Thursday, December 24, 2009

Track Jackets!

The Derby Santa delivered our personalized track jackets today!  I'm still a little bit nervous about going official with Scarlett O'Feral, because the derby name registry has not been updated since November 9th, but I went and got my name emblazoned across the chest of my track jackets!  Yikes!  Hopefully it will be official soon.  I skipped putting the number on them, because I just can't remember which number I chose.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I have been a little reluctant to go the whole hog and fully transition into using my derby name, Scarlett O'Feral.  I changed it on our derby internal forum and then I added it to my Facebook profile, but took it off soon after.  I also haven't yet changed over the name on my helmet from FM Rachel.  I guess my reasoning is that I have not yet passed my scrimmage assessment.  I had to work late at our last assessments so I missed them and I still have doubts that I would even pass the next set and until I do pass I have this feeling that I don't deserve to use my derby name.  Maybe I am being silly about it, but I have this idea that the scrimmage assessment is a sort of rite of passage.  I kind of want to feel proud of earning my name and not just getting it because I've stuck around for 90 days and the new Fresh Meat group has some duplicates of our names.  I'll admit that it was confusing hearing Rachel-this and Rachel-that at practice last night when people were not talking to me, but I managed.  But I suppose I have to just get over this reluctance and peel the old name off my helmet and stick the new name on.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This is not my wrist.

There are a whole lot of bones in the wrist and the scaphoid is being pointed at here. It does not get much blood flow to it and when broken is hard to heal. It can be very difficult to detect a fracture in it, therefore MRI is frequently used.

My wrist is feeling...ok-ish. Was hurting a bit the other day, but doesn't generally. I'm not sure how long the sprain will take to heal. When I take my splint off and try to move it the mobility is pretty limited. Happy to have a splint rather than a cast and hoping to keep it that way!

A small piece of good news about my injury adventure... My insurance will indeed cover an MRI of my wrist so I'll be having that done on December 7th. If we find out the scaphoid bone is Not Broken (please please please please) then I can start the glorious rehab process... If it is broken, I will probably wind up getting a cast and that may put me out of the derby game for another 2 months... yikes!

Still gimpin' along with one arm and missing skating like crazy--staying with a friend across from Echo Park in LA and keep looking with misty eyes at the path around the lake... *sigh*. I say we have an 'injured list' support group and happy hour real soon!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pervert Alert

So, here I am in Cary, NC visiting my family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This morning I decided to whip out my skates and skate to where we'll be having Thanksgiving dinner and then back to my mom's house.  Of course, I have no idea where I am going in Cary, and looking at the map now, I realize that I went the completely wrong direction, but that is besides the point.  Anyway, so out I skated into the foggy morning with only knee pads and wrist guards for protection.  It was rough going at first, because the sidewalks were covered in pine needles and fallen leaves, but eventually I made it to a pretty nice stretch of cement.  I turned around after diving into a grassy little hill in front of an old folks' home when I got nervous about stopping on a steep hill (hey!  that's why they teach us the monkey roll!).  I was wet, dirty and getting tired, so I started going back home.

When I was halfway back home, I came upon a little office complex inlet and a white car was at the stop sign.  I waved for the driver, who was talking on his cell phone, to mosey on, but he waved back at me and even backed up a bit to let me pass.  How polite!  I waved my thanks and skated on.  When I came to the next inlet, the same little white car was there with the same driver still talking on the phone.  I laughed and shrugged at him, because it was strange, but all these little inlets always seem connected somehow.  I didn't think anything of it, until I looked back and saw his fist moving quite rapidly up and down in his lap.  Seriously?  Again, I say, seriously?

The sidewalk ended just a little bit after that, so I had to skate across the road to the other side.  I turned back and saw the white car pull out of the inlet and up into the next street right in front of me.  I paused on the sidewalk to fiddle with my skates and to see if he would drive on.  A little orange car pulled up behind him, so he had to drive away.  What a relief!  I skated on, but saw the little white car again with the same driver on the phone at the next street! This was getting a little ridiculous.

I kept having to pause to fix my toe stops, which were jingling quite a bit, and I was really hoping the guy would not follow me all the way home.  I was coming up to a big intersection, where I would have to turn to the right.  I looked back and the white car was waiting at a street watching me.  When I turned to the right, he pulled out and also turned right.  He pulled into the next housing development inlet.  I paused, got my phone camera all ready, and when I skated past I attempted to take his photo!  His left hand was holding the phone (still!) and the right was very active in his lap.  When I held up the phone, he raised his right hand to cover his face.  By this time, I had started yelling at him.  I called him a [expletive deleted] pervert and, because I had had a chance to memorize his license plate, I started yelling that out at him too.

When I paused after passing the car, he backed up into the development.  I decided to chase him down the road.  I was still on skates, with loose turn stops, so I kept to the grass for some traction.  He continued backing into the development and then backed into another road off to the left.  I backtracked up the hill and decided to hide behind the bushes at the opening of the development.  When he slowly pulled up, I jumped out and clicked my phone camera.  I wanted a photo of his license plate too, but when I tried to skate over to that, I noticed that he had opened his car door.

This is where I decided to retreat.  If I had been in my sneakers I could have been a little quicker about getting the license plate and running off, but on skates I just felt so limited in my mobility and not in control of my feet. I also was not stable enough on my wheels to stay and engage this pervert in debate on the pros and cons of stalking wannabe derby girls! I started to skate on and he closed his door and drove on up ahead of me into the next inlet.  This guy would not give  up!  Luckily, I was really close to home so I was able to lose him by timing my escape into my mother's development while he was turning around to wait at the stop sign.  Once in my mom's development, I skated as fast as I could to get home and then I lost a toe stop!   [Expletive deleted.]   I frantically skated back for it, sliding along the damp blacktop.  When I got home, my mom encouraged me to call the police, which I did.  I made my report and they are now on the lookout for the pervert.

So this was the start of my Thanksgiving.  I know it will get better, because I have some really good food and wine waiting for me.  And after all that, this is the only clear shot I got of the sex fiend.  I submit to you Exhibit 1 for evidence:

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's the verdict, Daisy?

Hope your doctor appointment goes well today!  Let us know the outcome and how much longer before you can skate again...   Sending you lots of hugs and kisses!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Hardcore Derby Enthusiasts

Okay, so I'm getting married next October and have been perusing all of these wedding sites.  My favorite is the Offbeat Bride and a recent post featured a roller skating wedding!  This is definitely for hardcore derby enthusiasts and I cannot imagine my groom or some of my guests attempting to skate around the Palladium!  Plus this wedding took place locally in San Ramon!  Read all about it here.

(this photo was lifted from the couple's Flickr page)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fresh Meat Craft

I am so excited by how many crafters there are on our team.  We have sewers, bakers, jewelry makers, paper crafters, sign artists, and so many more!  With our new batch of Fresh Meaties, I'm sure we'll discover that we have recruited a whole bunch of crafty women.

This blog post features a few craft items that feature meat.  Why not use these ideas to throw a Fresh Meat Support Group party?  Or with the holiday season rolling around, why not make your fellow Fresh Meat gal something from this selection?  I know our status as Fresh Meat is (in theory) only temporary, but these things are still pretty neat:

Meat Cookies
When we had our Fresh Meat graduation party, I went downtown to look for  a T-bone cookie cutter at ChefWorks.  I could not find one!  I was so surprised, because one would think that that is a pretty popular item.  I mean, who wouldn't want meat-shaped cookies  served at a backyard BBQ or baby shower?  Anyway, I continued my search on the internet and found this blog post featuring a line of meat cookie cutters from Avedano's of San Francisco.  I don't know if they are still available, because they were a limited-edition piece, but wow!  The blog post did a fancy mixed dough cookie, but I envision just a plain sugar cookie with red, pink, and white royal icing swirled together.  The downside to these cookie cutters (and the reason why I don't have one in my arsenal of baking supplies):  they cost $30.00 each, according to this website.

Embroidered Meat
My new-found sewing addiction is embroidery.  Sublime Stitching has a new line of meat embroidery patterns, called Meaty Treats.  How neat is that?  There are T-bones, sausage links, bacon, drumsticks, and much more.  You could make your FM derby sister an embroidered pillowcase to rest her weary head after a grueling practice.  Or perhaps your FM derby sister could use an embroidered towel to dab the sweat from her brow during practice.  Or perhaps she needs a canvas bag to carry all that new gear.  The possibilities are endless (and fun)!

Felt Plushies
These felt meat steaks are wonderful.  I found a blog post of a woman who is making them as toys for her baby.  Babies, schmabies!  If you love handsewing, felt, and meat, why not make some for your FM sisters!  You know that she can use them for...well, I don't know what for, because I don't own any plushies.  Though, when looking up the term plushies (to make sure I was using it correctly), I discovered that it also refers to a paraphilia.  Well, that's an idea...

And if you don't craft yourself, but appreciate the fine art of handmade goods, why not visit Etsy for some meat-themed crafts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A picture is worth a thousand words so I'll just say this: Be careful how you fall, deja-vu is a bitch, and I find out Friday if I'm gonna be getting a cast on my wrist.

My grandpa wrote "Super Bracelet" on the one pictured here and my mom drew a cute l'il skate with "Breakable Skater" underneath. Wah! 30 years later and here I am again! I've never felt so hungry to skate! Pigeon tells me that when you come back after not being able to skate for a while you're even better... I hope so! Bonding over painkillers with FM Jennipher (dislocated her shoulder at last week's Monday practice) has been fun but we are both itching to pass our scrimmage assessment.
Oh, and last but not least, FM Rachel's knee is hurting like the dickens tonight and FM Nikki has some bruised ribs. Yow! Yep, it's a contact sport!

Oh, and in other news.... we have some new freshies! Our (July Tryout) group is coming to be known as "Medium Rare" (or Maggoty Mouldy Meat if you've been talking to SuperFan VINdestructible) and this group of 20 some-odd new gals includes a Niki, a Rachel and a whole slew of Jennifers... Derby name usage may be in order. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Turkey Bowl!

Derby girls? Bowling? Turkey? Wow! 1st Annual SCDG Turkey Bowl, November 25th. Open to the public.  Email for details and registration information. Register your team today!

Skate on THIS?!?!?

Yesterday I finally got back on skates after what seemed like an never-ending hiatus due to an extremely persistent cold. I skated the levee with FM Jennipher and FM Alayna, telling them to not worry about leaving me behind because I imagined my stamina would be next-to non existent after such a long period of not skating. Getting back on skates was absolutely heavenly. It seemed like my entire body was tingling! And lo and behold, I was actually able to keep up with those 2 hotshots! We made it down to the boardwalk (fit in a little visit to a neighborhood rollergirl with an awesome array of stickers on her car) and most of the way back until I noticed my wheel making a funny sound. NOW, if you EVER hear your wheel 'making a funny sound' STOP AND INVESTIGATE!! I skated blithely along, hmm, wonder what that sound could mean?... until my wheel popped off! Whoa...whoooaa... whoooaaa!!! I twirled around in circles to come to a stop while the gals grabbed my wheel and found my bearing. Unfortunately, the nut to keep the wheel actually on the skate was nowhere to be seen (probably way back where I started 'making a funny sound'!) I was gingerly making my way along the levee on 7 wheels when it occured to me that this would be the perfect time for the shopping cart drill. With Jennipher in front and Alayna behind me we choo-choo trained our way back to the car. Keeping all my weight on my left foot made it cramp up a bit, and getting down the slope to the parking lot felt a little sketchy but all in all, not so much of a calamity. Phew!
Lesson learned: bumpy trails can loosen things, check your nuts 'n toe stops! Now off to buy a new nut (do I need to get a whole set?) so I can keep myself in one piece at practice tonight!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Playing Dress Up

I went and walked around downtown Santa Cruz last night for about an hour to check out all of the costumes and whatnot.  I was expecting to see a lot of roller girl costumes, but only came across two:

I think that these gals actually qualify for the roller disco look rather than the derby girl look and I expected them to break out into song at any moment:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Name Trouble

So at yesterday's Fresh Meat gathering, Pigeon had a list of our chosen names and Jackie O-Smashes was on the reject pile!  Why? Apparently, when Pigeon searches for it, the name gets a high similarity rating because of this result:  Jaque O'Smashus.  When I search for it, Jackie comes back with a medium similarity result to other names.  So confusing!

I referenced Brian's master punning list and selected another name:

Pigeon said it was okay when she searched the Registry for other names that are similar to it.  I searched for it too and came up with these results.  Scarlett O'Scara gets a high similarity rating, so does this mean that my name choice is actually no good?  I really am confused by this naming process and I think my brain is about to explode!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Hittin' Time

I think that last night was the first time we worked on really hitting people at Fresh Meat practice.

Due to the inclement weather (remnants of Typhoon Melor), only eight or nine of us showed up for our hour-long practice.  We started with some pace line and pack drills and then we moved on to some mini-scrimmaging.  Each team was down a pivot, so we each only had three blockers and one jammer. We worked on opening holes for our jammer by hitting fellow blockers and we were also allowed to hit the jammer.

For some reason, I always seemed to be on the ground or stuck at the back of the pack.  I had one moment of glory, however, when on our second or third jam, FM Kat was jamming and I was still stuck in the back of the pack.  I wanted to help out Kat, but the blocker in front of me was FM Kellie.  Kellie is a force to be reckoned with out there -- she played hockey for years and is just a super solid skater.  So for me, a not-so-confident skater, I had a moment of hesitation before taking her on.  I had no choice, however, but to engage.

I made contact with FM Kellie and down I went!  I heard a body or two (or three) hit the ground after me.  I don't really know who all went down, because I had, well, um, closed my eyes when I went in for the hit.   Hating the idea of causing skater pile-ups, I just started to automatically apologize as I scrambled to my feet.  Coach Charlie was skating toward me with this giant smile, telling me to stop apologizing.  She shook my hand and congratulated me for doing what I was supposed to do!  Kellie and Kat also gave me congratulatory taps and words.  Yay!  I still don't know what I did or if I could do it again...

We finished the night by breaking into groups of three.  The skaters on the outside took turns hitting the person in the middle into the next person.  For example, I would hit FM Evelyn into FM Alayna and then Alayna would hit Evelyn into me.  I threw multiple elbows (sorry ladies...still new at hitting!), but overall I think I had some decent hits.  Coach Crushed N. Slayedher complimented me when I hit without a tell, because there was no change in my body language prior to going in for a hit.

I spent an inordinate amount of time on the ground yesterday and my bottom is really sore this morning.  My left shoulder muscles are also pretty tender.  I think I had a pretty good practice, but I really need to work on remaining upright after collisions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Red Alert: Must Submit Name!

Okay, so apparently they want us to hand in our names as soon as possible -- even if we have not passed our assessments!  Due to the lag time associated with name submissions, it looks like they are trying to streamline the process so as to avoid future delays.

That being said, I guess it is time for the unveiling of the name I will be submitting.  All the credit for this one goes to Brian, my fiance, who came up with this back in July or August.  We had a few other contenders:  Annie Chokely was my favorite for a while, but we already have an Anny [UpYours] on the team; Luna Shovegood was something I came up with while watching the latest HP movie, but Luna Skategood already exists on the Registry, Luna is kind of close to Lulu, and when you google the name some girl with the Cajun Rollergirls comes up; and I really wanted to do something using Clarice Starling, but just could not come up with anything.

So here goes...what do you think???

The only thing I haven't chosen is a number.   Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Name Game

There are scrimmage assessments tonight.

[crickets chirping]

Don't worry...not for me!!  Silly people!  I may be crazy, but I'm not that crazy!  There are about six Fresh Meaties who will be going through the scrimmage assessment tonight and they'll do great.  They've proven that they are strong skaters and they always seem to work really well together when they are in a pack. As for me, well, I think I'll need three or four more, I mean, months before I am ready to go through that scrimmage assessment.  I'd like to imagine that I could take a beating or two in the assessment, but I have no idea what I'm doing out on the track.  I don't know anything about the roles of blockers B1, B2, or B3.  I try to listen to the Pivot, but eventually I just do something wrong or fall or lose my place and feel like a grand disappointment.  So until I have a better grasp of general pack strategy, I'm just going to sit these scrimmages out.

In other news, once these ladies pass their scrimmage assessments, they'll be able to put in for their derby names (I think).  Yay!!  That's so exciting.  I can't wait to hear the names that they've chosen for themselves.  Will we have a Rotten Rita or a Smashing Sally?

[do I hear crickets again?]

Okay, so I know I'm not really all that great at this name picking thing.  And that is why, back around the time of tryouts, I tasked my mom, friends, and boyfriend with coming up with a variety of names.  They did not disappoint.  I probably had about over 100 names to work with.  Some were taken, of course, as we discovered when checking the Roller Girl Name Registry, but others were not.  The excitement for choosing a name, however, has sort of died down for me.  Once I started practicing and realized that this Fresh Meat process was going to take me quite a while, I thought I would let the dust settle a bit and when it came time to pick a name, then I would allow myself to get all excited again.

Don't get me wrong, out of those 100 names, I did cling to about three or four that I thought would be good, but there's always a chance that those names will get chosen by someone else while I'm waiting to pass the scrimmage assessment.  Oh well!  It will just be back to the drawing board at that point.  And if all else fails, I also discovered that when having trouble coming up with names, a great little source for inspiration can be found by perusing lists of old Garbage Pail Kids.  See what I mean:

Monday, October 5, 2009

We Review Whip It

On Friday night we went out to the Whip It premiere in Santa's what we thought:

FM Rachel: I went into Whip It expecting to totally identify with Ellen Page's character, Bliss, a bit of Fresh Meat with TXRD's Hurl Scouts. I wanted her to struggle more and to be really bad at skating (like me) and then to triumph, but after a three minute training montage she just seemed to start flying around the track. How is that possible??? There were some other things that bothered me, namely: the food fight (who is going to clean that up?), the underwater sexy scene (why aren't they drowning?), people not wearing seatbelts (what kind of message does that send our youth?), love-interest Oliver (take a bath and do your laundry!), and on-track fighting (we don't do that!).

For all the things that I didn't like, here's what I did like:
  • Kristin Wiig (Maggie Mayhem): I have a big fat crush on Kristin Wiig. She makes me laugh every time I watch her in something. Plus, in Whip It, a film with a lot of characters and very little character development, we actually got to know a little bit more about Maggie Mayhem and I liked that.
  • Andrew Wilson (Razor): Another Wilson brother? Who knew? But this guy may now be my favorite one!
  • The dad: Daniel Stern (think tall villain from Home Alone) was great as Bliss' father. He was sweet, funny, and tender. I absolutely loved the scene at the end with the lawn post. So touching.
  • Alia Shawkat (Pash/bff): It's Maeby Funke from Arrested Development!! I thought she was just slightly underutilized in Whip It, but she was still adorable and funny.
So that's pretty much it.  My recommendation: See it if you love all things derby and are willing to overlook the movie's overall cutesiness.
    FM Daisy:  I went to Whip It hoping to see something I wished I could have seen as a 12 year old. I was not disappointed. The tag line "Be Your Own Hero" is something every girl (perhaps of any age!) needs to hear. It's a great antidote to the message girls get about staying in the background. Don't limit your dreams! Be Your Own Hero! Kick ass for yourself! (And kick your own ass!) Push yourself and fight for what you want to do in this life... not your mom's antiquated picture of what femininity is!  Seeing it with skaters and other fresh meat was great, but hearing the Junior Derby girls cheer at their favorite parts was what really made my night. Those girls are being their own heroes!
    • I agree with FM Rachel. The quick-training sequence did not show an accurate picture of the trials and tribulations of fresh-meatdom. I felt a little redeemed when Iron Maven said she's 36 and has had to work her ass off. I could definitely relate--It's hard to be in your late 30s and see some young whippersnapper have it come easy!
    • I liked that Bliss was afraid of hitting... (not that I can relate with that At All...*whistling*)
    • I thought the different derby personality types were pretty accurate renditions of real phenomena: Maggie Mayhem was wonderful-- tough, encouraging and hilarious! (My friend Vin says she reminds him of FM Alayna.) Smashlee Simpson didn't give a s*&$t about much... and I've seen girls like that--acting crazy and having fun and not worrying about rules or even knowing that tryouts are coming up. It was fun to see Drew Barrymore having a good time--especially beating up her 'fiance' and him loving it! Iron Maven (the divine Juliette Lewis!) was a great nemesis. She was the scary, scrappy girl--the loose cannon aimed right at you! Yikes!
    • I loved the parents. The mom really was trying (willing to buy combat boots "At least they don't have duct tape on them") and good movie dads almost always make me cry. I loved how he looked up derby on Google. Awww!
    • The Love interest: *slight spoiler alert* I really liked how the romance part of the story turned out. Was relieved that Bliss followed her bliss--put herself first ahead of some stupid guy who didn't respect her. Are there any movies besides this and White Men Can't Jump where a girl doesn't settle for a loser guy? Let me know!!
    • I liked that people looked real. Dude (Oliver) had a big nose and bad teeth, Maggie had wrinkles, Bliss was super pale and Pash was super freckled. Movies are more realistic to me when people look like people I might know rather than supermodels.
    All in all, I say see it! To make it even better, when you sit down in that theater seat, tune in with your inner 12-year-old girl and soak in the reminder to Be Your Own Hero!

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Backward Blues

    Do you suppose I could get that Aussie mom to serve me up some Ovaltine to help me with skating backwards?  I sincerely believe that the harder I try to go in reverse, the tougher it gets -- just like the ad says.

    Going forward on skates has been tough enough.  Had I not been getting my skates tweaked at Monday's practice when Raven made us show off a skating talent, I would have just skated in the forward motion without falling -- that is about as talented as I get these days!  I'm even making (very slight) progress going forward in the clockwise direction, but this whole backwards thing is just gibberish to my feet and hips.

    I don't remember if we did any backwards skating at tryouts, but at our very first practice we did a little bit of it and I remember just being immobilized, stuck at the far end of the Palladium, while everyone else had made it back to the line.  Liv N. LetDie took pity on my cement-footed self and basically pushed me all the way back to the line.  Since then we have done some backwards skating at practices.  I usually can only go about two feet, while everyone else does about ten laps.

    A lot of people have tried to help me with this skating hurdle.  FM Kellie gave me some personal instruction at one of those Friday night Open Skates back in early August.  She told me to focus on how I was using my toes in the propulsion motion.  That seemed like a good plan back then, when I did not have chronic foot pain on the top of my right foot.  Cinzilla and Mildred Fierce tried to help at a Saturday Open Skate and instructed me to do some sort of back wheel foot lift, but I can never seem to remember the exact mechanics of that motion during practices.

    So tonight Charlie made us do a lot of backwards skating.  Maybe I made it more than two feet tonight, but not by much.  Charlie showed me how to use my hips and how to carve my foot and it made perfect sense when watching her fluid movements, but when trying to apply these to my FrankenSkate body, I just floundered.

    But at least now I have a bunch of things to work with at the next Open Skate.  Maybe I'll just try and skate backwards the entire time.   That will be super boring and very frustrating, but I need to just focus and figure this thing out.  There has to come a time when the harder I try, the easier it will be, right?

    Now where's that Ovaltine?

    Roller Derby on Film!

    Drew Barrymore directs "Whip It."

    For a survey of derby on film over the decades see

    Mildred Fierce's latest "Skate Like a Girl"

    Whoopsy Daisy!

    It happened. My ass smack down on the ground.

    Last night's practice, led expertly by Raven Von Kaos, was everything a good practice should be. It challenged our endurance with a pyramid sprint drill and suicide drills. It built our skills with 20 laps (in each direction) skating as a pack. It bolstered our confidence--Raven had us one by one, take the track and show the group something we're good at while the rest of the group cheered. Foxee Firestorm busted out the sweet dance moves. Pixie Painful did that trick where you balance on the front wheels on one skate, and the back wheels on another. Mildred Fierce displayed mad storytelling skills with a lovely knee-slide finale. Others did impressive Figure 4 Falls, Knee Dips, and some very cool Rexing!

    And we had time for fun at the end of practice. Ever play "Freeze Tag" on skates? You should!! Raven had us divide into 4 groups (wearing colored pinnies) each with one jammer. As we all skated around the track, our jammer tagged other team members (minus jammers) while other team's jammers tagged us. Once tagged, we had to stop until another of our team members could come by to tag and 'unfreeze' us. So Fun!! During my turn as jammer I must have had the craziest look on my face as I tried (many times unsuccessfully) to tag Heather Headlocklear as she flew around. It really pushed me to skate my fastest like nothing else has.

    Great practice right? Well, perhaps the cherry on top of that great practice sundae was breaking the sudden vertical drop barrier. We were scrimmaging, I was blocking in the back of the pack and suddenly, completely out of nowhere, I was DOWN! Right on my ass! I fell so hard I felt like I might find that there was a hole in the floor and my butt was sitting on the concrete foundation of the palladium! It was such an absolute surprise. I felt this fall throughout my entire body--it completely shook my entire world. My mind was working overtime. Thoughts flying through included "Did I hurt my coccyx like FM Jenipher? Did I get a concussion? Am I gonna get a super hemotoma like Roxy?" The wind was knocked out of me, my head felt really zingy and I could feel tears pushing out involuntarily... not like "I am not gonna cry" involuntary tears, more like tears that were a body function--like sweating or sneezing almost. I crawled to the middle of the track, there was no getting up from this doozy of a fall. I felt shocked and scared. People asked me if I was o.k. and I couldn't respond because I didn't know. It was a very strange and otherworldly feeling. The weirdest part was that my butt didn't hurt at all! What I finally noticed hurting (a lot!) was my neck. Derby Whiplash? I looked to Millie to try to figure out what to do. She asked if my upper body was tensing up. I thought, oh yeah, I should lie down so that I can relax my neck and not have it seize up. I lay on my back and listened to the continuing scrimmage---the sounds of shouting and the loud crash of someone else taking a fall. I lay there on my back, looking up and trying to relax. Millie stuck by me and told me to breathe, exhaling fully and letting my back relax down to the floor. I swear, that woman should market her own guided relaxation recording! Her kids must love when she reads them bed-time stories 'cos that woman really can encourage calm amid chaos. Listening to her voice, concentrating on breathing and relaxing (and not freaking out) was really completely turning things around. After a while I was able to sit up. I slowly rolled my shoulders, moved my head from side to side and couldn't detect any concussion-like feelings or other signs of major injury. In fact, I was able to block in one more scrimmage! Glad I could get back on the horse that threw me. Wasn't ready to jam, but held my own and actually did a couple of decent positional blocks (making sure my butt was in the jammer's way).

    So all-in-all, the falling experience was a pretty good one. The best part was seeing that my girls had my back. Right away, people were checking on me and FM Rachel looked me right in the eye --always helpful with people who are out to lunch!--and asked if I needed ice or anything else. My derby sisters stuck with me up until I was feeling better. I got to learn firsthand that "Derby Hurts" but that we survive. Our world can be completely rocked--even stop for a moment... but we can start back up again and be ready for the next challenge. Go me!

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Go Nor Cal!!

    I'll be attending this out of town bout, wearing green and supporting our Silicon Valley sisters as they battle Orange County. In an interesting parallel, Rachel's attending SCDG Boardwalk Bombshells vs San Diego Derby Dolls in San Diego tonight. We'll be sure to post the details!

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Boil 'n' Bite Bites Back

    I have No Love for my little blue mouth-monster. I'm not sure, but I think tonight's incident with my mouth guard was the grossest yet. No, I didn't drop it in the toilet... though I do think about it, I hate it so. I was skating along, minding my business, chewing on my mouth guard as I was trying to perform any number of challenging drills tonight at Fresh Meat practice (more on the chewing later) and low and behold, I got to experience what it's like to have a mouth guard AND a hair in my mouth. YECHHH! So I'm skating and chewing along (BAD IDEA, don't engage in this nasty habit, I think I have a permanent mouth-sore on my left upper gum) and NOW I'm trying to dislodge aforementioned hair from the mouth guard with my tongue as I skate. Disgusting. And the first attempt at extracting both mouth guard and hair from my mouth (with my hands...) didn't even work. I found myself skating around the track waiting for another break in drills to make the attempt again. 2nd try was a charm. Phew!

    Daisy's mouth guard experiences so far:
    -Dripping drool down my front after taking it out-- check.
    -Dropping it on the floor and putting it back in--oh yeah.
    -Mouth sores from compulsive cud-like chewing--yep!
    -Washing the thing only once. Ever.--mais oui, that's me!
    -and now the hair.

    Just. Plain. Gross.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Derby/Life Balance

    It is so obvious that I suffer from the same dilemma that the girl in the above commercial also suffers from:  skating has taken over our lives!  That last line in the commercial sums it all up:  "When you've got something better to do than cook!"  Every week it seems that my grocery shopping and dinner preparation chores get sidelined because I am doing something derby-related.  Last night, we went to Trader Joe's, which is not our usual grocery store, just because we needed food for the house that is quick, effortless, and (gulp) pre-packaged.  I am not a pre-packaged food kind of person.  I like the hours needed to read through the recipe, chop, marinate, broil, baste, etc.  I just don't seem to have the time for that anymore.  If I miss grocery shopping or cooking a big meal on Sunday night, then I'm rushing to (double gulp) Safeway right after practice on Monday night just for a few breakfast things, and for dinner I'm subsisting on whatever small morsels I have sitting around the cupboard.

    There are other lifestyle changes besides meal preparation that have been lost to derby as well.  I no longer seem to read books.  I am weeks behind in my book club book, because instead of devouring that book over breakfast, I am on the internet looking up all things derby.  And what about sewing?  I'm supposed to make my sister some cloth baby wipes from old towels.  My little nephew must have a super dirty bum by this time with all the baby wipes that I have NOT made.  The only sewing I have done in the past few weeks has been, well, you guessed it:  derby-related.  I still work, of course, but driving to and from appointments has been consumed with thoughts about derby and practice and skates and teammates get the picture.  And what about the poor boyfriend?  He wants to hang out on Friday nights because he has barely seen me all week and all I want to do is go down to the Palladium for some Open Skate.

    The only thing that I haven't fallen behind on is laundry.  And why is that?  Well, I need to keep my derby clothes laundered, of course!  I have just so many workout pants to wear and if I don't keep them clean, then I will have to resort to (triple gulp) booty shorts and tights.  I need to also wash multiple pairs of knee-high socks plus my two name shirts so that people can tell who I am at practice.  (Apparently my helmet name sticker is not really working because the letters are too big and when directly behind me people can only see "ACHE", which is how their eyes and minds must feel after watching me skate!)

    At a recent work conference they had us make a pie chart detailing our Work/Life Balance.  I really need to sit down and do a Derby/Life Balance chart so that I can deal with all these changes!  Otherwise, I'm going to have to go pick up a busload of those Take 5 dinners!

    Saturday, September 19, 2009


    I keep getting asked about tattoos.  If I have any, when I'm getting them, etc.  I have to end this line of questioning here and now.  Though I have managed to get my toe just inside the derby door, my body is unadorned, uninked, and artless, and it shall remain so.  It's not that I have anything against tattoos.  I'm just trying to think about my future.  I mean, what if someday I happen to be on the NOC list?  Would it be a good idea to have an entry in the Identifying Marks section?  I need to keep my body as anonymous as possible.  I am, afterall, still waiting for the CIA to come recruit me as soon as they realize that I am the next Sydney Bristow:

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    I'm gonna wash that stench right outta my pads...

    I've played my share of smelly sports.  I remember soccer cleats that never quite dried out after game upon game in torrential downpours.  Or what about the four years I spent drenched in scum from the Erie Barge Canal?  We definitely must have had some kind of funk emanating from us, which was probably why no one other than crew team members sat together after morning rows.  But these derby pads seem to have taken on a life of their own...they may even have giant microbial mold growing in them.

    At my first few practices with SCDG, I remember taking whiffs of my shiny, new Pro-Tec pads --  Ahhhh!  Fresh from the packaging!  And then I would happen to be next to a seasoned player during drills and my nostrils would flare a bit at the derby girl reek.  But now, after a month and a half of sweating profusely into my pads and occasionally forgetting to air out my gear bag, I am blending right in.

    I can't quite describe the smell.  It's part stale sweat, part bottom of the laundry pile, and part three-day-old wet towel sealed in a Ziploc.  I have really tried to be good about at least opening the bag after practice, and I always regret not doing so when slipping on cold wet elbow pads and wrist guards.  In fact, the wrist guards seem to be the worst olfactory offenders.  My hands stink for hours after wearing them, even after frantic scrubbing sessions a la Lady MacBeth.

    So I decided to do something about my stench and soaked the pads in a half-water/half-white vinegar solution as per the suggestion at this post.  After a night of soaking, they are now hanging in the sun to bake all day.  Hopefully this will get out some of the stink and hopefully I won't smell too douchey at the next practice.

    And for those of you who remember #1 from my Derby Wish List, please rest assured that I have purchased a very strong Dove deodorant and my own personal underarm odor problem seems to have been fixed.  If only I had known about this product made especially for girls on skates:

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Beyond Co-Dependency

    One of the great things about joining a derby league is all the cool women you meet. You find yourselves working on committees together, shopping for 'Boutfits', cheering for each other through each grueling practice. Sweet, right? Well now imagine this: this girl may take major falls and sustain serious injury because of something you did. Yes, that's right. Derby is a place where you wind up hurting your friends. Now there are the normal dings and dents that happen because of a well-placed block and then there are accidents. These are the ones that kill me. As I lumber along learning to be a cleaner, better skater there is inevitable fallout along the way. There are the times my skate gets 'locked' with another girl on the track, there are the times I fail to "fall small" and poke somebody in the eye, and there are the times that I try to receive a whip from somebody in the pace line and manage to drag them to the floor. YOW!! These are the moments that break my heart. We keep getting reminded that "There's No Sorry in Derby." We're supposed to roll right by anyone who has fallen, don't apologize, don't help anyone up and keep playing. We're supposed to let it go and not let these things compromise our game. I know it's not useful to to feel this bad about hurting my new girl-friends... still there's this gut-wrenching guilt and sheepish tail between the legs shame and knowing my lack of finesse has caused another's bruises and bumps-- it causes me anguish that I can practically feel in my chest when I've done something sloppy or unskilled that results in one of my derby sisters lying on the floor. So, since I'm not supposed to say it at practice I'll say it now:

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Rump Roast

    One thing that we worked on last night was positional blocking -- skating in front of an opposing skater to impede her movements.  My group was made up of me, Pixie Painful, and FM Kat.  I had to skate in front of the opposing skater and I needed to get my butt right in her way to slow her down, but still needed to be able to move my feet quickly enough to continue to block if she tried to get around me.  Pixie kept telling me to sit on her, which I was sort of taking figuratively, but to demonstrate what she wanted me to do, she skated up behind me, grabbed my hips and pulled me right up against her.  I let out an involuntary whoop of surprise.  So that's what she meant!

    Okay, well I can work on that.  It's not like I have a problem getting all wedged in with people -- I did spend five years riding the NYC subway system during rush hour and, as a result, I have definitely experienced my share of getting squished against others.  (Though please accept my apologies for being all sweaty on everyone with whom I'm paired up in drills!)

    Besides, I like these drills where I get to use my butt.  I keep wanting to give my bottom a pep talk and imagine it would go something like this:  "Hey! Bubble Butt!  You got some natural talent down there -- you were made for booty blocking, babe!  I'm sorry about all the years I yelled at you for being too big and sticking out too far!  But now, this is your chance to shine and to be proud of being overdeveloped!  We still have some work to do, but I know you can do it, Big Girl!"

    Next week, tune in for a pep talk for my thunder thighs...or should I call them Wonder Thighs to make them feel better?

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    I think I can...I think I can...

    I'm finally beginning to feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm going to successfully get through this Fresh Meat period.  In August, when we first started, I really struggled at almost every practice.  It felt like the only thing I could do was a plow stop.  Everything else seemed to cause me great anguish.  I would go home and cry after almost every Monday night practice.  I'd feel okay about the Fresh Meat only practices after Tuesday nights, but as the week progressed and we got closer to Monday, little nervous worms of dread would start to eat away at my stomach.  I started to think that they were really trying to weed me out--not because I couldn't fulfill the attendance policy, but because I just could not skate.

    It's been a month and a half now and I've finally stopped being Queen Sticky Wheels (all eight wheels on the ground).  My crossovers may be sloppy and I still have trouble pushing with my left leg in mid-crossover, but I'm doing them.  I no longer constantly hear "Pick up your feet!" and "Do your crossovers!" from the sidelines.  And I think what really helped this last week at Tuesday's practice, and which gave me a little boost of confidence, was when the coaches timed our twenty laps around the track.

    The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) has a minimum skills requirements list (pdf) and in that it indicates that skaters must be able to do twenty-five laps in under five minutes.  So the coaches did a mini-assessment of us.  They split the Fresh Meat in half and the first group of girls did their twenty laps.  I was in the next group and didn't have anyone to count laps for me, so our coach, Charlie Red Stick, volunteered for the job.

    After the clock started, I struggled a little bit to get rolling, but somehow managed to do so.  If there is one thing I have learned from running and rowing long distances, it is not to waste all my energy in the beginning.  It felt like everyone around me burst into a sprint, but I decided to keep it at a steady, medium pace, and I fell in somewhere behind them.  Throughout the twenty laps, Charlie stayed right with me.  She skated out of bounds in the center ring and gave me lap updates.  She reminded me to constantly watch out for other skaters and when I faltered in my steps, she would shout encouragements.  I finished the twenty laps in just under 3:40.  I would not have been able to do that a month ago and am still so relieved that I was able to not only finish, but to finish in under five minutes.  Afterwards, Charlie came up to me and gave me a hug and later told me she was proud of me.  Awwwww!  Cockles warmed!

    So, two skills down (laps and plows), thirty or so to go!  Turn stops are still beyond my grasp.  Every time we do knee dips, I really think I won't be able to get back up again...cursed creaky joints!  And what is this about hopping over a three inch object?? [insert increased heart rate and hyperventilating] Okay, wait. One thing at a time, right?  I can do this.  I'm trying to think positive -- I really want to be...

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Time for Timer

    Fresh Meat Girls just love to be helpful!
    Went and demonstrated my go-to-it-iveness at practice on Monday night by timing scrimmages with the stop-watch function on FM Nathalie's Iphone (or was it a blackberry?) and somehow that must have prompted Head Ref Bronco to ask me to time the actual jams of the SCDG vs Tuscon game tomorrow night!! Yikes! Practiced with my very own newly purchased stop-watch and regulation Fox-40 Whistle at last night's practice and I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. No time like the present!

    Hoping I'll be as chill as these guys pictured here...

    They tell me that the only thing I need to worry about is getting the heck out of the way i.e. backing up super-duper fast in my platform boots, so that I don't get run over by Hue Refner.

    I think I'll be too busy focusing on TIME to notice the bout, so please, help me out and let me know how it went. Going to go make some 2-minute eggs now to practice my skills.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    The Basics

    Millie Fierce included the following video with her recent blog post at Skate Like a Girl.  It is a video on the basics of flat track derby brought to us by the Hammer City Roller Girls of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  This is something I really should have watched prior to my first bout.  I remember settling into my seat and watching the first jam, then the second and the third, all the while my brow is becoming more and more furrowed due to all the time spent wondering how those points were getting scored and what was going on in general.  At one point, I leaned over to my boyfriend, and said "Where's the ball?"  A silly thing to say, when I consider it now, but I was just so confused at the time.  (And, of course, there is NO ball in roller derby!)  We finally figured out the scoring system and the whole experience of watching and enjoying the bout became that much better.  At the two most recent bouts, SCDG and the opposing team got out on the track with the refs and prior to the first whistle, they ran through a mock jam for the audience, explaining all the penalties, ref hand signals, player positions, etc.  I love these mock jams and I'm sure they were super helpful to first time bout-goers.  Anyway, without further ado...

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    Do I Really Want to Hurt Me?

    Sooner or later it happens to the best of us...
    Call them what you will, Boo-boos, Owies, Rink Rashes--what have you. Injuries are part and parcel of the derby life.

    (For this and other lovely injury photos see: Rat City Rollergirls Hall of Pain.)

    SCDG Injury Status Check:
    FM Rachel: plum-sized booty bruise (and btw, honey, thanks for showing me, it's adorable!)
    FM Nikki: shoulder pain galore last night after a taking a spill.
    Barbarian Librarian: Hurt knee from skating like a banshee (and falling) at tryouts on Monday.
    Roxy Scarmichael: Daily butt bruise update: which elder statesman or rock star does her salad-plate-sized bruise (gleaned from the CA State Fair 'assphalt') look like today?

    And that's just in the past week! Yikes!

    Now I'm not a big faller. (Oh great, here I go jinxing myself, right?) In fact, I don't have to go past my two hands in counting the number of times I've fallen since I started this whole derby insanity. But as Coach Charlie Redstick was explaining last night, this is not necessarily a good thing... Some of us don't fall because... well... um... because we are scared to.

    Unfortunately, we 'fraidy cats with our fear of falling are more likely to do things that are not in our best interest, and thereby hurt ourselves in order to AVOID a fall. In fact, Charlie says back at that fatefull practice where she tried to catch herself instead of just falling she should have embraced biting it and thereby would have avoided dislocating her shoulder.

    I don't like getting hurt. My knee has been complaining to me for the past couple weeks and that's scary enough. (Apparently players of 'a certain age'--mine-- can expect constant aches and pains. Oh yay.)
    But even more so, I don't like being out of control and therefore I do not fall.

    While learning rock climbing I was supposed to practice 'falling on purpose' (don't worry, this is while you're geared up with harnesses and ropes and such) and I HATED the VERY IDEA!! Fall on purpose? Right, next I'll be sure to cut off a cop on the freeway and willingly slam my hand in a door! But, as Coach Charlie was saying last night "Good jammers are good fallers." I'm afraid that to become a good player I'll have to get to know the hardwood on a more personal level (isn't picking up my mouth guard off of it and putting it back in my mouth intimacy enough?). This is probably where I'm going to be (another Charlie quote) 'pushing my comfort zone'--something we Freshies should be doing as our skills improve. Somebody, sing Weird Al's "Eat it" with me and let me revel in the ensuing bruised flesh and bruised dignity!!

    For now, I'll try to reassure myself with the words I used to 'drop the derby bomb' on my mom: "Don't worry, this is a much safer hobby than motorcycling!" Yeah, but for a while could I wear my leather chaps on the track?

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Skewered by Skate

    I'm having a bit of trouble sitting on my right butt cheek this morning.  Last night, I was paired with Hell Louise (Weezie, for short), FM Jacklyn and FM September for a drill on using your body to wiggle between two blockers to make a hole for your jammer to go through.  Weezie was awesome!  She didn't rush us into doing this at a pace beyond our comfort level and she gave constant, encouraging feedback.  I liked this drill a lot, but I kept locking skates with everyone and took major tumbles to the ground.  On one of these tumbles, my butt cheek landed really hard right on my skate wheel, which is what has caused me some discomfort this morning.  No bruise yet, which is something for which to be thankful -- Roxy Scarmichael's current butt bruise is quite terrifying!  I'm also grateful that I did not land with the skate wheel wedged in my ass crack.  That unpleasant experience has happened to me before and is something that I would really like to avoid in the future.

    Otherwise, I thought I had a decent practice.  I was paired up with LuLu Lockjaw in the double pace line.  I was on the outside line, so I had to work extra hard just trying to keep as even with her as possible in the pace line.  This drill encouraged teamwork and when it came time to weave through the pace line, she was really good about not letting me fall too far behind and she kept her hand behind her in case I needed to grab onto it.  When we finally broke through the line, we had to sprint around the track to the front of the pace line.   LuLu let me sprint in front of her, which, as the faster skater, was a good idea because she could then set her pace to mine instead of me trying to keep up with her.  She was really positive and motivating throughout that drill and the next, when I was behind her in the single pace line.

    I sat out toward the end of the night, because there were team tryouts for those girls who are eligible to play in bouts.  I don't know how many spots were available on the team, but the way these women skated makes me think that there was only one spot.  They fought so hard and looked amazing!  Great job, ladies!  

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    SCDG vs. Tucson...Be there!

    Santa Cruz Derby Girls,SCDG,Tuscon Roller Derby
    Get your tickets here.
    And it is superhero-themed!

    Boil N. BiteMe

    I went to the dentist yesterday for my routine six month cleaning and I brought along my mouthguard so that the dentist could check it.  The hygienist was really nice and even offered to clean it for me.  When the dentist came in, he put the mouthguard in to make sure that it was properly fitted. He said that I had done a really good job during the boil and bite process and he usually doesn't see them that well fitted.  Yay!  But I can't take all the credit for being a good first time boil-n-biter, because I was talked through it by my boyfriend who used to play high school football.  He said that in order to make it fit properly, I really needed to suck out all the water and then bite down really hard.  I guess during his first season he had not done it properly and the mouthguard would fill up with drool all the time.  Yuck!

    So the dentist was impressed with my boil-n-bite technique, but wanted to see the mouthguard protrude a little less in the front and to perhaps go up a little bit more over my front gums.  So we then talked about a custom mouthguard.  I would have to take a few impressions, which would then be sent to Irvine for mouthguard construction.  So this seems like a great idea, right?  I figured that it's probably only $100 or $150 at most, but when I asked the receptionist she said it was more like $375.  $375?!?  Looks like the $1.99 well-fitted boil-n-bite mouthguard is what I'll be sticking with for the time being, because my insurance only covers mouthguards if I am a grinder.  Bummer.

    They were also really nice and tried to find a mouthguard case, but I guess they were out of them and new ones would not be in until later in the week.  That's okay, though, because I still really like the one I am using.  I bought this little tin can case about ten years ago in Japan and think it's pretty awesome and the perfect size for my mouthguard:
    And in case you can't see the inscription, it reads, and I quote:  "To get out.  Indie every girl there's a stripper long get out. One night to hevenly.  Fantastic Fake Stars."

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009


    Move the hell over, 
    I've got patrons to serve!

    I've been getting a lot of support from my co-workers about my new obsession and many of them sent me this CNN story that was in the headlines recently.

    Stereotype-smashin' derby librarian, "MegaBeth," a reference librarian in Akron Ohio, is 53 year old player for the Rubber City Roller Girls.

    This article is bringing up an age-old battle for us librarians... Having to prove that librarians are actually cool. Well guess what folks. We are!

    MegaBeth isn't the only librarian rolling around and taking names, let’s see more of these brawlin' biblio babes!

    Judy Gloom plays for the LA Derby Dolls
    Take a look at her blog, Hollywood Librarian.

    Kiwi Derby Librarian, Bonne Fire from the Pirate City Rollers of Aukland, New Zealand!
    See her wonderful video on the reference interview here at her blog, Derby Librarian.

    Dame Deviant, a Young Adult librarian, plays for the Bend, Oregon Lava City Roller Dolls and likes to do library-supportive booty blocking!

    And in Santa Cruz, we're lucky: Our league has the privilege of having 2 librarians (both in public libraries) and one retired player in library school!
    Here's our very own Barbarian Librarian
    Soon-to-be formerly known as Fresh Meat Kim.
    She is a public library reference librarian and derby a** kicker.

    *Side note* Yes folks, we have to earn our names. We spend 3 months as Fresh Meat, then need to pass our scrimmage assessment to be eligible to 'crossover' to the other side. Meanwhile, our chosen derby name gets sent to the name goddesses who have 2-3 months worth of names to get through. You better hope that your name gets approved, because if not it's back to the drawing board.

    And then there's me... 
    SCDG FM Profile Preview of Fresh Meat Daisy:
    My Other Set of Wheels is a Book Cart
    Why derby? 
    They wouldn’t let me knock people down in salsa dancing.
    Theme song:
    I Was Born Making Noise- Suzi Quatro

    Support your local libraries, folks, and the women who help them rock!! Oh, and please let me know of any other derby librarians rolling around out there!!