Monday, August 31, 2009

Did you miss the game last Saturday? Did you also miss the webcast?

Check it out here for the next week or so.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Not the Heat...

...well, OK, maybe it is.

Fuck, it's hot.

Of course half the state of California is burning as a result. WTF?!?!?!?!?!

I'm busy with the usual freelance and skating. All I can say is that the best thing about working from home is that pants are optional.

Enjoy some random photos while I prep for tomorrow's game. Which will be webcast live:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hey look! Another interview with/about the LA Derby Dolls! ANNNNNND, I'm in it!

What's funny about this interview(besides me sounding like a transvestite as I talk with my hands CONSTANTLY)is that I thought I didn't say a whole lot during my portion of the interview with Killo Kitty. Apparently I don't have a good memory, and I'm living up to the LOUDMOUTH reputation quite well.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weird Day

This week I started new freelance with a biblical theme, and it's stressing me out. Last night I had tumultuous, anxiety-ridden dreams about missing deadlines and EPICALLY FAILING. I woke up feeling like I got ran over by a giant herd of 16-legged horses with spikes in their hooves.

After a groggy morning ab routine, I shuffled to go get the bicycle and wander on over to the Santa Monica Farmers Market when I got a call telling me that my most favoritist riding partner was in a motorcycle accident up in Oregon last week. He wasn't fact, considering that a big rig tried to take him out, he escaped with a lot less than one would expect. The Angel of Death brushed by but didn't make a stop.


What really shakes me up about the news is that he and I ride in a very similar style. We're both fast, cranky bastards on our bikes, and generally take the same types of risks. So this is a "There but by the Grace of God" type of deal.

So that news had me all freaked out as I ran my errands.

I get back home, put the bicycle away, and as I'm walking back to the house, I see this tasty little tidbit on the back porch:

A goddam dead bird. I'm assuming Kitty is the culprit, as he's the most regular of the backyard cats that hangs out. That, and I've been feeding him sporadically, and I think the bird is a commentary on my lack of regularity. I suspect this is NOT a suicide on the bird's part.

I think Kitty looks rather pleased with himself in this photo:

I'm ready for this day to be over already.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I'm Not on TV...or Anywhere Else...

Saturday night was derby-licious.

A double-header game in El Segundo featuring Angel City Derby Girls(home team) vs. Oly Rollers(Olympia, WA), and BAD Girls(Bay Area) vs. San Diego. It was the must-see games of the season so far in SoCal, and so the Dear Husband and I packed up computers and a brand-spanking-new video camera to record the events as much as possible for those who weren't there or who just wanted to study the footage later.

I did blogcasting for Derby News Network. Which basically means as the action unfolded before me, I and two other knowledgable derby peeps would type one to two sentences for the internetz. When I announce, I try to keep my language clean for the kids. For the internetz? Well, uh, fuck that.

Here's a sampling of my foul fingers from both boutcasts I did, courtesy of DNN's Justice Feelgood Marshall. Which he posted on my Facebook page:

TARA ARMOV: Punk got taken the fuck DOWN by riot girl
TARA ARMOV: Heffer got taken teh FUCK down and finally calls it from teh floor
TARA ARMOV: Cherry's saying, "Fuck this shit" and isn't fighting.
TARA ARMOV: Fast as fuck pack
TARA ARMOV: Oly's lateral blocking is fucking tits
TARA ARMOV: Sioux faces Vavava Gina at the front of the pack, says FUCK THAT and calls it off.
TARA ARMOV: TOnight's DJ is fucking awesome.
TARA ARMOV: Enstephalitis is the fucking RAD for typing up the rosters for everyone.
TARA ARMOV: BO TOXIC FUCKING ROCKS. She just brought me a beer.
TARA ARMOV: fast fucking pack
TARA ARMOV: Holy fuckballs.
TARA ARMOV: Kiki knocked the fuck down
TARA ARMOV: Good time for Kiki to rack up some fucking points
TARA ARMOV: SD down 2 blockers and jammer in the pack, they're fucked.

My mom is probably so proud!

Here's a photo from Saturday night. It's of the DNN News Center(as I kept calling it on the blogcasts)featuring Ivana Clobber(derby gypsy right now, though she's been with Kansas City Roller Warriors and Boston, amongst other leagues), me, and BAD ref Enstephalitis.

You can see that we were a surly, yet good-natured-in-our-surliness bunch.

And why the hell can't I spell "the"?!?!?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Termite Terrace

The house had termites, and we had to tent the place to get rid of them:

So where does one stay if they have a tented termite terrace? The cheepest hotel in Marina del Rey:

The Dear Husband stumbled upon this place online while we frantically tried to find a motel that would take pets. Let me tell you, IT AIN'T EASY. Luckily we found this place.

Here's the view just from the parking lot:

The yellowish icky haze is from the Santa Barbara fires.

The DH loved staying here. The food at the hotel restaurant was good, the rooms were serviceable, the location was prime, and stores were within walking or biking distance(we did both...though not at the same time).

The part I liked the most was that there weren't many Americans there. A bunch of French and Australians seemed to have found this little gem of a place, and that made breakfast conversation eavesdropping fun. DH's favorite conversation was of a French dude wanting to take the bus to some tourist destination. Tourist, welcome to the most inefficient public transportation system EVAR! Good luck with that!

Out front, there was an office building that looked to be an old restaurant:

For some reason it brought up a strong case of deja vu for me, as I would fly down to LAX from Sacramento with my mom when I was but a wee lass and visit my grandparents, who at the time lived in Inglewood. I swear I remember this place from when I was but a wee lass, but who knows?

Anyway, our stay-cation was nice, but it felt fantastic to be back home. I cleaned away for most of the day, and the place is still looking like a disaster area. But it's my disaster area!

P.S: some anonymous doofus left a silly comment that I didn't approve. Why? Because, a) it's anonymous, and I don't accept chickenshit morons to comment here, and, b)if you accuse me of making an anti-gay remark, please proofread to make sure I did indeed make such a remark. OKTHNXBAI.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Better Now...

Thanks to the Santa Monica post office, I was FINALLY able to send off my passport crap today. *whew!*

Here's a smallsmallsmall sampling of Rollercon photos:

Me and Smackya Sideways warming up for the Team Loudmouth/Silent But Deadly scrimmage on Fremont St. We both look scary for very different reasons!

Me in action during the game:

Hey look! I hit people while skating!!!!!

Me doing...uh, something during the Strictly Dickly/Vagine Regime game:

Meeting Charm City's Justice Feelgood Marshall for the first time...again:

I think he weighs around 10 lbs. soaking wet. Thank goodness he wasn't soaking wet in this photo.

The Dear Husband's tattoo that I had to redraw every day in Vega$:

Krissy Krash's improved tramp stamp:

Rat City's photographer, Axle Adams:

San Diego's Bo Toxic:

Tramp stamp on TXRD's announcer WundaMike. ACDG's Holly Caust is shocked. So am I:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Rage Knows No Bounds...

It seemed so simple, to want a passport.

But no, I can not has.


The fucking assholes at the post office are the worst group of people anyone has to deal with to get anything done.

First, their schedules suck. 10am-3pm for passport stuff? Really?

Second, half the time their cameras are broken. Which isn't a problem if one has AAA, one can just go there and get photos.


One gets to the ONE person in the ENTIRE goddam post office who's authorized to handle passports. She stares at photos and says rudely, Oh, this won't work. Your bangs cover your eyes.


Dear Husband is able to complete his application.

Walk back to car.

Curse wildly.

Drive home to change crappy shirt and slap on makeup.

Note there's only two more hours to get new photos and get back to post office.

Drive to AAA.

Get new photos. Doesn't get charged, so no one dies.

Drive to post office.

Stand in line.

Find out that the rude "lady" is off in the back somewhere, talking on the phone to a "supervisor". No one else can handle passports, of course.

After 20 minutes, another worker comes out and suggests going to another nearby post office, as one allegedly has a half hour of time left to complete everything.

Stomp back to the car, drive like a crazy person to the other post office.

Park with a half hour left to do the job.

Go in, and notice the big fucking sign that has CHANGED THE DAMN HOURS THAT PASSPORTS CAN BE DONE.

Am now a half hour LATE to accomplish the seemingly simple fucking goal of handing over money for a fucking passport.

I now understand why shootings in post offices happen.

The DH doesn't help by talking about how long it took him to get his initial passport years ago driving to Hawthorne and other such crap. Right, OK.

I get it.

Everything you do is harder than what I do.




Rollercon '09: Day Three

Saturday, August 1:

My general ramblings have resulted in long posts that are apparently boring as fuck to read, so I'll try for shorter bullet points for the attentionally-challenged:

  • Teaching Tarametrics: yeah, I'm gonna gonna torture as many skaters as I possibly can. It's going international, since I had a London Rollergirl in the class. MWAHAHAHAHAHHA. I also got to taunt a couple of Sac City Rollergirls, since LA's Tough Cookies are going up to play them later this month...and I hope to be subbing with them for that game!

  • Sitting with sisters Miss E. Vil(Duke City)and Demanda Riot(B.A.D. girl & Team Awesome)talking derby terms. Do you know what the difference between a "sit and hit" and an "ass to puss" is? Nothing but the names.

  • Getting potential offers to train on an international realm. Now if that's not a good excuse to finally get a passport, I don't know what is.

  • Pick-up scrimmages. Nothing boils down the essence of DIY derby more than packing a black shirt, a white shirt, and heading on down to skate with and against strangers just to see what happens. No big production, just skating and hitting. I had a blast, even while skating on the Floor of Death at the LV Sports Center.

  • Smackya Sideways from Rose City. I love this girl. She's a tank. A very agile tank. Almost every time I went up to skate, there she was on the other team. Taunting me. I told her after the first four jams that if we're going to continue meeting like this, she needs to buy me a drink. I remember each of us getting only one decent hit on each other on the track. We're that good, apparently. Or that wary of each other's potentially painful capabilities, I dunno.

  • Taking the crapola double-decker shuttle bus at night. Boy, what a difference night and day makes. The bus is almost tolerable, and getting to talk about the potential impact Whip It! will have on DIY derby, the awesomeness of the name "Rack Attack!" for a team, stories of people missing flights due to missing passports, more tattoo talk, rules differences between flat track, banked track, and Old School, and just how much can a skater drink in Vegas and still function the next day?

  • A quiet dinner. This can't be underestimated in a loud city like Vegas. Getting stuffed stoopid on bacon-cheese fries and steak salad is fun. Epic fun. Good thing we don't do that too often.

  • More Tara tattoos. I had no idea so many mai tais could be made in one evening. So many tattoos done, so many photos taken. There's a distinct thrill in giving a guy a "tramp stamp" in front of hundreds of girl skaters. However, the 2am dooshbag rush from the bar across the hotel driveway was not fun. I wanted to poke their eyes out with a boar's tusk.

  • Staying up til 7am. This is not for the weak. We stayed up through Closing Time for the Dooshbags, many Dealertainers(Michael Jackson was of course everyone's favorite...the Fight Crew folk who were there couldn't remember the Thriller choreography, much to our horror), many mai tais, a severe lack of pants, buttons traded, derby discussed, and a lot of talk about bacon. By 7am there was a very small but very hardy group who wanted to go to breakfast. I called it off...I had to get some sleep before going to the airport in 3 hours.

  • Getting to the airport on schedule, only to have everything else go silly. The Southwest terminal had improved their wait times in the security line. However, they seem to think that carrying on roller skates is a potential security risk, and they scanned my skate bag a couple of times before I was allowed to go through. Got on the plane all right. Departed the gate, and then...stop. What the..?! We sat on the tarmac for a good half hour-45 minutes. At first they said it was for "emergency vehicles on the runway", but there are windows on the plane and we saw nothing. Then it was announced we were sitting due to the winds shifting so much that the airport had to change the landing patterns of the planes. That made more sense. I surreptitiously texted my sister to let her know we were late, which was a good thing since the airline website did not reflect the delay at all.

  • Los Angeles. People talk a lot of smack about LA...I myself have been known to scream, THIS CITY IS A SHITHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! while sitting in traffic. However, this place definitely beats the living bejeezus out of Vegas. To come out of the airport to air that's cool and breathable was delicious.

  • The cat(s). Lou C really missed us. So did Kitty, and Kitty isn't even our cat. Taking a much-needed nap with Lou C was a grand thing.

So that's the basic rundown of Rollercon. I know I'm forgetting stuff, and of course I need to post pics. But there you have it.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Rollercon '09: Day Two-Oh

Friday, July 31.

Woke up early after a night of sleeping badly. Am freaking out because I thought I had another class to teach 1:30pm-3:30pm. What's the problem with that? Don't you like teaching?! you may be asking yourself. Yes, I do, but the problem was that I had not one, not two, but THREE Fremont St. Challenge Scrimmages to skate in starting at 4pm.

Fremont St. and the Las Vegas Sports Center aren't right next to each other, Vegas traffic sucked ASS(especially with all the road construction going on), we didn't rent a car, and the shuttle buses were horrible: double-decker affairs with no air conditioning and seemed to be powered by engines more appropriate for golf carts. One had broken down in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd. leaving the skaters on board to walk the rest of the way to the Sports Center. Zoiks! How the hell was I going to get from the Sports Center to Fremont St. in time for my first scrimmage?!

So I was figuring out how I was going to make all this work. I was so nervous about it! The Dear Husband had his own worries in trying to find the right Derby News Network people to work on a little project that they're doing, so we were both frazzled and cranky.

We stopped by the Enforcers main room to pick up my uniform for the Gramercy Refs, the team I was skating with in game #2 on Fremont St. It's a team that requires its members to have been in a ref position at any point, so fellow skaters from LA Iron Maiven, Razorslut, Janis Choplin, Viktimizer, Marina del RAGE and myself qualified. We joined Enforcers Gia de los Muertos, Roger Assaultrey, Thomas Refferson, Oliver Clothesoff, D-Mann, Ophelia Melons, Al Capwned, and Julius Pleasar. We were taking on the Co-Ed Cripplers, who were a group of refs from the Pacific Northwest. Go refs! We then made our way to the Sports Center to do our skatin' thang.

While there, two beautiful things happened. I found out that I had misread the schedule and so I didn't have a class to teach, and the taxis had figured out that skaters liked air conditioning, so we were out of the time crunch.

I was able to sit back and enjoy a noontime WFTDA-sanctioned bout between #11-ranked Boston and #14-ranked Bay Area Derby Girls. The game was slowwwww because of the Sports Center slippery floor, but it was great for watching team strategy. Boston killed BAD, 129-58. Both teams looked pretty good, but Boston held to their plays better, while BAD developed ADD in too many jams.

At one point, a Boston skater got smacked in the face by a large BAD blocker. She went down, got up, stumbled a few feet, and sank to her knees again in the infield. Refs call the jam off, look at the skater. Skater goes back to her bench. Game resumes. Those of us with a wide view of the team benches see the same skater puking into a trashcan. Uhm, that could be the sign of a concussion. We start yelling for a medic to check her out more thoroughly. OK, I mean I start yelling. Game stops. Medic slowwwwwwwwly and casually walks over to puking skater. Doesn't check her out, just asks how she is and leaves. Game resumes. WHATEVARRRR. I guess she's OK. Even though the score was lopsided, I enjoyed watching the game.

I had second thoughts about what to do about skate wheels for my challenge bouts. I've heard varying reports on how slippery Fremont St. was, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy new wheels that were reported to help with the "drifting" on the LVSC floor, which I figured would be great for Fremont St. which is less slippery.

So I bought the new "Sugar" wheels(they had design input from Sin City Skaters and all-around derby gurus Ivanna S. Pankin and Trish the Dish) and had them put on my skates while I waited in the loooooong credit card line to pay for them. Everything went well and we were perfectly timed to catch a cab to Fremont St. by the time I got done.

Fremont St. is Old Las Vegas. REALLY old. And hot. REALLY hot. 103 degrees, to be precise. What the hell had I gotten myself into?! I skated some warmup laps and discovered that I sure as hell wasn't going to be "drifting" anywhere I didn't want to go with the Sugar wheels, but I still didn't have enough time to properly break them in. I was more worried about the dry heat...everyone's throats were sore from the hot wind.

First game: Team Loudmouth vs. Team Silent But Deadly. Can you guess which team I was on? Most of the teams in these challenge scrimmages have minimal planning and generally don't know each other all that well, and that applied to Team Loudmouth. We dressed in bright neon and were actually pretty quiet during warmups, again that damn Vegas wind dried us out. BUT, during the half-hour game, we were loud enough and bright enough to definitively WIN. I learned that louder is better in derby, and that when one stays near their teammates, wonderful, brutal things happen to the other team.

Our team cheer was, SMALL BOX, BIG MOUTH!!! due to the incredibly tiny "bench" area we had in the infield that we had to stay inside during the jams. We cracked ourselves up.

Second game: Gramercy Refs vs. Co-Ed Cripplers. Again, teamwork was the word of the day. We were up against a pretty damn good crew, one of whom is infamous as Quadzilla. He has mad skate skills and used to skate on Rollerjam and now coaches and skates in Washington state. We managed to actually keep him in the pack several times due to aggressive teamwork on our part, and I'm pretty damned stoked about that.

The advantage to the Gramercy Ref's teamwork was that it was made up of all LA Derby Dolls people, so we already knew each other and were able to get some practice in. And we also had the most coordinated uniforms. We still lost, but DAMN we looked good doing it!

By the end of the second game I didn't know if I was going to make it through the third game, as I hadn't eaten much more than some french fries and a candy bar all day and the heat was really getting to me. However, I had to rally...

Third game: Vagine Regime vs. Strictly Dickly(aka the Caulksuckers, but that name couldn't be announced on the street). This was a Big Deal. Last year Strickly Dickly lost by a considerable margin to the Vagines. Oh, and before I get too far, I'll say that yes, Vagine Regime is a team of lesbians while the Caulksuckers are all hetero. It was a close game, but I made it all the way through without fainting, puking, or dying. Go, me! In a snafu between the ref crew and the announcers, the Caulksuckers thought we lost the game when time was called. The Dear Husband kept telling me that we had won, but I said that that's not what we were told! Turns out he was right...Caulksuckers avenged the previous year's loss!

Again, I had skated with only a fraction of the skaters on the team, but we managed to keep it together. That whole "teamwork" thing actually does work!

I was DYING by the end of that last game, and while I was taking off my gear, I told the DH, I need something cold, slushy and alcoholic NOW!!! and he promptly got out of my face. He came back five minutes later with a HUGE mug of strawberry daiquiri. I instantly got brain freeze, but it was the bestest brain freeze EVAR!

We caught a ride back to the hotel with D-Mann, showered(not with D-Mann) and walked over to the Flamingo for dinner and the annual Rollercon Black and Blue ball.

DH wanted a buffet, so off we went. Our timing was great...we got there about an hour before closing, so the lines were practically nonexistent. Afterwards, we stepped outside to find the lagoon pool where the B&B Ball was being held, and immediately were struck with the disgusting smell of bird crap. It smelled like Florida. Not a pleasant thing to encounter right after eating!

The Ball itself was was apparently tipped off to how wild and crazy rollergirls could be, but since the bar prices were kinda prohibitive, no one got too crazy. We didn't have time to come up with clever outfits this fact, I wore my Gramercy Refs skort the entire evening, so we kinda blended into the background of everyone else's fun outfits.

There was a costume contest, and LA's Roger Assaultrey was in the running with his "Casual Skeletor" costume. The LA skaters gave him mucho support during the audience judging portion of the night, but shenanigans ensued and he lost. I also lost my voice. Oh, joy!

Things wrapped up early at the Ball, so we all wandered back to the Imperial Palace, got snubbed at the Vagine Regime's Dance Off Pants Off party(too crowded, nothing personal), and ended up at the IP's karaoke bar. It was fun for awhile, but the shitty selection of music made us run away after awhile and we ended up watching the "Dealertainers" by the Geisha Bar for most of the night.

We had a hunkerin' for french fries so we found some at one of the crappy diners in the hotel and found training god Coach Pauly already there eating dinner. So we ordered some grub and sat with him and talked for...hours. People we knew came by, the most hilarious one being Suzy Snakeyes because she was wearing a Viking helmet.

At around 4am we called it a day and stumbled back to the hotel room.

to be continued...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Rollercon '09: Day One

I hate Vegas. With a passion. I don't go there unless there's a reason to be there. Like going to own or friends. Or conventions. Namely Rollercon.

This year's trip to Sin City started out great in LA. Woke up obscenely early, got to the airport in plenty of time, checked in our luggage with no problems, the carry-on case fit great into the overhead bin, and the flight wasn't sold out so we were comfy.

Then we landed in Vegas.

And promptly got stuck in the tram that transports plane passengers from the gates to the main terminal. Ugh. Had to wait for a dude to come by and release the brakes before we could go to the dump that is the Imperial Palace. At least the tram was air conditioned while we waited, or else we probably would've been cooked in the 100+ degree heat.

Check in to the dump. Wait forever for the elevator to take us up to the room. Wander over to Rollercon registration.

And promptly went from annoyed to outright pissed.

The registration line was long. And slow. And I had to check in before I could go teach the class I had in about 2 hours. So I stood.

And waited.


The Dear Husband got a Press Pass, so he didn't have to wait. So he wandered off and made phone calls and texted a bunch of people. He'd wander back to give me some trivial piece of information periodically, and when I'd try to ask him to either check with the other line I'd have to stand in once I got done with the registration line or ask someone if I had to stand in both lines before going to teach, he'd cut me off with another statement about what he needed to do and wander off again.


Finally, I get registered and rush back up to the room to change into teaching-skate-stuff clothes, grab the skates, and find a way to the off-site sports facility that actually has the skating for Rollercon. Luckily we were able to grab a ride from Mercy Less from Derby News Network, so off we went.

Get to the Sports Center and got ready to teach. I step on to the classroom floor, and discovered that everyone is doing a Bambi-on-ice impersonation because the floor is sooper-slick polished concrete. No one was getting good traction...they'd drift in the turns, sliding off the track and trying to scramble back into play.

I taught my class as best as possible considering the slippery non-slope, and made it through alright. Hung out for awhile then caught another ride back to the hotel to shower, have dinner, and cause mayhem.

Mayhem was delayed because by the time we got ourselves together, it was at a mid-evening hour when everyone was either out watching semi-informal Challenge bouts at Fremont Street, back at the Sports Center to do pick-up scrimmages, lounging by the petrie dish known as the pool, or...uh...I don't know where. In the past, this "dead hour" wasn't so noticeable because everything was at the Imperial Palace except for the Fremont St. Challenges. But since the actual skating stuff was off-site, the Imperial Palace was comparitively deserted.

And as an added insult, our usual hangout at Imperial Palace wasn't open, so we had to sit at an inferior bar. BORRRRRRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Husband kept wandering back to our usual mai tai spot, and they eventually opened up around 10pm, so we skedaddled over and promptly set up shop: sat down in comfy chairs, pulled out Sharpies, and ordered mai tais.

Rollercon was ON!

Things were still calm and slow for another hour, but eventually skaters from all over the world came in from wherever they had been hanging out and walked by the mai tai bar on their way to the elevators. Sharpie tattoo business got very brisk, and we easily got plastered on the mai tais I got stacked up as payment for the drawings. I also handed out quite a few of my buttons, and word spread of the Return of the Tara Tatts quickly.

For the first night, I did Tara Tatts mostly on people who were already "in-the-know" about the tatts to begin with. One of the best comments came from fellow LA Derby Doll Krissy Krash when she came by while I was drawing on someone else and yelled, "WILL YOU DO ME, TARA ARMOV?!"

Pretty hilarious!

I think we went back up to our room around 2am. By Rollercon standards, that's early, but I thought I had a class to teach the next day, so I figured I'd better be en pointe for that.

The elevators weren't too busy, so we got back up to the room fairly quickly and collapsed into a deep, dark sleep.

to be continued...