DISCLAIMER:
Welcome, or fuck you, depending.
I'm not here to tell you how many calories you can burn roller skating, I'm here to incite and entertain.
Take me or leave me.

Friday, December 31, 2010

6, 6, 60

Happy ½ Birthday blog!

6 months after posting my first blog on “This is How I Roll”, and now my 60th post, here’s my top 6 blogs. A “Best Hits” if you will.








On Search Engine Optimization

For a long time I wondered why some of these blogs were popular. My make up blog straight up sucks and I’ve never even been to Rollercon. Then I realized that google was actually generating more hits to my blog than any other site. I was surprised. It was then that I learned the acronym SEO, or search engine optimization. (Employers looking for website technical writers like to use this term to weed out wannabes unfamiliar with the lingo). Once I found the stats page that showed top search phrases that directed people to my blog it was quite eye opening. For instance, every week without fail “Roller Derby make up” will be on the top 10 search hits. So will some form of “everything you need to know about roller derby” and “roller derby quotes”. After finding this page I began to understand the traffic coming to my site a lot more and am better able to cater to my audience. For instance, I am going to write a new Roller Derby make up blog, because now that I know so many people want to read about it I am embarrassed by what my page has to offer on the subject. I am also disheartened to think that someone who searches “everything you need to know about roller derby” might stumble upon my “Welcome to roller derby” blog and think it is sufficient. Man, I’ve got some work to do. For those who questioned how in the world I could come up with 10 blogs a month all about roller derby, all I have to do is look at my stats page to come up with ideas. Some of the surprising search terms that have brought people to my site have been,

“how to know when to quit roller derby”
“how to snap when roller skating”
and “quad toe stop reviews”

Keep ‘em coming people.


Countries where they’re reading

The top countries my blog are being read are

The United States
Canada
Netherlands
Australia
United Kingdom
Germany

But they are also reading in

Mexico
India
Denmark
Japan
Sweden
Brazil
Chile
Egypt
Poland
Argentina


More Documentation

As of right now, (December 31, 2010 at 1:10pm) I’ve had

10,384 total pageviews but I have no clue how to find out how many people are reading. Maybe Bonnie D. can help me.


Anyhoo Thank YOoooOOOOu!



Oh ya, and Happy New Year TooOOooOO!


HUGS N SHOVES,

AUNTIE

XOXO

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Some Christmas Gifts


My facebook page lit up today with statuses from fellow skaters who had a Roller Derby christmas or got skating related gifts.

For instance, my momma got me a new white sweatshirt for night skating! I have perfect little reflective lightning bolt patches I can’t wait to add to the sleeves. Remember kids, when you go out skating it is your responsibility to make sure you don’t die, no one else’s!

Another skating colleague got this fancy hand painted helmet complete with her name and number! I WANT ONE! Nothing says love like unique and artistic hand made gifts from the heart. (Not to mention, it's really well done). Add a roller derby twist to that present and you’ve got yourself a keeper. You actually can get a custom one of your own, check out Joe's website!

 
Speaking of gifts from the heart, check out this sweet present my friend got! It's an award for Best Skate Teacher.


How thoughtful! She called it ‘her first skating trophy’. (=
 
Today more than ever I’d like to say, if you have EVER believed in me, even in the tiniest smallest most miniscule amount, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

 Merry Christmas! 

XOXO 
Auntie

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

I didn't write this, I'm re-posting it from fellow blogger Elusive Em. Check it out here:


Twas the Night Before Christmas, Derby Style

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the world
it was the off-season for most rollergirls.
Kneepads were slung round their homes without care,
In hopes they could save them by giving them air;
The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Championals danced in their heads;
My derby wife gone, I sat down with a beer,
to watch some old bouts to prepare for next year
Just then, there arose such a noise on the lawn
I grabbed a tire iron to see what was going on
I ran to the window expecting a fight,
Tore open the blinds and was floored by the sight.
The moon shining bright in the Christmastime frost
Gave light to a haze of what looked like exhaust.
Were my wondering eyes unprepared for a shocker
of a huge freaking bus full of jammers and blockers,
With a crazy-ass driver, so brimming with pluck,
I knew in a moment it must be Dumptruck.
More rapid than furies the skaters they came,
And he shouted “Skate Forward!” and called them by name;
"Now, Lecter! now Shattered! now, Urrk’n and Teflon!
DeRanged and Vendetta! on, Thunders and Hotrod!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now bash away! bash away! bash away all!"
As dry leaves that fly when a tornado hits
When met with a wall, they jump over that shit,
So off through the houses the skaters they flew,
From the bus full of gear, and Dumptruck came too.
Then all I could hear, at their dizzying rate,
The skipping and juking of each woman’s skate.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the house Dumptruck came with a bound.
He was dressed in a towel, from his waist to his knee,
And I prayed it would hold, fearing what I might see;
A bag full of skates he had flung on his back,
And wheels filled his golden lamé fanny pack.
His nip-rings -- they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks half-exposed, his back kind of hairy!
His muttonchops framing the grin that he flashed,
No beard on his chin, but a Hetfield moustache;
I smiled ‘cause I couldn’t help notice the way,
His voice sounded just like a strip club DJ;
When he talks to the girls the inflection is flirty,
He roars when he laughs, and it always sounds dirty.
He was kinda portly, as always, half nude,
Showing the world how his belly’s tattooed;
He winked and I knew I had nothing to fear,
so I reached in the fridge and I tossed him a beer;
He spoke not a word, through the gear bags he whirled
Giving new gear to the good roller girls.
With his fingers he gave me the sign of the goat,
crushed the can with his head, laughter roared from his throat;
He sprang to the bus, to his team gave a shout,
And they swiftly returned, climbed aboard, and peaced out.
But I heard him exclaim, as he guided the pack,
"Happy Christmas to all -- see you out on the track."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 things in 10 Days (and a partridge in a pear tree)


My childhood friend’s kid sister is an avid blogger, (and has a shit ton of followers no less) and did a post similar to this awhile back. The idea is to make one post a day for ten days, but Aly and I both decided to do all ten in one post. The idea reminded me of that 12 days of Christmas poem/song, so- in the same vain, 10 days from Christmas seemed an appropriate time to post this.
 

Day 1: 10 different things I would like to tell 10 different people

• My parents: Thanks for everything
• My brother: I miss you, let’s make up
• My sisters: Some day…
• Myself: I love you
• My ex: I forgive you, and me.
• Roller Derby: Wait for me!
• My teammates: Thanks for all your love and support
   (I’m counting my parents as two, my sisters as two, 
   and well… that’s 9.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“After you, I insist”



“you first, …no really”

If you have ever seen me jam, you might notice that I often allow the other jammer to take off first from the line when the whistle blows. It’s not cause I’m slow, it’s strategy. For one, I trust my team. I know my blockers won’t let the other jammer through before I get there. Or at least, they’re going to put up a damn good fight on my behalf. If I didn’t have big burly kick-ass women backing me up, I would never be a jammer in the first place. Far too often too much pressure and importance is placed on the jammer. Sure they are the point earner, but without a good pack of blockers their fast feet ain’t shit. So I don’t gun it right out of the gate, there’s no reason to. I conserve my energy. I sit back and let my team do their job: protect me, help me, get me through the pack.

I got published bitchez


Christmas came early this year, I was published in 5 on 5 magazine, the official magazine of the WFTDA! Go get your copy today and turn to page 46, (Issue 10 Winter 2010)!

They published my coverage of the NRDA’s celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Roller Derby in San Francisco back in October. I certainly was not expecting to get a full page so I’m pretty stoked, but I regret that all my friends who contributed photos for the spread were not given photo credit! I am pretty sure that most of them were taken by WrathChild, Kutthroat Kandie and Pirahna Shawna. In addition, Georgia Hase is correctly identified in two of the pictures, but called “Peanuts” in a third. (That was my fault, not 5 on 5’s, sorry peeps).

Read what I originally wrote and submitted to the mag here- and it’s your lucky day- if you do not have a copy of the zine check out a pdf of my feature below.



And finally, if you just can’t get enough- read what The Commissioner had to say about the evening on his blog.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I am not a role model!


 
Sometimes I hate (and sometimes love, but this blog is about my distaste for) being a steward of the sport of roller derby everywhere I go.  My skating ability seems to speak for itself in that people are drawn to me at the roller rink, and feel uninhibited asking me questions about skating or roller derby. Usually when it is a precocious child it is adorable. When it is a guy feigning interest in skating in order to talk to me it is an ego boost. When it is a girl who wants to become a roller derby skater I am an enthusiastic helper. When it is an old couple who wants to tell me about the days when they watched roller derby it is charming and sweet, and sometimes downright annoying. YES I know who Ann Calvello was. YES I know who the Bay Bombers are. YES I know they used to do it on a banked track. SHUT UP. Close your god damn mouth and let ME teach YOU something.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Roller Derby Bio


My team asked me to write this for our league’s website. I hate writing in third person it’s so pretentious! I thought it’d be an easy blog to post, and if there are people navigating to our league website who want to read this, there might be one or two people here who wouldn’t mind seeing it either. So here you go:


 (This was a feature in my
college newspaper: The Orion)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pads and Sizing


Check out the difference between these two girls’ elbow and wrist guards. One looks like she has a good 6 or 7 inches of skin showing between. The other has none. Which is correct?
 

 Any ladies out there hate bikinis that are sold as a set? Just because my ass can fit into a large doesn’t mean these itty bitty titties can fill out that large triangle top. When I was younger I thought selling two piece bathing suits separately was a ploy for companies to charge more for a swimsuit, (and it is) but I am also grateful that I can get a large bottoms and a small top without having to pull some Ross-style tag switching antics in the dressing room.

The same should ring true for protective gear. This next part just makes good sense. Not all women are built the same when it comes to swim suits, and the same is true for roller derby skaters. You see, we all got big fucking legs. Big, muscley, bear thighs- and I’m sorry but marketing pads so that all medium knee and all medium elbow pads are bundled together is at the least, just poor marketing strategy and worse- shitty foresight with a lack of expert input and consultation from real skaters in the corporate office.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DIY Derby: Lamps, Shirts, Pillows, Oh my!



I feel like I haven’t done DIY Derby in forever! I’ll try to post something that I myself have made in December. In the mean time, check out a few of the ideas other people have come up with. 


Skate Lamp


This isn’t too original. You can make a lamp out of anything. A good friend of mine has a lamp made out of her high school marching band flute. And it’s not even that pretty of a skate. Sorry.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Logo Palooza


My league is gearing up to have a logo contest soon, so I was looking at themes other skaters have gone with to gather an idea of what we might want. Here are some I picked out that I like. Sorry the image quality is not that great, but you don't need to steal graphics from here anyway.

I find it sort of funny that despite the fact Rat City was involved in a lawsuit with Starbucks regarding their logo,  that so many other teams have decided a circle is the standard blueprint for a derby logo. I suppose since Rat City won their lawsuit the rest of the nation decided it was no holds barred on intellectual property infringement. I had to consciously seek out logos that weren't round, and they're all still pretty round. I mean come on people, come up with something more original! If you google "Roller Derby Logos" you will find the majority are circle designs. 








This one’s pretty 
sweet though, right?
 




And check out these totally cool men’s derby logos!

Man. Guys like green.

Please share with me some of the designs that you all think are cool, or tell me why you like some of the ones above.

The consumer is not always right, but I am.


“riedell had a lot of casting issues with those trucks.. if you email them nicely they will send you one. also the plate and trucks ar alluminum, not steel.”


(I’m not going to edit those typos by the way because I like when people who aren’t writers go out of their way to correct me).

This was someone’s comment on my Thanks Giving for Roller Derby blog, where I briefly mentioned a skate accident I had earlier this week.

I brushed his remarks off with a laugh, more surprised than anything that my words are interesting enough to strangers to evoke a response. But after I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and thought about his comment more, it really pissed me off. (STORY OF MY LIFE).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Diehard Derby Dudes: T-Rex & Ansel Adamsmasher


This is Weston and his Dad Eric. Aren’t they cute?

They’re hardcore derby fans. Eric was introduced to Roller Derby in 2004. (Well actually, he was first introduced to the sport in the 70’s, but re-found it like the rest of us in it’s second coming).  He really is a committed fan. I say this because he didn’t know a skater or go to a local game; he read an article about a league far, far away- and was so moved by their story that he contacted them. Eric lives in New Mexico, and found out about the renowned Rat City Roller Girls of Seattle, Washington, and inspired by their non-profit, for women by women, grassroots start-up style, wrote them and purchased a t-shirt to support their efforts. I have to say, not too many modern day derby fans become involved in the sport in this way, where they just find out about it going on in a completely different state and then start actively pursuing it. Most fans have some derby right there, in their local community, to get them involved. Or they know someone. Eric really just found out about it. Not that we should be surprised, what with roller derby being the fastest growing women’s sport in the nation, combined with the sheer awesomeness of the Rat City Roller Girls. Nonetheless, Eric discovered Rat City in their first season, before their claim to fame via Starbucks lawsuit and their own documentary movie Blood on the Flat Track, so it’s necessary to give credit where credit is due.

Weston sportin’ an SVRG shirt and showing
off his skate case’s many derby stickers

I guess it is not that out of the ordinary for Eric though, who grew up with lots of pen pals and collected autographs, (he has over 800!). Remember when that was a thing? When I was a kid my friends and I wrote fan letters to the New Kids on the Block and JTT, (if you don’t get the reference, that’s better for me). I remember in second grade my whole class wrote letters to different players on the Giants and it was so exciting when someone in our class got a response.  Do kids still do this?
Weston does. Eric’s son Weston became interested in Roller Derby too about a year and a half ago, and the two of them decided together to contact all the WFTDA leagues in the nation. So far they’ve heard from over 80 and counting. I think it’s neat that Eric is passing this tradition down to Weston, and that they do it together, as a father/son activity. I just think it is totally far out though that I am now comparing me contacting the Giants baseball team when I was a kid to Weston contacting Roller Derby teams now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks Giving for Roller Derby!


I’m thankful that nothing went terribly wrong when this happened at the roller rink yesterday. I was just skating along, and I saw something shoot across the floor in front of me. I looked, and saw some middle school aged girls point in astonishment and laugh. I then realized it was in fact two whole wheels. At this point I realized I was skating on my right skate, and looked down at my left skate- and much to my surprise…

I heart Long Beach!


“All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental and should not be construed.  No names have been changed to protect the innocent, since God Almighty protects the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine.” 
–Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 
...(I love you)
 

 
I <3 Long Beach!

(Okay, I rollerskate Long Beach)


I went down south last weekend by to catch a Long Beach game. It was their inaugural season Championship bout. At the game, league owners and founders Estro Jen and Diesel had a surprise announcement, revealing that Long Beach Roller Derby would be getting a banked track, and that their second season would be played on it. The crowd went wild.

All week I struggled thinking about what I was going to write. Usually I just let inspiration come to me, but there was no doubt I had to write something about this LBC trip. It didn’t help that I was being introduced to everyone as “Auntie, the blogger”. Jesus. You might as well introduce me as “the douche”. It just sounds so pretentious. I hate the word blog. Late Saturday night, sitting in a stranger’s living room, drunk and with skates on my feet- I belligerently yelled at an unsuspecting gentleman that, “bloggers and writers are most certainly NOT the same thing!”. Poor fella.


xoxo <3 Diesel and Estro <3 xoxo
My apprehension about writing stemmed from the fact that both Estro and Diesel were such gracious hosts and lovely ladies. How could I criticize anything they did? And lets face it- it’s in my nature. I wasn’t NOT going to see anything wrong. No offense to anyone, but I just look at something and want to improve it. It’s how my brain works. So naturally the instant I made friends and liked the gals, I had reservations about what I was going to think and feel and ultimately end up wanting to write.

I do remember saying to Estro after the game though that I felt like I couldn’t breathe a word of criticism because their production, game, whole entire event, kicked the ass of anything I have pulled off to date. It’s like a mother telling you your opinion doesn’t matter because you yourself are not a mom.  What the heck does my opinion on what they’re doing matter, if I have no candle to hold to their flame? –You know?

But I thought about it, and I ended up concluding that Estro and Diesel liked me in the first place because I say what I think, and they wouldn’t respect me if I didn’t. And I think it would be worse to lose their respect than lose their friendship, (though I hope not to lose either). So sorry ladies, but I’m going to say what I think and just lay it all out there.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Top 8 Drunk Derby Debauchery Quotes


My Favorite Quotes of the Weekend

(Bars on skates = More fun)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roller Derby in the News


I’m going to L.A. for some derby debauchery this weekend starting tomorrow, so to cut back on my responsibilities why not read some other people’s writing? Derby has been in the news lately, which makes it easy on me…
 

Elvis Costello is a Roller Derby fan.


Another crazy betch gets arrested, (read about the first crazy betch here). Former president of the Cincinnati Roller Girls Mercedes B. Stafford, otherwise known as Sadistic Sadie, was popped for  wire fraud.


And the WFTDA National Championships made the Huffington Post.



Sorry for the cop out post guys, but I’ll make it up to you after this wild weekend.
-Auntie

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the hell am I doing with my life?


 (Ya this blog is going to have absolutely no content, sorry)



The other day my boss said to me, “You need to start thinking about work as much as you think about Roller Derby, unless that is -you want to get paid for Roller Derby. It feels like we talk more about Roller Derby than work.” Are you kidding? OF COURSE I want to get paid for Roller Derby. Who wouldn’t?! It would be a lot easier to start thinking about work as much as I think about Roller Derby if only I could just find a way to make Roller Derby my work. DUH.

And now I receive a text message from my boss that reads, “So, what is your goal for today?” to which I very honestly reply, “Good question!” -Not really what a boss wants to hear but I can’t help it. I have a self-propelled job, and every day I am torn between trying to make money, and trying to make my dreams come true. To be fair, I know in the back of my mind I feel that trying to make my dreams come true WILL make me money, …some day.

So ya- for those who don’t know, (I don’t know why you would) I just ended a four-year relationship. As I embrace the inevitable change, lots of other doors seem to be opening in every aspect of my life. It now seems obvious that all I needed was to view things in a refreshing new light in order to see the many opportunities that were already before me. I can’t overlook the fact that now I have my own team and after all, isn’t that all I’ve ever wanted?

Sigh.

It’s not enough! It never is.


Everything happened so fast. We did not contact any leagues, and within 2 months we had 6 bouts scheduled for 2011. All we had to do was make a facebook page and all of a sudden other leagues who were just starting out from all over the state materialized and my inbox was full with requests to bout. It was all kind of overwhelming and very exciting at first, and now I realize- a ball and chain. Hey you know me, out with one obligation I am betrothed to and in with another, i.e. East Bay Roller Derby. Do I just not feel comfortable without stability? Who knows what would have happened if EBRD didn’t exist when I flew the relationship coop, I’d probably be in the fucking Peace Corps right now.

I should do that. I should join the Peace Corps.

…AHHH!!! What the hell am I doing with my life?!?!?

 
The last time I felt this way was about 8 years ago when I had 3 schools to choose between for school, (CSUs Sacramento, Fresno and Chico. You tell me: which would you have chosen?) When making the decision I remember that I was overcome, completely consumed and burdened, with the heavy weight of the fact that whatever decision I made would shape who I was, forever. Every adult I sought advice and guidance from would assure me that I was over thinking it, and whatever school I ended up choosing would be fine, and end up the right choice- regardless of whether or not I could envision the outcome then. And for the most part they were right, that was true. I’d still have an education and I’d still be me; Fresno, Sacramento or Chico graduate. But I still know I am who I am today because I made that choice. I picked a path, and it shaped me. I met my boyfriend Roller Derby while I was in college there, (haha) so- it was a very important crossroads in my life. 

Now, I have that feeling again. I feel like whatever choice I make next is going to be instrumental in the years to come- so I better choose wisely. The difference between now and then is now I don’t know what the hell I am choosing from. But I do go forward into the future with a confidence I didn’t have when entering college  -that everything WILL be alright, and the choice I make- whatever it is- will be the right one (because it has to be). I don’t have that paralyzing fear anymore that I’m somehow going to fuck up my life. The only really good things that have happened in my life have come out of risk taking, so I think I’ll take some.

But what to do, which risk to take?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Election Day: Roll a Doobie for Roller Derby!


Coincidentally, the least controversial California proposition I could broach a dialog about today seems to be Prop. 19, the movement to legalize recreational marijuana use.  I have always been a staunch opponent of the ‘medical’ marijuana cause. (Ya ya, my close friends are all saying WTF right about now). But hear me out.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Incident Pt. 1 [Fighting and Port City]


This is a tough blog for me to write. I knew someday I would have to. ...Because it is the most dramatic thing that has every happened to me in my skating “career”. It was bound to surface eventually. It is pertinent now, because of a little rumble that occurred earlier this month, on October 9th, at a Port City game.  In my opinion, everyone I know has grossly overreacted. But perhaps that is just because my experience has been vastly, outrageously different. The Port City fight, and the reaction to it, spurred me to finally write about my own “incident”. I thought I had something written about this already, but when I turned on my old computer I just had several documents filled with angry, lengthy rants about management.  I will use some excerpts from those, but unfortunately I will have to fill in the gaps.

You can’t really see what happens after the initial impact. The girls are pretty much engulfed instantaneously by fellow skaters and long constant whistles can be heard from the refs. Within seconds the fighting skaters are pulled apart and the announcer reassures the audience everything is okay. That’s it. Done. Over with. Big whoop. Rumor has it, the Undead Bettys who were scheduled to bout Port City later this season, cancelled the game upon hearing the news of this fight.

A line needs to be drawn here to differentiate this incident from what can be misconstrued as a dirty team. It is possible that some teams are accustomed to playing unfair and purposefully implement dirty tactics on the track. They, together as a team, make an effort to sabotage legitimate game play. And then there are fluke accidents where a couple girls’ egos and tempers get the best of them and shit breaks loose. And when that happens, you just need to regroup as a league, put a lid on the bullshit, and enforce the proper consequences to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

You see, I started skating with a league where fighting was encouraged and bad feelings and resentment amongst skaters was nurtured. Fights occurred midgame on a regular basis as announcers cheered and rallied the crowd. Particular skaters were known for starting scuffles on the track, and were never reprimanded for it. While no one was ever told outright to stage a fight or throw a punch on the track, the behavior was never discussed or dealt with once the skater served their time in the penalty box. I’m sorry but if an individual can be depended on to throw a punch at least once a bout that person needs to be dealt with off track, bar none. But it was overlooked because the audience liked it and it pumped up the crowd. So with that league, fighting was not just individualized isolated incidents, it actually was, the way the team was. It was veiled as just a bunch of moody women who were prone to bicker and fight, but the underlying truth was a rogue management exploiting the skaters and playing them off each other for the benefit of the rink owner’s pocket book.

[This type of behavior was never called!]


Now, that’s not how it went down at the Port City fight earlier this month. They put an end to it. No one can be heard over the loudspeaker inciting the crowd or encouraging the skaters. Everyone was mortified, even the audience. I’m coming to the defense of both Port City and Undead. For one, everyone is overreacting, this stuff happens, and they are dealing with the skaters in question in an appropriate manner. And second, fighting IS absolutely unacceptable, and skaters’ safety should without question always be put first. It is crucial to set an example of good ethics and create and air of camaraderie. If a team feels their safety is at risk they SHOULD pull the plug on a game. It’s unfortunate, and it’s not the end of the world for Port City, but perhaps it is acts like Undead’s cancellation that will help display an attitude of no-tolerance for this sort of behavior in our sport. I commend Undead for their decision, but I also have empathy for Port City because I understand these things happen and it’s no one’s fault. It doesn’t necessarily mean an entire team is prone to playing dirty; this was a fluke accident. But each team has to look out for their best interests and protect their players, and I understand that too.

It would help to have some background on my own experience and on the incident that ultimately led to me leaving the NorCal RollerGirls. Months after it happened, (years ago now) my dad wrote a play by play of the incident, to help with our legal documents actually. (Yes, we were considering pursuing legal action regarding this). The NorCal RollerGirls were in the habit of video taping EVERY SINGLE GAME, and they had video of this entire incident and were withholding it from us, (for fear of us taking legal action maybe?) We really just wanted to see exactly how much time elapsed between when I hit the ground and when my dad intervened on the track. Anyhow, we didn’t end up pressing charges, but the document still serves well for my records and is pretty helpful in describing what went down in a detailed and colorful manner. Honestly, I have no reason not to use the actual names of the people in question, so I’m going to.

Happy Halloween! [Costumes + 8 Wheels of Death]


Did anyone else hear that “Roller Girl” is one of the most popular costumes this year? I know at least one person whose kid is going as a Roller Girl, and check out this picture some fans submitted to the Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ website. Looks like a school costume parade or something… 

 
I’m not sure how I feel about this: if it promotes the burlesque, cartoonish, costumey aspect of the sport, or if it just shows how popular and mainstream the sport is becoming. After all, there are plenty of Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson costumes this year and no one would accuse baseball of being illegitimate just because a couple of its players became a popular Halloween costume. After all, the Santa Cruz Derby Girls wear sports jerseys anyway. Still, I think it’s a subject worth discussing: Roller Girl as a Halloween costume.

I guess it just never occurred to me for it to be a costume. My first instinct was to be offended. Let me explain, … I recently went to an 80’s party, and I decided that instead of wearing neon day-glo colors, leg warmers and crimping my hair, I would pay homage to what I think was the coolest part of the 80’s and go punk rock style. Now, while I do like the Ramones and OpIvy and have been known to don a CBGB shirt, I felt a little ridiculous putting on excessive temporary tattoos. I was afraid to attend my real punk rocker friend’s party later in the week in the same costume, lest I be viewed by her friends as a poser, or worse- like I was making fun of punk rock.  So imagine my reaction when I saw this photo on a H.S. friends facebook page and I messaged her enthusiastically saying, “OMG! I had no idea you were a roller girl! You skate with Sac City? That’s awesome!”

 
…and SHE said… “No! But that was the most fun Halloween costume ever! I won first prize that night!” As you can imagine I felt a little deflated. Like, “Oh, …you like roller derby enough to dress up as it for Halloween, but not enough to be an actual roller girl” was how I felt. But then I got over it. You see, I like to talk about roller derby and recruit people, but if people aren’t interested people aren’t interested. When I am shot down by someone who does not want to skate I just say, “Hey, we need fans too.” So instead, like my homage to punk rock, I choose to believe my friend was merely paying tribute to how bad ass roller derby is. And for that, thank you! She does look pretty darn good, doesn’t she?


And apparently the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls out of Bloomington Indiana made their own zombie Halloween movie, premiering tonight- on Halloween! Check out their official movie website here, and view the trailer below:

Hey, it’s no Whip It, (actually- it looks downright god awful to me), but maybe it’s worth a shot. If anyone wants to send me a review, (or a free copy of the film) I’d be more than happy to receive those. You can also read an interview with some of the makers of the film here.

Have a safe Halloween everybody. Don’t drive drunk!
 

The Diamond Anniversary Helmet

[Me and The Helmet
at the 75th Anniversary Celebration]
   
If you haven’t yet read about the awesome event that happened earlier this month celebrating 75 years of Roller Derby you can read my summary of it here. It was filled with celebrity skaters from the past and was an excellent opportunity to rub elbows and talk shop with some of the greats. Knowing this event was going to be a star-studded evening I had the foresight to bring a spare helmet to have autographed so that later East Bay Roller Derby could auction or raffle it off as a fundraiser. I did buy the helmet however. Now, if I had better foresight, I would have drafted a letter 2 weeks prior and asked to have the helmet donated, but hey- next time. Let that be a lesson to you other struggling leagues out there. On another note, there is a “single-impact” helmet issue coming up in California legislation soon. Basically, once the helmet has experienced a serious impact the integrity of the helmet is compromised and it needs to be replaced. I went to a local skateboard shop with an indoor ramp to buy the helmet and the ones they had were on display, (not in boxes) and were presumably used by boarders on the ramp. I was hard up and needed the helmet and wasn’t planning on wearing it anyway so I bought it, but obviously these people knew nothing about safety and single impact helmets, because the guy totally sold me a marked up, used helmet for 40 bucks. Douche bags. Anyhow, I figure since some of the signatures are not legible it would be useless without a full description of those who had penned their name to it. While there were many, many skaters at the event that night I failed to ask, the John Hancock I regret missing the most was that of Mary Youpelle, the oldest living derby legend. Nevertheless, I did get some terrific people if I do say so myself. Thank you everyone! And without further ado…

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It’s Tax Season! - Skater Profile: CynTax #1040ez


Skater Name: CynTax 
(officially [or formerly?] CynTax Terror)
“Because I’m a tax accountant and I’m easy!” But also, being “an accountant is semi-unusual in the derby world, so I wanted my skate name to reflect my profession.”-Cyn

Number: 1040ez
“The number, 1040ez, for those that don’t know, is the standard short form for tax preparation. Get it, short form. During tax season it really is CynTax season because I’m working crazy hours while trying to keep up my attendance at derby practice so I can make the rosters.”-Cyn

Team Affiliations: Currently with SVRG, previously with B.A.D. Girls

Derby Debut Date: January 2006

Skating Background:
“As far as skating goes; I am a child of the 80’s, so skating parties were a weekly staple in my life. Until I started my roller derby career in 2006, I hadn’t skated since the late 80’s. It was like riding a bike in some ways, but it still took time to build upon those basic skating skills.” However, “I was very heavily into gymnastics competition all through my childhood. I really feel this training has been extremely helpful in roller derby. In particular, it has helped me to better take falls by rolling out of them or ‘crumpling’ to reduce the impact to any one particular part of the body.” -Cyn

Preferred Position: Jammer/Human Target, Downward Facing Dog, Short Stop and The Flail

Accomplishments: September Skater of the Month 2010, Bout MVP, 2009 Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin’ Award and most laps skated at SVRG’s first annual skate-o-thon fundraiser in 2009, after skating 315 laps or nearly 24 miles in 2 hours!

Derby Wife: Megan “Satan’s Kitten” Pittsley
“What I really admire about Cyn is her confidence and fire (hence why I call her 'fighty mouse'). Even though she's small, she doesn't let anyone intimidate her or make her feel unsure about herself, regardless of their size. 
She's always in it to win it.”– Megan Pittsley

Favorite Quote: Shit or get off the pot!

Derby Theme Song: Get Back and How Low Can You Go, both by Ludacris
“I listen to this during warm-ups before every bout, it helps me get psyched up” -Cyn

Hidden Talents: “Hmm…I’m really good at scaring guys away!”-Cyn

Pet Peeves: Insincerity, political correctness, bullshit, apathy and tact

Guilty Pleasures: McDonalds and daily naps

Halloween Costume this year? I'm gong to rock a flapper girl get up.  I think it will be easy to skate in at the skate-o-thon.

Celebrity Crush: Winona Ryder
“She’s crazy and hot and people tell me I look and act like her”-Cyn


You Decide:
 ~CYN~              /               ~WIN~


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Auntie Social's Daily Affirmation


So I don’t know if you all have seen this video of the adorable curly haired child affirming how wonderful her whole life is, but it’s pretty darn precious. I made a, let’s not say parody, but tribute video to little Jessica. A tip of the hat to you, you self-affirming life lover you.
 





…And here’s my version. Please enjoy.


video 

We can do anything good! Ya ya ya…



And a brief shout out to Robert Sutton who, upon viewing my blog, felt compelled to e-mail me and explain that the image at the top of my page was “kind of unacceptably large for an image that loads every time”- and took the liberty to compress the file himself and send it along. While I don’t mind being unacceptable from time to time, this error was apparently just too egregious to ignore. Thank you for correcting my obscene disregard for people’s time and patience Rob. (And since I’m always down to promote someone else, check out his site here).

WARNING: [If you say what you think don't expect to hear what you like.]






 If you say what you think,
don't expect to hear what you like.






 I’m largely misunderstood. I don’t have any glorified romantic ideas about being a loner. I know that I am abrasive, short tempered, horrible at first impressions and uncomfortably honest. I understand that people’s interpretations are based on these characteristics, I don’t blame them.  It just means that I spend more of my life defending myself than getting things done. It’s quite exhausting. I have a constant internal struggle of just going with the current or making the decision to follow my gut and swim upstream. Obviously it wouldn’t be such a struggle if I had better tools and tactics for expressing myself. I’m just so explosive.

I can’t help it.  (Believe me I’ve tried). That doesn’t mean my glass is half empty and I’ve accepted the negative. I persevere. I write, I think about the positive, I think about the future, and I push the other stuff away. Sometimes it does make me sad knowing other skaters don’t understand where I’m coming from or think I’m a defector, especially considering how much I love roller derby, but it only serves as more motivation to keep my dream alive.

Whether it was for my friends on the playground, or raising issues of religious equality on campus, to questioning the environmental impact of adding paper toilet seat covers to bathrooms, to eventually co-founding the first Gay-Straight Alliance at my High School, my whole life I have been an advocate for justice and spoken up for those who did not have a voice. It has been challenging, but always rewarding. So I say: “Embrace that which defines you”. Being loud and being honest is my gift people, not a hindrance!

My message to other skaters is to stand up for what you believe in, and if it doesn’t feel right it’s probably not. Your league is not the only one around and your integrity is important too. Of course, pick your battles and understand that if you say what you think, don’t expect to hear what you like.

Friday, October 22, 2010

75 Years of Roller Derby - A Diamond Celebration




        75 Years of 
      Roller Derby


       A Diamond 
      Celebration!




[J. Seltz...
This picture is just for you.]



:Auntie Social – East Bay Roller Derby
[Lauren Kallio]


The first game of Roller Derby was held on August 13th 1935 as a cross-country endurance race. Accordingly,  2010 marks the 75th Anniversary of the sport. Over those seven plus decades Roller Derby has endured many changes and continues to evolve.  Recently a part of that evolution has been the creation of the National Roller Derby Association. Founded in 2007, president and visionary Carlos Ray strives to unite all generations and styles of the sport to attain national recognition.

On Saturday October 16th the NRDA hosted an historic event near San Francisco California to celebrate 75 years of Roller Derby and honor those who have made significant contributions to the sport’s continuing success. Honored that evening was keynote speaker and roller derby pioneer:  Mr. Jerry Seltzer, son of the sport’s creator Leo. Jerry, otherwise known as “The Commissioner” was the recipient of the first annual Leo Seltzer Award, created to pay recognition to those who have paved the way for the progress of the sport of Roller Derby.

Lending credibility to the event, the NRDA is the first derby association that Jerry Seltzer has endorsed since 1973, stating that he is on staff and actively working with the Association to achieve all our derby dreams and get the sport into the Olympics. While a few skaters of today’s modern flat track did have words with some of the feisty banked track skaters of yesteryear, getting roller derby on the fast track to national recognition was the main consensus of the evening for all. As Jerry said, “My dad always wanted a 100% legitimate game, that was his dream, and he never lived to see it.” The Commissioner’s hope for the men and women of today’s Roller Derby to achieve that dream was evident in his speech and demeanor that evening. Energy and excitement filled the air and it felt like the start of something big.

Representatives from all generations of derby were present at the event. Split into three waves of 25 years, (1935-1960, 1960-1985, and 1985-present) there were skaters from dating as far back as the original roller derby, all the way to women of today’s flat and banked tracks. Mary “Pocahontas” Youpelle, the last living derby skater of the 30’s, was in attendance and just as spunky as ever.  Her only advice of the night: “Toe stops are for dancers, not speed skaters!”

                [Mary Youpelle]
Among some of the derby legends were Carole “Peanuts” Meyer, who when asked how she felt about the difference between flat and banked track roller derby, called flat track skaters “crazy”, saying the floors are too hard and citing incidents like Tequila Mockingbird’s of the Windy City Rollers paralysis injury as an example of modern derby girls’ cutthroat ruthlessness. 

Also in attendance that evening was Cliff Butler of the revived International Roller Derby League of derby’s second wave. With consummate coaching skills and an incredible history as a skater, Mr. Butler has now become and integral component of the NRDA, assisting with skating and coaching for the Sugar Town Rollers of Oxnard CA. In addition, new to the staff of NRDA is Brian “Blade” Gallagher, co-inventor of Jam Skate, RollerJam skater and owner of California Skate School in Sherman Oaks. A stuntman and skater with several television appearances and 15 plus years professional skating experience, Blade was also the subject for Andrew Wilson’s character Razor in the movie Whip It.

While discussing how to get more men into the sport of roller derby with Coach Blade, Peanuts burst in: “Just call them a bunch of chickens and then maybe they’ll come and play!” While derby greats were there such as Judy Arnold, Bill Gardner and Gloria Mack Gardner, Rita Williams, Frank Macedo and Sue Fregulia, the firecracker of the evening was Lorreta “Iodine” Behrens, -who by the way, invites any present day skater out to Vegas so she can “teach them how to really skate”.
Loretta "Iodine" Behrens big pimpin Ann Calvello style 
as Georgia Hase looks on

Representing modern day derby were girls of the East Bay Roller Derby, Port City Rollers, the Brawlin’ Bettys, Redding Roller Girls, Sonora’s Mountain Derby and a skater all the way from Vermont’s Central Roller Derby. Of course, the new banked track team partnered with the NRDA, the Sugar Town Rollers of Oxnard, were also there. Corinna Hamilton and Paula Daleo of Sugar Town presented Jerry Seltzer with a team shirt and dubbed him an honorary Sugar Daddy, reassuring him not to worry, that “it’s not as expensive as it sounds”.

The evening was an extraordinary culmination of 75 years of roller derby. Young and old came together to reminisce celebrate and dream of a greater tomorrow. Little Iodine Behrens reflected, “It was surreal seeing Margie Laszlo, Delores Tucker and Carole Meyer together again”. Sweet Alyce, head NSO of the Mountain Derby Girls, captured the air of the evening commenting, “Being at the Roller Derby 75th Anniversary showed me that derby never really died between [1935] and the latest incarnation. Roller Derby has always lived in the hearts of the people associated with the sport.” And she is right. Roller Derby has not only survived but thrived for the past 75 years and we intend to keep it going strong into the next 25. See you all at the 100th!

 EBRD ladies with J. Seltz, Judi, Frank Macedo,
Georgia and Iodine.