Sunday, December 30, 2007

Post holiday catch-up and Honolulu Derby Girls

I am finally back to blogging after an extended illness and ten days in Hawaii for Christmas (sadly, these two events overlapped significantly). Here are the things I miss about Hawaii --
  • chocolate popsicles -- don't even get me started
  • teri chicken plate lunch
  • my cat Aengus -- 15 years old and still more fun at a party than me
  • the weather -- where even the rain seems pleasant
  • the mountains, the plants, the birds, the beaches
  • the fact that I look just like everybody else
  • how everybody is in a good mood all the time
Things I do not miss about Hawaii:
  • my allergies to just about everything in Hawaii (including my fab cat Aengus)
  • the traffic -- worse than Boston, I am sure
  • the fact that Hawaii is a rock in the middle of the ocean -- people are always asking me why I would want to leave paradise. The truth is you can only take paradise for so long before it starts to bother you that you've basically done and seen everything. You can drive around the entire island in a couple of hours and you'll just end up back where you started. Everything is expensive and a lot of things never make it to Hawaii at all (think movies, plays, concerts, products in stores, ideas for chrissakes). It's like the little town you grew up in where everything is safe and familiar but all you want to do is get to the big city and pursue your dreams. Except you can't take a Greyhound out of town or hitch a ride with some likely stranger -- you have to buy an expensive plane ticket. Yup. Nice place to visit. Hard to live in. At least for me.
So the holidays were nice if short and a bit stressful. I was able to visit my grandmother on Maui, who just had a stroke, which was a good thing (the visit, not the stroke). Spent some time with my Mom and caught up with a couple of old friends. Spent exactly ten minutes at the beach (Waikiki Beach, which hardly even counts - plus I was wearing sneakers, which makes it count even less). Witnessed the Christmas miracle of Taz (my mother in law's dog, who has been quite ill, and who was so sick that we all thought he was going to die that night -- shaking uncontrollably, unable to get up, not responding -- who got up the next day, bouncy and happy, demanding to be taken for a walk and given treats! Yay!).

As for roller derby, I missed the first practice because I was too sick (flying + head cold = bad) but was able to hook up with the wonderful Honolulu Derby Girls for two subsequent practices. They practice at Kaneohe Marine Corps Station at an outdoor hockey rink. Did I mention how nice the weather was? The Honolulu Derby Girls are all super wonderful people and I had a great time skating with them. I also met Sassy Chassis (Rat City Rollergirls) and Bea Attitude (Texas Rollergirls) who were also in town. Hooray for derby! I brought my new outdoor wheels with me but never even took them out of the package -- my blue Fugitives were awesome on the cement floor. A good time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rotating my wheels

So when my knee was messed up I decided it would be a great time to clean out my bearings and rotate my wheels. I thought I remembered that there was a specific way to rotate your wheels so that they were evenly distributed over time, but was unable to find it online. So me and my husband, being the big nerds that we are, created the above chart in order to rotate the wheels based on their wear pattern. The wheels with the most wear would be exchanged with wheels with the least wear. This turned out to be more difficult than it seemed, because the wheels were actually worn down in two different ways: the wheel tread and the edge wear. And the wheels with the most edge wear were not necessarily the wheels with the most tread wear. It was actually very interesting to contemplate what the wheels were telling me about how I skate. Anyway, just thought I would share my craziness.

"Whip It" to be directed by Drew Barrymore

Via LeadJammer:

Production Charts and the Hutchinson Leader (MN) note that the upcoming roller derby film Whip It will be directed by Hollywood star Drew Barrymore. Whip It's screenwriter, L.A. Derby Doll Shauna Cross, is also the author of Derby Girl. The Leader article states that it's unclear if the movie is an adaptation of the book or just something similar. This will apparently be the first time directing for Barrymore. That's cool, but who will play K.C. Carr? Note to Barrymore: if it's set in the mid-west, go flat track for extra derby cred. And shoot the big climax bout scene at the Roy Wilkins.

Summary: "A Midwestern, small-town, teenage girl discovers the high-energy world of roller derby and must decide if she’s willing to go against her parents and friends in order to pursue the sport she loves."

Monday, December 3, 2007

December 8 -- Bout time in Boston, plus a winter food drive!

Nutcrackers vs. Cosmonaughties

Saturday, December 8, 2007 Doors at 5 pm, Bout at 6 pm Shriners Auditorium Wilmington, MA

Tickets $14 in advance, $16 at the door

It's dancer grace versus outer space when the Nutcrackers meet the Cosmonaughties at the second home team bout of Boston Derby Dames' Season Two. The Nutcrackers, BDD's badass ballerinas, are sharpening their elbows and perfecting their sneaky pirouette punch. Meanwhile the Cosmonaughties have spent all summer in their Vulvatron lab, constructing bionic parts and cyborg teammates from Sputnik-grade steel.

Boston punk favorites Darkbuster play during halftime, and DJ Boo Boo Danger spins through the bout and into the night at the on-site after party.

SEASON TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE! Pro-rated as the season progresses, but always the best roller derby deal this side of the Charles.

First Annual Winter Food Drive: Bring a non-perishable food item to the merch table at the December 8 bout to receive a free Boston Derby Dames sticker.

We are holding our first annual Winter Food (and other items) Drive at our December 8th bout. Everyone is encouraged to bring items to donate. In exchange for one's donation, participants will receive a BDD sticker.

All items are being donated to Rosie's Place ( The mission of Rosie's Place is to help women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. Please see their website for more detailed information.

Rosie's Place is always in need of the following items:

• Clean, in-season women's clothing, particularly nightgowns, slippers, new underwear, bras and socks

• Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes; regular and travel sizes are appreciated

• Non-perishable food items, particularly canned vegetables and fruits, cereal, peanut butter, pasta, non-refrigerated juices and rice

• Children's books

• Buttons and jewelry

• Playing cards

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Honolulu Derby Girls League on KGMB (I'm so happy!)

I have to admit, I'm more excited about going home for Christmas now that there is a roller derby team in Hawaii. Maybe I can practice with them! I just watched this nice news piece on them which made me so happy (and jealous that they are getting free practice space). I never thought about a military base as an option. Too bad we don't have any military brats on our team. Via KGMB:
Written by Ramsay Wharton -

Some of our viewers may remember the heyday of a hugely popular sport here in the islands. No, not wrestling. We're talking about roller derby.

In the 50's and 60's, it drew thousands to nightly shows at the former Civic Auditorium. Many of those broadcast here on KGMB9.

In the 70's, television shows like "Charlie's Angels" fed off the popularity of the fast-moving, often bruising antics of roller derby teams. Skaters, decked out in protective gear, roughed it up as they tried to score points by lapping opponents on a banked roller rink.

On the mainland, roller derby continues today and now a group of young women are trying to bring the once popular sport back to Hawaii. This summer, frustrated by the lack of skating venues and roller derby in Hawaii, Melissa Rosen decided to revive the sport of roller derby and found the Honolulu Derby Girls League. This fall she and coach, Natalie Hancock, started recruiting women over the age of 21 who want to have fun and skate in sport that requires skill and bravery. Rosen says roller derby has changed over the decades. And while there are still colorful skaters with names like "Ballbreaking Becky," the races are geared more toward the sport than the rough-neck style entertainment that looked like wrestling on wheels.

The girls are practicing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii's roller hockey rink. Military dependent and Honolulu Derby Girls Coach, Natalie Hancock of Texas, escorts the girls on to base for practice.

The next Honolulu Derby Girls practice is scheduled at MCBH on Wednesday, November 28 at 4:30 p.m. and then Sunday, December 2 at 3:30 p.m.

The league is looking for more players and Honolulu Derby Girls Tryouts will be held at MCBH's Roller Hockey Rink, Saturday, December 8, at 4:30 p.m. To sign up, practice and get clearance to enter the base, contact Melissa Rosen at honoluluderbygirls@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The upside to not being able to skate

The bright side of not being able to skate for awhile:
  • your body finally gets a chance to heal itself. Not just the big injury that has sidelined you, but also that nagging pulled muscle in your ribcage (for instance) that keeps getting better until the next practice when someone slams into you in just the right place.
  • there is way less laundry to do.
  • You don't have to keep spraying your stinky pads with Febreeze every other day and air out your skates and your skate bag. And you don't have to deal with the smell when you forget to do that.
  • you don't have to lug around that gigantic bag of gear when you go to practices or scrimmages.
  • Instead, you can bring a camera and focus on taking awesome shots of your fellow skaters.
  • You can actually focus on your real job.
  • you can spend more time with your honey.
  • You can spend more time with other skater's honeys -- not like that! I just mean when you're sitting on the bench you get to have conversations with other folks on the bench, folks you might not get a lot of hang out time with. It's a nice chance to make new friends!
  • You can get more involved with other aspects of your league -- people always need more help doing committee work -- just ask around. Or try your hand at coaching or managing or whatever. You may find a hidden talent.
  • Depending on your league, you don't have to pay dues if you're injured!
  • If you are having problems with people on your league, or politics, or whatever crap goes on in everybody's leagues, it's a nice time to take a break from all of that or at least take a step back and re-examine it from a different perspective.
  • You can find a whole new group of people to talk about roller derby to -- your doctor, your nurse, your physical therapist, the people in the waiting room, etc. etc. Don't forget to bring flyers with you!
Okay, that's all I got. That said, it is frickin' awesome to be back on skates!!!

Rollergirls: Media darlings (by day *and* by night!)

Via Roller Derby Diva:
Almost every day, I get word of a newspaper article or TV news spot about some roller derby league somewhere in the world. On Saturday, the New York Times ran an article (with a front-page photo) on the Gotham Girls Roller Derby's intra-league championship. The Times has written about Gotham Girls and other leagues before, but I believe this is the first time they've done video too. Derby News Network managing editor Justice Feelgood Marshall is on a crusade to get journalists to avoid the "(insert occupation here) by day, rollergirl by night" cliche in their coverage, but sadly, it has yet to be realized, even by the Times. Oh well. In defense of my profession, I think most reporters (and most people) are still struck by this dichotomy upon first learning about modern-day roller derby. I'm not defending the use of cliches, which any Journalism 101 professor will instruct you to avoid; I'm just pointing out that the average writer might not realize that this particular description of a rollergirl has become cliched (that said, all writers should always read other articles about a subject before tackling it themselves and avoid describing things the same way others have). Anyway, assuming derby continues to grow, I would hope that you'd see less of these kinds of descriptions, just as you don't really read articles anymore that say things like, "She's a woman -- and she's a C.E.O.!" We shall see...

(Thanks to RollerBuzz for the page scan)

Cutest. Rollergirls. Ever.

Via Roller Derby Diva:
OK, I think this video will make up for the ones I posted earlier today -- this is the Tootsy Rollers, a pee wee roller derby league in Seattle and a division of the Seattle Derby Brats. (There are also junior derby leagues in Tucson and Orange County, Calif.) In pee wee derby, apparently the blockers' goal is to grab flags off the jammer's waist rather than knock her down. They don't look too different than we did a year and a half ago!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CNN News -- Roller Derby in Atlanta

Nice CNN news report on Atlanta roller derby team on YouTube:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Roller Derby Yahoo Group Roundup

    • This forum is for mothers who also play Roller Derby.
    • This group is for girls interested in getting into roller derby. We have some very experienced skaters here who have been there and done that... For example, most of the skaters here had not skated in 15 years before they caught the roller derby virus. Some couldn't even stand up on skates. Now they are rolling hard with the big girls. So ask questions.. and go try out for a dang roller derby league. Roller Derby is good for you :o)
    • A discussion group for sponsorship directors in established and developing roller derby leagues.
    • This is a place for roller derby medics to share ideas, experiences and best practices.
    • This group is for the Rollerderby artists and the people who love the art. I Wanted to create this group so artists and art fans from all around the world of derby could exchange, display and share ideas with each other. I wanted a place for all to be recognized.
    • This group has been created to further the discussions about the future of the modern roller derby, how to bring it the next level, and ensure its longevity.
      What to keep... what to trash... what do our fans want... what do WE want???
      How many of us have thought about - dreamed about - finding a way to make a living doing this?
      Why not talk about it?
      Just throw your thoughts and ideas out there!
    • Roller skating for fun & fitness for women old enough to know better.
    • Join this group if you want to be kept up on whats new in Roller Derby skating or want to learn tips and tricks to become the best skater possible.
    • not super active
    • A forum for dicussing and sharing coaching techniques and issues with other coaches around the world.
    • not very active
    • This is a Yahoo group designed to facilitate communication and the shared resources of Roller Derby league treasurers. If handle the finances for your league, please join!
    • This group is for Non-Profit Roller Derby leagues looking to share information and experiences as a non-profit organization. This group also is for leagues looking to apply for 501(c)3 Tax Exempt status with the IRS who want to share their experience or are looking for more information.
    • A place for roller derby leagues all over the world to discuss human relations topics in our roller derby organizations. This is NOT a place to air your league's dirty laundry! This is a place to discuss processes, procedures and resources for us to benefit from in our own leagues. The need for this group was made apparent at RollerCon 2007 in the "Getting Along" workshop, by Hurt Reynolds. Thanks, Hurt! Now let's discuss and share what works and what does not, and where we need help...
    • This is a group started by a captain of a roller derby team, for all roller derby captains. A place where we can get together to get the help and support from others who have been there and handled that!!
    • remember watching roller derby on television as a kid and wondering why it is no longer on television any more. Well roller derby is back. Joan Weston, banked tracks and padded bars are now gone. They now skate on a flat oval without the padded bars. This roller derby is real. They are not staged like the old time roller derby.
    • not very active
    • This is a one-stop resource for all present and developing Roller Derby Announcers throughout the world. It does not replace or compete with the Voices of Reason MySpace Group --the original derby announcers network resource - This site is here to provide easy instant access to announcer rookies and pros looking for general guidance and shared experiences. You'll find some Veteran Derby announcer dames and dudes here too.
      Roller Derby is presently the fastest growing sport in county--soon the world. There is equally a need for great and CREDIBLE ANNOUNCERS. Through this group we hope to share tips, advice, techniques and training; provide links to a variety of resources and most of all offer support and encouragement in effort to keep Roller Derby alive and thriving.
      Please join this effort by signing up and becoming part of this amazing journey.
    • This is a Yahoo group for roller derby league Sponsorship Directors or others who are involved in soliciting sponsorship for their league.
    • A group dedicated to coaching the sport of roller derby, and a place where coaches and skaters alike can share derby drills, insights and stories. Non-WFTDA affiliated, all coaches and skaters from veterans to beginners are welcome.
    • Discussion and resources for roller derby announcers, referees, scorekeepers, statisticians, mascots, penalty mistresses, photographers, videographers, and anyone else with front-of-house responsibilities.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hawaiian Derby

So the best news I have had all week is that a roller derby team is trying to start up in Hawaii! Yay! This means that when I go home for Christmas, I can still practice. Plus, there will be a whole team of girls who get my skater name and will even get the skater names that I decided against -- Slam Musubi, Hanna Okolele, Melee Kalikimaka, Lava Flo. Yay for Hawaii. Here is their myspace page: If anyone is out there in Hawaii, go check them out. I will definitely be trying to hang out with them come Christmas time!

MavTV Promos and YouTube Group

Some nice promos for the roller derby bouts now airing on MavTV:

WFTDA Tournaments on Mav TV!

Starting on October 20th, sequential games from the WFTDA Eastern Regional Tournament, Heartland Havoc, began airing on Mav TV's cable and satellite outlets, as well as Mav Episodes will air weekly of each tournament game, leading up to individual airs of each game of the WFTDA National Tournament, the Texas Shootout. The viewing schedule for cable and satellite is as follows:

Original airs will be Saturdays beginning 10/20, 10/27, 11/6, etc. at 11:00PM.

Re-airs will be Sunday (lt. Sat. night) at 1:30am, Mon. at noon, and Mon. at 5:00pm.

To view on Mav, please follow these instructions carefully:

* Click on this link:
* Scroll to the bottom of the page, and scroll through "Channels" to Men's Entertainment
* Click on Men's Entertainment
* On the righthand side bar menu of programs, click on links to tournament games, i.e. Atlanta Roller Girls vs. Windy City Rollers

If you have a Mac, Mozilla Firefox is a better browser to use to view the episodes online, and a lower res version will load better. Mav is working on making the viewing process easier from their site, especially for Mac using Safari, but it will take time - please bepatient!

If you enjoy the games, please send feedback to, or to Mav TV, or your local cable or satellite provider!

View more promos here!

Spread the word that Derby is back on tv! Please post to your myspace, livejournal, or website to help us share the love! Click here for info on sharing these videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube Group: The Boston Derby Dames. In order to get all of the Boston Derby Dame videos in one place we created this group where our fans can gather, discuss, add videos, etc. Some examples of good videos: video of Shelby Shattered taking out (fill in the blank); video of Sully da Gully vs. Mini Bloodbath (she's small but feisty!); video of you and your friends starting a wave; a fashion critique of the teams' outfits -- I believe the Nutcrackers have a new outfit this year; video of your pre-game predictions for December's bout. Whatever. We'd love to see more fan interaction!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Get to know your skates!

Via DerbyLuv:
I just spent a weekend with Wile E. Peyote from Rat City Rollergirls, and . That gal can sure eat! But more importantly, she knows a lot about skates, and I drilled her with questions all weekend long. There is so much to know about skates, and I feel like I only got to the tip of the iceberg.

Some things to keep in mind when purchasing new gear:
-just because everyone else is going with a certain boot, wheel, or plate, doesn't mean it's going to work for you!
-you can find different widths in skates. narrow, wide, and narrow heal with wide toe.
-jammers are beginning to try out wheels that are not as wide for more maneuverability
-if you're a bigger skater, aluminum hubs are beneficial, because they don't flex as much as nylon hubs..thus, making you work harder. and who the heck wants to do extra work?
-aluminum plates are a bit heavier, and the cheaper ones may be too heavy for some skaters. i.e. ME
-when starting out, try not getting all the fancy schmancy gear at first. ok, so maybe some hard work is alright sometimes. once you get used to some cheaper wheels, medi-ocre bearings, beginner skates, then i think you will appreciate the upgrade as a more experienced skate. for example, the extra roll-out time on bearings, or pusher wheels!
-ask questions! get different opinions, talk to other skaters, and try out different gear for yourself! i am still on my quest for my perfect skate.

good luck to you! and remember, i'm not a skate saleslady, so find out for yourself about this information. someone else could tell you something completely different.

georgia w tushy

How to take bout photos that don't suck

Everybody should read this. We need more bout photos that don't suck. I am working on it -- since I can't skate at the moment I am spending a lot more time taking photos. Via Roller Derby Diva:
I recently asked Cincinnati Rollergirls photographer Jason Bechtel, whose photos I'm constantly amazed by, to share some tips for those of us who are constantly frustrated with how our bout photos turn out (point and shoot camera + low light + fast action = blurry mess). So here's what he said (he gets a bit technical at the end at my request, but stick with it!):

In general, it's going to be really hard to get a good, crisp shot that actually represents what you were aiming for, with a point and shoot (p&s) at the roller derby. The two main weaknesses of p&s cameras are the shutter lag and the speed of their lenses. Shutter lag is that wait, short or long depending on your camera, between the point when you press the button on the camera and when it actually takes the picture. In general, that's not a problem, but when your subjects are moving at (however fast the average pack moves around the track), suddenly what you meant to take a picture of can be quite different from what you got.

You can help keep that from being a problem by tracking the skaters with the camera, but don't forget to keep tracking even after you press the button. Focusing quickly is also likely to be a problem for the p&s, so being mid-track where the distance from you to the skaters isn't changing quite as quickly will be best.

Lens speed is a separate problem. Without getting too far into the technical, faster lenses allow more light to come in so that they can take pictures at faster shutter speeds. To your eyes, it doesn't look that dark in the Gardens or Castle Skateland, but to the camera it is. P&S cameras aren't meant for taking pictures in low light, but they compensate by adding a flash. The flash on a p&s doesn't have a very long range, it's a lot less useful when your subject is 15 feet away than it is when they are 5 feet away. So in that respect, the suicide seating is a better spot than the stands to get a nice, clear shot.

The technical bits: For the most part, for my own photos, it's just a matter of finding the right manual settings for the venue and having fast (f/1.8 or f/1.4) lenses. I say manual settings because any camera will have a pretty hard time choosing the correct settings in an automated fashion. In general, because the lighting isn't terribly bright, my only real choice in the matter is the ISO (equivalent to the different speeds of film people used to buy). The apeture is set at f/1.8, letting the most light in and the shutter speed set to 1/125th or 1/160th of a second. Anything slower than that and there's too much motion blur. Anything faster and not enough light has time to get in, for the most part.

Getting back to that ISO, the lower the number (like 100 speed film) the less color noise in the final picture. Generally in the Gardens, I am either at ISO 640 or ISO 800 and even then the pictures coming out of the camera are a bit underexposed. I shoot in my camera's RAW mode, instead of jpg, because this gives me a lot more latitude on the computer to correct for intentionally underexposing the shots. In the end, it just takes a bit of juggling between those three numbers to find the right settings for a given bout and no matter how good the settings, there are still times when I can't track the skaters properly or the camera doesn't find the right spot to auto-focus on. That's the beauty of digital, it doesn't cost me anything (except time I
suppose) to be able to shoot 1300 frames at a given bout.
Thanks Jase! Anyone else have any tips they want to share?

On a related note, I recently found this article about a Montreal photographer who's exhibiting her derby photos. Hint hint, Jason and Jeff... :)

Also, ever wonder what rollergirls in New Zealand look like? Well, pretty much like they do here. But I imagine they sound cooler when they're yelling at each other.

Monday, November 5, 2007

"I know I would die, But ask yourself...What would you do without roller derby?"

Via LeadJammer:

Derby Nation, help our sisters out!

November 3, 2007 - 10:31pm
The story lost on the B.A.D. girls, which amazes and disturbs me, is their venue was shut down a day or two prior to the second bout of their 2007 season. If you're not familiar with the B.A.D. girls, they were the darlings of the 2006 Dust Devil, advancing to the second round, and finishing 9th, after ONLY BOUTING ONCE before that! They tied AZRD, one of the most experienced teams in the country, to advance to the tournaments' final 10 teams. They came back in 2007 and held their ground and showed their ranking was not a fluke. They need our help! With a temporary venue an hour out of their market, they'll finish the season, but remain homeless going into 2008. This quote from one of the skaters says it all, "I know I would die, But ask yourself...What would you do without roller derby?"
I am continually pissed off and frustrated and sad about the goings-on of my league, but I must agree... I think I would curl up and die without it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

2007 BDD Pumpkin Carving Contest Photo Gallery

First Place
Nutcrackers by Mike Derhammer
Nutcracker pumpkin

Pinchy McMasshole by Amy Mertl
Derby Dames' Best
Jammer by Queen Kamayhemayhem
CabbageNot blocker

Honorable Mentions & Derby Dames’ Creations
Dr. TeethVVVShe hates the refs
Weston SmithVicious Vivacious VeraRuby Khan
Mike DerhammerJeff Khan

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Boston vs. Detroit on MavTV

I watched the MavTV broadcast of Boston vs. Detroit this morning. So exciting! If you haven't seen it yet, go see it now! A few of my favorite quotes (not direct quotes I am paraphrasing from memory):

"Doom is not the lead jammer; she was naughty!"
"Clobber, looking like a mini Kareem Abdul Jabar with her goggles on"
"Those aren't boos -- that's the crowd chanting Doom!"
Some really nice skating going on...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bad news

So I tore a ligament in my knee. I am now on crutches. Life sucks. I want to skate. Grrrrrr.

Roller Derby Jack o'Lantern Contest

Hey all you roller derby folks out there -- the Boston Derby Dames are having a pumpkin carving contest in honor of Halloween and you are all invited to enter! Win tickets to the November 10 bout. And hey -- even if you're not from Boston, do it for the glory (we'll post the photos on our website). Give your tickets away to friends you know who should really be watching roller derby. Anyway, here is the announcement:

Win tickets to the November 10 boutBoston Derby Dames pumpkin
Sharpen your knives and show us how much you love us. The Boston Derby Dames are looking for a few good pumpkins to celebrate Halloween with.

Send us a photo of your best pumpkin design by October 29 for a chance to win two tickets to our November 10 bout. Preference given to roller derby and Boston Derby Dames-themed pumpkins.

Send a photo (no grainy cameraphone shots, please) with your name to Winner and runners-up will be announced on our site on Halloween. (Boston Derby Dames pumpkin by Mike Derhammer.)


1. All entries must be received by by 11:59PM EST October 29, 2007. Late entries will not be considered.
2. Submit original carved designs only. We're big jack o' lantern fans, so we'll know if you snatched something from
3. Entrants accept and agree to these rules and the decision of the judges, which shall be final. Entrants also agree to allow Boston Derby Dames, LLC, to use name, contest entry, likeness and/or other related information for promotional purposes.
4. Prizes: One Grand Prize winner will receive 2 tickets to the November 10, 2007 Bout.
5. This contest is not open to members of Boston Derby Dames or their immediate family.

MavTV bouts now online!

just finished watching the Atlanta - Windy City bout on MavTV. It is a little complicated to find it so here is how I did it:

Go to
Click on the blue "Watch MavTV" button which is in the middle of the screen towards the top.
On the bottom of the screen there are "channels" like "motors" and "women." Scroll until you get to"Men's Entertainment" and click on it.
On the right of the screen there is a box with a listing of shows. At the top of the box "schedule" should be highlighted. Click on "Just added" to change the listing.
Scroll down to the bottom of the list and click on the link for "MavTV Roller Derby: Atlanta vs. Windy City."

There are a couple of interview clips featuring Boston Derby Dames Ivana Clobber and Wanda Whipya. Yay! The coverage itself isn't bad considering. Beware of the commercials, though, they're a little Playboy channel-ish.

Some things I would like to see in future coverage:
  • Some way to highlight the jammers during the jams. They are kind of hard to distinguish. Maybe they could do something like they did for televised hockey matches where they highlighted the puck. Maybe they could somehow highlight the jammers.
  • A running score that is on screen all the time, not just between jams or between periods. Also I would like to see who the lead jammer is and some sort of running tally of penalties. That would be cool.
  • I know this is not going to happen anytime soon, but maybe some kind of camera that moves around the track to follow the action instead of all this constant cutting, which can get a little distracting. It would have to be suspended somehow from the ceiling or hanging from a crane or something like that, because you wouldn't want the skaters to trip over it, but that would be awfully nice.
  • I know it is a difficult thing to video, but I would like to see more replays of cool moves and penalties (not just the wipe-outs) with explanations of what is going on. That would really help a lot with getting the audience to understand and appreciate what is going on.
That being said, I thought the commentary was not bad, and the coverage was pretty decent, considering this is basically the first time they've tried to do it.

Can't wait for the Boston bout next week!

Friday, October 19, 2007

evil rock quilts

looking for a unique present for that hard rocking roller girl in your life? How about an evil rock quilt?

Thong whip -- need I say more?

(move your mouse over the grey bars)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Boston Massacre video!

A fun video of the September 22 bout:

roller derby on reality tv

so i hear that there have been some roller derby girls appearing on Deal or No Deal, and also 1 vs. 100. And apparently someone on Survivor was recruited through her MySpace page -- she played roller derby! Fun fun fun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So I have been thinking about statistics a lot lately. I don't really know much about statistics, but I do know that they're important and that because roller derby is such a new sport, people aren't exactly sure how to deal with statistics yet. Once we get the statistics a little better worked out, I want to have fantasy roller derby available. That would be so cool. My husband is a big fantasy baseball fan and has been helping me think about statistics a little bit. Since I have been working on the BDD website a lot, my thoughts about statistics mostly involve how to present them to the public in a clear and engaging manner. My husband, since he is always concerned about my well-being, is mostly concerned with how statistics can be used to prevent injuries. He also sent me this interesting article from the Boston Globe about the future of statistics in general. Interesting stuff:
In sports, mathematical analysis is old news as applied to baseball, basketball, and football. Statistical research of player performances has now been routinely applied to improve the results of individual teams. But it has not yet been applied to leagues. This unexplored area holds great promise for sports, and sports fans. Rather than beginning with the question "How does a team win?" - the query that has been the basis of all sports research to this point - what if we begin by asking "How does a league succeed?"
~By Bill James | October 7, 2007
Read rest of article here

Friday, October 12, 2007

BDD moves up to 14 in WFTDA rankings

The latest WFTDA rankings have come out and the Boston Derby Dames have moved on up from #18 to #14. Yay!
1 Kansas City Roller Warriors (KCRW Travel Team)
2 Rat City Rollergirls (Rat City All-Stars)
3 Texas Rollergirls (Austin Texecutioners)
4 Carolina Rollergirls (CRG Travel Team)
5 Gotham Girls Roller Derby (GGRD Travel Team)
6 Tucson Roller Derby (TRD Saddletramps)
7 Windy City Rollers (WCR Travel Team)
8 Detroit Derby Girls
9 Mad Rollin' Dolls (Dairyland Dolls)
10 Philly Rollergirls (Liberty Belles)
11 Minnesota Rollergirls (MNRG Travel Team)
12 Arizona Roller Derby (Tent City Terrors)
13 B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (The B.A.D. Girls)
14 Boston Derby Dames
15 Rose City Roller Derby (Rose City All-Stars)
16 Duke City Derby(Muñecas Muertas)
17 Sin City Rollergirls (Neander Dolls)
18 Providence Roller Derby (Riveters)
19 Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (5280 Fight Club)
20 Atlanta Rollergirls (ARG Travel Team)
21 Houston Rollergirls (HaRD Knocks)
22 Charm City Rollergirls (Mobtown Maulers Team)
23 Dallas Derby Devils (DDD Travel Team)
24 Grand Raggidy Roller Girls
25 Ohio Rollergirls
26 Assassination City Derby (ACD Special OPS)
27 Brew City Bruisers (Milwaukee, WI)
28 Pikes Peak Derby Dames
29 Fort Wayne Derby Girls
30 Big Easy Rollergirls
31 Alamo City Rollergirls
32 East Texas Bombers
33 Dixie Derby Girls

Not exactly an Endorsement...

I was browsing the internet and found this site called myHeritage which, among other things, will take a picture of you and tell you what celebrities you look like. So I gave it a try:

I am disturbed by the number of men that show up on this thing. I think they might need to work on their facial recognition software a bit more...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The meaning of the word BOUT

A post from the Roller-girls yahoo group pointed me to this explanation of the word bout from today's Podictionary :
This episode is all about violence and drinking.

A listener sent me a question asking why the sport of roller derby referred to their events as bouts. He forwarded another email purportedly from someone who calls herself Bully Julie who skates with the San Diego Derby Dolls. I looked them up and indeed there is such a team and such a skater.

Before getting this email I have to say that I had no idea what a roller derby event was called. I'd have guessed it was called a bout because fights are called bouts and roller derby has that sort of catfight reputation to it, as evidenced by Bully Julie's name. A few of her teammates are in the same vein: Buster Teethin, Cherry Punch and Pearl Knuckles.

But I dutifully opened my dictionaries and what did I find? The name bout is even more appropriate than I thought for roller derby. The first meanings of this word appeared about 500 years ago and those meanings were related to going around in a circuit; the parent word meaning to "turn" or "bend." So those skaters zipping around and around while simultaneously pummeling each other are engaging in a bout from both senses of the word. What could be more perfect—etymologically anyway.

This sense of doing a circuit during Shakespeare's time meant that when a farmer did a bout he took his horse down the length of the field and back, pulling the plow once around before starting his next bout. Shakespeare himself used the word with its fighting sense in Henry VI.

A bout of drinking came a little later, but still more than 300 years ago and I see no evidence if it had to do with buying rounds or getting in fights. There's a curious—should I say—circularity to the fact that people also sometimes say they've been on a bender if they've been out drinking. The Oxford English Dictionary says this was originally American slang with a first citation of about 150 years ago.

Another drinking word that starts with B is binge. People these days sometimes go on eating binges but with this word drinking certainly came before eating. In the days when a cooper was someone who worked in a cooperage and manufactured wooden barrels one of the steps in their manufacture was to soak the completed barrel in water so that the wooden staves would swell. As they plumped up with absorbed water they pushed harder against their neighboring barrel staves and closed up any little cracks that might have existed that would have allowed the barrel to leak. This soaking process was called "putting the barrel to binge." Hence to binge meant to "soak." Barrels were often used for beer and it only makes sense that when drinkers were out soaking up vast quantities of beer they too were said to be binging.

Drinking binges were first so called in the 1850s while eating binges didn't begin until 1937; perhaps by those participating in roller derbies which have a first citation only a year or two before binge eating does.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Four kinds of skaters in roller derby

I found this post on the RollerDerbyIsSport yahoo group, posted by Retro Bruizin' of the Orange County Roller Girls, in response to a thread about "poseurs." It struck a chord with me as I am currently feeling un-nurtured, like I have fallen through the cracks, and a lot like my efforts are not being recognized and maybe I should stop trying so hard.

There should be a place for every type/level of skater on every league if possible. As the new training manager for our league, I had to confront the "wannabe rollergirl" issue head on, as it was affecting practices and the athletic growth of the league. I had to plea that everyone be honest with themselves and the league on what their dedication and commitment level is, and on their skating abililites and how much time they had to commit to improving their skating. Being honest about where you fit in the league benefits both the individual skater and the league itself. I have found, basically, that there are four levels of skaters in derby:

1. The "wannabe" rollergirl. She is the one that rarely shows up for practice yet is the first one at photo shoots and bar parties. When she does come to practice, she rarely works up a sweat and the smallest injury puts her on the sidelines. More important than learning to skate is getting a great "derby name" and the cutest outfit. Everything in her life comes before derby and when confronted with hardly ever showing up to practice, she can always be heard saying, "ya know, derby isn't my life..I have more important things to do.."

Why would you want to eliminate these skaters from the league? They can be the ones that attend all the fundraisers while the travel team is training. They can be the girls who bar hop and promote the league. Again, if they are honest with themselves and realize they aren't really made for the "sport" of derby, they can become support for the league re: score girls, stats keepers, refs (Ok, more dedication is needed for that position), event organizers, etc. and become more important to the league by NOT being a skater.

2. The beginner skater who aspires to be the best she can be. She is the skater that comes in with hardly any skills and maybe skated a little in the past. She immediately figures out that she loves to skate, has found a whole new group of friends in the derby sisterhood, and will do everything possible to improve. She is in love with derby and her skates and will rarely miss a practice. She is the one that will shock the "wannabes" when they come back after 2 months of not skating and find that this "beginner" is now 10 times better than they are.

To me, these are the most important skaters and should be nurtured. Unfortunately, they are usually the first to fall through the cracks. Their determination, gung-ho motivation and optimism should be used to remind those on the edge of burnout why they play derby. Instead, sometimes the "beginners" naiveness and enthusiasm is laughed at and when not rewarded for their hard work, they stop trying. These skaters are the future of the league and if forgotten about, can leave the league with less of a talent pool to pull from.

3. The league team player. She is the skater that plays on one of the home league teams. All different levels of skaters fall into this category (depending on each leagues' policies). She is dedicated and loves derby, but still has life/time commitments that can sometimes intrude on practices.. She works hard during practice and dedicates herself to the league but sometimes needs to take time off for family, work, etc. In other words, she just doesn't have the time, commitment, and/or the skills to be on the travel team.

This category is the bread and butter of the league and the source of players for the travel team. This is what gives the league and most of its players their identity and can be the most fun and motivating part of derby. The existence of the league is based on the these players (unless it is a travel team only league) as they bring in the fans and the money. It should be the most flexible regarding practices but still require a certain amount in order to play. It could also be more motivating if league teams had a roster of more players (say 20 instead of 14) and game play was based on attendance. That could also be the determination of whether the player is ready for the commitment of the travel team or should move on to support status. Most skaters fall under this category.

4. The travel team. She is usually the player that lives, breathes and eats derby. Not only is her skill level above average and one of the best on the league, but so is her commitment level. Practicing 4-5 times a week is the norm (depending on league policies) and almost every spare moment is taken up by something derby such as training camps, weekend away games, derby events. Skating and practicing is not a chore but something she loves to do. She pushes herself to the limit at EVERY practice and rarely misses one. She treats herself like an athlete and treats derby as a "real" sport.

This is the category that can cause the most problems in a league, yet is just as needed as the "beginner" skater category. Not only do beginner and intermediate skaters need a place to progress, so does the advanced skater that can get bored with lower level practices and gets tired of playing the same skaters over and over again. Unfortunately, this category can also cause the most problems regarding team selection, time dedicated to it, and money spent on travel. These are the skaters that represent the league to the derby community and should be supported by ALL skaters in the league. And if a WFTDA league, will be ranked according to games played.

Of course it isn't as cut and dry as the categories state. There are some skaters that overlap categories and some that need to switch from one category to the other when thier commitment levels change. What I try to emphasize to the skaters is, "Everyone is just as important to the league and everyone has a place in it. Find yours. Just be honest with yourself and what you are willing to commit to."

And what's a training manager? That sounds like a good idea. Maybe that would be a nice addition to our league...

Media takeover continues apace

From Derby News Network:

Posted by Justice Feelgood Marshall on October 8th, 2007

It’s been a phenomenal couple of weeks for roller derby in the Big Media. This time it’s the Washington Post magazine, dedicating an in-depth cover story to the DC Rollergirls, with a focus on the currently undefeated Scare Force One. It’s a little dated, as it covers a period of time from the league inception up to their first bout in March, but it gets remarkably deep into the personalities of the team without sacrificing space for actual information about gameplay. It also provides a vital public service by warning DC residents that messing with SixFiveOnSkates will get you punched in the damn face. More articles like this, please.

(But for the love of all that is holy, journalists, can we PLEASE retire the “By day, they’re [occupation], [occupation] and [occupation], but by night they roll on fishnets, strap on skates and become [city] Rollergirls!” blurb? Seriously, if I read it one more time I will vomit and fall over, perhaps not in that order.)

I love the last comment -- so true!

Friday, October 5, 2007

BDD bout recap

Speaking of bout recaps, here is one from our September 22 bout against Virginia's Dominion Derby Girls, written by Mr. Hits, Sugar Hits' main man:

September 22, 2007: Boston Massacre 119, Dominion Derby Girls 69

September 22, 2007
Boston Derby Dames vs. Dominion Derby Girls
By Mr. Hits

After suffering through the endless anticipation of a four-month layoff, derby fans can once again rejoice at the prospect of watching their hometown heroes battle it out on the concrete tundra of Shriners Auditorium. Saturday, September 22 marked the official beginning of the 2007-2008 Boston Derby Dames season as the all-star Boston Massacre crossed skates with the newly minted Women's Flat-Track Derby Association league from Norfolk, Virginia, the Dominion Derby Girls. Dominion put together a gutsy performance, but the Massacre brought the ruckus and emerged triumphant with a 119-69 victory, leaving many diehards in the stands aching for a rematch of last February's loss to Philly and wondering just how good the Massacre can get.

After an opening moment of silence for Steve Bissett, a great help to the Derby Dames who passed away this summer, the atmosphere got jumping at Shriners, with the amped-up crowd ready to show its love to their eight-wheeled heroes. The bout began uneventfully with a few typical ice-breaking trips around the oval, but it was the third jam of the night that really set the tone and provided a little piece of history for the Dames. In a moment that will forever be known as the Triple-Triple, the Massacre's Triple Deck-Her executed the elusive grand slam--passing all four blockers on the opposing team and their jammer---not once, not twice, but thrice in one jam, scoring a total of fifteen points to Dominion's zero. The catalyst for this legendary jam was the blonde half of Twin Riot, Betty Spite, who air-mailed Dominion's jammer, The Ruffian, in to the standing crowd around the third turn and opened up the floor for Deck-Her.

Dominion immediately answered back with a 9-0 jam on the legs of Tsunami Tsue, but the Massacre stayed confident and focused, methodically increasing their lead over the next several jams. Late in the period, Shellby Shattered treated first-timers in the crowd to a holy-crap-shit-is-for-real moment and gave the fans reason to let out a raucous roar when she dropped The Ruffian with perhaps the most vicious, yet legal, hit in Massacre history. When the whistles blew, the Massacre found itself with a comfortable 44-21 edge heading in to the locker room.

As the second period got underway, Dominion's MVP Sweet N. Lowdown showcased her incredible top-end speed and tricky footwork in an effort to rally her team. But the Massacre had an answer, relying more on their smarts than their skates as they continued to open the gap. Massacre MVP Ivana Clobber largely ran the show and earned her title of General on this night. Clobber, perhaps the only athlete ever to wear Rec Specs fashionably, was in total control as pivot, using a constantly roaming eye for opposing skaters and straightforward verbal and visual cues to help her teammates. It was this leadership, along with precision active jam-management by jammer coach Sarah Doom and bench managers Evilicious and Pina Collidah--who were looking faaaaaaabulous---that allowed the Massacre to thwart promising efforts from the opposition and run off a string of seven Virginia goose eggs over eight jams at one point in the period.

The Massacre sailed home in the third and final period, giving super-pivot Clobber a chance to show off her jamming skills in the form of a grand slam, much to the crowd's delight. For Dominion, The Ruffian, Sweet N. Lowdown, T. Rex Ya Face, and Tsunami Tsue traded turns at the jammer line and put in 26 combined points, fighting hard until the bitter end. Maura Buse won the award for bad-ass jam of the night when she leapt over the inside line and an opposing player's skate on her way to a 4-0 jam and followed it with a picture-perfect, knees-first slide in to the sideline crowd to receive some much-deserved adoration. Overall, the Massacre looked tight, fit, and ready for the coming year.

And now that the vets whet our derby appetites, it's time for the main course: Fresh Meat. The Wicked Pissahs and Nutcrackers debut rejuvenated rosters and rookies-to-watch at the season's first home team match-up on November 10. Be there.

Team Stats

Boston Massacre
Lead jammer in 20 of 42 total jams
Highest scoring jammer: Triple Deck-Her, 15 points in period 1, jam 3
Most penalties: Shellby Shattered, 8 minors and 5 majors
MVP: Ivana Clobber #2

Dominion Derby Girls All-Stars

Lead jammer in 17 of 42 total jams
Highest scoring jammer: Tsunami Tsue, 9 points in period 1, jam 4; and Sweet N. Lowdown, 9 points in period 3, jam 7
Most penalties: Spontaneous Combustya, 11 minors
MVP: Sweet N. Lowdown #5


Have I mentioned that Nationals just happened? Looks like it was awesome, although I have to admit being less interested since we weren't in it (sniff!). Maybe next year. Anyway, there are some very nice bout recaps of all the action at Derby News Network. Check it out.

The infamous leg-whip

There has been some discussion online about leg whips performed at Nationals. Check out for a normal speed and slo-mo compilation of the leg whip in action (click on "blog."

She's an American (Roller)Girl

From Roller Derby Diva comes this photo of an adorable mini Roseanne Scarr, hacked from an American Girl doll. Sweet!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rollers chase glory--and revenge

A very nice article on the Windy City Rollers and their amazing performance during Heartland Havoc in the Chicago Tribune. A couple of quotes I really enjoyed:

"Roller derby is back. Only this time it's not just kitschy spectacle, but real sport. This generation of skaters has Title IX blood running through its tattoo-covered veins. Behind the winking dominatrix humor, these women are athletes."
"And although roller derby in the 1970s had been a show parading as a sport.... the WFTDA version is the opposite: a sport with a grafted-on show that satirizes athletic events.
"It's a sendup of all these rituals ... until the whistle blows," he said."
"As the bout entered its last minutes, Malice with Chains held her hands to her helmet, looked skyward in pure joy and said one word three times. It was unprintable, but the emotion was instantly recognizable."

Check it out here

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Droppin' Weird Science

Droppin' Weird Science
A Monster Music Mash-Up to benefit the Boston Derby Dames

DJ Paul Foley
MC Nicky Click
Fur Purse
Slim Jim & The Mad Cows
Costume contest!

Friday, October 19
Milky Way Lounge & Lanes
403 Centre St., Jamaica Plain
9 pm | $10 | 21+

The Boston Derby Dames were sitting around one lonely night after the rink had closed, wondering what to do with themselves. Pussy Venom wanted to dance, or go to outerspace. Malicen Thunderland wanted to get metal, or maybe go bowling. Kitty Twister couldn't decide if she was feeling a little bit country or a little bit rock 'n' roll. Just as they were hitting up Google for ideas, Evilicious spilled a cocktail on the computer. Amidst the smoke and sparks, this monster mash-up of a musical lineup was created. Now everyone is happy.

DJ Paul Foley starts it off spinning retro dance classix, followed by the Olympia-flavored electropop of Nicky Click. Fur Purse turns up the volume with punk covers by the likes of the Subhumans, Runaways, and Misfits. And a BDD favorite, Slim Jim and the Mad Cows return from the recording studio with their countryfried metal versions of Judas Priest and Motorhead.

Bring your dancing shoes and limber up for some headbanging. And get your Halloween costume ready early--the best one wins 2 tickets to the Boston Derby Dames' November 10 bout.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Advice to roller derby rejects

One of the things I love about roller derby is the fact that it is such a new sport that no one really expects new recruits to know anything about it. You can get on a team without even knowing how to skate. So what differentiates those who are chosen and those who are not? I can only speculate, of course, but here are some reasons why I think I was chosen over others:
  1. Commitment -- Leagues are looking for individuals who are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to be on a roller derby team. By showing up to every skate clinic before tryouts, I showed that I was serious about roller derby.
  2. Toughness -- Roller derby is a rough sport and skaters like to think of themselves as being tough. You're not going to last long in roller derby if you're scared of hurting yourself, or if a little bruise keeps you from practicing. Getting up quickly from a fall during tryouts reflects well on you. I am still half convinced that I would not have been chosen if I had not broken my arm at the first skate clinic. Showing up to the clinics with my arm in a sling not only showed that I was willing to tough it out, but got people to notice me and remember me. Not that I would recommend breaking your arm cause it totally sucked.
  3. Participation -- roller derby is not just about skating. Roller derby is also about advertising, promotion, fundraising, merchandising, website design, statistics, sponsorships, and a billion other things. Being able to skate well is important, but leagues also want individuals who are going to contribute to other aspects of the league in a meaningful way. If you're able to convey your interest and willingness to do these things, you will be a much more attractive recruit.
  4. Personality -- Roller derby is also a social club and a hothouse of personalities. No one wants a bitch on their league. Be nice. Be friendly.
So what do you do when you have tried your best and still not been accepted on a league? Are your dreams over? No -- there are a lot of things you can do while you wait for the next tryouts to come around:
  1. Keep skating. Skate every chance you get. Go to roller rinks. Skate on basketball courts. Go online and research the basic skills and practice them.
  2. Exercise. I have never been so exhausted in my life as I have been during roller derby practices. I mean I think I'm going to pass out or vomit exhausted. General strength and endurance will help you out tremendously.
  3. Become a referee. Most leagues are happy to get more ref help. Refs often get to come to practices. You'll get to practice your skating skills, get to know other refs and skaters on the league, and you'll know your rules better than most of the skaters. This will also allow the skaters to get to know you as a person. If they like what they see, you'll have a leg up on the competition at the next tryouts.
  4. Get involved. There are twelve thousand things that need doing in a roller derby league and there are never enough bodies to do them. Sign up to volunteer at bouts. If the league is disorganized and doesn't get back to you about volunteering, think of something specific you could do and offer to do it. Offer to record stats, do data entry, take photos, write articles for their newsletter, design a shirt, whatever. If you really want to make friends, offer to find sponsors for them. This will definitely help you stand out from the crowd during the next tryouts.
  5. Join another league. Many leagues are just starting out or have low numbers for one reason or another and don't have tryouts. They will basically take any skater that consistently shows up to their practices. I know a couple of girls who did not make the cut at the Boston Derby Dames tryouts who are now skating with Providence, which is relatively nearby.
And if you're not willing to do any of those things, then you might want to rethink the whole roller derby thing. It might not be for you.

Knee Pain Help

So I've been having a lot of knee pain for the past few weeks, especially in my left knee. Doesn't hurt if I'm just sitting or standing but anything where I bend the knee (like going up stairs) was quite painful. The pain was mostly below the kneecap and only on the front of my leg. I thought I was just building up muscles there or something and didn't think I could do anything about it. But then last week I went to get a massage with my favorite masseuse and he said that my quad muscles were just super tight and they were pulling my knee muscles up and making them hurt. And the solution is as simple as stretching out those quad muscles more. Of course, I have been stretching my quad muscles during warm-ups, but apparently not enough, because once I started concentrating on those quad muscles, the pain totally went away. Yay!

Boston Massacre vs. Virginia's Dominion Derby Girls

Saturday's bout was awesome. It was my first bout as a member of the league (instead of just an audience member). I spent the several hours before the bout helping out with all sorts of stuff -- taping up signs, setting up merch, moving giant stacks of vitamin water from one end of the auditorium to the other, etc. etc. I spent the first third of the bout at the merch table, which was a lot of fun, although I didn't get to watch the bout much from there. And I also discovered that standing around in skates really makes your feet sore. It was worth it, though. I loved skating from one end of the merch table to the other. And then during the intermission between the second and third periods a bunch of non-Massacre skaters were just skating around the track, so I joined them. Yay for me. My first time on the track during a bout! Maybe next time I will be in the bout.

And then I was able to watch the second and third periods of the bout. I thought that the score (119-69) didn't accurately reflect Virginia's performance, which was pretty good. I mean, obviously we rocked, but they put up a good fight and it was a fun bout to watch. My favorite moments were when Ivana Clobber got to jam and when Shelby Shattered jammed. I think it was the first time jamming during a bout for both skaters, and they were amazing. Clobber was so excited to jam I thought she was going to explode. And then at the end of the jam she skated right into a giant group hug from her teammates. So nice.

The other highlight of the bout for me was Pinchette, the Massacre mascot, played for the first time by my friend Amy Mertl. She was a huge hit (especially with the guys, I suspect). Running up and down the bleachers, getting high-fives with her claws, getting everyone to wave their arms back and forth. She even took requests -- when a guy from the audience yelled for her to "do the robot," she did. And that ain't easy in a giant lobster outfit! I wish I had gotten a video of that! And all of that with a costume that was literally being held together with safety pins, duct tape, and staples! She's so awesome!

Image: Pinchette McMasshole and Vicious. More bout photos (heavy on the lobstah) here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Roller Boogie fundraiser

Friday night was our Roller Boogie fundraiser at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. It was awesome! We watched Roller Boogie, which was fabulously lame (although the skating was actually pretty good) and sold a plethora of cupcakes (above). Below: Bully Mia poses with a fan (a fan of what, I'm not sure).

Sunday Scrimmage with freshmeat!

Sunday's scrimmage was the first scrimmage that many of the Freshmeat qualified to bout in. So exciting! Saturday is the Boston Massacre's first bout of the season, so they matched up the Boston Massacre against a team of Freshmeat, non-Massacre vets, and a few Providence rollergirls. Needless to say, it was not exactly an evenly matched bout, but it sure was exciting! I can't wait to get in there! And check out the totally awesome poster designed by freshie Dreadnought (and maybe her fiancee, too -- I'm not sure). You will note that all the Freshmeat got their own body part and I am the brain. It is so totally sweet that I will forgive her for misspelling my name (Kamehemayhem). This definitely needs to become a T-shirt. More photos from Sunday's scrimmage can be found here.

Wilmington Advocate article about Boston Derby Dames

The Wilmington Advocate just published a sweet piece on the Boston Derby Dames. They even mention me, although they misspelled my name! I think I will start to keep a list of all the misspellings that are sure to accrue. This time: Queen Kamahamayhem. The website also has a nice little video with Nora'easter, Ruby Khan, and Bloodbath Betty talking a bit about their experiences. Wilmington is the town where we have our bouts, so hopefully it will garner us a few extra audience members who might not otherwise know about us. Check it out here.

Image: Sunday's scrimmage (which the Wilmington Advocate reporter attended). Newly scrimmage-qualified freshmeat Vicious Vivacious Vera (on the right) jams for the first time!

Derby Name advice for Newbies

Aside from actually trying out for roller derby, nothing is more nerve-wracking than trying to figure out your derby name. Here is some good advice all potential rollergirls should take to heart.

Via Derbytude:

So, you’re trying out for Derby and you already have a name in mind. Names are a huge part of roller derby. We pride ourselves on them, and what they mean to us. Especially since we know that no one else will have the same one. Well, here’s a few rules of Derby Name Etiquette that you may or may not know.

First off, if you are about to try out for Roller Derby, then you do not have a Derby Name. Period. To clarify: do not walk into try outs and introduce yourself with your derby name. Do Not have it plastered all over your clothing, skate bag, pads, etc. Do Not go out and buy custom clothing and items with your name all over it. This will come off as cocky, since you haven’t even found out if you’ve made it past try outs. Go ahead and chat with other girls and let them know what you’d like as a name, but do not introduce yourself as anything other than what is on your birth certificate. A Derby Name is something that you earn, as is the status of “(…. Your League) Roller Girl”. Don’t be one of those people. Now, there are exceptions to this. People that have already been accepted to the league, but that have not tried out to be a Roller Girl (ie: skater that was injured before being drafted, but that made it through tryouts the year before, referees, stats crew, etc.), may use their “Derby Name” that they used during the season, as long as their league is ok with this. We had a few in our league that already had names when they came through try outs. Most likely, your league will have you on a probation period after you’ve made it past try outs. When that period is over (in our case: 90 days), and they know that you’ve made your commitment to the league, they will register your requested name.

Second, make sure that no one else has already picked your name. If someone, anywhere in the country, has the same name, then most likely, your request for that name will be denied. To find out if anyone has the name you want, visit and go to the Derby Roster section. There, you can put your name into the search, and it will cross reference it with anything that sounds even remotely close to the name you want. It will even rate names from Very High (most likely to be rejected) to Very Low. It’s a great resource when choosing your name. Now, if you have a name that is very close to someone else’s, you can always try to contact that player and get written permission from them to use your name. They won’t always grant permission, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Also, this list is updated monthly, so keep checking back to make sure that your name is still available.

Third, Don’t freak out if you can’t figure something out. We’ve had girls that went through 4 different names before they found one that wasn’t taken already and rejected. We’ve also had girls change their names from season to season. Talk to other people in your league, get some ideas of names. Peruse the list of names, and see if they spark any creativity. Many people use characters or celebrities and just change parts of their names (Hurt Reynolds, Jodie Faster, June Carter Crash ) or they use places or things and change out words or add names that sound similar (Aimee T. VilHorror, Aja Consent, Slugs ‘n Kisses).

Fourth, Don’t get bent out of shape if your name is already taken. A derby name is a very organic thing and can just manifest itself when you least expect it. In my case, my derby wife - before she was the wife - started calling me by a name. And since she was the loudest, she won. ;) Up until that point, I was giving myself an ulcer because I couldn’t figure out what my name should be. Some people were spitting out lists and lists of 100’s of names, while I was struggling to get just 1. I thought I’d never figure something out. Then, without any effort of my own, I had one. It took a little while to grow into it, but now it’s who I am.

Having a derby name is a fun part of derby. Especially when you see it on things like shirts, uniforms, hoodies, helmets, and rosters. Be patient with it and just relax. And if next season, you’re still not quite feeling it, change it up! :)