Monday, August 23, 2010

Coming to you live from the Provincetown Hive: An update for the regulars

While sitting in the Wired Puppy in Provincetown, I have been witness to how the rain and chilly temperature has turned one heterosexual father into a social terror that demands his drink for free over some petty detail. The exchange with the owner wasn't very pleasant, but as he and his family are now leaving, I am relieved and proud that I didn't shoot my mouth off and jump to the defense of the owner, as it would have prevented me from enjoying my coffee and figuring out how I wanted to attack this post about Dread's roller derby quilt, which was a bigger success than either of us could have expected.

Dreadnought's art reception was even more well-attended than our wedding. Many members of New England's roller derby leagues with whom Dread's had the most contact were there. Boston, NHRD, CMRD, and Pioneer Valley were in attendance, as were several referees, announcers, and derby widows. Like our wedding, folks showed up in exciting attire, for the ladies and gentlemen came in their uniforms or derby t-shirts. A few were even on skates. Unlike our wedding, we were down a baseball-wielding Caesar.
About to lay down empirical law
Though my grandfather was not there, my mother's mother was, which ruled.

The installation was gigantic. There were a total of three artists in the space, but Dread's work took up two walls. It was hard, however to comprehend the scale of the display when seventy-five to eighty people have come to see it. There were more people in the room, but I am biased and care mainly for the folks I see every weekend. In truth, the derby crowd were respectful of the other artist, reviewing their pieces with the same reverence anyone would have at an art show, but there were moments that were decidely derby. It's rare, for example, for an artist to get a crowd to chant for them:

Dread Smash!

The assembled crew were a blessing. It felt great to be there and see Dread so happy. I was congratulated a lot, which was odd, as I hadn't really done anything except drive her there. It was a great moment in time.

Check out the sweet panorama action.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Winding down...the season, that is

The Season is winding down.  Last year, I wrote about how it feels at the end of the season. But that was just volunteer coordination and being a mascot. This year, I took on even more. 

It's a simple truth that running bout production, volunteers and announcing is a full plate. The kind that, on rougher nights, allowed me to skip the food served to skaters and volunteers and head straight to the after party where I attempted to use DJ Barera's sick beats to burn away the stress and hurt of the evening, only to wake up the next morning tired and surrounded by the aftermath of me letting off steam.

In some respects, I envy the widows who just buy tickets and sit up in the stands. They're doing something similar to what those of us working the bouts do; supporting their partners and loved ones through their attendance. I can't let stuff alone, though. While I could be content to watch Dread from the comfort of a chair and shout commentary on everything from the officiating, to the questionable haircuts of the dudes I'm sitting next to, I know that I'd pick up on what needed to be fixed and likely complain. So, rather than wait for the inevitable challenge of "I'd like to see you do better," I jumped in and did what I could to make things work.

Besides, I can watch Dread whenever I want.

Hot damn, did things get challenging in the beginning of my term. Without yanking the curtain back too far, tough decisions were made (some that really hurt), new policies and steps were added, and we dealt with all sorts of weird crap. Bout Production is now organized, almost automatic, leaving me to field questions and concerns that matter to people, like what color the pads in front of the announcer table should be, and who will tell the fans up top that the paper blocking off the restricted area is not a hammock to drape oneself across. Easy stuff.

The season's seen some great changes and I'm happy with what I've accomplished. Though we still have two doubleheaders, NHRD, and Regionals to go, I'm confident I'll get through it well enough to appreciate my slow days and focus on my interests outside of roller derby.

 It's your year, Goblin!