Sunday, April 30, 2006

Arch Rival Rollergirls first demo bout!

So the big news of the week is... Jonathan worked for me and I got to go to Columbia!
My fears were unfounded. All of the girls on both teams did a great job. Everyone skated their hearts out and had a blast. Many of the girls in the league who were not on the two demo teams came to support the Vixens and the Angels. Toni (bless her, she drove me to Columbia) said that the crowd seemed really into it, especially when the girls took a fall. No one was seriously hurt. Jen O'Cide, Joanie Rollmoan and Facia Fears all came up to me after the bout and told me that it was the most fun they'd ever had in their entire lives. I am so proud of all our girls, those who skated and those who didn't. I honestly feel like we pulled it off, hitch free. Casey, Barb and Ken deserve massive props for setting this whole thing up. All of the skaters on the Pink Vixens and the Black Angels gave it their all. The referees and Scorekeeper Kelly did a good job, Katie and Emily were great for running the merchandise table, the pit crew kept everyone hydrated, and Skate Betty (Gypsy's daughter Galadriel) came ON HER SWEET SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY to watch her Mama skate. Here's the kicker: we made six-hundred and sixty-six dollars. We are evil, but we cannot be destroyed!
All of my fears were unfounded, but I still cannot believe we pulled it off! Empire skating rink wants to have us back again. I feel like we will be better prepared for our first bout in St. Louis, we know what we need to work on. This is only the beginning, and I can't wait for the rest of the ride, I know it will only get better from here on out. I hope we can keep it together enough, what with the small problem of having 70 strong-willed, opinionated, pig-headed women together at the same time, on wheels. I created a monster. Yeah!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's azalea bush...

...but I do. I've never been much of a flower gardener. I grow vegetables, herbs, things you can eat. I like food. My Dad grows flowers. Mom has her pansies, petunias, mums and hostas. But every morning on my way to work I admire Polly's azaleas. I think some would look very nice in our front yard. Perhaps it is time to take the plunge and grow something useless but beautiful.

Friday, April 28, 2006

On a lighter note...

It is that time of year again. Time to be bored by the daily updates of Sarah Kate's vegetable garden. Almost as exciting as watching grass grow! For those of you who remain faithful viewers through the entire gardening season, I offer you a reward, a prize, if you will. Fresh vegetables! Now, don't get all excited, if you don't live in St. Louis, you don't qualify. (Annie Buckles, you are the only exception. You always qualify.) I usually end up with more than I can eat, so I'll let you know what I have extra on a weekly basis. Do not expect payoff until August.
Anyway, I've been trying to get these vegetables in the ground all week, but I've been so busy. I finally got almost everything planted. What you see are Roma and Marglobe tomatoes, okra and gypsy peppers (I'll have to give some to Gypsy!). What you can't see are the edamame (better known as Japanese soybeans), bok choy, swiss chard, carrots and another kind of tomato called Big Boy. We have not yet planted watermelon or squash, because we need to warm up the soil a little bit. Matt and I also underestimated the amount of fence we would need. I know what you are thinking, why didn't they measure? Because that would be the smart thing to do.
Photo number two here is the herbs. Many of you know I like to grow my herbs in pots. This is so that I can move them indoors in the fall when it starts to get chilly, so I can extend the season as long as possible.
Just so you know, my Dad has dibs on the okra, but everything else is up for grabs. Let the vegetable blogging begin!

Venting the Venom

The Arch Rival Rollergirls are having their first demonstration bout this Saturday in Columbia MO. I will not be attending. The annual Dart Tournament is taking place at Blueberry Hill, and for those of you who do not know, the Dart Tournament is HUGE. It is one of the biggest events we host at Blueberry Hill, and every single member of the staff is needed. There is no possible way I can get off. I am okay with this. My job is important to me, it is something I enjoy doing and I consider myself really lucky to have a workplace that is flexible with my scheduling needs. I also count myself lucky to be able to make a decent living at such a laid-back place. That said, I wish I could be at the demo bout.
I spent all of yesterday and most of this morning dealing with roller derby business. I've been tweaking the handbook, writing a new code of conduct, researching USARS insurance options and membership fees, forwarding emails and stressing over the fact that the ref whistles and helmet panties have not arrived. I need to vent here on the blog, so please bear with me.
I am not asking for sympathy or for some sort of gratitude, I just need to get this out of my head. I feel like I have delegated all the responsibilities that I can, I don't need any help. Carrie has stepped up to solve the helmet panty problem, Bill has assuaged my fears about legal ramifications, Ken thinks the girls who are bouting this weekend are ready to go. Barb has made sure that everyone bouting has all their paperwork signed and all their medical stuff taken care of. We have a pit crew, a merchandise crew, a cheerleading crew, refs and a scorekeeper. Jen O'Cide's husband is going to videotape the entire thing. If by some miracle I get out of work early (HA HA) I will high-tail it to Columbia, but the chances of that happening are slim to none.
I feel a little cheated. The league is my baby, and I feel like I'm missing her first steps. I'm worried that we are rushing into this and that someone will get hurt. I am frustrated by the rift this performance has caused between the girls who are skating and the girls who aren't. I'm a bit peeved that out first demo isn't in St. Louis. I wish we had had more time to plan.
Okay. There. All my fears have been released to the ether. I hereby let go of them. They no longer own me. I am finished worrying.
Much better.
Now, good luck and be careful all you beautiful rollergirls. Have fun, because that's what it is all about.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What I did on Wednesday.

I have about four posts in the draft form, waiting for me to finish them. This week has been a tornado. I cannot believe how busy I've been. I'll fill in the holes later, I promise.
Now for today. First thing this morning I went upstairs and got to work on the floors. I'm trying to cut down on the dust factor as much as possible before we bring in the insulation. Lovely photo, no? I know you all think I'm trying to copy those floor-scrubber blogs that are so popular these days, but really I wanted to share with you all how shocked I was at the utter amazingness of oil soap. So there you go. Floors.
We made a list yesterday of all the things we need to do before I can move my studio upstairs. There are eleven. It always seems like such a gargantuan task. Anyway, I want to be up there dyeing yarn and sewing things by June.
Okay, here's the exciting part. I went to the County Library Headquarters last night. I know you are all thinking, "But Skate, you never go west of Kirkwood! That's in Frontenac! The County! West County!" Do not fear little readers, I did not break out in hives or implode. Sometimes you have to brave the wastelands of suburbia. Tonight was worth it. I saw the Yarn Harlot! She packed the library. She always does. I cast on a sock in the car on the way there (Matt drove, I'm not that good) and by the time I got to the front of the line to have her new book signed I was ready to turn the heel.
She let me take a picture of my sock with her sock (mine is the purple one in front) and she called Matt a Muggle (non-knitting person). I hope being called a Muggle by the Yarn Harlot is enough to kickstart his need to knit. Matt won't want to be a Muggle for long. She was as sweet and funny in real life as she is in the ether, and I am really glad I went. I met other knitters! I mean, I know a few, but these were my kind of knitters-- the obsessed ones. I even exchanged phone numbers with the girl sitting on the floor in front of me wearing the Noro shrug. I wish her well in the rest of her travels and in the book writing that lies ahead.
Matt and I grabbed dinner at the Bottleworks afterwards and then we headed home. Once we got there I proceeded to find and frog Drew's sock, which I have been working on, half-heartedly, for about six months. I'm giving up. The yarn isn't flexible enough, and I think I lost one of the pink dpns. Also, Matt has the same size feet as Drew, and when he tried the sock on it wouldn't even go over his heel. I have so many other sock yarns to use, I'll just switch out and Drew won't mind. I'd think he'd be happy to get the socks finally.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Birthday fun

Drunken photography is not something I should practice. It is a mistake. I had a wonderful time at Mangia, Dub Kitchen was great and Andy played "All of Me" solo for my birthday. Andy is a smartass. A bunch of my Roller Girls showed up and we had drinks. I tried to dance with Hippies, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Matt took me to Taco Bell for late night junkfood birthday treat after we left and now I will eat a burrito before bed. Scandalous!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today is my birthday!

Happy birthday to me!
I'm not going to do anythig constructive at all today. I'm headed to the Bread Co. for coffee in a minute, then I'm going to go to Knitorious (aka the yarn store) to spend the gift certificate Mom and Dad got me and possibly also spend the money my charming, beautiful Aunt Patti gave me too. It is my birthday and if I want to spend all my money on yarn, nothing can stop me. I've had my eye on some Noro for a while. I also heard that Knitorious is having a sale on knitting books. I may just increase my library.
After the shopping spree, I'm going to have lunch. I think I'll go to Iron Barley, or maybe Kitchen K. I cannot decide.Then I'll come home and admire my yarn purchases. I may eat some ice cream and watch Battlestar Galactica or Buffy. Under no circumstance will I fold laundry or wash dishes.
Tonight I have derby practice, and then I'm going to Mangia at 10 to see Dub Kitchen and drink fruity beer. I will probably dance at some point. Bring your cameras folks, everyone is invited.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A hard day of work.

I pulled a groin muscle at Derby practice last night. I'm alright, but I just can't seem to get it together enough to skate for a solid week. I am so frustrated with myself. I am out of shape and cranky.
As usual, when I am frustrated with myself, I turn to things I can control. So today, Matt and I decided that it was high time we cleaned out the plaster from the kitchen on the second floor.
We pulled down the ceiling and the back wall last fall, and then we got sidetracked. Windows had to go in on the third floor, the basement needed organizing, and then there was that whole "I think I'll start a roller derby league" thing. Well, this morning I decided to get down to business. I strapped on the safety goggles and dust mask, threw some Gogol Bordello on the CD player and started shoveling.
I forgot to take pictures before I cleaned up, but almost everyone who reads this has seen my upstairs, so you all know how much plaster I hauled out. I have to hand it to Matt. He unload all the buckets. I did most of the shoveling and stacked the lathe on the back porch, but he did the heavy lifting.
After we got all the debris out of the second floor kitchen and into the dumpsters, I dragged out the shop-vac and went over the floors. I love that the shop-vac has strong enough suction to get all the crap out of the cracks in the floorboards. It's kind of fun to get down on the floor a suck up all that dusty schmutz. Tomorrow I'm going to wet mop the floor and then we'll see how it's shaping up. I want to get the muratic acid wash on the walls this week, and possibly the first layer of varnish as well. Then I guess I'll strip the woodwork before we insulate the ceiling and hang the drywall. I'm not sure exactly what we are going to do with this room when the house is finished, but part of me still wants to put copper-colored tin-style ceiling tiles up there. I just think they would look so cool with the stripped wood and exposed brick. I want put up a tin-style ceiling in my first floor kitchen, but the rehab on the second floor is more pressing than me getting a fancy new kitchen any time soon. I may turn the second floor kitchen into my office/studio space, but for now I just need to focus on cutting down the overall dust factor on the second floor. As of right now, we have no loose plaster laying around. I cannot guarantee it will stay that way, but at least we are making progress.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Kate and Eldon are on their way over. I have hidden the baskets. Let the hunt begin.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Visitors from outer space

You all know that Kate is back for the summer. With Kate, we get the added bonus of short visits from Eldon, who for some unfathomable reason, misses her. Well, Eldon's visit #1 began last night. Kiki picked him up from the airport and took him to Mangia and fed him. Since she has to work today, I'm entertaining him. We are going to eat lunch and watch tv. I am not good at entertaining guests.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Eye Candy

Here is an image of my finished eggs. I have been trying to upload this since nine this morning. I'm not sure if the problem was with blogger or my wifi connection, but it was quite frustrating.
Anyway, the eggs turned out great. My Easter plans are set. On Sunday I will work brunch at Duff's. Simple, right? Matt's however, are more complex.
As most of you know, Matt helps design the window displays at Blueberry Hill. Sometimes this includes setting up live, holiday-themed performances. He usually assembles the set, recruits actors (unwitting BbH employees who are lured with the promise of free drinks and fame), and directs the performances. This week he is directing "The Easter Bunny's Kitchen." This is a recurring display featuring cute girls in pastel dresses and white aprons accompanying the Easter Bunny in his quest to create the perfect egg. The girls wear bunny ears and white gloves, the window is all in pastels and the kids love it. The Bunny remains anonymous in his/her giant white fluffy costume and papier mache head.
Unfortunately, the Bunny costume has been misplaced. They have the head, but not the suit. Also the person who plays the Bunny has declined to reprise his/her role this year, so guess who gets to do it? That's right folks, everyone's favorite bartender/derby bouncer/doctor of beerology, my husband: Mr. Mattie Thenhaus! He has arranged to rent a bunny suit for the occasion, and will be available for photographs.
Come down to Blueberry Hill on Saturday April 15th between noon and three pm and see this amazing piece of theatrics. Get your picture taken with the Mattie-Bunny! Easter fun for all, I promise. Rollergirls who get their picture taken with the Mattie-Bunny will go on my good-graces list for all time!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bollywood and Easter eggs

I just got back from the fabulous Fox Theatre. Mom took me to see Bombay Dreams for my birthday. Shakalaka Baby. The play was very much a spoof of, while remaining true to, the formula of Bollywood movies. If you are unfamiliar with Bollywood, click here to see the wikipedia definition for one of my favorite movie genres. The best part of the entire production were the percussionists, Deep Singh and Dave Sharma. Most of the music was provided by a DJ, but the percussion for all of the dance numbers (and the whole thing is a vehicle for dance numbers) was performed by these two talented musicians. They each had about twenty different drums of all different shapes and sizes that they used throughout the show. Mom even noticed them playing a boharan at one point. I really enjoyed the costumes, lots of sparkly pink, gold and red always makes me happy. The plot left a lot to be desired, but who goes to musical theatre for a good storyline anyway? I go for the costumes and the fireworks and the dancing and the fountain (there was a fountain!) and yeah, some people go for the music. I had fun, so did mom. So now I'm home, dyeing Easter eggs for the up coming, aforementioned baskets. I might make Matt bring me home another dozen eggs to dye tonight, just because I love the way they look. I think we should have colored eggs year round. I bet they have pink eggs all the time in Japan. And in Bollywood.

Nothing but knitting news

These are Katie's socks, almost finished. The yarn is self patterning sockotta. I'll find the label soon. I'm very excited because Eldon is coming to town tomorrow and Mattie and I are making Easter baskets for him and Kate. I can't wait to hide them so they can have a good Easter hunt! I have no idea why I insist upon treating my friends like they are four year olds. Maybe I secretly want kids. Food for thought

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cut Off

There is a reason I only allow myself two beers in a night.
I woke up at 7:45 this morning after about five hours of sleep. I am fairly certaiun I was still drunk when I went in to work this morning. I managed to pull it together and work my shift with no problems. We were quite busy due to the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon this morning. We had several large parties of runners coming in to eat when they were finished. I got all teary-eyed and nostalgic thinking about Julie running the marathon last year. I was proud of each and every one of the runners who ate at Duff's after the race, and I told them so through my hangover, all the while feeling like a big drunken loser.
Anyway, the Derby skills test is tonight. I'm not going to skate, but I will be there to cheer everyone on and hand out the ice packs. I'm going to take a nap now. After practice I'll post new derby and knitting pictures.
Please notice that I figured out how to put a link in the middle of my post. This simple bit of html took me thirty-seven minutes to figure out. I am a bad computer geek. I need to improve my skills.


I went to Riddle-Lynn's party after work tonight. I do not blame her. The party was classy and charming. I drank too many (7) beers. Casey made me. I do blame her. I'm sorry. I am eating crispy food and trying really hard not to answer email while inebriated. I apologize for any drunken email. I should avoid the computer when drunk. Sorry.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Men in the back yard, newly knit socks

Matt and Carl, my father-in-law, are tilling up the soil in my yard right now. Since we trimmed the tree last fall, I now have maximum southern exposure in the back of the house. My vegetable garden is going to be approximately four times bigger this year than last. You all know what that means... I'm going to have to start canning tomatoes. On the list for growing this year: four kinds of tomatoes, watermelon (for Matt, I can't stand the stuff), three kinds of peppers (bell, poblano and jalepeno), kale, chard, bok choy, romaine lettuce, edamame, carrots, green onions, tons of herbs (several varieties of basil, rosemary, chives, oregano, mint, chamomile) and possibly, if I have room, zucchini.
Now for knitting content: I have finished the bearfoot sierra socks. My first selfish socks. I love them, and will wear them everywhere. Wouldn't you?
Here's the specs: Mountain Colors Bearfoot Sierra yarn, a christmas gift from Mom and Dad. This yarn is 60% superwash wool. 25% mohair and 15% nylon, and it is hand painted in Montana. I used 1 350yard skien and #2 needles. The pattern is a basic top down 2x2 ribbed cuff and top, 64 stitch sock with short row heels and grafted toes. I love grafting. I don't see why everyone is always looking for a way around it. It really isn't so hard. Anyway, here they are, whashed and blocked and sun-dried. This yarn was fun to knit, it is so soft. I love my new socks. Now back to baby socks for the next four months.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring fever

When the weather starts to warm up and it stays light out longer, I just want to sit on my back porch all evening and smoke cigarettes. I'm not going to, because I quit smoking a while ago, but that's all I really want to do tonight. It's cool out, and there's a slight breeze. The air is damp from the afternoon showers, the freshly turned earth in my garden smells like a promise of this coming summer.
I have a cup of tea and a book, I've left the heating pad inside for now, but I wish I had a cigarette to keep me company on this perfect night.
I know I probably wouldn't be able to smell the dampness half as well if I was still smoking, and I know that I'd probably be congested and coughing right about now, I know that I am much healthier without the little cancer sticks. I miss the poetry and romanticism of cigarettes, the pretentious European flair they seemed to give everything I did. I know it was all a facade, all in my head, I've read too many novels, seen too many subtitled films. I need to find a replacement for smoking, something I can do while sitting alone on the back porch on a perfect spring night. I am open to suggestion, 'cause the tea ain't cuttin' it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An evening of enchiladas and accordions.

Wednesdays are usually my only "down days" during the week. I don't work and I don't have derby practice. This doesn't mean that I sit around on my behind on Wednesdays. I usually have to go to at least one bank, take the recycling, shop, pay bills, answer email, and try to see at least one of my non-derby pals.
This week I managed to get together with Toni in the afternoon. We made biscotti and chatted for a bit. I also went out to dinner with a whole gaggle of non-derby folk. (For all the awesome derby girls who read my blog, this is not intended as a slight on you all. You know how much I love you. I tell you four times a week. My other friends don't. I never see them, and when I do, I only talk about you all.) Glenna organized a dinner date at Las Palmas in NoCo, by the airport. I had delicious enchiladas and a mango Jaritos sodapop. Paul, Joe, Kate and Matt were also in attendance. Matt ate too much and had to go home early. Kate and I then went to the Creepy Crawl to see Gogol Bordello.
I realized that I won't go to the Creepy Crawl unless the band that is playing speaks English as a second language. No, really. The last show I went to there was Guitar Wolf.
So now, after 17 years of smashing my head on the punk rock, I have finally determined my favorite genre. I like my punk best mixed with any kind of folk music. The Pogues and Flogging Molly come to mind immediately, but Gogol Bordello takes the accordion to new heights. Gypsy punk changed my life forever, and now that I have seen them live, I can't help formulating other folk-punk-fusion genres in my head. How about sitar-speed-metal, pop-punk-polka, or Inca-flute-emo? I may be getting carried away actually, that last one was truly a bad idea. But seriously, Gogol Bordello put on a great show, I danced til they kicked us out. I wish I had had enough cash for a "start wearing purple" t-shirt. I think the future of punk has arrived, at last. And all that creepy Norwegian death metal does not qualify.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

getting used to daylight savings time

I'm thrilled that it's six forty five and the sun is still out. I hate winter because of all the stupid excessive-sleep-causing, lack-of-sun-provided-vitamin-deficiency baloney. Bleah. I feel like it is finally time to shake all that off me. I had lunch in the park today, sat in the sun and smelled the grass. It was strange. In a nice way.
I've been all out of sorts from this past weekend. I worked a ton of doubles and then went to a wake and a baby shower. All this celebration of lives past and future has really put me in a contemplative metaphysical sort of mood. Hooray for Spring and all that Jazz. I am finally organized as best I can be as far as the Derby side of my life goes. Work on the house is moving along nicely. Matt is going to turn over the soil in the yard tomorrow. I'm getting ready for garden planting.
Of course, I feel great. I sit down at the magic answer box (the computer), wearing my FINISHED SOCKS and decide to get going on the ARRG forums. Poof. They hate me. They refuse to let me in. They won't even acknowledge that I exist. I am heartbroken. I started this league. I'm the dictator. I am going to cry I feel so rejected. I pull it together and shoot an email to the administrator. He starts tweaking things. I realize that I take stuff too seriously. I really don't care if the ARRG website doesn't think I exist.
When I'm in the middle of this sort of mood I need to stick to reading knitting blogs. It's safer.