Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog Break

odafin domuola

This is Odafin Domuola, I won him from one of those claw machines on Saturday night when we went to see The Avengers at City North! I have never won anything from one of those machines ever. I love him.

I used to eat lunches, not every day, at Perry's Deli, where you could get this jenga creation of corned beef and roast beef and coleslaw and cheese and Russian dressing and rye bread, pilot your piled high tray around the gabbling tables of financial analysts with their ties flung over their shoulders, find a counter seat by the window and look at the line going down the block as you unhinged your jaw around your lunch. The din was unbelievable, Perry would come out every once in a while and ring a bell for everybody to shut up and listen to the trivia question, and for a few minutes after the trivia question had been asked and answered you could hear yourself think, and eventually it would rise to a din again and then Perry would ring the bell again.

My blog breaks are like that. Or you know, any kind of break is like that. With the blog, well, this blog is supposed to serve as a sanctuary for my verbosity, so I don't muck up the commons, i.e. Facebook, with my every single random thought. But also it's a sanctuary with a stats counter that I can't help looking at, I can't help getting excited when my daily hits bloop up from a hundred to a hundred and fifty to two hundred per day, though this month has tanked a bit, and though I understand this is really small potatoes in the blogosphere. Which I'm not supposed to care about, remember this blog is asylum not popularity contest or moneymaker, god knows... hey oh, my total earnings since starting Google AdSense are up to $11.30, I haven't checked in a while because Blogger redesigned their interface and now it's two clicks instead of just one to see your earnings, and I really am that lazy. In any case I don't get paid until my earnings reach $100.00, which at this rate will be in about twenty-six years.

Writing this blog is like anything else you do in life, you have your own idea what it's for, and then the village has all of its ideas, as in It takes a village to write a blog, which really it doesn't, if you ask me it takes the opposite of a village, but anyway the village is loud and it's hard to hear yourself think. You keep checking your stats every day and calculating whether you're on track to hit 6000 hits this month, which I'm not this month, and thinking maybe you could link to today's post from Facebook, and thinking what else like that racerback dress could you do that would inexplicably get Pinterested all over the place, and then you know it's time to ring the bell.

Because then the tail is starting to wag the dog, you know? I know there's people who actually make their living blogging, but that's not me. I want to manufacture content, I don't want to manufacture hits. Really I don't even manufacture content, do you remember the dream that Andie Macdowell tells her therapist at the beginning of Sex Lies and Videotape? The one where the garbage keeps overflowing out of the garbage can, that's my brain pretty much. All I want to do is organize the garbage. I do something with the garbage because it's there, I don't think it's great or anything. When I do get low on garbage, I panic and think about making up garbage, dude, seriously, the only thing that the garbage had going for it was that it was real. I'm not talking about non-fiction versus fiction, by the way. Fake garbage is like a decaf skim latte, why bother.

The need to ring the bell is pretty well-timed to every quarter, I take twenty days at the end of every season to not launch alla Poppy along with Gmail and Facebook when I start up my browser, and because I am that lazy, I don't click to look at it or its stats, and I can start to hear myself think. But I think I might take longer than twenty days this time, I might take the whole summer, or be on some reduced summer schedule. I've raked out all my garbage, I can see the bottom of the can...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

End of Season Gear Roundup

I'm not the gearhead that I used to be, I know what I like and have settled down:

Bauer 7500 hockey helmet
No change.

custom mouthguard, courtesy of Dr. Michael Harada
No change (lower picture), though I should get it checked for fit.

187 wrist guards, elbow and knee pads
New this season, and all holding up very well.

wrist and elbow gaskets
No change.

Gladiator knee gaskets
Need a new pair, I go through a pair a season. Love them, though.

Ezeefit ankle booties
Sigh, I replaced my old pair that I had for two years before they fell apart, and I don't know why but the new pair just doesn't fit right; they scrunch down my heels and under my feet, which is so annoying. Yet I can't do without, I immediately get a blister on the inside arch of my right foot. I guess I will buy another new pair and hope for the best.

Riedell Torch skates with 495 boots and PowerDyne Reactor aluminium plate
New this season, love love love.

Powerdyne red magic cushions
I had been on oranges on my Vandals, but Steve put these in my Torches and I skate great overall in my new skates. I don't know if it's the boots or the plates or the cushions, but it all works!

Snyder round toestops
No change.

Bones Swiss bearings
No change.

Atom Juke 97 Slim wheels
New this season! Discovered Juke 97s last June at ECDX, swapped half of them for half of my 95s, then went all 97s I forget when. Never looked back, I experience these wheels as grippy even. YMMV!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spring Pastime Wear
 Levi's Curve ID jeans

levis bold curve skinny boot cut jeans

So it's only been a year since I said I would look into Levi's Curve ID jeans, whaaaaat, I hate shopping! Then again I'll spend a year dreading having to shop for jeans, and then ten minutes trying them on and slapping down my credit card. Though I did lock myself out of my dressing room, so not counting that.

It's pretty cool, they have a special measuring tape that measures your waist, your hip, and the rise between your waist and your hip, and ba-bing! Bold Curve, mamas. Though I could have told her that a 32 leg was going to be footie pajamas on me. These are 30 x 30 Bold Curve Modern Rise Skinny Boot Leg jeans; I don't know though, they just fit my thighs. I tried to tell her that I'm going to be making my thighs bigger this summer, but she just looked confused. And they do fit, today. I usually buy two of everything, but I've steadily grown out of all the bottoms that I've bought in the last four or five years and have learned my lesson. And if you're just a bit smaller than me, you've learned that you might have a pretty nice pair of pants coming to you in about six months.

I mean, I'm not specifically planning to get bigger; it just could happen. I'm just now formulating my summer fitness plan, I don't have any body goals but I want to get my diet as clean as it's ever been. And I want to work up to swinging that 55# kettlebell. Whatever that does to my body, we shall see.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nurture Social Relationships

Yes. I cannot disagree with one bit of this:

The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely? WHOA! There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with. We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.

Doodly doo.

Do you think that scorpions have deep, meaningful relationships? Dude, I just googled "are scorpions social" and Google autofilled that for me. How many people could have already asked about the social lives of scorpions, and do I want to meet them? Seriously. Do you think it's been like five people or, like, ten thousand? Like enough for ScorpCon?

What do I know about nurturing social relationships. People are a mystery to me. I keep meaning to talk to Myra about this, but I always get distrac—

Okay, I'm lying. I mean, I'm not lying that people are a mystery to me. But I do, actually, have deep, meaningful relationships that I'm so secure in, I seem to have reclassed them from "people" to earth. I'm a Virgo, so I mean that in a good way and not like dirt. Which basically means that "people" to me means "people I don't understand." Which basically means that people I don't understand are a mystery to me. Which maybe isn't something to worry about too much.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

And Then


DJ D-Omo!

League practice schedule, CHECK.

* meditate and brainstorm
* spring cleaning

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pineapple Black Bean Guacamole

pineapple black bean guacamole

I made this recipe for last week's Fury BBQ. I was supposed to make potato salad, but I woke up to a grey and rainy morning and it filled me with tiredness. I thought about turning on the stove and thought I can't. It was one of those days. So what can you do, Munt? I can stay in bed and watch twelve hours of SVU. Come on, can you stop by the grocery on the way to the barbecue, which don't think you're not going to. Has it come to this? I've never brought bought potato salad to a party before. Ha well, you did bring a package of bacon to Ska's Fury brunch. THAT WAS BRILLIANT, EVERYBODY LOVES BACON. Well anyway, I was thinking about guacamole. Everybody loves guacamole. I'M NOT CHOPPING TOMATOES. I will think of something different, everything will be in a can.

So then I had just one last hole in my blog planner before break, I was thinking I didn't have any new recipes and then in a flash I remembered this guacamole. I had to make the whole party-size recipe again for the picture, today is beautiful and sunny and the sweetie man and I are eating guacamole to our heart's content.

four avocados
a small can of salsa verde
a can of black beans
a can of crushed pineapple

Halve, seed, and peel the avocados and mash them in a large bowl. Mash in the salsa verde. Rinse and drain the black beans, and mix them in. Add the crushed pineapple by the forkful to taste. I like about three-quarters of the can, enough to definitely taste the pineapple, and by the way I use a fork to slightly separate the pineapple from its juices. Then I use the fork to eat whatever pineapple's left in the can.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Play Wear Conclusion

And also, I'm done talking about play wear. It's always going to be the same. Ideally I want (n x 2) + 2 black bandanas, white and black tanks, black sport bras, black leggings, black boyshorts, black and grey socks, and a pair of gym shoes; but my rag tag reality is totally functional, which affects my motivation.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Express Gratitude 3
 get rid of things

Where was I with this.

Being aware of things that make you happy that you have, being aware of things that don't make you happy that you don't have, I think we're up to getting rid of things that don't make you happy:

make you happydon't make you happy
have1. be grateful for this3. get rid of that
don't have4. then, get this2. be grateful for this

So, I swear this is true: I had a much longer post here about getting rid of things that don't make you happy, it was a list of actual things that I'm getting rid of. I thought it would be interesting, but it wasn't. And I actually thought to myself, I'm not happy with this but what can you do—


Seriously what was making me think that I was obliged to publish a post I wasn't happy with? It's a blog, it's my blog that I'm in charge of. It has to be the single only place where I answer to nobody, particularly since I disabled comments.

Just inertia, I think! Think about that, how some things hang on for no good reason, they're just incumbent, and you, yes you, can vote the bastards out. I don't mean politically though that also applies, I really am just thinking about my closet. And how throwing stuff out is like being awake and sentient with a will of your own, and not a golem. Gaining possession of yourself.

Friday, May 18, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 learn something new

My dad, you know, was kind of a Horatio Alger character, well, a Horatio Alger character who was an alcoholic and could never hold a job, which I guess is not a Horatio Alger character, but you know what I mean, always drunkenly promoting hard work and education:

6. Learn Something New

“I started taking beginner piano lessons at age 26 so I could schedule time away from my computer. Now I know that my Tuesday and Thursday evenings are piano nights. I’m paying money to be there, so you better believe I’ll be shutting off my work to get there.” -Allie Siarto, Loudpixel

But if you were thinking I was going to say that you should take piano lessons to help master your derby-life balance, nooo. No no no.

I can't say it enough: NO PIANO LESSONS until you've slept and eaten and stretched.

To be fair, the above was not meant to say that you need piano lessons to balance out derby. Derby is already balancing out something, derby is piano lessons. Only it's more like these bitches are trying to kill me, so you better believe I'm shutting off my work when I'm there. Which is really what I love derby for, shutting everything else out. Working out at the gym never worked like this for me, geez, all you ever do on a treadmill is think about everything. There's just no room to think about anything else when you're playing derby, you have to be thinking about where their jammer is and where your jammer is and where's your partner and who's got the line and who to get out of your jammer's way and who wants to get you out of their jammer's way. Which is not really a calming experience when it's going on, but you realize when it's over that for two hours you completely stopped thinking about That Thing that you can't stop thinking about and that was, actually, a moment of calm.

But also, you know, you tend to normalize whatever experience that you're having, so after a while you get used to the crazy fact that you play roller derby, and then what? Myra thinks that people come to derby sometimes to plug a hole in their lives, which checks out with me and with this whole Roller Derby Saved My Soul trope that you see around. Like I started ice skating when I broke up with my fiance and started roller derby when I got divorced, right? I was talking with my shoalmates about this and relationships, but it could just as well be derby; people look to derby to plug holes that will ultimately only be mended with something else. Whatever rent your parents made in your psyche, so that your bucket again holds water. So in this metaphor, your psyche is a bucket, which your parents made a hole in, and you're looking to derby to mend that hole, but derby is the water.

If you're having relationship problems, put "relationships" in place of "derby" which was how I originally wrote it. Though if you already knew that relationships are the water and thought that derby was how you were mending the bucket, sorry about that. Derby is also water. But also because life is life and life goes on, you don't have to do it all in order, i.e., figure out what you're supposed to mend your bucket with, then mend your bucket, then fill it with water. You can be in the bottom of the bucket trying to fix the hole while water is pouring down, like Sissy Spacek in The River. DRAMZ.

But my point is if you're doing derby and you're thinking piano lessons when you haven't slept or eaten or stretched, maybe see about your bucket.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Periodization of Training

Problem: So damn much to get stronger, get fitter, get better at skills, get better awareness, get better at playing this game versus only so many hours in a day.

Solution: Periodization. Also known as, you don't do it all at once.

You get that fitness is for life, right? As in, for the rest of your life. I mean, I guess some people get this and some people want to be hangry for ten weeks and lose twenty pounds, and then get back to laissez les bon temps rouler. And you think I'm going to tell you that way lies madness; but I say where there's madness, there's method.

Life is flux and tides, you can drown in it or you can harness it.

And also, derby is probably not for life but possibly for years. When I first tried out for derby, the average derby career was three years and out. Now six and seven and eight year careers are commonplace. You wanted to be amazing out of the gate and grab up your year of glory, just so you could say you were a derby girl? Well yeah, I really wanted to be the voice of my generation with a lyrical first novel that would get me off the hook from having to sit down write ever again.

But anyway, my plan is to play derby for as long as it's fun and then stay fit, somehow, after derby until, you know, death. So in other words, derby is a longterm plan in my lifetime fitness plan. Which is also kind of an example of periodization.

So first of all, why don't you just decide to be fit for life. This is like the opera about the bagel, there doesn't have to be drama about this if you just make the decision that you want your mind, your unique instance of life, your soul if you believe in that, to be carried around in a functional container that can get itself out of bed.

Now we have all the time in the world. Or well, we have all your time in the world. And my time. Let's not think too much about our own mortality, unless that sort of thing motivates you.

So you have your weekly fitness plan, and if you've been paying attention to what my lips have been saying, it's three key practices and two recovery practices per week, or if you're pushing yourself just a bit harder, four key and one recovery is still okay. I do three key practices, and right now they're 1) team practice, 2) scrimmage, and 3) SkateFit, and 1-2 recovery practices, which is 4) leading referee and/or 5) league practice. I need team practice and scrimmage to practice playing with my team, and SkateFit is for fitness. And that is all I have time to do. Which leaves me without something pretty significant, strength training, not to mention power training, and no, I do not think that you develop strength or power on skates, you develop it off skates and unleash it on.

You can try to shove it all in, and probably give yourself a breakdown. Or you can gear shift and level up into looking at your annual fitness plan. Right now I need to practice playing with my team because, by the way, we won our playoff game and are facing the Manic Attackers for the Ivy King Cup championship. Now is not the time to moodily lift heavy pieces of iron lost in my own thoughts. After the big game, though. Deal with separation anxiety as quickly as possible, and see how much fitter, faster, and stronger I can make myself in twelve weeks of postseason.

So you train in the moment, and for the moment, as smart and as hard as you can, knowing that there will be another moment that you layer over this moment, in fact, many layers of moments, and to tell the truth, I really never got why they call time the fourth dimension, but I think I just explained it to myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rice Bowl with Fried Eggs in Spinach

rice bowl with fried eggs and spinach

I was scheduled to eat pasta with sauteed vegetables for dinner this spring and I don't know what happened, but alla sudden I don't want to eat pasta. Also toast, which is a shocker. Toast was my dog, man. The only bread product I like now is bagels.

Don't be horrified, but I've been pouring off the fat from my baked chicken into a jelly jar and using it to make this spinach, and it's really good. I don't use any more chicken fat than I would, say, olive oil, so caloriewise it's the same difference; so it's just down to how you feel about animal versus vegetable fat. Or if you're a coconut oil family, that would also work just as well.

Finally I soak the spinach for a few minutes before cooking to remove some oxalic acid, which is what causes spinach teeth. And yes, I eat the entire bag of spinach as a pre-workout dinner about two hours before practice. Which is a lot of fiber, but then my system is pretty used to fiber and even at that I give myself at least two hours to digest. As always, your mileage may vary—

chicken fat, or whatever fat you prefer
bag of spinach, soaked and drained
two eggs
cooked brown rice
sriracha sauce,

Heat a spoonful of fat in a skillet over high heat. Add spinach by the handful to the skillet, letting it cook down between handfuls. Cook the entire bag of spinach like this.

Make a hole in the spinach and crack the eggs in the hole. Cover the skillet and let the eggs baste to your liking.

Scoop the eggs and spinach over rice. Sprinkle with sriracha sauce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hobby Wear Conclusion

Okay so, eighteen months is also long enough for hobby wear. Not that I'm giving up my sweats! I just don't have to trot them out every three months to show you how many more holes they have and how I'm still wearing them. If I ever get the velour tracksuits of my dreams, I will be right back to show you.

For right now, I am set:

convict hoody
camo hoody
- convict hoody
camo hoody
convict hoody
camo hoody
blue sweats
grey sweats
- blue sweats
grey sweats
blue sweats
grey sweats
white crew socks - white crew socks white crew socks
black slingback crocs birkenstocks thinking about these... black fleece crocs

Ha ha I know, I have thirteen pairs of shoes total and I'm thinking that three of them should be crocs. Have I ever told you about overmind? My theory of the psyche is undermind, mind, and overmind, roughly corresponding to Freud's id, ego, and superego. So undermind is your inner child that wants what it wants, mind is the driver, and overmind are systems that you devise to offload some of the driving to give mind a break, and every once in a while, overmind wants what it wants, it wants its chart to be nicely filled in. And mind could say, you do not need three pairs of crocs, but mind appreciates all that overmind does, and says, oh okay.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Greek Yogurt and Strawberries in Rhubarb

greek yogurt and strawberries in rhubarb

Doesn't this look so good, I thought I might rouse myself to do some fancy cooking for a change. But somewhere in between not finding fresh rhubarb at Stanley's and then looking for frozen but then finding fresh at the good old Jewel, I semi-realized that there's the rhubarb and rosewater syrup gorgeous blonde photographer type and then there's me who can't be bothered with straining out perfectly good fiber. And anyway, I lost the strainer in my divorce.

1 lb rhubarb
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 pint strawberries

Rhubarb and spinach both contain oxalic acid, and my remedy for both is to soak them. I feel like it helps prevent spinach teeth with spinach, and I don't really know what it does for rhubarb. Anyway. Cut the rhubarb into six-inch pieces and soak in cold water for twenty minutes, then drain and cut into half-inch pieces.

Bring the orange juice, sugar, and salt to a boil and add the rhubarb pieces. Let cook for ten minutes.

While the rhubarb is cooking, you have just enough time to hull and quarter the strawberries.

But then you have to let the rhubarb cool to room temperature, anyway. So.

When the rhubarb is cool, stir in the strawberries and put the strawberries in rhubarb in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve over greek yogurt.

Or waffles. Or pancakes. Or french toast.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bout Day Breakfast
 Home Season Playoffs: HB vs TF

denver omelet and pancakes at hollywood grill

Denver omelet with pancakes and coffee at Hollywood Grill

More bout day breakfasts!

Friday, May 11, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 turn it off!

I'm glad I'm reading all this about being an entrepreneur. Because being a trainer probably means being an entrepreneur, right? Is that not what an entrepreneur is? Did all the real entrepreneurs curl up their lips at the smallness of what I have in mind? I have towel folding experience, I'm okay with folding towels at a gym while I figure it out.

For now though, I'm just going to make fun of smartphones.

5. Turn It Off!

“Our smartphones are a part of our everyday lives, but as an entrepreneur, we literally sleep with it tucked under our pillow. Simply turn off the phone and be amazed at how much you can get done—you can even fit in a work out. You have to know when to separate work and life, which starts with shutting off from everything to take time for yourself. That’s why there’s a thing called voicemail!” -Ashley Bodi, Business Beware

A thing that I've actually had in mind has been that when I'm working as a trainer, I probably will have to get 1) a smartphone and 2) a car. As if I'm not addicted enough to the internet just with my giant laptop. It's a saving grace that I can't carry it around with me. On, you know, my bike. I mean, I could carry my laptop on my bike in my backpack. But I wouldn't, like, laptop and bike like people text and drive.

Okay, I'm not going to make fun of smartphones. I'm going to make fun of Facebook. Smartphones are implicated, though.

The thing where all your statuses are about derby? Turn it OFF sometimes, seriously.

Okay, I'm not saying I haven't done it. A bunch of us were eating tacos talking about this, we've all done it. Because derby is so much about identity, for one thing, it takes up so much of your time. Right there, it probably is mostly what you have to talk about. Then there's the whole business angle, you're trying to promote the sport and your league and create buzz and sell tickets, and so you talk it up. And organizational dynamics are involved, at any given time there are rioters trying to get drafted to home teams and home team skaters trying to get onto travel teams and everybody trying to get rostered and you want people to know how hard you're working out. And you probably did this more when you first started derby, just because when you start derby it's like having a building fall on you and you would facebook that shit. Because we're talking about balance here, right? And balance is like how getting 30% of your calories from fat doesn't mean that every piece of food that you put in your mouth has to be 30% fat, but like you can eat ice cream if earlier in the day you had some salad. Or vice versa. So yeah, you start derby and, woah, it's like an elephant just got on your boat with a bunch of suitcases, and of course you're going to tweet DUDES THERE IS THIS ELEPHANT WITH SUITCASES TIPPING THE BOAT. Though I personally don't tweet, I have never tweeted. Are you kidding, circumspice. I can't even say hello in less than 140 characters. So yeah, in the beginning, okay.

But now we're trying to get balanced, right? I'm not saying STFU, I'm just saying, man, look at a leaf once in a while. It doesn't have to be a leaf, just not the elephant or his suitcases. I guess I basically am saying let's not talk about the elephant in the room all the time. Let's be cool about the elephant: he's all moved in, he's just a big dude who lives here. He's cool to hang out with, but you can still do some of your own thing.

All I'm talking about, really, is swinging the pendulum and how you create your identity on things like Facebook or, you know, real live conversation, and how you can indeed master your derby-life balance therein. What this reminds me of is this editor I heard speak at the writers conference I used to troll for guys at begging us young writers to please stop writing stories about writers. We were offended, we had always been told write what you know. Now I know what she meant was, Get older and know more. Or in other words, Be more interesting.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


d'opera singer

OMG I am still working on the league practice schedule, almost done...

It's insane how much work this is. It's like a werejob, four times a year it takes over my life for three weeks so that the rest of the year I get to be a normal person. Dudes, I just said a deep thing about werewolves. Also I called myself a normal person, ha ha.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two Bean Paprikash

peppered green and kidney bean stew

These green beans aren't supposed to be crisp at all, they should be stewed until very tender. So you know, why bother with fresh green beans when frozen's already halfway there—

olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp paprika
cayenne to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
16 oz frozen green beans
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Heat oil in a saute pan over low heat as you dice the onion and mince the garlic. Turn up the heat to medium and saute the diced onion until almost browned, about ten minutes. Stir in the paprika and cayenne until fragrant, about a minute. Then add the tomatoes and green beans, partially cover the pan and let simmer for about twenty minutes until well cooked. Add the kidney beans and simmer for another ten minutes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hand in Hand Across the Bridge at Midnight

p: i NEED your HELP.

m: to do what.

p: there's a new tv show called "girls".

p: and shanna and i are going to write our own tv show about girls.

p: so i need to see what it is about.

m: that could be an issue.

p: can't you download it?

m: well yes, but searching for something called "girls"...

p: ha ha, oh right.

p: how about "girls, hbo"?

p: oh wait.

T-Shirt Surgery: TFFY

So every year WCR has a fancy Black & Blue Ball, I dressed up the first two years in floor length formal gowns and four inch heels and after the second year I said Never again. From now on, I want be comfortable and I want to dance the whole night. Result: you can see my surgered t-shirt and shiny pants with fatboy boots in action here:


Here's the t-shirt:

TFFY t-shirt

TFFY stands for Team Fury Fuck Yeah, which is our team cheer.

Naturally I left making the t-shirt to the morning of the ball, but sometimes I find leaving things until the last minute releases the Force and you sort of confidently feel your way around doing the thing. I didn't rush. I made test swatches out of the sleeves that I took off the shirt.

Here are my tips:

  • Remember what's going to read as the letters aren't the cut-outs but the pins, lay out the pins to see how to form the letters.
  • Mark the cut-outs with a ruler and a white colored pencil.
  • Don't cut out the intersections between strokes, do cut out vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strokes separately with fabric in between.
  • So then you pin over the cut-outs and also the fabric in between, and the overall illusion is that the entire letter is cut out underneath the pins
  • If you wear a nude bra, it looks racy like you're not wearing anything underneath.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Greek Yogurt with Banana and Sliced Almonds

greek yogurt with banana and sliced almonds

Hardly a recipe, the hard part about this is having a perfectly ripe banana in the house when I want this.

greek yogurt
sliced almonds

Slice a banana over a bowl of greek yogurt and top with sliced almonds.

Friday, May 4, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 set some boundaries

First of all, the first dangerous precedent that I don't want to set is to ever refer to sex as "sexy time." I will never be able to take sex seriously again. I'm having trouble enough as it is. I can't help it, I laugh at everything.

4. Set Some Boundaries

“Calm down. It’s 11 p.m. You’re not going to lose that client if you wait until tomorrow to respond to his request for a project estimate. Set work hours for yourself and stick to them. If you make yourself available at all hours—while out to dinner, while on vacation, during “sexy time”—you set a dangerous precedent!” -Steph Auteri, Word Nerd Pro

Okay so, second, I've been advocating don't let derby overrun your life for the past few posts. So let me devil's advocate, just for fun. No, wait. What I really want to say is, saying "set some boundaries" is kind of like saying "don't eat so many potato chips." By which I mean when you're trying to manage a very full schedule, partitives and comparatives aren't necessarily the most helpful. It takes a hell ton of work to run a roller derby league, everybody has to pitch in. And everybody has a life and can only afford to pitch in so much, or else unhappiness ensues. And possibly a hell ton is more than the sum of what everybody can afford to pitch in. So if you say "everybody has to pitch in" or "everybody has to do their [sic] share," everybody calculates how much that is per her existing disposition, result being that the ones who are already doing more than their share do more, and the ones who already have a healthy sense of boundaries batten down the hatches more.

So, specifics. Everybody feels like you can't spell mandatory without mean with an E left over, but I honestly think it's nicer and here's why. It is, a) more work for leadership at the outset, true, but b) less work overall, because it takes away those small amounts of decision and guilt multiplied by however many league members there are at any given time. If you lay it out:

  • three onskates practices per week
  • one offskates practice per week
  • two volunteer hours per month
  • one street teaming shift per bout
  • one fan zone shift per bout that you're not playing
  • three track duty shifts per season
...then every person can just check off her list and when it's done, it's done. Instead of everybody individually calculating how much is enough, am I doing enough, I feel guilty because I'm not doing enough but I haven't done laundry in a month.

By the same token, now you have something to measure and if it adds up to every league member has to contribute 500 hours per month, you have something solid to scale back from.

And the point, by the way, is not to measure everything. It is to measure the things that it's useful to measure, so you can have sex, you know, whenever you feel like it—

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Objectives of Training

Okay so, I've talked about how the different phases of training have different profiles in terms of intensity, duration, and frequency. Now I'm going to talk about different training objectives:

  1. endurance
  2. strength
  3. power
Just to narrow our focus, let's think about these objectives as they exist in phase III or performance training. And of course, performance is sport-specific. Obviously what you need for running a marathon is way different than what you need to play derby, thank god. So how you train for a marathon is way different than how you train for derby; that's obvious, right? Different training objectives call for different training strategies, and as before, strategies to address these objectives will manipulate three basic variables:
  • intensity
  • volume (sets and repetitions)
  • frequency

And actually I don't want to talk about training for marathons, I want to talk derby to you. And if I'm talking about derby, I want to talk about these objectives in reverse order:

III. Training for power

To my mind, derby is a power sport. What you see in top-level derby players is explosiveness, not even so much speed as well-timed bursts of speed. Not just strength, but fast strength. A thing that's been stuck in my head from Friday Night Lights is, Velocity is your friend. To hit hard, you have to hit fast. And we all think and say that we have to improve our endurance—but not endurance per se, more endurance for power. Endurance is what, your muscles' ability to perform work over time. So specifically for power endurance, you want your muscles to be able to explode into a sprint or a stop or a hit, and keep being able to sprint and stop and hit, for the length of a bout, which is sixty minutes. Every three jams, or every other jam, or back-to-back jams. And at the higher levels, to be able to do it again and again like in a tournament.

Training like a marathoner will not get you that kind of endurance. And to be fair, training for derby endurance does not mean that you can go out and run a marathon tomorrow.

Oh right, I'm supposed to be talking about training variables. Training for power is very high intensity, very low volume, and low frequency; your power training would be a small part of your three key workouts.

II. Training for strength

Okay so, backing up, if power is strength times speed, it sure doesn't hurt to build strength. Strength is your muscles' ability to perform work in any given instance—so for example, how much weight you can lift. How much force you can apply to, you know, another person, or how much force you can absorb from another person.

Your big muscles—your glutes, your hamstrings, your quads—are your force-generating muscles in derby. You want them to be strong, yeah. Training for strength is high intensity, low volume, and low frequency. It takes 72 hours for muscles to recover after training, so you would train the same muscle group no more frequently than every third day. Remember that when you skate, you're using those muscles; so if you're doing an offskates lower body workout on your "day off," hello, you're still working those same muscles. Give them a rest! Work on your T-Rex upper body, if you must. Or even better, see below.

I. Training for endurance

You've figured out by now that these three training objectives aren't totally separate from each other: you can improve your power by improving your strength, and also improving your strength can improve your endurance. I've already talked about power endurance, but what about endurance per se. What need of that is there in derby, well, if you don't have that base endurance, you know it too well. You don't build yourself into a power player without that base. It's pretty much the difference between dreading that you're not going to make it through that whole forty-minute paceline and one day, you're doing it and it ain't no thang—you do it by doing it until you can do it.

But until then you'll be pretty miserable trying to jam out of the pack and your teammates are cheering MOVE YOUR FEET MOVE YOUR FEET and you're looking dully at the bench like man if I could move them I would.

Enter SkateForm! I really designed SkateForm as a postseason practice, a sort of backing and filling practice where we can work on stuff that we sort of have on hold, on in the background at least, while we're panicking about getting hit by all these people. With SkateForm we can take two steps back and work on endurance per se, and we do it in two ways: two, a lot of low-intensity skating focused on form, form, form, to develop endurance, strength, and muscle memory for form, form, form, so that when the season starts up again, we do this automatically and can just deal with these people hitting us but with better form and amazingly not so tired, and one, a return to core work.

Your core muscles—your abs, your back—unlike your big muscles, are not so much force-generating as stabilizing. So for these muscles it's not so much about strength as it is about, you got it, endurance. Their ability to do what they do over time and not get tired. Tired core muscles means no stabilization means less strength, less power, more getting knocked down. Training for endurance is low intensity, high volume, and high frequency. This is stuff that you can do more or less all the time, whenever you're sitting on the bus or standing at the bus stop or walking down the street, whenever you remember. Lying in bed, even.

In summary:

Objective Intensity Sets and Repetitions Frequency
Endurance low 2-3 sets
>12 reps
6-7 days per week
Strength high 2-6 sets
<6 reps
only every 3 days
Power very high 3-5 sets
3-5 reps
very short bursts of very high intensity in select key workouts

If you've been taught like we've all been taught to squeeze in little workouts whenever you can, I would respectfully suggest laying off the power squats and doing more kegels, core bracing, and shoulder packing work between times in season. Then postseason you can power squat twice a week and keep doing kegels. And pullups! I guess I have to write a post about periodization, too. TK.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Curried Spinach Stew with Cannellini Beans

curried spinach with cannellini beans

Blackeyed peas would be good with spinach, too.

olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
16 oz frozen spinach

Heat oil in a saute pan over low heat as you dice the onion. Turn up the heat to medium and saute the diced onion until almost browned, about ten minutes. Stir in the curry powder until fragrant, about a minute. Then add the cannellini beans and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the spinach, partially cover the pan and let simmer until well cooked about ten to twenty minutes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We Would Have Such A Very Good Time

p: he has an imaginary girlfriend and is bleeding from the eyes.

m: not a winner.

m: which is worse?

p: ...

p: that's really hard to say.

p: they're both bad.