Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tomball Night

This Friday, August 3rd, HRD is going up to Tomball for Tomball Night. I'm not sure what to expect, but you put a bunch of cowboys and derby girls together, drinking beer telling tall tales... well I expect to have a good time!
I'm renting a passanger van that will carry a bunch of us up from the Montrose area into Tomball and back. It's supposed to be a 'party bus', but Texas has stupid open container laws, so I'm not sure how that is going to work out. I'm going to do a little research to find out how we can legally let the people in back drink as long as the driver stays sober.
I'll post more after the event. This is a great excuse for me to buy those boots I've been looking at... and a cowboy hat. Yeehaw!
Update on 08-06-07

The Tomball Night was a big success! Robert had a huge space for us, and we brought tables and a canopy and filled it up with all kinds of HRD merch. We sold more at this event than any other event outside of our bouts. We now have razorback tank tops, and I love mine already! The fireworks were cool, and the parade was nice (a little short, but nice). We'll try to get in the next one and spice it up a bit... hehe
The antique guns and knives at Bob's Wild West were cool... if you're into hunting and that kind of stuff. Robert had his own mini store next to our table with LOTS of cool silly things... like bendable Gumby and Simpsons figurines. We bought a bag full of cute/fun stuff. I guess you would call them novelty items. They were really cool though.

Blue Heeler

We got home from the camping trip on Sunday. Late that night there was a puppy out in the street, trying to play with the traffic. I usually wouldn't mess with a dog running around outside, but this one was so cute and really close to being hit that I just couldn't leave her out there. She's a blue heeler, and very gentle. She came up to me very shy, with her tail between her legs, and with big puppy dog eyes. I put her in the back yard with my two dogs. There's a doggy door to the house where there is food and water. We keep a doggy exercise pen around the doggy door area, so I didn’t have to worry about this puppy getting too far into the house.She is so soft and pretty. And very playful. She was friendly to both of my dogs, who are less than half her size. She didn’t bark or cry the whole night.

She looks so sad... she could be howling "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen..."

"Nobody knows my sorrow..."
I have to put a disclaimer on these pictures... she looks so sad, but Chris could only take the photos from the other side of the fence because when he was in there with her she wanted to play too much and wouldn't sit still... she was very happy and playful the whole time. She reinforces my belief that blue heelers are a great breed of dog.

Well I'm happy to say that I found her home! After work on Monday I put a collar and leash on her and walked her around the neighborhood. Some boys playing basketball in the street recognized her and walked with me three blocks over to her owners house. She had been looking for her dog. That just made my day :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Camping was a hit

We went camping this past weekend. I was worried about the weather, and inconsistent reports about it flash flooding and thunderstorms. I didn’t want to be stuck in a muddy tent, or not be able to float the river. Well my fears were unfounded. The nine of us camped in tents, and went tubing and had a great time in the sun the whole weekend.
We got to the Guadalupe pretty late Friday night (around 11pm). We set up tent, ate, and then I went to sleep J Actually I slept a lot in the car on the way up there too. What can I say? I was tired!
Chris apparently stayed up until 4 or 5 in the morning playing with everyone in the river. Our camp was on the edge of the water, and they all wanted to get a head start on the water fun. All I know is when I woke up BloXX and Nawty were covered in mud from wrestling that night. Hahaha… I hope someone got pictures of that!
Bees were everywhere. One even ended up in my mouth! Ugh!!! It didn’t sting me, but freaked me the heck out! A bee did sting Chris on his back. We had a great time floating down the river. Met lots of other tourists. Introduced them all to the Houston Roller Derby. We were ‘packing it up’, and giving leg whips the whole time we were out there.
We didn’t bring sunscreen on the river, and what we had put on that morning wore off… we all got a little sun burnt. I’m hurting today! I used SPF 45, but like I said it wore off. At least my back didn’t get any sun, so my tat is safe. And I was wearing sunglasses and a hat, so my face isn’t red either. But oh how my legs and stomach hurt!!!
I took a nap on the river too. I was so comfortable, with my hat down and drooling on my chin. Then I hear some whispering… “Don’t wake her up… let’s see if she notices…” Those meanies were going to see if I could make it down some of the rapids asleep! But I heard them, and I heard the sound of the upcoming waterfalls, so I was able to go down them wide awake! Chris was supposed to protect me and wake me up!! But he wanted to see how far I’d go too! Hahahaha… I’ll get them back…
I’d forgotten how peaceful it is to sleep under the stars. When the sun went down the air was clean and a little cool. Did I mention that I slept a lot on this trip?
Goldie and her man Martin cooked some really good fajitas and chicken… not to mention waffles with eggs and bacon for breakfast!
The owner lady of the camp was a real witch. She stomped over to us to yell at us that no one is allowed to have their own float at her campsite. You have to rent theirs. We didn’t know, and she didn’t have to be that rude to just let us know their policy. We just took the tubes down the road and aired them somewhere else… and those of us without our own tubes rented from somewhere else also. This was probably their last busy weekend of the season because they will be releasing the damn at Canyon Lake today and it’ll flood the river for about 3 weeks. And we could have rented our tubes from them, but because of how rude that lady was we didn’t. And we will not go back to that place. Customer Service!! If she had talked to us friendly it would have made a world of difference. It would have made our weekend better, and hers too probably!
We found the snake that lives at the spot we camped at. It hides in the rocks at the shore of the river. Less than 10 feet from where we slept. Thank God we didn’t know that until we were almost leaving… I wouldn’t have been able to sleep so well!
We all took a bunch of pictures. We’ll post them soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Simpsons....

Meet Elle Simpson. She has a really strong southern accent :)

You can create your own Simpson self.
Make your own, and post it, or a link to it if you can.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In the beginning...

Over two years ago I stumbled upon a myspace profile where a skater was talking about something called roller derby. I had no clue what it was, but I was looking for people to go skate with. (I had heard rumors about groups of people skating downtown, but had not located http://www.skatetrash.org/ or any urban animals at that time).

I met Psuedo Punk, HardCora, Bettie McNasty, Tawdry Hepburn (it was her birthday), Chewcifer, and MiLuv Tequila at Rudyards. They were all in quads and giggled that I was in blades (I used to love my K2's... now they're gathering dust). We skated to Rice University where they did some laps on the track and practiced turn around stops (turn around stops were the coolest thing I'd ever seen). Psuedo broke roller derby down for me... very basic. It's a game. They do it in Austin. Two teams skate an oval track trying to pass each other (I didn't catch the part about blocking or hitting at the time).

For Tawdry's birthday we ate at Two Rows, then went to see MiLuv's boyfriend's band play at a bar downtown. There's a picture of my first night floating around the internet somewhere (we're in the bathroom of all places!). I definitely liked the social part… they were all very friendly.

That was a Friday night. I showed up for practice that Sunday and rented some of the rinks quads so I could participate. Two days later I had my own quads and was ready to sign up. I had no idea what I was getting in to.

Fast forward over two years, 320 practices, four pairs of skates, seven pairs of wheels, dozens of bruises and rink burns later. Now I spend two nights a week at league practice, once a week at team practice, one to two nights on derby art, and an event or two on the weekend. Usually I can depend on Monday night being my own.

You'd think by now I'd be used to the practices. But I am just not a naturally athletic woman. I was a vegetarian, but started eating meat about 9 months ago. I had to accept the fact that derby is an extremely demanding sport that requires more fuel than tofu. Now I drink a protein smoothie, a Boost, and eat a protein bar every day. And I eat a steak every once in a while to try and beef up.

I think the hardest part about being in roller derby is just showing up. Making that commitment to be there and participate, that’s the deal breaker for most who don’t stick around. If you go to practice, and push yourself 100% the whole time… you’ll become a better skater. Your form will improve, your understanding of strategy and the game will improve. You’ll get faster and hit harder, all by just showing up and skating.

But showing up for all those practices… that is the kicker. You’re going to miss out on so many other things in your life. That’s the reason I postponed taking more college night classes. The reason I haven’t finished a painting in two years. I don’t know how some skaters work full time and go to school… and I have a lot of respect for the women who have kids and still participate in derby.

So after all this time I am loving derby more and more. When we actually get to scrimmage or bout… that is the best. That’s what all the hard work is for. I can admit though that I am looking forward to a time when I will be retired, and will be able to enjoy watching a bout completely relaxed. Oooh… and this September Nationals will be held in Austin… we already have our VIP tix and hotel reservations… three days of derby by the top teams in the nation… it’s going to rock!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Camping... Rain or Shine?

A bunch of us are going to the Guadalupe river this weekend. I’m excited because I haven’t been this year yet. But I’m also worried about the weather. It’s supposed to thunderstorm everyday. That would not be cool.

Ann Heiser Butch put together this floating trip and has at least 22 people signed up to go. Then Goldie BloXX and a few more of us are going to camp on the river. I haven’t been real ‘sleep in tent’ camping in years. I’m a little nervous about camping in the rain, but BloXX promises that we will be fine. As long as the river is open, we’re going. Yeah!

I need to remember to pack my OFF and sunblock (I’m so white Death calls me Transparent).

I love the river. The first time I ever got drunk was on the river. I was teaching some college boys the right way to swig Hot Damn, and got carried away. I didn’t realize I was drunk until I tried to get out of the river at the end of the float. I kept sliding down the mud.
And I’m the only person I know who can sleep on the river. It is so relaxing… just tie up with someone, pull my hat down, and take a nap. Priceless. Hopefully we’ll have lots of stories and pictures from this trip. Well, maybe not pictures!

New Blogness & Tripping

I miss myspace. I used to blog almost everyday. Well since my work doesn't block this site (yet) I can try again to have a blog outlet.

I've been watching programs about sports on tv when I get a chance lately. I was never into watching sports before derby, but now want to know how other athletes do it. I saw a great special on the Detroit Shocks (www.wnba.com/shock/) the women's basketball team. The 2003 & 2006 WNBA champs.

The special was focused on the coaching team and their method of training. The coach is really aggressive and a bit of a bully. He used to play in the NBA, and was known as a bad boy... lots of fouls. He has taught the Shocks how to play rough, and now they all are a team of bad girls, who get lots of penalties.

This got me thinking about derby, and how close we are to heading down the pathway of everyone playing with disregard to the rules and penalties. Right now on our league there are only a couple of skaters who we think like to trip, or fall in front of jammers, on purpose. I'm not talking about an occasional throwing a penalty in the heat of the moment. Skaters that continue to fall, slide, trip and otherwise not play according to the rules or the way that every skater on the league has agreed to play, even after they have been approached and asked to stop.

So what now? What do we do? Should someone approach each girl individually? Should we as a league discuss this? What if she denies it, or doesn't think there is anything wrong with it, or even worse, thinks that as long as she isn't caught by the refs then it's okay. Then should we all change the way we skate to include tripping, pushing, sliding, and forget about clean blocks and legal hits?

Should I even be discussing this in a public setting? Sure... I want to know what the fans think too. Especially those who watch mainstream sports... how is this type of stuff handled in other sports?

I won't call out anyone in particular, or let someone else call out anyone in a comment. No calling out any one skater or team. That's the only censorship here.