Wednesday, July 30, 2008

i almost forgot

a couple of weeks back, fox news did a very fluffy piece on the "return of roller derby" featuring yours truly.

They report. You decide.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

wedding date for hire

anytime a friend mentions some dreaded wedding they're obligated to attend, i am quick to offer my services.

"looking for a date?"

i love weddings, particularly when i don't know the people getting married. watching two strangers pledge their eternal devotion to one another is like watching a movie. slipping into my fancy pants, gorging myself on finger food, and dunking my slice of wedding cake into a never-empty flute of champagne is my idea of a quality saturday night. and all for free? yes, please. sign me up.

i accompanied an ex to an A+ wedding on saturday evening. outside the greystone mansion, we navigated the garden paths, trying locate the ceremony. the invitation had said "formal or semi-formal," which was puzzling. it's like saying "dress for the ball or the beach." i erred on the side of extreme caution, and wore a macabre black lace anna sui dress. a summertime garden wedding in beverly hills, and i looked brazenly gothic. around my neck, an antique black onyx dangled, worn to cool the ardors of love.

we turned a corner and bumped into a well-dressed gentleman eating a banana.

"we're lost," said the ex. "do you know where the ceremony is taking place?"

"i hope so. i'm the groom." he kindly pointed us in the right direction, which of course was the opposite of the one in which we'd been headed.

my date, a college friend of the bride, introduced himself. the groom turned to me. "so you must be meghan," he said. i was impressed. had he studied a set of wedding guest flash cards the night before?

post-ceremony (which was near-perfect: brief, touching, and devoid of religion), the date and i walked the same path and discovered the groom's discarded banana peel, empty and yellow, hanging on the wall. the last hurrah.

the reception was held at the beverly hills hotel, and upon our arrival, we were presented with miniature brown boats (the groom is a sailing enthusiast). on the paper sail, the name of our assigned table was written.

"i think they're chocolate," i told him. it was the cocktail hour, and we were being assaulted with mojitos and skewered coconut lobster tails.

the tiny vessel was balanced on his extended palm. he narrowed his eyes, inspecting it.

"chocolate? are you sure?"

"pretty sure. smell it."

we brought the boats to our noses, sniffing simultaneously.

"you're right," he said. "definitely chocolate."

we tossed the paper sails and popped the boats into our mouths. the date scowled.

"i think i just chipped a tooth." he spit the boat back into his palm, newly slick with saliva.

"bad call. definitely plastic."

other reception highlights included: asparagus-wrapped mushroom hors d'oeuvre; a trivia contest; a spirited LC vs. dewey debate; my date pouring booze down my throat, attempting to lure me onto the dance floor (he was eventually successful).

once, i attended the birthday party of an acquaintance, themed "let them eat cake." per her request, every guest brought an entire cake. it was a well-attended event. i think there were at least 30 cakes inside the golden gopher that night, including a couple that were illicit substance-infused. i felt compelled to sample almost every variety on offer, and then fell into a Cake-Hole, growing numb all over and losing the power the of speech. i wandered deliriously from the bar, sugar-sick and stoned, and somehow stumbled into a metro station. on the train, i curled into a little ball on my seat, and coasted back to hollywood. that night i learned an important lesson, something that most people figure during a childhood birthday party: there is such a thing as too much cake.

at the wedding, i was having "let them eat cake" flashbacks. i was overwhelmed, and (still not completely trusting myself in presence of so much frosting) a little frightened by the volume of dessert on offer. wedding cake service followed a separate dessert course. and on the way out the door, there was a table towering with jumbo gourmet cupcakes.

"please take some with you," the bride urged the guests. "i don't know what we'll do with all of these cupcakes."

my date proceeded to grab a box meant to accommodate four cupcakes and stuff it with eight.

"what are you going to do with eight ginormous cupcakes?"

"eat them, obviously."

"you're going to eat all eight of these cupcakes before they spoil?"

"i was going to give one to you. maybe two if you behave."

"i have eaten enough dessert tonight to last my ass the month. i'll pass."

"cool. more for me. hold this while i get the car."

he thrust the cupcake box into my arms. the lid wouldn't shut and pink frosting was oozing through the cracks.

"this is disgusting. can we please put some back?"


i rode in his passenger seat from beverly hills to hollywood with the overstuffed box in my lap, and watched as the oil stains spread across the cardboard lid. exiting his car, i noticed that my goth frock had been redone in pink: streaks of buttery frosting snaked down the front, crusted into the lace.

"i'll pay for the dry cleaning," he offered, proving there's no such thing as a free cupcake.

on monday he wrote:

"Hey, thanks again for being such a great date to the wedding on Sat . . . though the cupcakes are such a gross, coagulated mess that I've decided to just toss them out. "

no surprises there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

blood, peanut butter and puke: the BOTB round-up

mom and i had discussed the possibility of a tournament weekend visit, but she didn't think she could get the time off work. a month went by, and i didn't hear from her, so i assumed this was the case. but where my mother is concerned, i shouldn't be so naive. she is notorious for her vacation-by-ambush tactics.

it was the tuesday night preceding "battle on the bank" when my mom called to tell me she would be driving to LA from phoenix the next day. she's staying at my apartment, of course, which had not been sanitized in preparation for a mom visit. i would need more than 24 hrs notice to accomplish this, and so the dust remained on my windowsills.

though she remains a controversial figure, my mother's services proved indispensable during the tourney weekend. on saturday, i arrived at the doll factory and realized i'd left my trusty peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my bed, forsaken in its aluminum foil casing. i called my mom, who was still lagging at my apartment, and she promised to bring the elusive PBJ.

mom! bring me my goddamn PBJ!*

following the L.A. Golden Girls' first match of the day (against OC, who we defeated), i spotted my mom in the stands.

"i have your sandwich, meg!" she called out.

"thanks mom."

it wasn't until later, as i was stuffing that sandwich into my sandwich hole, that i learned just what a headache Mission: PBJ had been.

"i forgot it at home." she told me. "i was halfway here and i had to turn around and go back for it. and then when i was going through security, they tried to confiscate it."

"oh shit! how did you get it in?" i asked, my mouth full of peanut butter.

"i threw a fit! i was yelling at the security guard, and then someone overheard me say that i was your mother. i was escorted inside."

despite my mom's efforts, peanut butter wasn't enough to secure the win against SD. the score was close throughout and it came down to the last couple of jams. LA actually skated an erroneous victory lap before being called off the track by the refs. our winning points were erased from the scoreboard (we'd committed a major penalty during the previous jam, which rendered our points null and void). the refs put another minute on the clock, and the final jam was skated sans LA jammer. SD held onto their one-point lead and won the game.

the golden girls lose and crystal deth sheds tears of blood!

after the match, i joined my mom in the bleachers to watch the LA vs. TXRD bout. it became apparent that she had been swept away by the Orange Flood. as she congratulated me on my skating ("i'm so proud of you, meggie!"), i noticed the peculiar way her speech had become simultaneously rapid and slurred; the telltale orange glow around her mouth; and the giveaway empty cans at her feet.

the league is now sponsored by Sparks, as evidenced by the profusion of Sparks signage throughout the Factory and our rabid, orange-mouthed fans.

eliminated from competition, i spent Day 2 of the tournament (sunday) alongside my mother as a Sparks-drinking spectator. i don't hold Sparks responsible for what went down during the LA Ri-ettes vs. Team Awesome bout, which was the final match-up of the tourney. i'd only had one, but it did lend my buckets of vomit a distinctive orange hue.

in my defense, i didn't feel the puke coming. one minute i'm sitting alongside my mom, the two of us enjoying our respective Sparks (hers regular, mine "the always blue, never sad" light variety), and the next thing i know, i'm blowing chunks onto the back of the VIP sitting directly in front of me. i bolted from my seat and made for the VIP restroom, pausing once to vomit into a trash can en route.

on my way out of the bathroom, i crossed paths with the woman on whom i had spewed.

"i'm so sorry! i'm not drunk you know. i'm just really, really ill."

"it's OK. you barely got me." she was kind.

"i'm so embarrassed."

"don't worry about it. it's not like i know you! who am i gonna tell about it?"

i just hope she didn't notice the name emblazoned across the back of my LA Golden Girls t-shirt.

i returned to the bleachers toting paper towels, and found my mother where i'd left her: watching the game, Sparks in hand. everyone else in the section had cleared out, presumably because of the wretched smell. at my mother's feet was my vomit-encrusted "This Is How We Roll" LADD tote bag. she turned to me.

"where did you go?"

"mom! didn't you notice that i just puked all over the place? look at my bag!"

she looked down, and i watched her orange-tinted lips tighten with repulsion.

"that's pretty fucking gross, meg."

"i know. tell me about it."

despite my profound illness, i was determined to watch the remainder of the game. though i rested my head in my lap between jams, from what i gathered, LA won, and then Team Awesome won, and then LA won for real. everyone was confused: the skaters, the announcers, the crowd, and the refs. it was very tense and dramatic and i think a riot almost broke out (i felt a few empty cans of sparks whiz by my oh-so-heavy head). the moment the game was finally called, i made a mad dash for the bookmobile, and booked it onto the 101. the car ride did nothing to improve my condition. as i was exiting onto gower, i had to pull over to vomit onto the curb, and was only partially successful.

it felt like a million years later that i was finally home, upchucking in the comfort of my own toilet. i couldn't keep anything down until the next day.

my sunday night sickness begs a few questions: is there such thing as too much derby? will your own stomach turn against you as an act of protest against the questionable calls made by LADD refs? does the collective over consumption of Sparks malt energy beverage incite riots? is judy gloom totally gross, and did her car smell like death the next day?

the answer to all of these questions is a firm "maybe" (except the last one, which is an emphatic "hell yes"). though it is worth noting that i received a monday night phone call from the dude i kissed on saturday. he told me that he spent the day trying not to vomit up his internal organs. so yeah, i'm inclined to think it was just a bug.

*photo is actually from the LA vs. SD, but i couldn't resist using it out of sequence.