Thursday, July 31, 2008

RollerCon Recap Tues & Wed

Okay, okay, so I said I’d post daily here at RollerCon, but it’s really freaking hard, what with the fun and all.

Seriously, though, the past two days have been CRAZY. On Tuesday there was meeting and hauling and preparing and stuff and meeting again and preparing some more.

Some of my sponsors sent very large banners in very large tubes that are very difficult to carry, especially with my shoulders being slightly fucked as all hell. Thanks to Bella Go-gosee for toting “the poll” around for me all night Tuesday. I can’t say she didn’t have fun helping out though. Or Mercyless either.

We did go have a beer while waiting for Hurt to get back with the track-laying supplies, and we ran into Jerry Seltzer, son of the inventor of roller derby. He had went and got a tattoo, because, when at Rollercon, do as the rollergirls have done – get a bad tattoo. Just kidding, Jerry’s tattoo isn’t bad (but the array of horrible 1st tattoos is pretty impressive – me included, of course). In fact, I think I kinda like it.

Hurt, Mercy, Bella, and I went out to West Flamingo Park and Desert Breeze to hang sponsor banners and lay the tracks. While at Desert Breeze, I was sitting down and got eaten to hell by what I can only assume are sand fleas. I don’t know if they are actually sand fleas, but that’s what I’m calling them. They looked like tiny little roaches that scurry around really fast and bite. They suck.

We got back around midnight Tuesday and rounded off the night by having drinks in the hotel casino. They make a killer Mi Tai – it’s all liquor and no mixer, like a Long Island, which knocks you on your ass. After a few of those and catching up with some Baltimore peeps, chicks who have been featured in the Campaign, and talking to strangers, Hurt poured his beer on the floor, and it was time to go home.

We’re on the 3rd floor, and the casino is on 2. The shitty thing is that you cannot access any stairwells, so others on the elevators get pissed. It was 2am, and we were drunk, carrying on, and squeezed ourselves into an elevator full of tourists who weren’t too happy with us. I decided to keep the mood light by screaming, “Everyone say cheese!!!” while I held up my camera to take a shot of everyone in the elevator. The funny thing is, I only got Hurt, giggling like a schoolgirl, and a very uncomfortable Asian woman.

Yesterday was full of hanging banners and meeting with sponsors and picking up burritos and answering questions. By 4pm it had already been a long day, so I went to the pool for 30 minutes and got a foot-long pina colada with extra shots of rum. Rocket Mean and I discussed our plans for ruling the world through roller derby sponsorship, and I could finally relax.

We went to the opening banquet, the pick-up scrimmages at Flamingo Park, and then we hung out at the bar, where I ran into many East coast friends, including Bane Anna, the mascot of all mascots from Long Island who decided on a whim to drop everything and come to RollerCon. Without a room. His plan, as he explained to me, was an experiment he hoped to include in the book he’s writing about being a mascot. His theory is that derby folk are accepting and helpful and kind and his goal was to find someone to stay with this week – but it had to be someone he didn’t know already. I told him I thought he’d have a better chance finding a roomie with the banana suit on. Otherwise, what distinguishes him from just some slacker derby dude? He agreed, and this morning when I came downstairs he informed me that he had found a place to stay. I knew he would.

Just sitting her at registration as I’m typing this, maybe 15 ladies have come up and taken CFRB fliers (made by the wonderful Betty Beatdown) – all excited to submit their asses. Yay! Today is gonna be full, so I’ll take more pix and post tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Tuesday is here, and I’m off to Vegas to prepare for RollerCon. Luckily, I got a teacher-friend who’s off in the summers to give me a ride to the airport. Over the past 3 days I’ve repeatedly tried to weed out unnecessary clothing and anything else that’s contributing to my 10-ton each, three pieces of luggage. I think I finally got it to a manageable level – two bags were checks, but my carry-on is a bitch – it’s massive, probably weighing 30 pounds or more, which is interesting with my “good” shoulder still on the mend (slower now that the other one is injured) and my other arm in a sling. You know what that means, though… I get to PREBOARD!!! I’ve never done it before, and I’m probably more excited than I should be, but whatever.

The painkillers have disrupted my regular schedule, if you know what I mean, and I’ve only been to “see a man about a horse” every-other day if I’m lucky. It’s been 3 days, and I was in a bit of a worry that the time would come on the airplane, because, well, that’s my luck. But, no! As I was sitting here waiting to board, the gods graced me with a gift – a poo. As if that wasn’t spectacular enough, my gate is directly across from the restrooms, which NEVER happens, so even though I had to schlep my bags to the bathroom and back, it was only about 20 feet.

This is gonna be a good trip.

Monday, July 28, 2008


With the 4th annual RollerCon taking place this week, I thought it was all to appropriate to feature the lady who brings us RollerCon – she has also brought you your skates and gear for the past 3 years, and she has helped shape derby as we know it today. It is with great booty love, that I present you with Ivanna S. Pankin!!!

Founder of Arizona Roller Derby (AZRD) in 2003 and Sin City Rollergirls (SCRG) in 2005, as many of us know Ivanna’s business savvy extends beyond the league level to the national level, as she also helped to found the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) in 2004. As if that wasn’t keeping her busy enough, she founded RollerCon and Sin City Skates, both in 2005 – both wildly successful nearly 3 years later. Her reach in the community is deep and her contributions are numerous, but aside from being an amazing business woman and an influential force in derby, she also has a REALLY SWEET ASS.

“I like my ass cause it seems to have a gravitational pull of its own,” Says Ivanna.

AZRD seasons 1 and 2, Ivanna won the Best Jammer award. Season 1 she was also voted league MVP. In 2005 she captured MPV and Best Jammer for SCRG. Now skating again with AZRD, Ivanna pivots and jams. And who could forget her presence on the all-star team composed of league all-stars from all across the country? Yes, Ivanna is also captain of Team USAwesome (aka, Team Awesome).

“I wish I could say I was always super confident about my shape, but I do have moments - my favorite one, recently, was when a LA Ri-ettes fan mentioned that he was worried about the tournament because his whole team had been shrinking in size cause of summer bikini season.” Ivanna goes on to say, “Somehow that brought out my stubborn size, so I decided to wear far more ass-y clothes than usual, thinking maybe they'd be intimidated by my size…” Ivanna goes on to explain. “I was hoping LA girls would be horrified by a big ass. HA!”

So, where does this league MVP who’s received multiple Best Jammer awards get her gusto on the rink?

“I don't know if [wearing more ass-y clothes] worked, but it definitely made me feel more powerful, and when I feel it, I play that way, too.”

But Ivanna not only brings power to the track, she also brings strategy too.

According to Trish the Dish, “She somehow manages to sneak up on you with it,” Trish says. “I don't know how many times she's surprised me on the line.”

Yes, Ivanna may be a booty hero to all of us, but she too has her heros.

“Speaking of asses, Beyonslay is my hero,” Ivanna says. “In a recent scrimmage, I got Rice Rocket really good on an inside hit that lifted her up a foot off the ground - and she landed on her feet!!! Out of bounds, but still! Rice Rocket is like a cat; nearly impossible to lay out. The Slay Ride almost made me cry. Get 'em, Slay!!!”

Who’s your booty hero?

Well, it was a day late, but certainly not a dollar short, my friends. I hope this CFRB finds you well, and if you’ll be in town for RollerCon this week, stop by and say “hi” to both me and today’s entrant, the woman behind RollerCon, Ms. Ivanna S. Pankin! And if you feel so inclined, you could buy our asses a beer too.

Stay tuned, because this week’s posts are sure to be interesting – I’ll be posting pics and entries from RollerCon all week long!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hold Yer Booty Shorts!

CFRB for today is coming... It's just gonna be a little late, but I promise you it will be worth it!



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jury Duty

It’s actually quite surprising to me that I’m almost 30, and I’ve never been called for Jury Duty until now. It was equally surprising to the city court employees who I wound up speaking with to let them know that I would be out of town starting Tuesday for RollerCon, but more on that later.

Today has been one of those days. Aside from the fact that I actually got up early and had time to peruse the internet to look up what items were allowed in the courthouse (laptops) and what items were not (cell phones), the rest of my day has been trying, to say the least.

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm – typical for Summer. I wasn’t worried though, because it was so damn hot yesterday that I had been running the a/c in my car, so my windows were rolled up. Wrong. In my usual insightful manner, I must have unconsciously cracked the windows because it was so hot out. My seat was soaked, the passenger seat was soaked, and the doors and dash were soaked. Luckily I drive a 95 Toyota Tercel, which has been considered “beat” for some time now. The shocks and struts went maybe 5 years ago, and I’ve never replaced them, the stereo doesn’t work most of the time, and the seats have needed to be replaced for 5 years as well, since the vinyl has cracked and the foam cushions would be exposed if they weren’t already under seat covers. But then again, I’m the only person I know who pays under $90/month for gas, so suck that new car drivers!

Back to the typhoon inside my compact car. Luckily, I have a “leather” seat cover on my driver’s seat (and a cloth one on the passenger side). I was able to wipe off most of the water on my seat to theoretically not get my ass wet. Once again, wrong. From getting in and getting out of my car so much, the seat cover had slid over to the right, and when I sat down, my left cheek and thigh soaked up the rainwater that had been sitting in the seat cushion below the cloth part of the leather seat cover. Fuck.

I gave myself plenty of time to get to the courthouse and park. I had written down the names and addresses of the two parking garages that give Juror discounts. Low and behold, I’m just reaching the 1st garage as I’m suppose to be at court. Wha happened? “Whatever,” I think. “I’ll be in and out in 5 minutes and the courthouse is across the street.” There’s a guy in a yellow polo shirt standing in front of the entrance to the garage waving me away, because it’s closed. The second garage? Full. After being rerouted and driving in circles for 15 minutes (now 15 minutes late for court), I finally find an open garage, park, race to the courthouse, and find the door locked. I’m at the wrong building.

Still confident I’ll have a good day, I get in, go through the metal detector, tell the guard I even remembered to take my knife out of my purse last night, have a pleasant conversation, and go upstairs to sit. And sit. And sit.

There were vending machines in the sitting room, but they wouldn’t take my quarters – I tried 6 times to get the machine to take the quarters. I finally gave up. A voice came over a loud speaker from somewhere else in the building. The woman’s voice welcomed us to jury duty. We started by watching a video about the Baltimore City judicial system. Fine. Boring, but fine. Then a second video. I seriously thought at first that someone had popped in Xena Warrior Princess for us to watch before our numbers were called. I then realized it was lower budget than Xena (how can that be?), and finally it all come together with the voiceover performed by local news anchorman, Stan Stoval, who was talking about criminal justice when we were still under British rule in America. It went on to enact several scenarios about how people were tried – they were either burned or drowned. When you were burned, if the burns healed within 3 days, you were innocent. If not, you were killed. In the second scenario, a person’s hands and feet were bound and they were thrown into a deep body of water. If they floated, they were guilty and put to death. If they were innocent, they sank. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this, but no one else in the room as laughing with me. Except one man who appeared to want to be the class clown of the juror pool.

We sat. We sat some more. They told us we could take a break and go get coffee down the street but to just check back in when you got back. We watched another video. They talked over the loudspeaker again.

Then they said that if you were unable to serve for longer than a day or were convicted of a crime to go to room 239. I was the only one who got up, and I got a lot of looks – because naturally I’m a criminal, not someone with shit to do.

I waited in line. Waited some more. Finally saw a woman who was mean. I explained, “The announcement said to come down here and let you know if I can’t be a juror for more than a day…”

“That’s NOT what it said,” she quipped.

I was trying to be my politest, most professional self. I explained I have to be at RollerCon on Tuesday to set up. Then came the questions about RollerCon, why I hadn’t notified them before today about RollerCon, and why was I wearing a sling – in no particular order and without time to allow me to answer any one question before the other was asked.

“The slip I got in the mail says to contact you if I cannot make TODAY,” I said. “I can make today – I’m here, but I cannot be on a trial that goes longer than Monday.”

“You should have notified us prior to now. Don’t you know to do that?”

“I’m sorry, this is the first time I’ve ever been called for Jury duty. I honestly didn’t know.”

“Well, you can tell the judge but he may or may not care.”

“Then what should I do?”

“Most trials don’t go over 3 days.”

“But some do?”


“Okay,” I say, “What if I get selected as a juror and the trial goes into Tuesday and I don’t show up because I’m en route to the conference. Do I get in trouble?”

“Oh, yes! $1,000 fine and possible jail time.”

“Then why don’t we just postpone my jury duty to September?”

“There are no cases in September.”

After much back and forth, we got it straightened out, and then, surprisingly, the same nasty woman was nice to me for no apparent reason – asking me about my shoulder, telling me to “take care” multiple times, and thanking me. Totally weird.

So, I’m due back mid-October. At least then I’ll know to roll up my windows the night before, park in the garage I parked in today, and go to the right building. As for judging people in the courthouse downtown? Well, I guess you could say I got that one covered today, and I’ll do the same in October.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Talking to Strangers

As I was mentally going over my agenda for the Sponsorship Roundtable I’m leading at RollerCon next week, I kept coming back to one item, even though I’d already acknowledged it. The one thing I really hope to get out of this discussion is finding out how to prepare sponsorship committee members (aka, sellers) to not be afraid to communicate with potential sponsors. Sponsorship is something many people want to try, but in the end their fear of talking to strangers overcomes them, and they push sponsorship aside in favor for a more popular committee, like Bout Production (gah!).

I’ve been casually discussing this issue with some friends in the derby community, and more than once I’ve heard, “Well, some people can and some people can’t, you just have to find the right person – someone who already knows how to do it and isn’t afraid to.” Truth is, people who fit that bill are few and far between, not to mention that I refuse to believe that you either have “it” or you don’t. I think anyone who wants to learn how to sell sponsorship can be taught to sell sponsorship.

From as far back as my earliest memory I remember being shy, painfully shy. When I was very young, I thought that as long as my eyes were closed and I couldn’t see you that you also couldn’t see me. That bubble was burst one day by the Mary Kay lady. I was sitting on my mom’s lap at the kitchen table while she was discussing colors or something else a 4-year-old is not interested in with the saleswoman. I remember looking down at my reflection in the glass table top. I could see myself, but when I closed my eyes I couldn’t. I didn’t think anyone else could either until the woman started talking to me, “I see you,” she said while my eyes were closed. But how? Poop.

As a slightly older child, my parents would take me along to my dad’s work conferences and such. My dad was in the convention and visitors bureau business, and one year he got a game on the PGA tour to come to our town. He took me along one Saturday to the golf course when the players were practicing. He introduced me to Jack Nicholas – the golf great, but to me he was just some guy I was afraid to say “hi” to. Jack bought me a Butterfinger bar, and I was so thrilled I actually managed to say “thank you.”

As an adolescent, I could finally exchange pleasantries to people I’d just met in person, but for years I was terrified of the telephone. I wouldn’t place a call to my parents’ offices, because I knew someone other than them would answer the phone, and this used to drive my mother mad. I didn’t even like talking to relatives at Christmastime over the phone, and just forget me calling to order a pizza or inquire about some store’s hours.

When I was 18, I had to get over my fear of the phone, because my job depended on it. It was painful, but I overcame my shyness. And, in time, I went from afraid to talk to strangers to “you can’t shut this girl up” when she’s around strangers. I talk to everyone and anyone now – people in line at the grocery store, the person at the gas pump next to me, potential sponsors.

If you had told my parents, even when I was in high school, that I would be soliciting sponsorship from strangers all over the country, they wouldn’t have believed you. I wouldn’t have believed you. But somehow, some way, I overcame my fear for strangers and my fear of rejection. So what if they aren’t interested in sponsorship? I can show them why they should be – there’s always an angle, always a way to accommodate people in a mutually beneficial way. And if not, it’s their loss.

So, although my transformation to become outgoing and fearless took pretty much my entire life, I do believe it can happen in a shorter time span. I just need to know what I need to do to assist new sellers in gaining confidence, and I’m really hoping there will be a good discussion following that agenda item next week. Derby teaches you many things. I’m hoping it can teach me how to empower others, because that would be a valuable lesson for someone to learn if the need it and want it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog?

I’ve been debating taking next week off of blogging, since I’ll be away at RollerCon. When this thought entered my mind, part of me said, “this is a psudo vacation – unplug!” but the other part of me, over the past week or so, thinks some good entries could come out of next week’s festivities. The verdict? You’ll be hearing from me next week.

As I was sitting in my early-morning meeting today, I began thinking about how different next week will be from this current work week. Then again, things, in essence, will remain the same.

There’s a dress code – written or unwritten for both work and derby. It’s each group’s expectation of “normal” or “appropriate” that varies. As much as I’d like to, I can’t say that derby folk are accepting of anything and everything – I’m sure if I showed up to RollerCon dressed like I’m expected to for a work-related conference, I would get a lot of strange looks (just like I would if I would wear booty shorts and fishnets to a publishing conference).

There’s buzzwords and jargon. Here at work I’m immersed in ideas for new products that are “low-hanging fruit”, finding “product evangelists” to give us quotes for the covers of our books, and getting “buy in” for this title or that. Next week I’ll swap that out for talking about “playing the cut”, while I introduce my “derby wife” to the “[insert regional name her] Doll”, who I met at the “Jeerleader” competition.

So, which is better? I don’t think it’s a matter of better or worse. It’s all just interesting to me, which is why I decided to pack the puter and hopefully capture all the interest on paper before it has left me for good.

I should also mention a special outfit is being made for me to wear next week, and I’m excited about it, but also a little nervous. The Campaign for Real Booty is a sponsor of RollerCon this year, and as a sponsor I’ve been asked to donate something for the raffles that will benefit Tequila Mockingbird. Being so new in its infancy, The Campaign has no shwag of its own, so I negotiated a deal with the kind owners of Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop who are cutting me a major deal on my favorite bra, so that I can offer 3 gift certificates for one Enell bra each to the raffle winners. Now, here’s the fun part: Black Eyed Susan is also creating a custom skating outfit for me to wear at the Con – a red Enell bra, embellished with flames, and a skirt or booty shorts made from matching flame material. How hot is that? My only concern is my gut, but I suppose I’ll just have to get over that (eek!).

So, even though I won’t be skating, I will still be at night scrimmages wearing my new outfit and screaming my lungs out. If you see me, offer encouragement for my gut-bearing (or a shaw).

Monday, July 21, 2008

As Buddah as My Witness, this Injury is Not Gonna Lick Me!

Oh, for the love of buddah, you all have got to be sick of hearing me talk about injuries by now (I know I’m tired of talking about them), but low and behold, here we are again!

This time last week I was hoping I could scrimmage at RollerCon (and there was a pretty damn good chance that I could). This week, I’m hoping to be able to hang the sponsor banners without assistance and praying to the derby gods that my shoulder will heal enough so that I can still participate in the 8am-boot camp all week long, but we’ll see. I took my sling off to cook dinner last night, and I paid for it; I was almost crying before I went to bed because of the pain, which J so kindly helped alleviate by lightly rubbing my shoulder for about a half hour (this is special, people – J doesn’t usually rub anything of mine for a half hour! well, except for that...).

I don’t know if there is any meaning behind my injuring myself twice in a row – both completely freak incidents. Is there some reason I shouldn’t be skating? Is karma punishing me for something by taking away what I want so much? Then again, I guess sometimes there is no meaning – just unfortunate circumstances.

Once again, I am not giving up. I will not be one of those people who just quits – or lets themself go. I may be out for the remainder of this season, but knowing I’m essentially a season behind where I should be will drive me to be even better than I would be otherwise once I’m able to skate again. This means I’ll continue to exercise as much as I can while injured, and I’ll continue to eat right, as if I’m in training – there will be no “woe is me, pass the Ben & Jerry’s” here. I refuse to sabotage myself and all my hard work and conditioning up until this point! And until the pain goes away, all I can do is force myself to rest my arm and shoulder (something incredibly hard for me to do, but something I will do).

“As buddah is my witness… as buddah is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's all over, I'll never not skate again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never not skate again.”*

Okay, so I’m not Scarlet. I’m Cindy – Cindy “freaking” Lop-her, thank you very much!

“Some injuries take a skilled derby girl, and hide her away from the rest of the derby world. I wanna be the one to skate and have fun. Oh, girls, they wanna have fu-un. And Cindy Lop-her refuses to run!”*

*Disclaimer: Okay, I’m lame – a total goober, but did I mention I’m on pain meds? Yeah, I’m blaming my geekiness on that!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Welcome to week 20 of the Campaign for Real Booty! I’m excited to bring you a very strong woman, who’s not only impending in size but also who has a robust sense of self. I’m please to give you Dreadnought!!!

An unteamed skater with the Boston Derby Dames, Dreadnought has been skating since July 2007.

“I've always been bigger than most of my friends,” Dread says, “I put on weight easily, and I also build muscle quickly and have a large frame. My shoulders are broader than my fiancĂ©'s! So much of what attracted me to derby was that these traits were actually valuable. I'm built like a bulldog (short and squat) and my low center of gravity paired with my large frame have been very helpful for me while I've been learning to take hits from the strongest skaters in my league. Before derby, the only place I felt natural was in self defense classes, where I was told that ‘because you look big and strong, a lot of attackers will go for someone smaller as a target.’ That was one of the biggest complements of my life, and I hope that with more practice, the same will be said for me on the track.”

“When I started derby I expected to become more fit, but I knew going into it that I wouldn't lose a pound,” Dread indicates. “Just like when I was weight training, I simply changed shape, and I feel like I've become even more ‘me’ if that makes sense. I've always been very hourglass, and derby has enhanced this - my waist has become trimmer, but my shoulders and thighs have become noticeable bigger and stronger. I can ‘Hulk’ my way through a pair of my old XL knee pads because of all the muscle I've packed on in my quads. I joke that the reason booty-blocking comes naturally to me is simply because my booty takes up half the track, but I'm partly serious. I think that my size gives me confidence when playing derby because I don't feel like I'm easily crushed or pushed aside.”

“If someone were to offer me a way to magically drop 100lbs so I could look like a model, I don't think I could do it. While it's frustrating to go into a clothing store and know that none of the pants will fit me, I like taking up more space. I couldn't stand feeling small - there's too much of me inside to squeeze into a size four body. I'm looking forward to becoming even more fit and healthy as I continue to skate, but I hope to stay ‘big and strong’ instead of simply slimming down. Plus, having a big bum gives me more room to write long phrases on my shorts.”

“I've had a bit of an uphill battle with derby because I've already been sidelined by a few nasty injuries. So far I've broken my tailbone and sprained my MCL, but I refuse to let that stop me. I'm hoping to be teamed and bouting when the season starts up again, but until then I'll be using my fabulous booty to its fullest in the back of the pack during scrimmages.”

From all of us, best of luck, Dread. I know you're going to do wonderful, and I can't wait to play you some day (my father-in-law lives in Boston)!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Agony of Defeat

Where to start, where to start…

Last night was going amazingly well. I went to scrimmage practice with the intent of only scrimmaging with my team and only doing so half-time. After my first jam, I said “screw it” and kept telling our bench coach and whomever was organizing the lineups to put me in more, not only with my team but in the mixed scrimmages as well.

It was awesome. I was doing great – mainly pivoting, but some outside blocking. Of course, we all have those jams where everything seems to fall apart, and I had one or two of them too, but I actually did quite well in the majority of the jams I was in. My shoulder wasn’t hurting, even though I couldn’t avoid some hits to it. I was feeling confident – maybe I could play in the bout on the 26th and maybe I could scrimmage at RollerCon!

Then, 15 minutes before the end of practice, I’m pivoting again – against Penalty’na, the player who I collided with in May to separate my shoulder. I’m standing at the line, and I say, “Damn, why do I always have to be up against you? You who injured my shoulder in the first place?” The whistle blows, we take two steps, each go for the initial hit on each other, and once again it’s that perfect storm. The hit caused me to separate my shoulder – my LEFT shoulder (my OTHER shoulder). FUCK.

I felt it immediately, like I did back in May, and I skated off the track and curled into a ball, down on my knees, huddled trying to brace the pain. I kept hearing, “Cindy, do you need help?” from the referees, but I couldn’t get any words out. Finally, I got out a “Yes,” and proceeded to cry like a baby.

Everything got quiet. It was only me crying echoing through the rink, and I was so embarrassed, but I couldn’t stop. Part of it was the physical pain, but another part of it was my utter despair that I was injured yet again, and my hopes of skating in the bout on the 26th and at RollerCon at the end of the month were shattered. I just want to skate so fucking bad.

My wife, Flo Shizzle, who’s also a nurse, came over and with the help of Buzz Kill, Mibbs, Lady Quebaum, Holly Gohardly, and Mr. Pistol got my arm into a sling and an icepack secured to the joint. They took off all my pads and my skates and made a plan to drive me and my car home, since my boyfriend, J, is across the country on a week-long work trip. I can’t thank them enough for their help (and telling me it was okay to cry).

To ad insult to injury, my orthopedist is on vacation this week and I have no pain meds left from the other shoulder injury. I did finally get an appointment with a colleague of his that’s set for tomorrow in the morning.

Everything will be fine in time, I know that, but the thought of not being able to play for at least another 2 months just makes me well-up with tears each time I think about it. This season that was suppose to be “my season” has turned into the worst possible season yet (for me personally). I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with my body that I’m so prone to this injury – I mean, it’s frustrating because it’s not like I did anything stupid.

“It’s just roller derby,” Flo said as she was driving me home. “It’s a dangerous sport and sometimes people just get hurt – not because they did anything wrong. It’s just a dangerous sport. You’re just unlucky in that you got hurt twice in a row.”

Indeed, I am.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Entering the Pack

I’ve been anxious since I woke up today. Tonight is my 1st attempt at scrimmaging following the shoulder injury in early May, and I’m nervous.

I’m going to take it slow – scrimmaging just with my team, not in the mixed scrimmages. I feel like this is the first time I’ve ever scrimmaged. It’s amazing what 2 months can do to one’s confidence.

Deep breaths, deep breaths…

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ass in the City

I had to do a second post today to recount what just happened to me. Instead of doing my usual derby administrative-type work during my lunch, I decided to go to the gym. I packed some clothes last night: a tee, shirt, shoes, and shorts, because it’s hot. As soon as I start walking the 3 blocks to my gym, my shorts begin riding up into my crotch. You know, the fat girl shimmy that shorts tend to do on thick thighs? I was tugging ever few steps. I had to pass two outdoor cafes and numerous business people out on their lunch break.

“Hold you head high, and put your shoulders back” I told myself, “If you appear confident, the crotch-riding will be less noticeable.”

The gym finally is in sight. I cross the road and am 3 steps from the door when the man behind me says the following (read in a seductive voice – even the second part):

“Damn, you look good,” He said. “I’d love to kiss your ass.”


First, it’s good to know I didn’t look as bad as I thought I did.

Second, was he expecting a response? If so, what would that look like?

“Hey, there, I happen to have overheard that you’d like to kiss my ass. I was just heading into the gym on my lunch break, but your offer sounds way more enticing that 30 minutes on the treadmill. Good thing you caught me on my way in instead of on my way out, because I’m known to get a raging case of swamp ass, and I wouldn’t want this kind offer to be retracted. Is there somewhere we can go so that you may kiss my ass?”

Finally, in the course of a sentence, this man has challenged my every thought regarding ass kissing. I often think to myself, “He can kiss my ass.” And sometimes I say, “Kiss my ass!” But logistically, I don’t want anyone kissing my ass.

I wonder if he’s familiar with our Campaign? Something tells me he’d like it, albeit for different reasons than we do.


Anticipation in and of itself provides a great sense of excitement for me. I think that’s why I’m one of the only people I know who still love Christmas – not the day itself, but the preparation and anticipation of all the parties and people and presents leading up to the day. What will I wear? What food will I make? Who will be there? Will so-and-so like her present?

I do this with other things too: birthdays, vacations, dates, and even random events I know about several weeks in advance! I like envisioning what things will be like, but that can often get you into trouble as well if reality doesn’t live up to your expectations.

I remember the period of time leading up to the first time I attended summer camp. Camp is one of those things that’s often portrayed on television and in movies. I was nine – I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited nonetheless because it was going to be my first time away from my parents (and not with someone else’s parents) and I was going with my friend, Sarah-Jean. I envisioned us doing campy things: hiking and exploring, jumping into a lake from swinging tire roped to a tree, swimming, and roasting marshmallows over an open fire to make s’mores.

I knew I wanted the top bunk, but I was also slightly afraid I would roll off of it in the middle of the night. I was also afraid of the potential of communal showers, since I was an “early bloomer” and made fun of quite a bit by the other girls who at that time cherished the flatness of their chests (yet, I bet at least some of them have bolt-ons now).

I was nervous but excited. I thought I kind of knew what camp would be like, but I knew that there were unknowns, and that was thrilling.

That week wound up being a disaster. I got eaten alive by mosquitos, I rolled a canoe, and I got my period for the second time ever. Camp was not how I envisioned it, I was not having the fun time I thought I would have, and I couldn’t wait to go home. It was a total let down.

Reflecting back on that time, I don’t think it was camp itself that was the problem – it was me. I allowed myself to get worked up over the minor inconveniences (although getting your period at 9 away from home is more than a minor inconvenience), and I didn’t let myself have fun. I totally sweated the small stuff.

Today marks less than a month’s time until my ladies vacation. I’ve been anticipating this trip for almost 6 months now, and it’s finally in reach. Because I’ve had so long to think about it, I have a lot of ideas in my mind regarding what it’s going to be like. I realized this earlier today, and I consciously told myself not to create the vision of the perfect vacation, because chances are I will be let down. I need to relax, go with the flow, and just have fun. There may be minor inconveniences (guess who’s scheduled to get her period while we’re there?), but I’m not going to let them get to me. Until then, I’ll continue to anticipate the good times and enjoy them when they arrive.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Nose Picker

I've caught myself over the past week or so getting lazy with my manners, namely picking my nose at my desk around 3pm daily. By the time I've caught myself doing it, I'm knuckle deep. I yank my finger out of my nose and always have the same thought: Did anybody see me?

It's scary, because I do it unconsciously. And really, come to think of it, I can't pinpoint any other time during the day or night that I pick my nose. Sure, there's the occasional pick while watching TV when I've become distracted with a booger drying up inside my nostril – curling up on itself and tugging at a random nose hair. You have to get those out. Then there's the "I think this one is tickling my brain" that I often attempt to pull all the way out in one piece like a magician with multi-colored scarves. I usually get those before bed, after I've washed my face. There are reasons behind these picking incidents.

The disturbing thing about my new-found mid-day nose picking is that I can't determine the cause – there are no boogers, yet I'm sitting at my desk, facing my door, digging around up there. For what?

Perhaps my picking my nose at work is not about necessity but instead is some sort of weird habit. Maybe I pick my nose in other places when I don't realize it. Do I pick because I'm bored? Tired? I get bored and tired all around town – at the grocery store, in the Jiffy Lube waiting room, in the passenger seat of other people's cars!

Oh, crap.

I guess it could be worse. My one coworker twirls her hair into a spiral, sticks it in and out of her ear and then sniffs it. Me? I just pick my nose. Come one, people, we all do it!

Friday, July 11, 2008


If last week’s 4th of July hiatus has you seeing red because you didn’t get your fill of bountiful booty, then don’t despair, because this week’s rump more than makes up for it. Ladies and gentleman, I give you C.N. Red!!!

A pivot and blocker with the Queen City Roller Girls out of Buffalo, NY, C.N. Red skates for the Devil Dollies and has been playing derby for 2 years.

"When I originally joined roller derby, I was a bit intimidated because I didn't know what to expect, especially being a larger woman," Red states. "However, when the league started its regular practices, I saw women of every size, age, and athletic ability. For the first time in my life, I felt like my size was invisible. I was just a derby girl - not a 5'0" woman who wears a size twenty-two on the bottom."

She goes on to say, "If it wasn't for roller derby, I don't know if I would have ever ended the cycle of beating myself up because of my clothing size and the misconceptions that society has about women who wear clothes larger than a single digit."

As for her strengths, Red is a smart woman, and she knows where they lie. "My booty and my hips are my greatest asset - and they're the best derby tools one could ask for! They give my teammates great hip whips, deliver lots of crushing blows, and provide me plenty of cushion when I hit the floor!" she says. But what comes next may be her biggest strength of all. "The best thing [my booty and hips] have done though is inspire women from other leagues to really step up their game and be the best players they can be. When someone came up to me in a bar and said that I inspired them because of my size, that was the best thing my hips and booty did for me."

RED ROCKS! That’s part of what the Campaign for Real Booty is all about ladies! This entity that is roller derby gives us the platform to allow us to feel good about ourselves (as well we should) and to be excellent examples and role models to woman of all shapes and sizes out there who may still shun the idea that it’s okay to love yourself even if you’re not perfect. Guess what? No one is perfect. What comes closest to perfection in my opinion, though, is living your life like C.N. Red – unafraid and happy with who she is.

As if she wasn’t perfect enough already, Red has set a goal for herself, "This summer I'm working on building up my endurance so I can regularly jam next season and shock the hell outta my opponents!"

And I’m sure you will, Red! Please check back in and send us a pic of you with that star on your helmet.

Cindy Lop-her cartoon by Paigey!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sponsorship Sovereign

On days that I have derby work to do during my lunch, I still usually only spend half that time on the derby work. I today I spent all of it, and I still have more to do, but I’m not complaining.

For those of you who didn’t read the bio on the side of this thing, I do sponsorship for roller derby, only the bio on the side hasn’t been able to keep up with the work I’ve take on.

I started out as the Sponsorship Director for my league, Charm City Roller Girls. Before then, I was just the girl who had managed to get some small businesses around town to give her some money for roller derby. It snowballed from there.

In my 3+ years doing derby, and soliciting sponsorship for derby, I’ve managed to bridge the gap and get some national companies to support derby as well as local small businesses. People saw this, and I was asked to be the Sponsorship Manager for the WFTDA. Cool.

The WFTDA Sponsorship Committee and I are currently soliciting sponsorship for the 2008 WFTDA Regional and National tournaments (“Battle Royale” Houston, TX; “Derby in Dairyland” Madison, WI; “Northwest Knockdown” Portland, OR), and you could say we’re in crunch time. With less than 3 months to go before the first tournament, we’re very actively knocking on doors, negotiating, and writing contracts.

Then, just several months ago, I was asked to help solicit sponsorship for RollerCon, which we all know is the annual roller derby convention that takes place in Vegas every year. I remember one of my first questions to Ivanna being, “Do you want me to solicit for 2008 or begin in 2009?” The answer was a resounding “both.” Cool.

RollerCon is less than a month away. We’re certainly in crunch time for RollerCon, yet it’s such a popular event that I still get one or two new requests for information from potential sponsors each day. The booth space got filled before I even came on to help, but that doesn’t stop the wheelin’ and dealin’. There’s plenty of creative ways to get exposure for a company aside from having them vend, and I’m totally into making things work for potential sponsors, even if we are in the eleventh hour.

After lunch each day I sit here with my head spinning, visions of contracts and banners and logos. This goes with that. That goes with this. What does this go with?! Did I send that out or just draft it?! Thank buddah for modern technology like USB drives and Google docs and PayPal and Yahoo! Groups. I honestly don’t know how people worked before the invention of the internet!

I honestly never saw this coming – me soliciting sponsorship for, well, anything! But, I’ve learned to love it , which is why I do it and will continue to do it. If you’re looking for a unique way to market and advertise your business, and you think you’d like to do it through derby, chances are that I’m your girl. I want to get a shirt made – something like “Sponsorship Goddess” or “Give Me Your $, Bitch!” Okay, just kidding on the last one.

I suppose I should mention that I’ll be leading the Sponsorship Round Table at RollerCon again this year – Saturday, 8/2 at noon! Stop by and say hi. Share with the rest of us what you do for money. Me? I just beg for it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fortune Telling

When I was eleven I had a friend that swore she could tell my future, but really she was just telling me what I wanted to hear – things like “next year you’ll go to the dance with Chris” (Chris being a boy that I had a crush on). I knew it wasn’t true even as she was making her predictions, but I let her do it anyway, because it was fun to envision what my life would be like in different situations.

If someone really, truly could tell you your future, would you want to hear it?

Some people would. Okay, many people would. It’s hard to ignore the predictions of Sylvia Browne that always seem to be airing on Montel when I’m home from work sick. Yes, often times I’m lying on the couch in a Nyquil haze half considering Sylvia’s predictions of the world coming to an end in 2 years. Then comes the part of the show where audience members get to ask Sylvia personal questions about their futures, which almost always consist of the following 3 things: “Will I find love?” “What do you see me doing as a job?” and “Is my [insert dead relative here] okay?”

Sylvia sits on the couch, confident, her facial expressions indicating lack of effort and nonchalance, as she displays her long pink fingernails while fanning out her fingers as she talks. “You will find love, but not now,” “I see you helping people,” and “Of course, honey, everyone on the other side is fine – it’s us over here who aren’t fine!”

Me? I don’t have any burning questions that I’m just dying to know the answer to. Sure, I’m curious about what the future may hold, but I also think some of the great fun in life is finding out first hand. In fact, I think I might be pissed if someone in the know just outright told me my future – what’s the fun in that? And what if I don’t like what they tell me? Assuming someone can tell the future, that would indicate some level of destiny or predetermination within the universe and no matter what I do I won’t be able to change the future, right? So I might as well just sit back and let life happen.

Fuck that. I’m curious about what the future may hold for me, but I’m also hip to the laws of cause and effect, and I enjoy creating my own future, my own reality via the choices I make and actions I take each day.

In my opinion, if you want to find love you have to be an active participant in looking for it and cultivating it. If you don’t know what career you want, assess your wants and needs, where your interests lie, and make a conscious decision to move toward doing whatever that is you want to do. And if you you’re wondering if your dead relative is okay, well, you’re just like everyone else – no one really knows and even when you die you still might not find out.

This is the exciting part of life – in 75 or 80 years you create a lot of somethings from nothing. Again, I’m reminded of something my dad used to say, “Life’s a journey, not a destination,” and that’s how I’d like to keep it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Motherly Love

I hate to talk about anyone here within this blog, I really do, but sometimes things happen that are so integral to the mission of the blog that I have to put aside my unease regarding airing of dirty laundry and just do it. Today is one of those days.

I had a big discussion with some friends regarding what to do (or not do) to keep the peace with my mom. We’re different people with different values, and we often let that get in the way of us remaining civil with each other. She pushes my buttons, I push hers. I instantly feel the need to follow that up by saying I only push her buttons because she pushes mine, but I know that’s often not the case. Then again, sometimes it is. I made the conscious decision last Saturday to not push any buttons regardless of whether or not mine were pushed. It was a fine time to make that decision on Saturday, because she broke all my buttons on Sunday.

I don’t know how the conversation started. She likes to tell me what she eats each day and why. I’m sure it was something about her wanting to lose weight – a constant obsession of hers. I then made some off-handed comment about how, “Yeah, well I’m 70 pounds away from a ‘normal’ weight for my height according to the doctor’s BMI chart.” What I hoped would come across from that sarcastic comment was, “Are you kidding me? You’re already thin! You’ve always been thin! You have absolutely nothing to worry about!” The intent was clearly missed, because the following came next:

“Oh, I pray for you every night,” said my mom, “I pray that god will help you lose weight…”

I cut her off, “that’s not what I was saying…”

“I just know that one day god will answer my prayers and you will get down to that average weight!”

“It’s not going to happen, “I say.

“Don’t think like that!” she replied. “I have faith that one day you WILL lose weight.”

“No,” I say, “I have been studied closely by an Endocrinologist – it is not ever going to happen.”

“Really?” she says.


“Well, don’t give up. I’ll continue to pray, and you do the same. God can work miracles.”

Left field, my friends. This came directly from left field. In fact, it was a kind of “look over there!” that she did, and when I looked she pushed my buttons – all of them, over and over again.

I wound up changing the subject like a good daughter. I didn’t mention that I don’t pray, which she knows. I did tell her she could stand to be slightly more supportive in saying something like, “I love you no matter how you look.”

To which she replied, “Oh, I do – I told you that you looked thin in that black dress the other day.”

I can feel my shoulders tensing and my blood pressure rising as I type this. Seriously, I’m not making shit up when I say that she pushes my buttons. If the aforementioned is not a button-pushing episode, then I don’t know what is.

When we concluded the call, J came into the room and said, “Fighting with your mom again?”

“No!” I quipped, “I did not argue with her, even though she was annoying me.”

“No,” he said, “I didn’t hear you say anything argumentative – you just had an aggravated tone of voice.”

“Well,” I said, “sometimes it’s hard not to.”

Ladies, if you’re not mothers already, some of you will be in time. Please, don’t do this to your daughters. You have a chance to break the cycle of poor body image by supporting your kids and encouraging them to be healthy (not thin). Healthy comes in many shapes and sizes, and health is important, but really and truly, being thin is not. And the quest for it (or your quest for it) can really fuck a girl up.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I made the decision last week to move forward and train as if I were playing in the July 26 bout, even if I won’t. For me, this meant a punishing 1 hour bout on the elliptical followed by numerous arm exercises on Saturday followed by my attendance and participation at the CCRG All-Star practice Sunday morning. Today I woke up an hour late and ate a muscle relaxer for breakfast. Holy hell, am I sore (and drooling on myself)!

It’s a good kind of sore, however. Well, it would be a good sore if I didn’t feel like I had needed to be medicated to attend work today. I’m dragging.

I wouldn’t have it any other way though. There seems to come a point where your good habits break down. Beatdown and I have been discussing this for some number of weeks: it takes something like 25 times of performing an action for it to become habit, but it only takes something like 5 times of having missed doing that thing for it to no longer be habit – at least with the good habits like exercising before work and being able to walk away from a table full of pies.

This is part of why injuring yourself is so depressing. You have to slow down – you have to give up your good routines, but then when it’s time to start getting back into the swing of things, those things that were normal before your injury are no longer normal. Normal has reluctantly become perfecting the ass groove on your couch, and it’s painful (mentally and physically) to get back to normal when it comes to physical training and activity.

This upswing has been SO HARD, and I knew it would be because I’ve injured myself on this scale at least twice before, but even knowing that doesn’t provide much comfort. I’m past complaining. I have to be. I just have to do it. That’s why I set that arbitrary date of the July 26 bout. I’m going to at least train like I’m playing in it. Will I be able to? Probably not, but then again I may surprise myself.

Sunday at practice I practiced taking hits, and turning into them, so other people’s shoulders and bodies hit my back, not my shoulder. I also practiced hitting with my ass on my bad side. You do what you gotta do to get back in the saddle. If that means altering how I take and give hits, so be it. In the long run, I’ll have hopefully come out with some better skills (the compensatory skills) than I had going into the injury. I just have to keep looking forward. That’s where I am. I’m not turning back.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Good Meeting

Over the course of my 3+ years involved in roller derby, I’ve attended a lot of meetings. What some people outside of a derby organization may not know is that a tremendous amount of work goes on behind the scenes by virtually every skater and even some non-skating volunteers. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: derby is a business. It’s a business that every member of every league helps to run for nothing more than the joy of skating and the ability to remain self-sustaining.

I’ve been to LLC meetings, Governance Board meetings, various committee meetings, committee chair meetings, meetings with our accountants and lawyers, meetings with WFTDA, etc., etc. Just last night I had a meeting!

Thinking about all these meetings brings me back to the very first meeting I remember being a part of: our neighborhood “club” meeting. I was 7 years old, and the other meeting attendees are 5, 6, and 8. The meeting was called by the 6-year old, and it was held at her house, in her bedroom. I remember as we knelt on the brown shag carpet, using her bed as our “round table,” the meeting didn’t get far at all. The only thing we could agree on is that we wanted to form a club. Where we got stuck was when we attempted to determine who the leader would be.

Twenty years later and still some things never change. Then again, sometimes they do. I find that not only has my perspective changed over time, but the collective perspectives (such as those of any one group, such as a league) change as well. I think every league (at least in its infancy) has gotten stuck in the weeds regarding leadership. I’ve come to accept that that’s natural. I’ve also noticed several other trends that seem to happen in leagues at various stages, including resentment against travel team members and general apathy. In the end, however, if you’re group is able to weather the storm, you find that you’ve become established. For better or worse, things are running. Sure, some things could be done better (and others could be done way better) if only we had the time to dedicate to them, but in general you get over the hump, through the bulk of the growing pains, and you’re actually able to not only put out fires but also to be proactive.

I’m not sure if my league is entirely through all its growing pains – in my opinions as long as you are growing there will be pains, and that’s inevitable and to be expected. What I am decidedly tickled and excited about is that we seem to be moving in a direction where the league leadership is actually service oriented. We’re viewing it as more than making decisions from up high, we’re digging into the nitty gritty to get things on paper and in order, so that we can grow.

Business fascinates me. Last night I dreaded missing practice to sit in the snack bar and attend my first board meeting after having been “off” for 6 months, but when I came home last night and J asked me how it went, I told him “It was a really good meeting.” I paused as I was putting away my bag, and I clarified, “I could be jinxing myself here, but I think that is the absolute best and most productive meeting I’ve ever attended.”

Usually the reward of all the hard back-end work is skating, but last night the reward was different. I can’t quite quantify what it was, but for the first time in a long time I came out of a meeting energized and excited. Part of it is the new group of board members we have, but another part of it is undoubtedly that we somehow (even if it was unknowingly) poised ourselves for growth and success, and for that I thank everyone who’s ever been a part of anything derby. Our growth is surely indicative of the sport at large, and again, I couldn’t be more excited.

This will be the last post this week. I’ll be vacationing tomorrow, so the next Campaign for Real Booty will be posted next Friday, 7/11. Happy 4th, all!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Ass is Staging a Coup

When my ass heard about my plans to lose 10 pounds before vacation, it talked things over with my stomach and decided to stage a coup.

Call it Murphy’s Law, call it anarchy, I don’t know. What I do know is that ever since I decided to try and lose 10 pounds before vacation I’ve actually gained weight.

Truth be told, I want to lose 10 pounds so that I can eat and drink whatever the hell I want, when I want, and as much as I want while I’m away for those 5 days.

I can’t pinpoint the exact time food became a highlight of, and synonymous with, vacation for me. When I was very small, vacationing was about playing all day—in the pool or on a beach, it was all about the play. Then, as I got older, it was still about the pool or beach, but it was also about building a tan and meeting boys on the boardwalk. Now, I’m pasty white, I wear SPF 50, I’m in a committed relationship, and I’m convinced I’ll get bitten or stung by something in the ocean or contract a parasite from pool water. So, basically I’ve gone from playful to egotistical to paranoid and gluttonous—wonderful.

I don’t know if it’s my sudden attention to what I’m eating and how often I’m exercising or the self-imposed restrictions I’ve put on myself, but I can’t seem to get the dieting right. This actually supports my theory that people get fat by dieting.

So, what’s the problem here? Why is it so important to me to be able to binge on my vacation?

I think the ability to binge on vacation has become important to me because it’s a sort of rebellion from my everyday life where I am mindful of what I eat and where I don’t allow myself to drink during the week. Not only that, but we put so many restrictions on ourselves in daily life. We tell ourselves that we must do this or that, that every other person is able to do it, but no one actually can do all these things we try to accomplish and hold ourselves to in our daily lives without the help of housekeepers, nannys, chefs, or personal assistants, and it makes us wanting to run screaming, because we feel like failures. Then there’s this one week a year where we’re free. We have no place to be and no reason to stay sober, so we go overboard and use that one week to go somewhere expensive, overindulge on food and drink, and act like assholes.

Maybe if we didn’t hold ourselves to such strict standards in daily life, maybe if we cut ourselves a little slack, we’d not only feel the need not to act like drunken gluttonous idiots while on vacation, but also we’d be less stressed in daily life.

I can see now why my ass decided to revolt. And I think it just convinced my brain to join the cause. Sheesh! If only my ass were more vocal, I would have realized the err of my ways earlier. Then again, maybe I’m just talking out my ass.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just another Romance Story

The sun was setting after another strong summer thunderstorm, and waves of steam were rising from the cobblestone road, just as her chest heaved with her ever impending excitement to attend the ball. She arrived early, hoping her true love would show and prove his love to her. Tonight will be the night, she hoped, that he would finally commit, and they would dance all night long like they use to do.

As she entered the building, the air was ripe with the smell of anticipation. Three others had already arrived and were primping for the evening to come, reapplying lipstick and securing their lace undergarments.

The town church bells rang at the top of the hour, and nearly everyone from the town was in attendance. The night had begun.

Her love was in attendance, shy but ready to perform, perhaps the only confidence he had in his own performance he had gotten from his love – she expected him to perform and this was his motivation: a strong woman.

They danced for an hour and a half, their bodies as one in perfect harmony, like two Legos that were not complete until they were pressed together to form one larger Lego. Both were elated at the magnificence of the night, as it was living up to both of their expectations.

Then, just at the peak of their joy, just as they were carefree, enjoying the night and looking forward to their future together, another man, rushing off the dance floor, bumps into him and the two lovers separate. Apart for the first time that night, the man looks at his love longingly and then rushes out of the room himself.

Devastated, his love crumples to the floor where she remained for a brief period before she mustered up enough courage to stand again, and when she did she gathered her things, said goodbye to her friends, dressed in forlorn looks, and she left.

She returned to her residence, sad and dejected. Still dressed for the ball, she retrieved a tiny bottle marked with an “X” from the back of her cabinet. She sat down. She took the cap off the bottle, brought it to her slightly parted lips, and swallowed. She set the bottle down, contemplating what she had just done, and in complete despair the picked the bottle back up and injected the rest of the poison.

She lay down in her bed, feeling guilty and sick to her stomach for having done what she did in an attempt to alleviate the pain. She drifted off into a deep sleep. The next morning she awoke, and to her surprise she was none the worse. Not only was the pain in her stomach gone, but also was the pain in her heart. Perhaps her lover’s leaving wasn’t as bad as she made it out to be, or perhaps she just over reacted.

The aforementioned story is an attempt to spice up my shoulder update on here – a pretty cheesy poor one at that! Still, I got your attention, didn’t I?

Last night I went to practice feeling well, I was able to do all the drills leading up to a pack drill, where I fell and landed on my wrists, jarring my shoulder and causing me a bunch of pain. I realized if it hurt this bad to fall, I certainly couldn’t expect to play in the July bout, as I had hoped to be able to do. I packed up my stuff, went home, and ate a tiny sliver of a key-lime pie I had made the day before. One sliced turned into two more, and before I knew it, I ate one-quarter of the pie. I went to bed, in pain and with a stomach ache, but to my surprise I woke up this morning with my shoulder feeling fine (and my stomach too, after several trips to the loo). Perhaps I overreacted. Still, it’s so hard to know when to stop when you feel pain and when to keep going. I suppose I should be happy that my shoulder doesn’t hurt today (and I am), but I’m still not confident that I can skate in the July bout. Boo.