Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year

I have no burning resolution to blog more this year.  I don't aim to tell people how much better I will be this year.  I don;t think last year sucked particularly hard, but I always hope the new one will be better.  I'm just tired of reading people's self-righteous rituals for the new year. 

This new year I played cards with Michele for about 8 hours.  We got pretty nicely drunk, crashed my neighbour's party for half an hour or so and then retreated home.  I peed in the snow.  This was a huge improvement over last year because A.  I was wearing rubber boots not the Rue Paul spangly porn shoes, B. there was snow, C. I didn't try and wear pants, I just took off my tights and bare-assed it.  So yes, I wrote my name! 
Clear as day, isn't it?!  Check that off my list of things to accomplish in 2013.

Doesn't that make you feel better about your life?  I didn't pass out at the top of my stairs this year so I think that's a good start to the year.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Big girls don't cry and the five second rule

Stardate 10 Mar 2012;  Alliston

I remember why I have always hated team sports - I can't believe it took this long.

It's the selection process. Not making a team is one thing. Being picked last - that's the kicker. I even read a blog post from a girl who bemoaned the day her coach made them pick teams for a scrimmage and I still didn't make the connection.

Until last practice.

Alliston lineups - they premade lines for the games and we practiced them. I'm on one line. Great. I guess so are a bunch of people, and a couple of people are on two lines. I think I played about half as much as anyone else. WTF?

Now, I have no illusions about my skill level but I'm not awful. Or not the worst, I don't think. And even if I was, don't I deserve equal track time, especially in a practice scrimmage? No, people were coming off the track beat and being sent right back out. W. T. F????

I almost cried. I almost got annoyed and made snarky remarks (OK, I made one to Rosa). Nope I did the me thing and bottled it up inside and pretended it was alllll OK. Don't fucking cry!!! I brooded about this for hours. In bed, at work... I vented to barb and we agreed we were fucked up to still get upset about this shit at our ages but what can you do? Once a loser always a loser. I contemplated emailing the coach and asking what was wrong with me, what I need to work on to get played more, but then I thought... really, you know what your weaknesses are better than anyone. Do you want to seem like you think you're so awesome and should play every line when in reality you think it's a miracle that you actually are playing at all? Not so much.

I went out for lunch, had fried chicken, scalloped potatoes and a ton of chocolate. I spent the afternoon reading some derby blog posts and got some perspective.
a. suck it up. This is your team, bitchiness isn't going to help anyone, least of all yourself.
b. the lineups *should* be fair, but who knows what happens in the heat of the moment - YOU know best how much you've played so say something (nicely) if you want more time. I'm sure there are gals who are dying for a break.

I felt much better. Angst eats me up inside and makes me useless. I gotta have some inner peace.

I got home and there was an email from our coach about the lineups. I'm still only one one line, but so are most people. A few are on two. Whatever. So they're better than you - most people are. Practice more. Look behind you ALL the time. Stay with your team.  Develop a sense of urgency - bust your ass to get that girl then get right back to your line. Practice more. Get lower. Pay attention. Use your head. Get LOWER.
Derby is so totally a mental game. I've helped us win the game 27 times over in my mind. I thought about paying attention to the jammers. The 5 second rule (I love that rule)*. I think it helped a lot and I feel better  But maybe it was the fried chicken and the chocolate.

So what are you going to do? Go out there, play your ass off every jam you get. Be ready to step up when there's a hole in the line. And SAY something if you're not being played enough. She said it was OK. If you don't do this, you get a smack in the face from me and forfit your right to feel an iota of anger about it. If you do and they don't use you? Suck it up, but it might be worth a discussion on you apparent lack of skill. At a later time.

*The rule is, when the opposing jammer leaves the pack: You have five seconds to get your jammer through the pack.
You have been relentless, but something happened and the opposing jammer broke free from the pack. From that second, that “OH-SHIT-SHE-GOT-AWAY!”-moment, that’s when you start counting.: Five…Four…Three…Two…One…and back to BLOCKING THAT JAMMER!
Five. Find your Jammer
Four. Who is holding her hostage?
One. FORGET THEM! Where is the opposing jammer?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Number one.

A new year - we're restarting the dating numbering.  The first contender for douchbag of the year is from OKC.  We shall call him Yappy since he talks more than anyone I've ever me.  Long, rambling stories that go off on wild tangents.  In his defence, he is fairly interesting; his stories don't make my eyes glaze over.

On the negative, he doesn't really seem to want to listen to me talk about derby.  That's a problem.  But he's tall, dark and somewhat handsome.  Not fat, not thin.

Texted him afterwards and got nothing, so I figure he wasn't interested, but he sent me his email address last night so I guess he is. I suggested a ball gag next time so I'd have a fighting chance at contributing to the conversation.

No money, though.  Not that I have any issue about paying my own way but going out with someone with no money could could get old really fast.  Say what you like about douchebag, but he was well paid in his self-employment, and very generous.


In related news, I think I find out what derby team I'm on tonight!  I can't believe I may actually be on a team...

White Russians?  These should be for entertainment purposes, not heavy drinking.  I wasn't even drunk last night and I feel wretched today.  Stupid Kahlua. Or maybe it was all the crap-ass food.

My SILs mom died.  Thank goodness, I was afraid she might linger for ages.  So sad, even more sad that my brother didn't tell me like he was supposed to.  Idiot.

Friday, January 6, 2012

At the risk of jinxing myself...

2012 is already shaping up better than I could have expected.  OK, I haven't quit eating chocolate (or cookies) but I have *tried* to cut down.  And I have been running. and I think maybe I didn;t swear twice when I thought I was going to.  Little baby steps.

Also - I finished a sweater.  And bought the zip.  (Let's not discuss sewing it in right now.)  I knit Calvin a new pair of socks.  I knit a legwarmer or two.  I acquired two new knitting machines I don't need (I think we'll sell one to fund the rest) along with some amazingly cool accessories.  I do love knitting machines so.

My dick of an ex has problems with details like who has the kid when.  Whe he thinks he knows what's going on he doesn't reach back into his memory and think: "hmm...  the last three time I thought I knew what was going on I fucked up, maybe I should confirm if what I think to be true actually is true."  Nope, not him.  He just assumes he's right.  He is a man, after all.

So he assumed we'd swapped weekends.  Permanently.  I've had the kids every other weekend for the past year.  It's a recuring appointment in my calendar.  I KNOW when I'm supposed to have them.  Anyway, when I picked up the kids and they told me daddy was supposed to I figured it was happeneing again.

To make a long story short, I don't care.  This, in fact, is awesome and if I had thought about it I might have asked for just this.  Now every single weekend I have a derby event, I DON'T have the kids, instead of just the opposite.  Cosmic karma in my favour for once.

Montreal Training Camp, here I come!! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 - you're my bitch.

Argh, it's been an age.  I've been busy on my other blog, Lifestyles of the Self-deluded and Dysfunctional.  That's over now.  In no uncertain terms.

So let's move on!

Let's talk about next year, 2012.  Oh, it's going to be so amazing!  So much better than this year.

Not that 2011 was all bad - it brought roller derby to my life.  Oh derby, how do I love you?  New friends, new muscles, numerous new injuries, a whole new relationship with my physiotherapist.  It taught me that balance in your life is important, that you are not always right (especially when drunk), and the value of a heartfelt apology.

I kissed a girl and I liked it but it didn't really do anything for me.  More's the pity.  Maybe I need to try harder, or be less drunk.

But 2011 broke my heart.  Not in the way the douchebag 2010 broke my heart (which wasn't really broken, just stunned).  Really broken.  And I'm really hoping it taught me - finally - to listen to that inner voice inside of me.  Not the one I *want* to hear; the one that really is speaking from a place of knowledge.  I want to be able to listen, to be able to accept when it tells me the 411.  Because it knows, it really does, you just have to LISTEN to it.  You have to want to listen if only because it will save you from looking like a pathetic idiot.

Philosophy 101 - the answer to your question lies in the question itself:
Why doesn't that man love me?
That man doesn't love me.
and no matter how much you think it isn't true, thinking it doesn't make it so.

Anyway, 2012 is going to be better.

Better derby.  Games, even.  I live in hope.  I also want to play with my friends again.  Not sure how that will happen but I miss them so.  Less crazy derby partying.  Nuff said about that.

I will date.  I will try.  I will message people and reply - unless they weigh 300 lbs or are ancient, in body or spirit.

I will spend less money on crap.  I will have less money so this will be a given but I gotta try at least.  Less lunches.  More knitting from stash.  Maybe go back to sewing and sell something?  And get paid for it?  Follow up,baby.  You're in charge.

Knock off those 15 lbs and do it fast before they get squatter's rights.  It don't look good on you.

Smile, don't snarl.

Patience.  Patience.  Patience.  Your life isn't even half over, there's lots of time for good things to happen.

Adios 2011, you mechant, mechant, mechant lou.

ps.  how could I forget?  I will get the damn attic done, I SWEAR on the derby rule book.
xo Clammy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Falling apart

Yesterday my lovely little monsters came back.  I miss them a lot now that they're gone a bit more, and they miss me.  Not much we can do about that, I guess.

Anyway, I set about making them dinner last night as I discussed homework with Calvin.  Slapped the pot on the stove for boiled eggs, cranked it up, fought over the journal and what constituted an acceptable entry (note: one partial sentence is not an acceptable entry).  I look up after a few minutes and notice the kitchen is FULL of smoke.  I had turned on the wrong hotplate and the wool pad that had been on that hotplate was transmogrified.

Mental note:  don't leave shit on the stove.  It is not a storage space.
Mental note 2: it's true, wool doesn't burn.  It just... carbonizes.  It only burned in the exact spot it was resting on the hotplate.  So dress your babies in wool and they won't be tragically disfigured in the event of accidental burning.

It stunk to high heaven.  I had instant flashbacks to the tragic stew incident of my childhood, where we went to the mall leaving the stew on the stove on high and came back to a house FULL of disgusting smoke.  I swear it took months to get the smell of burned flesh out of our coats.

Also - my smoke detector didn't go off.  OK, most of the smoke was in the kitchen and the detector is down the hall at the bottom of the stairs.  I'm wondering if this is a bad thing or not.  It doesn't go off every time I burn the toast, which is good.  If the house actually was on fire, the smoke would have to go past the detector to get upstairs, which would wake us up.  But maybe it would be better if we got a bit of advance warning before the whole bottom storey was filled with smoke?  Hmmm.... I think not having it go off with every cooking malfunction might win out.

I know this won't come as a stunning revelation to anyone with an ounce of sense, but my kids like it when I pay attention to them.  We've been drawing, playing games (Calvin is kick-ass at chess.  He castled!), playing Lego... and they are much much much happier, spend less time fighting with each other and don't feel the need to bug me every 20 second to play computer games (we're down to every 5 minutes, but it's an improvement).  Ah, parenting.  Why can't you be easier?

Homework for two kids?  Check
Calvin punching me in the arm?  Check
Jack throwing a shoe at my ankle?  Check.
25 Lego dudes unearthed from the bottom of the bin?  Check.
Whinging bouts averted?  Check.

Both kids are finally peacefully asleep in bed, the laundry is finishing up it's cycle and the horrible sound of grinding, gnashing metal bits erupts from the washer.  Again.  Once can be explained away, twice needs attention.  Stupid front loader - I don't have a clue.

On the plus side, I've managed not to to send emails that will get me into trouble.  Not like I haven't written a few but I have managed not to send them.  So far.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I think I can do anything.  I look at a project and say to myself "That's totally doable.  Even if I run across a snag or two, how bad can it be?"

Now, my house was built in 1914.  I am convinced that for the first 50 years of it's existence (and most houses of it's era) all the work done on it was done by the well meaning but somewhat inept homeowner.  That's just the way it was back then.  In some houses (mine included) this trend seems to have been carried on throughout it's entire lifetime.  Electricity wired with no logic, though fully functional and seemingly safe.  Plumbing that snakes its way around in bizarrely random patterns.  There is no project that doesn't encounter a snag, no matter how hard you try to anticipate the problems.

So when I volunteered to do my friend's sink plumbing, I thought "How bad can it be?"  I looked at it, tried to imagine all the possible problems, though, though and thought again.  ANd then jumped in.

Her hot tap had been dripping, then running, for a while.  First order of business was to put in a hot water shutoff.  She had got compression fittings rather than solder on ones, not my fav but I thought hey, why not branch out?  Besides the fact that I had a hell of a time getting them to not drip, it seemed relatively painless. (I suspect they are still leaking a tiny bit, but WAY less than before and hopefully snugging them up will fix that.  Hopefully.)

Then we tackled the cold side.  Now, I had previously noted that the old galvanized iron pipe had been replaced from the kitchen upstairs, in a fully accessible place to attach new copper to the basement.  Peachy, right?  What I failed to consider was that A.  removing the ancient sink fitting from the stupid galvanized pipe would be, to put it mildly, a fucking nightmare and B. that getting to old supply lines out would be just as bad.  So we run the new copper supply line from the basement, cut the copper from the old pipe and all of a sudden I realize we can't get the old pipe out and thus can't get the new stuff in. 


After some serious contemplation, liberal application of WD40 and swear words, and a halfhearted attempt with the pipe wrench (I loves me a pipe wrench.  Sexiest tool ever.) I abandoned hope of removing it that night. (Did I mention we started about 6 pm?  Ha.)  So... how to get the plumbing at least functional for the next week or so?  Paper plates and takeout is fine but you gotta do da business somewhere.

So we decided to bypass the sink for now since the old pipe was talking up all the room needed to run the new supply line and shutoff and just reconnect the cold water lines with new copper pipe.  Then when we figured out how to get the old pipe out we could just add in the sink supply line.  Sure.

Except that the lines in the basement wouldn't drain properly so we had a bitch of a time getting them to seal.  M had left for derby practice leaving poor C with me to help.  I am eternally grateful to her for her patience with my ineptness, and her excellent, thoughtful suggestions.

To make a long story short, we tried three (four?) separate times to get the stupid lines to seal - in various configurations, adding in little drains, over and over.  Every time we turned the water on there was a leak.  The last time, with our last set of connectors (don't ask how many we wasted) as I dried out the pipe with the torch I said let's just shove some more flux in here and see if that helps.  And it did.  It fucking did.

It sounds so anticlimactic as I write it, but it was 10:30, we had no more fittings and no prospect of getting the water back on if this didn't work.  We were elated.  Overjoyed. 

Now we just gotta figure out how to get the stupid galvanized pipe out.  The rest will be easy. 

Stop laughing.

(Oh, and it leaked in a different spot and I had to go back and fix it, sick child in tow.  Not fun.  There may have been a hissy-fit involved.)