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DenverBettie

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5280 Fight, Fight, Fight...an update from Vegas [Feb. 3rd, 2006|10:27 am]
DenverBettie
It's only February and this year is already one of many firsts for the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. A mere 28 days into our 2006 season, our newest team - 5280 Fight Club - headed to Vegas to take on the Sin City Rollergirls' Neander Dolls in our first ever inter-league bout.

Denver, forget what you've seen. Our home teams, Sugar Kill Gang and Red Ridin' Hoods, are still around. And we've got enough fresh meat to ensure that last year's players get a run for their money (One blonde long-legged jammer-to-be shall go unnamed - watch for her). But inter-league bouting is changing the face of all-female, flat-track roller derby.

In Vegas, the Neander Dolls took great care of us off the rink - making sure we made it out of the airport, giving us a place to lay our skates, and feeding us. But once we hit the track, all bets were off. These girls know how to gamble.

The Neander Dolls brought the hurt in the first quarter taking an early lead over 5280 Fight Club. A brief intermission after that let us catch our breath as we watched RMRG founding member Precious Moments marry her best friend and partner in crime, SixTwentySix. From the time the bride walked down an aisle formed by Rollergirls to the moment Elvis commanded the happy couple to declare "I do," I remembered why we're all here. Precious, you are the best cheerleader, voice of reason, play-by-play announcer and all-around Girl Friday any league could have. We wouldn't be here without you getting us in gear for that very first practice in August 2004 when Denver's roller derby league was born. We remember.

The siren song of Vegas' tough-as-nails refs mixed with hollers from the fans who'd traveled to watch us and cheer on the nuptials called us to the second quarter. We found our stride in unfamiliar territory and Winona Fighter formed her own one-woman pack, owning the position of pivot - one she had taken on only a few short weeks earlier. Our jammers, Dita Destroyer, She Who Cannot Be Named and Team Captain Penny Payne evened the score and kept things there for long enough to keep the crowd hollering. The third quarter was a blur but for TriXie TriXter (who fought hard enough, literally, to be ejected from the game). Final score: Sin City Rollergirls: 147, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls: 121.

Dita Destroyer took home MVP and SheWho earned her stripes as MVAPP (Most Valuable After-Party Participant). Sin City plus a rowdy group of Rollergirls does the funniest things to people.

Muchas gracias doesn't even begin to cover the gratitude we feel Neander Dolls, but April 1 won't be anything like you remember us. Until then, may the right gods fall in love with you the way I did. You're gonna need 'em.

See you all April 1 on our turf folks: Bladium Sports Center.

Jayne Manslaughter
Founding Member
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls
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Grudge Match, Bitches [Sep. 7th, 2005|11:28 am]
DenverBettie
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Rollergirl Waxes Philosophical Before Blowing Shit Up [Jul. 21st, 2005|12:30 pm]
DenverBettie
The blocks east of Colorado, past the fancy housing lining Montview, cut into Stapleton and to me, mark the end of the city and the beginning of a suburban no-man's-land, an anything-goes kind of place where construction battles new housing developments and detours are your only way to get anywhere.

So when the big bald-headed guy with the visor and the crazy eyes drove all that way, out to the Bladium (nestled deep within the labyrinth nightmare), bellowing that he’d been waiting two hours to buy tickets, it was a surprise to those of us who heard him…and who then watched him beat up counter portion of the front desk when denied entry.

Things went uphill fast from there.

Mississippi god damn, the bout was fun.

Final score: 16 stitches, not for me, but I did, literally, have a hand in it.

Every ounce of hard work donated at the expense of bread-and-butter jobs, love lives and non-derby friends was evident the moment I walked into the venue.

I’d spent the evening before the big day eating with my teammates and cleaning my skates (an exercise so confusing and annoying that it actually lulled my brain to sleep and kept it free of derby dreams for the entire night thereafter.).

I slept in on Saturday, met my teammates for some last minute shopping (which almost, but thankfully did not include the addition of gold-sequined panties to our uniforms) and headed down to the rink to. Someone at Bladium told me that The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and cockroaches would survive a nuclear holocaust. Upon walking into the venue--I had to agree: The Machine was in motion.

To those of you with the forethought to get pre-sale tickets or show up early, I salute and thank you. The game wouldn’t have been what it was without the energy from the crowd. And what it was was hard as fuckall--we skated twice as fast on a floor that is twice as slow and I took my lumps: Clearly my pink terry cloth ensemble was just bright enough to anger a few of the Hoods, who took me down and brought the pain, right when—and where—it counted.

Ready for the next one? I am.
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Aw, yeah.... [Jul. 15th, 2005|11:26 am]
DenverBettie
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I summer in Russia [Jun. 27th, 2005|01:23 pm]
DenverBettie
Saturday afternoon found me on the corner of 9th and Where Nightmares Are Made where my drinking and storytelling were interrupted by three car crashes and a girl too drunk to complete her Walk of Shame without falling down several times and taking a construction sign with her. The entertainment value was high but I was afraid to ride my cruiser home from the bar lest it, not I, suffer a similar fate at the hands of that intersection.

I went home, propped my feet up on the couch and finished a movie I’ve been watching for two weeks straight in ten minute increments. That small victory allotted, I prepared for an evening tour of suburban dive bars which climaxed as I sang along to some of my favorite karaoke songs and cheered a friend’s on-stage artistic interpretation of Like a Prayer (no words). The rollergirl anthem Hit Me With Your Best Shot was also performed though not by me (me and my imagination were busy rubbing the seat of a chopper parked outside of the bar, the owner of which was parked directly in my line of vision.).

When I got home and realized I had to set my alarm for a Sunday morning, my pleasantly tipsy nature departed. I resented having to set my alarm on a weekend more than I did waking up at 6 a.m. on a day off. I recently ended a relationship with an alarm clock that went off seven days a week for no other reason than out of habit and I've yet to romanticize its departure.

I hit snooze for only fifteen minutes before I got up, decided that my smoke-scented hair looked just fine, lathered up my entirety in SPF 40 leftover from Mexico, and laced up my skates. I met up with the rest of the rollergirls for coffee before heading to Cheesman Park to celebrate Pride. The wait was long, the sun hot, the port-a-potties unappealing, but eventually things got rolling. We were quick to find that rollergirls don't need a float to make an impact--we were just fine skating through the crowd with a pickup truck driving slowly in front of us, its tailgate open to catch any renegade skaters whose worn down stoppers might send them careening down condom-littered slopes in the street.

I only saw one person I knew in the crowd. What a disappointment. I thought my peeps would be out en masse to celebrate Gay Day. I was also mildly disappointed with how few of us showed up to represent (people who sacrifice experience for the [fill in the blank] upon which/whom they are dependent are the most boring people in the world.). But that feeling quickly diminished when I was reminded how much fun just a few of us can have.

Colfax and I have had a long and healthy relationship based on fun and drinking, but taking the saddest street on the world on eight wheels is equal to another tick mark on my list of things to do before I die.

We capped off the parade with a merch booth that drove far better business and attention than I think any of us expected. We happily made enough sales to ensure that the upcoming bout is well stocked with gear for the most discriminating of fans.

While I claim to long for the ol’ days when the mundane aspects of my life (paying bills, doing laundry, going to the grocery store) were efficiently taken care of, I’m calling bullshit. I’d much rather spend any day skating in the sun, eating funnel cake and people watching. I have plenty of time to be responsible. And bored.
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Every pickup is a prelude to murder. [Apr. 15th, 2005|02:59 pm]
DenverBettie
Last night, sitting next to a rollergirl compatriot, we dreamt of stealing away to Mexico for a month or the rest of our lives. Even if it was on one of those buses that takes people home by way of every city in Southern Texas before stopping in Juarez. "We just have to cross the border."

Me, in my clarity. What would it matter anyway? Then we'd just be in a different country boozing and wondering what goes on in the minds of men. I hoped that my life would change with little intervention on my part. If you want it, you have to really go for it, and I'm just tired. In my next life, I want to be just charming enough to breeze by.

How did I get here? Immersed in this bubble where the names of friends I don't have matter more than those I do. When did my girls trade intimate late night phone calls for mass mailings to e-mail lists of which I'm suddenly a part?

Tonight I'd like to shake my tailfeather until it all goes away but I can't fucking stand the thought of doing alongside Denver's legions of delicate boys, the neo-nouveau masculinity, who are bringing back the rock 'n' roll styles of the '70s and '80s. Not tonight.

In an e-mail from a friend today, this: "I hate school. I hate my project. I hate being yelled at...Regardless, wanna skate outside tomorrow?". Why can't life be that simple? The only time I stop thinking is when I'm skating, lap after lap, that's when my thoughts evaporate, I forget life off of my wheels and escape inside of my head. I like it in there. In there is where I simultaneously torture myself and somehow turn the past into a formulaic brand of rationalization that allows me to go on with my life. In there is where I hide things, keep my secrets, and lock up those of others.

At some point, during lunch today, my brain processed my upcoming commitments to various people, places, and cats into one big mindfuck that eventually swelled into the realm of simply unmanageable. Everything was sorted and plotted and accounted for on a calendar until yesterday, when I added another crappy job to the days contained within little boxes that hang on my wall. I couldn't say no when asked if I wanted my old job back--sans the great pay, tolerable co-workers, and benefits.

Even bestowed with the murky title of Consultant, being hired back somehow healed a portion of the wounds that, for so long, have added yet another layer of sadness and disappointment to an already beleaguered ego. The validation should cancel out the late nights I spend, fueled by margaritas and a nicotine rush, trying to compile a list of ways in which life before I was laid off is somehow similar to life after. But nothing is the same. Not one thing. Since my mind likes a challenge, this keeps me up most nights. Much as I deny it and anesthetize myself to the point where I forget, it was a lapse of major importance.

Getting laid off hit me where it hurts--in the heart of what I do, what I did, the only thing I cared to work at. "It just ruined everything," I very recently wept to two girls who, through my tears, looked like the only people on earth who saw through me. I didn't mind the talk of severance, and of cleaning out my cubicle. It was the unspoken that settled in my gut: "We don't want you to write for us. Anymore." That voice, the words of corporate America are still stuck in my head and it doesn't stop, like a fucking marionette with its mouth going up and down. Up and down.
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SXSW: The Aftermath, Beginning With Day 1 [Mar. 23rd, 2005|01:02 pm]
DenverBettie
Denver International Airport, March 17, 4:30 p.m.: In The Cowboy Bar, the only watering hole on Concourse A, three rollergirls ease rum and Cokes from a weary bartender's hands, hoping to drink away lucidity in preparation for a flight they've arrived two hours early for.

Denver International Airport, March 17, 6:30 p.m.: Approaching Gate 24A, the girls are overwhelmed by the incorrect presumption that they're the only ones from Denver flying to SXSW. Just as they become enamored with the idea, they realize the plane has already boarded, the doors have closed, and they'll have to pray that ten sticks each of Big Red can suffocate what will prove to be rum-and-Coke-laced pleas to board the flight.

With lots of rollergirl luck and one sympathetic Frontier employee on our side, we got on and slept until we were greeted in Austin by a driver holding a sign for Fasnizzy Manslaughter. Naturally I assumed I was Fasnizzy and we three loaded our bags and roller skates into the trunk of a sleek Lexus before planting our quickly-sobering-up asses onto its leather interior. We eventually found what would be our home for the next four and a half days and quickly dropped our bags off with the boyfriend of a Texas rollergirl sweet enough to host us. He (the boyfriend) extended what would be our first dose of many of Southern hospitality by encouraging us to phone him any time of the night if “any fucked up shit gets fucked up and you need me to come down and fuck it up.” We thanked him, he hugged us each, and we got back in the Lexus and charged a ride downtown on someone else's credit card.

My SXSW cherry was popped by Emo's--where we met up with one other rollergirl and vishvakarman.

I liked Emo’s immediately. There was a band on the stage, an outdoor part of the bar, an indoor part, and toilet paper in the restrooms. You could listen to the music if you liked, get some fresh air if you wanted, or find a vacated table upon which you could fairly arm wrestle should the urge strike. Without ever leaving the bar.

Convinced that the lack of altitude in Austin would make us immune to alcohol, we resolved to consume only shots for what little was left of the night. Instead we drank shots and enough beer to ensure that even if Austin where below sea level, we'd be sauced. Good lessons are always learned on the first night.

Next we went to Maggie Mae's on 6th street (which looks like the setting of more than a few Girls Gone Wild episodes) and began Skate Corner Death Match, whereby any beer not consumed quickly enough would be crushed.

We were quickly ushered out the door and onto the street, where the most drunken of us illustrated brutal blocking techniques on a completely-sober Vish who, despite taking some hits, was kind enough to let us pass out in his car while another drunken rollergirl--our hostess--guided him to her house. Once there, Vish took an early leave and the four of us girls smoked cigarettes and caught up even though it was the first time we’d all met.

And that was Day One, which was really just night one, which was really just a few celebratory hours of being thankful that I’m not in my cubicle, or worrying about laundry, or getting The General’s oil changed. Just a few drinks sacrificed here and everywhere to the Gods of Getaways who dictate that it doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone, you’ve escaped. If only temporarily. And with worries out of sight and mind, you’ve carte blanche to have a good time. And that we did.
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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2005|11:18 am]
DenverBettie
I've heard of many hangover cures, some elaborate, others involving wasabi. Above them all, I prefer processed cheese, melted, solidified, and in all of its many other forms. I feel fine. Better than I did a few nights ago.

It's the 3 a.m. phone calls from lovers past that really harsh my mellow. They used to make me want to write bad poetry in bed, now they just send back to the kitchen table, where my girls are, playing cards over one abandoned cocktail. Porny Gabe loves someone else and when he told me, the still waters between cool and insane became ever murkier, but I can't figure out why. My ego knows. "I wanted to be your only true love," it burns. Gag. That's not the life I want or I'd have forged ahead, beyond the four years we we oddly enough endured. At least when he called I was drunk and my cell phone made him sound like he was even farther away than he is.

To be out of town for a night, somewhere with no connection to my real life or real love, that's what I crave. So I booked a trip to Austin, a locale that pops up in conversation, but on maps is given the distinction of being home to The Gays and the toughest rollergirls around. I did it for the stories too. I'm all dried up.

It's not Mexico, but it's a vacation The Place That Won't Be Named can't stop me from taking. And for whatever reason, 2005 isn't shaping up to be the kind of year that affords me two weeks south of the border, for better or worse. Point. Round. Loss.

At least now I have something to look forward to and a month of looking forward to it. I like the anticipation of trips, holidays, even when they're not mine, they provide a pause in a life otherwise pretty mundane.

The roses and chocolate that temporarily made a cubicle seem bearable are now dead and eaten, respectively, restoring the depressing equilibrium that preceded them. The Gays went noticeably overboard this year, sending so many gifts that I had to make two trips to get all of my spoils upstairs.

I bought myself some new flowers over the weekend, for my apartment, a much more suitable place for anything that needs air and sunlight in order to survive. A much better place than here.
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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell [Feb. 4th, 2005|10:29 am]
DenverBettie
I've instituted Daily Acts of Rebellion to stay sane at work. They are harmless but, upon completion, leave an odd sense of satisfaction lingering in my belly. Yesterday I stole a roll of toilet paper. It's almost too bad the tampons are free or I'd have been able to derive some small pleasure from ripping them off.

Today's Daily Act of Rebellion: Speaking at normal volume. Fuck this whispering shit. I just said "Hi" in my normal speaking voice and I think a few of the people made of stone actually cracked.

My mom had a Wait-that-couldn't-happen-to-you-could-it moment in regards to roller derby last night. But her fears were quickly suppressed when I explained that the emotional wounds I suffer every second I'm in this cubicle are far more likely to land me in the hospital than having the shit beat out of me on skates is. In my family, marriages and work, no matter how unbearable, are things you endure for a lifetime.

I learned well. Half of it at least.

She also wanted to talk about my siblings (a subject that enrages me and that she knows enrages me) so I said I had to go. Which was the truth. A small birthday celebration was brewing without me and I was trying to force my hair to recuperate after a two-hour nap so I could attend. It was my second nap of the day--earlier, I was in The Wellness Room sleeping so deeply that when the drawstrings around the hood of my sweatshirt got caught between the wall and the bed and started constricting around my neck, I went right on sleeping, dreaming that Mysterioso was finally living out his fantasy of strangling me.
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Early Money is Like Yeast [Jan. 19th, 2005|03:34 pm]
DenverBettie
It seemed as if all the universal elements required to ensure that I have shit for a day aligned early this morning and were then abruptly thrown out of whack with one quick e-mail from my mum. "Late whatever-you-celebrate-now gift," the subject line read. The rest of it: "I'm buying you a ticket back to Mexico--late holiday gift."

"Are you buying me one back home as well?" I responded. It wouldn't be unlike my mother to offer up a one-way trip south of the border as an alternative to my impending spinsterhood.

The words gift horse and mouth flooded my conscience right after I hit Send, so I grabbed the phone, ticking off one check box on the Phone Calls to Mom Log that will eventually serve as a paper trail that leads to a failed New Year's resolution. When she answered, I quickly explained that this year, this year, I planned to trade crystal clear oceans, jet skis, beer in the Sierra Madre, and tan pool boys for rain, men who've gone a lifetime without dental work, peas-with-everything cuisine, and a grandmother who long ago forgot the last of her Yankee grandchildren. This year, I'm going to Scotland.

My mother sighed, defeated, having obviously weighed the very same trade offs, hoping for a different outcome. "But you were so much happier there," she said. There being Mexico.

Little does she know. Arizona is the closest to Mexico my mother will ever come and dining where the locals eat is an act so distanced from her reality that she might cease to exist if ever confronted with the chance. I was gifted.

Not even my traveling companions were privy to what I left between certain walls or on the sand. I like it that way. I treasure my secrets. As much as I talk, I don't have many. The ones I have, those few, are sacred. I don't even let cameras violate my privacy. If you weren't there, you'll never truly feel like you were. No matter how badly you wish for it and how adamantly you say you feel like you were, all out of reverence for some photographer.

I don't have much time off accrued here at The Place That Won't Be Named so I won't be using that ticket anytime soon. Accordingly, I've planned other, mini-vacations, getaways. Thirteen of my loosely knit girlfriends rented some "haunted" rooms at The Stanley, an occasion we'll use to wear old bridesmaid's dresses to the hotel lounge and then retreat to our rooms to watch The Shining on air mattresses. The weekend may turn me into a neutron-dancing eighties throwback with a drug problem, but I'm looking forward to it. As I am tomorrow night's outing to see Def Poetry on tour (Mos Def as the emcee would have put the night on par with a trip to the tropics, but I’ll leave happy just the same).

So my wait for a real vacation will be sprinkled with fun. I'll dream about Mexico while others dream about me. It's true. In an e-mail from a friend just today, this: Here is something I wanted to tell you. When I was all doped up post surgery, I was having really weird dreams. In one I lived in this ultra-modern high rise apartment that was flooded but I had people over anyway. You were raiding my liquor supply and you kept yelling "If we don't take it, it will mix with the water and be ruined."
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Make it well, make it right... [Dec. 28th, 2004|09:06 pm]
DenverBettie
I'm sitting here, belly full of pho, smoking, watching the first season of Def Poetry on DVD for the god knows how manyieth time, lusting after Mos Def, and thinking about how I'll make good on a midnight promise to, in 2005, get back to the boogie down, to New York. It's time. I need to regroup, soak in reminders of where I come from, and drink Guinness with people who've known me since I was two. And love me still.

My body hurts, having only a few hours ago, made my way down to the Cherry Creek bike trail to break in my outdoor wheels during an eight-mile skate. Exercise is somehow made easier, more invigorating with an end goal more significant than "losing weight." Being a better roller girl, a better team mate, a better player, seem much more important. Perspective.

I'd rolled along only a minute or two when I heard, "Hey you, rockin' the new old-school skates, let's see what you can do over here." I turned to see my mechanic, high atop a forty at the skate park that runs along the trail waving to me. I gave him the finger and kept skating, secretly hoping he'd eventually make his way down to the trail, but realizing quickly that he wouldn't. I'd have liked to wish a happy new year and ask him why the fuck he's not terrified of concrete. With every and any wrong move, I envision my blood and teeth splattered across the path and want to know the secret of fearlessness. Youth, perhaps stupidity.

The adrenaline from the skate washed away the generally melancholy mood I've been feeling since New Year's, the night of confused plans and too many opinions, a handful of wrong decisions eventually landed me somewhere I hadn't intended on and nowhere I wanted to be. I was antsy last night and eager to remedy the evening before, though fearful that hangovers across the friendship board would prevent me from doing so. Around 11, I was saved by an unexpected phone call and washed wished my sour mood farewell, grateful for an evening of drinks and people who get it. It made all the difference.

I ran into Mysterioso who agreed to drop by today to put power steering fluid in The General, swap out my skate wheels, teach me to use a ratchet, and hang some curtains. "Is there anything else you need?" he asked as he was leaving. "No," I lied. I'm glad we came out of it friends. He gets it.

Happy new year's to you all and to all a goodnight.
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(no subject) [Dec. 28th, 2004|03:33 pm]
DenverBettie
Oh New Year's Eve, I see you there, peaking round the corner at me. My plans for you are always last minute and this year shall be no different. I'll weigh the options, then decide on none of them.

Date Rape Row holds no appeal for me. In fact, there's nothing for me in all of Lodo. Though I fear amateur night in Capitol Hill--when SUVs and Keds invade my regularly-established watering holes--almost as much.

I asked Jon if he'd accompany me to the Slim Cessna show at The Bluebird and got a less than enthusiast [Pause, stare, stare] “I will go with you," which, in Jonspeak, translates loosely into: "I don't and won't have an alternative and you always do the planning while I conveniently tag along, so I will begrudgingly say yes to whatever you want." So that's out.

I could always stay in and phone my family. Just kiddin'. I did manage to get a hold of everyone on Christmas and say a few words amid their gravy slinging and child scolding. "You should come out here next year," everyone who felt obligated to me only because we share bloodlines said. "It does sound like so much fun," I sarcastically told my sister when I heard her very drunken husband cursing loudly at their two dogs who had apparently licked every one of the 50 shrimp they had planned to serve pre-dinner.

Equally as disturbing was the revelation that my sister is taking financial advice from my father. I learned that my dad is a bad source of information when I was five and he told me the confessionals at Church were "telephone booths to God." Learning, later in life, that he believed that McDonald's puts edible plastic in their sundaes only confirmed what I already knew.

Luckily, my sister doesn't have much money and I won't be home on New Year's Eve to hear her lose it all.
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Superwoman 4.0 [Dec. 22nd, 2004|02:44 pm]
DenverBettie
I don't, can't, and won't overdo Christmas. I don't have the energy, means, or desire. But I do give a few, quietly thought out, silently executed gifts to a few key people in my life.

I completed the Homo Sweet Homo cross stitch in record time, framed it in, what else, a glittery, shimmery frame and shipped it off to someone who will laugh a real laugh when he sees it and hang it in his apartment somewhere shockingly high-profile considering his good taste.



I also embroidered, in the 10-minute pockets of quiet time I'm afforded most nights, two pillowcases for someone who has, quite unexpectedly, been there for me through a few rough patches this year. She has her own version of Mysterioso and my hope is that the pillow cases will thwart the growth of some of the bitterness that always results from such relationships.





The girl dog (with the pink collar) is Pixie, the boy dog on the left is Hans. Hans was once a circus dog but he was never any good at it and was forced into early retirement. He can still do tricks despite a bit of arthritis in his right leg and is always handsomely rewarded by the man who adopted him, saved him. When he meets Pixie, she'll remind him of the bitch who replaced him, whose right leg still works, the dog who smelled like pistachios. He'll bark at her, drawing back his owner's attention long enough for the man to recognize the vibrant, fearless, independent woman with the pink leash in her hand. Notice her and revel in what she exudes.

The man is not on the pillow case because I'm not sure he exists, but I like to think he does. And the idea of a love story upon which you can lay your head appeals to me.

I also bought some of burleyque's books, which she was gracious enough to sign and sent some Scottish breakfast tea to my mum. I will make a lasagna on Christmas day, watch horror movies with my girlfriends, and drink wine. That's it, that's all, and it's plenty.
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He Drew Blood [Dec. 20th, 2004|03:49 pm]
DenverBettie
The type of tired I'm feeling evades easy categorization. I've been living my life in ten-minute increments of solitude and rest--10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, skating, drinking, and crafting holiday gifts that will be late anyway in between.

I used extreme lethargy as an excuse to skip practice last week, instead going with some lay-dee friends to see a one-woman play so good, it stirred in me not one emotion, but two. And they conflicted. I had seen the one-woman (an acquaintance and roller girl supporter) of the one-woman show the night before and, over cocktails, she explained that she had written the piece she would perform and that it is "all about being a girl." That's all she said. That was enough for me.

As the wreckage of a life was interred from the destruction of unrequited love on stage, I watched the rapid and erratic rise and fall of the shoulders in front of me and I was thankful for the permission to cry myself. I never cry first. Feeling unwanted and being female are pretty common themes, but on that night, they were so beautifully expressed and well-written that I felt completely normal, something I rarely ever feel. I left knowing that if I ever want to talk about it, other people, other women, will get it, get me.

As my emotions banked and careened, I realized I wanted to talk about the show afterward more than I wanted to skate. I hugged the very talented one-woman and headed over to my favorite bar, for my favorite drink, so I could bat my eyelashes at my favorite bartender and indulge in my own brand of unrequited love. And I'm not talking about the cosmo. Alcohol loves me back. Very much.

When we got to the bar--by happy coincidence--a few others were out imbibing, our crowd expanded, and we were forced to the back of the establishment. A couple sat on the couch beaming at each other, until one of us sat down, missed her chair, and spilled beer on three walls and the ceiling. The couple quickly realized they were surrounded by drunken roller girls discussing heart break and left us to spread out on the leathery plushness. The lay-dees were of course kind enough to let me position myself for maximum batting. Topics switched from heart break to dead parents, outdoor skate wheels, and finally the virtues of wheat beer. The snow visible from the huge bar window and the inevitability of icy roads eventually called us home. At a decent hour. For roller girls.

That was the first real sleep I've had in I don't know how many weeks. Months? Thursday I was clear-eyed and bushy-tailed at work but still decided not to go to the company holiday party. Most people understood. A few tried to guilt me until I explained my Lenten policy. It’s hard to argue with policy—especially of the Lenten sort.

When my date for the evening (my mechanic) called and said that even a shower couldn't tame his mad scientist hair but he'd pressed his khakis and was ready to go, I told him I simply wasn’t up for it. He understood and wasn't terribly disspointed about no longer having to spend his evening with corporate stuffs. We chatted for a while and he told me about his search for sanity amid a week filled with soul-depleting paper work and colossal bank transactions.

The conversations are always more important than what I have to do.
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A girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do. [Dec. 13th, 2004|11:56 am]
DenverBettie
The second annual Rocky Mountain Roller Girl Spanking Booth. A fundraiser in photos.
See it to believe it...Collapse )

Mucho thanks to everyone who came out and supported us! For the rest of you: until next time.
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On age and wisdom [Dec. 13th, 2004|11:13 am]
DenverBettie
How I spent my 30th. A photo essay.
On the picture show...Collapse )

Only a few of the photos I took turned out. That's probably for the best.
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(no subject) [Dec. 6th, 2004|12:55 pm]
DenverBettie
I've been living my only moments worthy of reflection amid a codeine-induced haze. Diagnosed with whooping cough, I took a stack of prescriptions to the drug store and left with enough medication to last me through two more colds, which is really all I think I have. Bronchitis is a possibility, but a fellow roller girl/immunology student confirmed that, unless I'm kissing babies or, for religious reasons, my parents never vaccinated me, the whooping cough diagnosis is likely total bullshit.

When not chugging down enough cough syrup to ensure that I sleep for a century, I've been busy, ensuring that my recovery period takes as long as possible.

On Friday, I overfed the cats, gathered up an army of clothing and left the house at 7 a.m. knowing that I wouldn't return again until after 2 a.m. the next morning. My plan was thwarted when word of the pseudo-whooping cough spread at work and I was asked to leave. I obliged gladly and launched the highly unsuccessful Operation Mullet Be Gone, paid the rent I'd completely forgotten was due, ate French Onion soup and then prettied up in anticipation of the Art Walk and fist fight I had planned for the evening.

I wore shoes completely unfit for anything with the word Walk in it, but realized fairly early on, the outfit I'd prepared for an all-girl bar fight was a novelty among the art aficionado set. One woman talked to me at length about my fishnets and another asked if I would pose for her art class (I was so flattered that I blurted out "Yes," before asking if I'd have to bare any skin, something I would be completely uncomfortable with. Luckily it was my outfit, not me she was interested in. "You must remember exactly what you're wearing right now," she said.)

At one point I ducked out of the galleries and onto the street in search of some cash. As I looked for the ATM, a passerby accused me, by name, of pretending I didn't know him. I turned around to find an ex-coworker of mine standing there, and I explained I'd wished I'd never known him. Cocksucker. Our argument and the very sight of him pissed me off enough to get me geared up for my next fight, which would take place after reuniting with the roller girls, drinking a considerable amount, indulging in war paint and heading to the bar.

Our beta fight went well enough and we have others planned in preparation for this weekend's fund raising activities: A spanking booth at The Hi Dive.Collapse )

Denverites, be there or be relegated to that special circle of hell reserved for those who fail to support their local roller girls.</i>
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(no subject) [Nov. 23rd, 2004|11:52 am]
DenverBettie
I saw what I thought was a giant maraschino cherry on wheels splayed out on the skating rink about two seconds before I collided with it. I didn't have a chance to jump it, and my attempt to stop (by way of crashing into a wall) failed so I closed my eyes milliseconds before hitting the ground, hoping that when I opened them, the cherry would be relegated to merely a figment of my nightime imagination. I came to; however, when the cherry rolled over to me to ask if I was alright. It was just a really bloated kid in a bright red sweat suit that taken me down.

"I'm fine," I said. "How about you?"
"Yup," the cherry replied, halting the jaw crushing force with which he chomped on an entire pack of gummy worms only long enough to spit that one word out.

Apparently though, I'm like a kid who hits her head but doesn't realize it hurts until mommy gasps and runs toward her. I didn't feel a thing until I realized the knee of my jeans had torn just enough to reveal the peeled-back flesh of my knee cap. "That's what you get for skating without your knee pads," one of the other roller girls remarked casually when she saw me bent over, wiping blood from my frayed jeans.

I was skating without pads because it wasn't even a real practice. Me and two other girls had decided that an impromptu public skate was a good idea. I could brush up on, at my own pace, what I'd learned during the week, and the newborns on wheels and families strung across the rink hand in hand would force me to weave and dodge bodies, skills that will come in handy during a bout.

I'd avoided Sunday skates up until then because I'd heard rumors of God Skate. If you were willing to skate for god, you could skate for free, but had to listen to gospel music instead of NSync covers while you did. And I don't mean that Kirk Franklin, southern Baptist form of gospel that fills you with the holy ghost and makes you want to skate. I mean the white-bread, god-world, candy-coated, god-is-a-vending-machine shit. It makes my ears bleed.

I think I was punished for skating on the Sabbath.
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Forever 21, And Other Nightmares [Nov. 17th, 2004|09:46 am]
DenverBettie
Poking my head above ground in my first week of being (I didn’t say acting) 30, I find things not quiet as bleak as I had originally thought they’d be. Against my expectations of crow’s feet and worry lines, last week’s festivities kicked off a decade signaling if not eternal youth, at least a lot of fun during the decade leading up to “the next big one.”

My celebratory lifestyle couldn’t be contained within the confines of 24 hours so I used a whole week’s worth of shots to turn another year older. The ill effects of it all are just now appearing in the form of extreme exhaustion and a roller-skate-sized black and blue on my left thigh.

We spent Friday night forcing Danlanta through an obstacle course of Colfax watering holes in the hopes that he'd embrace a crash course in Drinking At Altitude Again. When the concept of keeping a shuffleboard puck on the table eluded him, it became clear he'd failed in his mission. With only a night of training in his back pocket, we headed out with my mom to The Lion's Lair on Saturday night, eager to see who else would show in support of both The Rollergirls and my official entry into Haggdom.

The turnout was beyond my expectations. I was elated to have so many friends in one spot--my mother was well-tended to and I was free to mingle and take photos. It was the sort of fun that comes with ease rather than force.

I didn't send away any gifts--from a barrel of monkeys and dahliamoon's one-of-a-kind Roller Girl purse to bottles of Crown Royal and Lush goodness from ms_pooka, I realized I should add a zero to the end of my age a little more often. Unfortunately, I also didn't send back the mimosas my mother ordered at brunch on Sunday. I can't believe I got those down and lived to tell. Even after a week spent on the world's largest air mattress.

My apartment is back to empty now and it feels weird. I cried a little, but the cats are ecstatic.
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Musical Chairs [Nov. 11th, 2004|04:12 pm]
DenverBettie
I spent the greater portion of last night pumping up the double-wide version of an air mattress with the world's smallest foot pump. Eventually, I imagined The Stormtrooper going slowly crazy by way of each foot's thud on the wood floor above her head (like Chinese water torture, only louder) and gave up my fruitless efforts. By that point, the couch looked pretty appealing anyway. The cats slept through the night with me, prying each other and my limbs off of the couch and onto the floor at alternating times, each of us vying for enough cushioned surface area on which to fit our entire bodies.

The cats remember my mother despite great lapses between her visits. She is indulgent, feeding them quiche lorraine and stilton cheese when she thinks I can't hear them circling her feet and meowing until granted another morsel. For this reason, she is forever endeared to them, at least when she's in the kitchen.

My mother arrived safely but not without fanfare. After a failed attempt to understand her "reasoning" for not wanting me to pick her from the airport ("I don't want you driving those streets, she explained. "What streets?" I asked. "Those streets." And so on.), we reached a compromise. I could pick her up if, despite her estimated 10:30 a.m. arrival time, I didn't leave work until noon. At 11 a.m., she called me at work, panicking, and asking, "Where are you?!" (again, she'd called me at work). I left right away.

Weeks prior to this, I'd procured the makings of Scottish Breakfast Tea. The tea, combined with the half plastic bottle of Vodka-brand Vodka Mysterioso left behind in my freezer, comforted me and assured that I could respond to her every beverage request. Until she hit me with a request for Bailey's at 11:30 at night. Performing a dramatic face plant into the sofa pillows while my mother stood next to me asking "What?" was the only way I could react.

Same issues, new tactics.
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Missing Explosives Burst [Nov. 9th, 2004|11:25 am]
DenverBettie
My mom called last night to explain that she might be hungover when she flies in tomorrow. Some Johnny Walker Red-themed party is interfering with her ability to travel sober she claims.

In preparation for not only her arrival, but also the arrival of a friend from Atlanta and one from Texas, I've been furiously cleaning and re-decorating the shoebox in which I live. While I’m looking forward to a full house, I worry over how the lot of us will co-exist peacefully with one shower. It's a good thing I don't bathe often.

Last week was crazy-hectic and this week was promising to be more of the same. Trips to the airport and evenings spent foraging for food and alcohol to re-stock my bachelorette-style fridge would be scattered amid everything else I have going on. Thankfully tonight’s engagement (a spanking booth construction party) was cancelled, freeing my time to bathe Black Pumps, scrub my bathtub and vacuum The General.

I'll be spending the big 3-0 surrounded by old friends, new friends, my mum, and the roller derby girls. I can't think of a better way to get old. I considered telling a few work people about Saturday night’s shindig, but they are simply not ready for it.

Most folks here at “The New Job” don’t talk at all. When they do, they whisper. The few conversations I have had go a little something like this:

Me: Excuse me. Where is the supply closet?
Co-Worker A: Downstairs.
Me [walking away]: Okay. But....we're on the fourth floor.

I often spend my drives home from work wondering what these people are like in "real life" but I realize that one of Colfax's diviest dive bars on my birthday isn't the setting in which I want to find out. With age, comes wisdom.
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Torture as Foreign Policy [Nov. 2nd, 2004|10:19 am]
DenverBettie
I didn't attempt to get up early and beat the rush to the polls. I knew it was fruitless (getting up early, not beating the rush). Besides, I had already laid the foundation for being late to work today and I don't mind lines when extreme people watching is involved.

I drove my shiny new rental car a whole two blocks before I found myself nestled snugly in line between my hair dresser and a dog that was emptying the contents of its stomach onto the floor where I would be standing when his owner went into the voting booth. The storm trooper who lives in the apartment below me was also there and she's the only reason I knew which line to stand it.

I have a shiny new rental car because The General is undergoing my mechanic's version of Extreme Makeover. I wanted to buy a new used Volvo until my mechanic called me an idiot. He thinks with some love and care, The General is good for some time to come--even with used parts. However, The General needs so much work that, instead of fishing for the parts my mechanic needs, the junkyard literally sawed a Volvo in half and left it at his shop. I saw it last night when I dropped my car off.

"Yeah. I have your car to work on and a 2003 Mustang," my mechanic said as I pretended to drive the half a Volvo. "The parts for the Mustang are new and in boxes. The parts for The General are in the car you're sitting in. Which do you think I want to work on?"

"It's a good thing we're friends," I said.

In the meantime I have a tin-can colored and sized Chevy Cavalier to drive. Rental cars, in my mind, are separated from bowling shoes by like six degrees. On my way to work, I couldn't help thinking of the 3000 miles of worth of nose pickers who'd driven it before me.
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(no subject) [Oct. 15th, 2004|08:20 pm]
DenverBettie
I'm ready to get out of the house. Capitol Hill is alive and pulsing with everything from ghoulies to futurama characters. I can hear the revelry and alcohol consumption from every balcony around me and hear I sit, drinking a can of Pabst.

Jon and his last minute Shrek costume, which I'm confident will be a disaster, have put me way behind schedule. It's no easy feat to put together a Shrek costume at Walgreens, at 9:30 p.m., the night before Halloween. I persevered however, purchasing him coffee colored panty hose and a drug-store brand t-shirt, all the while my inner voice reminding me that he has stood so many times before in the very same place buying me tampons and Midol while I was at home having a costume crisis.

I'm ready to go. I feel like a complete dick in my Rosie the Riveter costume, but even still, it's one of my better ones. It's girlie enough that I don't mind it even though my Dickies jumpsuit is nine sizes too big for me and gives the effect of drawing red arrows all over my ever-expanding ass.

I guess I'm just forced to sit here and drink until my naked-legged Shrek arrives.
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(no subject) [Oct. 15th, 2004|08:20 pm]
DenverBettie
Last night I tried to replicate, at home, the kind of penne a la vodka they serve at the family-owned joint in the neighborhood in which I grew up. My cooking was no match for my nostalgia.

When I was in college, I begged friends back home in New York to shrink wrap and overnight me pizza, bagels, and knishes. The closest I ever got was a Christmas pepperoni stick that the mailman was fired for using to torture (he called it "fake flogging") the entire first floor of female freshman.

The pasta and sauce were edible at best--I made it through a bowl just big enough to ensure weight gain before I was exhausted and tucked myself into bed. I couldn't sleep. The new job, more specifically worrying about how I am ever going to learn enough to do the new job, keeps me up and gives me new reasons to drink.

Over the weekend, I swore I'd fight the urge to drink away my first week of re-employment, but what began as a few drinks between four friends slowly morphed, over the course of five hours, into a raucous group of shot-swillers easily three times its size. Our bar tab matched our level of enjoyment both in terms of severity and expense. As I paid it, I thanked god for my paycheck and drunkenly realized that the new job hasn't changed much about my life--its just taken me back so far in my wardrobe that I realize how much weight I've gained (back).

I really thought that when I got a new job and the clock got even closer to ticking over to 30, I'd somehow grow a sense of responsibility. I'd start saying "no thanks" when some barkeep offered me another round. I'd end my weeknights out at reasonable times and get up early on Sundays to do crunches and laundry. That just doesn't sound very fun at all.
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My Best From College [Oct. 15th, 2004|08:20 pm]
DenverBettie
My best friend from college just called to tell me she's engaged.

My best friend from college! The one who would date men and then, shortly after their breakup, watch the same fellas skip off to gaydom. It happened three times.

My best friend from college! The one who was, at age 27, mistaken for a mentally challenged junior high schooler. On the walk to her car one early morning, the short bus from the school down the street rolled up next to her, stopped, and opened its doors. "Come on now, we don't walk ourselves to school," the driver cajoled, trying to get her to board. I attempted to console her when she told me about the incident, saying she probably just looks young, but my less sensitive roommate asked if she was wearing "the puffy coat" when it happened.

My best friend from college! Owner of the puffy coat, and an outfit so hideous that we called her It when she wore it. To her face. When she put on the It Outfit, she looked like an asexual abomination of the human race. And she continued to wear it.

My best friend from college! Who is currently putting her law degree to work for the NYPD (New York Pizza Department).

My best friend from college is engaged! And I can't even get a date.
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Art Under the Bridge [Oct. 15th, 2004|08:20 pm]
DenverBettie
Even by spinster standards, two days is a long time to go without receiving one phone call. I knew the phone was working though. Life has taught me that when people don't call (okay, when men don't call back) it is never because they are lying in a ditch (contrary to the fantasies of so many single women). Despite this knowledge, during the 48th hour of radio silence, I lifted the receiver from its cradle just to be sure and found the phone out of order. About two seconds of investigation revealed the source of the problem: the cats chewed through the phone cord, finally achieving some sort of life-long goal whereby they conquer wire and plastic all in one go around.

I felt foolish having to use my cell phone to call my voice mail while standing in the middle of the living room but perked up when nine "new" messages greeted me. Four from my mother were strewn about in the mix of friends' calls and, lastly, a job offer. One urine analysis and criminal background check later, I was, once again, gainfully employed.

I spent the weekend celebrating to excess instead of, as I'd vowed to myself I would, attempting to convince my internal clock that it's no longer appropriate to sleep all day and drink all night.

I bought some back to school clothes to boost my confidence for the big first day (tomorrow). But I've conserved money so well during my two months of unemployment that my Target shopping spree tipped off the bank's fraud department and they shut off my debit card. Undaunted, I wrote a check for all of the shit I really don't need.

The fact that my severance hasn't yet run out also means my love affair with The General is over.

I haven't been the new kid in a long time--all of that peeing in a cup and paperwork business is so foreign to me. It's been ages since I had to actually remember someone's name and quickly exchange it in favor of a nickname that highlights the traits that make them so very, very odd. Not to mention how long it's been since I worked.
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(no subject) [Oct. 13th, 2004|02:50 pm]
DenverBettie
Anytime I leave the apartment I wonder if cats will fight to the death. Internet research suggests that they will, but only under extreme circumstances. I'm hoping that an overcrowded shoe box of a living space does not qualify.

Every time I return to my apartment, I wonder, within seconds of opening the door, why guilt flashes across each cat's face before they scurry quickly for their respective hiding spots--under the bed, beneath the kitchen table and in the bathroom. The reason always reveals itself. The blood and fur decorating my living room upon my arrival last night, gave my great room that 'freshly sacrificed hamster' appeal.

I was relieved when my vet told me that Black Pumps is so old that the other cats would probably give him a 'free pass.' Little did I know that Black Pumps had planned his own reign of terror for his retirement. I have never, until he became part of the family, heard a cat curse.

Luckily I haven't been leaving the house too much. Mostly to go to Kinko's and work on my resume. Kinko's, despite its lack of publicity in any of Denver's Best Of publications, seems to have made a name for itself as "Best Place to Come Unraveled." I don't know if the phenomenon has revealed itself nationwide, but I'm subject to public meltdowns complete with rage and tears anytime I set foot in the place (which is anytime I'm trying to concentrate on my resume or find a fucking job, which is often).

I've determined that it's a menacing byproduct of the fact that you can see all those Kinko's workers behind the desk, milling around, making copies, grabbing each others' asses. They're all there, within arm's length. Yet only by the grace of god will you be able to catch someone's eye and then actually get them to check you out.

Black Pumps, interestingly enough, would make the perfect Kinko's employee.
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And while the world looks away... [Sep. 28th, 2004|02:26 pm]
DenverBettie
"Guess who I sauw at a fucking blawck paaty in Brooklyn," my oldest friend in the world in commanding me through the phone line.

"I have no idea. Philthy?," I respond bracing for the impact of learning that she ran into my seventh grade boyfriend or some other equally unsavory member of my past and casually passed on my e-mail address.

"No. The fucking Skate-a-Sauwrus! You can rent him for parties now!"

The excitement in her voice was palpable, even from as far away as east Long Island. I think she was more excited to find that the Skate-o-Saurus had survived all these years and gone on to entertain another generation of young roller skaters than she was to see him in the plush again, all of these years passed.

It has, after all, been probably 19 years since she and I shared licorice rope at The United Skates of America and kissed boys in the phone booth all under the watchful eye of the Skate-o-Saurus. Funny the fact that it's been that long never crossed my mind until I fell on my ankle at roller derby practice. With its "pop," I embraced the realization that I am not, physically at least, the same girl I was at 10.

My limp is waning to nothing though and I managed to drag myself up and down Broadway yesterday in search of a chair or two to replace the one the cats ruined while I was in Mexico. It's as if they reverted to their feral roots for the nine days I was gone, trashing, in total, a chair, an ottoman, a down comforter, and one leather purse.

It doesn't however seem to be the season for giving away furniture as the thrift stores and even antique row gave way to nothing more than loveseats and couches.
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Legendary DJ Dead [Sep. 28th, 2004|02:26 pm]
DenverBettie
These days, it takes a mosquito bite to the ass to convince me that my underwear isn't appropriate attire for the entire day.

Even though I'm supposed to be out there, pounding the pavement and looking for a new job and a new apartment, I just really don't feel like getting dressed. As an unemployed renter with three cats and a stray to care for, I've decided that it's time to move. When I gave my 30-days notice for what amounts to probably the fourth time in the last three months, my landlord, again, launched her counterattack. This time she claimed she loves me and explained that she spoke to a few other people in the building about the neighbors.

"Other than them playing their stereos far too loud at all hours of the night, I hear things are pretty quiet over there these days," she said. I may have to break up with my landlord the same way I got rid of the last guy I was seeing--by "moving" back to New York, at least in theory.

Mysterioso did get me to shower and put on socks by promising that alcohol and air replaced by smoke would make my endless perusal of the Apartments for Rent and Employment sections of the classifieds more fruitful. I got excited at the bar when I spotted what I thought was a government-issued condom. It turned out to be some Pleasure Pills. "Just Get Some," the packaging shouted at me from a crumpled heap on the really dirty floor. Horny Goat Weed extract was the main ingredient.

I skipped a surprise birthday party to bring you this post. And on a scale of 1 to Guilty, I don't even give a shit.
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Stuffed Sausage for Hire [Sep. 18th, 2004|12:20 pm]
DenverBettie
Job interviews are an all day affair for me.

Whenever I'll be entertaining a potential employer, I like to sleep in until the very last minute possible and then leap out of bed with a rush of adrenaline that reminds me of all the things I should have done the day before when I was out roller skating or drinking bloody marys (sometimes roller skating and drinking bloody marys). Next it's into the shower where I shave my legs for unknown reasons and then, only then, comes the most time-consuming portion of my preparation: styling the "wash-and-go mullet" of which I recently became the proud wearer.

Next, I stuff myself into a pair of control-top hose and last year's suit to the point at which the shower and mullet-styling are deemed null and void by profuse sweat. I then ask Mysterioso to say something nice about me (which generally yields a comment along the lines of "You're really kind to cats.") and I'm out the door to print the copy of the 60,000 versions of my resume most likely to get me the job. Since I can't count on a 15-minute drive through Denver taking only one hour and not two, I say a little prayer that The General won't overheat and that my sense of direction will miraculously, after 29 years astray, appear during my drive.

During the interview itself, I smile and nod, and fight the urge to jump out of my skin and explain that I'm not really an automaton, that I'm a person who winds tales and has an alter-ego named Jayne Manslaughter, that I just got back from a really weird trip to Mexico and that, despite a dwindling cat-food fund, I can't stop my compulsion to rescue homeless felines. Writers are a dime a dozen my mind tells me while fielding questions about my strengths and weaknesses. We are all "creative" and have a semi-decent handle on grammar. So, all of the shit on our resumes being equal, let's get down to what really matters, I want to say. Thankfully, I never do.

All that, and I'm still unemployed.
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2004|04:18 pm]
DenverBettie
The children of Mexico have a message for me. They flocked to me in droves and told me entire stories to which I could only respond, "Donde esta tu mama?".

While sitting in the hotel pool sipping on a pina colada, a little girl with deep brown eyes and a life vest floated up to me excitedly and launched into a tirade I wish I understood. Later that same day, on a ride up the Sierra Madre, another child clung dangerously to our moving bus and yelled to me through a window. Better yet, a kid strapped into a high chair waved and then threw a tantrum when his parents wouldn't let him out of it to come over to me. He cried and pointed at me the entire way thorugh dinner.

The Gays made a sport of pointing out, loudly, any Mexican child who was staring at me. They then theorized that perhaps I look like someone from a kid's show that airs on Telemundo. Because looking like the love child of Mary Katherine Gallagher and Benny Hill wasn't enough.

My own kids, the cats, behaved shockingly bad while I was gone. I thought that assigning three, yes three, cat sitters to watch over the four, yes four, that I now have would kept them at least mildly happy. Instead, I returned home to a series of post-it notes on my door:

Monday night: Mysterioso is/was here feeding all 13 cats etc...

E will be here Tuesday morning to feed the cats. Has anyone seen Jose? Can't find him.

K will be here Wednesday morning to check on all 19 cats. Jose still missing along with one of my socks.

Thursday morning: Mysterioso took care of all 23 cats. Who keeps puking?

Friday morning: E is here. The cats have taken over. Not sure if I will survive another day? Another sock is missing. Jose is living under the bed.

Friday night: One of them stole my shoe. Still can't find it! --K

Saturday a.m.: Everyone is fine except for--I can't take it anymore! Where is Catherine?

Infinity: The cats are in charge now.


I did get a concerned phone call from my landlord.

Oh well. The vicious cycle of drinking, sunbathing, and clubbing at night simply had to end. I'm home where I belong, with my bills, my dirty laundry, my overdue library books, and my job search.
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(no subject) [Sep. 10th, 2004|06:32 pm]
DenverBettie
I feel a wee bit guilty about the money forked over to keep me in sunny, beautiful Mexico for four more days, but as The Gays keep reminding me, I need to get over it, it´s a done deal.

The Gays have discovered a new strategy for getting attention: staying in a predominantly straight hotel. They are loved, adored, and, much to my delight, completely coveted around here.

It´s no wonder. They´ve put the all inclusive back in all inclusive. I was hot on their trail until I got stung by a bee by the pool. I think it was attracted to my Miami Vice (pina colada and strawberry daquiri together). It only stopped me for an hour or two, which I spent under a canopy with one of the employees (Bruce, Bruce, Bruce Lee) playing blackjack. I won a handpainted tile, which I promptly regifted to a sweet young Scottish lad who´d bought me drinks downtown the night before. I also told him that my mother would gladly pay him a dowry if he married me and kept our bloodline in tact. Unfortunately he doesn´t need the money.

Wee Scotty is here with a friend called Richard who never leaves the room. Behind closed doors, The Gays and I re-named him Richard Glass (after Jan Brady´s imaginary boyfriend George Glass) and the name has spread like a deadly virus throughout the resort. Richard, on the rare occassions that he wakes to feed himself is now referred to by employees and other tourists in much of Puerto Vallarta as simply, Glass or, more formerly, as The Elusive Richard Glass.

There are a bunch of other characters I need to document, but I´m off to drink instead.
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Viva la Mexico [Sep. 10th, 2004|10:50 am]
DenverBettie
Yesterday, alone in the middle of the ocean, sitting atop a Jetski named Ivan, I got teary eyed knowing I´d be leaving Mexico today. When I got out of the water, I admitted to The Gays that I was upset AND had lost my sun hat in the water, and a mere four hours later, they returned with the news that we booked through for another four days.

Thank god. I´m simply not ready to return to my regular life yet.

As I boarded the plane from Houston and said goodbye to The Gays as they headed for first class and I moved back to coach. I realized I had my own row and, anytime the flight attendant eyed the empty seats, I would grab the arm rest with both arms and explain that my friend would be joining me shortly. But alas, as the doors closed, I phoned The Gays in first class and we held a moment of silence for Pooka, who would ultimately not make the trip.

The kid in front of me began screaming shortly after takeoff so I slipped a Twix bar to him between the seats.

I was mortified later when I arrived at the hotel, put on my swimsuit, sat at the swim up bar and heard a three-year old´s voice screaming Twix Lady! Twix Lady! Twix Lady! from the other side of the pool.

Enter Lou, Nicholas, and Help Me Rhonda, good, strong east coast stock who could give a shit, thank god, that I, without asking, had fed their kid chocolate in flight.

"You people," Rhonda said to me later that night at dinner, "Have already made back the money you spent on the all inclusive deal in drinks alone. And it´s only day one."

She was right. But just to get back at her, The Gays and I conspired with the hotel dancers to ensure that she and Lou were dragged up on stage to perform Elvis impersonations at that night´s rock n´ roll show.
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(no subject) [Aug. 28th, 2004|07:37 pm]
DenverBettie
My college roommate Kevin owned what I believe, to this day, to be the ugliest hand-knitted item on earth. It was a huge brown- and orange-striped afghan, so scratchy that it delivered swift vengeance in the form of rug burn should any unlucky bit of exposed flesh happen by.

As a young man fresh out of the closet and forging a retail sales career by working at Baby Gap, Kevin's life went south often. And when it did, he would burrow beneath that blanket with a box of tissues and sometimes wouldn't emerge again until the dawn of a new day.

I wondered what comfort Kevin derived from wrapping himself in cheap acrylic yarn. That is until a D- in statistics landed me, Ben, and Jerry under its cover along with Kevin, who'd spent a good portion of his evening arguing with a woman who wanted to return pureed-carrot-stained sweatpants of the size 2T variety.

"When my mother found out I was gay, she cried and knitted me this blanket," Kevin told me.

The Gay Blanket, as it would come to be known by anyone seeking solace or comfort in our small apartment, took on a whole new meaning for me. I realized that knitting, a sporadic-at-best hobby of my own, is therapy for the laborer and can soothe the recipient of the efforts long after the knitter is dead and gone. Even still, at a time when I was feeling the pressure to raise my statistics grade while maintaining my reign over the game of quarters, I kept knitting at arm's length, quite possibly a solid last on my list of priorities.

But what feels like a windfall of hatred showered down upon me, left me longing for The Gay Blanket and all that it represented. Knowing that Kevin is even less likely now to give it up than he was all those years ago when I was moving out and begged him to cut it in half, I've embarked upon my own version of The Gay Blanket. I call it The Layoff Shawl.

This WAS about knitting before I got bitter. Knitting....bitterness....knitting...bitterness...Either way, you can't win.Collapse )
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Talkin' 'Bout Jive Talkin' [Aug. 24th, 2004|12:30 pm]
DenverBettie
To top off my craptacular month, I drove my car into a Lexus yesterday. Thankfully The General was only mildly scathed. In addition, the driver of the other car was so calm that he made it impossible for me to employ my usual No, I'm not blind method of defense.

It's as if the Divine Wow is luring me into a pissing contest. "Off yourself before I do it for you," the universe keeps prodding. The lay off, the car crash, and, a clever little card the universe played the other night at the roller rink. So clever I didn't even recognize it at the time. But the fact that the universe has bred an entire generation of young men to, by their mid-20s, be as large as my right thigh is clearly designed to make me swallow a bottle of Valium.

At least I've finally proven that the universe does center around me.

I'm re-adopting my pink cruiser as my main mode of transportation. The next Lexus to meet up with me will have a much easier job of carrying out the universe's orders.

That's if, a big if, I make it outside today. Maury is, for the sixth day in a row, doing DNA tests and I'm working on a formula to prove the accuracy of my theory that Hailey is now an alarmingly popular name among the Eminem set.
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Food: Your Miracle Medicine [Aug. 22nd, 2004|12:28 pm]
DenverBettie
I got in my car this morning, backed up, and tapped the front bumper of the mini-van behind me. The driver was inside and glared at me via my rear-view mirror. Though the tappity-tap-tap method of parking and exiting spots is fairly common in Capitol Hill, I got out and went over to her window to apologize. She was too busy yakking on her cell phone to acknowledge me so I gave her the Scottish sign for fuck you. To you and I, this just looks like a peace sign, but growing up in my house, Flashing the Fingers was one of only three crimes punishable by denial of dessert.

In order to seal my fate as a spinster, I took up a new craft this week. It's no secret that I'm terrible knitter. Top that with the fact that yarn is far too expensive a luxury to allow myself in these uncertain times, and well, it wasn't hard to put my knitting needles to sleep and pick up some embroidery needles. Three-quarters of the way through two pillowcases, a library book informed me that I'm doing things all wrong. At least now I'm bad at a cheap hobby.

You can't take up a new craft without getting another cat either. My new cat's name is Jose, but I call him Black Pumps. He's 16 years old and lives in a drawer in my bathroom. This is an arrangement I hope is temporary. My bano is small and I step in his food bowl, without fail, on those days that I actually decide that life warrants brushing my teeth. He used to live with my 93-year old, alcoholic neighbor Frieda.

Freida has been head spinster around here for over twenty years. But her reign is over for reasons that make me cry. That's how I got Black Pumps. I promised Freida that I would tell him stories of her glory days--all the times when I would come home drunk myself to find her wasted and propped up on her walker by some kind cabbie, her purse around her neck, tabacco loosening from its safehold between her lower lip and teeth as she gently swayed in the alley. Back then, either Gabe or I, would begin the hour-long ordeal of getting her to her apartment and she was always pleased when it was Gabe's turn. "My brother's name was also Dave," she would tell him. Then she would sing Do You Know What It's Like to Be Lonely while he coached one of her feet slowly in front of the other.

This has turned into an annoyingly long entry.Collapse )
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Tales From Apartment #8, Act I [Aug. 18th, 2004|04:08 pm]
DenverBettie
I reacted to being "let go" in the same manner I suspect I would in the face of impending Armageddon.

I, in this order:

1) Sassed my boss whose only words of solace were "It wasn't personal." Neither is my cell phone bill bitch, but it still fucks me every month.

2) Boxed up anything of value and packed it into The General for a quick getaway.

3) Said goodbye to my Level 1 friends (work people).

4) Called my Level 2 friends and my family and told them I loved them.

5) Hunkered down at home with a pint of Ben and Jerry's, angel foodcake, whipped cream, a friend, and a depressing movie.

6) Updated my journal.

Fortunately, getting paid to leave a job I fucking loathed with every cell of my being isn't the end of the world.
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Tales of a Hausfrau in Training [Aug. 17th, 2004|03:59 pm]
DenverBettie
Yesterday morning I was quite unceremoniously corralled into a conference room with nine other co-workers and “let go.”

There were some tears (not from me), a bit of laughter (not on my part), and a shitton of paperwork. Being familiar with the mob mentality that corporate America likes to put to work in the hopes that folks will sign contracts they haven’t read, I simply excused myself from the room, gathered my stuff and left.

Anyone who has spent more than ten seconds with me knows that I hated my job. I hated what it had become. I was no longer a writer and my opinions and know-how were of little value.

Even still, it was I did every day. It was the reason, hard as it was, that I got up every day.

Even still, I can’t say I’ll miss much about it.

Even still, I wish I had a paycheck to count on.

I hauled 5-years worth of boxes from my car to my apartment and cried as I unloaded them until a friend, fondling a ceramic Loch Ness Monster replica, asked, “God, is this what cubicle life is like?”.

“Yes, only so much worse,” I said.
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It's not in my nature to nurture. [Aug. 13th, 2004|02:45 pm]
DenverBettie
Spinsters--on my porch--with beer.

It sounds like the beginning of some ode, but it's really my life.

A grouping of spinsters crowding the steps that lead up to my place is unnerving in and of itself. But these ones had alcohol. And, from appearances, a message for me. Far more disturbing. They stood up and looked like they were going to lurch at me as I parked and began unloading the remnants of my day (empty french fry boxes and an untouched gym bag) from The General.

"Gas leak," Spinster 5 (the only person in the building who owns a vacuum), finally explained saving me the effort of breaking into a panicked sweat.

"We walked to the liquor store," said Spinster 11 (our landlord suspects she might be "one of them gays.")

When I had my very own King of Beers in hand, I noticed Duncan, Spinster 5's cat, showing off his fancy new haircut from the confines of a shoebox with holes in it. Secure in the knowledge that a gas leak wouldn't prevent me from using alcohol to reward myself for another day of sitting on my ass, I turned my attention toward my own felines and announced that I was going inside to retrieve them.

I didn't need to though. Spinster 9 (former nun turned hippy) had them both in a duffle bag slung over her shoulder. Her cat, Winston, was in there too.

About four seconds after their first meeting two years ago, Brook and Bentley set about dividing my apartment into territories. Their fox holes are clearly marked off and they defend them with fierceness and determination. They don't even like to be the same room together. And they were in a gym bag, albeit a roomy one, with a third cat who doesn't even play with them on Sundays in the hallway. They had also gone to the liquor store.

I laughed and then liberated them, one at a time, for a few minutes of love and air until we were allowed back inside.
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The Most Anticipated Game of the Century [Aug. 5th, 2004|03:51 pm]
DenverBettie
I really like to look pretty when I’m feeling low and unmotivated. But looking pretty takes time in the morning and low and unmotivated don’t lend themselves to getting up early.

Nevertheless, today I tirelessly showered, put on my makeup, and fiddled with my mullet. "Tick, tock," said the clock as I curled my last lock. "You’re supposed to be at work." I simply couldn’t bare another day of ugly, low, and unmotivated, so I decided to drive with the curlers in place.

When I was a kid, my mom could wrap a fucking Barney-colored scarf over her curlers and drive me to school as if there was nothing unusual about it. And generally, among other working mothers whose kids had also missed the bus, she didn’t stand out. (Except the time she sped up to the schoolyard, skimmed the curb with the two passenger-side tires of her car, and then hung her pink-foam enshrined head out the window and screamed at me in her thick Scottish accent to "Catch the god-damned hubcap," which was rolling across the front-lawn of my junior high.)

But The General, even with tinted, pimped-out windows, doesn’t provide as much protection from bicyclists and other drivers as I thought. And when I mustered up the moxy to get coffee at a drive-through, I realized, from the reaction of my barrista, that paper towels substituting for curlers is not an easy look to pull off.

My original plan was to fling off my seatbelt as I entered the office park and furiously release my hair as I walked inside. I imagined arriving at work for the first time in months looking like a pinup fresh off a photo shoot rather than a bag lady who just acquired another used sweatshirt.

Instead, I became "a fucking asshole" in someone else’s story. There's "a fucking asshole" in every disgruntled commuter's story. There's "a fucking asshole who cut me off," one who "slammed on his brakes," and the one "yapping on a cell phone." So since embarrassment forced me to unravel my hair and check the placement of each curl while I was driving, I knew that, when the guy behind me got to work, he'd tell everyone that, "Some fucking asshole (me) made him late because she was primping in the rear-view mirror all the way down 6th Avenue."

He'd feel better if he knew that a mere few hours into my day, the curls had faded into a mass of frizz and I was forced to face my co-workers, looking like a low, unmotived version of my mother.
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