Friday, June 26


The 2009 Season Championship Bout are this Saturday at the Expo Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. Skating at 6 p.m.

While GnR maybe aren't exactly skating in the "championship" bout, they are certainly skating in the Championships. And this bout against the Heathers won't be any different from their other bouts because the kick-ass bruisers of GnR skate every bout like it's the championship bout.

GnR have been very busy since their last bout against the Betties. (Yes. I just brought that up again. I'm sorry. We'll wait while you listen to "November Rain" again. See you in 9 minutes 12 seconds....) There's been the Portland Pride Parade, scrimmages in Rainy City, happy hour and cheap tickets, but I managed to get them all together (except for Hard Knox, who seems to spend most days in her pajamas, drinking and watching some Whitesnake video over and over) to talk about the last bout of the season.

Me: So, GnR seems to have been having trouble the last few bouts....

Viva Vendetta: Yeah, we've been livin' at a pace that kills, but you know how it is, right, you got to roll with the punches and get to what's real. I mean, we've been letting the other teams drive us wild—

Smack Ya Sideways: —but now we'll drive them crazy. She throws horns: \m/

Aurora Brutalis: Exactly. It's like we've been saying, "Show us everything you've got" and then just letting the other teams pull our strings—

Axl Blows: —We've let them twist our minds and smash our dreams out there.—

Aurora Brutalis: —but now what we're saying is "Hey, taste me, you will see how we're dedicated to killing you."

Me: So you're really ramping up the attitude out there?

Napalm Beth: Absolutely. This is the last bout this season, and now the time is here for GnR to spread fear.

Paradise Kitty: The other teams, I think they may think we've lost our minds, may wonder if we can see or are we blind, are we alive or dead, and why should they even care at this point, but we've been planning our vengeance—

Grace Lightning: That's right, Kitty! And I can't wait to fill the Heathers full of dread and see them running as fast as they can from us.

Fist O'Fury: Right, because if they think we'll sit around as the world goes by, they're thinking like a fool because at this point it's a case of do or die. And if you think we'll let it go, you're mad.

Gwen'nich Mean Time: Yeah, I may not be able to skate this weekend, but I just want to tell the Heathers, you've got another thing coming!

RollaReina: And I just want to say that I am a rocker. And the Heathers may have laughed at us or tried to make us feel inferior, but why? Because we rat our hair? Because we like animal prints? Because we wear bandannas? Well, we're rockers. And we're proud of it.

Aurora Brutalis: Hell yeah, Reina! We are rockers, and we want all of our GnR alumni—

November Pain: —like Rocket Mean and JahNasty and Vixen Mary and the Harmacist—

Punchkin: —and everyone who's ever worn Lycra pants—

Napalm Beth: —or acid wash denim—

Cher The Pain: —or held up a lit Zippo during "Open Arms"—

Aurora Brutalis: —whether you think you're a rocker or not, we want you to come out Saturday night and join us—

RollaReina:—Just join us. Because no one's really gonna be free until rocker persecution ends.

All the GnRs get really quiet then, and I'm sure I can hear "We Are The Champions" playing in the background. And then I feel my throat get a little scratchy and my eyes start to water a little bit. It's my allergies, you understand. And while we're ordering another round, I notice that a lot of the GnRs are also having the same symptoms: they're sniffling or rubbing their eyes or something. And it has been bad the last few weeks for people with allergies, so I'm sure that's what it is.

As we're getting our next drinks, and we all seem to be feeling better, I start asking questions again.

Me: You have several skaters that have struggled with injuries this season. Can anyone say something about that?

Itzo EZ: Well, not being able to skate is really taking it's toll. It's like people think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time. And all day long I think of things, but nothing seems to satisfy, you know?

Mullet: Oh, I know, EZ. For me, it's like I need someone to show me the things in life that I can't find right now. Right now, I can't see the things that make true happiness....

Sugar & Vice: Oh, Grant, now look what you've done to this rock and roll clown. Oh, look what you've done.

Me: Um, I'm really sorry. I really didn't mean to make Mullet cry like that. I mean, I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain... Anyway, without giving away any secret strategies or anything, can you tell me anything specific that you're lining up for the bout this weekend?

Blood Clottia: Well, I don't know how specific we can be about that. I mean, we've found the simple life ain't so simple, and we'll play our part and they'll play their game, but Mullet, she says we've got to hold on to what we've got—

Guts & Bolts: —and it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not...

Punchkin: That's true, we've got each other, and that's a lot...

Cher The Pain: For sure, we'll give it a shot—

Wrench: Oh, c'mon, Cher. We're halfway there—

Blood Clottia: Hey! We're not just "giving it a shot" and we're way more than "halfway there"! I thought we'd made up our minds, we ain't wasting no more time!

November Pain: That's right! C'mon, rise up!

Blood Clottia: Gather round!

Mullet: Yeah, let's rock this place to the ground!

Smack Ya Sideways: We're gonna burn it up! Let's go for broke!

Grace Lightning: We can watch the night go up in smoke!

Viva Vendetta: Rock on!

Fist O'Fury: Rock on!

Paradise Kitty: Drive me crazier!

Gwen'nich Mean Time: We'll get wild, wild, wild!

Cherry Lipsmacker: Yeah, together we can make it to the end of the line. Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time. (She starts to sing:) I don't know what to do, and I'm always in the dark; we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks!

November Pain puts her arms around Cherry's shoulders and helps her down off the table: Um, Cherry, that's not a butt rock song. Remember how we talked about that?

Wrench: Yeah, Cherry. How about some Ratt or something?

Itzo EZ: Poison?

Axl Blows: Warrant maybe?

At that point, I decided to sneak out before any of them realized that I listen to a lot of The Cure and Depeche Mode. And that I have that Bonnie Tyler record on vinyl. I didn't want to find out how that might turn out for me.

\m/ \m/

Friday, June 19

Upcoming Events

Lots of events in the next week:

Saturday 20 June. Day. Wheels of Justice and Axles of Annihilation scrimmage Rat City Rollergirls and Rainy City Roller Dolls. Hosted by Rainy City (Napalm Beth

Napalm Beth

©pdxsharkey (aka Steve Mancini)
Used by kind permission.

Napalm Beth's old cohorts) in Centralia. There must be details somewhere....

Saturday 20 June. Night. High Rollers promise "a night of dancing, roller skates and a little ass" at Motocorsa.

Wednesday 24 June 6-7:30 p.m. Happy Hour with GnR at the Side Door Tavern. 425 SE Washington St Portland, OR 97214.

Wednesday 24 June 7:30-9 p.m. Cheap Ticket Night with GnR at the Night Light Lounge. Get four tickets to the championship bout for the price of three!

Saturday 27 June. Doors open at 5 p.m. for 2009 Championship Bout at Portland Expo Center. Get tickets if you haven't already!

Semi-Final Bout vs. Betties

I wasn't able to be at last Saturday's bout against the Betties. The plan was to have someone else write up a bout recap, but when I asked any of the GnRs about the bout, they just slumped their shoulders, shook their head slowly, and sighed. The few skaters I could get to make any comment at all just muttered something barely audible.

When I could make out anything they were saying, it sounded something like "all my fault" or "let everyone down" or "don't deserve to ever skate again." Then Mullet


Used by kind permission.

Mullet had to call them and talk them out of quitting derby forever and spending the rest of the weekend drinking a cocktail of Early Times and Pepto-Bismol out of their stinky, sweaty skates.

If you weren't at the bout and really must know some details about it, you can check out what the Coroner had to say here.

Otherwise just congratulate Aurora Brutalis

Aurora Brutalis

©pdxsharkey (aka Steve Mancini)
Used by kind permission.

Aurora Brutalis on the bout of her career, tell Blood Clottia how sexy she looks in a leopard-print unitard, and be ready with a gift basket of PBR, Jägermeister, and an assortment of fortified wines (all neatly wrapped up in a bandana).

You might also want to have their mother, Mullet, or Rocket Mean on speed dial.

And I'd count on sticking around to listen to "November Rain" a few dozen times through too.

Skippy Steve's pics from the bout are here. I've heard Angel Priest has pics up too, but I didn't see them at his SmugMug page. If anyone has a link, please post it in the comments.

Thursday, June 11

GnR Stands Against Red Menace!

We all saw three weekends ago how the Guns N Rollers can skate just as hard as the Breakneck Betties but not score the points they need to win, that Rock ≠ Points. So what do the GnRs need to do to defeat the Red Menace?

Of course, there are the obvious, halftime-analysis kinds of things: GnR needs to keep their jammer out the penalty box, they need to get lead jammer status, they need to score more points and hold the Betties to less points. And there are the injuries: Itzo EZ leaves a huge gap in their jammer line-up, Mullet


Used by kind permission.

Mullet is also out for the season, and while Wrench has been blocking, she's hasn't been up to jamming more than rarely. So much for the obvious and the uncontrollable.

In my 100% amateur analysis, one thing seems to hold GnR back more than anything: if their set play doesn't get their jammer through the pack, they often leave her to get through on her own, and often she ends up at the back of the pack getting knocked around like a ball in a pachinko machine. While this sort of approach does have its proponents (Gorden Ramsey, I hear, is a big fan), it doesn't seem to be getting GnR where they want to be.

Yes, I understand that my "one thing" is a whole bag of things tied up together. It's controlling pack speed. It's being aware of what your jammer and the other blockers are up to. It's not running out of the pack to chase down the other jammer because she's gotten through. But just like the High Rollers, who have been able to bring things together and dominated the Heathers last weekend, GnR has the talent they need to handle the Betties. Sure, they've got demons like Cadillac and Rhea DeRange that they have to contain, and they'd be in better shape if they had Hard Knox and GMT on the track this Saturday.

But GnR has Blood Clottia, who hasn't failed to deliver that I can remember this season. GnR has Aurora Brutalis

Aurora Brutalis

©pdxsharkey (aka Steve Mancini)
Used by kind permission.

Aurora Brutalis, who's been on fire recently. GnR has Axl Blows, who I think counts for twice her size, and Smack Ya, who is twice as fast as her size might suggest. And even though Wrench probably won't jam, and even if November Pain has trouble getting into her groove while she's wearing the star, both of them are smart, experienced skaters who should take control of the pack. And I haven't even mentioned Punchkin, RollaReina, Napalm Beth

Napalm Beth

©pdxsharkey (aka Steve Mancini)
Used by kind permission.

Napalm Beth, Grace Lightning, or Viva Vendetta.

What do you all think GnR needs to do to save rock-and-roll, freedom, and America from that horde of tyrannical, oppressive, godless, communist, Breakneck Bolsheviks?

Wednesday, June 3

My Derby Crush

I've mentioned before that my current derby crush is Guts & Bolts. It's not that I don't find other skaters attractive; I do.

For example:

I get giddy whenever Axl Blows slams all five-feet-two and one-hundred-twelve pounds of herself (with skates on) into some huge chick to clear the lane for her jammer.

I feel butterflies when six-foot-nine and ninety-eight-pound (without skates) Aurora Brutalis muscles her way through the pack.

Smack Ya looks like she's lighter than air whenever she sidewinds through the curve after she's cleared the pack, and Blood Clottia looks dead sexy every time she puts her toe stop on the jammer line.

And Wrench charms me every time she puts on an extra burst of speed to blindside some chick who made the poor decision to brush the (imaginary) dust from her shoulder while she was still within reach of the pack and—more to the point—Wrench.

And I could go on and on: fishnets, elbow pads, mouth guards. (I find myself checking out every chick on a bike who's wearing a flat-black skate helmet, expecting her to be a rollergirl.)

But back to Guts & Bolts. Yes, she gets knocked down pretty easily and, well, a lot (right now). No, she doesn't seem to just bounce right off the floor and back onto her skates (yet). And I don't know if Guts has put a single point on the board (so far).

Nope. I've got a huge derby crush on Guts & Bolts because whenever she skates up to that jammer line, she knows she's gonna get hit. Hard. She knows she's gonna get knocked down. Hard. She knows she's gonna jump right back up to get hit and knocked down a few more times. And you can see just how excited she gets doing it. And that's what I love to watch.

She's not going to go pro. She's not going to get sponsored and get to quit her job. She's only skating because it's fun to play derby.

Of course, it's not just Guts. It's every Guns N Roller.

And it's every rollergirl.

Tuesday, June 2

GnR Readies for Betties

To get ready for their upcoming semi-final re-bout with the Betties on the 13th, GnR has been practicing hard. Very hard. X-tremely hard.

So hard that they've been hurting themselves at practice: Hard Knox, Cherry Lipsmacker, and Smack Ya Sideways have all hurt themselves (or each other, depending on who you ask) during recent practices.

Kn0X0rs's ACL is partially torn and sprained. She won't need surgery, but she won't skate on the 13th. With her mutant healing powers, she expects to be back on her wheels for the championship bout on the 27th.

Cherry sprained her MCL (yes, there are four separate ligaments in your knee) last week but plans to skate on the 13th. (Because she's tough, dammit!)

And Smack Ya has injured her shoulder but has been practicing. She'll skate on the 13th too because "Betty gonna pay what she owe!"

The GnRs have also been working on building trust among the team. According to Mullet and November Pain, "Trust" stands for:

  • Tremendous
  • Rock-tastic
  • Über
  • Stars
  • Totally

(I might have misunderstood that a bit—Mullet was talking with her mouth full and Pain kept bursting out shouting "I am a champion! I am GnR!"—so it may have been: "Totally Rocking it Under Stress, Totally." Or something else entirely.)

GnR are huge Storm Large fans (who isn't?), and I've heard that Storm has apparently taken some time during her Crazy Enough run to record a special performance to inspire her favorite RCR team. Watch it here.

(Ok, maybe that performance wasn't *just* for GnR. Maybe I'm not that careful with the "facts" sometimes. But really, this isn't a "journalism" kinda blog. The internets are cluttered enough with those already.)

Monday, June 1

Tickets on Sale for the GnR vs. BnB REMATCH

GnR gets another shot at making dreams happen, June 13th at the Hangar. The Rockers of Rose City will face off against the Breakneck Betties in this semi-final game for the Rose City Rollers Season Championship title.

The winner of this bout will play the winner of the Heathers v. High Rollers game for the Championship title.

Tickets are on sale. (Or you can buy them from one of us!)

Saturday, June 6th 6pm High Rollers v. Heartless Heathers

Saturday, June 13th 6pm GUNS 'N ROLLERS v. Breakneck Betties