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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bad Luck Brawl Highlights

Friday the 13th (of May) I played in Long Beach Roller Derby's 2nd banked track bout. I played as a sub again, this time for the Bixby Rollerettes. We won the game, even though I was playing against the team I had subbed for and won with prior, The 4th St. Retro Rollers, mentioned in this blog. Check out this highlight reel. Brent did a fantastic job! My favorite part is when Evil Dawn Under gets ejected. Look how Adolf Hitzher just stares forwards as Evil flips her lid. It's classic.

And here's some pics from the bout.

(I'm #13)

Me jammin' past Estro Jen about to hit meh!

Estro Jen's fan page

Me about to take off against Flame Fatale.
She earned MVP for her team that night. Damn she's fast!

Lego my shirt!

Yes she's pulling my uniform! It's because I took my belt off for the second half. Read how I feel about belts here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Top 10 Gift Ideas for a Roller Derby Girl

A guy came into Moxi Skate Shop yesterday and was talking with his friends about an appropriate gift to get a girl he liked that was a friend and a co-worker who played roller derby. His friend said, “Aw dude, you should get her some wheels” and I could tell by the way they were talking that he didn’t know this girl very well so I intervened and said, “hey, wheels are pretty expensive and you don’t really know what she wants so maybe a better gift would be like, a pair of cool socks.” They all agreed that it was a better suggestion and it occurred to me that there are probably a lot of guys, (or gals, or parents, or fans) who could use some help in this department. So I compiled a list of the top 10 roller derby gift ideas, and arranged them in order of price and seriousness. (You don’t want to get a girl a diamond ring when you’re relationship is in the mix-tape stage).

A guide to buying your favorite roller girl a present:

1. Make her a sign: Go to one of her games and cheer for her. Make her a big sign with her name on it or paint her number on your chest. Nothing pumps up a girl’s ego more than having noticeable fans in the audience rooting for them. Believe me, we notice, and it’s one of the most inexpensive gifts you can give.

2. Laces: One of the quickest and easiest ways to snazz up your skates is to add a new pair of laces. They don’t even have to be cool, sometimes girls just appreciate spare black or white laces. They’re cheap, ($2-$6) so you can even splurge on two pairs, and the best part about this gift is it’s a platonic kind. You can easily get “just a friend” laces and play it off if she’s weird about it or uncomfortable. But make sure you get the right length, it’s important!

3. Socks, Tights, Leg Warmers: These can run you anywhere from $2 to $20 and you can find different kinds practically anywhere. Tights are a little riskier because they actually come in sizes, but socks and leg warmers are one size fits all. Nothing awkward there. And plus, you can pretty much pick out whatever you like or thinks look good and she’ll be fine with them. They’re socks, (or tights) and we ALWAYS need spares for practice. No matter how ugly - they will be appreciated.

4. Derby Mags: Even if she has a subscription to a derby magazine, she could appreciate back issues or a copy of an issue with a particular industry article or skater feature. Most derby skate shops have back issues for sale or you can order them online. They will run you between $5 and $12 and is a platonic gift that will make you look cool. Even if I had a copy of an issue a guy gave me, I would still think it was a pretty rad and considerate gift. Some suggestions are Blood & Thunder, Five on Five, or even HellaRad if you can find it.

5. Skate Tool: Depending on the quality of the tool you will spend between $5 and $15. The most versatile and commonly used tool is a Y3, but most girls also need an Allen wrench to adjust their toe stops. Since most girls have a tool already, I recommend the Vice Versa keychain tool. It works, so it’s practical, but it’s also adorable, so if she already has a tool she’ll still love it.

6. Toe Caps: While girls can be particular about toe caps, most won’t turn down having a spare pair around, especially if she likes street skating. They’re just plain good for protecting skates. Take a look at her skates and see if she already has a pair, even if she does you could get her a spare. They will usually run you about $20, across the board. I totally recommend the snap on toe caps available from fast girl skates

7. Toe Stops: Your skater most definitely has a preference about these but will surely appreciate spares. Beware, SOME DON’T USE TOE STOPS ALL TOGETHER, so check before buying! They will run you about $15-$20. I definitely recommend the Gumball toestops. They’re $20 but especially made for derby, new to the market and chicks dig them.  Even though you can find toe stops cheaper than toe caps, for some reason toe stops seem more personalized to me. -Like a skater would have more of a preference as to which she liked: i.e. you need to know the girl well in order to be buying her this gift. Hence why it is listed at 6, and not 5. (It’s all in the subtleties guys).

8. Pedicure: I am not suggesting you do her feet. I am suggesting you go to a local place and buy her a gift certificate. If she’s a derby girl she’s probably not TOO girly, and probably doesn’t care THAT much about her feet. But truth be told her feet are probably nasty and could use a tune up anyhow. If she’s your girlfriend, this gift is just as much for you as it is for her! This present is not necessarily romantic. Even if she isn’t your girlfriend this gift is a good birthday gift or could serve as a comparable platonic-friend gift, as long as you know the friend well enough to be dropping between $30 and $60.

9. Wheels or Bearings: This gift is equivalent to buying a girl jewelry. You will spend just as much money and she will be just as picky about the kind she wants. If she has not already hinted about which ones she wants, you can plan on spending a good thirty minutes in the store listening to the sales clerk describe to you all of your different options, and you’ll still probably leave the store uncertain if you got the right thing. Look, you’ll be spending at least $60 minimum, and $100 if you want to get her something really good, so just tell her you’re getting her this gift and take her with you, or discretely find out EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS.

10. Skates: If you’re buying a girl skates, she better already have a key to your place and a toothbrush in your bathroom. Enough said. If she’s not in the market for a new pair of derby skates, these are the CUTEST recreational skates to own, all girls love them, and they will run you between $200 and $300. (Don’t flinch, you said this was serious, right?). These are so cute and lovable you can order a pair in her size, sight unseen. But if you’re buying her skates for derby, you better find out all the details. 

Another idea, if you have a good chunk to spend but do not want to get her anything too personalized like skates or wheels, is to make her a derby gift basket or goody bag, and fill it with several of the items on the list. For a gal to get a whole basket filled with socks, laces, a tool, toe caps and stoppers, …man you’d probably get a parade she’d be so happy. I hope these tips help!

October Babies "Wa Wa Wa"

Check out this video featuring the Detroit Derby Girls. The song is in Japanese and "Wa Wa Wa" loosely translates to going around in circles without really getting anywhere.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pitbull & NeYo music video

I went to a casting call, on roller skates!

Let me explain… I didn’t even know what a casting call was really. And I sure as hell was not looking to be an extra or background dancer or anything like that. But when I moved here and started looking for jobs, there just were SO MANY talent gigs that it was hard to ignore them when I came across ones I was qualified for. I mean, I got free photos through Armen Nazarian and I found him on Craig’s List and it was perfectly legit. Call it naïveté, but I haven’t been burned by CL enough yet to give up on it. Plus, I just started marketing myself as a professional roller skater, so when I found an ad for a casting call for a major MTV music video I decided on a whim to send them some photos. (Of course, I sent them 3 photos of me on skates.) And they replied! (Ya, I got a call back!) I responded to them asking, “Can I wear skates?” but never heard back. I didn’t care though, I was confirmed for a Saturday shoot, and I was to arrive at 9 am, come “camera ready” and bring several changes of clothes. Besides, I sent them three pictures of me on skates, how could they NOT want me to show up on skates? Parking was hard to find and I arrived slightly late, so I put my skates on in the parking lot, slung my hangers with extra outfits over my shoulder, and rolled into the shoot.

I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I was ready to get turned away at the door or have them look me up and down and say “Next”. I didn’t know. Coincidentally, the shoot actually took place in an old hotel converted apartment complex, and was the exact building I had intended to live in when I initially moved to L.A.. It’s a grand old building with hard wood floors, huge ballrooms and lofts filled with artist types. When I skated into the lobby, I was directed upstairs. I rolled into one of the ballrooms and immediately saw one corner which had been transformed into a make shift dressing/make up room. There were two racks filled with clothes and three gorgeous women sitting in director style chairs getting worked on, (later I was to find out these were the “principals”. )To the right were about 100 people sitting in folding chairs. When I skated in, EVERYONE IN THE ROOM TURNED AND LOOKED AT ME.

It was like a comedy routine. I was completely unaware how utterly out of place I must have looked as I rolled my way over to a chair, muttering things like, “oh don’t mind me” “excuse me” “woops sorry about that” and “can you please unhook me?” (indicating my wheel which had gotten wrapped around a girl’s purse on the floor). I sat down, and hung my outfits on the back on my chair, noticing everyone else had rolling suitcases or oversized leather shoulder bags with them. Someone turned around and said to me in an accusatory tone, “Did they ASK you to wear those?” looking down at my skates. “No. Did they ask you to wear that?” I replied, with no hostility and genuine curiosity. It seemed everyone thought my skates were an act. A tactic. A way to get noticed. And they were all looking at me with vicious, jealous stares. Had they been piranhas I would have been a goner.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrity Skaters

Before you we have some of my top picks for this weeks' A-List celebrities that I wish would join the rank and files of the common roller derby girl. For their convenience, I have outlined just what type of skater I think they would be to ease their transition into this rough and tumble life style.

Katie Perry: She’s fine, she’s fresh, she’s fierce, it’s undeniable that if Katie Perry were a roller derby skater she’d be a jammer. She’s too on top of it not to be the star of the show taking center stage all the time, and as jammer the spot light is always on you. Katie could definitely take the heat. She’s used to being scrutinized but takes it in stride. She’s a born performer so she’d be a natural at earning lead jammer status.

Courtney Love: Man that chick is crazy! As the former wife of Kurt Cobain and queen of punk she’s known for being wily and aggressive. If Courtney Love were a roller derby skater she would have to be a blocker, if she ever got out of the penalty box that is! Sure her team could throw her in as a jammer, but she’d prove too valuable as a blocker to risk it.

Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga wouldn’t play roller derby. While Lady Gaga respects roller girls and likes what they are doing for women empowerment, she sees herself helping to break down the boundaries of social oppression in other ways. But she would certainly concoct a bizarre half time show on roller skates involving fire and eggs.

Helen Keller: Talk about having total control over your body. Sure she was blind, but that meant Helen   Keller  was   hyper sensitive to her surroundings.  If she was a roller derby skater she would definitely be a pivot. Though her superior sensitivities would allow her to play any position, it would be best Helen stay in the front of the pack due to her tendency to grope the air and likely get called for back blocking.

Stay tuned for more celebrity picks to come!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Skater Profile: Pigeon #1

Recently while looking at the back of my latest issue of five on five magazine, I noticed the model for the tile biters looked awful familiar. Once I noticed she had Santa Cruz derby gear on, I figured I must have been crazy. But after attending some Long Beach practices I found out that Pigeon was a transfer from Santa Cruz. When I looked at the magazine again it became clear to me, it IS Pigeon!

This is Shayna, AKA Pigeon, and she now skates with Long Beach Roller Derby and works in Moxi Skate Shop, (and she really knows her stuff.) After seeing her photo on the back of five on five I thought she deserved a feature here on my lil ole blog. And TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY, so what better a day to celebrate her awesomeness than today?

Cheers to you Pigeon, hope you make it count!

She also makes awesome webisodes with junior derby girl Killer Bee. Here is a link to my personal favorite, entitled "Derby skates, gear and corn, with The Bird and The Bee". (Get it? Pigeon, Killer Bee... anyway...)


Pigeon, in Moxi Skate Shop-->

I had the privilege of skating with Pigeon on the Retro Rollers' team on April 22nd, and again with the Bixby Rollerettes on April 13th. Both times our teams won! After the second win we high fived and concluded we must be good luck charms. (It sounded good to me anyway).

Pigeon is actually the captain of Long Beach Roller Derby's newest team, the Belmont Hotbroads, and rumor has it they will be the team to beat this season.

Take a look at this picture of the sign in Moxi Skate Shop's window. LBRD, Moxi and now Auntie Social all love Pigeon!

Derby Baby!

This looks like it's going to be pretty cool, ...for roller rink derby. =P

Check 'em out on facebook and give them a 'like'.

Check out these shaved wheels!

Today I paid another visit to Moxi Skate Shop and discovered these awesome shaved wheels! They just scream art project to me! I'm not sure what I want to do with them yet, but they're totally cool skate shop decor, at the very least. They look like some of them might even be black light sensitive. I'm not sure how the shaving is done, but I want to figure it out. If anyone has any ideas shoot them at me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kallio Rolling Rainbow

Recently a friend told me about a facebook page he belonged to called something like, "Heller, I thought I was the only one?!" And basically it's a bunch of people with the last name Heller. Well, his little anecdote reminded me of this awesome Roller Derby league, The Kallio Rolling Rainbow of Etela-Suomen Laani, Finland.

Why would Andy's anecdote remind me of them you ask? Well my last name just so happens to be Kallio. Finding this league logo was a total trip. Check out how she's giving the finger, just like me!

Kallio is a Finnish name and in Finland it is just as common as the name "Smith" is in the States. When my sister traveled to Finland she ripped a page out of the phonebook that was entirely Kallio names. But that's Finland you see. Here in America I've never ever met another Kallio. Not one. And I was running my mouth about this very fact at a house party my freshmen year of College when a dopey frat guy approached me and said, "Psh! That is not true! I have met a Kallio before. My mechanics teacher is a Mr. Kallio!" I was convinced he had heard me wrong, and he was saying a different name. "Not possible!" I protested. "My name is too unique, and I have never in my life met another Kallio! And it's MY NAME! I think I would know! You're wrong!" And he laughed at me like the pretentious asshole I was being and walked off. I was flabbergasted so I couldn't let it slide. When I got home I looked up the university faculty registrar and sure enough, there was a Mr. Kallio professor, right there in my very own school. I felt ridiculous.

Anyway, when I discovered Kallio Rolling Rainbow I was delighted. I am all about roller derby, and my name is Kallio, and it's got a tough chick giving the finger. It's like their logo encompasses everything I represent! We're kindred spirits. Just knowing about their mere existence makes me happy, though I wouldn't mind visiting my homeland some day to roll with these ladies. I looked into it and getting a t-shirt would put me back 70 bucks! A pretty penny just to represent the derby girls of the Scandinavian peninsula. Oh well, maybe some day...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This makes me happy

Have you seen the movie Exit Through the Gift Shop? It's a pretty awesome movie about street art and a lot of it takes place in L.A. and Hollywood. Now that I live in West Hollywood, I often get to see Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Space Invader originals on the regular. And ever since I was a kid this sort of vandalism intrigued me. I remember vividly a trip to Seattle where my brother called some graffiti a "victimless crime" and it really stuck with me. The idea that a crime could even be "victimless" at all was so fascinating. Thus began my intrigue with street art.

A few years ago I discovered the artist Edgar Mueller, who does amazing chalk drawings in 3D on the sidewalk. How could anyone call this a crime, or vandalism? Temporary as it may be, it unquestionably art.

Likewise, I find it funny to take away letters or re-arrange them on existing signs so that they say something else. One time I changed a sign that said 4 hats for $20 to 2 hats for $40. Not very criminal, but devious nonetheless. I thought it was a hilarious prank because it's the type of error to go unnoticed. I drove by that Walgreen's for a week and cracked up at my own handy work before that sign got changed back. In High School our guidance counselor had inspirational signs all over campus. Yellow ones with purple font. And one said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." And my friend Dinaz and I made a sign, with yellow paper and purple letters stenciled on it, that said "vandalism" and taped it over the word "kindness" so it said, "no act of vandalism, no matter how small, is ever wasted." We did a fine job of making our graffiti blend in with the original sign if I do say so myself, but needless to say it was removed shortly after. But it's not like it went to WASTE. Now, I want to change the Premium Suit Outlet on Hollywood Blvd. to Premium Shit Outlet SOOO bad. If I could just find a way... 

Since moving here, I have wanted to create a few roller skate stencils. Try my hand at this guerilla art. (Perhaps something that says "Roll Model" or "0 Emissions"? I haven't decided yet...) So you can imagine my delight when I happened upon this:

It's a Sanrio ad for girl skateboards, and someone put rollerblades on Hello Kitty!!! My friend remarked that they look like they are supposed to be there, and they sure do, don't they? But I can assure you, that is vandalism my friend. Grade A, pre-meditated, planned-100% graffiti. Or as I like to call it, professional L.A. street art. Well done kids! Great Job.

I wish I could say I did it, but someone beat me to it. I sure would like to meet whoever did though.