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Showing posts from February, 2010

Life in One Day - Cinequest 2010

This is my second time attending Cinequest, because it's hard finding a huge chunk of time to spend at the movies (that I could justify). But I went today, and ended the day with a Dutch movie called Life in One Day. And ended up crying alone in my car on the way home.

So, this isn't a review of sorts... reviews aren't my thing. I will say that, as the movie really spoke to me, I thought it was very good, and from what I know about filmmaking itself (which isn't a lot, but I know the basics), it was well-made too. As usual, I will talk about the movie as a jumping off point for my personal reflections.

In the movie, a person's entire life spans one day... you're born early in the morning (in time for your grandpa to see you before he dies, having lived his own life the previous day), and you die at the end of it, and you live your entire life in between. Because your life span is so short, all of life's meaningful experiences happen only once, and thus hol…

I got my new wheels :)

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Atom G-Rods, standard width.

Sometimes the English language lets me down.

(And so do other people.)

There is not a single word in the English language that I can think of that can adequately express the outrage and anger that I feel about Utah's Criminal Miscarriage law.

Despite the fact that I've been talking about it all over my Internet places (Facebook, Rav forums, emailing people, etc.), I still can't properly put into words how I feel about it. When I read about it the first time, my jaw dropped. "ARE YOU KIDDING," was all I could say. And as I find out more about it, I can feel the tension build up in my FACE muscles.

And I feel absolutely powerless. I don't even live in Utah. And if I did, I don't think someone like me would be very welcome there. No one would lend any credence to my voice anyway - judging by the fact that someone would actually THINK UP this law (well, it's still a bill, right now), and the fact that SO MANY people have voted for it, it's plain to see that women, women's mental health, and…

Some pictures for fun!

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First of all, I ordered an SVRG bootcamp shirt from Steffenrazor, and it's awesome! The front says "SVRG bootcamp 2010," and here's the back.

Like I said, Jimmy doesn't call me Brock Lesnar for nothing. If I had some training, I could give those WWE Divas a run for their money, fight-wise.

Here's one of me and Jolie from a couple days ago. Note the incongruity of our mother-daughter pairing: Jolie is cute as a button in her Pooh outfit, all smiles and baby innocence. I've got my derby tshirt, dark Urban Decay eyeliner, and my tattoo proudly displayed on my huuuuge arm.
Jolie will lure you in, and I will hip-check you.

And lastly... Jolie is trying out a new look. It's her DERANGED smile: Watch out for this one! This girl is ca-raaaaaaaazy!
Have a good night :)

Lesson of the week: Sometimes it's better to stay down.

In roller derby, if you fall, you have to get RIGHT back up. Three seconds. Two, even. For one thing, the action is still going on, and if you take too long, the pack will be miles away, and you will have a heck of a time catching up, and in the meantime, your team is short a jammer (to score points) or a blocker (to take out the other jammer or clear the path for your own jammer). And for another thing, if you stay down, it signals to everyone else that you have a serious injury and they will have to stop the action to take care of you. 

This week has shown me that sometimes it's better to stay down.

This has been a terrible week. I got sick last week - bad cold, sore throat, exhaustion - and it rolled over to this week. I toughed it out through Monday and Tuesday at work, and had planned to go to practice, but my nose started BLEEDING right before I was to get ready to leave, and I decided to stay home, but I wasn't happy about it.

That's how you know that I love this. …

Thoughts on Roller Derby and Feminism

I'm tired of reading people's articles/blogs claiming that roller derby is anti-feminist or that roller girls are undermining feminist ideals.

Case in point. It's actually positive overall, but it also questions the feminism of roller derby, because of the outfits mostly. It claims that roller derby is only popular BECAUSE it's played by women, and says that the objectification going on is similar to that of jello wrestling.

I would say, Yes, roller derby gets a lot of attention because it's all women, but not in the way she's insinuating. She is making it sound like roller derby turns women into some sort of cheap novelty (hot chicks on skates beating each other up), and that's why people go see it. I would argue the opposite - if derby girls are any sort of "novelty," it's the fact that they are diverse women of all races, ages, sizes, shapes, stations in life, etc. playing a tough, aggressive sport with skill, AND looking sexy while they do …

I love this song.

I LOVE this child so much.

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I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

This is an exercise in self-praise without apology. So, I do not apologize whatsoever for how conceited I might sound, because I pretty much never do this, ever.

What's Awesome About Me (in no particular order):

I'm smart. I was that irritating friend in high school who would do maybe half the reading, try REALLY hard not to fall asleep during class, study a little bit, and still end up with a B+ in the class. Some things come really easy to me. I wasn't always lazy though - I just got really good at figuring out what my priorities were, where I needed to place my focus, and where I could let things slide a little. That said, I have spent countless hours in my life sweating it out over writing essays and papers, and reading, reading, reading. I'm not a quick thinker, but I'm an analytical thinker, and a reflective thinker. I can't recall facts very well at all, but I can synthesize and analyze and reflect like nobody's business.

I'm doing a good job with …

Hooray for small victories!

Well, it's not a small victory - it's quite a large one, actually:

I'm down 9 pounds since January 23rd!

Had the official weigh-in at the doctor's office today, and I'm please to report my progress. As I may or may not have mentioned, I'm taking phentermine (under medical supervision, obviously), and it's helping curb my appetite. (I do still get cravings sometimes, but not as strongly and not as often.) My doctor had set my goal for 5-8 pounds for the first month, and I exceeded it (kind of)!

I also would be remiss if I didn't thank roller derby for the changes it hath wrought. Four and a half hours a week of sweat dripping down my face and sprinting and squatting really make a big difference.

So, my doctor said that the first month is usually the best in terms of weight loss, so I should not be expecting to lose more than 8 pounds over the next month. (I go back again March 20th.) She has set my overall weight goal for 160, which should put me merely…

I want to go fast!

So during warmups last night, one of the other skaters, as she was passing me, asked, "Are you going to get new wheels soon?" I was pretty puzzled, because I had thought that I had pretty good wheels (particularly for beginner skates), so I said, "I don't know. Are they bad?" and she replied, "Yes!" And another skater right behind her said, "You will totally feel a difference with better wheels. You'll go faster!"

Which got me thinking, about new wheels and about gear in particular. I pretty much know nothing about gear and skates. It's just a matter of taking the time to learn, of course, and because the derby world never assumes that anyone joining derby will just KNOW everything, there are lots of primers and tutorials about gear, all over the internet. One of the skaters for SVRG, Postal Servix, keeps a gear blog. Sin City Skates has a ton of info for newbies like me.

The thing is, how MUCH will new wheels help me? I can see how …

Schrodinger's Baby Manual - every piece of advice is both true and false until you try it.

One of my biggest strengths, I think, is my ability to follow directions. Therefore, one of my biggest weaknesses is trying to figure out what to do when I have no directions to follow. I feel confused, lost, and overwhelmed. This is how I feel as I'm trying to introduce solids to Jolie.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, this is how I've felt ever since she was born. It's frustrating, isn't it, that there are a million books, websites, articles, and well-meaning people out there who have an answer for EVERYTHING, but it will always be followed by, "Well, in the end, every baby is different, so this might not work for your baby." Hey, THANKS! That's really helpful!

It IS true, but still... frustrating, nonetheless. An academic in every sense of the word, I have spent countless hours reading anything and everything and querying everyone from my family to perfect strangers on the internet about this whole process of introducing rice cereal while still feedin…

New Firsts :)

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Some Jolie awesomeness - her first real baby food, and her first Vietnamese New Year!

We're moving onwards and upwards from the rice cereal. Enough of that crap. Bring on the sweet potatoes!


So, this is Jolie's first non-white food, by the way. (I think.) Time to invest in an apron or a smock, because that girl gets messy!

She really seems to love sweet potatoes, though!




She even loved it so much, that she felt the need to eat the leftover bits that dripped onto her bib!
I'm a hungry animal!!!

Jolie also got her first lucky red envelopes today! In the grand tradition of Chinese/Vietnamese New Year, lucky red envelopes are given out containing money, for good luck. Jolie, having no knowledge of the function of money, finds a new purpose for it instead:


Yeah, she tried to eat it. And if that wasn't bad enough, sometimes she would miss, and nearly poke her eye out :)
All in all, a good day.

Crossing Over (not the skating kind)

My life right now can be neatly divided into three parts, with very little crossover between them: work, home, and derby. Which is not to say that they don't affect one another - I'm just saying that no one I know takes up more than one category in my life right now.

No one I work with hangs out with me outside of work, and obviously, no one I hang out with outside of work will ever see me AT work (because... well, it's work). No one from work or derby so far has hung out with me at home (not that I invite anyone over - it's always a huge mess of baby bottles and Kleenex and my dogs are crazy).

But see here - I would LOVE for people at work to come to a derby bout. I know a few of my work friends are waiting to actually see me play, but who knows when that will be? So why don't they come to watch one with me? (Jimmy and John have been to a couple, so I'm not complaining about the home front, and I think my parents would be terrified.)

I feel like I am falling i…

Happy halfway!

I do believe tonight marks the halfway point of bootcamp. I do feel that I am immensely better than I was when we first started. We are learning more every day of practice, and pushing our bodies harder.

Tonight we started off with pushcarts, where we had to push four other people in a line from the back. That was totally fun - we were like a bunch of out-of-control train cars.

Then we did back-to-back pace lines: the first one was a fall-back weaving drill, where the person in the front has to weave to the back (facing the right direction, of course), and I have to admit, until I actually tried it, I was scared to do it. And then it ended up being easier than the forward weaving pace line, because all you have to do is let the line move by, person by person, and duck behind everyone. You don't have to scramble to maintain your place. So, I felt like I did really well on that one. Then we went straight into one where the person in the front (which happened to be ME first) does a h…

Just wanted to squee a bit...

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Panda thought I did a great job! Squee! It means a lot to get a compliment from the head coach! (Considering how, the first night of bootcamp, she pulled me aside to tell me that I was wearing my helmet backwards... smooth move, Ex-Lax!)

We had a one-hour practice tonight, because of Goth Night skating. Still, we got in a weaving pace line, which I'm getting better and better at, and some close-proximity skating, which I could use some improvement on (and that does also involve controlling your pace). Then we worked on pushing each other off the line (legally! no hurting each other!), which I think I got the hang of, and as I said above, I think I could really do well as a blocker, if I make it into the league.

I feel like I'm on the cusp of something huge, and I'm having trouble finding that little extra spasm of power to push myself towards it. I need to find that extra push and run with this, because I think I have a lot of potential here, and I'm not maximizing it.

Yay for bootcamp!

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I posted this on Facebook, but forgot that I hadn't posted it here.

My baby's growing up!

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Jolie, who is now 6 months old, has just tried solid food for the first time.

And true to form, she was completely adorable and easy. Obviously, more of it came back out than went down, but she was adorably curious, opened her mouth for the spoon, and smacked her lips to get a feel for the food.

I can't believe how fast she's growing up. Today she tried rice cereal - next week I'll be seeing her off to college or something.

Sometimes I think swear words were invented specifically for nights like last night.

If Tuesday night had me feeling totally awesome, last night had me feeling the total opposite.

First of all, I was late to practice, for the first time ever. (And usually I get there WAY early to gear up.) It's just my luck that the one time I leave a little bit later than normal, BOTH major freeways to get to the rink are clogged up with traffic from accidents. My shoulders tensed up and I yelled more swear words than I'd used in the past week combined. I got there and got my gear on JUST in time to stretch, meaning, I didn't get to do any warm-up laps. I went from a cold stretch into a pace line drill without warming up, and I could feel my legs shaking underneath me after a few turns around the track.Really, it's a credit to the strength training I did this weekend that I survived the pace line (weaving again) and the hot laps afterward. It really was a tough one.

I'm so exhausted this morning, I don't even remember what else we did - I know we learned how …

Got to admit, it's getting better, it's getting better all the time

*singing* It can't get no worse!

So, we'll see how I feel after tonight's practice, but last night's felt really good.

The first thing we did after warm-ups was a weaving pace line drill. I've seen the team do this before, and it's always freaked me out because it just LOOKS so hard. We split up into two lines though ("fast" and "faster"... I was in the "fast" line), and aside from probably allowing too much of a gap too often between me and the girl in front of me, I managed to keep up AND I survived the weaving part without taking anyone out! It took me a little while because at one point, I could not catch up to the next girl I was supposed to cut in front of, but eventually I got there and made it to the front. (And then later on I got taken down by someone else trying to weave, but no problem - I wasn't hurt.)

AND we learned how to do a whip yesterday! SO awesome. It's a classic derby move, and I didn't fall, nor d…