Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Red Rockette

Mind you, this is not  10 reasons why I love roller derby, but 10 reasons why I love roller derby with the Red Rockettes. Because I have recently become aware that playing roller derby somewhere else and playing roller derby with the Red Rockettes are not synonymous.

So here they are, in no particular order (because it's way to hard to pick a particular order), the 10 reasons why I love being a Red Rockette:

10. Even if you've never put on a pair of roller skates in your entire life, you'll be zooming around the track with the best of them in no time, thanks to our awesome teachers.

9. There is absolutely no pressure; everyone can learn and skate at their own pace (which in turn, helps you get a lot better a lot faster, because with no pressure, it's all just fun).

8. We have so much fun. Like really, so much fun I can't even describe it.

7. With resident Brits, England's Glory and Babe Rainbow, everything sounds better. Cross-overs become "crouwss-ouvahs," and important becomes "reeahlly eeessenteeahl." And yes, that is my attempt at trying to type in a British accent.

6. We are so nice. There's no backstabbing, ruthless pummeling or drama of any kind among the Red Rockettes. We are a group of women who genuinely just enjoy skating and derbying it up together.

5. We have the best logo in the entire world. Designed by England's Glory! Seriously, look at this thing!

4. If anyone falls or gets hurt, EVERYONE stops to make sure they are okay, and applauds when they get up. It makes falling and getting hurt totally cool.

3. We get a weekly blog feature thanks to the adorable, amazing, totally bad ass Babe Rainbow.

2. The way it makes me feel. Skating with the Red Rockettes is empowering, encouraging, and exciting. I leave there happy and high on endorphins, hardly able to sleep I'm so jazzed up, and I just barely come down from it right in time to head to another practice with the Rockettes.

1. (This would be #1 even if I were doing a specific order, because how could it not be #1?) The Red Rockettes themselves. This is honestly one of the greatest groups of gals on Earth, and I love them all to death. I reiterate my former statement that I have a whole league full of derby wives. Life really can't get any better than skating with these ladies every week. I would skate with them every day if I could.

The following picture, I think, best illustrates my experience with the Red Rockettes. After getting so caught up in looking backwards, waiting for the jammer, I forgot it's important to look forwards too, and took a spectacular fall right over Primrose.

My favorite part of the picture is the look of absolute concern and horror on Ruby's face. This is what the Red Rockettes are all about -- genuinely caring about your teammates, no matter what.

We're skating in our first public scrimmage this weekend, during halftime at The Rise of Roller Derby bout. While I'm slightly terrified, I wouldn't want to go throw myself around a track, on wheels, in front of a huge crowd with anyone else other than my Red Rockettes. I know that no matter what happens out there, we're going to look like a group of women having the best time of our lives.

Shameless plug: The next session of the Red Rockettes is starting on Thursday, April 7th at the Derby Depot (1417 S. 700 W. #17) at 7:30 p.m. If you have any interest in learning roller derby in a fun, low-key, low-contact, no-pressure, totally encouraging, extremely chill environment from some of the best skaters around, contact England's Glory at redrockettes@rocketmail.com or message the Red Rockettes directly on Facebook!

Monday, March 28, 2011

There Was This One Time When I Got Sick of Wearing Pants

It was about a month ago.

Okay, I've been sick of wearing pants for a few months, but I thought momentarily that I was cured when I bought several pairs of extremely stretchy jeans from Old Navy (some would call them jeggings, but I stand by my statement that they were merely stretchy jeans, considering that they all had a functioning fly, all 5 pockets were real, and the waistband was not made of elastic). I was happy as a clam for a few weeks. I even went so far as to go skiing in my new stretchy friends.

My new-found happiness was crushed pretty quickly, however, as my Old Navy jeans started wearing out mere weeks after I bought them (shocking, I know). I started feeling bad about wearing them, because my thunder thighs were rubbing the inseams to ribbons with every step. And so pretty soon, I was back to hating pants.

Now, I'm not ready to go full Gaga and skip substantial leg coverings all together (though I revel in wearing nothing but tights, booty shorts, and no pants whatsoever to roller derby every week), nor am I ready to go full Ingalls and succumb to a skirt-clad summer. What, oh, what could I do?

Cue jumpsuits!

Now don't laugh. I know what you're thinking when you think "jumpsuit," and I want to tell you that your preconceived notions are only about 80% correct.  Trust me when I say that the other 20% makes all the difference in the world. You may also be remembering that season of ANTM when Tyra wore few things that weren't the worst jumpsuits man has ever seen. Well let me say this: anything Tyra can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than Tyra. So hold on to your panties, and get ready for the awesomeness that is MY NEW JUMPSUITS!

They're comfortable, pretty darn cute, the more mature older sister of rompers (which I am also a big fan of), and the perfect alternative to sucky jeans. Plus, Forever 21 has an entire shopping tab devoted to the joys of one-pieces -- rompers and jumpsuits unite!

Begone muffin tops, begone tight-fitting crotches and thighs that make that "voot, voot" sound when I walk!

So before you start to think that I secretly got a job shamelessly promoting jumpsuits and will soon start telling you that I "have an amazing opportunity for you where you can make tons of money doing little to nothing, you just have to get your friends to abandon pants and start wearing all-in-one attire," let me address that, as awesome as jumpsuits are, they pose one serious, serious problem: peeing.

I'm not joking. I have to get COMPLETELY undressed when I have to pee. I have to take off my cardigan, take of my belt, pull my jumpsuit off my shoulders and drop it to my ankles, and repeat the whole process in reverse when I'm done.

Sounds horrible, right? Well let me add that, upon my discovering this dilemma, I also realized that one of the jumpsuits I had bought buttons up the back. What the crap? I can't reach back there!  How am I ever going to pee?  I came up with 3 possibilities:

1. I cannot pee the entire day
2. I can pee, it just has to be in my pants
3. I can ask fellow restroom guests to help me unbutton and rebutton my clothing

Yeah. Those were the only possible scenarios I could see myself getting into while traipsing around in my one-piece wonder. Luckily, however, Forever 21 saved my life by giving the thing a REALLY wide neckline. Crisis averted; jumpsuit infatuation successfully launched.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Did I Mention That I Do Roller Derby?

Yeah, I did mention it, I know. A few times, I know. But now I'm going to really talk about it. I'm really going to tell you about derby, because it's awesome, and there's no reason you shouldn't hear me tell you all about how awesome it is.
Photo from Jason Santii. Thanks, dude!
  There are also all these devoted bloggers on my league, who give week-by-week updates on our killer practices, and frankly, they've inspired me. I want to talk about all my joys and pains and pains and pains and pains with the rest of 'em. So lets talk about ROLLER DERBY! Well, after you check out these other derby blogs from Bone Jr., IndyGo Wylde, and last but certainly as opposite of least as you can get, Babe Rainbow who writes a weekly blog for In This Week. Check out the latest post for awesome tidbits about a bunch of the girls in the league, including me, Lil' Dread Riding Hood.

And now it's time for me to blog. So here's the thing: roller derby is equally tough and addicting. There hasn't been a week that I haven't been sore the entire weekend afterwards, and there hasn't been a single week that I haven't had to force myself to stop. I genuinely do not want to stop skating at the end of practice. Or ever. I skate around the house all the time, practicing turning backwards in the hallway (often with hilarious/painful results) and doing crossovers between the kitchen and living room. Woot woot for hardwood floors, eh?

Last night we scrimmaged as a group, and I was so proud of myself for making it through the pack as a jammer, and more than once! And that also meant making it past some blockers who were being a total pain in the butt. Bruiser, I'm looking at you.

Another moment of personal pride: getting one good block in on Queen Anne's Revenge. Trust me, it's a big deal. Queen's like the crazy crack goddess of roller derby.

Then there were those few times I fell, got my finger smashed between the floor and someone's knee pad, and garnered a bruise on my arm I can't explain at all. It's not as good as the time I had distinct fingerprint-shaped bruises on my upper arm though. That was tight.

Then there was this time when we were having blocker/jammer drills and I went up against Sugar Plum Scary, who is totally kicking butt. But guess what else is awesome about her? She used to dance for Ballet West, and I USED TO HAVE A POSTER OF HER HANGING IN MY BEDROOM! I'm not joking. There was a time when my awe of her could not be contained, and now she's throwing me right back into it by turning into a killer roller girl.

On another random roller derby tangent: There's something in derby called your "derby wife." I totally wasn't there when Manna described it, but I heard through the grapevine that it's the one girl on your league you can count on for anything, but you also just want to hit the crap out of her. I'm always ready to lay a good one on Manna, and she is the reason I joined roller derby in the first place. I have to say though, I think I'm going to have a whole league full of derby wives soon, because I love them all to death, and heaven knows I want to knock them all to the ground.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AN and a TM!

I finally watched the first episode of America's Next Top Model. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I know one thing for sure, and that is that the pre-released photos of the contestants were completely misleading.Well, not completely. Mostly just for one girl.

I have abandoned all my favorites and settled, instead on Hannah.

And maybe I have a type, since she's got a similar look to former favorites of mine, Allison and Jane.

So I don't know how I feel about the whole skipping casting week thing. I was all for it until a coworker pointed out that we now know nothign about these girls. This is true. But getting straight to photo shoots and runways was right up my alley. And oh, did they really get straight to it.

Walking above water has suddenly become blase. Walking above water in a giant hamster ball full of red confetti, on the other hand, is not. And of course the judges acted like these gals were completely innept when they fell off the runway and couldn't get themselves righted again. They're stuck in a bubble floating on top of a pool, people! I loved when Erin Wasson said that she didn't think she could even do that. No one can. These runway challenges are asinine.

Among other highlights of the evening: when they tricked the girls who made it into believing, at first, that they actually hadn't. Tyra spewed off something about getting used to rejection, and learning the trick from Ashton Kutcher.Yes, Ashton Kutcher. The real clincher on the crapfest of the move, was that there was a flipside to the prank Tyra pulled on her cycle 16 contestants: A group of girls who didn't actually make the cut, who were lead to believe they had. Of course they were thrilled. Of course they all had flashes of themselves as in self-congratulatory photo shoots starring Tyra. Of course they were practicing saying, "you can see my latest photos in Vogue It-al-ia." And then, somewhere off screen, someone who I guarantee was not Tyra, broke the news that they didn't make it, but were, in fact, part of an elaborate joke on the girls who stole their dreams away.


Luckily, Jaclyn's fear that she would get stuck in the giant hamster ball forever brought me right back around and I forgot all about those sad sacks Tyra wanted me to forget all about.

So anyway, last week it was being a giant hamster, and this week it's posing with bees. BEES!?!?!! As much as I like bees, I'm starting to get the feeling that ANTM is turning into one giant episode of Fear Factor. Or 13: Fear is Real. Pretty soon you will see this face on your screen, saying:


That one's for you, Joel.