Thursday, September 29, 2011

Demanda Riot

Is my derby hero.

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


I needed to be bright today.

- 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.

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.


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 :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three things that I'm loving right now

(That aren't new by any means, but it could be new to you!)

The Runaways' self-titled debut album
I saw the movie a few months ago (yes, I was madly curious about seeing Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie), and totally fell in love with their music. When I listen to them, I don't get the feeling of "Hey, this is an awesome CHICK band," I feel like they're an awesome band, PERIOD. It's precisely my kind of music - unabashed hard rock with five young girls who are really good at what they do, and have attitude to spare. And there are always so few female rock heroes, particularly teenage ones. For girls who need something edgier than the squeaky-clean Disney-fied pop starlets of today, check out The Runaways. My favorite tracks: "You Drive Me Wild," with the supremely sexy Joan Jett doing vocals (and you have to remember that she probably wasn't even 18 when they recorded this); "Cherry Bomb," the song that everyone knows, and that still rocks hard anyway; and "Dead-End Justice," the album's rather epic closing track, featuring Joan and Cherie trying to break out of juvie.

My brother got me into this show. I have to admit, I'm generally resistant to watching these crime-y, action-y, basic-cable-channel tv shows, but I've been kind of interested in this one for two reasons: one, I kinda have a crush on Christian Kane (dating back to when he was on Angel), and two, the show also stars Gina Bellman, who was in my FAVORITE sitcom ever, Coupling. So I finally got around to watching it, and it's pretty awesome, and not at ALL what I thought.

Like I said, I'm pretty sick of these self-righteous crime-solving shows. But Leverage isn't a crime-solving show, it's a... um... crime-committing show? The premise is as follows: Timothy Hutton plays Nathan Ford, an ex-insurance investigator who is down on his luck and down on life because his very own employers denied coverage for his son, causing his son's death. He, "an honest man," joins up with four other thieves, and together, they pull Robin Hood-esque scams on the evil rich guys and corporations who legally get away with screwing over normal, kind, good-hearted people. As they say on the show, they "pick up where the law leaves off." Rounding out the team are a grifter (who does the conning, the acting, the persuading), a hitter (literally, the guy who beats people up), a hacker, and a thief (well, they're all thieves, but specifically, she cracks safes, crawls through elevator shafts, pickpockets, etc). Ford is the mastermind, the one who has all the plans and the ideas and who leads the team. Special mention goes to Mark Sheppard, who plays Sterling, Ford's archrival! Mark Sheppard is awesome.

The show has an Ocean's Eleven feel to it without having a smarmy, George-Clooney-Brad-Pitt-Julia-Roberts-ensemble-movie feel to it. Generally, they show the con being run, sometimes it goes wrong, but then it almost always turns out okay at the end, and you will see certain key moments being explained in flashback.

It's funny, smart, and not too corny, and you really kind of fall in love with all the characters because they're just so badass. I'm not entertained by much these days, so discovering this show was quite a treat. They just had their mid-season finale last week and won't start up again until November, but that means it's a good time to catch up on episodes. Some of my favorites: "The Nigerian Job," which is the very first episode and explains everything you need to know; "The Rashomon Job," in which the crew all recount an evening five years ago (before they knew each other) where they all tried to steal the same thing, and each tells their story; and "The Van Gogh Job," guest-starring Danny Glover, and featuring some really fabulous 40's sequences with Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge playing different characters than who they normally play.

Jane Eyre
In addition to being one of my favorite novels, Jane Eyre has now become one of my favorite movies, thanks to awesome performances by Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender (whom I have a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge crush on). I've seen other adaptations before, and they've just never felt quite right to me - either the acting was off, or the adaptation left something to be desired. I actually thought this one was quite perfect.

The basic story is, Jane Eyre is a poor orphan who is sent to a girls' school by her cruel aunt. Jane grows up to be intelligent and accomplished, and upon turning 18, she goes to live at Thornfield Hall as a governess. There she meets the master, Mr. Rochester, who is tall, dark, and... well, he's not supposed to be particularly handsome according to the book, but seriously? Michael Fassbender is hot. Ahem. They fall in love, and plan to get married, but... there is a dark secret lurking in the attic.

I love the quiet strength with which Wasikowska plays Jane. She's not feisty, but she's not a pushover. She doesn't ask you to feel sorry for her. You get glimpses of the passion that is brewing beneath the surface for the man she loves, but she exhibits a very believable amount of restraint.

And Fassbender's Rochester is probably the only time I've ever liked the character, as I am usually unsympathetic to someone who is a LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE, literally. (I will shamefully admit that it might have a lot to do with his good looks.) I really feel like the piece de resistance of his performance is the scene where, after Jane learns the big secret, Rochester is trying to convince her to marry him anyway. It's a very emotional scene, and rather than being unnecessarily dramatic, it had a very real sense of grief, a very real sense of pain and suffering at the idea of losing her. I actually felt sorry for Rochester! It felt like a  genuine moment of realization that he'd made a huge mistake, and that the weight of the consequences of his decisions is suddenly crashing down all around him.

I have to say, though, that this is absolutely my favorite moment of the whole film.

In short, yes, I absolutely recommend this adaptation.