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BioSkin calf sleeves and my good-looking pedicure

BioSkin calf sleeves and my good-looking pedicure

A few weeks ago, I to my first Wreckers (Rose City recreational program) scrimmage. I’ve been to Wreckers practice, and I’ve been to open black and white scrimmages. The difference is that at open scrimmages, there are usually 20 or more skaters on each side. You get to skate probably five or six times in an hour.

At Wreckers scrimmage, there were eight people on each side. You get to skate five or six times in a row if you’re so inclined.

It was taxing.

I think I mentioned two or three times that geez, maybe I should work out.

Two days later, my glutes and quads were still bothering me when I get up and down. With a one-year-old child, I get up and down a LOT.

BioSkin sent me, your faithful blogger, a pair of these calf sleeves to try out. (Full disclosure: they sent them to me for free, and if you buy anything via the link on this page (over there —>) I get a small percentage of it. I like money. Money buys snacks. I ain’t getting rich off of you, and I only want your money if it’s spent happily and you get something awesome in return, my sweet internet friends.)

They’re compression sleeves, but for your legs. Leg sleeves. Did they make my calves less sore? Hard to say. Some people say these sleeves help with muscle soreness and shin splints. I can say this:

  1. I didn’t have my usual spate of cuts, scrapes, and small bruises on my shins.
  2. I was comfortable. It was a nice fall day, and I wasn’t too hot or cold.
  3. My calves did not seem much more sore than they usually do? It’s hard to gauge.
  4. I think…I’ll keep wearing them. I have generally tired and sore muscles and calves just from carrying around a 23-pound child all the time, and any extra support I can get is great.

 

Do you wear any kind of supportive gear? Knee gaskets, shoulder sleeves? What do you love? Let us know. The people’s parts are sore, and we have questions.

DSC_0470

Me in white jamming, possibly after cutting the track. Photo by Audrey Kim.

Yaaay, the four playoffs are over, and champs are coming! In just three weeks, twelve of the WFTDA’s top teams will compete for the Hydra, and it’s gonna be awesome.

The little bracket conversation I’ve seen over the last few days goes something like this:

  1. All of these matchups look great and fun
  2. Yay for international teams
  3. If anyone can beat Gotham, they’re probably coming out of that BAD/Rose side of the bracket, so yay for those brackets

What if we still had regional tournaments instead of s-curve playoff seedings based on rank?

What would the matchups look like?

Of the 12 Division 1 teams playing at Champs, there are:

6 from the former West region
3 from the former East region
2 from the former North Central region
1 from the former South Central region

These top 12 teams are also the top 12 on both Flat Track Stats and June 2014 WFTDA rankings.

But what would the “Top 12″ going to Championships look like with the old seeding system by region? Using Monday’s Flat Track Stats rankings, I took the top three from each former region.

EAST
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1 FTS, WFTDA 1)
London Rollergirls (#5 FTS, WFTDA 3)
Philly Roller Girls (#10 FTS, WFTDA 12)

WEST
B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (#2 FTS, WFTDA 2)
Rose City Rollers (#3 FTS, WFTDA 4)
Denver Roller Dolls (#4 FTS, WFTDA 9)

SOUTH CENTRAL
Texas Rollergirls 895.2 (#6 FTS, WFTDA 6)
Jacksonville Roller Girls (#13 FTS, WFTDA 14)
Atlanta Rollergirls (#14 FTS, WFTDA 13)

NORTH CENTRAL
Windy City Rollers (#9 FTS, WFTDA 11)
Minnesota RollerGirls (#11 FTS, WFTDA 8)
Detroit Derby Girls (#21 FTS, WFTDA 44)

Victoria (#8 FTS, WFTDA 5), Angel City (#7 FTS, WFTDA 7) and Rocky Mountain (#12 FTS, WFTDA 10) would be left out in the cold, with men on the internet saying,  if you wanted to go to Champs, you should have won your games, stop complaining! (I’m still a little bitter about this. Come on, men of the internet.) Detroit WILL be at Nashville, playing for the Division 2 title.

 

I think we can all pretty much agree that the twelve teams fighting for the Hydra are qualified to be there and make for compelling roller derby games. But most of us would also agree that we’d love to watch our teams play at a tournament closer to home, and it’s a bit sad to see the empty venues for the regional tournaments.

Is this a good tradeoff?

Let us know what you think in the comments, won’t you? (Male opinions mostly welcome.)

no justice for you

Photo of Besterns 2012 by Nocklebeast. Looks a bit different in the stands now.

Welcome once again to the Frisky Power Rankings, where I rank women’s flat track roller derby according to my whims/in-depth knowledge.

New [information] has come to light, man.

 

The Dude

 

Jacksonville! London! Windy City! Denver! So many teams have played so well through the playoffs. Are you guys happy about the matchups so far? What do you think about the matchups this upcoming weekend? AHHH ROSE CITY help help I’m getting too excited.

  1. Gotham. A score differential of 104 is the lowest since…” blah blah blah C’MON CHAMPS
  2. Bay Area Derby. Pretty dominant at their playoff.
  3. London. DAMN GIRLS. Beating a Windy City team by 95 that just beat Texas? I MEAN DAMN.
  4. Windy City. Look at you, up above Texas. Just by 3 points’ worth of power, though.
  5. Texas. Looked a little more disconnected than we’re used to by this point, but don’t ever ever count them out at champs.
  6. Everyone else.
  7. Rose City. I think they’re good enough to be over the hump here. But they haven’t shown it when it counts. YET. SO SOON.
  8. Denver. Still keeping those gnarly walls together and making other teams cry.
  9. A whole game on WFTDA.tv without an outage. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
  10. Angel City. Real good. Not BAD good right now, but real good.
  11. Derby Central. Thank yooooooooou you’re the best.
  12. Minnesota. I’m so happy they’re headed to the next thing! And in decisive fashion!
  13. Halloween Candy. Please state your preferences below.
  14. Victoria. Is that #3 seed about right? Will they struggle after losing a major rotation jammer to injury? I love that air of mystery that international teams bring to tournament play.
  15. Philly. If only I knew they could stay down here. I’m scared of playoff Tef. As we should all be.
  16. Atlanta. Atlanta is looking pretty solid. A couple of us Rose fans were looking at them and doing a bit of Twitter collar-tugging recently. Given the right situation, the right day…
  17. Rocky Mountain. I don’t know if they’ll make waves at Champs, but they’re going. That
  18. Jacksonville. DAMN, they played one great half of roller derby against London! It was like London thought they would win and Jacksonville knew they COULD win. So cool and collected and awesome.
  19. Charm City. Plays their asses off at playoffs, waves, and says, “We’re still here!” We see you!
  20. Montreal. Plays their asses off at playoffs, winks, and says, “Nous sommes encore ici!” We see you, you’re wearing neon!

 

What do you think? Please tell me all of your opinions.

(GO WHEELS)

(GO CANDY)

Halloween Candy

I’m over bingo, everyone. I tried to make jokes. It wasn’t working.

So! Send me your pictures of you watching derby! It’s like Cats of WFTDA, but much more inclusive. Send me a picture of your pizza in front of the laptop. Or your watch party. Or your live view. Or your selfies with Kanye at the airport, whatever.

(I don’t even know what I’ll do next week, but I’m getting excited/nervous for Rose City to play.)

YES! Send me your pictures of your cute dogs and girlfriends and teammates and dreammates and your fancy big screen setups and snacks.

Tweet them @littleanecdote, or email to frisky.sour at gmail. I will repost some of them.

Send them by 11:59 p.m. Pacific on Sunday the 28th.

The winner will get a copy of Roller Derby for Beginners or a MYSTERY PRIZE. The last MYSTERY PRIZE turned out to be a lobster necklace. This time, it might be stickers or something because geez I’m kinda broke.

Baby Sour

I watch with the sound off a lot.

**

SO! What are you looking forward to this weekend? Best matchups? Potential spoilers?

 

 

Playoffs Bingo: Evansville

Have you ever been to Evansville, Indiana? I have! I remember the venue, which was pretty kickin’. I remember the the skating surface they had laid down kept coming apart. (This was like 7 years ago you know.) And there were clowns. As entertainment. Actual clowns. I hope, for your sake, that they have re-considered this entertainment option.

The only thing that I know about Evansville is that they’re famous for serving brain sandwiches in many of their dining establishments. It used to be cow brain, but these days, pig brain is the thing.

Yep!

Along those lines, I will warn any vegetarians who are attending: avoid Amish buffets. Or any buffets, really. Assume that everything that can be cooked in lard, is.

And with that, I give you this weekend’s DERBY/BINGO cards.

(I attempted a 25-clue board, but it was going to take waaaaaaay too much time, sorry peeps.)

Evansville AT HOME

Playing at home? PROVE IT. Send me tweets.

Evansville LIVE

Playing at the venue? Have lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

We all have needs. As roller derby people, our needs are simple: food, water, a smooth skating surface, stretchy pants, and funny t-shirts.

Almost two years ago (!?!) we talked with Bashonista about her company, Left Turn Clothing. Her goal then was to make unique athletic wear from quality fabrics, and naturally, to take the roller derby world by storm. Guess what? She kind of did. Left Turn Clothing made a splash at RollerCon 2014. They even sponsored a Left Turn Clothing team against and Atom Wheels team.

(BTW, since people ask all the time, that’s Bash on the cover of Roller Derby for Beginners.  Not me. I was super pregnant at the time the photo was taken. Upswept Creative, derby-owned by Shaolin Spocker, arranged  everything, and it obviously turned out gorgeous due to the talent in front of and behind the lens!)

I asked Bash to fill us in on all these crazy changes since the last time we talked.

ltc3

Frisky: Last time we talked, you were making uniforms and paying your helpers in sandwiches. What’s changed since November 2012?

Bash: A lot has changed since then! I’ve hired a seamstress to help me sew – her name is Elicia and the only things more majestic than her sewing skills are her long red hair and hilarious New Zealand accent. I’ve also hired a web designer to get www.leftturnclothing.com off the ground – because there was NO way I was going to be able to do that myself! I’m still making uniforms, but have also launched my own line of compression pants and shorts featuring fancy sublimated images of peacocks, unicorns and other magnificent creatures. In the midst of building the business up over a pretty short period of time, we probably also went a little crazy. Our line of shirts that had “Turn Left For What?”, “Bro do you even skate?” and “DON’T ask me about roller derby” (aka the Spring Break Collection) were conceived in a moment of complete sleep deprivation, but people seemed to love them! Maybe we should make sleep deprivation part of our creative process more often?
You seemed to make a splash at RollerCon with your t-shirts and skate pants. How can people get their hands on items that were sold out?
On our fancy new website – www.leftturnclothing.com. We’ve restocked the Spring Break shirts and hope to have the pants ready by the beginning of October. We still have a select few hats and fanny packs left over from Rollercon, but we made approximately 1000 different types, so once we figure out how to not blow up our website by posting them, people will see them!
ltc4
How did Team Left Turn Clothing fare at RollerCon?
We won! Our bout against Team Atom was amazing. Team Left Turn was made up of some of the greatest skaters in the world, who just happen to be some of the greatest people I know. There was a point in the bout when I was coming off the track, and looked at the bench filled with these amazing people, and was almost brought to tears. Seeing my company represented by such strong athletes made all the long days and sleepless nights worth it. It was the highlight of RollerCon, and one of the proudest moments of my career.
ltc2
Anything else we should know about?
As derby winds down for the year, we tend to wind up. We have really beefed up the uniforms side of our business, and more teams are looking to us for sublimated uniforms, helmet covers, armbands and pants. If your team wants to look as boss as the Wheels of Justice, Bridgetown Menace or Derby Liberation Front, get in touch with us now (before all those other guys do). This year is going to be big for us. We have a new online store and an amazing new production house we’re working out of, so the only way is up! But we’re not likely to stop making ridiculous jokes at people’s expenses, ESPECIALLY Rat City coach Ho Chi Danh.
**
Thanks Bash! Please never stop making your sleep-deprived joke shirts. The world needs them.
ltc1

 

All photos courtesy of LTC including this one of Scald Eagle. Thank you LTC/you’re welcome, world.

 

DNN is no more.

“What?! In the middle of playoffs? Right after they unveiled a new website?”

Yeah, it’s sad, a little shocking, and kind of weird. A lot of us in the roller derby community really depended on them for coverage of our sport, and the fact that they’re closing up shop is going to leave a big hole.

“WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS TO ME?”

This is what they say. I get it. It takes a lot of time and energy to produce the amount that they were expected to produce, but there was probably not a lot of money to be made.

“Noooooo they got donations! I thought about giving money once. And they had ads! They just cashed out, the jerks!”

Just because money is coming in to a business doesn’t mean that the business is making money hand over fist. Why would they lie about this? If it was super profitable, it would have been sold or changed hands or whatever.

“Why right now though?”

Welllllll, they were a little peeved about WFTDA recently, so that couldn’t have helped. But burnout is burnout.

“WHAT DID WFTDA DO THIS TIME?”

Depends who you ask.

“I WANT FREE NEWS WHO DO I BERATE ON THE INTERNET?”

How about…no one? Sorry, I know berating can be super satisfying.

“What ACTUALLY happened?”

Hard to know. Maybe it’s best just to take the different parties at their word. The principal parties of DNN decided that it wasn’t worth it to continue. Whether flying around covering tournaments, answering angry emails about why they weren’t doing more, or fighting with WFTDA, they’re tired and they’re not gonna take it anymore. It’s safe to say that there was probably miscommunication, hurt feelings, human people trying their best, and human people making mistakes on both/many sides.

“UGH I’m so mad at WFTDA how do I deal with this angeerrrrr”

If you’re a WFTDA member, and you’re upset by anything that went down, talk to your league rep. You might feel better with more information. You might feel worse, but you can ask them to do something about it. I know it’s a pain in the ass to be an active participant in a democracy (seriously, do you think I voted on any of the rule changes I got annoyed about later? noooope), but that’s the only way you’re going to see any changes. If you want changes.

“UGH I’m so mad at DNN how do I deal with this raaaaaage”

Go skate it out or pet a kitten. You were getting a free service which no longer exists. It’s a bummer, and maybe you don’t like how it went down, but it went down, and there ya go.

“How do I get my news now?”

Check Flat Track Stats?

There’s gonna be a big gap. Who’s going to step in to fill it? I’m a roller derby blogger, but I don’t have whole weekends to give to cover tournaments. Something about a baby and a husband who works a lot of weekends.

This is derby. We create our own solutions. We support each other, or we GTFO. We complain over beers or frozen yogurt, and then we 1) go do something about it, or 2) shut up and keep skating because goddamn there’s only so much one person can do.

I know this much: Roller derby deserves the type of coverage that it was getting from DNN. We need someone/some people to step up.

We need a solution.

Who’s got one?

 

THIS is DNN

DNN in olden times: Derby in Dairyland, 2008. Photo by Jon K. via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

(BTW, I have my own opinions and friends and frustrations with the whole thing. I’m not trying to dismiss anyone’s feelings, just to bring some perspective. I think I have to REVISE MY DAMN BOOK which means I have to lay it out again, which makes me cry inside a little bit. Ugh, indeed.)

 

WFTDA Playoffs Bingo

You got your bracket*,  your flat track stats, and maybe/sometimes your Rinxter. Perhaps you have a beer. You, friend, are ready to spectate the hell out of some roller derby.

Thinking of attending playoffs in Sacramento gives me a flashback hangover to 2010. You know, Scylla won Best Blocker at the Rose City Rollers year-end BBQ last weekend, but she is always the winner of the Most Likely to Apparently Put You to Bed After Too Much Whiskey and Barely Even Mention It Ever Again. We salute you for this, Syclla Devourer. (This is like the only time in my life anyone has had to do this for me, I swear, Mom and Dad.) Holy hell, was that a great tournament. Rose City may have lost, but Rocky Mountain beat Oly for the first time, including that famous “Urrkin Jerrkin goes postal” jam.

OKAY ANYWAY watching is going to be super fun without any extra shenanigans, but if enjoy such things, read on.

This game is kind of like BINGO, but not quite. Let’s call it DERBY.**

DERBY cards are more fun than BINGO, because the four corners are all things that you have to do, instead of things you’ll just observe.

The center is virtually free.

 

derby at home

Watching at home on your laptop or TV or your friend’s laptop or taking peeks and alt-tabbing away when your boss comes around at work? Me too! For better or worse, I’m my own boss. There’s also the small matter of a baby who requires 24-hour care. If you’re playing at home, watch out for FEED OUTAGES and common post-game interview tropes.

derby template

Are you going to Sacramento? You lucky jerk. Have lots of fun! Naturally, we’re going to expect a little bit more out of you in the shenanigans department. (If Quadzilla is not in attendance, you may wink at Suzy Hotrod.)

 

OKAY! Have so much fun this weekend, wherever you are! What do you expect to see out of this first playoff weekend?

 

* There seems to be no bracket contest this year. That could change at the last minute, but if you guys really like DERBY I could make it into a contest for the rest of Playoffs. Lemme know what you think.

** I know that there should really be five columns for each letter, but hey, lay off, I just like fun.

Welcome once again to the Frisky Power Rankings, where I rank women’s flat track roller derby according to my whims/in-depth knowledge.

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIIIIIME OF THE YEAAAAR

Division One Playoffs are just around the corner, everyone! Next weekend!

This is really when teams have to show their power. There will probably be surprises. One would hope so, anyway. I hope to look really stupid this time next month due to lots of awesome surprises.

  1. Gotham. Let’s be real: They’re not going to get a challenge until November.
  2. Bay Area Derby. Beat Texas and Denver in late July. Yep.
  3. Texas. Didn’t exactly blow out Atlanta, but we can call it “decisive” I think.
  4. Everyone else.
  5. Rose City. If they do really well at playoffs, I’m boosting them up to the top tier there. I’m doing it!
  6. A whole game on WFTDA.tv without an outage. Ahhh, feels so good!
  7. Angel City. Have they really never played Texas? Let’s fix this.
  8. Windy City. Beat Minnesota! And Minny is really good right now!
  9. Minnesota.A loss to Windy on neutral ground is gonna dip you a few places, but this is a tight group here. Nothing to be ashamed of, ladies.
  10. London. Have they really never played BAD? Let’s fix this.
  11. Denver. We only have to wait a week to see how they stack up against Minnesota (yaaaay)
  12. Apple pie ala mode. Yes, ice cream is still on the list, but now it has a buddy.
  13. Victoria. We have to wait a month to see how they stack up against…everyone. International rankings are volatile, but teams outside the U.S. are exceeding expecations this year.
  14. Teams from outside the U.S. Let’s give ‘em a hand! Bear City! Rideau Valley!
  15. Philly. Philly gets a little playoffs bump because I have a feeling they’ll rise to the occasion.
  16. Atlanta. Holding Texas to 160 points is no small feat.
  17. Rocky Mountain. They’re playing the Portland Dudes this weekend. “Do you want us to come to Portland?” “NO!” cried many bearded men at once. “We don’t mind! We’ll go to you! Nooooo problem!” Anyways, I hope Rocky wins. No offense, dudes.
  18. Jacksonville. No action this month. Standing pat.
  19. Charm City. Beat Montreal, lost to Philly. Sounds about right.
  20. Rat City. Remember what I said last month? Yep.

 

What do you think? Please tell me all of your opinions. I don’t get out much anymore, and I need to dish via the internet.

ARE YOU EXCITED?

I’m going to need a little bit more enthusiasm than that.

Getting closer.

YEAH IT IS.

Hi internet.

You guys know that I wrote a book called Roller Derby for Beginners, right? I hope so. I wrote it because when people start roller derby, they get very overwhelmed. With information. With lack of information. With the decisions that go along with buying gear. With injuries. With emotion. With excitement. It’s an overwhelming time.

I am here to cool out the roller derby beginner. There, there. It’s going to be fine. This is hard. Enjoy it while you can. Be careful. Stop beating yourself up. Take it one day at a time.

Etc., etc.

I know that not all of you beginning or wannabe or potential wannabe types aren’t going to buy the book. My budget is tight enough that I can’t spend $14.95 on a book right now. I feel you. But if you’re going to start roller derby for real, I guarantee you that Roller Derby for Beginners will save you AT LEAST that much on ill-fitting skates and cheap pads. Cheap knee pads are not worth it. There’s free advice.

Roller derby beginners of the internet: what do you want to know about? What would you like to read here?

I have a whole page of entries for newbies, in case you’d like to peruse that. What’s missing? Let us know in the comments, won’t you?

And while I have you here:

  • This is hard.
  • It is worth it.
  • It will take a long time to get good.
  • It’s not just you.
  • You smell terrible, but we love you anyway.
Photo by Masonite Burn via Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo by Masonite Burn via Flickr Creative Commons.

Someday, if you work hard enough, you’ll have a famous jammer score on you in a bout, too! (Many times over.)

Some day,

 

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