Happy Endings

 Posted by at 1:07 pm  2 Responses »
Jun 012011

Still on my Bucket List: Take a photo in front of this wall.


It’s almost time for me to go. Bellingham is running out of time and I am running out on Bellingham. My darling husband will be pursuing a career in marine engineering which will relocate us near Vallejo, California. I came here from the bay area, so when he told me he was accepted to Cal Maritime I was stoked. California is my home. I’m not ruling out the possibility of returning to this community later in life but I can tell you for certain that right now, right here is not my place to be.


I’m starting to tally my “lasts” and check things off the “Bellingham Bucket List”. I just had my last scrimmage. I finally went camping on Orcas Island. We are driving away 12 days from now, which gives me little anxiety attacks when I think of things like my last bout with my team or the last time I go bowling downtown. When my then-boyfriend and I rented a truck and moved into this apartment three years ago we hesitated signing a 12 month lease. We are vagabonds (a former room mate referred to me as the “consummate vagabond” because I never unpacked and slept in my sleeping bag for months before buying a comforter). Could we commit to one full year? We had to. So we did. Then we renewed it. Then we got engaged. Then I started playing roller derby. We renewed the lease again. We got married. Another renewal… and now, at long last, the departure.

"Sorry guys..." photo by David Willoughby

My team knew I would split before the championship bout, I go to Alaska and kill fish for a living. This time I won’t come back though. Right now I have one game left with the Cog Blockers and one more with Blunt Force Trauma. Then it’s “Thanks Roller Betties, I’m taking everything I learned and maybe I’ll skate against you one day”. It is my intention to go play with B.A.D. girls. I really look forward to skating with new ladies, being watched with fresh eyes and getting some new feedback. I’ve become comfortable here and I don’t think I’m trying as hard as I could. Actually, I know I’m not. Time to kick the tires and light the fire!

I’ve been spending quality time with skaters who I’ve always really liked, but never made dates with. When Mr. Fever and I met we were both full time fishermen and went 2-4 months apart followed by 3 weeks-2 months together – year round. We have yet to graduate from that phase where every moment together is crucial, and as a result, I don’t spend a lot of time with other people. However now that I’m moving I find myself getting tattooed with my co-captain and going for long walks in the park with one of my fiercest competitors. And I’m not done! I’m trying to make arrangements with girls who I am deeply happy to have met, even though we only share time in committee meetings. Geez, what’s wrong with me?

For my 25th birthday I put on a tiara and hitched across Maine. As you do. Photo by drunk truck driver.

I am moving away from a geographical place where some significant experiences took place. Domestication (I own furniture!), roller derby (I am passionate!), marriage (I have unquestionably found my life-mate!) and the realization of the imminent future (oh shit, I need to save money?!). Often I say “I’m like a real person”. What I mean is, I’m acting like an adult woman who owns her own couch, cooks out of Martha Stewart Daily Living, and pays taxes! This time five years ago I was living in the woods and hitch-hiking about for supplies. Literally. I’ve come a long way (or digressed – that is totally up for discussion). This time, when we move we are looking at the future and not just a place to sleep for a little bit.

Bellingham, I will cherish these last 12 days and I promise to forget all the bad things I ever said about you. I know you won’t miss me, but I hope from time to time you see or hear something that makes you think of Cat Scrap Fever. Even if it’s just that damn song on KISM.

Mar 122011

Last year’s Wild West Showdown was my first a lot of things. I’d only been on my league for 5 months and our home season hadn’t started yet. Actually, not only had I never played a bout, I hadn’t even seen one. So it was Rocky Mountain vs. Bellingham Roller Betties that popped my derby-watching cherry. I can’t say it wasn’t pretty because there were some truly inspiring moves, but it was a major kill. You know… Rocky Mountain kind of, um, rocks, but Bellingham is my team. Despite all the top shelf derby going on in the main pavilion, I spent most of my time on the challenge bout track. I had never been in a bout or skated with ladies outside my own league, so I was pretty stoked by all the encouragement and support demonstrated by perfect strangers. My first day, I believe I had already managed to get into 5 scrimmages when my coach gently reminded me that watching great derby would benefit me, as well.

Blunt Force Trauma

Anyway. Here I am, in Bremerton one year later, a little less fresh and rostered on the travel team (Bellingham Roller Betties’ Blunt Force Trauma). We have some big goals. It mostly involves a lot of winning. So Friday night we kicked off the weekend with a game against Santa Cruz. First bout of the wild west weekend! I lived in Santa Cruz for several years before moving to Washington. It was difficult for me not to ask things like “What’s your real name? Did you work at The Bagelry? You look familiar from somewhere..”, but the pivot line is not really the place to figure out if your opponent dated your ex-girlfriend or if her crack head boyfriend stole your bike. So I left all that alone. It was a great game and I’m pleased to report we won (by a single point). I really can’t give an awesome account of what happened. Skating, talking on the bench and riding the emotional roller coaster of a close game does not lend itself to accurate, unbiased reporting. Hopefully experience will give me greater track vision in the future, and if not I can settle for watching the bout footage. Santa Cruz got what seemed like the majority of lead jammer status, but we made up for it with grand slams aplenty and concise pack work. We are a physical and defensive team, but could have widened the point spread with some better offense. You know, “help your jammer!!!”. Good times.

Saturday we got to skate against Sacred City Roller Girls from Sacramento, currently ranked #8 in the western region. Those girls are tight, and don’t do anything by accident!  I didn’t skate much in that game. I’m the girl who gets pulled when there are skaters in the box and we seldom started a jam with a full pack. Penalties, penalties, penalties! In probably one of the most physical games we have played, we came within 20 points of them in the last 10 minutes but unraveled from there. We lost the game, but I think it was noted that Bellingham is a worthy adversary. Next time, Sacto, next time!

Overall I can say I’m leaving WWS just as inspired and eager as I did last year. The more I play the more I see what I need to improve on, and the more I watch the more my head is filled with fancy footwork and smart plays. I’m proud of my team this weekend and I look forward to the rigorous practices we have in our future. Our next big bad Blunt Force adventure will be the Dust Devil in Tuscon come April. Did I mention we plan on doing a lot of winning? I know some familiar teams are on the slate for that tournament, and many teams from outside our region. Hooray for Blunt Force Trauma! We are finally an actual travel team and we are going places!