Friday, September 7, 2012

SHOCKING NEWS (really only moderately shocking: startling at best, noteworthy at worst).

And I'm starting with a rant.  And a preposition.  Twice.
Ok so the rant is on bicycles.  There is a chance that I have let fly about them and the persons who operate them on a previous occasion, or seventeen, but nonetheless, here is another.
I will begin by stating: I am a bike rider, NOT a cyclist.  I still cannot stand the latter.  Lycra sporting, traffic impeding, two abreast chatting motherfuckers really chap my ass.  There should be specific loactions where they are allowed to ride, and locations where they are just not.  Like the streets.  Disagree with me all you want, but until they can go 60km and have to pay rego like I do for my car, then they are my nemeses, each and every one the scourge of my life.
Bike riders, on the other hand, are alright, especially since I am now one.  They include, but are not limited to:
  1. persons riding a bicycle because they lost the right to drive a car, owing to:
    • drunkenness,
    • recklessness,
    • unregisteredness and just plain
    • quambiness.
  2. persons riding a bicycle because they are not physically capable of driving a car,
  3. persons under the age of 15,
  4. ladies in dresses with flowery baskets on the front of their bicyclettes,
  5. persons who like the outdoors and are too lazy to walk (these individuals are identifiable by the distinct lack of speed),
  6. hipsters (though these walk a fine line),
  7. persons who like to keep fit BUT ARE NOT CYCLISTS (these are characterised by a lack of lycra, no visible pump attached to their bikes, the wearing of skate style helmets and no cleats on their pedals).
  8. ANYONE who owns a penny farthing or a unicycle.
NOTE: the only thing worse than cyclists are those JERKS that ride those LAME lying-down contraptions.  The only people who are allowed to do this are thos who are not able-bodied and cannot ride a regular bike.  Then it's not lame, it's cool.
The categories that I fit into are 5 and 7, though I used to own a unicycle (never learned to ride it).
Now that I have the most venemous part out of the way, I would like to get to the more positive, 'shocking news'.  I have become a bit of a bike addict.  I have, only recently, discovered the joys of two wheels.  In company with this discovery, I have leared a few things.  These things are as follows:
  • if you go into the driveway too fast, the jolt to your bicycle will be too great and your front fender will fall right off (who needs em anyway),
  • if you go 'off roading' after heavy rain, your bicycle tyres will become lodged in mud,
  • if you can get your bicycle out of the mud, as you wheel it to the nearest road, lots of little rocks will stick in the mud covering the tyres,
  • if you try to ride it with the mud and rocks in the tyres, then it will all combine at the brakes area to form a conglomerate of mud, rocks, little sticks, a toilet seat and a shoe, and then the wheels won't turn at all,
  • if you accidentally make the seat too high, you will experience a series of harrowing 'near misses', when your feet don't touch the ground and you almost topple over,
  • If you ride through patches of 'unknown foliage', then you will almost certainly get a goat's head thistle in one, or both of your tyres,
  • if that happens, and you are at traffic lights days later, and spy a thistle in your front wheel and pull it out, a hissing noise will result, telling you to put it back in,
  • the thistle will then keep the tyre pumped up,
  • if you change your gears impatiently and crank the adjustment mechanism too far, you will stand up to pedal away at the lights, and your chain will slip off with somewhat startling suddenness, you will almost fall head first into the bitumen.  Cars will honk at you,
  • if it's gale force winds outside, don't take your bike, you may have an asthma attack and
  • if you remove your rear fender to look cool, the very next day it will rain and you will arrive home with a wet butt crack.
So I am learning.  I have a friend Jimmy.  His real name is Freddie.  Freddie is a great name, but the first time I met him, he reminded me (with his thick auburn beard) of my cousin Jimmy, so now, to me, he is Jimmy.  Come to think of it, my cousin Jimmy changed his name actually, so now even cousin jimmy isn't cousin Jimmy anymore...
I digress. 
Jimmy has three bicycles - a BMX (which stands for bicycle motorcross, but they are sans motor, so that doesn't make sense), a single speed and a 'fixie', which I guess is short for fixed speed.  Jimmy is an all round good guy.  He rides bikes, has a beard, likes hats and can draw like a MADMAN, here is the proof that I am not lying.  He can also carry two full grown men on his shoulders.  He claims he can carry anyone up there...

So there's Jimmy.  Why am I writing about Jimmy?  Because he's ace and because he changed my mind about people who ride fixies.  Until Jimmy, I thought only wanky hipster knob jockeys did, but I was wrong.  It seems that certain people are 'bicycle purists', who, for various reasons, like to ride a bike old school style.  See, Jimmy tricked me.  He endeared himself to me before I knew he had a fixie, so by the time I found out, I had no choice but to change my opinion.
So, there you have it.  I'm a new woman.  I don't want a fixie myself, I'm just not that pure, and I love to freewheel.  I do, however, have my 'new' bike all planned out, it's going to be plain as plain, no bullshit, no fanciness, just a bike with one gear, one brake and one sticker.  Oh, and spokey dokeys.
So.  Shocking bike news out of the way.  Next topic is Father's day.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that it's a hard day for me.  Luckily, I have an amazing girlfriend who works overtime on days like that to ensure that I am distracted.  So, we went to the Port markets. 
It was the first day of spring, and no amount of clichés could accurately describe the weather, suffice to say that it was perfect.  Warm, sunny, just a hint of breeze... We rode our bikes to the train station and headed to the city, then to the port.  Just after we got off the train, we were on a little path leading to the Port Canal shopping centre carpark.  Ahead I noticed an elderly couple approaching: arm in arm, enjoying the sunshine, so I stopped to let them pass, my plan being to recommence cycling after they had gone, up the little incline and into the carpark.  The flaw is my plan was that Mercedes was up my ass and had to veer off the path to avoid a collision.  She had enough speed to induce not only panic, but a sweet little skid in the gravel.  It was ace.
So we had a lovely stroll around the markets, and I broke my detox.  I did this because whenever I have a Dad rememberance day, I drink a glass of port for him, that's what he liked.  Since I knew I would be breaking it that night, I broke it in the day and we enjoyed a delightful baked potato out in the rays overlooking the port river.  Behold, the loveliness:
After the starchy goodness, we took a little ride around the Port, then headed off to see Lori in Semaphore.  Somewhere in this time frame I rode through goat's head thistles.  En route, I suggested we get some beer, drink it in the sun, then watch it set.  Skip a few hours, three six packs and a tallie later...

 BEWARE OF THE C-BOMB! turn down the volume, turn up the brightness.
By then, I was aware of my flat tyre, so the plan was to go back to Lori's, pump it up and catch the train.  That didn't happen.  We ended up staying the night at Lori's, where the ghost of her Grandfather shone a light in my eyes and woke me up.
Now, to finish.  I have decided that until I have been through the whole collection, I shall end each post with one of my robots and its background.  Enjoy.
This is Zorbitron. 
He's 77 years old and hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  He began his life as a metal doorstop, and enjoyed that peaceful existence until he was urinated on by a cat.  His owners tried to clean him up, but there really is no getting rid of cat piss smell.   With only minimal regret they tossed him on the street, where the cat piss smell attracted other cats, who also urinated on him, drenching him, mixing with his salty tears to create a rivulet which meandered into a storm water drain.  Dwelling there was a creature with a body made of half boxer dog and half a deodorant can called Nathan.  He smelled the cat piss tears and bribed a transient with a heart shaped paper clip and a skinless orange to bring him the being from which such an odiferous river flowed.  As soon as he laid eyes on Zorbitron, he knew he could help.  With his bottom (from where the deodorant sprayed), he fixed the smell, and then, using tools he borrowed from a visiting merchant sailor, he opened Zorby, put some cogs inside, licked them with his boxer dog tongue and brought him to life.  From there, they lived a simple life, snacking on anybody who happened to stumble into the sewer.  At present, Zorby is on loan to me, while Nathan is in jail for dry humping a team of visiting Canadian curlers.
Until next time,
P.S. Also, I have a friend called Rachel who always bails me out of trouble.  Wednesday night she brought me a pump and repair kit for my thistle at my work, just in case.  Everybody should have a mate like that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two outta three ain't bad.

Well.  There you have it.  The Road Train Rollers are ADRD champions again.  I'm pretty sure we were the underdogs once more, and I'm happy with that.  Let's flashback a week ago (or so) when I posted last.
Wait - have you regainsed consciousness from that time just now whan you fainted from shock that I posted a week ago?
Wait again - have you ceased laughing about the fact that I assume enough people read this for there to be even a single shocked person about that last fact?  Self-congratulatory motherfucker, I am.
Anyhoo, last Wednesday I finally posted about our win against the Wild Hearses which catapulted (and by catapulted I mean 'put') us into the grand final for Adelaide Roller Derby for the third year running - since the first year the league decided to have a final as such.  I left you with the nailbiting thought of who will win this year?  Will it be the Salties, with their lightning jammers - the whippets of the derby world, flying round the track with their ponytails snapping in the very breeze they, themselves create?  The Salties with walls made from Wolverine bones dipped in titanium which was forged by the blood of Zeus and Thor combined?  Or will it be the Road Train Rollers, known affectionately the world (and by world I mean Adelaide) over as the Roadies?  The Roadies who lost their last three games to the Salties, the Roadies who seemed to crumble under the the steely gaze of fourteen sea maidens with an on-track connection as tangible as an anchor chain?
The morning of the game I woke up with a grin on my face.  I'm creepy like that.  I prepared a little differently, and was a bit stressed, for the following reasons:
  • for the preceeding five days I had been on a new diet.  Think of my digestion as a thin child.  That child was sent to swimming lessons, but as soon as she was dropped off, she scooted around the corner and spent the time at the library, thumbing through magazines about computers and renaissance fairs.  Then put that child in a helicpoter, fly her out above the ocean, and boot her out into a raging, frothy sea state five.  Without an asthma puffer.  Or a life jacket.  With her school bag still on.  That's my digestion.  A flailing weenie who can't swim trying to cling to life with nothing but hope and an unparalleled knowledge of the origin of chainmail.  I was at my wits' end with my bloody digestion.  The FODMAP diet I had been following was increasingly useless and I was bloating like a floaty corpse on a daily basis.  So, my good friend Rusty directed me to a lady who helped me out, told me some things and now I eat like a caveman.  I need detox, she says, so right now I'm going through three months of no sugar and no grains.  While I'm happy to be finally treating my body like the golden shrine that it is, I'm also turning slowly into an evil, snarling harpy owing to the lack of sugary treats.  Thus, my preparation that day was frought with worry at the prospect of trying to skate with less energy than usual.  Why did I not wait until after the final to change my diet, you ask?  Two-part answer: because I am a numpty and also because I was just becoming sicker and more fatigued by the day and I chose the lesser of the two evils.  I packed (instead of a Red Bull, a banana and a container of rice, salmon and mayo) water, seven almonds and a container of baby spinach, capsicum and salmon.  I was shitting my pants metaphorically, but on the bright side I hadn't shit through they eye of a needle physically in four days.
  • Our car is broken right now, so the lovely Gateway Girl gave me a lift.  This meant that I had to be running on time, which I wasn't.  Owing to this, I accidentally locked Gateau in the spare room.
  • We live forever out of the city now, so anything I left behind would stay behind.  I forgot my carnitine, which was my only chance at a bit of extra energy.
Despite my tardiness, we arrived with plenty of time and I was able to leisurely apply my eye stripe and tease the absolute crap outta my hair before going through our skateout practice and then taking my place for my job, which was taking people's tickets.
The skateout...
I'll freely admit I'm one of those people who make sure that everyone knows they hate elaborate skateouts.  I'm a bit of an asshole about it.  'I'm a sportsperson, not a performing seal' I say, 'if I wanted to dance, I'd be a dancer' I say.  But I do it because my league wants to do it and I love my league.  But... on Sunday I faced something I did not expect.  I enjoyed it.  Ugh.  I did, I really did.  When I was five, my parents put me in jazz ballet.  That's not a joke.  I was terrible and lazy, didn't practice, so they put me in the babies group.  I turned on my heel and walked out, never looking back once.  In hindsight, I think I had a chip on my shoulder about it.  So, any time I'm required to participate in organised dancing, I freak out a little bit.  That's why I'm always in the back line.  Now, this time, I wasn't the only one who didn't want to, or the only one freaking out.  So, I took it upon myself to count out the beats.  I watched Letta (the choreographer) with a dedication usually only seen in seasoned stalkers - you know, the ones with restraining orders.  I somehow started to take pride in getting all the moves right and helping other unsure people with the counts.  All of a sudden, it hit me: I liked it, and I liked it because it was similar to the Army.  It was like drill.  I was excellent at drill, and pretty damn good as a drill commander.  I even had guy soldiers tell me 'I usually hate when chicks call drill, with their high voices and shit... but you're ok...'  Little did they know I had my uterus turned into a tobacco pouch (wanna pinch?).  Anyway, I ended up actually liking it, and here it is:
So we did the skateout as a league, and then the Mile Die Club and Wild Hearses played off for third.  Hearses won, but with about 5 mins to go, they stopped the game and spent the rest of it playing queen of the rink, which is where everybody gets on the track, and tries to hit each other down or out, until there is only one person left.  It was very cool, and a great way to end that game, I reckon.
Then we were up.  Again, I had resigned myself to the fact that we could lose, and it would have been ok if we did, I just wanted to have fun.  I knew we could win if we played as a tight unit, but if we didn't, the Salties would crush us to dust, like bread sticks in a vice.  Regardless of the outcome, I just wanted a close game, for the crowd, and for the pride of both teams.
We got off to a good start.  The last few times (including practice bouts at training) we've opposed the Salties, they usually get a jump on us, as if they are raring to go just a bit more than we are.  We usually take a few jams to wake up.  This time, we got going straight away, and it wasn't long before Kit Cat was presented with a power jam and took a cool 19 points, to put us at 11 vs 32.  Not at this point, or ever during the game did they let up though, and we had to fight for not only every point we put on, but to stem the flow of points from them when they were on fire.  Both teams played nickel and dime derby until Phil grabbed 17 points for the Salties, putting them at 37 to our 48.  I think the thing that kept the game interesting was that closeness, and the fight in each team.  Our usual problems with the Salties are penalty spirals and ineffective blocking to minimise their power jams.  So, we trained to rectify those things, and I think that worked for us. 
Half time saw the score at 69-88, our way.  Known as the comeback queens, we weren't really sure what to do with ourselves.  We went to the changeroom, chilled out, talked shop for a bit and I choked down some baby spinach and salmon.  Yum.  I was right about the lack of energy, it was certainly not my best game ever, I played much better the game before.  It's not about me, though, and I resolved to just play my hardest, whatever that was.
As I always say, I can't remember much from bouts.  I can remember doing one good thing, the time I snuck through on the inside, as seen here:
I can also remember being hit so perfectly by Moe that I careened into the crowd for the first time ever, feet first, as seen here:
The rest I have to get from Twitter, and I quote: 'The roadies come roaring out of half time full of fire.'  The battle recommenced and continued much the same, it was just a struggle, for both teams I think.  I've never seen the Roadies block like that against the Salty jammers - there were a few times we had them trapped for quite a few laps.
With twenty minutes left, the score was 79-129, our way, not even close to anything consedered 'breathing room.'  Shortly after, Undies scored 19 points for the Dolls, she had a bloody brilliant game.  She later scored a 21 point jam, and the score continued to climb.  I was only jamming, which I don't really like to do, as sometimes if I'm suffering a bit of a lacklustre performance, a block can pep me up a bit.  But no matter, Kit Cat, Killa, Kaos and occasionally Pirate were all on fire and our blocking teams were not letting up. 
The final jam began with the score at 174-193, our way.  It had fallen to my turn to jam, and I thought of the final jam of our last bout, in which I wore the star.  I compared my performance to that day and knew I wasn't the right person for the job.  Kudos here to our amazing benchie team of Busty and Malty, because it was Busty who asked me to jam that last one in the Hearses game.  It was Busty again who gave me the panty for this one, and when I told her I didn't think I was jamming well enough and that she should give it to Kaos, she hesitated for only a second before she said ok and did exactly that.  I'm pretty pleased that a) I know myself well enough and am not motivated by greed and pride to admit when I am having a bit of an average game and b) that my benchie knows me and the game well enough to know when to push me or leave me.

So Kaos it was.  She was up against Phil, who is amazing, but so is Kaos.  I couldn't watch.  My team gathered together, arms around one another but I stayed seated, I felt sick from nerves.  Some random dude in the crowd berated and heckled me enough to make me join them, but I closed my eyes.  Then I opened them to see Phil get lead, but Kaos right behind her.  There was no time left on the clock, so no possibility of another jam after that one.  This meant it didn't matter that Phil was lead, and all Kaos had to do was keep up with her.  Phil got through, Kaos got through, Phil got through, Kaos got through.  Everyone was knackered, but the blocks never got any softer, and the jammers never slowed.  And so it went.  Time passed as it has a tendency to do, and in two minutes we found ourselves champions, with a final score of 190-204.  We couldn't believe it.  We'd had a crazy season - starting strong then hitting rock bottom.  We had such a close call with the Hearses to even get in the final, and then we won it.  I'd done everything I'd wanted: I had fun, we all did, and it was a close game.  We were so calm on the bench and on the track, we even had devonshire tea in the box, here is Kit Cat offering someone a cup of 'tea', for real:
All in a rush, it was over, the last eight months of craziness, fighting with my intestines, Bell's Palsy, buying a house... I'd made it through, and it was time to party.  Hard.
Considering the length of this post already, I will describe the after party with a combination of dot points and pictures.  Here goes:
Wheaty looked like this:
Squatters looked like this:
  • Which was where we also recreated the scene from dirty dancing where Johnny lifts up Baby, itself a re-enactment of the train from Newcastle last year, complete with 'I've Had The Time Of My Life' sung by all of us to the accompaniment of vigorous clapping,
  • and we also re-enacted the Skato and the leg slap:
That's Mercedes' hand print.
  • We then went to a place called Sugar, which is where things get a little hazy.
  • Then we tried to get into LaSing, but it was closing,
  • So we went to Hungry Jack's:
Which was where I found myself with a mayo moustache and goatee, Colonel Sanders style.  Why isn't there a picture of that?
  • Next thing I knew, we were walking to that soccer bar on Hindley st, where we played the worst game of pool, ever.
  • It came to be that time, there were five of us left: Lori, Mercedes, Guns, Undies and I.
  • We split up to go home.  Since we live in the boonies, we went to crash at Lori's place.  Here we are on the train at 6am:
  • And here we are on the way to Lori's, when we found a trolley and a pipe and put the two together:
That's Lori doing the finger all the way at the back.
And that was that.  We left Lori's on the 3:16 train the next day, looking like this:
Note: still have my eye stripe on.  We didn't even go straight home, we went into the city and had tacos cos I only had a few hours left of my break from detox.  When we got home Gateau had pissed up a storm where I accidentally locked her in the spare room.  Well played sir, well played.
And that's it.  The end to a crazy derby year, but not the end to the craziness that is my abnormal life.  Stay tuned, dumb shit happens to me all the time.
Tricks :)
P.S. just had to pause before finishing this to clean up dog spew in the hallway with dog footprints through and around it.  Bon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When in doubt, ham it up...

So I shall begin where I left off.  I had just recovered from having a more mong face than usual and we were preparing for our bout against the Salty Dolls.  In short, we bombed.  The thing about our team is that when we place too much focus on trying to win, we crumble like a vampire drunk on a successful bloodbank heist who accidentally fell asleep on a golf course.  When we're together mentally, we play as a team.  When we drop the bundle, we play like fourteen individuals, which is futile against a team like the dolls, who have both skill and depth.
The following things happened after that bout:
  • TGSS.  This needs more explaining than I have room for here, but basically it's Australian roller derby nationals and NZ comes too.  I was selected to play for ADRD (The Adeladies), which is a great honour for me, because there are about 80 players in our league.  When I played inline and ice hockey (and no offence intended for hockey players here), it was pretty much whoever came to try outs was in the team.  Sometimes there was enough players to make cuts, but rarely.
TGSS was a very tough slog for me after recovering from the Bell's and my head wasn't in it at all.  I pulled myself out of jamming, which is a first, and strange for me.  All in all, we came fourth, which is respectable, but considering the lead we had at half time in our bronze medal match, it's a bit irritating, again we dropped the bundle and ended up losing by about a hundred I think.  I didn't play very well at TGSS but I did have fun, which is a bonus.
  • My feisty Texan belle and I bought a house.  I'm pretty sure this led to the stress that caused my face to flip out.  It's pretty much out in Middle earth (Smithfield Plains), which is all we could afford.  We feel lucky though, considering I'm only on a student's scholarship for income.
So, most people who live in and around Adelaide will have an opinion on the northern suburbs, where we now live.  If they live there, they think it's ok.  Everyone else thinks it's the ghetto and that it's a common occurrence to walk down the streets dodging rusting car bodies while some old lady is being robbed in every seond house you pass, while in each other house resides a six year old nursing her second child.
I gotta say, I was formerly of the latter.  I was uneducated, ignorant and had no care to delve into the matter.  That is, until the day I found myself saying to Mercedes: 'we need to make a decision.  We either move somewhere we don't want to, or we pay somebody else's mortgage for the next four years'.  So we found a property we liked (which ended up being the one we bought), and drove out in the night to look at it.  Bear in mind, we had already looked at one in Taperoo at midnight after I finished work.  We were exploring all around the place with our iPhone torches until the Police arrived and informed us that a neighbour had heard two men in the yard next door and I had to show him my licence.  Anyway, we pulled the same move except we didn't get out of the car.  We immediately noticed nicely kept yards, nice cars in driveways and no menacing kids wearing hoodies walking around at night, shooting at passing cars or nuthin'.
Long story short, we bought it.  And we love it.  Below is a list of some things that have happened since we moved:
  • Mercedes took both of the cats in the moving truck inside pillowcases.  Each had their own case, of course, we're not crazy.  What she didn't tell me until later is that when she first put Gateau in her slip, she left her on the table, turned her back for a moment and the cat (who had been writhing a little) FELL OFF ONTO THE FLOOR.  Below is the pic of the cat sacks.

  • We met some of our neighbours.  One of them actually came over and called to us 'howdy neighbour! Thought you ladies might need a bit of muscle moving your things...' As luck would have it, we were unloading the cast iron claw foot bathtub so we took him up on it.  His brother came to help too.  Joe and Al.  Joe made an appearance later that day too, when we were fixing a hole in the fence and I was very proud of Mercedes' patience when he was trying to hammer the screw in.  it took her five times to explain that it wasn't a nail.
  • We met another naighbour, Robin, who pulled into our driveway with his car when we were expecting the locksmith.  I said 'babe... I think the locksmith is here... though he's kinda old for a tradey...'  Nope, turns out it was Robin, the ex RAAF guy who bought his married quarter that he has now lived in for over thrity years.  He let us know that he is the president of the neighbourhood watch committee too, and to call him if we have any troubles.  He said the only thing that tends to happen is the 'hoons doing the burnouts', which we have heard on occasion.
  • We had an alarm installed.  When the guy was at the house explaining it, an odd thing happened.  He was a lovely guy, a dog lover and Sunny and Paulie were all over him.  We started talking about how dogs seem to know if someone is a dog person...
Him: 'yeah, they know who to go to, who loves dogs...'

Mercedes: 'not like cats.  They seem to go straight to whoever hates cats and bug the shit out of them.'

Him: (busily writing, not looking up) 'yeah... cats... if you make out you don't like em, they'll just come all over ya...'

Me to Mercedes: o_O

Mercedes to me O_o (begins to giggle)

Him: (without breaking stride in his notes, or looking up) 'that didn't sound too good did it...'

Mercedes: (guffawing now) 'whoa whoa whoa, can't there be a happy medium or something?  Like, I don't want em to hate me... but I don't want that...'

  • So, the alarm was installed.  Both the dog lover and technician who installed it told us that it would be ok to have Sunny and the cats inside, as they weigh less than 25kg.  Something they failed to mention is that if Sunny gets on the couch, it will set the alarm off, because it depends on the proximity of a heat signature to the sensor.  Sunny is a labrador.  She lives in the house when we're not home.  This may come as a surprise, but she doesn't spend that time reorganising my robot shelf.  She doesn't pass the hours by thumbing though Mercedes' House and Garden magazines to get ideas.  She sleeps on the couch.  That's.  It.  The first time we left the house with the alarm on was to go to the cinema.  We locked up, set the alarm and left for Elizabeth.  We turned our phones off.  We were so enamoured by Snow White and the Huntsman that we failed to turn them back on and we returned to the house to the alarm going off.  Just the blue light was flashing.  After we shit our pants, we frantically turned our phones on.  Missed calls and texts galore.  My poor sister Mitchi was frantic, thought we'd been murdered.  Sunny was nonplussed.  Turns out she set it off and just did not give two shits about it.  Our poor brand new neighbours...
So we'd been plugging away at the house, getting unpacked and set up etc.  Then came our third round-robin bout against the Hearses.  Now, the thing to note here is that the Hearses have fire in their eyes this year, and had beaten the Salty Dolls earlier in the season.  So, at the last game that was left to be played, the standings were that Salties were ahead and guaranteed a spot in the grand final with one loss, two wins.  Hearses had at that stage two wins and we had a win and a loss.  Poor Mile Die have had a bit of a rough year, but sometimes teams have to rebuild, and I have faith that they will.  Anyway, so if we had won the bout, that would have put all three of us all on two wins, one loss.  That meant it would have gone down to points differential.  So, before the game even started, we knew that we had to beat them by 56 points if we were to get a spot in the grand final.

That fact alone was enough to bring on the palsy again, so I simply decided I didn't care if we lost.  I mean, I always try my very best each bout, but sometimes that isn't good enough to win and the other team is just better on the day and that's not anybody's fault, that's just sport.  So, that was it.  And I told my team that, in the changerooms.  I told them that I didn't care what was on that scoreboard, that I wouldn't be looking because it didn't matter.  I was going to play my favourite game with my favourite people and have fun doing it because if we lost, we weren't going to die, and if we won we weren't going to turn to angels that fart unicorn flavour fairy floss.  Either way, we were going to go on to play another game of roller derby... and another... and another.

So we played.  We played like I don't think I've seen our team play before: unified.  It was so much fun.  It's a great feeling to see the fruits of so much effort splattering all over the track like so many slingshotted cumquats.  There was no pressure on our bench.  The benchies were all over it, and one time, we sat and drank pretend cups of tea, pinkies up and all.

As usual, I can't remember much.  Below is a list of what I can:
  • At one stage, I was particularly pleased with a jam I was having, and after I exited the pack, I flexed my right bicep for the crowd and then pointed at it just in case someone was missing the point,
  • Another time, I was lined up about to jam and flexed both arms up beside my head for my opposition blockers, grinning like a fool the entire time,
  • I once forced all the opposition blockers to admit that they were having a good time and admitted that I didn't care of the outcome and that I loved them all.  I think I was high.
  • Once I was trailing Guns jamming and I yelled out at her 'I'M COMING FOR YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!'
  • The last and most clear memory I have is of the last jam.  The second last jam was about to begin.  I had just come off from jamming and was sitting, catching my breath.  Busty, one of the benchies approached me.  She asked me if I could jam next.  I said no, because I was too knackered.  She knelt in front of me and said: 'you're playing really well and really clean and I reaaaally need you to do this for me, can you?'  So I did.  It's funny, how I used to be so nervous at hockey, even when arriving at the rink for a practice.  It wasn't until after the bout that I realised why I was able to jam in that last one without fear, without nerves, just excitement.  It's because I wasn't afraid to fail.  I know that my team knew I would do my best and those blockers would do their best and regardless of the outcome, they would love and appreciate me.  Derby rules.
So.  Out we went.  We were leading by 53 points, and we needed 56.  Their jammer was in the bin, but I believe (could be wrong here) that we had one or maybe even two blockers in there also.  I got through the pack pretty quick somehow, which is a feat of its own, because I think that I met Fury in that pack and she is a tough nut to crack.  I must have done something worth a minor because I noticed immediately that I wasn't lead.  This fact alone made me shit my pants, because my fitness is a concern to me always (I once had my lungs tested in the Army and they told me I had the capacity of an 80 year old man, true story) and I knew the jam would go the full length.  Then Guns got out of the box.  And I was knackered.  I was pretty sure I had at least got the four points we needed, so when she began scoring, I knew I just had to keep following her through each time she cleared the pack.  The second time she went through she was already clear and I was still stuck at the back.  I began to fret because I was out of puff. 
Then she was sent off.  I couldn't believe it.  Like I said, I was out of puff, and pretty certain that we had enough points, so I did something I have never done before, in fact I have never seen anyone else do it before, I don't think.  I had a little rest.  Just had a little rest right there on the track: bent over, hands at the top of my legs sucking in big ones.  I hated doing it but the peripherals of my vision were going starry and I knew if there was any hope of me going on I needed a quick bit of respite.  As it happens, my opposition blockers were also a little knackered I think and they relaxed a tiny bit, and weren't in a solid wall.  Upon seeing this, I was bolstered and took off, bouncing off them and my own blockers to gain one last pass.  When the final whistle went, I found myself on the far side of the track.  There is a pic of me asking my friend in the crowd if we had done it, and we had.  We won by 60 something and had secured a place for ourselves in the final.  We had played our best game yet and I felt like I redeemed myself after TGSS.  We had fun and played like a team as a result.

That brings us to scratch.  I did have a birthday in there, and it was awesome but this post is pretty long as it is.  The long and short of it is that I had a great weekend with my favourite people on earth, was spoiled rotten by my delightful girlfriend, got my robot tattoo filled in and scored a wicked juicer.

This weekend is the grand final.  Mile Die Club will play the Wild Hearses for third place, we play Salty Dolls for first.  I'm going into it with the same attitude. 

In the words of Vince Fontaine: 'and remember, it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's what you do with those dancin' shoes!'

Now it's time for me to get out of bed and get to training.  I need to study our part of the skate out on the train...

See you on Sunday;)


Oh and P.S. I somehow managed to have the whole arena waiting on me to do the skate out.  So, I entered like this:

What a ham.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What's a Pirate's favourite letter?

Let me begin by divulging that I type this with only one eye, which is tiring, irritating and just plain odd.  So, please forgive me spelling and grammar mistakes, should they occur.  It's really my own doing, and if you care to read on, you will find out why...

diddle-de-dee, diddle-de-dee, diddle-de-dee, diddle-de-dee (flashback music)

Once upon a time, I was twelve.  It was my first year of high school.  Picture, if you will, a scrawny, nervous, pale-skinned child with no need for a bra (and reminded of it every day by the nastier classmates), but wearing one anyway, purchased from a specialty shop because you can't just go to K-Mart and get a 10AA.  It was, surprisingly, a bit lacy.
I digress.  I was a keen student, however, owing to the fact that I had come from a tiny Lutheran private school boasting a student body of about 200, I was adrift and struggling in my new public high school of 1000 rowdy hooligans.  The popular girls knew about sex, I knew about roller skating.  The popular kids had school bags with things like 'Billabong' and 'Quicksilver' embroidered on them, while I lugged my Noosa District State High bag around, absorbing every snide remark about it as fuel for a future killing spree.  I'm kidding about the spree, but, really, what unpopular and bullied kid doesn't think about at least beating the faces in of all her persecutors at a later date?
Anyhow, I really had no choice but to just learn, as I certainly wasn't making an impression on my fellow students, and I settled into a nice little group of misfits who just kinda did our own thing, and tried to band against the slutty (cool) chicks.  Once I threw an orange at one and got her square in the back.  Yep.  That's right, I shot her in the back.
None of this really has anything to do with my one eye.  I'll get to the point.  In year 8 biology, I had to do an assignment on a disease, disorder or condition of my choice.  I chose Beriberi, which is a disorder caused by a vitamin B1 deficiency.  I made up a children's book, with the protagonist (and Beriberi sufferer) portrayed by a little dragon who rode a skateboard (when the Beriberi wasn't getting him down) wearing Reebok pumps.  I am not kidding about these details.  I was obsessed with Pumps and used to draw them all the time, from varying angles.  I do not know why I chose a dragon. 
Whilst researching Beriberi, I came across (in a medical dictionary) a nifty little thing called Bell's Palsy.  Now, Bell's is basically a disorder of the nerve that causes muscles to move in the face.  It usually only affects one side of the face, and can look like anything from this:

to this:

or this:

Or sometimes even this:

However, sometimes it's cool, cos you are excused for looking sleazy, like this:

or this:

I have no idea why, but I became convinced that I had Bell's.  I looked at the picture in the book, read the symptoms, scrutinised my face in the mirror, poked and pinched it softly and sighed.  I went downstairs, with the family medical dictionary open to the 'B' section and held it up under my face, coughing softly to get everyone's attention.  My family looked away from the box and took in my general weediness, probably noted how I was struggling with the weight of the book and wheezing slightly from asthma and the little 'ahem'.  I soberly informed them that I was reasonably sure that I had Bell's Palsy.  Barely a moment passed and they burst into laughter.  They then resumed watching the telly and Dad took the book from me and said that I was banned from reading it and to get to my room, finish my homework and stop being silly.

Now, that may seem like a funny story, and I guess even I have to admit I was a bit of a ninny.  My family didn't forget it.  Over the years (and until this very year), every time I got a cold or was a little bit sore, or ailed with pretty much anything, whoever was in closest proximity to me would reach over, pat the back of my hand and say 'you sure you're not coming down with Bell's Palsy?'

Ha, ha, ha.  Yeah, yeah, I was a nerdy kid who read a medical dictionary, blah blah.

So, Imagine my surprise, when, just over two weeks ago, I woke up and couldn't close my left eye.  A couple of hours passed and then I couldn't move the left side of my mouth, it felt like I had been to the dentist, except that it was a Sunday and I cannot remember the last time I went to a dentist.  Now, this was on the back of three days straight of the nastiest headache I had ever had in my life (maybe it was a migraine, I have never had one before), and I had been taking absolutely any medication I had in the house to dull the pain and get some sleep.  So, you might say that I was kind of 'fuzzy'...
By that night, I was, for the second time in my life convinced that I had Bell's.  The locum I had around thought it might be shingles, which is closely related, though I had no sign of a rash.

So, I text my family this: 'Hey guys I don't wanna stress you out but (and I am not kidding) I think I have Bell's Palsy... I have noticed today increased paralysis in my face...funny now I wonder if I'll get Beriberi haha'

I have almost no recollection of sending that text.

So, yep.  Went to the doctor the next day and told him about the days leading up to the visit, finishing with 'so, I really think I might have Bell's Palsy...' to which he replied 'I think you do too'.  By then it was pretty much settled in: I couldn't close my left eye, move my left eyebrow, use the left side of my mouth, basically the left side of my face was useless.  I could feel it if I touched it though.

The prescribed treatment from the doc was prednisone, anti-viral medication (I thought the whole thing about viruses was that there was nothing you couuld take for them but anyway) and rest, lots of it. The problem with that is that I have things to do.  Things like a PhD, roller derby, keeping fit and singing in a band.  On the day I was diagnosed, we had a gig booked in five days.  Bully.
But rest I did.  It was useless to try to do anything with my study, since I was taking codeine every four hours for the pain still.  Also, Bell's affects your cognitive ability anyhow, so I was screwed on both fronts.  Actually, screwed on three fronts, cos I had only one eye (it's now two weeks after I began this post).  I was ridiculously out of it.  I will provide an example:

The day before the paralysis set in I was in terrible pain, so taking anything I could get my hands on to rest and kill that pain.  I was so high that I woke up, and from my bed, put this on the wall of the private facebook group for my roler derby team:

Alright. If we can get 5 ppl or more to come, I'll show u the snake pit today at 1:30. Meet at mine at 1:10, we'll be leaving not a moment after 1:20. My ph number is **********, lemme know if ur in via that! Wear old runners and does anyone have a massive thick rope par chance?
What's the snake pit, you say?  Well, it's basically a sand hill running track in Taperoo, across from the beach.  The track length is 392 metres, up and down, the Police use it as training.  It's a living hell, but it snaps you into submission in no time.  My point is, I could not stand up straight without wobbling, I have no idea why I thought I could run the friggin snake pit!  Thankfully, only two people in my team wanted to do it so I was able to back out when I realised that the codeine haze was wearing off and that my head was about to explode.

So, with nothing but time on my hands to sleep and recover, all I had to do was focus on the band.  Tuesday night we had our first practice after I got sick.  I had just had accupuncture on my face for the first time.  Lemme tell ya, there is nothing quite like walking into a Chinese Traditional Medicine clinic, with one eye patched up and only one side of your face smiling, you look like Jack Nicholson's Joker on crack.  I had nothing to lose though, and despite the fact that having ten or so little needles stuck in your face is not most people's idea of bliss, I am 100% convinced that it was accupuncture that made the biggest difference in my recovery.  My accupuncturist is a dude called Sam, and he is mondo cool.  He plays bass in a band and says 'hey man' when he greets me.  His supervisor the first day I went was a guy called Kevin (which isn't a very asian name but he's very asian), who is the master of needling.  Sam is the next in line.  He was so excited to be able to treat Bell's, and even more excited that we had jumped on it so soon.  Apparently that's the key - the window of opportunity in those first 48-72 hours.  So, lemme take this moment to say this:  Sam is the man.  I have seen him six times now in three weeks, and I know it was his skill and general coolness that got me back on track.  In short, Sam rules.

Anyway, we had our first practice after that first accu session.  I was worried about being able to accunciate, but it turns out that doing covers of Nirvana, Hendrix and The Living End etc doesn't really require much eloquence.  I was pretty knackered by the end of the night though, my mouth got real tired and I could clearly feel that I was talking out one side of it.  All in all not a bad practice though, and I knew we would be able to do the gig.

I caught the train down south, where we were playing at Tash's (the drummer and one of my best mates) sister's birthday.  I got some weird looks on the train, on account of my pirate patch, but I did not care, at least I have all my teeth and my pants did not have suspicious stains all over them.  We set up and had a bit of a sound check, then left to get some food.  By the time we returned, there were people already drinking and having a jolly time.  I milled about away from the crowd, as I was still dealing with depth perception issues and also they smoke inside, which makes the task of singing for me even harder than it naturally is.  Mercedes arrived with a veritable cornucopia of eye patches for all to share!  She had made me a special glitter lightning bolt one for the gig and made herself a matching glitter heart one.

Let me interject here with information about my girlfriend.  She is truly amazing.  When I got sick, she had to play nurse maid for me when I was in all that pain.  To top that off, she then had to do pretty much everything while I was recovering, since I was so incredibly fatigued.  In fact, I still am.  I'm sleeping way more than normal still and am tiring so quickly at derby and things like that.  She cooks every meal we eat and still finds the time to make us glitter pirate patches.  You should be so lucky.

Anyhoo, the gig.  It was amazing.  A cool guy and talented musician that I had never met before, Chris Pine played some smooth tunes to start the night off which was sweet.  Then Liss and Jars did an accoustic set, which was also sweet.  Then we were up.  Now, I'm not saying that Liss, Jars and Tash were pissed as newts, but I will say that I didn't ingest a drop of alcohol that night, in case it interfered with my recovery... having said that, by the third set some funny shit was happening:

  • Tash had dropped her drumsticks more than once, and at one stage was playing with one fat stick and one slim one.  Another time she was playing just kick and hi hat whilst digging around frantically on the floor for anything stick-shaped,
  • Liss at one point thought we were playing a certain song next, but we weren't, so she started playing that for a second, then squealed and quickly switched songs,
  • Jars skipped a song in the playlist and started playing the next one in line instead,
  • we had skipped playing a new song by The Offspring cos we weren't sure we were ready (we had played it only once all the way through) and Tash (well mashed by now) just got cheeky and started playing the drumbeat to it.  The crowd went crazy for it, so we all looked at each other and were like 'well, I guess we're playing it' and it went off without a hitch,
  • I had my little music stand out and down in front of the stage, which I hate to do, but with my confidence a little shaken there are 2 or 3 songs I need hints for the lyrics.  That got knocked down twice and bent back the wrong way,
  • Tash's Dad had to act as bouncer at the front of the stage cos some rowdy boys were singing along at the top of their lungs (I'm not kidding, I couldn't hear myself and I had a fold back)right in front of it, and then they put their feet up on it and played air guitar,
  • More than once, people hit the deck on account of raucous dancing and had to be helped up and
  • People were asking us all night 'are you gunna play the 'fuck you' song?'... what they meant was Killing in the Name.  What is so cool about that is that it wasn't just Tash's sis Tenneale who was asking, Tash's Mum was too.  She is so small and adorable and she told me: 'last time after your last gig, I was in the shower the next day and I couldn't stop singing it... "fuck you I won't do what you tell me, fuck you I won't do what you tell me"... I love it!'

So, I would say that if you judged such a thing by the amount of people dancing, how drunk they were and how much they asked for encores, then it was our most successful gig yet, and all while I had one eye taped and sung out of only one side of my mouth, without the assistance of alcohol.
So, now all future gigs I am going to wear the patch for a song or two, just cos now it's my lucky charm.
It seems that the recovery rate of Bell's differs from one person to the next.  Before I got it, I knew three people who had been afflicted.  Now, I know, or know of more than thirty.  It's actually more common than you think.  One thing I have discovered for myself is that the sooner you jump on it, the sooner you will see improvement.  If you fnd yourself with a bung face, see someone straight away.  Mainly cos that's also sign of a stroke, but if it is Bell's, go to the doc.  Get the drugs, but bloody get yourself to a good accupuncturist straight away, and the main thing is try to have a positive attitude, that's what I did.  People reckon it is caused by different things: Western medicine says it's a virus.  Chinese medicine says it is wind.  Popular belief says it's stress and I know for sure that I had a mad breakdown/stress day about four days before the headache first set in, so why not be as positive as I could be for my recovery, to cover all bases.
One last thing I will say is the thing about the wind.  I did everything I could, everything people told me to kick this thing, there was no scoffing at anything.  I have worn a scarf every day since I got it and it's pretty much gone now.  But, I kinda feel jipped by this wind thing.  I mean, I can wear a scarf, sure, but as a sufferer of IBS also, there are just some days when you can run but you can't hide.
So, our next bout in a week.  Not as prepared as I wanted to be, but I'm on skates again, so that's a positive thing:)
Til then,
Oh, and p.s. most people think a pirate's favourite letter is R, but its actually the C!

Now, here is a little photo account of my journey til now with the bizarre affliction known as Bell's Palsy...

This was the first day I noticed something wrong.  Yup, mong.

This was after I had been to the doc.  I had to sip through a straw.  I still spilled it.

This was two days later, with some improvement already.

And this was another couple of days later...

The day of the gig, 6 days since I got the pawlsy... note that the sleazy look is my BAD side.

But then you can see the difference when I smiled...

The patch for the gig...

Matching patching.

This was taken at the bout, one week after my mouth went bung.  I immediately saw the resmeblance.  I am wearing a Goonies shirt here, believe it or not.

And this was about two weeks after the diagnosis.  It's even better now, two days shy of three weeks, behold:

Back to goobertown.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Like Cute Cow, OK?

Well, my last post was the day before NYE.  Here is a bulleted list of what has happened since then:
  • I recovered from NYE.
  • I went to Violent Krumble's birthday party and:
- got too drunk on wine (Since then I have decided no more wine),
- came home on the last train,
- dragged Mercedes into the Cumberland which is a pub near our place,
- made the bartender pour us doubles even though it was after he had called last drinks,
- promptly knocked my double rum over onto the bar and the man sitting beside me (who had kindly paid for the drinks),
- argued with a lady in the bar about the best Beatles song of all time (p.s. it is NOT Elenor Rigby, though it is decent enough),
- left the bar, taking the man who bought our drinks with us and trying to get another lady to come over (JUST FOR FRIENDLY NIGHTCAPS), but she got freaked out and left (seems I came over as 'creepy'),
- sat outside our place and asked Mercedes to make us an Old Fashioned. 
- got sick of waiting for the drink and crossed to the pub over the road from our place and tried to get in, despite the fact that I am fully aware that it shuts about 8:30pm,
- was retrieved by Mercedes, but not without a traffic sign and cone (apparently I am 16 years old),
- came home, turned the Beatles up loud and sang even louder,
- decided I would sneak off to bed,
- was busted by mercedes whilst sneaking off to bed,
- was a raging asshole to her when she tried to get me to not leave her alone with a strange man in our house and
- woke up the next morning alone in our bed and very sheepish.
  • accepted my PhD in creative writing,
  • started boot camp with my local gym, which is simultaneously strengthening and killing me,
  • reinforced my addiction to Instagram,
  • struggled through a solid week of trying to figure out how to do my website (yes, I am that douche who thinks they can do a website with no training),
  • FINALLY got the site up and running, and somewhere in there,
  • went to DERBY CAMP...
So, some people went up friday night, but on account of our impending gig, we (our band, 50 Cycle Hum) were practicing, so I went up with Kit Car Saturday morning.  We were supposed to leave a bit early, but we all got ready a bit late, so we rocked up just after lunch, when the committee meetings were happening.  I didn't even know which one I'm on now, so I moseyed up to training and asked if I could join.  They took me in and I sat there for the rest of the meeting like I knew what I was doing all along.
After that we had to clean the kitchen, which included barbeques.  Since I hate cleaning and love implementing new strategies, I suggested that we 'season' the plates instead, chef style.  This meant we really just wiped them clean and put oil on them.  Win.
Then it was swim time.  Skato and I moseyed on down to the lake together and scoped the crowd for who we could tip off a kayak in order to commandeer it.  JuJu was very accomodating.  It wasn't long before we teamed up with Coco, Kaos and JuJu and began competitions involving the kayak and sea lion impressions. 

This, after time, progressed to Coco and I having a handstand competition.  I don't know if anybody won, but we sure did help the underwater handstand movement that day.  More people now understand what that underground sport is about, and we also invented some new moves, like 'the slut' and 'the powerslide'.
As underwater handstand competitions usually go, we transferred seamlessley into underwater foot-fiving.  This is harder than it looks.  As you can see, we almost succeeded, but not before I sat on Coco's head underwater.  We might have to nail that move at a later camp.

From there we had some free time, so I wrangled up Skato, Lady, Elle Catraz and Kitty to do a talent show entry with me.  We decided on the tune to Leaving On A Jet Plane and changed the lyrics to suit derby camp.  After a few times practicing it, it was time for Smarty's chat (these are always cool) and we headed on up to the mess hall.
Nothing much to report on that, except that whoa.  When she gave us something to discuss, the room went BOONTA.  I could not believe how loud it was.  I was afraid that if I left my mouth open, my head would explode from some freak dynamics of the sheer volume in my somewhat minuature oral cavity (seriously, my mouthguard looks like it belongs to a four year old).

Little bit more practice, little bit of lovely gluten free pasta and it was time for the evening's festivities.
Before we got into the talent show acts, the lovely Grazer and Wolfie revealed which teams the Freshies were going to, and we got our awesome six in no particular order:
Singirl Malt,
Red Rolling Hood,
Rusty blades,
Frill Seeker and
So, then it was talent show time.  It was a winner.  Hosted by the demure Agnes and feisty Felicity, the acts just kept getting better and better.  The freshies wrote a song about fresh meat based on the tune to 12 Days of Christmas, the freffies did a marvellous interpretive dance to a provocative number about being sexy and fully aware of it, the crowd participated in a new game called 'which Belial is that?' (on account of the twins), there was didgeridoo, some Beatles, NKOTB rapping, a tale of American summer camps and more.  Here are a couple of pics and vids of what we did.  Again, unsavoury language...

Ok, so after we were done with the show, and nobody was any the wiser about which Belial was which, the dancing started.  Like a cheesy b-grader, we made the Freffies do their act one more time, and then, as if by magic, we all flowed onto the dance floor like the Salmon of Capistrano and it was on for young and old.  One problem - the 'dance floor' was not meant to hold that many people moshing to Smells Like Teen Spirit, and we had to stop after one of the freshies sort of fell through a hole that appearred in the floor.  Vader said, even after that, just plain swaying was making the floor bounce.  We could have died.  Died for the dance.  Hardcore, we are.

Things get a little hazy after that.  Some of us decided to have a swim.  I got in my togs (which were the source of mirth for many on account of the weird sudden bagginess of my bikini top) but when I got to the water, found it was a little breezy.  Skato (who had just emerged from the lake) spotted me and I knew immediately that she was going to try her hardest to hug me and make me as wet as she was.  She went one better: she leapt onto my back like a deranged monkey and held on with a vice grip, to enable the best transfer of moisture.  Once she was up there, she realised that she didn't know where her stuff was.  She then made me walk around and squat/lean by every dark bundle til she could identify her belongings.  I've been to the chiro once this week already, and have another appointment tomorrow...  o_O
Then, if I remember correctly, I said to Skato 'hey why don't you throw Kitty in', or words to that effect.  I didn't think she would do it!  Insert frantic emptying of pockets here and Kitty was in the drink hehe woops...
Not long after that, I snuck off to bed.  With Kit Car around, it's usually impossible, so when she was busy, I tiptoed away, but not before showing those who were still up the wonder that is MYA...

***side story of MYA***

Ok, so I have become fairly addicted to Instagram.  It's basically like twitter but photos.  You upload them from your phone, follow others and have others follow you.  I stumbled across a chick from Tokyo who posts pic of her cat, MYA.  I write it in caps, cos she does.  The thing about MYA is that she is huge, and for some unknown reason has a really bald stomach.  But, the joy of MYA is not just of an aesthetic nature (though I could look at this obese creature all day), it is also found in the comments her owner and others leave.  These are not only lost in translation, they are 'stranded on a desert island with the Skipper and mary Ann' lost in translation.  They are hilarious.  Here are a couple of examples:

The following are captions that she has put with pics of MYA:
  • However, it seemed that Mya doesn't dislike herself who does her best for her idealized image.
  • It seemed that Mya was being devoted with a feeling sufficient to exercise with emphasis on the circumference of her trunk today.
  • However, during exercise with emphasis on the waist, it seemed that Mya reacted to the words "it is no use crying over spilt milk" superfluously
  • "I would like to be a prima ballerina in the future" Mya newly decided, and grasped the fist tightly
And here are a few comments other have put up:
  • Having baby???
  • Did your cat is pregnant?
  • Mya every fat
  • looka like a pig
  • i'd like to ask u what wrong with MYA stomach? no hair around there. we concerned her so much.
Once, someone said that MYA looked like a cow (actually people say that all the time, but once we saw her reply) and the owner wrote:
'like cute cow, OK?'
Haha, ok, no need to shout.
***end of story of MYA***

Ok, so back to camp.  I snuck off to bed about four I think.  At some point someone woke me up trying to draw on my face, but luckily I'm a light sleeper.  When I awoke for real at about 7:45 I think, Kit Cat was still up.  She was pretty rat faced and had drawn on a lot of people, and put sausages on people I think.  We all gradually woke up and started to talk about breakfast and stuff.  Kit Car was slowly winding down, and began to lounge on her bed.  She asked someone to ger her some breakfast.  Gogo advised her not to sleep, as she now had many enemies.  Kit Cat did not listen, and lay down.  After that point, I was in and out of our accomodation, and every single time, I either met people going in or coming out that were there for payback.  Apparently Lashez passed out in front of the accomodation and Kit cat wrote 'I love RTR' on her forehead and someone woke up in the morning to the sight of Nyx scrubbing it off and mumbling 'you don't love the Road Train Rollers' lol...
Anyway, people were drawing on her, putting sausages on her and the such.  Then, as I was returning from my shower, I saw Wolfie ditch some sausages at her.  I mean, he really pegged them.  Then he said 'you're dead!  There are sausages all through my car!!' He then exited.  Side note: I didn't realise people used that phrase anymore, 'you're dead'... seems outdated and actually a bit comical.  Anyway...
Kit Cat grumbled about how it wasn't her, tossed the meat off the bed and rolled over.  I said:
'what was that all about?'
'Oh, someone put sausages in his car.'
'was it you?'
pause... 'not all of em'

After breakfast, it was time for the mass wedding.  My newest derby wife Coco and her first wife, Lashez had the night before approached me about something that had not been done before in a mass ADRD wedding - a ménage à trois union.  I said I was in.  I had to wake them both, but we got ready in time for the ceremony.  It was lovely.  Officiated by Smarty Pants, serenaded by Whirly, we danced in our little threesome, awkwardly twirling one another in turns.  We even got a marriage certificate!

after that, things started to wind down and hungover people wanted to hit the road.  Kit Car realised it wasn't a good idea to drive, so I had to.  Kit Car has a really nice Audi.  I subsequently had to have two massages to work out the tension I built up after three hours of worrying I was going to ding it.  Funnily enough, we came across an accident when we were two minutes from home and had to administer first aid til the ambos got there...
So, that was derby camp.  Short, sweet and slightly dodgy.
Not too much has gone down since then.  I have actually put my neck out and have started going to a new chiro, she seems good - I've never heard my body make so many cracks before.
This Saturday we have our first paying gig - at a birthday party!  We're pretty excited.  I might have to report on that too.
Now I must away, and do some real work...
P.S. my beautiful amazing girlfriend has a business making gluten free cupcakes.  Today she made them vegan too.  I'm not kidding, I usually hate vegan stuff, but these are the b.o.m.b. and I gobbled them up quick smart.  Her business is called De La Terre and her website is and if you live in Adelaide, you NEED to get onto this.  You won't regret it.  I promise.
P.P.S. that top photo of MYA?  When Mercedes saw that last night, she said 'WHOA! That is a LOT of junk in that trunk!!' lol