A HARD Day’s Night

Yeah, I ripped off a song title.  Sue me.

As you may have heard because I mentioned it a few times, yesterday was my first home bout with my team, the Harrisburg Area Roller Derby, aka HARD.  We were up against the Bux-Mont Roller Derby Dolls from Hatfield, PA, which is a community north of King of Prussia and about a two hour drive from us.  We’ve been looking forward to this bout for a while–okay, I’ve been looking forward to this bout, because this is my first home game, and home is where the HARD is, right?

This was also the first game we played with our sister team, the York City Derby Dames out of York, PA, which is about thirty minutes south of us.  Four members of their team came up to join in the fun:  Klutch, Ruby Wrecker, Pair O’Docs, and Devour, and when the time comes we’ll likely head south–or wherever–and do the same with them.

I arrived before 4:30 and helped with track setup, assisting in laying down the outer line for the track.  After that I was over to my little raised platform near the scoring/NSO (Non Skating Officials) tables so I could film the bout.  Yes, once more I was getting video for tonight’s bout review; yeah, I’m a hard worker; yeah, I don’t have a girlfriend.  What does that tell you?

I also took photos, so kick back and enjoy.

First, here’s a panorama of the rink:

 

The two white lines to the left are the pivot line (closest) and the jammer line (furthest).  The blue line beyond the outer white line is the outer area where the refs skate.  From my position you notice I saw the start of each jam coming right at me.  Also, yeah:  the rink looks like it hasn’t moved out of the 1970s.  Which is okay because that’s when I did most of my skating.  I know, I made a funny.

While I was waiting for things to start I went around and got photos of team members:  some getting ready for battle, some doing things like working the merchandise table, and others done with their jobs and waiting for the game to start.

Ms. Smackman

 

Tenacious T

 

Anita Blades on the left

 

Nelson Slamdela (left) and team captain Redrum Doll (right).

 

Rivers Cowgirl

 

(left to right), Wyld Kat, and Fresh Meat Laura and Resi.

 

Fresh Meat Erica (left) and Bismashual (right).

 

Devour (left), Dirty Girl Scout (right), Coach Ida Hit That with Tenacious T photobombing (center).

 

Preparing to pace line practice.

 

Take off practice.

 

Preparing for introductions.

 

I shot a lot of video for the game, but I’m not releasing it as we do bout review tonight and I’m keeping it on the low.  And I filmed our introduction because this is how it happens at nearly every game:

 

We didn’t win:  we actually lost by a great deal.  And we lost Redrum Doll for the next month:  she went down during the game with what appeared to be a sprain but it turned out she had torn ligaments in her ankle from a month before, something I learned today.  But by next game we should have a new place on the roster and another coming back, and Red should be ready for our next home game in October.

Even so, she managed to get Best Blocker for our side, with Klutch getting Best Jammer, while Poptart was Best Blocker and Julia Bullya Best Jammer for Bux-Mont.  And even though we lost, we had a good time as did the other team.

Best Blockers and Jammers as picked by the other teams.

 

Both teams together.

There you have it:  how I spent my Sunday afternoon and evening–and early morning, because as I started as I didn’t finish getting all the pictures and video up to my computer and the Internet until almost one in the morning.  But hey:  that’s how I am–

As you can see, I’m pretty green at this. 🙂

Let’s Get Rambling, Ramblers!

And I’m good at rambling.  Just watch!

 

It’s About the Bout

This has been an interesting week at the rink as my team, HARD, aka The Girls in Green, get ready for a home bout this Sunday on the 6th of August.  Though I’ve attended two bouts, this will be my first at home and freshie attendance is expected.  Needless to say I’m a bit excited because, well, home is where the team’s at, right?

It also means the team has been practicing extra hard this week.  Part of the reason is we are playing at home, another is that we want to win.  We’re also working with members from the York City Derby Dames, the team in York, PA, that has become a sister team, allowing their people to play with us and us to play with them.  (One reason for this is to allow for a deeper roster, which comes in handy when you’re playing against teams that have like 15 active players.)

And our teams are working out hard ’cause during Monday night’s practice we lost our resident mermaid, Ariel Wildfire, to a broken ankle that happened when she went down wrong after a hit.  Yes, kids:  you can get seriously hurt even during practice.  She was back using a kneeling scooter on Wednesday night and will be at the game as an observer.

As for my injury…  after sitting out through nearly all of last week my foot is better.  Maybe not one hundred percent, but close enough that I’m back to skating and walking to work.  Now I know that if I’m hurt like that, don’t try to come back on it right away:  take a week off and let it heal.

Since I could practice I managed to get plenty of video with my Go Pro, so you can see some of this stuff happening up close.  Let’s me start off with Monday night…

Scalloping is when you use one foot to alter your trajectory quick, usually to the right or left while you’re going forward.  Normally it’s used to get in front of someone fast, which is what we were working on in this first video.  Needless to say I didn’t do it right, so Ida shows me what I did wrong so I can do it right.

 

I’m getting much better at weaving now that I’m fairly used to my skates.  I’m not quite whipping down the markers, but I’m a lot better than I was when I was back on rentals.

 

A 180 Transition Block is a simple thing:  when someone comes up from behind, you spin around one hundred and eighty degrees and put a shoulder into them to slow them up.  Jackie and I worked together, trading blocker and jammer positions in the next two videos:

 

 

And lastly–I Finally got the chance to do some pyramid blocking.  You have two people shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, forming a wall, and a third person holding on to you both, letting you know which way to move because the jammer is trying to get around you.  As you can see we’re both doing well:

 

And just like that it’s Wednesday night!  Ida was working that night so Gracehopper, the latest freshie to move up to the “adult’s table”, as I call scrimmaging with the vets and playing in bouts, was asked to work with us.  She had us doing a little weaving and plowing and stuff like that, but we really worked hard on blocking.  And first up was single jammer block, which is a bit like scallop blocking, only we didn’t have to get in front, we only had to make contact with the jammer and push her out of bounds–which is why we’re working on a short stretch of made-up track.  Grace was moving fast when I was working with her, which meant I had to keep up with her.  And I did.

 

Now back to the pyramid blocking.  It was a little different than when we did it on Monday night because rather than just block and be done if the jammer was either forced off the track or managed to get around you, Grace made the rule that once we engaged, it was up to the jammer to push the blockers to the end of the track.  You got that right:  one person had to push three people about thirty feet down a laid out straightaway and not stop until we were at the end.  And if the jammer went out of bounds?  They came back on where they went out and got back to pushing.

So these first two are with me being in the wall:

 

 

And here I’m the jammer coming up on the blockers, which means it’s pushing time!

 

And lastly I’m the brace in the pyramid, so I’m calling the directions for which way the jammer is going.

 

Here I am doing something I haven’t done before:  I’m skating backwards.  It’s only taken about forty years, and I’m only going about twenty feet, but I’m getting there.  It’s all about putting the moves together.

 

Lastly we were working on crossovers and while I don’t have that move down pat, I decided to see if I could turn on a bit of speed and see how it felt.  While I didn’t go as fast as the vets, I was skating outside the track and close to the wall at a good clip, doing a lap maybe every twenty-five seconds.  When I realized I hadn’t filmed this, I went back out for a couple of laps, only stopping after a couple of laps due to a cramp in my back.  But while I was out there doing this I finally felt as if I was getting into some kind of grove.  Now to work on the form and build up the endurance and see how this looks when I’m inside the track.

 

Eighteen practices in, but the reality is I was not doing much in two due to injury and I’ve missed three others for the same reason, as well as missing three others when I saw my daughter graduate.  Still, in sixteen practices, thirty-two hours of work, I’ve gotten this far, and in the next thirty-two hours of practice I expect to be much better than this.  Which means when I get to the end of September I had better look back at this video and think, “Yeah, I was really starting to get better then–”

Let’s hope I exceed my expectations.

Samhain Racing: Let’s Get Ready–

Today am back to my old lighthearted self, which means were going to have a novel excerpt.  Let it be known that I started on the last scene of Chapter Fifteen and I have a feeling it won’t be all that long: maybe no longer than fifteen hundred words.  Which means I’ll be into Chapter Sixteen before you know it.

The last couple of days I’ve been sticking my GoPro up on the windshield of my car and giving people a driver’s-side view of what it looks like driving around Harrisburg.  Here’s the first video I did, where I left my apartment and headed off to the Panera where I used to write all the time.

 

But the big news here is the race, which if you were paying attention has just finished. But as the drama over?  Far from it–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

He didn’t bother to see where Lisa was as he came out of the chicane. He leaned over his handlebars and willed as much speed out of his Class 3 as he could muster. The moment he pass the flashing green lights of the Start/Finish Line he pulled his PAV skyward so that he could not only bleed off speed quickly, but prevent Lisa from running him down on the straightaway.

As the rest of the pack finish the race he sat down in the waiting area between the Start/Finish Line so that he could proceed inside with everyone else. He remained seated on his PAV as his left leg and shoulder were throbbing with pain from the on-course contact and he didn’t want to aggravate them. A few seconds later Lisa’s jet ski hit the ground hard about five meters from him. She jumped off her PAV, removed her helmet, and threw it at him. She motioned for Kerry to advance towards her. “Okay, fucker. Let’s have this out.”

Kerry removed his helmet and tossed it to the ground as he gingerly got to his feet. “Back off, Lisa.” He gave her a warning look as he pointed at her while favoring his right leg. “You do not want to do this.”

She nodded defiantly. “Oh yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.” Kerry wasn’t worried about the outcome of a fight between Lisa and him: just as he had done with Franky, he could disable her with a broken arm or a dislocated shoulder or knee in a matter of seconds, even while hurt. Unfortunately, he was unsure of his ability to do either of those, for he was fighting down an anger that he’d never felt before. He was aware of what was happening: with his hormones in flux they were messing with his ability to control the impulses he’d carefully developed over the last two years of learning Kali, and he was just enough aware of these feelings to know that if he fought Lisa now, there was a very good likelihood he do more than break her arm.

 

There you have it: Lisa’s ready to start shit and she wants Kerry to fight her.  For his part, Kerry doesn’t want to fight her mainly because he’s worried he’ll do more than just break her arm due to the hormonal rampage which is tearing him apart right now.  And given that Kerry could probably snap her neck without even a second thought, he showing remarkable restraint–but then again, he is a sorceress, and sorceresses are supposed to keep their head when everything is going to hell around them.

So this is the end of the drama, right?  Well…

 

Just then Penny came running up from his right side, helmet and gloves off, heading directly for Lisa. “You bloody stupid bitch.” She threw a powerful right-hand punch that struck Lisa in the cheek, knocking her to the ground.

The Cernunnos and Åsgårdsreia teams converged upon Lisa, Penny, and Kerry, and the fight was on.

 

Hey, I thought this fighting shit only happen in NASCAR?  Apparently not.  Which means helmets and gloves are off and fists are flying–

 

Rezi Lahood was the first to jump into the fray, running up and punching Penny in the side of her head near her right ear. As Penny fell away Alex stepped up, grabbed Rezi and threw her to the ground. Getasew Berhanu jumped over Lisa’s jet ski and threw a punch at Manco, who fell backwards as he blocked. Darius, who still wore his racing gloves, backhanded Getasew away before kicking the fallen Rezi.

Lisa jumped to her feet and, spotting Darius in front of her, pulled back her right foot and kicked him in the crotch. As Darius limped away she turned on Alex and grabbed a handful of her blonde hair. While she pulled Alex backwards Rivânia ran up and tried pulling her her teammate away. Lisa pushed her team captain away, which caused her to lose her grip on Alex’s hair. Alex took that moment to wheel around, grabed Lisa by the throat and punched her twice in the right eye.

Penny was on her feet a second later. She hit Getasew twice in the chest then wheeled around and threw a punch at Lisa, which the girl managed to block easily. Lisa, unfortunately, was bumped from behind by Anna Laskar, who was holding the left side of her mouth with bloodstained fingers. This knocked Lisa off balance just enough that Penny was able to step up to her and deliver a hard left-hand blow that knocked Lisa back against her jet ski.

Even though he was unable to move about well, Kerry could no longer stand side and watch everyone beat each other up. After a couple of limping steps he threw himself between Penny and Lisa and pushed his teammate away. “Penny: Penny.” He held on to her shoulders as he looked into her wild eyes. “Stop it, now. Let it go.”

Enough awareness creep back into her eyes that she understood what she was being stole. They then grew wide as she saw something behind him. “Kerry.”

He turned quickly enough to find Lisa swinging her helmet at his head. He managed to deflect it with his right arm then, while holding on to Penny to support his heart left leg, he used his right leg to sweep Lisa off her feet. The minute she landed on her back Kerry raised his right foot and chopped it down into her stomach. He hopped back on to his right foot as he pointed at the now-gasping girl. “Stay the hell down.”

 

There you have it: both teams letting go and punching the shit out of each other.  Oh, and if you notice, Lisa kicked Darius in the balls. Did that ever happened in Harry Potter?  No!  Sure, Draco took a blow to the testicles in the second movie when he slammed into the ground after falling off his broom, but did you ever see Hermione wheel around and kick somebody in the crotch?  No!  You only get that here.

As you see, even injured Kerry put Lisa down for the count rather quickly, by sweeping out her legs and kicking her in the stomach.  If Kerry had decided to fight Lisa in the earnest a minute or so before, he probably would’ve just blasted her once and sent her to the hospital in a coma.  So it was wise of him not to fight her.

So everything is over, right?  Well…

 

By now both Manco and Rivânia had managed to separate their teams and stop the fighting. Kerry noticed blood on Darius’ right hand and remembered Anna holding her mouth. He yelled at his teammate. “Did you punch Anna?”

Darius nodded. “Yeah. So?”

“What did you punch her for?”

He gave a weak shrug. “She was there.”

He was about to yell over to Anna and ask her how she felt when Vicky’s voice filled his and everyone else’s ears. “This is Race Control.” The annoyance in her voice was obvious. “All racers are to remount their vehicles now and proceed to the interior of The Diamond immediately without further incidences. There will be no further warnings.”

 

The first take away here is: Darius Roy is a shit.  He basically sucker punched Anna because he was pissed off and she was there.  And since Anna is a friend of Annie’s and Kerry’s, you can imagine they’ll both remember that.

And second: Vicky is also pissed.  It’s not like there have been fights before, but here you have two full teams going at it with the team captains seemingly unable to get their people under control.  Does this mean that certain racers are in trouble?

Oh, you better believe it–