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.