Mar 31, 2007


We went to the grand opening of the remodeled Rockford Art Museum last night. The show that opened it all was HE & SHE. It was quite an interesting show and the artists were on hand to answer questions and sign books. Dan and I ran into a new friend of mine and spent the bulk of the evening discussing the art and hunting down the ladies that were circulating the spectacular hors d'oeuvres. If you are ever wondering what to wear to one of these functions be assured if you wear the quintessential fancy necklace you are allowed to wear really whatever you like as long as it’s black. I wore my favorite giant glass piece, ice blue and silver with an Egyptian feel to it around my gullet. My friend wore a single sparkly flower on an invisible string. We saw giant wooden beads in graduated sizes and intricate metal and bead pieces weaved into a complex neck sculpture. I saw carved wooden dogs next to mud globs hanging from leather and giant smooth round red plastic orbs floating from one lady’s neck all the way to her waist I think I even saw painted mostaccioli noodles on yarn. Each woman's necklace screamed “I have an opinion!” The only woman I saw the entire evening who wasn’t wearing her statement around her craw was the artist (SHE).

Mar 29, 2007


Conversation between Ella and Grandma D

What’s you whole name?

Ella LastName

And what’s your Mommy’s name?

Jenny LastName

And what’s your Daddy’s name?

Dan LastName

And where do you live?


Do you know your address?

My dress is red

Mar 28, 2007


The problem lies within the popularly misconstrued interpretations of the third wave of feminism seeming to revolve around the idea that women can be powerful AND sexy. “Taking control of one’s sexuality” is a phrase often thrown out there by third wave feminists. It’s an odd choice of words to me because having control of one’s sexuality implies humans choose sexual preference and I don’t believe that is the case at all. I believe one’s sexuality is a genetic predisposition.

It seems the phrase is actually applied to the absurd idea that people choose to look good of their own volition. The idea is wholly ridiculous, we all choose to impress, it’s programmed into us to want companionship and we are all trying to attract companions we find appealing in various ways, be it sexy, funny, passionate, smart, and successful or a combination thereof and we find different values in different companions; friends, lovers, family members or pets. However, when one value becomes the most important assessment for an entire group of people we all suffer. And when a group embraces that value as their most important trait and strives to improve that trait above all we validate those who judge us by only that one trait.

I am not saying that sexual value should be something we disregard altogether. We all know that pretty people are fun to look at and when Paris Hilton says “Don’t hate me because I’m pretty”, she’s right. This may be her best trait we shouldn’t begrudge her for choosing the option to capitalize on her strong point. It’s what feminism believes in, making any choice a valuable option? However, when we as a group strive to value our bodies over our minds or our fashion over our charity we do our entire group a disservice by validating those that believe our looks are the most important traits of being a woman. Not only is tyranny the fault of the oppressors for not seeing the value in a people beyond one trait, but it is also the fault of all those who perpetrate the overvaluation of the trait exploited.

Let me add that feminism is not about telling little girls what they can and can’t play with or grow up to be, or making your daughter wear brown despite her love of pink sparkles, it’s about making a wide array of choices a valuable option in her and the world’s eyes. It is about teaching us all to see beyond what society has for so long dictated as feminine and just see women as humans with many valuable and different traits.

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” --
Cheris Kramerae

Mar 26, 2007

Blue Eyeshadow and Aquanet

The Rockford Rage cordially invites you to the Roller Derby PromFriday, April 6 at 8 p.m. at Coyote Hot, 9032 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park 80's prom attire strongly encouraged* Look good, and we may put you on our website. Nominate someone for Derby King and Queen then come vote at the prom. Winners will be crowned at our April bout - it could be you! No cover, but each vote will cost you $1. Proceeds will benefit Becca's Closet**, where "Little Things Can Make a Big Difference."

If you would like to nominate someone to be Roller Derby King or Queen please submit their name and why you think you/they deserve it to then come to Roller Derby Prom on April 6th at 8:00pm (the week before our next bout) and vote by putting a dollar into your nominee’s box. Prom King and Queen will be crowned at our next Bout April 14th 2007 at the ISC Doors open at 7:00 bout starts at 8:00pm
*Must be 21 to attend
**Becca's Closet was created as a legacy to Rebecca Kirtman and the project she started. Becca's Closet provides formal attire to high school students who otherwise would not be able to attend their prom/homecoming. Our mission is to continue her vision and dream of helping others. In Becca's memory, scholarships are awarded to deserving high school students to advance their education.

Mar 24, 2007

Totally Spoiled or Good Parenting?

Ella and I went over to the printer’s yesterday and dropped off an order. It was going to take an hour before we could pick it up again and so I said “Let’s go over to Big Lots accross the street and see if we can get a toy or something.” Ella of course thought that was a grand idea. We walked in and were poked in the face with Easter, we walked fast past the peeps and chocolate bunnies as Ella proclaimed “I’m gonna tell the Easter Bunny I want pink candy!” We wandered through gardening and zigzagged through left over St. Patrick’s Day sparkles finally landing in toys.

The first isle filled with plastic primary colors meant for outdoors beckoned. We strolled on by as Ella said “Nah, I already have a bucket, and I already have a base and ball and I already have a swimmy pool and a hula-hoop.” The next isle was what Ella calls boy’s toys mostly camouflage and squirt guns she wasn’t interested at all. The next isle was “for babies” so we barely even looked in the direction of the push cars and rattles.

Finally the pink isle, I was sure we’d find something pink or fuzzy or both to take home with us. Ella said “Nah, I already have babies and mermaids at my house… and I already have lots of ponies and the Easter bunny will bring me a dress up pony.” As I was rapidly approaching the end of aisle and we still hadn’t found a toy we didn’t already have some form of already, her diatribe continued “I already have a phone, and I already have a sparkly tutu, and I already have a book and a tea set and a pink chair.” Soon, we had walked the gauntlet of pink and not put a thing in the cart. Ella said to me “I already have a lot of toys Mom” and with that we left and got French fries while we waited for our print job.

Mar 23, 2007

Her Cursive will Suffer

Ella’s found something she loves almost as much as princesses - video games. She spends every evening after dinner playing Dora’s Puppy Adventure. It reminds me of the old Super Mario Brothers. Once in a while she gets stuck and yells “Moooooooommmmm! I need help please!” and I come help her get past the thing she’s trying to jump over. Video games at age 3... Is this good? She wakes up in the morning and says “I want to play Nick Jr.” Hand eye coordination is a good thing to learn and she can turn her computer on and off and click reload, restart and her desktop icons. She can load a game and can type her name and Dora taught her to count in Spanish. She even has some rudimentary reading skills happening, like she knows “P” is for “PLAY” but I think her handwriting is going to suffer. I suppose I need to get a crayon into her fingers more often than a mouse and that probably goes for me as well. Will this be my generations “Don’t sit too close, it’ll rot your brain” instead I’ll say “All that clicking and typing your handwriting is atrocious”?

Mar 22, 2007

You've come a long way baby...?

I’ve been struggling through a piece about feminism and roller derby but every time I reread it for the final edit I have more to add and revise. It’s hard to sort out my opinions in a cohesive manor and I feel it’s important to start with defining the topics. I thought I was done today and then I found a very profound error in my discussion. I’m ready to scrap the whole thing and am frustrated. It comes down to these questions and I think it’s something feminism is struggling with right now…

Is a playboy culture hurtful or helpful to feminism? Is it Playboy that has demystified women’s bodies allowing us to cast off bloomers and bustles and bras or is it feminism that has cast them off like shackles. Is this a detriment or benefit? I’m stuck here and it sound simple but it isn’t. I am all for women being able to go topless on the beach if they want to but I don’t think we shouldn’t be ogled for it, in my opinion breasts should hold the same fascination as elbows. This requires a shift in societal attitudes which is what feminism is partly about. There was a time when women covered their ankles from the public. So does Paris Hilton damage feminism? Why or why not? And how does that relate to the really hard hitting feminist issues; health care, sexual exploitation, fair wages and equal opportunity?

What a topic to tackle right? I need input people. Perhaps you are all backing away and thinking you could write for days on the subject and rather than give up your time you'd like to instead have a coffee on the porch and read the paper, but I think this is a discussion I need to have with some articulate people. So let's hear it folks.

I think Paris Hilton is a detriment but I can't articulate why, what do you think?

Mar 21, 2007

Cinderella in My Kitchen!

I’m not sure weather I should be give kudos for Disney finally creating a black princess character or if I should wag my finger for it taking so long or perhaps I should be horrified that the Empire of Princess built especially for my daughter’s young brain to painfully yearn for, is projected to expand it’s profits enough to finally put into motion that world domination thing they’ve been thinking about. You just wait there will be a Disney princess kitchen appliances soon… oh wait look what I found, sigh

Mar 20, 2007


Ella and I are on our way to ballet and I am chewing gum like mad. The viewing area for the dance studio is actually tiny little bench in the hallway pushed up against the wall. The six parents who sit and watch our four ballerinas have to scrunch our legs in whenever anyone walks the throughway. Since we all sit very close and whisper to each other as the girls make their first attempts at skipping I become acutely aware of how onioney my breath is and I have taken to chewing super minty gum during Ella’s dancey class. Our hearts ebb and flow with every leap or attempted hop and we blush when our dancer decides to hang off the bar like a monkey and Miss Erin has to lean down and patiently correct her student. When our thirty minutes has again slipped by the girls run to the door with reward stickers already peeled carefully applied to the front of their leotards. Ella bounces towards me and pretends to be chewing gum too. On the way to the van she tells me “Mom! I have bubbly gum too and it makes my teeth go faster”

Mar 19, 2007

Monday Morning

Ah the smell of office work in the morning. I'm working on the art gala again this year and it'll be late April instead of the end of this month. Letters and lists this morning, the most unfun part of the whole bit. The most fun part? the actual event!


Ella is dying to get her feet into the sandbox and today it'll be warm enough to do so.


I did 30 pushups at practice last night and my pecs hurt, but it's a good hurt

Mar 16, 2007

Slow News Day

We had Cheetos and tapioca pudding for breakfast and now I’m surfing the net in my robe looking for something interesting to discuss, I'm not finding it obviously or I wouldn't be talking about the crappy breakfast we had. Soon we'll hop in the tub and get dressed and then we'll settle in a watch a movie during lunch. Something much healthier than breakfast perhaps spinach and bananas with tofu and Brussels sprouts - recipe anyone?

Mar 15, 2007

Mar 14, 2007

Get Well Violet

Violet Storm skates for the Screw City Slammers, she's their Co-Captain and she’s tough. If you were at the last bout and you saw me get sent into the crowd on my butt then there’s a good chance you saw what Violet can do. Her kid and my kid play together sometimes during practices, they’re very cute together huddled together behind the skate bags playing trains and dollies on the floor. I like Violet, she volunteers for fund raisers, she skates hard, she follows the rules and she's got heart. She's one of those people you wish you had five more of.

Last night at practice Violet was doing something called a suicide stop. It sounds dangerous and I guess I never imagined it actually was, because it's kind of tricky to do but also kind of easy once you get the hang of it. It’s when you are going real fast and then jump and turn around backwards and land on your stoppers bringing you from 20mph to 0 almost immediately. Well, Violet was doing a suicide stop and apparently nobody told her knee that she was stopping and it kept going and spun right around to the back of her leg.

I didn’t go to practice last night; I just heard the account and am sorta glad I wasn't there and at the same time sorta sad I wasn't. Shelby Toast said “She screamed like she was having a baby until the ambulance came.” There were five new girls present for their first practice and should they return after last night’s calamity, I will be impressed. I talked to Violet this morning she said the morphine they gave her last night in the ER was “like water” so she decided to scream until the Doctor came running and popped her knee back into place. That’s what I call being proactive! She’s wearing an immobilizer from hip to ankle until further notice and has appointments with an orthopedic surgeon. Knowing Violet she’ll still be at practices even though she won’t be able to skate. Get well woman or who will send my ass into the crowd?!

Breetlejuice, Violet Storm & Sawyer Payne Feb. 2007 - pic by Lolly Gag
You can send Violet a note on her Myspace page here

Mar 13, 2007


The sun came out this morning and melted the rest of the snow. After lunch we put our tennis shoes on and walked to the park, by the time we arrived we had peeled off our sweaters. The mud under the swing set was already sun baked so there was no cold slushy dirt to jump over before you could get the wind in your hair, just good dry terra firma and swings. The tulips haven’t been told it is spring but they’ll figure it out tomorrow or the next day, they’ll catch up to the grass soon. The birds are chirping, I can hear them because our house is quiet after four months of furnace noise.

Mar 12, 2007


The eccentric artist that lives in our house is busy creating with such a wide range. I am entertained so much I took photos for you all.

Theatre: "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Comedy: "Cheeky Monkey Eating Soup"

Graphic Arts: "#00 Bombadee"

Watercolors: "Dancey Class"

Sculptural Installation: "Mashed Potato Road on the Edge of the Table"

Mar 11, 2007

Malice in Derbyland

I spent the first hour at the Sport’s Center helping sort out last minute dilemmas. "Yes, B is here but she’s sewing C’s uniform, I’ll go get her, no I don’t know why the DJ isn’t here – oh what do you mean he quit?!... Yes, S’s son is going to fill in he’s getting equipment right now… We only printed out two of them, we’ll have to give our copy to the score keeper, no,… Yes, I know the program is wrong… No, I don’t know who’s name he’s calling off second…” and this went on until the message therapy lady made me sit in her chair while she pounded on my back and I realized we were going to be on the track in less than 20 minutes and I needed to focus. Everything else would have to fall into place without me.

I’m not the best authority on the subject only because when you’re all up in the middle of something, sometimes it’s hard to remember in what order everything happened in but as best as I can recollect, we scored pretty even with the Maulers during the first period keeping a two to five point lead. I also scored myself three penalties for throwing elbows – one more and I’d have to sit in the penalty box. Right after I shoulder check someone, I tend to push off the other women with my elbow, it’s a bad habit my coach is trying to break me of.

The second period we took off, and had a twenty point lead. I’d like to say that I scored some of those points with my awesome wheels but when I jammed I got didn’t get lead jammer because I got knocked out of bounds in the first pass, I didn’t know if the other jammer got it because I was long gone by the time she made it through. I entered the pack on the third turn trying to score points and before I was clean through again their pivot sent me flying into my own team sitting on the bench. By the time my head realized I was lying on the floor staring at the ceiling catching my breath and the jam was still going my body was already getting back up and running on my stoppers back onto the track. I remember wondering if this was the same jam or if I was running onto the track in the next jam and no one was telling me. I’m not sure why or what happened next but whistles blew and I went to sit on the bench and catch my breath. I can hardly wait to see it on the replay. I think I may have scored three points, I’m not sure.

Over the course of the second period we kept a good lead, but during the second break we came to the sobering realization how many penalties we all had. The reality was this; Sandra D. Molisher was out of the game because she’d gotten a skate to the ribs. She is one of our best pivots and all round players, she can jam or block or coach or anything. The EMT’s wouldn’t let her back on the track until she was x-rayed and so she sat next to the bench cheering with tears streaming down her cheeks. Our fearless captain, Wilma Fistdoo had been in the penalty box too many times and was doomed to be thrown from the third period, the same as blockers Brute A. Licious and Sawyer Payne. Our coach was frantically trying to replace them in the line up as much as possible in preparation for third period without making people skate two and three jams in a row.

As expected we lost three women in the last period to penalties and we served gobs of time in the penalty box. I gave up throwing shoulder blocks completely because I couldn’t chance accidentally throwing an elbow and getting ejected from the bout so I threw my hips around and stuck my butt out in front of the opposing jammer. I didn’t get ejected from the bout, but I did get ejected from the track by the opposing pivot sending me skidding feet first into the crowd again. The Chi-Town Sirens caught me, they were cheering from the most dangerous corner of the floor to sit on. Beer spilt everywhere and the crowd booed for the spilled beer and then cheered when I stood up to skate back in. My skate was slippery with beer and I had a hard time catching up again, but we skated hard and furious with what was left of our penalty decimated team. Apparently even though our bios say we save lives and sign for the deaf and read stories to little kids, we are dirty skaters.

In the end it really came down to the last two minutes with the crowd all on their feet screaming and the skaters desperate and straining every muscle. I watched from the penalty box, while serving time for another skater. We lost by one point and the crowd went wild. Right afterwards we went to the side of the track to meet and greet, our little fans, a group of eight year old boys dressed in orange, came up to console us.

“You guys were robbed! – you should’ve won!” said the first freckled face, the rest of the boys nodded in agreement.

“Well, Sandy broke a rib so we had to skate short.” I respond pointing toward Sandy

“REALLY?!” their mouths agape their eyes big as roller skate wheels.

“Hey Sandy! Come say hi to our biggest fans!”

As Sandy walked over holding her ribs with a giant smile on her face I found markers and we signed their orange and black megaphones. They asked her all about her ribs and the other skaters crowded up and signed autographs too. It was a good game and W.A.V.E. will bet a big ol’ check from the Rockford Rage next week so we can feel good even when we loose.

Oh, and the new wheels are awesome!

March Maddness 2007

Feb Bout - Bombadee, Southern Helle, Bubbles the Brawler & Aim Low.
Photos by Tom Holoubek

Mar 9, 2007

Count Down to the First Whistle

Tonight at 8:00 we skate against the Midwest Maulers. The proceeds to benefit W.A.V.E. (Working Against Violent Environments) and the after party at Sport's Page. I can hardly wait! I'm gonna take it easy today, shopping for some last minute things for tonight (tape for my toe, extra laces all that). The crowd should be raucous and dressed heavily in orange. My mom-in law is even coming. I just have to remember to skate safe tonight the rest is all good.

Acid Rain Co-Captain & Wilma Fistdoo Captain of the Demolition Dolls

Mar 7, 2007


“Hey Ella do you know what a spankin’ is?”

“Yeah, spankin's are fun! You put money right in there and pull the handle down and it says ‘cha-ching’”

Uncle Sam's Register Bank from Forrest Park, IL

Mar 6, 2007

Once Upon a Time

Ella has been all about acting out children's stories as of late. Today we have spent most of the day playing what she calls "The Three Milly Goats Gruff" We've been trip-tropping across the bridge of one very crabby, very hungry and tired troll promising a juicier, yummier big brother to follow. A bigger brother the crabby troll would love to eat way more than the milly-goat standing on the bridge talking to the crabby troll. This is the first story Ella has heard that involves explicit and graphic mortal danger for the characters and she relishes it. She practically rolls in it, she yells out "I'm gonna eat you up!" with a special sort of wildness that Jo over at Tangled Me calls "bad fun".

Just so you know, I do leave this bit from the original out when I tell it
"Well, come along!
I've got two spears,
And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I've got besides two curling-stones,
And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones."

Mar 5, 2007

Small Victories

I took Ella shopping last week for new underwear and a toy because she is using the potty now. She picked out a pink princess puzzle and Spiderman underwear.

Mar 3, 2007

One Nation Under Dog

I got misty eyed watching this. I can hardly wait.

Mar 2, 2007

Yay for Lazy Parenting

A good friend of ours has triplets and when they turned three I commented to her “I bet you’ll be happy when they’re potty trained” and she told me what a nightmare potty training was. “When you have triplets any one of them may have to go at any moment which means you need to know where every bathroom in the whole city is so you are never more than three seconds from an accident.” Honestly this scared me. I am creeped out by public restrooms to begin with and it never occurred to me that I would need to take my child into one much less the two or three times in a single shopping trip. Another good friend is training her daughter by making her sit on the potty once and hour. It sounds good but I’m too lazy to remember and it seemed wrong to set an alarm, it could have a terrible Pavlovian effect causing her to have an overwhelming urge at the sound of an alarm. With all this in mind, I was trying to find a week or two in my own head where Ella and I would be home all day every day. I could put her in underwear and not worry about cooties on the public seat or accidents at the grocery. We could make a mad dash to the toilet the moment she uttered “I have to go”. I was waiting for the perfect storm, or I was just putting it off really. Ella decided differently, she tired of waiting for me and yesterday she asked for underwear. I put her in them and that was it, no more diapers. Procrastination 1 - Planning 0.

Mar 1, 2007

Slurping was Easy

Blurb supports the new blogger. This means I have written a book and it’s a very large one called Bombadee's Garden. I am in the process of editing right now and hope to get it under 440 pages. Right now I’m over 600 and am combining multiple blog entries into the same page. Booksmart (the Blurb software) is really easy to downoad and use but it starts a new page with each blog entry when you “Slurp” it off the net. So really my editing isn’t cutting anything out its just compressing it. But I am excited; I have a fear of loosing Ella’s whole baby-book into the ether. I started a traditional one but couldn’t put links and movies into it and so the blog flourished instead and the little scrabbook I started languishes in my nightstand. Today I can exhale knowing the blog is safe and about to be published and when I receive the book it can go in the same spot as the Grandma’s Cookbook and the family photo albums. The proverbial pile we grab if the house burns down, right after saving the dog and right before the jewelry.