Thursday, May 26, 2011

I didn't even smell the wee...

Right.  I officially should not be writing this,  I should be writing my thesis but I am too brain dead to write anything of quality, so blog it is.
This entry will cover last Saturday night until now.  I will begin with my own personal discovery about my Aunty Maude.  Aunty Maude is my Nana's sister.  When we were kids, we used to go to her house - she had one of those delicious backyards, with clumps of trees that held secrets and rusting wheelbarrows, all vine covered and grasshoppery.  I would let my imagination run rampant and climb the trees, sighting imaginary ships approaching a strange coast, or escaping a rabid sloth hell bent on my destruction (not a fast climber, me).  Then, my Dad would spot me and tell me 'get down' and 'get here' and 'get my belt' cos I wasn't allowed to climb trees in Aunty Maude's garden, or any garden for that matter.  Then Aunty Maude got older, and moved to an apartment.  It didn't have a garden, but she gave me food so I was sufficiently placated.  Once, from her window, I saw a workman on a roof opposite singing and thrusting his pelvis to 'Stop in the name of love'.  He even put out his arm with his hand up on the word 'stop'.  Then, Aunty Maude got older and went into a home.  It was there that she also began to show the effects of senility.  She didn't remember me when I came to visit but I understood, didn't take it personally.  I figured it wasn't the roughest end of the stick when Mum told me that on her (I think) one hundredth birthday one of her carers leaned in so that Maude could hear her and said 'happy birthday Maude', to which she received a swift uppercut.  Hahah legend - 'Happy birthday?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY?!?  DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO YOU SMARMY BITCH!!'  Well, she didn't say that, but in my mind that's how it panned out.
Anyway, so last I talked about Aunty Maude to my Mum, it was when she turned one hundred and seven.  Last Saturday night I was hanging out at my Sister Michi's place cos it was her Hubby's birthday.  The convo got onto old people I think, and I piped up with 'well, OUR Aunty is HEAPS old!  By now she must be almost one hundred and TEN!!'  Michi just looked at me and then said 'Rob, Aunty Maude is dead.'  hahah I was like 'WHUT?!?' and she followed with 'umm, yeah... she died about a year ago...'  A YEAR?!? Why did nobody tell me this?!?  I have been boasting of my wildly violent incredibly ancient relative and all this time she's been DEAD?!?  No bastard tells me anything.
Moving on.  Sunday was our last bout in the regulation season.  It was against the Wild Hearses.  I've talked about them before - last year.  We got beat by them once, and then beat them, in the grand final.  They are a great team - well, actually all games this year have been really close so far - but this one was overshadowed by the fact that the victor progressed into the grand final on July 17.  No pressure or anything.  So last week I had started getting sick.  I thought I was beating it, but then I worked Weds night and Thurs morn I awoke feeling death.  I could not get out of bed.  So, I have these two amazing friends.  One of them brought me cough syrup, and the other one gave me a gypsy remedy from her family.  Both tasted like complete ass, but I took em.  So, by the time Sunday rolled around, I was feeling heaps better than I thought I would, but still all snot and hacking.
The bout got started and was hairy from the get-go.  It was the most physical bout I've ever played I reckon, blocks flying all over the shop and I hit the deck a few times.  I already had a sore hip from breakdancing in our changeroom earlier.  Points crept onto the board for both teams, and by half time it was 34-44, Hearses way.  We had a really motivational talk and some fruit and went back out to raise hell.  Every time I jammed I had to sit down after.  I don't like to sit, but I was scared I was going to faint.  I was so knackered.  Somewhere in there I had a grand slam, I think.  I can never remember much.  My last jam I may have got seven points, I can remember Skatan waving seven fingers in my face as I fought off pulminary failure.  Then, it was the last jam.  I had no idea of the score - I rarely look, as I think it should bear no relevance on playing hard and smart.  So, I was just sitting in my chair with my head in my hands, I couldn't bear to look.  Once again, my goal was to skate my heart out and leave it all on the track, and I knew I did that.  The crowd was deafening - I didn't think it could get any louder, but suddenly there was an uproar.  I held my breath - someone had broken through.  Then they played the Hearses music and I couldn't help but look and there was Bessy, out in front (bad for us), but lo, there was Mims right on her tail (good for us)!  My hands covering my mouth, I still sat there as the seconds dwindled, and then the final whistle sounded.  I looked at my team.  Everyone froze.  They then erupted in smiles and cheers, and I knew we'd won.  I jumped up and grabbed Karmen, turned her to face me and said 'did we win?  Did we really win?' and she confirmed it - we were in the grand final.  I literally had a hard time believeing it for hours after.  Here is that exact moment:

Highlights from the bout for me in no particular order are:
  • My team clicking together and working as a well oiled machine, or robot if you will,
  • The joyous packs provided by my teammates when I was jamming,
  • starting to feel more useful as a blocker,
  • Our Optimus Prime skate out,
  • The Hearses wicked hooded figure skate out,
  • breaking my wrist guard after a particularly gnarly Hearsie block,
  • going out for a jam and thinking 'gee, my teeth feel really free' and realising I wasn't wearing my mouthguard,
  • almost being blocked into the crowd, narrowly missing them, laughing at them recoiling in horror and wagging my finger, saying 'ahaaaaaah',
  • Going nuts (seemingly a trend emerging) and yelling like a maniac as I cleared the pack 'EAT THAT!!  JUST EAT IT!!', while pointing to the sky (photo below),
  • and doing a mohawk in a crazy sequence where I had to perform some kind of interpretive dance to exit the pack, see below for evidence of that also.

The Hearses played amazingly, with no mercy, and I think it's safe to say that every single skater was shagged and deserving of a beer at the end.
Naturally, we went out after and did a spot of drinking and a spot of dancing.  By well into the night, this is what the dancing looked like:


Aaaaand... we wont the afterparty again.  From there we went to Maccas and I got a quarter pounder with the meat as the bun.  Behold:
And yes, it was heavenly.
Just two more quick things before I go.  Today, as I drove to Uni to meet with my *amazing* supervisor, I noticed that my neck was sore.  Strange cos it wasn't sore in the days following the bout.  Changing lanes became tedious so I had the most docile drive in about ten years.  I had my meeting, returned to my car and thought 'hm.  Sick of this snot.'  So I blew my nose and BAM!  It was instantly clear how I had hurt my neck: powerful, thunderous nose blowing.  And, I'm not the first one in my family to have this injury.  Seems I am predisposed.
And the other thing - earlier today I went to the toilet.  I went for both numbers one and two.  I finished the toilet paper.  I replaced the roll and noticed it was damp.  I looked down at the floor, where the toilet paper lives and thought 'hm... meh', put the roll on, used it - again, numbers one AND two, and thought nothing more of it.  After I returned home from Uni, Kat said 'oh, by the way, I don't know how you didn't smell it (usually my olfactory prowess is KING, but I'm sick), but one of the cats pissed on the toilet paper rolls at some stage.'



yup, so all day I have been doing my business with cat business.  Needless to say, I mopped the bathroom and got in a shower so hot that steam obscured my feet.
Well, until next time (probably in three weeks, after which I should have handed in my thesis),

Monday, May 9, 2011

Only my own track pants, if you please.

Yes, it has been too long, but I'm trying to write an honours thesis, so cut me a little slack!
So now, here I sit, uncomfortably typing with my beloved iPad way too close to my face because, once again, I am too much of a sucker to tell the dog to get off my lap. She's a 26kg Boxador who thinks she's a 2kg Toy Poodle. But that face...
Anyway, so the last few weeks have been crazy on account of me trying to get stuck into my thesis. It's going ok I think, I'm really enjoying writing the creative part - the exegetical elements loom though, and I am less than enthused. So, on account of the stupidly large break between my last post and this one, I will only focus on two things - Bonnie and Ringer and the bout we just had.
Bonnie D.Stroir is a badass roller derby skater and coach. She founded the San Diego Derby Dolls about 6 or 7 years ago and now travels about as a professional coach for leagues that take advantage of the crazy skills and mad knowledge that she brings. She is also the coach for team USA I'm pretty sure. So, no big deal...
Isabelle Ringer is a formidable blocker and wicked pivot, also skates for San Diego Derby Dolls, on their all star team and stuff... travels around showing derby fanatics how to pivot like a master...
So we enlisted them to come to Radelaide and pass on some sweet sweet skills. This occurred over the Easter weekend and the following week. Now, I think that we have a fantastic and committed training committee in ADRD, but it's always great to learn new things and as a coach myself - I always relished the chance to learn more that I could pass on to my skaters. My first lesson was with Ringer - a pivoting workshop. It was so informative, and presented in steps so appropriate that I didn't freak out as I tend to do when I can't understand stuff, which is most of the time. As someone who has a bit of a funky knee at the mo, I was stoked also that she showed us how to cool down properly at the end of our session.
That afternoon I went to Bonnie's class and the first thing I learnt - she don't take no shit! No talking in class - I was stoked - she placed a lot of importance on respecting the trainer which we really need to do more often. She also had a wicked way of instructing, she would show us stuff, explain it, get us to do it, then get us to write it down, which was my favorite part cos I always forget shit.
The coolest thing about these girls is that they're very grounded. Yes, in the derby world they are famous. Yes, they can smash any of us six ways from Sunday, but they're just chicks like us who've been doing this gig a long time. They are super friendly and approachable and I thoroughly recommend their services.
My favorite thing from the whole week was in our second-last training with them. I hadn't noticed that I'd been starting to take stuff pretty seriously, and was putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform, especially in those sessions. As a result, I was skating like I did about a month after I started derby. I was less than enthused. After a particularly pooish jam, I sat down, incensed. Bonnie asked me what was wrong. I said 'I'm just pissed with myself, and the madder I get, the worse I play.' She replied 'you know what I do when I have a bad jam? I go out and have a better one.' So I did. After that day I had to remind myself why I play derby and that it's dumb to put that much pressure on myself for a game. I'm not a big fan of saying that someone 'changed my life', cos actually nobody has that power - we have to change our lives ourselves, but sometimes people can show other people tools that they can use to make changes they want. I got some things from that week that I won't forget and that I'll use not only in derby but my life. That girl knows some seriously cool stuff. Look Bonnie up on YouTube, she has some wicked instructional videos. Also, you can find her blog here.
Ok, so now onto the bout. We were pitted against the Salty Dolls this past Saturday night. Like I mentioned earlier, I was sick of pressure - that's why I quit hockey, it just wasn't fun anymore. I would be pretty sad if that happened to me with derby. So, I just decided that I wasn't going to feel any pressure or nerves. Sometimes I can be surprisingly masterful like that, other times I get my head stuck in stair railings. Anyway, so I wasn't nervous, honestly. I love this game. This game... I went into it like each of my bouts last year - with the attitude that all I could do is play my best for my team, nobody can ever ask me for more. If we won, good, if we lost, no big deal, I would have still had a great fun time with my mates. It was so awesome to just have fun and not stress.
The Salties were looking great from the start. The coolest thing - their skate out. The uncoolest thing - I thought of it a month ago but my team didn't go for it! Poo. Anyway, they looked so freaky and cool, all in matching doll masks, so deliciously creepy!
We always knew it was going to be a battle and it sure was. The Salties have lightning jammers and relentless blockers. Both teams had to nickel and dime like nobody's business and the lead changed several times. For the first time in ages, there was not only one ejection, but two - Blue Wrenegade from the Dolls and our own Violent Krumble. Like usual, I can't remember bugger all, it all happens so fast. One thing I can remember is my first jam as jammer - I got lead and as I burst from the track I was feeling so passionate I let out some kind of roar, or something... To all the people sitting between corner 3 and 4 I apologise if I freaked you out.
Anyway, we went into the second half trailing by six, I think. Again, a tough slog, penalties galore and all of a sudden we were trailing by almost twenty. It seemed pretty cut and dried, then Kit Cat went out to jam and narrowed it to 11, the Salties jammer was sent off. A glimmer of hope flared, but then next jam we lost our jammer to the box and it was all over - 99-83.
So, we didn't win, but I did skate my hardest and I did have fun, so I was happy and then I partied accordingly...
Like usual, we went to the Wheaty for some drinks first. I was on the house white, cos I can't drink beer or cider anymore on account of my most irritable bowel. I copped shit for drinking it with my pinky up (which I was oblivious to) from some super cool derby chicks I met from Broken Hill - they'd driven FIVE hours to watch our bout.
Then, I entered a 'whose ass is harder' competition with Em Shazzam from Murder City. I'm pretty sure I won, well at least that's how how I remember it.
There was also some questionable dancing going on, and for a change it wasn't me. Why do old people dance with mostly their arms? Flailing is not dancing.
From there we went to the Squatters Arms, where there was a band playing. I held her drinks as Guns, the smallest player in our league smashed it up in the mosh pit. She launched herself off stacks into the crowd! She is a funny bastard.
From there, things get hazy. I was just very inebriated. We went to LaSing, which was packed. I think I sang, badly as usual. Then allegedly Caddy and I were talking about something and I burst out with laughter, launching (in her words) a half-masticated potato wedge onto her bare forearm. She says she was literally rofling. I cannot remember the drive home (in a taxi naturally), or getting home, but the next morning I awoke feeling like I had been ten rounds with that chick that takes the beaver tranquilisers in Dodge Ball, and I wasn't wearing any pants. I asked Kat about that last part as I scanned the floor strewn with my discarded sweater, boutfit and skins. She told me that she offered me her trackies, but I shouted at her 'NO!! I HATE YOUR TRACK PANTS!!' so she left me be. As she told me this, i started to laugh, and she said 'you were so bitch last night' lol
Well, that's about it. Mondays are for shopping, cleaning and blog writing, so I can tick that off my list and go cook a steak and shove it in my face.
Skate more, stress less!