Sunday, August 01, 2010

Rollercon '10

It was the best of conventions, it was the worst of's ROLLERCON.

Highlights and stuff in no particular order:

  • Flying Southwest Airlines from LAX to Vegas on a delayed flight on a Friday night is almost fun when the flight attendants decide to pass out peanut packets by dumping the entire bag onto the aisle floor on takeoff and shoving the peanuts down the aisle. You should've seen how they served the drinks.

  • Not having to stay in a dumpy room at this year's convention hotel, theTropicana. Apparently they screwed up our room reservation, and instead of the usual dumptastic Rollercon room, we scored a pad in their recently remodeled Paradise Tower, and that was a fantastic place to leave our derby shirts while we wandered around.

  • Next year the convention hotel needs to be Hooters, which happens to be right next door to the Tropicana. The rooms are a more uniform scuzz than Tropicana, but they have a 24-hour pool and bar. That turned out to be the default hangout spot for skaters. 

  • Finding out one's daiquiri tolerance. Just because you're in the heat and you think you're sweating out the alcohol you're busily consuming from a huge plastic football filled with the stuff that you purchased on Fremont St. doesn't mean you can get away with it for long. Drinking two daiquiri footballs creates more folly. Trying for three is attempted suicide. Thank goodness I didn't have to figure this one out firsthand, but I heard the stories.

  • The drink line at the Black & Blue Ball was horrendously long. Luckily I didn't have to stand in it because I got loaded on a melted football daiquiri, grabbed my Sharpies, and made my way down poolside to the Ball and started drawing on everybody in sight in exchange for drinks. I needed a drink caddy that night. And a new liver.

  • Being greeted at the Black & Blue Ball by many skaters from many leagues as if I was Kind Of A Big Deal.

  • Volunteering. Apparently when one receives a last-minute email about volunteering for Rollercon, one shouldn't assume that because they're going to be volunteering all day that they're actually be on the Volunteer Check-In List. That was fun to work out. Wait, NO, it wasn't. It fucking sucked, and I'm still a little pissy about it.

  • BUUUUT, my volunteering was in the form of announcing ALL DAY. I started with a hoped-to-be-webcast game of Team Awesome vs. Team SeXY. Awesome=women skaters. SeXY=men skaters. I met and worked with Jet City announcer Bulldog, who is fantastic at play-by-play, so I let him do most of the work. After the Awesome/SeXY game, we made our way to the Fremont St. Challenges where we announced three silly challenges: Team Derby Name that one named after an Animal vs. Team Derby Name that one named after a Celebrity. Team Bimbo(mostly white and blond skaters) vs. Team NAACP(Nat'l Association for the Advancement of Colored Pivots...some were black, some were NOT), and Team 420 vs. Team Wasted. I thought my performance was severely underwhelming due to the heat and tragic lack of sleep. Luckily I made up for it by going back indoors to announce one last referee skating challenge between Team Banked Robbers vs. Team Flat and Furious. I got to work with the amazing Bob Noxious, and since this wasn't a public game, we had more leeway to be funny and free-flowing. When people could hear us through the shitty sound system at the Sports Center, we were apparently good. I also got great announcing tips from Chip Queso, who has been announcing for TXRG for the past seven years, as well as TXRD's WundaMike. I'm stoked.

  • The Rollercon Volunteer shirt is awesome.

  • Wicked Skatewear rocked the world. First, they offered to sell the shit-ton of Notorious that I brought with me. Then they had a Party Palace set up in their room at Hooters with not one, but two slushie machines full of margaritas. If that wasn't enough, they had bottles of wine and beer for guzzling at a moment's notice. Founder B-Train is scary smart and savvy...she's gonna take over the world.

  • Australian skaters. They were out in full force this year. They put together a Team Australia vs. Team USA challenge where they named their team Mortal Wombats. They now need to make shirts to sell to other skaters due to the popularity of that theme. They had a mascot in the form of a wombat hat. Yes, a wombat hat. They were making everyone wear it poolside at Hooters Saturday night. And yes, I got a turn when I ended up drawing on a few of them. And there's video. I hope it surfaces soon!

  • Nobody wore pants, except for the Dear Husband. 

  • While Rollercon was going on, there was a national annual meeting of the Buffalo Soldiers that was going on at the same time. Mix roller derby skaters with black motorcyclists and you have a big fuckin' party. I was told it's a shame that I'm married and that I have nice legs. I'm sure the second part of that previous sentence was uttered to just about every skater in Vegas this weekend.

  • We didn't get to the Hash House-a-Go-Go. We settled for inferior eggs and toast at Hooters instead.

  • No all-nighters, though we didn't get more than a couple of hours of sleep each night.

  • Derby Dolls were representin' big this year. 

  • Hanging out with the Enforcers is a guaranteed good time.

  • Not skating at Rollercon sucks, but the classes were crazy-crowded, and I think I would've been very unhappy with the crowded skating conditions if I had brought my skates. On the other hand, not skating in the challenge games this year was a major bummer.

  • So, SO glad we didn't drive. It's always a nightmare driving home, and I'd rather spend a little bit more money by flying to and from Vegas to avoid traffic, wear and tear on the car, and not getting into pissy fights with the DH so that we can get home when we want to. The only downside is that it puts a severe limit on how much crap I can buy. Wait, maybe that's a good thing.

As usual, Rollercon is what you make it. Some people complain about how it's a big party. Well, DUH. It is. But it's also a great place to get a kick in the butt by watching skaters from all over the world do their thing. Or to get new training tips. Or to get ideas on how to start a derby-related business. Or to promote your own derby-related business. Work it out, and you'll have the time of your life...


Donna A. said...

Are ordinary people allowed to show up and see some of the festivities or are only AWESOME roller folk allowed? This sounded like a really really fun weekend.

RedDiabla said...

The Fremont Street challenges are not only open to the public, they're free. That's the best aspect of the convention for non-skaters to see anyway!