Jan 30, 2009

Such Carnage!

So sorry bloggies, I've been up to my ears in roller derby this week, between getting the 2009 schedule set and helping ladies find a name they like, it's been a labor of love... I may get an epidural next time. (I kid because I love.) The season is moving along quite smashingly and in the next week or so I should be able to post it or at least the first half of it. The team is filling out nicely, it became glaringly obvious last night during suicide drills* that I am not the fastest anymore. I gladly placed third just behind two stunning blonds who I am happy to call my skatey mates. I'm ok with that cause I know if I'd skated any harder I would've barfed a lung.

* Suicide drills involve sprinting from one end of the rink to the other with a full body baseball slide at each end, over and over until you feel that bludgeoning yourself about the head with your own helmet would be easier than doing one more sprint.

Me and my Homegirls - Januray 2009
Back: The Governor (from IL) - Ref, DD Hunter, Tally Turmoil, Ms. Quick, Hot Pepper, Anita Name, Tough Schmidt, Ziggy Stardust-ya, Damage Control - Ref.
Middle: Literate Her, C4, the Warrior, Violet Assault, Me, Lil' Loca
Front: Redneck B. Yotch

Jan 29, 2009


The Lilly Ledbetter Act was signed today! Thank you people of America.

Jan 27, 2009


The washer hose broke and sprayed water all over the laundry room for ten minutes before anyone heard the water dripping off the ceiling tiles and shut it off. Both the dirty clothes on the floor and the clean on the counter were drenched creating new, larger piles of laundry. Water line repairs came first and then the endless rewashing. The folding never happened, and clothes resigned to being thrown in plastic baskets one sock in the blue round one and its match in the white square basket never making it into a drawer.

Later someone found a long striped sock and frantically dumped the entire contents of the blue basket onto the floor looking for the mate instead finding a pair of white athletic socks and pulling them on leaving the unmatched one crumpled next to the bed to be kicked underneath by the dog and found again in the spring when the mattress is flipped. It's mate in the white square basket would likely become the catalyst of an infuriating hide and seek game over the next few months causing hysterical emptying and refilling of baskets and drawers, scrambled tossing of handfuls of clothes in all directions and slightly pissy moods in general.

Jan 25, 2009

Friday Night in the Quad Cities

Val Cappone from the Windy City Rollers announced for four leagues split into two teams; red and black with myself and Literate Her #44 on the Black team and DD Hunter #12ga., Ms. Quik #77, Hot Pepper #68, Redneck #1980, & the Warrior #217 on the Red team. The bout coordinator in Quad Cities did a wonderful job of splitting the teams up. Every league had ladies on both sides and the talent wasn't lopsided making for a very exciting and close bout.

Despite team Red screaming out of the pack with a 15 point jam at the top of the bout by the end of period one team black was 20 points ahead. Period two team Black kept their lead until I (yes, all my fault) got knocked out of bounds in the last jam and thought the person that knocked me out also went out of bounds and hit the floor and so I jumped back on the track in front of them earning myself a one minute stay in the penalty box with a cardboard cutout of G.W. Bush while the unopposed red jammer nearly tied up the game ending period two 98 to 97.

Just before the last period team Red all put their hands in and chanted something and threw their hands towards the heavens like one cohesive machine on 112 wheels while team black lounged around on their bench and sweated. I was worried my team we may have lost heart, but if we had it didn't matter, we had enough skill to pull ahead little by little, scoring 4 - 5 points each play, calling it (ending the play) and restarting with a fresh jammer every couple of minutes during the last period. The short plays were welcome as some of the heaviest hits were landed during the last period. My legs weren't listening to what I was telling them anymore, especially after getting sent into the chairs skates first landing in Tally Turmoil's lap. Moments after finding my way back onto the track I took a hit from Jen Detta's shoulder square in the chest. It was so hard I'm pretty sure it may have chopped 4 seconds off of the end of my life (I'm ok Mom, no permanent marks, really.) The short jam strategy worked to our advantage in the end and the Black and Bruise Sisters won by 20-ish points. Final score 150-ish to 130-ish*.

To the crowd's pleasure there was a fight in the last four seconds of the bout. Just before the clock wound down a blocker form our side and a jammer from their side went down right in front of our bench and then it was all a flury of red and black swinging and kicking with referee stripes zooming in from all directions to pulling them apart. The fight, lasting a whole three seconds, will I'm sure be what the crowd remembers the longest, however I will remember how much fun and how sweet everyone was to us. Thank you ladies.

*I'm not sure why I can never catch the score and remember it at the end of a bout. I think something about the roller derby makes me revert to using the primal part of my brain and the rest slows down to make room for fight or flight fun. Honestly it sometimes takes an hour or so for me to be able to answer questions intelligently after a bout (and sometimes even practice.) I sometimes say "Helmet on Brain off" to explain my bewilderment to newer team mates who ask me to further explain the strategy behind plays that just happened.

The Warrior, Me & Val Cappone

Jammers: Sugar & Slice, Pink Taco, Me, the Warrior & Ms. Quik

Red White and Bruise 1-23-09 Davenport, IA

Jan 21, 2009

Red White & Bruise

"I've got medium much spring fever. That's how much spring fever I have." - Ella

Friday me and some of my skatey mates are heading down to Quad Cities to play in an exhibition bout. That means they mix us all up and some of us are on one team and some are on the other so we'll get to smash into each other as well as ladies from the Quad Cities Rollers, the Cedar Rapids Rollergirls and the Rockford Rage. It's in Davenport, IA 1540 W. 12th St. Doors open at 6:30pm bout starts at 7:00pm it's $10.00 at the door and I am playing on the Black and Blue side so now you know what to wear. And as always, please send us some good juju so nobody breaks anything more serious than a nail.

Jan 20, 2009

This Post Took More than 8 Minutes to Write.

I heard the below clip on This American Life yesterday while listening to the The Inauguration Show episode, I liked it and I wanted to share it with you.

I want to say before you listen that I think it's rare when people see exactly how money represents their time. Time spent working and thinking and doing away from what they would really like to be doing or who they'd like to spend their days with. For the minimum wage worker in Illinois to afford coffee for two at Starbucks they will trade one hour of work (worth $7.75) spent away from their home and family. For a college educated worker to afford a coffee for two at Starbucks they may trade less work time, perhaps 15 minutes of work but factor in the 35,064 hours they spent at college and it probably evens out.

My point is Time is what we have to barter. It's all we really have on this planet to spend and money is just a way to keep track of the idea that I will type this thing for you and you will make a widget and give it to him and he will fix my car. The beauty of it is this allows one person to specialize in doing one thing and facilitates a good deal; when I can buy a dress that would take me days to make with less money than I make in a day.

The abuse of money; stealing/devaluation/inflation is so very personal to each and every one of us but the process is so removed from what it symbolizes that sometimes we forget what the value of a dollar is. In Illinois the state says it can't be less than 8 minutes of work. What is worth 8 minutes of your time? A hamburger? A Candy Bar? A Charity? A cup of whipped creme?

Jan 18, 2009

No Cents

Last night I sat down in my jammies with a bowl of Cheetoes a few Oreos and a glass of wine. I turned my space heater on, deposited my feet squarely on it and played online poker for like 4 hours while Dan and Ella hung out with the pals they invited over. They mostly pretended I wasn't home and it was all lovely accept on a Saturday night there are virtual poker rooms full of crazies going All In on every unsuited Jack Deuce they can. So I decided to enter a tournament. They are usually ten cents apiece and in general people play a little more seriously. Besides, months ago I made five bucks from zero by placing 36th in a giant 10,000 player tournament and I was hoping to catch up to Dan who loves to tell me he turned his five bucks (he placed too) into nine and then fifteen and now he has like eighty.

So anyway, I'm playing in these ten cent tournaments last night and I can't get any cards past the flop because someone at my table goes All In every hand. People are getting knocked out like crazy, others are pulling triple fives on the river against my pair of aces and no amount of betting is stopping my drowning in the river of idiocy because my best guess was all the other players were stupid and or drunk. Yes, all of them. I LOST SIXTY CENTS! Which I realise made me as stupid as everyone else for even participating at all in six tournaments in a row with people who play that wild.

I was seriously doubting my sanity when Dan walked up suggested I try a quarter tournament. A quarter is a lot of money when you only have a few dollars so I was apprehensive but the rotten play really got to me and I entered. Behold sane players! No one went all in for the first 15 hands, and the bluffing was mos
tly believable, it was wonderful and while I didn't make $80.00 I came in 6 out of 90, raking in a whopping $1.61 and regaining my cents.

Jan 17, 2009


I'm grinning already at the idea of gathering up all my gift certificates and Christmas money and ducking out of the house by myself in some comfortable tennies and pretending I'm on "What Not to Wear." Not so much because I need to spend $5,000 in a new wardrobe to better do dishes and play Candyland in, but because I have some odd misswiring in my shopping program that results in my loosing the primary objective. I tried to make the flow chart to exlpain but it got too confusing and all avenues ended up pointing at one large square reading "Wander around grumbling about not being able to find anything cool that fits correctly for less than a million dollars, stumble upon the clearance rack in the children's dept. containing the size Ella is growing into and discover everthing is only a dollar, fill my arms. Feel bad Ella got something and Dan didn't, go to the men's department and buy Dan five prefect shirts for $3.00 apeice and check out with a bag full of clothes. None of wich are bought for self." So, tonight I will shop for just me, or I'll ditch the whole thought and go to the next town over and watch some roller derby.

Jan 16, 2009


Dear Happy Guy,

Seeing you get off that ferry boat and throw your hands in the air and cheer because you survived a plan crash absolutely made my day. I loved it so much I recorded it, made my husband watch it, told my derby mates about it on the way to practice last night, and posted it here in this blog. If I ever have enough luck to wag my butt in the face of death, I will remember your example and smile like mad.


Jan 15, 2009


It is ten below
It's too cold for anything
Including Haiku

Jan 14, 2009

Words, Now With Other Words!

Have you seen these? Dan bought some just because of the mysterious packaging. When they decided to put "Natural Flavors with Other Natural Flavors" I think they were trying to actually say "When you Mix All Natural Ingredients it's Yummy." Instead it looks like they were made in a different country and lost in translation. I would also like to point out there are plenty of flavors that occur naturally in nature that I don't ever want to taste.

These however, are yummy.

Jan 13, 2009


Today is freeze your eyeballs cold in Northern IL. That cloud of cold from Alaska finally made it here and thankfully I am walking no children to school today. In fact I would bundle up under some blankets and watch Scooby Doo with the kiddo all day accept that we are out of toilet paper and that's the one item you just can't ignore until the next day. So at some point, we'll bundle up in thermal undies, sweaters, wool socks, snow pants, coats, mittens, scarves, hats and sunglasses and brush the half a foot of snow off the van, start it to warm up for fifteen minutes and drive four blocks to the local grocery while thanking our lucky stars we have indoor plumbing.

Jan 12, 2009

Ella's 5th Birthday 2009

If only everyone had this reaction about cake... I'd make more of them.

Jan 11, 2009

16 Year Old Mystery Solved!

My mother in law gave me the best present in the world yesterday and doesn't even know it. She pulled out baby & kid pictures of my husband. In the 16 years we've been together he's claimed because he's the youngest his parents don't have any pictures of him and while I knew there were at least school pictures floating out there somewhere I could never uncover any evidence. The frustration compounded by five years of "She looks just like her Dad!" from every old coot in town that looked at Ella and remembered my husband big wheeling around town in his buster browns. I spent two hours riffling through through years of family photos, and hearing crazy stories, occasionally taking a photo of a photo and finally, I can give you the side by side comparison I wished for.

Here is me on the left about age 4, Ella in the middle age 4 and Dan on the right age 5 or so.

Jan 8, 2009

Bombadee's Trading Club

So FORD actually belongs to a different company and because I didn't look closely I fake bought the wrong thing and sold it today for a .07cent loss and fake bought the actual Ford stock F for even lower than the other day, I came out ahead. It's $2.58 and on the 6th it was $2.79 so I saved .21c - my .07c mistake I still come out .14c ahead. Otherwise Sears is up, Tequilla is up (thanks Mike) and Tupperwear is doing alright too, I'm thinking of adding a McDonalds but I have to research it today and I may have to reconcile my feelings about junk food with my desire to make fake money.

Jan 6, 2009

Four Pianos and One Coin

1. When I was a kid we had an antique upright grand piano, it's at my Dad's house and I'm the only kid in the family that plays. Someday (a very, very long time from now) it may reside at my house.

2. My Grandmother told me she would like me to have her grand piano. Her Father bought it for her for Christmas sometime in the 30s. It's magnificently tuned and maintained. Again, I hope it's a very, very long time before it gets to my house.

3. My Mom has an antique oak upright grand piano she inherited from the neighborhood that is in her summer home garage waiting for me to hire some movers and get it up here for restoration. It's beautiful, has a good sound and is very old, I just need to get motivated enough to get it here and restore it.

4. My Dad called three days ago because his neighbor was moving and couldn't take his piano. My Dad and my brother could bring it over in a half an hour, but I needed to decide that minute. I said yes because at that moment I had no pianos at my house.

My Dad and I spent all afternoon on Sunday disassembling an antique Lindeman and Sons upright grand piano. We took all the keys out replaced some of the felts found some lost hardware in the bottom by the pedals, wrote down the serial number, vacuumed all the gunk out, fixed two sticky keys and made a list of things that need professional care (three ivories, one hammer and a tuning.) I hadn't planned on taking a piano apart but my Dad knows just the right thing to say to motivate me and on Sunday that right thing was "It's a really old piano, we could find gold coins or something under the keys, who knows what kind of things kids stuff in a piano." We found, two crayons orange and green, a hair pin, a few lucky charms, some maple tree twirly birds, a half inch of dust and dirt, three oily rags, broken piano wire and a single coin.

It looks to be a brass McKinley commemorative coin and I found one thing about it on the internet, though not very helpful. It is not the McKinley gold dollar nor is it the McKinley bronze medal, though it is more similar to that than the gold dollar. I'll be in the city on Thursday and I'll take it over to the coin shop and see if they can find out anything about it. Cross your fingers.

More exciting is the serial number on the piano - #129346, according to this the piano was made before 1917. Again cross your fingers for me because who knows what it'll cost to have it tuned and the hammer repaired and some pianos can't be tuned as the strings won't take the tightening without snapping. I will probably restore the three key tops myself as the parts are about $17.00 apiece for the imitation ivory and I found this and am holding out a small hope that after restoration it'll be worth a small fortune.

So, if anyone can tell me anything about a 57" Upright Grand Lindeman and Sons Piano made in Ney York with tiger oak veneer and a serial number 129346 or a McKinley coin with the words "Little Mack" on the back, please let me know.

Jan 5, 2009


The Merma-Pegacorn that lives at our house is turning five today. We are having cupcakes at school today and cake tonight with presents from Mom and Dad. On Saturday she and her pals will go to the local gym and jump on trampolines and roll around on gym mats and jump off of big foamy things into other big foamy things, followed by more frosting and presents. And now I'll tell you five amazing things about my five year old.

She can read, add and subtract.

She has a twinkly laugh that makes people look her direction and smile.

She's very caring and always sticks up for the underdog.

She can remember the words to a song after hearing it only one or two times.

She loves to imagine the most entertaining elaborate things.

Princess Merma-Pegacorn turns 5

Jan 4, 2009

The Family that Games Together

We went and did Dan's extended family Christmas party yesterday which devolves into an impromptu poker party every time. I love it. We spent the first hour catching up, eating ham, cheesy potatoes and chocolates while looking at family photos and then next hour opening presents from the gift exchange and the last three hours playing Texas Hold 'Em with cousins we haven't seen in months. My only complaint is that Dan's uncle can tell what I've got in my hand all the time. He says things like "How ya like those tens?" and sure as shit that's what I have! It's a little unerving to try and pretend that's exactly what I don't have when he can call me out so compleatly. Despite his x-ray vision, I usually do pretty good. I can almost always make it to the final table and alot of times the final three but that's where it ends. I need to spend some time learning the patterns of betting so I can make him think I have a pair of tens when all I have is seven two. Then I can be the champion of the family Christas party and next I'll move on to the tournements at the Ramada and then World Poker Tour here I come!

Jan 3, 2009

Steal this Blog Entry

I sat up last night reading an entire website, this hardly ever happens. Steal this Wiki is trying to reinvent Abby Hoffman's book online so people can add to it their own tips and articles all in the name of subverting the conglomerate. Yes, there's some pretty weird stuff their at the end about overthrowing the man but if you're dropping out of the race you have to have a catalyst and suspecting your institutions of sinister intentions is as good as any. I am ever on a search for saving money (for real - not just giving up my Wii and my Latte) and I also like thrift shopping and harming the environment less and so I plowed through the first 6 chapters reading about a those city survival skills we'll never see Survivor Man put to use and then read on stunned through the last half of the book thinking about all the people who do put this information to use. I've decided this; if I ever have to live on the outside I'm going with rural living and farming instead of spaces between buildings and roadkill.

Jan 2, 2009

Les Nessman's Toy Room

We have kind of a studio space going on here at our house and Ella's play room only has a few waist high book shelve to define the space. This week she has decided there are invisible walls and she get's very upset when you don't use imaginary the door. The best part is when she walks through the door it makes a squeak and slam noise. Next week I'll get her some colored tape to put on the floor.