Went to open skate last night for Mia’s birthday. It was fun to skate again, and lovely to see everyone there—Hazel, Cha Cha (I’ve rarely spoken to her one-on-one; I knew but hadn’t really understood what a lovely and funny person she is), C.N. Red, Sour Grapes, Holly Lulu, some new people, and I think I’m forgetting someone, besides of course Mia Mauler. It sounds trite but I had sincerely forgotten how much I liked all these people, and had not realized how much I was missing them.
I was sorry not to see more people there—some people had said they’d be there, and weren’t. Which is too bad.
At least seeing the ones who *were* there reminded me that I am excited to get back to roller derby, really. Three weeks off—or is it four?—with only the Yahoo group and its inexplicable, incomprehensible flamewars had not done a great deal to reinstill in me a desire to skate again.
But I’ll be there on Sunday and I’ll be excited.Read more... )
But growth means change. And change is good. And we’re going into this second season very strong. I just wish everyone would chill the hell out and remember that we really do all want the same thing.

I opened this window to write about something else, but that was eight hours ago, and I don’t remember now.


Jan. 5th, 2007 09:29 am
I managed to get to roller derby practice last night too. It was awesome, and I blogged more about it over here. I sort of feel like maybe I shouldn't blog so much about roller derby here, but we'll see: every time I've tried to break things out into a separate blog it's failed, so you know I'll be back. I just feel like I should put something up on Myspace that isn't whining, since that's all that most of the rollergirls see of me.

In other news I just got an email from my Dad and he is so adorable. It's a long email and i know it must've taken him an hour or more to write it, because he types so slowly. (It's a sign of their generation, I think, that my mother types 100 wpm but is uncomfortable learning new tasks on the computer, while Dad is largely unintimidated by new computer programs as he had to learn a lot of them for work, but was never taught to type properly. Of course girls were taught to type! But why would you teach a boy to type? Hah!)

He's bought himself a new pistol, a .22, because try as he might he's never really become that comfortable with the larger-caliber pistols that are standard in the Army, and now that he doesn't need to use them he's happier not doing so. Also, the ammunition for a .22 is tremendously cheaper than for a .45 or a 9mm, and the muzzle report is a great deal less loud, and the weapon is much lighter. In general they're just so much easier and safer to handle (not that a bullet ain't a bullet, but for example hearing protection and the amount the gun kicks are much more manageable for the smaller caliber), and he's been wanting one for a while. So Ann and Katy bought him a gift certificate to the gun shop he frequents, and so he finally went ahead and got the pistol he wanted.
I don't know if I mentioned that I bought him (with some chipping in from Fiona) a new-antique straight razor (newly made from old parts; authentically old, but never used), and while he had said he probably wouldn't use it every day, he's been using it a lot this past week and giving me updates, with great glee. So I'm glad for that.

In order to have this pistol, I had to go to the County Clerk's office to get it put on my permit; then the store could give it to me. The person who handles permits was very nice, and very efficient (a government employee!). As my permit was 31 years old, and the photo showed me in a full beard looking like a terrorist, that all had to be updated, a new photo taken, and a thumbprint! Very high-tech. All took 10 minutes (she also told me that if I die, my next-of-kin have 10 days to contact her, turn in the permit, and tell her how the guns will be disposed of! Something to think about, as anyone in NY has to have a permit to get them). So, Ann & I picked up the gun yesterday and tried it out. We both shot better with it than we had with the other ones. It's pleasant to fire, and with ammo cheaper, much more enticing to try different techniques. It will make practice more inviting, and I think will easily help improve accuracy for the beginners.
I've also been practicing, on & off with the razor. The strop & supplies for it arrived yesterday, but I haven't tried it out yet. it's interesting to use. A pistol & razor - a great Christmas!

Ed. note: I saw that pistol permit. Yes, it featured a black-and-white photograph of my father at about 30 with a neatly trimmed but very full beard, and yes, "terrorist" is the word I would've used to describe his appearance. When I went in with Ann and Katy to get the gift certificate, the gun shop clerk asked who it was for as he figured he'd probably know the guy, and we described that pistol permit and the clerk laughed and said, "Oh yes, him."

omg dood

Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:54 pm
I haven't written a rollerskating squee post in a while, so I'm going to now. I don't know what it was tonight, but from the moment I got out on the rink I had a great deal more flexibility in my legs than ever before, and I could totally cross over all the way, left foot under right, the right way. I've never done it that easily before. I have no idea why it worked, except for a) I've made it to three consecutive practices, which I don't usually manage, and skated hard at all three, and b) I was wearing spandex leggings, which I never do, and short shorts, so there was no excess fabric on the inside of my thighs. I have no idea why either of those two should have made such a difference, but there I was, skating really well. I was almost fast today. It was exciting.

I was super lazy this morning and didn't do the laundry, though in my defense Z hadn't unpacked his suitcases so I didn't have his clothes to wash anyway. But that means I have to stay up now, and do laundry, and I'm just so sleepy I don't want to.

[TMI] I wonder if, after I've switched this load over to the dryer and put the next one in, if I can get some nookie out of Z? wow, man, that would blow my mind. We should spend more time apart because I get laid so much more when he comes home. [/TMI] Sorry about that.

Z is totally writing that romance novel. So far his characters are named... wait for it... XX and XY. Best. Placeholder. Names. EVER!

time flies

Dec. 29th, 2006 08:57 am
I am honestly absolutely booked solid until the new year. I sort of really don't like that feeling, but it's all things I want to do. (Except for work. I'm so disinterested in work at the moment. Which is a shame; you'd think with all the time I've had off, I'd be revitalized, but I'm really not. The only motivating factor I have is that I have to earn money to invest with my brother-in-law, which is silly and not really working very much for my motivation, but whatever.)
I didn't take a nap yesterday, but finished up with the bathroom instead, except that I hung the new shower curtain out on the back porch to air out, because they always smell so strong when you take them out of the package. And I was right-- it reeks out there, just from the new shower curtain liner. But the new curtain itself-- it's one of those posh fabric ones!! Oh my. Those are expensive! I must send Mom a photo of how nice it looks, to thank her.
But this means that I got home last night after having managed to attend roller derby practice (and showing up late didn't mean I missed anything, as the rink's previous engagement had run a little late-- ha ha!) and direly needing a shower, only to find that there was no shower curtain. Hm. I'd used up the last of my strength putting the garbage out by the curb, and could not face attempting to thread fifteen little rings through holes and onto a pole. So I took a bath instead. And that was nice and all, except that I was so sleepy by the time I got out that I could barely stumble to bed.
I am only a little sore today, although practice was brutal-- Mia was in charge and seemed to take the view that it's unlikely any of us did any working out since before Christmas, so she was going to kick our asses. So, sprints, pyramid drills, sprinting/weaving pacelines, and a whole lot of skating real fast. I am sort of proud of how not sore I am, but then, I didn't just sit on my ass all Christmas. (My family is really really into taking several-mile hikes on the hilly raviney terrain out back, in case anyone didn't know-- oh, I haven't posted photos yet-- and there's been so much rain lately that they were really more scrambles/slides than hikes in several cases.)

I have a lot of shopping I still have to do, things I was putting off until after Christmas. I also have a lot of errands to run, ditto. Then I have work tonight, [livejournal.com profile] rootsnradicals's party after work, work tomorrow morning, the Nietszche's seisun tomorrow afternoon which I promised Bill I'd attend, and then Z is coming home tomorrow at tennish and so all the things I told myself I'd do before he got here have to be done. Ack! What am I doing still in bed?
Oh right, drinking the cold tea that I made myself to drink in the bath last night and didn't.


Dec. 17th, 2006 08:45 pm
OK, this morning as I was leaving for practice I did something unpleasant to the muscles/nerves between my shoulder blades, with which I've had problems before, while lifting my heavy skate bag. It's been bothering me all day, despite a fairly liberal application of illicit Canadian codeine. So there's that. Grump grump.

MySpace has lived up to many of my fears, and has surprised me in some ways, most notably by being as slow to load, error-laden, and difficult to use as Livejournal was in the worst of its bad days back when it required an invite code for a user to sign up and was generally having terrible growing pains. I had sort of figured MySpace, being pretty overtly commercial, could manage to not suck so much, but... no. I've been trying for 45 minutes to add you back, [livejournal.com profile] rootsnradicals, but it keeps giving me really arcane error messages. (Actually about 5 out of 8 times I try to load a page it does that, and at this hour it's doing it, well, about 98% of the time.) [There's some math for ya!]

But, every single Queen City Rollergirl is on there, and I've already learned a lot of things about a lot of girls I'd been meaning to learn more about, so, I guess. I should stop going on and on about it now. (*shakes cane one last time*)

I have done a couple hours' research into socks. Someone mentioned having seen black and blue checkered socks and I have been earnestly searching, but have found no such thing. Tights, yes, but only available in the "90-160 pound" size, which would fit, oh, maybe four of my nine teammates. (Well, maybe five; I'm not so good at guaging sizes.) At any rate, not enough of us to qualify as "uniform".
I would love to find some really knockout-hot socks, especially as the rest of our uniforms are, well, rather plain. Not boring, mind you, they'll just be fairly solid-colored. So really really really hot socks would be a very good finishing touch, rather than making the outfit far too busy.

So if anyone sees any black and blue socks, or combinations thereof (we may wind up wearing layers-- several of us favor wearing tights with socks over them-- so, like, blue and white tights with black fishnets over them, or black patterned tights with blue striped socks over them, or things like that), please do let me know: I know some of you are clothes-horses.
We have a name for our team. We're the Nickel City Knockouts.
I am charged with finding us good socks.
I am so excited I can't really focus.

Also, I have been ordered to get a Myspace page, since everyone else has one. Boo. OK, I can no longer fight it.
Dammit, I have been avoiding Myspace for almost three years now. UGH.
I'll post to it here. Anyone else on Myspace please do feel free to explain to me how you dang kids do it. I just don't get it.

It's not that I'm a snob or anything, I'm just... not... a Myspace person. I don't... get it. *poke poke* There are all these... buttons... and things... on the page... and... what do I ... I don't know where to look! AUGH it's overloading my head! *boom*

It... never let me pick a username. That's weird. ... And an unexpected error has occurred. Thanks. Wait, no, it's working.

*pant pant pant*
God I am such a Luddite drama queen!

OK, here I am on Myspace:

last night

Dec. 10th, 2006 02:03 pm
I am having a lovely Sunday morning. I slept right through roller derby practice, for which I feel very guilty, but this is the first day of my vacation! I've only missed two practices that I could have made but for laziness in the entire time since I started in August, so I think I'm doing ok. (Except, of course, that i miss one a week because of work. But still.)
I just sat on the couch and cleaned my skate wheels, which have accumulated a lot of mung from the rink floor, and the bearings as well as I could without removing them, since they don't come out without a special tool. (They'll come out of some wheels, but really not out of the Witch Doctor blues.) Z is sitting on the love seat writing his next gadget column (on stocking stuffers), and we're listening to the Barenaked Ladies' Maybe You Should Drive, and it's nearly 50 degrees out which means the heat's not on constantly in here so it's actually pleasant.

Last night was just in general a great time. I got home from work, put real clothes on, and we zipped over to Chris and Rose's for a post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. We sat with them and with Chris's mom and sister, and with Z's mom, and we mostly swapped stories of childhood, accompanied by much howling of laughter. Chris's mom is a 2nd-grade teacher in a Catholic school, and Z's mom teaches fourth grade in a magnet school. So it wasn't just our childhoods that were discussed. Teachers, particularly elementary-school teachers, have absolutely wicked senses of humor when you pour a little wine into them.
Also the food was awesome and it was the only real Thanksgiving dinner I got, as I had to work on the last Thanksgiving, so... Mmmmmmmmm.

After we dropped the mothers off at home, Z and I changed clothes slightly and went out to a house party given by the guys whose housewarming party we attended a couple months ago-- e:PMT from elmwoodstrip. (e:Paul, e:Matthew, and e:Terry). This was different from the last one, because it was a birthday party for a particular member (e:Enknot), and so it was comprised largely of his friends, many of whom are not e:strippers, and so at one point Paul commented to me that he didn't know more than about six of the fifty people in his house.
Which was fun.when DL7 parties... mostly she just people-watches )

Anyway. So this week I am on vacation. I am going to spend today, tomorrow, and the day after getting my house and affairs in order, and then Weds. I am going to take the train to Albany, and I'm going to spend a couple days with my grandmother, a couple days with my folks, and then I'm going to take the train back out here. Seems reasonable to me, right?
So we went to open skate last night and rollerskated around, me and Z. It was fun, but we were both tired, and not many people were there, and I really, really, really am not into 80s music, so...

Two humorous moments arose. One was when a fellow Rollergirl asked Z why he was such a fast skater. He shrugged. The two other rollergirls started theorizing about male vs. female physiology and upbringing (actually, in defense of us not all being total dorks, one is a college professor and had been debating that issue earlier in the day with one of her classes, so it was germane). "Maybe it's that typical Western New York dichotomy of the boys playing hockey and the girls learning to cook," one theorizes.
"Z never played hockey," I say, looking at him.
"No," he says. "I never did."
"Oh." The other two girls are stumped.
"But my sister played softball," Z goes on. "In Shoshone Park, she played in one of the softball leagues. She was pretty serious about it-- kind of a jock. I'd go, but it was boring to watch, and I hated organized sports so I wouldn't join a team, but I was hyper and needed exercise. So I had a pair of rollerskates, and I'd skate around and around and around the park. Shoshone Park isn't very big."
"Oh," the girls say, nodding.
"Also I had one of those propeller beanies," Z goes on. "And I learned that the faster I went, the faster the propeller would spin."
"Oh Jeez," say the girls.
"Everyone knew whose brother the spaz with the propeller beanie was," Z says. "It was great."

So I asked Z if he was at all interested in being a referee for us-- since he's already a strong skater, and already has quad skates, and at least knows the names of a lot of the girls. I know we're recruiting, and I don't know how many more we need [anyone in Buffalo who likes to skate, doesn't want to get hit, and likes roller derby: we're looking for YOU for a couple of hours a week], and I don't know if we're allowing the SO's of rollergirls in but it can't hurt to ask.
"No," Z answered. "Not at all."
"Why not?" I asked, curious.
"It takes the fun out," he answered. "When I make a bad call, what do I do? Yell at myself? 'Oh come on, me! What am I thinking?'"
I laughed. "Could you throw things at yourself?"
"'God, I'm such an idiot!'" he went on. "'What am I, blind?'"

That's the true nature of sports appreciation in Buffalo.

In other news my Gram fell down the other day, and seemed unhurt but was in pain when she tried to stand or walk, so they took her to the hospital. She's 86? 87? and has problems with osteoparosis (sp?), so of course it was a big deal. Now, she's mentally very sharp, if slightly more forgetful than she was in her 70s (not much!), and only gave up her driver's license because the insurance was getting pricey. (Her last accident was the other driver's fault, another 80+-year-old driver...) But she's very old, and looks very old, and can be too polite, and so often medical professionals don't take her particularly seriously, because so often little old ladies don't really know what they're talking about.
So they X-ray her and say she's fine, and she says, But it hurts to stand up, and so they do an MRI, and say, Nope, nothing's wrong. And she says, that's nice, but I can't stand up.
So they keep her for observation and say, Nope, you're fine, and she says, But I can't walk.
Finally they say they'll do an MRI, and they don't. After a while, Mom shows up and bullies them into actually doing it. (I think maybe they were trying to kind of distract her into admitting she was fine, or maybe hoping some other symptoms would manifest so they could just diagnose her with something-- I don't know.)
So they do the MRI and say-- oh. It's a crack in your pelvis.
So I'm going to call her later, and, well... I had this coming week off, for vacation. I'm thinking that maybe instead of sitting around the house trying to catch up on housework, rewrite Barbarians_Novel, finish my Christmas shopping, and make the Christmas cookies, maybe I'll go home and spend a few days with Gram. Although now that I look at it, that was kind of a lot I was going to do here... Hey, if I take the train, I can rewrite B_N on the train! oooo. That wouldn't be bad at all, and there'd be no Internet. And also there'd be Gram, and also I can maybe see my uncle who hasn't been well and we can chill a bit.

But it means i gotta get organized pretty darn quick around here.
I really need a copy of the Who's Sell Out.
I don't remember my dreams from last night except that at one point I was singing publicly in a sort of impromptu way with another person, and we sort of spontaneously were trying to sing the song "Tattoo" from that album, only the version Petra Hayden did in her a cappella rendition, because I've never heard the original (how embarrassing), and my dream self had a sheet of the lyrics only I couldn't read, which I think is common in dreams. And so this morning I had to sing the whole thing in the shower just to prove I could. Not that I could sing all nine vocal parts, but I at least had the melody. But it's a more complex melody, by which I mean it has more sections, than most of the traditional tunes I do, so I think I sort of drifted off-key, which would have bothered me more except that I think I'm getting a cold again and that bothers me far more than my own vocal incompetence. (Oh, to have perfect pitch! Oh, to be able to say, "[name of tune] in A" and launch into it actually in A! Ah well. I'm reasonably content that I can, for the most part, go through an entire song and end in the same key I started in, except apparently Who songs in the shower.)

I am still unable to find "skater skirts" because they're not called that. One of my teammates linked to sites with tennis skirts and running skirts but they weren't what I was thinking of either.
Sadly, the thing I liked best that she linked to (in our discussion of team uniforms) was Sourpuss Clothing, which had all KINDS of little skirts like I was thinking of. and then I whine about being fat, which is tiresome, but I leave it as a record of true feelings. )

Hah, I just got the confirmation for my dental insurance election. It goes into effect Jan 1. It costs me $1.62 a week. I thought it would be more.

I don't think I mentioned that the other day I spent 1 3/4 hours on the phone with Wild Bill of Pro-Designed. I want to buy his kneepads. i have to wait for the money to go through to PayPal. I just realized that the math he did over the phone to tell me the price was wrong and I have to do another funds transfer to cover it. Dammit! I'm going to email him and point it out. Although we're about to pick team colors so I should wait for that as well.

I also keep meaning to email my brother-in-law, who is a financial planner and has offered to give me financial advice. He's new and need clients; I'm dumb and need advice; it's a match made in heaven. But I don't think I could really explain that my financial goals include getting fired from my job and becoming a famous novelist, because that's unlikely at best to actually happen. Oh well.

I should go get ready for work. I don't want to. I was going to write a whole witty, pithy entry here. It hasn't worked. You guys flatter me by saying my whining is funny-- last night a customer listened to my tale of how I came to hate Sam Adams Boston Lager (following an incident wherein a customer gestured a couple 20-ouncers of it right off my tray into my chest, filling my shoes with beer with four hours left on my shift) and told me I should be a stand-up comedian. No, I said, it's just a good story.

I just have to collect myself, and it's not working. I was going to write about my writing goals, but I sort of don't have any right now. But! I just remembered I'm on vacation next week, so I think I'm going to tear apart and rebuild Barbarians_Novel then.

What I need is a trusted couple of betareaders. How do professional authors find these? Urgh. I just need someone to help me with plotting and pacing. Otherwise I do this-- write an 180,000-word novel to tell an 80,000-word story. But I've no idea where to even find someone-- the writing groups around here seem inaccessible or hopelessly amateurish, and I really don't have time for another social group right now. Rollergirls takes up way too much time.
Sigh. I'm whining again. Must go get dressed for work.
I'm going to do that post with addresses soon.

But first, a splosion of nifty.

1) Someone on my flist had linked do this. I've had the browser window open ever since. I forget who. It's Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, an abridged version, played entirely on Specialized bicycle parts. No really. It actually is.

2) Practice today. I actually started to do honest-to-god, for-real crossovers, which was pretty awesome, but what's more, I could actually feel what they're supposed to feel like when you do them right, so that's cool.
After practice we went to my team captain (Squeeee!!! My team!)'s house to watch bout DVDs. Sweetpea had a DVD of the Gotham Girls vs. her former team, the Mad Rollin Dolls (motto: Hurt in a Skirt), of Madison WI, at an invitational in Tucson AZ last February.
It was absolutely fascinating to watch, because now we've done enough to see what's going on.
Most astonishing thing:
The Gotham Girls.... Their style was all big hits, aggressive blocking, tons of flair, individual histrionics, and all kinds of filthy dirty dirty play. It was really popular with the crowd, and made for a great DVD-- they were hitting, they were pushing, they were shrieking, they were attitude on eight wheels.
But that kind of thing tires you out.
So there are the girls in their red shirts, showboating around the track and catapulting girls out into the stands.
And there were the sedate blue jumpers of the Mad Rollin Dolls, remaining in their pack formation, making a wall so the GG's jammer couldn't get through, whipping their own jammer through, passing the star to the pivot in a sneaky and highly-planned move-- they were good, and they hit more than they got hit. Their hits were all sly, minimal hits-- just nudging a girl out of bounds so she couldn't block the jammer, or hitting one girl so she stumbled into another. That kind of thing. And that's not to say they didn't get some good hits in-- one Gotham Girl ended up actually crashing into the announcer's table, and another caught air and landed backwards; a third ended up crotch-first in the camera. But they hit with purpose, whereas the Gotham Girls did a lot of showmanship hitting, including one jam where their jammer seemed more interested in checking people than in actually getting through the pack and scoring a point or two.

The final score was the Mad Rollin Dolls 91 to the Gotham Girls 42. The GGs had nearly 70 penalties, to the MRDs' approximately 40. One jam, there were only two GGs on the track, because every single other one of their players was in the penalty box. (Meanwhile the MRDs had a full complement of five. That jam was a blowout.)

So yes. Being the home team of a big media market means you get sponsorships and money, but it doesn't mean you're any good.

Then we watched a DVD of ourselves!! I hadn't realized-- I mean, I knew that on Thursday Hazel had brought her camera, but I hadn't realized she'd actually gotten any footage. It was absolutely hilarious in places, because she'd been participating in the jams when we started scrimmaging, so the camera was left on a stationary pedestal. Which means it could see us as we came around the first bend of the track, but not the other.
So two major collisions/falls/pileups occurred off-camera.
The first one was pretty funny-- the pack goes by, Mia Mauler as a jammer skating hard up behind them. Then, off-camera, Hazel is the back blocker for the opposing team and tries to hit her. Mia shrugs her off like she's nothing, and Hazel becomes airborne and lands outside of the track. [This is how Mia operates. Afterward she asked, "Did I hit somebody?" in complete sincerity. Yes, this is my team captain.] So as far as the camera can tell: Pack goes by, jammer following, and then, THUD. "Ooh!" Mia comes back into view, then the pack comes into view, then Hazel, limping, comes into view. Later in the same jam as they pass the camera, Mia comes up on Hazel again, and Hazel gathers herself as if to hit her, then makes much of mis-judging the range and passing behind her instead. For which none of us can blame her.

The second one was absolutely paralyzingly funny: Mexicali Bruise was skating as a jammer, and as they rounded the corner out of the camera's view, her skate caught one of the cones delimiting the edge of the track, and she lost control and hit the wall hard, full-speed, face-first.
So, on the DVD, the pack goes by, the jammers following closely. There's a moment of just rollerskate noises, then a scuffle, then a loud WHAM!, a brief shocked silence, and a babble of voices going "Oooh!". Then there's another moment of silence, and a feeble voice comes in: "I'm-- okay!"
Then the pack comes back into view, skating a little slower, and then Mexicali comes into view skating like hell after them.

I want to post the video on our website, but really only the WHAM! ... "I'm okay!" part. It was SO funny, we rewound five times to watch it again.
Mexicali was there, on the couch next to me. "You sounded kinda feeble with that okay," Hazel says.
"I was laughing too hard," Mexi answers.
Which, in itself, neatly sums up a certain something about roller derby, but I couldn't tell you what, not in words.


Dec. 2nd, 2006 12:07 am
So the power went out at the airport tonight, just as I was about to leave.

I am really tired, and actually feel far worse than I ought to given the circumstances. I was busy but not that busy. I don't know why, but I sort of hurt everywhere.
But anyway.

I am actually so so so psyched about my team assignment. I really didn't know what I wanted at all, and couldn't think of anything. They asked us to indicate preferences when we voted for team captains-- one person we wanted to be with, and one person we wanted not to be with, just so they'd know when choosing whether there were any possible personality conflicts. Because, you know, if everything else is equal, then you might as well try to put people who actually get along together. They made it clear from the start that those choices would be the last criteria considered, but it couldn't hurt to have them on there.
But I really couldn't think of anyone I loved or hated that much, and have been dithering over whether I should email them last-minute with a preference or not, except that I couldn't really think of any preferences, but the idea of having preferences seemed like such a good one.
Fortunately, they seem to have read my mind, which is a neat trick, as i hadn't even made it up. But somehow they knew who to put onto my team. Whoa, man. Consider my mind blown.
So-- my team will be the greatest. )
So anyway, I'm psyched.

I really should go to bed, though. I just hurt all over. It wasn't that I was busy at work, I just... hurt, a lot. I'm going to call tomorrow morning and ask them whether we have power or not before I report for work.

I can't believe I haven't made myself a roller skate icon yet.
It's going to feature a pink roller skate and heavy black gothic lettering saying "SKATE OR DIE". One of these years. If I can be arsed to open up Photoshop. [Clicking the icon is such hard work.]


Dec. 1st, 2006 10:12 am
I am eating oatmeal. Mm. Oatmeal.
I have a terrible headache. And last night I managed to fall pretty hard a bunch of times (I'm sort of glad I went to practice, honest) while attempting to skate as the jammer, so I am feeling fairly fragile today.
We pretty much bouted all practice, which was awesome, and I think I started understanding how it's supposed to work, and it wound up being a lot of fun, but I sort of got run into a lot.
on video )

I am feeling sort of sorely bereft without Andreas here now. It was awesome to have him here, although I probably should have done more exciting things with him. Now I should clean the house, as I've no more excuse not to. I did do one big load of dishes and I'm doing yet more laundry (how do I have so much laundry, of late? I don't know, but it's kind of crazy), but I am just so tired and fragile and sore and headachey today, you'd never know that I'd just had a mini-vacation. Roller derby will apparently do that to you. Roller derby in combination with a sudden, drastic change of weather, from 65 and sunny to 35 and gusting with pissy ice-rain. Eurgh!

The team captains and co-captains are picking teams for roller derby tonight, I forgot to mention. Tonight.
is the blog of one Lars Augensen, with whom I corresponded extensively in high school but with whom I haven't had any contact in some years. He's a quite close friend of my cousin, who pointed out that this journal is linked to from his blogroll.
I sort of wish I could read his blog. He writes in Norwegian, not because he doesn't speak English-- his English is, naturally, excellent-- but because, well, he's a Norwegian living in Norway, so, why use a foreign language? And I can respect that.
In high school I tried to learn Norwegian and was told not to bother, as there were far more useful languages to study-- most Norwegians speak English anyway, well enough to get by. But I liked studying it, so I might make another attempt. I like to know just enough of a language to be dangerous.

Meanwhile I only know what's going on at Subhappy when he breaks out in 1337speak. Which has to mean something about the state of our world, but I couldn't tell you what. [The stories he links to, however, are almost always in English and also almost always exceedingly amusing.]

item 2:
I basically slept all day and yet I am so sleepy now I am considering skipping Rollergirls. Granted, I don't need to go tonight, as I can go Sunday instead and still make my two practices this week. But I feel I should go. Maybe having the luxury of sleeping in on a weekend with Z would be more exciting than having another two hours to sit around on my ass some more tonight. But I am feeling tired and creaky and I don't feel the excitement to skate. Also the spot where I skinned my knee over the edge of my absolutely useless Pro-tec pads is still giving me considerable shit, and I'm worried that it's not healing properly. It looks super gross and is way sore. Ewwwww.

Eh. Time to buck up, duct-tape the Band-aid in place, and go get dressed.


Nov. 25th, 2006 08:29 am
Gah! I have run out of time. I had intended to fully clean the house including things like cleaning the bathroom a second time, but my schedule for the upcoming two days is this:

8:50 am: leave house for work.
4:00 pm: return home from work.
4:30pm: depart house for Nietzche's.
5:00pm-2am: Nietzche's for seisun, then Z's Battle of the Bands finals, then cleanup afterward.
7:45 am: leave house for rollergirls practice
8:15-10:30 pm: WFTDA's Skills Assessment for me and two other girls at roller derby practice
11:00 am: breakfast
11:30-4:00 do everything I meant to do over the last week
4:00 pm leave for Corning, NY
6:30 meet Fiona, Ann, and Andreas in Corning
stay overnight? or return immediately?

Anyway that's it; I'll pick up my guest there, and then I'm bringing him straight back with me.

So tomorrow early afternoon is where I have to pin all my hopes. I think I'd better prioritize. At least I can do all the shopping with Andreas here. But so much for good intentions... At least I got all my clothes sorted and washed yesterday (except for one load of whites remaining, which I saved for tomorrow to get all my work clothes in it).

I have to go and get dressed now to leave for work. Aargh!
Yesterday had considerable suckage. All was well until I slipped in some water at work and fell, tray and all, right onto my knee. It was ok, but it stung a lot. I limped for a while. It slowed me down, which I couldn't afford. Then, as I tried to tidy up on one foot, I slammed my finger in that fucking garbage can lid. Which also sucked.
I was fifteen minutes late to roller derby, and as I got my gear on I realized I couldn't find my elbow pads. But someone had them-- she'd picked them up by accident last practice. OK. So I got those on, and then couldn't find my mouthguard.
Looked everywhere, couldn't find it.

So everyone else got to do our first real bouting. While I... well, I decided, I had my camera in the car, so I'd use it.
So I skated out and knelt in the middle of the track, and took 80 pictures of my leaguemates, separated into two teams (black t-shirts vs. white t-shirts), in their first ever attempts at bouting.

Roller derby, extremely simplified:
Two teams of five girls each skate around the pack. Each girl has a specific position she mostly maintains, alongside her counterpart on the opposite team. The important positions are the pivot, in front, and the jammer, who starts in back. The pivot wears a stripe on her helmet, and her job is to control the speed of the pack. The jammers wear stars on their helmets, and they are the scorers: their job is to get past the pack, and they earn points for every opposing team member they pass. The blockers are the rest of the team, and their job is to guard their positions to make sure their jammer gets through while the other one does not.
That's actually as simple and as complicated as it is. You can explain until you're blue in the face, but until someone sees it or tries it, they're not going to grasp the significance of any of it. Which was why we were bouting today, because we've got the basic skills perfected to the point that we won't kill ourselves, and now we've got to do it so we can see what it's all about.

Anyhow: Pictures!!
As an aside, girls are named in the captions based on whether I recognized enough of the girls in the photo to make an effort. People with distinctive clothing are favored because, well, it's hard to see everyone.

OK. Calmer now. Trying to recreate. That post was no work of art anyway.

1. I had told a humorous anecdote about Brian Boru. See, we went to Shannon Pub for dinner last night, Z and I. The waitress was wearing a promotional t-shirt for Boru vodka, and Z didn't know who that was. (The short version of Brian Boru, as explained by my father when I was little, was that he kicked the Vikings out of Ireland. This isn't really true, but it's a good way of explaining the first High King to a small child.) So I explained. Z misheard me.
"He kicked the penguins out of Ireland," Z said. "What, like, with a broom? There he is, all, 'Shoo! Shoo!' and they're all, 'Awk! Awk!' And that's why there aren't any penguins in Ireland."
"That," I said, "is exactly what happened."
It's better that way. I need a Brian Boru Penguins icon.

2. I did the Six Odd Things meme, although nobody tagged me. It proved to be exceedingly difficult, as I blather constantly about everything odd about myself on here, so there's pretty much nothing y'all don't know. this has no punchline )

3. Practice. I was blogging rollergirls practice, and then I paused to go and search Google Images for pictures of a roller skate so I could make myself a rollerskate icon. I am not going to pause again because when the computer kernel-panicked it lost all my tabs (there are comments I was going to leave on posts: i've lost them: I'm sorry, if we were having a conversation and I just don't answer, it's because I lost the tab in that crash just now) and I don't want to search again just yet. Also I want to post this before LJ decides to be useless. (I see it has Autosaved a draft just now. But I had also seen that it had Autosaved a draft just before the computer went down and now we all know what a Fucking Useless Waste Of Time that turned out to be.)

Practice today ruled. My ass hurts something fierce, a constant dull ache in my tailbone, but it's not debilitating (except for one brief moment when Hazel kept clipping my wheels and tripping me [by accident of course-- Hazel Mayhem is, despite the name, a perfectly sweet girl] and I discovered that if I am bent over and flailing it hurts like the dickens) and it didn't stop me from skating at all. And my chest is still a bit gooey but if I can avoid a coughing fit I can actually breathe well enough to exert myself pretty much fully.

I had several people comment on how good my form looked and how fast I was moving today, and especially how well I was falling, so that felt pretty nice. I'm doing better on the crossovers-- instead of just skateboard-pushing with one foot, I'm at least making a token effort to make that weird pulling gesture with the left foot before crossing over with the right, which makes it a true crossover. This is probably very boring to anyone who doesn't rollerskate, but it's fascinating to me--I am so bad at anything requiring bodily coordination that the very concept of pulling with one foot whilst pushing with the other blows my fuckin mind.
But one thing I've become quite good at is throwing myself at the ground. Honestly, it doesn't hurt. So when you're doing a drill where you have to fall, it hurts less if you build up speed and don't slow down or hesitate, but just commit to the fall. The faster you hit the ground, the more of your momentum is still continuing sideways rather than downward. So during the Suicides relay (get up, skate halfway, fall down, turn around, skate back, fall: repeat at [pre-marked] intervals until you've gone all the way across the rink and back, then tag the next girl to do the same) I was making up for the fact that i have no accelleration by not slowing down before falling. This was dramatic because it meant that when I hit the ground I'd slide quite a distance and turn around while sliding. I'm mastering that technique, but it probably won't help me in bouts.
But. What was so cool today: WE ACTUALLY BOUTED! We divided into teams, and half of us put on white t-shirts and half put on black, and then we formed a pack-- Pivot, Inside blocker, Outside blocker, Back blocker, Jammer, two of each (one for each team)-- and then we actually skated and the jammers tried to get to the front. it was so exciting! It was so much fun! It meant that the forty pages of WFTDA rules suddenly MADE SENSE. We had a blast. But when I was inside blocker for the white team and Hazel was for the black, she suddenly discovered that her skating has an odd lateral motion that winds up with her wheels clipping the person to her left when in a tight pack, which was me, and that hurt a lot. I fell on my knee, though, so it had no ill effects (as that's where the pads are) and I caught right back up to the pack. But my ass is killing me now. Not bad enough that I'm doping myself up, but...
I have developed an informal policy, by the way, that I'm not going to take pain killers before practice. if I am hurt, I should be feeling it, so that I know when to stop. I don't want to damage myself and not notice until afterward-- there's too much likelihood of that already, what with the adrenaline.

The really really really cool thing about roller derby, though, is what a woman it makes everyone be-- and by that I mean, in the sense they mean it when they say "be a man"-- like separating the men from the boys, only, not males, and we're not separating anybody, we're just making people live to their potential. I mean it makes you be everything you can. You wind up giving so much of yourself, and then more, because it's so exciting that you want to, because you don't want to stop and you don't want to lose, you want to do the best you can because you want to do it. It feels so good to skate, to fall and get up, to get past the other girls, to help your jammer pass theirs-- it just feels so good and is so much damn fun that it makes you overcome pain or fear or selfconsciousness or lack of confidence that you didn't know you could overcome.
The downside is, of course, all the overuse injuries we're seeing in our injured bench-- girls who just skated too hard, harder than their bodies could handle. Most of us are over thirty. Most of us aren't athletes. (Well. Weren't.) None of us, however, have seriously, permanently damaged ourselves, I might mention.
But the upside: the upside is that nearly three dozen of us have become better at something than we ever thought we could be, and have done things we didn't realize we could do. And have spent hours doing something we never realized we'd enjoy so much.

I'm a lot less of a wuss than I thought I was.


Nov. 15th, 2006 10:11 am
I had a shitty day at work yesterday, got horribly pissed-off, got out late, drove like a maniac to get to practice, but was so upset from work [screaming and crying while driving solo are a time-honored yet distracting tradition in the realm of stress-relief] that I actually missed my exit and wound up staring down the tollbooth to the Thruway eastbound towards Albany.
For a moment I considered just getting on it and going home to see Mommy and Daddy, but then I realized I had no clean underwear there and my sweaty bra from work was going to get way uncomfortable and also they'd laugh at me.

Sigh, the perils of adulthood.
I pulled a U-turn and got onto the 290 and made it to Rollergirls practice 15 minutes late, staggering in with a raging headache and my tailbone hurting and my eyes all puffy. "Damn, girl," said one of the girls on the injured bench. "You look rough."
"I think I'm sitting with you today," I said, and put my bag down and climbed up onto the wall in my waitress uniform, pulling my bag of cough drops out of my apron pocket.
It was relaxing, but not terribly satisfying, to watch practice. My helmet got to participate, atop the head of a new girl without her own gear. I jokingly offered her my mouthguard, but she declined.

I slept like hell last night, waking myself up with racking, unproductive coughs that mostly served to hurt my head. And yet when I woke up this morning, not terribly well-rested, I was both perky as hell and horny like a little bunnyrabbit. Which was a hilarious combination, somehow. Both have faded in the absence of either nurturing or intervention [I don't know why Z finds my libido so threatening, but he's sick too now, poor thing-- wouldn't even dance in his underwear for me], and so now I am merely sore and head-splodey with sinus pressure, but the odd state of my awakening remains amusing to me. Which is, I suppose, better than the homocidal wrath I went to bed with.

Z did send me a link to this comic today, which made me laugh so hard. I am the prettiest princess!
We decided he needs a shirt like that. Except that it'd probably start a fight in his office over who is, in fact, the prettiest princess after all.


[livejournal.com profile] marthawells doesn't outline either so I am not the only psycho idiot non-pre-plotter in the world. Squees! I feel reassured.
I usually just like to start out, and discover the book as I go along. This does mean I end up doing a lot of revision. :)

Er, yeah.

I am taking the bus today, and am not exactly looking forward to my usually-pleasant two hour sitting stretch because, well, my ass is still sore and sitting on an uncushioned floor is already a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so. If I'm already in pain sitting on the couch? Ungh. This won't be fun.
So today I managed to sustain another roller derby injury: this time, I fell flat on my ass. Have you ever hit the ground so hard that it's like you were given an electric shock? That's what it felt like. I couldn't move, and struggled to roll myself off the track. It was some time before I was able to stand up, and in pure physical shock at the force of the landing I cried a little bit, but that was more due, I think, to the fact that I had just come down with a terrible chest cold and was feeling extremely achy and fragile and hormonal anyway.
I was horribly embarrassed that everyone came over and fussed over me, and once I could move I slunk off to the outside of the rink. I wanted to get back in and skate again but I was too worried that I'd cry again, as we were playing Blood and Thunder and so of course I'd fall again, as that's part of the game unless your heart's in it to win. Which mine wasn't. But a lot of other people had dropped out and stopped playing by then, so I just couldn't make myself go back in.

I was in rather a lot of pain by midafternoon, but then I took six ibuprofin and have felt better for a few hours. It hurts to bend over, which has made it hard to do much today. I did manage to get plastic on the windows, but Z did most of that.
I also caught up with Mom and with Katy on the phone. Katy quit her teaching job mostly because the school was so very poorly-run. She mentioned that she didn't miss the Army, really, but even with the worst boss she ever had there, things still got done, her role was clear, and she always managed to get everything she needed to do to get her job done. Which she hasn't found, thusfar, in civilian life, and it's very frustrating.
So she's applying for other teaching jobs, and is considering other options. At the moment she doesn't mind being unemployed for the holidays, as she's hosting Thanksgiving for the in-laws, and is traveling for Christmas. But she is a bit disappointed and out of sorts, naturally.
She was glad I called because her husband's been out of town for a week on training for his job, and will be out of town next week as well, so she's in the midst of a long span of alone time. But the antics of her pets were, at least while I spoke to her, keeping her spirits up-- Scout is very gentle with Crawfish, the cat, but Lizzie likes to play rough, and at one point during the phone conversation, she had Crawfish's entire head in her mouth. (He retaliated by assuming the five-of-his-six-ends-are-pointy-when-he-lies-like-that position so she couldn't do it again.)
(Scout and Lizzie are the identical Springer Spaniel sisters, although Lizzie, despite identical diet and exercise, remains about ten pounds heavier than Scout although she's no taller or longer. Both sisters will be coming north for Christmas.)

I was going to blog something else but I don't remember. Z is the best. I am a bit loopy. (I wouldn't think ibuprofin four hours ago would do that, but who knows.) I spent most of this evening absorbed in Wikipedia articles about human evolution. I am fascinated by Neanderthals. But I am more fascinated by the Chalcolithic period. I couldn't tell you why.
Yesterday was just... Well, I left the house at 7:45 am, and I got home at 12 midnight, only to fail to open the kitchen door until Z got out of bed and came and unlocked the deadbolt. We don't usually lock the deadbolt, so I was completely baffled by the fact that the doorknob was turning but the door wasn't actually opening, and I thought I just wasn't turning the knob all the way, because I had so much crap in my hands and arms, so I had paused to put everything down and I flatter myself I would've figured out the door handle in a minute if Z hadn't rescued me.

So, practice first, which was fun-- I am pretty confident about my skating and control, but we were learning the technique for skating the track and that kind of sucked because it's a circle and I'm much better on the straightaways. Bah.
Then the league's monthly meeting: We're going to try to have our first bout by late January. And they're trying to make it easier to meet minimum attendance requirements-- I think I'm the only one who will really have to struggle to make two practices a week, but there's a speed skating class on Monday nights that counts towards attendance as well. So I should be able to keep up. I hope.

Then I had to leave the meeting and head straight for work. I clocked in while still wearing my knee-length workout pants and my black-and-white stripey knee socks. (But I changed before work.)

And man oh man. It was the most annoying shift ever. I will not be working any more Sundays for anybody for the foreseeable future, unless I lose my fucking mind. Forget it! Bah. Ugh.
I made a bunch of money, I think, but it was just so annoying, and you know what, I can make more in a decent Thursday shift, so really I'm not sorry to miss out on Sundays in future. Don't need that kind of stress. Also I didn't see Z at all and I sort of miss him.

So I haven't written a word on my NaNoWriMo novel in 2 days. I just now went back and while reading it over added about ten words, making me within 300 words of breaking the 20k mark. I have a tentative plan now that I should aim to finish an act a week, and if the thing's divided into 3 acts, that should mean I have a completeish novel by the end of Week 3, so I have a whole week to completely fuck things up.
It is very handy for me that the weeks end on a Monday, as I can pretty well predict that I won't be getting any writing done on weekends.

And now I am going to blather on about my novel, more about the form of it than the content, because I am interested, but I am putting it behind a cut because I am not assuming you are. My first real coherent experiment in alternating POVs )
OK that wasn't as coherent as I wanted to be.

Oh, I had meant to talk about Saturday-- I got home from work, we decided we needed beer, and we decided to go out someplace that had beer. Where would one go for beer at 5 on a Saturday?
Why, Nietszche's, of course. They have their Irish seisuns from 4-7, and also they have beer.
in which I sing in public )
So Nietszche's is still just about my favorite place in the world. And the fact that the owner, Joe, is such a nice guy only makes it better. (He's a big advertiser with Z's magazine and comes in and hangs out in the back office making up his ad every week, so he and Z talk about the blues.)
I sent my sister a slightly-drunken text message last night explaining that I had accepted Mary Kay as my personal lord and savior.

It's true. )

The fact that at the time I was sitting in one of the balconies at Nietsche's during the intermission of a blues show only makes it better.
However. I will pay dearly today. I am so so tired, it is like I was hit by a truck. I have to go to roller derby, then attempt to listen in for part of the league meeting, then cut out of that early and dash to work to close Landmark, which is highly likely to suck. And meanwhile, my guts feel kind of like they were wrung out, even though I... well, I had four drinks last night, but over the course of over six hours, so I sort of feel like there's no excuse for a hangover. (There isn't; upon arrival home I drank about 20 ounces of water, too.)

I want so badly to call in sick to work. I only ever do dumb things and get into trouble when I'm working someone else's shift. I am not smart. I am tired today. And I didn't do any writing at all yesterday, and really want to do some today.
But none of those are really good reasons. Not missing the league meeting could maybe be a good reason. The fact that I haven't yet called in since they reset the attendance policy in July is kind of a dumb reason. I don't think I can justify calling in on the grounds of my eczema, given that I've worked with worse. But we'll see; if I am as retarded as I am now by the time practice ends at noon, then maybe that would be a good reason: but I don't want to let anybody down, the way calling in would.

Well, I've agonized long enough. Time to finish this coffee and get to practice. Urgh.



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