Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bloomington Roundup!

Wow....what a busy but fulfilling weekend. The Ohio Roller Girls traveled to Bloomington, IN for a double header against the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls. OHRG came away with two wins but those girls put up quite a fight (and our bruised jaws are there to prove it).

On top of all THAT excitement, I cut off a massive amount of my hair. It looked like there was a sleeping Pomeranian on the floor, seriously. This picture is just what she cut off before she did any of the color.
Roberta did an amazing job and I'm quite pleased with the results. I was well overdue to get the rat's nest chopped off my head but was spurred into action when I realized it was Roberta's last week before her maternity leave!
No more dealing with 8 lbs of hair being under a helmet for 6 hours a week! Now for the gratuitous Before/After shot (I'm wearing my newly finished Alpaca cardigan in the before pic!!)

 SO before we even left for our big Indiana adventure, I needed to invent a yummy power breakfast and came up with an AWESOME Pureed Spinach Fritatta. It was beautifully green and delicious.

It was just a basic egg white Fritatta with onions and parmesan but I sauteed spinach with garlic and basil and pureed it with some light sour cream before adding it to the egg mixture. Yum Yum.

After such a lush breakfast, it was time to hit the road. For those of you who don't know. I hate driving. HATE IT. I hated it more when I drove my Beetle which I lovingly referred to as my "Certain Highway Death" machine. It was a perfectly safe car but I just felt so SMALL in I definitely am a bit better now that I drive my Element. But I still hate driving. So lucky us, the fabulous NSO Extraordinaire Kill C. Grammar loves to drive and is usually our road trip chauffeur deluxe. The trip to Bloomington is about 3.5-4 hours and we were even able to stop and meet the Barz entourage for some crappy roadside Mexican food. We also suffered some disappointment at the hand of the cheese gods when we stopped here:

 We are apparently total Grandpa's Cheese Barn snobs because this place just didn't cut it. As Rogi said, "their cheese curds were imported!!!" They did have Spoon Trash though!

 We arrived just on time to Bloomington's Twin Lakes Rec Center which was a pretty nice place if the basketball court we skated on was a bit slick. Gang Green dominated from the get go. The refs warned us about high blocks and man, they were everywhere. At one point, Harley looked over to watch me get decked in the jaw and she reached over to make sure I didn't fall over, ha! We maintained a nice lead throughout and it would have been more of a blow out if it weren't for the final jam completely sucking- gotta give the home crowd something, eh?. Oh well, Rogi came away with some of Tijuana Mama's tutu as a souvenir!

The Charter Team game is where it got exciting. The BHRG Flatliners actually had the lead at the beginning and then it flip flopped for a while with differences of only a point or two. They have some very talented skaters; I was especially impressed with Kaka Caliente. Hellion later told me, "she's not really hot shit".... but she was pritty-pritty sweet. They jammed her for what seemed like every other jam though and I think fatigue caught up with her. In the second half OHRG finally got their stride and put up a few big jams thanks in part to some awesome skating by Kitty Liquorbottom. OHRG finally finished the game with a 30 point lead. The last jam ended as one of the Flatliners lost a wheel! Loraine Acid gave us a bit of a scare when she had to be taken to the hospital to be checked for a concussion (high blocks!!) but we soon learned that she was fine!

It was awesome to see the CT come together at the end and get the win especially because it was Hell Camino's last bout :(
Camino is one of my oldest friends and the reason that I am playing derby now. She came out of retirement to skate this year and I'm so thankful she did but now it's never going to be the same without her. I know she'll still be at all the bouts and her Pet sitting business Tail of a Good Time is really taking off...... I will miss her!!!!

The afterparty was at a pretty douchy college bar so we took off to find the local gay bar with some of the BHRGers. Upon returning to the hotel, we found a room full of Ohio girls sleeping by a campfire after being locked out of their room. Gotta love Ohio!!!

And now it is time for me to rant about how I want it to be Fall NOW. I finished my Cashmere Blend Neckwarmer and it needs to cool down so I can wear it! Even if my face looks stupid when I have it on....


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Neverending Summer it going to be Autumn soon? Ever? This summer has been nonstop. The heat! The humidity! The roller derby! I suppose there is a plus side to everything. Nearly every weekend since April has been consumed by my latest hobby/obsession/love. This past Saturday, we traveled up to Akron to take on Rubber City's Renegades B-Squad. We assembled what we lovingly refer to as our "C-Team" made up of our Gang Green regulars (including some of the last rookie class) plus some secret Charter Team weapons. We completely destroyed them and had one hell of a time doing it. The second half we got to run our "volleyball rotation", which meant I had to *gulp* JAM in a real bout. I have jammed in scrimmage before but with the likes of Pippi Ripyourstockings and Phoenix Bunz on the prowl, let us just say I've never gotten too far. At Rubber City, however, I actually cleared the pack on my first ever jam! The second time was even better! I got my first lead jam, snuck through the pack on the inside, and called it off right before their jammer hit the pack. It felt pretty cool! My favourite thing is still just hitting broads though.

Copyright Timothy Kane
So even fielding players in new positions, we walked away with a 70 point win and had a blast. Pictures from the bout can be found here!!!

On our way up, we stopped at Kill C. Grammar's kingdom, Grandpa's Cheesebarn. This place is amazing. SO MUCH CHEESE!

Yes, they have their own spring water....but oh! The Cheese! I ended up leaving with some nice sage cheese, cheese curds (heaven) in chive, garlic, and hot pepper flavours, and some delicious F.R.O.G. jam (Fig, Raspberry, Orange Peel, and Ginger). They also have milkshakes. I am lactose intolerant. I still drank half of one. Yum. I'm sure we will back there soon.

More good news! I received my Asus Net Book yesterday and I am already in love. This thing is perfect for me and so portable; exactly what I need for all the traveling I plan on doing. The last time I owned a laptop, it ummmm didn't have wireless. I have so been missing out. Of course to protect my new little toy, I am working on a knitted sleeve design. I have some nice blues picked out to complement my pretty blue netbook, including some Roxanne's Mohair from Farmhouse Yarns that is just gorgeous....

On top of all this, my work week has been hectic as hell....I need a break. So..... this weekend we are taking the Gogol Pug Monster out to Lake Piedmont for a night at a cabin in the woods for a shockingly derbyless weekend. I hope I can get some major knitting and reading done and I really hope the temperature is kind to me. COME ON FALL, GET HERE!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stuff and Things That I Happen to Be Totally Psyched About Right Now

I thought I would take a minute to share some things that have me super excited. Maybe it's the 4 hours of sleep I got last night..... I know this brand of enthusiasm from me is unusual.

First- Knit Picks finally has a Cashmere blend!!!! It's 85% Merino and 15% Cashmere, DK weight, and buttery soft. I picked up a little under 400 yards in the Caviar colorway ( how can you resist a name like that?).
Now I have to decide what to do with it. I'm thinking a cowl....maybe the incomparable Jared Flood's  Ptarmigan? I can't wait to work with it and eventually dream up a warm sweater. Where are you, Autumn?
copyright Jared Flood
Second- Coworkers keep bringing me their garden produce which is especially awesome since this wretched heat/humidity has pretty much torched my garden except for the Basil, Beans and Mint. I made some kickass zucchini bread a couple of weeks ago, munched on cucumber sandwiches over the weekend and now the wonderful LWB let me snag this little guy...
Mr. Pepper is SO getting roasted and blended into some homemade hummus.

Third-  The new season of Project Runway. I haven't been too jazzed about the quality on this favourite show of mine ever since the season Kelli was on (5? I think- Where Leann won)....but this season is shaping up pretty well. Andy and Valerie are probably my favourites right now.

Unlike the judges, however, I CANNOT stand that Harpy of the Cheekbones, Gretchen. What a condescending, overbearing, self-centered waste. Her focus on sustainable and organic materials aside, I can't wait until she is in the bottom. I don't like her clothes and her personality is  HIDEOUS. But I do like this season.
Oh, and Betsey Johnson was on last night. Sweet!

Last- I ordered a Netbook!

I should have waited to see if I get any Insurance Money from my storage unit fire but I am impulsive and really wanted to be able to carry a computer on my travels.   I'm going to be in minor debt forever, why not keep it flowing?


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side......

Hello me!! (because I will probably be the only one reading this thing in the future)...

     I've been meaning to start blogging for an eternity but could never find a reasonable excuse for myself. Facebook lets me share pictures and stories with people, Ravelry takes care of my need to share knitting accomplishments and even Good Reads is there to post book reviews. Not to mention the term blogging is a bit icky. But damn it! I miss my trite little online journal that I kept during my freshman year of college.
      I am lucky enough to be traveling through China, Tibet, and Cambodia in a couple of months, so a blog I must have (though, that being said, I will inevitably be unable to access the internet while there). I thank my esteemed colleague Ms. Pearl Rogi for naming this worthy publication. She and many many others know my distaste for the widespread misuse for the word 'literally' so here's to irony!!! (another word grossly misused, by the way)
     One of the reasons I have waited so long to start one of these things is that I have never been able to think of anything to write about in a "first post". "Hi I'm so and so and I like doing so and so" just isn't appealing. So I have dug out a nice little literary survey and updated it a bit. Everything anyone would need to know about me is probably contained within.
 I mean..... it is 2003 and this is myspace, right?

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Either Dostoevsky or Tolstoy (numerous translations of multiple volumes) or Dickens. Probably Dickens...he wrote about a million novels and I seem to buy duplicates every time I go to Half Price.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
3 Translations each of: War & Peace, Brothers Karamazov, and Anna Karenina.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
What are you accusing me of? Ooooops.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Alex D'Uberville, totally... who doesn't love a Victorian date rapist?

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
Either Great Expectations or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Uhhh either The Hot Zone or Watership Down. I was a strange child.

7. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Twilight. I won't even italicize it. I succumbed to the hype and now I wish I hadn't wasted the 3 or 4 hours it took me to get through what I think might have been 500 pages of an 8 year old's book report about "vampires" and "abstinence".

8.What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Finally got around to Bleak House. That was amazing. So was Cryptonomicon. Oh, and I reread Animal Farm but that doesn't count....

9.If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?
Brothers Karamazov. I have bought it for several people's birthdays. Especially the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Harry Potter 7.

11.What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

12. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I don't know.. I definitely have the strangest dreams while reading non-fiction oddly enough. One that comes to mind is a book about the 1860 murder of a child in England....creepy. 

13.What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I just read the entire Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris that the series True Blood is based off. Pretty cheesy and semi-pornographic (the show is actually way better) but still loads better than "sparkly" vampires. And I've read two of the Outlander series now. God, I'm ashamed.

14.What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Paradise Lost. NEVER AGAIN. I hope it stays lost.

15. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
In London I saw the Royal Shakespeare Company do "The Merry Wives of Windsor" least I think that's what that was... still haven't read that one.

16. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
DUH. My Tolko Russki bookshelf speaks for itself. I DID read my first Balzac novel last year though. BALZAC, I said it.

17. Roth or Updike?

18.David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
I adore David Sedaris. I have yet to read that book that I suspect is a heartbreaking piece of staggering crap.

19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Gotta go with Mr. S.......though I'll take Chaucer in a pinch. Milton, not so much.

20. Austen or Eliot?
Oooooooh. Sorry, ladies... I have to go with Eliot. I assume they mean George/Maryann not T.S. I'm a realist, what can I say.

21.What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
The Bible. I have to look up biblical references which is quite hindering considering the books I love. You're still not going to get me to read it though.

22.What is your favorite novel?
Uggggggh. I can't choose. I've been in a Jude the Obscure mood for the last few years. That scene! Oh, that one scene!

23. Play?
"The Cherry Orchard"

24. Poem?
John Donne. Go and catch a falling star... get with child a mandrake root...tell me where all past years are or who cleft the devil's foot.....
He was saucy.

A Modest Proposal

26.Work of nonfiction?
Anything by Simon Schama or Richard Dawkins.

27.Who is your favorite writer?
Always comes down to some serious Dickens.

28.Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I have to pick one? Well, David Foster Wallace just barely misses the cut....sooo...I don't know? Do people still actually think Stephen King is awesome? And nobody actually thinks that Twilight lady is talented, do they? So many questions.....

29.What is your desert island book?
War and Peace. It has everything you need to know.

30.And... what are you reading right now?
I have been reading a lot of books lately relating to the places I will be traveling. I hate not having a solid cultural and historical background when I'm somewhere new. It makes it much harder to explore. Currently I'm reading Peter Hessler's Oracle Bones which is wonderful so far. Also Sky Train about Tibetan Women. Next on the agenda will probably be Gary Shteyngart's new novel and I'd love to conquer Chang and Halliday's massive and well-reputed Mao: The Unknown Story.

   So there's that. And for good measure: a picture of my favourite coffee cup that makes me insanely happy. I'm going to go drink some tea now.

Love, Vyle