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Mom, Denver Art Museum, I Licked the Plate. [04 Nov 2013|03:06am]
Man, remember when Livejournal just used to be thoughtsinks of people's days, fanfic, and quizz results? Me, too. I miss those. When I didn't feel like I was writing "for an audience" (or trying to), or like every post had to be vaguely "on topic." When I just got today out of my brain and in to the pensieve, to make room for other shit. Today was good enough to make it feel like a good time to bring thouse back.


My mom's in town! She came out for my youngest cousin's 4th birthday party, up in Vail, then drove down to Boulder with me afterwards on Saturday. Long story short, I spent like 5 hours in a car yesterday, driving all over the mountains, then passed out at 1am and slept for 10 hours, counting the time change. For those of you keeping score, that is not only the most sleep I've gotten in a month, but also the first time in that same month that I've fallen asleep before the sun rose. And when I say rose, I mean was significantly in the sky. Insert commentary on the joys of insomnia and mental health disorder byproducts.

Anyway. I slept! Then headed to the Boulderado a little late, after scouring the internet for a good place to take her to dinner. My go-to, Root Down, was full up on reservations for the ENTIRE NITGHT, so I needed a plan B. Problem is, there is no plan B. Let's be honest, I don't eat at $30/plate restaurants very often (basically, unless my parents are in town), so I had a pretty small personal sample size to choose from. My friends on the intertubes had some pretty great suggestions, but they weren't quite what I was looking for. (And it seemed rude to go back and explain, a little bit more and more, after every suggestion, about my mom's personal tastes. But really, internet, your suggestions were what led me to the RIGHT place, so they really were sincerely appreciated.) It took me about 40 minutes to paw through everything the internet could teach me about every 3 star restaurant downtown (along the way, I got a refersher course in Things I Hate About Food Industry Websites - you're lucky I closed all the tabs, place that had an automatic audioplayer start up, otherwise I'd be calling you right the fuck out.) before I found what I was looking for.

My mom, to her credit, is pretty good at food. Better, at least, than the rest of my family, who could honestly live on McDonalds, teriyaki chicken, and pizza, if the so chose. And they often do. I broke out of that, after years of my own peanut butter and jelly, turkey hoagie, and pasta diet, when I went to college and realized that if I didn't start being adventerous, cafeteria food and ramen might actually kill me. So mom is up for SOME shenanigans, but not many. She's still a little squirmy about international foods, and anything too high concept - molecular gastronomy, weird portion sizes, etc - won't fly. At a base level, I personally object to any place that puts a $20 hamburger on the menu with a straight face, so there was a LOT of stuff downtown that got ruled out. Not to spoil the dinner recap portion of this entry, but we ended up at Beast and Bramble, which was a total home run.

I felt bad - I was running late and so engrossed in my restaurant research that I forgot to call and let Mom know, so she was standing outside the hotel for like 20 minutes. Rude. Do better next time, M'ris.

Drive down was sunny and uneventful. Mom made a last minute clutchtime decision to go to the Denver Art Museum instead of the Denver Botanic Gardens, so I pulled right at the split and headed thataways. (I wasn't too excited about the Botanic Gardens anyway, so I may have stacked the deck a little. Subtley.) I missed the turnoff for Speer, because Holy Fuck, that section of 25 has been under construction FOREVER, WHY CAN'T YOU GET MORE FUCKING SIGNAGE FOR THE SPEER EXIT, YOU GITS???

Parking, line, museum. Hooray for endless emails from endless Denver websites paying off, I remembered that Denver Arts Week is happening and saved $3 on admission. Sure, it's only $3, but hey. I like how every dollar saved via couponing feels like a tiny victory. Like the real life equivalent of finding items in a video game.

We had about 90 minutes before our timeslot for the audio tour of Passport to Paris, the rotating exhibit currently on display at DAM, which actually gave us just enough time to check out the adjoining sections. (There are 3 - Nature As Muse, a collection of Impressionst paintings, Drawing Room, an intimate room full of works-on-paper from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection, and the main event, Court to Cafe, which features three centuries of masterworks. I totally cribbed most of that from the DAM website.)

I'd actually suggested the DAM exhibit without really looking in to it, and it wasn't til we actually got inside Nature As Muse that I remembered - Mom loves the Impressionists. They are, in fact, her favouite period, with Monet topping that list out by - well, as much as Root Down tops out my Denver Restaurant List. (Her second pick is Van Gogh, also applicable here, and then a very distant Georgia O'Keefe.)

The thing I always hate about crowded art museum isn't so much the crowding, or the other people stadning around staring at the pictures, but the way I feel like I can feel all those other people's eyes booring in to my back when I move up to the picture to look at it in more detail, even thought they've all just done the exact same thing. Because, y'know, it's what you do. But I'm just a casual tourist, I'm definitely not a zillionaire art snob, so what right do I have to be taking up that time and space? I know, I know. That part is just in my head. Still. Makes me nervous, don't like it. The consequence of that is that I always feel rushed, and the consequence of THAT is that I always end up feeling like I've missed some ephemeral something.

They had one of Monet's Water Lilies paintings on display, along with several other works, plus some Pisarro, Renoir, and a lot of Sisley. Though I definitely had a moment where I really missed Dad, where the caption next to the Renoir went on and on about his masterful use of (pretentious yet basic type of brushstroke), (pretentious yet basic type of brushstroke), exposed canvas, and squiggles. I then spent several minutes counting the squiggles.

In case you were wondering, there was one singular squiggle. A squig, if you would. In the river, in the lower left corner. Look for it, if you get the chance. It's pretty expressive. (It's a squiggle.)

I think the exhibit made Mom a little heartsick, because as we walked out, she told me how she remembered giving all of Grandma's art books away to one of the Hartford museums, after she died. Grandma would have really liked the exhibit, too.

Upstairs was the Drawing Room, which, while impressive in its own right, I wasn't super in to. Mostly I was getting hungry, trying to figure out if I should change the time of the reservation, and making What Does the Fox Say jokes in my head. See, like I said, Drawing Room is this collection of paper works, which is basically just sketchbook pages or simple pen/ink/watercolor drawings. (Not always, but usually.) The first display are some pages from a menu that Paul Gauguin did for a dinner party in Tahiti. They're actually some of my favourite pieces from the show, but they definitely involve a cartoon fox dancing around.

By the time Mom was done in there, we were right on time for our timeslot for Court to Cafe. Which, sorry, I really don't have a lot to say about. It's a very well put together collection, a selection that shows the progress and evolution from pre-Louis XIV up through the impressionists, in a variety of media (including music and video), which is cool. But, ugh, I cannot stop being bored  - bored is the wrong word. Fatigued, irritated, put out by - a lot of the Baroque oil paintings. I understand its place and relevance, historiologically, but man. Something about it just grates on me. Like, on a really fundamental level, the gloss of the paints and the finish of many of the works, makes me want to complain about it, a lot. Distaste for the subject matter, the focus on the ornate, lush lives of the nobility... blahhhh. Want to stab things. This collection did include a few more "subversive" (by which I mean "normal") works, (and I am a git b/c I forgot to write down names), but the guy who explicitly set out to paint normal people as snapshots from their normal lives, warts and all. The one they had on display was of a woman painted while she was suffering from some sort of head cold. Her hair is mussed, her nose is red, and she looks exhausted, not porcelain perfect and demure. That's the stuff I appreciate from that era. Oh, and the Rococo inlayed furniture. That shit's bonkers, yo.

Actually lost Mom in the exhibit - I didn't remember passing her, but when I turned in my headset, she wasn't outside the exhibit hall. So I snuck back in (literally, past one of the guards who was giving people a hard time for reentry), found her, and told her to text me when she was done. In the meantime, I wandered over to the Nick Cave exhibition (ok, really just a video with some bad audio of some of the soundsuits in motion. Could've been really cool, but they'd clearly done it up as a kid's exhibit, not a for serious one), then headed up to the 3rd floor for some of their more modern art, which is much more my speed.

I was thrilled to walk in and find a whole exhibit full of Vance Kirkland's up (on loan from The Kirkland, obvs, which Mom had nixed because she's not really in to Modern/Pop/Bauhaus/Etc.) I really like Kirkland - he hits this note with me that's somewhere between Dali and Barbarella, or Ken Kelly (you know him by all the Manowar album covers.), and the stuff my dad used to paint when he was in college. Then I turned the corner and came face to face with an Barbara Kruger's It's Our Pleasure to Disgust, which, hi, I can't tell you how long I spent in undergrad dissecting her stuff (to a bunch of other comm majors who I'm sure were sick to death of me.)

Some requisite sunset shots from the Sculpture Deck, which I had completely to myself that afternoon, then up to the 4th floor to flop around in this womb/uvula/squishy bean bag floor/interactive art thing. Mom got a hold of me as I was done flopping, then humored me as a excitedly showed her a rug portrait that Chuck Close has spent 4 years learning how to create, and some sculptures made out of mylar tape. I may have also done a lot of cartwheels in Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza's interactive a/v exhibit, Transposition. Mom never openly approves of such shennanigans, but I always catch her smiling at me when she thinks I'm not looking. She secretly loves it.

We got out of there right at closing time, and I stalled on the street for a minute while I called Beast and Bramble to change our 6.30 reservation to 5.30. Mom was getting a little hungry-cranky and I - well, in typical fashion, I hadn't actually eaten all day. I detoured us around the Convention Center/Performing Arts Complex, to show Mom the giant blue bear, then headed over to food.

Sometimes Mom is really easy to make happy, when sightseeing - all she really wants to see is "old buildings," quote unquote. I tried to explain to her that Denver isn't really old, so there isn't a whole lot of that around, but she was actually pretty thrilled with the Franklin & Studebaker building, and the Jonas Bros Furs sign.

Beast and Bramble, to lead with the punchline (again) was a total hit. They were super amenable to us changing the reservation (even though, I know, earlier is always easier. And it was almost empty in there when we got there at 5.25), happy to switch us to a different table with better lighting, etc. Our server knew the menu really well, and was happy to offer any and all advice to Mom, who isn't really familiar with the whole "farm to table" thing.

And the food. Oh, man. If I were a food blogger of any capacity at all, I'd stop right now and let this be its own glorious, indulgent entry. But I'm not, so really, what you get is a whole bunch of "holy shit this was so good," which I will probably just copypasta to Yelp anyway.

We skipped the Chef's Course or whatever it was called (1 app & 1 entree of your choosing, plus an intermezzo course of the chef's choosing/creation), though the horseradish braised beef something something sounded pretty awesome. I'd already kind of drooled over some stuff on the main menu, so Mom just said I should order as many apps as I wanted, and we'd share. Fun fact: my mother is a filthy liar.

We put in for their pumpkin flan, some roasted parsnips, and a lamb cheeks with gnocci thing. While it was all wonderful (the pumpkin flan was like eating a pumpkin flavored cloud,) the lamb. Holy crap, the lamb. Again: not a food blogger, so I can't actually describe a damn thing - but here's this instead:

There is a very short list of dishes that I would (and have) thrown caution to the wind for, and literally licked the plate. There was a garlic butter escargot in Ghent, Belgium that I actually picked up and drank the snail-butter-garlic sauce out of the pockets of the snail-plate. There was a lamb at Dish, in Edwards, CO, that I actually picked up and licked. Christophe has photos. And there were the lamb cheeks at Beast and Bramble, where I sheepishly asked for a spoon when the waitress came to clear our plates, so I could drink the au jus at the bottom of the dish in a manner that wouldn't make me lok like a total three year old. I don't know what was in there. Mushrooms and lamb and gnocchi and salt and pixie dust, or something. It could have been a meal unto itself, and I would have been happy.

Oh, and the part I didn't mention: Mom didn't share, so much as she made me eat both the parsnips and the lamb on my own, then guilted me in to finishing her flan. Because mothers.

Obviously, by the time the main course came, I was too full to eat my quail. Quail! I love quail. It was good, and is half sitting in my fridge right now (half of the dish. It is not half in, half out of my refridgerator.), while Mom finished all of her mint fettucini with chicken liver. I love some really weird stuff  - Ankimo (Monkfish liver) is actually one of my favourite foods - but man, I cannot get behind chicken liver. I always think I can, and then as just as soon as I'm about to make my peace with it, bam, there is is, that awful coppery aftertaste that makes me want to gargle with saltwater forever.

Not to be forgotten in all of this lamb jus drinking awesomeness, is the fact that Mom and I had really good dinner conversation, too.

Mom: I wonder if there's a way to tell paint apart, like from the composition of it.
Me: Of couse there is. It's pretty easy, really. That's a really common way of dating paintings, actually - a spectranalysis of the chemicals in the paint.
Mom: Really? Like what?
Me: Like lead. Lead makes some really vibrant colors. That's why you don't lick the Van Goghs.

Mom: Oh, this {her clutch}? I got it in Venice {where she just was with my dad in the spring}. Just feel how soft it is!
Me: Oh, wow. Yeah, that's pretty nic - WHOA. Mom, this zipper is SO SMOOTH! {I proceed to zip and unzip the zipper on the clutch about 20 times, because seriously, it was a really smooth moving zipper. No resistance at all. Just glide. STOP JUDGING ME.}
Mom: Marissa! Stop playing with my zipper!

We debated over dessert a little too long while I simultaneously looked up movie times, eventually ordering a marscapone mousse that I was expecting, for some reason, to be kind of mediocre and uninteresting (why, M'ris? Everything else you had tonite has been amazing! Why would dessert be any different??), but turned out to be, obviously, awesome. I forgot to ask if they sell their rooftop honey, but man, I hope they do.

Dessert somehow took 40 minutes, and by the time we got out of there, we were running late to the movie at The Pavillions. Per usual, I got lost on my way to 16th street from Broadway, because that deke on to Tremont makes NO SENSE AT ALL. Luckily, there were about a thousand previews, so even though we kind of got lost in the theatre (and almost had a fight, thank god that was narrowly avoided), we made it to Last Vegas in plenty of time.

I'd actually wanted to take Mom to the Sie FilmCenter - she became a member of the local arthouse theatre back home a few years ago, and has really been enjoying the classes there. My mom now loves Fellini! She saw 8 1/2! Twice! But the only thing playing there that I thought she might be interested in was 12 Years a Slave, which I suggested, bought thought might be a little heavy for the night. Then Last Vegas came up, and when I suggested it, she totally lit up. I should've known, it's all her favourite actors, in a comedy that Dad would despise seeing with her. (And, secretly, I have kind of really wanted to see it ever since I saw the trailer. Does that make me old?)

Last Vegas may only have gotten 2 stars most places, but guys, it's super cute. It really is The Hangover for Old Dudes, only without the gratuitious sex and uncomfortable jokes that made The Hangover just a little too much for me. Last Vegas, on the other hand, is actually really respectful of its subject matter (womanizing, fidelity, and eldering), while still managing to be hilariously on point. Old people jokes are so easy to turn in to cheap, meaningless laughs, but Kline and DeNiro are just all over them. Perfect delivery.

There's also this douchey dudebro that they turn into their servant boy and help reform his dudebro ways, and it's so minor to the plot, but it is SO AMAZING to see a real life, mass media example of "Hey, jerkwad. You're being a jerkwad. Stop being a jerkwad. Here is a primer on how not to be a jerkwad, by which we mean how to treat women like they're people."

After the movie let out, Mom bought a $6 bottle of water from the concession stand. Nevermind that I have like 18 bottles of water in my car (that she's been bugging me to throw out since Saturday), nevermind that there's a 7-11 around the corner, as I tried to inform her. $6 bottle of concession stand water. Purchased.

We got back to the car, where I was disappointed to learn that $6 bottled water does not taste like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Mom: Do you want some?
Me: Sure. Y'know, I hope this tastes like gilded lillies. Like saffron and rubies had a child, and it's this bottle of water. {drinks}
Mom: So?
Me: We're talking topaz, tops.
Mom: Better than quartz.

Finally, we headed off to 7C, so I could drop off a cliplamp as a stopgap til we can get one of the overhead lights replaced. I was kind of apprehensive about taking mom to 7C, and told her so - as much as I love that place, it's, well, ugly. Dirty. Disgusting. It's not the kind of place that Mom would feel comfortable in, at all. And so while there was a part of me that really wanted her to see this place that I'm so passionate about, I knew that even if she saw it, she still wouldn't really get it. And in fact, would probably actively dislike it. Which would invariably lead to a fight that I really just never want to have. (I left that part out.)

As I opened the door of my car, she elected to stay in there and wait for me. "Lock the doors," she called out behind me. "Don't forget about me!" she yelled as I shut the door behind me.

Then blah blah lamp delivered, Jorden hugged and kvetched at, new kid vaguely scared of me, mission accomplished all around. This is also just about the point in the Livejournal entry where I get tired of writing all this verbose nonsense, and sum the rest of the evening up in like three lines.

Drive up was uneventful as I continued to hate-listen to the audiobook of James Dashner's The Kill Order. It's really fucking terrible. That's for another post. Dropped Mom off, swung around, headed to Dark Horse to meet up with the guys and their M:tG decks, then peiced out around 12.45 and came home. It's now 3am, and I've been writing this 4000 (3700, if we're being picky) word blog post since 1am. Tomorrow we've got family therapy, and possibly the actual groundwork of what might be needed to really get me out of Colorado. Which means it's probably time for sleep.
1 dead manatee| pilot the speedboat

[11 Jan 2013|04:30pm]
Finally donated a bunch of shit I inexplicably aquired from a friend of his when she was moving out of town. Fittingly, it went to a thrift store that benefits the local safehouse.

It's been kicking around in my car/storage locker for the better part of a year. Not sure why it took me so long to get rid of it, especially when the whole donation process literally took less than 20 minutes.

Yes, I would like a goddamn medal.
5 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

You're Fired: Therapist Edition. [03 Jan 2013|05:56pm]
I'm definitely passively breaking up with my therapist by simply refusing to call her ever again. And after today, I'm perfectly ok with that. She's too expensive, I don't think she's doing a particularly good job as a therapist (I see her almost exclusively for drugs), her bedside manner is completely lacking and - the final straw - is that she's charging me for my missed appointment today. To my fault, she requires 24 hours cancellation notice, and I only gave her 21. On the flip side, I've never missed an appointment with her before, ever, so I may have expected some sort of leniancy. Instead, she calls me back, tells me she'll be billing me for the time, then in the same breathe, asks if I want to schedule another appointment with her this month. This is after the last time I saw her, when I explicitly told her that I can't really afford to see her, since my insurance doesn't cover mental health, and, hey, I'm not super excited with the way you treated my reaction to the meds yo uput me on.

I get that as a psychiatrist, you can't let your clients walk all over you, otherwise you'd be a terrible professional. On the other hand, treating me like an individual at ANY point in our relationship would be kinda swell.

I tried to be proactive the last time I saw her, and explain that I wasn't comfortable with the level of care I was receiving, or the pricepoint I was receiving it at. (Offering sliding scale pricing on an individual basis isn't uncommon in this world, especially if you're not a member of a larger practice.) It was like trying to break up with someone, and they're watching television. "Uh huh. Yes dear. Whatever. What do you want for dinner?"

So, I'm done. My therapist makes me feel like shit. Now I feel like I have to see a therapist to deal with my issues around my therapist. That's healthy.

I told her that I can't afford to see her more than once a month (which I told her last time, too, when her solution to "You're too expensive and I don't think I'm receiving adequate care" was "So, do you want to see me more often?"), and that I don't know when I'll be back from Philly (which is all about 80% true - if things with Mom go poorly, no, I don't know when I'll be back.), so no, I can't make another appointment right now, and sure, I'll call you when I'm back.

Except no. I'm done.

Yeah, I feel like this is the coward's way out, and yeah, I'm terrified to not have a doctor right now, but this is probably the kick in the ass I need to find someone better.
2 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[13 Dec 2012|06:28pm]
Every so often, I run into a dude I went on one single date with here, years ago, when I first moved to Colorado. I remember nothing about this date, other than we were very obviously not suited for each other, not even a little bit, not even as friends. Nothing about him was, y'know, terrible, but none of our puzzle piece sides lined up.

Anyway, he's friends with a guy I actually AM friends with, so about once a year or so, date-dude and I show up at the same function. Whatever. Except, we have the following conversation, almost verbatim, every single time.

Me: Hi, Dude. Nice to see you.

Dude: Is it really, though?

Me: ... Would you prefer "Hi, Dude. GTFO."? Because that seems, y'know, harsh.

I mean, I get that Dude is suuuuuper awkward. Which is part of why we only went on one date. I just cannot for the life of me figure out what happened on that date, or anything else in the last 5 years, that would lead him to believe that I a) hate his guts, b) wish him ill, or c) think he doesn't deserve the social niceties that other innocuous, not-friend not-enemy members of society are afforded.

Don't worry, I know it's not my problem. I just think it's weird that 5 years later, this even happens.
pilot the speedboat

For Dinner: Nothing. [30 Jul 2012|09:59pm]

So, as some of you already know, I'm terrified of cooking. Veggies and such I can deal with, because there's not much chance of me screwing them up. But proteins? Proteins terrify me. Every time I attempt to cook anything that used to have a pulse, I invariably fuck it up.

Tonite was no exception.

I'm sick of paying $10/day to buy lunch when I'm at the office, and eating pasta for the rest of my life isn't particularly exciting, so, ok, I thought. Chicken. Chicken is easy. I will try cooking a very simple chicken recipe.

Lemon and garlic and rosemary and olive oil - not hard, right? Right.

Then I decided to broil the damn thing. Because clearly, I am some sort of idiot. I didn't actually bother to look which side of the oven the broiler was on (I just assumed it was the bottom) and stuck the chicken in. For 5 minutes. 10. 15. 20. It looked done (clearly, I don't own a meat thermometer) but when I treied a piece (or 3) it had a weird, spongy, raw texture. (I've also probably given myself Salmonella. Again.) So I actually looked inside the oven, realized the broiler was on the top, and that I'd just been lightly warming my chicken for the last 20 minutes (I have almost definitely given myself Salmonella), and stuck it back in for another 15. Let's see how this goes.

Of course, in the middle of all of this, I decide to empty the dishwasher. While I'm placing a stack of shot glasses on the top shelf (please don't ask me why I thought they needed to live there), I bobbled, and dropped a stack of 4 glass shot glasses straight onto the counter, which bounced them onto the floor. So, my tiny galley kitchen is covered in glass, the oven is on, my vaccum cleaner is in the bedroom, and I'm barefoot. I've also just broken my favourite glass, the one with the cherry blossoms on it that I made with Krissums at SXSW 2011.

I carefully navigate out of the kitched, put on shoes, get the vacuum, plug it in, and start to clean up. Then I realize: the only shards I'm seeing are from that one glass. Where are the other three of them??

One I find upright, on the kitchen counter, unscathed. I don't understand.

Then next, I find after searching for 5 minutes and dejectedly just putting the rest of the dishes away - it somehow landed cleanly in one of the bowls on the bottommost shelf of my cubbard. The other of the pair of SXSW glasses, it is also, somehow, completely unscathed.

And the third? No idea. Did I mention that I had grocery bags strewn all over the kitchen floor while this happened? And my gym bag? So it's probably in one of those? Or that it may have bounced, and landed somewhere in the pile of junk that lives on the other side of the kitchen counter. I am 100% not excited about this search and rescue mission.

Oven timer is beeping. Let's see if I screwed this up. Again.

Well, now the chicken is definitely cooked in some places, and weirdly rubbery in others. Experiment: total failure! At this point, I almost want to get food poisoning, because if nothing else, my anxiety is at such a level that I feel completely nauseous. I'm also scared to set foot in my kitchen (to cook OR to eat Chipotle) ever, ever again.

So who wants to come to CO and be my personal chef? I pay in snark and hugs.
5 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[29 Jul 2012|12:56pm]
Stupid awful nightmare snippets from between hitting the alarm clock and now:

- I pull into the Einstein Bros parking lot. Some dude in a Nissan Cube is blaring Beastie Boys. Everyone in the shop is singing along. Dude looks at me, glares, and swings his car in front of mine (both of us still legally in the space) and glares at me some more, then pulls out. The rest of the shop glares at me, keep singing.  I have no idea what I did wrong.

- I walk into the (same but different) shop, catching a climpse of someone who may be my bff of the last 27 years through the window. I walk in and, yep, it's her. Only she's doing (statistics?) homework with a pretty blonde girl, and won't tell me why she's in Colorado. She barely speaks to me, and seems put out that I'm speaking to her. She promises to call me later, but I don't believe her. I walk out without a bagel, feeling unsettled.

- My apartment, but not my apartment. Bigger, prettier. As I settle in, I realize that small things are oddly out of place. My computer is at a strange angle, and has a bunch of those wrist/mouseguard pads strewn around it. My dresser is askew. There's an overhanging lamp where there wasn't before. I walk into my living room, and my coffee table is gone. I walk outside, and everything seems normal (except for there being 8 units in my building instead of 6), my coffeetable is out on the walk way. No one has seen anything, no one knows what's going on. Eventually, a van pulls up around the corner (a corner that doesn't exist in real life) and a scary looking contractor-dude comes out. He tells me that he's replacing all my furniture. I question him intensely, he is hesitant to tell me that my landlord sent him. Eventually my landlord shows up, in a truck, with his mom and sisters making christmas decorations in the back of it. They angrily insist that I help them while the boys empty my stuff out of the apartment. The sister is angrier and angrier that they're not reposessing my car as well, even though my landlord has no claim to it. They try to take my computer as well. I tell my landlord I'm going to need a formal notice of eviction, and he laughs at me. Inside, 3 people my age (2 girls, i think i know, 1 i don't know, 1 friend of a friend who is in an improv troupe back home) are planning what they'll do with the property when they move in. They discuss calling my friend Brice to live with them as well. I'm appalled that they'd even consider him, let alone laugh about me being homeless, while I'm right there. They continue laughing at me.

- I different my apartment/not my apartment. A friend that looks like Seth (in bad overdramatic gothish makeup), too tall for the boyish, 1800s-esque clothes he's wearing, is yelled at by his mother. We go outside where a woman who looks like the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty is standing regal and tall. She informs him that he is her real son, and will be coming with her. I am left alone, and informed by the groundskeeper that her other son, from the 14th century, is buried under the house. I will be joining him/taking his place. As I walk down the stairs to the sub-level apartment, I see credits rolling for a movie that is a collection of adaptations of short stories by DH Lawrence. I am, apparently, in this movie.
pilot the speedboat

[21 Jul 2012|12:56pm]
Hey LJ, here's the deal:

I'm fine, my immediate friends are fine, but it turns out that we did know one of the kids down in that theatre who didn't make it. Alex was a good friend of my friend Brice, who we've all met several times and was just a fantastic dude.

We're all still reeling up here, just trying to unpack this information and doing what we can to rally around Brice right now.

Keep going to the movies. Hug your loved ones.
6 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[02 Jul 2012|12:55am]
So I'm finally finishing up BSG, and besides the lack of a dedicated corner recycling ship, I wonder: what sort of horrible cylon flaw is it that makes Baltar irresistible to Sixes? (Unless, oh god, Sixes, when aged, look like Ellen, and Baltar is a Cylon, but a younger Tigh model, then OH GOD WHY MUST YOU BE DOOMED TO REPEAT YOUR TERRIBLE RELATIONSHIPS???)

Also, I've made it this long without spoilers, so seriously, please don't. Please don't be that asshole.
3 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

The Best Bunch of Assholes I've Ever Known [10 Jun 2012|07:26pm]
[ mood | sad ]

I'm tired of pretending that Colorado is my home. It's a place that I can tolerate. Barely. RPS finals were last night, and even though I had an AMAZING night seeing Itchy-O with my friend Megan, it was the first night in 5 years that Denver/Boulder has felt like anything other than part of a holding pattern.

And then I looked at FB just not, and it's full of pictures of RPS finals, and friends from back east congratulating/yelling each other, and old teammates and their babies, and family stuff... And I just want to be BACK. THAT'S the life I want. There. With the people that I care about, that care about me, that I want to be involved with and to share things with. The people I want to take home to meet my parents, brag about to everyone else I know. Introduce my theoretical future children to. Not out here, with a crowd of people that just make me ever more insecure with every passing day, that I don't trust far enough to phone up for coffee, let alone to trust them with my whole self.

I have a bunch of reasons that look great on paper for why I'm staying here, but then days like today happen, and my heart actually hurts to be away from all the places and people that I love. It's been almost 5 years, and I'm still not past that. So why can't I just listen to myself, just take myself back east, where I want to be, where I belong?
2 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

Things That Have Never Made Me Sad and Have Always Made Me Happy, Unconditionally [24 Apr 2012|03:22pm]
In the wake of one of the more devastating weekends I've had in a while (nothing says "my head is totally screwed on straight right now" like 36 straight hours of uncontrollable crying, just because.), my therapist has instructed me to create a list of people/things I am grateful for. (Alternatively, I'm calling this lists Things That Have Never Made Me Sad and Have Always Made Me Happy, Unconditionally.) While the OCD control freak in me desperately wants me to make this the pentultimate list of every single thing that has ever brought me unconditional joy, I'm trying very hard to limit it to the immediate things in my life that remind me that I am a good person, and I am loved. So. Here it is.

My dad
My mom
My parents (as a collective unit)
The Other Berlins
The Japanese Maple tree at 91 Parsons Drive
Reading in the bathtub
David Bowie's Package
Sticking my face in strange dog's faces
Surprise llama farms
Roller derby
Being an alumna of Beloit College
The Jersey shore (not to be confused with The Jersey Shore.)

I'm pretty sure that the point of this is to keep this list close to me, and too look at it whenever I feel too low to function, to remind myself that I do have goodness in my life. We'll see how well this works.
7 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

And I Would've Gotten Away With It, If It Weren't For Those Meddling Kids. [05 Apr 2012|09:35pm]

I took a rain check on yesterday. Part of being an HSP is knowing my body, and my limits. I took a bunch of Sudafed on Tuesday, forgetting that Sudafed is pseudophedrine, is a basically an amphetamine, and tends to react like speed would in many people. Especially me. (I've tried Adderall, which is similar, and it was one of the scariest afternoons of my life. I ended up in the nurses office, unable to stop vibrating. Literally.) So I woke up on Wednesday in the throes of some sort of manic episode/anxiety attack type thing, with my thoughts racing and my body feeling like there was a high-speed rail line racing alone under my skin. Nothing was possible, and every sensation, every thought, every stimulus, was too much. I probably should have realized something was awry when I woke up in the middle of the night, because the hidden snaps on my duvet cover were registering as "too pointy" on my skin.

I hate being in that situation, knowing that something is wrong, actually wrong, but unable to figure out what it is, or how to circumvent it. Then feeling powerless. Like I'm not in control, like my body is winning, like I'm just a passenger along for the ride in my life.

Luckily, somewhere in between the "I hate myself"s and the "Everything is terrifying"s, I remembered the Sudafed thing, and was apply to delay sensation overload long enough to ask my phone what side effects of the drug were. Oh, look. All the things I was experiencing. It was such a relief to know that this wasn't just my body chemistry having it out for me, but something outside, something that could be dealt with. Granted, I still couldn't actually get out of bed. But I was able to recognize that if I just waited long enough, the drugs would pass out of my system, and I'd be ok. So I slept. All day. I've never really forced myself to sleep before, but I didn't really know what other choice I had. At least in sleep, my conscious mind can't hurt me. (And my subconscious has been behaving itself rather well these days.)

Around 10.30pm, I woke up, and felt ok. Thank god. And then I vowed to not let today end up like yesterday. I ended up emailing my mom, telling her everything that had happened that day, and promising her the things I was going to do today. Because I need to hold myself accountable to other people. It's too easy to let myself down. I do it all the time. My brain is programmed for self-sabotage and disappointment. Letting other people down, though? It's much harder. More to the point, lying to other people is much harder. And I know that if I tell mom a thing, she will later ask me about a thing. And then I either have to tell her all about it, or I have to lie. And I hate lying. (I'm also terrible at it.)

So today, I pulled on my big-girl pants, changed the wheels on my skates (oh my god, my bearings are filthy), and went to the park. To skate. Alone. By myself. For the very first time.

And it was scary. What if there were other people there? What if all the hockey rinks were occupied? What if people stared? What if people laughed? What if I got there and didn't know what to do? What if I fell down a lot?

I've never actually exercised by myself before. I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone running, or popped in a workout video, or anything. Usually getting me to work out is an exhausting exercise in coercion and bribery and teamwork. By which I mean, exhausting for the other person.

So this? Kinda huge.

I got to the park, and both rinks were empty. So I walked up, picked one, strapped my skates on, set my clock timer, and just... did things. Regular laps. Sprinting. 8 on the floor, both ways. Shuffling reps. Grapevines. Jumping. Heel-toe runs. 10 laps/10 reps each, making myself to pushups/crunches/leg lifts/planks when I stopped for water. Was it effective? I have no idea. I was sort've winging it. And about halfway through, there were all these small children on skateboards weaving around me. And their moms, watching me. And yeah, that part was kind've embarrassing, because I kept getting winded, and they kept being wired.

But hey, I did things. And it wasn't so scary. Though next time (whoa. There's gonna be a next time? I guess so.), I'd like to bring a friend. Because one of the things I did learn today is that derby is way more fun with my teammates than it is by myself. Though, on the other hand, an hour on skates without getting hit was kind've nice, too.

Originally published at readagoddamnbook.blogspot.com

1 dead manatee| pilot the speedboat

Don't Call Me Surely. [04 Apr 2012|12:33am]
Progress is weird. You creep along, little by little, and then, all of a sudden, you're doing the things that you thought you'd never be able to do.

I had a couple of those moments at practice tonite. DeRanged and Psychobabble, two of the best skaters in roller derby, came out to run a training session with us. As always, I was terrified. I mean, these ladies are legit roller derby superstars. I feel like I'm never going hard enough, or doing well enough, to impress them. And trust me, we ALL want to impress them.

We worked on a bunch of offensive hitting drills (things I am not good at: Offense. Hitting. Drills.) and, even with my laryngitis and allergies/head cold, I managed to surprise myself.

Tonite, I went to practice. (I am a giant baby when I'm sick. Usually the sniffles are more than enough to give me a reason not to go out. Let alone to go exercise.)

Tonite, I did 40 pushups. (Number of pushups I could do at a time when I started playing roller derby: 1. Maybe. Sort of. Not really.)

Tonite, I pushed the largest girl on my team out of bounds.

Tonite, I chased down the jammer as she busted out of the pack, and I caught her.

Tonite, I gave Psychobabble a hip bruise. (And then she gave me pointers on how to be more effective when I use my bony, bony hips, and I squealed a lot on the inside and HOLY SHIT I GAVE PSYCHO A BRUISE WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN.)

Little things, building on top of each other, manifesting into noticeable progress. Just keep doing one thing every day that scares me.

Originally posted at readagoddamnbook.blogspot.com
3 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[18 Jan 2012|03:13am]

So far, 29 looks like:

skating 50 laps straight through after basically a month off skates. Eating wings, drinking Yuengling, talking about boys. Wegmans. Watching bad movies with dad. Bedtime at 5am.

So, y'know. The usual.
1 dead manatee| pilot the speedboat

[30 Dec 2011|02:14am]

Did I mention the part where Jon + both got food poisoning the morning after Christmas? No? we did. It was superfun. By superfun, I mean totally gross. I still feel icky. Better, but icky. All I really want to eat is a mountain of cookies, and/or sushi, and/or indian food. Clearly, my stomach and my brain are having some communication issues.

pilot the speedboat

[15 Oct 2011|01:18am]

Y'all know the drill.

Here, we have NPR's list of the 100 best scifi/fantasy novels, as of August 2011. I say if you've read any of a seies (because they're counting a series as a single book, are they bonkers???), it counts. This means you, Dune. Seriously.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge (this is unreadable.)

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson (so are these.)

96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Also, looking at the list of 237 nominees, and seeing what made the list, my mind is goddamn well blown.
12 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

Coming Clean, or, We Call This Burying the Lede. [12 Oct 2011|06:12pm]
Originally posted Oct 4, 2011, @ ReadAGoddamnBook

I've been rolling this around in my mouth for days, now, and I still don't know how to say it.

I've typed more than a handful of versions out, and none of them seem right. The thing is, I'm leaping in to NaBloWriMo, and I honestly don't know how I'm going to manage a month's worth of entries without coming clean about this to the blog.

And I tried do a "short" version of it, but it just turned into a long version anyway, so if you're interested, read on. And if you're not... I dunno. Skim. Maybe there'll be important bullet points along the way.

When I started this blog, I had every intention of chronicling my story of quitting grad school and moving on with my universe, through the lens of depression (which every therapist I've ever been to has agreed has some sort of hold on me), general anxiety (only the more recent therapists have agreed that this might be a thing), and social anxiety (subset of general, painfully obvious to everyone around me.)

It has been, and is, harder than I thought it would be, mostly because it's difficult for me to write about how hard things are, or to wrap things up in a tidy bow at the end of posts. The thing is, depression sucks. Anxiety sucks. They're not "oh I had a bad day so I took a bubble bath and now I'm better" posts, they're "I'm too incapacitated by sadness to take the 10 steps from my bed to my bathroom to fill up the bathtub" posts. They don't end on high notes, or with solutions. And I've been scared to post, publicly, about how I'm "really" doing.

The other part was that aside from a few moments of abject depressive hysteria, very few of the things I was writing felt true. And since I couldn't figure out why, I just... didn't write.

Switching gears: A few years ago, a friend of mind who did happen to see those depressed-hysterical thought-spews recommended a book to me. I glanced at the author's website, but never really followed up on it. It had a hokey title, and sounded like a self-help book. Neither of these things have any sort of appeal to me.

But funny enough, something about it must have grabbed me, because every few months, I'd go back to the website, and wonder if there might be something to all of it.

Last month, I was low. Lower than I've been in a really long time. Hysterical, phone-a-friend, serious thoughts of self-harm low. (It's hard to say any of this out loud, in public. My gut instinct is to cover it all up with platitudes and denial - "I'm ok now." "I'm fine." "Don't worry about me"'s. I don't want anyone to swoop in and try to save me, but at the same time, I desperately want to stop hiding the sheer fact that yes, sometimes there are these things, and they're bad things, and they're terrible, and they're hard, but they're TRUE. I'm not comfortable hiding my depression anymore.) After a late night at a friend's place, freaking out her boyfriend with my crying, I did one of the hardest things I've ever done as an adult: I walked into a bookstore, and headed for the self-help section.

The best part of this was discovering that the book I was looking for was not, in fact, shelved in the self-help section. It was in Psychology, which, ironically enough, made/makes me feel less crazy about the whole thing.

I picked up a copy of the book that my friend had recommended to me years ago, and started reading the introduction. And there, at 7pm, in this independent bookstore in the heart of downtown, I started crying. It would've been sobbing, probably, if I hadn't learned how to cry silently years and years ago.

3 pages in, and already the author had identified behaviors and patterns that I could barely explain to myself, let alone verbalize to other people. Things that I had been thinking about and living with and knowing for as long as I can remember being able to, y'know, think.

These things in my head, about my head... they weren't just symptoms of the depression, of the anxiety. They're a whole separate thing. And it's not bad, it's not scary, it's not yet another disorder to lump on top of the others, it is, at its heart, just a different way of interpreting sensory data, and a difference in how data is processed and acted upon. Not bad. Not scary. Just different.

I identify as what Elaine Aron calls a Highly Sensitive Person. If you're interested, you can poke around on her website. The link she includes to the basic assessment test is super telling, and likely does a better job of explaining what being an HSP is and feels like than what I could do in my own words. (For the record: Aron suggests that if you score a 14 or higher on the self test, you are probably Highly Sensitive. I scored 23.)

Reading her books have been a strange journey of self discovery for me. I'm not learning anything new, per se, but it's wonderful and scary and freeing to not only have a name for what goes on in my head, but to know that there are other people out there. And to know that I'm not broken.

So there. That's that. I'm an HSP. I'm not sure how that information is going to manifest itself in this blog, but I felt that it was important information to share. Maybe it'll give you a better perspective on how I live my life, make the decisions I make, think the things I think. Maybe saying it out loud, in the blog, will let me be more open and honest with my process - both how I'm progressing, and how I'm getting there. Right now, I'm really not sure.

But being open about feels real, feels true. Feels like a Thing I Need To Do in order to keep moving forward with things.


Now you know.
2 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[12 Oct 2011|06:09pm]
Apologies, Livejournal. you've fallen to the wayside while I've been updating ReadAGoddamnBook. I'll port those entries over here over the next few days, thought I suppose I should really just figure out a way to get them to post in both places.
pilot the speedboat

[05 Aug 2011|02:05am]
Pretty sure I have food poisoning. Good timing, universe. I'm supposed to be in NYC tomorrow for Becca's wedding weekend adventures. (I'll catch a ride up on Sat w/ Dessen, but, jesus, ugh. I feel like death.)
3 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[10 Jul 2011|03:05am]
I am fucking EXHAUSTED.

I just got back from my second ever bout, with the High City Derby Divas of Aurora, CO. I am battered and busted and bruised, and grining like some sort of idiot.

The first half of the bout was a nightmare - I agreed to jam, and proceeded to have my ass handed to me by every single member of their team. There was a power jam, and I just could. not. get. past their line. (I thought it was pretty brutal out on the track. Jon told me afterwards that it looked even worse. I'd get up, get knocked right back down again. For the whole two minutes. UGH.) It took me, no joke, the rest of the damn half to fully recover. I skated like crap. And I certainly didn't jam again.

The second half was WAY better. I caught my breath, and skated almost every jam with the B line. Just holding the inside line, sure, but I managed a few solid hits on the jammers, didn't fall too hard, and mostly avoided getting winded like I had in the first half.

The Hustle n Rollers lost, 133 - 69 - mostly because we couldn't get through their beastly walls.

It was awesome awesome awesome, and all the suck in the first half just makes me want to work harder, so I don't have to suck that hard the next time I play.

In other news, as I was gearing down, I discovered a neon yellow hair band that had somehow wrapped its way around my knee, UNDER MY TIGHTS, (and under my kneepads, which is probably why I didn't actually find it til I stripped down) for the entire bout. 1, no wonder my right leg felt vaguely off, and 2, HOW THE FUCK DID IT GET THERE.

... I probably really need a roller debry icon, don't I.
4 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[19 Jun 2011|12:55am]
today I did ALL THE THINGS.

I drove to NJ for Oscar's 2nd birthday. Saw the teammates, finally met Babyshark.

Drove from Haddon to Downingtown for Brandywine's first league bout. Saw Dave.

Drove from Downingtown back to Philly. Saw Ramona, Eamonn, Matt Flynn.

Drove back to Bryn Mawr.

I am so sleepy. And happy. Very happy. I like my friends.
3 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[17 Jun 2011|10:48pm]
Can't post this to Twitter. But it's too good not to share.

Dad and I, discussing that Kaley whatever murder trial:

Dad: I can't believe she tried to mix her own chloroform. Why didn't she just go to the store?
Me: The chloroform store?
Dad: Yes! The chloroform store! Chloroform R' Us.
Me: Chloroform and Moreoform?
Dad: I'd shop there.
2 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[16 May 2011|07:03pm]
You asked:

6 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[13 May 2011|04:20am]
So, I've got my first derby bout this Saturday, up in Cheyenne, against the Capidolls' fresh meat.

This is preamble, not the point.

Since I started derby, every single one of my friends has gone: "Oh1 That's so awesome! I can't wait to see you play!"

And y'know what? I would love for them to come out. I've been working my ass off, and even though I'm not very good yet, I would love to have people at the bout supporting me.

So, fast forward to more recently, when it's gone from "I would love to see you play!" "Ok! I'll let you know!" to "I would love to see you play!" "Sure! We have a bout coming up really soon in Cheyenne!" "...Oh."

So, look, I get that Cheyenne is a two hour drive, and people here are stuck in the bubble, and no one ever wants to leave.  But here's the deal, dudes.
1, It's fucking roller derby.  Yes, it's gaining in popularity, but that doesn't mean that there are leagues tripping over themselves to play each other. 
2, I play in a rec league.  Which means that for the most part, our competition is limited to scrimmages and fresh meat teams.  WFTDA travel teams don't want to bother with us, for a number of reasons. 
2a, one of those reasons is that we can't host bouts - we don't have the infrastructure.  So we HAVE to travel.  and at the point where we're traveling:
3, Guess what? Everything in Colorado is FAR. Not near.  FAR.  Usually an hour or more.  People drive 3 hours (6 hours round trip) to go fucking skiing.  And so Cheyenne, relatively? NOT THAT FAR.  In fact, probably the closest we will ever play.  Bouts after this are slated for Laramie, WY (3-4 hours) and Billings, MT. MONTANA, PEOPLE. THAT IS ACTUALLY FAR.

So, I'm kinda cranky pants.  Everyone was SO EXCITED for me to get in to this sport, blah blah blah, but when push comes to shove, can't be arsed to get off their butts and actually come support me.  Jon is coming, which I'm pretty excited about, but also just the part where YES HE VOICED INTEREST IN SHOWING UP AND IS ACTUALLY MAKING IT HAPPEN.  Sure, I'm driving, I booked the hotel room, etc, but, it's my gig.  He'll be doing the same (at least he'd better be) for his Iron Man in Idaho next month.  Also, y'know, the part where we're dating.

I'm just pissy that EVERYONE I KNOW is all talk no rock about this.  If it weren't for Jon magically showing up in my life, I'd be doing this totally on my own.  (I know, if Jon hadn't happened, a LOT of things would be different right now. Whatever.)

Possibly the part where I have friends in this town (thinking of one person specifically) who gets SOOPER bent out of shape if we leave her out of something, or if, god forbid, we don't move heaven and earth to come to HER events (and/or her FRIENDS events), but when it comes to our own... unless they're convenient for her, there's a big to-do about being invited, then zilch.

In other news, it's 4am, I smell like a bar, and Jon's smoke detector has decided that it's time to go beepy-beepy. Hoo-rah.
14 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

About a Dog [01 May 2011|04:48am]

My friend's dog passed away unexpectedly last night. He was bitten by another dog in the neighborhood, infection set in, and he passed.

I am basically a wreck.

Smokey belonged to my teammates, Baconshark and Tits McGee. Baconshark had brought Smokey home back in 2007, with the money he'd won at that year's RPS championship. I wasn't in the picture at that point, but Smokey was clearly the Victory Dog.

The next year, I tripped into the arms of a rowdy gang of jackasses more affectionately known as David Bowie's Package. After on-purposely getting drunk and accidentally winning the 2008 championship, Baconshark kindly drove me back to his house in Jersey, where I met Smokey. As I laid down on the sofa to pass out, PJ laid my giant check up against the seat, and I curled up. Hours later, I awoke to a large, skinny, furry blanket draped over me - Smokey was unwilling to share his sofa, and was sleeping on top of me like an adorable blanket. There's a picture of this, somewhere. I wish I could find it.

That was the beginning, they say, of a beautiful friendship. I moved out to Colorado shortly after the season ended, and only really got to see Smokes a few times a year. He was never, of course, my dog, but in my head, he was always the team's dog, the unsung, most adorable member of The Package. Trips to Jersey almost inevitably would end up with me at the Williams-Mercer Zoo, adults ("adults") in the kitchen/dining room doing adult things (talking/yelling about loud music), while Smokes and I would curl up on the floor and make googly eyes at each other. Maybe I just made the googly eyes. He just wondered where this extra human came from, and why there were so many snuggles.

I would badger Karen for stories about her adventures with the pup, jealous that I never got to spend as much time with either of them as I ever wanted to. And she'd humor me, telling me about the songs she would make up for him while they were taking walks together, or mundane things around the neighborhood that made him skittish. I'd sit around and wonder how so much dog could fit into such a tiny frame. (Seriously, where does the dog go on greyhounds??) And Smokey would grin, and writhe around on his back, and get loved on. Because this dog loved his people, and all the people loved this dog.

And so I'm sitting here at 4am, still crying, after sobbing on Jon for an hour after I heard, for this pup that I only tangentially knew, and for his people, who loved him so much. For Kevin and Karen, who are now down a best friend, and for their little one, who will never get to meet his big furry brother.

There are things I want to tell you about Smokes, about his giant, kind eyes, and his adorable greyhound grin, and his endless patience for the humans (me. Others.) who insisted on his post-racing career as a pillow. But instead, I'll tell you this: David Bowie's Package rules. And so do you, Smokey. <3.

7 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

[08 Apr 2011|10:48am]
Anxiety nightmares.  I veto.
2 dead manatees| pilot the speedboat

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