Monday, December 29, 2008

A Prescription From The Doc

In my last post I asked if anyone had received derby themed gifts for Christmas and if so to email me. I wasn't expecting much more than a few words ("this is what I got for xmas") and a picture, which would have been just fine. I'm always happy when people respond to my posts, but sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by something unique, extremely well written, and special. And in addition, awestruck by the overwhelming emotions that derby brings out in people. This is one of those times. When I read this email from my fellow derby girl, whom I love to skate with, my heart welled up and my grin was at it's widest! If you play derby with a team you love, you will be able to relate to this entry. Doc Block, thank you SO much for this contribution. I wish you could have seen my face light up when I read it. I hope this inspires more people to contribute something to this blog and for my friends and family to buy me derby gifts like these!! Nice score Doc!

Letter to the Ettator

Skate don't hate. Words to live by, to be sure, improbably emblazoned on a ceramic coaster. Six months ago I could have never predicted that there was a market for such a singular item and that astoundingly that market would be me. After months of shaking their heads and meeting behind closed doors to discuss whether or not I had indeed gone crazy this time, my gorgeous family conspired to produce Doc Block's 2008 Very Derby Christmas. From highly coveted new skates to knee socks; the useful to the just plain weird. I laughed my way through Christmas morning and appreciated my family's support and collective sense of humor. Which brings me to my new family...
Six months ago I also could never have imagined having the women (and men) of the LIRR in my life. No matter where derby takes me, I will always, always love them for the way they welcomed me in and allowed me to search for my own limitations even though I might not have been the most likely of recruits. Since the very first practice I've been amazed by their generosity to each other and commitment to the sport. (they're also some of the most entertaining people to be around) I hope in 2009 everyone stays healthy and injury free (Are you listening D-Ball?) , and we continue to push each other to achieve what we didn't even know we could. Veteran, fresh bloods, support and coaches all have one thing in common..They f-ing ROCK! Oh and the coaster is actually a pretty good place to put my coffee.

Doc Block
Here's a pic of some of my favorite derby loot!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Survey Says

I hope everyone had a great holiday! It was nice to take a break from work and daily routines and spend time with my family. How about all of you? Did anyone get a derby related gift that they would like to share? I'd love to see. Send me some pics! If you don't have my email already, here it is:

I follow some other blogs, Roller Derby Disorder being one of them. I read an entry on there the other day and because of it's importance, decided to re-post it here for all of you. The entry was regarding a survey that was initially posted on the Roller Girls Yahoo! Boards, which I really should be reading more often.....ahhh if only there was more time in a day. I completed the survey and it only took about five minutes, maybe even less. The survey is mainly for skaters who have bouted or at the least scrimmaged. Who knows if this really will be helpful to us in the future, but it doesn't hurt to give it a shot. Here it is:

Injury Experience in Roller Derby Athletes

Attention Roller Derby Girls!Roller Derby is moving fast! Media exposure is expanding.

The next step is medical research! Sports medicine doctors at the University of Utah are studying Roller Derby injuries. By studying how athletes get hurt, they hope to figure out how to prevent future injuries and keep Derby Girls safely rolling.

Everyone's experience is important. Be heard by helping with this nationwide study. Follow the link below to answer some questions.Even if you haven't been injured, please fill out the survey. It will only take five or ten minutes, and we aren't collecting any names. We will collect your year of birth, insurance status, and description of non-Derby and Derby related injuries.

Your information is safe and will only be used for this research project. All data will be password-protected on a University website and database. However, with everything there may be risk- a potential risk may be loss of confidentiality. There is no reward for completing the survey; but, everyone's experience is important! Be heard by helping with this nationwide study.

Do you have any Roller Derby friends that didn't get this link? Please send this link to them – we don't want to miss anybody!

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints or if you feel you have been harmed by this research please contact Dutch Plante(Research Coordinator, Division of PM&R, University of Utah) at 801585 6998.Contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB) if you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant. Also, contact the IRBif you have questions, complaints or concerns which you do not feel you can discuss with the investigator. The University of Utah IRB maybe reached by phone at (801) 581-3655 or by e-mail at

Participation in this study is voluntary. You can choose not to take part and you can also choose not to finish the questionnaire or omit any question you prefer not to answer without penalty or loss of benefits.By completing this questionnaire at the below listed web link, you are giving your consent to participate.
Thank you for your participation,

Ethan Colliver, D.O.
Stuart Willick, M.D.
University of Utah

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And the Award Goes To.....

Friday morning, I woke up and looked out my living room window to find snow coming down and coming down fast. Within minutes after it started, everything was white. The inches piled up. A 6 mile drive took Sleeping Booty 2 hours. Cars were swerving and people were not leaving home unless it was absolutely necessary. A winter storm had hit. The snow continued all day long and just when it looked like it was about to stop, it turned to freezing rain. Not the best traveling conditions, but that didn't stop us from having an amazing Roller Rebel holiday party. We made it to the bar (which was quite far for some) and even though some of us fell on the ice (me), we made it home too. As always, Chest Blockwell did an amazing job organizing the party. I don't know how she does it, but every event continues to be a success. We pretty much filled up the bar and whatever room was left was taken up by the trays of delicious food and a cake that blew my mind. Everyone chipped in to cook, bake and bring something for all to share. My favorite was the vegan coconut tofu rice. Fresh Blood Mary Kate's cake was a work of art and reminded me of something you would see the crew on Ace Of Cakes make. I'm still talking about that cake three days later.

Snarls did a great job with the music and we all had fun dancing to The Beatles at the end of the night. I have to say though, the most creative works of art were the awards that Heidi Hoe Bag made. The thought and time that went into them definitely shows through. She captured the best pictures of the winners so even though the designs were all the same, each award had it's own character. Jake as always, made us all laugh when announcing the winners and Jefferee added to the festivities by dressing as Santa when giving out the awards. I myself did not realize that it was him in suit until someone told me!
I wanted to say thanks to Roy and Mike of The Buzzards for coming down and celebrating with us. We'll see you guys on New Year's Eve! And last but definitely not least, a very special thanks also to Fango Chris, who never, ever misses a bout or event and always helps us out.

And the winners are........................................

Best Jammer - A tie between Amaretto Sourpuss and C-Roll

Best Blocker - Captain Morgan

Best Pivot - MadDonna

Hardest Hitter - D-Ball

Most Valuable Player - Cyanide Kisses

Rookie of the Year - Chest Blockwell

Most Improved Player- Eve L. Taco

Best Derby Name - Sofonda Dix

Unsung Hero - Announcer Jake

Cleanest Player - Etta Jams (Thanks to everyone who voted for me!!!) Check out Heidi's award: Hmmmm that Sofonda girl looks an awful lot like Carnage Electra. Maybe I'm still hungover :-)

Here are a few more pictures...

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!! See you all in the new year.

Warm Holiday Wishes,


Friday, December 19, 2008

Enter To Win

I subscribe to the BUST Line Weekly (BUST magazine's news letter). I wanted to share a promotion from today's letter with all of you. Hellkats L.A. and BUST are giving you a chance to win this necklace:

Simply click here and fill out the form on the page. Good luck derby girls!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Enduring the Endurance

I'm pretty sure that when Captain Morgan planned out last night's practice, she kept in mind that we would be off for the next few weeks. My oh my did she work us hard! She did warn us at the beginning of practice that it was going to be a tough one, and she did not lie! TONS of endurance for pretty much the entire two hours. At the end though, I did feel great and was my usual maniacal self as I am at the end of every practice. How did the rest of you feel?

In other news, I've added a poll to the right of the posts here. I'm hoping to get some feedback. If you're worried about me finding out whether you voted "yes" or "no", you can relax. I can't see who voted, only how many people voted. So please help an ettator out and cast your vote. This really is so that I can make the blog better for all of you. I could sit here all day and write, but if no one wants to read it, then why bother putting it out on a public blog. Right? I want you, my reader, to be involved with The Roller Rebels. That's the beauty of this blog. If you can't skate, you can still be a part of what's going on in the league.

Oh and one more thing! If you notice at the bottom of each post, I've set up boxes that you can check off telling me if something "rocks" or if it "sucks". (I'm thinking of adding a few more options here) If you don't want to leave a long "write your own" comment about a post, then simply check a box to let me know how I'm doing.


This Week

Tonight will be our last practice of the year. I'm not happy about it. I mean, I understand that some of us need/want the break, it's just that I look forward to practice every day and when I'm not at practice, I'm thinking about it. Obsessed, you think?? So, I will replace the time with other tasks, most of which will involve exercise simply because I love to work out. Though it's not derby, it will have to do for the time being.

There is however something derby related to look forward to this week and that's our pink and black themed holiday party this Friday! Last year the party was so much fun and I think this year it will be just as exciting. One of refs, Snarls In Charge, will be our DJ for the night and has already started taking song requests. Of course there will be food and drinks too. But one of the things I'm most looking forward to is our greatly anticipated award ceremony. There are several award categories (Best Skater, Best Derby Name etc) that we all nominated skaters for and voted on. My curiosity will be fulfilled when the winners are announced. In the end though, aren't we all winners? I am also curious to see the actual awards. Our ever-so-organized secretary, Heidi Hoe Bag did a phenomenal job making them last year. What did you come up with this year Heidi?

I will be sure to fill you in on all the party details!

The Ettator

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Coming, Out Going!

Last month I featured a card created by Stephanie of Scarlet Bloom in the Derby Gift Guide. Today I got home from work to find these in my mailbox!

Stephanie was kind enough to send me these as a thank you and since I also make cards (and notepads), we actually decided on a little trade. So Stephanie, arriving soon in your mailbox will be these:

Hope you like them!

Etta "Crafty" Jams

New Practice Video

I had the greatest time writing the Fresh Blood Madness posts over the past week.  I really loved having other people become an interactive part of the blog and can see more posts like the Q&A ones coming up again in the future.  Thanks to everyone who took time out to contribute, even if it was leaving a simple comment about what was written.  I'd really love some more feedback. What did you all think about it?  Did anyone learn something new?  Did you all like the fact that other people were involved with the blog?  Let me know!  

While I was wrapped up in FBville the past week, a really cool video was released. came down to one of our practices to video tape us in action. MyLITV is a Long Island video station online. They shoot videos on various subjects including sports, movies and entertainment. Visit the website and check out the videos in their vast library. One is sure to interest you.  Of course this one is my favorite ;-)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Seven Days of Freshness

So Fresh Bloods, the week of blogs will now be coming to a close. I'm hoping that you have all enjoyed this mini dedication and that you were all able to learn a little bit from it. Don't let this be the only time you ask questions. Keep them coming! Captain Morgan will tell you first hand that I asked a ton of questions when I started. I also wanted to say that I actually learned some things from this week's posts and hopefully some of you readers out there did as well. Since I started off the Fresh Blood (FB) blog week with a contribution from a Freshie, I thought it would be nice to end it off the same way. Below, FB Maryann, another determined and extremely enthusiastic Freshie, shares her derby story with us. Thanks Maryann!!I fell into derby in an unexpected place, through someone that isn’t even American! I was interpreting at a Deaf-Blind camp and met a fellow interpreter who had just joined one of the Canadian teams. When she said she was on a “derby” team… I honestly didn’t have a clue what she was talking about! She didn’t know that there was a L.I. team – so she hooked me up with her friend on the Gotham team.

Within a month I was in contact with Cyanide Kisses (one of the veteran skaters) and her initial email left me with a positive feeling. Since then, that feeling has grown into a love for the sport. I HATE EXERCISE….and I mean that with a passion! Roller Derby is obviously exercise – but it's not to lose weight (which happens naturally) it’s to be apart of a team, made up entirely of woman, who support and take care of each other. When I first started practice they would take us “freshies” in the corner and focus on teaching us the basics. Now in their off season, the whole practice is dedicated to helping us become as well trained as the veterans. It’s awesome!

I never joined a sorority because of all the catty women involved (that’s just my opinion of sororities) However, I always loved the “family” aspect of a sorority…I was just afraid if I joined one I would end up hurting one of those princesses…with derby you have specific rules like ‘no douche bags’ or ‘drama’ queens!

I’m not sure if I found derby or if it found me…but I belong to my derby family, and whether it be a fellow fresh blood sister or veteran skater, I feel the support and constant push to become the best player I can be. I know that sounds like a commercial – but the truth is – I finally found my family away from home...and this is only the beginning!

Maryann FB

Friday, December 12, 2008

Know the Rules

Next week is our last practice of this year. So Freshies, you will all have a lot of extra time to not only work out on your own, but to read and learn the rules of roller derby. Remember, you must pass a physical AND a written skills test. So for those of you who do not yet know, you can read and or print a set of Women's Flat Track Derby Rules at WFTDA. Read them over and over. Highlight things you don't understand and ask veterans to explain them to you.

Also, I highly recommend watching some bouts. When I first started watching bouts, I had no idea what was going on and didn't think I would ever understand it. The more I watched, the more I learned. Some of us learn better with visuals, others need it in words. So combining the written rules with a visual, will definitely give you a better understanding of how the game is played. Go on youtube and search bouts. Borrow DVDs from other league members and as always, keep those questions coming!!

The Ettator

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What's in a Name?

As tough as the sport of roller derby is, I have to say that one of the most difficult things about it is coming up with a derby alias for yourself. Once you pass your skills tests (written and physical), you become eligible to choose your new name. Your roller derby name. To some, this is a reinvention of self, while for others, this is an extension of who they already are. Either way, choosing a derby name takes time and creative thinking. Some are naturals when it comes to thinking up catchy names and in no time they have a list of multiple names and can't decide which one to choose. To make this new decision even more difficult, once you decide on a name you must check to see if it has already been taken by another skater. There is an international name roster with over 15,000 registered roller derby names on it. Yes, international! You are not able to pick a name that someone else has already chosen, no matter how far away they live from you. In some cases, your name can't even be similar to one that has already been taken. If it is, that player is usually emailed and asked if it would be ok for the new skater to choose a name close to theirs and sometimes they will say no! Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a name is that it will usually be shortened by your fellow league members. So make sure you will like to be called by your new nick name. Let me give you an example. When I was thinking about a name for myself, I thought Shrimp Roll (because I'm small) was cute. What I didn't like though was that I knew everyone would be calling me Shrimp which I didn't want. So I forgot about Shrimp Roll. Oh and be forewarned, once you have a name picked out, you're gonna want to put it on the back of every shirt! So to answer a question from Fresh Blood Cheryl, "How did you come up with your derby names"?, I choose Veterans Tail Gunner Flo and Amaretto Sourpuss to tell us how they came up with names for themselves.

Tail Gunner Flo answers: After weeks of searching and racking my brain, my name came together like a fine orchestrated symphony! I was new to the league and the Mortal Skulls were having a fundraiser. Ms. Blockwell suggested we set up a table and get the Rebels some publicity. I arrived not knowing what to expect but when these bikers flooded the parking lot I was a bit intimidated, but over some drinks and fantastic company, that feeling disappeared. As the day went on we proceeded inside for some singing and dancing. Then I saw this man make his way to the stage. He sang House of The Rising Sun and it was amazing! I read his jacket and he was a tail gunner from the motorcycle club. So I was like, that's it!! That's my name, Gunner!! After some collaborating with Ms. Etta, Kosher, and FB Mary, I decided on Tail Gunner Flo. I said, "I'm gonna be a tail gunner"! Then I did some research to come up with my number which is B52 a model # of the strato-fortress where tail gunners hung out! The rest is history.

Amaretto Sourpuss answers: I gotta say it took me 6 months to settle on my name but it was the first name I came up with. I wanted it to be related to booze cause I'm a boozer ha ha and I wanted something Italian. Since Amaretto is Italian and Amaretto Sours is a drink, I thought that would be perfect! Sourpuss is just a downer ha ha!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Work it on out!

Some roller girls make skating look so easy, but rest assured derby is a lot of hard work. Our practices are what most would call an extreme work out. Two hours, 2-3 times a week, boot camp on skates comes to life for us. Stretching, sit-ups and crunches start off the night and then the rigorous exercises unfold. High endurance, high impact and hard hitting skills are built up every time we hit the rink. Even if you're in top shape and know how to roller skate, practicing roller derby can be a challenge at first. And so we were happy to answer the many questions the Fresh Bloods had about how to better themselves and their game on and off the rink.

Fresh Blood Aly asks: How long did it take to get good and not be sore?

D-Ball answers: Who says I'm not sore after practice anymore? Especially if they really kick our ass. ha ha I had shin splints and Sciatica that took almost a year to heal. I used to tape up my shins and use Icy Hot on my back, but I don't have to do that anymore. Everyone's body takes a different amount of time to get past the soreness. If you're already athletic, it might take you less time than someone who's not. Either way, there will always be some practices that will make you sore. I would say it takes about one year for a skater to be good.

D-Ball used to rub this on while skating

Fresh Blood Kat asks: What are the best off-skates exercises that will help improve squats while skating?

Captain Morgan answers: I think the best off-skates exercises would be to do wall squats.

You squat up against a wall and hold it for a minute or two and then repeat. 3 sets of any exercise are normally what is recommended. Also, I think 3 sets of 30 leg lunges, alternating legs, really helps build the hamstring and quad muscles. One more exercise you could do, and this helps with falls and also builds those quad muscles, is off-skates falls. Just get your knee pads on, and alternate falling on each knee and getting up as quick as possible. Keep doing this and you will have thighs of steel just like Jackie Daniels of Grand Raggidy Roller Girls!

Jackie Daniels

Fresh Blood Kat also asks: How do you strengthen for reverse crossovers?

MadDonna answers: Keep doing them. Just like when you learned to do a "regular" crossover (right over left), the more you practice the easier it will be. -MD

Fresh Blood asks: What are the best exercises to do off the rink to improve your "game"?

Ruby Redrum answers: Doing yoga is really good to keep your body & muscles flexible. Yoga has been extremely beneficial to me since my injuries. And I would say Sk8 as much as possible. The more comfortable you are on your sk8s the better, and it will make everything you do easier! Even the simplest drill can be challenging when you are not comfortable on your sk8s. Go to adult sk8 just to dodge people, that will be extremely helpful in a bout. Sk8 on trails or your street, this is great practice. When you fall you will NOT want to use your hands on cement or potentially broken glass. Get the basics down perfect, the better your cross overs the better everything will become & the better you will sk8 and look while sk8ing. Learning to stop properly and controlling speed are extremely important in a bout. Look behind you while sk8ing, look behind you while sk8ing in a pack. Even if you cant get on your sk8s and just go running, look behind you regularly. This is a common problem for new girls, they are doing great in a scrimmage or bout and keeping up with the pack, everything is going good, and the jammer comes up and goes right past them, b/c they never looked behind to see her..... what is the point of being in the pack, if you don't know where the action is? Also, eat properly take vitamins and drink plenty of water regularly, to help keep your body in good shape. If you are in good shape you will feel better and your body will perform better at practice. These basic things can go a long way. If you can't get out to run or sk8, just do sit-ups and push ups & jumping jacks or get a jump rope at home, get a yoga dvd for at home, run up & down your steps at home. Even 15 mins of working out a day makes a difference, just ask c roll.

Fresh Blood Maryann asks: For Etta Jams: Did you always skate so low? If not, how do you do it? Were there specific exercises like squats? I wanna get low like Etta!

Etta Jams (hey that's me!) answers: Hey Maryann, thanks for your question. No I did not always skate that low. I remember at one of my first practices, Jen Party, one of our coaches at the time, telling me that I did crossovers well, but I needed to get lower. I could not comprehend how I could possibly get any lower than where I was already at. Remembering back though, I was standing straight up! I tried to work on everything that I was told and so I worked on getting lower. What helped me a lot was the endurance drill we do where we squat and hold it. Eventually, when I started warming up at practice I was always sure to stay in a squatted position. I constantly skated with my knees bent and my butt down, out and back (in a squat position). Then I realized to get lower than I was already getting, I needed to get my feet out of my way, so I moved them over to be shoulder width apart and sat my butt back and down as far as I could. Now I can pretty much touch the floor with it. Granted you are probably not going to bout in a stance this low, but its good to do at practice just to build up your thighs. When you're off skates, do squats and also do squats with feet more than shoulder width apart. Climbing stairs also helps build your quad and thigh muscles. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fresh Blood Roller Rebel Of The Month

Baking, cooking and kickin' ass! Fresh Blood Mary Kate knows her way around the kitchen and is quickly learning her way around the track. Not long ago I remember seeing this fresh, new face at Skate Safe. She showed up for a practice watched, asked questions and the next time I saw her, she was rolling on borrowed skates! Now sporting her very own Riedells, she's aced knee falls and many other difficult skills. Some people can't comprehend fitting a sport into their already busy schedules, especially business owners, but chef and business entrepreneur Mary Kate proves that if you really want to play, it can be done. Read on to see why she calls roller derby the icing on her cupcake!Name: Mary Kate Vanderhyde
Age: 24
Where are you from: Smithtown, NY
Occupation: Pastry Chef, Restaurant Co-Owner of Villa Napoli in Smithtown, currently starting a specialty cake business called Pixie Cakes.

Do you have children?: Not to my knowledge...I do have two cats though, (Yoda and Beaker)!

What made you want to join a roller derby league?: I've always loved sports and when I learned about roller derby it intrigued me. I heard about it through various people and then saw a special on ESPN, which made me want to join even more. When I finally met the team and went down to my first practice to check it out I just fell in love with it.

What was your first practice like?: Exciting and I just loved the sport more and more with each practice and bout I've been to since.

What is the hardest skill you had to learn?: To squat/get & stay lower.

What position would you most like to play and why?: Blocker, cause I like to hit and always play defense. I wanna learn how to be a jammer too and see which one I'm better at.

What do you like most about derby?: That it's just awesome, the people, the sport everything! I love getting to play, workout and enjoy myself with other people just like me.

Do you find it hard to find time to fit derby into your schedule?: Sometimes since I work in the food industry but I usually just make sure I have everything done before I have to go to practice or a bout.

What would you say to someone new who was thinking about joining roller derby?: Great to meet you, you're gonna love derby!
For a delicious Italian meal, visit Mary Kate's restaurant:
Villa Napoli
82 West Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gear, Gear and More Gear

When you start a new sport, be it running, boxing or even swimming, you want to know what type of gear you will need to help you become the best that you can be. Today, there are so many different choices for roller derby gear out there and it can be overwhelming when you're not sure which will work best for you. Some of us just want basic gear, while others have more specific needs. A lot of our Fresh Bloods had questions about what type of gear to buy and our veterans were happy to answer.

Fresh Blood Vanessa asks: What are the best skates to buy for someone who doesn't wear leather?

Roxie Heartless answers: This is a problem I have struggled with. I am a vegetarian and don't wear leather. I also have problems with my feet, so really supportive quality shoes are also a priority for me. My original skates were ok for my feet and non-leather, but I don't think they were completely vegan. They also wore out fairly quickly. They were discontinued, and when I needed to get new skates I had a really hard decision to make. At the time there was one pair of completely vegan skates that were available, but I knew with my foot pain issues that I needed a higher quality skate. I made the difficult decision to save my feet and go with Riedell 265's which only came in leather (although there was the option of special ordering non-leather materials and having them custom made =long wait time and higher prices). I am really happy with my 265's. They have been very comfortable, and I've had very little foot pain. They have also held up really well over time. If you are a vegetarian/vegan buying skates now, you have much better options!

In my opinion, the best vegan skates would have to be the Riedell 265's with the vegan package. The 265's are really popular, good quality skates that are designed specifically for derby skaters. Riedell has recently starting making them with a completely vegan boot. They are a bit pricey, but it's worth it to get a quality non-leather skate.

The Riedell R3s are also completely vegan and they are much cheaper than the 265's. However, they are of a much lower quality. I would suggest these if you are trying out derby and are not sure if you are going to stick with it. They are ok for beginners, but they will wear out pretty quickly, so they will need replacing sooner than higher quality skates.

The new Riedell Outlaw is also totally vegan, and about the same price as the R3. They are new, so I haven't heard any skater reviews, but they seem to have quite a few features that the R3s didn't have, like a reinforced toe cap which should improve their longevity.

Roxie Heartless laces up her Riedells
Fresh Blood Laura asks: How much would you recommend spending on your 1st pair of skates? Any particular brand?

Chest Blockwell answers: I recommend buying Riedell Vandal 265s. Those are the skates I bought when I first started skating and I love them. They are $269, but you can get them for a bit less if you buy the package with all your gear through Sin City Skates.

Our very own Chest Blockwell
Fresh Blood asks: What type of outdoor wheels would you recommend?

Cyanide Kisses answers: For outdoor skating you want to use a wheel that is softer than your average indoor wheel. It helps absorb the shock of things you might roll over outside like a rock or a crack in the pavement. I would suggest the Radar Energy wheels. The price is right and they're a little bit on the grippier side, so for someone who has just started skating outdoors it will help you maintain your balance. I personally use the Sure Grip Aerobics. They're a little bit harder than the Energy Wheels, but I've had them for almost 2 years and they're still in pretty good shape. Either wheel would be great for outdoor skating.

Visit these shops for gear:

Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop

Sin City Skates

Roller Girl Skates

Thank you for the Q&A ladies!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fresh Blood Madness!!

Fresh Meat, Fresh Bloods, Rookies, Freshies, Newbies, New Recruits, call them what you want, but not for long cuz' these girls have a drive and a desire to lose those labels and lose them fast! With the large amount of enthusiastic Fresh Bloods currently with the league, I have become inspired to devote a week's worth of blog time to them. I remember when it all started for me. The yearning to be constantly immersed in all things derby. Practicing, learning new skills, meeting new league members, and one of the most difficult derby tasks, choosing a name. This week, I will be featuring various Fresh Blood related posts. Lots of derby questions will be answered. So all of you stay tuned because there are always new things to be learned, even for us veterans.

I'd like to start out today with a post written by one of our most determined "Freshies". I think she truly expresses the way many of us feel/felt as a new girl. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.
A View From The Other Side

A lovely thanks to Miss Etta Jams for the wonderful blogs she has been writing. I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there and tell you how I became.....oh you thought I was doing the theme song to Fresh Prince? No, but I'd like to share with you how I became a fresh blood for the Roller Rebels. I actually found out about the league from my cousin, whom is friends with Roller Rebel Sleeping Booty. When I showed up at open house, I have never felt so welcomed into a room than I have that day.

And then it all began. I met some great girls. I met veteran Rebels and and a ton of new "Freshies" whom I have to say, have the same drive I have. Who knew that I would get back on quads and participate in this athletic, exciting, exhausting, yet adrenaline-filled sport.

I truly blame the veterans for giving off this great vibe....a vibe of "you can do it" and we are here to have fun and play the game. I think I speak for the rest of the freshies when I say you know you are addicted when you eat, sleep and dream derby, constantly jumping out of your skin awaiting Tuesday and Thursday practices. (which I say can be brutal at times....I love it!!), checking the Yahoo! Group as much as you check Myspace and Facebook and sighing when the clock hits 11pm and practice is over.

Nothing is more exciting than attending a bout, whether as a spectator or volunteer (Freshies can't bout unless they pass their written and skills tests) and watching the girls skate their hearts out. I know us Freshies are dying to get out there.

Everyone joins derby for a different reason. Some purely like the sport, for others, like me, it's my balance. It makes me feel good that I am doing something positive and committed to something so unique, and at the same time, making some great friends along the way.

So I hope this true story, from the Freshie point of view, hits home as it has for me.

Fresh Blood Kat

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello readers!  

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I'll be back next week with some new posts for you.  

Eat a lot and stay warm.

Etta Jams

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Back and Sending Thanks

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the shop owners who responded to my holiday gift guide post. The post brought about some great things.  Here's a quick summary of the results so far:

Dandelion Factory made a sale after one their customers read my post.  
- Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop invited me to join their Yahoo group where I will be learning about upcoming events, of which I will keep you all informed of.  
- Stephanie at Scarlet Bloom is sending me that ADORABLE card as a thank you for the feature.  

I'm hoping that the rest of the featured shops will sell something as a result and am happy to have made contact with some talented artists who all have something unique to offer.
Are you a shop owner? An artist?  Photographer?  Have something derby related that you would like to share?  Let me know!  Email me at 

The Very Thankful Etta Jams

Friday, November 21, 2008

In regards to my last post...

Let's take a look at the results so far.   

Keep up the fight!!  Woo Hoo!!

Keep passing it on.....

A fellow derby girl (thanks GiGi) shared with me another fantastic poll/article regarding The Nationals and whether or not roller derby is considered a real sport.  The event was held in Portland, but was not covered by The Oregonian Newspaper and many people were upset about this.  Please visit this link, make a comment and let your voice be heard!!

Keep on fighting my roller girls!!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pass it on!

Yesterday afternoon, a co-worker handed me an article he had cut out from the morning's Daily News.  As I read it, I was amazed at how such a small amount of words could bring across such an important message.  In the article, Megan Hartman talked about Gotham Girls winning their first national championship for WFTDA.  GO GOTHAM!! Obviously a moment to be celebrated by fans and players alike.  As wonderful as that new is, what I liked most about Hartman's article was her strong fight to get derby girls recognized as the true athletes that they are.  I am hoping this article sheds some light on those less informed about the sport and that as a result roller derby will be more widely accepted for what it truly is; A real sport.  Another important fact that Hartman touched upon was how women who devote a lot of time to practicing and playing derby, also hold down full time jobs. Please read this article and pass it on.  Pass it on to your fellow roller girls.  Pass it on to your local newspapers.  Pass it on to those who still believe that roller derby is a staged performance.  Pass it on.........

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In the meantime...

Well kids, I've got some interesting posts coming up, but not enough time to get them to you today. So in the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this:
Read the full story here and let me know what you think!


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Very Derby Christmas...or Chaunnuka

With the holidays approaching, I thought it would be cool to post a derby gift guide for all of you. While most derby girls enjoy getting cool new gear as a gift, it's always nice to surprise them with something different. I've shopped around a bit and would like to share with you some of my favorites.

We were lucky to have Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop come down and set up shop at one of our recent bouts. And luckily for all of you, you don't have to leave your computer to score some great items from their shop. Here are a pair of booty shorts that are sure to make you look and feel like a super heroine on skates.
Wonder Woman Booty Shorts from Black Eyed Susan Skate Shop
I love this adorable assortment of designs from Sweetheart Sinner. Use these cases to hold various items, including ID and Nanos.
Protect your skates in style with these star design toe guards from Dandelion Factory.

This wallet from Tiny Meat is definitely one of my favorite items. *hint hint* I'm all about sending letters through the mail, old school style. Check out these adorable cards from Scarlet Bloom

Something I truly love about roller derby is that it appreciates women of all shapes and sizes, as does this painting by Horrible Shapes. Interesting name choice, but wonderful art nonetheless.

Nostalgia buffs can satisfy their derby craving with this 1938 roller derby pass. Not too much time left on this auction so hop...errr skate to it!
I've brought you some of the things I thought you might not have known were out there, but I know there is probably a huge selection of things that I didn't get to. Are you selling something derby related that I don't know about? or Do you know of something that would be a great gift feature to add to my list? Let me know! Leave a comment or as always, feel free to email me

Happy shopping!