Monday, August 31, 2009

The plight of the wounded

Late Sunday afternoon to early evening.

I expected to be battling hard at the Cosgrove scrimmage, then chilling out (Oh, bother; what is the term people like to use these days? Chillaxing?) with teammates at a pool party -- sans pool given the unseasonably cool weather.

Instead I sat on a friend's couch with my left foot propped on up on a large plastic container of kitty litter, icing a sizable contusion with a thin fillet of frozen tilapia.

A night of skating at the Wellman Rink with friends on the eve of the scrimmage seemed innocent enough. But fate can be cruel, and I took a hard fall onto my knees in trying to avoid running over a young girl who obliviously skated into my path. The pain, though intense at first, subsided in the minutes afterwards and I continued to skate for another hour or so. In the dark and neon fluorescent lighting of the rink, I could not see the angry red sea of internal bleeding occurring at the site, the result of ruptured capillaries. It wasn't until I got home some two hours later that the extent of it was apparent.

Perhaps I am being overly dramatic. My ability to skate after the injury and the fact that the pain, while smart, was not overly mind-numbing told me that there wasn't a more severe underlying injury, such as a fracture, torn ligament or sprain. For that I am quite relieved, though originally I was concerned the bruise was severe enough that I would be out of action for a fortnight -- an eternity for someone who thrives on athletic activity. Indeed, the heat of inflammation from my knee could probably warm a one-bedroom apartment.

But, after two straight days of elevating and icing my knee for 20-minute periods throughout the day, I can offer that the pain has decreased markedly. The bruise has changed from a bright red to a dull purple -- the result of the hemoglobin breaking down, or so I have read. Rather than risk aggravating it more by doing my usual running, I have been walking on the treadmill on a stiff incline in an effort to maintain my fitness.

The pain has decreased enough that I am even entertaining ideas of skating in Wednesday's practice -- something that seemed out of the question as recently as yesterday. Naturally rushing back and reaggravating the contusion (the very thought of being knocked on my knees during a jam bringing tears to my eyes) is a concern but I suppose I have all of tomorrow and most of Wednesday to treat it with more 20-minute compresses --this time with heat-- and elevations. Worse come to worst, I will skip it and make my return at Sunday's practice.

The silver lining of the whole Wellman Skate Rink visit was that I was able to touch base finally with Teresa, the manager. She seems eager to host a meet-and-greet with the Old Capitol City Roller Girls where we will possibly perform a mock scrimmage and then fans will have the opportunity to skate with us. We are just in the process of nailing down/voting on a date, something I expected to have posted in the next few weeks or so. It'd likely would not be until late November or early December, and would be a fun event to close out the year with after a long season of bouts and fundraisers.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The perils of derby

It feels like it's been a few strange weeks of practice recently.

Hitzy Blonde has brought back quite the arsenal of new tactics and drills she learned at this year's RollerCon, and she's been eager to put them into play.

Two weeks ago the focus was crocodiles and bowling. Both were taught as strategies most effective when assisted by partners.

Crocodiles are basically a duo thing; one player hits two opposing blockers in succession and then her partner moves in to deliver a second round of blows to those opposing blockers. With bowling one blocker hits two opposing blockers who are side-by-side -- basically trying to take out two people with one hit. (Kind of like bowling a strike when the ball takes out multiple pins.) And if you don't take them out with that one blow, your teammate can finish up the job by repeating the move; I liken this to bowling a spare. Caspice?

It took a lot of practice but I think I'm finally getting the hang of them. Meaning, I can perform them but not at maximum efficiency. At 125 pounds, I don't have a lot of weight to throw around so getting them just right is going to be crucial.

With the Cosgrove scrimmage (see previous posts) coming up on Sunday we have also been scrimmaging far longer in practices. To familiarize ourselves with the surface we will be skating on we --the team veterans, anyway-- held last night's practice at the Cosgrove Institute. Its 1950s gymnasium is so diminutive that the outside line or rail of our track leaves no room for error. As in, one step outside the track and you're in the bleachers or into one of the institute's brick walls.

And if that wasn't enough of an obstacle, it appears the institute's janitors religiously coat the gymnasium floor each night with a thin layer of bacon grease. Yes, it really is that slick. At practice last night we all slid around like dogs on a linoleum floor. I even went down two or three times simply from the lack of "grippiness" -- and I have the rink rash to prove it. After practice, as I sat removing my skates on the bleachers, I noticed unhelpfully that the tread from my right Fugitive wheels (opposite the pushers) had worn away completely.

Additionally, we lost two more skaters due to injuries that night. Benzo Bang, who had only recently returned to skating, re-aggravated her old knee injury. Hitzy Blonde not only sprained her ankle but suffered a "hip pointer," a type of bone/muscle bruise injury that will keep her on the sidelines for at least six weeks. This is on top of her previously torn rotator cuff (shoulder) and plantar fasciitis (heel), so she will be receiving physical therapy now for four different injuries.

With Fast Bettie dropping out and Hitzy Blonde on the shelf the revised line-up for the Cosgrove scrimmage will be:

Farmers' Daughters: Toxic Sugar, GladI8Her, Fonda Cuffs, Left 4 Deadwards, Tynamite, V-Train and Shelby Flyin.

City Slickers: Bat R Up, Ophelia Fracture, Killer Baker, Triple D. Zaster, Animal Mother, Sweet Abattoir and Quantum Bombshell.

On a more positive and personal note, I do feel like I am becoming a more useful and effective blocker during jams. Half the time I see the opposing team's jammer and can react quick enough to block her path (as opposed to letting her sail right past me, which seemed to happen 95% of the time). I'm also better at working with my fellow teammates to communicate and build walls instead of playing like a one-woman team and causing the jam to dissolve into a furious free-for-all.

It's satisfying to know I am improving but satisfying to know, too, that there is so much more room for improvement from where I am now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

OCCRG sold out

... of jello shots!

I'm elated to announce that the Old Capitol City Roller Girls' appearance at Ugly's Saloon was an overwhelming success. From 8 PM to the wee hours of the morning Ugly's was packed with patrons, fans, roller girls and 700 jello shots. Yes, you read right: 700.

And we sold out of them! With our bottom-barrel prices, bustiers and boundless charm we were able to sell every single cherry and orange jello shot. (Rumor was the orange shots were, um, a bit more potent.)

The team had a mixed turnout of the younger generation and a good deal of, shall we say, knavishly lecherous older gentlemen. The place was packed and there was hardly room to skate from one side of the bar to the other on the thin carpet. A good thing; but tricky nonetheless.

I am proud to say that although there were some close shaves, I did not fall during my entire three-and-a-half tenure at Ugly's. I stayed on my skates and did not partake in the drinks -- okay by me, as I do not hold my alcohol very well. I did my best to sell every jello shot placed on my tray, as I felt responsible for the outcome of the evening since it was I who orchestrated the event with Ugly's owner, Cindy. It was particularly rewarding to see so many dollar bills going towards a team made up of a very hard-working group of senoritas. The bar certainly made a princely revenue as well.

Yours truly (right) with tyro Erin

[Sexy] Killer Baker worked her rear off selling jello shots

Everyone seemed to be having a merry time and although I was loathe to leave before seeing the last jello shot sold, after ten hours of work between two jobs followed another several hours on skates I was thoroughly knackered. A few unsettling shoulder rubs and grabs at my buttocks also hastened my departure.

Still, it was irrefutably worth it and good for my introverted ass to get out of the house for a few hours.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Massacre at the Cosgrove Institute

The battle lines were officially drawn at high noon. On Sunday, August 30th at 4:30 there will be a throwdown of epic proportions at the Cosgrove Institute in Oxford, Iowa.

The so-called Farmers' Daughters (i.e. country bumpkins) who will be slaughtered like pigs --fitting for Pork Day, don't you think?-- are:

Hitzy Blonde
Benzo Bang
Left 4 Deadwards
Fonda Cuffs
Quantum Bombshell

And representing the classy City Slickers are:

Bat R Up
Ophelia Fracture
Killer Baker
Triple D. Zaster
Animal Mother
Toxic Sugar
Sweet Abattoir
Fast Bettie

Oh, yes. There will be a reckoning. I am going to slaughter me some farmers' daughters.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

City slickers, jello shots and farmers' daughters

Mark your calendars!


I am pleased to announce that after a few weeks of negotiations the long-awaited selling of $1 jello shots --no, your eyes did not deceive you; it's true: Dollar jello shots!-- at Ugly's Saloon in Iowa City is set to place. Next Friday, August 21st, starting at 8 PM you can mingle with your very own Old Capitol City Roller Girls and get your booze fix all at once! We will even be decked out in out skates and gear for your viewing pleasure.

In addition to our exhibition in Cosgrove on August 30th, we may play in another out-of-town game on Friday, September 11th. Rumor has it the Sioux City Roller Dames, at the opposite end of the state, are chomping at the bit to butt heads with us on their home turf. Updates will be posted as the potential bout develops; competing against them would have us all on our toes as none of the OCCRGs have lined up with the Sioux City Dames.

Good thing I have been upping my runs to four miles a day (save for Sundays and Wednesdays when derby practice is held). I want to be as fit as I can for future bouts by exerting myself outside of practice, particularly since our most recent practices have focused on learning new moves --crocodiles, anyone?-- and jamming strategies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On the go-go

Tynamite and Fast Betty practice blocking.

Where does the time go?

It seemed it was June just a short while ago.

Perhaps it is the unseasonably cool temperatures and intermittent cloudbursts that has me fooled.

But what does August mean for the Old Capitol City Roller Girls? After a busy June followed by a quiet July, August could end up a bustling month. While our first home bout has been postponed to October, it's seemingly in the cards that OCCRG will be making several other appearances this month.

We will be meeting fans and serving jello shots at Ugly's Saloon in Iowa City during the week of the 16th-22nd. We'll have an exact date posted later this week, but it looks like it will be Thursday or Friday evening. It should be a lot of fun; this is a super opportunity for fans to meet, ask questions and just mingle with their local roller girls. And who doesn't love a jello shot?

An exact time and location for the planned exhibition in Cosgrove on Sunday, August 30th is yet to be pinned down yet but it appears our own Toxic Sugar is spearheading this event, which should be an exciting preview of our home bout in two months' time.

NightMere has been in negotiations with the Iowa City Rugby Football Club/Magic Bus crew to make appearances and sell mugs --$20 mugs that will get you in free for the day, and for half-price at all the other games-- at several if not all of their games. Of course, OCCRG will also have their own merchandise (team tee shirts, our famous sex kitten tank tops, stickers, buttons and the like) available for purchase. The first game is against UNI on September 5th.

And finally, it sounds like a few of our girls will be playing for the Quad City Rollers when they face off on against the Mid Iowa Rollers in Des Moines on the 22nd. It appears our amicable rivals have lost a few girls on their roster to injury and asked if any of the OCCRGs would be interested in filling a few spots. Naturally, several of us were happy to volunteer as Sugar N' Splice and coach Banshee of the Quad City Rollers were gracious enough to skate with and coach us for our bout with Cedar Rapids back in June. Those on the team expressing interest were Toxic Sugar, Tynamite, GladI8Her, Fonda Cuffs and myself. I'm not sure if I'll be selected as I lack the experience, aplomb and all-around savviness of the other ladies who volunteered (though I think I somewhat compensate with youthful vigor and enthusiasm). It sure would be a neat opportunity to get some more mileage under my belt and add to a budding résumé.

Keep checking back for more updates!