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 alright...security 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 year...in 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...