Friday, October 30, 2009

WFTDA National Tournament cancelled due to H1N1 virus concerns

This morning in Philadelphia, a somber and sometimes tearful representative from the Philly Roller Girls announced that after weeks of behind the scenes discussions by WFTDA representatives concerning medical safety and heated debate amongst teams who had qualified for nationals, it has been decided that the 2009 WFTDA National Tournament will be cancelled because you're gullible and no it isn't cancelled you knuckleheads, it's frigging halloween and since I can't very well fly around the world egging all your houses and toilet papering your trees, this was the next best thing.  Now act sad and forward this to your leaguemates so you can watch their faces melt off like yours did.  Go eat some pumpkin pie and we'll see you next week with a post from a brand new regular contributor.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Need Approximately 32 More Hours Added To Each Day

So wow. I am exhausted. I went back to college in August, 5 years after graduating from college the first time. Before then my schedule was work --> roller derby --> video games + drinking --> sleep --> repeat. Now it's school --> work --> homework --> roller derby --> not enough sleep --> repeat. How am I going to keep this up for the next 5 years while I get another degree and not become any more insane than I am right now? (any mechanical engineers out there?? hit me up at jessticularfortitude AT gmail DOT com and let's talk about awesome things like robots and remote controlled bowling balls!!)

I think I may have found the key: Super Duper Time Management Skills.

Everyday we are bombarded with what I like to call Shit That Absolutely Needs To Get Done, or STANTGD. If we took our time and did everything totally right and perfect, we'd still be working on our Monday list Wednesday of the week after. It always seems like you find one thing you need to do, like vacuum the floor, but before then you need to pick up everything off the floor, but you can't do that because your tables are cluttered with dirty dishes but the dishwasher is already full of dishes etc. ad infinitum. Throw in roller derby, and you're adding in more than just skating time: you're adding in extra loads of laundry (hosiery, pads, swamp socks), travel time, packing for the road...

So. My life requires time for school and school work, actual work that pays the bills, and leisure time so I can keep myself and the people/animals I love happy. I chose to keep roller derby going because let's face it: it's fun, good exercise, and all my friends are involved with it. Unfortunately, I can't be as thoroughly involved as I once was. Previously, I was going out of town at least every 2 weeks reffing other people's games. No more. I have cut that down drastically. As much as I hate to say it, school is more important than roller derby right now. I didn't go back to not make A's, you know?

The key is to prioritize your life, and figure out ways to get things done simultaneously if possible. At my paying job, I have a lot of down time as I wait for PCR to run, or agarose to set, so during that time I read for my World Lit class, or work on drawings for my Graphics class, or work Statics problems. I'm taking 9 hours of school, and then I work for about 31-32 hours per week. By the time I get home around 7pm, feed myself and my pets, and get set up for my homework my brain is kinda fried. Having work-free weekends helps, which is why I'm not going out of town so much anymore- I need those hours to finally run errands and catch up on homework I couldn't finish during the week because I fell asleep at my desk at 9. I'm fortunate that my job isn't really really busy so that I have time to do homework there. I'm also very active on derby forums, and use that time between centrifuge spins to catch up on posts.

To make your life easier, I have modestly devised a very clever and brilliant flowchart to help you plan your day so that you get as much STANTGD accomplished as possible.

You're welcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

And the winner is...

Congratulations to MamaKaze of the Texas Rollergirls Rec 'n' Rollerderby Recreational League! She wins the respect of the tattoo and rollerderby worlds but more importantly, she wins a brand new Derby Helper t-shirt!

Unfortunately, it does draw attention away from your awesome moustache :-(

If you missed the contest and you think your tattoo coulda kicked MamaKaze's butt, don't worry, we're having another contest in early 2010. Can't wait that long to claim your prize? Order your own t-shirt over there in the right-side panel. -->  -->  -->

Now be a good bunch of readers and give her some love in the comments.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Derby Helper 2009 Roller Derby Tattoo Contest

Folks, it has been a fun month watching all the contest submissions come in. While the Derby Helper staff was more than a little disappointed at the lack of tattooed naughty bits (Jessticles cried a little), overall we were impressed at the wide range of artistic interpretations that the people of the derby and tattoo worlds combined to create. Because of the number of beautiful and deserving tattoos that were sent in, we have decided to totally punk out on making a decision ourselves and instead are putting this in the hands of you, the Derby Helper audience. Look through the gallery then vote for your favorite at the end. In alphabetical order, here are your nominees:

  1. 4 Leaf Cleaver
    Naptown Rollergirls
    Indianapolis, IN

    As you can see on the full back pic, I am very much into fairies. I also like to show that I am well rounded. So, the fairy on the left is me as my roller persona and the fairy on my right is playing the cello, as I did for 7 years. The tattoos were done by Matt of Metamorphasis in Indianapolis, IN in August 2008.

  2. Beat'n-Chix Kiddo
    Arch Rival Girls
    St. Louis, MO

    My name is Beat'n-Chix Kiddo, number is Vol. 1&2. I skate with the Arch Rival Roller Girls in St. Louis, MO and my local team is the Smashinistas. I got my tattoo because I wear yellow skates to go with the Kill BIll theme that goes with my name, so I got my own skates as my tattoo...The grenade is for my team, as we have a gun/grenade/Army theme and that is why my name, "kiddo" is in green and pink as those are our team colors. :) This tattoo is about one week old, this picture was taken right after I was finished, I'm still sitting in the tattoo chair in the picture.

  3. Cannon Doll X
    LA Derby Doll Sirens
    Los Angeles, CA

    My tattoo is a represention of LADD, my famous skate (that's my signature, been in ads and people mag) and if you look close has my "CDX" (Cannon Doll X) in the laces.. I'm a SIREN.. we're the COPS of roller derby therefore the Sheriffs badge in the background.

  4. Celia Graves
    Derby City Rollergirls & Quad Skate Terrors Roller Derby
    Louisville, KY

    Done by Adam Potts. This was actually the image from one of our bout posters that Adam designed.

  5. Domesticated Violence
    Rose City Rollers
    Portland, OR

    Tattoo done on LA Ink by Hanna Atchison in August 2007. Real photos from RCR bouts were given to Hanna to help her with my idea. She created (IMHO) a good mixof modern & retro styling for this derby piece.

  6. Dora The Destroyer
    Naptown Rollergirls
    Indianapolis, IN

    Hi! I'm Dora the Destroyer from the Naptown Rollergirls and this is my derby girl thigh tattoo. She's not supposed to be me, she just has my number and skates and a jazzed up version of our uniform. i wanted her to be like a comic book superhero, which is why she has the pow! and the flying tooth and our skull logo above her.

  7. Flo Shizzle
    Charm City Roller Girls
    Baltimore, MD

  8. Harlot Fevah
    Boston Derby Dames
    Boston, MA

    I'm Harlot Fevah with the Boston Derby Dames. And no, there are no wheels involved in my roller derby tattoo....but there is a lobster and my team name, because when I think of Massacre....I think of Lobster.

  9. Hissett Fit
    Calgary Roller Derby Association
    Calgary, AB Canada

  10. Karmann Ghia
    Terminal City Rollergirls
    Vancouver, BC Canada

  11. Lemme Adam
    Cedar Rapids Rollergirls
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    I am from the Cedar Rapids Roller Girls in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our team is called the Helldorados. This tat is my "skull and crossbones." The first home bout I played in front of a crowd at our venue was Talladerby nights; notice the checkered flags in the background. That's the ironic the tat before I ever bouted, and THAT happened to be my first bout! fitting! Our team colors are pink and black; thus the hot pink choice of color. Missing tooth, cracked helmet, along with a tube of lipstick and brass knuckles to make this a Bad a** tattoo with a bit of feminine flair! Let's not forget the piggy tales coming from the helmet!

  12. Mama Kaze
    Texas Rollergirls Rec 'n' Rollerderby Recreational League
    Austin, TX

    My tattoo is meaningful on many levels: Firstly, the bruised beauty is offering up praise to rollerderby, and I do give thanks for this sport every minute of the day. I started skating 6 weeks after my second child was born, and if it wasn't for derby I never would have found this amazing community of women that supports me and my family in all that we do. I have an incredibly diverse circle of friends, all united by our common love of the sport. Secondly, on the helmet of the skater in my tattoo is a sticker for Derby or Die which is owned by my skate-sister Zen Lightening. Zen does so much for our league that it is an honor to carry a symbol of her on my body forever. Thirdly, I am so proud that it was another one of my league mates who designed and delivered this tattoo. It is one thing to take a hit from Stacey Martin/1000 Hurts, but quite another to surrender up your tender flesh to her artistry for several hours!

  13. minx a'matosis
    Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls
    Lincolnshire, UK

    Here's mine, from Ben at Lifetime Tattoo, Derby, UK

  14. Rex Havoc
    Emerald City Roller Girls (ECRG)
    Eugene, OR

  15. Roxy Horror
    COMO Derby Dames
    Columbia, MO

    It’s my best buds Maim-y Fisher (jammer from COMO) and Smack ‘N Cheese (blocker from ARRG), back when both used to skate for COMO. Home teams were the “Die Die Darlings” (Maim-y) and the “Daisy Duke-ems” (Smack). This was created from a photograph and cartoon-ized by the tattoo artist, Jon Bush of Columbia, MO.

  16. Roxy Rockett
    Carolina Rollergirls
    Raleigh, NC

    It is a tattoo of a roller derby skater (me) done back in 2005.

  17. Rubella Plague
    Fox Cityz Foxz
    Appleton, WI

    Pin up derby girl.

  18. Scarlet GoDancin
    NEO Rock 'n' Roller Girls
    Akron, OH

    This is a split-image of me, for the two lives I lead. One half; a Jammer for our league and the other half; my love of cupcakes and 50's lifestyle - being a stay-at-home mom, that is my other side. It was my idea and a former skater with our league and tattoo artist drew it up. It was supposed to be on my arm but it kept getting bigger and bigger and ended up on my thigh!

  19. Sister Mary Superego
    Denver Roller Dolls
    Bad Apples

    Rosie the Riveter was an iconic image during WWII that encouraged women's empowerment and telling them to roll up their sleeves and do the tough, male-dominated jobs while the men were off fighting. She's a tough chic who's not afraid to muscle up and get it done.

    Roller derby saw its first heyday during WWII, so it seemed appropriate that these two things should be combined. And roller derby helped fuel my own sense of empowerment - all the way to getting Rosie, my very first tattoo, at 33 years old!

  20. Sk8 Crime
    Cincinnati Rollergirls
    Cincinnati, OH

    Flying Skates on Chest.

  21. Slugs Bunny
    Nashville Rollergirls - Inactive
    Nashville, TN

    Explanation: hello? none needed!

  22. Stormy Trooper
    Dead Girl Derby, Founder and RollerCon Assistant Head Planner
    Kansas City, MO/KS

    my skate name

    my roller con one

    my copy of a misty benson painting

    my league name

  23. Sally Strych9
    Oklahoma Victory Dolls
    Oklahoma, OK

    Rollerskating robot eating ice cream...need I say more?

  24. Susan B. Agony
    Atlanta Roller Girls - retired
    Atlanta, GA

    This is my tat that I designed originally for one of our flyers during 2005, I included the original drawing

  25. Sweet C
    Naptown Roller Girls
    Indianapolis, IN

  26. Synyster Motives
    Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls
    Lincoln, England

    My tattoo was designed by one of my team mates, Total Melfunction, and on seeing it for the first time Brut-Ali-T (another team mate) commented on how it looked just like me! So I got it tattoo'd.

  27. Whomping Willow
    High Desert Darlins of Hermiston, Oregon
    Lilac City Rollergirls (the SheWolves) of Spokane, Washington
    Tri Cities, Washington State

    My tattoo is just my derby #, not expecting to win, but wanna show it off! I was pretty stoked to not have to draw on myself with permanent marker anymore, lol. Who needs to pay for an armband when a badass artist gives you a free tattoo!!


Alright derby and tattoo fans, now it's your chance to shine! Votes will be accepted until midnight of October 18th. The winner will be the envy of all their derbymates when they receive their prize: a brand spankin' new Derby Helper t-shirt from Wicked Skatewear!

(You also have the option to totally dilute the winner's moment of triumph by clicking the picture and ordering your own Derby Helper t-shirt, just, you know, to be a dick.  Just sayin'.)

So go to the survey on the right side panel of the screen and vote right now for whoever you feel has the most awesome roller derby tattoo ---->

And after you vote, make sure to go into the comments to gush about how kickass all the submissions are!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Western Regional Recap

Once again the Derby Helper staff was unable to travel to a WFTDA Regional thanks to one silly joke about a "skate bomb" and the terrorist No-Fly list. Fortunately for us, Le CorBoozyay of the Bay Area Derby Girls hadn't ticked off the Homeland Security Office and was gracious enough to cover Derby On The Rocks for us.  She might not quite have the whole "journalistic impartiality" thing down but she did meet our most important criteria in that she was willing to work for free.  Enjoy!


When I got off the plane, I immediately felt woozy from the mile-high Denver altitude. Or was it the bloody mary? So I got a little lost and a little more tipsy. By the time I made it to Bladium, B.A.D. was about to engage in a vicious battle for the ability to battle –again- to go to Nationals. With a 69-54 B.A.D. at the half, I thought they’d pull out of fifth to beat Rat City. A valiant struggle, Jane Hammer took a couple of gnarly spills thanks to a double-pulled muscle injury, and the B.A.D. Golden Girls’ jammers all taking enough trips to the box to allow Wile E. Peyote, Meg My Day and Anya Heels to knock around B.A.D blockers like pinballs. Still, B.A.D. maintained their lead until the very last jam, proving how tenacious a grasp on the lead in this sport can be—Astronaughty and Juliet Bravo toed the back line, and the Rat took the lead and Astro took the box. Bravo got three points to stay ahead and it was over.

The next bout was the Mile High Club against the ACDG Scarlets. Ow, ow, o wow. MHC annihilated ACDG, who didn’t score until MHC already hit almost 120 points, when Go Go Gidget finally Got Got through the pack. Diesel was the first ACDG player to get booted from the game because of low blows. A triple pirouette and she was outta there. ACDG kept up their sassy flashy attitude the whole bout, dancing and smiling and still putting in their best shot, even though they consistently played at less than a 1/10th of the Mile High’s score.

Rocky Mountain Roller Girls played against the purple Portland princesses, the Wheels of Justice, and RMRG rocked the scary. They sported several sets of painted faces, with Psycho Babble’s creepy Joker mug constantly grinning when she’d trample several Rose City blockers as RMRG slowly began to eliminate the unicorns from play. At the last jam, it looked close, but Frida Beater got the lead jammer call and the Denver home crew nearly lost their minds with joy.

You can look the scores up on DNN if it’s really that important. I figure, why be redundant? I’d also like to briefly rant about the $6 tall boys of PBR I had to buy that night, and the crappiest after party I’ve ever been to, replete with sticky floors and maybe five people who were actually even AT the bout. Luckily the seedy hotel housing the Rockbar is on the same street as my buddy’s house who I was crashing at, so we just went back to the kitchen and drank Budweiser for free.


Because of all the beers and whiskey to drown my sorrows of the B.A.D., (and the $7 bottomless mimosas at the Irish Snug), we didn’t roll into Bladium until 1 the next day, where B.A.D. was pretty much warming the penalty box and Pikes Peak was slowly roaming the rink in acid trip pink and green uniforms. Nock Nock ruled it through the pack consistently, scoring 20 points in an early jam. After the half, B.A.D. realized was a horrendous strategy box-warming is (box-stomping, on the other hand…) and Burly Bot and Nock Nock began racking up the points, double-tripling Pikes Peak’s score. It was total domination in a consolation bout, kind of like winning the Special Olympics but less retarded and more drunk and disorderly.

Then, the unicorns and the Pegasus’s battled on the rink. The unicorns trampled the flying ponies, Cadillac ruling it with like five million points in the first half. ACDG put up another valiant fight and didn’t get ejected from the game – and they boosted their incoming ranking from #10 to #8. They are slowly evolving from a dance team on rollerskates into some real scary players. I like them because California’s rockin’ at goin’ gold, and they basically ruled the Red Lion that night – don’t challenge ACDG to a wrestling match, because those bitches will strangle you.

Oly vs. Rat City was pretty awesome. The Rat City chicks got the brains beat out of them but put up a good fight, staying 30 points close by in almost every jam. The jams were vicious, the blockers so effective the first 3 jams got called off at 0-0 because there were solid walls up ahead. X-Khan made some gallant attempts with a 15-0 jam at one point, but by the end of the game, Rat City had to keep fighting for Nationals, and Oly got their spot guaranteed by this bout.

Denver vs. Denver! Holy moly. What a grudge match – this is a match with sisters switching teams and the MHC pretending to be the WNBA with their birth names on their jerseys. DNN has like, the longest review of this bout – it was ping ponging back and forth and it was total chaos. DeRanged basically does not subscribe to the laws of physics, which should be totally against the rules, in fact, after I write this up I’m going to write to the WFTDA and suggest they add The Laws of Gravity to the rule book. At the very end of the bout, the clocks (which never seemed to synch up) ruined something. There was a minute left on the jam clock, but as the period clock expired, the bleachers and the floor around the track rushed the track, fans eager to slap some hands. Then the refs did their zebra dance in the center for awhile, trying to figure out how to call this in an Official way—I guess the best they came up with was “unsafe condition on the track,” and RMRG pulled their butts up from 8th place into 2nd. Though it’s sort of bunk, because I think the Denver teams invited everyone up to the mountains so they’d have the high altitude advantage.

The Doubletree Hotel smells like tuna, according to Rose City, so instead we hit the whiskey, and then hit the showers and got some well-needed zzzz’s so we could make it in time to see our B.A.D. Golden Girls whomp some Duke City booty.


Bacon and beer for breakfast, hopped on the shuttle and watched B.A.D. roll out to Ms. Behavin’s “Hit That B%^&h with a Bottle,” dancing and booty bumping instead of the typical rollergirl “roll call with stunts.” On the very first jam, the B.A.D. pack gets held up in the middle, and Astro returns to her day job in the penalty box. She gets back in, starts racking up points and Kamikaze Kim, true to her name, tries to hit Astronaughty but slams to the ground. A couple of jams go by with the most ferocious B.A.D. jammers not scoring a single point on Duke’s lead. After a T.O. Hammer finally picks up a point for B.A.D., closing the gap. Muffin keeps bumping B.A.D. jammers out the track, making them ineligible for lead. Belle Right Hooks basically can block an entire pack on her own, but with the help of Taxi Scab, B.A.D. starts to throw those Duke jammers to the ground. It sort of keeps going with this back and forth –everyone’s playing yet another fierce game. Demanda basically can control an entire Duke pack on her own, and B.A.D. basically shuts the gap at the half with some serious power jam play. B.A.D. squeaks at the half with a 3 point lead. In the second half, B.A.D. blockers suddenly start getting yanked out for hitting Kamikaze Kim waaay off the pack – 20 calls abound. More strategic play, then Lusty and Friskie get sent to the box for some out of play action. And Taxi tries to take Muffin out, and is sent to hang out with Lusty and Friskie. Demanda is alone in the pack, but manages to keep it from coming to a total grinding halt, though Kamikaze Kim just starts spinning around the track, racking up those Duke points. Liza Machete starts up alone in the next jam and holds Tronsexual back for a while, throwing her to the ground as Burly Bot whizzes by. B.A.D. is nearly 30 points behind Duke with 2:10 on the clock. Meep Meep has left the game. Nock Nock scores 15 points and there is a T.O. and one last jam. Muffin is boxed and Burly Bot begins a grand slam jam. She pulls in the critical last two points in the last 30 seconds and B.A.D. keeps its standing at #5.

Goodie Two Skates in a cape after tossin' candy during the rose city / acdg bout

Rat City, struggling now not to drown, puts up a decently valiant fight against Denver for third place. Denver basically doubled their score and Rat City, being the poopy pantsed derby players they are, kept getting their powerjammers put in the box. Heather Juska held strong for the first three jams (her extension due to ending the first two in the penalty box). Whatever, I think Denver couldn’t lose any games this tournament because they seriously had a mile-high home advantage. Rat City will be stuck at home for the first time ever during Nationals. Nee ner nee ner.

The last game of the night was a savage battle between the RMRG Fight Club and the Costra Nostra Oly Rollers. DeRanged, as usual, killed it on her jams, but RMRG didn’t have enough power to overcome the mighty Oly, who play without penalties but didn’t have the offensive power to really crush RMRG’s defensive stance, which kept them back at 4, maybe 5 points a jam. Oly wins and gets to skip the opening credits of Nationals to get crushed by Gotham in the second round, while RMRG gets to play Houston in the first.

Though I was birthed in the Middle West, I will heretoforth put in that the West Coast is probably the Best Coast, because that tourney was off the wall and it’s taken me half a day to muster up the courage to look over my drunken phone notes & notes written hastily on the back of Hella Rad with a Pikes Peak pen. If anyone knows what a Rollercrawl is, please let me know, because I underlined it three times and drew a star next to it on the cover of Hellarad and I have no idea why and it seems like it could be a total lark.


Thanks Le CorBoozyay!  Derby Helper appreciates your insight into what was overall the most competitive and surprising regional tournament of the four.  Also, we suggest that you not go to Seattle without an armed posse.