Brutalized and Officialized...
by Amy Austin on September 10, 2010
Welp... I've been thinking about how to go about making this update for a couple of days now -- blog or TC... poll or no poll... all that -- but I guess I'll just start here for now.
Tuesday was a shitty day with an ending that didn't quite compensate, but... well, here's the dirt. I guess it's really two posts rolled into one, but... there you have it -- I'm lazy like that, and that's how I roll. ;-p
I guess I'll start with what I used my GOO prize winnings for and go from there. Back in late March/early April, I bought some kneepads to use with the rest of my protective gear -- helmet, mouthguard, elbow pads, wrist guards -- and skates... to give the old (as in, 20 years too old) "college try" to the sport of roller derby. (I actually joke a bit... there are women close to fifty doing this shit... crazy-ass bitches! Puts me to a bit of shame, really.) And I did this all without even having attended an actual bout and no knowledge of modern derby... and only the occasional glimpse of the crazy 70s WWF-type shit on TV to inform me. (It's not like that anymore, btw, and *definitely* not staged -- there are real rules and real physical sport involved.)
So... was on the verge of leaving my "fresh meat" status behind (something that requires a pretty lengthy and intense skills test, in addition to a written rules test -- all told, about 3 hours worth of hard work!) when Devil had her sudden paralysis on 01 June. Between that, the *really* shitty finances involved with UI running out and major lapse in pay, and my wonderful 4th of July move, I just stayed out of the scene until August. Now, after about 4-5 more weeks of grueling 3-hour practices twice a week... I have passed my tests and am officially a skater on the team. This was Tuesday night, on the heels of a particularly shitty, shitty day.
Friday, I had come home at lunch to find a business card from an ACSO field agent -- those are the folks who serve you papers and shit. After wracking my brain for the remainder of my work day about what this could possibly be (a call to the ACSO did not render any cooperative answers, of course) -- 1. some bullshit from Ed over the house we still own "together" 2. some bullshit from my prior landlord, who did not return my $800 deposit, saying that she intended to impose a $300 claim against it -- which, incidentally, prevented me from attending my 20-year high school reunion -- and to which I had to write a statement of objection, or 3. some bullshit from the oh-so-appropriately named collections lawyer (Hayter) hired by the gym I oh-so-*stupidly* signed a 2-year contract with last year... only to find that I could not continue to afford it -- I decided to call the aforementioned hater-lawyer's office (with whom I had already been in contact and whose paralegal told me she would "call me back before anything else happened" -- hmph)... and found that it was, indeed, some bullshit court papers intended to gouge me for the remaining balance of the membership PLUS lawyer's fees and court costs... to the tune of $1500. Assholes.
After brewing this information over the holiday weekend, now cut to Tuesday afternoon, when I came home for my 12:30 lunch break. Guess who came to see me just as I was leaving to return to work. That's right -- the ACSO field agent, who handed me my papers and snappily informed me not to miss my court appearance. Refraining from any reply -- I needed to go get gas in my truck in a bad way before getting back to work -- I left and, at the stop sign where my street intersects 441, deliberated about which station I should go to. The Texaco directly across the 4-lane/divided road looked like the easiest pick, so there I headed... but was promptly delayed for an hour by the fact that I did not see the driver heading north across my path. It was just that kind of a weather day, where the sky is both sunny-bright and also gray and a perfectly positioned sunbeam creates the perfect blinding glare that you don't even realize is blinding you... until it's too late. It was as if another (red!) vehicle was manifested out of thin air to me.
After pulling over and having a little fit inside my truck (I have minimum insurance + liability), I promptly went over and informed the lady and her two passengers that I was sorry... I just did not even see them. Her response? A snitty, "Well, I wasn't speeding!" Did I say that you were??? I guess she's never made that kind of mistake before, God bless her perfect soul.
Naturally, they said they were calling the police (and I didn't expect anything less!), and also naturally, I succumbed to the pressure of my circumstances and began to cry. Making matters worse, though, the woman came over to my vehicle, where I was tearfully waiting for the police to arrive, and stated rather matter-of-factly that she needed my insurance information and driver's license! I said, "what for?" and she said, "well, that's what the police are going to ask for" -- I said, "well, then they can ask me for it!" But... to make things even worse... that field agent -- who had only just departed my house in the same moments that I did -- was still in the vicinity and came over to put in her two cents (the local police arrived quite fast) about how I'd just been served... making it seem, I'm sure, as though I was mildly deranged before all this, when in fact, *all* I was thinking about in the moment of the accident was that I needed to get gas. Sure, it sucked that I got served, but... I had a job to get back to and an empty gas tank. And it's not like it was a shocking surprise at that point, remember.
Somehow, this also wound up being convoluted by the "eyewitnesses" (the three women in the other car) into my being on the phone (not that this is even illegal, but... I was *not*... which only goes to show how unreliable "eyewitness" accounts can be when they are predisposed to seeing what they want to see), and the cop -- who spent all of his time taking their accounts and none at all with mine until presenting me with my citation ("failure to yield right-of-way", as I could have expected) and then asking me if I was on the phone.
Super-detective cop" "Are you sure?"
Superfuzz: "Well, they all three said you were."
Me: "Well, they're lying!"
Superpig: "Why would they do that?"
Me: "Okay, well, I don't mean to say that they were lying... they just didn't see what they maybe think they saw. I was not on the phone."
Superbad: "Well, weren't you upset?"
Me: "Well, of course I am!!!"
Supersherlock: "No... before the accident -- didn't you just get served?"
Me (dumbfounded with disgust): "Well, sure!" (But I already knew it was going to happen, too, mind you!)
Superstud: "So, you're sure you weren't on the phone then... you didn't call someone to vent..."
Me (increasingly pissed off/aggravated by this line of questioning that really has no bearing on anything at all): "I am not a liar! And, you know what... my call records can prove it!!"
That seemed to have called him off -- I mean... how can you argue with phone records? Denise suggested that it would have been good if I had just showed him the call history in my phone right that moment, but... since I only just switched to a new phone *and* provider (i.e., still pretty clueless about how to use it -- which is only just one more reason why I wouldn't have been on it while driving!), I'm thinking probably not so much. Might possibly have even backfired on me.
So, yeah. No insurance to cover my repairs (about $15-1600, I'm told -- hm... there's that fucking amount again!), a citation ($154, plus traffic school if I want to keep the points off my license), and being surrounded by five people ready and willing to assail my character all adds up to one really, really, super-duper-shitty day -- the kind that makes you wish you'd never even set foot out of bed.
Given all of that, then, it was a little difficult to make myself get to my test later that evening (all puffy-faced from the day of tears and in a crunched truck that the driver-side door didn't want to open on -- even though I was hit on the right!) -- but I had already been waiting a pretty long while for it, and... part of me hoped that the day's residual emotion would only assist in my endeavor. I don't know if it did or not... the humidity was so freakin' high that I felt like I was sucking water into my lungs during it all, but... I did pass.
Which brings me to the last part of my news on being "official" -- and the reason for considering a TC post/poll on the subject...
In case you don't already know it, one thing that roller derby still shares with its WWF-style roots is the tradition of a cleverly-named alter ego/persona. And uniqueness is of high importance to rollergirls. Thusly, there is a group that maintains a website/roster of all those names, and... thinking of something clever that isn't already in use is quite the challenge.
I have a couple of ideas in mind already (one with some sentimental reasons, even), but... I thought -- in sharing my one piece of cool news for the year (okay, after getting a job, I suppose... which, based on the sufficiency of demand for my services -- or lack thereof -- is already fraught with its own issues of tenuous job security) -- I would open myself up to the creativity of you good/fine people. And then I might share my ideas and favorite suggestions in a poll. Don't let me down! ;-P
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