LOOK WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A package arrived yesterday… WHAT COULD IT BE ?????!!!!!

OH MY GOOOODDNESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone who knows me knows I have been wanting a Dutch Oven for YEARS.  I even had the gall to put a request on this blog (Stuff I Would Like to Have).  My mom surprised me with one 3 Christmases ago but the lid was chipped and it had to be returned.  The money from the Dutch Oven then went to pay for boots for my older daughter – b/c that is how life goes.  But many thanks to my amazing friend Magdalen, I’m now the owner of a beautiful blue Le Creuset!!!!

THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU MAGDALEN!!!!!!!!!  I AM ELATED! 🙂

PS: No give backs. Right?!

Interview with a Roller Girl

This inaugural post of 2011 is dedicated to everyone who loves Flat Track Roller Derby.  As a woman who longs to don skates, hot pants and an alter ego, I wanted to do an interview with someone who knows the ins & outs of the sport.  Longtime friend, Kim – aka Supersonik! – a REAL LIFE ROLLER GIRL (!!) has graciously agreed to spill her derby beans via this blog.  If you’re curious about roller derby, have wondered what it’s like to be a roller girl, or think you have what it takes to kick ass and be kicked in return, then Friend, this one’s for YOU.

Kim – I mean, Supersonik!  Thanks so much for being a part of The Daily Dish.  Before we get started, first things first.  What team do you play for?  What’s your name & number and do they have any significance?

Photo Credit: Lucas Saugen Photography 2008

I am Supersonik! and I play on the Atomic Bombshells, one of the 4 home teams of the Minnesota RollerGirls. My number is 7 of 9, which comes from the Star Trek Voyager character.  My name Supersonik! was part of an inside joke around the song Elektronik Supersonik by Zlad, a fake rock star from a fake former Eastern Bloc country. Some people get excited thinking that I got my name from the JJ Fad song “Supersonic” and start singing it to me.  In reality, I’m just a big sci-fi dork.  Growing up during the 80s, with my formative years during the Cold War, the Zlad song was extra funny.

What’s your position? Can you briefly describe what that entails?

At home, I play the blocker position. Basically my job is to keep the other team’s
jammer (the person who scores the points for the team) from getting through the pack while clearing a path for our own jammer.  This is where you see a lot of the big hits. When I’ve played on other pick-up type games (i.e. RollerCon) where derby players come from all over the world and theme teams galore spring up, I play all positions.  For instance, I’ve played the pivot (who often sets the pace of the pack and acts as the last line of defense) or the jammer.  These pick-up games have themes, like Star Trek vs Star Wars, Vegetarians vs Meat Eaters (I think we were officially called Lentilly Deranged vs. Meat Curtains), cats vs dogs, diapers vs depends (under 30/ over 30), things like that.  These are just-for-fun games that don’t count for anything.  Last summer, I even played in a clockwise bout!  That was a lot of fun because we always play counterclockwise.

How long have you been involved with roller derby?  How did you get started?  Did you know the rules when you started or did you learn by doing?

I started the second season of our league. That was in 2005.  I’d won tickets to
the first MNRG bout and had remembered watching roller derby on TV when I was a kid, but the event I was at had these girls on roller skates with these
awesome names on their shirts, and I was like, Wow, this seems really cool.  It was NOTHING like what I saw on TV growing up.  For one thing, they were skating on a flat track and not a banked track like in the old days.  And the uniforms were all unique, there was awesome music; it was just a bit mind blowing!  I’d always hated the idea of team sports, partly because the uniforms were so awful.  In roller derby there were women of all shapes and sizes and skating level.  I knew I would be back.  I ran into a friend [at that first bout] and we decided to go roller skating (cuz heck, we both grew up on roller skates) and then came to future bouts.  When we heard they were having tryouts, we both went and made it; it was the hardest 4 hours I have ever been through.

Photo Credit: Peter Worth Dec 2010

I really had no idea what was going on on the track when I first started watching, I just knew that I wanted to be involved. When I started there were only about 5
pages of rules. Leagues around the country (there were only about 10 at the
time) were making it up as they went along. The rules have since been
standardized, as the sport has grown exponentially and playing inter-league games with different rule sets did not really work out too well.  There are over 40
pages of rules now!  And yes, we are tested on them.  If you are interested in learning more about the rules, this is the place to go.  The rules definitely needed to change to ensure the game was safe for all players, with the sorts of scenarios coming up and increased skill level of the skaters.

How much time do you spend practicing? Have you always been a great skater?

We have practice generally 3 times a week, 2 hours at a time.  All-stars have extra
time.  I grew up on ice skates and roller skates so I was okay with making the
transition.

What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained during play?

A few weeks into derby, we learned to do shoulder hits and then were sent out
to play Queen of the Rink [basically a derby version of Last Man Standing, with one remaining player skating in bounds.]  I got hit by a vet skater and landed on my shoulder. The result was a shoulder impingement. I didn’t get it treated right away and it still flares up a bit to this day. In subsequent years we have figured out ways to make it safer for new skaters.  Like I said earlier, in the beginning we were just making things up as we went along, because the re-emergence of the sport was so new.  Today our rookies go through a summer of boot camp to build up skills before they get to be put on a home team. This has been a wonderful way for them to bond and build up the confidence and skills before they get drafted.

Photo Credit: Peter Worth Nov 2010

What’s the best thing about playing roller derby?

I don’t know if I can say just one thing. It’s been awesome for me to learn to
play a team sport, get regular exercise, and meet really fabulous women.  We have a ton of awesome volunteers who keep us running smoothly and fans who support us.  I love the kids who are so excited to be at the bouts.  We now have co-ed junior derby in the twin cities for youngsters interested in becoming future players. It melts my heart when they want my autograph.  It’s strange to have these kids look up to us; I mean I get it, but I never thought I would be in that position.  Playing has also given me the opportunity to develop leadership skills, as our organization is owned and run by the skaters, for the skaters.

What’s the worst thing (if any) about playing roller derby?

I wish we had more public bouts. 🙂

How does your team travel? Are you sponsored? Do you get paid for playing or is it strictly volunteer?

We have a travel team called the All-Stars. They are comprised of skaters from
all 4 home teams. They are the ones that do the inter-league travel and
tournaments that count towards our rankings. This year though, our home teams have had opportunities to travel in the region to play other teams. It’s always a lot of fun to play new and unfamiliar people.  We are very fortunate to have a lot of support with awesome sponsors like PBR.  But we are unpaid athletes. We donate proceeds to charity.

How would you describe yourself? Age? Occupation? What else do you enjoy outside the arena?

I’m 38 and have historically earned my income in the non-profit/government/health care/education sectors. Currently I’m back in school through a great program made to retrain folks in “green” careers.  I’m now involved with starting a Transition Town in my neighborhood, something that’s been really exciting for me.  I tend to have a lot of interests that are all over the board. Off the bat, I can say I’m crazy about cats, organic gardening, low-impact living, science fiction, antiques and traveling. I also like to play tennis and ride my bike, and I want to learn how to sew.

So there you have it, folks.  Roller derby – one of the most empowering sports for women EVER, is growing exponentially and is only getting better.  A sport played by women, with teams owned by the players themselves, who – rather than capitalize on the proceeds, donate it all to charity.  Could it get any better??  My sincere thanks to Supersonik! for allowing me to do this interview, and to both Lucas Saugen & Peter Worth for kindly allowing me to reprint their photographs.

Think you’ve got what it takes?
Watch Supersonik! in MNRG’s 2009 Season Trailer: Bad Mother Rollers.

Feast Your Eyeballs on THIS!

My dear pal Curly is a woman of requests.  Last month she made me disclose the world’s worst candy.  Now she wants to take a peek inside my fridge.  I almost shudder to think what she’ll be asking of me next..  BUT since we’re pals..

myfridge

TAAA-DAAAAAHHH!  OoOoohhhhh..Isn’t he handsome.. YES he IS!  Before you get too jealous, though, I must confess.  This is not MY fridge.  No.  It belongs to my landlord.  But I pretend it’s mine.  PS: If you want to store the contents of your lunch in MY fridge, you must ask first.

Let’s take a look inside..

myfridge2

myfridge3

As you can see, my landlord has quite a nice fridge. My husband & I like to stock it with fresh local produce and less local, but still altogether terrific, alcohol.  Since we are no longer in West Philly, and I am no longer hosting a CSA on my front porch, we have now joined a new CSA here in Maine.  It is GREAT.  Except for the beets.  Which are beautiful, but taste like BEETS.  YIKES!  I just noticed that *Smiling Hill* milk on the bottom shelf is no longer blue.  What do I mean – BLUE milk?  WELL. Up here in Maine, they sell Blue Milk.  It’s called BLUEBERRY MILK!  and it is unbelievably delicious.  It normally looks like THIS (many thanks to Joe Shlabotnik):

blueberry_milk

And is a delightful purple-blue. But now that my blueberry milk has turned a pallid WHITE I am thinking that’s not too good.   From the photo, it also appears to be separating.  Oh my.  Note to self: remove blue white blueberry milk. PS: remember to turn head while pouring out.  PPS: Now that there is space; buy more wine.

Here is my landlord’s freezer.

fridge4

fridge5

YES, we do like ice cream!  In fact, we LOVE it!!  Except that spangly stars n’ stripes kind, which I can’t get my kids to eat.  They do like those frozen fish sticks, though.  YOU TOO??  Well.. I’ll ask, but I’m not sure they’ll share.  You can always come over for some stars n’ stripes ice cream, though.  Or a nice glass of milk.

mmmmilk

MMMMmmmmm-MMm.

See you soon!

Red Vines = Worst Candy EVER.

In typical teacher fashion, my pal Curly has assigned her readers a June Theme Post.  Next time, I’m getting a Hall Pass..

Today I would like to talk about a subject most normal people enjoy.  CANDY!  Specifically, Red Licorice.  I love red licorice (even if it’s not *technically* licorice).  I also love black licorice (the real stuff) but we are not talking about that here.

redvine_closeup

I took the above photo of a red licorice twist this morning.  PLEASE NOTE:

  1. there are no visible bite marks on the candy.
  2. there is a lot of UNEATEN CANDY in this photo.

Coincidence?  I think not.  Two Words: RED VINES.

You wouldn’t think red licorice would be such a divisive topic, but it is.  Much along the lines of the great Coke v. Pepsi debate, red licorice lovers tend to fall into one of 2 camps depending upon which brand they prefer: Red Vines or Twizzlers.  No need to tell you, I’m a Twizzlers girl.

redvines_vs_twizzlers

  • Twizzlers: red “licorice” style candy that looks great and tastes even better.  They are soft and pliable.  Twizzlers are deliciousness itself.
  • Red Vines: red “licorice” style candy that looks pretty good but tastes awful.  Red Vines are rigid and bite like plastic.  Red Vines are just plain GROSS.

I have eaten Twizzlers my whole life long.  I’ve never cared for other red licorice, but had no strict opinion on Red Vines until just 2 months ago, when I encountered them for the very first time.  I was at the Target in South Portland, looking to score some candy for the movies.  YOU DO IT TOO, so pipe down.  I had a jumbo pack of Twizzlers in my cart when suddenly I spied a snazzy blue package on a lower shelf.

redvines

WOW.  ATTRACTIVE!!  I’d heard of Red Vines before, but when I read that they’re VERY LOW SODIUM, WELL.  I booted those Twizzlers faster than you can say LICK-OR-RISH.  Me & the Red Vines proceeded to the checkout and the Vines rode up front on the way home.  I was SO EXCITED TO TRY THEM!!!!  I had a Vine in my mouth before I’d even hit the kitchen.  Luckily for me I was near a trash can when I started to chew.. because [gag] First time in my life I had to SPIT OUT CANDY.  That Red Vine chewed like plastic and tasted worse.  It was hardly sweet, and there was this sort of wheaty flavor going on, uggggghhhhh.  Not good.  I ran to brush my teeth, but the vileness remained.

Afterward, I went to put them in the trash, but.. Wait. I thought twice.  Were they really that bad?  Like any good mother, I wanted to test them out. ON MY KIDS.  BWAHAHAHH!!!

SO. When they got home, I tried pawning the Red Vines off on them.  Did they pass muster?

redvines2

WHHHHYYY MOMMMY_WHYYYY?????  The taste – it’s stuck in my teeth.  It’s worse than a cough drop!

Now, you might think I am truly horrible for doing that to my kids.  HECK NO!  Any good mother will tell you.  Delicious Candy = FAT KIDS w/ ROTTEN TEETH & DIABETES.  I knew that candy tasted like crap – they weren’t going to eat it.  BUT I looked GOOD for giving it to them.  Mommy gave us candy = Nice Mommy.  Those Red Vines. They’re still sitting here, 2 months later.  No one’ll touch em w/ a stick.  I really should be calling up those Red Vines folks and thanking them for doing their service to America’s children.  But – between you & me, I’m afraid they’ll send me some as a Thank You.

The gift that keeps on giving.

FIRST. Let me just say how INCREDIBLY touched I’ve been by the outpouring of birthday wishes I’ve received from everyone. The comments on this blog, emails, eCards, phone calls, greeting cards, the list goes on.  I simply cannot thank you all enough.  I know I’ve said it maaaaannnny times before, BUT sometimes a girl’s gotta shout it from the mountaintops.

My friends are THE BEST!!!!!

So.  now that the candles are blown out, the presents have been opened, and I thought everything was back to normal. I find myself still enjoying that pre-birthday present sent straight from the universe.  YES FOLKS I am talking about the Plague.  Truly the gift that keeps on giving, this whatever-I-have just won’t go away.  And much like that guest lingering long after the party’s over, I just want him to pack up and get the hell out.