Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crackin' Whips, and Skulls

There's not much to say about the past two weeks of practice, really. They've basically consisted of going back to our cave(wo)man roots, clubbing each other with hips and shoulders. Tuesdays are mainly focused on speedwork and technique, and so for an hour and a half we skated around with a designated partner, hitting them in the same spots over and over. Barbie Crash, brown belt, is very focused on perfecting her hits in order to knock me over. She wants to get better at hitting lilliputians while I am concerned with being able to whack over Goliaths. Knocking our hip bones against each other, yelping from time to time, so focused on getting the other girl down while simultaneously remaining friends on Thursday, when we had bruises and swollen hips the size of melons. We make a good team.

The season closer is slowly but surely sneaking up on us. Street-teaming started this week and all of the women are becoming better skaters. With Coco She'llnailya out for the last bout due to an injury, we're getting nervous and anxious and more aggressive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Black and Blue Ball certainly lived up to its name! Both teams played hard as heck, and word on the street is, it sold out. My first jam was terrifying, as expected. There was some confusion as to whether or not I was jamming first, so when I was heading back to the line, the pack had already started and I was shakin' in my skates. Cox and I were up against each other. I made it through the pack as lead jammer, but then had an epic fall: an "almost-fall, then spin-around, then an actual fall." She got me that time. Later in the first half I scored a grand slam and in the second half I made it around four times I think, while the Chanel ladies made a human wall, blocking the Deathrow Dolls jammer.

Lucy Cannon on Chanel thrashed! It was incredible watching her make her way through each time. I don't even think she fell once. When Sexecutioner pushed her way past the DRD jammer, she stuck her gold booty short-covered butt out at her. We all work well as a team, especially as the new girls. I love that we communicate while we're still out there.

The black belts raged just as hard. Coco She'llNailya and Buster Hiney were jamming like crazy and got past Urrkin' . We were all so excited to just be there!

More to come in a bit, I have class. But Chanel Cartel and the Deathrow Dolls are tied now, so come December things are bound to get verrrry interrresting...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You get three tries and then I'll t-bone you, AND take your firstborn!

Radio Show ReCap: Totally Goofy

Matt Martin had a few questions written down that he'd planned on asking us. We went over the upcoming EVENT, as well as future recruitment and the likes. In the middle, we meddled with radio policy. Apparently on KCSU, you aren't allowed to advertise (despite "music breaks" where they mention certain bro-packed bars repeatedly...), so we weren't allowed to say the name of the venue, aka Rollerland, on air. When it was time to promote our upcoming bout, Iona and Cox let me do that. They probably shouldn't have:

"So, I have a riddle for you: This Saturday - roller derby, ladies on rollerskates," I said.

"What kind of skates?" Cox asked.

"Quads. Now, I want you to come, but I can't tell you where it is. I won't tell you. You have to guess."

"And we all know how many places with rinks there are to rollerskate in town," Matt said.

"Yes there are. It starts at six, the two home teams are playing, and it rhymes with... 'Schlollerschland!"

Matt's face went a little pale.

"That's not all," I added. "If you don't guess right, we get to keep your firstborn."

"It's true, we have so many firstborns," Iona said. "We're thinking of starting a Junior league."

"That place where you can rollerskate is packed full of superbabies because people don't guess well."

We had a few comp tickets to give away, too. One of the questions we asked referenced Linda Calvello, a derby lady from the 70s who actually dragged an opponent acround the rink several times, while repeatedly punching her. This was before penalties got called for everything ever and I had to spend half of the jam in the box because I fell and tripped someone during the process.

Check out Linda in action!:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maniacs, Maniacs on the Floor

Last night we had a dress rehearsal to get ourselves ready for Saturday. I'm not gonna lie, whenever I think about Saturday I get really nervous. I don't want to be nervous when I skate, but then I don't think that I can help it.

Everyone wore their outfits and made necessary alterations/dress chops. I got used to skating in my Madonna circa 1988 dress. Normally it would've been a lot easier to get in the spirit of jamming and blocking well, however my body hates me and thought that it'd be a good time to make me PMS severely and hurt everywhere and be irritated with everything. I guess it's better to want to rage when you get on the track, but not when all you want to do is rage..and eat chocolate. It'll be gone by this Saturday.

The Chanel Cartel brown belts (aka the newer ladies and I) didn't do that well yesterday. I really don't want to get myself down about this weekend, but it's hard not to overthink. I hope that we talk more to each other while we're in the pack, and hit everyone. Ever. Everyone possible.

If you're in town, tune in tonight on KCSU, the college radio station, between 7 and 9pm. Cox, Urrkin' and I will be giving away tickets, goofin' off and talking to Matthew the dj, who also happens to be our old housemate. Weird!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Possessed to Skate

Having a roommate that you are very good friends with is lucky, but having a roommate that you are good friends with while still managing to kick each other's asses around in rollerskates is better. What's more, the other never tires of hearing about what you liked about practice on that particular day, or being shown multiple bruises in the shapes of wheels on your arms and legs. I love you, Cox.

Since Cox and I discovered that we were going to be placed on opposing teams, we thought it was funny. There's a great book called "Roller Derby: The History and All-Girl Revival of the Greatest Sport on Wheels" by Catherine Mabe, and an even greater picture inside; Two women, one blond and the other brunette, are skating neck-and-neck, about to pummel each other. We plan on getting this picture blown up and mounting it in our living room.

That said, now that we've found dresses to bout in for the Black and Blue Ball, we wear them around the house constantly. Yesterday I came home and Cox was eating dinner in her sequined blue tutu. "Check out these fishnets I found!" she exclaimed. Later that night I helped my friend Allie fix a flat on her bike wearing my off-the-shoulder black 80s prom dress with an asymmetrical line. In exchange, she helped me chop off the sleeves of my dress for optimum skating movement.

The skate park opening on Saturday evening ruled, by the way; We skated around the parking lot and talked to lots of people. While I joke to my boyfriend Bryan that he is going to be a part of the Grown Man Skateboarding Club, I shouldn't- because I will certainly be a member on the other gender's side.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Subcultural Grrls

On a Sunday afternoon, several of the lovely ladies of FoCo Girls Gone Derby got together to do a photo shoot for a pin-up themed calendar. We arrived at Bas Bleu Theatre with a few changes of costumes and lipstick tubes, in search of mamosas.

Winnie Chester had hired two students to do hair and make-up. Time was a little behind, and so we all ended up waiting for quite awhile. Which was fine, because there was a cooler of New Belgium beer at our disposal.

My hair was not cooperative. I looked through a book filled with elaborate hairstyles and decided that I wanted the "biggest one." The woman working on my hair had a little more sense; After many failed attempts, she finally settled on the effects of two hot rollers on either side of my head. We stuck a flower behind my ear to finish it off. Ta-da!

I wore my high school graduation dress; Not gonna lie, the only real memory I have of that particular day is going commando onstage. I don't even remember walking across the auditorium to get my diploma. Here's to the memories that high school created, and the fact that I am still able to fit into that dress.

My photo session was outside of Bas Bleu, on the side of the dirt road. Standing by a stack of suitcases, I pretended to hitch-hike while actual cars drove by and spotted a crazy looking person with too much make-up on, red thigh highs and rollerskates. I wouldn't have picked her up either. To be honest with you, Sexecutioner had cohersed me into doing so many shots of whiskey beforehand that I thought I was going to vomit each time the camera's shutter closed. It's a good thing they did it outside.

Everyone ended up looking fabulous.

The calendars will be sold at the merch table at the bout this coming Saturday. I hope that each time you look at those pictures, Jack Daniels pats you on the shoulder. Lord knows that's what he'll be doing to us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Falls of the Roller Empire

Who woulda thought that there would be a correct way to fall? Turns out there is, and the reason behind it can directly affect the way you'll walk for the next few days. If you fall too hard on your knees, future problems are going to occur- knee pads or not. On the other end of the, uh, spectrum (I wanted to write 'sphincter' so badly), if you fall too hard on your ass, you'll be in constant pain. I learned this the hard way.

It takes you one or two seconds to land on the ground, so it kind of makes sense to get into the habit of falling in a way that won't hurt you. You don't have much time to think about it!

How to Fall Correctly:

One-Knee: Get knocked down, land on one knee, pick yourself back up quick!

Double Knee: Similar to the infamous Tom Cruise underwear-slide across the floor in "Risky Business"; make sure your knees slide outwards in a v-shape, so as not to slam all of your weight on your knee caps.

Figure Four: This one's really helpful in preventing tailbone bruising. One leg bends and slides under the other leg, forming a "4" shape.

All Fours: If you don't "fall small" while bouting, you'll end up tripping other skaters. While I can complain about this as much as I want, it's in writing that if you trip another person, you get the penalty- sort of the same effect as a car rear-ending you during a snowstorm on slippery roads. To fall on all fours is to do just that- and keep your limbs as close to you as you can, to protect your fingers from getting run over as well as your bum from getting penalized and spanked to the box.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The beginning of, the beginning

I'm aware that I haven't written anything real in quite awhile. Just know that on my hiatus from blogging, I've acquired plenty of bruises. But time must have been jamming, because before I knew it, I realized that my first bout (roller derby tournament) is in a week!

So, to celebrate and not leave you in the dark, this coming week before my debut as Rhoda Destruction on the Chanel Cartel team, I'm going to go through a recollection of most things that have happened in the past few months. I'm even going to explain the game to you because, I'll be honest, I had no clue at the beginning of this blog.

Some exciting news that can't really wait: Everyone within the FoCo Girls Gone Derby league has just been placed onto teams, my roommate Nikki (aka Iggy Cox) is now a member of the Deathrow Dolls (my enemies!) and several of the ladies on wheels recently posed for a roller derby pin-up calendar. But as I promised, all of this will be recollected.

Also, Cox and I will also be on the local radio station October 24th, talkin' up babies' first bout and playing Halloween music. We can't even wait.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"She's gonna be a killah

On Roller Derby: Initial Reactions from Friends and Family

"I keep explaining to people that my daughter's doing roller derby, and no one feels sorry for me.." - my dad

"Aren't the women who do roller derby typically pretty big?"- my English teacher

"I am so excited for you! I can't wait until your first fight."- Samm, a bff

"Are you going to get really into psychobilly music?"- Eddie, a bff

"Oh man."- David, brother

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fans of The Fall

So Coach Urkin's agenda worked in our favor tonight: we practiced doing different kinds of falls. You'd be surprised at how much work skating across the floor back and forth and falling on one knee, two knees, sliding on your bum and falling on all fours is.

Crossing-over and skating in a pack is getting easier. What makes me kind of nervous is that, save for the falling exercise, I haven't really fallen yet on the rink. During drills on the carpet where we have to balance on one leg I fall over head-first like it's my job. Knock on wood I guess.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

If you thought open mic night was Freak Night..

You've never been to "Adult Night" at Rollerland. I suppose my favorite part about this Wednesday evening event is the regulars.

First and foremost there's Repeat Offender, a man in his 70s, I imagine, who skates backwards and attempts to lure you under his spell with his stone cold stare. The most uncomfortable part is that he skates backwards the whole time, so while you're trying to maneuver around the rink you're actually getting closer and closer to a frontal view of his swanky old-man hips and skating skills.

Next there's the Sexy Cougar-Dancers, who aren't terribly sexy at all, but they are dedicated. These are the women who undoubtedly frequented the rinks in the 1970s and still have all of the disco moves that will continue to live on because of them. I actually really like this category; they're fun, they won't bother you and the majority of them come alone and are in their own world the whole time. That's kind of respectable.

Then Father-Son. Father-Son is a self-explanatory pair who mostly baffle me. Both have quaft, parted-down-the-middle hair and pay the extra $3 for rollerblades, so you know they mean business. They have a tendency to start "the clap" during songs such as anything by Informer or Vanilla Ice. Sometimes AC/DC.

My favorite regular is a little lady who must be in her seventies. Not only is she as cute as a button, she's also a total badass on her skates. During the "Fast Skate" she lapped me several times and usually beats the dudes on blades. The best part, though, is that for the duration of the race, she isn't smug-looking, but has this totally overjoyed look on her face, like, "I'm beating you! It's surprising me!"

There are a few others but those are the most-frequent regulars. I love coercing friends into coming out to rollerskate for the first time, because even if they can't manage to stay on their feet, Rollerland is no doubt the best place to people watch on Wednesday nights in Fort Collins.

Practice was cancelled Thursday because storms were raging all over northern Colorado. I have the weekend off, Old Time Relijun is playing in Denver tonight and I am reading an awesome book. It's summer, too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday's practice

Just when I thought that I would never have to face it again, I stood corrected: the obstacle course had returned. This time, badder than ever. The rest of the "white belts" (beginners) and I went through each station over and over, with a derby sister (mine was Laura Mangles Wilder) steering behind us. I had a really hard time putting all of my body weight on my front leg when doing the cone exercises. Lucky for me, we got to do those for the last half-hour of practice. In actuality it probably was good, because I noticed that sometimes my knees bump together like I'm pigeon-toed.

Everyone was way sweatier than Monday. The white belts got to sit on the wall and watch the last part of the green/brown/black belts' practice. A few of the girls' legs were the equivalent to my entire body height. We decided that those girls would be the ones to kill us. One girl in particular who was probably 5'9 and the most graceful person on the rink. Her elbows popped the others on the tops of their heads, and her cross-overs were completely enviable. Ghetto Gorgeous, the other coach, acknowledged our gawks in her direction. "She couldn't even SKATE when she got here," she said. Little did Ghetto know that that statement was so full of hope for the rest of the white belts and I- knobby knees and all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Practice Started Yesterday!

How I acquired my gear:

Helmet: My friend Anthony promised he'd send me his old skateboard helmet in the mail. It arrived the day I returned from school, and I anxiously opened it- only to find that he had covered it in transparent porno stickers. He also took the time to include a money sign and the phrases "skate or die!" and "no fat dudes." I left the latter attached.

Knee/elbow/wrist pads: My awesome aunt bought me a set and sent a package to me which came just in time! I look goofy in everything naturally and I had some difficulty with my wrist pads (i.e. I had them on backwards for half of practice), but I'm really lucky to have such a great aunt.

Mouth guard: I stopped at Sports Authority and went home to boil my mouth guard. It was kind of weird because I've never actually owned my own; I used to play with my brother's when I was younger (i.e. stick it in dirt when he wasn't around) and I always sort of envied the fact that he had to have one. No longer: even after boiling that sucker it still fits me wonky and while I'm one of the shortest girls on the team I have one of the biggest mouth guards. Probably going to fix that sometime soon.

total cost (not including skates yet): $105.36
($5.36 for the mouth guard, $100 for the fees)

Practice began after all of the paperwork was in. We warmed up a bit and then started drills- which was the majority of what we did. We balanced on one leg, did the "grape vine" (which reminded me of intramural basketball practice when I was twelve), hopped on one foot, and walked while criss-crossing our legs- all on rollerskates.

The majority of the drills revolved around squats- you know, bending your legs in a chair-sitting position and holding it for a specific fragment of time. Urkin Jerkin', our coach, warned us in advance that our asses were going to hurt this week. If you think that squats are difficult to do without support for like, a minute, then I encourage you to attempt them while wearing rollerskates. It will open your eyes.

Urkin paired us each up with a derby alumna for a few of the drills. My Derby Sister was Iona Switchblade, who's been on the derby team since it began three years ago in Fort Collins. Iona helped me during some of the trickier drills, including one where we did "cross-overs" (crossing our right legs over on the turns) and formations (everyone is in single-file with their right hand on the person directly in front of her; it's like an Indian Run done backwards...and on rollerskates). Some of the exercises were confusing but after awhile I started to get comfortable.

At the end of practice we took off the skates and did jumping, more squats, jump-squat-push-ups and sprints. And yes, my ass hurts. But it's totally worth it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dun dun dun...

I scored a job as a nanny for the summer. The family is really nice so far and the kids are pretty spectacular. Prior to the interview I told myself that I wasn't going to tell them about my hobby, because I thought that they were going to be concerned that I'm a bruiser or something (I am).

Anyway, after our follow-up meeting this past weekend I feel pretty confident that we have both found the right matches for each other.

Family: Do you have any other commitments for this summer?
Me: Wellll...not really. I guess I've been rollerskating a lot..

They were intrigued. I told them all about the Fort Collins roller derby team and Tammy suggested that I take the kids to Rollerland sometime. So fun! Rollerskating city, population me and my charges.

Friday, May 2, 2008

the beginnin'

So here's the deal: I'm twenny, I'm a freshman in college (took a year off) and I just made the Fort Collins roller derby team, FoCo Girls Gone Derby. I figured I'd keep track of my progress or something because I'm starting off at the very bottom of the chain.

A few weeks ago tryouts were held at Rollerland. The coaches watched off to the side as we tried 'crossing over' when turning, did several stops (hockey stops- not my forte!!) and then an obstacle course- which I was not even kind of expecting. All of the potential derby girls skated off together, maneuvering around orange cones without lifting our legs, jumping over hockey sticks and, last but not least: skating underneath a limbo stick, squatting as low as we could. In addition to sweating buckets I had a blast, was a little sore and am more than excited about practices starting May 19th.

If you don't know what roller derby is, Wikipedia it! Keep reading this little guy as I continue my journey towards bouting in derby tournaments and registering my official derby name..I've got a long way to go.