Adopting a Pet is Easy, If You're the Right Kind of Human For A Furry Companion

Flickr/Stefano Mortellaro
Back in the late '90s, when I was preparing to rent my first apartment, there were three things on my list that the potential home had to have: it had to be in Capitol Hill, I had to be able to smoke cigarettes in the place, and it had to be pet-friendly. I didn't have any animals at the time, but I wanted a cat. I eventually found that apartment -- a nasty basement two-bedroom off of Colfax Avenue by Scooter Liquors -- and I adopted a cat. I named him Scooter after the liquor store, because those are the choices a nineteen-year-old makes. Scooter was my baby.

See also: Photos: Cats Galore at the Denver Cat Company

More »

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Should Police Departments Use Twitter for Social Networking?

If I could have one and only one social network from any time in the history of the Internet, I would choose Twitter. Keep in mind, I'm saying this as a person who thought about writing a book about how awesome MySpace was in its heyday of the early 2000s. But there is no comparison between MySpace and Twitter: Nowhere else on the Internet can you interact with your friends and your idols simultaneously. Musicians, writers, actors, artists, politicians and pretty much anyone alive that you consider fascinating is on Twitter right now.

Corporate companies, news outlets and government agencies have also found ways to utilize Twitter -- which can prove interesting. If you're a Tweeter already, then you know the inherent perils these behemoths face when interacting with the public social network -- like when U.S. Airways accidentally tweeted a pornographic photograph to its millions of followers and an hour passed before the airline realized what had happened and took it down.

And how about when local police departments use Twitter? Is there a certain protocol that government agencies should adhere to, or do they get to use the Internet just like you and I do?

See also:15 Shocking Denver Brutality Incidents from the Marvin Booker Lawsuit, Part 1

More »

Being Grateful Seems Easy, Until You're Required to Be It

Susan Nillson/Flickr
Being "grateful" for a cup of coffee is kiiiiiind of a cop-out in the game of gratitude.
A lot of new-age bullshit goes on in my household. I say that with the utmost love: I live in a place known as "The Witch House house." My roommates are all witches, astrological-chart readers and metaphysical experts who use their skills to guide us and our friends through many major life decisions. When one of us reaches a crossroads with a job or relationship, we are always instructed to "pull a card" (that's witch-speak for consulting the tarot deck) before doing anything.

So recently, when a few of us in the house decided to take on a 21-day challenge to get happier (I know, with all of this new-age bullshit going on, we should already be happy, but we're human), it seemed like a totally feasible, friendly competition. The challenge includes 21 days of meditation and exercise daily, which we witches all do daily anyway. That was the easy part of the challenge. The hard part? Finding three things to be grateful for each day.

See also: How to pick the right roommate for your witchy commune

More »

You Don't Have to Consider Yourself an Activist to Send a Message in the Streets

Your peace is deadly.
I've never considered myself an activist. I've never thought that I have done enough, voiced enough of my concerns or actively offered enough public support to those in need to be considered an activist. I am like many people I know -- I don't make much money, but I donate several times a year to various organizations representing marginalized communities. I vote, I read and gather news daily from various sources and I engage in debates with my friends. I write a lot about current issues of social injustice that people like me and people I know face. But I am not an activist.

Like many, I have had my eye on Ferguson since Michael Brown was shot to death. Yesterday, I found myself tethered to my computer for most of the day, waiting for the Grand Jury's decision on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson. When the decision finally became public, I was mad as hell. I tweeted furiously, sharing my thoughts and retweeting activists, reporters and other people on the ground's shared thoughts of anger, outrage and despair. But after two hours of this I thought, now what?

See also: Ferguson, ISIS and the Ice Bucket Challenge: What Happens When We Choose Our News

More »

Marginalized Folks, Butts and Jokes: When Pop Culture Is Made to Laugh at Us, Not With Us

As a feminist, why must I have an opinion on this existing?
Back in August, I went to see Dave Chappelle perform at the Boulder Theater with my boyfriend and a gaggle of our best dude friends. A longtime fan of Chappelle's work, it was the first time I would be seeing his standup live, and I was stoked.

But halfway into his set, I had to turn off. If you are a female-identified person, a person of color, a member of the GLBTQIA community or any other under-represented or marginalized group, you know what I'm talking about. It's that inevitable time during a pop-culture-oriented experience when the subject matter turns on you: You become the punchline or the subject of harm or are put into a position of submission. Suddenly, you have to filter what is being presented to you.

See also: Have you hugged your male feminist today?

More »

Long Island Medium Taught Me It Isn't About Being Psychic; It's About Healing by Listening

Last night, as I sat inside a packed 1STBANK Center with a bunch of ladies who looked like my mom, I waited for Theresa Caputo to appear and wondered what exactly I was going to see. How does someone like Caputo, known to the world as the Long Island Medium, channel what she calls "spirit" in an arena full of people who are all crossing their fingers and hoping she would pick (or be picked by) one of our dead relatives?

See also: In Death, We Have to Learn How to Grieve for Others Who Are Grieving

More »

It's Election Season and Girls Just Wanna Have Fundamental Human Rights

Sarah C/Flickr
I didn't want to start this conversation with what could be construed as the opening of a screaming match. Even if it is on a virtual page, when a woman is perceived as raising her Internet voice, she is accused of being hysterical, overreactive, agitating, bitchy, bossy, pushy, too assertive, too much or, gasp, un-ladylike. But here we are in 2014 in Colorado, doing battle with people who think women should not have body autonomy -- and it makes me want to scream.

Yup, it's election season and the latest incarnation of that cockroach of a concept that will never die, "personhood," is back, this time in the form of Amendment 67. Amendment 67 wants to criminalize women (and the health-care providers who currently offer safe, legal health care to those women) for making choices about their own bodies.

To echo the many female-identified folks who have fought this fight before me, all I can say is this: I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit.

See also: How not to talk to a woman at a music festival (or anywhere else)

More »

In Death, We Have to Learn How to Grieve for Others Who Are Grieving

Categories: Breeality Bites

Mr.TinDC /Flickr
What do we do when we need to grieve for others when they experience loss? It feels like a never-ending process, sitting outside of a person you love and watching them walk through their bereavement, trying to comfort them but knowing there isn't much you can say or do to change or uplift the situation.

Last week, my boyfriend lost one of his best friends seemingly at random, a health-related situation that took this person's life out of nowhere at a relatively young age. As I watched him deal with the unexpected loss I tried to do what I could to comfort him, but it felt and still feels pointless. As a person who prides herself on being a caregiver to my partner, what could I do when I couldn't do the one thing he really wanted, which was bring this person back to the world?

See also: Remaining humble in the face of tragedy and the weird, emotional world of the Internet

More »

27 Things Denverites Really Want Out-of-Towners to Know About the Mile High City

Categories: Breeality Bites

Denver Arts and Venues.
Get to know Denver through our many city murals, like Emmanuel Martinez's "Confluent People," painted in 1999.
There's a bizarre alternate reality on the Internet when it comes to Denver -- there's the city we know and the city being sold to out-of-towners through fake blogs on real estate websites, like this list: "27 Things People From Denver Have to Explain to Out-Of-Towners." The problem with these listicles and factoid sheets full of cheeky and supposedly helpful information about our city is that they are painfully incorrect. So in order to provide a more accurate depiction of our Queen City of the Plains, I surveyed my Facebook friends -- I think roughly 80 percent of my 1,325 Internet friends have a Denver connection, so they made up an adequate spread of opinions -- and came up with 27 things you really should know about the Mile High City.

See also: A Love Letter to Denver, the City I Used to Know

More »

With All Dude Respect: Why Men Should Teach Themselves About Feminism

Don't be an Al Bundy.
Last Saturday night as I was winding down and getting ready for bed at a cool 9:45 p.m., I received a frantic phone call. Maybe I just assumed it was frantic; at 34, I suspect any call after 9 p.m. is someone in need, not someone asking me if I want to go out. But the phone call was neither; it was one of my dude friends and he had a question. About feminism.

He didn't explicitly express that it was regarding feminism, but the essence of the whole conversation was about that. He called me because wanted to know if the catcall he had come up with was "appropriate." To answer the question quickly, I said that ultimately no, whatever the contents of the catcall, unless he was already in a consensual relationship with the woman in question, there was no appropriate catcall.

See also: Have you hugged your male feminist today?

More »

Now Trending