Thursday, July 23

WoJ Car Wash

This Saturday, Wheels of Justice are washing cars to raise money to get them to the regional and national tournaments. This means that GnRs Axl, Blood, GMT, and Wrench need your support.

It's on Saturday 25 July from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Voodoo Doughnut's second location on 1501 NE Davis in Portland.

Bring a donation for WoJ and your dirty car, bike, or whatever—they say they'll wash anything that's dirty!

[Edit: GMT's just suggested that "anything" may well include people. I suppose you'll just have to show that you're dirty?]

And that claim really is just too good to ignore, dontcha think?

I mean, there should be a catchy slogan to promote that sort of thing. Something like: "WoJ: We'll wash anything that's dirty, really!" or maybe "WoJ: Soaping up the dirty parts!"

But I'm sure you all can come up with something much, much better.

Comment away! \m/

Monday, July 20

Mullet Elected Co-Captain

GnR has recently elected Mullet to join Blood Clottia as co-captain for next season.

Mullet new GnR co-captain.

Mullet seems to me to be an excellent choice here, and along with the changes that the end-of-season retirements will necessarily bring, I'm excited to see the GnR captaincy now supercharged with the Awesome Power of the Mullet™.

The impression I get from GnR skaters is that their captains act as sort of a combination of platoon commander and Girl Scout den mother. Okay, I don't really know what either of those things are, but the way I understand it, the GnR captains plan the practices, write the line-ups for bouts, and submit the official 15-skater roster before each bout.

They go to team meetings, league meetings, captains meetings to talk about "secret stuff" (Cherry Lipsmacker's description—I know so little that things that are secret from rollergirls aren't even unknown unknowns for me), more meetings, extra meetings, and meta-meetings to decide what meetings they'll have next (now that I think about it, there may not actually be as many meetings as they suggested there were—I'll try to meet with them and get back to you about that).

They make sure that their skaters are covering all their required volunteer hours (like setting up and tearing down after bouts) and selling all their bout tickets. They explain to the other teams that when the Harmacist calls them names, it means she likes them (a lot like with twelve-year-old boys). And they let those skaters who they couldn't fit onto the roster for a bout know that they won't be skating for that bout but that they have to be there just the same.

Blood Clottia
Blood Clottia continues as co-captain.

On top of that, the GnR captains take primary responsibility for the overall team strategy, which seems less about X's and O's on chalkboards and more about keeping the team and the individual skaters focused on and excited about the goals they've all agreed on.

And then they're the first in line to drag a skater out of whatever wallow she's headed for after a rough bout: When one of the GnRs is sneaking out of the hangar and thinking she's off to pitch her new Riedell 595s into the next dumpster and head home alone with a case of PBR tallboys, a box of wine, and a fifth of Jägermeister to scrounge through her phone's call history and see if she might still have the number of that "roommate" she kicked out two years ago—the one who the other GnRs know only as "Lying, Cheating, Satan-Spawn (with Multiple Open Sores)"—it's the GnR captains who are first to intervene with kind words and sincere renditions of 1980s power ballads.

(You really haven't lived until you've you've seen Blood break out Toto's "Africa" or Mullet's heartfelt-but-not-overblown "Every Rose Has Its Thorn.")

Viva Vendetta
Viva Vendetta a free agent.

Mullet replaces Viva Vendetta, who has announced her free agency. After four seasons skating for GnR, Viva figures that she's probably only got one or two seasons left in her (see previous post about how long skaters can keep this up), and she wants to see what things are like skating for a different team.

I haven't heard any of the GnRs say anything that's not totally supportive of her decision, and no, none of that "support" has sounded like "Yes, I love it that Viva's gonna go skate somewhere else--it'll be great not to have her dragging us down anymore!"

And it's not like Blood Clottia wasn't a Betty in some alternate universe. Not that she wasn't sexy in red, but I do think that Blood looks much better in black (or a leopard-print unitard, depending on the occasion).

So whatcha think about Mullet-powered GnR in 2010?


Friday, July 10

Retiring Skaters

I apologize: I am a bad blogger. You've wanted to hear gossip, and I haven't told you anything.

I blame OCD Boy (that is, me—and no, that's not my derby name), who wants to know everything exactly and get everything just right before I post it. But if I knew the whole deal, it really wouldn't be gossip, would it?

So here are a few things:

First, the GnR head out of town to go camping this weekend. I imagine this to be something like a cross between Deadwood, South Dakota in the HBO series, the nocturnal activities of Abigail Williams and friends, and Col. Kurtz's compound in Apocalypse Now.

They've kept the location a secret, though we can assume that's it not so remote that they can't easily haul in cases and cases of PBR, boxes of cheap wine, jugs of tequila, and whatever else they need for a few days in the woods. I just hope that one of them has thought to mail their location to a loved one, so in case they haven't all turned up back at work by sometime in the middle of next week, we can send Martin Sheen up the river after them.

Second, with the end of the 2009 season, several long-time GnRs have announced their retirements: Grace Lightning, Itzo EZ, Paradise Kitty, RollaReina, and Aurora Brutalis.

It's always hard to see the rollergirls we love return to the non-derby (i.e. "real") world, but they give so much of themselves to their sport that we do realize that they can only keep it up for so long.

Besides practicing at least three days each week, they volunteer for the charities that RCR supports, promote the sport, sell tickets for bouts, and do pretty much all of the work setting up and clearing out the hangar and the Expo Center before and after they skate their bouts. And they pay dues for the privilege of doing it all.

I know we'd love to see them all keep skating forever, but we've also got to understand and support them when they decide that they need to give their attention back to the non-derby slice of their lives: their families, their (paying) careers, their physical therapy, you know, all those things that the rest of us give *all* of our attention to all the time. For a few years, rollergirls give themselves to derby and to us derby fans, and we can't be too grudging about giving them back to their families, their children, their husbands, their wives, their boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, and friends. And it only seems fair that they get their rollergirl back with her body more-or-less intact and functioning almost as well as when they willingly gave her up.

Grace, Kitty, and EZ are all founding GnRs and Rose City Rollers, so they've put in more than four seasons. Grace has struggled with injuries for a while now; she's had surgery on her shoulder at least once already, and it may still need further surgery later on.

After injuring her ACL, EZ was officially removed from the roster earlier in the season, so GnR could draft Guts & Bolts and Sugar & Vice. She's still in physical therapy and has decided that she won't be skating next season either.

While Paradise Kitty still has two fully functioning knees, she's going back to school this fall and doesn't have time for both classes and derby.

RollaReina started the second season with GnR (and was co-captain with Wrench for the third), and Aurora Brutalis was drafted at the end of that same season. While both are still healthy (and still want to kick ass), their lives have gotten extra full over the last few years. To make room for the house she now owns with her partner and for nursing school, which starts this fall, Reina's decided that she simply doesn't have the time to commit to school and derby.

Brutes has already had to pay extra dues because she doesn't have time for derby commitments beyond "just" practices and bouts. Starting her clinic rotations now, she's felt that she's had to choose her patients over derby, which is no good for derby but probably very good for her patients.

I've spent hours already looking back at the pictures from the first two seasons and couldn't choose pics of the retiring skaters to include, so I'll see if they've got any favorites when they come out of the woods. Until then, you should look back through those older photo sets yourselves. Steve Price has an almost complete run here, and there are links at the Rose City Rollers site.

Now I'm all sad, and I'll have to decide whether I need to listen to Bonnie Tyler or Novemeber Rain.

Oh well, I can always listen to both. A few times.

Thursday, July 2

2009 Championships Bout Frustrates GnR


The Guns N Rollers's bout for third place with the Heartless Heathers left GnR in fourth place at the end of the 2009 season.

While I've tried several times to write up a tongue-in-cheek account of the bout, each time I've ended up just feeling as frustrated as I did during the bout. So if you're a GnR fan and you want to re-live the bout and get yourself all worked up again, you're on you're own.

If you're a GnR fan, and you missed the championships, here's what you missed: Some of the best derby I've seen.

In the actual championship bout, the Breakneck Betties and the High Rollers skated fast and hard. And though the Betties won 124-109, that win was never certain, and they finished with the High Rollers grabbing at the back of their pretty red blouses.

White Flight
White Flight = Awesome.

The event of the night was HR's White Flight. No, she wasn't the "skater" of the night, she really was the event.

Midway through the second period, Flight took a shot to the head that left her laying on the ground, and it was only after a tense several minutes that she was helped to her feet and left the track carrying her skates and hanging around the paramedics' shoulders. But just a few jams later, she was lined up with Rhea DeRange again on the jammer line. And she went on tearing things up.

And White Flight is now on the current Wheels of Justice roster. Because she rocks.

So let's all see more of that (well, minus the anxious minutes with a skater on the floor).


\m/ \m/