04/27/07 11:54 - 46ºF - ID#39068
6:30 pm! North Tonawanda! 101 Oliver St.! Rainbow Rink! Knockouts vs. Dollies!
She's Canadian; her maiden name is French-sounding so it stands to reason that after we'd made fun of her for her bony shoulders, in a sort of admiring way (it makes a clean hit much more effective, when delivered by a razor-sharp boney shoulder), that she adopted Fleshette as her derby name. (Fleche: French for "arrow"; as it was her body that acted as the arrow, "Fleshette" is a logical progression.)
She joined only a few months ago, and had rapidly progressed to being a truly excellent skater. She was already a great athlete-- a long-distance cyclist and a blackbelt in karate-- and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was generally quiet, but would occasionally chime in with these great flashes of wicked humor. She also tended to make these adorably hilarious little squeaking noises when either exerting herself or attempting something tricky.
Tuesday night we were scrimmaging. I was skating inside block, but somehow she'd gotten in front of me. One of the Dollies, I think Redfox, blocked her, a glancing but clean shoulder hit. Fleshette bounced off, not quite solid enough on her skates to absorb it. She rattled back and forth, and within fractions of a second had spun out sideways. I saw this, and saw that she would fall, and was automatically beginning to try to steer around her so I didn't fall on top of her, when I saw her face as she fell.
I could see immediately that something was wrong.
She hit the floor, not very hard, but was already curled onto her side, and she was crying out, strange little desperate sounds that were more guttural and less shrill than her normal silly squeaks.
She was hurt badly. I stopped, halfway through the process of going around her, and stood over her as she curled on her side, grasping uncoordinatedly toward her right ankle, but not quite. I could see that her shin had somehow already started to swell. I stood over her and gestured helplessly at the refs, who had finally noticed, as the pack went by, that we were not moving, and she was not getting up, and I was not skating on.
The four whistles to stop the jam sounded, belatedly; I stood over her and had no idea what to do, what to say. We are trained, we derby girls: when someone goes down and doesn't get up, we all get the hell out of the way, and those of us with medical training (we have two nurses, one nursing student, an orthopedic surgeon, and an EMT on the league) go over to her. I have no medical expertise, so I slowly rolled backward as more of the medical girls rolled in.
Our team coach, an injured skater with prior coaching experience, Lizzie, had already gone to Fleshette's head and had unfastened her helmet. Fleshette had her teeth so tightly clenched that Lizzie couldn't get her mouthguard out. Fleshette wasn't crying: she was hurt too badly to cry.
I rolled backward a little further, clearing the way, hands in my mouth. Someone murmured, "broken," and I turned to the wall, blindly looking for my water bottle, just for something to do.
Forty rollergirls stood still in silence. Several had cellphones out and were turned away, murmuring into them. Ambulance, someone said.
"Canadian," someone else said. Supernova. #007. She and Fleshette were neighbors, both from Port Colborne. Both covered by the national health insurance-- but not in US hospitals.
Supernova joined the ranks of those murmuring into cellphones, helmets off, hands in hair.
"I know, I know," the general manager said louder, into the silence, pulling her own hair. "I know."
The EMTs trooped in, and we all milled around silently. A few of us were discussing the action. "Clean hit," said a Dollie. I hastened to agree.
"I was right there," I said quietly, trying not to let my voice shake. I wasn't hurt, why was I crying? "I was right behind her. Nobody hit her that hard. It just looked like she put a foot wrong, or something."
We discussed, quietly.
Then they tried to take her skate off. She shrieked, a brief and piercing sound, quickly bitten off.
The rink went silent again, and we all held our wristguards against our faces, nails between our teeth. It was bad luck; it could have been any of us.
It could have been any of us.
I hadn't driven that night, and my ride, Sissy Sparkles, who lives less than half a mile from me, came and took my arm. "B," she said, "we should go. We can't do anything here."
I nodded, and she noticed I was crying, and hugged me. Crashanova, a jammer for the Dollies, saw my tears and hugged me as well.
"You're still a strong team," she said.
"It's not that," I said, but had no other words, and hugged her back.
Another Knockout hugged me, and I went slowly out the door with Sissy.
Fleshette's leg is broken in three places. The front bone is cleanly broken once, but with a quarter inch of dislocation. The back bone has a spiral fracture down by the ankle, and a second break up near the knee. They transferred her to a Canadian hospital around 2 am, and she had the surgery the next day-- they put in a rod, and pins, and crazy shit like that.
They told her she'll never skate again.
And she's liable, out-of-pocket, for much of the expense of her US hospital emergency visit.
She won't be able to put any weight on her right foot for two months. She won't be able to walk for at least three months.
We're doing fundraisers, as a league. Not just for the US hospital costs, but also-- who knows when she'll be able to work again? She's a vet tech; it's not like she sits at a desk all day.
We don't know what will happen. They've told her she'll never skate again.
We'll see. She's tough.
But anyone who comes tomorrow night, that's why all the Knockouts will be wearing a black sock on their right legs with "#8WD" on it.
Speaking of which, I have to go stencil my sock now.
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/23/07 08:42 - 54ºF - ID#39020
experiencing culture backwards
I've seen Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (and read it) enough times that I'm familiar with the song. But they talk over it.
I never realized that I'd never listened to it, until I listened to it. (Of course, the first time I listened to it I was... festively altered, so I didn't really hear it, so I'm just now getting around to really listening to it. Might I mention I am jealous of the woman's voice.)
The whole song is cliches. Phrases I've heard elsewhere.
But the song predates the cliches. The song is where the cliches came from.
I live my life like this. I always parse the meanings of catchphrases and memes and new cliches from their context, and am usually right, but it often takes me years-- in this case, more years than I've been alive-- to figure out the origin of the phrases. I remember watching Wayne's World with my family in, like, 2000 (OK it was earlier than that, but not by much) and we all looked at one another when it was over, with this moment of realization. That's what everyone had been talking about!
Another, similar moment of Wayne's World-related realization came when I was at school in Scotland. One of the girls loved doing impersonations of Americans from movies: her accent was quite funny, almost convincing but a little too John Wayney.
"Parrdon me," she said gruffly, "but do you have any Gray Poopon?" Then she paused, and a crease appeared between her pretty eyebrows. "Er, just what is Gray Poopon anyway?"
I laughed and laughed, and finally explained that it was from a commercial, which of course has never aired in the United Kingdom, as Grey Poupon mustard isn't sold there, and the added amusement value in all this is that in the commercial, of course the guy who rolls down the window has a fake British accent.
Ahh. I decided to write this here instead of my lj so they wouldn't think I was a stoner, but the tragic part is that I have not partaken of any illegal substances at all this night. No, I am drinking a rather scanty whiskey and coke, and what's funny is that the coke is sort of hurting my stomach.
I fear I am about to embark upon a heinous and thoroughgoing health-food kick. (e:Zobar) won't know what hit him. I'll have to buy him lots of BBQ Fritos and Honey-Mustard-Garlic Prezel Bites, as those are two substances that he loves that repulse me.
Unrelated: I am suddenly obsessed with the Paleolithic.
I was obsessed with it as a child and the obsession's returned ferociously.
This is a problem, as I am attempting to write a novel set partially in the Chalcolithic / Early Bronze Age. The Paleolithic does not help me in this endeavor, not one bit.
Bastarding bastards, with your compelling paintings!
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/23/07 10:17 - 69ºF - ID#39014
aw i missed 4/20!
I should share the photo i posted on my lj for 4/20 though. Should've posted it here-- you guys would've been much more amused.
Refers to a strip by the excellent Jeffrey Rowland.
THIS SATURDAY NIGHT IS THE ROLLER DERBY BOUT. IF Y'ALL DON'T COME I WILL BE REALLY SAD.
Seriously, none of my blood relations can make it this time-- not my mom or dad, not one of my sisters, none of my cousins, nobody. I've had small family cheering sections at both so far, and I don't know what I'll do this time.
I skate for the Knockouts-- our cheer is "Knock 'em out, Knockouts!" and we want people to make signs that say that. Our team color is blue. Please please come out and cheer for me, or at least drown it out when the other team's supporters boo-- last time, the Saucies had a whole booing section and it really bummed some of us out. We didn't think it was very sporting.
We have been working so hard-- three league practices a week, then three team practices a week-- and we've lost friends, suffered at our jobs, lost sleep, gained bruises and contusions and concussions and sprains-- all because we want to be good at this sport, and we want to put on a good show, and we want to thrill the everloving fuck out of our audience.
If our audience doesn't come, then it's a lot less rewarding for us.
And all that sounds really whiny, but I don't mean it to be-- there's not much whiny about derby! It should be an awesome show-- we haven't skated the Dollies as a team before, really, and there are some really awesome players on that team. (e:girlon8wheels) is one of their power blockers.
Incidentally this may be the last bout I skate in this year, as the May one is between the Saucies and the Dollies, and I don't know yet what's happening at the June one. So this may be your last chance to see B-17 fly, until the next season starts in October.
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/11/07 12:14 - 32ºF - ID#38846
OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE CRAZY
Just ten minutes ago Z and I were driving down Kenmore Ave, driving safe, a bit like geezers, for lo! We now have the Dorkmobile back, and it only cost a zillion dollars! But we love our little green Dorkmobile (an adorable 03 Prius we still think of as 'new', for any late comers to the story). So we are driving along, it being a quarter to midnight on a Tuesday night.
And then some assmonkey suddenly passes us. On the left. Over a double yellow line. Some giant black pickup. Now, we'd been stopped at a light, so there was the slight excuse of the concept of haziness-of-intersections, but I was taught never to change lanes at an intersection so it's pretty definitely Not The Right Thing To Do.
But, hey, people are crazy. So we continue on, though it might be said that dude who was so crazy to get by us really isn't driving any faster than we were.
For non-Buffalo peeps, Kenmore Ave is the city limit of Buffalo to the north, in this neighborhood. It's a major street, but is emphatically two lanes, and the speed limit is a stretchy 30. I do 40 on it sometimes, in a hurry, but usually there's too much traffic. Both directions.
Later on it's a lane-and-a-half, but at this point, in Kenmore, it's definitely only one lane each way. Lots of little side streets.
Anyway. Suddenly the NEXT car wants to do the same thing! He gets out in the oncoming lane and starts roaring away. Z's Jersey survival instincts kick in, so he jumps on the gas, accellerates (to, like, 40, wow) and comes up behind the crazy pickup truck, because God knows what this second car is going to do. (Oh just let him in, you might say. What if he cuts us off? He is DEMONSTRABLY CRAZY. This is KENMORE AVE. That is a DOUBLE YELLOW LINE. Oh my GOD he is crazy.) The second car, a white sedan, tries to play chicken to get us to give him room. We do not do so, Z being a veteran Jerseyite. So in a moment the white sedan slams its brakes on, as there is a stop light, and pulls in behind us.
THEN THE GUY GETS OUT OF HIS CAR. [Buffalonians, the intersection in question was Kenmore and Delaware.]
The light turns green and we take off. Unfortunately dude behind us gets back in his car rather promptly, and is behind us again. We get to Colvin. The light is red. We come up behind the black pickup. The white sedan comes up behind us. Dude opens his door again.
Z locks the doors. We sit there thinking the million-dollar question: <i>just how crazy is he?</i>
Dude is a heavyset clean-shaven white man in his forties. He is wearing a black leather jacket. On that black leather jacket is a brass badge. It closely resembles a Buffalo Police badge. He comes up and bangs on the window. Z does his best stone-face-forward look. After another bang we think the window might break, so Z rolls it down a tiny crack.
"What the fuck you doing?" the guy yells. "You like to play games? Are you high on drugs?"
"Sir," I say, "You cannot pass on a double-yellow line."
"You like to play games?" he yells.
"Sir," I persist, "you <i>cannot</i> pass on a double yellow line."
Z rolls the window back up. The guy, amazingly, goes away. The light turns green. We drive away.
After the intersection, the guy again pulls into the oncoming lane, over the double yellow line, to roar past us. Z slams the brakes on. The guy rockets past us doing at least 55, and then rockets past the black pickup that started all this (blowing my theory that he was somehow in league with the dude and this was some exaggerated macho game--- nooo, it was not).
We continue the half a block to our house, pull in the driveway. I get out my cellphone and call 911. I report that a crazy white man wearing a police badge accosted us eastbound on Kenmore Ave, driving a white four-door sedan erratically and challenging us at stoplights, and I let my voice quaver a bit and said I was scared he'd kill somebody.
Z, meanwhile, likewise calls 911 and is a bit less coherent and a bit less successful at convincing them. Apparently his 911 operator wanted him to go stand out by the side of the street to give a report to someone. My 911 operator simply said, We'll send someone out to the area to have a look. I said, "He was going eastbound at a very high rate of speed."
Now, the question is: Was he really a cop?
Obviously he was off-duty, if he was. He was not in uniform except for the badge. The car was not a police cruiser. And if he was that pissed, and had any right to be doing anything at all, he'd totally have arrested us.
But would someone who was not a cop have the fucking gall to impersonate one, and to treat other people with such consummate selfrighteous arrogance?
<i>Who bawls someone else out when they don't succeed in illegally passing them</i> on a crowded suburban street on a double yellow line?
Z thinks maybe he was an aging stripper, sorta embittered that his cop thing wasn't sexy anymore. Who knows.
I just WISH I'd had the presence of mind to get my cellphone out and call 911 while the dude was banging on the window. That would have been so much smarter of me. As it is I didn't' even get his license number.
x-posted to LJ.
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/08/07 10:31 - 29ºF - ID#38810
Maybe he didn't buy me conventional bling for Valentine's Day, but he did buy me an implausibly expensive irreverent stuffed animal.
I don't mind the lateness of the gift-- the stuffed Joanna doll didn't go up for sale until two days after the St Pat's ship-by deadline, and he figured it'd be best to wait and get both items, but then the shirt went backordered, so i got them just in time for Easter instead.
But you know, I'll wear it to all the seisuns i sing at.
(Have I pimped on here that I often sing at the traditional Irish sessions on Saturday afternoons [5ish-8ish pm] at Nietszche's? Free admission, Guinness on special, I sing you song, Kurt plays harp, Bill plays accordion sometimes, Ann plays fiddle, maybe a piper or two shows up, maybe someone with a mandolin, Patricia might bring her guitar and sing irreverent folksongs or really sappy Irish ballads in a perhaps-sarcastic-you'll-never-know manner. You never know who'll show up. It's a good time. I generally get tanked.)
Also I and many rollergirls will be attending the Dyngus Day celebrations in Polonia tomorrow-- hopefully, on wheels at the Central Terminal. That's the plan anyway. Also someone who doesn't sign a name has been texting me about pussy willows-- I know it's a rollergirl because they have my cellphone number which is only posted on the private Rollergirls Yahoo group. So I have 35 pussy willows and eight wheels. I am nearly unstoppable.
Highlight reel of the March 31st roller derby bout. You have to watch the whole thing to see (e:zobar)'s costume-- he's in the closing credits. If you want to watch for me, I'm wearing the white-capped Pro-Designed kneepads and a pair of black and white striped tights, and matching armbands, so you can often spot me by the stripes glowing in the blacklight. The lighting's awful, sorry.
Dammit, I can't steal the video. I guess I have to just link to it. It's here. On Myspace. Sorry. :(
My team's in blue. Individuals and incidents to look out for include:
- #007, Supernova, has an awesome booty (in real life she's a model, a plus-size model, though there's really only one part of her that's plus-sized at all, as you'll see) and often makes entertaining gestures involving it.
- # 459, Janeiac, often skated as jammer, and throughout the course of the evening, fell enough times that she accumulated a 2nd-degree friction burn through her fishnets, so that the next day it looked like a truck had run her over.
- # RU486, Lizzie McFighter, gets checked into the chairs, on film (actually nearly right into the camera) by the Saucies captain Dr. Dementer. In that fall she injured her knee so badly she's possibly out for the season. But what the camera doesn't show is that she got up and skated through the pack one more time, getting 4 more points, before giving up and getting carried out on a stretcher (also on film).
- One of the Dollies, who skated as a ref for this bout (as the Dollies did not compete; we'll face them Apr. 28th), one Redfox, wore a crop-top halterneck shirt, a pair of striped spankies, and some Muppet-fur chaps that she made herself. Look for the cowboy hat and red hair, as if the striped spankies weren't enough to find her by... We all decided, in the Knockouts locker room, that we were gay for her. Just for her, in some of our cases, although others not so much. She found this hilariously entertaining. She really is that hot though.
- The girl in the gold sequined leotard and bunny ears, was briefly fired from her job for being involved in such a sexual and violent sport. She was fired, not for the video, but for the mention, of her pseudonym, in Artvoice. But the firing didn't stick so she's back at work now. (That's not an incident in the video, but it does add something, to know that.)
There's one shot of me falling, dramatically from behind. There's another shot that apparently shows me going into the chairs, although I have no memory of such occuring. Actually I only remember falling once, in a pileup that didn't appear on the video-- a Saucy landed right on top of me and kind of squashed me but it didn't hurt much, so I shook her off and got up. But the video shows me falling all over the place. Which is probably a pretty good endorsement of my new equipment-- pads from Pro-Designed--
Anyway that's all for now.
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/02/07 11:38 - 41ºF - ID#38724
I have been involved in a horrid and stupid and messy flamewar for the last two days, over on Myspace, about roller derby. I am exhausted, but somewhat proud of myself that I have actually managed to largely get the thing to remain on-topic, and actually managed (this should go down in Internet history) to wrestle my way through and, within the comment thread, convince not one but two of my flamers that the thing they were freaking out about had not in fact been what I meant by what I posted.
The only person still flaming away is someone only peripherally involved, which is kind of funny. He seems to think he's still going to beat me somehow, even though I finally got him to paraphrase what he thinks I said (it was a two-paragraph post, and the first paragraph was a sentence and a half), and his paraphrase is not what I said, and thus renders his entire argument unusable.
I still haven't won, because he's apparently too stupid to give up even in the face of that logic, but I'm not really overly concerned, because he's not even involved in this, he's just some idiot who seems to think he is. So...
- dances a bit*
That said, I'm not ever ever linking to *this* blog from there. Good Christ. Well, not for a while anyway. It's bad enough that some of them know where my Livejournal is. It's not my fault-- I knew some of them before I joined roller derby. It's too late to swear them to secrecy, I guess.
It's just... agh, I have been blogging publicly on the Internet for six years now, I will not be deterred by something so small. But when it's people you know in real life, it's a lot higher-stakes. I had planned on just walking away from that blog post, but then I realized, I'm going to see these people at the meeting on Tuesday, and if I don't go to that meeting, they'll think I'm running from them. And...
Anyhow. I posted the photos of the bout on Flickr, so that I could link to them from any of my blogs without putting in a direct link to another blog. There might still be like one or two people on Myspace who don't know my Livejournal name and if they're that oblivious I'd prefer they stay that way. Also I'm not giving Myspace more page views than I have to-- those ads are fucking annoying.
So: bout photos, and detailed captions are here:
If anyone's curious, I also posted a recap of the bout as I experienced it here:
Location: Buffalo, NY
04/02/07 11:14 - 46ºF - ID#38717
He traumatized a lot of little kids too. That was pretty priceless. I am now filled with a perverse desire to breed. I can't explain it.
I've been trying to post stupid videos and cellphone-camera pictures because I now have a phone that does photos and video, but I can't seem to make the moblogging feature thing work, so you all are denied my cellphone-video directorial genius for now. We'll see if I can manage to figure it out. If so, I now will have tons of content for my (e:strip) blog, because I am trying to use my stupid expensive cellphone enough to justify the expense, and this will make me feel better about it.
Also my life is so fascinating it needs to be chronicled, hopefully in multimedia.
So, stay tuned, folks, for stupid grainy videos of pointless mundanity. Yay! I'm psyched.
(I'm uploading this video from my computer, but that's not really moblogging. I am determined to become a moblogger. it would help if I could actually type on a cellphone. Perhaps I'll learn.)
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Would love to make it out to watch all you in action. So not happening this Sat though (er, today)-- heading out of town for a few days. As always, keep us posted on the going-ons!