Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Fave Monkey Girl

Derby has introduced me to more friends than I ever imaged I'd have. Which is a bold statement, considering that before derby, I had a shit-ton of biker friends whom the Dear Husband and I would visit whenever we went on a road trip. It's really an interesting and comforting feeling knowing that wherever one goes, one has a friend waiting to hear from them.

Anyway, back to derby friends. When I went to my first Derby Dolls practice almost seven years ago(holy crap), I was struck by some of the strong personalities that were there. Demolicious, one of the league founders, was her gregarious self. Emma Geddon, a true personification of a Viking, scared the crap out of me. Kasey Bomber talked to me because I was wearing a bar shirt from her hometown of Dallas. And then there was Bonnie D. Stroir.

She stood out not just because of her enthusiastic skating(which continues unabated) as well as the constant smile on her face, but her tattoos made me take notice of her. Why? Because she had a couple of girl centaurs from Disney's Fantasia tattooed on her right arm.

She came up to me and asked if I rode motorcycles(I was wearing my leather jacket at the time). I said yes, and her eyes lit up. She's ridiculously engaging and extremely likeable, and talking to her is always fun. We found out that our birthdays are only one day apart and we both were born in the Year of the Monkey(though twelve years apart) according to Chinese astrology. What's not to like?!?!?!

She lived in San Diego but skated in LA for quite awhile. She then made the decision to start the San Diego Derby Dolls when the commute got to her. Now, after years of running a league and skating and teaching and being an all-around badass, she's leaving San Diego and is moving to Humbolt. It makes me sad that I will see her even less than I do now, but knowing that after a sabbatical, she'll be back skating with the local league and not have the heavy responsibilities she had in San Diego makes me happy for her.

And she also started a blog, which you should read here if you like reading about cool derby stuff.

This is a typical photo of Bonnie smiling and me looking goofy at the Big One tournament two years ago.

Over Thanksgiving break I participated in the yearly Thankscrimmage that one of the local leagues holds. It started as a modest pick-up scrimmage in an outdoor park in Chino Hills with a potluck brunch. It's now an event that needs two tracks, team sign ups, a taco truck, and advance planning to contain all of the derby activity.

I got sucked into one of the challenge scrimmages. These are semi-organized, very similar to Rollercon challenge games, where you see tall vs. short, old vs. young, girls vs. boys, etc. All fun, all silly, and all vital to what makes modern derby the weird sport that it is, in my overly cranky opinion.

In this case, it was Les Foxes Francais vs. the US Rednecks. Guess which team I was on?! The French team. Yeah, I'm surprised, too. It all started at Suzy Snakeyes wedding over Labor Day weekend. I was busy eating and drinking(as one is wont to do at a wedding, and this wedding was a FUN one), and talking to Angel City skater Duchess von Damn. She's also one of my fave derby people for many reasons. She trains hard but keeps a sense of humor, and is one of the steel supports for her league. She mentions Thankscrimmage, and how funny it would be to have a French-themed team for it. Would I be interested? Well, DUH.

Because we had this conversation in the middle of a bottle of wine, I kinda forgot about it until a month ago when she emailed everyone who was to be on the team. Oh shit! I thought. I gotta go through with this! And go through with it I did, even though I wasn't very foxy:

In case you were wondering, yes, we drew moustaches on ourselves. We were the best dressed team there. AND we won. By two points. Against rednecks. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Speaking of winning, did I mention that Fight Crew won its last game of the season a few weeks ago? No? Yes? In case you didn't know, WE FUCKING WON THAT SHIT.

I wish I was able to skate that game, but the team did wonderfully without me. I did my bench coaching job well enough, I guess, so I wasn't completely useless.

Next week I go back to Chicago to skate with the Ri-Ettes against Windy City Rollers...ON THE BANKED TRACK. We're shipping out San Diego's track for this event. It's sponsored by Red Bull and I hope it goes splendidly. It'll be cold as fuck, but the skating and the derby girls and the experience will be amazing, I'm sure. Can't wait for it, and I can't wait for it to be over. If I ever say I'm considering captaining another team, please punch me in the face, mkay?

 My hurt ankle and knee continues to bug me. I hobble around like an old lady when I've been sitting for a long while. Exercise helps, but I've overdone it over the weekend, and have aggravated the ligaments or something. I keep telling myself, One more year, one more year, one more year in regards to staying on a team. I hope I can stick with it through 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Gettin' Real, Y'all...

I haven't done any type of writeup on my trip to Chicago at the beginning of November for WFTDA Championships. Yes, I'm remiss. Yes, it would be impossible to describe the fun that was the weekend, including but certainly not limited to getting to draw on half of the winning team, the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls.

But here is a typical Tara placing for the weekend: doing textcasting for Derby News Network. Here I am with Roxy Horror from COMO Derby Dames (Columbia, MO) and Ivanna Clobber from Rat City Rollergirls(Seattle, WA). You can instantly see who is representing the various geographical locations from around the US in cold, chilly, 40 degree F Chicago. Roxy in the tank top is obviously the midwestern soul. Clobber in her light track jacket is PNW all the way. And then there's me: jacket, hoodie, hat and scarf being Very Californian.

photo by the amazing Axle Adams

Roxy and I have been friends on Facebook for awhile, but I had never met her before. A few weeks before Chicago, Roxy had made a status update comment about boxed wine. I commented on it, and we were joking about bringing boxed wine to Chicago for Champs. She then emailed me privately saying that she wanted to get a tattoo of one of my Sharpie tatts. A REAL tattoo.

Now, this has happened before...I've gotten several emails over the past few years from people who claim they're going to get a real tattoo of one of my drawings, with little to no follow-through. As far as I know, only one person has ever gotten a Tara Tatt done. So with light skepticism I replied to Roxy that of course we can meet in Chicago and I'll draw on her and then she'd take plenty of photos and get the tattoo done when she gets back home. Our negotiated terms included...a box of wine. I'm so easily bought.

I instantly liked her when I met her in person. We got along instantly as we textcasted, and found we had very similiar, very sick sense of humor. She said, I brought the wine! and I then figured out that she was SERIOUS about the tattoo.

So I drew this on her:

Not too shabby. It was the first Tara tatt I did in Chicago, and arguably the best I did all weekend. Which is a damned good thing, because last week Roxy followed through and got the tattoo done for realz. Check it out!

The 75 on her arm is her skate number. I think the artist who did the tattoo did an amazing job of following my drawing while making it work as a real tattoo. I'm excited that Roxy did this!

I've also been on the Derby Deeds Done Dirt Cheap podcast a couple of times in the past month or so. Megatron, Pitchit and Sheeza Brickhouse are the hosts and bring a well-rounded and intelligent voice to derby. You can listen to me babble on like a doofus in last week's episode here. One of the best aspects of the podcast is that new episodes usually come out on Fridays, just when the workday is draaaaaaagging by soooooooooo slooowwwwwwwwwwww. Perfect timing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Thing Before You Go...

The sooper-funny and cool Ernessa over at Fierce N' Nerdy gave SooperLace a boost. Yay!!!! Unfortunately Chicago was too cold to show off SooperLace myself this past weekend. Boooo!!!!!

But that's what the internet is for! Go order one if you feel like having a fancy shirt!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


This weekend I'll be picking this up in Chicago:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


On Facebook the other day, the proprietress of a skater-owned and operated clothing line dropped me an email about lending my name to a competition for their new sleeveless hoodie.

Tara Armov + sleeveless hoodie = brilliant marketing.

If you're on Facebook you can vote BY THURSDAY, NOV. 4. Go to the Pivotstar page and "like" it. Then go to their sleeveless hoodie competition, find my photo, and "like" that, as that counts as your vote.

DO IT DO IT DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!