Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gift of Danzig

My buddy Ji gave me a little Danzig a few days ago, and I feel compelled to share the wealth.

Happy Holidays! And now Phoenix, ho! I'll be sure to drive past the Danzig estate on my way outta town.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Strawberry Jam

I got back from yoga Sunday afternoon and had a meltdown because there was no sign of Shannon. The boxes and suitcases were gone from her bedroom. Her toiletries were MIA. I started to cry because I didn't have a chance to say a proper goodbye. I opened the refrigerator and took an inventory of the food she left behind: shredded vegan cheese I will never eat; her homemade pesto that I definitely will.

Shannon's LAPL contract is over and she's moving back east. Thanks to a series recording that she programmed, the DVR is amassing episodes of The Jersey Shore. I watched for the first time yesterday to get a sense of the world to which Shannon is returning. Not only did this show fill me with existential anxiety, but as I watched Snooki get punched in the face, I worried for Shannon's safety.

No more Shanny asleep on the sofa; no more happy nipples to greet me when I walk through the door. Other things she left behind: the amazing bike rack she bought for my birthday (with the help of some friends); a cabinet full of tea; the tinfoil star that she made for our Christmas tree; the construction paper happy birthday banner that's still strung across our living room all these weeks later. Neither of us had the heart to take it down.

A few weeks ago, while we were both at work, she wrote me an email that said, "Meghan! I got you a present today and I don't think I can wait until Christmas to give it to you because I am excited!"

The gift, it turned out, was something I'd already purchased and devoured a few months prior: Lorrie Moore's latest novel, A Gate at the Stairs. The copy Shannon gave me was better though because it was signed by Moore, my favorite writer.

"Tell you what," I told Shannon. "I want you to have the one I bought for myself. It will be your Christmas present."

It was good to see her curled up with that book on our sofa these last few weeks.

I was sitting on the same sofa Sunday afternoon, staring at the tinfoil star, cursing myself for not getting back from yoga in time to say goodbye, when Shannon came running through the front door, breathless.

"You didn't leave!" I jumped up. "I thought I missed my chance to say goodbye!"

"I forgot my jam in the fridge." A few nights ago, Shannon made jam to give out as Christmas presents. I'd had some on toast that morning. This moment marked the end of homemade jam.

"Are you crying?" she asked when she saw my face. "I'll be back next month!"

It was true. She'd be back in mid-January to finish up the last few weeks of her work contract.

"Yeah, but that's not the same. You won't be living here!"

So we hugged and kissed and I got the closure I thought I needed. She ran back out the door, her arms now laden with strawberry jam, and I thought about the first time we met: on the street in New York, 2005. I was on vacation, and we were standing outside a club on the Lower East Side with a group of our mutual friends. Olivian had mentioned that Shannon was applying to UCLA's library program. It was summer and all of us were shining with sweat. My hair was frizzy from the humidity and the subway ride. Shannon had been riding her bike, and wore impossibly short shorts that I would see her wear again, years later, prancing around our apartment. She looked like my kind of girl, someone I could be friends with. She told me that she liked my dress, which was red and I thought maybe too flashy considering that all we did that night was stand around on the street, never setting foot inside that club. But I thanked her for the compliment. I wouldn't see her again until a year later when she showed up in my Los Angeles apartment with her boxes and lavender-scented cleaning supplies.

The apartment felt so empty Sunday night that I rode my bike to the Sunset 5 and watched a movie in a theater full of strangers so as not to be alone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hooray for Haolewoods

Photo by Jason Ziemlak.

The ladies of Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby were gracious winners and unparalleled hostesess. Photo by Jason Ziemlak.

Our beach in Waimanalo. A few of us had a beautiful house to ourselves courtesy of one of the skaters.

Morning calisthenics on the beach.

Hanauma Bay. We snorkeled here. Did you know they make optical snorkel masks for the bespectacled? Now you do!

Winning wasn't the point. Hawaii was the point. And every time my ass hit the concrete, I looked up and saw the most amazing mountain, Diamond Head, which loomed large and lush over the outdoor roller hockey court. LADD has it good for sure -- a banked track, our own space, an incredible production crew -- but I was completely thrilled to have my ass handed to me in front of such a spectacular backdrop.

More photos here.

How about a video too? OK.

Roller Girl Down & Derby: HPRD Hulagans vs. L.A. Derby Dolls from Mike Orbito on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Going Haole Wood

In 2000, before roller derby was born again in Austin, TX, I dressed up as a derby skater for Halloween. I went light on the protective gear (such a rube!), but there was a helmet, sparkly shorts and spandex involved. Not to mention roller skates. I drunkenly shot the duck on sidewalks in front of several Tempe house parties that night. It's a move that has no practical application in the world of roller derby, but who cares? The costume was a big hit.

It's hard to top an awesome costume. I wanted to be a roller derby skater every Halloween until I actually went and joined the derby four years later. I'm afraid that's how I'll feel about my costume from this past Halloween.

Me as Flying Ace WWI Snoopy accompanied by J.D. as Charlie Brown from the It's the Great Pumpkin. Big props to J.D. who labored for hours on my doghouse.

Snoopy digs bananas!

In other news, I'll be piloting my doghouse to Honolulu on Friday for a flat track track game. I'm captain of a rogue team called the Haole Woods, and we're taking on Hawaii Pacific Derby in an exhibition match during Girl Fest Hawaii. Post-bout, I'll be sticking around the north shore of Oahu for a few extra days with some members of the Beer Committee. Former Fight Crew skater Jihad came out of retirement to skate this game, and I look forward to some grabbing sun, surf and Hawaiian brews with her and the rest of the BC.

I really hope my new glasses are ready tomorrow (thanks to the fine selection and excellent costumer service at Gogosha Optique). Though it may seem counter-intuitive, I don't want to vacation sans specs -- even if I am hitting the beach. I loathe wearing contacts.

And finally, I was kind of on Oprah yesterday. Watch Ali's Dare Devils take on the L.A. Derby Dolls here. The episode was all about "stepping outside your box," and I think we gave these ladies a shove in the right direction.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

better late

Bad News First:

I snapped my glasses in half last night. I was stupidly squeezing the frames, trying to make them fit my face more snugly, and they cracked apart in my hand. I guess I don't know my own strength. And it's probably ill-advised to squeeze your glasses anyway.

Chrome Hearts frames, 2006-2009, R.I.P.

I began a hunt for new glasses a few months ago, which I sort of abandoned when I lost patience trying to find the perfect pair. Looks like the hunt is back on.

I am wearing contacts today and I feel naked.

Good News Second:

Photo by Charlie Chu/Shutterthug.

Fight Crew won the game on Saturday, 101-88, which is an incredible way to end the season. We were 12 or 13 points ahead when Haught Wheels went to the line for the final jam of the night, and it would've been miracle for the Sirens to score enough points in that jam to tie or win the game. As Haughty plowed through the pack, I watched from the infield with a smile so big I thought my face might crack. She didn't stop skating until the game clock hit zero, and the moment it did, she brought her hands to her hips and the expression on her face said: "Fucking finally." This was our first regular season win since 2007, and I think breaking our losing streak will be a huge psychological boon to the team going into 2010. I'm really grateful that Haughty joined our team as co-captain this season, and though it took three games for the Crew to finally get its shit together, I think her leadership and focus has been instrumental in our turnaround.

Here is a bout recap from a guy who had some nice things to say about this girl.

And here is a great photo montage from LADD photographer Stalkerazzi:

Friday, October 23, 2009

bad at this, again

I accepted some freelance work about a month ago that has hindered my blogging productivity. I'm also skating for two travel teams (went to Tucson last weekend and I'm flying to Hawaii on Nov. 7th). Oh, and my team is playing its last game of the season tomorrow night and you should come!

But yeah, I've been kind of busy.

Here's the press release I wrote this morning (distributed internally to members of the Beer Committee):

Witness the epic Battle of the Brewsers! Fight Crew's BEO, L├Ągeraison, & Beerbrarian face off against the Sirens' Brewologist. It's our last game of the season and the Brewologist's LAST BOUT EVER. The Beer Committee's very own Pilsnerd will greet you at the door with a self-adhesive wristband. The neon hue of said wristband connotes VIP or general admission.

Post game festivities will feature BEER.

I can't decide if it's to Fight Crew's advantage or detriment that our roster is so BC-heavy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

it begins

Monday night, 6:30pm PST, presents an all-star celebrity event featuring:

- a sneak preview exhibition of Tough Cookies vs. Varsity Brawlers
- an exclusive performance by recording artists and Whip It star Landon Pigg
- a Q&A with the cast of 'Whip It' live from the middle of the LADD banked track, and you can ask questions of Drew, Ellen, Juliette, Andrew Wilson and others directly from our chat room!

FREE and LIVE from the comfort of your own home on

And if you want to get up close and personal, there's a game Saturday night. Get your tix here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Couple's vacation captured in photos and police log

Something I like to do when visiting a small town is to find the local newspaper and subject my traveling companion to a dramatization of the paper's police log. So here I give you a few choice pics from Big Sur and Monterey accompanied by excerpts from the Carmel Pine Cone. Reporter Mary Brownfield is a new favorite writer.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: A citizen on Dolores Street attempted to grab onto an object to maintain his balance prior to crossing the street and lost his balance after his hand slipped off the object. The citizen slid to the ground but did not sustain any injuries. CFD and CRFA responded as a precautionary measure but were informed by the citizen that he was not injured and he had no complaint of pain. The citizen advised he fell as a result of losing his own balance.

McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: Fire engine and ambulance dispatched to Scenic and Eighth for a hazardous condition. There was a report of a hot air balloon on fire traveling over the area of San Antonio and Eighth, headed east. Crews searched the area but were unable to locate.

Yurt interior.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: Female roommate reported an unwanted person visiting her roommate on Seventh Avenue. Roommate and unwanted person contacted, and roommate advised the mentioned person was not unwanted.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: Report of littering and minor property damage to a tenant’s unit on Mission Street that was previously reported. Contact was made with a party who may have leads. This was met with negative results.

Garrapata State Park.

Carmel area: Man reported that someone went inside his residence at Valley Way and Highway 1 during the night and stole a bottle of vodka.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: Citizen called to report being verbally harassed by the manager of a restaurant on Sixth Avenue. She was offended because the manager came out of the restaurant and asked her to pay her bill. She has an agreement with the owner that her daughter will receive free meals up to $200 a month. The manager stated there was no longer an agreement regarding free meals and verbally assaulted her outside the business. Citizen was concerned with the tone and the words used by manager. Citizen’s daughter was in vehicle and citizen believes daughter may be affected by words used as they were detrimental toward her husband, who had committed suicide. None of the language was threatening, according to the citizen. She stated it was only rude in nature and inappropriate.

Cell reception not-so-good in Big Sur.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: Person called the police department to report losing his wallet last night while visiting Carmel Beach. A brief description of the wallet was provided. The person was advised to call police if the wallet was found. At 1700 hours, the person called the department to request to cancel the report. Person said he found the wallet at a nearby restaurant he dined at last night. Nothing further.

Garrapata State Park.

Carmel area: Report of a suspicious note.

Biker Bar in Carmel Valley.

Carmel-by-the-Sea: A 32-year-old subject was located lying asleep in the middle of the street at Santa Rita Street and Fourth Avenue next to his bicycle. The subject had vomited all over himself and was under the influence of alcohol. Subsequent investigation revealed the subject in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Organic garden, beer in hand, Treebones.

Carmel area: An adult male in Palo Alto reported his 15-year-old daughter ran away from home. After receiving the report, the responding party received a telephone call from the juvenile and agreed to pick her up in downtown Carmel.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beer Committee Report: Zeno Supper Club

On Tuesday night, the Beer Committee held court at the Zeno Supper Club, an event described on their web site as:

"a social experiment to see what happens when you bring interesting people together with food, drink, and a creative environment. Through webisodes that are based on cooking lessons with 'Top Chef' Lee Anne Wong, the Zeno Supper Club will explore broader themes like environmental activism, buying local, living in a sustainable community and alternative transportation."

The BC's very own Beermonger (and only non-Derby Doll Committee member) is a Zeno chef and resident Beer Expert.

Other Brewsers in attendance: BEO, BE-Co, B-EMT, Beerbrarian (moi), Pilsnerd, & Brewologist.

Appropriately, Zeno's theme for the evening was Action Sports and the event was sponsored by Stone Brewing Co. It was as if the night had been custom tailored for the BC's athletic, albeit beer paunch-burdened, bod.

In the spirit of the Supper Club's commitment to alternative transportation, and given the athletic-themed evening, and knowing that we would be doing some serious brew-chugging and face-stuffing, the B-EMT and me opted to ride our bikes from Hollywood to Venice. We arrived on the scene sweaty, frizzy-haired and a little winded from the trek -- though, IMO, the most convincingly athletic-looking of the dinner guests. We were also very hungry and thirsty.

Yes, the food was good, the brews were tight, and the Committee even scored a tour of Stone Brewery (date TBD), whose CEO was in attendance and is the newest L.A. Derby Dolls fan.

Lessons learned: Do not drink good beer from a plastic mug (even a 2006 hot pink LADD Championship mug -- it will taste funny). Also, the ride back from Venice, uphill, is slightly more strenuous when you're toting several bottles of Arrogant Bastard in your messenger bag.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

where are you going, where have you been?

Labor Day weekend found me in Kansas City, KS for a traditional Hindu wedding where JD was a groomsman. Yes, traditional Indian buffet made an appearance.

My impression of Kansas City is mostly limited to the various freeways connecting the Kansas City International Airport to the Sheraton Hotel, which is where we stayed and where the ceremony, lunch, cocktail hour, dinner, and reception were held. I also spent a reasonable amount of time in the Sheraton's fitness center between festivities.

The ceremony was two hours long and conducted in Hindi. An excerpt from the program:

In Tamil tradition, the bride and groom sit together on a swing and married women from the families circle rice balls around the couple in circular motions and walk around the couple four times while holding a lamp. This rite is believed to prevent evil forces from disrupting the wedding ceremony.

JD with the bride and groom, Maya and Chetan:

JD and I at the reception with much-photographed Ganesh ice sculpture:

Summer's officially over but I'm not done vacationing. On Sunday morning, we're hitting the road again, bound for a yurt in Big Sur.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I don't want to talk about it

Photo by Stalkerazzi.

Sad Gloom in the penalty box. Photo by Charlie Chu.

So, we lost the game by 10 points. What else is new? Console yourself with this radical bout intro:

Thanks Dr. Detroit and Awesome Sean!

In other news, there is a tiny 53-year-old librarian playing roller derby in Ohio. Totally commendable, though my gut reaction to the article was "Dear God, let me be done playing roller derby at 53. " Which may not be the case if my team doesn't pull out a victory in the next 23 years.

Inspired by the CNN story, this blogger, Fresh Meat Daisy, compiled a rundown of known Derbrarians worldwide.

And finally, I'm on a roll with the ice-cream-eating. Tuesday night, the beer committee biked it to Golden State, where I downed a beer float: Old Rasputin paired with a scoop of Scoops' peanut butter coffee ice cream. In an attempt to negate this indulgence, I accompanied my beer float with a tuna salad.

Who am I kidding?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Fight Crew has a game on Saturday night against those precocious upstarts, the Varsity Brawlers (whom you may recall nearly beat the Sirens a few months back). Prominently featured in the upcoming bout will be these:

Behold my new skates, which I am totally loving. Riedell Minx boots & Roll Line Energy plates short mounted for speed. These were not cheap (particularly since I bought them right after buying a pair of skates that did not work out, which I'm still trying to sell). They're worth every penny though. Roll Line Energy = triple lightning bolt action. Oh, and the boots don't fly off my feet mid-jam, which can only be a boon to my team's overall performance.

Check out the latest bout promo and buy your tix here:

So, I think this is gonna be a good game despite a recent setback. Right before hiatus, Fight Crew acquired a new player, a former Argentinian figure skater who skates with speed, precision, tenacity and heart whom I'm pretty sure is destined for jammer stardom. She is young and tall -- a great asset to a team of so many old shorties. Needless to say, she was a welcome addition to the Crew.

During our rehearsal scrimmage against VB last week, my co-captain remarked, "This is the first game Fight Crew will play with a full roster!"which is kind of a kiss-of-death thing to say almost two weeks out. We won the scrimmage unscathed though, during which our new girl came out swinging. And then....during the team's private practice immediately afterward, she locked wheels with a teammate and took a fall, landing on her knee in a bad way. She left practice on crutches and will not be skating the game.

I saw Jorga at the Y last week and disclosed this latest development -- another plot twist in my team's ongoing saga with some bad voodoo.

"Fight Crew needs a witchdoctor to wave a headless chicken around your bench," he said, and then paused. "Actually, I know a guy who can do that."

If we don't win this game, maybe I'll look into his offer.

I think we got this one though. Seriously.

Monday, August 24, 2009

History through Mattresses

In 2001, during my final year of undergrad, I bought a mattress off a guy for $75. I had to pay him in installments: $40 upfront and another $35 a couple of months later when he called to remind me that I still owed him money.

Eight years later, my financial situation has improved, but I'm still sleeping on that very same mattress. It graduated from college; traveled with me across the desert to Los Angeles; supported the backs of several boyfriends and the occasional overnight guest; kept me afloat through grad school, and gave me a place to collapse following every grueling derby practice for the past five years. I never questioned its devotion or integrity or really thought much about it all. A mattress was just another place to put my bones.

My chiropractor, however, disagrees. He prescribed an upgrade.

"You'd be better off sleeping on a pile of blankets on the floor," Dr. Michael said as he affixed pads to my upper back and arms. The pads were connected to his electrode therapy machine. "In fact, I'd advise you to do that until you buy a better mattress." And with the flip of a switch, my back spasmed and my left hand involuntarily reshaped itself into a claw.

Now that Dr. Michael mentions it, I suppose I don't wake up throughout the night with my hands clenched into numb talons when I sleep on JD's million dollar mattress. Hmmm.


I was eight when my mom left my brother's father the first time. In a 26-foot U-Haul, Mom at the helm, we moved from Long Island to Arizona without his knowledge. Bundled into a car seat at my mother's side was my infant brother -- precious, smuggled cargo; to the back of the truck, our green Honda was hitched. This was a multi-vehicle pilgrimage, a fleet of nurses relocating to Phoenix in search of a better life, more affordable housing and a booming geriatric population for which to care. Eileen's blue car was out front, our pacesetter, and Loretta's red Hyundai trailed the U-Haul. It was here that I held shotgun, beside Loretta, my mother's best friend. She owned one cassette tape -- the Dirty Dancing soundtrack -- which became our soundtrack as we moved from ocean to desert.

She's like the wind.

My mom bought her first house in Peoria, AZ (a townhouse, technically). My brother's father -- the man who would become my stepdad -- tracked us down and moved in.

My mom bought me a new bedroom set for my new room. She let me pick out all of the pieces, which I think was sort of a consolation prize for the baby-daddy situation. I chose a daybed, and I slept on the mattress that came with it from the time I was nine until I graduated from high school. Sometime around junior year, the springs started to poke through the mattress's decorative Kokopelli fabric, but rather than ask for a new one, I just started layering blankets on top of it. By then, my mother had divorced my stepfather and he was dead, and I'm certain she would have bought me a new mattress had I complained, but the sad truth is that the thought never even crossed my mind.

Apparently, all it took was a doctor's orders. Last week, I finally laid down the cash for a new, quality mattress, all the while thinking of other things on which I'd rather spend my money. New glasses. A new chair for my living room. A new dinette set. But a good night's sleep...that's priceless right? TBD as I dream about the impending delivery of my first grown-up mattress.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gazing into the Cone

Last Friday, I rode shotgun as Dicky piloted my purple bookmobile to San Francisco, our bikes harnessed to the back. We parked the car a few blocks from Kathy's new apartment, and promptly forgot it existed, riding our bikes out of Noe Valley, down a hill, up a hill, into the Mission and beyond. On Sunday morning, I went for a run, and on a whim, decided to check on my car. It was no longer where we had parked it.

A few phone calls later I discovered it had been towed only hours after we'd abandoned it. The alarm kept going off and some folks in the neighborhood called the police. I couldn't blame them.

I had planned to spend my San Francisco Sunday riding through Golden Gate Park, visiting the Conservatory of Flowers, admiring the bridge and the bay. Instead, I embarked on a Kafkaesque car retrieval odyssey, accompanied by Kathy and Dicky, which entailed (not necessarily in this order): two visits to two different police stations, a bit of crying, two visits to two different copy shops, a strained phone call to my mother (to whom the car is still registered for complicated reasons), a sad Soju Bloody Mary, a Chimay, several cups of coffee, a trip to the tow yard and a $425 price tag.

I don't eat ice cream very often. While I'll occasionally steal a lick from another's cone, I can't recall the last time I went anywhere and had my very own serving of the stuff. On Sunday, after finally reclaiming my vehicle, we rode our bikes to Bi-Rite, stood in line for a half-hour and I ordered a motherfucking ice cream cone. It was one scoop of Salted Caramel and another scoop of Coffee Toffee. We walked across the street to Dolores Park and found a decent patch of grass in the sun where I promptly ate the shit outta that cone. Let me tell you something: Ice cream is good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

weekend in photos

The Long Beach Aquarium.

JD's birthday at Casa Escobar.

Hiking in Malibu Canyon.

Point Dume State Beach.

The Red Shoes, restored

I'm keeping busy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"It Makes my Mouth Hurt to Speak with Such Merriment"

I don't think I've ever worked so hard for a paycheck. The three days I spent at Comic-Con -- skating through the streets of the Gaslamp District, blowing my whistle, screaming promotional sound bites at pedestrians and ninjas and Boba Fetts alike -- it was unlike anything I've ever done before. I've never touched so many strangers -- the hugs, the photographs. My palms are sore from so much high-fiving, which is to say nothing of my feet, and the beating they took from the asphalt.

My Babe Ruthless uniform was heavy, and we were always outside, about seven out of 10 hours per day in the sun. We did stunts -- setting up shop on street corners and taking turns jumping over each other; bulldozing down busy sidewalks, a nine-person roller train, blowing our whistles and chanting "Whip It! October 9th!" as we plowed through. We shot the duck. When I peeled off my uniform after the first shift, I was shocked to find my knees covered in bruises. Upon closer inspection, I realized they had been dyed from the green nylons I wore under my kneepads.

I felt a little bad for the folks who had to share an elevator with nine sweaty rollergirls at the end of the night, one of whom was Ludacris.

I think I now have some sense of what David Sedaris experienced in SantaLand. I feel a kinship with Cuervo Man from John Hodgman's "This American Life" piece. I appreciate the plight of Pinchy, the misunderstood Fight Crew Lobster.

I was only slightly humiliated when my troop of Hurl Scouts skated past a guy I went on a couple of dates with a few months back. I recognized him immediately and was hoping to fly by incognito until I heard "Hey Meghan." There was smugness in that greeting.

And then there was the guy who shouted, as I was tossing "Whip It!" sweatbands into a mile-long line of folks waiting to a watch movie preview, "Hey, didn't you go to Centennial High School?"

Why yes! Look at me now. All grown up on roller skates and wearing a too-short girl scout uniform.

None of this is to say that I didn't have a good time. It was amazing to witness our enthusiasm infect almost everyone who crossed our paths. Funny that when you scream at people, they so readily scream back; blow a whistle and they will wave; chant "WHIP IT! OCTOBER 9th!" and they will chant it right back to you, fists in the air. It helps when you're tossing out free swag, but even when all we had to offer were high fives, people lined up to receive them ("Good game!" we told them. "You were great out there. Way to rock the Con!" And then we'd blow a whistle in their confused, delighted faces).

Being "on" for three days straight was completely exhausting. As an introvert, this part was the most difficult for me, more so than the physical stuff. I spent my three hour breaks alone, walking through the streets where I'd been skating earlier, searching for a good reading spot, and appreciating how it felt to pass another person and not have to smile or scream or wave, feeling blissfully invisible.

Don't get me wrong: I am sore. Rolling over so much rocky asphalt takes its toll. The vibrations get you everywhere -- it's like being jackhammered. I have never paid for a professional massage, but I have been thinking about it. I will probably keep thinking about it until the appropriate amount of time has passed and it seems too indulgent for this workhorse. I am also a little tired of strangers touching me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And I Sat Behind a Young Woman With a Killer Fade

I want to write about the 30 hours I spent on roller skates at Comic Con last weekend, but that has to wait. In the interim, I will say that Grace Jones killed at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday. And fortunately, I don't need to write anything else about that because better bloggers than this girl already took care of it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

like your favorite pair of jeans

Jezebel's breakdown of the "Whip-It" trailer is pretty apt.

"Which is not to say I won't be first in line to see Whip It — teen angst and roller derby are a couple of my favorite things."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Whip-It Trailer

The directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, stars Ellen Page (JUNO) as Bliss, a rebellious Texas teen who throws in her small town beauty pageant crown for the rowdy world of roller derby. Marcia Gay Harden (MYSTIC RIVER, POLLOCK) plays Bliss’ disapproving mother, while Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live") and Juliette Lewis (OLD SCHOOL) play roller-derby stars. Also starring Eve, Jimmy Fallon, and Daniel Stern.

Oh yeah, and it was written by an L.A. Derby Doll, former Siren Maggie Mayhem.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Sunday

Waking in a bed more comfortable than my own to the sound of JD getting ready for sailing class. Emerging from said bed to discover a pot of coffee and a note waiting.

Yogurt with honey.

Two hours of yoga.

My Ipod intuitively playing the right songs on shuffle.

A cold bottle of Perrier and a banana.

A ride on the back of Bryan's motorcycle, and not thinking too much about my father's mangled leg, or, potentially, my own.

Conversation with Bryan over a cheddar, onion and avocado crepe at Local.

Riding my bike to Griffith Park. Finishing a book, splayed out on a blanket. Pace of reading hindered only slightly by screaming kids climbing my favorite tree. Happiness in knowing these children are not mine.

The sound of a party in the distance, a chorus singing "Happy Birthday."

Riding my bike downhill.

A drive to the Valley on the near-empty 101. A fellow skater, an accountant, finally does my taxes. And guess what? A refund!

Later, celebration with sex and omelets.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Celebrity Sightings

Last night was my good friend Bryan's birthday, so I took him out for dinner at the Hollywood Loteria before meeting up with a slew of derby folks for birthday karaoke (which, sadly, never went down. The bar we had chosen for our shenanigans was hosting a beer pong tournament, usurping the advertised karaoke night). Our crew relocated to the Powerhouse where a few folks sang along loudly with Bryan's selections from their first-rate jukebox. Everyone went nuts during "Don't Stop Believing," but the room stayed mostly quiet for "This Must be the Place," which is one of my favorite songs.

Before the bars, when we were finishing our dinner at the restaurant, Bryan leaned across the table and said: "Doesn't that woman sitting to your right look just like Carrie from Sleater-Kinney?"

I turned.

"That is Carrie from Sleater-Kinney."

The tables in Loteria are close together, and there wasn't much space between us. Here was the guitarist from a band I was obsessed with growing up, sitting right next to me, and had Bryan not pointed her out, I would've left the restaurant without noticing. These days, she writes the only music blog I occasionally bother to read, Monitor Mix.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

mysterious today

I haven't been feeling very writerly lately, so this is all you're getting from me this week.

Things that are Awesome:

1. Goths in Hot Weather

Thanks, Kathy.

2. This mural featuring the Silver Lake Walking Man:

Thanks, Pinchy.

3. Leaving for Austin in a few weeks.

4. Adriana's latest comic.

5. Brunch here.

6. A much-needed car wash & wax (I think it had been a year) at the hands of a bespectacled, body-building Jew.

Not so awesome:

1. Slamming my finger in a car door and the impending loss of yet another nail.

2. Finally realizing the major contributing factor to the carpal tunnel syndrome that's been waking me up throughout the night with numb hands and forearms for almost a year: weight-lifting and push-ups.

I will need to modify my entire workout routine, but on the upside, maybe I will get through the night without pumping my fists to combat the numbness.

3. This t-shirt.

4. Waiting for summer. June gloom, beat it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camo brings out my freckles

Photo by Axle Adams from the Big One Tournament.

Photo by my uncle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

temporary tattoo artists

Monday night, Mila Minute and I hit the red carpet on roller skates for a booze-tasting party in Hollywood. A winery in Paso Robles (trying to market itself as the Pabst Blue Ribbon of wines) is working out a sponsorship arrangement with the Dolls. They hired Mila and I to pour their vino and apply temporary tattoos (bearing the winery’s logo) on party-goers tipsy enough to believe temporary tattoos are either cool or a good idea, ever.

We showed up in our uniforms and skates, and in addition to talking up the winery’s flagship red zinfandel to those who stopped by our table for a taste, everyone wanted to know more about the Derby Dolls. The league has a game on the 30th, and naturally, neither Mila nor I brought fliers to promote. A few phone calls later and Tilda Whirl came to the rescue with promotional materials in tow.

“Have you seen the latest flier?” I asked Mila while we waited for Tilda to arrive. We were standing behind the table, munching on stinky cheeses and intermittently sipping our glasses of merlot, cab and zin. “It’s me! I'm flier famous.”

“That’s you on the flier?” she said. “Really? I thought it was me.”

“No, it’s definitely me. It’s obvious if you’ve seen the photo it’s based on.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, definitely.”

“Because I really thought it was me.”

“I’m telling you! It’s me. Just wait until Tilda gets here. She designed the flier. She can settle it.”

Meanwhile, the general manager of the winery stood with us behind the table, witnessing our egos do battle. We make the Diva Jammers look humble.

(when Tilda pulled up to the club, she said to Mila (without any prompting) "Did you know that's Judy on the flyer?" It's based on this photo by Charlie Chu).*

In the world of signature derby moves, skaters like Mila and Krissy Krash have the rocket whip and the leg whip. Judy Gloom, the Charlie Brown of the banked track, will forever be the skater who’s skates fly from her feet mid-jam. It happened again over the weekend at the Big One Tournament. As my skate soared into a cluster of ACDG spectators, I heard the very kind Cherrylicious attempt to make me feel better: “That’s totally happened to me too!” she hollered from the crowd. What she didn't realize is that it’s the fifth time it’s happened to me.

To my credit, after frantically lacing up my skate, I still managed to score on that jam, so maybe those 2-minute flat track jams aren't so bad after all.

And I’ve got new skates coming in the mail.

If you’re feeling like a road trip, Fight Crew is playing a flat track game in Bakersfield on Saturday. Let's hope none of those Bakersfield skaters try to eat my eye on the track.

Also, check out my recent guest blog over at The State I Am In. It’s supposed to be about cooking, but Georgia turned it into a tribute to my awesomeness. I’m not complaining. Georgia is my friend, and an amazing one at that.

*addendum to the wine-tasting event: Guess who woke up the next morning with her arms covered in temporary tattoos? Temporary tattoos are not as temporary as one might think. I wore long-sleeves to the library that day.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Jorga, my occasional acupuncturist, was staring into my ear this morning when he noticed something. He had already finished his business with the needles, paying special attention to the line extending up my arm to my shoulder, which I had injured last week, and was the reason for my visit. He twisted those needles one at a time, and when I winced and told him it hurt, he did it again.

"Are you having problems with your hips, too?" he asked my ear.

"No," I responded, but too quickly. Initially, a "hip problem" made me think of a joint problem, but the truth is, my hip is bruised as hell. I keep knocking the same spot, right where the bone protrudes a bit, and the result is layer upon layer of bruising -- a kaleidoscope of wounded yellows, blues, and gray-greens. At flat track practice last night, a newer skater wiped out in front of me, and I went down with her, crashing onto the concrete hip first, again. I jumped from the floor in a flurry of angry "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"s. The upper crust is of my kaleidoscope bruise is newly pink where the injury is fresh.

"Yes," I changed my answer. "I keep bruising my hip."

"Your left one?


"I can see that. It's here in your ear."

Then he taped some seeds in my ears and told me to buy Indian food because the tumeric would help my shoulder heal.

"I cook with tumeric all the time. I have it at home."

"You should go buy some Indian food now."

It was 9:30 a.m.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fly Me to Texas!

One random game night a few months back, I was standing alongside Paris Kilton in the darkest recesses of the Doll Factory, waiting to use the skater loo. Fight Crew had the night off, but Kilton was suited up in her bad-cop Siren uniform. She examined herself in the mirror and turned to me.

"I don't know how I feel about my boutfit tonight."

I had never heard this term before, but decided it was brilliant, and immediately incorporated it into my derby lexicon (and for the record, Kilton looked killer in her boutfit that night). Apparently, Boutfit has finally reached the masses via Urban Dictionary. It's nice to see that someone who wasn't me took this initiative.

In other derby news, the all-star Ri-Ettes (myself included as an alternate) are headed to Austin, TX in June for the 2009 Battle on the Bank. The only problem is that it's kind of pricey to fly 16 skaters to Texas and put them up in the sort of roach motel reserved for traveling Derby girls, so the Dolls are asking for help.

Check out our fundraising site. You can even buy a Ri-Ette a boutfit!

And how about this great fundraising plug from American NonFiction?

"The woman of the Roller Derby are the new face of the subversive culture in a way ANF could never be. Like Football for America, the Roller Derby is our game, the face of the common man, as boxers once came from the docks, our roller girls come from a childhood of slanted equality. They are not highly paid prima donnas sat atop a cash tidal wave but a ground swell of 3 cord grass roots. No other roller derby organization better defines the elements of grass roots and the ethos of D.I.Y., than the L.A. Derby Dolls."

Hell yeah! Thanks, SuperMegaFanBoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

taking care of business

There is an LADD game on Saturday. I'm not skating, but I will be your DJ for the evening, and no, I do not take requests. Check out the latest promo video:

What else? The Dolls were recently honored as a Treasure of L.A. and City Council President Eric Garcetti wrote a very nice blog post about us here.

On the personal front, I'm pretty sure my left toenail is going to fall off any day now -- it's a leftover injury from my Kath & Kim stunt work. In the words of one ex-boyfriend, "You have the feet of an Afghan refugee."

As I wait for the toenail to drop, I am concerned that maintaining my to-do list might actually be hindering my productivity. I've even turned to Merlin Mann for guidance, but all I can think when watch his presentations is "Fuck, I should really quit watching this video and do that thing on my to-do list. Or maybe I should process some goddamn email."

I like crossing items off my to-do list. It is deeply satisfying. But for every item I remove, I'll add two more. Last night, for example, I finally knocked out "jewelry box" (this referred to picking up the contents of my overturned jewelry box, which had been twinkling in the crack of floorspace between my dresser and wall for the past week). Basking in this accomplishment was short-lived, however. I crossed it off only to add "change oil" and "press list for Saturday." Poof. The glow was gone.

I don't know how real grown-ups manage their lives -- you know, those people with kids and mortgages and f/t jobs. Sometimes I feel like a professional emailer. Like, writing and responding to emails is my job. I also sometimes feel as if I'm drowning in my personal administrative duties. I skipped skate practice last night to spend hours emailing and filing and shredding and updating my Google calendar (mostly with roller derby obligations).

In far more interesting news, I spent my Easter eating this fruit, and then subsequently drinking tequila, unsweetened coffee, sucking on limes and chowing down on salt & vinegar chips, which tasted candy-coated. I was completely skeptical going in, but the fruit is indeed magical. Thank you, Bryan. I saved a couple of the seeds and will be planting them soon. It's on my to-do list.