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Season 8 CHAMPIONSHIPS

refs and nonskating officials, before the first bout
refs and non-skating officials, before the first bout, photos by Pablo Raw

I woke up Saturday when my alarm went off at 10:30, and I turned it off so it wouldn’t bug The Boy. And then I rolled over because I was tired because we were out until after 1 and up until 2 and I had a bit of a hard time falling asleep (so I set two alarms-one for 10:30, one for 11:30). I stayed in bed til 11 and then got moving for the big day. (The date and movie were both fun, btw, and we enjoyed ourselves.)

I always take the non-toll route to Dulles Sportsplex, even though it’s theoretically longer, which was born out as a good decision last bout, when I got a ride with Gummy Bear and we were stuck at the toll plaza for 30-40 minutes because the line was soooooo sloooooow. So I budget extra time for my trip, but I still managed to be later than I was aiming for; fortunately, though the track was mostly laid out, the rest of set up was still going on so I did some work and visited with friends. One of the official league photographers (we have two, and they’re both lovely) took the above shot of the ref and NSO crew before things got underway. First bout was to find out who would be third and who would be fourth place, between the Cherry Blossom Bombshells and the DC Demoncats. (Fun fact: most people think the Demoncats name is a play on the word “democrats” but it’s actually based on a local myth, of the DC demon cat!) When trying to sort out the 3-way tie for first place, one of the options was to just put then-second-place team, the Bombshells, in fourth place. I know a lot of people were confident of the outcome of this first game, but plenty of us who have been around the league a while knew better: third place could have gone to either team, easily.

The first bout was a very good, tight game, but it wasn’t the nailbiter the second game was. At the half, the score was 73-45 Bombshells, and though the Demoncats came close to tying things up a couple times, Bombshells held onto their lead. Final score was 134-102, putting the Bombshells in 3rd place and the Demoncats in 4th for the season. There was a bit of a kerfuffle not long past the middle of the second half; a skater was sent to the box and her toe-stop slipped when she stopped to sit. She hit a couple of chairs back into the penalty box officials (we were all fine, afaik-I wasn’t even touched by the chairs, personally.)  Unfortunately, the rules call for this to be an expulsion, due to the potential danger for the officials. If it were up to me, when no one is injured this would be a misconduct and result in the skater serving a minute instead of 30 seconds, but it’s not up to me, and we had to ask her to gear down. Both because it was champs and because this might be her last game (depending on medical issues), she was in tears when she learned she’d be removed from play, and I don’t blame her. Her husband volunteers as an NSO, and they are both my friends, and we talked afterward about how hard it was to not get up and hug her. While I’m certain everyone would understand that we would be giving comfort and not showing bias, it’s important to remain as professional as we can. (Afterward, though, there were lots of hugs!) At the after party, I chatted with her and one of her teammates, and we re-wrote the story of her expulsion, where it was due to her badassery (and she IS a badass-she skates with an ostomy bag! And, you know, lives her life with one. Duh.) Our version is that she punched out three refs who, in tears, cried out “Why, Batty, we love you so?” and she replied “Because I’m just that badass.” So that’s the new official story of the season 8 champs expulsion. Learn it. Love it. Tell it.

Bout two was tense, not just because  it was for first place. For the first 5 minutes, the Whips held Scare Force scoreless, racking up a score of 25-0. But from that point on, the lead yo-yoed back and forth between teams, never more than 10 points separating them. At the half, the Fright Attendants led the Whips 70-61. For the second half especially, the Whips fans were so loud I had to start tapping the skaters in the box to let them know when to stand, because they couldn’t hear me shouting their color and number from 6 or so inches away! They adjusted by making eye contact once they stood to be sure they didn’t spend extra time in the box waiting to be dismissed. The second half was just as close as the first, and it all came down to the last few jams. The Whips jammed Frightmare for the final 3 jams, and she tied things up, taking lead jammer for the first two of those three. In the final jam, Sharp Shredder Marion Barrycuda got lead and ran the clock down, trusting her blockers to keep Fright from scoring while she (Shredder Cuda) worked her way through. In the end, the score was SF1 147 to the Majority Whips’ 143.

trophyScare Force remained season champs for the 4th season in a row (and for the 6th time). When they were presented with the trophy, though, they in turn presented it to Funsized Jenn, our bout day manager and volunteer wrangler, as a thank you to all the volunteers who make roller derby happen on the regular. FSJ now has this work of art (courtesy of retired rollergirl WitchCrafty) in her home, until season 9 comes to a close and it’s time to award it to someone anew.

We quickly broke everything down and loaded it out (and had a quick officials meeting/party with booze in the closet, lol) and headed to the afterparty. Because of my financial status as Super Poor, I was planning on hanging out briefly and then heading home to grab dinner, but Potomac Ripper and his wife were kind enough to buy me dinner, allowing me to stay as long a I wanted. Since the champs after party is usually the most well-attended, this let me visit with a lot of people I don’t always get to see (especially since I don’t always go to the afterparty!) Also, former DCRG skaters came especially for champs, so I got to visit with Brutal Noodle (now with Gotham!) and Ms Judgement (who I believe is with the Monterey Bay Derby Dames now) as well. I didn’t stay as long as I might have liked, because I was wiped out, but I definitely stayed longer than I would have without the chance to eat, so thanks, Ripper!

I had driven myself to the bout and home, and my leg felt pretty great until around 3 AM when it started aching and keeping me up. But it was just muscle pain from using my leg more than I had in a while, and it is a-ok today. When I got in I updated my FB status, and truer words were never typed: “Such a good day. I love you, DCRG.” In 8 days, I’m gonna be skating again, and that is the only feeling better than the one I have spending my time with my league. (Spending it with them on skates!)

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DCRG could teach Zoolander to turn left….

DCRG Travel Team members

Remember, tomorrow is DCRG’s February home bout!

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Pics!

Pablo Raw took photos at Saturday’s bout. They are excellent. Check them out here.

Costume scrimmage tonight! And beta testing 30 second penalties. Fun!

Didn’t go to sleep until almost 8am today. not awesome. but looking forward to derbying tonight anyway.

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Season 8 Opener!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet-the furlough had The Boy out of work last week and we took advantage of our mini vacation to spend a ridiculous amount of time together. He’s back at work this week, having been re-evaluated as essential, so I don’t have to sneak away to post this ;)

Saturday was the DC Rollergirls season opener, and my first real bout as an NSO! It was an unseasonable 90 degrees F, and in the Armory, with no air conditioning, it was close to 100 degrees, I think. I was sweating just standing around beforehand! It was terrible. I tried to stay hydrated but by the end of the night I was very headachey. I can’t imagine how the skaters felt!

DC Mayor Vince Gray, for the second season in a row, blew the ceremonial first whistle after a short speech about how roller derby is essential (and so is DC government), and the first bout started. I was timing penalties for Scare Force One and Stan (Standard Deviant) was tracking for the Majority Whips. It was an extremely penalty-heavy game, so I didn’t get to see much of the action because I was too busy trying to do all the timing and paperwork! Our box manager was timing the jammer penalties, but Stan and I were recording the penalties on our paperwork, so when we (often! FAR TOO OFTEN!) had a full box we were recording the jam number, skater number, penalty notation, and timing of the penalties for 3 people (each side) and it’s never three people sitting at once, so as you’re recording one person’s data you have to be aware of the incoming skater AND remember to actually man the stopwatches. It was HECTIC. But fun! The first bout was super close, with Scare Force (season 7 champs, you may recall) beating the Whips by only 16 points, 211-195.

Bout two was less penalty heavy, which has drawbacks of it’s own. I was glad to be less busy, because my head was starting to ache at half time, and after the second bout’s half time it was really killing me, but because it was slower and I had the headache I made a mistake near the end. I had a Bombshell in the box, and paused the stopwatch at the end of the jam, but forgot to restart it at the beginning of the next jam, so my skater stayed in the box longer than needed. Luckily, my box manager noticed, or who knows how long she’d have been there. It probably wouldn’t have had a major impact on the bout, and it is my first time NSOing during a real bout, but I still felt dumb. I talked with Kitty St Maims afterward about how I’d be more forgiving if it was someone else, but since it’s me…we agreed that most people are probably that way. This bout wasn’t as close as the first one, but it was still fairly close and it had a lot of good action, and for a while during the second half it was very close. The final score was 197-126, with the Demoncats victorious over the Bombshells.

You can see Shutterthug’s fantastic photos from the bout here.

I was looking forward to the afterparty (at Trusty’s this season) but with my headache I headed straight home. Can’t wait until next month, though, because I hear the party was tons of fun! And I’ll do better in the box (or wherever!)

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Take Two

So this weekend, The Boy and I went back to da Burgh for secondary funerary services for Pops. This service was held at the assisted living facility where Mum still lives, so the other residents who couldn’t make it to the service a couple weeks ago could join us. Poppy was interred at the cemetery after the service. The Boy and I skipped the interment because we were tired and he wasn’t feeling well (we got up early and drove to Pittsburgh Saturday morning.) We napped while everyone else went to the cemetery, then continued napping while some of the family left, then had dinner with Mum and some of my aunts and uncles. One of my uncles, knowing that The Boy is a beer nerd, went to 3 Rivers and spent, I am told, 30 minutes deliberating on a pick-your-own 6-pack for us. The Boy was feeling too icky to have a beer but based on the fact that I went in the kitchen and came back to the dinner table with a porter from Deschutes he became seriously intrigued, lol. We made our own trip there to get stuff we can’t get here and considering that they only have like 6 coolers of singles (PA only sells sixers at bars, you go to a liquor store, you gotta buy a case) the selection was pretty killer.

When we got back, we helped clear out some space in the den. While we were gone, the closet was tackled, and when we got back we handled the bookshelves and paperwork (mostly The Boy and I did lots of browsing of the bookshelves. Last time I was there I grabbed a couple books at Mum’s request, but I wasn’t sure if I’d have room for more, or even the ones I’d grabbed, but I figured out at least a temporary solution to that, so I nabbed a bunch more. Pop’s collection of books is much reduced–when they lived in the house, the dining room was a library unto itself, plus there were shelves of books in almost every other room. They pared down a LOT when they moved to the apartment. At that time, I got his copy of Le Morte D’Arthur and dad nabbed Alice’s Adventures and a few other things, and my aunts and uncles each got a book or three to “save.” Poppy pared down his collection to two shelves worth (the shelves, too, were kept) and the ones he kept were mostly amazing, beautiful books. There were many that I wanted but felt greedy taking (or, in the case of Henry Fielding, dishonest, as I hate Fielding, he is SO BORING, and I’d just want it because it’s a beautiful book and a classic.) I ended up with beautiful, generally slipcased copies of Moby Dick, Last of the Mohicans, Mysterious Island, The Tales of Guy de Maupassant, Rip Can Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., The Travels of Marco Polo, Henry James on Italy, and I Portico di Bologna e l’edilizia civile medievale. And Digital Photography for Dummies, but that was entirely utile and not at all because it was beautiful and literature, lol.

We had breakfast with the family this morning and then I helped a little more in the den before we headed out. The Boy was the first boy in a decade or so that I was dating that Mum had met, and she said he seemed very nice and she hopes he sticks around a while. On the drive back we stopped at the United 93 memorial, which was on the way because we were not taking the turnpike. It was lovely, but there was a tourist surrounded by a cloud of perfume who gave me a migraine, so when we got back instead of going roller skating like I had hoped to do, I napped for 2 hours. (The meds had driven out the headache, but postdrome can make me sleepy and the meds often do too, so on top of traveling, I was WIPED.) The Boy stayed up a bit later than I did but I think he ended up going to bed by 6 (at least, based on the timing of IMs and lack of replies after I got up!) It’s been a very busy month, and it’s wearing him out a bit. Next weekend we don’t have anything planned (though by that I mean we don’t have anything big planned–I plan on observing session one of phase two of derby boot camp, and also skating some, and spending some time relaxing with The Boy) so here’s hoping that helps :)

While we were in PA, the DC Rollergirls were scrimmaging Gotham’s Wall Street Traitors! We lost, of course, but the score was better than might have been expected–236-87. Then the Capitol Offenders (DC’s pick up team) skated against Free State’s Black-Eyed Suzies, winning 119-91 (you go, Suzies! Great job, ladies!) And while I’m sad to have missed the bout, I’m glad to have had a friend there who reported to me the scores, and that Frightmare and Frak were fierce jammers in their respective bouts (Fright skated with the All Stars against Gotham, and Frak jammed a lot for the CapOffs! J said they were both awesome, too. <3) Check out a couple photos by Gotham's photog, Hale Yeah, at my tumblr (shared with permission! Of course.)

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Injuries and Photographs

So remember like a billion years ago when I hurt the heel of my right hand? I haven’t skated since, because of life doing that thing it does, and I have been busy. I still haven’t skated, though I was planning on doing so this past Sunday. I forgot though. The Boy’s cat, Pico, got spayed over the weekend and he needed help putting the elizabethan collar on her, so I did that again. But the point I was ambling toward when I started typing this paragraph is that the other day I was sitting on the floor and leaned back, using my hand to support my weight, and it STILL HURT. Though less, but enough that I didn’t want to support myself on my hand. I wonder if I broke a minor bone in my hand. And then made it worse by doing pushups on it.

In other news, Jason Swarr of Straight 8 Photography would like your backing on a roller derby photography project. Basically, he wants to make a super sweet book of photos highlighting the most intriguing skater personas. I can’t afford to back it financially, of course, but I wanna boost the signal. And naturally, I recommended Frightmare for this, because that’s a no brainer. So go throw some money at this so we can see the awesomest, most over-the-top fun skaters in beautifully shot and ‘shopped scenarios!

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Winners and Awards

This is just a quickie. Rather than bore you with me whining, I’ll give you one more day before I go back to complaining about withdrawal ;)

DCRG’s Season Seven Award Winners:
Tap Star (SOT of the Year) – Flaming Hips (Hips)
Bullzeye Award (Most Feared) – BadAss Maggie (Bam)
Leader of the Pack (Best Pivot) – Stabigail Adams (Stabby)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Wiliest Jammer) – Yankee Scandal (Scandal)
Double Trouble (Best Double Threat) – Dual Hitizen (Dual)
You’ve Come A Long Way Baby (Most Improved) – Maiden Sm’Akron (SmAk)
I Bleed DCRG (Most League Spirit) – crissXcrass appleSASS (Sass)
Paparazzi Award (Crowd Favorite) -Sharp Shredder (Shredder)
DCRG Sweetheart (Rollergirl Who Can Do No Wrong) – Marion Barrycuda (Cuda)
Lethal Padding (Stinkiest Pads) – Dyke Diggler (Dig)
Shake A Tail Feather (Best Afterparty Dancer) – Frightmare (Fright)
Rookie of the Year – Kung Pow Kitten (Pow)
Official of the Year – Limbs Akimbo (Limbs)
Most Likely to Catch You Being Naughty – Refsputin (‘Sputin)
NSO of the Year – KGusedtoB (KGB)
RRG of the Year – Hooah Girl (Hooah)
Gone for 60 Seconds (Most Likely to be in the Penalty Box) – Acourta Pain (A-Pain)
Teacher’s Pet Award (Best Attendance) – ZipBlok (Zeebz)
DCRG Most Valuable Rollergirl – VelocityRaptor (Raptor)
Volunteer of the Year – Mels

Photos of the awards in general and the volunteer of the year award in particular: Continue reading

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