Monthly Archives: February 2009

Down and out


There’s no better way to say it: being injured sucks.

Forget the pain, the doctor’s appointments, the physical therapy and rehabilitation. The worst part is sitting on the sidelines at a practice or a bout, watching your teammates sail by with their typical grace and ease while you sit on a cold bench, nursing your injury and pining for the sensation of gliding into a smooth crossover or connecting a solid C-block.

I’ve managed to sprain my ankle twice in the past three months. Granted, I don’t deserve as much sympathy as my fellow injured skaters, because both sprains have occurred off the rink in the company of my adulterous lover, volleyball. This doesn’t make being off skates any less frustrating, however.

I sprained my ankle three weeks ago and I was told no real skating for six weeks. I confess, though: I’ve been cheating. I can’t help it. Despite the swelling I’ve been getting on the rink at least once a week, coming home, icing and elevating, and taking the next day off entirely. I’ve been trying to take it easy and avoid any contact drills or hard sprinting, but when Juicy busted out the pads for us to work on blocking, my brain IMed my ankle: STFU, there’s fun to be had!

Death by Dollface recently endured a more serious and painful injury. Her shoelace came undone during a scrimmage and perilously wrapped around her wheels like Isadora Duncan’s scarf. Dollface came crashing into the ground, shoulder first. The doctor’s diagnosis is at least six weeks of rest for her separated shoulder to heal. Despite the pain and discomfort that accompanies even the most simple movements, she’s managing without painkillers. As a polyathlete, her biggest challenge is following doctor’s orders and resting rather than weight training, boxing, long-distance running, or any number of other athletic endeavors she enjoys. Having replaced her past addictions with healthy ones, it’s especially tough missing the adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment that comes from an intense workout.

I can certainly empathize with that feeling. Even if I’m somewhat functional, having to “take it easy” is a hellish diagnosis for someone who spends her hours at work fantasizing about the end of the day and the next opportunity to break a sweat. For now, though, I have to really think about the long-term here: do I want to keep being pestered with this on-and-off for who knows how long, or am I going to suck it up, fight the demons of boredom, and stay off skates long enough to let myself properly heal–? Thankfully, that decision has been made for me. At this point, I’m on the sidelines—coaches’ orders. Soon, though, Dollface and I will both be back in action…and we’ll have a lot of ferocity to let loose.


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“You don’t need your nose to skate.”


This weekend, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls had their first bout of the 2009 season, and also their first bout against a WFTDA-certified league, Central Coast Roller Derby.

The team did their best to prepare for a different environment at the Paso Robles Event Center, particularly CCRD’s polished concrete floor. Polished concrete is notably slicker than wood floors, and so SVRG had to be sure to consider the new surface in their strategy.

The first half was a slow start for SVRG. Adjusting to the new surface was tricky, and CCRD was operating like a well-oiled machine. CCRD kept SVRG’s jammers back with solid recycling, a strategy in which blockers rotate through positions in a continuous attack-and-regroup pattern. SVRG fought tooth and nail to earn their first ten points, but by the first half they had fallen behind CCRD, 55-11.

By the second half, SVRG had adjusted to the new environment and found their rhythm. SVRG concentrated on slowing down CCRD while the SVRG jammers succeeded in creeping up the score point by point on each successive jam. Pia Mess made the biggest score of the night, racing through the pack to score an 11-point jam. Feisty Irish took a particularly hard hit to the face while jamming, but rather than stop to tend to the pain, she powered through.

Despite not making a complete comeback, SVRG succeeded in regaining their traction in the second half. Playing against a seasoned team, there were many lessons to be learned. As Pia Mess noted, “This was not a loss.” Rather, this was a gain in experience for the team: facing a solid and smooth defense from CCRD, accommodating a different skating surface, and learning to adjust strategies mid-bout to address opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.

After the bout, a trip to the ER confirmed that Feisty Irish had broken her nose. After having it reset, Feisty was asked how long she expected to be off skates recuperating. Our diehard darling responded, “You don’t need your nose to skate.”

Many thanks to CCRD for hosting our first WFTDA bout!

Final score: CCRD 80, SVRG 55.

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SVRG takes on Central Coast Roller Derby THIS SATURDAY!


Feel like a little road trip?

Come see the Silicon Valley Roller Girls’ Dot.Kamikazes take on Central Coast!!

This SATURDAY, February 21st at the Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Drive, Paso Robles, CA.

Doors open at 6:30 pm, bout starts at 8 pm. Tickets are available at the door ($15 for adults; kids 10 & under free).

Hope to see some of you there, but if the drive is too much, just mark your calendars for our first home bout on MARCH 14 at San Jose Skate. Tickets for Spring Beating are available at Brown Paper Tickets. Season tickets are also available!

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Skater of the Month: Aim DeKill


Known for her studded belt and studly blocking, Aim DeKill is the type of force that makes the enemy cower. Not only can she deliver powerful hits that sends opponents flying, but she also has the kind of agility that keeps jammers desperately dancing in their efforts to break the pack. Off the track you’d be hard pressed to find a more hospitable and welcoming presence. Above is a picture of her flaunting her cooking skills at a recent SVRG community service event. Aim took the time to answer a few questions about her favorite sport.

How did you get into roller derby?

Thanks to our sister league, The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls. They held several bouts during the 2007 Season at San Jose Civic Auditorium, and I caught one. I was hooked from the second I walked in the door.

What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?

I skated up and down my block daily as a kid…spent a lot of time at CalSkate and SkateWorld…but hadn’t really skated in about twenty years.

What is your favorite derby memory?

SacredCity(Sacramento) hosted us for the Smack De Mayo in May 2008. Lindsay Lohanded was jamming instead of her usual blocking position. We were nearing 100 points for the first time…the excitement was palpable. Our bench was on the edge of our chairs. Lohanded was surrounded by Sacred’s Disciples when all of the sudden she stepped though their wall – almost like birthing herself from their pack – and took us over 100 points. It is still clearly etched into my retinas and will forever be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in derby.

What has been your worst derby injury, and how did you earn it?

I separated my shoulder once–that was no bueno.

Who are your favorite derby skaters, and why?

All derby girls are amazing, really. But I am most fond of the girls who don’t let their size, their age, or perceived disabilities stop them from pursuing their goals. Susie Roundwheels (Sonoma) is 52. Sassy Chassis (RatCity) is 46. Road Rage (Sacred) is deaf. They’ll all roll skate-to-skate with ya and knock ya flat.

What team would you want to challenge in your “dream bout”?

I’d like to play Lava City in Bend, Oregon someday because I almost moved there before finding Derby and wondered what if I would have found it there…

Who’s your biggest fan?

Hands down – my son, Chip Off the Old Blocker.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give women interested in playing roller derby?

It’s a lot harder than it looks – but don’t give up. It’s amazing what you discover about yourself in the process.

What’s your favorite thing about SVRG?

The diversity of the girls. We come from all walks of life: we’re married, single, divorced, straight, gay, parents (to human and canine), old, young, fat, skinny, poor and poorer, black, white, Mexican, Asian, Islanders, natives – you wanna label it – we got it! We really do represent the unique diversity of theSouthBay. There’s a 25 year age difference form oldest to youngest in our league. Our league is the epitome of women coming together for a common goal and doing whatever it takes to reach that goal. Every member has a hand in our operations. We are for the skaters, by the skaters – 100%.

What do you enjoy most about derby life off the rink?

I joined this league with one best friend, now I have fifty three. We laugh together, cry together, sweat together and sometimes bleed (green) together.

What other hobbies and interests do you have?

I like to pick locks while singing karaoke, riding a tandem mountain bike for a little over thirty miles. You know, the usual.

Any other words of wisdom to leave us with?

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -Robert Heinlein

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Filed under Skater of the Month, SVRG Skaters

SVRG spreading some VD love!

Brawllen, Juge, & Mr. Juge in the midst of the parrrrrty

Brawllen, Juge, & Mr. Juge in the midst of the parrrrrty

Too bad for all of you who missed the VD fun at Jack’s on Saturday! Here’s a photo montage (insert your favorite love song here) of what you missed. (All photos courtesy of Jim Cottingham.)


The lovely ladies of SVRG ditched their skates for the night and donned some festive wear to share some love with their fans and supporters.


Megan, Zootown Throwdown, Secret Servix, and a fierce Feisty Irish took some time to pose with their loyal and dedicated fans.


Needles (left) and Mindy burn up the dance floor.


Secret Servix (with paddle), Zootown, and Feist shake it.


If dancing isn't your thing, there's always the opportunity for a good spankin'. Juicy K. Tore preps a victim while Donna Diggler gleefully checks out her target.


Rookie Zootown Throwdown follows through while the other girls look on in approval.


Feisty Irish and Juicy K. Tore tug at the earnings Mindy made selling her goodies (baked ones, that is.)


Just because SVRG was giving a big FU to VD doesn't mean there wasn't any loooove. Derby wives Donna Diggler and Smack Dahlia share a tender moment among the festivities.

Dollface and T-Bag take a breather while Juge & Mr. Juge party on.

Dollface and T-Bag take a breather while Juge & Mr. Juge party on.


Special thanks to Jim Cottingham (surrounded by the lovely ladies of SVRG above) for photographing this and other SVRG events for posterity! Thanks, Jim!

Sad that you missed out on all the fun? Don’t worry, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls will be back at Jack’s March 7, so mark your calendars and steel your livers!

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Filed under Fans, Off the Rink, SVRG Events

Come share VD with SVRG! (public domain image)

Have plans tonight? Sure you do! It’s coming to hang out with your favorite ladies in San Jose at Jack’s. No need to make lame plans after your cliched candlelight dinner–just come down and join us! Come enjoy a stiff drink and a stiffer spanking. See you there!

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How are you spending YOUR Valentine’s Day?

FUVD flyer
Come give a big FU to VD with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls this Saturday! We’ll be partying down at Jack’s at 167 E. Taylor St. in San Jose.
Enjoy drink specials and baked goodies with your favorite ladies!
Get on the dance floor and shake your booty, or get it spanked by one of our paddle-wielding wenches–however you want to celebrate VD, we’re here to party with you!

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Filed under SVRG Events