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.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

falling trees

Consider this: If a Google search yields zero results (and further, does not offer a suggested alternate search/spelling), does the thing exist?

I just had this experience on the reference desk. Google had been my last resort. I plugged the patron's query into the search box, and got nothing. I turned the screen to show her the absent hit list and its little epitaph: "Your search did not match any documents." The placard next to my computer mocked, "I'm here to help you...please ask." Sadness and confusion and disappointment flowed across the desk between us.

All I could come up with was "I''m sorry."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

blind leading the blind

i have been shopping for new glasses, which is sort of like buying a new face. my current chrome hearts frames barely stay put these days. when i'm doing push-ups at the gym, they slide from my face and land with a clink on the gymnasium floor. i can feel them bounce when i'm biking, which is potentially disastrous. case in point: back in december, i was in a bike accident (a pothole on Vermont was at fault), and i went over the handlebars. my glasses went soaring too -- across the nighttime sky like a bat in flight. me, bike and spectacles all landed separately on a patch of grass somewhere near the 101 overpass.

i am blind without my glasses, and the darkness didn't help. i crawled around on all fours, my knee oozing blood, dumbly groping the moist grass for my frames. cars zoomed past, their headlights illuminating nothing, but someone who had witnessed the accident pulled over.

"you ok?" he asked.

"yes, but i can't find my glasses," i stared up from the ground, squinting at his blurry face. "i'm blind."

i couldn't discern what happened next, but i detected movement. then, as if conjured from the smog around us, the man produced my glasses. ta-da! the guy was clearly a magician.

"be careful, girl," he said as he handed them over. "and you should really wear a helmet."

i returned my glasses to their nasal perch as his car sped away, finally in focus. it looked fuel-efficient. i remounted my bike in pursuit of beer, which i later guzzled at Pure Luck as blood dribbled down my leg.

conclusion: my glasses are officially dangerous, a liability, a disaster waiting to happen. purchased in 2005, these frames have not aged well, and painful as it is to send a loved one packing, they are broke down, old and maybe a little senile. retirement is overdue. party details TBA.

(an aside for derby folks: the glasses i wear when i skate are customized "stunt glasses" and not the glasses i wear in my everyday life).

the shopping has been slow-going because it's a major life decision as far as i'm concerned. i've enlisted two high-powered consultants for the task - georgia and adriana - women who are both good company and possessors of impeccable taste - the two requirements for this consulting gig. they also accept compensation in beer, which is my preferred method of payment.

in preparation for our first foray into spec shopping, we spent most of sunday afternoon eating eggs and drinking beers at 1739 public house, which boasts 40 varieties on tap.

tip: if you are ever overwhelmed by the vast quantity of unfamiliar beer available at a given bar or restaurant, ask the bartender to recommend her three favorites (or four or five, etc., depending on the size of your group. (this was adriana's idea. do add brilliant to her list of consultant qualifications). next, share the recommended beers. in my experience, each will be top-notch.

follow-up tip: make a point to remember (better yet, write down) the names of the beers! to this end, i failed.

we managed to extract ourselves from our booth at Public House with just enough time to check out a couple of optical shops in the vicinity before they closed. right now, i'm leaning toward a pair of frames from gogosha, which i've visited twice already. both times, i was bowled over by the amazing customer service. in the words of one yelp reviewer, "Julia Gogosha is the greatest thing to happen to eyeballs since the retina . . . [she is] as much a stylist as she is a shop-owner."

i don't want to make any hasty decisions, however, so the optical shop rounds will continue with my consultants in the coming weeks. there's a good chance i'll do the same thing i did the last time i shopped for new frames: unable to decide between two styles, i purchased both, and proceeded to wear only one for the following four years.

on an unrelated note, tell me how you feel about capitalization. in my offline existence, i follow the rules, but in digital communication (blogging, email), my compliance is arbitrary at best. does it actually bother anyone? i can handle the truth. i want to be a better blogger.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

skating around the issue

i really hate wearing a mouthguard, and for years, i played derby without inserting one of those chewed-up, saliva-drenched, carcinogen-laden wads of plastic into my maw. yes, i was at the game where iron maiven's tooth was knocked out. the thing is, i've already lost three of my front teeth in two (separate) non-derby accidents, and i've never been totally happy with the dental work. my attitude is that if i wind up taking a bite out of the kickrail, it just means the time has finally come to upgrade my grill.

my former teammate, crystal deth, was my non-mouthguard-wearing comrade in arms (in her case, ostensibly due to gag reflex issues). i think we were the only people in the league skating games without them. however, in 2008, it became a penalty to play sans guard, and i couldn't risk punishing my team for my hard-headedness. begrudgingly, i had to suck it up.

fact: mouthguards do not make for flattering photos.

this monkey is out for blood!

both photos by charlie chu.

ok, ok. all of this mouthguard talk is a flimsy excuse to avoid dishing about the actual game, which we lost. so much for determination and triumph. fight crew doesn't skate on the banked track again until june, so we have a few months to get our heads together and regroup. in the meantime, i will be skating with three other teams: the flat-track Ri-Ettes, the banked track Ri-Ettes (i'm an alternate), and the L.A. Aftershockers (a one-off banked team put together to take on ACDG's Rocket Queens). no rest for the weary.

p.s. if you missed the bout and the amazing opening video, here's your chance to sing along at home: