Thursday, January 31, 2008

would you like a hot dog with those buns?

one of my favorite shots from saturday's game:

photo by marc campos.

yes, Hot Dog on a Stick was in the house.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

down & derby

i suck at bout recaps, but here's a quickie rundown of saturday's game:
  • the Tough Cookies prevailed, but the Fight Crew went down swinging. From the get-go, it wasn't looking good for my team. We'd known for a while that Vulvarine and S'macdown wouldn't be playing in the game. Then I went and sprained my ankle a few days before the bout. Our superstar blocker, the formidable Broadzilla, called in sick on game day. Leia Mout went out in the first quarter after aggravating a knee injury. Same deal with Crystal Deth who was out by half-time. Trixie Biscuit departed in the third quarter due to a family emergency. The final score was 35-28, which is really a dignified loss, all things considered.
  • we sold out our first game in the Doll Factory! around 1700 people braved the rain in the name of derby last saturday night.
  • You can check out L.A.D.D.'s game photos here.
semi-related, please check out this awe-inspiring derby art by Cory Oberndorfer. the show is called "novelty," and it's currently on display the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC. a few pics:

Friday, January 25, 2008

the breaks

monday was a bad day.

it started with an ill-fated bike ride to the Y for burn & firm class. it was raining, and i was actually half-excited to make the trip because it meant i got to rock this guy (below), which hasn't seen any action since biking in france:

cruising down hollywood blvd. in my bright red rain poncho (engineered especially for the bicyclist), i made the 1.3-mile trek without incident. the ride home was trickier because although the rain had stopped, puddles had formed. unused to biking over slick surfaces, i hydroplaned, wiping out not once, but twice - the second time landing on my chin and giving myself a nice gash.

but the worst was yet to come.

monday night was the fight crew's practice scrimmage against the tough cookies in preparation for saturday's bout. some of you may recall that during the crew's previous game - the championship match against the sirens - i was played mostly as a blocker. i suspected this probably wouldn't be the case for the upcoming bout. one of the crew's newest jammers, s'macdown, is out on injury (indefinitely), which left me, as an experienced jammer, to pick up the slack.

sure enough: first jam out of the gate on monday, and i've got my white jammer's helmet on. the first whistle blows, and the blockers take off. with the next whistle, i'm racing against iron maiven. we catch the pack, but before we even come out of the first turn, i take a hard block to the infield. my body goes flying, but my left foot stays put like it's cemented to the track. as i fall to the infield, and the pain in my ankle shoots up my leg, all i can think is, "i'm out of the game." meanwhile, all i can say, over and over again, is: "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck." i start crying - not so much from the pain (though it definitely hurts), but because i've been training my ass off all through hiatus - knowing that i'd have to do a lot of jamming this game - and because in my nearly four years skating with the fight crew, i've never missed a bout. crumpled into a heap on the infield, with markie d. sod squeezing my hand, i knew those days were over.

still, i wasn't ready to give up hope entirely.

a well-meaning associate, eager to help get my ankle in shape for saturday, linked me to this web site, which promises fast rehab for sprained ankles. for $29.95, Bret Mundt, former starting center for the Memphis State Tiger basketball team (1987-1989), will share the "methods and techniques top athletes use to turbo-charge the healing process." having suffered through more than 50 sprained ankles in his basketball career, Bret claims to know his shit. some highlights from bret's site:

  • on bret's introduction to the super secret rehab regimen: "[My] physical therapist told me he had some theories that he would like to try out if I was willing...they were revolutionary...even bizzare...and I agreed to be his guinea pig and follow his instructions to the letter. His whole rehab regimen was not normal."

  • "As a special free bonus for acting immediately, I will give you a copy of a special e-book "Credit Card Payoff Secrets". This is a $29.95 value. If you are like a lot of people, you are opening credit card bills and gasping for breath at the balances. What's worse is that you probably had other cards with balances before the holidays. The challenge is deciding what order to pay off the credit cards."

  • "If I were you, I'd be wondering if anybody else had purchased the Ankle Rehab Program...and I wouldn't blame you either.

    So here's a picture of one of my order processing accounts to prove that more than a thousand people have purchased the program...."

(you'll have to actually visit bret's site and scroll down to see the picture of his order processing account, but i assure you that it's very convincing).

though intrigued, i decided to pass on treatment from bret mundt, the basketball player turned witchdoctor (and debt management guru). instead, i settled for another form of alternative medicine - acupuncture - with no discernable results.

it's now friday, and i'm on crutches, so i'm pretty sure i won't be skating come saturday. i'm incredibly disappointed, but i'm trying to stay positive and focus on getting myself rehabbed in time for the fight crew's march bout against the sirens.

a silver lining: shannon, my roommate, is having a dinner party tonight. i can't do much in the way of food prep since i'm supposed to stay off my foot. previously - because i had a game the next day - i had planned to abstain from alcohol during the party. but now that i'll be warming the bench, and i'll be completely useless in the kitchen, i have a license to get loaded. cheers to quenching my misery!

p.s. the "rock of love 2" episode featuring the L.A. Derby Dolls (aptly named "Stroller Derby") airs this sunday on vh1. check your local listings!.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

the things we did and didn't do

riding my bike down hollywood blvd yesterday, i read the marquee for the henry fonda theater. i do this every time i ride past, which is pretty much every day. the latest addition: the magnetic fields, march 2nd & 3rd. it was the first i'd heard of mf coming to town, and of course i was super excited. one of my favorite bands, and one that tours so rarely, playing down the street from my apartment. i was already planning the JGHQ pre-party in my head as i rode my bike up gower toward ms. manor.

i've only seen the magnetic fields play once, back in 2000, in san francisco during noise pop (i hear they're playing again this year). i made the trip from phoenix specifically to see mf, and even though i became horrifically ill the day of the show, i could not be deterred from attending. i dragged my congested ass to bimbo's 365, and tossed back screwdriver after screwdriver, hoping the vitamin C would keep the sickness at bay. it didn't work. it was great show, but the experience would've been more enjoyable had my body not been racked by chills.

mf has played LA once (to my knowledge) since i've become a resident, and the date happened to conflict with a vacation for which i had already purchased plane tickets. so, no dice. i've seen both the future bible heroes and the gothic archies (the latter supporting daniel handler - aka lemony snickett - and the release of the final installment of a series of unfortunate events. i think i was the oldest person in the audience who hadn't brought a child). but still - neither is the same as seeing mf proper, and it's been nearly eight years.

this is why, upon arriving home, i tossed my bike to the floor and made a beeline for the computer, credit card in hand, fully prepared to let ticketmaster have its way with me. and what do you know? both shows are sold out! the injustice. i'll be riding my bike past the fonda, reading that marquee, for the next month and a half. world, can you be more cruel?

i've already checked ebay and craigslist, and the going rate seems to be $150/pair. i think there's a good chance that prices will come down as the date approaches, but this whole business is making me nervous. so, if anyone reading this has an extra ticket to see the magnetic fields either night, you just might have yourself a date. extra bonus: you can have my parking space.

in happier news, jordan crane, a local artist i happen to like quite a bit, did the poster art for the upcoming L.A. Derby Dolls bout. check it:

you can buy your tickets here, and yes, i am skating.

Friday, January 4, 2008

TV Talk

I received word yesterday that Alexis Arquette will be singing the national anthem at the Jan. 26th Fight Crew v. Tough Cookies bout! Both Alexis and her sister Patricia are big L.A. Derby Dolls' fans, and made regular appearances at the Dollhouse during our 2006 season. Rumor has it that Patricia once confided to Crystal Deth her burning desire to strap on some skates and start playing derby with us. Sadly, the powers-that-be at NBC keep her on a short leash. Roller derby doesn't fly with those crotchety TV execs or the folks that insure Patricia's grill.

Somewhat related: I don't watch much television, but I'm not one of those "Kill Your TV" people either. I just don't have the time to spare, and it's unfortunate because without regular doses of TV, I feel removed from popular culture, and consequently, alientated from my acquaintances and loved ones. It bums me out when friends make references to some reality show scandal, and I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. So one of my new year's resolutions is to watch more television. Full disclosure: I often turn on the TV while I eat (I prefer not to dine alone), but the channel is usually already set to the Food Network, and I'm kind of lazy about hunting for something else to watch. So, it would probably help if I acquired a DVR, but in addition to being lazy, I am cheap. This is beginning to sound like another failed resolution only four days into 2008.

One TV show I did watch regularly in 2007 (thank you, VH-1, for your endless reruns) was "Rock of Love" (given my limited television intake, I am forced to be very discriminating with my program choices, obviously). I am proud to report that the Derby Dolls will be featured in the upcoming "Rock of Love 2." For your amusement, I present the season 2 trailer below, wherein you'll catch a few glimpses of derby action. There's also a snippet where last season's vegetarian jezebel, Lacey, appears wearing a Derby Dolls t-shirt, which, I confess, turned my stomach a bit. Kind of like when your mom made you invite the lamest girl in school to your slumber party, and then she showed up in class a week later wearing your favorite t-shirt. Sneaky bitch.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Holiday Round-Up

We at the Hollywood Librarian entertain no delusions regarding the prolificacy of our output, but we do have an excuse for the most recent drop in activity: vacation!

I spent Christmas in Phoenix, my adopted hometown, catching up with old friends and getting festive with my tribe. On Christmas Eve, for the first time ever, I cooked for my extended family. For the record, I am a vegetarian (ok, technically a pescatarian, but the list of seafood I will eat vs. the list I won't eat is short and specific and pretty much limited to sushi). So, every year it's the same old business about, "Oh nose, what's Meg gonna eat?! She's gonna starve!!!" and the matriarchs strap on their aprons and start running around the kitchen in crisis mode, throwing shit into smalls bowls, and making declarations like: "I made you a special salad!" and "I made you a special sauce!" I'm fortunate because everyone except my mother (who refuses to make her traditional Christmas Eve eggplant parmesean sans sausage-infused marinara) is willing to accommodate my dietary restrictions. But this Christmas, I thought I'd take matters into my own pans, and make something I - and everyone else - could eat.

When James, my younger brother, paid me a visit over the summer, I made him dinner: veggie tacos, rice and a jicama slaw. He dutifully cleared most of his plate, but once he was through eating, inquired, "Meg, what should I do with this leftover grass?"

Ok, fine. My cooking tends to fall on the healthy end of the spectrum. I wrinkle my nose at processed foods and fats. But I didn't want anyone calling my grub "grass" on Christmas Eve, so I decided to go balls out with the cheese and the butter and all that other good stuff that I'm usually so stingy with when I cook at home. I made a pumpkin baked ziti with caramelized onions and sage crumb topping, based on a recipe from Veganomicon, though I de-veganized the shit out of that bitch - from the full-fat ricotta to the unabashedly real butter.

But despite my best efforts to prepare something decadent, my family acted as if I'd offered them...well, grass. Whenever anyone approached the buffet line with a plate in hand, I heard one of the matriarchs say,"and that's Meg's vegetarian pasta!" It sounded more like a warning than an endorsement.

Vegetarian pasta? Dudes, I made baked fucking ziti. Shove it in your pie holes and swallow.

Eventually they did, and of course they dug it, but still, they couldn't let go of the vegetarian thing. In the words of Uncle Dominic, as the family made post-gorge living room talk (ala "Was it good for you?" pillow talk): "I even liked Meg's vegetarian pasta."

I think next year I will serve pats of butter drizzled with cream sauce, though I am already anticipating criticism re: the vegetarian-sized portions. At least I have a year to perfect the recipe. Maybe I should just suck it up and serve entire sticks?

I spent the last few days of my vacation in Las Vegas with Amy and her crew, who so generously shared their comps with me. I stayed in a very nice hotel room, ate several fancy meals, drank many expensive drinks, and never dropped a dime during my three-day visit. I'm not a fan of Vegas, but the experience becomes infinitely more pleasant when you don't have to spend your own money there.

My last night in town, we had dinner with Richard Brodie, a guy who knows a lot about wine, among other things. He's also the original author of Microsoft Word, and now plays poker professionally.

RB at dinner with Amy's colleague, Jeff.

RB thought up the red squiggle underline that appears beneath misspellings in MS Word. This impressed me.

And so I arrived back in Hollywood on December 29th, my bags heavy with Christmas presents (yes, I got those new knee pads I was desperate for!). My orchid was waiting for me in the bathroom window, leaves outstretched, ready to bloom for the second time. Not a bad segue into 2008.