Tuesday, December 7

Rolling Stoners Debut

This past Friday, Guns N Rollers Awnry O'Hulligan, Bella Massacre, Dirty Ann Rotten, Harajuke A Girl, Harriet The Sly, Havana Good Time, and Micro Bruiser hooked up with a fistful of High Rollers at the hangar to meet Cherry City's 8-Wheel Assassins on the track.

Their meeting came off a lot like a meeting between a Starbucks window and a protester at a G20 summitG20 summitG20 summit, and it was a great example of how bouts are decided by the pack not by jammers. It's not uncommon to hear jammers described as the "quarterbacks" of derby, and while jammers often do, like football quarterbacks, determine how their team will try to score points, they're always also the ball. The jammer may initiate some plays and determine her own action, but just as much as she does that, she's also the object that the rest of her team moves around the track to score points by opening holes and lanes that allow her to pass opposing blockers.

Control of the pack was what allowed Cherry City to keep putting up points while denying points to the Stoners. The Stoners were a party-mix of new Rose City skaters who had a hard time communicating with each other and responding to each other's moves within the pack and who often found themselves reacting individually to Cherry City skaters. Cherry City, by contrast, were all more experienced skaters who knew much better what to expect of each other and who could better manipulate the Stoners into weaker positions and give their own jammers easy scoring passes.

Despite being smashed to bits under Cherry City's skates, there were a lot of individual bright spots on the track for GnR fans.

Micro Bruiser delivered macro bruises to several surprised Cherry City skaters. I kept thinking of that smarmy green oven-mitt thing in The Empire Strikes Back: "Judge me by my size do you? Hmm?"

Havana Good Time had some trouble staying upright in Turn 2 (she blames her new wheels—whatever), but she showed great speed and strong footwork. SheHavana Good Time

Havana Good Time lays a solid hit on Squid Vicious.

She and teammate Bella MassacreBella Massacre and Curry Fury

Elbow tight, all shoulder into Curry Fury: Bella Massacre has great hits!

Bella Massacre delivered solid hits with textbook form—Harajuke A GirlHarajuke A Girl

I think that's Curry Fury getting an introduction to Harajuke A Girl's street style.

Harajuke A Girl too.

Dirty Ann Rotten showed how skaters can easily rack up three consecutive minutes in the penalty box.

On her way to the box, she picked up a second minute (probably for clicking her mouth guard out before she was seated in the box).

Then before she could even re-enter play, she was sent back to the box for another minute (likely for failing to put her mouth guard back in or for leaving the box before the penalty timer actually released her). Oops. :/

Something should also be said, I think, about Awnry O'Hulligan.

I have no idea what Awnry could possibly be doing to Cherry City's Squeeze Box there, nor do I remember seeing it happen (because I averted my innocent eyes), but Squeeze Box seems to be as, um, surprised as I am.

I'm sure we'd all appreciate any light that could be shed on this. Thank you!

(Also, Awnry appears to have tried something similar with her fellow Rolling Stoner Tits N Assphault hereAwnry O'Hulligan and Tits N Assphault

Why is everyone laughing? TNA looks like she's about to cry.


Finally, I would like to congratulate Smack Ya Sideways for making it through an entire bout without even a minor penalty.

Yes, I know she was coaching the 8-Wheel Assassins, but she's been sent out for lesser things before.

I kept expecting her to get a major for being on the track without proper safety equipment at least.

Or running clockwise to pull extra skaters out of the line up.

One more thing: If you aren't at the GnR Ugly Christmas Sweater Party this Saturday, PunchkinPunchkinPunchkin will have words with you.

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Monday, November 29

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

The Guns N Rollers are throwing an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!

It doesn't matter if you don't celebrate Christmas: if you've hung around with the GnR over a holiday or two, you probably already know that the GnRs' winter holiday of choice is EZmas, which also happens to fall on December 25.

Unfortunately, there are no ugly EZmas sweaters. And while there may be other Ugly Sweaters, Christmas provides a black hole to which Ugly Sweaters are drawn.

Christmas is an ultimate convergence of synthetic fibers into tasteless patterns.

It is a great woolly conjunction of 8-bit graphics Santas. A Sturm und Drang of tacky snowmen. A noxious, fumy cauldron of decorated fir trees. It is a knitted R'lyeh where sleeps a red-and-white-striped Cthulhu hemmed with tiny jingle bells.

It is a yarny apocalypse of dancing reindeer.

And you are invited to celebrate the horror that is Ugly Christmas Sweaters on Saturday 11 December with dancing to bitchin' 80s pop at the Water Heater at 750 N. Fremont in Portland.

$7 cash gets you in the door. Or $5 and a can of food. (No beets.)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters are not required. But really, what's the effing point of celebrating the Ugly Christmas Sweater if you aren't going to wear one?

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The Hiatus Is Still Over

Weeeeeeee're back!

Yes, it's been a few years months since I last posted anything here but I am not (yet) dead.

It was a busy off-season: I'd only just recovered from chanting "We're Number Three!" over and over again after the Guns N Rollers' glorious 3rd-place victory back in June, when it was time to cheer on the Wheels of Justice at the Hometown Throwdown. And as soon as that hangover wore off, it was time to head to Sacramento for the WFTDA Western Region tournament.

(I'd like to thank the Sacred City Derby Girls for choosing a venue where no one cared what you brought in with you. Why bother with a tiny little flask when you can fill your bag with whole bottles of liquor? Which you could conveniently purchase at the CVS two blocks away.)

There was also my broken leg.

But now we've all enjoyed our little break, we've celebrated Thanksgiving ("Thank you for the very nice land we'll take from you now," or "Thank you for the blankets and the small pox," depending on your ancestry) with turkey (or a cruelty-free susbstitute), and it's time to get ready for a new season of Rose City Rollers hometown derby.

We've lost some GnRs along the way:

  • Boxcar Bethy moved to Ontario (for someone who insists she's not Canadian, she sure lives in Canada a lot)
  • Evilia D. Stroiu moved to Hawaii
  • Suki Hana became pregnant, then a mother
  • Mercyful Kate smashed up her tibia and fibula, moved back up to Olympia, and broke her tib again, and
  • Hard Knox and Fist O'Fury have chosen "real" life over derby

And we've picked up some new GnRs during the off-season:
  • Dirty Ann Rotten
  • Harajuke A Girl
  • Havana Good Time and
  • Awnry O'Hulligan

You can see all of them plus some other newer GnRs skate this Friday against Cherry City at the hangar at Oaks Park. (General admission tix are still available here.)

Finally, the GnR have chosen new captains to lead them through the 2011 season: PunchkinPunchkin

Punchkin: New GnR Captain
(Only publicly available image.)

Punchkin and Sugar & ViceSugar & Vice

New GnR Captain: Sugar & Vice
(Only publicly available image.)

Sugar & Vice, who will tell me nothing about how they spent the off-season.

So get ready to shred some furious licks, wail on your axes, and throw some horns!

(You do have season tickets, right?)

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Thursday, June 17

I'm Confused

This coming Saturday, Guns N Rollers 2010 World Domination Tour will come to an end.

There have been some who have suggested that the 2010 World Domination Tour ended back when GnR failed to beat the Break Neck Betties. I provide those gainsayers the inspiring words of Brother Bluto.

And for their last bout of the season, the GnR find themselves up against the Betties once more after losing to the Heartless Heathers, a loss of which I was unaware until I checked the RCR web page recently. I have been taking what I consider to be moderate amounts of narcotic painkillers, but despite being at the GnR v Heathers bout myself, my recollection departs slightly at a few points from what others remember. Or what the archived boutcast shows.

For example, I recall GnR mascot Sidelines Sarah being booed, heckled, and finally pelted with wads of gum and cans of beer while she was cheering on the GnR.

Now I can understand why fans of those teams with the misfortune of opposing the GnR might find themselves feeling frustrated and unmanned when confronted by her unbearable cuteness, but to throw (empty?) beer cans seems entirely classless for two reasons: 1) I thought the GnR had the monopoly on low-rent, trashy, butt-rock fans; and b) Sidelines Sarah is nine years old; and 3) what sort of Nickelback-listening, Ed Hardy-wearing, backhair-combing knuckle-dragger abuses a mascot while their team is winning? Which the boutcast confirms was true for the Heathers for most of the night.

As none of this was visible on the recorded video, I can only assume that I experienced some sort of waking dream in which my own desire to hurl day-old pastries at Heathers mascot Tila Tequila Teq Kill Ya[*]

It was brought to my attention that Teq Kill Ya has been the Heathers mascot not Tila Tequila, who is, and I quote, "a nasty skankopotamus."

Also, I have no desire to hurl day-old pastries at Teq Kill Ya.


[*] was displaced onto imaginary Heathers fans.

What's more, I can't imagine someone like Kanna or George or Swags not finishing a beer.

I have a little more trouble disbelieving my second unique memory because while it seems absurd that Sidelines Sarah would get heckled or trash thrown at her, it seems comparatively reasonable that Super Grover would jam for the Heartless Heathers. And it seems downright plausible that he would score dozens of points in each of those several jams over the night.

I mean, really, no one's going to boo a nine-year-old mascot, but Super Grover seems like a natural for the Heathers: he's blue, he's furry, and he's already got a stylish helmet. And if the floppy arms and legs weren't enough to make it easy for him to slip between blockers and avoid hits, Super Grover can fly. Which I believe would be a significant advantage, so there's no doubt he'd score upwards of twenty or even thirty points in a jam. (Nevermind being able to take to the air to avoid cutting the track calls or to instantly remove himself from play and make any hit he did receive illegal!)

But Super Grover does identify as "he," so I don't think he would be eligible to play for the Heathers. And he is a muppet, which might also be problematic. But the clincher is that I didn't see him once while watching the archived boutcast.

No, I believe that I mistook Scratcher In The Eye for Super Grover. And in my defense—and if you compare the images—I'm sure you can see just how easy that would be to do.

Similarly, I cannot confirm that my memories of Big Bird skating for the GnR are accurate.

Yes, Bird roller skates like a pro, and any team in the WFTDA would be happy to have him, but I'm sure that I would've remembered and posted something here if GnR had drafted Big Bird. I may not be the most frequent or reliable blogger, but that would've made it in here had it happened.

With pictures.

Signed pictures.

I realize now that I shouldn't have been drinking and taking prescription narcotics at the same time (please, kids, one or the other, and always ask your parents for permission) because I also hazily recall the Mad Splatter playing in at least one jam.

But again, I can't think that would have gone unnoticed. I know the officials can't see everything, but one of the captains or coaches would have eventually spotted the red uniform and bright green helmet and, I think, asked for an official review.

After seeing such a difference between the boutcast and what I'd remembered, one thing that I thought for sure was a product of the pain, the lack of sleep, the narcotics, and the pint of Early Times I'd smuggled into the hangar was Mel Mangles' jaw-dropping turn as jammer.

With the GnR down by 174 and only a few minutes left, I was certain that the plan was for Mangles to simply pound on the Heathers jammer and any blockers that came within reach. Instead, she floated through the pack side-stepping and shrugging off hits like raindrops and looking like she wasn't really trying.

Comfortable and relaxed, she made pass after pass and scored 153 points, bringing the GnR within 21 points of the Heathers. (153 may be a record for points scored in a single jam, but this was just a league bout and not WFTDA sanctioned, so I'm not sure it counts.)

Going into the finals, no one should be surprised that teams of privilege will play for first place. The d├ębutantes or prom queens or whatever it is that the Heathers are supposed to be are used to getting whatever they want. And the conspicuously wealthy High Rollers can no doubt buy their way to the finals. On the other hand, despite what their abundant talent might merit, the gays and their working-class teammates on the GnR will be fighting not to be last.

But 4th place is one spot above where the Wheels Of Justice are ranked, and if the rumors I've been hearing are true, the GnR kinda like it on the bottom.

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[Edited 06-18-2010 to fix the Teq Kill Ya / Tila Tequila error.]

Thursday, June 3

Some Things That Rock

Rolla Reina!

If you aren't friends with Rolla Reina on Facebook, then you haven't seen these amazing pics she did with Warface Photography.

If you are Facebook friends with Reina and have already seen these pics, then you're just going to have to suffer through them again. I'm very sorry.

Reina "retired" last season, but when Joan Jett appeared to her in a dream and told her that rock & roll didn't give a damn about the risk of injury or the overcommitment, and also that she loved Rolla Reina—not in a gay way but still definitely in a hot way—then Reina knew that her retirement was over.

Rolla Reina
Rolla Reina
Rolla Reina

As I said on her Facebooks, this Reina goes to 11!

And the photos that gave Joan Jett no choice but to visit Reina in a dream were taken by Warface Photography, which is what Megahurtz—former skater for Wheels of Justice (and Breakneck Betties, but we forgive her—look at the pictures!)—calls herself when she's holding a camera.

(Anyone who has actual contact info for Warface Photography please get it to me, so I can shamelessly plug her here.)

Reina made her re-debut skating for Team Evil and helping them stomp the guts out of Team Good. (Did anyone really think that Good was going to win that bout? Really. Evil always wins.) And I hope she made the roster for tomorrow's semi-final bout against the eeeeevil Heartless Heathers. (Wait, does that mean GnR can't win against the Heathers because they're evil? And I'm on the side of GnR, so doesn't that make them the good team? But there's no way that rock & roll plays for the side of Good. So when GnR wins, does that mean that mean that Good and Evil have both won? Wow, this is a lot like those fucking magnetshow do they work? Such a conundrum. This whole good and evil thing is very confusing.)

Um, so yeah, good or evil, G-N-R G-N-R!

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Friday, April 16

Blood "Slaps" Mick? EZ Answers.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one at Saturday's bout who was a little shocked to hear that Blood Clottia had received a major penalty for "slapping" Heathers skater (and Wheels of Justice team mate) Mick U Cry in the face. And I certainly didn't remember Blood slapping Mick in the face and couldn't imagine Blood doing that.

What had apparently happened was that Mick knocked Blood down with a forearm, and as Blood fell, her arms flew up, and one of her hands landed in Mick's face. (Which is, admittedly, less exciting.)

Former GnR and current RCR referee Itzo EZ explained that under the WFTDA rules (section 6.3, I think), any contact between one skater's hand or forearm and another skater anywhere above her shoulders is a major penalty (for the skater with the hand or forearm, of course).

Also, a skater isn't absolved from penalties herself after she's been fouled: just like it's the skater's responsibility to "fall small" to avoid tripping or obstructing other skaters, it was Blood's responsibility to keep her hands away from Mick's head.

So because Blood's hand made contact with Mick's face, she picked up a major. And that makes much more sense than the idea of Blood smacking Mick for knocking her down, which is what it sounded like to me when the penalty was explained at the bout.

Thanks to GnR-for-life EZ for the explanation, though I'm still disappointed that I haven't seen her throwing some calls for GnR, and I'd like my twenty bucks back.

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[Post edited 04-16-2010 because Itzo EZ is an excellent official and wanted to make sure that it was clear that she was only explaining the rules and not offering any judgment on a call that had made against a GnR skater. Which also makes it clear that I completely wasted my twenty bucks.]

Wednesday, April 14

World Domination Tour, Third Stop: Heartless Heathers

Ok. So I've cried enough over the Guns N Rollers losing to the Heartless Heathers on Saturday.

From the comments I've overheard since the bout, I do think it's safe to say that the Heathers paid for their victory. In pain. Which I like.

The bout was tough and physical right from the start. Scratcher In The Eye complained a little after the bout that she doesn't usually get hit so much (but doesn't she wear that target star on her head a lot?), and on the facebook page she says that "Mangles gave me whip lash. [...] It was the hardest hit I've ever received!" And Mick U Cry adds, "I also had my ribs crunched for the first time ever." On the other hand, Mercyful Kate went to the hospital with a concussion.

(You are our fan on facebook, so you'd seen that, right? If not, get over there! And while you're there, you should probably make friends with the Heathers too.)

After a handful of low-scoring jams early in the first period, the Heathers began jamming captain Mobi-Wan Kenobi. Mobi's strong and fast and has a well deserved reputation as one of the best blockers in the league, but she doesn't often jam. Instead of moving up to engage the pack and begin her first pass, however, Mobi instead focused her formidable skills on the GnR jammer. It seemed pretty clear, in fact, that the Heathers were giving up all but the pretense of scoring and choosing to use their jammer entirely as a "fifth blocker" but staying outside the engagement zone where the GnR blockers couldn't assist their jammer.

(If I were a Heathers fan, I'd call that sort of thing "smart." But I'm not, so instead I curse them for it.)

The Heathers strategy was clear if risky: they could rest their star jammers like Scratcher while punishing the GnR jammers and tiring them out. I wasn't paying close enough attention at the time to have seen if that strategy extended beyond the jammers, so I don't remember if they also lined up blockers during that first period whose job was primarily to lay hits on the GnRs and who could then skate less during the second period while other, fresher skaters took to the track. If any of you were paying attention, let us know in the comments.

The risk in their strategy was that the Heathers fell well behind the GnR by the end of that first period. But the strategy paid off because from the start of the second period, the Heathers were able to tear away at the GnR lead, finally overtake them, and finish ten points in front for a 96 - 86 final score.

Despite what seemed like lots of penalties (for both teams, though GnR seemed to be skating short more often in the second half), the GnR blockers put up the excellent defense that we've come to expect. In another one of her bits of routine excellence, Blood Clottia earned 49 of the GnR's 86 points (per Andrew's Blood Clottia facebook page—hey, be a fan of her too!), which I think, shows just how effective the Mobi-wan beat-down was. Blood scored more than half of GnR's points over just 13 jams, and that left lots of work for the rest of the GnR jammers. While GnR's jammer selection has grown in number and skill—former Montreal skater Boxcar Bethy and Axles of Annihilation's Punchkin both skated solidly, and Cher The Pain, Fist O' Fury, and (former Axle) Hard Knox all showed that they own the star they wear and aren't just borrowing for a jam—the punishment that the Heathers laid on the GnR jammers in the first period was a lot to try to spread among them, especially with Cadillac absent (bad, bad rollergirl—only physical brokenness and hurt should keep her from derby, not love!).

To the GnR's credit, they stayed focused and fought hard through to the end. I can imagine a GnR team from a season or two ago collapsing in frustration and adopting a "hit the skater closest to you" approach, but this team made sure that the Heathers didn't take an easy win.

Satan, on the other hand, has proven to be completely unreliable.

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