Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the cold November rain...

Welcome, everyone to the new exciting me! ...and by 'new me' I mean I have a new haircut. This might sound simple, but when you have dreads, it's easier said than done. It all started when I had a dream that I got rid of them and went to the hairdresser. Now, in the dream, I was asking for a Jennifer Aniston cut, which will not be happening in real life, but the seed was planted and I awoke feeling the need for change. Since I had a bout coming up, I decided to wait until after, so that my helmet would still fit, as my head is much, much bigger with dreads.
Let us pause that subject there so that I can go through the weekend chronologically.
So, we had our last round robin bout of the season on Sunday. it was against the Salty Dolls and was the most important one we'd played because the winner goes through to the grand final on September 26 against the Wild Hearses.
Ok so to start with, we were late to the bout by around 15 mins. Not a good look but I tried to break the tension by doing a little seductive dance in the stretching circle, showing off my new 'remixed' boutfit that Lady cadaver sewed for me. That didn't go down too well either, so I just stretched with everyone else.
The bout started and we managed to establish a nice lead early on and although we continued to stretch it out, at no stage did that bout feel easy at all. Each jam was a hard slog. I did lots of jamming but not too much blocking, which is fine either way. I had been mondo sick the week coming up to the bout, and I'm still recovering from my multiple rolled ankles. Oh wow was I sick and boy did I stink of garlic at the bout!! I had been drinking a concoction made of water, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper to try to kick the cold. I was feeling better on Sunday but still pretty tired.
Anyways, I just have to put in a sequence of pics from one of my jams, it is my favourite block to date and it was courtesy of Crispy Saltbush (who is super lovely) of the Salties. That's me in the blue on the right. That's Crispy coming in to hit me...

...hehehe sorry Crispy but I just love that sequence! Anyway, we won that bout thanks to super teamwork - our captain (the illustrious Violent Krumble) always says that we have no superstars in our team, everyone has the same value and she is so right. Great packs helped solid jamming and that was that.
The funniest thing of the day was that the winner of the arm wrestle was a five year old girl. She chose Violent Krumble to wrestle. I was chatting to Krumbs after the bout and this is pretty much what was said:
Krumbs: 'I didn't let that kid win in the arm wrestle.'
me: 'what?'
K: 'she beat me fair and square. I couldn't beat her.'
Me: 'but she was five years old'
K 'yeah... she was really strong...'
Bahahahah lol Krumbs reckons that the little girl's Mum told her that she had been practicing for weeks hoping to win the raffle and arm wrestle Krumbs. Apparently Krumbs thought 'I better do the right thing and ler her win, be a good sport' Haha no need!
Another awesome thing is our fan base is growing! My lil Tricksey followers made the most unbelieveable mammoth cloth sign that they held up and they all came with eye stripes and top hats!! They love the Roadies and we love them:)
Ok then, so like I said, chronological, so back to my hair. I started to comb it out the day after the bout. To all the naysayers out there who said any of the following:
'You won't be able to do it, you'll crack the shits and comb it out'
'It will hurt like a bitch'
'it will take forever'
I say 'IN YOUR FACES' cos it didn't hurt at all, didn't take that much time and behold, I did not crack it and give up, here is my lovely new do...

Hahahahaha wtf??? I look like Axle Rose!! It's ok, my good mate Mimsical is going to cut it tomorrow so hopefully I'll lool less like Cousin it soon.
Ok, so I think I might make that it for now, I'm going shopping for a new hat that fits my pin head.
But... before I go, I want to complain about two things, cos complaining is what I do best. The first one is that reeeeeally old people should not drive. I went to the servo today to get a drink and a woman walked past my car, bent at the waist a full 90 degrees, using a walking stick and moving the speed of a lazy fart. I looked to my right at her car. It was parked diagonally across two parking spaces. If she can't park properly, how is she going to brake for children?
The second thing is that I love shiny sparkly things. I mean, I really, really love them. I'll turn into a drooling simpleton and just gaa at them. So, to the genius who put that ad for some kinda dishwasher powder with the word 'shine' in it made of giant silver sparkly discs that flutter in the breeze, I say boo. Boo to you sir, because you have pretty much ensured that I will rear end someone on that part of South rd. Bravo, I hope you're happy.
Bugger it - I'm going to complain about a third thing while I'm at it - and that THING is Kathy Griffin. I can't stand her. Kathy, you are NOT funny, you are a scathing, attention seeking pus ridden seeping herpes outbreak on the vagina of hollywood society. There. I said it. Now I will type the reply I sent to my bestie after he sent me a pic of her trying to look sexy with the caption 'I know you don't really like Kathy Griffin, but can you believe she is 49?'
me: '49? I wish she was 100 and dead. It's no wonder she looks good 4 her age, all that plastic surgery... pity it couldn't inject some youthful exuberance into her lame jokes.'
BOOM. Take that ranga.
Til next week (aargh honours!!)
be nice to one another (but not ever kathy Griffin)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Enough with the sniffing!!

Ok, so I have finished work for the day but I am still here because kat finishes an hour after me. What better way to spend it than doing this...
In the spirit of all things snow and ice, today's blog will be about the trials and tribulations of working at an ice arena.
Firstly - it's cold. Duh. What most people don't consider is that if you come here to skate, then you are burning energy and thus not as cold. I always end up in my shirtsleeves when I skate. Although that last part is true, I just really wanted to write 'shirtsleeves'. Anyway, so when you're working and not moving around as much, you freeze your nips off. Thus, I have to layer so much that I look like Kirsty Alley smuggling snacks inside. Also, going to the toilet becomes a marathon of re-tucking crap in. The worst part is that your nose starts to drip and you start sniffing all the time, I feel like Lindsay Lohan - the cocaine bit, not the incarceration bit.
Secondly - people get really injured and you have to deal with it. I had to patch a guy up once who lacerated his leg by falling on his own skate. One girl did the same thing in figureskates but the pointy bit at the back stabbed her in the butt and when she got up, the pointy bit retracted and a glob of fat bulged out of the hole. Yellow, it is. Faceplants aplenty, one girl fell on her glasses, they broke and lodged in her forehead! It was so cool. One of the guys who work here was showing off one day, trying to get the ice off his blade whilst still skating. He slit his palm open and had to have stitches. Not long after it healed, he did it again, same place.
Thirdly - Millions, millions of weirdos come here. Once a guy snuck in while workmen had the door open, hid in the workshop for two hours, put on all the hockey gear that belongs to our maintenance guy, went to skate hire and asked for skates, and then skated around on the ice! Then he took it all off, dumped it all at the top of the v.i.p. room stairs and left, but all the clothes he came in wearing were still here. Another guy comes here from time to time who is almost blind. he constantly knocks kids over and doesn't know it. Once, he took his trousers off in the main area where all the tables are and people complained. I had to have a talk with him and explain that the whole centre is a 'pants on zone'. At present, there is a guy and a girl who come here every weekday, park in the carpark and go at it like rabbits in his car. Fogged up windows and everything.
Fourthly - you get to do cool stuff. I'm a Zamboni driver. I've been doing it a couple of years and I like to think I'm pretty good at it, but I wasn't always. Maybe two years ago, we got our new Zamboni. Zamboni is actually a brand name (hence the capitalising), not the name of the actual machine, we just call it a resurfacer. The old resurfacer was Olympia brand. Now, these things are kinda touchy, they have little knobs on the wheels for traction, but so many things dictate just how much traction you get. If you cut the ice deeper, you won't slide around so much. If you don't cut too deep and you have a tank full of snow, you will drift like an eighteen year old dude in a WRX. The Olympia was very touchy, and had next to no tyre knobs thingys left. Now, anyone who's been to the Adelaide Ice Arena will know that we have two ice pads. One is small. On the large, when you resurface, you have a specific pattern that you drive. You can't get this nice pattern on the small, there are two patches that you will always miss. The way to get around this is to either stop, raise the conditioner, back up and start from there (a pain in the ass), or to hang the ass end out like a hoon (much more fun and entertaining to watch). Back when I was learning, I was at the point where I could resurface the large ice pretty well and control the drift of the machine, but I hadn't really done the small ice. One afternoon when my boss was out, the maintenance guy at the time decided to give me a lesson on the small ice. We were doing a dry cut, which means we effectively shave the ice but don't put the water on top. As I was driving, he told me to hang the ass end out. I said 'I'd rather not, I don't really feel comfortable with that'. The next pass, he asked me again. I answered the same, and added 'it doesn't feel like it wants to slide...' A third time... on the fourth, he said 'just give it some gas and yank on the wheel!' to which I replied 'ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! I'LL DO IT!' So, like he said, I tromped on the gas and pulled hard on the wheel. It was apparent in the first half a second that passed that his plan was flawed. Instead of sliding, the chugging hulk of a machine lurched forward with the sudden speed, hooked to the left and ploughed straight through the boards.
After the deafening crash, he leapt off the machine to survey the damage and froze when he saw it, his hand over his mouth. The coffee shop lady threw the back door open and her eyes were saucers as she took in the carnage. I stood up but still couldn't see, so I whispered 'is it bad?' 'yes', he said, 'but we can fix it'. I switched into defensive mode and shouted 'I didn't want to do it! You made me do it!' He nodded his agreement. I got down off the machine, he got on to finish the resurface and put it away and do you knwo what the bastard said as he drove off? 'Yeah, you're right, it doesn't really wanna slide today, must be too dry'. 'YA THINK??'
It took us three hours to repair it and to this day on the small ice there is one board that is whiter than the rest.
Well, time to go train my hockey team! My next post will reveal the winner of this weekend's bout! Cant wait!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pranks, planes and autoclaves...

Ok, so prepare yourself, this is going to be pretty epic. I'd make sure I was cumfy and had some snacks if I was you.
That said, let's move on. This post is dedicated to my Dad, and anyone who has lost anyone close to them, and I'm going to start with the story of my Dad.
My Dad was a different sort of guy. His name was Francis Joseph Hall but everyone called him Clive. He grew up in Sydney, hopping on and off trams, catching the ferry to Manly and buying penny ice creams. He was a kid during WWII and he told me about how the buses were a different colour and people had to black their windows out at night. One time, a plane took off by itself when the pilot left the throttle on and went out to spin the prop. It circled around Sydney and was shot down over the harbour. It was an Auster. If you're so inclined, you can read about it here:
My Dad joined the RAAF as soon as he turned 18 and served for 21 years. He discharged at the rank of Flight Sergeant and I reckon he missed it every day ever since. While he was in, he went all around the place-when he was in Singapore, he and his mates kept a pet monkey called Murgatroid. He used to bring it a banana every day until the time Murgatriod stole Dad's RAAF hat, bolted up a tree and ripped it to pieces.
Clive was full of loads of stories. Maybe that's where I get it from. I'm not gunna write about how he died, for two reasons: I don't wanna get sad writing on my blog, and I don't wanna make anyone sad reading my blog. Just know that he was a great man and that he lived. I get a bit melancholy when I think about a time when none of us are around anymore to remember him, so now there are a few stories about him on here, and everyone knows that once something is on the interwebs, it's there forever. The bottom line is that he died surrounded at his bedside by the people who loved and still love him. Two more things - My little sister (the aforementioned Mitchi) revealed to me when we were en route to Canberra that she still has Dad's BOTTOM TEETH!! What?? Yes, she found them recently among her things. I said to her:
'Uh... so are you telling me he's down there without his bottom teeth?'
'Man, he's gunna be pissed' was all I could muster and we giggled our way to our seats.
The second thing - My older sister told me that on his birthday this year she went down there (he's buried in the Service personnel section of Mitchell cemetary in Canberra) with her cute little poodle Shmoo (yes, she knows what the word 'shmoo' means and she doesn't care). She was sitting there shedding a quiet tear and thinking of Dad when she turned to look at Shmoo and there she was, cute, wooly, tiny little sweet shmoo humped over and taking a baby steaming turd right on top of Dad!! My sis said that all she could do was laugh, I mean, what else could you do? She could just picture Dad down there, rolling his eyes and saying 'just my luck!'
Ok, so for a little break, I'm going to insert a picture here that was drawn by a great kid who is a future roller derby star. I think there's just a little bit of me in there, but you be your own judge, I've also inserted a pic of my latest tattoo, which is me, in roller derby skull form.

Ok, back on track. Friday (the 9th) was the anniversary of my Dad's death. I always think I'll be ok, but then on the day (that day or his birthday) I always manage to slowly fall to pieces and cry myself into a sniffing mess. That is how I ended up at home on a friday night instead of out with my team having dinner. In hindsight, it would've been better to risk getting teary in front of my derby sisters than what eventuated instead.
Now, things have changed since we got a mental puppy.
Actually, lemme take a quick tangent here and tell you about something dumb that happened to me one day. When I speak, I often start a sentence with 'Now...' like when I want the person with whom I'm conversing to listen intently, cos it's usually a plan or something. 'Now, the plan for today is blah blah...' for example. One day, I was giving someone a lift home from uni in my car. As I gave way at a corner, I started to talk, using my famous sentence opener, but I paused right after saying 'Now...' as I was concentrating on turning the corner. She piped up:
'Is that what you say to yourself when you're going to turn?'
'Do you say 'now' when it's ok to turn the corner?'
*blank stare as tumbleweeds skip past my irises*
She thought that I coached myself as I drove! That when the coast was clear, I verbalised the command to my feet to perforn the pedal operations and my hands, one on the wheel and one on the gear stick to get busy and go! Now! When I was done laughing, I explained myself but I got the distinct impression she thought I was lying to cover up the truth.
Anyway, back on track - since we got Rosie the moron, Sunny has changed somewhat. We used to be able to leave her inside for 12, 13 hours without mishap, now she decides that if the puppy can pee inside, so can she. The problem with that is that puppy pee mats are designed to hold a puppy amount of pee, not and massive adult dog wee. This is how it happened that there was Sunny wee on the kitchen floor Friday night. Kat and I were chilling out, watching a dvd. I heard a dog bark outside, realised it was Sunny, that we'd locked her out. I went through the kitchen to open the back door and slipped on the wee. When I put my left foot down in the next step, it went straight onto a kong (why wouldn't it) and I rolled my ankle. Again. To top it all off, I fell into the wee and sat in it. Joy. Since I was in an immense amount of pain, soaked in dog wee, sooky anyway on account of the date and immediately aware of the meagre two week time span until our next bout, I just sat there in that wee and cried like a well-oiled crying machine. Kat came running and freaked out, helped me to the couch and looked at my ankle. She actually touched it too, not sure why. Now, Kat can't drive, and at that point neither could I, so I had to call an ambulance. Whilst waiting for them, I changed my pants, lest I smell like I had forgot to change my Depends. They arrived and were really nice. I asked them not to touch it, as it was very unpleasant for me. They gave me the green whistle. I liked it. I got into the back and told the lady all about roller derby. She had no idea what it was. I said: 'really? I should slap you' and she laughed, I think the whistle got me outta that one. When we got to the hospital, I was still sucking on the whistle and the triage nurse asked me my phone number. I couldn't remember it, but not for lack of trying. On my third attempt Kat said: 'Babe, just let me do it' and she told her.
The waiting room was surprisingly empty. To my right was a drunk asshole-type man who was accompanied by two cops, one male, one female. Apparently, he hated the male but was quite friendly toward the female. he called the male 'dickhead' repeatedly, which became really annoying and I was picturing in my head that if I was that cop I'd have busted his face open with my baton. He was whingeing all up and down about his broken foot, blah blah you kicked me in my broken foot la la whinge etc. He went for an ex ray, which revealed the extent of his injuries - a broken toe. A toe. I have broken a toe three times, twice it was a big toe. One of the times I was only in grade four and I didn't cry, even then! In fact, I came home and walked the dog! Ask my Mum if you don't believe me! Come to think of it, she didn't believe me at the time, which was why she made me walk the dog. Now that it healed like a right angle, my little crooked toe is the evidence of child abuse I was waiting for all those years I was angsty and my horrible life was sooooooo unfair...
Really, this could go on forever, so I'll cut to the chase. While I was in that waiting room, two good things happened. One was that I got the news that I had no fractures in my ankle. The other was when my friend Moira (who I have written of before on here) got confused and tried to refer to the rails on my bed as a crib, but called it my 'crypt' instead. That gave me a good giggle.
I would like to finish up with a prank my Dad played on me when I was a teen once.
Dad had a wicked pool room. Not kitchy like in The Castle, but actually really nice. Cool guns all up on the walls, great military pictures of trucks being deployed from planes with parachutes (which is one of the jobs I used to do in the army actually), collectibles etc. One of the sillier things he had was a set of two hooks that looked like fingers beckoning.
One night, I had been at inline hockey practice and as I arrived home, the theme from the Flintstones movie by the B52's was playing on the radio. I liked it (???) so I raced upstairs to turn it on up there and dance (I know, whaaaat thaaaa faaark but honestly, it happened). As I was getting my horribly disjointed shimmy on, I turned around and looked at my cupboard. There was somebody in there. I could see their finger sticking out, holding the door closed. I froze mid-shimmy, my face set in a mask of abject terror, mouth agape. The only sound I made was a repeated ape-ish 'ugh...ugh...' and after what felt like minutes but was only a second, I bolted. I thundered down the stairs, two at a time. I could hear my ragged, panicked breaths and was certain there were ominous footfalls behind me. As I rounded the bottom of the stairs and sped down the hall to the family room, there was Dad, a big grin on his face, sitting in his chair. I knew straight away what had happened. As I slowed to a stop, all I could say was 'you bastard' and all he could do was laugh. Blu-tac and a fake finger. Doesn't take a lot to fool me.
Ok, so that's it for now. After you're finished reading this, think about someone you lost and miss, but don't think of how sad it is that they're gone, think and laugh about the time they dreamed they were catching a wave at the beach, dove outta bed and broke a rib on the scales as they hit the floor. Chuckle about the time you were watching arachnophobia with all your little year nine school friends and they popped up at the window with a torch under their chin and made you all scream. Remember how proud and happy they were when they watched you command your march out parade with your medals on your chest, cos these are the things they're recalling wherever it is they're chilling out now.
Until next time,
keep on keepin' on,