Sunday, January 23, 2011

Missing the Obvious?

The other day I was reading on the internetz and found an article about why Captain America is being resurrected while Wonder Woman languishes in Comic Purgatory. Now, I'm not really a big comic book fan, but c'mon, Wonder Woman should have more going on for her story-wise.

Anyway, as I scrolled through the article, I was fixated by this early story panel:


What springs to mind when I saw those legs? These legs on Windy City's Jackie Daniels:

Now, everyone and their dog has made the comparison between roller derby skaters and superheros. So the obvious next step is...WHERE'S THE WONDER WOMAN-THEMED ROLLER DERBY TEAM?!

Not a permanent team, as Wonder Woman is owned by DC Comics, and they're not in the roller derby business. But I'd think for a pick-up team or Rollercon Challenge, this would be so obvious as a team theme. Even some comic dude has figured it out.  I mean, there's challenge teams for everything...Star Wars vs. Star Trek, iPhone vs. Droid, Amazons vs. Short Bus, old vs. young, drunkards vs. stoners, gay vs. straight, yet there's no actual superhero-themed games with the prototype of roller derby hero featured therein?

I'm shocked.

SHOCKED, I tell you.

I think it'd be amazing to have Wonder Woman vs Bat Girl. OR...Wonder Woman vs. Supergirl. Because they have the same colors and it'd be hilariously confusing.

Get on it, people. Make the magic happen!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bob's Burgers

The show I was working on last year, Bob's Burgers, is now on FOX after the Simpsons on Sunday nights.

So far the reviews have been mixed. I personally think the show is odd and funny, and I hope it finds its audience. The ratings started out great, dipped a little last week, and it looks like the next two weeks may be make or break for the series. While I'm in London and Amsterdam I'll be hoping that everyone here watches the show! HELP KEEP ME EMPLOYED, PEOPLE!

Today the studio that did the animation had a burger truck on the premises and invited the entire crew for lunch. It was a beautiful warm day and it was great to see everyone again. Besides getting a tasty veggie burger, I also got a spiffy gift:

A very pretty ribbon around a very cool hoodie:

I hope to wear the hell out of it!

In other news, Blue the diarrhea-filled cat is still filled with diarrhea. Poor little Irritable Bowel Syndromed guy. After several different tries at medication, it looks like we may have to take the little fucker in for surgery when I get back from London. Sigh. He's lucky he's cute.

Blue's favorite spot to sleep on is a paper bag on the couch. The other cat, Lou C, will sometimes bully Blue off of the bag, which causes minor but loud tiffs. So I put a second bag next to the first one, and now everyone is happy:

OH! Non sequitir:  I get to do the artwork for this year's Battle on the Bank tournament! EEEEEEEEEEE! I'm gonna be busy when I get back from London!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Left on the Derby Bucket List

Yesterday the amazing derby announcer from Denver had a birthday and I heard it. Yes, Dumptruck is in town.

There was a gathering at one of the downtown bars for him, and it was ridiculous. Ridiculously fun. Of course. In the course of the evening, I ended up talking with one of the Enforcers, Burns. We were talking about vacations to Amsterdam, Heineken, London, walking around everywhere, looking at really old buildings, and how long we think we can roll with the massive changes that is roller derby and the Derby Dolls in particular.

Once you get two participants in derby talking together, of course the conversation takes off like a rocket. And in the course of this particular conversation, derby goals were brought up. Burns will make his goals for this season, I'm sure. Me? I have one goal that I would like to hit before I retire, and I don't know if I'll be able to do it. What is it? So simple...

I want to skate in a real game as a substitute skater.

Years ago, the Derby Dolls allowed team skaters to skate on other teams if they were running short of skateable team members. There were a bunch of skaters who got to do just that...a Tough Cookie skating as Tru$t Fund Terror, a Siren skating as Fight Crew, etc. I never got the chance to do that. The one time I was scheduled to skate with Tru$t Fund Terrors, I hurt my shoulder and ended up being their team manager for the game instead.

The thing about skating as a sub with a team is that I feel for myself, I can concentrate on just skating, and not worry about team standings, point margins, what the team's fans think, even whether the team wins or not...stuff like that. I can just concentrate on hitting the hell out of other skaters.

It's kind of a dumb goal, but hey, that's totally keeping in my character, don't you think?

Monday, January 17, 2011

No Good

I remember back when I started derby a million years ago, the coach would tell us that we wouldn't be playing long enough to benefit financially from it. What he didn't tell us was that this applies to other aspects of DIY derby as well.

It's still disappointing that I didn't make the Ri-Ettes this year. The sting wouldn't be bad if the Aftershockers still existed, but they don't. I'm not considered to be anything useful to the team in any capacity this season. Didn't get anything resembling a "thanks" for the bullshit I went through last season for the team, and am not considered good enough for jobs including team managing and such. I'm not the only now-former Ri-Ette who feels tossed aside; another veteran skater actually quit skating on any team after she didn't make the roster. There were a couple of other aspects going on that may have contributed, but the final straw was tryouts.

OK, fine. I take a deep breath, get up, dust myself off, and keep going. Don't focus on the negative, try to stay positive.

But then...

Before the holidays Training Team asked for candidates to train at the upcoming March RADness camp. So I applied as I had a fun time training last year, especially the How To Do Fun Stuff On the Banked Track class. Today I find out I'm not even considered good enough for that. Really?! REALLY?!?!?! I'm not qualified to teach skaters how to flip over the fucking rail or how to do Tarametrics!??!?!?! That fucking pisses me off.

I know time marches on. I know that things change. But I'm not completely fucking useless, either. I feel that I'm now seen as worthless within my own fucking league, and I empathize with the skater who just quit, because I imagine she felt the same way. Why bother?! I feel like I'm working so hard and am losing ground, as well as what little respect I may have had in the past.

Or did I? Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I'm the Rodney Dangerfield of the league. It would sure as shit explain a lot lately. It's not as if I'm expecting a parade, or rose petals thrown at my feet every time I grace the track with my presence. But damn, I certainly feel that I'm on the receiving end of Familiarity Breeds Contempt.

So far I'm unimpressed with 2011. Especially in regards to derby. I may have reached my breaking point...or my derby break-up point. I hope the trip to London and Amsterdam I'm taking next week will revitalize me overall...I fucking need it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I finally went to the doctor about my dizziness.

First, anyone who is against "socialized medicine" in the USA can't possibly be satisfied with the current privatized situation...unless they're employed by a health insurance company. The DH and I have craptacular insurance of a sort from his last job, and right now we're paying out the ass on COBRA.

The doctor listed on our medical cards, whom we'd never seen before since we had to switch doctors when we got our current "insurance"? He doesn't take our insurance. Wha..?! Yeah. So after a round robin of phone calls, cussing, stomping around the house while on hold, and trying to find a backup in the form of an urgent care center online in case we continue to sit on hold with the damn insurance company, we find another doctor for me to go see.

Getting to the doctor's office was an adventure when it shouldn't have been. I didn't drive because, well, I valued my dizzy little life and those around me. The street numbering in the area we went to wasn't very clear; it looked like the address we were looking for were on both sides of the street at first. Is this what happens when you get get confused by street numbering? If so, this sucks WAY more than getting wrinkles. WAYYYYYYYYY more. 

After filling out the paperwork at the doctor's office and trying to explain to the receptionist that just because there's a different doctor's name on the medical card didn't mean that the doctor would take me as a patient. That was eventually sorted out, and I sat miserable, dizzy and suffering from motion sickness for another fifteen minutes.

Then I was taken back to an exam room and sat for another fifteen minutes. With no reading material. BORRRRRRRRINGGGGGGGGG. Finally, the doctor got around to seeing my sick self.

 The doctor himself was very nice, and after asking me some basic questions, he had me doing a few silly coordination exercises. He finally gets to the nitty-gritty by looking at my ears, and pronounces that one of my ears is congested, and is most likely the cause of my dizziness.

The good: he prescribes some anti-vertigo medication and Sudafed, and says to come back in a week if those don't work.

The bad: I wish I had done this last week when this first happened so that I could've skated better for Ri-Ettes tryouts last Saturday.

The hilarious: of course roller derby came up along the line in our conversation(a blow to the head could've caused this, perhaps?), and it turns out that the doctor is very interested in coming to see the Derby Dolls. He even watched derby as a kid growing up in the Philippines. I started laughing like an idiot. He was perplexed by this. I tried to explain how derby has pretty much infected ALL of my life; it's now impossible to have a conversation without it being brought up. He didn't really understand, but he says he might bring his wife to one of our games. So funny!

The realization: I had a team practice with Fight Crew last night. At first I wasn't sure if I should go, but I decided that I must. About halfway through, I realized that I'm still really mentally burnt out from last season's Ri-Ettes activities. I may not agree with how I wasn't chosen for this year's roster, but I do agree that it's probably for the best at this point that I don't have to worry about making the ten million extra practices needed for the team to be in some sort of functioning order for their first game of the season in less than two weeks.

What I'll miss more than anything is the chance to skate more interleague games. Especially with no Aftershockers option this season. But I'll have to find a way to deal with that, and make sure that this "extra" time I now have is used somewhat productively. As soon as my ear settles down, I'll be able to focus more betterer on making stuff happen for ME this year.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Wind Out of My Sails

Today was the 2011 Ri-Ettes tryouts. I tried out.

And failed to make the roster.

Yeah, really.

To say I'm disappointed doesn't cover it. But I'm more frustrated than anything, mainly with myself and how I handled myself today. Because I think overall I defeated myself.


Well, first off, I feel like crap. As in, I've been constantly dizzy for the past 36 hours. This has been a very recent thing, as it happened over the weekend too, but that time involved heavy drinking, so I figured I was experiencing severe dehydration. After a couple days of recovery where everything went back to normal, I had one glass of wine Thursday night. Friday morning I found myself waking up to the same dizziness I had over the weekend, and it's still with me despite me drinking an insane amount of water and generally trying to take it easy.

Ever try skating when you can barely stand upright? I don't suggest it. Don't try skating in a circle when dizzy, either. Another thing to not do? Skate in a circle on a banked track while dizzy. Last but not least, don't skate in a circle on a banked track while other people are constantly trying to hit you while dizzy. I especially don't suggest it when travel team tryouts are happening.

The problem for me came to whether to say anything to the judges panel about this before tryouts. On one hand, it may have been good for them to know that if I played like shit, there's a reason why. On the other hand, it may have come across as an excuse, and the judges' reaction may have been, I don't want to hear excuses, I want to see you play derby.

I went with the Suck It Up attitude, and now I'm screwed. The ironic thing is, the Suck It Up attitude is one that I played a part in instilling over the years through training the league and various tryouts for stuff, mainly Subpool. Look where that got me!

So that's how I defeated myself, and that's how the 2010 Ri-Ettes team captain is now not even on the roster for the 2011 Ri-Ettes. 

Maybe I'll write a letter to the captains explaining my situation anyway to see what happens. Maybe they'd reconsider. Maybe I'd be considered for the team in June when there should allegedly be a reevaluation of the team. Maybe this is the universe's way of telling me I have to focus on other things besides the travel team. Maybe I could drive myself insane with the "maybes".

After the mental stress of the day job, the ankle injury in October, the not skating outside enough during hiatus and now this, the wind is definitely being taken out of my derby sails.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


One of the major manifestations of taking on derby for many skaters is getting painful blisters that harden into callouses on the feet. When the blisters start happening, so does the talk about how to deal with them. When the callouses form, one learns that, a)they will have ugly feet for as long as they do derby, and b)those callouses mean the skater is working hard enough for her body to react and try to protect itself.

I have the same routine for the past seven years for my feet when skating, and I discovered this setup after a few months of painful trial and error. I put sports tape around my big toes on both feet. I wear Bunga Pads on both feet. Then there's the ankle sleeves. I have to lace up my boots so that they're loose around the middle of the foot but tight around the ankles. This results in my callouses being a little smaller, but I'm able to skate in relative comfort.

This year I noticed something interesting while training Fresh Meat. Since training isn't as physically demanding as actually playing, I wouldn't use the bunga pads when I put on my skates and demonstrated skills or whatnot while teaching. Hmmmmm. I thought to myself, Maybe my feet have gotten to the point where I don't need the bunga pads anymore? Wow, wouldn't that be great?! Yes, yes it would. So I experimented during regular practice and found that yes, I didn't need the bunga pads anymore. Cool!

Then I hurt my ankle and didn't skate for seven weeks. I still managed to exercise, but the callouses on my feet shrank down even more. When I came back to skate, I found that I still didn't need the bunga pads. Wow! My feet had finally toughened up to the point where I don't need artificial padding?! Great! I skated the Red Bull Chicago game and all practices leading up to that game with no padding on my feet. Hiatus started. Rain happened. Less skating.

Old Derby Dolls photo of when I was getting the general hang of dealing with blisters and callouses:

Then earlier this past week I went for a beach skate. My usual route is around 20 miles roundtrip covering many crazy excuses that LA city and county claims are sidewalks, bike lanes, and streets along the way. I generally don't stop the entire time unless a stoplight or really good batch of stuff comes in to the American Apparel outlet on Venice Beach indicates otherwise.

That's when the pain started. The old spots on my feet that used to be covered by the bunga pads started itching, then aching, then sharper pains became evident. I slowly skated home and found new blisters on what were the old callouses, which had shrunk down to nothing but a layer of slightly tougher skin than the surrounding area. I then realized something.

I wasn't getting better, I was getting softer.

UGH. I was horrified and disgusted with myself. But it also was a slap in the face that I needed, because I realized how this came to be.

The much-needed day job cut my workout time in half, easily. I couldn't go on beach skates most days because I was working and the weekends were crammed with other stuff such as running to the bank to deposit my paycheck. League practices have gotten more crowded with skaters, but not more intense due to overcrowding. We were learning shit-tons about strategy, but we weren't keeping up with endurance. Overall most team skaters in the league have had their actual skate time cut down this year due to the crazy scheduling we have. No wonder I gained ten pounds over the course of the fall! Well, that and I ate like a fat kid.

Now I realize that to fully realize my mantra of, Just one more year, just one more year... I have to get my callouses and endurance back, lose some goddam weight and stop watching Man vs. Food. Yes, I have to stop watching that show because I'm easily suggestable, and looking at all that bad-for-you food makes me want to eat said bad-for-you food. Hence the ten goddam pounds I gotta get rid of.

This sounds like a New Year's resolution! you may be thinking to yourself. Not really. It's one of the many things that must be done for myself, it just happens that the timing for it happened at the end of a calendar year. Don't call it a resolution, call it a rededication to the possibilities I should still have for myself.

Oh, hey, some footage from the aforementioned Red Bull game: