Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts on bathing-suit season

The pool opened last weekend. It's been too rainy and cold to go yet, but soon enough it'll be hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement and we'll be making evening treks to the Lincoln Park pool.

I love that we have a pool so close to our house.

But I hate that it means I've got to wear a bathing suit.

Bathing suits are stupid. We should either go naked or completely covered up. Wearing this lycra-infused torture devices is cruel and unusual. Unless you have completely void of body fat, these "suits" make indentions and dimples in places that I want neither.

Plus they just don't cover up the parts that I'd like covered.

Years ago I started wearing board shorts with some sort of modestly modest top. My ample ass-age was covered and I've been pretty happy. But still, there's the pulling and adjusting and the gut-sucking-in that must go on.

Then I saw a picture that made me think that perhaps it's not my thighs that are the problem, but my perception.

Take a look at this woman's thighs and hips:

Look. Her thighs actually touch together and her hips are round and full. Do you think she's fat? Too chunky to be flitting around the beach without a muumuu?

By today's standards, many will likely say yes. Just look at a recent magazine cover:

Just look at that tiny frame and the jumbo boobs. This is very likely not her natural state. She's probably been sculpted and augmented to the standards that we now find attractive.

How did we get to this point? And why? Really. What is wrong with a little curve to the hip, a little jiggle to the junk in the trunk and real boobs like that woman in the white bathing-suit.

Oh and just who was that woman in the white suit?

None other than Marilyn Monroe.

Perception is everything.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What you missed

If you didn't haul your cookies out to Riveter's 5th anniversary show with Holley 750 (or you couldn't get in), this is some of what you missed:

The show started with the kick-ass Denver punk band, Holley 750 throwing down some delicious tunes.

And guess what? Jamie on the left in the Triumph t-shirt has a Triumph motorcycle ... so does Bill. Of course, Bill just had to start his up when we got home from the show ... at 2 a.m. ... without the mufflers on. Thank goodness for awesome neighbors.

Then it was our turn to hit the stage:

Look how cute we are.

But sometimes we'd call everyone muthafuckas and drank beer.

If you weren't there, you missed Laurena riding the bass pony. Yee-haw!

And me looking like a blow-up doll.

Or force feeding my guitar to lucky fans.

Because it was our anniversary party, we let a boy (Jake from Holley 750) sing a duet with me. But just to make sure he knew his place, Laurena and Kelley flashed their guns.

Except for the pukers that we took back to our house after the show, the evening was truly epic — but I had so much fun that I didn't even care that I had to clean up tossed cookies the next day.

Rock 'n' roll is so much fun.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Riveter Story, Part 4: OMG, there's a boy in our band

Once Kelley joined our group, we really started to take our rock 'n' roll selves more seriously.

We started thinking about playing shows out of town. We scored a couple of gigs at the Larimer Lounge in Denver and a showcase in Littleton. We were also playing festivals such as the Fruita Fall Festival and the Fruita Fat Tire Festival here in the valley.

But our biggest gig came in March 2007 when we were selected to join the's Invasion of the GoGirls in Austin during the famed South by Southwest Festival.

This was a huge deal for us and we were beyond excited to be selected to play. SXSW is an amazing festival just chock full of music with bands literally on every corner.

We all flew down to Austin with Scott and Bill in tow, except for Bridgett who drove to Austin with her husband, Johnny. It was a long trip exacerbated by Bridgett's morning sickness.

Yep, that's right, one of the Riveter girls had a little Riveterette in the oven.

The festival was amazing. Music on every corner. The GoGirls showcase was a blast and we brought some western Colorado rockin' down to Austin.

A few months later, Bridgett left Riveter. But she didn't abandon music for motherhood, instead she opted to continue playing with the Wrong Impressions with her husband (my husband's in that band, too).

Now we were down a drummer ... and not just any drummer, but a girl drummer. Girl drummers are hard to find anywhere and REALLY hard to find in our little Grand Valley. But we had shows coming up and the show must go on.

Luckily for us, Laurena's incredibly talented husband, Scott, volunteered to fill in on drums until we found a girl drummer.

That was more than a year ago ... and Scott — aka "Boom Boom" — is still hittin' the skins for us.

We tease him a lot and give him tons of grief (not to mention that he's often stuck carrying the heavy stuff), but we're really happy to have him in the band.

Since he's been with us, he's coached Kelley and I in improving our guitar skills and helped us tighten up our playing.

We've cut out a lot of our ballads and mid-tempo songs for more hard-hitting, in-your-face rock 'n' roll. We discovered that the more Kelley swears and flips off the crowd, the more they love us.

We played SXSW at the GoGirls showcase again last year. This year, we scored the Bret Michael's opener and we've been writing kick-ass new music like crazy.

We're 100 percent rock 'n' roll these days and are always ready to flip you off ... you don't even have to give us a reason.

Markel Farkel Friday

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Riveter Story, Part 3: Along came Kelley

When I left off the Riveter story last, we had four girls (some who knew how to play their instruments and some ... well, not so much), a name and our first gig.

We practiced and learned seven or so songs ... barely. The day of the party found me full of jitters. I'd never really performed like this before and knew little about how work all the music related equipment let alone my guitar.

But we did it. We played our songs and people looked on in disbelief because we didn't suck.

We probably should've sucked.

But we didn't.

After we were done playing, we were giddy with excitement. We were in a band ... and we did not suck.

We continued on, practiced, got another backyard party, then we got our first nightclub show.

We were ecstatic. A nightclub ... not a friend's backyard.

We practiced our songs and even included our first original "Ham Pants." We opened for a now-defunct jam bad from New Orleans, Saaraba.

Tons of people came to see our debut public performance. We were nervous. But we did not suck.

The crowd was generous and we ate it up. We were bitten.

We worked on more songs, originals and covers and worked on getting more shows. For the next couple of years we played festivals and clubs around the Grand Valley. We even got a show playing in a showcase in San Francisco.

Oh yeah, the big time.

We all took a road trip out to my old stomping grounds. Overall the trip was fun.

We played two shows. The first nightclub show was disastrous, but the showcase at Lennon Studios went really well. It was a crowd that knew music and they dug what we were putting out.

We were buoyed yet again.

Then our singer, Sally, said she was looking to move on to do other things, a new job, a new city, no girl rock 'n' roll band.

We immediately started putting out the word that Riveter was looking for a new lead singer.

The first girl that came to meet with us was a nice, hippie-type who played her acoustic guitar and sang at coffee shops. She had a lovely voice, but we weren't certain that her earthy ways were going to fit our rock 'n' roll band.

But she vowed to learn three of our songs and come back and rock us.

And she did.

That little hippie chick was our Kelley who is now our bona fide rock 'n' roll lead singer.

Kelley puts on a show like no other and we're super happy she joined our band. She's been working on her electric guitar skillz, too, so she's double awesome.

Since Kelley's arrival, Riveter has definitely taken on more of hard rock 'n' roll edge and we like it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not use crying over hamburger

Friday we needed some barbecue supplies. We decided to go to the grocery where Sean works, instead of our usual store. His car wasn't parked in its typical spot and I whined to Bill, "I wish Sean was here" as we started our shopping.

But as luck would have it, he was there, putting out fresh tomatoes in the produce department.

We talked to him while he worked for a bit and then left him to get our shopping done. I had to squint through the tears as I picked through the cucumbers.

All at once, the reality of Sean's leavetaking hit me like a ton of bricks.

I'm going to miss that kid.

While I'm very happy for him as he starts his adult life with the decisions he's made, I'm so sad for all of us who are going to be left behind.

I told Bill how sad I was all of a sudden and the tears started again. Bill paused and as we gazed over the frozen hamburger patties he said, "Don't start because I'll never be able to stop."

I knew what he meant.

As hard as this is for me, it's gotta a kajillionty times harder for Bill.

So now whenever I see Sean I have a hard time not throwing myself on him and sobbing about how I'm going to miss him and I know that it's the same for Bill.

Oh, we'll carry on, but we certainly won't be shopping at that grocery store anymore.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Riveter Story, Part 2: Laurena picks the bass

So last time I left you with me not dying of the flu and Laurena wanting to start a girl band and vowing to learn an instrument.

Laurena decided on the bass. Smart girl, she rocks the bass.

Now it was just past New Years 2004, Mar and I had recovered from the flu and it was time to start creating a plan for our new band.

First, Laurena and I were going to start working on some cover songs.

Not having a clue, we just picked songs that we liked without regard for difficulty or whether or not our non-existent singer could sing it.

We picked songs like Tom Petty's "American Girl," AC/DC's "You shook me all night long," Sheryl Crow's "If it makes you happy." And also a couple songs that I already knew like Neil Young's "Heart of gold" and the White Stripes' "Dead leaves and the dirty ground."

Next we planned to audition singers and drummers.

I have to laugh at the audacity that Laurena and I — who had just started learning instruments — were trying out other musicians to be in our band. (Hello musicians, we don't know how to play yet, but let's hear if you're good enough for us ... crazy!)

We had a couple great gals sing for us and ultimately decided on Sally.

At the time, Sally was a copy editor for the newspaper where I work and she sang in an a Capella group in college (trying ... very ... hard to not ... make an Office reference ... 'Nard Dog ... doh). We found a cute young drummer, Nicki, from the local college, too.

We had all our pieces, now we just need to bring them all together. It was tricky at first coordinating all our schedules. Sally worked at night. Nicki was a student and Laurena and I were juggling full-time jobs and kids.

Before we knew it, we had our first gig. We were going to be play for Bill's work's end of the year party. This was a pretty big deal as the other band playing this party was a bunch of seasoned musicians, including my guitar instructor.

Not long after, we found out our drummer was going to be working at DisneyWorld for the summer.

So now we had our first gig, but no drummer.

I dug out the phone number for a girl I'd met at the bar through a mutual friend. This girl was a drummer (among other things). She said she wanted to be in a band with her husband, but barring that, she'd be interesting in being in an all-girl band.

I called her and pretty much convinced her that she would at least play with us for this one show. Now that I look back on it, it was pretty out of character for me to push a stranger like that, but I did.

Bridgett agreed and I said we'd be right over to bring her a CD of the songs we were working on.

Drummer problem solved.

We had four band members who had never practice together and about four weeks to get our set together.

Oh and we needed a name. Bill immediately started coming up with band names.

If you ever need a name for a band, Bill's your man ... most of the time. The first name he came up with was nixed summarily.

I'm hesitant to even mention it because he still thinks it's hilarious.

OK, Bill thought our all-girl band should be called "Camel Toe."

Yeah, no.

But I loved his second name ... Riveter ... after Rosie the Riveter, of course.

My Gramma Dearing was a Rosie the Riveter during World War II in the Alameda, California ship yards.

I ran it by Laurena and she liked it, too. As did Bridgett and Sally.

Riveter was born.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bunny-head kisser

So I outed Sean as a bunny-head kisser. He says he doesn't remember kissing any bunny heads, but I do.

This originally ran as a column the Sunday editorial page and then I reprinted it over on the Haute Mamas blog, just so more people will learn that my stepson is a bunny-head kisser.

Click here to read the whole story.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hockey, beer and family

Yes I realize it's Thursday and I'm just getting around to writing about last weekend, but rivetergirl's been busy, yo.

I took a vacation day last Friday and the three of us and our friend Rob drove over to the Front Range for a hockey tournament.

See, Bill's from Buffalo which means that he was indoctrinated from birth to love hockey and want to play it. That's all fine with me. I like hockey. Watching it live is my favorite and watching someone I know is the best.

So I was looking forward to seeing some hockey.

Margaret was excited to see Aunt Pat ... oh and everyone else, too.

I don't blame her. I've come to a conclusion this trip: my family is awesome. And I'm not just saying that because of a bunch of 'em read this blog.

You hear horror stories of families being mean or controlling or boring or unpleasant. My family is none of these things. Instead, they are hilarious and they like to eat donuts and drink beer (not at the same time). What more could a girl ask for?

Plus, how can you not love people who store their babies and purses together:
(Unfortunately that is the only picture I took at Pat's house even though we celebrated birthdays for two of my cousins kids and everyone from Denver was there that day, including my 87-year-old gramma. Doh!)

Oh yeah, Aunt Pat. My mom and Margaret stayed with Aunt Pat and Uncle Tom while Bill and I were in Texas last year. Pat got both of them addicted to those 450-calorie frappucinos. Plus Pat and Tom have every video game console ever invented and a gigantic TV to play them on.

Not only that, but she's a generous hostess (we asked if we could stay with her. After she said yes, we told her we were bringing Rob - whom she had never met - too. No problem, she replied), but she's fun to be around.

Uncle Tom taught Margaret the three positions that one can properly wear a hat: forward, backward and "locked" which apparently means wearing the brim to one side and how to play games on the Wii.

Bill and Rob had games Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning.

We made it to Denver in time to visit briefly with Aunt Pat and head to the rink. After negotiating a kajillionty strip malls, we ate some spicy chicken wings and made it to the rink just in time for the boys to suit up and join their team.

Mar and I sat in the empty bleachers and watched the Junction team get their asses handed to them.

Unfortunately they were in the wrong division. But to their credit, the Junction guys had never played as a team before. And even though they got better with each game, they still got their booties kicked soundly.

Fortunately, the guys kept their spirits up and enjoyed being out of town and playing hockey.

Saturday evening I left Mar with Pat and Tom to play with two of my cousins' girls (if we had taken her with us, Mar would have begged to return to the house of Aunt Pat asap incessantly as she had done Friday night — at first I felt guilty about pawning my kid off on my aunt but then I realized that Pat brought it on herself, being all nice 'n' shit to my kid) and I had a great time watching the boys play and then hanging out drinking beer, eating free wings and playing Dimwit afterwards.

It actually turned out to be a very relaxing and super fun weekend and I didn't do anything but eat delicious bar food, drink beer and hang out with family and hockey dudes.

I don't think I'd have ever planned a weekend like that on my own, but it was awesome.

That's Bill shooting during warm ups. He looks pretty hot, huh?

This is just another reason why people don't like to go shopping with me. I made Rob take this picture of me and gigantasauraus in the sporting goods store where Bill was getting a new hockey stick.

I mean, why does that mannequin have to be so big? Where do they get his clothes?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Riveter Story, Part 1: Robin gets a guitar

Margaret turned three during the summer of 2003. We bought her a little drum kit.


What do you think that 3-year-olds want?

They want to make a bunch of noise and bang on things. Drums are the perfect gift. Plus Bill begged to have at least one of his kids play the drums. Who am I to deny my adorable husband a lifelong dream?

So for weeks she banged joyously on her drums that sat in the middle of the living room floor.

Sean already was playing the saxophone and Bill had been playing the bass guitar for years.

I was left out.

I decided I was going to buy myself an acoustic guitar, take lessons and learn how to play Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" so I could sign along.

And I did.

I got a beautiful Epiphone acoustic-electric guitar — cherry sunburst finish, oh so pretty. And I started taking guitar lessons from Guy Stephens (formerly of JT and the Big Dogs).

I practiced my scales and chords. The first song I learned was the Beatles "I've just seen a face" — sans the fancy intro.

I told Guy I wanted to learn "Big Yellow Taxi." He told me it wasn't a beginner song as it had the dreaded barre chords. I didn't care, I wanted to sing along to some Joni Mitchell, so I learned barre chords.

It was the first time in my life that my giant man hands were useful. Barre chords weren't that hard once I got the hang of them.

Next I learned Neil Young's "Heart of Gold."

I was having a really good time practicing my few songs and singing along. I played all the time and everyone in the house had to listen.

By November I had made some decent progress mostly because I had a teacher that made the lessons fun and I practiced all. the. time. I played everyday and played for everyone whether they wanted to listen or not.

Then Margaret got the flu ... the bad flu. Of course, I got it, too. The two of us draped ourselves over the couches languishing from the fever, cough, chills and other flu horrors trying to watch movies and not die.

Bill brought me the phone and said it was Laurena.

I had met Laurena when I started working at The Daily Sentinel in 2002. She had since left the paper but we remained friends.

I croaked my hello into the phone. These were her exact words (OK maybe not exactly exact, but pretty darn close): "I want to start an all-girl band and I want you to play guitar. I'm going to learn to play an instrument."

I said OK but I had to not die of the flu and then I was all in.

I didn't die of the flu and shortly after New Years 2004 we got together to talk about our "band."

Monday, May 04, 2009

What a difference an hour makes

I started writing this post over here while I was still pissed off about the dude that got me all pissed off in the first place.

Then I had a whole shitpotful of work to do and had some time to breathe and think about people and their bad moods.

Bad moods are stupid. I'm going to work on not having them.

But man, I'm so good at being in a bad mood. Even though I want to not be all pissy, it's so hard especially when I sit alone and work alone and fester alone.

I'm still so tempted to publish the name of the dude that acted like an ass this morning and kicked off my bad mood, but that might cause me some problems.

More problems, this rivetergirl does not want.

But if you ask me in person, I'll be happy to tell you.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Riveter turns 5

This spring marks 5 years since Riveter played its first show in a faculty member's backyard.

We had about 6 songs ... barely.

I'm going to have to write some about Riveter's humble beginnings. It's quite a story tell: one full of guitars, lip gloss and boobs.