Monthly Archives: January 2010

Online? You search, we benefit: Support SVRG through GoodSearch

The Silicon Valley Roller Girls have now found a supereasy way for you to help out our team–and it doesn’t cost you anything!

GoodSearch is an application that allows nonprofit organizations like SVRG to benefit from your everyday online searching and shopping. Your regular hits and clicks translate into micro-donations of a couple of pennies–but with many users, these accumulate into a solid financial contribution. And, as mentioned before, there is no cost to you.

Just download the GoodSearch – Silicon Valley Roller Girls – SVRG toolbar at http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/silicon-valley-roller-girls-svrg . Then, frolic online as usual. Each time you search the web with GoodSearch’s Yahoo-powered search engine, about a penny will go to SVRG. Also, every time you shop online at Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Staples, Expedia, and other online businesses, a percentage of your purchase will be donated for free!
GoodSearch has been featured in The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Magazine, and on CNN, Good Morning America, and more. They respect privacy and do not collect information–you don’t even have to register. You can read more about their privacy policy here.

So, if you spend time searching or shopping online, use GoodSearch and help keep us rollin’!

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IMHO: Confessions of a Derby Wannabe

This post comes from SVRG’s Absolutely Scabulous, who passed bootcamp at the end of last season and has become a full time derby girl. Currently she is serving as Head of Bout Production and doing a fabulous job…come see the product of all her hard work (on skates and off) at our first home bout on March 6!

by Absolutely Scabulous

It’s been 8 months, folks. 8 months, 3 two-hour practices a week, and all the additional heart and soul I have been putting into the sport of roller derby. If you would have asked me last April where I would have seen myself in 8 months, I think my arrogance would have gotten the best of me. I was convinced that I could possibly be the missing link in roller derby, the undiscovered gem, that finally, I may have found a sport that I could be the front runner! But here I sit post-practice, a deflated medium. I am an average roller derby skater.

There were a lot of surprises I could have never predicted when entering the derby culture. I never expected the costs associated with it and how much it would really factor into my budget. Skates, pads, helmet, workout clothes, even how the hell am I going to carry my skates since they don’t fit in my cheap-ass bag I got from Ross? That extra top from Forever Hoochie and those new black flat boots from DSW were bumped down on the priority list–I wanted a set of G-Rod wheels so could actually grip the track; I want a better fitting skate with higher quality hardware so I can count on it when I’m out playing (rather than worrying about losing a toe stop around turn 1). The financial commitment associated with derby wasn’t necessarily a burden, but simply a new way of prioritizing my expenditures, and in turn, my lifestyle. I’m learning that my purchases are a lot more meaningful than what they used to be.

I don’t think I understood the human element of it all, the personalities and interactions between skaters. I don’t know who I thought this group of women were (no really, I didn’t have any clue who would be passionate and involved in this insane sport). In most life situations, I find myself the loudest/funniest/popular-est of the bunch and I usually can charm the pants off whoever is around. But this group was different. I feel myself being shy and awkward in situations where I would normally be extremely confident–it’s truly an ass-slap to my ego, making sure I don’t get too comfortable and really pushes me to stay focused. And since I’m not the top dog skater, I’m literally forced to listen to the more experienced girls and attempt to absorb as much strategy at all times. THEN I can allow myself to socialize. Playing derby has challenged me to stretch my own comfort level, be a teammate rather than an individual and begin to learn a new side of my own personality. It’s been a humbling experience for me as I’ve had to let younger girls teach me and learn to take huge amounts of both positive and negative feedback. For me, that’s actually a huge growing area–I’m not one to run out and ask for feedback (c’mon, who really is?).

And then, the derby learning curve. Oh you mean, long and slow learning curve. So you wanted to run a marathon? Sweet! Just follow this training plan. Oh you wanted to swim for varsity? No problem, you’ll be captain after a year! And then there’s roller derby: quite possibly the only sport I’ve ever attempted to play where I truly am starting from zero knowledge. Besides knowing how to do basic skating, I am learning this sport utterly and completely from the ground up. This isn’t an innate skill, you aren’t born with skates on your feet (even though I think some of the A-team girls were, along with mouth guards and came out of the womb screaming “JAMMER! JAMMER! JAMMER!”). And what I’m learning the most, besides not to let the opposing blockers distract me, is to be patient with myself and this process. There are rules, positions, strategy, and intuition that all must be practiced, and practiced and practiced some more, then finally learned.

So here I sit, post-Wednesday practice, our scrimmaging practice. The entire drive home I attempted to process the wave of information, advice, and feedback given to me. And I couldn’t really digest it all until I started writing. It’s okay if at this practice I only did one single thing better than I did yesterday. It’s completely okay that I might have sucked at something tonight (or many things!). Even if I tried my best and did one good block, or avoided a hit, that’s one skill I wasn’t able to do at the last practice. Be a little squirrelly, be a lot nervous and for the love of god, forgive yourself for all these things. Most importantly, never forget that you’re playing on roller skates–how the hell can you not have fun on a pair of skates?

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Support SVRG: Join us at Aqui in Willow Glen, Monday Feb. 15

Photo credit: Aqui website

What easier way to support your local roller derby team than eating a delicious burrito or sipping on a tasty margarita? Come celebrate Presidents’ Day with us!

If you’re free on Monday, February 15th, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls are hosting a fundraiser at Aqui Cal-Mex Restaurant in Willow Glen. You don’t have to do anything special but come have a margarita and/or eat dinner, tell them when you order that it’s for SVRG, and they will generously donate 20% of their proceeds between 4 and 9 pm. Aqui is located at 1145 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 95125. There is parking on the street or behind the restaurant.

You can bet I’ll be there. Foodwise, I love the Angus beef burrito and the Cuban pork enchiladas, both with plenty of pico de gallo. (You can peek at the menu here.) I also endorse their Industrial Strength Margaritas. I confess, when I first saw margaritas in a machine, having moved from Tucson I was very NUH-UH at first. Let me tell you–those frozen margaritas are some tasty treats! I am a big fan of the strawberry swirl…yum. They do have some kick to them, though, so carpool with a designated driver if necessary. See you there!

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Come say F*U Valentine’s Day with SVRG at Jack’s

It’s that time of year–yes, the time when you’re sooo glad you don’t have to put up with the nonsense of some  manufactured Hallmark holiday. We got your love right here–derby love! Come hang out with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls at Jack’s Bar and Lounge, 167 E. Taylor (@ 4th) on Saturday the 13th starting at 8 pm. We’ll have drink specials, photo opportunities, and prize drawings (including some special treats from Good Vibrations). If you want to know what you’re getting into, check out pics from our F-U VD party last year.

Also, GIVE BLOOD and GET BEER!

SVRG is partnering up with Jack’s Bar & Lounge to help save lives.  Support life, support derby, get beer!
Here’s how: Donate blood at any local Bay Area blood bank and give your receipt or sticker to your bartender at the F*U VD party with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, Saturday, February 13th, at Jack’s and get $1 off your drink! It’s that easy!

Here are some links to local blood centers:
San Jose Blood Center
Stanford Blood Center

**Please note: Giving blood within 24 hours of drinking alcoholic beverages is not advised. Please be smart and donate in advance.

See you at Jack’s on Saturday, Feb. 13!

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SVRG Does Part to Roller Over Injustice

Smash, Dollface, and Kimfectious get dirty

Writeup by Death by Dollface

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Conquering injustice was the prescribed theme of the La Mesa Verde service project at Sacred Heart Community Service Center (SHCS) project that ten Silicon Valley Roller Girls affiliates, including skaters Death by Dollface, Kimfectious, Smash ‘n’ Burn, Smack Dahlia, MaulyAnna, and Lucia  took on this 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Sacred Heart’s representative, Todd Madigan, used the above qutoe as his opening words. The center has been given many accolades in the local community for their newest venture to provide for the many families of the San Jose community including articles in the San Jose Mercury News and even the New York Times.

We began the day bright and early arriving at the SHCS downtown home base at 9 a.m. There was a line of volunteers waiting to check in wrapped around the outside of the building despite the torrential downpour that didn’t show any signs of letting up. We were divided into over 25 groups mixed with other groups more prepared with garden tools to prepare for digging planter boxes into local community homes.

Our task was simple. We were given two homes where we would be preparing planter boxes that teams would later return to install drip systems and plant vegetable gardens in hopes of sustaining a local community with food. Sounds simple? This was hard work! Our first site was a beautiful grass lawn that we had to dig up which the rain made it very difficult to penetrate. The rain subsided for us at the second house which helped and the family already had a skeleton of a garden with rich soil that just needed to be trenched to lay the planter boxes. It’s a good thing we have lots of mud experience from our annual mud wrestling!

American Goth: Kimfectious and Smack Dahlia

Since SHCS encourages reflection with their work, I thought I would leave you with some thoughts. As Todd described the impact of what the La Mesa Verde project had on the local community he explained how much these seemingly small boxes (6′ x 3′ planters) produce for the families that are not able to purchase adequate nutrients for the their families. The families that are being given the tools and taught to produce their own gardens will be able to grow enough produce to not only feed themselves but extend to their neighbors and friends. SHCS’s number of families served has grown in masses over the past years where a standard soup kitchen setup is not adequate to serve the growing need. If five hours of our time can help sustain a small community, that is well worth my time.

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SVRG sorts with RAFT

From left: Death by Dollface, Absolutely Scabulous, Belle Wringer, Retox Fox, Satan's Kitten, Knuckles DeVille, Beth Sentence, and Bozo Disposo at RAFT.

The ladies of SVRG kicked off the new year with a service opportunity sorting school supplies at the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT). RAFT is an amazing organization that collects donations and used supplies from businesses and then recycles or repurposes them to benefit teachers. We spent most of the day going through bins full of donated binders, organizing them by size and color, which can then be reused or, if damaged, are cut apart for use in other projects. Many binders have a clear plastic sheet on the front so that you can slide in a descriptive front page–but because of their stiff backs and the clear material, they can operate as sort of mini-whiteboards with dry erase markers. (It also got me to thinking that that would be a great thing for when I use recipes torn out of magazines–you can protect it from moisture and other splatters, but still use a dry erase marker to make notes as needed.)

We had a good time and, especially because SVRG has many mothers and teachers, were happy to know that Bay Area educators would benefit from our labor. We look forward to revisiting RAFT soon! See more pics of our visit here.

Kitten in a box (full of binders, not litter).

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Haiti needs your help: Donate to the Red Cross now!

The Silicon Valley Roller Girls are coming together to offer financial donations to the Red Cross to aid victims of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti this week.

Helping is so easy, you can do it in 60 seconds or less. Simply text the word ‘Haiti’ to 90999 from your phone, and $10 will be donated to the Red Cross. (They will text you back to confirm, and once you text ‘Yes” the donation will go through.) 100% of the funds go to help relief efforts in Haiti. The $10 charge will just appear on your phone bill.

We just launched this effort today, and already our skaters are jumping at the opportunity to help. Retox Fox, Death by Dollface, MaulyAnna, Kimfectious, Absolutely Scabulous, and Zootown Throwdown have already made donations, and our numbers keep growing. Please consider joining us and supporting the Red Cross.

If you want more information about the damage in Haiti and the relief efforts of the Red Cross, you can visit their website.

Thank you!

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