Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Pretty Good Day

I had a pretty good day today. I was frustrated with the lines at Rollercon, so I took the day off and hung out with Claudia and her friend Sarah. We wandered around Vegas, went into the pawn shop from "Pawn Star" (which was not that exciting), swam at the Tropicana's pool and played midway games at Circus Circus. I did a LOT of walking today. My feet were already hurting by the time I went to the open scrimmage. But I don't get a lot of chances to scrimmage, so I didn't want to miss it. Besides, the open scrimmage started at 9 p.m., and that is the same time that the Black and Blue Ball started, so we figured (correctly) that the scrimmage would be more sparsely attended than usual. (There were still probably 50 people on each team.)

All seven Sick Town girls were there (and that is 1/3 of our league ... percentage-wise, we *must* be in the running for the league with the most of its members attending Rollercon). There were some other Oregon people too -- Earl Slick (ECRG ref and also a member of the Eugene men's derby team, the Concussion) and Sirius Smack (ECRG player), at least. I skated in four jams, and it was *awesome*. I was nervous about scrimmaging with men, but it turned out to be just fine. When I lined up for each jam, I told the opposing players that I'm pretty new and asked them not to kill me. They still hit me, which is good. But they didn't lay me out.

I got a "good hustle" from Sirius after we skated a jam as blocking partners. That was nice. After the scrimmage, Bones told me and Thrilla that we were both awesome in the scrimmage, and that she thinks when we skate with Sick Town we tend to be more passive, because we know our more experienced teammates will do what needs to be done. In an open scrimmage where you don't know the other people, you kind of have to do it yourself.

Making Bones proud of me? That's just an amazing feeling.

My legs are *so* sore. When I got up a little while ago to go to the bathroom, I was moving like an old person. I may be in pain tomorrow, but that scrimmage tonight was *totally* worth it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

One More Rollercon Post

On the first day, there was an open scrimmage at noon. In an open scrimmage, you wear a black or white shirt with your number on it, and you get in the black or white line. For each jam, the first four people from the blocker line and the next person in the jammer line go in.

There were a lot of people; I only got to skate in two jams. But it was fun. Unfortunately, there were not enough referees, so we didn't have outside pack refs. That means a lot of fouls got missed, including the moment when a girl from the white team totally elbowed me in the back (I wonder if that would be called as an elbow foul or a back-blocking foul).

Anyway, the really cool thing about the open scrimmage was that I went in with the same three blockers both times, and we worked as a team really well. In the first jam, we trapped a blocker from the white team with us -- meaning that we were the pack, and that the white blockers who were up bothering our jammer were out of play and had to back off. It was so cool! I learned that in Sick Town practice and then I got to do it.

And then in the second jam, my blocking partner and I worked together to form a wall and keep the white jammer back. OK, y'all, this is really basic stuff. But that's the level I'm at right now: the fact that I was able to use my head and block effectively instead of skating willy-nilly and desperately trying to keep up with the pack ... it's a victory. Kind of a big one. (I have had no trouble keeping up in anything I've done here ... that's been awesome.)

I have heard that the open scrimmages at night have gotten pretty rough; and they don't start until 9 p.m. I don't know if I will skate in any more, but that first one was pretty great.

Hanging with the Brat Pack

On Wednesday, I was bench captain for one of the challenge bouts at Rollercon (these are 30-minute bouts with preset teams that were organized in advance -- though there have been a lot of substitutions of players when people who were expected didn't show up). My bout was the Brat Pack (my team) vs. the Chocolate Chip Rookies.

My job was supposed to be to manage the lineups, but we didn't really have set lineups; people just came off the track and got back in line, and we had a few girls jamming. I did take responsibility for making sure we had a jammer and a pivot for every jam, and for encouraging girls to go in and jam if they wanted to try it -- this was not a win-at-all-costs situation. (We did win, though, which was cool! I honestly think we had the better team -- we had some good teamwork and we played much cleaner. They spent a lot more time in the penalty box than we did.)

If I am ever actually going to be a bench captain, like for Sick Town, I will probably have to get control of my mouth. There were times when the other team fouled my players and I was yelling, "Low blocking! She low blocked her!!" Maybe a bench captain shouldn't do that ... I'm not sure. (The girl did totally, egregiously low block my player. I mean, it was blatant.

Anyway, it was cool that my team won, and it was really cool to see them working together. It was fun. Ironically, the reason I didn't skate in this challenge bout was that I felt I wasn't up to the level of the other ladies (some of them have already bouted) ... but there were girls on both teams who are not as strong skaters as I. If I had had my gear there, I could have skated. Oh well. :-)

Greetings from the Sauna!

Here I am in Las Vegas. I have been here since Tuesday, but the Tropicana doesn't have free wi-fi, and schlepping my laptop the five or six blocks to the McDonald's on the strip is enough of a hassle that I have only done it twice. That's where I am now, enjoying the air conditioning and the Diet Coke.

I'll be honest: Rollercon kind of bites. Hanging with my derby girls is fun (and Boxxx finally got into town early this morning, so it's about to get even more fun). I'm not as much of a party-er as, well, pretty much everyone else, but I'm trying not to be a stick in the mud. Last night we went to the Hooters pool (the Tropicana's pool closes at 7 p.m., which is LAME), then to the Riedell (skate manufacturer) party, and then I was ready to call it a night ... so I skipped the Vagine Regime's Pants Off Dance Off party.

The problem is that everything is so fricking crowded. There are like 1700 people attending Rollercon. We have to be butting up against the maximum occupancy number for the Las Vegas Sports Center. It's crowded and hot and sweaty.

Rollercon has pretty much completely outgrown the Sports Center. There is only room for two tracks (and these are not full-size tracks either). So at any given time there are two skate classes going on, and they are supposed to be capped at 80 skaters (which is still too many for the space, in my opinion).

Yesterday we lined up at NOON to get tickets for the 4 p.m. skate classes. They gave out the tickets at 2 p.m. They only gave out 75 tickets (we got some; we were maybe 30th in line). But then when the class (Blocking Jammers Hate, taught by Suzy Hotrod -- more on that in a minute) started, there were at least 150 people on the track. It would not surprise me at all if it was more like 200. There were a few drills that we were all able to do, but not nearly all of them. A lot of it was Suzy teaching something, and then telling us to practice it at home. It's not her fault; there was simply no way for everyone to do everything.

Theoretically, the Sports Center is air-conditioned. That doesn't mean it was at all comfortable.

I'm pretty irritated (and I'm not the only one) about the training situation here. Seriously, they need to find a place to hold Rollercon that can accommodate all these people. I don't know if I would go again, anyway, but if it's in Vegas I will certainly not be back.

OK, Suzy Hotrod. I think she is my new girly-crush. :-) She's an amazing skater, and a really good teacher. She's funny and no-nonsense and awesome. We learned some cool new drills. I suppose the biggest thing I learned -- and this is pretty basic -- is "back, back, back, up." She had us call that out as we skated in two GINORMOUS packs. So basically, you're looking back over your shoulder for three beats, then ahead for one. Repeat. The reason that's cool is that usually when I am blocking I'm not sure where to look, and I'm trying to look behind me and still skate and it's just awkward as hell. Having a rhythm for it will help me.

At one point Suzy used me and another girl to demonstrate breaking up a wall (we were the wall). We were both in our best derby stances, nice and low, and Suzy said, "Be honest, would you really be that low in a practice?" We laughed and gave her a bit better opportunity to break through us, and she said, "Thanks for being the teacher's pets though." I'm not doing it justice -- it was really adorable. And Suzy, I'll be your teacher's pet anytime. :-)

With the lines and the crowds and all, I honestly don't know if I will get into another training session. I'm taking today off -- I'm going to hang out with Claudia a little later. (I woke up way earlier than I needed to.) Tomorrow there are no skating sessions I'm interested in; I will try to get into one on Sunday.

It's ridiculous: I'm at goddamn Rollercon, and I have geared up TWICE. That's it. I miss Sick Town. Brick is planning a practice for Saturday morning and honestly I would rather go to it than to another Rollercon event. Is that crazy?

This post is getting away from me, so I'm going to stop, and tell you all about the challenge bout I bench coached in another post.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rollercon, Day One

I'm trying to type this on my phone, because the wifi here at the Tropicana costs $12.99 a day. They can eat a pile of dicks if they think I am paying that.

I don't think Vegas is a place I would choose to go if it were not for some event. It's like a pizza: hot and cheesy. I don't mind cheesy ... sometimes I even like it. But Vegas is so very, very touristy.

No skating today. We checked in for Rollercon, then hit the pool (which, lamely, closes at 7 p.m.) and then the bars. Coyote Ugly was fun for a whilre (but very, very noisy). That ended up being the only place we drank, which is just as well. We do want to skate tomorrow, not stay at the hotel with hangovers.

Tomorrow Rollercon starts for real.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Outdoor Skating!

Today I skated the Corvallis-Philomath bike path again. I started downtown, by the post office, and made it all the way to Country Club Road (so, about a total of six or seven miles, round trip). It really is a great path for skating. I'm getting more confident about the street crossings, too; I just step past the yellow bumpy mats instead of getting freaked out by them.

The really big hills start after 53rd Street, I think. I must have been just about there. Next time, maybe I will keep going at least through the first hill. It would be really cool if, by the end of the summer, I could make it all the way to Philomath and back. Should be do-able, I think.

I met two girls who were skating on inline skates, and I told them about Sick Town and encouraged them to come to our next practice. I hope they'll come check it out, because they were very nice and they were both pretty good skaters. I don't think switching from inline to quad should be too difficult. (I find quad skates much easier to skate in, myself.)

I should really go do some laundry, so I will have clothing to take to Rollercon. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't Drink and Blog

Well, do as I say, not as I do, because I am sipping a white sangria as I write this.

I skated at Willamette Park today. I only managed two laps, but that's still a lot of skating. I'm not sure exactly how long the main path is, but it feels pretty long. I wanted to quit after the first lap (low-energy day, I guess), but I didn't. So there's that, at least.

Tonight was the bout committee meeting for Sick Town's next two home bouts (which are in September and October). I volunteered to be door manager, which should be a job I can handle. I was very careful *not* to volunteer to be bout coordinator. Been there, done that (although when I did it, it was at the theater and it was called "director").

Wow, in less than a week I will be at Rollercon!! Holy shitballs. I will have my laptop, so y'all can expect some exciting (and, I hope, non-whiny) updates from the 'con.

Tomorrow night, Sick Town is skating at the Corvallis Knights game! Woot!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I've probably mentioned this already, but the Sick Town training committee has decided that just passing minimum skills and passing the written rules test no longer automatically means that you are eligible to scrimmage. Now, the training committee decides when you can scrimmage.

I'd guess a lot of that is about safety (though some of it may be endurance and speed too -- being able to skate 25 laps in 5 minutes doesn't necessarily mean you can maintain that pace for more than 5 minutes, for example). So although initially when they announced this change, I was like, "Oh crap, another hoop to jump through," I'm cool with it now. Honestly, if the committee doesn't think I'm ready to scrimmage, I trust their judgment.

The good news is that I told Bones (head of training) that my goal is to be scrimmage-eligible by the end of the year, and she thinks that's totally attainable. Yay! We're going to talk at Rollercon (I suggested drinks and knitting :-) ... but her vote of confidence makes me feel a lot better.

Meanwhile, I'll still go to the scrimmage part of the Wednesday practices. I want to learn to referee too -- NOT instead of playing, but as something else I can do. It was fun tracking penalties at the junior derby tournament, but refereeing would have been more fun. :-) So until I'm eligible to scrimmage, I can help ref the scrimmages and then join in the practice afterward. (I think the non-team practices will be separate now ... )

I think I'm getting past some of my skating fear: hallelujah! All the outdoor skating I've been doing helps.

OK, time to go finish dyeing my hair (Sick Town blue! For reals! Well, just the bangs, but still. :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Arm Workout

Today Brick got a call from the people who took over the warehouse from us -- they needed us to move our sport court out of there ASAP. So that's how I spent this evening -- moving (I'm guessing) 8000 square feet's worth of plastic flooring.

Because I was doing it with Sick Town girls, it was actually fun. I hadn't seen any of them in a couple of weeks, since we haven't had practice. That's hard, being away from practice and from friends you're used to seeing three or four times a week.

So now, our sport court is stored at JalaPainYo's house, and the rest of our stuff is farmed out in various garages in Corvallis and Albany. In August, we'll start practicing again, probably at the Linn County Fairgrounds. It'll be good to get back! I have a lot to work on; I would like to be scrimmage-eligible before the end of the year (I think that is a very realistic goal). Rollercon will be good, and then the body conditioning and pilates classes I'm taking in the fall should help a lot too.

This will be a derby-full week: Wednesday we have the bout committee meeting (volunteers are very much invited), Thursday we are the guests of honor at the Corvallis Knights baseball game, and this weekend Sick Town has a camping trip planned. Should be fun!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eat, Sleep, Skate

So far, I'm doing really well with my goal to skate almost every day during Sick Town's break. Friday, I skated on a bike path that runs from 35th to 53rd Streets through some OSU farmland (it's the one with the covered bridge). It's a nice, wide asphalt path. There's a fair amount of debris, but it's pretty good for skating. I did two "laps" (35th to 53rd and back), which works out to about eight miles. Not too bad. There's a pretty good hill at the 53rd Street end -- steep enough to hurt going up, and to be fun coming down, but not steep enough to be at all scary.

Saturday, Charlie and I were NSOs (non-skating officials) for a junior derby tournament in Eugene. Some of those girls (whose ages I would guess range from 12 to 18) are *amazing* skaters. I didn't know what to expect going into it; I had never seen junior derby before. It's the same as adult derby, except that the girls are younger. They use the same rules as we do (WFTDA rules) and it's just as much a full-contact sport.

Since it was a double-elimination tournament, every team got to skate at least two 30-minute bouts. Charlie and I were supposed to work all 10 bouts, but Stat Brat (ECRG's awesome NSO and, I assume, statistician) took over for me for one so I could have a break. If she hadn't spelled me for a bout, I would have been on my feet pretty much non-stop from 11 until 6:30. That's what Charlie did. It was exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. The refs and other NSOs we worked with were awesome. And there were Voodoo Doughnuts in the refs' room. I had two and then made myself switch to granola bars and trail mix when I wanted a snack. :-)

Today, Charlie and I went and skated on the Periwinkle bike path here in Albany. It's not a great skating path -- it's concrete, and in some spots it's in pretty poor condition. It's also not a very long path, and there's one point where you have to cross the street and if you're coming from the west, you can't see the road (thanks to the vegetation) and it's a fairly sharp little hill leading down to the street. Yikes!

So, I don't know if I will skate there again. It's probably worth the drive to Corvallis to skate at Willamette Park or the OSU path instead.

I'm certainly not getting as much of a workout as I get at derby practice, but at least when I go to Rollercon (in just over a week, holy shitballs!), I won't have been off my skates for two weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More skating!

Yesterday, I skated outside on my own. That's a first. Fortunately, it went well (I had my phone, too, so if I had hurt myself I could have called someone). My original plan was to skate on the path along the riverside in downtown Corvallis, but that path is not so great for skating. It is concrete, with grooves every six feet or so (which I didn't like but wasn't awful), and some areas with multiple grooves about six inches apart (these sucked). Also, there are areas that are brick, and that is not fun to skate on.

Fortunately, that path merges with the asphalt bike path that runs from Corvallis to Philomath (come on, guys, isn't it about time the path was extended to Albany?) I decided to try it instead. I had not skated on it since about 1997 (when I tried it on Rollerblades and ended up in tears because I just couldn't handle it). Sick Town uses it for advanced-level outdoor skating, but I figured I could just try it and if it was too tough for me I could turn around. (Besides, I know that path well enough to know that the really tough hills are farther out than I was likely to go, out toward Philomath.)

I skated as far as 26th Street and back, twice. It was a good workout, but nothing I couldn't handle. I bombed the hills, no problem. (Well, I did snowplow some to control my speed.) There was a lot of debris on the path, but that was easier than the grooves in the concrete.

Today, Charlie and I went up to Oaks Park for their evening open skate. It was fun (still hot, but not as bad as Saturday). The music wasn't what I would have chosen -- mostly 1980s R&B (I think). I didn't recognize that many songs.

One cool thing is that there were a lot of derby people. If there had been someone from Emerald City (Eugene), then every league from the Oregon I-5 corridor would have been represented. G.I. Jess was there from Southern Oregon (nice girl; she started about when I did. I hope next time we meet it will be in a bout!); a girl whose name I've forgotten was there from Cherry City (though she has moved to Portland and is thinking about trying out for Rose City's fresh meat). There were some RCR hopefuls (good luck ladies!) and several guys from the Portland Men's Derby team. I chatted with a couple of them. They're nice guys. I still don't fully get the point of men's derby (but that is just because I really love women's sports. I don't 100% get the point of men's *basketball*. :-)

What's really neat is that they tried to recruit Charlie! He has come a long way as a skater. We stopped by their practice (in Rose City's practice space, a hangar on the Oaks Park property) after we were done skating. Charlie's not interested in joining (which is fine with me!), but it was cool to see someone else being tormented with falling drills and shopping carts. :-)

Rose City has an awesome practice space, BTW. I'm jealous.

Tomorrow I will probably give my legs a break, but Friday I'm going to skate outside again.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Outdoor Skate

This morning I got up early (well, early for me, especially in summer) and skated with Belle at Willamette Park. It was fun! I think I've mentioned before what a sweetie Belle is -- she's just awesome to hang out with. We did three "laps" (out to the first hill, because I wasn't up for trying hills today, and back); it was a good workout, though not as taxing as a derby practice.

It's nice and cool today, overcast and about 75 degrees (I guess). Great skating weather!

Oh, and it seems that every time I go to Corvallis, I see something cool. Last practice, on my way home I saw a guy riding a unicycle and juggling three basketballs. Today, when we were in one of the woodsy areas along the path, a COYOTE ran out about 15 feet ahead of us and bounded across the path and into the woods on the other side. A fricking coyote!!

We also saw a bunch of adorable little yellow finches, and two (separate) Corgis.

So, I had a really fun time. Thanks Belle!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Skating at Oaks Park

Yesterday, Charlie and I went to the afternoon open skate at Oaks Park. I've mentioned Oaks before, so let me just quickly say: it's a great rink. Wonderful, huge hardwood floor, very grippy. I wore my fastest wheels (my Cannibals, with the 91 durometer and very little grip).

The skating was awesome. It had been long enough since we skated at Oaks that the last time, I was barely able to skate all the way through one or two songs. I was still having shin pain, plus my endurance just generally sucked.

Well, the shin pain is pretty much gone (!!) and has been for a while, and although my endurance still sucks compared to most of the other girls in the league, it is much, much better than it was. We were there for two and a half hours, and I skated the entire time, except the two times we took breaks to get something to drink (this was absolutely necessary).

Turns out, the Oaks Park rink does not have air conditioning. It wasn't awful, but it was definitely not comfortably cool. If we hadn't stopped to drink, we would have been dehydrated (before our second break, I kept one-more-songing myself, and I was starting to feel dehydrated by the time I stopped). We brought clothes to change into, because we were planning to go to the movies after skating ... and when I took my skating clothes off they were soaking wet. Not dripping, at least; but definitely saturated.

The rink was moderately crowded, but I'm past being freaked out by that. It was fun skating around people. I was one of the fastest skaters there (and let me tell you, being the fastest skater is not a common experience for me!). I wasn't asshole-fast, just Dixie-fast. So, a moderate derby pace.

I tried some new things too. I concentrated on skating low, and sometimes especially low -- there's a drill we've been doing at practice lately where we rest our elbows on our knees and someone pushes us around (for two minutes at a time, which is excruciating!). I tried skating like that. It's different ... I'm not sure I found the right balance, but I could do it. I even tried shooting the duck (crouching low and putting one leg out in front, straight) and cutting side-to-side while doing that. And on the curves, I tried holding the inner line and sticking my booty out over the line without putting my skates over it. Roller derby: the sport where a big booty can be a real advantage!

During the reverse skate, I made myself do crossovers ... and I think I FINALLY got the push thing! See, when I do a crossover in the regular direction, I'm now getting enough of a crossover that I'm not losing all my momentum by coasting around the turns. But I'm not pushing off with my back foot to get *power* out of the crossover. Well, in the reverse direction, I can do that now. Or at least I did yesterday.

Now if I could just figure out how to do it with my left leg ...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Wow, it's been three weeks since I posted. Sorry, internet!! I will try to do better.

I am still working on getting my mojo (i.e., endurance and speed) back. I have had some great practices, and then there have been some where I had to drop out of a lot of drills and felt crappy about it. Fortunately, tonight was a good one (though it was hard -- really hard).

Sick Town has lost its practice space -- the warehouse we called the CDC. We lost it just after the rookie rumble scrimmage with the Rose City girls -- which I was allowed to skate in at the last minute, thanks to Sick Town not having enough skaters. That was a *lot* of fun. I had some moments where I felt like a useful blocker, too. Not all the time, but enough glimmers to give me hope. (There was one jam in particular where I was stuck at the back of the pack when the Rose City jammer was coming up. I kept hitting her out of bounds, repeatedly. For a little while, I was a huge pain in that jammer's ass. That was awesome!)

Anyway, we have been nomads since the last week of June. That has meant a lot of practices at the Linn County Fairgrounds (which has a nice big room with a concrete floor; unfortunately, that floor is waxed and polished to a pretty shine, which means it is slick as hell and not that great to skate on). We've also had several outdoor practices, at various basketball courts and school play yards in the area.

I'm not complaining. Brick and the rest of the trainers have done a fantastic job of finding us places to practice. But the constant switching of skating surfaces means that I have to re-adjust every practice, and I'm experiencing a lot of fear while skating. (Some of that may also be because I am in the throes of changing anti-depressants.) I really just have to get over it and trust my skills. I wonder how much better a skater I could be if I could just get rid of the fear. I think it would be a leap, for me, skill-wise.

Tonight we skated at the Benton County Fairgrounds, which is right near Bald Hill (a park? with lovely wide asphalt bike trails). It was 95 degrees out, and we started with an outdoor skate up the first real hill of the path. It is a gradual slope, but a very noticeable one; I would guess it's maybe 30 degrees (but I didn't have a giant protractor with me, so I could be wrong).

Skating up it the first time was really tough. Bones said skating uphill is a great way to practice the proper derby stride (which is to skate with your legs pushing straight out to the side, not back). I made it, though I was the last one to get to the top. We talked for a bit about how to skate down (bend your knees, weight on your heels, stagger your feet, keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, if you have to ditch into the grass just fall, don't try to stay up), and then it was time to do it. Bones and Toxic (the two team members who were skating with us -- well, Toxic isn't a team member now because she was out for a long time with an injury, but she is certainly as knowledgeable as a team member) went first. I told Belle and Shelley that I'd better not go last, or I was afraid I wouldn't go at all. So I went next.

Holy shit, y'all, that was scary. I was snowplowing with my feet to try to control my speed, but at some point I realized that I wasn't really making much difference that way so I just let go and went fast. Really fast. It would have been fun if I hadn't been so scared! I rolled almost all the way back to the start of the trail (which was a little ways; I don't know how far).

We talked a bit and then we went back up to do it again. If going up the hill the first time was tough, going up the second time was a bastard. I stopped halfway through (hmm, I was able to stop on a hill without rolling back -- that's kinda cool) and seriously considered giving up. I kept going, and somehow I got to the top of the hill. (It's Bones, y'all. I really should hire her to be my personal motivator for everything.)

Bones and I talked about how I didn't need to be scared, and that I have the skill to handle skating down that hill. She went down last, and I was next to last, so Bones was right behind me going down the hill, and kind of coached me through it. That was helpful. I was much more confident the second time, and had more fun.

The original plan was to do the hill 3 or 4 times, but by the time we finished the second time it was 7:30 and time to go do the indoor part of our practice. I'll admit I was relieved not to have to climb that hill a third time. :-)

It was hotter inside than out. The Benton County Fairgrounds' buildings are not air conditioned. (The floor there is awesome for skating though. Much grippier concrete than at the LinnCo fairgrounds.) My big accomplishments for the second half of the practice were (a) that I didn't have to drop out of any drills, and (b) that I got through it even though it was hotter than ass in there.

Oh, and Bones said I had really good form on my T-stops. That was cool. :-)

So now, Sick Town is taking a break for the rest of July. I am going to do my best to still skate at least three times a week during the break. Saturday, Charlie and I are going to Oaks Park (wonderful, huge rink); Monday, Belle and I are going to skate at Willamette Park early, before it gets hot.

I'm now wearing jeans three sizes smaller than when I started derby, by the way. How awesome is that?