Turning around, well at least for the weekend.

9/15/16 Lacey, WA to Richmond, BC
Sammy the Salmon from Terminal
City takes a lap on one of her skaters

Zero miles ridden.

Got up and got all my laundry folded and prepped.  I had my Thai food left overs for breakfast and then got Bex's Harley and my bike into her garage.  Bex's bike had a totally dead battery so I ended up having to push it to her garage at the front of her complex, I should probably be making some sort of Harley joke here but I think it speaks for itself…

I did some computer work for the Facebook page and the blog until Shelly, her partner Chris, and Rex arrived for the drive to Vancouver for the WFTDA playoffs.   

The drive went well and we had a good lunch at a place off the google maps places locals eat suggestions where the food was pretty good for a place in the parking lot of a shopping center. 

We got into Vancouver area with no issues and got signed into the event.  It was great to see so many amazing officials and even better to be asked when I got added to the ref roster.  Since I am not certified I couldn’t even apply but everyone seemed to think it would be normal for me to be added to the roster which made me feel pretty good. The officials meeting started a little after we arrived and I sat down by myself for a late dinner at the lounge there at the Sheraton. Eating out alone has never been a strong suit of mine but I am getting better at it.

We came back to the house we were staying at and I get prepped for bed and turned in after writing.

9/16/16 Vancouver, BC

No miles ridden

Got up and showered before eating and catching a ride to the Olympic Oval where the games were being held for Division 1 Playoffs.

I was able to have a super relaxed day and just watch a bunch of derby as well as get this week’s blog post up for Expedition Recovery. This was a big change from doing every other game’s write-up like I did in Lansing for the WFTDA D2’s.

Mini never made it to site but Gory from Yukon Roller Girls did and I got to watch a full game with her, which was fun because of how new to derby she is. I got to work on explaining strategy again with someone super interested.  I remember what it was like to be so excited and not yet jaded at all.

Being at a playoff meant that I was able to catch up with many friends and derby associates that I normally only get to see a few times a year. I love how much roller derby is a family that really cares for one another. In the world that most of us from the USA live in there is rarely a lot of genuine connection, and yet in derby makes this rarity a regular reality.

The wonderful and amazing proprietor of Pivotstar, Lulu, was able to give me a ride back to the house when I was the last one of our group on site so that no one had to come back and get me. I am super grateful for the ride and for how amazing Lulu has been to know and work with. 

Once at the house I was able to finish my last recap and call it for the night. Day one of my second playoffs as a writer is officially in the books.

9/18/16

Vancouver, BC

Zero miles ridden. 

The last three days have been intense and amazing. I put up five new bylines on Derby Central and got the new blog pushed out as well. 

The games I worked as a writer were a great experience and I think I am getting better at doing recaps. I am looking forward to hearing some feedback after the weekend from the Derby Central editors

I have gotten to see many friends and familiar faces as well as make some new ones. As I realize I am not super comfortable in my roll and can feel myself slipping into old habits of false bravado and brash humor and jibes at people rather than just keeping quiet and waiting. 

Saturday was two more recaps and some good derby. Mini had arrived and I got to chat with Skimo who seems like a really nice guy. I got the last recap again and once again didn't finish till very late. I should have then gone to bed but instead stayed up almost another hour and a half talking with Rex. 
 
Luz Chaos being her amazing self!
Sunday morning was a rough wake up as I had to work the first game between Naptown and Arizona.  It was a great game and Luz Chaos was amazing in it. I then took care of some errands and decided to break my rule and go and grab bite to eat alone. I decided to go to a genuine Chinese restaurant near the venue.  It was so authentic that the menu was in Chinese with some English subtitles that only told part of the story. The dumplings were good but the chicken I got seemed to be the extra bits left over from trimming the meat for other dishes.  Rather than be silly and disgusted I just ate in anyway.  Was interesting, not something I would get again, and a very fatty for what it was but ate it with only a little bluing around the gills.









After eating it was back to writing and watching derby.  This time I got to watch the final game between Victoria and Angel City.  It was an intense game with really high penalty counts for Victoria's jammers.  The game was so much closer than expected that the whole of the section I was in ended up on our feet cheering for the last few jams.  It was an unexpected nail bitter of a game.

Following the last whistle I hung out with a few friends and watched all the medal shenanigans at the Olympic bobsled. Made a few introductions between skaters I knew who didn't know each other and then went to dinner with the officials.  I am still amazed at the level of acceptance I get from officials at tournaments even when I am working as a writer instead of officiating. As a non-certified official I am amazed at the level of welcome I receive.

It was another late night talking with Rex before bed but well worth it.

9/19/16

Vancouver, BC to Portland, OR 

149.7 Miles Ridden. 

This morning began in Vancouver where I would pack my bags and leave with Josh, Shelly, Chris, and Tim to drive back to where the bike was parked in Lacey Washington. 

The drive was nice and we all chatted the whole way and talked derby and larger scale officiating issues as well as general life stuff. We made a fuel stop where Chris went to the Foxy Lady coffee stand in the parking lot.  When I came out from the gas station the whole group save me was laughing at the front of the stand.  If I would have thought it ok I would have taken a picture, as backed up to the access door of the stand was a uniform company truck delivering linens. I didn’t get the joke till the barista came back to the window in a pair of purple-glitter heart shaped pasties and a g string bottom.  We all jested that it must be the smallest garment bag delivery on the route…..

I was dropped off back at Bex's but she was at work and had not left the garage key for me so I was trapped for a bit. I ended up showering and doing laundry before heading out late after doing a bit of a scramble for the garage key before the condo office closed as Bex was unexpectedly stuck late at work.

I left Lacey. WA at near 6 pm and rode the few hours into Portland to get my track jacket picked up from Shelly and Chris and then up to another derby friend’s who had recently moved from Anchorage to Portland. 

I had to forgo any tasty dinner and settle for Arby’s since it was on the way and already late. Once at the house we decided it would be best to pull the bike up into the locking porch so I got to take the CB up it’s first 9"+ tall step and in to the space. As I pulled in there was a freshly killed bunny with its face ripped off and its brains eaten laying in the porch, kind of a surprise.



Kendra and John showed me in and I got a tour of their very cool house while enjoying a yummy cider they gave me.  The house had sat vacant for some time and it was really cool to see all she was doing and hear the story of the place.  I know she will make it amazing.


For those interested in reading the recaps I wrote for the playoffs, here you go:






And for a bit of fun....

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