And we’re doing it with video!
This time it’s all about derby–but not the way you think:
Today I was on TV and aren’t you lucky, ’cause it’s out already. If you follow this link–Harrisburg Area Roller Derby is Skating Into 2018!–it will take you to the video which is embedded inside a propitiatory article. You’ll see my coach, Madhouse Mexi, me, my gear–yeah, it’s on the table–and, I believe, some footage I shot of past bouts. Or not. I’m still checking on that part. Hope you enjoy.
Yesterday one scene ended and a couple of things became apparent. One, the kids are dealing in some cloak and dagger stuff in the future. Oh, and two: Annie misses sex and wants more. A lot more. Like a week of it ’cause that’s her. These kids: all grown up and stayin’ jiggy.
Naturally this brought up a comment from one of my followers about something that will likely follow Annie and Kerry for a while once they’re married. And that something is:
Where are their kids?
Now, first off, there’s no saying in the vision I just wrote up that my kids have kids yet. I mean, if they’re busy off doing Bond-like shit, the odds are really good that Annie’s kitchen is shut down and Kerry’s–well, during those times when he gets to be a she, I’m gonna guess that the last thing she wants is two years of sidelining to take care of a Malibey spawn.
But this doesn’t mean there won’t be kids. No, not at all.
I’ve said on more than a few occasions that they’ll have kids. And notice the plural: yes, as they’ve stated, they have no intention of raising an only child. Also, I’ve known for some time when they are having their womb goblins and when, and even when they’ll attend the School of Salem themselves. What? You didn’t think they were going to another school, did you? You really think Annie would allow that?
There’s even a distinct possibility that everyone will have a chance to see one of their kids before my kids graduate.
There is a scene–and you can probably imagine what sort of scene–when both Annie and Kerry manage to meet one of their kids face-to-face years before the child is born. I know what they look like and I know their name. I even know how old they are at the time and where my kids meet their kid.
It’s all really sweet and beautiful, if you know what I mean.
There will be children for my kids. They will have the opportunity to be parents. And, like it or not, if I ever write the stories, we’ll get to see how The Kirilovis and the Malibeys handle being grandparents to some little witches. We can already assure that Pavlina and Victor will love their grandkids, while Davyon and Louise… well, Davyon will probably like being a grandfather…
There is love and eventually comes marriage, and after that–well, Annie and Kerry won’t be pushing any baby carriages right away, but that will happen at some point.
But before we get there, let them have the chance to live.
Even when it’s gonna be a hell of a struggle.
Wait? What is this? Is this an excerpt?
You bet your butt it is. Allow me to explain.
Today I headed down to Little Amps for some coffee because I made a promise to myself that even if I’m not working, staying cooped up inside a studio apartment all the time isn’t good for me. So it was down to the coffee shop to enjoy the cold weather and drink coffee–
Oh, and to write.
Yeah, it was the first time in three weeks that I actually put words into the novel. It was time and I figured I need to catch up on the rune dream I’ve talked about and posted on prior to today. And since it’s been so long since I last posted, I’m going to give you everything I’ve written so far, starting with the part that’s already been excerpted, followed by what’s new.
Hope you enjoy.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
The mirror forms in the air and you take a moment to examine your attire and features. Hair is a little longer than when you graduated, but your facial features haven’t changed much at all, which is why it’s necessary to add some aging to your face before going out—the curse of being an Aware who doesn’t age at the same rate as a Normal.
It’s easy to see the rest of your body as well, which is almost perfectly average. The black dress pants are perfectly tailored, as is your white dress shirt, because of a little transformation magic, and your half-brogues feel as broken in as a pair you’ve own for years even though you bought them this morning.
You’ve just finished fastening the cummerbund around your waist when Annie walks out of the bathroom in her bra and panties, having just made her hair and makeup as perfect as possible. She stand on the other side of the large bedroom from you and waves at the air before her, creating her own full-length mirror. She slides her feet into a pair of black pumps before turning around to face you. “Give me a hand with my dress?”
“Of course.” As Annie levitates the dress to a position directly behind her you hold it lightly by the shoulders and phase it through her body. She helps position it until it’s perfectly in place and the moment she nods to let you know she’s satisfied, you remove the spell and take a couple of steps back. “Black metallic looks great on you.”
Annie turns and smiles. “Why wouldn’t it, my love?”
You make a quick nod towards her right shoulder. “That new ink is peeking through; you gonna hide that?”
Annie checks the tiny portion of her new tattoo just visible beyond the hem of the sleeve and makes it vanish with the wave of her hand. “Good catch. I wouldn’t want to risk that someone’s seen that somewhere else.” She looks at you as you return to your mirror. “Are you wearing earrings tonight?”
“I was thinking of wearing my diamond studs, but I’m not sure which ones.” You shrug. “What do you think? Squares? Hexagons?”
“Did you bring the octagons?”
“Wear those. I like them.”
“Done.” You remove the earrings from a nearby jewelry box and deftly slip them into place.
Annie continues admiring you as she put on her own earrings and a tiny smile curls up the right corner of her mouth. “I wish you could wear the dangling pentagrams you wore the last time we were out.”
“I would love to wear them as well, but they’d look a little out of place on this form.” You snort as you tie your tie. “That’s the problem with going to these swanky parties as a guy: it’s all the standard white shirt/black tie bullshit.” You finish your tie and tug the ends as you face Annie. “The only good this is I get to wear a bow tie—”
Annie slowly walks towards you. “Because bow ties are cool.”
The moment Annie is close enough you put your arm around her waist and give her a kiss. “Exactly, Pond.” You kiss her lips once more before releasing her. “See, I knew that part of me would rub off on you.”
“Don’t congratulate yourself too much—” She checks her appearance again in your mirror. “That’s about all I remember after a decade of quotes.” After quickly touching her hair into place she glances towards you. “Do you think they’re going to give us any time together after tonight?”
You levitate your tuxedo jacket towards you. “Hard to say. I’m still surprised they let us drop what we were doing nine months ago to go to the wedding together.”
“In that instance someone above our handlers were calling the shots.” Annie picks up a pair of emerald stud earrings and begins putting them into place behind the first set of earrings. “It’s nice when you have friends in high places.”
“That is it.” You put on the jacket, rolling your shoulders to get it set. “Still, there are probably dozens of operatives who could go to this party, yet they need us. I don’t get it.”
Annie smiles as she finishes putting in her earrings. “You know how it is: such is the way—”
“—When you’re gray. I know.” You let out loud sign. “Whatever.”
“I’m not complaining.” Annie gives her hair a quick pat. “It’s been nine months since we’ve seen each other face-to-face in person so I, for one, so I’m thankful they did pull us out of the field for this party.” She looks about the room, unsure what she should do next. “I only hope we can get a week together before returning to our on-going operations. It would be nice.”
“I agree.” You turn and look out the window of your hotel room, gazing upon the opulent city beyond. “You think this guy’s gonna be there?”
“Intelligence says the likelihood is high.” She picks up a pair of sunglasses as if she’d considering wearing them to the party. “We know the buyer will be there because we’ve seen the guest list; our target has met with the buyer five times in the last month; and seeing how the buyer is bringing along five guests the probability is high whatever business they’ve planed to transact will occur tonight.” Annie sets the sunglasses aside and sits on the edge of the bed, crossing her legs. “I know you see it the same way: you’re just asking the question because it’s something you always do when you’re restless.”
You snort without turning around to face Annie. “Guilty as charged.” After pulling the sheers back into place you glance over at Annie. “Also, the fact that we haven’t received conformation about whether or not we’re suppose to snatch this asshole isn’t exactly instilling confidence The G know what’s going on.”
Just then Annie’s phone dings as a message appears. She points at it and levitates it towards her. “Speak of the devil.” It only takes a second to read the text. “We’re on. We’re to snatch our target and the buyer.” She sets the phone in her lap. “They must want to know if the buyer is acting as a go-between for someone else.”
“Which is probably likely.” You take a couple of steps towards Annie. “Are we authorized to go public, or do we have to keep this private?”
“They didn’t say: let me ask.” Annie speaks the question into the phone and sends the message; the response comes back some twenty seconds later. “We’re to keep it private: they don’t want to involve a media team on this operation.”
“Sounds good.” You pace across the room and back once. “I supposed this means I need to make sure my other disguise is suitable, too.”
Annie nods. “It does. Let’s see, then.”
That was what I published previously. Now… on to the new stuff and–well, you’ll see, things are a bit strange when it comes to disguises with these two:
You stand before the mirror and concentrate on your other appearance. It doesn’t matter what you have on now: you’ve practice changing that into what you’ll wear when you are that other person everyone knows—
Your features morph quickly as they always, and since you’ve developed your skill at transforming your garments to the point where you’re an expert, your clothes change just a fast. Where a moment ago you were Annie’s hansom husband, you’re now her beautiful wife who still retains a bit of that endearing cuteness you developed years before at school. Your dress pants and white shirt transform into a long blue gown with a plunging V-neck, bare shoulders, and a slit running up the left side of the skirt. The bow tie becomes a shimming silver necklace fitted with diamonds and emeralds and your earrings drop downward, barely brushing your shoulders as they swing back and forth.
While you admire your appearance Annie moves up behind you. “You’re wearing pumps?”
You glance to your left. “Yeah. Why?”
“We spent all that time yesterday getting our nails done and you’re hiding your pedi?” A soft giggle slips from between her lips. “I mean, those purple toes—”
“Oh, all right.” You roll your eyes as you transform you black pumps into strappy silver metallic scandals. “Better?”
“Much better.” She touches your left side. “You need to bring the slit up higher.”
You release a small sigh as you once again forget this detail. “I always miss that.” You trace your finger from the top of the slit all the way to the middle of your hip, stopping it just below where you know the line of your thong sits. “There.”
“You’re a short woman: you want to present as much leg as possible to give the appearance of height.” Annie chuckles. “You should know this by now.”
“I do. I just—”
“Forget: I know.” Annie wags her right index finger. “I’m going to punish you the next time you ‘forget’.”
“Is that a threat?” You laugh as you brush your curly ginger hair back exposing your earrings. “Now I have the dangling earrings.”
“But not the pentagrams.”
“Do we really want to advertise what we are?” You smooth the dress against your body, making it fit perfectly. “So, Annie and Kerry go into the party—”
“And the White Queen and Red Queen come out with their packages for the Guardians.” Annie slides her arm around your shoulders and pulls you close before kissing your cheek. “You are so beautiful. I wish they’d let us go to the party as a couple.”
“I don’t know.” You shake your head. “I guess when you’re pretending to be nouveau riche it’s okay to have a lesbian mistress on the side—you just can’t bring her to the parties.”
“There’ll be at least one lesbian couple at the party.”
“Yeah, but they ain’t there to bag bad guys.” You turn and give Annie a look full of deep longing. “Don’t worry: the first chance we get we’ll go dancing—”
“And it’ll be fantastic.”
“That’s all I want.” She steps away. “You better change back: the car should be here soon.”
So there you have it. Kerry goes in with Annie, hobnobs a bit with some new rich kids, then changes over to Girl Kerry because who’s going to be looking for another pretty rich girl at a party? Then the Annie and Kerry, Team Vagina, bag their targets and get the hell out of Dodge, though we have no idea how they’re doing that but you can be sure it’ll be quick.
And why do The Guardians have Kerry going in the door as one person and kicking ass as another? Well… they have their reasons. None of which we can go into ’cause not even my kids know, because they’re having a vision of the future and don’t know all the stuff their future versions know. But one day, yes, one day, they will know. I know why, but I can’t tell you. Maybe I’ll tell you… in the future!
Also, since I forgot to show you the route I took on Friday here it is. I started in the lower left where it says “0” and stopped where it says “6.28”. Since the weather is going to be good this coming Friday I’m already thinking about the path I want to take. In case you’re wondering, the distance covered is equivalent to me skating 183.7 laps on the WFTDA track. Even I’m surprised. Next time I do this I’ll actually keep track of how much time I spend skating so I can get an idea of my laps per minutes.
Yep, it’s finally time to get that video out. Enjoy!
But will it be hard all around? There’s a way to find out–
Oh, so much happening today and not all of it is… well, great?
I didn’t sleep well last night. I was up about five AM or so and laid in bed just tossing and turning. I managed to fall black asleep for a while and by the time I was up and moving, it was nearly 8:30.
I headed out to pick up a couple of sports bras like the one I picked up yesterday, as they were all on sale, and I needed new sports bras. So now I three new ones for less than what I paid for my last two. After that I picked up a few things at the store and headed out for lunch, where the waitress tried to give me my check without giving me my food. Yeah, not happy about that.
Try as I might, I’m still disappointed that I didn’t certify in time to play in my league’s first bout of the year this Sunday. I’ll likely talk a little more about this in my video on Saturday, but the reality is while I’m not going to totally freak out over what happened, I’m super disappointed in myself and my ability to close the deal. I really need a win in my life right now, but all I’m getting are a lost of losses.
And that’s not making me feel good at all.
There was a high point to my day yesterday. It was final practice scrimmage before the big bout and since I’m scrimmage cleared I was a part of the activities, as I’ve been for the last few weeks. Because we were making it as real as possible, people were calling out our jersey numbers, and that means you need to have them not only on your jersey but on your arms so the refs can see them. And the tried and true way of getting them is to have them put on your arm with a magic marker. Which I did:
So now you know, when I get certified my jersey number will be 882, which does work into my name. Which I will have one of these days.
Of that I’m sure.
I didn’t write today but I did take a long nap because it turned cold and gray outside and this depression and lack of sleep made napping a good thing.
I for sure will write tomorrow morning. I will.
I do so promise.
If you know me, you know I’ve had some… issues of late. Issues like no job, an impending divorce, and difficulty certifying with my derby league. The job thing I’m working on, the divorce will end one day soon, but the derby thing–oi, it’s hanging around my neck like a smelly albatross.
And it’s be slowly driving me nuttier as time goes on.
Over this last Sunday and Monday I was holed up in my apartment unwilling to go anywhere ’cause I’d seen the roster for my team’s first bout of the season–and guess who isn’t on the roster? Yeah, me. And the reason why was an inability to do my 27/5. And I don’t just mean hit a certain time: I mean being unable to skate more than a few laps before giving up on it ’cause I can’t handle it mentally, which translates over into being unable to do it physically.
In the last two and a half months I know I’ve done it all the way through twice, and both those times were last week. I may have done it one other time, but I can’t remember. I know there’s a whole lot of times when I didn’t do it: I’d get in like five or six laps then just quit because I simply didn’t have to will or urge to continue.
Last night was no different. I was in a bad mood when I got to practice. I had shit tons of anxiety happening and I felt like I was going to meltdown at any moment. We did our cardio to start and after the first few laps I felt the energy ebbing away. I mean, I finished cardio, but I wasn’t setting any records.
And then it was time to do my laps and I didn’t want to go. I wouldn’t even acknowledge that I needed to so then. It was only after the coach and another skater went to the track did I slink out and line up. I was getting tips on what to do from one of my former teammates who’s now reffing, but… half the time I was crying whenever I spoke with her. I was just a mess. After after about a half-dozen laps I just coasted to a stop and went off to do a little private sobbing.
Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Nope.
Before we got ready to scrimmage some people wanted to know why I didn’t do my 27/5. And I was actually telling people I was in a horrible state of mind and that I didn’t have to energy to skate that because I’d considered killing myself over the last two days and the feeling was still with me. Yes, I was saying this. Aloud. Around my teammates, most of whom could hear me.
Yeah, it was a little too much.
So after scrimmage practice–which I got through fine ’cause there’s nothing like skating hard and getting hit to get your mind of suicidal ideation–I degeared and got ready to go home. One of my coaches came over to discuss Jessica Jones, ’cause I’d posted a couple of great lines from Season 2, and we chatted about that. But before I could leave…
Let’s back up here for a moment.
One of the positions on the board of directors of the league is league rep. Their job is to make sure things go smoothly with the players and if there’s an issue brewing with them–like maybe one wants to rip the head of another for some reason–the rep steps in and speaks to the parties. The current rep is a friend I introduced to derby, so I had some history with her before she was elected.
As I was getting ready to leave she came up and told me we needed to talk. As in we needed to really talk. So I suggested we go somewhere close and I could have a drink and something to eat while we talked.
What she told me was this: the league was getting really worried about me. They were concerned about how crazy I was getting over doing a 27/5, but that was due to their concern about some of the shit I’ve been posting and saying over the last few weeks. Also, when you’re coming into practice and talking about how hard it was to not die over the weekend–well, you know, your teammates have to step in and stage some kind of intervention.
And that’s what I was getting.
I found out that not only was I wrong about thinking that my league didn’t give a shit about me–something I’d said over the last month or so–but they were worried about my well-being. People wanted to see me certify and it bothered them that I was unable to cross that last hurdle. And they were getting worried by all the talk about suicide. I’d mentioned that I almost didn’t come to practice and I was told that if that had happened, there would have been people checking up on me.
I eventually broke down and cried for about five minutes straight ’cause I was dying inside last night. I’ve been hurting for a while and closing myself off from people, and it isn’t doing my mind any good. The fact that I was seeing my league and teammates and coaches in all the wrong light was a sign that I was slipping into delusional paranoia brought on by depression, and once you head down that road it’s tough to see straight without having someone point out that you’re losing you shit in a big way.
I felt better when I got home and I feel better today. I went out for a while and took in the sunlight and ignored the fact that the wind made it colder than it was. I drove around just to do something besides sit at home and feel bad. And I had sushi:
I’ll likely make another attempt at the 27/5 tomorrow night. If I make it I may play Sunday, I may not. More than likely I won’t play, but that’s okay because there’s other bouts coming in April and May and I’ll have time to get ready for them. The important thing to take away here is that I do have people watching my back and they do worry about me.
I mean, I’ve likely always known they were there.
But trying to see them through your own problem? That’s the problem.
And they’re all here on video! Enjoy.
Sometimes progress can be measured by how much we learn, other times it can be measured by how much it changes us.
And sometimes we measure progress by the damage it inflicts upon us.
Last night was another practice. There was a lot of skating–a whole lot. There was blocking and hitting and… well, it was pretty much a normal night.
But there were a couple of moments when I thought something “more than tired” was happening. During one drill I fell and got someone’s skate under my shoulder before I hit the ground. The shoulder stayed at a different elevation than my body and a lot of pain shot up through my body, which led me to not even go “ouch!” real loud, but to think that I may have dislocated my shoulder. That wasn’t the case as I was able to start moving it some 30 seconds later, but I did imagine I might need to have it popped back in at some point.
Then we were doing a pace line hitting drill, and first time up my coach laid a great hip check against my left leg. So good–and hard–that I let out a groan, but I didn’t fall. When I got home didn’t notice anything, but this morning I spotted a bit of discoloration, and right around noon–
Yeah, it’s turning all sorts of crazy colors now and there’s just a bit of pain involved with the location.
But that wasn’t the worst. While we were playing a game where the object is to hit out someone without getting hit out yourself–yes, we play games like this in derby–one of the freshies let out a horrible scream. And kept screaming. Because, it turned out, she’d broken her ankle. It was so bad we had to call the ambulance to take her to the hospital, where she had surgery this morning and is now resting comfortably. In fact, as soon as I post this I’m on my way over to visit her at the hospital.
In three months time I’ve seen three broken ankles, one broken wrist, two concussions–one of which I caused by falling on to the head of one of my teammates–two sets of torn ligaments in the ankle, and two badly bruised knees. Yes, we wear protective gear, but that doesn’t mean people don’t get hurt badly. As I was walking out last night, one of our refs who used to play with us last season commented to me that she’d hoped to never heard screaming like she heard last night again, as she’d been present during one of the aforementioned broken ankles, which happened during a bout and which I happened to capture on video. And this ref knows about being hurt, as she was the person who broke her wrist–something that I also happened to catch on video as I was filming the bout.
Yes, I worry about getting hurt, but not enough that it keeps me from hitting another person with my body. I know: crazy, right? But this is the sport I choose and this is the risk under which I train and play.
The trick is not to wonder if it’s going to happen to you next time.
And there is plenty. Let’s watch!
Last night was the moment I’ve been anticipating for the last nine months:
For the first time since I started this roller derby experience I was allowed to scrimmage. Allow me to explain.
See, all the practice I’ve done up to this point has been to get me steady on my feet and be able to skate around fast and sure-footed. Using a baseball analogy, that part is like A Baseball, where you develop your basic skills. After that you move on to learning the basics of the game: blocking, jamming, setting up two, three, and four walls, pivoting, bridging, and having an understanding of the rules… all that stuff is AA Baseball, when you are comfortable enough with your basic skills that you can now apply them to the mechanics of the game. It’s still a learning process, but you’re now moving closer to actually playing.
Last night we as a group of freshies hit AAA Baseball: we’re not quite ready for “The Show”–as baseball players call Major League Baseball–but we’re ready to learn how to actually play by playing, and that’s where scrimmaging comes into play. You have set ups with full teams. You have NSOs timing the jams and people in the penalty box. You have refs ready to call players on rules infractions.
In short, you’re this close to really playing.
After we did cardio we split into two teams: Dark and Light. I was on Team Dark and we had eight players to Team Light’s nine, but we both had a good cross-section of cleared freshies and vets. I played blocker the whole night, which was good ’cause that’s what I’ll likely be, though at some point I’d love to work on being a pivot. I was in the first jam and last jam of the night, and most of the night I went in for one jam, out for one. There were a couple of times when I played two jams back-to-back, but only one time I can remember that I sat out two jams.
One thing was true: I was pumped up and ready to play. A couple of my teammates pointed out that I seemed the happiest I’d been in a long time and as I told them, I’d waited nine months for this moment–damn right I was happy.
Was I good? Not as good as I would have liked. I spent some time “Blocking the Floor”, which is to say falling down. Some of the falling down was due to hits, though at least once I tripped over the raised tubing we had set up on the inside line. Every time I went down, however, I got right back up and chased after the pack and did what I could to stop the other side’s jammer.
I managed a couple of good hits here and there and managed to get out Team Light’s jammer a few times–once by pushing my teammate Ariel Wildfire into the jammer before she could get by. And right near the end of the night I received my first and only penalty–a stop block, which is to say before I knocked the jammer down–which I did–I stopped skating forward and planted my feet before giving the hit. That’s a no-no and that’s why the ref called a penalty. I skated off to serve without saying a word ’cause I knew the moment I threw the block I’d done something wrong.
That was one of the points where I had to play in two jams ’cause about 10 seconds after I sat down in the penalty box the jam was called, which meant my penalty wouldn’t end until 20 seconds into the next jam, after which I was required to go in and play blocker there. Which I did, jumping right into the action and doing what I could to stop Team Light. I didn’t think anything of it ’cause I know the rules and how the game should be played, and I did it right.
Needless to say, by the time I got home last night I was pretty pumped. And pretty sore, too. I’ve heard from a couple of my teammates and one said she was up most of the night because she was still riding an adrenaline high from the scrimmage. One said she was sort of down on herself ’cause she didn’t do that well and I reminded her that it was also my first scrimmage, with the biggest difference between us being I waited nine months to get here and she was doing it after six weeks. It was also nice that a lot of the OG (our name for the vets) and a few of the refs congratulated us on playing hard and not being afraid to get in there and take and dish out hits.
So, how did I look this morning in the aftermath of my first scrimmage. Well…
Yeah, lots of crazy bruising from people holding on to my arms, with a few more bruises on my shoulders and my right thigh that you can’t see. That’s the nature of the game and I expect to see more bruise come and go over the next month.
I also expect to see my playing improve.
But that’s also part of the game…