Tuesday, March 23, 2010

fly girl

Yesterday, I updated my Facebook status to read, "There once was a lady who inhaled a fruit fly." Because I did. The buggers have been a nuisance, all up in my den these days, and yes, I have tried the usual tricks to no avail.

It didn't occur to me until after I'd updated my status that the nursery rhyme actually starts "There was an old lady...." I didn't intentionally omit the "old." I just misremembered. Kind of like old people do.

Speaking of geriatrics, the Derby Dolls enacted a new policy for skaters who have been with the league five or more years: In conjunction with our newly anointed LEGEND status, we are no longer required to volunteer at bouts. Too old to work? Sure, I'll take it. Now I get to show up on game night after 6 p.m. and watch roller derby like a civilian. If called upon to pour wine or work PR or DJ, I might bite, but mostly, you'll find me at the games I'm not skating drinking a medicinal beverage. And that's if you find me at all. No more parking lot detail for this LEGEND.

I am beginning to understand the appeal of "lounge wear," or the urban gal's answer to sweats. I almost ventured outside yesterday in pants that clung to my waist with a handy drawstring. I was only leaving my apartment to receive a massage from a nice Thai lady in the San Gabriel Valley who crawls all over my back like a 110-lb spider. I would be required to strip upon arrival, but still, I couldn't bring myself to go outside with a rope around my waist if exercise wasn't involved. So, I changed into respectable pants. The kind with a fly.

After yoga on Sunday (I was just talking about lounge wear, remember?), I rode my bike through Griffith Park with some friends. We were hunting for the free bacon-wrapped hot dogs one of us had read about on the interweb. Apparently, there is a guy named Javier with an irrepressible urge to share the joy of the bacon-wrapped hot dog with his fellow Angelenos. It's become an annual thing where he sets up shop in the Old Zoo and gets to grillin'. On this Sunday, Javier wore a red t-shirt emblazoned with a t-bone as he manned his makeshift grill. A cookie sheet and small propane tank were involved.

When we rolled up to the Zoo, I introduced myself to Javier, and foolishly asked, "Are you a street food vendor? Are you promoting your business?"

He laughed. "No. I just love bacon-wrapped hot dogs!"

He made me a veggie dog wrapped in veggie bacon, and it was the best I'd ever eaten -- probably on account of all the bacon grease it had rolled around in.

The whole event turned into a great Los Angeles picnic -- people showed up with beer and condiments to share. No one knew each other, but fast friends were made. Pie holes were stuffed with dog after dog, laden with California condiments like kimchee, seaweed and avocado, and it was official: Spring in L.A. has sprung.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom

Oklahoma City: conquered. No snow after all.

What you should know about OKC: All lettuce comes from a bag. Some public restrooms double as tornado shelters (indicated by a placard outside the entrance illustrated with a black tornado, which looks suspiciously like a turd). Do not order the Ahi tuna (even if you well know that tuna in OKC cannot possibly be good, but still, it is game day and you are a pescetarian and believe that protein is required to be properly fueled). Also, that children ride the elevators for fun (maybe children do this everywhere, but there were SO MANY elevator-riding orphans in OKC, and they will insist on pressing the buttons for you, and all you can think is, "Kid, where I come from, you could get paid to do that). Service industry professionals are ridiculously kind and attentive, and in general, Okies are super nice and all the unsolicited hellos and waves from strangers on the street will be a little unnerving.

Oh, and if you order a yogurt and granola parfait in Caffeina's Markeplace, the hotel's cafe, the granola will be a pulverized Nature's Valley granola bar. When you point this out to the barista, she will not understand why this is disgusting or weird.

Finally, that banked track roller derby could be frighteningly big in Oklahoma. It's a city where there isn't a whole lot to do on a Saturday night, and its denizens are really, really enthusiastic about sports.

The Red Dirt Rebellion Roller Girls rented the large and well-lit Cox Center arena for the game, which was conveniently conjoined to our hotel via Sky Bridge, providing the Aftershockers (my team) a theoretical opportunity to never set foot on a public walkway in OKC. It was hard to gauge crowd size inside the Cox, but I would hazard a couple of thousand, which is impressive considering that this league isn't well-established. The Doll Factory's capacity is 1700, and though we almost always sell out, we push those 1700 seats hard. OKC is, obviously, a much smaller town.

The game was a blowout in favor of the Aftershockers. The final score was 239-31. RDRRG put up a good fight, and hell if those ladies aren't tenacious, but they're still awful green. With time and experience, I'm certain they will become a force, and it's exciting to have another banked track league up-and-coming in such an exotic locale.