Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

May your year be less terrifying than playing roller derby.

Much Love, Bone

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Kid Seditious

When Bone asked me to be her guest blogger I didn't know quite what to say or even how to describe my overwhelming feelings about the recent scrimmage we had against The Happy Valley Derby Darlings. From the day I first saw the girls of Happy Valley they scared the crap out of me, starting with their makeup enhanced black eyes right down to their intimidating pink leggings. Yes, that's right these women make the color pink look terrifying. Since I hadn't passed my minimum skills yet I didn't have the opportunity to scrimmage against them the first time in September but I did scream my guts out for The Red Rockettes. While watching the first scrimmage I remember thinking to myself, "Self, you can do this. We are leading by a ton and these girls are on a similar playing level we are on and by the time we play them again I will practically be playing derby for the US championship team". Man was I delusional. I quickly realized that was so not the case.


Once December 1st hit, the anxiety kicked in. I was so not looking forward to the upcoming scrimmage against Happy Valley. I had to force myself to not think about it by planning ridiculous parties where if I consumed enough jello shots I wouldn't care anymore. Before you knew it, the day was here. Bone, being as awesome and amazing as she is, was forced into calming me down every 15 minutes on Google chat. But even her pep talks weren't helping and I was seriously considering not playing at all. So she had no choice but to resort to lower levels or persuasion. BLACKMAIL. I won't tell you how she blackmailed me but if I didn't skate, the whole team would have been furious at me.

As hard as I tried to get sick (by licking my company's computer keyboard's and phones) I just never caught a bug. So I had to eventually put on my big girl no pants panties and do it!! I was panicked all day and by the time 5 o'clock rolled around I was literally shaking (some might have called it a seizure). As I pulled into the Derby Depot I could fill the hard shell taco that I forced down earlier coming back up. I could barely stand let alone skate. But as soon as I walked through that door and realized I would be on the same team as the toughest derby girls I know I started to calm down. Instead of being concussed by Margie Ram (which might I add still happened) I would get to block with her, instead of hiding from Bruiser Ego I was actually seeking her out, instead of freezing up every time Wanton so much as looked at me I was slapping her butt and the list of skaters I was honored to skate with goes on and on. And yes, Bone was right, as soon as I was out there skating with my girls my nerves just floated away.

I laced up my skates, put my game face on (which ironically looks like an, "oh my, did I just crap myself" face) and made my way over to our bench. All I can say is what a rush. Turns out Happy Valley worked their asses off since our first scrimmage against them. I have never seen a whole team improve as quickly as they did. Their jammers were faster, their blockers more aggressive and turns out I wasn't as good as the US championship team. They beat us, and by a lot.

But to my surprise I wasn't even upset they won, because I had the time of my life. The best part of this whole experience was watching Vakilla knock around their girls and push them out time and time again, and watching Galaticat put us on the board by scoring our first points, and feeling the breeze from Temper as she zoomed past our bench, and laughing as Wanton harassed their jammers similar to the way a cougar plays with her pray before she kills them, and cheering on Italy and Jupiter as they fight to score points and having Babe right there ready to flash me every time I felt the nerves start to creep up again, just to name a few.

I'm still a little shaky on skates and not a tough as I want to be, but I'm told if I just stick with it and push myself I will get better. And for the record, I plan on working my ass off so the next time we scrimmage against Happy Valley I'm hoping they walk away being terrified of Kid Seditious.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Not My Finest Moment, But Maybe

Let's just get this out of the way up front: I yelled the F-word at a 13-year-old girl. As in, "Eff you!" except I said the whole word, and I yelled it at her in a public place.

In my defense, she called me a bitch first. In her defense, it was because I didn't move out of the way of her and her stupid friends, so my shopping bags nailed them as they shoved past me. In my defense, I think I won.

Let me explain a little bit about my nature. It's my belief that enough bitching will get you just about anything. A lot of people would disagree with me and say that kindness and taking the high road are the keys to getting what you want, but in my experience, the high road is extremely overrated and not nearly as satisfying as taking the low road.

I've thought about starting a side business that would let people hire me to resolve their conflicts for them. More than one friend has called upon me to deal with situations that they themselves don't want to handle. Your neighbor is a loud-mouth lady with five different baby daddies and kids who throw chicken bones and used maxi pads into your yard and you don't like confrontation? No problem, I'll call the landlord and complain for you. You're not happy with the crappy racing stripe stickers installed by the dealership? Don't worry, I'll bitch and moan until you get those stripes customized and painted on. For free. Did the windshield of your Mustang get cracked because a big ass rock flew off a big ass truck while you were driving through construction and everyone told you it was a waste of time to complain because the big ass construction company will never accept responsibility and replace your windshield? Leave it to Bone, because you will get a new windshield. Free. And I did.

For most people, life is easier when you don't kick and scream your way through it. For me, I like to have the last word. In everything. Keep in mind, I spent Halloween arguing with my four-year-old nephew over why my Batman costume was better than his. (The correct answer is because my mask had angry eyebrows, and his just had shapely eyebrows.)

It's not like I go through life looking for a fight. Granted, there are days when I need to blow off some steam and I'm just waiting for someone to do something that I don't like. I glare at people, daring them to cut me off or steal my parking spot, just so I can feel justified in yelling and shaking my fist. Is it mature? No, but it feels good.

Black Friday was one of "those" days. Technically it was Black Friday, but actually it all started late Thursday night when I was standing in line at Best Buy, hoping against all odds to score one of the cheap televisions. When the employees started bringing vouchers around for the big ticket items, I tried to bring levity to the situation by asking them all, "Is this a ticket for the donut maker? That's why I'm standing in line for hours in the rain - because I really want that donut maker." In case you're wondering, they never did bring around tickets for the donut maker, and also, I didn't get a tv.

So we headed to the mall at midnight to brave the crowds there. I've never been to the mall at midnight on Black Friday, so I was looking forward to a new experience. I was prepared for crowds and long lines, but what I was not prepared for was the sheer number of unsupervised, unkempt, rude, snotty, scantily clad prostitots.

Prostitots are tween girls dressed like prostitutes, and they. Are. Everywhere. Growing up, we were never allowed to "hang out" at the mall, and now I understand why: because the barely-teenage kids who aimlessly wander around the mall look like trash; plain and simple. They serve no purpose except to congregate in gaggles, get in my way, and piss me off. These kids were not there to shop, they weren't there for the killer deals and midnight specials. They were there to hang out with their friends, wearing gobs of makeup and jeans with so many holes that they may as well have been wearing no pants at all.

My annoyance had reached its breaking point after standing in line at Victoria's Secret, surrounded by dozens of said prostitots. I wanted to shout at them, "You are twelve years old! What are you doing at Victoria's Secret! Stand up straight, wash that whore makeup off and go eat something!" Because another thing - they all look like freaking swizzle sticks. They are the poster children for body image issues and eating disorders.

Maybe I'm just getting more crabby in my old age, but these kids were making my blood pressure rise. But you're not allowed to yell at them, because even though they're wearing a whore's uniform, they're still just kids and an angry mob will chase you out of the mall if you yell at a kid. So I bit my tongue, and when they pushed me, I silently pushed them back. When they stepped on my toes, I swung my bags extra wide as I turned around and "accidentally" hit them.

I started to realize that when I reacted in turn, no one said anything, no one pushed back - the group of girls continued on their blissfully ignorant way. They weren't even phased...which kind of pissed me off more. I wanted them to understand that I was taking a stand against their generation; and they weren't giving me any satisfaction.

I gave up trying to get out of their way and avoid them when blocked a doorway or took up the entire aisle. I started pushing my way through without saying "Excuse me", and I made sure to glare at them. Really hard. If I couldn't yell at them, I'd let my slitty eyes do the talking for me. This was about the point when the soon-to-be benefactor of my wrath came prancing along, leading her gaggle of prostitots like the pied piper. I saw them coming, I knew they weren't going to move out of my way, I knew I could have moved out of their way, but I just didn't want to.

So I barreled my way through them, my shopping bags knocked into them, and I felt smugly satisfied as I heard their pissy gasps of annoyance. Then their fearless leader yelled, "Bitch!" and my annoyance got the better of me. Oh hell no, this little snot did not just call me that. My first thought was to go back and swing my bags at her head, but I showed restraint - and we know how the rest of the story goes.

Am I proud of stooping to the maturity level of a tween? Not really, but it felt really good...and I got the last word. I may have lost at getting a TV, but I consider this a win at life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sorry That I Have An Awesome Sense of Humor and No One Else Does

I realized today that I am cursed. Cursed to work in an industry absolutely full of dirty innuendos (in YOUR endo! snicker snicker) that absolutely no one else thinks are funny. Ever.

I am cursed to sit through boring meetings full of men over 40, most of whom are engineers, and all of whom have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever; otherwise they'd probably re-think their vocabulary. Because just about everything sounds either menstrual or dirty: illicit discharge, flow, wetlands, monthly discharge rate, generating sites of illicit discharge...you get the idea. There's lots of talk about discharge, and it still makes me giggle every. Single. Time.

Today I was in one such meeting, when the presenter announced that the EPA has come up with a new slogan to describe the basic idea behind stormwater management. With fervor and enthusiasm, he proclaimed, "Slow it down! Spread it out! Soak it in!"

Blink. Blink.

Did I just hear him right? And if I did, why is no one else laughing? I squinted at his power point slide, and then at my handout of the slide, again at the slide...yep, I was right. Slow it down, spread it out, soak it in.

That's about the point when I burst out laughing, and I looked around incredulously. Seriously, how is no one else even cracking a smile at this? Do they not realize what he just said? Nothing? Sigh. I really am cursed.

I got back to the office and was giving my boss a rundown of the meeting. I started telling it like I was doing a stand-up routine. "And then! Are you ready for this? The slogan is slow it down, spread it out, soak it in! Can you believe that!"

Blink. Blink. Chirp. Chirp. I think a tumble weed may have even blown past.

"Are you kidding me? How can you not find that the least bit amusing!" I shouted at him.

"Probably because not everyone has the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old boy," he replied dryly.

So then I asked him if I could make bumper stickers with the new slogan and pass them out to residents, which was met with an immediate veto. So then I asked him if I could make a tshirt that said "Stormwater Managers Slow It Down". Also no.

I stood up, undeterred, and declared, "Your life is completely void of humor and joy. I weep for you." Then I marched out. I don't think it really had the dramatic effect I was hoping for.

My sense of humor is completely lost and unappreciated at work.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Check That Off My Bucket List

I spent the entire week last week at a conference about stormwater. The last two days were training and an exam for a specific certification. I haven't taken a test that long since my SAT's, and afterwards, I crashed and burned, Mav. As in, I was asleep by 7 pm on a Friday and then spent the rest of the weekend sick in bed. Fun times were had by all, I can assure you.

Given the extremely exciting and stimulating nature of the conference (I mean, seriously, how much can you talk about illicit discharge? Put a panty liner on it and be done with it, right?) and since two days in a classroom with a dozen male engineers is everyone's idea of a good time, I had to provide my own entertainment. Which I did mostly by giggling to myself a lot, saying "That's what she said" under my breath a lot, and keeping a tally of everything that sounded remotely dirty. Oh, and by getting stuck in the bathroom.

We had a twenty-minute break one morning, and being the only female in the building, I headed to the bathroom to take a dump kill time. The lights in the bathroom were motion activated, I'd open the door, step into the dark and the lights would kick on. I kept hoping someone would jump out and yell, "Surprise!" but that never happened.

So there I was, taking a dump playing dirty words with friends on my cell phone, and I must've lost track of time because all of a sudden, the lights turned off, and I was sitting in pitch black darkness. It startled me and I audibly gasped, said, "What the heck?!" and nervously giggled. I waved my arms around a little, expecting the lights to kick back on...but nothing happened.

I waved my arms a little more emphatically, and still nothing. I giggled a little more nervously, and waved my arms again. Still nothing. There I sat in total darkness and contemplated my options. I couldn't get up off the toilet; I couldn't hold out hope that another lady would come in and activate the lights - and actually, that probably would've been more embarrassing, to have someone walk into the dark and then find out I'd been sitting there all along. How would I explain that? Hi, I'm just the weirdo sitting here in the dark, no big deal. That's like To Catch a Predator weird.

So I did what any normal person would do in this situation - I alternated between frantically waving my hands over my head and clapping, while simultaneously making loud noises like "Ca-CAW! Ca-CAW! Whoop! Whoop!", trying desperately to activate the lights.

Nothing.

I was running out of time, so I finally accepted my fate, and finished my business in the dark. It wasn't until after I'd gotten up, flushed, fumbled to open the stall, and found my way blindly to the sink that the lights decided to finally come back on. My only saving grace was that I was able to wash my hands in the light and make sure I hadn't made a total mess of myself.

So I guess I can check that off my bucket list. You know how the old saying goes: you haven't really lived until you've had to wipe your butt in the dark.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Check, and Mate

I'm not sure if what I did today was totally horrible or totally awesome, but I'm leaning towards awesome. Here's what happened:

I was sitting in my car in the Costco parking lot on my lunch break, parked far out in the lot away from other cars. I was playing some Words with Friends and enjoying the weather with my windows down when a middle-aged lady in a minivan pulled up next to me. She smiled and said, "Hi, I reeeeeeeeeeealllly like your car. It's soooooooooooooo nice. Soooooooooooooooo nice. I want to get me one of those. Can I ask you a favor?"

I narrowed my eyes suspiciously, but obliged her politely. Then she launched into her not-so-well-rehearsed story:

"I'm trying to get to Stockton California, I just broke up with my boyfriend because he hit me, he's a good guy but I just broke up with him, and I'm trying to get to Stockton California, because I have to get away from my boyfriend because he hit me, can you help me out with gas or anything at all?"

My eyes narrowed even further into teeny little angry slits as I mentally assessed the situation:
1. This lady was slurring, bad;
2. She could barely keep her eyes open;
3. Her minivan looked fairly new;
4. The rock on her finger was HUGE;
5. She was speaking in one long, slurred, run-on sentence;
6. Did I mention she was slurring and could barely keep her eyes open?
7. She had no visible bruises that I could see;
8. There were no kids in her vehicle, but there was a car seat in the back.

Taking all these factors into consideration, I waited until she ran out of breath and stopped talking. Then I smiled sweetly and said, "Sure, I'll help you out if you can pass this drug test..." and I held up the five-panel drug test that I'd pulled from my center console.

Blink. Blink.

Now, before you think I'm a heartless, stereotyping, uncharitable, hateful weirdo who always has a drug test on hand, let me explain something. I worked as a substance abuse counselor for four years and feel pretty confident that I can tell when someone is under the influence. I'm not saying I have perfect radar, but this woman was so obviously exhibiting signs of being impaired and she was so obviously trying to con me that I took the opportunity to call her bluff.

Why did I have a drug test in my car? That's a good question...it's been in my console for so long that I don't even notice it anymore. I think it's been there for years. My best guess is that it got shuffled in with my stuff from the treatment center, and I tossed it in there with the intention of throwing it away. It's probably expired and wouldn't even have worked if the lady had decided to call my bluff; in which case things would've gotten really awkward.

But she didn't call my bluff; instead she got pissed and yelled, "Bitch!" as she burned rubber away from me. Her tires literally squealed.

So, you might think I'm a heartless, stereotyping, uncharitable, hateful weirdo because I didn't just hand this lady a twenty and count my good deed for the day; but based on her reaction, I don't think my "stereotyping" was too far off the mark.

Who knew that an expired drug test would be so handy?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red Rockettes vs. Happy Valley Derby Darlins

Every once in awhile, something so amazing happens that I am brought to tears. I could count on one hand the number of times I've cried in the last year month week. And one of those times was last Thursday when I had the privilege of skating with the Rockettes in our first inter-league scrimmage, against the Happy Valley Derby Darlins.

You might remember Happy Valley from that one time I practiced with them and they scared the crap out of me. Which is why I only went to one of their practices - I was afraid I'd need to invest in adult diapers if I skated with them again. Needless to say, I was terrified on Thursday. I couldn't eat, I drank like six diet sodas, my stomach was in knots and I kept throwing up in my mouth a little. By the time I got to derby, I'd worked myself up into a shaky, sweaty, throw-up-mouthy frenzy. I was relieved that a few other Rockettes were just as worked up as me, except probably without the throw-up mouth part.

As more Happy Valley girls started showing up, more and more Happy Valley fans showed up too. The bleachers were packed, people were sitting on the floor, and the majority were wearing pink and holding signs for Happy Valley. It seemed like every spectator was cheering and yelling, but not for us. I felt outnumbered and started to deflate. But then, across the track, I spotted someone holding a sign...
There was Heather, like a beacon of hope shining through the clouds. Heather started skating in the same group as me, and seeing her in the bleachers almost made me cry. Not just for the sign, but also for this:

Aren't we a classy bunch?

My joy lasted for about one more minute, when we huddled up and scoped out our competition.
Some of them had painted their faces, a lot of them had massive bruises, and all of them scared me. Even their tights scared me.
Our mamas gathered us together for a pep talk. England spoke softly and kindly in her sweet British accent. We looked to her with wide-eyed, terrified faces; desperate for guidance. (Ok maybe not everyone, but definitely me) I think she may have nuzzled a few of us as she gently encouraged us and told us all how precious and lovely we were. (Ok maybe I made that last part up). Then Wanton yelled at us to sack up and stop being so scared. It was her way of figuratively slapping me across the face and shaking me, yelling, "Snap out of it!" Which is why I am both in love with and petrified of Wanton.

I loved the Rockettes more that night than I love peanut butter, Sylvester Stallone, or Tastyklair Pies. I don't know which was more fun - actually skating, or watching my teammates skate. I cheered so much that my throat hurt, and I feel fairly certain that I did the Brendan Fraser clap about a hundred times. And I'm really glad no one caught that on film. But here are some of my favorite moments that did:
I love the facial expressions that get captured in action shots. I call this one "Pushy Galore and Bloody Two Shoes Giving The Stink Eye." Pushy is the one in red, and I think it's pretty obvious which one is Bloody Two Shoes.

I call this one "My Ute Felt Sympathy Pains For You When You Did the Splits", because, ouch.

Bruiser gives Happy Valley the business.

This one is called "Finally, An Action Shot of Bone Instead of a Mouth-Hanging Open Shot of Bone."

Next time someone asks me why I'm scared of Wanton, I'm just going to show them this.

Doing what I do best, which is whatever Wanton tells/pushes me to do.

And here I am, playing a crucial role in helping to block for England as she jams. What's that? You can't see me being a totally effective, integral part of the blocking wall? Well let's take a closer look...
Oh, maybe you can't see me because I'm bent over, looking at the ground like I'm too busy dry heaving to be bothered with blocking. Yep, that's me.

How would you feel if you were on the track with Wanton.
I'm just saying.

In the end, the Rockettes won the scrimmage, and Happy Valley won the after party. We all got to mingle, and I realized that my fears were completely unfounded, because the Happy Valley girls were all really nice. I'm sure it won't be long before they're a competitive league, but at least now I can stop being afraid of their tights.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Beat the Stomach...Again

I finally did it...for the second time in my entire life, I jammed. I beat The Stomach.

For anyone who doesn't know what being a jammer entails (like Bone Senior, who doesn't know why her trunk-less Scion doesn't have a safety-release latch on the back door. Here's a hint, sister: if you get stuck in the "trunk" of your Scion, there's no need to kick out the tail lights, just climb over the back seats.) The easiest way to explain the role of the jammer is that she's the only one on the team who can score points, by passing members of the opposite team. Which means that while the blockers (me) can sometimes mosey along in a pack, the jammer is skating as fast as she can to get back around the track and through the pack as many times as possible.

So, blocker = big butt (sometimes moseying) in your face; jammer = skate like hell, get through the pack, get back around the track, get through the pack again, all while getting knocked down by blockers. Rinse and repeat for two minutes. Then apply oxygen mask.

I think it goes without saying that I don't jam. I avoid it like the plague, which makes me feel like crap when we're short on skaters and the same three girls are jamming over and over, and they desperately look around for someone, anyone to volunteer to jam...and I totally avoid eye contact with them, I skate away from them when they're trying to hand off the jammer panty, and I flat out jump out of the way if they throw the panty anywhere near me. Then things get really uncomfortable, because I stand there, trying to pretend that the panty isn't draped across my foot, or under my skate, and everyone stares at me expectantly, and I just wait until someone braver than me picks it up and has the guts to jam.

But two months ago when I made the commitment to work harder, I set a goal to at least try jamming. And in those two months, there have been countless opportunities for me to try, but I was still too scared. I told myself I was still too slow, I still don't have the stamina, my arms are still too flabby; but really, I didn't want to get out there and let everyone down. I'd made up my mind that I just wasn't cut out to be a jammer. Even though just about every skater on the team has done it, I decided that I have a wide butt for a reason, and blocking was all I would use it for.

Because I had opened my big mouth about my high-falootin' derby goals, my teammates and coaches all knew that I wanted to jam, they all encouraged me, they were all rooting for me - but I was terrified that I'd get out there and fail. And then I'd be mortified in front of everyone, and I'd have to admit that I'm just not meant to be a jammer, and I'd have to stick my big butt back on the inside line where it belongs, defeated.

At last week's scrimmage, I decided enough was enough, and made up my mind to jam. Really, it was all my decision. It had nothing to do with the fact that we'd lost three players to injury in the first half, and there were only three girls rotating through the jammer position - they looked like they were about to keel over from exhaustion, one of them was still recovering from a concussion, and the other had just slammed her head into the wall. I totally wasn't guilted into it. At all.

So, I manned up and jammed.

Up until now, I'd only jammed once. I don't really remember it (because it was so long ago) but I'm sure it was like a train wreck - a really, really slow, panting, red-faced, can't-even-catch-up-to-the-pack-let-alone-get-through-the pack, dry heaving train wreck; after which I probably collapsed on the bench and hung my head in shame.

This time, however, when I finished the jam, I felt exactly like this:
And yes, I absolutely made that face.

It was the most exhilarating feeling of my life. Or at least the most exhilarating feeling since I did my 25 laps in under five minutes. Definitely one of the top three exhilarating moments of the last year. When the jam started and people noticed that, what the hell, Bone is jamming?!? I could hear everyone screaming for me - I honestly thought Wicked and Liz were going to lose their voices. My blockers kept a slow pace, they knocked everyone out of the way for me, they made it so that not only did I get through the pack, but I actually scored points.

When it was over, I threw my arms in the air and let my arm fat flutter in the wind as I skated back to my bench. My face hurt from smiling, my lungs were on fire, and I wanted to cry because of the overwhelming support and encouragement I got from the Rockettes. Even if they were hugging me and patting my butt out of pure pity because of my noble effort, it didn't matter. Because right then, I had conquered another one of my fears, and for two minutes? I made jamming my bitch.

Now if only I could conquer my fear of Wanton Rebellion...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Have You Been Boned This Week? Cause You're About To...

I am so flattered, humbled, and honored to have been nominated for this week's Derby Girl of the Week. Thank you thank you THANK YOU so much for all the incredible support from my fellow Rockettes, it brought me to happy tears.

Now check me out in all my awesomeness.

http://nowsaltlake.com/articles/view/2217/?page=1



Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I Beat the Stomach

A Summary of July:

Derby, endurance, sweating, more sweating, sweating so much that my entire ponytail was soaking wet (swonytail), bunionettes, ice packs tied to my feet, camping, being tricked into a hike and not realizing I'd been tricked until it was too late, eating like fifty s'mores in one night, making derby shirts, trying to figure out how to power wash the bed of a pickup truck without getting sprayed with poopy smelling water, realizing that there is no way to power wash the bed of a pickup truck without getting sprayed by poopy smelling water, my boobs turned three, and what else...I really feel like I'm forgetting something here....oh yeah, and I got stood up.

Are you as shocked as I am? Because I had no idea bunionettes were a real thing either! Who knew! To clarify, bunion is on the inside of the foot, below the big toe; and a bunionette (much cuter) is on the outside of the foot, below the pinky toe. It might sound cuter, but trust me, my feet are a hot mess to look at. Hence the ice packs tied to my feet.

Enough about my bunionettes - I know what you're dying to hear about. I didn't even want to post about getting stood up because I felt so humiliated at first - but now that some time has passed, I'm over being humiliated and I'm just pissed, so my blog gets to benefit from that. And as a disclaimer: I am not writing about this to gain sympathy or pity or a bunch of comments about what a douche the guy is. Even though he is. I'm writing about it because I've learned that if I can't see the humor in a situation, I usually don't learn anything from it. And now I get to pass on those pearls of wisdom.

So this is my story about The Time I Got Stood Up. First of all, I don't think I even know anyone in real life who has actually been stood up. Because, who does that? Second of all, it's not like I was set up on a blind date, I went to meet him at a restaurant, I was sitting there with a red rose on the table, and he took one look at me and bailed without even saying hello. It wasn't like that at all. This was a guy I had been set up with, we spent the afternoon boating with two of our friends, then after boating he asked if we wanted to go get dinner and play cards. We all decided to go home and get cleaned up, then meet up again in about an hour at my place.

So I go home and shower and get ready. I even blow dried my hair. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. After almost two hours of waiting, I texted the guy and told him I was ready whenever he was. No response. Another hour goes by, I texted him again, asking for an ETA. No response. After another thirty minutes, I called. No answer.

He didn't even have the decency to bail on me in private - my friend was waiting on us, so I had to keep texting her and telling her that I still hadn't heard from him. Basically, we spent an afternoon together, he asked to continue hanging out, he put it out there, and then he just disappeared. I don't get it.

Here's what sucks - if he didn't want to hang out with me again, he could've just called it a day after boating, and it would've been fine. But to make further plans with me and then not show up? Why even extend the invitation? Oh, and it's been over a week, and I still haven't heard a peep from him. And before you go giving him the benefit of the doubt - no, he didn't get arrested or hospitalized. Because I checked.

As far as I'm concerned, the only acceptable excuse for standing me up is if you're dead. Believe me, I went through all the possible scenarios - maybe he fell asleep? Maybe his phone died? Maybe his car wouldn't start? If something like that happened, you'd think he'd have the courtesy to text me the next day and explain, or something. But no, this guy has just bailed, no explanation or apology. End of story.

Except that might not be the end of the story, because if I ever see that guy again, I'm going to get so ghetto on him, he's going to wish death was his excuse for standing me up. I am so not above bobbing my head, raising my voice, and shaking my finger in his face. My wrath supercedes all social graces.

So I spent a few days moping and feeling sorry for myself, feeling like I must be the biggest loser if a guy thought it was okay to treat me that way. Then it clicked in my head that he's the douche. And then I got angry. Like, really angry. Derby couldn't have come at a more perfect time, because I needed a healthy outlet for my rage, otherwise I was afraid I'd go all Bobbitt or something.

We started out by getting timed doing 25 laps. Perfect. I kept my head down, puffed my cheeks out, and skated as hard as I could to release my angry tension. And guess what happened?

I did my 25 laps in under five minutes. I came in at 4:53. Fink beat The Stomach.

Which means that I shaved 47 seconds off my first time, in only three and a half weeks. Three and a half weeks!!! I thought it was going to take me six months to close the gap, but I did it. I did it. And then I didn't even feel angry anymore.

So maybe I should be thanking El Douche - if he hadn't stood me up, I wouldn't have gotten pissed, my anger wouldn't have simmered and built up to almost uncontrollable rage, and I wouldn't have pushed myself so hard on those laps. Maybe I wouldn't have reached my goal. Maybe I owe him gratidude.

But instead of thanking him, I'd still rather donkey punch him.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

This Is Weenie War

I had an epiphany last weekend as I was trying to come up with ideas for my blog. I realized that I've spent six months trying to describe and document my roller derby experience, when all along, the entire journey can be summed up by a scene from one of my favorite movies.

Meatballs.

What's that? You've never heard of the 1979 Bill Murray classic Meatballs? Are you kidding me? Next you'll tell me that you've never seen The Monster Squad (Wolfman's got gnards?!)

Meatballs was one of those movies that my dad let me watch when I was six, I didn't get most of the jokes (mostly because I didn't know what "boner" meant), and when I saw it again it my twenties? I was horrified that my dad had even let me watch it. (In my dad's defense, Meatballs was rated PG, at a time when PG-13 didn't even exist yet. So while it's not quite R-rated material, I think the boner jokes alone qualify it as too mature for a six-year-old.) Other movies my dad let me watch at that age include all the Rambo movies, Jaws, Predator, Poltergeist, and The Benny Hill Show. And he wonders why I turned out the way I did. Just saying.

But I digress. If you haven't seen it, all you really need to know about Meatballs is that Bill Murray plays Tripper, who is in charge of all the young adult counselors at summer camp. And let the hilarity ensue.

The scene that best sums up my roller derby journey is when Fink, the stereotypical underdog fat guy, is matched against The Stomach, a hot dog eating champion from a rival summer camp. Tripper gives Fink the simple pep talk that has always stuck with me:

Tripper: Mmmmm. Look at all those steaming wieners. Do you know what they're saying? They're saying, "This is the year that Fink beats 'The Stomach'."

I suppose it's not really the pep talk that pushes Fink to win - it's probably more Bill Murray screaming over his shoulder and shaking him that gives him that oomph to go the extra mile. Tell me this doesn't motivate you to furiously shove hot dogs in your mouth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DdkP6U4WjY

So how does this relate to derby? Quite simply: I am Fink, roller derby is The Stomach, and the Red Rockettes are my Tripper. They're the ones yelling over my shoulder (literally and figuratively), pushing me to do more, do better, try harder, keep going. They are my personal Bill Murray, telling me that even when I feel like it's impossible, there's always more room in my mouth for weenies.
Because of their support, I've been able to overcome some major milestones. I've worked on overcoming my derby fears, and I've even managed to face some of those fears:

1. Cross-overs. Here's a perfect example of a basic skill that I was supposed to have mastered five months ago. But I was terrified, and I just couldn't pick up my foot and lift it over the other one while skating forward. I spent every practice trying to hide behind other people so that the coaches wouldn't notice that I still wasn't crossing over. (I know they totally noticed, I wasn't fooling anyone). And finally, I just tried. And guess what. I didn't fall or trip myself. And while I still don't look comfortable or even natural crossing over, at least now I'm doing them.

2. 25 in 5. This is another basic skill - being able to skate 25 laps in five minutes or less. This breaks down to skating one lap in twelve seconds tops. Most of the vets can easily do it; the fresh meat mamas can probably do it in less than four minutes (that's like nine seconds per lap) which might not sound that fast, but trust me, it's fast. Much like I avoided cross-overs for so long, I also avoided being officially timed on my 25 laps. Basically my logic was this: I already know I'm slow, I don't feel the need to know exactly how slow. So every time we had an opportunity to be timed, I'd duck out early or just say I was too tired. I sucessfully avoided it for months, because ignorance is bliss. And I preferred to be ignorantly, blissfully slow instead of just plain slow.

Then last week at the end of endurance practice, we were offered the chance to be timed. There was a small enough group there that we'd each have our own personal timer, counting our laps and tracking our time for us. I wouldn't even have to worry about counting or losing track of which lap I was on. So there went that excuse.

It was the end of the night, we'd been working hard and I was sweaty, red-faced, and panting. My body hurt, my swass was out of control, and I just plain didn't want to do it. But then I looked over at Liz Tailher, a fellow Rockette. Liz, who does a 7:00 am bootcamp, running up huge hills and jumping over bleachers. Liz, who will chase down a jammer the way I would chase down one of the New Kids on the Block. Liz, my fellow middle-easterner who fondly refers to me as the other half of her West Bank. Liz, who was just as red-faced and sweaty as me, and she was already lined up on the track, ready to go.

When I looked at her, I knew I was out of excuses, and I just had to do it. She gave me a fist bump and said, "Let's do this." Andy Wardoll yelled out from the sidelines, "I got YOU, Bone!" and held up her stopwatch. So I took a deep breath, lined up on the track and said to myself, "Ima make this my bitch." The whistle blew, and off we went.

I wish I could tell you that I did my 25 laps in like three minutes, and that everyone carried me over their shoulders, cheering. But that didn't happen. What did happen, is that I pushed myself as hard as I could. My legs felt like they were on fire, my mouth was completely dry, and every muscle in my body hurt. But I heard Andy cheering for me every time I passed her, telling me to keep going and not to give up. Each time she called out my lap number, I focused on that and told myself, "Just fifteen more...just ten more...five more..."

And you know what? I didn't do it in less than five minutes. But I was a lot closer than I thought I'd be and more importantly - I finally at least tried.

3. Wearing No-Pants with No Dark Tights. Every time I've worn no-pants, I've had either black spandex or dark tights under them, so none of my skin was actually showing. I was too self-conscious about my legs and how I could survive for a year on the cottage cheese that resides on my butt and thighs. Most of the other girls wear nude pantyhose (if anything) under their no-pants, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But then Bruiser Ego showed me these:
So I bought a pair. And when I put them on? Somehow I felt confident and at peace with my cellulite...and I wore them to the next scrimmage with nothing but newd hose underneath. Other than a bathing suit, it was the most leg I've ever shown in public. And it was incredibly freeing and empowering to skate like that.

Obviously I still have a million areas that need improvement, but I feel content knowing that I'm at least trying to get better, and I'm starting to face the things I'm afraid of. I still have a long list of personal milestones that I want to reach (jamming, anyone?), but I hope I always have my own personal Bill Murray's cheering me on.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Should Learn to Keep My Big Mouth Shut

I am regretting having ever blabbed to the entire world that I want to put more effort into derby, because now the entire world is holding me accountable. I don't have the option of just talking the talk without walking the walk, unless I'm okay with looking like an ass. And considering that I'm walking like a cripple this morning, I'm borderline being okay with looking like an ass.

Putting in extra effort is hard and it has been kicking my butt. I've been pushed out of my comfort zone, into doing burpees (up/downs), planks, wall squats, and learning new vocabulary for proper derby stance that, quite frankly, makes me blush. Here's the rundown of the first week of my "extra effort".

Monday: Skated (actually skated, in a forward motion, not just side-stepped) outside with Tasha, better known as my waxer / spray tanner, and soon-to-be Rockette. When I introduced Tasha to my fresh meat mamas, I told them that she'd seen my naked body and said, "I want to go to there"; to which I responded, "Someday, this can all be yours" as I elaborately swept my hands over my body. "You just need to join roller derby." I think that's when I did the lunge-heard-round-the-world. Obviously that's all it took to convince Tasha to join up. Can you blame her?

We did laps on an outdoor track for about 45 minutes, and I felt pretty proud of myself until I saw that other derby girls are skating SEVENTEEN MILES A DAY. Seventeen. MILES. But, I did crossovers. Successfully. We also had a tender moment when I realized that Tasha has the exact same Big Five skates that I started on - finally, someone will empathize with my plight.

Tuesday: Wasatch Roller Derby (the "real" roller derby girls) strategy / endurance practice, which I like to call, "Here's All The Reasons You Will Never Be A Good Derby Girl." We were told the practice would be on skates (some weeks are just drills on foot). About a minute after I got there, I learned that we were actually starting out on foot. Awesome. My footwear options were flip flops, skates, or work boots. So I chose barefoot, and left sweaty foot marks all over the floor. So hot. And also slippery.

We started out doing a series of wall squats and planks, which had me sweating and panting about thirty seconds in. I had strategically placed myself between two other Rockettes, Bruiser and Liz Tailher, who have both been doing a 7 AM boot camp. Bruiser helped correct my posture and plank position, which was really helpful. Unfortunately, no matter how many times she adjusted me, I still ended up resting my sweaty face against the wall during the squats, and resting my gut on the floor during the planks.

Then we did burpees (I know them as up/downs), which is when you do a jumping jack, then drop down into a push up, then pull your legs up, stand up and do it all over again. Which really ended up with me looking like I was doing the worm, because that's how awesome I am at doing pushups.

This class was led by one of the founders and coaches of Wasatch, and the focus was on strategy. The way she explained different techniques made a lot of sense, and it was really helpful. I found myself saying, "Oh, now I understand why Wanton grabbed me by the pants to slow me down..." We even got handouts with flowcharts and graphs, all explaining different strategies. Now, if I wasn't such a negative person, I probably would've come away from the class thinking, "Wow, that was really helpful! I learned a lot!" But, I'm not, so I came away with the following pearls of wisdom that were tossed down from the coach:

1. "If your arms jiggle, you will never be a good derby girl." As she was saying this, I was trying to discreetly tuck my arm fat into my armpits, hoping she wouldn't single me out as having jiggly arms. I also resisted the urge to ask her if having stretch marks would stop you from ever being a good derby girl, because I got the sense very early on that she wouldn't appreciate my humor.

2. "If you can't run a mile, you will never be a good derby girl." This gave me flashbacks to highschool gym class, and me walking a 15-minute mile. That was also the only time in my life I didn't envy my sister for having big boobs, as just watching her run the mile made me hurt. But once I hit my mid-twenties, and hadn't run a mile in like ten years, I figured that the downside of having big boobs wasn't enough to stop me from getting them.

3. "If you can't skate 25 laps in less than five minutes, you will never be a good derby girl. I can do it in 3:30." K, I'm not even going to touch that one - I think we all know where I stand on the speed and endurance issue (read: I have neither).

4. "If your coach puts you on the inside line and tells you to stay there, it's because there's nothing else they can do with you." When we heard this little gem, all of the Rockettes in attendance burst out laughing. I can't count how many times my fresh meat mamas have said to me, "Just stick to the inside line and don't worry about anything else." Any idealistic notions I had about being put on the line because I'm a good blocker went right out the window. I wanted to gather up my arm fat and just leave. But since I had flapped my gums about wanting to get better, I couldn't tuck tail and run in front of the other Rockettes. I'm pretty sure they would have physically stopped me from leaving, and I love them for that.


In defense of the Wasatch coach, I can completely appreciate where she's coming from. She's leading a team of intense girls who are out for blood, and practice is very, very serious for them. She's all about the brutal honesty, and while I understand that? I was yearning for the coddling, gentle love of my fresh meat mamas.


Thursday: Red Rockettes practice. I was so glad to be back with a familiar group of faces. Practicing with Wasatch gave me a whole new appreciation for the Rockettes, and the environment that our coaches have created for us to learn and have fun. We have such a large group now that practice is split up: 7-9 is for the rookies, 8-10 is for the vets. I think the highlight of my night was at about 9pm, when I was already sweating and dying, and one of the rookies (who had been skating for two hours and was barely glistening) said, "Didn't you just get here?" Yes, yes I did, which makes it that much more sad.


Friday-Sunday: Pretty much one continuous cycle of eating, sleeping, and watching Bridezillas. Whatever, don't judge me.


Monday: Happy Valley Derby Darlins practice. This is a group that was formed in December, and is currently recruiting skaters. They skate just a few minutes from where I live, and had extended an invitation to the Rockettes to come practice with them anytime. So E-Rolla Virus drove down from Salt Lake, and she and I entered the lions den together.


HVDD has about 25 girls, and they all looked like they could beat me up. E-Rolla and I just looked at eachother like, "What have we gotten into?" but we geared up and joined in the stretching. Their coach, Breaker 1-9, immediately sensed outsiders amongst her crew, and called out for us to state our names and business there. When we said we come in peace, and from the Red Rockettes, they all started...cheering. They let out a chorus of, "Yay! You're here to help us!"


Blink. Blink. E-Rolla and I exchanged glances that said, "We have absolutely nothing to teach you, seeing as how we are still trying to learn how to skate", but they all looked so...hopeful. They had no idea they where about to be underwhelmed by the Alamo of the Red Rockettes. So instead of just coming out with the truth about how novice we are, E-Rolla and I rode the celebrity status wave for the next thirty seconds, aaaaaaaaaaand then we started skating.


It became very clear, very quickly, that these girls have been focusing on speed and endurance for the past six months. They were fast, stable, and had perfect derby stance. They almost never broke form, and if they did, they heard it loud and clear from Breaker 1-9, no pun intended. She was loud, and she was very, very clear with her instructions. The last time someone screamed, "MOVE YOUR ASS!" at me was in highschool, when my tennis coach would make my two-syllable first name into a one-syllable word, indiscernible to the untrained ear. "Moo ya fee, Sah! MOO ya FEE!" (Translation: Move your feet, Sarah! MOVE your FEET!)


Along with "loud" and "clear", Breaker had a very distinct way with words. This is the part where I learned new vocabulary for "proper derby stance". We've been taught tits over knees over toes, hands in the vag. Simple as that. That phrase has been drilled into my head, and it's almost become second nature. And really, "tits over knees over toes" is as descriptive as you need to get with me when it comes to proper derby stance - I get it, I understand it, I need no further explanation.


Breaker 1-9 has a different opinion when it comes to explaining proper derby stance, and honestly, I don't know if I can even bring myself to write it here, because it's straight-up prison talk, and the thought of my sister reading it makes me feel embarrassed. And although I have the sense of humor of a thirteen-year-old boy, even I draw the line somewhere.


We were doing a pace line, skating a figure-eight pattern. It teaches you how to skate close to eachother, and to keep pace with the girl in front of you while not breaking away from the girl behind you. We were also practicing sticky skates, which is skating in a forward motion without picking up any of your wheels. It kills my thighs. Breaker kept yelling at us to get as close as possible to the girl in front of us, as low as we could with our asses out. Really, that statement from her would have been enough. "Get your ass down and out", or "Get all up ons", or even "Get your face close enough to kiss the butt of the girl in front of you" are all very self-explanatory, but Breaker took it to the next level.


I really can't bring myself to write what she actually said. I've tried several times, and I'm just too modest. (Whoda thunk? Me? Modest? Pfffft. But seriously, this is just too far for me to take it. At least on my blog. In person, I have no problem saying it, but for some reason, seeing it in writing is too much.) Suffice it to say that it started with 'E' and ended with 'ATHERASSHOLE.'


In other words, it sounded a lot like, "Meat her class mole."


If you were playing Mad Gab, your clue would be, "Eater as hoe."


That's how close she wanted us to the girl in front of us. My response was to turn around to E-Rolla, who was directly behind me, and say, "Toss my salad."


While it was a great workout, I'm not sure if I'll be going back to the HVDD practice. I get my fill of prison lingo from Lockup, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Lessons Learned

I drove home from last Thursday's scrimmage in tears. As if I didn't look enough like a crazy person, I was also shaking my head and talking to myself. I'm sure the other commuters got a good laugh out of it. But let me back up.

I skate with an amazing group of girls who are all getting better and better and better each week. I watch them lap me during warm ups, juke me on the track, and generally leave me in the dust during a jam. On a normal night, I'm slow. Last week? I felt like I had peanut butter flowing through my veins; which, normally I would say is a delicious feeling. But I haven't eaten any peanut butter in six months (I have a bit of a ... problem with peanut butter. As in, if there is any peanut butter in the house, I will eat the entire jar with a spoon in one sitting. I wish I was kidding.) I didn't even get to enjoy the peanut butter euphoria while my butt was dragging around the track; I just got the after effects of sweating, panting, and a stitch in my side.

I started every jam at the beginning of the pack, and ended every jam halfway around the track, behind everyone else, just trying to catch up. I was always the straggler. And it's not like I went unnoticed either; did you know that there's a ref assigned to keep an eye on the stragglers? Neither did I, until I heard the head ref yelling to another ref, "Keep an eye on the stragglers!" Meaning that I had my own personal ref skating alongside me the entire time I was gasping to catch up to the group. Nothing like a little public flogging to really give you confidence.

I felt like every time I was out there, I was holding my team back. And of course everyone was so nice about it, which made me feel even worse for dragging them down. England suggested that I stick to the inside of the track so that I have less distance to cover. Pushy asked what the team could do to help me out there, and all I could think was, "Slow down!" And Wanton took a more practical approach by grabbing my waistband and pulling or pushing me so that I'd stay with the pack.

So I spent the whole drive home being angry with myself and trying to figure out what the heck my problem was that night. I felt like I was trying hard, but no matter how hard I pushed, skated, and puffed out my cheeks, I just wasn't getting anywhere. My first reaction was to blame my skates.

For the past six months, I have been skating on top-of-the-line, highest quality Big Five skates. The hard plastic toe stops have been implemental at teaching me how to stop without using my toe stops, because instead of stopping me, they just squeak across the floor. The hard plastic wheels really help me keep my balance and grip the track as I'm not doing crossovers. They give me a good, solid stance. I highly recommend Big Five skates to anyone who wants to work twice as hard and get half as far.

I've been putting off buying new skates because a) I'm cheap, b) skates get expensive, and c) did I mention I'm cheap? Then Sugarplum Scary made me an offer I couldn't refuse: she had bought a new pair of skates because her original ones didn't fit right, so she was looking to sell them. And they just happened to be my size. I skated around a few times and was in awe of the actual rubber toe stops and grippy wheels. The toe stops actually stopped me! My wheels didn't slide when I pushed off! In my state of wonder, I realized that I had no idea how to skate on good skates.

I also realized that it maybe wasn't the best idea to break in new skates on a scrimmage night. Because although I finally had the right equipment, learning to use it was a different story. I felt like I was starting from square one.

For a few minutes, I convinced myself that surely I wasn't the problem; it was the skates! Yes, that's it! The skates! How could I be expected to keep up when I was trying to get used to new skates? It had only taken me six months to learn how to skate on Big Five's, which buys me at least another three months before anyone expects me to be useful on the track, right? Yes, that must be it.

Then some nagging thoughts started creeping in. I thought about all the new girls and how amazing they're doing. I thought about girls who had started the course six weeks late and were lapping me, and girls who can only make it every few weeks and they're lapping me. Everyone seems to be getting better every week. Bascially, everyone laps me and I knew in that moment that it wasn't because of my skates. And that kinda sucked.

I finally admitted to myself that I haven't done anything to help myself improve outside of Thursday nights. Most of the other girls skate at least three or four times a week, they go to an endurance skate class on Tuesday nights, they go disco skating, they do a boot camp at SEVEN IN THE MORNING! These girls are hardcore and serious about getting better, and what have I been doing? Drinking diet pepsi and watching Mob Wives, that's what. If I hadn't gone off peanut butter, I guarantee I'd be sitting around eating that too.

Getting better at skating isn't something that's just going to happen to me, no matter how bad I wish it would. I have to be willing to put in the time and effort to get better, otherwise I'm just going to stay in the same place while everyone else continues to lap me. I don't want that, I don't want to hold my teammmates back, and I'm pretty sure the straggler ref is sick of skating alongside me.

So I made a few decisions. I'm going to start attending the Tuesday night endurance class, which I'm already dreading. The thought of doing squats and sprints and running makes me want to puke. But everyone who goes has said it makes a huge difference in their skating, so I have to give it a shot.

I'm also going to make an effort to use my new skates more than once a week, and I'm already off to a good start with that one - last night, I skated around a park trail with my friend/waxer/tanner Tasha, who's going to join next session. And guess what else - I actually did crossovers. Seriously. I know. I know!

I could come up with a million excuses not to do these things - gas is expensive, the drive sucks, I'm tired, I'm lazy, The Real Housewives of New Jersey is on, blah blah blah. But I can't keep making excuses for sucking at skating - it's either put in the time to improve, or quit because I'm just getting in everyone's way. And like E-Rolla Virus said, derby is cheaper than therapy, so there's no way in hell I'm quitting.

You heard it here first - Bone is getting her butt in gear.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

San Antonio: I Didn't Really Get It

It's June, and there is still snow on the mountains here. I'm so over the Utah winter, so for Memorial Day weekend my roommate Tiff and I decided to take a trip somewhere hot and sunny. We ended up going somewhere sweltering, sticky, and confusing to me: San Antonio.

Neither of us had ever been there, and we were excited to see the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and of course, the sun. I know I run the risk of pissing off a lot of Texans by saying this, but I was really looking forward to gaining a better understanding of why the Alamo was such a big deal - I totally didn't get it, because the Mexicans won, but the Alamo is "a symbol of Texas liberty". More on that to come.

Let's start with the things that didn't confuse me.

The Riverwalk

The San Fernando Cathedral

Sombreros

Optical illusions

Another optical illusion.

Beyond that, San Antonio kinda lost me. I spent most of my time there with a puzzled look on my face, asking, "Huh?". Actually, I spent most of my time sweating, chafing, and trying to breathe with my mouth closed so Tiff wouldn't realize how out of shape I was. I'm pretty sure I walked more last weekend than I have in the last five years combined.

These tourism posters were all over the place.

Hello, my name is "I don't really get your slogan."

Who wouldn't want a free sniffing of Bone swass after a day of sweaty thigh chafing?

These cryptic messages confused me. At first, I thought the Mexicans were just really bad at writing a haiku, but they still didn't make sense. Tiff was smart enough to figure it out: it's all about the river. I never would've gotten that on my own.

Alamo City Ghost Tours. We had a couple different tours to choose from, so we went with the group that had the most confusing website. http://www.alamocityghosttours.com/. We knew we were in for a real adventure when we read one of the testimonials: "I feel as if I have been transported into the 1980's movie Ghostbusters." Plus they promised that everyone gets ghost hunting equipment! I was fully expecting a proton pack, and fully planned on shouting, "Don't cross the streams!" at least a dozen times. However, the equipment we got was not quite Ghostbuster-caliber.
Tiff demonstrating how to use the "ghost hunting equipment": point, shoot, get temperature. Her laser temperature gauge confirms it: my butt is hot.
The scariest thing I saw on the ghost tour: a dead bird. Even scarier was when a competely oblivious lady stepped on the dead bird and I heard it crack. It creeped me out worse than anything else on the tour.

Which brings me back to the Alamo.I was excited to go inside and find out what all the hoopla was about. I thought there would be people dressed as Davy Crockett, whooping it up and firing pistoleros into the air; and I was hoping that one of them would be able to explain why this place was such an integral part of Texas freedom if the Mexicans won...

My hopes of seeing Davy Crockett were quickly dashed as soon as we went inside. It was made clear that there are no shenanigans or tom foolery at the Alamo. The Alamo is very serious, as you can see. Which gave me that much more reason to be pro-tom foolery and anti-seriousness. I still don't fully understand why it was such a critical point in the war, but here's what I did learn:The walls are only like eight feet tall. Which confused me even more! Why did it take 2,000 Mexican soldiers almost two weeks to get over these walls and take the Alamo? I'm neither Mexican nor a soldier, but I'm pretty sure I could clear this wall pretty quickly. I didn't say I could do it gracefully; there would be a fair amount of huffing and puffing involved, but still.
There are many rules at the Alamo. Like no stepping on the grass. And no touching the walls. And no photography inside.

And especially no photography inside whilst touching the walls.

Surprisingly, there were no rules about where you were allowed to sit during the tour guide's presentation. I think people thought I was part of the presentation and kept waiting for me to get up and do something, but I just sat there, politely listening and making the guide feel weird.

At the end of the weekend, I came home with a sunburn and a whole new appreciation for dry heat. Try as they may have, the Tejanos just couldn't instill any culture in me; but at least I blended in with the natives.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

That Mushy Gushy Stuff in Honor of Mothers

Two weeks ago, I got into a killer cat fight, a la Mob Wives (an ambulance was sure to come), and I tweaked my neck. Ok I didn't really get into a cat fight, but it sounds a lot cooler than saying that I was blow drying my hair, flipped my head up and my neck seized. So let's just stick with the cat fight.

I tweaked it so badly that I missed a night of derby; I spent most of the weekend turning my entire torso just to look to the side, at which point I decided that the best plan of action was to just stay in bed, watching a lot of brainless television, and I had a lot to think about.

And seeing as how I'm still laid up in bed (until my first ever chiropractor visit tomorrow, which I swear is giving me panic attacks about having my neck accidentally snapped in half) I've been thinking about a lot. A lot about mothers, friendships, roller derby, kids, Arby's mozzarella sticks...just to name a few.

I've been thinking about the past year of my life, where I was then and where I am now. Who I've tried to become and the things that I've tried to change about myself. A year ago, I felt like a shell of my former self. I had no idea who I was or how I'd let myself get so...empty. I was lonely, I cried to my sister every day, I had no direction, felt like I had no purpose. I was miserable.

When Gina suggested trying roller derby, I had a piss-poor attitude about it. The first few weeks, I couldn't do anything right, I really only talked to Gina, I hid from the coaches, hoping that they wouldn't notice that I wasn't doing anything right, I made stupid jokes to the other girls, hoping they wouldn't notice that I wasn't doing anything right, and I pretty much kept to myself. My equipment was from D.I., my skates were from Big Five, I didn't have the cute derby clothes or tights. I felt totally ghetto, totally out of my element, and totally lame. I felt like I just didn't fit in.

I cried to my sister every Friday morning about how horrible I'd done at derby the night before. About how I felt like I was failing at life because I was failing at skating. How nobody there liked me and I got picked last for kickball, and how I just wanted to quit. I'm not kidding, I think I actually whined, "aaaaaaaaand I got picked last for KICK ball!" That's how emotionally mature I am. But every Friday morning, my sister reassured me that derby was not the barometer of my life as a whole, and that I just had to stick it out for the twelve weeks, and then I never had to skate again if I didn't want to. She made me promise to finish the session.

But somewhere along the line, something clicked with me. I think it was the night that Daisy grabbed me by the hand and forced me to do a baseball slide with her. I totally sucked at it, but she smiled and applauded me, and told me how awesome I was. She was totally lying, but somehow, it made me finally smile, get up, and keep skating. And then I actually started loving going to derby.

I started to branch out and tried talking to other girls. Talking led to laughing, and going out together after derby, and getting phone numbers, and texting, and talking on the phone. It led to late night conversations, coordinated no pants nights, emails that went back and forth for days - most so funny that I peed a little. It started treat nights, crafting parties, big plans for pajama parties, and skate maintenance parties. It led to friendships and a feeling of sisterhood, and sometimes for me, a feeling of motherhood, which was the last thing I expected, and didn't realize how badly I needed.

I lost my mom to cancer when I was ten, and I've been trying to fill that void ever since. There are countless amazing women in my life who have all played a part in being a mother to me, even to this day. My closest friends all play a part in filling that role in my life, whether they realize it or not. I don't think any of the Rockettes even know about my mom, but I hope I can tell them here how much they've helped to fill that void for me.

These are girls who have taken me under their wing and make the extra effort so that I feel welcome, even if my equipment is ghetto. They make me feel loved, even if my derby clothes aren't cute and my skates are from Big Five. They encourage me to always try harder, break out of my comfort zone, put on my no pants, and own it. They helped me gain back my identity, and be proud of it. Isn't that what a friend does? Isn't that what a mother does?

Many of the Rockettes are mothers, and I am astonished at how they manage to juggle everything in their lives. I only have to worry about me, and sometimes I barely make it out the door in one piece. These ladies take care of little children, husbands, families, jobs, and they make it look so easy. Not only do they make it look easy, but they love every minute of it. And that kind of love has transferred to the derby track, and made me feel like I'm part of something so much bigger than a recreational derby league. I feel like I have 30 mothers and sisters who all genuinely care about each other. Just last week, everyone pitched in to put together a gift basket for the daughter of a vet who is dealing with medical issues. The Rockettes were so generous with their donations, there was enough money to fill the basket with goodies and get a $50 gift certificate. The outpouring of love was overwhelming.

They genuinely care about me. The night I missed practice, I couldn't even count the number of emails, texts, and messages from derby girls, asking if I was ok, telling me that I was missed. One coach told me that they'd officially decided that I was never allowed to be absent from practice again, because they missed me so much. If that doesn't warm your heart, then you're probably dead inside.

I love each and every one of the Rockettes because they all bring something different to the table, and they've all had an influence on me. When I go to practice, I'm not the girl with cellulite and a flat bum. I'm not the girl with the love handles and back fat that jiggles. I'm not the single girl with no kids. I'm not the girl who says "wooder" instead of "water", or who gets sweaty just standing in place. I'm not "that girl who's mom died." I'm not my insecurities, my negativity, or my fear of failing. At derby, I am not defined by any of the things that I allow to hold me back in real life. I am none of those things.

At derby, I'm Bone Junior, and I kick ass, and I owe it to the Rockettes. And of course to my sister for talking me down every Friday morning, just like our mom would've done. Her telling me that I got picked last for kickball because both teams just wanted me so badly, that they had to fight over me, and it took them a long time to decide. Her encouraging me to make new friends and try something new, and to stick with it. That's totally what a mother does.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tanning Fail, but Still Win Because I Am Tan **UPDATED**

I've said it before, and I'll say it again when my skin looks like a leather handbag: I am tanorexic. I love to be tan, whether it's from the actual sun or a tanning bed, it makes no difference. I just hate to be pasty. Lecture me all you want about wrinkles and UV rays, but mark my words, I will go to my grave the color of terra cotta.

Before you start wagging your finger at me about how unhealthy I am, the whole point of this post is that I tried something new and NOT unhealthy to get tan: SPRAY TAN. Not the kind you buy at Walmart, but an actual spray tan from an actual salon. And before you start rolling your eyes, I did not turn out the color of Snookie. I have a lovely glow, if I do say so myself. And while I'm thrilled with the results, the process, persay, was not exactly what I expected.

I had never tried a spray tan before, and I was a little leary, having seen terrifying spray tans on Toddlers and Tiaras. And also on Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, Mob Wives, and pretty much any show about people in New Jersey. But based on these shows, I had an idea in my head of what the experience of spray tanning would be like: I go into a private room, lock the door, put on a shower cap, step into a booth, alone, and get hosed down with tanner like I'm going through a car wash. Or, I go into a private room, put on a shower cap and some kind of cover-up for my lady parts, and a gal comes in and sprays only my essential parts with tanner. In my head, those were the only two possible outcomes.

I did not know that my salon utilizes a third option. The kind where I go into a private room, put on ONLY a shower cap, awkwardly stand there and try to figure out how to cover my lady parts, waiting for a gal who comes in and gets all up in ALL my parts, hosing me down with tanner, while I'm still trying to figure out how to keep my no-no square covered.

I was informed of option three when I got to the salon, and it was too late to back out. But as fate would have it, the gal who does the spray tans is the same gal who does the waxing. The same girl who used to do my waxing. She's the only person in this world who's seen the scary places of my body that should never be seen by the naked eye (read: my bum crack). Not only has she seen those places, but she's waxed them. So, I suppose that if I had to stand naked in front of anyone, awkwardly for several minutes, then she'd be the person I'd choose, because she's already seen it all.

You'd think that I would've been perfectly comfortable in the newd in front of her, but, I was not. I was not "prepared" to be seen naked. As in, I hadn't even shaved my legs for like a month. I'd come straight from work, so I felt all greasy and swassy, I'd started to sweat as soon as I heard the words "totally naked", and I was a bumbling mess. She told me she'd give me three minutes to undress and then she'd be back.

It took all of about twenty seconds for me to undress and put on the shower cap. Please to enjoy a self-illustrated pictorial on how I spent the remaining two minutes and forty seconds waiting for her to come back in: (Illustrator's note: I added censorship bars where I thought necessary. Pretty much just for the sake of my brother. Thank you.)(Also, I am aware that I drew my hands and feet anatomically incorrect. Everything else is perfectly to scale.)







What's funny is that, as you can see from the pictures, I was least concerned with keeping my whoody-whaty covered, and more worried about keeping my stomach and boobs concealed. Or at least trying to stand in the most flattering way possible.

I finally gave up trying to cover myself and accepted the fact that it was impossible to have any shred of dignity whilst being spray tanned by someone who's already seen your everything.

She was so nice about the whole thing, and kept friendly conversation going. I was finally starting to relax a little, when she told me to do a lunge. And this, my friends, is what I did:
Not a lunge. She politely showed me how to do a lunge, and I said to her, "Look at me! Are you really surprised that I don't know the difference between a lunge and a squat?" Apparently what I was doing wasn't really a squat, either. I don't know what I was doing, besides making a complete and total ass of myself.

But a tan ass, nontheless.


**UPDATE** For those of you who haven't gotten your fill of Bone Junior TMI, you can find my original post about waxing here . And for those of you who can't get enough Bone Junior TMI, the original illustrations are up for auction.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Never Trust a Big Butt and a Smile

Roller Derby: Session 2, Week 3

I can't believe we're already three weeks into this session with the Red Rockettes. I missed the first week and have been on a blogging hiatus thanks to a much-needed vacation to Texas. You know how they say "Everything is bigger in Texas"? I think they should change it to "Everything Gets Bigger in Texas", because that's what happens to my butt, thanks to the amazing BBQ, seafood (I actually tried fried alligator), and my sister's amazing key lime pie.

But there are times when a big butt actually comes in handy: dropping it like it's hot, trying to attract a black guy, and blocking in roller derby. So thank you, Texas, for your role in helping me to achieve two out of three. In case you're having trouble guessing which one I haven't mastered due to my big butt, suffice it to say that I'm still single. Not that I've "mastered" blocking by any means, and the last time I dropped down to get my eagle on, I strained my groin...so, I guess my point is that I have a big butt, and it comes in handy on the track.

The vets got to scrimmage the whole time this week (holy crap, can you believe that I'm technically a vet now!! NEITHER CAN I!) and it was our second No-Pants Scrimmage. Last week, we practiced actually hitting for real (well, as real as you can hit when you're still learning), so I was determined to at least try to get in some good hits at the scrimmage. Here's what I've learned about hitting:

1. The size of the girl has almost nothing to do with her ability to hit, or take a hit. There are some teeny girls who have knocked me down hard and I never saw them coming.

2. The faster they are, the harder they fall.

3. If you're cruising along and you see a big butt and a smile in front of you, don't trust her cause that girl is poooooooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissooooooooooooon! You have to sing it out loud. Trust me, you'll have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

4. Hitting is really, really fun.

You know what else is really fun? Playing Red Rover with all the vets and rookies combined, making it through the game without looking like an ass, then tripping over the track outline (much like an electrical cord) at the very end when everyone comes together to do the No Pants Cheer. Don't worry, I made sure that everyone knew there was a pebble on the track there.

I've decided to end this post with a photo that encompasses all of the reasons I love the Red Rockettes; first and foremost because of the shared sense of humor. Please to enjoy the following photo, which I like to call "Where My Hose At?"; or, "I Don't Understand How This Helps Me Learn How to Keep My Elbows In While Skating, But Okay."