Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #1: Learn how to spin yarn

This one wasn't originally a part of my list, but I eventually decided to add this one on to replace a different goal, because I really HAVE always wanted to learn how to do this.

Today, my sister-in-law Jen and I set out for Yarndogs in Los Gatos to take a class on how to spin wool roving into yarn using a drop spindle:


Now why would anyone want to spin their own yarn, when you could totally buy yarn ready-made? Well, you're asking someone who wants to knit her own sweaters and hats even though I could totally buy them ready-made =P It's because you can't always find yarn like that. Or maybe you can, but it's not the weight you want it to be. Or maybe you just enjoy the feeling of making something with your own two hands. Maybe you just like the feel of something soft between your fingers.

At any rate, two years ago, I bought a "Learn to spin" kit that came with the above spindle and roving and a dvd that made no sense to me. I tried Youtube videos, and I just couldn't do it - spinning is something you need your hands for, and it's not always convenient to stop and browse for the next video if you need to be holding something. So I signed up Jen and myself for a lesson with Amy, who teaches the spinning classes at Yarndogs, so she could help us figure this stuff out.

I won't go into the details of how it's done here (because really, how can I explain it very well without just showing you?), but here are some photo highlights. I didn't get any pictures of myself spinning during the lesson because seriously, I had spinning to do. The amount of roving I had didn't produce very much, so I don't know what I'll be able to make with it, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless :)

Crossfit!

As awesome as this photo looks, my arms right now cannot straight or lift things up without total soreness. I would shake my fist but it hurts!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Violet Delights

Using the Urban Decay's Mariposa palette...


- UDPP Original
- UD's Infamous all over the lid
- UD's Rockstar into the crease
- UD's Skimp to highlight/blend crease
- Sugarpill's Dollipop applied to the center of the lid
- UD's eye pencil in Rockstar along the upper lash line
- UD's eye pencil in Asphyxia along the lower lash line
- MAC Zoom Fast Lash mascara

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open letter

Dear Pedestrian from This Morning,

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Please keep this in mind. When you walk a path that resembles a quadratic equation I would've learned about in high school math class, you're wasting my time.

Sincerely,
Thu

Saturday, December 10, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #14 - Attend Dickens Fair



It should come as no shock to you that I am a lover of 19th century British literature. The Romantics and the Victorians were absolutely my favorite periods of literature, along with the corresponding American period of literature of transcendentalism. I LOVE it.

So of course, attending the annual Dickens Christmas Fair that is held up near San Francisco has been on my to-do list for a long time. It's like a pilgrimage to the holy land of Victorian nerdiness. It's like Ren Faire in that there are TONS of people decked out in full costume, appropriate food from the period, and shows and dancing. It's like stepping straight into the pages of a Dickens novel. Putting on my most Victorian piece of clothing (my cropped red waistcoat), I got ready to step back into 19th century London.

It's a beautiful life



See how it all began! PRG celebrates its first year of existence this month, and we couldn't be prouder of how far we've come. We're currently at about 50 members (and still growing!), we have bouted for the first time, and we have WON our first victory. And 2012 has SO much more in store...

Friday, December 9, 2011

This morning...

I ate a SAUSAGE McGRIDDLE for breakfast.

WTF is wrong with me?

PS - They forgot to put the peppermint in my peppermint hot chocolate. Jerkfaces.

Simple smoky with the Naked Palette 2


It's been a while since I've done a beauty post! I haven't stopped wearing makeup, I just haven't had much time to blog what I'm wearing. But I did definitely want to post something using Naked 2, since I'm pretty excited about having it :)

So here's a really basic smoky eye:

And here's what I used:

Pistol, Verve, and Blackout

The three colors I happen to use are not widely available - Pistol is exclusive to this palette; Verve is otherwise available only in the Rollergirl palette; and Blackout is otherwise available only in the 15th Anniversary palette. I will link you to Temptalia's review of Naked 2, as she has good swatches and is very thorough in identifying possible dupes. Otherwise, I would just recommend choosing a dark shade, a medium shade, and a light shade, in whatever color family you choose. Some people like silvers/grays, some like browns, some like crazy-colored smoky eyes in purple or green... it's up to you.

I'm going to outline the steps, since I get asked often about how to do a smoky eye. There are lots of tutorials out there, and not everyone does them the same way. I think it's valuable to have a variety of methods available because people have different eye shapes! I've never found a tutorial that suited my eyes and eventually just went and asked a makeup artist to do one on me in person.

- Apply a primer. I like UD Primer Potion

- Using a firm, flat eye shadow brush, pat on Blackout on the outer half of the lid. I use a light hand for this step, since I don't want it too dark right away. I also use the tip of the shadow brush (or you can use a small crease brush, not too big or fluffy) to pull the Blackout into and along the crease a bit. I also used a smudge brush (small and pointed) to pull Blackout along the outer corner of my eye and only slightly onto my lower lash line, just at the corner.
*Note: This is what I'm wearing to work, so I didn't do much with my lower lash line. If I were doing a special occasion smoky eye, I'd probably line my lower lash line too. Among other things.

- Wipe off the flat shadow brush and use it to apply Pistol to the other half of your eyelid, starting at the middle.

- Here's the important part - where the Pistol and Blackout meet, that's where you REALLY need to blend. There shouldn't be a defined line where one shadow ends and the other begins. That's why it's called a smoky eye.

- This is an optional step, but I like what it does - after I'm done blending the middle, I'll go back and apply the individual colors with a stronger hand at the respective outer and inner corners of my eye.

- To smooth out the crease a bit (because you don't want sharp lines in a smoky eye), I used a SMALL fluffy brush to apply Verve just above the crease.

- Finish off with black eyeliner and mascara (I used UD's 24/7 pencil in Perversion and BeneFit's They're Real! mascara).

That's it! I know that looks like a lot of steps, but that's because I'm wordy. Basically it's: Apply dark color, apply light color, then blend.

And as I said earlier, the blending is what makes the smoky effect. For good blending, you need good brushes, and you need good eye shadow that is smooth and easy to work with. (When I say you need "good eye shadow," that does not mean "expensive eye shadow." Wet 'n' Wild's Color Icon palettes and singles, for example, are SUUUUPER good. So are NYX's eyeshadows.)

I hope this helped someone out there :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warmth

I'm not really a shawl- or wrap-wearing person, but I've lately found myself drawn to knitting them. My Ravelry queue has been full of them lately, and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I started knitting Seraphine, which is a beautiful thick cabled wrap. (Indeed, I've always kind of been a sucker for cables - the charts just seem to fly by. I'm also a sucker for anything related to Brooklyn Tweed.)

Why make them if I don't necessarily plan to use them? I don't know. Sometimes I think to myself, "Well, I just don't HAVE one. If I had a shawl, I'd wear it." But I do have a couple now that I've knit, and I don't use them. In fact, I've given some away.

In fact, I've made a lot of things that I've ended up giving away. I think I mostly made them just because I COULD.

But there's something irresistible about something you can drape around your shoulders to keep yourself warm. Not a sweater, which is so dependent on size and fit and what's in fashion, but a timeless, classic piece whose sole purpose is to make you feel comforted and warm.

Yes. Shawls.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breaking Dawn Part 1 FTW!

I bought Breaking Dawn the day it came out, and I stayed up all night reading it. Aghast and horrified about two-thirds through the book, my first thought was HOW IN THE HELL are they going to make this into a movie? And keep it PG-13???

Well, I just got to see the movie tonight, and I am happy to say that it was VERY well done. In fact, I daresay, it's the best movie of the entire franchise. Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order, having seen it for the first time.

*spoilers ahoy*

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Incredible


Last night was PRG's second official bout, but it was MY first one. And as we stood for a large team photo after it was all over, my eyes were shining with tears.

THIS. This was what I've been waiting for. This is was the ultimate goal, what I've been working towards for two long years - the chance to make roster, to be one of the top 14 skaters in our league and skate in a bout. I remember the early days, volunteering at SVRG bouts and watching them skate, wondering if that would ever be me someday.

We'd won, a sweeping victory over the High Country Mountain Derby Girls Gold Diggers team of Sonora. My eyes were shining with tears, I tell you.

For me this wasn't just a victory over the other team. This was a victory over all my past obstacles. This was a victory over my not be able to pass WFTDA twice due to completely psyching myself out when I was in SVRG's bootcamps. This was a victory over the despair I felt when I had to quit the two other leagues I used to skate with, feeling like I'd never find a place to belong. This was a victory over my left elbow, which I sprained less than two weeks ago during a routine drill at practice, that STILL hasn't completely healed (and was actually exacerbated last night, but hey, it was worth it!). This was a victory over all my fears, all my hang-ups, all my anxiety. This was a victory over my heart threatening to pound through my chest as we drove for two and a half hours to get to Sonora.

And of course, making roster in the first place is a victory in itself, and I was thrilled to no end when it was announced.

For PRG, this win was a big deal as well. When we played a team-on-team scrimmage for the first time against SVRG at the end of September, they'd won 300-something to our 10 points. When we played our next scrimmage against the Undead Bettys of Antioch, they'd won 200-something to our 40-something. Our first bout against Redding (which I was unavailable for) was a loss, 153-55.

Last night against Sonora? Not just a victory, but a HUGE one.


And we definitely worked for it. Our practices have been tough this month - lots of strategy, lots drills, lots of footwork. My body is constantly fatigued and sore these days. During the bout itself, the Gold Diggers played a hard-hitting, aggressive game, on slick sport court tile, at high elevation in the mountains, which had me roll my ankle and aggravate my elbow sprain from two separate falls. (I'm writing this post now at 7 in the morning because I can't sleep due to the aches and pains I'm feeling right now.) One of our other skaters had her finger get run over. We all got pretty beat-up, I think.

So what worked for us? Lots of strategy. As one of the Gold Diggers posted on our Facebook page afterwards, we played a head game. We manipulated the clock to our advantage, formed 4-walls, took advantage of power jams, got lead jammer often, and communicated, communicated, communicated. Anyone who came to the bout looking for a "knock a b**** down!" type of game still got their money's worth, but were probably thrown off by a lot of what we were doing. It wasn't until the last half of the first period that the other team was really starting to try to counter our strategy, and by then it was too little, too late.

I know that when the visiting team wins, we're not supposed to be so exuberant in front of their home crowd, but we couldn't help it - this was a momentous night for us. The victory laps we took afterwards, with all our friends' smiling faces and hands outstretched for the high-five, were delicious. After we took our team photo, we headed back to our locker room to take off all our gear and to scream deliriously at each other some more. My euphoria carried me all the way home, through a long drive through the rain in mostly pitch-blackness.

Not a bad way to start my bouting career, eh? I know that not all bouts will be like this (as our previous team-on-team attempts have indicated), but this one was totally sweet. Not only can I now say that I've got a bout under my belt, but I've got a win as well.

Photo by derbybybeakertehmuppet

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Viva Glam - official photos





30 Things Before I'm 30 - Item 11: Go on a wine tasting trip

So, I'm not a drinker. Never was. My college drinking experiences were limited to Pabst Blue Ribbon and Jack-and-cokes, and because I'm a total lightweight and I also don't like drinking things that don't taste good, I generally opt for a non-alcoholic option.

But seeing as how I'm encroaching upon my 30's, I at least feel like I should learn about wine, and find one that I like. When people ask me if I like white or red, I shrug because I don't know. I don't know anything about wine - how to drink it, how to appreciate it, etc. So this one was a must-have on my 30 before 30 list, and when I learned of a 2-for-1 wine tasting voucher on Facebook, I jumped on it.

So my friend Lisa and I set out today for St. Helena (about two hours away) to have lunch and visit a couple different wineries, amidst unusually beautiful late-October weather.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SVRG Halloween Tournament

Sunday was SVRG's first ever Halloween Tournament! When I first caught wind of this, I signed up almost immediately, because it sounded like the most fun ever - skaters from all over the area being divided up into Halloween-themed teams and then facing off? Hell yeah!

We ended up having four teams - Team Skeletons (black), Team Pumpkins (orange), Team Zombies (purple), and Team Ghosts (white - my team). Black and Orange faced off first, then Purple and White, and the winner from each one would face each other in a "championship" bout.

I arrived at Roosevelt Park on Sunday already burning up - for October, it sure was hot out. The outdoor rink had no cover whatsoever, and spectators were crammed into what little shade there was in the stands. The track surface was slick and at times covered in water spots seeping up from beneath the sport court tiles - the combination of the heat and having to work so hard just to stabilize myself meant that I was already sweaty after warm-ups.

I proudly watched as two of my league mates, Jentropy and Saffron Cisco, contributed to the Pumpkins' win over the Skeletons, and then took to the track to get ready for my own bout. I was the only PRG skater on the Ghosts (or as we called ourselves, Team WOOooOOoo), skating with some girls from Santa Cruz and SVRG, among other leagues. The Zombies featured two of my former league mates, Foo Bar and Roxo Gene, as well as some other skaters I used to be in bootcamp with.

Ghosts pulled ahead and never looked back. I believe our score at the half was 60-something to 20-something, and despite the fact that we were winning by a wide margin, I couldn't help grimacing a little at the idea of playing a second game in hot sun.

I even got to jam! Death by Dollface (whom I admire and respect and look up to) asked me, "Do you want to jam next?" and I nervously replied, "Um, no... but okay!" Why not, right? She assured me that either she or Lizapalooza (another SVRG skater I have known a while and admire) would be in my pack to help me out. And as it turned out, we did have a VERY strong pack for my jam, and it was thanks to their awesome blocking that I got lead jammer! And I even made one full successful scoring pass after getting lead! I skated out the full two minutes (I was trying REALLY hard to get back to the pack, but I was just too tired and slow), and came off the track to congratulations from everyone on my team, including the bench coach.

Other than my one "star turn," I either pivoted or blocked. All four teams had lots of people dropping out for various reasons, so we each only had about 9 skaters, so we did packs of three rather than four. The Ghosts defeated the Zombies by a fairly wide margin, and then went on to defeat the Pumpkins in the championship bout to win the day!

I feel pretty good about my blocking - in the practices leading up to Sunday, Carl has had us working specifically on blocking skills and techniques, and I tried to implement whatever I could. In game 2 against the Pumpkins, I found myself blocking against Jentropy, who is a jammer and very fast and agile, on a couple different occasions. We had been practicing how to sort of stride match with a jammer coming off the line - how long to wait before you move, how fast you have to go when you DO start moving so the jammer doesn't just pass you - and I focused on that and got a couple good hits on her. (Love you, Jentropy! =P)

Despite the heat and the skating surface, it was LOADS of fun. I got to reconnect with some skaters I hadn't seen in a long time, and we all played a good clean game, and my scary ghost makeup stayed on THE ENTIRE TIME. It was awesome. I would totally do this again next year... though I would kinda love for it to be indoors ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011

I made roster!!!!!!!!

Two long years, I've dealt with personal setbacks, league drama, and just old-fashioned "my body won't do what I want it to"... only to find myself now with a fantastic group of skaters and coaches.

It's funny how something that is the culmination of my efforts from one phase can also be the beginning of even bigger and better things.

I am so happy and so proud to announce that I've made the final roster for our bout coming up in Sonora on November 5th!!! Of course, it's not set in stone - between now and then, I've got to REALLY work hard to prove that I belong there - but this is a great, great thing!


Monday, October 17, 2011

NWM 2011


This was supposed to be the grand year that I completed a full marathon, but alas, it wasn't to be. I WILL do it next year.

However, I made a pretty good go of it for the half yesterday. I haven't been training, but I've been skating a ton, and I think that helped, because I felt better throughout the race than I ever have in previous years. Becca and I kept up our running interval through the first half (minus the hills, which were torturous), and I think I could've kept it up longer, but Becca was struggling a little with running, so we walked the second half.

(I could tell I was stronger and could've run more because we ran towards the finish line, and I totally felt FINE. I've done the last-straightaway-sprint-to-the-finish before, and I'm usually limping and really slow and just plain in PAIN, but yesterday, I was like, Dude! I'm just bouncing in!!!)

So, all things considered, I feel really good about yesterday's race, and I think I've regained my motivation to be a runner.

Next stop: Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon in January!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30 - Item 29: Knit a sweater for my dad

Actually, he asked for a vest, so I made him a sweater VEST, and it turned out very well, if I do say so myself.

The pattern is Delius (from Twist Collective), and it's knit with Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool - VERY soft!

Front view

Back cable with neck detailing
I know it looks long and skinny, but the vest ended up being a perfect fit. I don't have an action photo for you, so you'll have to take my word for it :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FREE HANDKNITS! HANDKNIT GIVEAWAY

I like to knit. A lot. I think I like knitting things even more than I like wearing the knitted things. I'm kind of a process knitter, I suppose.

So, I have a lot of knit things that are sitting around, and I think they're too beautiful to just sit around anymore. So I'm giving them away.

All I ask in return is that you care for them properly (and not accidentally felt them in the washing machine LIKE MY MOTHER) and if I have to mail it to you, please cover postage.

First come, first served. Please email me directly (thuvngo at gmail) - don't comment this post. I have more pictures of most of these items, if you need to see them. I will note which ones have already been taken.

All garments are women's size L/XL (14-16) unless otherwise noted. My bust measurement (around the fullest part) is around 46 inches, if that helps to give you a reference. And I generally make things a little loose.

*UPDATE* All that remains below is the Calorimetry headband. Unless anyone changes her mind :)

Short n Sweet, an open-front, crocheted short-sleeved bolero. 100% cotton - I'm pretty sure I have washed this in a machine.



TAKEN!









Chelsea - lacy open-front vest. Bamboo/wool - handwash/dry flat


TAKEN!














Forest & Frill - cabled and lacy shrug. Very thick and warm. 100% alpaca (so soft!) - handwash/dry flat





TAKEN!











Balthasar Vest - Deep V neck vest. Machine washable wool.



TAKEN!














Nob Hill - Bolero jacket. Slight discoloration on the inside underarms (because of a black shirt I was wearing) and on the front collar due to a different pin I was using. 100% acrylic, machine washable



TAKEN!











Liesl - Cropped cardi. Silk and wool - handwash/dry flat






TAKEN!











Cowl neck sweater - sleeveless lace. The size I chose to make was too big and long for me - this will probably more likely fit a size 16-18 woman. 100% wool - handwash/dry flat


TAKEN!













Urchin Beret - machine washable wool.


TAKEN!















Ski Skulls - Ended up being just a tad too small for my head. I have a huge head. That's okay, I'll make another one. I immensely enjoyed making this. Wool - handwash/dry flat


TAKEN!













Lettuce armwarmers - lace armwarmers. Wool, handwash/dry flat




TAKEN!













Dashing - cabled armwarmers. Wool, handwash/dry flat


TAKEN!










Calorimetry - ribbed earwarmer/headband. Wool - handwash/dry flat


















Monday, October 3, 2011

The Undead Bettys ate my braaaains

Me pivoting. The sun giving me an evil eye.
Thanks, Undead Bettys, for hosting the scrimmage last night! We had a great time and learned a lot!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Demanda Riot

Is my derby hero.

Photo by LeVar Hurtin'
When I grow up...

DolliPOP

I needed to be bright today.

- UDPP
- Sugarpill Dollipop on outer 2/3 of lid
- Sugarpill Tako on inner 1/3
- Sugarpill Bulletproof in the crease
- UD matte shadow in Naked to blend the crease
- UD eye pencil in Zero along upper lash line
- UD eye pencil in Asphyxia along lower lash line
- UD Supercurl mascara

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ain't no rest for the wicked

This weekend:
Saturday: Seeing my friend Lillian star in August Osage County.
Sunday: Official team photoshoot and then scrimmaging the Undead Bettys in Antioch.

Next weekend:
Friday: My friend Kathleen's open house for her baking business, A Spoonful of Sugar
Saturday: John & Mary's family wedding party thingy
Sunday: Wine tasting with my friend Lisa

(Tuesday: Circuit Jerks mixed B&W scrimmage)

The weekend after that:
Saturday: (While PRG is bouting in Redding) Lisa's baby's birthday party
Sunday: NIKE WOMEN'S MARATHON with Becca wooooo

The following weekend after that:
Sunday: SVRG Halloween tournament

The weekend after that:
Friday: PRG and RRR present MONSTER SKATE!! A fundraiser to benefit PRG

The weekend after that (which is the first weekend of November):
Saturday: PRG bouting against Mountain Derby Girls in Sonora

And then...
The weekend after that is WFTDA nationals. (Okay, all this means is that I will be camped out in front of my laptop, but still. It's an occasion!)
The weekend after THAT is BADG open scrimmage.
The weekend after THAT is Thanksgiving.

And I believe the following weekend after Thanksgiving, which happens to be the first weekend in December and the weekend immediately before my 29th birthday, is most likely the day the weekend that PRG will have their holiday superbash that I'm organizing.

And then the next weekend is Red Red Holiday.

And then the next weekend is another BADG open scrimmage, as well as the start of Xmas break.

How's that for busy?

And somewhere in there is, you know, my job and my family. And I've got a couple big projects on the needles right now, in addition to whatever I'll be trying to get done for Nerd Wars. (Don't ask.) And I have to, like, sleep and stuff. And shower.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pablo Neruda, "Night on the Island"

I've never been a gushy romantic, but I will make exceptions for poetry because I love the beautiful use of language. I just read this poem for the first time, and I think I'm in love.

All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water.

Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the top or at the bottom,
up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

Perhaps your dream
drifted from mine
and through the dark sea
was seeking me
as before,
when you did not exist,
when without sighting you
I sailed by your side,
and your eyes sought
what now---
bread, wine,love and anger--
I heap upon you
because you are the cup
that was waiting for the gifts of my life.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,
and on waking suddenly
in the midst of the shadow
my arm encircled your waist.
NEITHER NIGHT NOR SLEEP
COULD SEPARATE US.

I have slept with you
and on waking, your mouth
come from your dream,
gave me the taste of earth,
of sea water, of sea weed,
of the depths of your life
and I received your kiss
moistened by the dawn
as if it came to me
from the sea that surrounds us.

Yay!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30: Knit a toy for Jolie


This one is on my list as an expanding-my-knitting-repertoire item. I've knitted lots of things, but I've never really done a toy before. I found this pattern on Ravelry and thought it would be perfect, as Jolie loves dogs, and it more or less looks like our own little black dog. (He's not a Scottish terrier, but he's smallish. In hindsight, I should've knit floppy ears.) I've named it Bo because that's what Jolie calls our dog (even though that's not his name). Bo was knit using Patons Classic Wool in black and size 6 needles. (And I used all the rest of the yarn from the skein to stuff it, since I couldn't find any stuffing.) The sewing and seaming was tedious and long, but it came together nicely. Bo wears a purple velour ribbon.

Jolie's snuggling with Bo in her crib right now as we speak!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Derby homecoming

Carl and Razor giving us our instructions and positions
I'm tired and sore. I have a pretty mauve bruise on the heel of my right palm that showed up pretty much instantly, so it was definitely a hard fall. I think I even twisted my knee a little, because it doesn't quite feel right today.

But all in all, I feel pretty great :)

We scrimmaged SVRG's Hard Drivers last night (although, truth be told, it wasn't JUST the Hard Drivers, but also a few of their A-level and B-level skaters as well) in our first team-on-team scrimmage. And though we did not emerge victorious, there were lots of tiny triumphs to be had.

A team-on-team scrimmage is just about as close to a simulated game as you can get. As you can tell by the name, it's one team against another, as opposed to a mixed scrimmage (which a lot of us have been skating in) where teams come together and mix up all their skaters and divide them into random teams. It also means that we played a full-length game - two 30-minute periods - which I don't think any of us have done so far either (the mixed scrimmages are usually only 30 minutes, or at most, two 20-minute periods), so this was a major test of endurance for us. I've skated three mixed scrimmages so far, and this one definitely felt different.

Oh, and by the way, this is SVRG. They are the league I started with, whom I originally wanted to join, and I'm not the only one - a large number of us also started with SVRG's bootcamp, and that's how we met each other in the first place. There might not have been a PRG without SVRG!

So it was a big deal to be skating them last night! A lot of the girls on the Hard Drivers were in bootcamp with me at some point or another. They fared better than I did and moved forward, while I took a more circuitous route, but this is the first time that we are all competing together, and for me that's huge. Like, I've finally made it to where you are! I'm still not as skilled as you are, but now we're at least in the same ball park. That means a lot to me, that I've finally "caught up."

I'm very proud of PRG for last night, because SVRG was killing badly with every jam, but that was never point. We fought to stand our ground. We made improvements as night went on, looking at our weaknesses from the first half and trying to remedy them as best we could in the second. Even down to the last jam, the final four whistles of the last jam, we still gave it our all.

And I PIVOTED. Dude, I've never pivoted before. I've never given much thought to pivoting, as I've always thought I would be best at position #3 in the pack. But it worked out. A big part of pivoting is knowing what's going on in the pack at all times and to control the speed of the pack and communicate, and that's what I focused on. I'm still not as knowledgeable about strategy as I could be, but I take to heart the stuff that Carl tells us about what to do in certain situations (especially if it has been further enforced by my experiences in scrimmages), and as a pivot, that's what I tried to stick to. I got lots of encouraging comments from skaters of both leagues about my performance as a pivot, so I definitely feel good about it. I did always say that I wanted to learn all positions! (though, I'm nowhere near wanting to be a jammer right now.)

[Insert obligatory dirty roller derby joke about wearing (helmet) panties here.]

So all in all, a great night. I think the final score was 300-something SVRG to PRG's 10 (ha!!!), but th emost important thing is that we had a lot of fun and we learned a LOT. I'm sure that we will be talking about this tonight at practice.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30: #19 - Bake a cake from scratch


So, I'm a little bit dessert-caked-out after having attended three weddings in the last four weeks, so when I saw this recipe for Applesauce-Sour Cream Coffee Cake, I thought, Bingo! That's something I want to make! I can only handle so much super-sweet cake and frosting, so coffee cake is something I love because I like having it for breakfast :)

So, all the ingredients that you see in the above photo went into the cake, and nothing more - flour, brown sugar, applesauce, sour cream, baking soda, baking powder, and a little salt. It's REALLY easy, and tastes really good. (Oh, and cinnamon, which I forgot to grab from the cabinet until after I took the photo. *shrug*)

Batter up!
Ready to bake
All lovely and cinnamon-y and golden brown :)