Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My New Insanity.

So I know everyone has probably been ignoring my whining about how my last derby home dumped me like a prom date that wouldn't put out. It happens. I should be used to it. Thanks to HHH constantly losing his jobs, we have to move so much it's ridiculous! I guess I can't blame them, but it would be nice to be valued and kept around every once in a while. Ok. That's done & over with. Moving on then.

If you aren't happy with what is out there, forge your own path, right? RIGHT. Enter the Brandon Brawlers! With WFTDA derby leaning more towards slow play & strategy that says not moving is better than moving, I knew I didn't want to go that way. Old school is pretty much like that too and to me that doesn't say 'roller derby'. Enter the Psycho 78's. They are a renegade, no rules, co-ed derby league in New Jersey who do their own thing. They play fast. They hit HARD. They put every dollar raised by their bout to charity! That interested me A LOT! So I wrote to a few friends I made up there and they sent me some info and BOOM. I'm starting my own derby league! OMG!

Am I insane?

Yeah, I probably am. But I tell you what, I'm putting my $ where my mouth is instead of bitching. They say don't complain if you aren't going to do something to fix the situation and damn it! I'm gonna do it!! 

So meet the Brandon Brawlers! Follow us on Twitter. Join in on our brand of crazy!! You'll have a blast!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hunting & Shifting!

I am looking for a job. Part time, nothing fancy, and I'm not afraid to get dirty. HHH's friend is loaning us a truck till we get our taxes can buy a vehicle of our own and that means I can expand my looking out to farther than I can walk, which is a good thing! It also means I'll be able to pick up & drop off the kids at school in inclement weather!(It doesn't get really cold often, but it does rain more than usual.) We've been car shopping as much as we can seeing as how we were walking to the car lots as well. The fun part of all this?

It's a manual transmission!

Oh I am sooooo rusty at shifting! Last manual transmission vehicle I owned was a Dodge Stealth back in 2000. Now THAT was a car! So speedy, so fun, so don't know how I didn't kill myself or end up in jail from speeding on the highway! Now I'm trying to remember how all that worked and apply it to a Ford Ranger. LOL! I have only stalled once so far! All I know is I better learn quickly because.....

The Xterra we have been leaning towards purchasing is a standard!


Friday, January 25, 2013


I am fabulous.

It's really hard to convince  myself of this fact most days.
I have aaaaaallllllllllllloooooooooooooootttttttttttttttt of things that make me feel unfabulous.
My weight.
My family's $ predicament.
Not having a derby home.
Having to walk everywhere.

You get the idea. I feel like that skit on old SNL where the damn freaky guy has to look in the mirror and tell himself he's ok. I'm a good person. I love my family. When I have the resources, I help others. That should be enough for me and anyone who thinks otherwise shouldn't matter. Tell that to the nagging voices in my head. I second guess myself every day, and let me tell you, that ain't fabulous. 

So I start every day telling myself that I. Am. Fabulous. The end.

And one of these days, I'll believe it so much, I won't have to remind myself!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where Was I?

Cleaning the house. All. Day.

When my kids & husband have extra days off from school or work, they trash the house. It's probably my fault for babying them all these years, but really, I just can't stand the house getting yucky. What I don't understand is how they can just shed crap & stuff from the front door to their rooms or the kitchen. It's like they leave a trail. How come coats can't be hung up since the coat hooks are right next to the door? How come shoes can't be put in their closets? How come backpacks & lunch boxes can't be put in their respective places?

I don't know.

Do you???

Sunday, January 20, 2013

It Should Be Said AGAIN!

There has been recent unpleasantness on my FB derby page thanks to some of the older skaters finding out, like I did a month or so ago, that they were removed from the PCDD/Revolution group page and put into some rinky dink general info page that is more fluff & practice times than real skater communication & camaraderie. This makes me sad. Sad that they are finding out the hard way that derby has a dark side and sad that the folks who are answering their angry postings of "why?" are being extremely harsh & rude. I thought this old post I did (even before I got booted) should get a rerun because now that I see this happening at PCDD, I know I can't ever go back there. Don't call yourself a team if you dump people at the first sign of their distress. It's NOT COOL!


Unless you've been stuck under a rock, you know that I play and support roller derby. And no, I didn't come to the sport by way of the movie "Whip It". I actually embraced the roller derby lifestyle a few months before that movie premiered when I saw a tweet on the local twitter, checked out a practice, and bought my skates. Most people who know me wouldn't be surprised though, because I've been saying I would be a professional roller girl since the 5th grade! Now that my dream has become a reality, I am learning so much more about the sport. I'm learning things like strategy in bout play, the business behind running a derby league, and fundraising fundraising fundraising! Man, I thought my kids' schools overdid the fundraisers thing! Nope. Derby beats that! 
I practice as much as a woman with 3 kids can. I travel an hour each way to my current team. My husband switches jobs quite often and we tend to have to move because of this. I am by no means a stellar athlete. I'm 40 years old. I am about 50 pounds over weight. Because my husband's profession is so iffy, we usually don't have much money so I can't afford to update my equipment. (I'm still skating on the same wheels & equipment I first bought 4 years ago.) The fact that I can accomplish what I do on the track with the time & things I have is amazing. I'm not disputing that fact. But when you go to a roller derby game, you have a definite split between the hard core players and those who play for love of the game.

I am most definitely the latter.

I have loved roller skating since I was a child. I asked for new roller skates at every birthday. Once I got into high school and became a band geek, I stopped skating but it never left my heart. The breeze in my hair, twirling around and, when I was at the top of my game, jumping a single axle were exhilarating!! Now I speed past women of all ages, smacking into them with my entire weight and knocking them to the floor while aiding my team's jammer in swooping through the chaos. I have spent the last 4 years learning, learning, constantly learning and here's a few 'other' things I learned.

  • Just because you're totally immersed in derby doesn't make you any better than the girl who comes 2x a week. I've seen this happen lots of times. Skaters who live and breathe derby will look down on those who can only make some of the practices. It sucks because you have no idea what that girl has to do in order to make those few practices a week. She may have to take a lousy shift at work, rearrange her school schedule, get the crappy car pool day, or any other myriad of real life B.S. that happens during a day in the life of a human being.  Just because your life is unfettered and all the stars aligned for you to be able to hit up derby 5x a week doesn't make you a better person, just a more seasoned player.
  • NEVER FORGET: IT IS THE FANS & VOLUNTEERS THAT MAKE OUR LEAGUES FUNCTION! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, without the volunteers, NSO's, refs, and fans we wouldn't have roller derby like we do today. It would be foolish to think we can live in our ivory tower strategy and play books, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, bouts would not happen with out all those people. Our volunteers help sell tickets, raise money, and set up for our bouts. Our NSO's make sure the score, penalties, and box visits are all on the up and up. Our Refs make sure we are safe as we try to kill each other. Our fans keep us grounded and amped up! We cannot exist as a league without these people yet I find it laughable that we(the leagues) totally forget about all of these folks till the week of the bout. Oh hell, then the leagues are scrambling, searching, & begging for help whereas just a week or so ago they didn't have time to respond to even a facebook message! 
  • Some folks just don't wanna go WFTDA. WFTDA is the governing body of women's flat track roller derby. They make the rules, hold the national tournaments, and decide everything. Generally we as derby players are supposed to want to be WFTDA certified players, playing for a WFTDA certified team. That's not always true for everyone and just because someone doesn't want to "Go WFTDA" doesn't make them any less qualified of a derby player. Look at me. I'm a 40 year old woman with 3 kids, a husband, and a 2 hour round trip to derby practice 2x a week. I have 3 major joints that I need surgery on that I have been putting off for years  now because either my husband changed jobs and we lost our insurance or it just takes forever to get said surgery scheduled. Given a choice between buying something for my kids for school or buying new wheels & bearings, I'm always going to put my kids needs first. Apparently that doesn't jive well with WFTDA-minded teams and players(At least from my experiences.), but hey... I'm ok with that. That's why we have rec. teams and I am totally cool playing on one of those.
  • Don't "forget" your sick, injured & troubled. We've seen it happen in every league and team. Someone gets injured or someone's family has an emergency and they drop off the face of the earth, but really... that may be some of the league's fault too. Do we call these people? Drop by to visit? Send them FB messages asking about them? Include them in our practice & bout planning? Being injured or screwed over by life circumstances and not able to skate sucks ass, but also being forgotten and the written off? That sucks worse. From my own experience with a past leagues, I was injured, but still offered to help with the posting of bout information on all the local community calendars for my league as PR. I couldn't drive to practice but I made damn sure I could help out my league, even if it was only online. It was ok for the first few bouts, but then since I wasn't skating they kicked me out of the skater's forum where I was gleaning information to post about fresh meat intakes and meet the skater opportunities. Then I wasn't allowed on the committee FB pages. I finally took the hint that I was dropped from any and all team doings when I was no longer receiving the press releases so that I could update all the community calendars. It was all done gradually and no one ever said "Hey, thanks but since we haven't seen you in a while we're going to have to sever ties with you.", but this goes back to my earlier point of not taking your volunteers for granted. I hope they got someone to fill my shoes, (and in all reality, they more than likely did), but the way they went about replacing me was just shitty and I'm no longer a big fan of that league.
Ok then. Glad we could have this chat. Roller derby is an ever evolving sport that is as exciting as it is maddening, but at the end of the day, it is totally worth the work and effort we as players put in to it. Just remember, find your happy and play for the joy of the game because that's what'll keep you coming back!

Joy of the game.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sidewalk Talk

All this hooha over sidewalks the last couple days got me thinking about how folks here use the sidewalk.

It's basically, "I'm walkin' ova heah!" 

Yeah, having to ride the shoe leather express(Thank you asshole BIL) ever since October, we use a LOT of sidewalks now. I admonish the kids to always be aware of the sidewalk and it's occupants. Don't hog the center of the sidewalk. Watch out for cars turning into driveways, use the crosswalks, and always be polite to your fellow walkers.

That's not difficult right? Seems pretty straight forward. Well, most folks here don't do those simple tasks associated with walking on a sidewalk. We have those special kinds of people who barrel down the center of the sidewalk and give YOU a scathing look when you don't jump out of their way! Just this morning, I was almost bowled over by a woman walking her kid to school when she refused to scoot over so I could stay on my side of the sidewalk. I was already all the way over to the right, but as we approached each other  from opposite directions, I could tell she wasn't going to move. My choice was a puddle left over from last night's rain, or bumping into this rude/oblivious person. I chose the bump. It is, after all, my side of the sidewalk! I got a grunt & dirty look, as expected, but why should I soak my shoes for this lady's enjoyment? Hopefully, once the new sidewalks go into service, they'll be wide enough for everyone to enjoy. It seems people here like having more room to roam, and the kids need more space for their bikes & scooters.

Maybe it's a sign of the times where we no longer offer common courtesy to our fellow man. Every man is only out to better himself at the expense of others. This shouldn't be new to me, but it's a simple sidewalk. I expected more of folks.

Silly me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Certain People Are Sometimes VERY Stupid.

Yes, I know that is a vastly broad statement, but bear with me. This is a tale of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Last month a flashing sign went up by Jr's school saying the RR crossing would be closed the next week for CSX to do repairs on the railroad ties. Ok. no problem. I went into the office to ask questions about it and they had NO CLUE about it. Great proactive administrating right there. So then we waited for the next week and..... nothing happened. I guess CSX forgot or got held up on another repair job. We went on our merry way and nothing was out of the ordinary. At least, not till last week.

Last week we got a letter from the school saying CSX was now ready to close the RR crossing to vehicle traffic and make the repairs. They had spoken to a supervisor at CSX headquarters who assured our school administration that the pedestrian crossings would STAY OPEN. (The school sits right next to the RR tracks.) As many as 100+ kids come across that RR crossing every school day, some as young as kindergarten! The next available cross over is a half mile down the nearest cross street that takes kids next to  a busier 4 lane street. Not exactly the safest route, which was why the school was concerned about the pedestrian crossing staying open. The day arrives, the crossing is closed to vehicles and what happens? When the principal goes to talk to the jobsite foreman, that guy say no way is the crossing going to be open to foot traffic. WHAT? Are you KIDDING me? 

So now we have to leave earlier & for the week and possibly Monday I have to walk to & from school with him.(dangerous 4 lane street remember?) A lot of kids will have anywhere from a half mile to a mile plus added to their commute.(Ours is about an extra half mile either way.) And to compound matters?


Yep. As if taking a longer way to school isn't enough, the kids have to dodge construction, concrete, and heavy machinery. There is NO OTHER WAY to get where they need to go. This is ridiculous!! It would have been better to do those things in summer, when school was out. I guess that makes too much sense. 

All I know is, when they get done pouring that damn concrete in front of our place, I'm gonna sneak out & leave a butt print in their precious project! 

Take that, stupid non-logical construction people!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gold Medal!

Junior had an awards ceremony today(Wednesday). He received the gold medal for reading in his class. I am, of course, very proud. It took some doing getting there thanks to the HCDOT and the CSX RR people, but that is a post for another day. Right now, I am proud of my son!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


What is it about a used car salesman's hearing that they just don't acknowledge you when you say, 

"I'm just looking & test driving today, thank you."

It's like their brain bleeps out that sentence or something! HHH & I went to look at a few cars today. In about 30 to 45 days we'll probably have our tax return back and we can finally get some transportation. I'm not picky either! We looked at vehicles that were anywhere from 6 to 10 years old with anywhere from 90,000 to over 100,000 miles on them. The only thing I ask is a working AC (because I live in FLORIDA!) and leg room enough for our growing brood. I don't care about the color, add on features,.... none of that. Just work damn it!!

So we looked, priced, compared, checked, all that good stuff and I told all the salesmen right off the bat we would not be buying a car today and if they didn't have time for us we'd be fine with that. We let them know what our price limit was and what we were willing to pay in a payment. We'd let them know if we wanted to take a test drive if that was the case. It was like I spoke some kind of different language! They'd just press on saying "Oh well, let us get your information before we test drive." or "We should try to nail down a number for you guys." and my favorite..."Hey! We'll be here till 6pm and you can drive out today!". Ugh. Get bent dude. I told you up front what we were all about! Finally after 3 lots we gave up for the day and walked home. I had laundry to do & HHH was planning dinner. We'll try again another day, maybe then the salesmen will hear us! 

Here's to car shopping another day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Some days, I thank the great flying baby Jebuddah for gluten free bread. After going for my 4 miler (Which took way too fucking long to do) I got home & was ravenous! My breakfast smoothie had worn off an I needed sustenance! The solution?

A perfect roast beef sandwich on gluten free bread! 

Man, I needed that!

What's your go to snack after exercise?

Monday, January 7, 2013


Back in 2009 a friend of mine named Karl asked the readers of his blog to dare him to do something for his birthday. He was going to gather all the entries, pick the best 5, and video them for posterity and his blog. Well back in 2009 I was starting roller derby with my first team, the Sarasota RollerGirls so my sadistic ass suggested Karl come out and work out at a practice with us! 


I ended up winning the Dare competition that year. Karl came out and strapped on some skates!(Did she say strap in or strap on?) And the rest was video gold.... until Karl's computer shit the bed and we all thought the footage was lost.

Enter 2012.

Karl got a new computer! (A mac, the fancy ass bastard!) and he found the footage! And now, 3 years later we see how a bunch of rowdy ass roller girls, tore, bruised, & broke Karl!! It is simply awesome. I can't embed it here, but click the link. You'll laugh your ass off!!!

You should all be so lucky!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I don't make this a largely public thing, but I have been the victim of gun violence. 

In the fall of the year 2000, my marriage was falling apart. My then husband and I had marital problems (and he had mental & health problems) that came to a head one day at our home in front of our children, that head being him pointing a black powder rifle at us and firing. Luckily, he didn't want to hurt the kids, so he had only put waddings into the barrel, not a musket ball and we were alive. I grabbed kids, called 911, and waited for it all to be over. 

I had just been shot at. It wasn't the first time. In college, I was shot at while I worked at Arby's in Gainesville. In my youth, someone was trying to shoot at an alligator in the canal out back of our home, missed, and almost hit me when the shot ricocheted off the water. Basically, if you live in America, you might get shot, accidental or otherwise. If you live in America, you might get in a car accident, accidental or otherwise. You might even b a victim of medical malpractice, accidental or otherwise. It happens. You know what isn't going to make it stop happening? Taking that stuff away.

If you take away medicine, it will stop medical malpractice. I mean, if there isn't any medicine, it can't be administered incorrectly, therefore no one is gonna die fro medical malpractice, right? And car accidents..... what if everyone stopped driving? That would sure cut down on the car accidents, right? Oh and what about alcohol?? If we take that away from the equation then drunk driving, bar fights, and drunken regrettable tattoos all get stopped immediately! We can't lose!

What's that, you say? People will die without medicine? And people won't be able to work & support their families without cars? And what?? People NEED alcohol to have a good time? Really? They do? I could have sworn folks could entertain themselves without it, but ok... if you say so.

The same thing can be said about guns and it is being said right now. People want guns to be taken away from everyone except law enforcement & military. I understand that knee jerk reaction. I get it. I just don't think it's feasible. I don't see it. Guns will always be available to the criminal element. They will ALWAYS get them. You can't stop someone who is already breaking the law by passing more laws they just won't pay attention too. Isn't gonna work. What we need to do is educate the citizenry. We need to concentrate on the mental health of our citizenry. We need to secure our places of learning. We need to do all these things and more. Guns will never go away because our country was founded on them. 

And don't tell me we need to get back to religion either. Because right before my now ex husband shot at us he yelled....

"In the name of the Lord our Father I smite thee and thy demons!"

And then he fired.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Shopping Fabulous Style!

When it comes to grocery shopping, I don't like it. Most shoppers in grocery stores are rude. They will park their carts in the most inconvenient place, let their crotch spawn run hog wild, and basically make the buying experience intolerable. Don't believe me? Just google People Of Wal-Mart and take a look. My solution to that is to only go once a month. We arrange things so we go shopping in one big trip once a month. We own a freezer chest, so meats and frozens will keep.  I separate the meats into meal portions, wrap everything, and into the freezer they go. We also get sliced deli meat & cheeses for the kid's lunches and I portion those out to freeze as well. Only things we have to go to the store for during the month is fresh veggies & salad mixes.

Now that it's a new year & the holidays are over, it's time to do a little spring cleaning on our eating habits. The pies, cookies, and cakes are gonna get replaces with fruits & veggies. The soda is going to be replaced with water and juices. The heavy carbs are going to get replaced with lighter, more digestible carbs.  I figure if I replace the fatty stuff with healthier choices, I'll be making us all healthy and hopefully the family won't notice! (Yeah, right

It's worth a shot, right?