Thursday, September 29, 2011

Your recap

Friday night, we find a copy of their roster online.  We figure out that seven of their players, half the roster, played against us two weeks ago.  So the roster's stacked.

Saturday morning, we load up the car and head out. It's about a 4 hour drive.  We stop in Syracuse at Black Mamba Skate Shop, I buy some Gumball toestops because my Roll-Lines are completely worn down around the edges.  At a rest stop further down the line we run into a bunch of Assault City skaters - they are on their way to play the Hudson Valley Horrors.

The hotel has a bar ACROSS THE PARKING LOT FROM IT.  This will be important later.

We drop off our stuff and relax for a bit.  I thought the bout started at 6 and planned the carpool accordingly, but it starts at 7 so we have some time.  We do an off-skates workout to get our blood pumping.  Load up the cars and drive to the venue.

Almost three years ago (November '08) I played my very first bout as a member of a pick-up team.  It's the same venue.  It's nice to be back and actually know what I'm doing this time.

We suit up and warm up.  The floor is nice and grippy but filthy - we have to scrub our wheels with baby wipes after our warmup.  The band they have playing is really good - they do a neat alt-rock version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

Two lineups; I'm in the first one, playing inside.  I do not like being in the first lineup.  I don't like the pressure.  But I sigh and go out to the pivot line.   Something's wrong with their scoreboard software (I later learn that their usual scorekeeper moved to CA and took the stuff with him) so they have to figure out how to fix the new software.

So we wait.

And wait.

The scoreboard appears on the big screens they have up, then disappears.

We wait some more.

I decide to be goofy and pretend to use Queenly Magic® to get the screen to appear.  I get laughs.  The scoreboard does not appear.

Hey, the scoreboard's up!  Oh, wait, it's showing a half-hour period.  The scoreboard disappears again.

EIGHT MINUTES LATER (someone timed it) the refs finally decide "screw this, we'll time it ourselves" and we get started.  Wheeeeeeeeee!

Then the second jam.....and one of the skaters on the other team gets injured.  We all stop again.  (Later we learn she fractured her fibula and dislocated her ankle.)  They can't even move her off the track yet, so we kneel at the pivot line (her injury happened at the very end of a jam) and wait.

And wait.

We talk about how if there was a photographer swarming us while we were injured, we'd throw something at him.

We wait some more.

FINALLY things progress.  We knock them down, they knock us down.  We get lead jam.  We score points.  Skating for 20 minutes then having 15 minutes off is really, really, really annoying.  We get sloppy.  I fall. They fall on top of me.  I get sent to the box for low blocking.  Twice.  I get annoyed.   Twice.  I get sent to the box for destroying the pack even though it was a skater from the other team, way in back, who actually did it.  I get really annoyed.  The penalty box guy says I look quite relaxed for someone who's there so often.  (I actually think this is the most I've been in the box in a bout.)

One of our skaters forgets to put her mouthguard in at the start of the jam.  She realizes it mid-jam, tries to put it in and drops it.  She skates out, grabs it, shoves it in.  She doesn't get a penalty.

Another one of our skaters gets her wheel clipped (or something) AND HER SKATE COMES OFF HER FOOT.  She sits down in the middle of the track, puts it on as quickly as she can.

Finally, the dust settles and we are victorious again, 130-67.  Yay us!

The first after party is walking distance from the venue.  This is most awesome.  They have pretty good food.  There is talk of going to their after-after party, an early 80's dance party not too far from the after party, but we all decide that our team would like to party together and not have to worry about designated drivers, so we go back to the hotel and the bar across the parking lot from the hotel.

The best after parties, in my opinion, involve three things:

2. Inexpensive drinks
3. Walking distance to hotel



Sunday, September 25, 2011


and we're still undefeated wahoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooOOooooOoooOOOooOOOoooOOOoooo

130-67 yeeeeeeeeEEeeeeEEeeEEeeEEEee.

More details later, but here's your teaser trailer summary:

1. The scab on my knee got ripped off AGAIN;
2. Best. Afterparty.  EVAR.

Friday, September 23, 2011

my knee is ow.

So last night was scrimmage. I felt like crap and I don't much like playing against the A team sometimes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we only improve by playing teams that are better than us, but it's still really frickin' annoying sometimes.  So basically I was turning into Sullen Mad Kicktoria, which means I turned into Playing Like Crap Kicktoria, and then my kneepad slid when I fell and I re-opened a scab that was just about healed and I basically said "FUCK IT" and skated off the track DURING THE MIDDLE OF A JAM.  (In my defense, I thought the jam was over, as there were eighteen thousand whistles blowing over penalties and I thought they were end-of-jam whistles.)

So I took a while off skates, got my knee re-band-aided and duct taped, and by the time we reached the half and our team started playing each other (we divide in half), I was better and okay.

At one point last night, Coach Dude was talking to us and said something about how the A team "has years of experience [up] on us", which upset a few of us on the team, myself included.  I started on the league before at least 90% of the A team - they *don't* have years of experience up on me.  Sigh.

Anyway, tomorrow is bout day wahoo and road trip wahoo yay :)

After this Saturday, we don't have a bout until November 19.  I think I might take a few practices off to heal my knee and my left ankle, which has started to bug me.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Practice on Monday, one of our jammers leaves the track and is gone for a while.  There are a few other people crowded around her; I go up because I am nosy.

"I think one of my trucks broke," she says as she's taking apart her skate.

"I've got a spare," I say.

"A spare truck?" she asks.

"Yup.  In my skate box there." I point to my typewriter case.

She opens it, and takes out the spare truck I've had in there ever since someone lent it to me to see if that's why my wheels kept falling off all the time. (It wasn't.)  She puts it on her skate and goes merrily on her way.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh, I just remembered what I wanted to write about

so as the "Queenie" in "Queenie's Meanies", I go from station to station during Fresh Meat, watching the skaters practice their falls and stops and derby stance and all that.  One of the skaters in charge (who's one of my teammates) told them that you really need to get comfortable on your skates in order to be good at derby.

My first skate.  Seriously.
As I think I've said in previous posts, when I was a little kid, I *lived* for roller skating.  I  begged my mom to get me skates, and until she did, I would stand on the cars from a Playskool McDonald's set and scoot around the basement (making sure not to run into the TRS-80 computer in the corner).

Eventually I got a pair of skates.  They were from a garage sale, white boots with pink pom-poms and metal wheels.   And oh I used them.  And used them and used them.  There was a pole in the basement, by the stairs, and I would spin around and around and around on it.  Eventually my dad would wire speakers in the basement that were attached to the stereo in the living room, and I'd put the "Hooked on Classics" tape on (the stereo had a cool thing where if you hit the REWIND button and the PLAY button simultaneously, the tape would rewind to the beginning and then start) and SKATE MY LITTLE BRAINS OUT.

For an 7-9 year old, I did pretty well.  I could skate backwards, do spins, one foot, all sortsa stuff.  I kept thinking "I WISH ROLLER SKATING WAS IN THE OLYMPICS".  Those metal wheels drove a black groove into the floor.

Then, we moved to a house with a mostly carpeted basement.  I grew up.  The skates didn't fit anymore.

Fastforward twenty-five years, I go out on the rink for my first practice with the league.  It's during Adult Skate night so all we can do is pacelines.  I have a pair of garage sale skates I bought ten, eleven years ago that I don't think I ever used.  I wonder if I'll have any trouble.

I don't.

I am so completely comfortable on my skates; they're extensions of my feet. I may hate them when we have to use them in leg exercises (at which point I can feel EVERY OUNCE of those 3.5 pounds each), but I can trust them; I know they'll be where I need them to be, but if they're not, I know how to get them where I need them to be.

So, I hate to say it, Eight Year Old Me, but I'm glad rollerskating isn't in the Olympics.  Roller derby is SO much better.

Guten tag, and BOUT WEEK WAHOO

So Thursday I wasn't able to go to the monthly league meeting because my dad was going out to dinner with friends, but I Skyped in and was able to listen and participate. 

The main topic of discussion was if every skater on the league should be required to volunteer with the league (which, I guess, makes it no longer "volunteering") in order to be allowed to skate.  Opinions varied wildly amongst the league; I fell solidly on the OMG NO NO NO NO NO, REALLY SERIOUSLY NO THIS WILL MAKE ME VERY UNHAPPY.  As I said during the meeting (the referee who was handling Skype for me read my words), I am *still* burned out on league administration.  I have no problem bringing food to a bout, or helping to set up and take down chairs and clean out locker rooms at the end of the night, or helping out at an event that's beyond the normal practice THANG, but require me to be on a committee and I will whimper. 

(Part of the conversation about this topic lead to the thoughts that individuals who are in charge of committees need to know when to delegate their work to other people.  I mentioned that I'm not good at doing that, and Former Fearless Leader said that the work I had to do was the one aspect of the league that *couldn't* be delegated out.  [Glad someone noticed!])

Anyway, it was determined that the "volunteer" requirement would *not* include being on a committee, but I still voted it down.  The general consensus was that hopefully the conversation would get people who hadn't really helped out before to step up to the plate and we'd revisit the idea in a few months.

So that was Thursday.

Then there was the weekend.  Oh, hi Dutchland/Ditchland/Doucheland!  (I'm just repeating what I've heard from other sources.  They were our mentor league for our WFTDA application and seemed very nice from what I have heard.)  They are going to have to do a *lot* to get back into the good graces of the derby community.  Merv the Perv (the coach who made the decision to forfeit) said (in a post he made to DNN): "I was thinking, what would be best for this team, during this tournament. I did not consider what 'your' feeling would be."

That, I think, is the problem.  Derby's such a fledgling sport right now, on the cusp of acceptance by the mainstream community, every step we (as a whole) take has to be weighed carefully.  Too many bad decisions and the whole thing will fall apart. 

Have I played in bouts where I knew we had no chance in hell of winning? Of course I have!  But I remember those bouts fondly because they were bouts where (a) I jammed for the first time in a bout [and got lead jammer aw yeah!] and (b) I got MVP and had the BEST time at an after party that I've ever had.  And, like lots of people have been saying, you get to learn SO MUCH even when you're being thoroughly trounced. 

So yeah.  They made an unpopular decision and hopefully it will not haunt them too much in the future.

Last night was night #2 of Fresh Meat.  I didn't skate because I'd cracked my head open standing up too quickly into a shelf Sunday afternoon (I'm ok; no stitches but Roy cut my hair really close to the scalp to try and put a band-aid on it, which failed, so now I have a bald spot on my head that I have to wear my hair differently to cover, but ANYWAY) and I didn't want to sweat into it. 

Someone suggested "Queenie's Meanies" as a team name and I was kinda like OMFG YES END OF DISCUSSION I AM PULLING RANK HERE AND THIS IS WHAT WE WILL BE CALLED.  Heh.  So the Meanies are doing awesome.  They rotate through different stations learning different things (falls, stops, stance, etc.) and one of the skaters manning one of the stations came up to me and said "your group is doing the best so far." Yay! 

So this weekend we're going to bout the team we thoroughly trounced back on the 10th.  Methinks their team will have a few different (read: better) players on it this time around.  They are not WFTDA-oriented (though they do play a WFTDA game) and from what I hear we might have 3 twenty minute periods instead of 2 thirty minute halves (something about their venue requiring two halftime breaks, is what I heard - if they do doubleheaders, they play 2 thirties, but our game's a single bout).  That will be weird.  I think I've only played in a 3 twenties bout once , and that was the very first bout I was in almost 3 years ago.  It'll definitely be to their advantage, as (a) they're used to it and (b) it'll help them with their endurance.

Anyway, practice tonight, we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

teh recapzar

One of the things that really is an asset to our team, I think, is our endurance.  We chug along in practice past the point where we all wanna (a) die (b) get some water (c) die, but it comes in handy when the other team is gasping and slowing down and we're all YEAH, WE'RE STILL GOING GRAR ARGH!!!!!

This happened on Saturday.

The other team started getting really sloppy towards the end, falling at the slightest wobble (which, in turn, made *us* fall, as we'd trip over them).

So we won, and yay and excitement, but I think we're all kinda getting to the point where these wins aren't as satisfying as they could be.  We learned yesterday that there were only about four true B-level players on the team, and the rest were first-time bouters and Fresh Meat.

I'm getting a little tired of away teams deciding that these games are a training ground for brand new skaters.  I WANT A CHALLENGE.  I want to get as freaked out and ecstatic as I did when we won that bout by the last jam.


Fresh Meat Boot Camp started Sunday, and that was a lot of fun.  I'm captain of a team of twelve skaters (eleven women and one guy), and we go from station to station and they learn how to do stuff.  I have some people in my team who are A-MAY-ZING and some who really need to get more stable pronto.  It's very cool and I really like doing it.  (It was also interesting watching them do, say, twenty minutes of single knee and double knee fall practice, and gasp for a water break.  Reminds me of how far we've come as a league.)

Last night was team practice and we're not resting on our laurels, we're going to an away bout in 2 weeks (against the team we just played, and we KNOW they're going to be putting some of their A-level team players in, which will be the challenge we were looking for, but still). 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

who has two thumbs and hasn't lost a game yet this year? THIS GIRL

227-32 wheeeeeee!

At some point I got a rinkrash spot on my KNEE and it hurts.  Ow.  I also have this bruise on my thigh that is very pretty - it's shades of pink and purple.  (I NEVER used to get bruises, and now I'm getting them all the time.  C'est bizarre.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

I put too much lip gloss on and now my mouth feels all slimy

Scrimmage night.  I was able to go because my father is more available to watch Maverick than originally thought.  (Yay!)

So the skate plate from Tuesday was on my left shin.  Last night I did something to hurt my right shin. MY POOR SHINS.  WAH.

The rink where we practice refinished the floors a week or so ago, so they're nice and sticky.  No sliding here!

At one point during a jam last night I was in danger of losing my balance and falling spectacularly, so I started shrieking to keep my balance.  It worked.

Found out a little bit more about what I'll be doing during the Fresh Meat bootcamp - I'll be captaining a group of new skaters, going with them from station to station and keeping an eye on them, coming up with a team name for them, etc., etc.  I'm very excited for it.  It should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

coffee is sooooo wonderful

So at practice on Tuesday I got caught in a pile-up and ended up with an aluminum skate plate to the shin.  OW.  Between that and my ankle (which STILL isn't 100% yet), I am falling to the proverbial pieces. 

Sunday evening starts our fresh meat boot camp.  I've been specifically asked to help out.  Yay! It's nice to be appreciated.  (It also reminds me of something Coach Ref said to me right before the last bout - "Show 'em how a four-year veteran does it" and I was like yeah, that's right, I *am* in my fourth year of playing ARGGGGGGHHHHHHH LET'S KNOCK EVERYONE AROUND!)

So, yeah.  (I say "so" a lot, don't I?)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Didn't have practice on Sunday or yesterday because of Labor Day.  We're having a shortened practice today.  BOUT WEEK WAHOO!

Not much else new, except.....


Sunday, September 4, 2011


I've seen those "family members in stick figure form" stickers on the back of umpteen squillion cars, and snarked at them in my head.

Then I went to the website.


I may really need to get this one.