My online journal.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Last night Joel and I got a lovely night out with his family -- it was Donna's bday (and John's and her anniversary) on Friday night, so Joel's sister Julie and Kaz invited us over for a really lovely crab-and-steak dinner and then we all went to Jersey Boys together in Minneapolis. It was really wonderful to have an adultish night out. The food was great, and the show was very fun. In the Orpheum lobby I ran into Katie Allen, with whom I'd performed many years ago -- her boyfriend is playing Tommy DeVito, one of the Four Seasons. I'd only met him once, very briefly, but it was fun to have kind of a personal connection to the show.

Today the kids woke us up nice and early to look for their Easter eggs and baskets. It was a blast and they were just so cute. Joel's parents came over and we dressed for church -- Ed choosing the 3-piece suit he wore for Julie & Jeff's wedding exactly 1 year ago. Fortunately when I shortened his pants back then, I made it really easy for myself to let them back out again this morning. Lucy also wore her dress from that wedding.Eddie kept repeating, "Mr. President, may I have a word?"

(Right now Eddie is peeling himself a pink hardboiled egg and he just said, "I'm ALL about Easter. The whole darn thing.")

We hit church, then came home to do an outdoor egg hunt and eat brunch. I made a crockpot egg bake, some crockpot cheesy potatoes, some fruit, and Jane Peterson's sour cream coffee cake, and everything turned out swell.

After lunch I got a nice 20-minute nap out in the sun on the deck (until a bug flew into my ear). At 2pm it was time for my derby team's Easter Wall-Sit. Wherever we were at 2pm we were supposed to "sit" on a wall (back flat against the wall, knees bent at 90 degrees) and hold it as long as we could. I about died after 4 min, 30 seconds -- a couple gals were in the 10-minute range and one said she made 22 minutes! Jean came over and assured me that there are many ways to cheat at a wall sit... but I suspect I probably just stink at it.

This is at about 3:30 in (Lucy started bawling after 10 seconds, then came back on & off for a bit):


After the Gronaus left, Jean and Joel and I took the kids up to Lake Phalen -- Joel took the kids to the playground and Jean and I ran the 3.1-mile loop in about 28 minutes. It was only my second run in the Vibrams and I *think* I love them... I had none of the blister issues from the first run, and I felt fantastic the whole time. It helped that it was 60 degrees and sunny for the first time since September.

We practiced our cartwheels, answered several questions about my shoes, and mocked the bicyclist who complained about us jogging in the bike lane. (I was, like, You're not from this neighborhood, are you?) And now I'm chanking on a salad (I ended my no-desserts Lenten fast by eating many, many sugary things and now my tummy is feeling unfortunate) and threatening to throw the kids in the bathtub. Perfect ending ot a very happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The hills are alive!

Eddie and Joel got to watch about 10 minutes of Lucy's Sound of Music rehearsal tonight. Did I mention Lucy is in the The Sound of Music? Omigosh I don't think I did! OK Lucy is playing Gretl in a local community production. Oh here! I forget this isn't a facebook post and I can be verbose. It's up in White Bear Lake, through Lakeshore Players. Yes, WBL is a haul (25 minutes one way) -- though there are parents driving from the Highland neighborhood and Cottage Grove (each an extra 15 minutes) so I am not complaining.

I'm also not complaining because the rest of the cast is totally outstanding. They have double-cast the seven Von Trapp children so Lucy is in 8 of the 16 shows. (She is in the "Trapp" or "T" cast if you are looking to buy tickets.) Of the 13 other kids in the show, I'd worked with all but 3 or 4 and even those I'd heard good things about. Also one of my absolute favorite singers (and a very cool mom), Peggy Sutherland, is playing Maria. Lucy's first show is April 30! Can't wait!

Anyway! So Joel and Eddie got to watch the last 10 minutes of rehearsal, and as Lucy sang her solo last line of "So Long, Farewell..." Eddie jumped all over Joel and stage-whispered "That's MY SISTER!!!" He's so proud of her. Love it.

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I had a pretty good derby practice on Sunday. We were on the concourse of the Xcel Energy Center, which is cool to get to skate in, but not an awesome practice space. We can't scrimmage there, but we do "stations" where three coaches each set up spots and we divide up and rotate. We did sprinting, stopping, falling, and turning relay races with Betty LaRude... Pacelines (skating fast in a long line) and shopping-carts (one skater pushing 2 girls in front of her), and sticky-skates (skating without taking your wheels off the floor) with Lydia Punch... and fast-feet and weaving drills with Wet Spot (our lone male, who cleans up spilt beer and water at the MNRG bouts; plus he runs the t-shirt cannon and knows gobs about gear).

On Wednesday I went to Terrors practice. The Twin Cities Terrors are our local men's derby league (they are sometimes referred to as MMRD -- Minnesota Mens Roller Derby). They practice at the "Terrordome," AKA the Minnesota National Guard Armory in St. Paul. They -- most generously -- open their practice to anybody in skating gear with $5. Sometimes we can practice with the guys the whole time, and sometimes they are prepping for a bout and we skate on the side (usually with the guys who have not yet been drafted to a team), but no matter what it's an amazing workout and learning experience.

Terrors practice is never the same place twice, which this variety-lovin' girl thinks is awesome. We've done 30-lap pacelines at nearly a full sprint... then done sprinting/turning/stopping drills. We practice going clockwise (typical derby direction is going counter-clockwise around the track, and once you've been building that muscle memory for a while, it's strange and scary going the "wrong way.") We've scrimmaged... then played roller-freeze-tag (which COMPLETELY ROCKS). We get to learn from other skaters who have different teaching styles and different ways of explaining things. I'm not self-motivated enough to enjoy skating at the rinks very much, so Terrors practice is kind of a perfect fit for me. Oh, except news flash: Boys smell dreadful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MNRG Tryouts: 1 month and 29 days to go

Hey there! I'm going to be trying out for the Minnesota Rollergirls (MNRG) on Sunday, June 12 -- and in the next almost-2-months I'd like to use this forum to document my training and prep for tryouts.

Background: last July I signed up for the recreation-and-training league of MNRG: the Debu-Taunts ("Debs" or DTs). I'd only ever been to one roller derby bout, but I knew I could skate OK, and after eschewing sport in favor of theatre/dance for the past 20 years, I was looking for a new athletic endeavor. DTs practice once a week, on Sunday nights, and I try to get in at least one other skate each week, so I'll let you know how those progress.

People always ask about injuries in roller derby, so I'll probably give you some injury updates as I go. Right now I've got the remainders of a really cute bruise (about 4" in diameter) on my right hip, from falling hard at practice 2 weeks ago. My wristguard took a bite out of my right arm last Sunday, so there's a tablespoon-sized donut-shaped bruise there. My arches each have a blister, from running in my new Vibram shoes 2 days ago. Other than that: pretty healthy.

More later!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Blown away

Here's what I want: a Community Ed class on how to blow-dry your hair. OK -- my hair. I'm embarrassed even to say that it's only been in the past year or so that I am finally beginning to understand how much better hair can look when properly blow-dried. OK -- my hair. Like, it has fullness! Body! It doesn't need to lay limply on my head like overcooked spaghetti! AMAZING!

When I go get my hair cut (which -- OK fine -- I last did 7 months ago), the gal wields her fancy blowdryer with the precision of a surgeon. I get home and try to duplicate her efforts, and I can't even reach parts of my head... and how do you dry the underside without getting knots on top?... and how do you hold the dryer in one hand and a brush in the other? And never mind even attempting to switch hands to get the other side. My hair, in its natural state, is wavy when wet and crazy-frizzy-tangly when semi-dry. It's thick, and there's a lot of it. By the time I get a small section dried, the areas around it have woven themselves into a coarse mesh. When I try to comb out the mesh, my fingers get caught in the knots and I can feel the strands ripping and breaking. My arms fatigue and I start to sweat, which of course makes my hair wet again, and the cycle repeats, and more often than not I wind up chucking it all and pulling up a ponytail... which is how I end up with a pixie cut. Aaargh! It's hard being a girl.

Next week: bras.