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.

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