Thursday, September 30, 2010

Regionals: Part Two

The next morning was a bit tougher than the first one. The mechanical bull had burned off much of my nervous energy, leaving me exhausted and in much-needed sleep before calling the first bout of the morning. The game was Steel City vs. DC. I was announcing with Double Destroyer and Ida Feltersnatch. But before we went to the venue, I suggested we get breakfast.

"I just need to shower and have a few minutes to get together," said Reverend Al.

In my tired brain, I forgot that I was not dealing with a mere dude, but one who really needed to "get ready." Below is a timelapse reenactment of what I believe transpired in the bathroom while we waited for thirty minutes:

To be fair, he didn't go back to putting on the lipstick, so we didn't have to wait the full three hours. 

Once in the elevator, we made haste to the lobby, hoping to get in line for the buffet. When the door opened, however, the sheer brightness of the Freemason ladies dressed in their ceremonial robes blinded us. Yes, the Crowne Plaza was filled with Freemasons for some sort of convention or ceremony that we could not wrap our heads around. As we rounded the corner, Poppa Feevs let us know that the line for breakfast was insane and that we had better look elsewhere. When the king of the tailgate (whose primary mission on bout day is getting you fed) tells you to give up, you do.

Dejected and sad, we found a Dunkin Donuts where I ate a microwaved bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I don't normally eat breakfast, but I didn't eat much the day before and needed energy. Sweet, intestinal wrestling energy. My guts feeling betrayed by their pompadour-coiffed master, I got ready to call me some games.

With a constantly mutating schedule, I was blessed that Rockerboy of Carolina and Justice Feelgood Marshall of DNN threw me into as much stuff as they did. Even sweeter was that I was able to call games for some teams more than once. Familiarity with the skaters is a big deal in this sport. When you're rifling through papers to find out the name and number of someone kicking ass, you don't want to miss any action. And I am proud to say I didn't.

In between bouts, I took some time at the roller derby quilt with the missus, Hayley, the Prince of Pain, and Johnny Deep.
The three of them look like they're doing a photoshoot for their band, Purple Paine's, new synthpop album. Yikes.
My throat felt raw around noon and Dread began laughing at the sound of my yelling which had started to sound more and more like Denver's own Dumptruck. I reined in a bit, but you can hear my voice getting gravelly in the DNN replays. As the night wore on, Dread became less thrilled with my vocal damage when Dumptruck, Reverend Al, and I stood behind her and whispered "sweet nothings" into her ear. If your imagination took you to a bad place, that's your brain working against you, not I.

One thing I noticed throughout the day was the Rockerboy was the epitome of speed as he ran through the crowd, setting up the mouths, working with the staff, and calling games with the type of energy reserved for the meth-addled fools of South Caro--- oh yeah. Nevermind. He stopped by the derby quilt and asked Dread if he could test the authenticity of the quilt.  That's the only moment where I thought we lost him.
I never thought one could drool horizontally and not be in orbit.

At the end of the night, Philly and Gotham had already cemented their spots at Regionals and Boston had to go toe-to-toe with their longtime rivals, Charm City. Carolina won against Montreal by two points. This win was marred by a controversial call that later turned out to be totally legal. Whether or not people agree with it is another matter entirely.

Still aching from the mechanical bull, and unable to sound like myself if I had to talk over anyone, which is my default volume anyway, we went out for Asian tapas. Okay, let me back up. We were supposed to meet up with Rocker and Dumptruck, but apparently they had stopped in a bathroom to emulate the Reverend Al's beauty regimen, and we arrived at a saloon at the right time only to find Ed Hardy and spray tans instead of Southern accents and Sass. Thus, we went for Asian cuisine at Haiku. Haiku's food was the ONLY meal I want to remember from the trip, as it was actual food. Delicious. So delicious it inspired this:

Bars filled with Douchebags
New plan, where do we go now?
Eat well, then hotel.
Back at the hotel, we briefly chatted with the ladies of MRD, who had taken over the poolside to shout threats and cursewords at passersby. We love those ladies, they're true New England. <3

Instead of falling right into bed, the Reverend Al gave a speech about teamwork that was impassioned as he was pantsless. Nothing gets you more fired up than a former MMA fighter with the voice of Harvey Firestein explaining group dynamics in very small underpants. For once without a smartass thing to say, I let him finish his speech and we all went to bed....

Tomorrow, Part Three! Jokes! Hoarseness! And newfound appreciation for iPhones!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Regionals: Part One

We were fifteen miles away from White Plains before I noticed my car's gas light was on. Since picking up the Reverend Al in Providence, I was determined to make double-time to our destination while looking out for the ever-sneaky highway patrol and trying to stay engaged in the conversation. After Dread, Hayley, and the Reverend Al were made speechless by a joke I expected to be less funny than it was I took the next exit and we refueled the tank and our bellies.

Once in White Plains, we checked into our hotel and attempted to get some Zs. The night before a tournament is much like Christmas Eve. I can't sleep, because I've never quite grown out of the feeling that sleeping before a big day means I will miss something. That, and my mind was unable to rest after seeing the Reverend Al's idea of pajamas.

He actually doesn't wear the shoes to bed, so there's that.

We did sleep for an hour or so, only to be awoken by an overjoyed Reverend Al Mighty, who loudly sang "Springtime for Hitler" until Dread got moving. After each of us showered, we took the ten minute ride to the venue. White Plains isn't large. It's roughly the size of Waltham, Massachusetts except it's densely populated with blowout hairdos and muscle-queens. Still, the ladies of Suburbia Roller Derby don't fit the zip code's stereotypical mold and they are among the fairest of skaters in the land...though their ability to run a tournament is far more important.

The arena was glorious, its appearance a cross between high school gymnasium and a theater with balconies. The hybridization of these two venues conjured images of other hybrids in my mind, such as Massacre widows embracing their lofty perches whilst continuing to vocalize their support of a ruffle-butt revolution.

Not pictured - Tommy Rock's fainting spell after the win against Montreal brought on by lead face powder and "vapors."

Calling the first game with the incomparable Dumptruck was a dream come true. Being able to just have an entertaining conversation about derby while still providing color commentary was sublime. Throughout the day, I ran back and forth from the DNN table on the stage to the announcer's nest on the floor of the venue. Thankfully, my voice held up.

After the last game of the night, it was a quick stop to the hotel. The Reverend Al and I wore matching outfits out on the town that made me realize how my Dad must feel on holidays. We barhopped through the fist-pumping dives of Mamoraneck drive until we arrived at The Thirsty Turtle. It was here where Hayley, Baby Fighterfly and I took turns on the mechanical bull.

One-handed, but she did kiss the bull beforehand.
Baby and Hayley had impressive times (Baby 28, Hayley 24). The operator of the bull was a bit of a douche, cranking up the speed on those he thought were drunk and slowing down the bucks on the women who rode the bull in short skirts. A 58 second record was called out before I hopped on, but the lady wasn't wearing underpants. Undaunted by the fear of contracting the "Herpe AIDS," (A vile quote from a local) I hopped on. 19 seconds. Still, the ladies of BDD and PRD deserved to win. As the night wore on, we were aware that the young men of the Jersey Shore White Plains night scene were unsure what to do with the flashy and classy that had appeared from nowhere at their favorite nightspot. Did we not realize this was their place?

Pictured here: Townie waiting for his turn on the mechanical bull.
We did. After a few incidents of chest-beating and dog-park antics, we decided to call it a night. We went to sleep, dreaming of derby and spray tans.

Tomorrow: Day Two! Where Rockerboy goes crazy, the crowd goes wild, and I slowly become Tom Waits!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Packing up the car for Regionals.

The home season behind us, Dread and I are headed to White Plains, New York to both watch and do our parts at the Eastern Regionals tournament, or "Derby in the Burbs." The missus has a vendor table to display her largest artistic piece, the roller derby quilt. Dreadnought's forty-pound quilt has been packed into the car in a bag that would be less taxed if it held wild game or at least one sad pug who is more than aware that derby is taking her parents away for the weekend.

Thankfully, we are leaving her with the Wii.

 Packing the quilt provided me with a sense of accomplishment. Not only could I lift such an awkwardly-heavy load and easily navigate the stairs, I was able to jam it into the trunk with enough room to put in our suitcase. Still, I am looking around the house and making sure I can fit all the things I need and still leave room for Hayley Contagious and the Reverend Al. So far I need to get in the following:

The Roller Derby Quilt sign and a bag of fabric. The sign has to go in last, as I don't want it to get ruined. Still, its presence makes sense. The bag of fabric is likely an opportunity for Dread to get more squares at the convention, or she intends to build a nest in the corner of our hotel room rather than making the mistake of getting into the wrong bed at the hotel. While the former is more likely, the latter is practical in a way I enjoy.

Coffee? I don't know. I would like to bring my own machine and cups, mainly because I hate risking any coffee provided to me at the venue. An essential element to a derby weekend, a bad cup of coffee is the equivalent of swimming in slurry. Now that you've looked that up, I'm sorry.

I was going to pack my big boots and have a change of shoes for each day, but I decided to pack lighter for the sake of my travel companions. I considered the Reverend Al Route, where you judge each piece of your couture thoughtfully. If it can completely cover 80% of your body, then you shouldn't wear it. I tried putting something together, but it doesn't seem right...

Maybe lose the vest?

Deciding that I should just wear stuff that I usually do, and screw the haters (Mom!), I have packed a few cool things and decided to let my personality speak for me. Or my mouth. Eh, whatever.

I hope to see many of you there. And for those of you who can't make it, tune into tomorrow at ten in the morning where Dumptruck and I will be be calling the first bout of the day.

Good Times.