Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Heartbreakers Ball

Last week was filled with a lot of non-derby issues that I don't want to go into, so it was a good thing that Johnny Deep and I decided to make our way to NHRD's Heartbreakers Ball. The theme of the evening had been a Pajama Jammy Jam. Desperate to shake my ass to Kid N' Play's "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody," Johnny and I set out from my house with such quickness that we had to eat at Wendy's or risk Mr. Deep falling into diabetic shock. It's real, I've seen it, and the first sign is he's really mean. Like James Woods at the beach finding out his boat drink has sand in it mean.

Take it back. Now. If there's anything in it when you return, you're crab food.

The issue with going to fast food joints is that we both don't really like the food, but it's supposed to be fast. As Johnny had no cash (it's the 21st Century, so I know it's more common than I'd like) we had to go inside, at which point we are met with a line of twenty high school basketball players. All ordering the same thing, all claiming it was wrong. My hatred of delays and incompetence well-documented, I almost stroke out. In trying to avoid an appearance of seaside James Woods, I became him.

After arriving in Manchester, we ran into the party prepared to dance. I changed into my pajamas at the sign-in table. Meaning that I pulled my pants off and went in to the party in my underpants and a hat. Johnny, ever the man of action, also wore his pajamas (AKA his clothes). Johnny has been getting smoother and the beard he's grown for the winter seems to be having a positive effect on the ladies. I think it's because he looks like a Doobie Brother.

Michael McDonald gets all the ladies.

Once I entered the function room, I was ready to take that dancefloor. However, the duo playing acoustic guitar and bongos that had taken over the wooden floor were our primary source of music. Hmm. I expected to shake my ass, not chill and listen to covers of "Hey Jealousy" or the Bon Jovi catalogue. Do I think they were talented? Yeah, sure. And people did seem to dig their stuff. That's cool. However, the breaks in their set invited us to the floor where we danced as though our next fifteen minutes depended on it.

Awesome times.

Ultimately, the Ball is about community. It's a kickoff of the new season for NHRD, and I dig seeing people, even if I can't dance. Currently I have sciatica so it's likely the bongo band did me a favor. The advantage of the floor being denied to us was that I got to talk to the new freshies, reconnect to the old guard, and pose for pictures that aren't scandalous so much as a reminder that the gym has missed me.

A wizard is eating my hat!
Can't wait for the season to begin.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

BDD Teaming Scrimmage Two: The New Batch

Last week, I traveled to Holbrook to watch the fresh meat of the Boston Derby Dames duke it out the eleven or so open spots on the home teams. I made my annual trek to this scrimmage because it's the finest time to start acquainting myself with the names and numbers I'll be shouting out over the PA for the entire season.

Due to the lack of parking around my favorite sandwich shop, Dread and I drove down to Holbrook early, ate at Five Guys Burgers, and then built a welcome sign for the gladiatrixes who had come to compete.

This was our second attempt at snow sculptures that weekend. I believe I did better the previous day when I built a special wizard to greet my in-laws to enjoy when they had their morning coffee facing the porch:


The scrimmage itself is also amazing because of the non-skaters who choose to watch this moment. The Prince Of Paine, Lady Oshun, and I were joined by Thunderdome. Also present was the now veteran widower Mr. Splatter, Tommy (he's a wizard of pinball, I think), and Chris.

Thundy is still reacting from my comment about lil ladies with no chins loving big, husky lovers. .

Mr. Splatter is back, paying widow love forward.
Noticeably absent from this year's scrimmage were any soon-to-be widows of our freshmeat. Bronco of CMRD was there to cheer on Belle Air Bomber, who is now a Nutcracker, but no dudes or ladies who frequently rubbed shoulders and whispered words of encouragement to their sweeties before and after every practice that led up to this moment. It's a noticeable, if regrettable change.

A lot had changed from the previous season. Compared to this year's tryouts, last year's teaming scrimmage more closely resembled earlier days of the league. The playing field has become rockier. Many of the ladies unpicked were at a skating level higher than the starting skill of some of our most celebrated veterans. Watching this scrimmage, I was blown away by the athleticism of almost everyone. Heart is an important thing, and these ladies had more of them than an illegal organ harvester at a shady hotel.

My dear friends, Dr. Pepper Spray and Farmer Geddon had taken over the fresh meat momma(s) position from Dread this year. Now that Dread's co-captain of the Nutcrackers, she could no longer go through the bittersweet shepherding of the potential new recruits as she'd be the one selecting folks for her team. It's a bizarre wheel that turns in Holbrook.

The competition that night, and its aftermath, cleared most of the stink of that horrid rink from my nostrils.  The next morning, watching the freshies change their Facebook pictures to their team logos was a real kick. A reminder that the season has started up again, we've got some new blood that will reinvigorate the ladies before the Shriners open their doors, and that we're out to set new records. Though the sport changes in some ways, though thank the gods for the positive attitudes of the new blood, steadfast veterans who haven't lost a sense of teamwork and community, and teams like Montreal:

Looking forward to seeing y'all soon.