Luke Schmaltz is getting really good at his pratfall routine.
Last week, Off Limits reported that Schmaltz had stumbled through Vegas as part of Modern Drunkard's first annual drinkfest, er, convention; this past weekend, we found Denver's dexterous bartender back on home turf, strutting and somersaulting his way up and down the catwalk as a model in local designer Deb Henriksen's fashion debut.
Okay, so he wasn't holding a beer during the performance -- but just give him time. Besides, it would have been a major party foul if he'd spilled on the clothes.
Henriksen has been working on her Equillibrium Clothing line for the past two years, giving up a day job as an environmental health engineer to become a full-time designer. At the start, her designs primarily consisted of screen-printed tees, hoodies and thongs, but she's finally expanded into women's wear and accessories. "This has always been the game plan," Henriksen says. "I always sewed through high school, made my own clothes. But I had a science teacher who placed special interest in me, and I fell in love with science. So Equillibrium is the merging of the two. The logo definitely comes from my science background, and then there's my artistic side, which was just something that was on the down low."
As of Sunday, it's no longer on the DL. Approximately forty of Denver's SK8 punk and fashion luminaries -- including Fashion Lab's Josh and Tran Wills, Suavecito's Craig Peña and DC Gallery's Dina Castillo -- showed up at the back-alley entrance of an obscure Blake Street warehouse to witness Equillibrium become official. Brew flowed and Frontside Five rocked the party -- when bassist Brooke Crawford and drummer Rob Dogg weren't taking turns down the runway, showing off everything from a '50s-style "Polka-Dot Dream Dress" to a "Kat Skull Sleeveless Hood" and argyle cuffs.
And now the Chicagoan-turned-Colorado State University graduate -- "I'm really a hick at heart," Henriksen says -- is a boutique owner, having scored some great space at 3308 Blake Street, where boyfriend Ben Owens operates his screen-printing company. She's open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- but her new skirts and dresses won't be available until the 2005-2006 season.
"I'm so excited about the birth of creativity finally happening in a new city," Henriksen says. "Coming from Chicago, it's like, what's the right wave to jump onto? But here, you've got to just start the wave."
Rage against the machine: On Friday, June 4, 52-year-old Marvin Heemeyer used a modified bulldozer to terrify Granby -- and once again shove Colorado to the top of the national news -- before killing himself in the 'dozer's cab. Among the thirteen buildings that Heemeyer damaged or destroyed during his hour-plus smashing spree were the town hall, the library and several commercial operations, including a bank and a Gambles store.
The next day, the news portion of the Rocky Mountain News gathered angry accounts about Heemeyer's actions under the wacky headline "'Dozer Rage" -- but a column in the same edition's Commentary section sported an unexpected Heemeyer moment of its own. "Business Strips: Need They Be So Very Ugly?," penned by Jay Ambrose, a former Rocky editor who's now the director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard Newspapers, began: "We need to respect property rights in America, but isn't there something we can do about commercial strips, such as bulldoze them into oblivion?"
Keep that man away from heavy equipment!
Meanwhile, keep Broomfield resident David Martin at the keyboard. He sure got Off Limits' engine running with his "Ten Reasons Every Colorado Guy Wants a D9 Bulldozer":
1. The gas mileage is too good on your SUV.
2. Can't find a parking place downtown? Now you will.
3. Your favorite restaurant doesn't have a drive-through? Now it will.
4. Your favorite bank doesn't have a drive-through? Now it will.
5. Your favorite city hall doesn't have a drive-through? Now it will.
6. Diesel is cheaper than gas.
7. Want to turn left on a red light? Go ahead!
8. No more pesky flat tires.
9. You ALWAYS get the right-of-way.
10. Driving a D9 is a CHICK MAGNET!
Crap happens: As a bartender at the Skylark Lounge, Ronnie Crawford has seen a lot of shit. But never "Commie Crap." He's not even sure what Commie Crap is, but according to Proud Patriot, an anonymous letter writer inspired by a May 13 Off Limits item, that's what Crawford must be.
As part of Crawford's effort to unseat President George W. Bush, he festooned the windows of his Broadway boutique, All American Vogue, with "Someone Less Dumb for President" pins, "Axis of Greed -- Cheney, Bush, Ashcroft" stickers, "Fuck Bush" T-shirts and even "Regime Change Begins at Home!" yard signs.
Which inspired PP to send Crawford the following:
If you don't like it here, head for Sawdie Arabia or Russia. They'll welcome you with open arms. I bet you and your customers smoke a lot of dope in the back room to help sales. I also bet there is a lot of gay activity after hours. Gays and Commies are two of a kind. I have never been in the Skylark bar where you work, but I bet that is a very gay bar or you wouldn't be working there.... You suck up our great American life and all it stands for and then turn your back on it and cozy up to the Russian masters. The Arabs love this kind of shit because it makes them want to attack our brave boys and pull their sneaky Arab bullshit. Arabs are pieces of crap. Their religion is absolute crap. Please, quite writing your crap in that bag of shit Westword and clean up your front window.
PP's screed, complete with out-of-date insults, hasn't prompted Crawford, a seven-year Army vet, to reassess his own patriotism. "Sending an unsigned letter is a bunch of crap, especially since he/she signed it 'Proud Patriot,'" Crawford says. "Hitler would like this person's kind of patriotism. If I could see him eye to eye, I would simply say, 'I respectfully disagree with you.' But since he is choosing not to see me, I'd like to kick his ass."
Come out, come out, wherever you are.
No one expected the Catholic Inquisition: If Proud Patriot hates Crawford, he'll really hate Gen. JC Christian, Patriot and his satirical blog, Patriot Boy, http://patriotboy.blogspot.com.
JC recently wrote to Bishop Michael Sheridan in Colorado Springs, suggesting a return of the Inquisition to ferret out Catholics who take communion but support stem-cell research and the right to an abortion:
I think we need to put the fear of God into them by reinstituting the Inquisition. Imagine how quickly errant parishioners would remove their Kerry bumper stickers once they'd been shown the instruments of confession.
Gen. JC Christian, Patriot
Could be the Church is stuck in the Dark Ages, having not heard of Google or even checking a URL. Or perhaps it's just missing a sense of humor. Either way, the bishop's executive assistant, Peter Howard, sent this response to JC:
On behalf of Bishop Sheridan, I wish to acknowledge that he has received and read your email. He is sincerely grateful for your kind and supportive words. Please remember him in your prayers, as there are many Catholics, sadly, who disagree with the Catholic Church's teachings in these critical areas and attack the Church instead of support her.
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Thus encouraged, the nameless blogger from Utah sent another missive to the Bishop, this time titling his letter "Excommunicating Coach Shanahan."
I did a bit of research and found three Catholics from your diocese who have contributed money to candidates who support abortion and stem-cell research. You may know them personally. Their names are Mike Shanahan, Ed Haselten and Jack Vickers.
All three gave contributions to retiring Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who supports stem cell research. Mr. Vickers also supported Gale Norton in her various campaigns. She is pro-choice. That's a start. Please don't hesitate to write me if you need any further help. I'm also willing to assist with the Inquisition once you get it going.
Pass the communion cup.