Sunday, December 23, 2012

How We Avoided the Apocalypse

Friday morning Apocalypse/Solstice gchat conversation:
bustaarmov: Two women, one who looks exactly like Razorslut came to the door. Watchtower people. I forget what religion that is. As soon as they mentioned Christmas and Jesus, I pulled the "We Jewish, and we don't believe in Jesus. Well, we believe he existed, just not believe, believe. Thanks for stopping by."
me: Jehovah's Witnesses.
bustaarmov: I should say, "And hebrew does not have a "J".
you should tell Razor about her JW doppleganger.
bustaarmov: They're always so nice and well groomed.
I should have taken a picture.
me: I see them walking around the neighborhood sometimes when I'm out on the bicycle or skating. 
bustaarmov: I should have handed them a cat flier.
me: YES
bustaarmov: Goddamn early morning mush brain.
me: "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?" "I will if he brings me my goddam cat back! Here's a flier. Get on it!"
"No cat, no Jesus!" 
"PS, the cat's name is LouC Fur."
bustaarmov: HAHAHAHA!
I wish I was that quick thinking.

That conversation proved prophetic.

Now is the time I must sideline my own storytelling, as this will play into what happens when I get home from work that evening.

 When we visited the animal shelter while looking for LouC, the Dear Husband floated the idea that no matter whether we find LouC or not, we should think about breaking a kitty out of Animal Shelter Death Row. Paying it forward, he called it. I moodily agreed to go to the shelter to check out a cat the DH had liked the first time he went there. A cat named Pickle.

We met Pickle. Pickle did not care much for me, so we passed on him. We continued to wander around and look at other cats. I was not struck by any strong feelings one way or another, but continued to pet the various cats in one of the shelter's day rooms. One of them rolled over onto his back, and purred when I rubbed his belly. I thought he was cute, but didn't turn into a big pile of goo or anything. But while I was rubbing his belly, I noticed a soft lump. I brought it to the attention of one of the volunteers, who took the cat back to the shelter's examination room. A few minutes later we discover the lump on the cat's belly is a hernia.

When an animal is discovered to need surgery, like this little guy, the shelter won't arrange to have the surgery done so that the animal can be placed out for adoption all healthy and ready to go. Nope, they put the animal to sleep right away, because they don't have the budget to rehabilitate the animal. So basically I doomed this cat to death because I was the one who found the hernia. OH, GREAT. 

Of course the DH and I immediately turn to each other and ask, NOW WHAT?! I said, I don't know if I can handle this cat. The DH solemnly nods. We then came up with the idea of seeing how much surgery would be for the little guy, pay for it, and then he could end up being adopted by someone else. 

We went to the shelter people and asked if that was possible. Their response was one of confusion...apparently people don't generally ask that. They went off to see what could be done for the cat. In the meantime, we sat and stewed. 

After about 15 minutes of sitting, waiting, and talking to each other about the cat, we came around to the conclusion to just adopt the damn cat and immediately take him to our vet, because waiting around was getting tedious. I remember thinking that we're doing the right thing at the wrong time.

We got this guy:

The shelter called him, "Blackie". What a dumb name! We paid $20 for him and immediately took him to the vet. No surgery that day; we'd have to wait until midweek.  But we found out that he's quite young; maybe a year old. He's eight pounds of cuteness. He is well-versed in escaping, and we quickly discovered how well he blends into the house furnishings, so we renamed him Houdini. That name totally fits.

In the meantime, we continued to make fliers and wander our neighborhood for LouC. It was getting to the point where we were going out of our way to take the streets where LouC was allegedly last seen every time we left the house. We continued to be upset and depressed about his disappearance...not even Houdini's ridiculous levels of cute could take those dark feelings away.

So, back to Friday's Solstice/Apocalyptic nightmare...

I had taken the Metro to work on Friday because I wanted to avoid the batshit-crazy holiday traffic. It failed on my way home, because the Metro was experiencing maintenance issues, then I almost got squished on the bicycle on Venice Blvd. because there were trash cans, cars, and open car doors blocking the bike path, forcing me into traffic several times. I was a MESS when I got home. A cranky, overwrought MESS.

As I stormed into the house with mp3 player earbuds still firmly entrenched in my ears with music blaring, I noticed the DH was in the living room holding a black cat. I assumed he was holding Houdini. I stomped past him and started throwing down my backpack and bicycle gloves as the DH was talking. I finally ripped out the earbuds and yelled, I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR YOU. I HAD THE SHITTIEST COMMUTE HOME EVER! and the DH said, Listen! so I replied, NO, YOU LISTEN! I ALMOST GOT KILLED IN THE BIKE LANE COMING HOME AND IT'S REALLY UPSETTING! The DH sighs and yells, LOOK AT THE CAT!

That's when I realized he wasn't holding Houdini, HE WAS HOLDING LOUC.


I immediately burst into tears, dropped everything I had in my hands, and hugged a skinny, filthy, annoyed LouC. 

The DH told me that he got a phone call around 5pm from a lady in Santa Monica who sounded hesitant about asking if we were missing a cat. When the DH replied that we were, she said, I think I have your cat. He's black, right? The DH affirmed that yes indeed, we were missing a black cat, and after a few more minutes of roundabout chatting, he got the lady's address and drove over as fast as he could to her house. When he pulled up, she was in front of her house, holding LouC in her arms.

Apparently LouC has been eating her cat's food in her yard for a couple of days, but was so skittish she couldn't get close enough to him to see if he had a tag until Friday. She was finally able to sneak up on him while he was eating her cat's food and got our phone number off his tag. We have no idea how he got as far as he did without getting smooshed on the city streets; there's a couple of streets that have cars flying down them at almost all hours of the day and night. We have no idea how he managed the rain and cold weather. We have no idea about anything else in his adventures. We only know he's OK and he's back home.

Here's a map of how far he traveled:

I immediately took him to the vet, where we found out that LouC weighed in at seven pounds. He lost a LOT of weight out there; in his prime he was around eighteen pounds, and in the last year he'd dwindled to around ten or eleven pounds. But other than the weight loss and dehydration, he was healthy!

So now we have two black cats in the house. LouC has been ignoring everything that doesn't have to do with eating, sleeping, or being petted. Houdini is hyper and playing with just about everything he can get his little paws on. His hernia surgery went well and he doesn't even need the Cone of Shame to keep him from bothering with the surgery incision. His greatest enemy is a cat toy that looks like a fishing pole with a wad of denim at the end of a piece of string. He's determined to conquer it. LouC doesn't care, he's seen the Big World out there, and is just content to rest after his big adventures.

Monday, December 17, 2012

She Done Him Wrong

Damn that box of cat litter.

Last Tuesday, December 11 is one of the worst days of my life. All because of a box of cat litter that spilled in the back of the Dear Husband's car.

The DH had run errands, including getting the cat litter. When he got home, he found the litter had spilled all over the trunk of his new car. So he pulled the car into the driveway, went into the garage, got the ShopVac, and vacuumed out the car. As he finished up, our cat LouC was in the backyard, meowing and wanting to be fed. The DH absent-mindedly patted him on the head as he walked by him to the driveway to put his car back in front of the house. In the process of doing so, the backyard gate didn't get closed all the way.

That's when LouC vanished.

The DH didn't notice for about fifteen minutes, then he searched the usual spots: the front yard and the neighbors' yards. No panic at first, because come on, we're talking about an eighteen-year-old cat that has never run away before. Besides, he has a name tag on him, so if someone else found him, they'd just call us and tell us to get our cat.

But LouC wasn't to be found. I got an annoyed text message from the DH saying that LouC wandered off. We both figured he'd saunter back when he got hungry enough.

We figured wrong.

He couldn't have gone far. He's never been away from home before like this. We thought he wouldn't have gone beyond the block we live on.

We thought wrong.

I made a flier Tuesday night and we ended up printing about 500 copies to put on everyone's doorstep in the area. On Wednesday night, we canvassed the neighborhood in the cold drizzle, calling his name and leaving more fliers in a wider circle of panic and distress. On Thursday we got a couple of calls from a couple of neighbors on the next block. LouC was spotted in a yard Tuesday night, but wouldn't come to them when they called to him. He melted into the bushes. That's the last time anyone has seen him.

Fliers have been put up in local pet stores and vet offices. A craigslist ad went up. Trips to the local animal shelter happened. Posts on Facebook were made. The weather got more cold and wet, and the house was also colder and more empty than it ever was. My heart was heavy, my brain racing with thoughts of where could LouC be at that moment?

The week before LouC left, the neighborhood was fliered with a warning: there may be someone killing neighborhood cats, so keep yer kitties inside. After our fliers went out, the lady who made the warning flier talked to the DH and told him about cats disappearing, some turning up dead, some never to be found dead or alive. So obviously, all I can imagine is that LouC was grabbed up, tortured, and killed. I cry every time I think about that. I'm crying now as I type this paragraph.

That possible fate is what convinces me that I failed LouC.

Was he mad at us? Was he curious about the world and just took a chance to explore? Is he cold? Is he scared? Is he hungry and thirsty? Did a cat lady find him and is keeping him because she assumes his owners were negligent? Did he do what old animals sometimes do and wandered off to die? My mind races with the possible fate of LouC, most of those fates are horrible, and I hate that I can think of inhuman things that a person can do to a cat.

Not knowing is the worst.

The first night LouC was gone, I had a difficult time getting to sleep. But at some point after I drifted off, I woke up, practically shivering with cold. There was a voice that wasn't mine in my mind at that cold. So, SO cold...

Then it faded away, as did the cold feeling.


Not knowing is the fucking worst.

I was supposed to take care of him his whole life. HIS WHOLE LIFE. I can't while he's gone, and it's gutting me.

On Thursday the DH insisted on returning the box of cat litter that started this heart-rending chain of events. It's cursed! he said. I didn't argue. 

Hearing stories about other people's lost cats are as varied as the cats themselves, and I don't know if LouC will be showing up a week, two weeks, three weeks from now, skinny and annoyed, but alive. I hope he's one of the lucky ones that do. He's my guy, my handsome fellow. 

Until then, I hope. And cry. I cry an awful lot.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hey man!

Halloween was a SUCCESS! 

I was Elvis this year, and it was a fun challenge to put the outfit together. Do you know how difficult it is to find an Elvis jumpsuit in a ladies cut?! DAMNED DIFFICULT. But it exists. And here it is:

These photos were part of the workplace Halloween party/costume contest. To be in the costume contest, one had to submit their name and costume idea a few days ahead of time. That's all they said. Day of, we find out that for the presentation, everyone walks by the judges, past all the tables where everyone was eating lunch out front, and then conclude at a small stage where we were to do our "routine".



No one knew the "routine" requirement beforehand.

Luckily Elvis is easy to imitate:

I did not win the contest in any of the various categories they had. But people were blown away, and some didn't recognize me, so I take that as a win.

As usual we had about two thousand trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. I was shocked at how many kids recognized Elvis. I was beginning to think he was a generational thing...apparently not! People wanted photos with us as Elvis, and one kid even asked for an autograph! WEIRD!

Along with Halloween, I was asked to do the logo for the Oxnard banked track league's annual mixed-scrimmage funfest coming up in December, the Sugartown Smackdown. I'm pleased with the results, and can't wait to get this on a shirt:

Today is Fight Crew's last game of the season, down in Orange County. I'll be announcing, which I'm looking forward to doing. There are a few skaters on the team that are retiring after tonight. I hope they stick around and continue to do derby things, because being retired by oneself SUCKS.

I'm looking forward to next season, since both flat and banked track rules are going to have a major overhaul. I look forward to seeing new ideas, new strategies, new things going on in derby. I hope I can keep up!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


This week I got my first paycheck since I became a storyboard revisionist. It was $200 less than my old checks. Of course part of my brain screamed at me, "ZOMG IS THIS WORTH IT?!?!?!?"

I sat for a few seconds and contemplated that question. Having money to get through the inevitable lean times that is working in AnimationLand is a plus. It keeps the reek of desperation at bay when looking for the Next Gig when the current one is up. I also happen to like Buying Stuff, and it's nice to have the luxury of paying off a motorcycle when one lays down their old one on the 10 freeway, let's say.

But in the end? The answer to IS THIS WORTH IT?!?!?!?! is a resounding,



Money isn't worth shit when one is a total bitch and basketcase. I feel more focused at work, and definitely more productive. I'm borderline feeling...what's the word? Inspired. That hasn't happened in a LOOOOONG time. I shall enjoy this while it lasts! So what if I may have to watch my Kindle purchases a little bit? I live like a college student anyway!

Here are some photos from my Bicyclist vs. Car Door adventure from Monday.

My hip bone. By far the most painful wound, as wearing pants rubs against the wound something fierce. NO, I can't go around without pants, so I have to tape bandages over this tasty little treasure until it heals up:

Here is the inside of my knee, which apparently was a fantastic cushion between the car door and the bike frame. It doesn't hurt at all, but it's by far the nastiest-looking of the various bruises and contusions:

My quad muscle. Painful, but in an achey sort of way, as if one was smacked with a car door, as opposed to the hip bone wound that is way sharper and immediate. I expected the bruising on this to be the worst, but it looks quite tame, especially compared to my knee:

I'm healing rather quickly, all things considered. I've been taking arnica to help speed up the healing for the bruises. I bought some arnica from the local health food store in both gel and pill form. I had discovered in the past that it's sometimes difficult to find arnica in pill form, so I was excited to get it so easily this week. I popped a couple at lunchtime, and then had a reaction where I felt wired for sound. I was hyper and lightheaded for a few hours. I looked up the side effects of arnica, and discovered that it does indeed speed up one's heartrate and raises blood pressure if taken orally. Oh, and BONUS: it can be used to induce abortions. WELL NOW. So I stopped taking that particular brand of arnica and am only using the gel, thankyouverymuch!

Here is my last-minute Tina from Bob's Burgers costume that I literally threw together in about an hour last weekend to wear to the LA Derby Dolls game:

People were very amused. On the webcast, we were stumping for money to help offset the costs of the webcast(renting the equipment to do the professional-looking feed costs the league $500 EACH GAME. Btw, we're still taking donations. Go to the page and check out the Paypal button at the top of the page), and I said a Very Stupid Thing:

If someone would donate a lump sum of $100, I would wear the Tina outfit again for LADD Champs on Nov. 3. And wouldn't you know it, Fight Crew Superfan Little Kenny said, "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" So now I have to be Tina again next weekend. Good lourd!

Not only that, but there will also be a Season Ticket Holder party at the Champs game, and I was told that my presence was requested by the Season Ticket holders. So I will be there. Dressed as Tina. Holy fuckballs.

Well, I can't say my life is too boring, now can I?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another Bucket List Item

I don't have a Bucket List. But if I did, I wouldn't have "getting hit by a car door while riding a bicycle" on it. However, I had that very thing happen to me yesterday morning on my way to work.

I don't think anything is broken. My right leg took the brunt of the impact of the Mini car door as it flew open as I was riding past on Chandler Blvd. in Borebank. I wasn't on the middle median bike path that runs down that street because I intended to turn down a side street to catch a light at Magnolia. No matter. Car door swings open, I hit it and go sprawling into the the street. No backflips. Just a loud hollow SMACK when I hit the door, then a dull THUD when I hit the ground. My immediate response? I yell, JESUS H. FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!!!!! as I try to assess what just happened. Luckily there wasn't any traffic, so I was able to lie stunned in the middle of the road for a few seconds before limping to the side.

The bike is fine. The car door is fine. The lady was apologetic. She offered to take me to work, but really? I just wanted to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Except that my leg hurt and I felt very similar to how I felt after my motorcycle accident: I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time. I had to sit and catch my breath for a few minutes, and I left. I didn't get the woman's name. I didn't take photos of her car. I just didn't care. Because I could walk and the bike was rideable, I just wanted to leave and assess myself later.

I make it to work and limp around for the rest of the day. Good news: nothing seems to be broken. The quadricep muscle is very sore and is bruised. Surface bruises that are easily seen, and a deep bruise or something, that's swollen a little bit. It hurts to move, but when I'm sitting or lying down it's fine. So no bone damage, I'm thinking. Some road rash, but my clothing covered all those areas, so I'm not worried about infection. After the Infected Finger incident with the motorcycle accident, one would expect me to be more worried about that this time. It doesn't hurt the same way the finger did, so I'm just focusing on the leg right now.

I spent the rest of the day feeling a little nauseous and anxious. I wanted to go home and take a nap. But actually, being at work and forcing myself to work wasn't so horrible, as I stayed in one place and waited to see what would happen. I managed to ride the bike to the Metro station to get home. At the transfer station downtown, I managed to get on the wrong train, since LA Metro doesn't seem to like labeling ALL its trains super clear so that one doesn't get confused between two shades of blue that run on the same track. Luckily I was able to hop off that train and hop on the correct train at the next stop.  Obviously, I should not be left alone to my own devices, or else I'd end up in the hospital in Long Beach or something.

I'm beginning to think these accidents are the fates catching up with me for being incredibly sedentary in my twenties and early thirties. No doubt, if this happened when I wasn't working out like I do now, I wouldn't have fared as well. But damn, I would've been perfectly happy going through life without having this happen. And this happens a LOT to bicyclists, unfortunately.

Today I'm working from home. The less I move around, the better for us all.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Odds and Ends...

For the first time in a few years, I'm excited about Halloween and having a costume. The idea came to me out of the blue, and has been done before by many people. But I don't really care, because I'm having fun with it, and I like fun! Photos will follow...

I finally asked for a demotion at work. The stress was revealing itself in obvious and some not-so-obvious ways. Insomnia, panic attacks, total creative bankruptcy, crying jags, being incredibly grumpy. Some snarky folk would say, "How is that different from your usual demeanor??" and I'd punch them if they said that to my face because Fuck You. I'm hoping that this status change on this show will be what I need to be a productive person again, because I sure need to be that way again!

These two photos of the space shuttle Endeavor aren't impressive in and of themselves. But I feel very very lucky to have been able to wander down to Westchester early on a Friday morning while the shuttle was on its incredibly slow journey from LAX to the Science Center near downtown to get a close look at it:

I'm not a science geek but I've always loved planes, and the shuttle is plane-like enough for me to lose my mind when it was brought to LA on the back of a 747 and then moved to the Science Center. Seeing it on tv doesn't give justice to its scale. There are quite a few people on the internet who have huge bees in their bonnets about trees along the route of the shuttle's journey to its final home being cut down because again, that shuttle is freakin' huge. But the Science Center has promised to not only replant trees, but replant them FOURfold over. With two years of free maintenance thrown in. I'll get peeved if they don't follow through on that, but to get all upset over replaceable trees over an unreplaceable shuttle is baffling to me.

I was asked to do the shirt design for the annual SNIFF funfest in Jackson, CA again. This year I went with a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse theme. I was pleased with myself on this one, mainly because I kept the design a secret from the party organizer, Redbeard Emeritus:

I wish I could have gone, as I would've liked to put the bike through more road travel paces, but alas, it wasn't to be. Which actually may not be the worst thing to happen, since I seem to be coming down with a cold. Feh! I hope to get my own shirt of this soon, though!

Monday, September 17, 2012


It's not that I'm deliberately ignoring the blog. But I'm having great difficulty posting new stuff, as you can see. Why is that?

Mainly, my job is sucking the life force from me. I spend so much time in front of a computer during the day, the last thing I generally want to do is come home and spend yet more time staring into another computer screen while trying to come up with witty or ranty stuff to bang out here.

I've noticed a few blogs and pages I like to follow have also suffered neglect. Some have ended (Hungover Owls will be sorely missed), while others just languish like my page, leaving people hanging, wondering, what's going on, if anything?

It also doesn't help that I feel as if derby is breaking up with me. It's saying, "It's not me, IT'S YOU." because I find this year to have been a terrible year for derby in general. What with the passive offense play of Jacob's Ladder/Conga Line/Sauage Link which not only is boring to watch, but the cop-out excuses I hear of why it continues just makes me want to punch people in the face.

Then there's Oly's TransferGate, which is another example of, Just Because Paid Sports Does It, Doesn't Mean This Sport Should Do It At The Present Time.

Rollercon was also an eye-opener for me of the adage: USE IT OR LOSE IT. It's so true...skating derby as minimally as I have this year has made me feel old and rusty. I don't have the time to dedicate to keeping my derby skills up, and it's killing me.

Which goes back to the job thing. So much time and energy is going into it with minimal payback. I'm one of those people who work harder when they're having fun. None of the fun is being had right now. I miss fun. I miss being able to be creative while doing my job. I miss being proud of what I do for a living.

Anyway, that's why I've been quiet here...I have nothing nice to say in this transitional period. So I'll leave with a note from Team Heckle:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I'm feeling like I'm losing all sorts of things.

Right now I'm on hiatus from work, which is what I really needed, since I was losing my mind due to stress at work. The show is doing great with a gazillion fans, and the pressure is on to make it the Best POSSIBLE THING on a very limited time schedule. It takes its toll.

Since I retired from Fight Crew, I feel that I've lost a lot of the camraderie I had with other skaters in the league. It's as if I no longer have skating in common with them because I'm not skating with them as often as I used to. I'm still skating, just not under the same circumstances as they. But it still makes me feel isolated.

One of Fight Crew's members went on a diet recently, and she talked a lot about how she gave up drinking for three months while on this diet. She looks fantastic, so on a whim I decided to go a month without alcohol to see if I also would lose weight. I didn't. Until I also gave up eating Trader Joe's 3-Layer hummus by the bucketload. Then I lost two pounds. DAMMIT.

Workout-wise, I switched from P90x to Insanity while on my break. I miss the weights, but I'm sweating profusely every morning. My lower back complains a LOT with Insanity if I don't suck in my gut militantly. I didn't think anything was happening until I saw photos of myself from Comic Con, which was a month into the Insanity workout. I may not have lost a shit ton of weight, but because of the high cardio, no alcohol diet, I have cheekbones again and I'm not bloated. I still wish I weighed my starting weight when I joined derby, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that.

I went on a great little motorcycle trip through California. Visited my college friends Troy and April and found out that I haven't lost any of the jokes and comfortableness with them. I discovered how much I miss them.

I also visited a couple of Kens: Cope and Hurricane Ken. I met Cope's kids for the first time, and I shouldn't be surprised at how staggeringly intelligent they are, but it's still a little unnerving to talk to them because they're really staggeringly intelligent. They're going to end up Doing Awesome Things. And they seemed to like my motorcycle, which is a Good Thing.

Hurricane Ken held a BBQ that I got to crash. There I met a friendly cat in their backyard named Freya. She was an abandoned cat, probably left behind from people who's house was foreclosed upon in the area. I don't understand people who do that, and my thoughts on them are not kind. Anyway, Ken and his wife couldn't take her in to let her continue being an indoor cat due to their other cats, so they took care of her as best they could while she lived in their backyard.

It just so happens that my mom wanted another cat, as my favorite cat of hers, Kaci, passed away recently due to a stroke. So I took a photo of Freya and sent it to my mom asking if she'd take her in. She did. So Hurricane Ken and the Redhead packed Freya up the next day and delivered her to my parents' house.

Two weeks later, we find out Freya has lymphoma.

I feel horrible for both Freya and my mom. I wanted a happy home for Freya, and now she's going to be on medication for the rest of her apparently shortened life. I feel like I sold my mom a bad bill of goods since she just went through the medical stuff with Kaci. Freya will be well taken care of, but it won't be for as long as we all expected.

Comic Con was...OK. I didn't get to see as much as I wanted to panel-wise because there are SO MANY PEOPLE and seeing anything is such a BIG GODDAM HASSLE. On top of that, I felt SO FUCKING TIRED the whole time. I don't know if I'll go back next year.

Last night I watched a documentary that's been sitting in my Netflix queue for almost a year. It's called, Dear Zachary, A Letter To A Son About His Father. I forget who told me about it, I think someone from work. It was eye-opening for me, and I think I have to stop posting stupid whiny First World annoyances on Facebook because compared to what goes on in the documentary, my life is pathetically boring in a mostly good way. By the way, go hug your family. Just do it.

But watching it made me realize that I may be losing any focus in my life. I just don't know what I'm doing anymore. Derby is changing its status in my life, work is work, what else do I do with my time? I don't know. I just don't know.

In the past two days I've done more drawing than I have in the past six months. Which isn't saying much; I scribbled out two doodles that I want to Do Something With at some point. I've also been trying to finish this beast up:

A little present for one of my favorite derby pick-up teams: Team CRUZ. It's something.

I don't even know how to end this stupid entry.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another Quick and Boring Entry

A few bullet points for your updating pleasure:

  • Work is fucking CRAZY-busy. The schedule stays the same while the scripts get more and more complex and epic. The episode I'm working on right now is funny, but INTENSE work-wise. Hopefully everyone will think it's brilliant when it airs. By the by, the show was picked up for another thirteen episodes, which is a good thing.
  • I love my new motorcycle. LoveloveLOVE it. I don't know what I'm going to do to it to customize a way I'm tempted to do little to it since I like it as-is so much. I've gotten new mufflers that make the bike sound like a Real Harley (stock pipes are so constricted they make the bike sound like an annoyed sewing machine instead of a motorcycle) without being sooperloud and obnoxious. I'm going to get the front forks powdercoated because the stock brushed aluminum will start looking like crap in a year or so, even if I was obsessive about cleaning the bike. Which I'm not. 
  • I have so many feeeeeelings about derby. Being retired is great for my knee, and it's definitely given me a different outlook on the development of derby. I still think there's too many people taking derby TOO GODDAM SERIOUSLY and wanting to push things faster than they're developing. Mainly for their own gain, not for the betterment of the sport. Ego helped kill derby the first time around, and ego is jerking derby around this time as well.  I guess I get to sit back and see what happens from here, but so far I'm not very impressed. 
  • On a positive note, I'm really enjoying doing the webcasts for the home league. It's keeping my announcing skillz intact, which is a good thing since I'll be going up to Washington state next weekend to announce at Battle on the Bank V. Good gawd, five years of that tournament?! Mind-boggling.
  • My geriatric cat is beginning to hang out in the backyard. He knows his territory and stays in the backyard. He has a favorite napping place where he sleeps so soundly, it's scary. I've frightened him and myself when I've gone to wake him up for one reason or another to take him into the house.
  • My fancy Cintiq tablet/table thingy took a huge dump. It just spontaneously stopped working last week. Found out through Wacom that I'm one of ten people that this has happened to. Lucky me? So the damn thing had to be boxed up in $52 worth of packing(never EVER throw out the stock box for those things...Just in Case) to be sent back to Vancouver, WA to see what's wrong with the damn thing. Of course this happens when I have a game flier to crank out. Oooops.
  • P90x is a good workout to do, but I'm getting bored with it. So I ordered the Insanity Workout, which is put out by the same company as P90x, but doesn't use weights. I'm thinking of alternating rounds of each so that I fend off the boredom a bit.
  • I've been watching PBS online at work a lot. Especially American Masters and Frontline. Interesting stuff, and by the way, we're all doomed.

Monday, April 09, 2012

A redhead walks into a Harley dealership...

My hand is not better. Even though no bones were broken, something is messed up in the knuckle-that-was-almost-ground-down-to-the-bone area. The knuckle is swollen, and I have pain going down my hand. Grasping things is touch-and-go, and I still have to bandage the area because the skin is still growing back. The bones in the palm area of both hands still hurt; I imagine they're badly bruised. Are you grossed out yet? Good, because that's the worst of the worst.

The insurance company isn't too thrilled with my poor bike, so I'm going to trade said bike in along with the Sportster from Hell to get a BRAND NEW HD ROAD KING POLICE BIKE. It will look something like this:

The badassery on this bike is making me giddy with anticipation.ABS brakes! Six gallon gas tank! 103 cubic inch motor! Pretty lights! The options to get the exhaust and front forks a shiny black! A comfortable seat(HDs are notorious for having the most ungodly uncomfortable stock seats)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story behind this goes as follows:

After the accident, the bike gets towed to local HD dealership so that the insurance company can get a look at it. While I'm there watching the bike get dropped off, the service guy whom I regularly deal with shakes his head at the bike, starts it up, and upon hearing its very rough stammering, shuts it off and says I should consider getting a new bike. I mumbled something about how I always wanted a police bike. He says, You could trade in your Sportster along with the Softail to help pay for a new bike! Sneaky bastard.

Two weeks later and I'm ready to trade the bike in and order the police bike. Problem is, getting a police bike isn't supposed to be easy for a civilian. A cop can order a police bike from Harley any damn time they please. Us dipshit civilians? We get 'em through auctions or otherwise used. Except, if a new bike is ordered by the dealer and then sits on the dealer floor for 120 days, then they can sell the bike to any yahoo that walks in the door.

Hello, you may call me Ms. Yahoo.

As I said, after two weeks of fighting with the insurance company and having to tell and retell my accident adventures to many other insurance companies and having to drive to work because my hand is is a mutated claw and I can't trust the Sportster to not die on me anyway, I waltzed into the dealership with the idea to ask about getting a police bike.

They try to sell me a very ugly used police bike they happen to have on the floor. No, I will NOT buy a bike with a shitty paint job of the POW We Will Never Forget logo on the front. Then they try to tell me that they could take a regular Road King and make it look more like a police bike. I stared at them with my best petulance combined with Full Metal Jacket's Private Pyle's thousand yard stare before he takes out Gunnery Sgt. Hartman and said,


They still didn't think I was serious, but one of the sales dudes (who's the son of one of the dealer owners) takes down my information and says he'll see what he can do. Fine.

I wait a few days. He actually emails me back saying they might be able to find what I want at a different dealer, which means I don't have to wait for this dealer to order the bike, get the bike delivered, and then have the bike sit for 120 days before I could buy it.  But then...silence. Oh no. This will not do. So I email him asking if I should expect to put a deposit on the bike once it's delivered and has to sit on the dealer floor. That woke him up. Apparently the dealer found a police bike in northern California. I went down to the dealer yesterday and wrote a check for the deposit.

BOOM. Bike on order.

I have the feeling this is the last bike I will buy. Not because I feel a sense of doom and foreboding, but I've had a serious yen for HD police bikes for at least a decade. A DECADE. The opportunity, no matter how infuriating and weird and painful has come up, and so I shall take it. It's time.

I'm going to miss the Softail and the Sportster, but times have changed, and so has my tastes and needs in a motorcycle. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


...back at work, this note from my director happened:

It cracked me up!

I'm healing, though my roadrash hand is still roadrashy and deeply bruised. I'm taking a ridiculous amount of antibiotics and resting the hand as much as possible, but I have a tournament to skate in this weekend, so I gotta get my shit together!

Still haven't heard anything about the bike yet. It may take awhile for someone from the insurance company out to assess the bike's condition. Argh!

Other than that, everything's good. Still happy to be alive. And everyone has until March 25 to hug me without negative repercussions. Exceptions to this rule include my parents and anyone who is not on the same continent as me on a regular basis. You have been warned!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rider Up

After fourteen years of motorcycle riding, I joined the ranks of those riders who have had an accident. luckily I not only lived, I walked away from the wreck.


How did it happen?

I was on my way home from taking notes at a Fight Crew scrimmage. I was going at a fairly leisurely pace in the #2 lane. I was 3/4 of the way home when I saw a car go sideways in my lane, brakes squealing. The three cars immediately behind it slammed on their brakes, swerved, and otherwise blocked my forward escape route. My choices at that point were to either hit the wreck or hit the brakes. I chose the latter.

That's when shit got RILL.

Ever go sliding across the freeway at approximately 60mph? It's fucking weird. I saw the bike sending sparks behind it as it slid on its left side. DAMMIT I JUST PUT GAS IN IT!!!!!!! I thought, as I slid along the ground next to the bike on my forearms and knees. This is where derby probably literally saved my life, because I've done a lot of conditioning and sooooooooooo many falls over the years that getting and maintaining a 4-point fall while sliding down the freeway seemed almost second nature.

I came to a stop just before reaching the wreck in front of me, but that's when I heard squealing brakes and loud thuds behind me. Shit. More cars got involved in the chain reaction of terror trying to avoid turning me into roadkill.  I jumped up a la derby's, I'M OK! I'M OK! rule where the jam gets called off for medical reasons if a skater is lying on the track for too long. I was able to get up. I was able to walk. I was able to look around incredulously at the damage around me and say that I'M THE LUCKIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AT THAT MOMENT. And then I almost hyperventilated myself into puking, crying or fainting or all of the above.

A list of other things to note:

  • Always carry your insurance card with you. 
  • Good gear with Kevlar is important. And durable. Really, REALLY durable.
  • Never say you're alright after sliding on dirty asphalt. Keep asking if 911 has been called, and then call them yourself just to make sure. 
  • Calling one's spouse to say one wrecked their motorcycle on the freeway is almost a dirty trick. Spouse feels helpless and is freaking out. Expect to repeat your physical condition and approximate location several times. Also expect to calm them down instead of them calming you down.
  • Take photos immediately. Posting on Facebook naturally follows.
  • People actually do care when provoked. They really do.
  • The EMTs and CHP officers were efficient and nice. I've never said Thank You! and meant  it so much in my life! AND I got to sit in the FRONT seat of a cop car!
  • It doesn't matter how many lanes are blocked, how much carnage there is, there are some drivers who don't understand that when lanes are blocked due to an accident, it's not going to be all about them.
  • The SigAlert site said, 3 CARS VS MOTORCYCLE. RIDER IS UP. Makes me sound tougher than I am!
  • Married...With Children is still hilarious after all these years.
  • Don't think you're going to be home before 4:30am from the emergency room. 
  • Don't think you're going to go to work the next day.
  • If road rash keeps hurting, go back to the doctor and get an antibiotic shot. The freeway is a dirty dirty place.
  • Is it wrong to think about a new bike when the old one hasn't been officially junked?
  • Don't EVER post about having an accident on Facebook without calling your parent/s or other loved ones first. I apparently took years off my mom's life when she changed her morning routine and read Facebook before I could call her to tell her I was OK. 
 But the thing that's getting me the most is the amount of calls, texts, and emails from my friends. It's been overwhelming, and it's good to know that people care. I'm thankful and grateful and humbled by the well-wishes. Pardon me, but...I think I got something in my eye. Dust. Yeah, that's it. Dust in my eye.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Levitation, holmes

A fun photo from last Saturday's LA vs. Gotham game, courtesy of photographer Sir Clicks-a-Lot:

There's a story behind this photo, but for now I shall truncate it to a tale about pizza distribution, a certain attitude about pizza distribution while looking for beer from those who didn't get pizza, assorted tableflipping by people in response to attitudes, and the realization that asking Tara Armov to flip a table will only result in a broken table and dead silence.

OR I could say that this was my reaction when I heard that people thought I went easy on the latest crop of Fresh Meat skaters on their first FM practice the day after the LA/Gotham game.  Which I call total shenanigans on since I came out of that practice with a chin that was knocked on the floor during a demonstration and a pulled muscle in my back...though that last one could've happened during wRECk League where I was thrown onto my back during scrimmage.

ANYWAY, hilarious photo about a levitating table, yes?

Friday, March 02, 2012

well HELLO there!

Quick notes:

  • Derby retirement is awesome. Retirement is putting the fun back in skating. I LIKE FUN. FUN IS FUN.

  • Starting P90x upon retirement was a very smart idea. Not only am I not gaining 50 pounds (nor am I losing a lot of weight, but whatever), but I have something resembling muscles now. It's kinda cool!

  • Work is going well. Because I don't have to rush off to the track multiple times a week during the work week, I'm actually able to concentrate on my job. Which I'm sure my bosses appreciate. I know my portfolio will.

  • Despite team skating retirement, the next two months are stupidly busy. I'm announcing for the LA Derby Dolls webcast for every game, including March RADness. I'll be spending a weekend in Phoenix to train one of the teams from the Arizona Derby Dames. I'm supposed to skate with Team Cruz at the Dust Bowl Invitational in Bakersfield. I'll be announcing with Dumptruck for the next Pro Roller Derby/Kitten Traxx Invitational in Arizona. And then there's that whole announcing and skating at Battle For The Coast in April. 

  • I'm obviously unclear on the concept of actual retirement.

  • Hey look! A flier I designed that doesn't suck too bad!

We have a new website for the banked leagues out there: Banked Track News. I have to start writing some ranting-type of stuff there soon. It's hard to be enthused to sit at a computer in one's leisure time when one sits at a computer for their day job. But buh-leeve me, I have topics to rant about!

OK, I have to go and print out rosters for the LA/Gotham game tomorrow. As well as coming up with a suitably torturous lesson plan for the incoming Fresh Meat on Sunday. And I gotta find time to sort through receipts to get our taxes done.

Such a quiet life!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

And they say there aren't any heroes left...

I've talked about how much Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak have influenced me artistically when I was but a small child.  This week found a reminder of one of those artistic heroes for me in the form of Steve Colbert interviewing Maurice Sendak.  I came away with the impression that Sendak is fighting a valiant battle against mediocrity when he was talking about modern children's books. I also came away with the impression that he's really damn sharp and took Colbert's sense of humor well.

And then I found an interview on NPR that was aired late last year. This was a flip side in general attitude, as NPR is a less sarcastic outlet than Colbert. It was very thoughtful and emotional, and I have to admit I sat and had tears streaming down my cheeks as I listened to a sad, old man who misses his old friends.

Where am I going with this? I wish I could meet him and say THANK YOU. That even though the millions of strangers who love his books can't be as nearly a good substitute for the people he misses in his life, I do think all those people love what he does. His fight against mediocrity has not gone unnoticed. I've heard one shouldn't meet their heroes, but I would still like to say that to him and then skedaddle before he says something biting that would crush my soulless soul.

PS: Semi-nonsequitir...I also would say something similar to Michelle Obama if I ever got the chance to meet her. She's one hell of a poised individual who gets way more shit than she should for just doing her job!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My job here is done...

Preview of the skater artwork for Battle on the Bank V:

I dig it.

Even though I said I wasn't going to constantly talk about my diet shit on the blog, I have thoughts to share:

Writing down everything I eat is tedious. And it's keeping me from snacking. Which is good, and it's gotten me within spitting range of my goal weight. I have cheekbones again! Yay!

Yoga X is horrible.

Kenpo X is fun.

Core Synergistics makes me want to be a thousand times more flexible than I am.

I'm skating a lot less, and so the tendonitis in my knee has gotten a lot less noticeable. Damn, I really did have to retire after all!

I hope I can keep up this momentum. I'm liking the results so far.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Going from an active team skater to a retired-but-still-skating skater has been interesting.

I'm still skating multiple times a week. Sometimes it's a beach skate, sometimes it's wRECk League, sometimes it's pickup scrimmages, sometimes it's visiting another league's practice. That amount of skating is good, because on the beach skates, the tendonitis in my knee starts letting me know that it's determined to take up permanent residence. Not good if I was still on a team. But for general messing around? No biggie.

The other thing I'm now doing is resetting my body. After working in a studio that has Bagel Mondays, Donut Wednesdays and lots of other bad foods around often, I gained weight and couldn't take it off. I'm one of those people that has to be vigilant about bread and starch intake because I'll bloat up like a puffer fish, and I had lapsed in that vigilance.

Throw in the holidays where I ate and drank my way to more weight gain, and things started to be stupid for me. After eating my weight in cheese and pizza the last two days of 2011, I found myself 17 pounds heavier than when I started derby eight years ago. UNACCEPTABLE.

Now, I'll admit that some of that 17 pounds isn't just fat. There's muscle in there. Especially in my legs. My quadroceps are doing just fine in particular. Once upon a time I hit an all-time high of 20 pounds over my starating-at-derby weight, and it was allllll FAT. Real fat. Fat-fat. But still...

Luckily for me I got a six week unpaid hiatus from work, and that's the perfect time to reset my eating habits, diet, and forms of exercise while I'm at home enjoying not having to be anywhere on a schedule. My parents had gotten me an Amazon gift card, and I bought the P90x exercise program with it. I started it this week, and cut out cheese, bread, pizza, and other starchy stuff from my diet. I'm trying to eat as much whole food as possible: salads galore, meat that's recognizable, etc. The one big vice I'm not giving up is my morning sugar free Red Bull. Don't bother telling me how horrible it is for me, I need something to look forward to in the mornings.

I started a food journal. It's amazing how accountable I am when I have to write everything down with a calorie count next to it. I noticed I'm not snacking nearly as much as I used to, because writing everything down is a pain in the tuchus and I'm lazy. The downside? I'm obsessed with the calorie counts, and have been eating too few calories for the amount of exercise I'm now getting this week.

That ended up biting me in the ass this morning when doing the Legs and Back P90x workout and I thought I was going to pass out. Had to stop the tape and go eat a Larabar for quick calories. It helped, and I limped through the rest of the workout. But it made me realize that I have to be better about regulating what I'm doing or else I'm going to crash and burn like I did today, or end up running to Johnnie's Pastrami in a fit of ZOMG I'M SO DAMN HUNGRY AND I NEED TO EEEEEEAAAAAT!!! mood swing and inhaling five pastrami sandwiches, then passing out in a food-induced coma, only to wake up puking my guts out.

Some people start a food blog when they do a diet, recording their daily food intake and exercise regimen. I won't bore you with daily details. I'll bore you with my goal: to get back down to the weight I was when I started derby. That's really it. The P90x program will also help with my strength and muscle tone, but to me that's a bonus. I just want the weight off.

I also hope that with the time off from work and not needing to be at the track so often, I'll be able to rekindle any kind of drawing for myself. I feel so burned out, and haven't been taking in much inspiration to get kick-started again.

Ahhh, that's better!