Tuesday, December 13, 2011

FUN!

Last Sunday I got to take part in a fun event with the Oxnard banked track league, Sugartown. They've been around for a couple of years, and frankly have had an...interesting existence. Things haven't always been smooth in the general Ventura area with them and the local flat track leagues, and it got weirder when they hired LADD's old coach for about a year.

Then Sugartown came to their senses.

They were scheduled to have an exhibition game at a yearly biker event called Chopperfest. Which is really brilliant if you ask me...bikers and roller derby?! A perfect combination! I would be intrigued if I wasn't already involved with both! Problem was, Sugartown hit rock bottom by losing their warehouse practice space, the coach, and a bunch of skaters at around the same time a couple months ago.

O NOES.

So they reached out to the local derby community and asked for help. All kinds of help. SO much help. Sugartown came to weekly practices in LA. They asked to borrow skaters for the Chopperfest event, which they were calling the Sugartown Smackdown. They needed a ruleset to skate by. They needed refs to enforce the ruleset. They needed announcers. They were overwhelmed with the prospect of pulling this off, but they needed to do it to try for survival.

And in a frantic two and a half months, they got themselves an event. Suzy Snakeyes, Figg Lebowski, Helen Surly Frown and myself volunteered to skate the event from LADD. PITA and Pinky P'okerface amongst others led the charge of Orange County, quite a few West Coast Derby Knockouts showed up, a lone badass from Missile Mountain in Colorado, and the remaining skaters of Sugartown were split into two teams to skate exhibition scrimmages on the hour, every hour, for four hours.

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Apparently some of the less experienced skaters were nervous about their skating abilities on the bank, but they needn't have worried as the track was very slippery due to the cold and humidity, thus it became the Great Equalizer for us all. Everyone was slipping and sliding early in the day, and that kept us humble and more likely to work together during scrimmaging just so that we didn't hurtle ourselves into the infield unexpectedly.

And then we started getting comfortable. Here is a hilarious sequence of me trying to terrorize the opposing jammer, Saracuda, who skates with WCDK. To be honest, the only reason I went for this approach was because I was told she was scared of me. HA!












Closeup of the same sequence. When I turned around to hit her, she literally squeaked. It was adorable. She went on to score points, by the by.















I miss skating with and against PITA.


































Something you don't see very often, and for good reason. Me jamming. I actually scored points, though!















Look at this group. I'll skate with them ANYTIME.










The Sugartown girls say that for next year, they want to invite more skaters to put together the teams for this event. Which I think is fantastic! I can't wait for 2012! This derby retirement thing is going pretty well so far!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Scrambled Rant Just In Time for My Birthday

Remember that time the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup happened in Toronto? I sure as hell do. And the kvetching that went along with it from the online spectators has put me in an incredibly foul mood.

Y'all have already forgotten modern derby's roots. And they're important to remember, especially in this very transitionary period of the derbz.

Remember that time when modern derby started as a DIY sport? And still is? Remember because of that, things aren't going to go as slick as it would if, say, Adidas and Nike were footing the bill to put on an inaugural event such as the World Cup. When the planning is done by a small group of skaters and volunteers and everything is new and there's no money, shit isn't going to be as grand as some of the events you see covered online, whether it's WFTDA Championships or Derby Dolls games.

And then when things don't go off as exactly as planned, it really, REALLY doesn't help to get a constant stream of bitching. WHERE'S THE VIDEO FEED (that you're watching for free)?!?!? 

WHY IS THE AUDIO MUDDY(that you're hearing for free)?!?!?!?!?! 

WHY IS THE CAMERA IN THAT SPOT?!?!?!? 

HOW COME THE TRACK LOOKS DARK!??!?! WHERE'S THE LIGHTING?!?!?!?!

OMG IS THAT CONCRETE?! THAT CAN'T BE SAFE. IT'S PAINFULLY EASY TO GET SPORT COURT.

THOSE PILLARS ARE STUPID. WHY COULDN'T THEY GET A BIGGER AND BETTER SPACE?!?!?!? 

BLOWOUTS ARE BORING. WHAT ABOUT THE FANS?!?!?!?! THEY MUST BE BORRRRED!!!! THANK GOODNESS THIS ISN'T ON TV OR ELSE WE'LL LOSE OUR (very small compared to other sports)AUDIENCE!!!

WE SHOULD GET RID OF SKATE NAMES SO THAT THIS WILL BE A "LEGIT" SPORT!


For fuck's sake, people. I want to punch each and every person who made such comments. Because those comments didn't come from people who were working for the event. Yet these came from people within the derby community as a whole. You should know better by now. You really should. Derby has eaten your life and you're still not getting paid. Guess what? Neither was anyone involved in this event.

There's some heavy-duty expectation failure going on here. It's completely unreasonable to expect this event or derby overall to hatch fully formed, perfect and ready for tv, the Olympics, or whatever form of  "legit" you kick around a la Athena bursting out of Zeus' forehead. It didn't work in Seltzer's era, it's not going to work now.

The way these criticisms were presented is no bueno, because they fail to take into account the volunteer nature of the event. Would the people who said the above in that tone (in some cases much ruder tones) do that to Black Dahlia, Robin Graves, ToRD, Hurt Reynolds, Gnosis and Justice Feelgood Marshall's faces? I would hope not.

Constructive criticism is needed to make the future of derby better. Key word here is CONSTRUCTIVE. You got something to say? Don't be a doosh about your presentation of the criticism. Think very carefully about said presentation when handing out criticisms to a volunteer unless you're angling for their job. Derby is a microcosm of life in that I've found that those who bitch the most don't necessarily volunteer to do the heavy lifting the most. My message to you: PUT UP OR SHUT UP. If all of this was so damned easy, everyone would be doing it.

Other notes:

Petty shit first: getting rid of skate names is a red herring to making the sport "legit". I can't even get a decent definition of what "legit" is supposed to mean. TV? Olympics? Sponsorship? No one can really tell me. I had an online viewer repeatedly say that skate names is holding derby back. I asked how, but he couldn't explain why and kept dodging the question. It finally came out that his wife started with a local league and was stressed out over her skate name, not her skating ability. Dude. REALLY? Sounds like misplaced priorities to me if one is so worried about being in a "legit" sport. But I can tell you this: if getting rid of skate names would've bought a tv deal for derby IT WOULD'VE HAPPENED ALREADY.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the meat of the situation...

If you want derby in the Olympics or on tv, you need double-digit numbers of leagues who can play TOP-LEVEL derby. The US isn't at that point yet. There's a handful of top leagues, and then the dropoff of gameplay is dramatic. Look at the top teams in the world...sooooooo not ready for the Olympics right now.  I don't think the Olympic committee is going to buy, "OK, the US is by far the top team now, but just you wait! By the time you approve of our sport for Olympic inclusion, we'll have other countries up and running! We promise!" You have GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. Rethink your approach and timeline and be more realistic.

That is not a slam on any league or country that's skating derby and putting everything they have into it. I don't think most of the US skaters realize how goddam difficult it is for non-US skaters to even get a space to practice in, much less establish a functioning league, getting equipment(hello, most derby skates are Riedell, a US brand, so they have to be imported. NOT CHEAP. And unless you're in Australia, the other major boot manufacturers are in Australia. ALSO NOT CHEAP.), and setting up competitive interleague play. The stories I've heard this year both from when I went to the UK and Amsterdam and over the weekend reminded me just how goddam LUCKY US skaters are. Growth isn't going to be quite at the rate it's been in the US. But WOW, I saw some amazing skaters from all the countries who represented this past weekend. I was so happy for them and their experiences!

Because of that difference of derby skill this past weekend, it's good that this wasn't televised on mainstream tv. For someone who didn't have any previous exposure to derby, seeing many of the games with blowout scores would have indeed been boring. Hell, according to my many hours of time spent in the DNN chat rooms, derby fans were bored. But the thing is, interleague is THEE KEY to get everyone's gameplay up. The next World Cup in two years is going to see a dramatic improvement of gameplay by the participating countries, and probably a few new countries, based on the exposure to new people, new strategies, etc. Enough to justify mainstream television coverage? I don't know. Look at how long the US has been doing derby and then look at how many of the US leagues are in that top tier of gameplay. Again, if it's not enough leagues to create televised interest here, then expecting televised coverage of the World Cup at this juncture is kind of a wet dream.

A note about the venue: the Bunker is very similar to the LA Derby Dolls' Doll Factory space in that they're both warehouses with sometimes primitive nuances that make the overall ambiance less about SPORRRRRTS and more about an experience. Which I as a Derby Doll especially appreciated. The Bunker lacked the lighting, paint, and overall spit and polish that the Derby Dolls have done to their space over the past four years, but from what I understand, ToRD hasn't been in that space very long, and finding a suitable mid-sized venue that was affordable was researched but turned out to not be an option.

Overall, my impression of the first World Cup was nostalgic. It was derby 3 years ago. And I liked it. I'm so glad that I decided to eat the cost and go work the event. It made me hopeful for the newer leagues in far away countries as much as it made me frustrated with the expectation failure and "legit" talk from people who haven't realized that we need some out-of-the-mainstream-spotlight growth time to make the sport as good as it can be.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Visual Timeline from Sunday

 This past weekend was WFTDA Championships in Denver. Well, Broomfield, to be more precise. We didn't see any of Denver, as the game venue and hotel was in Suburb Hell. I've never seen so many SUV's and minvans in my life.

Thankfully we didn't drive much, just to and from the venue.

The games this year were incredible. Every year the gameplay overall gets better and better and better. Discipline seemed to be the outstanding theme to me. The individual skillsets of each skater didn't have the impact of well-disciplined gameplay by the entire team. Gotham proved that.

But of course I was there to drink and heckle. Which I did. Copiously. We even had Team Heckle shirts. We looked good while we yelled.


Here's some photo highlights from Sunday.

In between the two games on Sunday, there was a band that played Salt n' Pepa's Push It, The Knack's My Sharona, and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean amongst other cool stuff:


































After the last game, I broke out the Sharpies hastily.

First off, Veronica Scars from Scarred Designs:




















Wanton Rebellion quickly followed:





















Dinner at one of the local restaurants. We were chided for applauding when two old oblivious farts who wouldn't move when this hoarde of derby miscreants first descended onto the scene finally left after 30 awkward minutes of us glaring at them. By the way, not only were they done with their food, but they were finished with their beverages and their table was otherwise clean. Go talk in the bar, doofus.



















Back at the hotel , we found ourselves some Rocky Mountain Roller Girls and Oly Rollers. Drinkin' and rasslin'.

This is actually a calm dogpile by their standards:


















I settled down with a glass of wine and the company of Knockser Socksoff and her hubby G. No Evil. Of course I ended up drawing on her:
















I love doing Day of the Dead themed pinups!






















After I was done with that, Knocks asks if I wanted to draw on Julie. Julie? I wondered to myself, then I realized she was talking about Oly's Atomatrix.

UHM, YEAH. MIGHT AS WELL DRAW ON ONE OF THE BEST SKATERS OUT THERE.

















I'm such a fangirl.



RMRG's Deranged had made me promise to draw on her boob earlier in the day. But the hotel was strict enough where I knew the whole rasslin'/drinkin'/drawin' shebang would be shut down faster than Rick Perry's chances of getting into the White House if nudity erupted. So we settled on me giving her a tramp stamp:


















O HAI again Atom!
















I spotted 2010 WFTDA Champs MVP, Sassy, and managed to get her to not only sit still for a tattoo, but she had to take her shirt off halfway to get it done:
















Deranged, Ecko, and Psycho Babble take a little nap using Oly's jackets:


















Tannibal Lector was next. She had to rearrange both her shirt and bra to get this done:





















And so the night went on. I ended up having a fun conversation with Angel City's GoGo Gidget and Duchess von Damn, as well as fellow Team Heckler Skatum.

Duchess eventually got tired:


















And so did Skatum.


















The party started to break up for the night, but not before Hellarad's Mister Moxxxie found a mustache soulmate:


















Pretty much one of the best derby days evar!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Last Night

I played my last game with Fight Crew.


We lost by only ten points against the Swarm, but we had almost half the team ejected for penalties(of course I was one of them), and there just wasn't enough firepower or time left to turn it around. So that's that. They're going to LADD Champs to face the Sirens and we're not.

But the reality of not skating games with them anymore hit me hard on the dark drive home. I didn't cry(though I wanted to), I didn't drink. I feel empty.

But I'm not quitting derby. I can't. I'll still be heckling in Denver next weekend, announcing in Chicago the weekend after that, skating the Thankscrimmage pick-up games on Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm looking into flights to Toronto for the Blood and Thunder World Cup. Aaaaand, Issue 18 has a pretty damn cool story on ME. Complete with my art and some hilarious photos.

But it won't be the same as skating with Fight Crew.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The calendar's getting full

What does this week's busy-ness entail?

First off, the Sportster is back on my shit list.

It's been running fine for months. My main fears while riding it came from having to go through the ridiculous and massive construction zone that is the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. But overall it's been dependable. Until Monday night.

Rode in to work as usual. No problems. I was able to leave work while it was still daylight, giving me plenty of time to stop off for gas, get home and prepare for the annual trick-or-treater Halloween onslaught. I made a stop at a liquor store to pick up appletini mix. When I started the bike, the damn thing would turn over, but not catch.

WTF. 

I unscrewed the gas cap in case of vapor lock. No difference. I switched the petcock to reserve. No difference. I cussed loudly at it. No difference. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!

So I called Fred, the Motorcycle Whisperer, and he suggested a test to see if I had a spark to the spark plugs. According to my roadside test, no spark. Which means either ignition or coil has gone out. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

As usual, AAA came to my rescue. The first guy to show up wasn't in a flatbed tow truck, and as I saw him pull up, I thought, WTF THIS TRUCK DOESN'T DO ME ANY GOOD AAA KNOWS I'M ON A MOTORCYCLE WHY IS THIS DUDE HERE NOW I GOTTA WAIT FOR A FLATBED TRUCK AND THIS SUCKS GODDAMMIT WHY TODAY I HATE MY BIKE I HATE MY LIFE AND WHERE'S THE GODDAM REAL TRUCK?! When the guy steps out of his truck, he immediately says, The flatbed is on its way. I'm gonna help load the bike. WHEW! And then he says, You looked like you were about to kill me! Yeah, sorry about that.  The flatbed truck showed up within five minutes.

Bike got home via AAA with no further dirty looks or mishaps. I'll have to find a way to get it to Fred's house on Sunday.

The next few weekends will be busy. This Saturday may be my last Fight Crew game. We're going to San Diego to play against the Swarm. The winner of Saturday's game goes to LADD Championships to play against the Sirens. Both teams have a 2-1 record. NO PRESSURE.

Next weekend is WFTDA Championships in Denver. I shall be heckling.

The weekend after that is the Kitten Traxx Invitational in Chicago. And I'll be announcing with Dumptruck. THAT WILL BE STUPIDLY FUN.

Thanksgiving is somewhere in there.

And then, the first weekend in December. I'll either be playing in my LAST EVAR Fight Crew game, or I'll be in Toronto doing announcing at the Derby World Cup! I got the acceptance email this week! So either way, I WIN!

I also get to throw in the occasional drawing. Roger Assaultrey and Gia de los Muertos handed over a couple of themed slam sketchbooks to draw in. These are usually items passed around at events such as Comic Con, with fantastic artists contributing to the contents. Roger and Gia had a Blues Brothers and White Stripes themed books. These are my scrawlings:




















See what I did there? Frank Oz? Muppets? GET IT?!

True story, I'd never seen the Blues Brothers before now. I know, I know.

The White Stripes one was a little easier to wrap my head around, since I know who they are and like their music in general:




















It was nice to use my horribly neglected markers for both of these.

And now, back to work!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wine, Being a Dork, and Annoying Famous People

Alright, here's something of a blog entry.

Last night was a Derby Dolls game that I wasn't skating in and the premiere party for Allen Gregory, the show I worked on in between Bob's Burgers seasons. How do I decide which to attend? I don't, I just go to both.

I worked the wine bar at the Doll Factory, which is usually staffed by fellow Fight Crew teammates, and last night was no exception. I got to hang out with Trixie Biscuit, serve wine to interesting people with interesting manners(my personal fave was the lady who asked me if I was a skater. When I said "yes", she asked how old I was. When I told her, she was so DELIGHTED. Very amusing.), and heckle everyone as they walked by. When our shift was over at the start of the game, I did some more heckling for the first half of the game(which turned out to be a helluva great game by Sirens and Tough Cookies), and then we had to take our leave to go to the Allen Gregory premiere.

Not a lot of the people that I work with were talking about going to the party, but I was intent on going because a) I never seem to go out unless it's derby-related, and that's dumb. And b) the party was held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, which of course is Old Hollywood, and therefore I'm definitely going because I love that type of stuff.

When we get there, I didn't recognize anyone immediately, so we wandered around, got drinks, and stuffed ourselves silly on food. The Dear Husband had his computer tablet with him, and so we ended up watching a lot of the second half of the Sirens/Tough Cookies game online while everyone else was doing whatever it is that people do at Hollywood parties.

After awhile I finally found people that I knew, and so was able to do a little bit of schmoozing. The loudest schmoozing I did was with designer extraordinaire, Craig Kellman. I worked with him back at Film Roman a million years ago, and not only is he super-fucking talented, but he's funny. VERY funny. We were talking and laughing loudly out on the patio, and of course drew annoyed/curious glances from the other party-goers. The most repeated glances was from Allen Gregory's co-creator, Jonah Hill. Yeah, that Jonah Hill. Once I noticed him being annoyed, I figured I'd try to get a photo with him. Of course that's when he disappeared.

DAMMIT.

While trying to stalk him, I hear a very familiar voice. I turn to look, and it's one of the other voice actors from the show, French Stewart. Yeah, the one who was on Third Rock From The Sun. I turn to the DH and quickly hiss, It's French Stewart! Get the camera out! I'm getting a goddam photo with him! and I immediately corner him and ask him if I could take a photo with him. I also quickly explained that I'm one of the board artists on the show so that he doesn't think I'm too much of a weirdo. His response was gracious, friendly, and warm. I did a little Snoopy dance when he agreed to a photo, and that didn't scare him off. He said, You guys all did a great job! several times in regards to the artists who worked on the show, and I told him I thought he was awesome.


French Stewart, his wife, and me:
















French Stewart, me and the DH:
















I was delighted to meet him!


After the highlight of the evening, the DH and I wandered the room a bit more, had a few more cocktails, and kept on the look out for Jonah Hill. At one point I came across one of the owners of the studio that does the production for Allen Gregory and Bob's Burgers, and I told him of my plan to get a photo. He said casually, I think he'd be happy to do it. By the way, he's right over there. and points to Jonah standing about fifty feet away.

WELL, ALRIGHTY THEN. I gathered the DH, handed him the camera, and up to Jonah Hill I stomped. I asked for a photo, and he gave an impatient sigh and agreed.

Ta-daaaaaa!

















He left the party right after that, and the room cleared out quickly once he left. We grabbed our goodie bags(white wine and a wine glass with "AG" etched on it. All in a small canvas wine bag. Not too shabby!) and got the hell out of Dodge.

A rare night of balance between derby and day job worlds! It was worth the hangover I woke up with today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FINALLY

I was able to skate a 3-hour practice and not die.

Losing one's endurance when one is injured SUCKS. I don't recommend it.

At all.

I'm at around 85% in muscle density and endurance. Right on track, betches.


I keep threatening to update the blog with photos and stuff. And I probably will. Just not right now. I sit in front of a computer allllllllllllllllllllll day, so sitting in front of a computer in the evenings just makes me want to punch things.

But...I'm going to Denver for Championals for heckling purposes, and it looks like I'm going to Chicago for announcing duties with Dumptruck for the Kitten Traxx Banked Track Invitational. Who's a happy girl?! I AM.

Monday, September 26, 2011

SRSLY?!

OK, modern roller derby, you need to have a little heart-to-heart with yourself.

You say you want to be on tv. To sell out large arenas. To be in the Olympics. To be taken SERIOUSLY.

Considering some of the shady things that have happened in derby past, from scripted games to pillow fights to the worst acting EVAR when skaters try to throw punches for titillation, I can understand why the modern derby movement says it wants to be SERIOUS.  Look at the changes in modern derby since its inception ten years ago: less fishnets, more dance tights. Less frilly skirts and elaborate skateouts, more aerodynamic hot pants and simple team introductions. Less team themes and skate names, more basic team motifs and more government names. So, SO SERIOUS.

All that change in a bid for "legitimacy" goes out the fucking window when the skaters take the "For the skaters, by the skaters" saying way too fucking SERIOUSLY and pull bullshit like this:




I had hoped that the above jam from this year's East Coast Extravaganza would be the exception to the loopholes in WFTDA rules about when/where teams line up at the start of a jam, and forward momentum after the whistle is blown. This happened with the pack lined up at the pivot line at last year's WFTDA Championals between Gotham and Philly. It was boo'd then. It was boo'd at ECDX this year. It was heavily boo'd when Rat City pulled it over and over again against Rocky Mountain on Saturday at Western Regionals.

How the fuck can you expect to be taken SERIOUSLY when you won't even fucking SKATE when the whistle is blown?! You're not playing a sport, you're jerking off and expecting people who PAY to see you SKATE to be pleased, impressed, and to take you SERIOUSLY with your athletic prowess that you're not showcasing by crowding the jammers at a standstill for two minutes at a time?! REAAAAAAAAAAALLY????????

Rethink that shit. Now. It's called roller derby, not noller derby. "Roll" is right in the name of the goddam sport, so try to, I dunno, ROLL when you're supposed to. I've heard some bullshit excuses for using "strategies" like this...Hey, we knew we couldn't outskate the other team, so we decided to mindfuck them. Well, now we know JUST HOW BROKEN the rules are! The other team is going to use it, so we should get used to it!

Uh, you have got to be fucking kidding me. Is this high school or SERIOUS ROLLER DERBY? If you want this sport to be taken SO GODDAM SERIOUSLY and eventually get paid to skate, then stop the shenanigans and JUST FUCKING SKATE when the whistle blows. You want new fans? SKATE. You want fellow skaters to stop booing you at tourneys? SKATE. You wanna be on tv for something other than a side human interest story for this cute little hobby of yours? SKATE.

I've talked to many skaters individually who say they'd rather skate than use noller derby. Yet it's still happening, so I have to ask what the hell is stopping the SKATERS in the "by the skaters, for the skaters" group from fixing these glaring loopholes? It's YOUR organization, YOUR rules, YOUR goal to grow the sport, so what are YOU doing to keep skating?

In other news, I actually had an otherwise grand time at Westerns this year, outside of the noller derby fuckery. Not only did I yell myself into a stupor, but I got to draw on NEW PEOPLE. Here, meet Tannibal Lector from the Oly Rollers(a league who likes to skate, and now they're getting more fans both inside and outside the derby community because they're not fucking around):




















I won't lie, I was a bit star-struck with this one. I had also wanted to draw on Oly's Atomatrix, but at the afterparty she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, and to be honest, she totally intimidates me. So I FIALED. At least I got to get hugged by Rocky Mountain's DeRanged and Psycho Babble, and Assaultin' Pepa keeps thinking I don't know who she is. Which is hilarious, because she's Kinda A Big Deal to me as much as her teammates. I think I talked to more people this tournament than ever before, and I have to say, I fucking LOVED every second of meeting new people and getting to hang out with an ever-wider array of derby awesomeness. Tara tatt photos will follow soonly.

And that awesomeness is why the noller derby pisses me off too much. Because we all work TOO FUCKING HARD to be dismissed for alleged strategery that is not only short-term, but short-sighted. I want to build a legacy, not be a footnote to the early millennium. I know too many other people involved in this that feel the same way; why else would we give so much to something that isn't financially paying off for us? Because we want to succeed, goddam it. So let's put aside ego and silliness and make sure the walk--er, skate stride matches the talk, eh?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Inbetween Worlds

It's official: I'm retiring from my home team after this season.











WHAT?! some of you may be saying. You just got cleared to skate derby again and now you're gonna QUIT when you're on the verge of gaining momentum?!

That's right. I am.

It's not so much the physical strain that's forcing this decision to come to light, it's the mental exhaustion from derby, mixed in with a strenuous day job(yes, sitting and having to think about camera staging, layout, character acting on a tight deadline is surprisingly stressful), along with the orthopedic surgeon's pronouncement that I'm officially TOO OLD for derby that finally did it.

I've had quite a few conversations about whether I'm really too mentally exhausted or too old for derby, and despite the last two weeks of FANTASTIC derby games that I got to watch (my fave league outside of LA, the Arizona Derby Dames vs. LA's home team, the Sirens. Seattle's Tilted Thunder Rail Birds vs. a mixed LADD crew. Then there was WFTDA Eastern Regionals this past weekend where London showed that they're as badass as I personally thought they were), I just can't stand the daily routine of trying to maintain attendance for the regular season schedule. I've always had more fun skating with/against skaters I don't ordinarily get to scrimmage...whether it was skating with the Aftershockers, Ri-Ettes, Rejects, the occasional Fight Crew travel game, doing the challenge scrimmages at Rollercon or Thankscrimmage, or even just visiting Angel City...those are my favorite games, whether they were flat or banked track. Interleague on an all-star B-team level(almost an oxymoron, when you think about it!) within my league doesn't exist, and so my heart has gone out of it. And I'm just burned out from day-to-day league stuff.

Does this mean I'm quitting derby? Hell no. This is worse than Brokeback Mountain...I cain't quit derby. I'm planning on staying on LADD's training team, as well as the Interleague Task Force. I really want to get out and start training more of the up-and-coming banked track leagues that are beginning to pop up. I want to help them get competitive as soon as possible so that they can skate against other leagues and get as stupidly obsessed as the rest of us about playing good derby. I want to go back to Europe with skates in hand and either practice or coach anyone who will have me there. I want to continue to announce and do derby artwork. I want to continue to keep stating my opinion on derby whether people want to hear it or not.

So I have these plans, and I have to get through the rest of this season. Funny thing is, now that I'm making my decision more public, it feels that there's a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I'm not back 100% scrimmage-wise, mainly because my endurance went to SHIT because I couldn't do any running, but the scrimmaging I am doing is fun and I feel effective.  I still dread having to drive to downtown LA for practice because it's such a shit commute, but the knowledge that it's only three more months makes me deal with it better. I'm even wanting to buy another pair of skates: my last derby skates. I've not had much luck with being able to talk to a Knowledgeable Skate Person Who Knows My Skating Style on what that last pair of skates should be (right now it's between the Antiks AR-1 and Riedell 1065), but I need to get that done.

But the egotistical part of me is also squawking...the derby community sometimes marginalizes people if they're not active skaters. Will my status from active to retired-but-still-skating-for-fun skater have an effect on how others in derby see me? Will that depend on how involved I stay in the community?  Have I already become that old lady telling all the new skaters to get offa her lawn, and Things Were Different In My Day, or is my experience seen as relevant to modern DIY derby?

So I feel in between worlds as a result of what my life is telling me what I need to do and what my ego is telling me it wants to do. I suppose I'll figure it out as I go along...thank goodness I now have the UFC Personal Trainer program for getting out any aggression build-ups I may get from not scrimmaging every week. And if a smart someone wants to sell me a pair of awesome skates at WFTDA Western Regionals this coming weekend, I'm all for it.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

"The Next Level"

This week has been thoroughly entertaining and frustrating in online derbyland.

It started with a posting of this new documentary about the Old School Derby Association:





Where do I begin?

To put in a bunch of old footage of fake skating doesn't help OSDA's cause. And the new footage they included? Uhm...a little underwhelming. You can see skaters without writstguards on. In my mind, if you don't need wristguards or a helmet to skate derby, you're one step away from Couples Skate at the local rink listening to Journey and the Motels.

To say they're "pro" is ludicrous until their skaters can quit their day jobs and skate full time.  To put down the modern DIY banked leagues by calling them "amateur" reveals entitlement issues and a touch of jealousy. If you have to put down others in your promo material to try to look good, then you ain't lookin' good.

Oh, and it's not REQUIRED to have a skate name in modern DIY derby. I don't know where they got that idea from, but it humors me. 

And my new favorite phrase: "We're going to take it to the next level".  I've read that a LOT this week. You can hear it in the above clip. But I've also heard it from people who are supporting another organization that wants to take derby to some type of other level, the NRDA. As you can see by their fancy website that lists all their participating leagues with corresponding season schedules, they're definitely the next level. Here's some clips that take derby to the "next level":










THAT'S the next level of roller derby?!

That "next level" was invited to Battle on the Bank II in Austin under the "Las Vegas Renegade" name. They got their asses handed to them  in both games they played there, and they tried their "next level" gameplay of switching jerseys of ejected skaters to stay in the game, to boot. It didn't do any good.

A little reminder of what the pesky amateurs are doing:



So, yeah. If the "next level" of derby is coasting, minimal contact, and fake fighting, then no thanks, I'll stick to Amateur Hour.

The thing is, is that people's memories are painfully short. Why did derby die to begin with? Because it wasn't a sport, it was a sideshow. See the NRDA clips above. The modern DIY version of the game has elements of the ludicrous with skate names and team themes with a dash of unicorns and mustaches thrown in for good measure, but once the whistle blows to start the game it's allllll sport. Not that the modern game doesn't have its faults, but hey! it's not a staged circus act. 

For those who want to bring the sport back to where they say it should be? I wonder if it's about them reliving their younger days instead of realizing that their time was done. There's no doubt the old school skaters back in the day had skating talent, but it's too bad that talent wasn't used to best results.

Reminder to new skaters: do yourselves a favor and watch this doubleheader of derby documentaries:

Jam: The Movie is about the Old Schoolers in the Bay Area in the late 90's. It's sad yet fascinating. I first saw this at SXSW in Austin the first time the Derby Dolls played an interleague game. You'll learn that derby drama is nothing new, and so learn to avoid bullshit like this.

Hell on Wheels is about the start of modern DIY derby in Austin. It's basically a how-to on how NOT to start a league. EVERYONE should see this, because the problems that caused the Mutha of All League Splits are still prevalent in DIY derby today.

And the overall message on all of this is the old proverb of those not knowing the past are doomed to repeat it. Let's not repeat the past, shall we?







Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Next?

Being injured sucks.

Not exactly a newsflash, but DAYUM I miss skating. I'm still supposed to refrain from anything that hurts my knee, so no derby, no running, no Tarametrics, no burpees. In other words, all the high-impact stuff I do, I can't do. I still ride the bicycle at least 45 minutes a day, and take a walk at lunch, but...yeah. SO not the same.

Going at a literally slower pace isn't fun, but adjusting food intake for that slower pace has been sucktabulous, too. Whether I like it or not, if I stray too often from salad, my pants tell me that I should rethink that strategy for future wearings of said pants.

Of course the worst part of not skating? Not skating. Not just the physicality of it, or the skating with my team, but the adrenaline and endorphin levels are now off. WAY off, because I can't do anything to raise them up because of my damn knee.  The result of this lowered inactivity and loss of adrenaline and endorphins has made me very, VERY cranky. REALLY cranky. UNBEARABLY cranky. And everyone has felt it, especially the Dear Husband.

He's now adopted an aversion to me that's rather extraordinary, considering that he rarely leaves the house...our small, small house. But when he's foolish enough to try to talk to me, it's to tell me that I have to find a way to keep skating, because I'm pretty much intolerable in my non-skating state.

The funny thing is, he just kept saying I need to stay in derby, which I took to mean staying involved in derby. But no, he was really saying I need to keep skating. The difference was highlighted to me when I had lunch one day with Hurricane Ken, and I was bemoaning my crankiness to him. He sighed, nodded knowingly,  and said flat-out that I'm in withdrawals from the adrenaline, and that he went through a similar experience when he stopped racing cars. It got so bad he couldn't even watch racing for a long time. Ahhhh, someone understands!

And it's interesting that of all the talk about injuries, and how to stay involved while not being able to directly participate, it's the adrenaline and endorphins that don't get talked about much. Because I think that stuff does as much to the injured person as the immobility and lack of belonging many experience.  For myself, the only time I've sustained a happy feeling outside of Rollercon for more than a few hours was last week when I skated while torturing the new Fresh Meat skaters. It was the first time since June where I felt I got a good workout(my endurance has predictably gone to shit)and my body absolutely craved the euphoria I experienced afterwards. With not much knee pain, I might add.

HOW THE HELL DO OTHER SKATERS DEAL WITH THIS?!

Anyway, I had tried to divert my unskatingness into coaching and other derby work. The coaching wasn't bad, because I got to yell, and therefore felt somewhat useful. But the other derby work? Ugh. I want no part of it anymore, because there has been a severe lack of positive payoff for my time and energy in those areas. And that's another side topic entirely...ever notice when nonskaters try to participate in DIY derby, even if they were at one point skaters, they're not seen as part of the collective as much as a skater is? Which is fucking DUMB, because "by the skaters, for the skaters" is great until you realize how much fucking work running a league is. It sure would make life easier and better for everyone if the burden was shared with those who aren't skating for whatever reason. But at least with my league, when a skater retires, she doesn't stick around much. I can think of about three exceptions to that observation. Three out of...how many hundreds?

Interesting.

More importantly, I feel like an outsider in my own league. I felt I've been getting pushed aside in subtle and not-so-subtle ways this season. I can't say how much of my outlook on this is because of the non-skating part, or because I'm seeing the league in a different light. But it's there, and it's telling me time to do something different.

My main goal right now is to successfully finish this season. That's really the only solid goal I have right now. There are other things floating in my brain...I still want to train, I still think I can contribute to interleague stuff, and I still want to skate, but not under the current setup.

This injury has changed my outlook on work, derby, and life. Much as derby itself has changed me. But I want to be able to skate like I did before; with minimal pain and no further damage. Especially since my happiness is still stuck in an apparently old rut. Stupid adrenaline.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Remember When?

Once upon a time, I worked on Pinky and the Brain. It was my first job at Warner Bros.  Back in those days, schedules were really lax compared to what we have to crank out today. In fact, I spent the first six weeks on the job doing nothing. Literally nothing, because the writers were horrendously behind schedule.

Anyway, since the schedules were reasonable(though we didn't know that then, I remember hearing people complain about how tight the deadlines were!), we'd be able to have some drawing fun on our own. My cute friend Becca just posted a few gems online, and so I thought I'd share the hilarity and post them here.


This is a birthday card that background painter Greg Dubuque did for Becca's birthday. The crowd that's running away from the robot is our particular crew, which includes director Kirk Tingblad, designers Steve Smith and Ashanti Miller, production assistant Lisa Melcolm-Weisman, storyboard artist Eric McConnell, and yours truly. And yes, Greg did a fantastic job on this!






















Here's a card I did for Becca. Tallulah is Becca's bird, obviously. My colored pencil shading is atrocious, but I almost made a funny.

















As usual on any show that a bunch of smart-alecky artists are on for any amount of time, the weird drawings are bound to happen. The following two are the result of a drawing...competition? between myself and the always-amazing Diane Kredensor. It all started with me drawing Pinky picking at the lint in his bellybutton on the far left of the below photo and leaving the drawing on Diane's desk when she wasn't looking. She then did a reply drawing(I think her first one was the nose-picking one)and left that on my desk. And so it escalated.

Each drawing was done on regular 8x11" paper, but after we finished the drawings, we took all of them and shrunk them down on the xerox machine, and placed them on official Warners Expression Sheet paper. In the usual production pipeline, all designs were xeroxed onto official WB paper and distributed to the crew accordingly. This is my expression sheet:















And this is Diane's expression sheet:
















And this is the drawing that ended the competition. Some might say prematurely, but I say it ended just in time. Yes, I did it:























And so ends today's Nostalgic Travels. I have a huge box of Warner-era drawings in the form of both storyboards and various doodles, drawings, and whatnot from my fellow artists that I had the extreme pleasure to work with at the time. Becca's rummagings have made me realize that I should dig through my stash o' stuff and post what I have for the world to see. Because once upon a time working in animation was FUN.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Saga of the Louise Bunny Ear Hats

As most of you know, I'm working on Bob's Burgers. This year for Comic Con, the Powers That Be decided to hand out bunny ear hats, which is worn by Louise in the show:





















I couldn't go to Comic Con this year. Which I was displeased about, but I had UK guests Neil and Tara over (that's a whole other post right thurr, I gotta get on that) that weekend, so whatever.

Last year the Comic Con giveaway were cool t-shirts, and all the artists working on the show got a shirt before Comic Con. This year right before Comic Con, the bunny ear hats were delivered to the studio. Someone opened a box, and some of the artists grabbed a hat and wandered around the studio looking hilariously ridiculous. Then management came through and took the hats back, saying they were only for Comic Con. What?! But then they apparently claimed the artists would get hats after Comic Con. Ok, whatever.

In the meantime, I was contacted through Facebook by Terminal City ref, coach, Johnny Qwadd. He apparently comes to LA-LA Land quite a bit, and has been to Derby Doll games. He asked if I was going to Comic Con, and that he loves watching Bob's Burgers. I tell him I won't be there, but to be sure to keep an eye out for the bunny ear hats, since they'll be a hot item. Then the whole taking-the-hats-back-from-the-artists thing happened, and I asked Johnny that if he gets his paws on a hat, to get one for me, since I wouldn't be able to get one.

A few days after Comic Con, he posts this on my Facebook page:














WOW! He was able to snag not just one hat, but TWO of them! And he says he'll give BOTH to me! HOLY MOLEY! 

The most obvious way to get the hats to me was to meet up at Rollercon. But he wasn't going. DRAT. But he found out that since Luludemon from PivotStar will be vending, he just needed to get the hats to her and then I could stop by her booth and pick them up. Great!

First he hands off the hats to his wife Player 1 and fellow skater Snow Crash to hand off to Luludemon:
















And so Luludemon packs the hats with her to come to Vegas as the Merch Mule:





















And then, I finally get the bunny hats and can take a totally ludicrous photo with B-Train from Wicked Skatewear:




















This was kind of a huge favor, to have a Canadian get me goofy hats from San Diego and then get them shipped to Vegas for me to pick up. As a thank you, I gave Luludemon a Derby Dolls bandana and a Tara tattoo. Johnny Qwadd got a shirt. Guess which one I gave him?




















I think everyone came out good on this deal. And as of this writing, the Bob's Burgers artists are still hatless. Except for me! It's good to have friends!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Rollercon: A Quick Best/Worst List

Just got back from Rollercon in Vegas. For the seventh year in a row, this is pretty much the only reason I'll undertake going to the desert in the middle of summer to stay at a shit hotel. I'm tired, hungover, and ate a LOT of food. No skating, thanks to the patellar tendonitis in my right knee. But I did wander around a lot, talked to many, MANY people, and got to hone the announcing skills. Here's an impromptu personal best/worst list:


Best Drinking Buddy: Cherry Chainsaw from TXRD. Whenever she's not at Rollercon, my fun level drops 75%. I won't be her(or anyone else's)derby wife, but she's one of my most favoritist people in derbydom. She helps me by taking on any and all drinks I can't finish, because she firmly believes in the rule of, No Drink Left Behind.

Best Experience While Volunteering: announcing with Dumptruck for the Derby News Network feed of the Team Awesome/Team SeXY rematch. Dumpy makes announcing look so easy and so fun, but it's really interesting to see him behind the scenes, taking his job very, VERY seriously. But once he goes live, he knows how to balance having fun with doing his job effectively. The best part is his habit of turning to his announcing partner to involve them in the announcing process. I've learned so much about announcing just from that seemingly minor detail.

Best Venue for Rollercon: The Riviera hotel. It's a shithole. But it's not the worst shithole RC has been at. The first RC was at a hotel appropriately named Terrible's. Then there was the Plaza, which made me fear for my personal safety numerous times over the course of four days. Imperial Palace was a maze of ridiculousness, and the only reason it was acceptable at all was because of its location on the Strip and its dealertainers. The Tropicana and Hooters? They weren't bad, but they apparently didn't want the likes of us back.

But the Riviera? Not only do they have One-Notch-Above-Scuzz rooms, but they had enough convention space to house ALL of Rollercon's activities, including space for 3 FUCKING TRACKS. For the first time in four years, everything RC related was in one facility. That's ten bajillion times better than taking a non-air conditioned double-decker bus to an off-site facility that barely fit two tracks and was kinda boring to hang out at because nothing else was walking distance in the area.

Which brings me to...

Best Excuse to Leave the Riviera Occasionally: to go next door to the Ross Dress For Less to shop for something cheap and fancy for the Black and Blue Ball. Since we've been working like crazy and had no time to plan fancy outfits, it was great to get something for under $20 that looked good poolside and fit into the color theme of black and/or blue. While you're out at Ross, you can also stop in to the Peppermill Lounge for a salad the size of your head while wearing an econo-sized sombrero while sipping on an expensive mojito. 24 hours a day. WIN.

Best New Item of Clothing: I finally got to meet and greet Luludemon, founder of the Canadian clothing line, PivotStar. She's English, but lives and skates in Canada. She went back to the UK around the same time I took my first trip there, and she posted some really fun video blogs of her visit. If you remember, PivotStar had a contest last year to name their sleeveless hoodie after a skater, and I lost to a skater who had more Facebook friends than me. However, Luludemon sent me one of the hoodies(which some awesome friends still call a "Tara Armov hoodie" despite the contest results), which was very nice of her to do. For one of the challenge games, she supplied the team with Chicabomb shorts. Now, I thought the shorts would look horrible on me. They don't. Buy them. They look gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood. On anyone and everyone.

Best Logo Use: Iron Maiven asked me to do a logo for a fanny pack giveaway her clothing company, Iron Doll, was doing to promote her Lift and Separate shorts. So I did. It turned out to be very, very popular. I now want a shirt with said logo on it, just because. Check out the facebook page of all the Lift and Separate contestants. It's tremendous.

Best Reason to Hang Out by the 24-Hour Pool: watching the unwashed and horny dude-masses think that they have any remote chance in hell to get into the non-pants of a seemingly-wild and willing roller derby player. I watched several small groups of four or five bros saunter poolside with the aplomb of a peacock in full feathery glory. By the time they wandered a quarter of the way around the pool, they were visibly shaken and their confidence levels had dropped approximately 4000%. If they managed to stick around past halfway around the pool, they were crying for their crackhead mothers and had shat themselves. It was really fucking funny.

Best Conversation with Random Strangers of the Weekend: I was sitting at an outdoor patio not far from the pool, drinking Four Loko. What?! Anyway, two Brazilian skaters came up to me out of the blue, introduced themselves, stated that they knew I was Tara Armov and started talking to me about how great it was that former SD skater Bonnie D. Stroir came to South America to train. I ended up talking to them for quite awhile, and they were cute as buttons. I am so excited to talk to skaters from outside the US!

Best Approach to get a Tara Tattoo: buying me a drink is a sure-fire way to get me to draw on you. If you don't have that, come up to me when I'm goofing off at the Derby News Network booth and ask if you could get a drawing, and then hand me a handmade necklace of your league logo. That's what Andrematron from Crossroads City Derby in New Mexico did. And it worked beautifully!

Best Unexpected Gift: I finally met Vicorp, one of the founders of Cheezeballs Bearings. He had asked me to test out some bearings several months ago, and who am I to say no? Anyway, he came up to me on Thursday afternoon, introduced himself, and promptly dropped a Wicked fannypack full of sharpies into my lap. You might need these! he states. Damn right! Just as I was about to test out the sharpies on him, he was literally called away to deal with business stuff at RC, and that was the last I saw of him. NO BUENO.

Best Expected Gift: two Louise bunny-ear hats that were given out as Comic Con goodies during the Bob's Burgers panel this year. I couldn't go to Comic Con, and the artists working on the show hadn't gotten said hats, but a referee from Terminal City, Johnny Qwadd, managed to grab the bunny-ear hats and send them to me through the afore-mentioned Luludemon. I looked like a goober wearing them, but wear them I did.

Best Meal: going to the Rio's seafood buffet with the Dear Husband and Cherry Chainsaw. It was worth gaining the ten thousand pounds I put on over the course of the weekend.

Best Reason to Be Hated: Hellarad.Though now they're becoming popular, which probably means they're going through some heavy-duty self-loathing right now.

Best Half Hour of Power: stumbling across retired LADD skater and author Kasey Bomber, Mad Dog, and a few other friends while they're meeting up with Hellarad for a very structured drinking session known as the Half Hour of Power. It apparently consists of one's favorite alcoholic beverage and taking a shot of said beverage every two minutes. It's very effective for a pleasant drunken level very quickly.

Best Advertising: as usual, the LADD Enforcers have more fun than everyone else put together, and they do so creatively. This year's project was mimicking the escort services that advertise on the Strip by hiring schmoes to stand on the sidewalk wearing neon shirts and "slapping" the cards of the whore of your choice together before handing said card to you. Hilarity ensued when skaters found out that the website was real and the phone number was live.

Best "Do You Know Who I Am?!" Moment: Sunday morning, gray and hurtful after a long Saturday night. I was shuffling to the vendor area when I passed a skater who was wearing a Better Red Than Dead shirt. I have no idea who she was. I smiled at her. She gave me a polite "I'm smiling at you because you're smiling at me but it's really fucking obvious I don't know you so maybe you should move along" smile. SHE'S WEARING MY FACE ON HER BOOBS AND SHE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE ME SMILING AT HER

Fucking.

HILARIOUS.

The real topper: right after this, I stopped to get a bacon and cheddar sandwich for the Dear Husband. The dude at the counter called me "sir". Fuck my life.

Worst Outfit: anything that Dumptruck and Megatron wore when they went pantsless. I tried to drown my eyes in alcohol, but it didn't work. Second place: the league that wore bandaids and tutus to the Black and Blue ball. Put on some clothes, bitches, the Dbag DudeBro creeping problem was exacerbated because of you.

Worst Room: I heard a story about an LA skater's hotel room that had not been cleaned after the previous guests had vacated the premises. Eww. Just...EWWWWW.

Worst Situation to Meet New People: late at night, poolside, after a long day working and then flying to Vegas from LAX. I fucked myself over on that one. Never again. And then people violated my DON'T TOUCH ME rule so much I just took the Victorian attitude and dreamed of England every time I was hugged. I shake my fist at the lot of you.

Worst Security: one of the reasons the Riviera should've been awesome was their 24-hour pool. But on Saturday night, they closed the pool because they claimed they hadn't hired a lifeguard. Uhm...what?! Everyone knows they have a goddam 24-hour pool. The running theory was that the Riviera didn't want to deal with another night of near-nudity and beer in the pool from partying guests. Scumbag dudebros doing that? That's fine. Near-nekkid derby girls? O NOES. They later did open the pool, but...cracka, please. Stop sucking. We're no worse than the scumbags that usually frequent the premises. In fact, we're classing the joint up. So fuck off and let us have our goddam fun.

Worst Cut Off: all weekend one was able to bring in water and even drinks into the main room of RC. Then all of the sudden, about an hour before the Grande Event of the Weekend that was the rematch between B.A.D. Girls and Denver Roller Dolls, everyone was told no outside drinks were allowed in the venue. A bar had been set up nearby, selling overpriced watered-down drinks for the unprepared. WEAKSAUCE.

Worst Attitude: shit got SO SERIOUS this year. The usually ridiculously fun challenge games had a requirement of its team captains to submit rosters in advance...like a real game. WTF. Most of the fun of these games is the ability to show up in the appropriate color shirt and lurk around to see if there are any open slots on the team four minutes before the game begins. The excuse given? Refs need training. Now...they do. BUT...how about setting up classes that are geared towards the refs where maybe some skaters are there mimicking game scenarios for the refs to dissect and work out? Most leagues have to take a fairly serious outlook on their games because their existence depends on it. Challenge games? Pure ridiculousness that shouldn't be regulated to death like a real game because it doesn't. Mean. SHIT in the general scheme of things.

And there was behavior that was kaibashed at a WFTDA-sanctioned game that would've happened if it were a public game. Having rules be stricter for a non-public game proves...what, exactly? So what if there's heckling? Or an occasional beer? Will the derby world end? I doubt it. If it does, then it really and truly wasn't meant to be. Lighten the fuck up, people. Derby should only be serious business when it's actual business. RC is business, but it shouldn't be stick-up-your-ass serious, because that sucks the fun out of it. And why the hell do we do this crazy hobby? Oh, right, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.

Worst Wardrobe Malfunction: the four shirts I ordered for delivery at RC didn't happen, despite me getting the order in on time. I was PUH-HISSED the hell off about it. I still kinda am, as two of the shirts were for challenge game teams I had hoped to bench coach, and a third was a gift for Cherry Chainsaw. There went that clever idea. After a few hours of sulking and a nap, I met up with Cherry and ended up drinking and drawing most of the evening. That works.

Worst Elevator Ride: luckily I wasn't directly involved in this one, though I could've been. At one point Saturday night, 22 people, most of them involved with BAD Girls or Hellarad, got stuck in an elevator for a half hour. I'm apparently claustrophobic, because the mere thought of something like that happening to me icks me out to the point where I need to go outside just so I regain a sense of scale in life. Luckily there were handsome firemen who saved the unfortunate elevator riders from certain death by farts.

Worst Seminar: I didn't get to go to any of the classes or seminars for one reason or another(read: I ended up meeting up with someone and talking their damn ear off), and so I missed Kasey Bomber's seminar where she was pushing her book, Down and Derby. I heard that there was a certain derby personality in the audience who was rude, constantly interrupting Kasey, and then pimping SOMEONE ELSE'S BOOK. Who the fuck does that?! Oh, entitled opportunistic jerkoffs, that's who. Stop riding the young'uns coattails and DO something that's non-destructive, will ya?!

Worst Hangover: all things considered, the Four Loko let me off easy. But waking up this morning still sucked.

 Photos and addendums coming soon...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

F-Bomb!

Life has gotten crazy lately.

Work is fucking INSANE schedule-wise. I'm barely keeping up, so I'm attempting to use the software that we do boards on for home use just so I can be at home once in awhile. So far, no good, as the files aren't loading correctly. FUCK.

Instead of going to Comic Con this year(what a fuckup trying to get either hotel or professional pass that turned out to be this time), I'll be hosting the couple who put me up in Nottingham in January. Since I haven't cleaned the house in, oh, forever, this is turning into a much bigger project than it should be. I fucking hate cleaning under a deadline.

The knee. Oh, the goddam knee. After seeing the orthopedic surgeon last week, I schedule an MRI. The doctor had said that he'd call no later than two days after getting the MRI results. I get the MRI Wednesday, they say the doctor will get the results no later than Thursday morning. I wait. No call. Today I called multiple times before even getting through to anyone. Then I get a call back from the doctor's nurse, who tells me that they should've scheduled an appointment for me to go over the MRI results because the doctor is too busy to call patients back for these things. Ugh, fine. When can I come in? How about tomorrow? Great, what time? What do you prefer? I prefer either really early or really late. OK, our last appointment is at 4pm. 

JEEZUS H. BALD-HEADED KEE-RIST.

That of course will totally fuck up my already-two-days behind work schedule. So now I'm going to have to forgo the usual morning routine so that I can get into work early and get in a full day before leaving at 3pm to go from fucking Borebank to Beverly Hills to see the doctor to find out what the ever-living hell is wrong with my goddam knee.

Rollercon. I'm betting I won't be able to skate, no matter what the doctor says, because my knee hurts all the goddam time. Which really makes the whole Rollercon experience...not as much fun as it should be. I'm still excited that I'm going, but I'm missing two days of work for not skating. Can the timing get any crappier?


There are a couple of things that have kept me from punching myself in the face repeatedly until I pass out. But just a couple.

One: on Saturday during the weekend of Carmageddon(what a bunch of shit that turned out to be), Hurricane Ken said that his landlord Dave is having a birthday party and that I should show up. I've met Dave once before when Ken dragged him to a Fight Crew game, and since he's a cool dude, I gathered up the Dear Husband and off we went to the Hollywood Hills.

Dave is a writer, screenwriter, and all-around Kinda A Big Deal. He also likes monsters. He also has a lot of cool friends who all do Important Stuff like directing, writing, drawing, acting, etc. He also doesn't mind when I draw on him, so when I said I wanted to draw on him for his birthday, he complied quickly.

While I was drawing on him, I also managed to draw a crowd. Which is better than drawing flies, haha. Anyway, one of the other party-goers, Tom, was especially taken with the sharpie tattoo, and he asked Dave to ask me if I'd draw on him.

Sure, why not?

So I did.


Here they are in all their glory:


















As well as Tom and myself:




















At the time, I noticed that as Tom would walk through a room, other partygoers would whisper, That's Tom. He's in The Mist. After this happened a few times, I thought his name was Tom He's In The Mist. Because I'm so out of touch with the world that I've never seen The Mist.

Then I googled him when I got home.

He's also kinda a big deal.

He also takes a damn good photo:





















DAYUM. I GOT TO DRAW ON THAT GUY.




The second thing that has kept me somewhat sane:  Angel City skater LuAneurysm made these shirts for fellow ACDG skater Scarbie Doll after I heckled ACDG's B-team tryouts, and she posted a photo of said shirts on my Facebook wall:

















I won't lie, seeing that after the shitty time I've been having lately brought a tear to my eye--I mean, dust. Damn, there's a lot of dust in the air.