Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Last Saturday I was a bench coach for the Sirens for the first time.

How is that different from a team manager? Bench Coach keeps track of penalties and can call for points or penalty challenges. Team Manager arranges the skater lineups for each jam. I personally think I do better as a team manager than a bench coach, but what the hell? I'll try most things once.

I tried to go for "comfortably pretty". Did the hair and makeup all girly-like, but wore comfortable shoes to run around the infield screaming, HOLD THE INSIDE! LOOK BEHIND YOU! SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The hair was a total fluke. I set it earlier in the afternoon, but it didn't take fully, except for my bangs. CRAP. What to do? I quickly added about 50 lbs. of hairspray and made victory rolls. A tornado could've hit my hair and it wouldn't have budged. I got a lot of compliments on it, which surprised me.

For makeup, I had a lot of glitter added around my eyes. The funny part about that was having people get distracted when I tried to talk to them about VERY SERIOUS derby stuff. Apparently it's the little things that can throw people off.

Oh, and guess who's the captain of the all-star Ri-Ettes this year? Yeah, ME!

OH CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I guess this could be considered a semi-process thread, even though I'm not going to show a lot of the process, but will try to explain it. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

Since I don't know a whole lot about Photoshop, I decided that the next Derby Dolls flier I did would have me trying stuff in it and using an action shot from one of our games.

Luckily I periodically gather fun action shots from our games, so all I had to do was rifle through a file folder o' photos and found a great shot of Tough Cookies' Iron Maiven trying to put the smackdown on Fight Crew's Vulvarine. And flailing.

I imported the photo into Photoshop and immediately put Vulvarine and Maiven onto separate layers. Then I desaturated the entire image and upped the brightness and contrast. Next was going to the skater layers and changing the color so that each skater was the color of her respective team. I then switched to the track layer and blurred it out a bit and made it pink.

Next I imported the tweaked photo into Illustrator to do the background and type. For some reason I HATE doing type in Photoshop. I hate doing a bunch of stuff in Photoshop. It's not as if I'm that great with Illustrator; I just feel more comfortable there.

I found a fun font that one wouldn't ordinarily think to use with the Dolls(it's called "Bicycle") and laid everything out information-wise. The result was this:

Not too horrible.

I then sent it along to the rest of the Dolls' amazing Art Dept. and got critiqued. The main critiques were about color and futzing with the photo background more. I let them do that, and here is the finished result:

I think it turned out pretty good. The rest of the league seems underwhelmed. Pfffffft.

I think it's a perception that anything done internally isn't going to get the notice and respect that stuff from an outside source gets. As if it's the same ol' same ol' if it comes from one of us, but it's special when it comes from someone who ordinarily doesn't do stuff for the league. I'm not just talking about Art, but of the whole works. Ignoring the usual and ordinary, I guess? I dunno.

Sometimes it's disheartening. But sometimes I get over it. I'm such a sensitive artist-type!

At any rate, I'm looking forward to skating the game on the 13th.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Playing with Boys

The LA Derby Dolls had the opportunity to beat up boys for charity.

How does a dream like this happen? Well...

Every year the LAFD has fundraisers for their widow and orphaned children fund. One of their fundraisers is having broomball games against outside teams. Last year they went up against some of the LAPD. And won, I do believe. This year they asked to go up against the Derby Dolls.

The way the request was posted to the league gave a general response of,

Broomball? What the hell is that? Wearing shoes and a helmet? On ice? In downtown LA? Sounds stupid. Oh wait, did you say something about firemen? I'M IN!

Needless to say, we had an enthusiastic team going in to this sport that we didn't know diddley about.

Broomball is essentially ice hockey in shoes, with brooms and a small rubber ball all wrapped up in duct tape. You're not supposed to touch the ball with your hands unless you're the goalie. No throwing of the ball. No checking, hitting, or unsportspersonlike behavior against the other team. So NOT LIKE derby. OK, got it.

At first, everyone was very cautious and nice to each other. We were getting beat, but it was kinda fun to run around on the ice and try to scoop up the ball with the brooms while avoiding smashing into firemen.

Then the cheating started.

First off, WE DIDN'T START IT.

The firemen were obviously better at broomball than we were. Duh. But they decided to get all silly on us. First, they'd manage to wrangle our brooms out of our hands during the game. Annoying. Then, they'd "accidentally" bump into us. Repeatedly. Eventually they started to actually pick up any Derby Doll that was in their way, and swing her to the side while they hit the ball with their brooms. WHAT?! The final insult was when we'd almost hit the ball into their goal, and they'd move the damn net so that we failed every time.

OK, fine.

We can deal with that.

So we started to grab the ball whenever we could and throw it across the rink to their goal. Some girls tried the "hit and hug" technique of trying to hit the ball with the broom, and then abruptly hugging the nearest fireman. We snuck in an extra ball and repeatedly kept hitting it into their goal(we should've ended up with a tie score for that manoever alone, but the officials wouldn't count them). We started flailing and falling onto the firemen. I got really good and body-checking them when they weren't looking. At one point, I jumped on the back of one of them, and he just carried me around piggyback-style. And he still hit a ball into our goal. DAMMIT.

We won at cheating by actually carrying out our goal off the ice so that the firemen couldn't rack up any more points against us.

Suddenly, the game was called and the firemen won.

Whatever. We're more fun to play against than the cops were.

And of course, we won the Morning Beer Afterparty at the Biltmore Hotel across the street. Security got called on us and everything.

Ah, derby!

Here's the DH's video of the event. Enjoy:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Best. Conversation. EVAR.

Tonight we drove to Bore-bank to celebrate Tough Cookies' captain Iron Maiven's birthday. What's in Bore-bank? Karaoke at a dive bar...a very Old School Derby Dolls way of celebrating a birthday.

Hilarity ensued with karaoke hi-jinks. Maiven was able to keep going up to the karaoke stage to announce that it's her birthday, and so was able to get plenty o' birthday drinks for free. GO, MAIVEN!! Suzy Snakeyes and I sang backup for many a karaoke singer. Whether they wanted us to sing with them or not. There was girl-on-girl macking, girl-on-girl Stranger Danger, and just a lot of funness.

The best part of the evening was when it was time to leave and I made one last stop in the bathroom. Two women walked in while I was in one of the stalls, and the following conversation JUST HAPPENED, Y'ALL:

Woman #1: You know that older guy I was talking to? I've had sex with him before but I can't remember his name! You gotta go up and find out his name!

Woman #2: Why do I always have to find out the guy's name?!?!?!?!

Woman #1: Because you have to! But...y'know...shit happens.

Woman #2: Yeah...

Woman #1: If I got paid for everytime this type of thing happens, I'd be able to pay off tonight's bar tab. And get condoms to cover myself, y'know.

Woman #2: ...

Woman #1: So, are you gonna do it? Find out that guy's name? All you gotta do is go up to him and say, "Hi, my name is Dippy McDipshit* and I don't think we've been introduced..."

Woman #2: Yeah...

By that time I was out and trying to contain my laughter as I practically ran back to where the Derby Dolls were hanging out.

*I wish that girl was named Dippy McDipshit. But it wasn't. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bicycle! BICYCLE!

I am an idiot when it comes to maintaining my modes of transportation, and my bicycle is no exception.

My everyday/running errands/doing-whatnot bike is a Schwinn Voyageur. It's a "comfort bike", which basically means it's an entry-level bike for those who don't want to spend thousands of dollars on some mega-lightweight carbon dealie that one can lift with their pinky finger. "Serious" bicyclists don't ride comfort bikes, but I like my bike because it's...well...comfortable.

I've ridden that damn thing in downtown LA, Little Tokyo, Historic Filipinotown, Torrance, El Segundo, Malibu, Santa Monica, Palms, Venice, Culver City, Century City, Beverly Hills...I've been all over the place on it except where I have to cross no Valley riding for me.

That bike is getting beat to shit in the process, and I'm kinda proud of that. It ain't a pretty bike, but it's a bike that's getting ridden, for fuck's sake.

Last year I noticed that the rear wheel was kinda crooked. Not enough to stop me from riding it, though. So I neglected to get the wheel unbent, with the crazy idea that whatever rock or pothole or whatnot that bent the wheel to begin with might hit the wheel on the other side and kinda straighten it back out.

That was not to be.

The wheel kept getting more and more crooked. Every time I rode the bike, the wheel would make a soft, subtle, yet unmistakable whump-whump-whump sound as I rode along. Crap.

The crooked wheel started to affect what I put in the handy-dandy folding baskets I have on the rear of the bike. Going shopping was becoming a balancing act, as the grocery bags were putting added stress on the back wheel, throwing the weight distribution off.

Then there was my endurance. For the past couple of months I've been bitching about my lack of endurance. That wasn't entirely true. The rear wheel was becoming more and more warped, which made pedalling harder, which wore me out faster. I couldn't go up hills like I used to. I couldn't go down hills like I used to, as the rear wheel would throw my weight off and I was afraid I'd get thrown off the damn bike.

The Dear Husband didn't mind my semi-warped bike, as it slowed me down enough to make him look like a speedy badass in comparison whenever we were both on bicycles.

But finally I had enough and wobbled over to the bike shop where I bought my poor abused bike two years ago to see what needed to be done to fix the damned thing.

I roll into the service area and spin the rear wheel for the service dude. He frowns, inspects the wheel, and tests the spokes in the particularly bent part of the wheel. An already-loose spoke pops out, taking a piece of the wheel rim with it. Which means that now I need a whole new wheel. Dammit.

The service dude searches around the shop for a replacement wheel. They don't have one in stock. WTF?! They don't have a damn SCHWINN wheel in stock?! It's not as if I have an exotic, hard-to-find bike, here. IT'S A FUCKING SCHWINN. Everyone and their damn dog should have that in stock, shouldn't they?!!?!?!?!?

No, they have to special order a new wheel. DAMMIT.

I'm told to go up to the front counter to order said wheel. I do. The guy behind the counter is surly. And stupid. I have to repeat what I want/need about 5 times before the information registers in his big block head and he goes to look it up in their catalog.

He still can't figure out what I need(I sure as shit don't know; just replace the stock fucking wheel, morans!)and has to ask 3 different people what to order. When he finally finds the wheel, it apparently only comes in flat black. My current wheels are flat silver. He asks me if that's OK. I just glare back at him. He searches further(with the same 3 people helping him) to no avail, so when the wheel comes in, my bike will be mismatched. It took about 30 minutes just to write the special order, and they told me it would take 5-10 business days to get the new wheel in. DAMMIT!!!!

So I cautiously rode my poor, still-broken bike home to wait until the new wheel comes in. Which I hope is sooner than later.

Since then, I haven't been biking much, as I don't want to ride the broken bike. The other bike, a super-fun Raleigh beach cruiser, doesn't have the extra-thick innertubes and tube lining that the Schwinn has to help prevent flat tires. It also used to have a problem with the gear cable popping out of its casing, which caused slack and the chain would pop off the front derailleur. ANNOYING. That problem has apparently been fixed, though I still fear that it'll happen again occasionally.

Today I had to run errands, so I took the Raleigh.

Goddam, it was fun. And fast compared to my regular bike.

I'm not quite as unhealthy as I thought I was!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hiatus is OVER

New Year's Eve was very quiet. Didn't go out. Didn't whoop it up much. Just stayed at home, finished reading Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin, and finally saw the Scientology episode of Southpark.

Didn't do a lot the rest of the weekend, either. Beach skating, some wRECk League skating(and nuturing badass blocker Krissy Krash), and just skating in general.

Hiatus from derby is now over.


Now that I'm Art Dept. co-head, I get to be in charge of annoying our artists to do more art crap for the league. A job I was born to do...too bad I don't get paid!

The LA Derby Dolls are having a training camp the first weekend of March. We have to organize the shit out of it and promote heavily. Last night at our Executive Committee meeting I made a pitch for doing a quick Youtube clip of our badass warehouse and track. It went something like:

"WHAT THE FUCK?! You don't like LA?! THE FUCK YOU DON'T! Look at what we have here! A fucking AWESOME warehouse! A goddam BANKED TRACK! A fucking flat track area! HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO COME HERE?! We're LA! FUCK YOU! Come visit us!"

If that's not gonna sell tickets to this thing, I don't know what will.

I don't do New Year's resolutions, but the closest I came to one was saying to myself that I have to draw more. I did that by going to a late night life drawing gathering on Monday in a restaurant in Little Tokyo. 5 20-minute poses and a glass of wine later, and I found out that compared to some of the other people there I didn't suck too bad, and I was sleepy as hell.

So I want to do that type of thing more.

In the meantime, I gotta start the ol' job hunt again. No job + bored me = too much goofing off online. Especially now that I have Gmail chat. Anytime you want to discuss the joys of Jersey Shore, be sure to look up taraarmov51.

Now, I must step away from the computer and do something!