Friday, October 29, 2010

NYC on Saturday
I'm headed to NYC tomorrow for the Gotham Girls Championship Bout at the City College of New York in Harlem.  What's better is that one of our fresh meat, Shrimp Scampi, is joining me!

As of the publication of this post, it looks like tickets are still available.  I've never been to a Gotham home game - they usually play at Hunter College ... so I speculate the bout location change is to accommodate more fans. I've tried to get tickets to Gotham games before but I always wait until the last minute when they've sold out already. So I'm super stoked I was able to nab tickets yesterday!

Gotham has several home intraleague teams. Their Championship Bout will see the Bronx Gridlock face off against the Queens of Pain. The main reason I am excited to attend this event is because former Hellion (and a league co-founder) The Beirut Bombshell is on the roster for the Queens of Pain! Bombshell moved to NYC a little over a year ago, so I only had the privilege of skating with her a few times. We were so proud when she tried out and made it to Gotham. Over my time involved with HoT, I've met her several times and she is definitely one of my roller derby roll models.

Gotham is ranked #1 in the WFTDA Eastern Region.  I will also be seeing them next weekend in Chicago at the WFTDA Championships!

Anyway, I think we plan to spend some time in NYC during the day on Saturday...Shrimp Scampi has never been so I've got to show her the sights! Times Square is clearly in order, but what should we check out beyond that? We can't wander off too far as we've gotta be back up in Harlem by around 7pm. I hate to just limit to midtown Manhattan, but I think that might be all we have time for.

2010 Zombie Prom

Space Chalky and Taxi: AKA the Zombie Prom King
and Prom Queen!
Not much to say except that it was hoppin'! Zombie Bomb provided a set of musical entertainment and we also had PYX106 there to fill in the rest. The best part of the night was when Space Chalky and his girlfriend Melissa, aka Taxi, were crowned the Zombie King and Zombie Queen!

Awards on display in the Royal Home.

The awards were provided by Carried Away Coffins, who also had a mini gallery at the Linda this past weekend.  In case you missed it there, you can check out the Coffin King 2010 Art Event at the Marketplace Gallery in downtown Albany through Saturday. There's over 200 Coffin Plaques representing 20 area tattoo shops...and you can vote for your favorite Coffin and help name the Coffin King 2010. I heard it's pretty good so I hope to stop by and check it out.

Also, thanks to the Times Union for stopping by before the prom to do a SEEN segment. You can see those pictures here.

Hellions Zombies! Back L-R Storm, Rock Lobster (fresh meat), Hana Solo,
Ursula Udders, Asa Diamonds. Front L-R: Shrimp Scampi, Deadlie Mercury
Photo courtesy of DM

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Series: Meat Locker Missive

One of our awesome fresh meat, Road Kill, has been contributing a weekly recount of her experience as a new skater with the Hellions of Troy. Unless you've been keeping up with our facebook, you've been missing out on her musings.  So I'd like to start cross posting it here!

Meat Locker Missive #3: The Fine Art of a Derby Hit
Guest post by Roadkill
This week we meat have had the benefit of 2 full practices on the track, with vets helping us enormously (normally, we get one day a week on the track and the other 2 days on the sidelines working away on skills and endurance drills while the vets scrimmage or practice). But the real bonus has been a fuller introduction to hitting techniques and how to take a hit. If for some reason you've found your way to this post and don't know a lot about roller derby: it's a high speed contact sport!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 Albany Zombie Walk

Getting gruesome.
Photo by Kayla Galway.
After applying way too much makeup for last year's zombie events, I was hesitant to doll myself up as dramatically. However, since WAMC provided makeup artists at the walk meetup location, I decided to go for it anyway!

Zombies started congregating for the walk at 3pm, and by the time 5pm rolled around we had a nice big group. Thank you to AOA Greg for stopping by to capture some pictures of the walk. Check out the post on AOA.
Photo by Kayla Galway

The Walk went very well. I loved people's reactions as they watched from store fronts. Zombie Squad was there to keep back zombies from getting to close to the innocent. We also had mounted police to control the flow of traffic. Sadly no firetruck.

Here's a video of the Walk, courtesy of Space Chalky! Check out "Zombie Billy Mays" around 3:50.

Update: Photos by Sebastien B.:  He got a picture of Haggis on her skates, and my favorite zombie with the numbers on her face.  Woohoo.  Thanks for coming out to shoot! Full slideshow here.

Once we got to the parking lot of the Linda, there was a Thriller Dance Off as well as a Brain Eating Contest. I wanted to grab dinner with some Hellions before the prom started. I rounded up my friends but couldn't find Mathundra....where was she?

Find out after the jump...

The Point of No Return

Written with help from Hellions Head Ref, Miranda Wrights

A few nights ago at practice, we were discussing the strategy of "poodling" with the fresh meat. "Poodling" is when you take a player (usually a player who will be a jammer soon) with 3 minor penalties, and force them to get their 4th minor (4 minors equals a trip to the penalty box). When penalized at the very beginning of the jam, they go straight to the penalty box. They leave with minors at zero and start jamming with a clean slate. You wouldn't want to send a jammer our to jam if she has three minor penalties. One minor infraction and she's wasting time in the box. Dang!

How do they get their fourth minor? They start the jam out of play—like in front of the pack line or behind the jammer line. Since the only jammers can start behind that line, an astute ref sends the poodling player to the box with her 4th minor when the whistle blows.

However, a clever poodler uses the “Point of No Return”, a special spot on the determined based on the location of the penalty box. 7.3.2 of the WFTDA Rules states "When a skater is sent to the penalty box, she must immediately exit the track and skate to the penalty box in the counter-clockwise direction." Counter-clockwise is “derby direction”. If she has skated past the penalty box, she can’t turn around, skate clockwise, and try to enter the penalty box. She must skate all around the track and legally enter the box.

The Point of No Return is the point just after the last seat in the penalty box—beyond that is considered "past" the penalty box. Since time is of the essence—a blocker wants the shortest distance before this point.

What’s the best strategy? When the penalty box is between the pivot and jammer lines, poodling behind the jammers is the shortest distance to the box.

If the box is at turn three (about a quarter track behind the jammer line) then poodling behind the jammers isn't ideal. The poodler can’t skate clockwise to the to the box, even though it's the shortest distance. Instead they would have to go all the way around the track. Remember, you have to enter the box from a counter-clockwise “derby” direction.

So a strategic player starts as close to the box as possible without getting on the wrong side of the Point of No Return. Time is of the essence when you are sent to the box: your minute in the box does not start until your butt is in the seat!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Derby Bracket Contest

Screencap of contest.

This has been floating around Facebook... it's a 2010 WFTDA Championships bracket contest from Dave Wood Photography. From the facebook page:
On the weekend of November 5-7, 2010, twelve of the best roller derby teams in the world will come together in Chicago for the Uproar on the Lakeshore Championship Tournament. The bracket has been announced -- all you have to do is predict the winners and you could find yourself the winner of some quite lovely prizes. Hop on over to the contest page and submit your entry!

It looks like the photographer is based out of Denver, CO.  Check out his website for some artistic/action derby photography (under portfolio > roller derby).

Well, what are you waiting for? Enter the contest here:

It's free to enter and your winning bracket selections will put you in the running for prizes from Heartless Wheels, Sock Dreams, fiveonfive Magazine, Savage Skates, Wicked Skatewear, and Dave Wood Photography.

Update: Need something to base your picks on? Check out the Championship Preview from Roller Derby Inside Track. Great run down on all the teams participating.

Derby Fashion

Here's some derby stuff I've come across recently that I really like.

Skate Cardigan by Wicked Skatewear. $39.99. I first saw this at Wicked's booth back at ECE. I almost bought it, but had spent way too much money already. If they have it at Nationals, I might pick it up... I wonder if I could get away with wearing this to work.

Custom AssOgrams by hotacrossbuns. $12.  I've seen some funny phrases, such as "Get Low", "See Ya", "Kill the Jammer".  I'm just trying to find the right phrase for me.  Any ideas?

MEAT socks from Sock Dreams (and other vendors). $10.  I'm not fresh meat anymore, but I wish I found these socks back when I was.  Sock Dreams has tons of awesome derby type socks. I would like shopping spree there!

Monster hat from $15.  The amazing Anne Persand has a "no discard policy" for making her hats.  All scraps from the hats are made into something.  If they're large pieces, she reworks them into unique custom hats from special requests (she did a unicorn hat at Eastern Regionals!)  Smaller pieces become little plush monsters or are used for stuffing them.  Anne's work is a fun fusion of craft and art - which fits right into the DIY world of roller derby!

Here is Mathundra Storm modeling a custom lighting bolt hat, followed by a custom HoT hat Anne created for Flexi.

Visit to place a custom order.  Anne will pretty much make you ANYTHING.

Monday, October 25, 2010

An MVP for us All

Check out this post by Jeremy, aka Mr. Euthanizer, aka Sonic Euthanizer's husband. The Hellions love the Euthanizers and I love this post he wrote for our very own Flexi Wheeler.

Check out more of Jeremy's blog, 7 and a Half Pounds, too. He's a runner and a daddy and a derby lover.

Schenectady Art Night Recap

Rambo, Mutton, and I had a lot of fun at Art Night Schenectady last Friday! There were LOTS of people milling around Proctor's, and I'm sure even more were out and about in the other venues. The organizers of Art Night are really friendly.

Short and Mutton enjoy some cake.
It was really fun to skate around inside Proctor's, lobby, even though it's carpeted. We were set up near the Muddy Cup. There was also a Cake Boss type competition on the other side of the lobby, and even cake for sale! The three of us each sampled a slice. Bettie's Cakes had a cupcake decorating station downstairs, and I saw lots of people with awesome cupcakes. Yum! If you want to drool, look at their photos on facebook. Wowww. One of the owners also stopped by our table to say hello.

We talked to a lot of people, and some girls bought some shirts. I love talking to people in Schenectady about Rollarama. Almost everyone says, "I used to skate there when I was a kid!" if they're an adult; or, "I skate there!" if they are a kid, haha. It's so great that Schenectady/Rotterdam has a nice family facility like that. All my town had was a dang bowling alley.

It's also hilarious when people finally notice we're on skates. Do they think we glide so gracefully across the floor by walking? My favorite thing to say to people with strollers is "nice wheels!" On the carpet near Muddy Cup, there was a big circle pattern, maybe a 12 foot diameter, which I was skating around the perimeter. A lady was watching me, so I said, "do you ever just feel like you're just skating around in circles?" Ahahha, I am so funny. I really love Schenectady, everyone there is so nice.

Reading Rambo and Short Temper
A big shout out to Reading Rambo, who did an incredible job as our bout production manager for our bout last week. She helped coordinate our appearance at Art Night - we really want to be a presence in Schenectady because we'll be bouting at Rollarama for the foreseeable future. And it really is a great venue. Look at this ridiculous picture of me and Rambo. Am I really that short?? There are a few other pictures where I just can't believe the height difference. Pretty much any picture where I am situated near Epic Kate-tastrophe or Deadlie Mercury. Anyway, Rambo is awesome and is so dedicated to the success of our team. If you ever see her, make sure you give her a high five!

Oh, and Mutton! She's one of our super awesome fresh meat. She's been a big help to me with pr/marketing stuff for this bout, so high five to her, too!

Art Night Schenectady is the third Friday of every month. The next event will be November 19.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zombie Walk/Prom Teaser

The Zombie Walk and Prom were on Saturday, and it was so much fun! Here I am at the end of the walk in the parking lot of the Linda.

I also want to note that the best part of this photo is the guy with the clown wig and the unicycle in the background.  It takes all types to put on a zombie walk.

During the walk, I have to give a big shout out to the Zombie Squad for working with us in an official capacity this year. They were so professional also a tremendous help throughout the weekend. And great at keeping unruly zombies in line throughout the walk.

Before the prom, 14 of us stopped over to Shining Rainbow on Central Avenue for dinner. We were obviously quite a site. Definitely got some looks from the other patrons, but the owners were very welcoming.

Anyway, I plan to highlight some of the fun stuff from the walk and prom this week, so stay tuned.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WFTDA Championships - Seeding Announced

On Tuesday October 12 WFTDA representatives drew the order of which teams will face-off for the first bouts of the championship tournament.  The tournament is a single elimination, advantage seeding, pool play structure.  In the first round (Friday) the top seeds (East: Gotham; West: Rocky Mountain; South Central: Kansas City; North Central: Windy City) get a bye, while the number 2 team from a region faces a number 3 team from another region.

A bye means that the top teams do not play until Saturday.  The number 2 and 3 ranked teams will duke it out on Friday to determine who will advance:
The Texas Rollergirls (South Central #2) will take on the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (West #3); the Minnesota RollerGirls (North Central #2) will take on the Charm City Roller Girls (East #3); the Philly Roller Girls (East #2) will take on the Mad Rollin' Dolls (North Central #3); and the Nashville Rollergirls (South Central #3) will take on the Oly Rollers (West #2).
Yikes!  I do not know who I will root for in the Minnesota / Charm City game.  I've liked Minnesota for awhile, but have been loving Charm City since Eastern Regionals.  I'll also have my eye on the Nashville Rollergirls.  Mr. T's mother lives in Nashville and I'll be visiting there over Thanksgiving.  But they have to take on Oly!

Check out this video of the seeding announcement.  It just makes me love WFTDA even more because you can tell that the organization, while well established, is still so very much grass roots.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Should I Wear to Zombie Prom?

Zombie prom is only a few days away!  Unlike my high school prom, where I asked out my date 4 months in advance and had a dress picked out about a week later, I did my shopping tonight (Wednesday) for the prom which is Saturday.  Ah, to be free of the clasps of the high school dream of a "perfect" night (actually my prom was damn near perfect.)

So anyway, tonight I headed to the Goodwill on Hoosick Road in Troy.  Their dress selection was okay, but I only found a couple I liked.  In the past, I've also had great luck with dresses at the Goodwill on Fuller Road in Albany, and the Salvation Army on Central Ave in Schenectady.

These are the two dresses I really liked (of course I bought both!)  The first is this lovely pink polka dot piece.

Jerry Seltzer's Blog

I recently came across Jerry Seltzer's roller derby blog. His father, Leo Seltzer, "invented" roller derby (in one way or another - there's a LOT of history and important characters in roller derby's history). Leo made the sport and spectacle popular through his impressive booking and promoting skills.
Jerry has been writing his blog since June 2010 and it's a very personal insight to his life growing up with derby and what his thoughts are on the current incarnation. Jerry is in his 70s, so that also offers a unique perspective.

It seems like he's really proud of the newly found legitimacy of the sport. Periodically he'll reflect on derby's triumph's:
"Several things were apparent that I had not seen before: the conditioning of the athletes, the legal viciousness of the blocking, and the complete comprehension of the complexities of the game (say that fast!).....I had so many different thoughts: I wished my father had been able to see this amazing match and how his dream of legitimacy in Roller Derby had proved itself." -Jerry Seltzer, 10/4/10
I also read that he'll be at the 2010 WFTDA Championships in Chicago in November. Maybe I'll get a chance to meet him! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Next Recruitment Night: Sunday, October 24

Our next recruitment night is Sunday, October 24 from 7-9pm at Rollarama in Schenectady.

You know you wanna check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Zombies v. Vampires - in pictures

Here are some of my favorite photos from Battle of the Undead.  (Sorry, I don't really have any action shots!)

Zombies vs Vampires

Friday, October 15, 2010

Got My Tickets

Look what I got in the mail today...

Less than 3 weeks away until the 2010 WFTDA Championships!  Are you going?

Art Night Schenectady

Some Hellions will be at Art Night Schenectady tonight.  We'll be tabling inside of Proctors, where you can chat with the girls, buy tickets to our October 16 bout (tomorrow!), and even check out some art!  Take a look at tonight's schedule, which includes exhibits inside Proctors such as:

+"Food Groups", the art of Food Photography

+Artwork by Ken Ragsdale, who was also highlighted by All Over Albany (and fun fact: Short Temper had Ken Ragsdale as a art professor at SUNY Albany)

+Music from 6:15 - 7:45 by the Paul Mastrinni Trio


+The Broadway Cake Boss Competition in the Wright Family Auditorium

+FREE Youth Cupcake Decorating Class from 6:00 - 7:30 .. Sponsored by Bettie's Cakes!
! ! !

So tonight, throw your family in the car and head over to Art Night Schenectady.  To summarize, there's lots to do - you can
+say hey to the Hellions and buy tickets to our bout
+check out art
+get your cupcake fix
+probably find a fine place to eat by checking out the schedule
+top it off with a movie at the Bowtie Cinema down the street.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beware! The Other Head of Science

Local fun-loving electro-rock band Beware! The Other Head of Science will be performing at our bout on Saturday October 16.  Preview their music on their myspace page or 'like' them on facebook.  We think you'll dig 'em!


Sunshine and Rainbows (Or... How I Spend Time With My Big Derby family)

Guest post by Deadlie Mercury

The reason I decided to do roller derby back in January was because my long term boyfriend was going abroad for school for the next two years and I needed something exciting in my life to kill time. Now ... when I joined The Hellions I figured "Alright, these girls seem swell and I'm sure we'll get along great at practice and we'll probably do some events and after-bout parties but that will be that." I never really thought that these ladies would become a group of friends that I would go out of my way to hang out with.

Hellions Camping Trip
It's not mandatory that your derby team becomes your second family (or third, or fourth) but it happens. You discover that the people you play with can relate to you on and off the track. You find you have common interests outside of roller derby and end up sharing them together. I don't just skate with my teammates, we all go on outings together too! We usually refer to them as 'Sunshine Events' (not sure what or if other teams would call it). From time to time some of us will come up with an idea of "Hey, that would be tons of fun, I bet some of the girls would be interested in this!", so the word is spread that this awesome thing is coming up and all are invited to partake. We've done movie nights, CD swaps, adult-toy bingo, camping trips, apple picking/haunted house-type-stuff, etc. There's really no limit to what we find entertaining.

This past weekend five of us went to Bowman Orchards for a delightful day of apple picking and cider drinking, then to Liberty Ridge Farms to get our pants scared off in the haunted corn maze and of course for more cider consumption.
Ursula Udders, Asa Diamonds, Shockratease,
Spam Ghetti-Ho's, and Deadlie Mercury
We found some of the best apples, figured out a complicated pumpkin maze together, and ran from guys with chainsaws. It was a blast, and honestly, it's refreshing to know that yes, while we can all get together and talk derby for a while, we can also put that aside for other subjects. I love finding out new things about my teammates. What they studied/study in school, what kind of pets they have, even their views on meat consumption. It shows you really can find a kindred spirit in someone that you never thought you would. For example, I recently realized how many geeks play roller derby and it's always nice to know I'm in good company.

HoT Family Photo - before the June 12 bout in Maine.
No one told me how close I would become with my teammates -- that I would have a genuine connection with them. I thought we were just practicing together. We hang out on weekends, and we do road trips to bouts, tournaments, and conventions. When fully invested in derby, you see your teammates a lot, so you'd better like them. In some ways they know me better than most. They see a part of me on the track that I rarely show - that raw and competitive side who has never really made an appearance outside of roller derby. But they also see the part of me that my other friends see too, the goofy girl who just needs a beer and good company and she's happy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hellions on PYX106 Thursday Morning!

Flexi and Doc will be on PYX106's Wakin up with the Wolf morning show at 8am tomorrow to talk about our October 16 bout, Zombie Film Feast III, the zombie walk, and the zombie prom!  We can only imagine what kind of questions the Wolf will have for Flexi...make sure to tune in!  You can stream the station live online here.

PYX106  is the official radio sponsor of Zombie Film Feast 3. Waking up with the Wolf personalities will be partaking in events throughout the feast.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Next bout: Saturday, October 16

I hope some of y'all can make our bout next weekend! The "Battle of the Undead" will pit Hellion vs. Hellion as "Zombies vs. Vampires" in their first intra-league bout after our successful summer recruitment sessions. Doors open at 7 p.m., with first whistle at 8 p.m.

The bout will be held at Rollarama Skating Center
2710 Hamburg Street
Schenectady, NY

Tickets for the bout are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $3 for goblins under 12. To avoid finding yourself in a line of devoted fans, tickets are available through or from your favorite roller ghoul. You can also bring your own chairs and sit on the side lines, known for the best views in the house! Beware of the crash zone, however - you might end up with a derby ghoul in your lap!

Just so you know - I'm rostered as a VAMPIRE! So you better bring your fangs and cheer me on! Wondering who else is rostered as a Vampire or Zombie? Guess you'll have to find out when you get to the bout!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm going to Nationals!

Or should I say, the 2010 WFTDA Championships. Last month I pondered the feasibility of traveling to Chicago to see the best teams play my favorite sport. Well, I worked things out and booked my plane tickets to Chicago a few days ago. I also bought my 3-Day Pass to the event - General Admission only... looks like VIP seating is all sold out. Dang! But that's an extra $45 I can be spending on deep dish pizza!

The last of the four Regional tournaments, South Central, is finishing up this weekend, and then we'll know all 12 teams who will be headed to Chicago the first weekend of November. Of course I'll be supporting Gotham - I <3 NY. But I am also excited about Minnesota, Charm City, and B.ay A.rea D.erby.  B.A.D. intrigues me because I remember seeing a bunch of their girls at Nationals (not playing) last year. Demanda Riot sat in front of me for a few games...I remember admiring her dreads. She's got an unforgettable look. I also saw some of them skate at ECE back in July. It's awesome that they made it this year.

I've never been to Chicago before. I'm flying in early Friday morning and leaving Monday afternoon, so hopefully I'll get to see some of the city. Any recommendations for places to visit? The event is being held at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion.

Friday, October 8, 2010

High School Football

A fun post for Friday :)

My family lives pretty close to Albany, so on Friday night I found myself at my high school's Homecoming football game.  I also may or may not have been playing in the student/community pep band.
. . .

I was sitting in the stands watching the players warmup - knee bends, jogging to and fro, practicing juke moves around each other. Then I realized - I can do everything these guys can do... except on rollerskates.

Sort of like the old quote,
Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

First ACRD Mixed Scrimmage

On Saturday, October 2, Shockratease, Mr. T and I headed out to Syracuse for the new monthly open scrimmage hosted by Assault City Roller Derby.  Girls from Utica, Assault City, Rochester, and Central New York were there, plus a good handful of refs and NSOs from the area.  I've met some of these girls before through games, scrimmages, and tournaments before, so it was nice to reconnect and also make some new friends.

ACRD practice space.
ACRD practices in a retail space literally in a mall.  Their space was just big enough, and they had some mattresses on the wall in key places where clearance is tight. I did collide with one a couple times, which was actually kinda fun, haha. We had a few people peek in through the entrance into the mall - but official spectators were not allowed due to space limitations.  I can't imagine what people were thinking when they peered in and saw 30 girls in fishnets skating in circles.

ACRD did a really great job organizing the event.  Teams from all over the upstate/central area were invited and I thought we had a pretty good turnout.  It was a mixed scrimmage, so we all lined up in order of perceived skill level and were assigned either black or white. I ended up being on a team with mostly Utica Roller Girls and a few CNY girls, so that was nice.  Shock was on the other team, but she got to play with Blaze from ACRD (who I mentioned in my recap of the CNY vs. ACRD bout).  She's not quite as scary in person as she seems on the rink (again, I mean that in a good way!) but she is seriously an awesome skater and a great proponent of roller derby.
First ACRD mixed scrimmage.  Photo by Pete Rodriguez.

Happiest place on Earth.
The two teams were very evenly matched.  I didn't jam, but I did get a chance to play pivot a couple times.  It was cool to work with different girls and everyone was really nice about sharing tips and tricks.  Pied Viper was on the opposite team (I also wrote about her in the CNY/ACRD recap) - she was kicking butt as jammer but I managed to stop her maybe once or twice.  Wooo!  This scrimmage was great because I got to play with girls who I've admired from off the rink before.  I had a lot of fun.  Thank you Assault City!

And of course ... no trip out to central NY is complete with out a stop at FasTrac.  Can't wait until next month!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fun at Eastern Regionals

Miss Ida
Rev. Al Mighty & Ida Felternatch
Miss Ida, one of our announcers who is really starting to make it big in the announcing world (she also announced for Central New York this season), announced her first ever WFTDA tournament this weekend. Paired up with one of my favorites, Rev. Al Mighty, she grabbed her microphone and didn't look back. I'm way proud of her and hoping she'll announce at Nationals, too!

Great showing by the Hellions of Troy
I attended the event with fellow veterans Flexi, Shockratease, and Mathundra Storm, as well as die-hard derby supporters (HoT and announcers!) Eloda Sarcasm and Miss Ida Feltersnatch. Referee Miranda Wrights was also volunteering at the event, and upcoming HoT refs Beau T. Call and Luci D. Dream also came down on Sunday to watch.

Not only that, but we had a whole bunch of FRESH MEAT make the trip down on Saturday to catch the action. Road Kill, Chicken Florentine, Rock Lobster, Snausage, Hassenfeffer, Soyrizo, and Souvlaki (in case you didn't know - we call our fresh meat by MEAT names, haha) ... I'm SO proud so many new girls came down to check out this important event. I had barely been on the team for 6 weeks when I attended the 2009 WFTDA Nationals in November 2009. That experience definitely shaped my perspective on roller derby in a great way.

Rubbing Elbows
I met some AWESOME people that weekend! I'm on a quest to learn more and more about WFTDA, and everyone I spoke with was so helpful. I ran in to some girls from Toronto Roller Derby, who I had seen play against Buffalo back in August. I also chatted with girls from Suburbia, Long Island Roller Rebels, and Ophelia and Square Brute of Hudson Valley Horrors. I also met some way cool NSO/referees via Miranda Wrights, including Grand Poohbah (Roc City - stats), N8 (Charm City - stats), Bettie Mercury and Ian Fluenza (CT Roller Derby), and Reffalo Bill (DC Roller Girls).

Staff breaking down the skate court.
Tournaments are really fun because you meet lots of really awesome people, and also run into people you met at a previous derby event. Everyone is there to support derby, so there's always something to talk about or catch up on.

Seeing how the big leagues operate
It wasn't all about the skaters.  At the end of the tournament I got to watch the crew breakdown the skatecourt, which was being borrowed from Gotham.   I think I've skated on this type of surface once before.  I just thought it was interesting to see the process of setting up the skating service.  The squares (12"x12" I think) are broken down by 16 (4 square) panels and stacked several high on platforms then loaded into a truck. Have rink will travel.

Star Struck
Miranda Wrights was my ride home after the tournament on Sunday night. She had some volunteer stuff to wrap up so I hung around her and got to talk with some of her pals. Miranda's been invovled with derby for a long time: she started her derby career with Brew City from Madison, WI. We were casually chatting with her old team mate, Grace Killy, we someone casually mentioned she was the President of WFTDA. Ahhhh, wow! She was so incredibly nice. I also met The Ruffian from Dominion Roller Derby and had a casual conversation with her about WFTDA membership. Later that night when I was doing some googling, I discovered she's the Vice President of WFTDA. Wow!

Monday, October 4, 2010

One Year Derby Anniversary: Ursula Udders

Guest post by Ursula Udders

How Caitlyn became Ursula Udders
Before roller derby I was Caitlyn - a secretary by day and a theater student by night - besides that I had nothing all that interesting going on: all my friends were at schools in other states, and I wasn’t really great at meeting new people. So I spent most of my time at home or doing things with my mom. On October 2nd, 2009 I was at the mall with my mom because we were bored and shopping was something to do. The first thing we always do is go past the theater to see if anything good is playing, and thats where I saw it: “Whip It” sneak preview one week early... I had heard of it and was really interested in seeing it. At this point I didn’t think roller derby existed anymore, that it was just something people do in TV and movies to make for interesting plots...and boy was I wrong.

Hair/makeup: Total Image Salon;
Photo by Dino Petrocelli
Before the movie all these girls with odd names like Scarbucks and Doc Bi O’Hazard came in and sat in the reserved seats. I thought nothing of it and the movie started. By the time the movie was over I was in love and wished roller derby was still around. I’d say about a minute after I thought about that and was out of the theater a girl who had the name Kitty Porn on her back was handing me a flyer about a roller derby recruitment night that Monday for the Hellions of Troy. Needless to say that was all I could talk about for days. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it that Monday because I had a theater history class, so I went to the website and sent them an E-mail asking another time I could come. Within a few hours I had an e-mail from a girl named Shockratease (an e-mail I still have) saying it was no problem and I could come by on a Thursday.

Spicy! Hair/makeup: Total
Image Salon
By the time Monday came around I couldn't wait any long so I set out on going and missing class. When I got there I was greeted by Kitty and Shock. Soon after I was encouraged to put on skates and try it out (Rollarama is an active skating rink, so new recruits can borrow skates until they get their own). The last time I skated was when I was 13 so I knew I wouldn’t be very good at it. I was right - I spent most of the night clinging to the wall with help from a girl named Ivanna. Regardless of my poor skating I wanted to come back and get better. By the third practice I had found my center of balance and got my meat name: Spicy Tuna. I couldn’t of been happier.

Broken ankle cast
featuring Hellions colors
On October 5th 2010, it will be one year exactly that I’ve been with the Hellions of Troy... no longer as Spicy Tuna, but as Ursula Udders. I haven’t actually gotten to play in a bout yet since I broke my ankle on January 14th and took almost 4 months to recover, but I haven’t let that scare me away. Yes, that first time back on skates is terrifying thinking about what if it happens again, but you gotta do it and not let anything scare you. It’s also much easier to do with 30+ girls cheering you on. I haven’t passed minimums yet but I’m determined to pass them by my birthday in January.

This has been the best year of my life. I’ve met so many people on my team and on others. I can no longer imagine my life without derby and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

Friday, October 1, 2010

“Stuff You Should Know” Podcast on Roller Derby

Guest post by Miranda Wrights aka Emily Menn

A popular podcast from Discovery Network, Stuff You Should Know, recorded a great overview of derby. Based on an article by Tracy V. Wilson, this hilarious show walks you through the history, rules and culture of modern derby.

The hosts, Josh Clark and Charles “Chuckers” W. Bryant, have explained how hundreds of topics from sleepwalking to how mercenaries work. You’ll laugh out loud at their awe of fishnet burns and practice their sports commentary skills.

Check out the online article for a great interactive flash animation where you can run a jam. Visit:

Listen to the podcast at:
or download it for free on iTunes.