Guess who? ME.
Fun fact: I am the greatest. I devote most of my time ensuring that I am the greatest and making sure that other people know it too. I don’t need to cite any references – it’s just the cold, hard truth. You might say, “Oh I thought Muhammad Ali was the greatest” or “What about Cat Power? Once, she wanted to be the greatest.” If you are thinking these things I must tell you that you have been woefully misinformed. I don’t need to justify my greatness to you, but I will because you have an annoyed look on your face and both of your eyes rolled out of your head onto the floor like Halloween meatballs.
The evidence: When I wake up in the morning, I look like this:
I made the flower crown myself, naturally.
Small, cheerful woodland animals help me get dressed in the morning while singing happy tunes about the weather. I walk outside my front door into the sunshine and all the townspeople milling about drop what they’re doing to perform an elaborate song-and-dance number. They sing a Broadway version of LL Cool J’s “Around the Way Girl,” not because the song describes me in any way but because they know it’s my favorite LL Cool J song. A jovial baker hands me a powdered doughnut and I eat the whole thing without getting any powdered sugar on my perfectly tailored vintage dress. This is all because I’m the greatest, in case you forgot.
I skip to work and when I open the door to the office there’s a hurricane of papers flying around and workers are screaming at the coffee maker, “Why is it taking so long? Caffeine, you’re my only friend!” The boss comes up to me and says, “You’re our only hope! We have an impossible problem!” I wiggle my nose and reply, “Don’t worry, I got this!” and then I wink. I sit down at my desk, tweefully decorated with little hand-painted figures of owls, and press two keys on my keyboard. “Sir, I think I’ve solved your problem!” The boss claps his hands, slicks back his comb-over, and says, “Bravo! 50% raise for you! Thank goodness you’re here!” What a guy! Maybe my boss is the greatest? Psych! JUST KIDDING I AM THE GREATEST!
Twee office supplies are great too.
Other important information to know about the greatest:
-I only eat organic, raw food lovingly farmed by the family up the street.
-Every room in my apartment has been featured on Design*Sponge at some point.
-The President has me on speed dial.
-I’m a Sartorialist regular.
-When I think happy thoughts, I actually fly.
Ugh, why did you put your eyes back in your sockets if they’re just going to roll out again? Stop dry heaving! All of this information is important to know because I am actually none of those things. In fact, even though I live in the NH wilderness I am under the false impression that all woodland animals are rabid. Not fun fact: If there’s an erratic squirrel in your bedroom fumbling with socks, it’s probably rabid. Like all things on this blog, I have to relate this back to roller derby somehow. Bear with me (or go watch youtube videos of kittens – I don’t care).
The point is: In roller derby it doesn’t matter if you are the greatest. It doesn’t matter if you invented a way to have gourmet meals materialize in your microwave. It doesn’t matter if you run a kitten orphanage for wayward kittens. It doesn’t even matter if you are the greatest roller derby player. Roller derby is all about you while simultaneously being not about you at all.
When rollerblades were all the rage.
Your team is the Mighty Morphin Derby Rangers. Your track is Angel Grove, California. Maybe you’re the Green Ranger. You can take on 4 Putties at once without breaking a sweat. [History Lesson: Before the Green Ranger joined up with the rest of the Rangers, he was brainwashed by Rita Repulsa with the intention of being used as an instrument of evil. He is the greatest Ranger to ever kick a Putty in the chest.] Can you alone save your Ranger team from certain death at the hands of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd? No, you need your ranger pals. Even the Pink Ranger, who always gets stuck up against the wall. True, the Pink Ranger kicks ass and she’s fantastically talented outside of evil-fighting, but sometimes she gets kidnapped by Lord Zedd and needs her pals to come save her. Regardless, you need to get on the track and scream, “It’s morphin’ time!” and assemble the Megazord. If you’re not working as a unit, you’re not doing derby right.
This is your lineup Megazord. Go forth and conquer.
Lesson: It doesn’t matter if you have an ego surplus or an ego deficit; everyone needs to get on the same level to achieve victory.
Photos: Millyard Studios, here, here, here, here
Not feeling quite right? Feeling a little ho-hum? Think it’s just the post-holiday let down? Maybe. But it also could be lack of sunlight, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). One of the easiest ways to help beat the blahs is to get 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight. So bundle up and go for a walk, a run, or some roller skating and soak up the natural Vitamin D! (from Hers Muscle and Fitness, January/February 2012)
Nashua, N.H. – New Hampshire Roller Derby (NHRD), New Hampshire’s first women’s flat track roller derby league, will be taking to the track for its action-packed 2012 season! This year these tough women will demonstrate their athletic prowess in a league-high NINE home bout days! Be sure to get your tickets so you can cheer for the women of the Skate Free or Die! All-Stars, the Queen City Cherry Bombs, the Granite Skate Troopers, the Nightmares on Elm Street, and the Seabrook Meltdowns.
Get your season pass today so you don’t miss a second of the action! If you purchase your season pass before February 1, 2012, you will have access to all nine home bout days (a $100 value) for only $50 (only $5.56 per day)! After February 1, 2012, the price for a season pass goes up to $60 but it is still an incredible deal!
Don’t wait – Season passes are only available until May 12, 2012.
April 14 @ JFK Coliseum
April 21st @ UNH’s Whittemore Center Arena
May 5 @ JFK Coliseum
May 12th @ UNH’s Whittemore Center Arena
May 26th @ JFK Coliseum
June 16th @ JFK Coliseum
July 7th @ JFK Coliseum
July 28th @ JFK Coliseum
August 18th @ JFK Coliseum
JFK Coliseum: 303 Beech Street, Manchester, NH
UNH’s Wittemore Center Arena: 128 Main Street, Durham, NH
SEASON TICKET PRICE:
$50 before February 1, 2012; $60 after February 1, 2012
For more information about New Hampshire Roller Derby, visit www.nhrollerderby.com. To schedule an interview, please contact the NHRD PR Director, Jesenik “Slashya Fierce” Soto, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all the players and referees whizzing by getting all the attention, there’s a hard working group of folks who seldom get their due: Non-Skating Officials (NSOs). These fabulous skate-free folks not only perform essential functions to ensure a smooth-running derby bout, they also do it wearing the ugliest, ill-fitting salmon pink polo shirts you’ve ever seen.
I’m starting with this position because it has a special place in my heart. When I first joined NHRD, it was the very first job I had in the league. The jam timer blows the whistles to start the blockers and the jammers for each jam. They time the jam and blow the ending whistle at two minutes if it isn’t called off early by a Lead Jammer. The jam timer may also be responsible for taking care of the period clock as well. These days, it’s usually my fellow blogger, Tiara Misu, whom you will find jam timing at our bouts.
Penalty Box Officials
These charming NSOs are the ones some skaters begin to develop strong relationships with because they see them so often. The penalty box officials time penalties, ensure skaters enter and leave the box legally, and that order prevails. This was Tiara Misu’s primary domain last season, and it is now managed by Neon Kaos.
Penalty Trackers, Whiteboarders, and Wranglers
Referees would be useless without these NSOs. They are the ones you see huddled in the center of the track trying not to get run over by anyone. The penalty trackers keep a detailed tally of the penalties called on each skater. They are sometimes called “stats” NSOs. The whiteboarders keep a more simplified tally of majors and minors on all the players so that referees can know how many minors players have accumulated and players who accumulate enough trips to the box to get ejected. It is the whiteboarders’ job to signal referees so that the appropriate skaters get sent off the track. The main whiteboard is in the center of the track, usually expertly overseen by Jitter Rox wearing the most awesome stilettos ever seen on the flat track.
The wrangler is an assistant to the whiteboarders and penalty trackers. Dixie Cheeks is our current wrangler. As you may have surmised, roller derby bouts are rather loud. It can be hard to hear what a ref is yelling when that ref is looking at the players, not the NSOs s/he is talking to. The wrangler’s job is to chase down refs when a call was missed or to flag a ref down when a skater needs to be sent to the box. This job probably burns the most calories out of all the NSO positions.
Before I forget them, there are two lonely NSOs stationed by themselves in opposite corners on the outside of the track. They hold mini whiteboards and take down the penalties of the outside pack refs. Then they jump up and down until the inside track NSOs spot them and transfer the penalties to the inside whiteboard. They don’t get much company out there in the boonies, so give them a hug between periods.
Scorekeepers and Scoreboard Operators
This last set of NSOs are above everyone else–literally. They sit up in a balcony above the players’ benches and look down at the track. From there, they can clearly see the bout and see the points signaled by the jam refs. They then get to play with a bunch of cool buttons and make the score appear on the big lighted scoreboard. Pretty awesome. Sometimes the scoreboard operator is also in charge of the period clock, so the bird’s eye view is also important for detecting when the period clock needs to be stopped for time-outs. They also have the prime spot for flirting with the bout announcers.
Whew! I think that’s everybody. As you can see, it takes a lot of off-skates work to put on a bout. Next time you come to an NHRD bout, after you’ve gotten an autograph and a picture with your favorite derby girl, please take a moment to thank an NSO (and tell them they look great in salmon).
I am Game Ovaries, but everyone calls me “Ovie”. I joined NHRD as an NSO (non-skating official) and volunteer in April 2011. Outside of roller derby I am a Visual/Merchandising Associate Manager for a high fashion company. I can work anytime from 5am to mid afternoon, to working overnights from 10pm to 7am. I even have to work weekends (YUCK!). When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my friends. Going to shows, movies, bowling, just having a good time. I recently rekindled my hobby of painting. Other than hanging out with friends and painting here and there, I have no other hobbies or after-work activities. I’ve tried to be active after work, but that never really went according to plan. I blame reality TV shows and snack foods. So as you can see I needed something to fill my not-so-exciting afternoons up. Roller derby it was!
I became fascinated with the sport after watching the movie “Whip It”. I know, I know… I’m sure this may sound cliche but I was in awe while watching the scenes of these women slamming into each other, speeding and passing by their opponents and just knocking players down. I was hooked. I looked up roller derby videos of real life leagues. I watched videos of bouts, wipe outs and even skating techniques. It was as if my eyes were glued to the screen of my computer. I wanted more! One day I came across the New Hampshire Roller Derby league website. I researched what it took to be a skater and I thought “Hey, I could do this. I want to do this! I can learn to skate and be like these women. I want to play roller derby!”.
I participated in the NHRD tryouts back in January of 2011, and did not advance to Freshmeat Training. Believe me, it was a blessing in disguise! I had only skated maybe all of 4-5 times before tryouts and was truly inexperienced. Even after not making it through the next step of training, I decided that I would continue to skate at local rinks to get more skating experience. Another reason to keep skating was because I had just spent $200 on a skating package. $200 is $200! I couldn’t just let that money go down the drain. I bought the works: skates, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a mouth guard. Where else would I wear all that gear?! I could’ve just left the items to collect dust but I was determined! Determined to learn how to skate… and to become a roller girl!
Some members of the referee and NSO crew, summer 2011
This past year has opened my eyes to a world of opportunities for myself with New Hampshire Roller Derby. Only a year has past by and A LOT has happened for me! I’ve learned how to skate and I’m not to shabby at it! Other than gaining skating experience, I’ve met and became acquainted with the skaters, refs and NSO’s in the league. This year has been a huge stepping stone for me. I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles but have so many more challenges still ahead of me. I will be blogging about my past year as an NSO, the ups and downs of being a freshmeat skater, people who have influenced and pushed me along the way and anything else that comes to my rookie mind!
Ah, New Year’s! To me, New Year’s = Resolutions. And what’s the biggest resolution of them all? Getting in shape. As NHRD starts a new season, I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog with health and wellness tips, exercise suggestions, etc. Personally, I have too many diet books, fitness magazines, exercise DVDs, and sessions with a personal trainer to speak of. I figure I might as well share the knowledge – and maybe even take my own advice!
One of the best, most efficient lower-body exercises is the SQUAT. It’s easy to do and you can make it simple or more difficult just by adding weights or changing the position of your legs and feet. One of my “favorites” (OK, like any exercise can BE a favorite), is the Plie Squat. It’s a great thigh and core workout.
How to do the Plie Squat – courtesy of bodybuilding.com (Although the description below includes the use of a weight, it is not necessary; your body weight alone will give you a challenge). Hold a dumbbell at the base with both hands and stand straight up. Move your legs so that they are wider than shoulder width apart from each other with your knees slightly bent.
- Your toes should be facing out. Note: Your arms should be stationary while performing the exercise. This is the starting position.
- Slowly bend the knees and lower your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure to inhale as this is the eccentric part of the exercise.
- Press mainly with the heel of the foot to bring the body back to the starting position while exhaling.
- Repeat (I usually do 3 sets of 12-15 reps, resting briefly between sets)
Caution: Failure to keep your back straight can result in back injury. Keep the core (abdominal muscles) tight as this will help to protect the back.
For more information, watch a video and see photos here.
Guess what’s happening? NHRD is going to strap on the skates and rue the day we ever ate that entire plate of cookies at Christmas. Not that I did that or anything. I just know someone who did. Ugh, listen, the cookies were just sitting there saying “Eat me!” and at first I thought it was weird that the cookies were talking to me but then I realized it was a sign. And I ate every last one of them. I’m changing my name to Cookie Slayer. Kidding! I’m not. Fresh Meat, you can have that derby name. Actually, no you can’t – it’s too similar to someone else’s name. Story of your life, right? I’m so sorry.
Anyway, back to us putting on skates and sweating out the eggnog. We’re going to start skating heavily and that means hydrating heavily. Generally, if you’re going to go balls-to-the-wall at practice, you’ll want to be drinking water all day. If you can’t do that, you can start squirreling away water by drinking it a couple hours before practice. Benefits of hydration include: staying cool, keeping energy levels up, and more endurance. Sports drinks are a good idea for some people because they can contain carbs and electrolytes to keep you going.
Actually, I can’t even pretend like I’m writing a helpful blog anymore. I just wanted to post my poem about Gatorade. Here it is:
Ode to the ‘Ade
By Maxine Kerosene, age 25
I had a thirst that I could not escape.
I needed a beverage with a flavor of grape.
A Misty at Dairy Queen! Away I will go!
I drank it too fast; brain freeze! Oh no!
Well maybe I should just eat the blasted fruit!
I chewed and chewed but was still thirsty to boot!
Grape soda, who loves you?
I do, I do I do-oo!
I drank you but my thirst only grew.
And then I saw the bottle in the 7-11.
The light shown upon it, descended from heaven.
Fine! It wasn’t from heaven. More like fluorescent fixtures.
Look, cut it out. You get the picture.
No, I understand “fixture” and “picture” don’t perfectly rhyme.
I’m trying to tell a story here while wasting your time.
Anyway, there it was: Grape Gatorade.
“What? This exists?” My day had been made.
I chugged from the bottle and it was just what I needed.
After searching high and low, I had finally succeeded.
I think more people would get on the Gatorade bus
If the company sponsored us.
Back to helpful things based on anecdotal evidence: Once upon a time I was a wee fresh meatball and I thought it would be a grand idea to eat the General Tso Chicken combo plate for lunch before practice. This was and still is a horrible idea. Do you know what the General Tso Chicken combo plate can do to your taste buds? It will send them straight to Happy Town. Do you know how much sodium is in the General Tso Chicken combo plate? So much sodium that you could season 3 meals! More sodium than that Stouffer’s microwave meal languishing in the office fridge! Do you know what sodium can do? Basically it wreaks havoc on your blood pressure and causes weird water retention. Later that night, halfway through practice I noticed that my hands were swelling up inside my wrist guards. Ouch! My hand looked like a makeshift balloon made from a rubber glove. Thanks a lot, sodium! I ended up sitting out the rest of practice with my weird balloon hands because they wouldn’t even fit in my wrist guard anymore. Don’t call me a baby! “Balloon hands” is a serious affliction.
Like this, except less happy.
What have we learned today?
- Drinking water is important.
- I shouldn’t quit my day job to pursue poetry.
- Do not eat a mountain of salt before practice.
After taking December off I’m back with the first Featured Skater of 2012. She’s there when you need her on the track and over the 2011 season has become a solid “go-to player”. Without further adieu, it’s SERIOUSLY SLAM’N!
#25 – Queen City Cherry Bombs and Granite Skate Troopers
You went from Penalty Box Queen (almost fouling out) to Most Improved (barely a penalty by the end of the season). What happened? What changed for you? When I came to NHRD I had only had one short bouting year behind me. I lacked the experience and resources I needed to be where I am now. I feel that all the wonderful ladies I skate with now not only taught me the skills need to be better but also patient enough to show me how to use them. I would have to say my turning point was not making Queen City Cherry Bombs the first draft. That really lit a fire in me and gave me determination to be a better player.
As Trina Trioxin (captain of the Cherry Bombs) has told me several times, you are always “there” for her. Do you think your day job as an ER nurse makes you more physically as well as mentally responsive to the action on the track? I feel that working in ER and derby have a lot in common. In both you need to be a strong individual, able to do what needs to be done quickly and effectively. On the other hand you also need to be a true team player. When you come down to it a bout is not won by an individual nor is a life saved in the ER, which can be and often is very stressful. I have to admit playing roller derby is a release for me; it’s like the deep cleansing breath at the end of a very long day.
You are very dedicated to derby. How did you get involved and what keeps you so involved – showing up at basically every single practice! I got my first taste of derby when my friend Jane Bond (Melissa Kubicki) was skating with ManchVegas Roller Girls (MVRG). She had told me all about derby and asked me to come and play many many times. I couldn’t remember the last time I roller skated and at that time had no interest in putting on skates and getting hit by other women. Jane never gave up, so she invited me out for a “drink” one night, it was really MVRG’s yearly meeting. Jane promised all the girls that I would go to a practice. So I went and loved it! I don’t remember ever seeing roller derby in my life and could barely stand up on skates, but I knew I wanted to do this and a few days later I bought my first skates. As a side note Jane also talked me into my ER job. As for being at practice so much, I’m blessed with an understanding husband. My job also makes it easy to get time off for practice and bouts. If I need a day off I can almost always get it if I request it a month in advance, promise my first born, and work two other days in its place (LOL). Seriously, I’m very lucky that my non-derby life has almost no conflict with my derby life and if it does I have great family and co-workers to help me out.
For many in the league, this is their first experience playing a team sport. What about you? And as a “part 2″ to this question – you’re on TWO teams (QCCB and the Troopers). Besides the obvious, how does playing on a travel team differ from a home team? This is my first real team sport. I was a very overweight child and never really wanted to play sports. I was never a part of a team, league or sport and it makes me a little sad to think of what I have missed, but also makes me more grateful for what I have found! As for skating for two teams, it just gives me twice the fun. I love to travel and skating with the Bombs. I can’t explain the feeling of excitement as the first whistle blows and you now get to play with ladies you never met. It’s a thrill not knowing what the other team may have in store for you. I find it almost a little harder to play on a home team. I know how these ladies play and they know how I play. I think you really have to step it up . The other home teams have seen your A game , so you really need to bring your A+ game.
Some people prefer one position over another on the track. I’m told you can always be counted on to be a jammer. This is a pretty high pressure role. Truth be told I was not born to be a jammer. I do it as often as I can for two main reasons; first I like to think of it as a weight loss program. I’m not very good at jamming so I really have to work to make it through. My second reason is that I believe jamming makes you a better blocker. I may not be good at jamming but if I keep doing it one day I will be. So by my calculations, by the time that I’m a good jammer I should be an amazing blocker.
I hear you are quite the fashionista when it comes to matching your shorts/bottoms to your uniforms. Want to comment on this? I love to shop and better than shopping is clearance rack shopping. Thank goodness that booty shorts with sparkles and/or words on the back always seem to be on the clearance rack. I like to think of this phenomenon as the gods telling me I must buy them.
Six things you may not know about me.
1. I grew up financially poor and emotionally rich. (That’s why my mother is my hero)
2. I can’t bake to save my life
3. My dream retirement job is to be a florist
4. I can’t resist a deal, coupon or clearance item
5. I love to travel, I fly every few months and if for some reason I can’t I get withdrawals
6. My number is 25 because: 5-2=3 and I was born on 3/13, and also I was married on the 25th of July (5+2= 7th month)
Any time you need a travel partner, Tiara always has her suitcase packed and passport ready!