Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rants. Raves. And a few other things.

Ok, decided I'm not liking the video blogging so much because it basically turns into me whining about something. I will perhaps do more of that in the future, but in a different way (video bloggin.. not whining).

A week ago, some of us OCCRG girls traveled to the Quad Cities to watch them play the Paper Valley Flying Squirrels (PVRG). As an avid reader may recall, the Squirrels beat us (pretty well), and we beat QC (..decently) therefore, I think everyone expected QCR to take a beating from the Squirrels (which they had already received once when they visited PVRG a month or so ago.) But that was quite the contrary..

I had arrived a little late, about a quarter into the bout, and glanced at the score board which was only like, 35 to 16 (or something like that). It wasn't until someone pointed out that PVRG was losing that I realized what I had walked in on. (I think I was also very distracted by the guy who made a giant Pink Taco hat. Hilarious) I could already tell this was going to be an awesome bout, because it had been such a low scoring match so far, and QCR was holding their lead.

A quick scan of each team, I noticed PVRG were down a couple blockers from when they played us, and up a few that I remembered from our visit to them last December. QCR's lineups still confuses me because of their recent wave of new skaters to their roster which they seem to be keeping locked in. Since they've been keeping such a regular roster this season they have been working really well with each other, thus the amazing walls and blocking I was seeing that night. QCR was hitting right off the line, and often throughout jams. Pink Taco seemed to be blocking more than jamming, which was quite the switch off, and Lady Gotcha and Nancy Screw were jamming up a storm.

I could SEE the anxiety in the PVRG team. Their jammers seemed be scrambling for every point, often employing the 'hit it and quit it' method. (Hitting the pack, getting their four points and calling it off.) This made me laugh a little, because since I've been working so closely with the footage of our bout vs them, I noticed how almost bored their jammers had looked.. probably because they slid through our pack with ease. (since half of it was in the penalty box at any given time..)

By half time the score was a mere 51-35, QCR in the lead.

It was also at this time that 'parkles was kidnapped and was not seen until the next day. Trust no one.

The second half was quite the nail biter. You could tell the tension was getting to each team because there was some ...shall we say, catty attitudes between the teams. There is often taunting in roller derby, but sometimes you can't tell if someone will go overboard with it and take action on their frustration. It was kept to a minimum and the derby action continued. Soon it was tied at 60 with twenty minutes left in the bout. Hit it and quit it was working for PVRG in gaining some points, but QCR was not letting up. The score stayed tight for another 10 minutes and then QCR pulled into a ten point lead, 74-64.

With 3 minutes left it was a close bout at 105-94. At this point I wasn't completely sure QCR had won it. Even though there was so little time, and QCR still had a ten point lead, single jam's can decide the fate of a game. A jammer could be called to the box leaving no scoring possibilities, or good strategy can fit two jams into this time. It's also not impossible for 10-20 points in a single jam. Never underestimate roller derby.

With the crowd on their feet, and emotions flowing, QCR sealed it at 105-94. (Sorry, I feel like I should have had a more exciting description of the last jam, but I put off writing up this bout coverage, and obviously I got more into the bout at the end because my notes became lacking.)

It was nice to see a bout that I could just relax and watch...but still take part in after party festivities. Hanging out with the Quad City girls (and boys) is always a good time... Despite the awful acoustic guy they always have at the bar afterwards.. Don't they realize derby girls just want to dance??

The past few weeks with editing has been tough, exhausting, and frustrating.. but I'm getting good progress and i'm getting super excited for the screening.. which will be May 7th. (the night before our home bout.. teehee). There is actually hype growing over it, mostly from derby girls heh, but people who won't be able to make it have requested that they still want to see it.. which has me toying with the idea of a screening tour, visiting different derby leagues, showing the movie and hanging out. I'll be graduated soon and don't really know what my future holds, but that sounds like something I definitely want to do..

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is orchestrating the next home bout which is being sponsored by the Avoid the Stork campaign. Kelly, a girl I work with at the coffee shop works for them, so in talking to her we decided they need to sponsor a bout for us. and ta-da! "Rather Get Knocked Down than Knocked Up" will be May 8th. I'm super excited, and they have been amazing to work with. It should be a fantastic bout.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Oh hiiiii 1:00 am..we meet again. And I'm still in the lab. The next few weeks will be media lab all day every day that I'm not working, in class or sleeping. ...but at least it's about DERBY!

Here's more of me.. sweaty, smelly me.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

The horrors of editing...

So, filming is all fun and games.. but the meat of this project is EDITING. That's when you realize filming should have been less fun and you should have been more meticulous, and thoughtful about what you were filming...


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tenderized Meat

Going through footage for my BFA project, I become more and more impressed with the group of girls I skate with. Our numbers are growing so large we will have to break into multiple teams under the league name of OCCRG, according to WFTDA standards, our ultimate goal. (There can only be 20 players to a team.)

I'm impressed with the teams in the area in general, and the progression of roller derby as a sport. My quick assessment of it in Iowa, is that there are eight teams beginning in the past four years: MIR April 2006, QCR 2006, MRN multiple incarnations since.. ?, SCRD Feb 2008, CRRG Feb 2008, OCCRG Oct 2008, D3 June 2009, and the Eastern Iowa Outlaws are just forming their team this year.

I feel like within the context of these teams, the timeline of events and each enjoying their own variations of success, we have progressed so rapidly and reached this level of athleticism and organization within a year and half... it's impressive. I attend practices with faces I don't know now, when I used to know the faces..and sweat of each of my teammates intimately. We've gone from filling a rec center gym, to scrambling for seats in the Marriott Convention Center. It's exciting, scary and amazing all at the same time. I'll be graduating soon with no real direction professionally, but it feels good to have this thing in my life that I am so proud of, so sure of, so happy to be a part of.

With that said, we played the Des Moines Derby Dames last weekend in their debut on the flat track. I was a bit wary of them bouting so soon, but I have to say, I'm quite impressed. I can tell they're a determined, eager team that will be a strong and intimidating competition in no time.

Also debuting last weekend were Old Yeller and Chemical Spill from our team, playing their first bout. Our fresh meat have been working hard on the track and off the track. I feel confident walking into the convention center on bout day because we have a strong organizational support staff of non-bouters holding down the fort.

Like I've said before, there's much more to roller derby than just the action, it takes way more people to put on a successful bout. Announcers, sound mixers, multiple people for stats inside the track and outside the track, scorers, multiple refs, merch ladies, people controlling the door, bout mistresses, security, EMTs, the staff at the Marriott, extra hands to set up, bout coverage, half time entertainment, .... all volunteer.

Not to mention, none of this would be possible without our fans. Our success can only progress with an audience who is as eager about the sport as we are. So please encourage anyone and everyone who has never seen a bout before to come check it out.. or even join. We love your support already this season.


pssst. next bout, May 8th vs Cedar Rapids Roller Girls..