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.