Saturday, October 30, 2010

Goodbye and Hello(again)...

My fave logo that I've designed:

Unfortunately, the Aftershockers will be no more. The league has decided to make all our home teams "B teams" to skate against home teams from other leagues(flat or banked), or skate against the newer banked leagues that are beginning to pop up all over the place. It makes sense, overall.

But it still breaks my heart that the Aftershockers will go away. Especially since the logo is actually kinda cool.

The Aftershockers are dead! Long live the Aftershockers!


Remember this little gem?

Don't call it a comeback, they've been here for years...

No, wait, they weren't. League split, dramamama, silliness. But the phoenix is slowly rising out of the ashes, and Bakersfield Rollergirls is coming back. With the second-best logo I've ever done.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

WE'VE GONE LIVE regards to new shirt designs, that is.

For those of you who are sick and tired of yelling "BORRRRRRINGGGGGGG" during a game, your shirt can say it for you:

Maybe ennui isn't your thing. Maybe you want to give coaching advice:


And there's still some Team Heckle slogans that haven't gone online yet. These three will have to do!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So...remember my flier with SooperLace?

Well, now I'm making a shirt out of it.

See how I hope the shirts will look:

Every one who has seen the .jpgs have said, OOOOOOOOOOH, I LIKE THAT! so I hope that translates into shirt sales. Because I want to make a living with this crazy derby crap. So I'll have a little Fuck You money for when the animation biz ticks me off to no end.

Will update with link to buy when it's live...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's True...

If you thought the whole "gingers are soulless" theory was untrue, get a load of this:

Delightfully creepy.

An Open Letter to My Sportster

Dear Sportster,

You have been neglected in the past, unneedlessly so. Yes, I realize "unneedlessly" is probably not a word. I don't care.

So, you were neglected for years. Years. You sat in the garage, forlorn and covered in dust. But listen, I finally got my head out of my ass and saw the light. You gotta give me that. I took you out of the garage, cleaned you up, and deposited you at the local Harley dealer to perform a Lazarus on your dusty self. Cost was not a concern, getting you running was.

And how excited was I to finally hear you roar out of the service bay a week later? You have NO idea. Riding you out into the world was a glorious feeling. Like something that had been a little off-kilter was put back to rights. I had forgotten how nimble you are for a Harley. That you're soooooo perfect for lanesplitting. That even though I barely fit on you, you still feel "right" in so many ways.

Then the shakedowns started happening. There was the big glut of old oil that came spouting out after I took you to Burbank. Oops, so the oil tank wasn't as completely drained as it should have been...that's what happens when a bike is left sitting for so long. Easily solved after getting you towed back to the Westside courtesy of the Boops.

And how about the gas leak from right behind the petcock? Yeah, that's what happens when a bike is left sitting for years; the rubber on the diaphragm that holds the petcock in place rots through and gas starts leaking. At least I was able to ride you to the dealer myself just before you died due to one of the vacuum lines being unhooked(not the dealer's fault, btw).

 There were a few other minor things that came up...the backfiring at that one specific spot on the Sepulveda Pass, how sometimes the speedometer wouldn't register the correct speed, and the slow warm up when first starting you up.

But yesterday? Goddam, yesterday scared the piss out of me. I thought we had a deal. I'd try to ride you as much as possible during the week because you're really the best bike for the job in the land of narrowed freeway lanes due to major construction. I thought we had the major shakedown shit worked through. I thought you had forgiven me. But nooooooooooooooooooooooo, you hadn't.

You did the backfire thing in Sepulveda Pass again. Just once. Hmmmm. But other than that, you were great. I continue through the Valley to work, and I come off the freeway in Borebank thinking how great the day was going to be. I had ridden you to work the day before, and I was so excited to be riding you two days in a row.

And then, you died. Quietly. I was rolling to a stop sign, and so the clutch lever was pulled in, and you went quiet. WTF?! I frantically thought. I tried the obvious: turning off the ignition key, turning it on again and pressing the start button. Nothing. Not even a click. O NOES.

I pushed you to safety and started to freak out. Luckily, a former Derby Doll skater spouse passed by, stopped, and asked if everything was all right. That made me get out of my own head, collect myself, and gave me a course of action. I called the Dear Husband, who couldn't offer much help. I then called AAA.

I waited for about half an hour to be picked up, but after that things went well. The tow truck driver was actually pretty cool and funny. He made sure you, dear Sportster, were tied down safely and securely. It was a tedious drive back to the Westside due to traffic, but we made do, and thank goodness the carpool lane is open past Wilshire Blvd. on the 405. Did you know that the driver didn't charge me for the extra 20 miles beyond the AAA limit for towing? All for you, little Sportster?

The guys at the dealer remembered you, of course. You've been visiting them so often. Are you lonely? Do you prefer their company to mine? Talk to me, Sportster. Let's work this out. They even chided me for you. That's what you get for letting the bike sit! the mechanic tells me. I take it out and it shits on me! I replied.

It's true, Sportster. You know it is.

So, once the voltage regulator gets replaced(whenever it comes off of backorder, that is), can we stop the shenanigans and just ride together without negative incident? Let's get past this, Sportster. Let's work together, because both of us can go so much farther if we do!



Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Derby Rant

First off, blogger keeps fucking with its photo uploader and now I can't do a damned thing with it. So this will be a boring, non-photo post. Fuck you, blogger. Fuck you very much.

Second, I've had to come to the realization that I am a derby relic. Already. It hasn't even been seven years since I first got started in this adventure, and I'm already on my way out. Some would say I've lasted a damned bit longer than most. Which is true, but I'm not solely talking about my actual time as a team skater that I'm talking about. It's also my attitude towards this so-called sport/lifestyle/mental illness.

I've yakked about derby attitudes in general on this-here blog before, so I guess today is Chapter Two in the continuing saga of Tara Armov Has A Big Fucking Mouth With An Attitude To Match. It started with listening to one of my new favorite podcasts, Derby Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. They focus on all leagues whether flat or banked track on the west coast, which is fantastic.

On a recent episode, "derby fashion" was discussed. But it wasn't really about "fashion" as much as it was about looking like a professional team out on the track. There was the skater viewpoint of: It's best to look as much like each other as possible so that it confuses the other team as to who the jammer is. Then there was the announcer/audience viewpoint of: It sure would be great to know who the hell is who...put yer names as well as yer numbers on your fucking uniforms because we don't know who the fuck you are if you don't. Somehow this conversation evolved into a comment made along the lines of, When you see a team that doesn't have wonderfully matching uniforms, don't you think that they won't play the game as well?




Back in the "good old days" of modern derby(not even ten years ago, btw), part of the goddam POINT of it was to not be like other sports.

To not be mainstream.

To not blend in.

Because we do that every damn day in our regular lives, for the most part. Roller derby was never really considered a mainstream sport, ever.

And to see how many people that have a spotlight in this adventure who wouldn't get it otherwise...whether it's announcers like Windy City's Val Capone to Denver's Dumptruck, or entrepreneurs like Wicked Skatewear's B-Train, or BAD Girls' Motley Cruz, Derby News Network's Hurt Reynolds and Justice Feelgood Marshall, or even Demolicious of our league as a league fucking boring would the sport be without all its colorful characters that don't need a damned thing manufactured about them like Old School boring-as-fuck derby?

Despite all this, there is a growing group who want the current modern/DIY derby to go mainstream and professional. To be covered in the local sports page. To be in the Olympics. To look and act completely and totally like professionals, whether the skaters are paid at this point or not.

Which takes away the attraction to this non-mainstream sport to begin with. At least for most of the current crop of involved skaters, of which there are...what, 10,000 or so worldwide?

Some people think derby names and fishnets are stupid for sports, but roller derby isn't like all other sports. Even though I've been involved in derby for so long, I still don't give a rat's ass about other sports. Sorryyyyyyyyyyy, but I don't.

I like that Tara Armov can skate around, be loud, hit skaters, and say a lot more than I can in my everyday life. Tara gets away with a shit ton of stuff AND she's liked for it. When I try even one fifth of what Tara does in real life, I get in trouble.Tara doesn't need validation from a weekly update in the LA Times sports section. Tara doesn't need validation from being in the Style section either. Whatever I get from derby, it does NOT come from the mainstream, so why try to pander to it?

It makes me appreciate the acidity of Hellarad so much more in the face of "We must make derby more palatable to the masses" mentality that's going on now.

And I'm going to be an asshole now...

A lot of people are all up in arms about the Oly Rollers. A league that started in 2006 with a bunch of former professional speed skaters and until this past Sunday had a 22 game winning streak in the WFTDA and were even National Champions last year. A lot of people hate them. Why? Because they act like a professional team in a still-amateur sport.

So what's the big deal? you may ask. Isn't that one of the goals of modern derby? To be professional?

Sure, for some. But that doesn't mean a team or league should be anti-social d-bags in the process.

They never hang out or are social or involved in the general derby community. Before a game I can understand that. But after a game? Fuck you, that type of snobbery is why I fucking hated jocks in school. School's out, kids. Time to act like adults. No one's gonna steal your winning essence if you go to an afterparty and and get to know other skaters from other leagues or even say hi right after a game that you fucking won, for fuck's sake. NO, I'M NOT KIDDING, YOU WON'T LOSE ANY OF YOUR MAD SKATING SKILLZ IF YOU GET TO KNOW OTHER SKATERS FROM OTHER LEAGUES.

So it's no surprise that at WFTDA Western Regionals last weekend when Oly got their asses handed to them by Rocky Mountain, the derby crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of Rocky Mountain. Rocky Mountain not only had expressions on their faces so that they didn't look like derby robots, but their uniforms weren't absolutely perfectly uniform, and some of them wore face paint. THANK YOU for being interesting while having bad ass skating skills, ladies. You were THEE most fun to watch!

So with this rant I now realize more than ever that my skating time is definitely doomed. It is anyway just by the mere march of time, but heading full-force into the mainstream when it sucks the soul out of what attracted most of us into this madness just doesn't make sense to me. So as the entitled old woman that I'm quickly becoming, I'm going to bitch a lot.

Get used to it, people.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I'm Not Dead...

But I have been busy.

I've been having more motorcycle "fun" lately. The Sportster decided that leaking oil and gas at different intervals would make life interesting. Yes, it does, but it doesn't make it very fun to own said motorcycle. Ugh. And I'm sorry for the huge oil slick that the Sportster coughed up at work a few weeks ago. It didn't mean it. Much. Hopefully the gas leak it's in the shop for now will get fixed and I can ride the little monster for more than a 24-hour period.

Oh, derby. You have been a beast and wonderful. Usually at the same time, usually for different reasons.

My team FINALLY won a game this past Saturday. YAY! I tweaked the hell out of a ligament or tendon or something in my ankle while playing said game. BOO! It kept me in the game because I asked to be taken out of the pack rotation until the last jam. That was nice.

I have a cold. It snuck up on me last week when we had that heat wave. The bedroom fan was on high and dried my throat out. I thought the soreness from said dry throat was from said fan. No, it was from the cold I caught the previous weekend when I went to Phoenix to yell and scream at the first banked track championships for the Arizona Derby Dames. It was a Good Thing to go to Phoenix nonetheless.

The job has been busy, but I have maybe two weeks left. Then I nap for a solid week. Then I figure out what to do about medical insurance, since I don't think I have enough hours from my union to qualify. Oh, and the Dear Husband was suddenly laid off from his job last week. Crap. Which means this whole oh-crap-my-ankle-is-hurt thing is suddenly more serious and dire.

Because it's early in the morning I can't really think of other stuff that's been going on. All I know is that I have to figure out a way to do my morning exercises without annoying my hurt leg and get to work without getting rained on or squished or going insane while sitting in traffic.

I'm stressed as hell. I'd like a vacation. I won't be getting one, but I'd like one nonetheless.