May 3rd, 2004

Vallejo Barbie

Susan forwarded Kim the following humor message this morning, delightful in its Northern California specificity:
The New California Barbies

Barbie Dolls, Inc. announces the release today of Limited Edition
Barbie Dolls, exclusively for the California market:

Pleasanton Barbie: This princess Barbie is only sold at the Stoneridge
Mall. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus, a
lapdog, and a cookie cutter house. Options include tummy tuck, face
lift, and a workaholic Ken.

San Ramon Barbie: This trendy homemaker Barbie is available with the
Lexus SUV or Ford Windstar minivan, gets lost easily, and has no
full-time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone
sold separately. Optional matching gym outfit.

Richmond Barbie: This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9 mm
handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a low-rider Chevrolet with oversized wheels
and tinted windows, and a meth lab Ken. Also available in a Mexican

Rancho Cordova/Gold River Barbie: This yuppie Barbie comes with choice
of a BMW sports car or a souped up Hummer 2, Starbucks cup, credit card
and shallow Ken.

Stockton Barbie: This white-trash model comes in Wrangler jeans two
sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, big hair, a six-pack of Coors Light and
a Hank, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and she can kick Ken's ass
when she's drunk. A pickup is available with Confederate flag bumper

Tahoe Barbie: This collagen-injected, rhinoplastic Barbie still has not
learned that you can't wear a leopard print ski outfit without looking
passe, even if you are actually skiing.

Berkeley Barbie: This Barbie actually comes in two variations: one has
long gray hair and archless feet, sandals with white socks, no makeup,
and a mutt; the other version has frizzy hair, a dingy white tanktop,
low-cut jeans and scratch-n-sniff armpits.

Bakersfield Barbie: This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie still
has not learned that you can't wear high-heeled sandals from Payless
with no pedicure and without breaking a heel and falling while you chase
your beer-gutted, hollow gold-chain-wearing boyfriend. Her make-up is
dark red lip liner with lips covered in a sparkly pink color or no
fill-in at all. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans with
assorted colored G-strings that stick out the back of her jeans, a white
barely-there see-through shirt. Her long, layered hair is
bleached/highlighted and BIG. Accessories include: CD player equipped
with Bon Jovi, rusty old Ford pick-up.

Texas Transplant Barbie: This bitch of a Barbie comes with a Ford SUV
(Texas plates), a knife to stab other Barbies in the back, and tons of
makeup. Carnivore Ken sold separately.

Piedmont Barbie: This true blonde shops exclusively in Walnut Creek and
Carmel. She drives her Land Rover (sold separately) to the Oakland
Public Library. She has an MBA from Stanford but has never worked
outside the home. Her child stroller is bigger than your house and her
tennis trophies are discreetly hidden behind CEO Ken's golf trophies.
She knows enough Spanish to talk with the nanny; Tagalong to speak to
the cook; and Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, to talk with the gardener,
house painter, and housekeeper, respectively. She is a lifelong member
of the Junior League and her Piedmont estate on Sea View Drive has been
featured in Architectural Digest. Her family owns a winery in Napa, but
she buys cases of "2-Buck Chuck" at Trader Joe's. Hence the need for the
rear-loading Land Rover. Her dirty little secret? She's a closet

They're working on developing an Oakland Barbie but she keeps getting
I must be really homesick, because I found this list inspirational. How about these additions to the collection:

• Woodside Barbie: Wears off-the-rack outerwear and drives a late 60s Volvo wagon even though she's rich enough to buy a good portion of Oklahoma. Comes with a lighter to hold up at impromptu Neil Young gigs and a tan-blasted Ken who seems to spend the whole day at the café because, well, he does.

• Pacifica Barbie: Her wardrobe apparently consists of a single, weathered wetsuit, which she unzips in the public parking light, exposing her ample pillows, because she doesn't give a shit what the foreign tourists think. Her companion his Shark Attack Ken, who will hike up his 80s-era OP T-Shirt to show you the massive scar on his midsection.

• Discovery Bay Barbie: Comes with am almost affordable suburban home that looks like something from the creepy planet in Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time. Wears an "I survived Highway 4" t-shirt on weekends when she and her partner Ken take advantage of the one advantage their location provides, access to the Delta. Somewhere trapped inside of her is the relatively vivacious Cal undergrad of a decade past who listened to KALX even though her So-Cal roommates mocked her and who entertained a closely held dream of mixing cocktails with a plastic-tipped cigar. Out on the boat with her not-exactly-husband, she scans the horizon bitterly for that protein delta strip, wondering if it was always already a mirage.

and last but not least. . .

• Vallejo Barbie: Differs from her sister Barbies in having the tip of her tongue stick out of her mouth, because she just can't keep it inside. Has a wardrobe that combines the worst elements of African-American, Filipino, Latino and Okie culture. Still gets lost on most trips out Admiral Callaghan lane and regrets never eating at that Kenny Rogers chicken restaurant down the strip from Ross. Finds Home Depot comforting for someone in her frame of mind. Keeps cans of beer in the car just in case she needs to take the edge off. Used to go down to Nobody's Place every few weeks, also to "take the edge off," but has since reunited with Ken, despite the disturbing chemical stench of his garments. Works for the county. Misses the old Fourth of July parade. Remembers going to the basement at JFK library as a girl, before everything started drying out around her. Sometimes she still sees the lumpia man.
  • Current Music
    Pete Standing Alone - Boards Of Canada - Music Has The Right To Children

Bob on Thom

Here's what Bob Mould has to say in his short obituary for Thom Gunn:
Thom Gunn, who died last Sunday aged 74, wrote some of the best and most elegant poetry of his times; his early work shows the influence of Donne and Herbert, and he never lost their tightness of thought and structure, although from the 1960s he also came under the influence of mescaline, lysergic acid and Allen Ginsberg. Stephen Trask was the person who introduced me to Mr. Gunn's work; he gave me a copy of Boss Cupid, and I still enjoy the words to this day.
What could be better than one of your punk rock heroes name-dropping "Donne and Herbert?"

Bob has apparently molded himself into a real Renaissance man.

It's interesting that the creator of Hedwig was proselytizing on Gunn's behalf.
  • Current Music
    Moving Trucks - Bob Mould - Last Dog And Pony Show