Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life's a cabaret

I'm going to be busy as fuck for the next month and a half.

Tonight I'm driving to Ventura to train the flat track league there.

Tomorrow I'm flying up to NoCal to visit my parents.

Next week I'm skating my ass off and training at mein campf. I don't reich that I have to train at this thing, skate in two games in two days, appear on tv advertising it, yet I don't even get a damned trainer bio on the webpage.

The rest of the month will be devoted to trying to maintain Fight Crew attendance while squeezing in a buttload o' Ri-Ettes practices in anticipation of our first real game of the season on March 27.

My dad's birthday is the same weekend as a game in San Diego where LA's Sirens will be taking on SD's Swarm. I'll be bench coaching for the Sirens. Then I'll be flying up to San Francisco the next morning for birthday brunch.

I have the GirlsDrawinGirls dessert girls to finish. I also have to find a damn job.

In April there's some sort of vague LA vs. SD Derby Dolls special event thingy being set up during the Long Beach Grand Prix. The chaos of this is that it's happening the same night as a home game between the Tough Cookies and Varsity Brawlers. Holy over-extension, Batman!

Needless to say I'm stressed, cranky, and comfort eating like crazy.

But I'm also pulling the occasional drawing out of my ass. The below was done while I had a rare night at home. I forget what I was watching or why I was suddenly inspired by 1920's Berlin cabarets, but there I was, and here is this:

I don't intend to do anything with was just for fun.

As most of life should

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Still slogging away on my GirlsDrawinGirls project. I have twenty-one layers of Angel Food Cake goodness going on in Adobe Illustrator right now. YEESH.

I'm deciding on which of the below backgrounds work best. Just the gold, even though the angel's halo gets lost:

Or the background with the green in it. Makes everything pop more. I like it, I just wonder if it's the right green:

Edit: or how about more red?

What to do, what to do...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another day, another doodle

I forget what I had in mind when I did this doodle. Maybe a rejected Jr. Derby logo? I dunno. She's kinda cute, though:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doing Something Right

For the most part, the LA Derby Dolls training team loves training the new skaters, aka Fresh Meat. They're new, eager, and refreshingly happy to be at the track. It's fun to rediscover the things that make keeping going worthwhile through their experience...conquering the new and scary on the track is at the top of that list. Second is giving advice on how to be better prepared to conquer said scary. One of those ways is through cross-training.

I've yakked about Tarametrics before, and I was able to inflict said Tarametrics on the newest crop of Freshies this past Tuesday. I warned them at the time that if they don't feel muscle ache afterwards, they're doing it wrong. And that it's quite normal to want to wish for my imminent death due to said muscle ache.

They listened to me, oh yes they did. Yesterday and today found comments posted on the Fresh Meat board that include:

Thanks for putting us through hell! :)

I'm slightly sore and that's a reward for not giving up and going home (which I wanted to do 100 x's last night). I'm going to defeat this beast they commonly refer to as getting into shape.

My ass is feeling tight. Tarametrics = bootylicious
Tomorrow I probably won't be able to sit down

Gloriously sore today, the kind of sore that makes you stop and think "wait, I have muscles there?" As much as I did want to kill you in the night while it was happening (your words, not mine), THANK YOU TARA.

And the best comment EVAR:

tarametrics vs child birth...tough call.

i'll let you know how my body feels as soon as it starts speaking to me again.
SO glad i didnt give up or barf, both of which i wanted to do.

This all brings a tear to this weary old trainer's eye!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WARNING: lost meandering post ahead

I've mentioned that I've been thinking about derby stuff in the Greater Picture before. I've blathered on here about such musings. Well, here's some more. Some of it is rehash, but some isn't. Enjoy your procrastination...

There has been an internal project that the Dolls have been working on that's included interviewing various skaters as well as filming What We Do when it comes to running a derby league. I think a project like this is long overdue, as I find the Dolls fascinating for so many reasons. Duh. And of course it gets me a-thinkin' about Derby Stuff.

There are still some interesting conceptions and misconceptions about derby girls. The media slant is still on the Superhero aspect: we do one thing by day, and become DERBY GIRLS! by night. Like we need to hide what we do during the day.

Which is sad.

Or, people do find the derby phenomenon so much more interesting than the individual that's involved in it, that all they do is ask about the Derby Girl, and the rest of that person is overwhelmed by her derby life to the extent that she's only known for that. Which is good in some respects, but I think the problem with both of the above is that we're still compartmentalized to a great degree. We're either our Day Persona or our Derby Persona. We just can'

I think that happens to men as well, but I think compartmentalization is more severe for women. The madonna/whore syndrome is alive and well and it keeps the idea that women are interesting people beyond that viewpoint stifled.

I think one of the best things about my Derby Adventure is the aspect of working towards a Common Goal. Instead of a group of people who are purely out for themselves while using derby as a vehicle, they have to join together to make their league work. And the league is more important than the individual in this case.

What I like about all this the most?

It goes against the "I can't deal with other women because they're all backstabbing bitches" excuse that many women merrily spout.

Interesting note: in my personal experience, women don't have a stranglehold on being bitchy. I've seen some self-absorbed egos in the world of my day job. I know it mostly comes from insecurity. I also think it could be mitgated by some extent if said bitches of both male and female variety found that Common Goal in their jobs and other aspects of their lives. It sure cuts down on the drama and bullshit and gets more stuff done. But I might be the minority opinion on that.

For instance: being a director in the Day Job. There was NO WAY IN HELL I would've done it if I hadn't done derby and been the captain of a derby team. I learned something about leadership, diplomacy, and most importantly, when to ask for help. With the director's job, I knew I was in over my head, so I ended up being very upfront when I said that I was overwhelmed, needed instruction on certain aspects of the job, or was actually doing OK. If I hadn't had derby experience, I would've retreated to the World of Insecurity and surely would've screwed up the production I was working on because I would've been too afraid to ask for help.

And therefore would've ended up as That Bitch Who Fucked Everything Up.

Instead, I'm known as That Loudmouth Who Draws Stupid Stuff and Skates Derby.

Then there's the "E" word.


It's very charged. Either people get automatically hooked or automatically repelled when that word is used in conjunction with derby. It's a fave word used by (OMG) feminists, and because feminists (OMG) use that term, it automatically gets lumped in with a crazy fringe element of man-hating bitches who don't shave their armpits and stink of patchouli.


Isn't empowering a really good word for what we're doing? And not in relation to men, but just in relation to ourselves and going beyond what we thought we could do?

I think to me empowerment means that we've been able to face whatever fears this Derby Adventure brings up and come through saying, "Well, that was...interesting. But I learned something from it and now know what I can handle." Whether it's getting a basic skating skill, finding the Perfect Pair of Skates, wearing hotpants for the first time in public, being in a leadership position in the league, giving interviews, coaching, learning the legal ins and outs for renting a space to hold games, trying out for Fresh Meat or the All-Star team, figuring out how to set up the Perfect Bench Coach sheet, creating lineups for games, making the most awesome signs for your favorite skater/team/league, setting up rules to play by, designing team uniforms that utilize function and form, learning how to do a boutcast, unraveling the joys of googledocs to put the training calendar up, starting your own side business that caters to derby, finding the best cross-training regimen for the few days you're not skating at practice, how to run an Executive Committee meeting...doesn't all those big and small things add up to empowerment when you've tried it and hopefully succeeded?

And if so, why would anyone consider that bad?

Related to empowerment...we're an egalitarian elite.

Elite because this small group of women has been working hard to become really good at derby. Egalitarian because it's still the Western Frontier That Hasn't Been Tamed. Anything can still happen. Anyone can still join and be a part of derby. A woman still doesn't need to be a lifelong athlete to become a derby skater. But those that do are willing to share their backgrounds with the rest of us slobs so that we don't hurt ourselves and shorten our derby lives as a result. There isn't a strict type that joins derby as of right now.

And those that discover this world finds a group of women who build each other up, not tear each other down. Again, going back to bucking the stereotype of women not being able to deal with each other. Help, not hurt. What a weird thing to encounter these days, it seems.

And in the end, it comes down to this for me:

Derby is an incredible Love Affair.


How many times have I laughed, cried, been so mad I've wanted to punch a wall, have taken to such exhileration that I thought I'd never come down? Have I ever been as contemplative? As driven? As...successful without being paid?

Derby is a demanding lover. I've given up much of my life for it. Luckily for me, so has the Dear Husband. So now we kinda have a three-way with Derby. Uhm...ewwwwww.

But nothing else has driven me to do more stuff that I wouldn't otherwise do. Except real-life threesomes. Not this girl.

all photos by Stalkerazzi

Monday, February 15, 2010


This past week was full of highs and lows for me on one level or another. A lot of little stuff that doesn't make a damned bit of difference in the Big Wide World got to me. There's a Thing or two lurking in the background that might be a Big Deal down the road(and not in a good way), but I'll have to wait to see what happens. Yargh.

And then there's the game last Saturday. The apparently-now-annual-and-inaugural Fight Crew vs. Tough Cookies matchup. At least we weren't the Very First Game of the season, which happened the previous two seasons. But every damn year Fight Crew's first game is against the Tough Cookies. I'm kinda bored with it, but whatever. It's one of those Little Things that doesn't make a damned bit of difference in the Big Wide World.

Anyway, my team went into the game strong. I mean, REALLY strong. They were kicking ass and taking names. I was very comfortable with my packmates...we seemed to be working well together. We were doing our jobs, and most importantly, WE HAD FUN.

Then Something happened. I'm not quite sure what. Tough Cookies started rallying, but it wasn't anything Fight Crew couldn't handle. No, that Something was internal. A loss of faith. A growth of fear. We smothered our success over a fear that we could definitely contain. Which has happened before, but I thought we were over that after last season. However, seeing some of the expressions on my teammates' faces just before the end of the half showed that I was wrong.

The peptalk at halftime didn't do much, as our 3rd quarter was not impressive. 3 of us were on the verge of getting kicked out for too many penalties. We were still giving fear breathing room. I think we were behind by around 30 points at the end of the 3rd quarter.

But in the 4th quarter, we rallied. We rallied like hell. The fear was suffocated and killed. We went forth and did what I always knew this team could do when they smothered the fear and insecurity and overthinking. By the end, Fight Crew came back...not enough to win, but enough to make the crowd go completely nuts and actually like our team for once.

Also, Tough Soles and I got ejected for too many penalties. BOO. LA photographer Stalkerazzi got our spiral fly-down:

Argh. But we weren't the only ones in the game to face that happened to a couple of key Cookie skaters as well.

So this game was fun and all, but I now know what I gotta work on for myself and the team this season. Some old stuff, some new stuff, but mostly on our way of thinking. Or overthinking. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I think I'm done with the Battle on the Bank III artwork. I don't have to worry about lettering, fonts, etc. and whathaveyou. YAY.

Now on to the next million things to do on my list o' crap...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Working in Progress

The past week has found me completely and utterly overwhelmed with life.

That whole winning Ri-Ettes Team Captain thing? STRESSFUL AS ALL HELL.

Thinking of classes to teach at the upcoming March RADness camp that LADD is hosting? MAKES MY BRAIN SQUIRM.

Doing a constant barrage of derby-related artwork? MY EYES WANT TO ASPLODE IN THEIR SOCKETS.

Worrying about where the next day job is coming from so that I can continue to pay for health insurance? HOLY FUCK MY SOUL HAS DIED, LEAVING ME AS AN EMPTY SHELL OF A HUMAN BEING.

Every little thing is pissing me off as well as the big things in life. From the way the DH continues to chew his goddam chewing gum 24/7 to the endlessly stupid facebook updates from people who can't seem to leave MySpace behind(no, really, I don't give a flying fuck about who your "celebrity doppleganger" is. Or that you're looking forward to watching "Lost". Your bra color? DON'T CARE. You love your sister/brother/mom? Charming. Your status updates don't need to reflect that unless they just died). I'm hating on the outdoor cats, the indoor cat, the way I drive, how much I'm eating, and what's on tv.

The things I'm reading on some of the online groups I'm on makes me want to take a gallon of gasoline and a match to myself in frustration. My main response is, "WHO CARES?!" to most of the middling issues brought up.

Usually exercise is my main way of blowing off steam, but it's not working. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

So, in an attempt to unload some frustration, you can look at what I've been up to lately art-wise.

See this? Ignore the background color, as it'll change. This logo is for the upcoming Battle on the Bank III in San Diego. I have more stuff to do to the background, but the girls themselves are pretty much done.

Here is a rough sketch I'm doing for the next GirlsDrawinGirls book about desserts. My dessert is angel food cake.

For all our sakes, I hope my life and mood improves. I need it.