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05/19/07 10:29 - 53ºF - ID#39343

TODAY

Is the Hell on Wheels roller derby bout. I will be hosting it, singing the Canadian National Anthem, and in general being an enthused spectator. My team captain will be MCing in her leather chaps and i assure you it's a sight to behold. (She teaches fitness classes. Ask her about how to get an ass like hers.)

TODAY, 7:00, Rainbow Rink, 101 Oliver St. North Tonawanda, $15 at the door, halftime band, and I promise you it will be a hell of a match. We've never had a fight yet, but you know, there have been some prickly tempers this past month, and I'm expecting that there'll at least be some shouting.

On top of some excellent derby-- these are both very good teams with some experienced players. That's the best thing about this hectic first season, I think-- every time we play, we all get better, because we all still have so much to learn.

But we've come so far, from those first Bambi-On-Ice staggering steps around the rink last July...

Come see us! There will be beer! I may have to not be on skates just so I can drink said beer, as I've never actually been allowed any before (WFTDA international rules state that no skater can consume alcohol while on skates at an event. Which I imagine leads to a lot of girls running around in their socks, but, we'll see how that's enforced. If you see me in my socks tonight, then you know how it's going down-- ohhh, yeah.)

This is also the first roller derby bout I will ever be attending, instead of skating in. I am SO EXCITED. I have literally never watched one. I don't know what it looks like, with all the people and the screaming and the, everything, you know??? Oh I'm excited.

And-- bonus!!! If any of you show up to this one, I'll be able to sit with you and explain what's going on!!! (In addition we have a demo that will run on the projectors on a continuous loop-- we were supposed to for the last one and it went missing at the last minute, so y'all were on your own, but this one will be better we promise.)

So anyway-- come out! It will be totally awesome!!
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Location: Buffalo, NY


05/18/07 10:04 - 48ºF - ID#39330

it's time to party.

I came to a decision last night at roller derby practice while sitting on the wall with my other slacker-Knockout sisters surreptitiously checking out our captain's ass in the leather chaps she was strapped into.

(There should probably be backstory. The Knockouts are not skating in this upcoming bout, they are hosting it, while the Saucies and the Dollies do all the hard work of beating the absolute shit out of one another. To be fair, the Knockouts have had the shit beaten out of them in the previous three bouts so far, so you know, it's not like we're always lazy. In fact half of us are crippled from April, so, you know, it's about time we had a rest before we're all dead. So the other two teams were huffing and sweating and you know, actually doing roller derby, while the Knockouts-- well, some of us were also rolling around like fiends, but those of us who know what's up, we were all sitting on the wall like a bunch of slackers. Our team captain has volunteered to be on the mike this time, co-announcing with our usual announcer; given that the bout's theme is Hell on Wheels, she's wearing a biker outfit, and it is, well, quite frankly, hot. I can't quite express the sheer incredible overwhelmingness of a 200-pound-woman with weightlifter's shoulders wearing leather chaps and a halter top. It's something to behold, I tell you.)

Anyway. Those of us who are total slackers were sitting on the wall and being utterly lazy, and were discussing the summer's reduced practice schedule. I decided that we needed to take all the extra time we're going to have, in the absence of team and league practices [which have, of late, literally been every day of the week-- April nearly fucking killed us all], and devote that same focus, energy, and determination to the act of partying.
I think we need to set up a rigorous schedule of social events this summer. There needs to be at least one rollergirl party a week. Enough of us have porches and patios and hot tubs and garage-bar-setups and blenders and, in my case, ridiculous fucking liquor cabinets that this can happen. This is going to be a thing.

It's going to be a thing. This will be the summer of Party.

I'll be sure to throw at least one (e:strip) party.
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05/17/07 10:33 - 43ºF - ID#39316

SO MUCH FUN ENDURANCE EXTRAVAGANZA

I am so tired and sore and oof now.
Itinerary/schedule was a bit overwhelming. I warn you, this is long. Just when you think it's over, there's MORE.
Itinerary/schedule:

Thursday: last day of work at old job, 10 am to 8 pm. 8:30-11:00: roller derby practice and PR/production committee meeting.
Friday: spend entire day cleaning house and packing. 4:00: pick (e:zobar) up from work and drive to Cortland, NY.
8:00 pm: arrive at little sister Fiona's house in Cortland. Play with her 3 cats. Eat a really awful dinner at Applebee's. Then get chased out of Wal-Mart while buying wrapping paper for the wedding gift.

Saturday: Awaken way too early. Try to restrain jitters while sister and sister's surly boyfriend sleep in. (This task is made easier by playing with the three adorable cats.) Finally run out and get breakfast while sister and boyfriend are working their way to consciousness.
9:30 am: Get on the road, an hour later than you'd have liked. Drive to Ithaca. Pick up other little sister, Ann, who has been waiting outside with her toes tapping for a half an hour. (Ann tolerates no nonsense.)
Claim Ann for your car, and get on the road toward Long Island.
10:00-1:00 drive a lot, and be told about hilarious things Ann found on the Internet, and also that she's moving to Chicago in four days. Realize you didn't know that and should probably call your family members more often.
Get off at a rest stop in PA, discover that there are no restrooms at the McDonald's but instead there are giant horrible Port-A-Potties outside. Be glad you're a girl with a bladder like a camel. Decline a drink, and get into Fiona's car because you feel bad that her comatose and surly boyfriend (to give him credit, he's very ill) is her only company for all these hours. Get lost trying to find the highway again. Find the highway by dint of Ann's frantic gesturing and (e:zobar) 's hairpin turns-- the sign was only visible if you'd already passed the turnoff.
Decide that Pennsylvania's state motto must be "We're Just Fuckin' With Ya".
2:00-3:00 sit in traffic on the George Washington Bridge. Roll the window down and hang your legs out the window in a forlorn, last-minute hope for a tan. Get stared at a lot. Pull your legs back in the window and sit normally. Still get stared at a lot, for no reason. Start flipping people off.
Probably not a good idea.
3:00-4:00 Lose sight of the leading car in the caravan because the Prius has EZPass and you don't. You're the one with the directions so it shouldn't bother you, but you discover that you're very lonely without the dorky little green car. Be sad.
Realize you hate Long Island.
Give up on life.
Stare blankly at the road in despair. We're never going to get there. The wedding is at 6 pm. It's after three now. We'll never make it. We'll die here.
Suddenly pass a dorky little green car with (e:strip) stickers on it. Honk frantically. Wave.
4:00 miss the turn for the hotel. Do an illegal U-turn. Look back and watch Ann and (e:zobar) do the same, laughing hysterically. Realize that there was another turn-off for the hotel just ahead, and they had seen it, and had decided to follow your stupid crazy ass anyway.
Walk into the hotel to check in. Notice a big group of people in the lobby standing around. Realize it's a group getting portraits done-- a wedding group, no less. Admire the bridesmaid's beautiful pale skin. Admire the bride's stunning dress. Realize abruptly that they're your cousins. Laugh when you realize they haven't recognized you either. (We've seen these cousins a few times over the last year or so, so it's not like we're out of touch. We just didn't expect to see each other.)

Forget about the long trip as you finally greet all your relations. Run into unexpected people in the hotel elevators and have joyful reunions. Most of us are on the sixth floor, so much running up and down through the hallways ensues, often in less-than-complete clothing. Get your picture taken, by your mom, while in your underwear. Realize you've lost your camera bag somewhere and have no idea what you were thinking when you put the curlers into your hair, as you now have an unusable mass of grossness that used to be your beautiful long hair, and you have no idea what you had intended to do with it. Oops. Well, nobody's here to look at you, they're here for your cousin, so it doesn't really matter. Leave it and get dressed.

5:30 scramble downstairs, barely dressed, hair a mess, and pile into the shuttle to the wedding. Gleefully reunite with immediate family you haven't seen since Christmas. Hear all about your older sister's pregnancy. (The baby is the size of your thumb now. At the last ultrasound s/he was swimming around a lot. We have dubbed him/her The Swimming Peanut.)
5:45 Start to wonder where the shuttle bus is actually taking you.
6:00 REALLY start to wonder where the shuttle bus is actually taking you.
6:05 arrive at the country club where the wedding is. Pile out of the shuttle bus. Shriek a lot and hug people. Get your picture taken a lot.

6:30-7:00 Freeze your gorram ass off outside in the breeze. Admire the beautiful bride. Notice the bridesmaid is shivering. At one point the groom reaches over and rubs the bride's slightly-blue arm. But the weather is beautiful. The groom almost cries while reciting his vows. Be very touched at what a sweet boy he is. (He is.)
Thank the people in the row in front of you for blocking much of the breeze.
Be proud of the fact that you can say that the wacky dude in the full Scottish regalia playing the bagpipes for the processional is your dad.

7:00-8:30 Cocktail Hour! Help the Norwegian cousin's girlfriend (LJ user pushyqueen) decide what cocktails to drink. Eat crazy-good appetizers. Drink a lot. Dad gets bored and goes outside to pace around and play the bagpipes some more. (e:zobar) gets bored and decides to go follow him and blow bubbles. The entire wedding decides this is the most priceless thing they've ever seen. Many photos ensue.

8:30-10:30 Long wedding reception consisting of many widely-spaced courses of food, a great deal of booze, and a whole lot of dancing and general chicanery. The "kids' table" consisted of all the cousins in our generation on this side, which meant that Terry, 31(?) was the oldest, and Ann, 22, was the youngest, except K, 15, who has been very isolated from the family because Dad's brother married a crazy woman and they adopted her and the crazy woman is paranoid about the rest of the family so poor K really doesn't know us and hadn't even met the Norwegian cousins. We tried our best to include her in everything we did but we didn't really know how, and were so distracted with each other...
Fiona's sullen boyfriend suddenly feels better and starts acting like himself, which is a great relief as when he's himself he's an amusing, charming, articulate guy, and Fiona always is much happier when he's behaving himself.

12:00 collapse into bed, completely comatose.

Sunday 7:30 am: wake up. Detangle hopeless hair. Shower. Help (e:zobar) shower. (He was dirty. Very dirty.) Go around and see who else is awake. Drink coffee with family. Go downstairs to breakfast. See yet more family you didn't get time to talk to. Wish there was one more day here. Discover that lj-user=pushyqueen's master's thesis was on Internet fanfiction communities and engage in extremely, extremely dorky conversation about it.

10:00 am look at ultrasound photos of The Swimming Peanut. Be unexpectedly touched. Get excited. Then bid farewell to older sister, who is taking the Peanut back to Georgia, where she lives. Be newly charmed by what wacky little old people your parents have unexpectedly morphed into. Sit in the hotel lobby and cry and hug your sisters. Cry and hug your mom. Watch mom cry and hug Ann, who is, oh yeah, graduating from Cornell and moving to Chicago in three days. Oh yeah, Chicago's far and she's the baby of the family and she's going away and growing up now. Sniffle a little.

11:00 pile into the car. Get lost trying to find a gas station. Curse and revile Long Island. Wash the car windows while getting gas, only to realize that you've just made them dirtier. Curse Long Island again. Pile onto the expressway and drive away.

Drive for hours. Hours and hours. Realize you're still too tired of driving to be able to deal AT ALL with driving again. Wish, again, you'd had another day to recover and see everybody. Oh well. Lose sight of Fiona's car, again because of EZpass. Drive for hours, lonely and in despair. Have wonderful conversations with Norwegian cousin and girlfriend. Start to worry that (e:zobar) should have a break from driving.

Cross the border from New Jersey. Roll down window, shake fist: "God's mercy on you swine!" Be excited for a minute, but then realize that you're in Pennsylvania, and that is worse.

2:00 pull off at The Crossings, a giant outlet mall in PA (Motto: "We're Just Fucking With You!"). Shop. Shop shop shop! Start to despair, and then suddenly, with Fiona's help, stumble upon a massive cache of exactly what you were looking for, professional-looking but comfortable work clothes, at Banana Republic, on massively huge sale. (Like I would ever spend $80 on a pair of pants! Hah.) Save so much money you get giddy.
3:30 get on the road again.
4:00 wish you were dead.
5:00 despair that you are not, in fact, dead.
6:00 fall asleep.
7:00 be guilty for sleeping.
8:00 begin to hunt for implement with which to kill self.
8:30 get off the highway. Realize you're in Ithaca. Realize Ithaca is beautiful. Drop the plastic knife and drool out the window.
9:00 GET OUT OF THE GODDAMN FUCKING CAR AT LAST.
Dinner in Ithaca, at some Asian place. Norwegian cousin begins to tell jokes. Die laughing. Discuss poop at great length. Gross out rest of restaurant. Feel bad; leave really good tip.

10:30 have one beer. Fall asleep in Ann's dorm room. Stay there.

Monday Yes! There's more! Notice we were in Ithaca, not Buffalo! You're right, we have MORE DRIVING TO DO!!! Oh BOY!!!
7:00 am: Awaken in terrible pain. Do not want to get up, as there are three other sleep-deprived people in the room and you'd feel bad about waking them. But the pain is bad, and you have to. Realize suddenly, oh joy, it's Your Special Woman Time. Motherfucker. At least you're prepared.
7:00-9:00 Writhe in horrible pain. Dehydration and exhaustion have made the cramps really bad. Curse the world and yourself and your Woman Bits. Feel really sorry for yourself. Drink water.
9:00 Ann is awake, so you go to the kitchen with her and drink tea, and tea, and tea, in hopes that it will ease the pain and your desire to be dead.
Make waffles. That helps. It helps a lot. Everyone wakes up and things are amusing again.
10:00 go for a walk to the wildflower garden where Ann used to work. Be oddly entranced by the native flora. Eat wild leeks and violas. Be amused as Ann is unable to restrain herself from pulling weeds.
11:00 eat Cornell ice cream. Because it's always time for ice cream.
12:00 go downtown (by car! omg!) and wander around Ithaca. Buy more stuff! Score a sweet shoulder bag that could discreetly fit a laptop and perhaps conceal what a big fucking dork you are behind a sly, professional facade. You hope. Also score a sweet swishy skirt on clearance, and pay way more than you thought you would for a scarf you really wanted anyway.
Delicious shopper's high.
1:00 meet Fiona and her boyfriend, whose good mood has remained and now you can see what she sees in him, for lunch. Viva Taqueria! Have margaritas. Insist on paying for the whole thing. Get your camera back from Fiona (you left it at her house) and feel much better about not being out a grand.

2:00 part ways with Ann. Sniffle a little. Now you have to drive to Chicago if you want to see her. This is what you were always afraid would happen to your family-- that they'd scatter all over the place. Feel sad. But be happy for her, because she's so nervous but it's a good job she's getting. Know she'll be fine. Tell her so.

2-6:00: drive up rte. 89, right along the edge of Cayuga Lake, and go to three wineries. Taste wines, chatter a lot, and buy stuff. Amuse everyone by playing 3-d Tetris to cram everything into the car. Amuse the winery employees by explaining that you can only fit two more bottles of wine into your packed car.
At the last winery (Thirsty Owl, a little north of Ovid NY), take a photo of the car because it's riding so low on its springs you can't believe it actually goes.
For the record, a Prius can hold four people and their luggage, and it won't complain, but it also won't go very fast or stop very quickly.

6:00 part ways from sister Fiona. Drive up to the Thruway. Drive like crazy out to Buffalo.

9:00 order pizza and wings in Buffalo. Eat them. Listen for car horns. Hear none, and realize that the Sabres must have lost. Try not to think about it.
Drink a lot.

Tuesday: No, it's not over. You have the Norwegians now. You have Ambitious Plans of Things To Do With Them.
6:00 wake up. Do things.
7:00 nobody else is awake...
8:00 (e:zobar) gets up and gets ready for work. No other signs of life in house. Until PQ gets up and manages to lock herself in the bathroom. Attempt bravely to rescue her, until she rescues herself with a pair of makeshift pliers made out of scissors. Traumatized, she goes back to bed.
9:00 (e:zobar) goes to work. No other signs of life in house.
10:00 No signs of life.
11:00 Ah. Signs of life. Weather is uncooperative for trip to Falls. Go out to breakfast and then shopping instead. Mm, Kosta's.
4:00 PQ is on verge of hyperventilation from coolness of shopping in US. Take a break. Go get (e:zobar) from work. Drive home and have a calming dinner at home.

8:30 roller derby practice. Realize you have SO MUCH TO DO for the upcoming bout that you really can't afford the time to go to Mom and Dad's with the Norwegians. Be sad about that. But realize that you really do have commitments and have to honor them, and besides, you have a lot to do around the house.
11:00-1:00 Drink a lot, at home. Amuse one another immensely.

Wednesday
Sleep in. Only, not really. 8:00 am get up with (e:zobar) and feed him bagels and coffee. Lie around staring blankly at stuff until 9:30. Then feed Norwegians bagels and coffee. Amuse the crap out of yourselves by taking phonetic Norwegian dictation to write postcards to their friends and such. This is a highly entertaining pastime and I recommend it to anyone.
11:00-12:30 A little bit more shopping, then buy lunch to go at Cafe 59 and hie thee to the train station.
Sit and eat lunch while you wait for the train.
The train is late.
The train is later.
2:05: Put Norwegians onto the "1:25" Maple Leaf to Albany. Wave goodbye.
Go home.
Start working on something you'd been meaning to do for days. Forget what it is.
Fall facefirst into bed.
Sleep 45 minutes.
Be awakened by phone. Attempt to speak coherently to your father, who's wondering if you got the Norwegians onto the train and if he's picking them up and what's going on there...
Put phone down. Realize there are miles to go before you sleep.
Go do the dishes.
6:00 pm. J and Redfox come over to work on roller derby press and production stuff. Redfox abducts you to go shopping and pick up food. Catch up on all the Dollies gossip. Catch up on all the league gossip. Get excited about roller derby again. Meanwhile J and (e:zobar) are amusing the hell out of one another.
12:00 J finally gives up on trying to print business cards, and takes Redfox home. (She passed out on the couch about an hour before.)

Fall asleep. Never wake up.

Until now. Oh man. I have so much to do and I have that kind of depressing let-down of not being so frantically busy but happy anymore. I miss the Norwegians, I wish I was at Mom and Dad's with them, I wish I could be there, but I have a lot to do here and I have to kind of slot myself back into my own life now and remember where I left off...
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05/11/07 11:54 - 53ºF - ID#39236

now i remember what i was going to blog

So last night we had car issues, and so (e:zobar) had to go take the car into the shop, and wouldn't be able to pick me up from work to take me to practice. We both had to be there because he's also a member, now, of the Ad-Hoc Promotions And Production Committee for the Queen City Roller Girls (the committee's official motto, given that we were formed because if we didn't do it nobody would, is "If You Don't Like It Then Do It Better Yourself"). But my team captain lives right near the airport, so in the past I've had her swing by and pick me up enroute to practice and it's worked out well.

She had to be there early, so she brought me there early with her. And I didn't mind at all, so I sat and got out my laptop and started looking at the press release I need to modify to hand out to any media-types that show up to the bout.

Another member of the A-HP&PC(QCRG) was there. We'll call him J; his fiancee is Redfox, #41, who pivots and jams for the Dollies. He owns a company and so knows a lot about media relations, calling in favors, running meetings-- all these important things we need a lot. He also is a tech geek and has been doing a lot of work for the league from the time of our first bout-- he designed the scoreboard and runs it during bouts and practices. (We don't use it every practice. Usually we just mark tallies on a whiteboard, or just call out point totals after a jam, if even that.)

So J was there. He saw me and came over, and said, "So, where's Z?" I blinked at him. "We have a meeting tonight, don't we?"
"We do?" I said. "I mean, right, we do. Uh, he should be here shortly. Shall I call him?"
"Why don't you," he said. So I did.
There was no answer at our house, so I waited a little bit, and then called (e:zobar)'s cellphone. He answered somewhat testily, and I asked when he was planning on getting to the rink. "I just pulled into the parking lot," he answered. He's always hard to read on the phone, and always sounds grumpy. I always wind up sounding apologetic because I don't want to piss him off more than he is. Especially when I'm calling him to tell him he's late for something he didn't know he had to be at. So I said "Oh, awesome, of course you are," and was conciliatory and probably referred to him as "honey" which is a word we both use when we're annoyed with one another, and hung up.
J was sitting there watching me, and looked amused.
"He's just in the parking lot," I said.
"How long have you two been together?" he asked.
"Five years in July," I said.
"And you're still that sweet to each other?"

I didn't burst his bubble by saying that's how I sound when we're almost-quarrelling. We don't actually quarrel that much. We're just needlessly curt until we get time to actually enjoy each other's company again.

So I had to drive him into work, because we got to talking and he missed the bus this morning. (To be fair, he was tying his shoes, but, it took him a little too long.) And normally I try to come up with some other errand to run, because it's a long drive to make needlessly. But missing the bus meant that he had time to have a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal with me, and then I got to talk to him the whole drive in to work, so on the way home I concluded that, at least this once, it was a useful and necessary trip all on its own even without any errands getting done on the way home.
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05/11/07 11:41 - 53ºF - ID#39235

new era

So I handed in my security badge and my micros (cash register) card and my bank key yesterday, and bade a perhaps-less-than-fond, but polite farewell to my old job. Whatever else I may say about it, at least I always felt strongly about it, which is something to grow from. Right?

I was supposed to start my new job today, but I am spending next week traveling, and have to be in Long Island by tomorrow mid-day. Fortunately yesterday my new boss called and said, "Er, actually, you know, maybe you should just come in next Monday?" It seemed like kind of a waste of time to teach me to do stuff and then have me gone for over a week, and besides they're still sorting out, internally, what exactly I'm going to do. I know I was totally an impulse-purchase kinda hire-- oh, I haven't blogged that here!
So I was at Nietszche's last Saturday, at the traditional Irish music session. Y'all, by the way, ought to come down one of these Saturdays. It is such a totally awesome way to spend a Saturday early-evening (starts at 4:30, most musicians show up around 5-5:30, goes until 7:30-8:30 depending on when that night's big musical act shows up to kick us out)-- there's no cover, just a tip jar for the musicians, and the Guinness drafts are on special, and the live music is participatory, and there's a lot of laughing.
Anyway. It was a sparse session so I sang a lot to let the other musicians have breaks-- I never get tired of singing.
Anyway, got talking to a fellow who comes now and then, and he asked, as many people do, why I never come to any of the other sessions around town, including the singing-focused one at Ulrich's on Mondays. I have a variety of standard responses, depending on whether I want to mention roller derby or not, but I decided to go with my job this time. "But," I added brightly, "I just quit my job, so I'll be unemployed and will have plenty of free time this summer!"

I can't even explain what happened next, but two days later I was at a job interview. He didn't even ask to see my resume-- he said he just had a good feeling that I'd be capable of what they needed. We'll see how true that feeling winds up being, but it has been very eerie-- every time he mentions another thing, I discover that it's either something I've done, something I've studied, or something I'm interested in learning more about. So, so far, it's bizarrely coincidentally perfect.

Anyway, we'll see. Either it will be awesome or it will be ok, and I have no way of judging yet except that I have a good feeling about it, but it's mostly butterflies now. Oh well.
Tonight I have to drive to Cortland so I can get to Long Island tomorrow. So, good for that, I guess. I have to clean the house and pack first. I am unsure about how much cleaning will actually get done. I'm doing what I can, but just dishes and laundry has taken almost all morning, what with the errands and the assorted Internet-based shit I have to take care of too.
Did I mention I am now the head of Media Relations for the Queen City Roller Girls? I still don't have an official title for that, but there I am. Maybe I'm just the Press contact? I don't know what to call myself. But I've been sending out press releases and, well, mostly procrastinating on all the other duties.
(e:Zobar) and I bought a $500 printer for this, as well. We are now the proud owners of a Xerox color laser printer. He's way excited about this. I actually think it's pretty cool, but for that price there should have been a couple of guys in that huge box too to set the thing up. Fortunately (e:Zobar) has the engineering ability of many men. It's now comfortably ensconced in our makeshift office, occasionally spitting out utterly frivolous pages at our whims.

Also I have planted tomatoes. Go me! I came here initially to blog about something else entirely but now I don't remember what.
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05/06/07 08:13 - 56ºF - ID#39184

sabres haters

Z and I just went over to Niawanda Park for some hot dogs and ice cream at Old Man River's and Mississippi Mudd's.
We took our ice creams down by the river and sat on a bench. Behind us, one of the houses facing onto the road had its front window painted, "GO SABRES" and the house's inhabitants were sitting out front holding up signs and drinking.
As cars passed, they would honk at the people, and the people would yell back. Motorcyclists would shout, people in convertibles would wave and yell.
This had obviously been going on all evening.
My first thought, when i heard a car honking, was that the driver had seen someone he knew. But no, these were complete strangers, I am sure-- it just happened too often, and River Rd is too busy with thru traffic for it to be all acquaintances.
Complete strangers were just having a great old time, making noise and cheering at one another.

I've seen a lot of people lately going on about how pathetic it is for people to be so fired up over hockey, how stupid it is to spend money on a professional sports team when there are other things that urgently need funding for the greater good.
And I'm not usually a sports person. I couldn't have told you the names of more than half a dozen Sabres at mid-season, and only then because people have the names on their jerseys. I still couldn't tell you much about the team. And, indeed, I have only watched one game all year.

But for dozens of people, that I witnessed, today was just the best day ever. They had nothing in common with one another, except that they were happy about a sports game. They would never have engaged one another, except for this sports team that they had in common.

I dunno, I just can't find it in my heart to begrudge people that. I still probably won't watch the game(s), but I can't find anything bad in it.


In other news, I interviewed (e:paul) about the site and am, in my head, working over some possibilities about writing an origin myth explanatory article. It's a fascinating topic.
I also am on the verge of getting a job after quitting my old one-- but I'm just not sure I want a new one. LOL, the grass is always greener when you're unemployed, or something.
I dunno, I'm gonna go finish my beer-- beers on the porch season is starting, which is awesome. Awesome.
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04/27/07 11:54 - 46ºF - ID#39068

Fleshette

So. Tomorrow night (ok, in half an hour, it's Today) is roller derby.
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.)


image

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.
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04/23/07 08:42 - 54ºF - ID#39020

experiencing culture backwards

So I only recently got a copy of Jefferson Airplane Starship Whatsit's "White Rabbit".

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!
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04/23/07 10:17 - 69ºF - ID#39014

aw i missed 4/20!

Wow I accidentally hit "publish" before I even wrote anything in here. Quickest... blog entry... ever!!!

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.

image

Anyway.

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.


image
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04/11/07 12:14 - 32ºF - ID#38846

OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE CRAZY

OH MY GOD. The world is full of crazy people. Crazy people. CRAZY PEOPLE. VIOLENT CRAZIES.

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.
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