to catch up with him. Restless, I got up and went to the bathroom. I turned the light on and took a long look in the mirror.  I had bags under my eyes and the beginning of crow's feet, but at 47 that was to be expected. Then, I had the most horrifying thought  . . what if we parents aged at the same lightning speed as our children?  At this stage of the game, that would have tipped me straight into shuffling with a walker-land. I sighed heavily, relieved that nature was not quite that cruel.  And then it dawned on me,  there was the silver lining that I had been hoping for.