Thursday, September 25, 2008

A half-assed update

My legs, ankles and feet are very sore from practice last night. I don't sleep well on Wednesdays and Thursdays are a pretty rough day for me as a result. Last night my legs and feet felt like cement under my blanket preventing me from sleeping along with the fact that I kept replaying practice in my head.

It was a good endurance practice. I went running Tuesday in an effort to build up my endurance and also because I still really want to do a 5K. I hadn't jogged in ages so I wasn't surprised that my mile time slipped an entire minute. I didn't realize I'd be so sore yesterday from the run so I went to practice sore to begin with. But anyway, endurance wise, it was a great practice. I can see and feel myself improving in that department.

The actual scrimmaging part of practice sucked. I played like crap. But coach had me jam a few times which makes me wonder if he's singling me out to be a jammer. I sucked across the board and was disappointed in myself. I am downright scared of one of the girls on my team. She hits like a brick wall and is as impenetrable as one. She's a little on the larger side but she's the fastest girl on the team. When I was jamming, I would stay behind her and wait for one of my blockers to engage her then I'd sprint ahead of her and she'd be next to me a half second later. It was so frustrating on so many levels. Also, last night we played four on the whole team. It was overwhelming having so many people out to get you instead of the usual five. It was more like nine on four.

But I'm looking forward to going jogging again tomorrow assuming I can move my legs without limping. I think it will really help me out at practice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My 300th Post

There I was. Down on one knee, shaking from head to toe, my heart hammering in my chest, sweat dripping down my face and back. This is not the opening to a marriage proposal story. On the contrary, I had just taken a spill, got called on a major, skated over to the penalty box and taken a knee. The combination of adrenaline, fear, and pressure is lethal.

Last night’s practice was good but also a blur. Pace drills, hitting drills, and scrimmaging. The pace drills nearly killed me. I thought my heart would beat right out of my face. The hitting drills rocked me to the core but I never fell. One or two times my neck snapped and my brain rattled in my skull. The pain in my head was ferocious. Not only from the jostling, but also from the biting down every time I took or gave a hit. My jaw was sending pain up the sides of my face and into my skull. Coach Cliff told me I was taking hits more than giving them. I think he was right, although damn, can I take a hit! The very next time I was up I really put my body into it and I landed a mean hit! Cliff just smiled and nodded. The pain to myself was drastically reduced which was encouraging.

After what felt like hours of abuse, we scrimmaged. Miss Trial, the ref for the Philly Roller girls, came to our practice to help us out. She forced us to play by the rules as if it were a real game which was awesome for us because we usually let so much slide.

There were two more firsts for me last night. One, I fell and I’m glad. Two or three times I fell – I can’t remember. Two, I played jammer. Three times. I can’t tell you anything about falling. You sort of black out for a second and before you know it you’re on your feet (skates rather). I’ve said once before I’ve never in my life played a team sport so all these insane “emotions” are all new to me. This adrenaline, in particular, is all new to me. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’ve never pushed myself this way. It’s a cocktail of adrenaline, fear and pressure and once consumed, you’re drunk on it.

I got called on a major or two for cutting the track. That means I passed someone out of bounds. It wasn’t deliberate and it hardly ever is. We’re supposed to be in control of ourselves at all times so accidents don’t matter.

Now lets talk about jamming. Jamming is f’n scary because you’re the target. Everyone on the opposing team is out to stop you by any means possible. I jammed three times. The first time I jammed, I can honestly say I did very well and I am smiling as I say that. Once the whistle blew twice it was time to hustle and catch the pack. Coach Chris was on my right coaching me. “Now look for the hole. Look for it. There it is. GO! GO! GO!” I skated through that pack weaving inside and out and my girls were kicking ass helping me out. But up front, I hit a wall. I could not get around it no matter how hard I tried and I was scared to do anything extreme. I stuck to their asses and waited for help and it never came. I heard people yelling that I needed help and that my blockers better get their asses to the front but before I knew it, the whistle blew four times signaling the end of the jam. I was spent. Coach seemed a little pissed with my blockers and he pulled them aside and told them what they could have done better.

I don’t remember the other two times very well. I think I spent one minute in the box for one of my two-minute jams and I think I fell the other time and just skated around like a fool. I went from good to horrendous.

The highlight of the night though was this. I was playing blocker. The black team’s jammer was on the inside line. Directly beside her was a black blocker, then directly beside her was me. I quickly thought to myself that if I hit the blocker, she’d fall into her jammer and they’d both fall down. I did it – I hit her – and my plan worked flawlessly. I felt really bad because the blocker I hit was a newbie just like me and I apologized later. But at least I finally did something that mattered.

By the end of the night I was spent and had a headache not so far off from that of a migraine. I could barely stretch. I told Hell Kat I didn’t feel comfortable scrimmaging next week in Newark against the Garden State Roller Girls and she said that was fine. I’ll go and observe and watch instead. I’m comfortable with my decision. Granted I am missing the opportunity to play with strangers before the October 18th bout but I just don’t think it’s worth the risk. I rather get a few more weeks of practice in. The girls next week won’t know me from Adam and they’ll assume I’m a veteran. I’m not ready to play that way yet.

Overall, it was a good night and I feel fine this morning. My upper arms are a little sore from all the hitting and I’m tired because I had trouble sleeping after all the emotions I experienced. On a more positive note, my name is registered and last night was the first time I got to wear my name. Half the team calls me J.D. and the other half calls me Killinger. I really like both and it was fun hearing people yell the names.

I’m not going to practice Sunday and I’m not playing next Wednesday. Last night Mike could tell I was a little frustrated so he asked me how he can help me. Sunday we’re going to the roller hockey rink and he’s going to run around and let me skate into him and try to knock him down. That should be fun! This way I won’t be rusty by the time I skate again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reason 1,199 why Mike is awesome

Ring Ring


"Hi. My parts came for the Buick today. Since you have a date with Edward tonight, I made a date with my car."

"Sounds good to me!"

Forks is real

I was slow to start reading the books and I'm slow to learn Forks, WA is actually a real place. The photos of the peninsula are just like I pictured them. I'll be traveling there this spring/summer.

New tat, new book

I went out northwest Sunday to get some more work done on my arm. It went well. I haven't gotten around to taking any pictures yet but I will soon. Larry covered all the pink rays on the left side of my angel with blue and he finally made it around to the underside of my arm that was still blank and added the rest of the rays. He also added in some branches along the back. It's so nice having some of that filled in finally. I think I have only 2-3 sessions left, the last one being final touches and no real work.

I'm still obsessively reading the Twilight books. I am now on the third, Eclipse. I've been distracted and emotional and feeling a little ridiculous, but I'm enjoying something tremendously so I think I'm ok. At least now I know I'm fine because last night I met Jessica.

Jessica sits in front of me in my Monday night Child Psychology class. Last week was our first class and somehow or another the Twilight books came up and I had just started reading the first book and had it with me so I raised it into the air and confessed I was already totally hooked. End of story.

Fast forward to this week. Class was good and we wrapped up. I stood to gather my things and before I could pick up my notebook a girl had come over to me like she had been shot out of a cannon, "You like Twilight, right?!"


"Oh my God. I remember from last week." talking a mile a minute "Please don't think I'm crazy, but I don't know if you know, but Stephenie Meyer released all the playlists from all the music she listened to while she wrote the books and (opening her messenger bag) I burned you a copy!"

"Wow! Thank you so much!"

"You're welcome. You know what last week was, right?"

"Um, I just started reading the books last week - I don't really know."

"Ah! IT WAS BELLA'S BIRTHDAY!" Taking out her camera and scrolling throuhg photos. "We had a birthday party for her!" Showing me pictures.

"You guys replicated the whole birthday party from Twilight!?" I said with equal parts awe, excitment, pity, and envy. The cake was the same, the decorations, everything!

"Yep. Obsessed isn't even the word." The she leaned in close to me and pulled the skin down away from her eye. Golden amber. I guess the look on my face said it all so she just nodded in confirmation. She was wearing contacts to make her eyes the same color as Edward's.

We somehow made it outside rambling back and forth like two teens confessing our love of Edward Cullen, how we cried, how obsessed we've been. Jessica, we eventually got to an introduction, confessed she didn't eat while reading the books last year.

It was like a tornado of conversation - there was too much to say in too short a time. Me so excited to meet a fan and she so excited to meet a newborn to the series. She told me she'd burn the remaining three playlists and cautioned me not to listen to each one until I finished the book it went with. I told her I'd most likely be done by next class.

Then, because I couldn't help myself, I asked her if the books had a happy ending. And she just looked at me and even if it was just a second, it was the longest she had gone without talking. She finally said something like, "Can it?"

So I revised. "Am I going to want to commit suicide?"

"I'm still here" is all she said and that was good enough for me. If this contact wearing, Bella birthday party throwing fan can still talk so excitedly about the books then I'm sure it'll end well.

I just wish it didn't have to.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Moon

I started New Moon last night, the second book in the Twilight Series. I came to a pivotal part in the story and cried and cried and sobbed and cried and fell asleep shaking feeling like my heart was dying. It was awful, and it brought back very bad memories of heart ache. I woke up feeling sad and lonely and tired. I tucked Mike in real tight and kissed him good-bye grateful that he was with me.

I feel a bit in a fog, not to mention embarrassed by how much a fictional story has affected me so far. For affirmation that I'm not insane I googled, "did you cry reading new moon" and luckily I'm not alone. However, I got a glimpse of a spoiler or two. It's a chance I was willing to take.

Mike's heading up north tonight to go fishing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to putting on my pajamas, making tea and laying in bed and reading until my vision gets blurry. I just hope the story gets a little more light-hearted soon - I can't take the pain.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Twilight Saga

Just like with the Harry Potter series, I am late to all the wonder, amusement and awe that is The Twilight Series.

I admit I only actually heard of it a few months ago when scrolling through the Barnes and Noble bestsellers list and seeing each volume of the series within the top ten. I went to Barnes and Noble, asked which book was the first, read the first page and put it back. I ignored the release of the latest, Breaking Down, and didn't bother to read my acquaintance's blog posts about it.

Then the release of the latest Harry Potter Film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, was pushed back from November, 2008 to Summer, 2009(!) for the movie release of Twilight. That made me very, very angry.

So down in Florida over the weekend, Mike's sixteen year old cousin Jennifer and I got to talking and she raved about the Twilight saga and offered to lend me the first book. We didn't talk much about it but she informed me that the actor who played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was, in fact, playing Edward, the main character in Twilight. This sparked my interest.

So I took the book and started reading it on Monday and ever since have been trying to find creative ways to get out of my responsibilities so I can keep reading. I am like a fiend. A Twilight Saga fiend. I love it. I haven't loved a book this much since Harry Potter. I find myself overwhelmingly grateful there are more. I may finish the first tonight and just in case of a cliffhanger I am going out at lunch to buy books 2 and 3. I can't stop wondering what will happen and thinking about Edward, and his sheer strength and beauty.

I am totally hooked. omg omg omg. LOL. So naturally I went and watched the trailer this morning. Mike and I may not be going to a midnight release this fall for Harry Potter, but we will be going for Twilight.

I needed a new series in my life. I admit though I am doing quite poorly juggling the story with my day to day responsibilities. It's that good. I must scream my love for Twilight off the top of something very, very high.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I got a new notch on the experience belt this past weekend when I went to Fort Lauderdale Beach. I realize that going to a different state means nothing unless you do something in that state. The beach was a whole new experience for me and I really loved it. The water was so clear (but SALTY!), and so warm. And the beach was so clean and I liked the palm trees skirting the perimeter of the sand. The shells are really different and pretty and I had a blast getting tossed around in the surf while collecting them.

Overall, the entire trip was very lovely and I'm glad we went. It was nice spending time with Mike's family.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kick Ass Practice!

Last night's derby practice was awesome and totally boosted my confidence! Right from the start Coach had us fresh meat in with the team doing drills. We first skated in a super tight pack which helped to ease my fear of skating in a super tight pack! I didn't fall but I made a girl behind me fall and I felt bad. I guess I jutted my skate back too far on a push off and she hit it and went down.

Then we played three on three mini scrimmages and I was very, very nervous. But again it just totally boosted my confidence. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I was on the track skating in a pack, looking all around trying to follow what was going on while trying not to get hurt and not to crash into any down bodies. I did take my first hit though. Ivanna (I'll never forget her) came up beside me and totally caught me off guard and gave me a nice hit to the shoulder and I instinctively turned and apologized (as if I got in her way). D'oh! She started laughing and assured me she did it on purpose.

Then we moved on to hitting drills which Coach wouldn't let us do at first. So we watched. And then we practiced on each other and joined the group and did some different hitting drills where we skated the length of the rink on opposite sides coming together for one good hard hit at three specified spots on the rink. So basically: skate, BAM, skate, BAM, skate, BAM, and back to the end of the line.



Coach had us fresh meat sit down because he didn't want us scrimmaging. I was relieved. Then a minute later he had us get back up and stand with the rest of girls. Then he split us all up into two teams. My first scrimmage! (I was so nervous - I hope no one saw me shaking.) I took the number two position for my first jam. My heart was racing and then the whistle blew and well; it's kind of like driving in traffic, as silly as that sounds. You don't really think. Suddenly the discomfort of my mouth guard was no longer existent, my location on the track didn't matter. You just skate and look all around you and there are so many things going through your head but in a way your mind is blank because you just know what to do and leave it up to adrenaline and instinct. I can't explain it well.

I did good. At least I think I did good. I kept up with the pack about 90% of the time and when I lost it I hauled ass to catch up. I know I had two or three good blocks. I didn't hit anyone - I tried, but couldn't land anything - but I did manage to push one blocker out of bounds and something else I did I knew was really good but I can't remember. Someone even yelled, "Nice, Jessica!" It was really really fun. I had a blast!

I skated in three to five jams. You lose track - it's all adrenaline. I never played pivot or jammer, just a blocker in the number two or three position. I'm not ready (scared) to jam. I'm also still afraid of falling. Somehow I managed not to fall once all night. Very good, but also bad. I know I need to have a good fall for me to realize it's not so bad (hopefully it won't be). I also need to figure out how the hell to talk when you have a giant piece of rubber in your mouth! *Note to self, watch girls and see if they take out their mouth guards for a few seconds to yell to their teammates. Is there some trick I don't know? I also need to stop friggin apologizing! - it's instinctual. Sister reminded we all know why we're here so there's no need to apologize. She said she did that a lot when she first started and Coach made her do twenty push ups every time she said she was sorry and that helped her kick the habit really quickly. I assured her I'll work on it.

Before practice I would have never thought I'd be ready for the September 24 scrimmage against the GSRG, but now I think there's a good possibility I could do it. Maybe I will even skate at the October 18 bout. It's not really up to me, but it does seem a little more realistic now.

I think next week I may be "officially" on the team. Team Pres gave me my orientation packet last night with the forms I need to fill out, bylaws, and GIANT TEAM STICKER for my helmet. Who needs bylaws when you have a giant sticker! I'm stoked to register my name so I can start using it.

Any doubts I had earlier in the week simply washed away last night. And all the fund raising events are coming together. It felt overwhelming earlier in the week but other than one crazy week in September (with three events in one week) it is quite manageable and my excitement is renewed.

It was an awesome practice and I feel great today - no soreness at all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

By the way......

I made California roll back in June maybe? And it sucked. It was expensive to make the first time (afterwards it won't be, but initially you have to buy a lot of stuff) and it wasn't very good. Not to mention it's only worth the effort if you were making a lot and it doesn't keep for more than a day so what's the point? I found it challenging and time consuming and you're much better off paying $5 for it. If anyone wants a large bag of sushi rice and a bamboo rolling mat, please let me know.

I was hanging out with my brother and his friends a few months ago and we ordered take out from a Chinese/Japanese restaurant. I thought it was so brilliant I could barely contain my excitement. Ordering up an order of General Tsous and a California roll might be one of the best things in the world. If only this place was near my house; Mine and Mike's problem of me wanting Japanese and he wanting Chinese would be over.

(update: this post falls under the label "Bucket List" because an earlier version contained "Make California Roll".)

Almost ready for it to end

This afternoon I was walking to the fountain at Logan Circle to meet David for lunch and while doing so I took in the autumn breeze and noted the fallen leaves and enjoyed those first tastes of fall. Back to school (and back to work) is all around me - stopping for crossing guards, full parking lots at the Patco station, and not being able to find a seat on the train.

So I found a bench and took a seat and was blasted by the sun and immediately felt my face begin to sweat. Ick. It was a beautiful day but nothing like fall and it actually got me thinking, Shoot, there's still some things I want to do this summer! It was like saying good riddance to an annoying house guest at the airport and then realizing you'll actually miss them. I was overwhelmed by the sudden desire to have a picnic. And to go to a water park. At the same time.
Luckily I'll be in Fort Lauderdale this weekend and we do plan to go to the beach one day so I know I'll have that one last breath of summer, assuming a hurricane doesn't dampen those plans. *pun intended. But I must fit in a romantic picnic with Mike. gottagoonapicnic

After that I'll be good. Bring on my favorite season of the year!!! Every year I appreciate it more and enjoy it more!