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.