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 www.twoevils.org 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! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Diary of a derby girl: A Sac City Rollers story

A nice article (with lots of cussin') about being a roller girl. I loved it. From Newsreview.com/Sacramento:


Six women in ass-baring skirts and fishnets glide by with a whoosh. A busty blonde slams into me and as I hit the ground, I feel my skirt fly up and I hear a familiar man’s laugh. “Get a good look, professor?” I ask. “Nice hit, Sugarpop,” he says to the blonde, who wears panties with two fists and “Fuck Off” in bold letters over her workout pants. Professor is what we call Justin Foust, a second-year Ph.D. biochemistry student at UC Davis by day; by night, here at the Davis Indoor Sports Center, he’s Professor Cyanide Clyde, my coach and referee for the Sac City Rollers all-women’s roller-derby league. Sugarpop is Lois Brunk, the co-founder of the league and an esthetician with a weakness for rock ’n’ roll. And who am I? They know me as Jezebel Jett, a 5’4” brunette with a sharp tongue and a love of red lipstick, babies and dogs that fight. Yeah, I’m a derby girl.

Here’s how it works. Five women from each team skate on an oval track. One of the five is a jammer—the only player who can score points—and the other four are blockers, helping their jammer through and trying to prevent the opposing jammer from passing them by. Each time a jammer passes someone on the opposing team is worth one point. These “jams” are done in two-minute intervals, for three 20-minute periods. Hitting women from the shoulder to above the knee is legal. Tripping, grabbing and pushing are strictly against the rules.

Initially considered as a jammer for my small size and speed, I eventually tested my skills as a blocker, discovering that the release of aggression is a thing of beauty. The ability to scream without sound, to relieve anger without malice, is a gift of liberation generally not offered to women.

No, this isn’t the roller derby many of us grew up with. Formerly a mere pretext for theatrics, it’s now a real competitive sport. Forty years ago, roller derby not only drew tens of thousands of live fans, but also was televised; now it’s further underground, but the dramatic element remains. It’s in the costumes—fishnets, short skirts, elaborate makeup—and in a new facet, the skate name. Every derby girl gets to choose her own. That’s how Kimberly Trujillo, a preschool teacher, becomes Mad Katter, a fierce jammer, and how Andrea Lilly, a bookkeeper, becomes Hell-Louise, a blocker with a quiet nature and a mean competitive streak. And how Kim Mordecai becomes Jezebel Jett.

A year ago I was just a freelance journalist and a mother of two small boys. I would sit around watching reality TV and wondering what to make for dinner, like us stay-at-home domestic suburban mothers do. I flipped on A&E and came across a short-lived reality show called Rollergirls, which chronicled the lives of roller-derby skaters in Texas. I watched with envy as they skated and cursed and spent afternoons on their porches, smoking cigarettes and tossing crackers at their kids as if feeding feral cats. “That is totally for me,” I told no one in particular.

I bought my second pair of roller skates (the first had landed in the Salvation Army bin sometime in the mid ’80s). Then I found a flyer for the Sac City Rollers. Established in January of 2006, this group of 40-plus women practices three times a week and competes against other local and national leagues monthly. Shyly, I showed up for practice, hiding the fact that I’d been breastfeeding for four years and the deep-rooted fear that I’d end up wearing a corduroy jumper and knitting cozies for tissue boxes.I worked the anonymous angle. I revealed nothing about myself and asked few questions. The ploy worked; they accepted me. Even after they found out I was a boring mom. Even after they realized I have a mouth like a sailor. Even after it took me three months to not fall 50 times at every practice.

What I didn’t realize was that my ploy was pointless. I could’ve shown up in a yellow tutu, smoking a cigar, with a rabid monkey on my shoulder, and these women would’ve laughed with arms wide open. These women, whose ages range from 20 to 40 and whose day jobs vary from accountant to student to mother to truck driver. Their commonalities include a love of roller derby and all things relating to quad roller skates, a competitive nature and a willingness to accept any woman who defines herself as a derby girl—regardless of background, eccentricities or general human flaws. Derby is beyond a sport; it’s a subculture and a sisterhood, which allows women to be aggressive and loving and silly and dedicated and insane all at once. It allows them to be authentic.

Take, for instance, Kinnison Start-Newton, a.k.a. Spankenstein. A charismatic, curly haired 24-year-old, known to most as Spanky, she’s also a blocker to be feared, with a list of injuries to her credit including a broken fibula. Her closest friends avoid her at practice, too aware that her hits regularly send people flying. By day she’s a student and photographic assistant who dons business attire and sets up lights for local celebrity headshots; by night Spankenstein comes out to play. With a wink she attributes her derby skills to a “love for brutality and daddy issues,” but in reality she tells me she loves the teamwork and sisterhood. Like all the women of the Sac City Rollers, she revels in the atmosphere that allows her to be who she is: “We get to be 100 percent ourselves, which doesn’t always mean you are the caretaking mother or the conscientious student. Sometimes it’s the beer-drinking, belching, ass-grabbing athletes. There’s no one there to put on airs for. That’s derby.”

Or how about Samantha Hill? By day she works as a nanny and an instructional aid with severely disabled children. “Life is always going to be a little bit harder for them,” she says. “It’s going to be tougher to fit in. I relate to that because I’ve never really fit into anything.” A 23-year-old student in a motorcycle-mechanics program, Hill left a soccer career after an injury and was recruited for the Sac City Rollers by a Midtown bartender in between shots of Jameson. She strapped on a pair of skates, took the name Son of Sam and decided there might be a place she fit in after all. Known for a wicked temper on the track and a tough exterior, Son of Sam personifies the derby-girl duality. Patience and empathy motivate Samantha Hill. Son of Sam? Not so much. “What really motivates me to a hit a girl on wheels?” she says. “There’s nothing like being able to hit a bitch and get back up and hit her again. It’s a release. It feels good and it makes me feel alive.”

And if you assumed we all have our faces pierced or spend weekends barhopping, Masumi Purdy, or Purdy Grrrl, will prove you wrong. She’s a straight-arrow, a cop’s wife, with a poster-sized portrait of George W. Bush framed in the entryway of her modern Vacaville home. A 28-year-old loss-prevention manager for Macy’s, Purdy’s one of our strongest jammers, a curvy beauty who’ll always volunteer to be designated driver and never forgets to have a good time. She’s got heart and dedication and spirit, and she’s living proof that we’re as diverse as we are tolerant. Spending her days apprehending shoplifters, Purdy uses her career skills to adapt to the life of a derby girl, never judging a book by its cover. “In my job we can’t judge off of appearance, we go off of behavior,” she says. “If I see someone dressed a certain way or all tatted-up, I can’t assume anything. In derby we have so many different backgrounds coming together. We don’t judge and we get to share our lives together. I love that.”

"Take that bitch out, Sam—bam!" I scream from the side of the track. There’s laughter because the jammer being pursued is La Lucha, a well-loved and sweet-tempered skater, known by day as Trinity Gleckler, who sprints for the outside of the track as Son of Sam ploughs into her and knocks her out of bounds. La Lucha hits the ground hard. She’s a little slow to get back up. There’s a moment of tension, hesitation. Son of Sam skates over and offers a hand. “Fuck, Lucha, you OK?” Lucha pops up on her skates, shakes her head and smiles wide. “Nice hit,” she finally says.

No, there are no airs here. No ostracism. No judgments. Sometimes we talk about our daily lives, but mostly we live in the moment. We skate and we skate hard, with heart. There’s no arguing that fact. Then we go party, or go home to our kids, or make plans for the future: be it getting ready for the next promotion, getting married or getting psyched for the next out-of-state bout. And we do it with energy and confidence, knowing we’ve found a place where we’re accepted—even, especially, if we’re a little bit wild, a little bit moody, a little bit off-beat.

I came into this sport a novice, afraid of my own destiny, in denial of my most precious possession—my motherhood. Now I’m surrounded by women who would break bones to get me through the pack. Now I’m a person who does not believe being a mom is synonymous with being a bore. And I learned this lesson from these valley girls who grew up going to Dairy Queen in the suburbs and playing softball and drinking beer by the river late Friday nights. These women aren’t burdened by their mothers’ expectations. They’re brash and benevolent, insane and brilliant. They’re ready to confound the expectations of anyone who might think Sactown could only yield a meek population of Capitol workers and real estate developers—anyone who might wonder just who these crazy women are.

We’re the Sac City Rollers, motherfuckers, and don’t you forget it.
--
By Kim Mordecai

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Referee Hand Signals

From DerbyTude:
From Rat City Roller Girls:



Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Pushing

Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Elbowing, Cock Blocking





Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Slugging, Fighting


Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Illegal Block
Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Illegal Procedure


Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
20 ft. Violation (Chasing, Lagging)
Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Insubordination


Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Tripping
Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Unnecessary Roughness


Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Out of Bounds, Cutting the Track
Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
No Score, No Lead Jammer Awarded


Rat City Rollergirl Referee Call
Holding

Monday, September 10, 2007

Roller Derby -- air security threat


Via The Sun:
A TOURIST was told to turn his T-shirt inside-out at an airport — as a picture of two guns on it was deemed a SECURITY RISK. Dave Osborne, 21, was bound for Newark, New Jersey, when guards hauled him out of the queue for his Guns N Rollers T-shirt. They told him the two pistols on the front could constitute a security risk and upset passengers. He was ordered to turn his top inside out before boarding. The design engineer from Lichfield, Staffs, said: “I am all for extra security but this was just plain stupid.” Last night bosses at Birmingham International Airport apologised and said security guards “over-reacted”.

By ANDREW PARKER
September 11, 2006

Guns N Rollers is a roller derby team from the Rose City Rollers in Portland Oregon.

Image: from the Rose City Rollers webpage

Advice on dealing with blisters and sore feet

I think I have solved my blister issue and I am going to share it here in case it is of use to someone else.

I have extremely flat feet and wear prescription orthotics in every pair of shoes I wear, including my roller skates. When I first began to skate, I took the foot insert from my skate out and replaced it with my orthotics (which I had to keep switching between my skates and my everyday shoes because I only have the one pair). I wore two pairs of socks -- one very thin and tight pair, and over that a thicker pair (like soccer socks). I wanted to avoid blisters, and my experience with hiking told me that this was the way to go. The problem is that my feet slipped around in the skate a lot because of the thin socks and also because the top of my orthotic is pretty smooth. When I put a bandaid on my foot, even when I wrapped my entire foot in tape, it would not stay on for more than a few minutes because my foot was so sweaty and sliding around so much. I would get this ridiculous blister during every single practice which would be just about healed by the next practice, whereupon I would get another one in exactly the same place (my right instep).

This is what I do now: I only wear one pair of socks, a fairly thin pair that is tight on my foot. I no longer wear my orthotics. Instead I replaced them with a pair of insoles with very strong arch supports (I use Dr. Scholl's® Adjustable Arch Pain Relief Orthotics) covered by another set of insoles with a very high edge (meaning that instead of being flat the insole is contoured) on the instep (I took these from an old pair of my hiking boots). My foot doesn't slide around so much and the high instep protects my foot from a seam that might irritate it. So far I have had no problems with my flat feet or my blisters. Yay.

Some other skate advice: I have found that leaving the shoelaces fairly loose is a good thing. It doesn't seem like it would be but it is. If your feet are hurting in a weird sore muscle kind of way -- try that. Also, loosening the trucks a bit has helped a lot with my comfort level, as well as my speed.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Flat track roller derby: A work in progress

Roller Derby Diva has a nice little blog entry in which she compares starting a roller derby league to starting a rock and roll band. I like it:

In the past year, I've read two excellent memoirs by female musicians who recount the travails of playing in an under-the-radar, under-appreciated band in the shadows of much bigger rock stars. One was "Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be: A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale" by Jen Trynin, who had a minor mid-'90s alt-rock hit with "Better Than Nothing" but who was eclipsed by the likes of Liz Phair and Alanis Morissette. The other was "Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story" by Laurie Lindeen of late '80s/early '90s all-female trio Zuzu's Petals, whose poppy garage rock was basically scorned in the era of riot grrrl. (Lindeen, by the way, went on to marry former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg.)

After finishing both books, I couldn't help but draw some parallels between someone starting a rock band and someone starting a flat track roller derby league. In the shadow of well-funded, established sports leagues, we've started our own sport with whoever's willing to learn how to play with whatever money we can scrounge up. At first, we have absolutely no idea what we're doing, but we learn as we go. We practice wherever someone will let us at whatever time works for them. We print up posters and flyers and beg family, friends and co-workers to come see us play until they're sick of hearing about it. We plead with the media to grant us a just couple of column inches or a few minutes of air time. We take our act on the road, praying that people will turn out and that we'll sell a T-shirt or two. We desperately hope we won't screw up and make complete fools of ourselves. We want nothing more than for people to have fun watching us, tell all their friends about us and come back for more.

The only difference is that our story isn't over yet. The next chapter for the Cincinnati Rollergirls is this Saturday’s bout, the last one of the season at the Cincinnati Gardens. So come out and make us feel like rock stars, and maybe we’ll thank you in our own memoir someday.
Word.

Friday, September 7, 2007

What do Sarah Doom and Kevin Youkilis have in common?

Tuesday evening I went to see a Red Sox game with my hubby and my friend Amy and her boyfriend (we had bought them tickets as a birthday present). The weather was lovely and the game was excellent. There is a lot of downtime at a baseball game, however, and I spent most of that time scribbling roller derby ideas into my little notebook. I am obsessed. Every thing I encounter in the world has become fodder for my roller derby life. The big screen at Fenway showed a video of baseball bloopers, and I thought how great would it be to have a little video of roller derby bloopers to show between periods! Scribble scribble. Instant replay? Yeah! Why did that girl get sent to the penalty box? Let's watch! Scribble scribble. And those fancy game programs you can purchase on your way into the game with color photos and stats of both teams? That would be pretty cool. Scribble scribble scribble. Not that we can actually do most of these things right now, but I have so many ideas in my head that if I don't write them down I will explode. Amy said I looked like a spy taking secret notes on the players. Or a scout. Anyway, here are two photos of me and hubby which I shall call Happy Kari/Possessed Kari.

Oh, and the answer to the question in the title is that when both players come out the entire audience yells their name in a very deep voice that sounds like booing but isn't.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007