Thursday, July 31, 2008

Derby Practice II

Kelly and I rolled up (in our cars) to the skating rink in Hammonton last night at 8:30 for our second roller derby practice. We donned our skates and hit the rink to warm up a little and M, a Philly Roller Girl (from the big leagues!), informed us she comes to help out once in a while and she thought she'd show us some moves and get us learning some basic skills. It was a lot of fun learning the techniques and practicing the different ways to stop and skating in the opposite direction. Not backwards, but counter-clockwise. It's really really difficult. But Miranda was adamant that taking time to practice skating counter-clockwise was crucial to balance muscle development and prevent any future complications. It's really challenging.

So me, Kelly, and H, the third piece of fresh meat that returned after the initial interest meeting two weeks ago, skated around and practiced for 45 minutes or so and worked up a mean sweat then sat to watch the girls scrimmage. M was awesome and she really seemed to know her shit. The girls are gearing up for their rematch against the Sisters of Mayhem August 16 so there was definitely a sense of seriousness and focused practice - something that seemed lacking at the initial interest meeting practice. Then again, there were a lot of people at practice that day.

Overall, it was a lot of fun and I'm still really interested. I do believe that things happen for a reason and I decided last week I'd make a decision as to whether or not I take this seriously after I see the match August 16. Ironically, I learned I get a bonus August 15. My bonus can buy skates. Coincidence?

So I guess I must be interested, especially after I agreed to do what I'm going to do Saturday night. After practice there was an announcement that a bar (that happens to be a sponsor I think), advertised that roller girls would be there Saturday night hanging out. Coach agreed to this but in the excitement of the imminent rematch, I guess it kind of was forgotten? So anyway, hardly any of the girls could go and we were reminded how important this is and how we must be there and blah blah blah. Then Assistant Coach turned to me, Kelly and H and asked if we'd go. My first thought was that I'm not even on the team and my second thought was that my going might make me look pretty good, which lets face it, isn't a bad thing. So Assistant Coach rolled over and told me what I'd have to do (dress up for one, in the team colors, and mingle.) Sounds easy enough. I got some more information and exchanged e-mail addresses with one of the other girls that will be going and headed home.

Unfortunately once I got in the car I was able to think it over more and then realized I don't know exactly how to feel about it. I didn't know promos and guest appearances would be involved and strutting around in a costume like a Coors girl isn't really my scene. But on the other hand, being a roller girl, I guess, is like being a character. It's acting. I can act.

So I went home and talked to Mike and he totally surprised me because he one hundred percent understood! He compared it to his band days and his only negative commentary was that "The star players should be there!" Do we have star players? "Your being there is like going to a Metallica signing and getting your CD signed by the roadie." I love Mike. He knew about the sponsors and the this and the that and he even asked me about what I was going to wear and he said they better give me a team shirt so everyone knows who I am. I reminded him I'll be in leggings, a mini skirt and a hot pink shirt - I think people will know who I am.

So I decided to push my luck and ask if he'd accompany me and he actually agreed! I told him that I didn't know how it would be and I didn't know if I could really hang around him and he was totally cool about it and just told me not to let guys buy me shots because we have to get up early Sunday morning.

So Saturday night is my first public appearance as a roller girl. In a bar I've never been to. With girls who I doubt I'll even be able to recognize (luckily, the pink and black should give them away) and whose names I don't know.

Thank goodness for Mike.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Parvin State Park

After breakfast yesterday Mike and I decided to head out to Parvin State Park figuring we'd get a few nice hours in before the severe storms headed our way blackened the skies. We mapquested the park and headed out and I was pleasantly surprised just how nice it was for it being a mere 35 minutes away.

The main parking lot is across the street from the lake entrance - a lovely large lake with kayak and canoe rentals for only $18, as well as a lifeguard and beach house for an entrance fee of only $2. It wasn't crowded despite it being a hot and sunny Sunday in July. Too bad we weren't there to lay out. We got a map and asked the teen aged money collector where we could go fishing. She recommended we drive to a lot farther down the road but when I asked her if we could walk she said we could. A measly half mile later we came to a little floating dock and Mike set up camp. I looked over my map and decided on the 3.1 mile lake trail which would loop me around the entire lake. I said bye to Mike and was off.

I enjoyed the hike to a degree but was nervous probably 70% of the time because I was all alone on the trail. Although the trail circled the lake, in parts it was set far back from the lake with only a narrow dirt trail running through thick dense (in parts overgrown) woods. My imagination runs wild and I confess I didn't have as much fun as I would have liked. In fact, I jogged quite a bit and looked over my shoulder a lot. I was amazed I was the only one out there.

However, I'd like to add that there were a few times when the sun was shining very bright but a cool summer breeze drifted overhead, and the sounds of cicadas picked up and the leaves rustled in the trees and it was in those moments my fear melted away and I felt glad to be alive. Overall, it was rather lovely.

I made it back to Mike and thunder soon started roaring in the distance so we packed up and made it back to the car only moments before the rain.

I'm so glad we went out there and I now know of an excellent spot a half an hour away. The trail had zero degree of difficulty so my going out there alone is no problem and I'd like to go out there Saturday mornings when I have no plans and Mike is working, but I will be afraid every time. Next time I'll bring my little pepper spray and try to remind myself that I'm probably more safe alone in the woods than out in the open with strangers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh, the Anxiety!

I've been suffering from anxiety the past two days hardcore. My heart races, I'm constantly distracted. I'm fidgety. I accomplish tasks in short bursts followed by longer periods of uselessness. I can't pinpoint exactly what is bothering me. I think it's just a culmination of pent up excitement for what I hope is my imminent engagement, stress over whether or not to join the roller derby team (stupid, right?), school starting up, MONEY, always money, fear of losing said hard earned money in Atlantic City tonight (stupid, right?). We had an infestation of ants this week which required the emptying of an entire cabinet, the washing of all contents, the spraying and killing and searching of ants, then reassembly. Two days later they were back and we repeated the process.

Last night I got home from work and actually fell asleep for two hours. I was spent. I woke up just as it started to get dark and it looked like one of those nice cooler September nights that remind you that fall is coming. Within five minutes of opening my eyes I was on my bike headed for the lake. That really seemed to help.

Mike and I had plans to stay home this weekend but then spontaneity kicked in and alas, my anxiety again. Knarr invited us to A.C. and Mike said no but then he called me to tell me and of course I was willing to find a way to go. Playing cards with Knarr is just too much fun. But I'm also glad I called him because his plan (which he never stated because Mike said no) was to meet us at our house, have dinner and also spend the night. So of course this all works out great because now Mike can see his best friend for a bit even though he has declined the offer to go to A.C. (which makes me feel a lot better).

Mike is not a good card player and has never sat at a table before. He doesn't have a cent to lose and also gets very upset when he does. I am grateful he has given me his blessing to go to A.C. with Knarr while he stays home and works on his car. I don't have to feel bad. As selfish as that sounds.

So I am aware that I'm being kind of silly, but at least I know what's bothering me to a degree. I rather know the stupid reasons than not know at all.

Shameless plug:

If you hate reality tv, then be sure to watch Reality Bites Back Thursday nights at 10:00 on Comedy Central (I think). What do you get when you put ten professional comedians in a house and people stop being polite? A really fuckin funny show! Check it out. Next week they're competing in the opposite of the Biggest Loser - watch them inhale twinkies and compete to see who gains the most weight. Did I mention the show is hosted by Michael Ian Black?

Sunday we're finally going to see the Dark Knight - can't wait! So I guess I don't have much to worry about - I just need to gather my thoughts. Thanks, Blogger, for letting me get it all out there in a non cohesive staggered way. You're the best!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back to normal

I am now fully recovered from last week's hellish work week and I am pleased to say I made my deadline and made it out on Friday intact although exhausted.

This week's looking up after the past few very chaotic weeks. I have one goal essentially for this week and that is to register for classes. I spent some time this morning deciding on a class, location and time so that's all set. Now I just have to pay for it. I'll be taking Child Psychology Monday nights. I'm actually really looking forward to it after all the history I've been taking. After some real consideration I decided to only take one class this fall. October through December are very busy months for me and after mulling it all over I decided to take the easier road with a promise to myself that I would take two classes again in the winter.

I t looks like Wednesdays will now be devoted to Roller Derby practice. Maybe. Most likely. Maybe.

Kelly invited me to tag along with her to the Boardwalk Brawlers practice last week and we both enjoyed ourselves and are interested in possibly trying out for/joining the team. I will give myself a month to make a decision. The pros are obvious: making new friends, exercise, getting to tell people I'm on a roller derby team, getting to wear fishnets. The cons are also obvious: time commitment, $$$ ($45/month dues plus equipment), PAIN, chance of breaking bones. Not to mention my preferred skate name, Rumbelina, is already taken! Apparently these names have to be registered with the National Roller Derby Association. No wonder the names of the girls on the team give the impression that they've been scraped from the bottom of a barrel.

I'll keep you posted on all the fun.

Mike is doing quite well. We're enjoying ourselves and handling the stress of the past few weeks like a good team. Yeah, we're good sports. Maybe we'll toss around a football tonight at the park or in our freshly mowed lawn. Did you hear Shockey got traded to the Saints? He did.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scurvy - a Comedy

It may have started when I lost my water bottle two weeks ago.

But all hell broke loose Thursday around 12:15 pm with a half meatball sandwich at Subway. Never have I gotten the meatball sandwich and never had I passed on the wheat bread! But I do slightly recall turning to David and saying something along the lines of "lets get this holiday weekend started!". That was a second before he ordered his veggie patty sandwich on wheat. Bastard!

It was all downhill from there. Oh the horror! We expected dinner at the marina Thursday night so when we were proven terribly wrong we all ate bowls upon bowls of various colored orange snacks for dinner. Friday we had to justify what was most likely a $225 cost per head at the wedding by eating our share. Saturday was more beer and tasty cold hot dogs and Maria, what a sweetie, had waiting for me my very own bag of salt and vinegar chips! Woo-hoo!

Sunday: repeat.

So Monday I thought things might be a little better. I woke up feeling sick to my stomach like I hadn't eaten a whole grain or vegetable in ages! I was groggy and couldn't get out of bed so didn't have time for breakfast. I grabbed a banana and by the time I took it out of my bag at the office, half of it was inedible mush. I was starving!!!!

Then the jabbing pain of remembering I was on my own for lunch - David's last day was Thursday! Before David's all too short stint at the office, I ate lunch around noon every day. Once he came on board and we started having lunch together almost daily, I changed my lunch time to 1:00 to accommodate his later hours. I figured after six months it would have stuck, but no, my sandwich was gone by 11:59 am and I was still hungry and feeling sick but looking forward to the caesar salad we were having for dinner.

David and his girlfriend, Jen were actually coming for dinner. Thank God for that because there was no time for my 5:30 pre-dinnertime binge. The day was going well. Sort of.

We ordered two pizzas and readied a massive caesar salad - my favorite! David and Jen arrived not only carrying a massive platter of mini eclairs, cream puffs and cannolis, but also presenting me with my very own bag of kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips. I told you he was a bastard!

*Note to self, stop telling people your favorite thing is salt and vinegar chips.

I digress.

The night was fun. Mike won a game of Disney Pixar Monopoly. I got into the chips shortly after David and Jen left.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I tried again. Mushy half inedible banana, cold pizza for lunch. I blamed it all on my rogue water bottle. I walked to the store after lunch and bought Mike and I new bottles (the kind that supposively won't give us cancer). It started to rain buckets so I had to add an umbrella to the order although I had two sitting at my desk. By the time I got back to the office I was soaked from the thigh downward. But I digress again.

I was determined to make it up for dinner and end my misery! I called Mike to inform him we were having a salad for dinner. "With what?" he inquired. "With nothing. I am a fat cow and you must suffer the consequences."

I didn't say that. I don't remember what I said.

So I went to the brand spanking new Comcast Center Market, (insert angel singing and sunlight for it is truly a blessing) to get some veggies.

But I was craving sushi.

"Excuse me, do you sell half-price sushi after 5:00?" (It was 4:35)
"You can buy one, get one free."


I did get some veggies too though.

So I went home full of good intentions. Going for a jog, eating sushi, readying a healthy menu for the remainder of the week.

It all went to shit when I finally got home drenched from the humidity and spotted the pretty blue and silver packaging of salt and vinegar chips.

The rest of the night is a bloated blur. I assure you the details are too disgusting to divulge.

HOWEVER, late last night I started to actually feel really sick. I was actually craving whole grain bread and I hate whole grain bread. I gathered the strength to actually plan a dinner for tonight and got chicken in the fridge to defrost and whipped up tuna loaded with diced onion, celery and carrot so that we could eat a decent lunch today.

The scurvy is starting to pass. I actually carried my banana to work today so it remained intact, ate a nectarine at 11:00 and had a delicious tuna on whole grain toast sandwich for lunch.

In fact I felt so good after that I took fifteen minutes to plan out the lunch and dinner for the remainder of the week. The swelling of my belly has even gone down a little.

I'm looking forward to rosemary chicken and roasted red potatoes for dinner. Last night, seconds before bed, I went in the kitchen and threw the remaining chips in the trash. There weren't many left. I can only imagine what Mike must have been thinking when he heard me reach for the chips. LOL. Assuming he thought the absolute worst I assured him I put them in the trash.

Holiday weekends are the worst.

Unless you're sensible, non-compulsive and not an addicted to salt over-eater.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A very full Holiday weekend

This weekend was very fun and felt rather lengthy as it was jam packed and nonstop. Thursday evening Mike and I headed up north to meet friends for some beer and fireworks followed by some card playing. It was a lot of fun and I missed this group of friends very much so I laughed until my stomach hurt.

Friday we did nothing - just hung out at Mike's parents house until it was time to get ready for a 4th of July Wedding even further up in north Jersey. Mike's cousin Cynthia tied the knot. The wedding was fun and very nice. Perhaps a little too much, but fun nonetheless. We drove all the way home afterwards since Mike had work Saturday.

Saturday I hung out with my girlfriend Kelly (thanks again for lunch!) while Mike was at work. We got home around the same time and then it was time to pack again and head back up north to go to Maria's future mom-in-laws for a bbq. More drinking, more eating, more laughing, and more card playing.

Sunday Mike and I went over to my Aunt's house for a July baby party. The majority of the birthdays on my mom's side of the family are in July so when we were younger we always went to the July baby party. I don't know why, but there hasn't been one in a very long time. Sunday was the first in at least five years and every cousin was there with the exception of my brother Doug who lives in Washington. We had a blast and it was fun to be together.

Now we're back home and tired. I'm looking forward to not eating red meat for a while and ridding myself of the excess weight in beer I've added to my belly. Thursday at work my morale was pretty low so the long weekend couldn't have come at a better time. I feel refueled.