Thursday, August 23, 2012


There seems to be this whole hubbabalew on the internet about 3 skaters transferring to Oly right before the WFTDA western regionals.

How do I feel about that. Think think ... well, what does Betty Ford Galaxy think about this "transfer" business. Well. I think LOTS OF STUFFS...

They seem to have valid reasons. So meh. Let EM TRANSFER! Kudos. Make your mega team and win win win! I have not played the sports before I played the roller derby but to ME... small hick/punk kid from Monroe... winning isn't the most important part of the game to me. So I am thinking that "WINNING" maybe wasn't their main motivation. I could be wrong...

SURE IT KICKS ASS TO WIN AND and AND I WANT TO WIN AND and AND I TRY TO WIN... but WHY I want to win is maybe different than why THOSE ladies want to win. and well, that's okay. Right? We all get our opinions and thoughts and desires and we all have our reasons for wanting to win.

Before the roller derby I didn't do sports but for a few years I did the race car driving. 4 Cyl stock cars, demo derbys, a boat race and roll over "attemp". I have actually been hinkering with the idea of going back to that soon.... BY THE BY... for those who give a rip... racing is 1000% more exciting personally in my gut and heart than roller derby IN THE MOMENT. BA-BAM!!!

But derby is more than just IN THE MOMENT for me. FOR ME... My blog.. me.. you think what you like.

Did I ever win a car race... NO... But I did win two PRE SHOW DEMO DERBY CAR trophies and they are pretty friggin' sweet. Did I want to WIN? Bet your arse I wanted to win... I COULD TASTE IT!!! I WANTED IT!!! I COULD SMELL IT!! I tried so hard... but no wins..

Was my time on the race track a waste because I never won one... absolutely and completely NOT. It was some of the best times of my life. My brothers and Dad were my PIT crew. My whole family and tons of friends would come to watch me race. It was pretty frigging amazing. I raced in Monroe, where I did most of my growing up (insert witty peanut gallery response here about me still not being "growed up yet"). My first job ever was slinging burgers and popcorn at the concession stands of that very same Evergreen Speedway. It was an amazing time.

I spent HOURS and HOURS and HOURS gutting cars, welding, tinkering, painting, reinforcing, cleaning, and spending time with friends and family while I did so. It wasn't the WIN that kept me racing. It was the time spent working toward a goal. Frikin awesome goal! Time with family. The anticipation of the race day approaching. The THRILL and ADRENALINE of the race itself. I mean. Hitting people on the derby track with your body while on skates is one thing but HITTING ANOTHER CAR WITH YOUR CAR - - - ON PURPOSE - - - is a just such a specacular trill most people will never know and a risk most will never know either. Sure you can get real hurt in ROLLER DERBY but smashing a car into another is just well, it's friggin awesome. It wasn't the WIN. It was TRYING to win and GIVING IT MY ALL!!! and getting farther each race...

(True fact, I was never injured in racing cars, in derby I have broken a leg, 3 fingers, tore hamstring, quad and groin pulls, a separated shoulder and a suprascapulous (sp) tear... that might be the same thing but it was two different times, different shoulders - my car engine did catch on fire once in the middle of a race and the race had to be stopped... no biggie)

Okay smartypants pinky purple headed babbler, if AUTO RACING was the bee's knees then why did you stop and WHAT? pray-tell - does this have to do with OLY.

(sparkle sparkle gum drop)

Well, there was a point in racing where to get farther financially was going to be tuff, but I wasn't letting that stop me... What it was is this... I didn't make but 1 friend doing the auto smashy fun races. A few acquaintances were made but no friends. Even the 1 friend I did make I have only seen a small handful of times in the past 8ish years since I quit racing. I wanted something different and I literally was TOLD to go play roller derby (thanks Kelly - some of the best advice / telling to I have ever gotten, changed my world) ...

This ROLLER DERBY seemed super. So I tried it and I liked it and I got better and things moved along. I started a junior derby and well, that pretty much ate a ton of my time for the last 6 years. I skated. I coach. I have bootcamps and stuff. I love roller derby and almost everything about it. Don't like derby drama. And do my best to stay out of it. MY BEST doesn't mean I get to stay all the way out of it and just writing this is probably going to cause some DRAMAS somewhere for SOOOOOM body... who cares. blah blah

So for me I can see there are so many sides to this OLY thing.

I see that these OLY ladies just wanted to play at a level they can play at. Go for the big WIN. Kudos.  I don't understand how people afford to fly all over for practice. But that ain't none of my beeswax (second bee slang word... neat).

I have left my original home team, The Throttle Rockets, TWICE now. 4 years on, one season off, 3 years on and now gone again. BOTH TIMES LEAVING WAS LIKE A DEATH. It is so hard but I know to grow sometimes you have to go through pain and each time I left there were real reasons that meant something to ME. Others might have seen it different. The first time I was getting married and I was really burnt out on derby. I left to go to a league who would require LESS time of my. Less committee work and less practice minimum. That gave me time to plan the wedding. It also showed me how much I loved my home team and how much I missed them so very stupid much. So after the season I went back...

oh yeah, it was AFTER the season. I knew a few months in I wanted to go back but BUT BFG had given her word to this new team that she would be there a season, and I thought it was the right thing to do to stay a whole season. So I did. I love those girls too. They were very open and fun. The Camaro Harem. I still heart you ladies. Thank you for the wedding knives.

This last time I left is because I want to play banked track derby. I want a new experience. I want to grow. Being almost 42 there is not a lot of time left to have that chance. So I thought. Might as well try. RISK MORE to get more. The old league is amazing, and also has it's faults, as all leagues do. It is just how it is.

                                                                                        photo by Joe Grasso

Trying new things is a good thing. So for the most part - MOST of me is okay with this OLY thing because I am pretty sure the ladies as LADIES as humans as individuals ALL had real personal reasons for going.

No one said I was a douchbag for leaving, twice. Was that because it was at the end of the season when I left before drafts? Was it because I am not the same caliber skater as those girls? Shouldn't a skater of any level get to choose where they skate? Or is is because I live in the same house/place and all these leagues are within less than an hour drive from my house? (I live in the sticks, nothing is less than 30 minutes... NOTHING)

ON THE FLIP SIDE. The derby nerd me that watches regionals and sits in one spot for 10 hours at a time and takes notes is not so happy about the transfers. For some reasons and they are.

They might be stacking their team and the nature of roller derby is DIY and have fun, be a community and bring each other up not ship in better skaters. So stacking is not in line with what I knew when I started derby But then when I started there was no one to stack with or a WFTDA or regionals or well, there was not much... but a community of crazy fun girls doing some shit together and being cool. OH and playing a rad sport.

Fact - those woman are SICK derby skaters and YES 3 of them can make a team. Sorry, that's not being douchy to AZRD or any team, that is just derby factoid.

The derby nerd in me would have liked to see Jet City at regionals. I think they were pretty solid all year. That being said they too have just brought on some talent. But more than 30 days ahead and talent has already bouted and is also a returning skater. OH and I would derby nerd like to see AZRD and JET bout it out to see who gets that 10th spot at regionals. That would be my derby wish.

I think the big thing everyone has missed is ONDA SLIGH.... O M G. HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE!
She is just about the most epic skater I have ever seen. Her twists, turns, jukes and jumps are something of mythical creatures, rainbows and witchcraft all rolled up into one amazing derby machine. Oh, maybe she is a robot. I am not sure. She could be a robot. That would explain her vertical jumps from what appears to be a complete stand still. RO-BOT...

Derby Bot

biddy biddy biddy

derby derby derby (say it like biddy biddy biddy in your head... If you are old enuff to get this reference, if not just pretend I am crazy and go with it...) (pretending not necessary, I am crazy - wee bit.)

So first look at the Oly Transfer Debacle of 2012 it seems shifty, shisty, screwy. ((my new name for it) Debacle might be the wrong word. I am not a WORD SMITH. I just like how it sounds.)

But at second look, maybe they are just ladies who want to play at OLY. Meh - they are friends, don't we all want to play where our friends are (doh crap, my bestie - GAMLAMNO is still at Rat City... um... so)

            photo by BINGME

                                                                                                                                    photo by RJB

And on third look, it kinda cheapens the WFTDA standings. I am fine they want to switch, it'd kinda the timing and what it means for other teams who are going to regionals (or not) and also nationals and who they will play. Sure they might beat the Gotham but for all those other teams who do work super hard and play the hand they are dealt and have to skate against a team with Aces up their sleeve.

AND lastly... They are all so amazing. I am not judging or knocking any of them but if people start flying in people and that's how it's gonna go the Nationals is just going to end up USA Stars vs USA Stripes. I was in the Toronto and watched that bout. IT WAS AMAZING FAN FRICKIN TASTIC DERBY!!!! I am not saying it's a bad thing but it wouldn't really be working with what you got to build teams.

Derby is so great because anyone can do it. With super teams going to regionals and nationals it makes the little guy start to think, ya, maybe I CAN'T DO THAT. and that kinda sucks. Derby should be a CAN DO place. Derby used to make me feel like I could do anything... still does most days. I don't want to lose that.

                                                     photo by Frank Blau

Well, Just like I can't make up my mind about what kind of coffee to get when I go to Starbucks and I can't decide on a permanent hair color. I also can't decide how I feel about this...


Monday, August 6, 2012

Make every road trip the ADVENTURE OF A LIFE TIME

Over the past 9 years I have traveled A LOT for roller derby. I have traveled to play, coach and just watch. I have had car trips and airplane rides but not buses or trains... yet.

Some of my trips have been SUPER AMAZING!!! Some have sucked rocks. Some were exciting! Some super boring. What is it about traveling that can make or break a person?

Well - I have gone over my past adventures and came up with some good tips. I had a road trip last weekend where I implied some of these things, you know, for THE RESEARCH. I wanted to make this mini trip the BEST TRIP EVER! Was that possible in just a drive from Seattle to Portland for a one nighter?

WELL - I have it my best shot... and I think I did pretty fantabulous.

Here are the top 12 things I suggest for a super FUN derby trip. Why are there 12?
Because my number is 12 and I love things about me.

1)  Go with a travel buddy who is super fun and like minded. Who appreciates your sleep schedule and your drinking capacities. If you like to stay up late then find a roomie who likes the same - stuff like that. Then you won't have arguments or resentments later.

2) Pack lots of costumes and/or hats. This is a must. Normal clothes are for staying home and going to work, unless you have a super rad job where you wear hats and costumes everyday, then I am kinda jealous.

3) Name your adventure. Make shirts. Dress alike. It's funny when you stop places.

4) Bring snacks and beverages for the road so you don't have to stop unless you want to.

5) Make sure you leave plenty of time for the trip so you CAN stop whenever you want and take photos with giant balls of string or pet some pigmee goats.

6) Pixie Stix = the friend maker

7) Pack a swim suit, always, even if there is no pool anywhere, you never know. Be willing to jump in lakes, fountains, pools, rivers and rain barrels.

8) Bring random toys to take photos with. I prefer squeeky Pirate Chickens. (Peggy Clyde & Hooky Hank). Sometimes I bring my puppet, BFG2.0 but usually only when I am on a trip by myself and need the company. (Which is actually in deviation from the #1 rule. (going on trips by myself makes me a little nutty - see video

9) Be willing to do what the others want. Go with the flow. Don't be a stick in the mud.

10) Ask a local for a good FUNKY FUN place to eat. You won;t find the best places on Google or in a phone book (a what?) or in a newspaper.... You gotta ask. Locals know!

11) Bring a camera, NO ONE WILL BELIEVE YOU IF THERE ISN'T PROOF. But be careful, sometimes you don't want proof.

12) Win the after party.There are several ways to WIN an after party. The main thing is to go in, be noticed, cause a fun commotion, say hey to all your teammates and congratulate/thank/high five the team you bouted against and then leave before you do anything too stupid. There can be more than ONE winner of the after party. Just be a winner!

The fact for me is this. After all my road trips. It is not the facts of the game I remember so much as the feeling from the game. The outcome of the game is remembered less in the score but who won and how do I feel about what me and my team brought, win or lose...

BUT what is really remembered is HOW MUCH FUN DID I HAVE? What did I do before and after the bout? Who did I go with? Where there proper amounts of shenanigans had? Did I win the after party? Are my pictures super cute?

By no means am I saying the bout is not important. It is the reason I breath. It is my life to train for derby, scrimmage, study derby and coach derby and watch derby and love derby and why I would travel in the first place. I personally play better when I am in good spirits so by having a good trip, I am going to have a better game and a better memory. One day, that is all derby will be for all of us. A memory. Make yours a good one.

For the rest of the photos from my last trip check this link to my BFG athlete page photo album.

And look forward to new photos after my next coaching trip this weekend to Edmonton for the
For more fun videos check out my YOUTUBE channel. BFG12TR

Please feel free to comment on or share my blog.

And lastly, don't be afraid to draw on your face. Even if you already drew on your face.

ps. Doesn't Peggy Clyde look good after the BFG LASIC?