I have been so bad about posting lately! In my defense, I am working on the new book, so everything is a bit hectic right now. Doing the edits with the tech editor, plotting the photo shoot, etc, etc.
Lorraine has come to visit me twice now. She came here for our bout against the Chicago Outfit (and got to see us STOMP them) and she came down for Christmas. It was absolutely wonderful. She gave Dill and I custom mugs that her sister made, which say Strange Brew Coffee and have our names on them . She and Neil also went shopping in “the attic” and gave Dill, Jane, Kerrie, and myself some truly wonderful toe curling fan girl squealing gifts.
I subjected everyone to my baking experiments since I now own THIS:
And pizza, and butternut squash pierogi. All from scratch. It was wonderful. I like that our Christmas is an odd mish mash of friends who are just like family coming around and hanging out, watching Twilight Zone and ranting about how sexist the movie Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is.
I let Lorraine go back home, against my better judgment. She kept saying things like, “job, boss, responsibility” and I finally relented. I only sent her with enough coffee to last a few weeks though, so she will have to come back for more. All part of my evil plans I assure you.
I’ll try to be better about posting. Lots and lots keeps happening, and in my head, I have a blog. But actually sitting down and getting time to write one out is proving challenging!
In mere hours. Because this person is coming to see me! Go read her blog about coming to see her first derby bout and how excited she is. Go on. I’ll wait right here.
Good! I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. Lorraine is the kind of friend, that when I posted on twitter that I needed to figure out how to get home from Chicago she came up with a Sensible Plan. She would drive about 5 or 6 hours to come get me, take me home with her to spend a fun filled weekend full of big white dogs and zombies in the yard, then I would fly home. Very Sensible plan really. Anyway, I have not seen her since House on the Rock, and with a friend like Lorraine, that is way too much time between visits.
If you want, follow both of us on twitter. It’s the best way to watch our adventures unfold this weekend. ME
Our house is primarily vegetarian. I’m the one who usually cooks, and I haven’t eaten meat in about 18 years so needless to say, we are not a meat and potatoes kind of family.
Dill however, is a meat eater. Once in a while he leaves and gets a hamburger, or chicken, or fish, and eats it. No big deal, except the animals tend to go a little crazy. Actual MEAT instead of dry food makes them start prowling around Dill and yowling or whining for whatever he has.
Thanksgiving, we hosted our annual “Misfit Thanksgiving” for ourselves and our friends who don’t have family nearby, or whose family goes out of town, or who simply need a beer break in between family functions. There was tofurkey, potato salad, fresh baked bread, ribs, wings, and chicken. We all had a wonderful time, ate too much, played lots of rock band, and Dill punched a cup cake. The next day we dashed off to work, locking the dogs in “their room”. When we came home, we discovered the dogs had managed to get into the trash (broken baby lock we had not yet replaced) and ate coffee grinds and CHICKEN BONES. Ugh.
Ernie, who has a very sensitive stomach, threw everything up about 2 in the morning in bed. Sassy, who has an iron stomach, had an “accident” about 230 in the morning on the fresh sheets. Then another in front of the bedroom door, another in the kitchen, and another, and another… At some point we realized that there was blood, and got worried. Not too worried, since, Sassy being Sassy, this has happened to her before. (When she ate the jewel case for the cd actually) We decided to see if it would stop with the next round. When 2 rounds later, there was still a LOT of blood, I started calling emergency vets.
The first emergency vet said that since she was still drinking, acting chipper (she was bouncing around, wanting to play, jumping on us, etc) to keep an eye on her and call if she started acting lethargic.
We should have listened to her.
We panicked, and called a different emergency vet. They freaked out, told me to bring her in RIGHT NOW, etc, bad doggy parent for waiting this long, etc.
An x-ray and 4 hours later, we were told that she was fine, and unless she started acting lethargic to bring her back in.
Now. Here is my complaint. I’m glad my dog was fine. Really glad. BUT, when I took Starkey to Purdue, after hours, emergency colic, etc, he had an iv, fluids, 4 days of board, 24 hour care, feed, a companion animal, blood work, x-rays, essentially everything he could need to ensure his health and happiness from one of the top animal hospitals in the country.
The cost of ALL of that and a 4 day stay at Purdue was cheaper than 4 HOURS at the emergency vet. MUCH cheaper actually.
So lesson learned. Next time Sassy eats something bad, I’m just going to feed her to the horse.
Okay look. I know I was supposed to post this forever ago, when all of a sudden, my book deadline appeared! So I had to turn it in. Which was madness. Not to mention work, derby, etc, etc.
So here is a pic heavy post of bee keeping. Because of bee keeping day, Kerrie and Dill want to put bees in my backyard. Jane and I are insisting that if they get bees, we get chickens and put them in Jane’s backyard.
Featured in the pics, Jouni, Kerrie, Dill, myself, Jane Ire, and of course, The Fabulous Lorraine. (Featuring guest appearances from Cabal and Lola)
Kerrie and Dill both handled bees with their bare hands AND let the bees eat off their fingers. It was disturbing.
Then we took our frame of honey back and ATE ALL OF IT! (Okay, we ate some. We put the rest in jars)
We made dinner. It was a yummy mexican food feast!
I’ll post videos of bee adventures… sometime. They’re funny. Lots of people doing bee things, with me manning the camera going, “Oh my GODDDD!!! EEEP! BEEE! AH!”
We had Very Big Plans for day three of our adventure! We were going to go skate with the Madison Roller Girls! Not only did they invite Jane and I to scrimmage with the Dairyland Dolls as they prepped for Nationals, they also invited us to participate in their league practice! We stole Lorraine from her boss, and took her with us to derby day! She watched as we practiced for hours and hours! It was SUCH a great practice too! The Mad Rollin’ Dolls have this great energy that you can just feel when you walk in! They were amazing to skate with, and really, really nice. I have a derby crush on them now.
After the official practice, we stayed for the open skate with Lorraine! She did great! This girl could turn on her skates, and every time she started to fall, she crouched and got low instead! She is going to be a demon when she gets her skills up!
The very awesome Allie Gator giving Lorraine some pointers.
I seriously hope that I get to skate with these girls again sometime. I felt like I not only learned a lot, but it was a great confidence boost to skate with another league and do pretty well! It was very “freeing” to not be stressed about a roster and just have FUN! Ironically, I felt like I was skating better since I wasn’t stressed about a coach watching and judging me!
After that, we went out with Allie for FOOD!!!! Then it was back to Neil’s who was by now on a plane to see the Dresden Dolls, but graciously didn’t mind a bunch of people taking over his house!
We hung out with Dan Guy, Jounie, Kitty, Lorraine, and the dogs, Lola and Cabal and watched The Walking Dead!!!!!
During that, we got an email, with a video, from our Tip Gnome at the coffee shop. Alarmed, we played it to see what the heck was going on with our employees!
I started off Saturday waking up early, followed by a phone call about ten minutes later from Lorraine. A very plaintive, sleepy voice was asking me, “chai”??? Having brought some of my wonderful chai from Strange Brew and some soy milk, I was fully prepared to be everyone’s personal chai monkey for the weekend! I had a handy dandy frother, so I steamed up a couple mugs of chai and ran it up to Lorraine’s room! We had some hang out time, then she had to WORK.
While she worked wrangling Neil’s amazing LONG autograph line, we met up with Daisy and ran around the house!
Daisy on the Wolf
Once Lorraine had some down time, we were able to kidnap her and get her in some skates!
Lorraine, being INCREDIBLY clever, decided to get the whole falling thing over with right away. Smart woman.
Skating was brief, as Lorraine had to work. After skating and a bit of rushing around and car juggling, we swiped her boss and went out for a quick dinner, then Lorraine and Neil were off for the costume contest!
It was AMAZING. I would not have wanted to be the judge. The costumes were so incredible, and detailed, and some of them were very, very clever. Statue of Liberty on stilts! So glad she won a ride on the carousel, she totally deserved it! I didn’t get any good costume contest pics, but there are lots and lots of them out there!
We ended up back in the carousel room with a huge crowd of people, screaming and cheering for those that got to ride! Everyone looked so happy! The girl who did the Statue of Liberty costume was jumping up and down and dancing, I just wanted to hug her! She was the cutest thing in the world!!!
Neil was getting ready for his ride, and Lorraine slid up to me and said, “Hand someone your stuff”. I looked at her, looked at my friends, and just started saying, “No, no. I can’t go if you guys can’t go”. After a couple thwaps on my head, some light shoves, and the removal of my hat and purse, Dill, Kerrie, and Jane, shoved me over towards Lorraine. Next thing I knew I was ON THE CAROUSEL!!!!!
It was surreal, and magic, and the best thing in the entire world!
Once you spot Neil in this video, it’s Lorraine, then me with the blond and purple hair and the biggest grin ever!
A pic from the House on the Rock people
After the ride Neil was trying to walk around the house. That. Was. Madness. We were in our little group, and then we’d turn around and there would be 50 people behind us! For the most part everyone was really, really cool. And of COURSE Neil is just the best person to his fans ever! We would get him to a spot where he wouldn’t be blocking everything and every one, and he would take 15 or 30 minutes to take pictures with people. Then we would move on, get another huge line behind us and do it all over again.
Watching him, he really takes the time to connect with everyone, and everyone who met him was just so happy and excited and beautiful.
We got to see so much more of the house, and get a bit of a guided tour from Neil. Kerrie wanted to go see the top of the whale and squid, so we did that as well.
Blurry Squid Pic
I found this crowd shot on the American Gods Flicker page and I’m AWFUL because I forgot to mark down who it belongs to! Sorry random awesome person who took great pictures!
Jane and Kerrie with Neil
Myself and Lorraine in hats. Because, um, yea. Hats!
A pic of me getting ready to ride the carousel!
Alright. Another post for Sunday’s adventures! It will be roller derby and crunch cone heavy!!!
I find myself again in a situation where I must try and sum up something which can NOT be summed up for a blog entry! The House on the Rock American Gods weekend was so incredible, there just aren’t words to describe all of it! Then of course, it was followed by a practice with the Madison Derby Girls, then a few days at Neil’s with Lorraine and beekeeping… much too much for one blog entry I think!
Instead I give you, Day 1:
Friday morning, we got up at 2am. The plan was get coffee at the shop, get on the road and go to Wisconsin. Google Maps told us we must be on the road by 4am at the latest if we wanted to be at the House by 1pm. Google Maps told vicious, vicious lies. Either that or our rented minivan traveled through time. Because a very sleepy myself, Dill Her0, Kerrie, and Jane Ire found ourselves at House on the Rock around 10am!
Luckily we managed to sweet talk the people at the resort into letting us check in early. We unpacked, claimed beds, and ran to the HOTR to register! With that out of the way, we proceeded to get some essentials for our stay. Liquor and cheese.
We ran about town, then finally heard from Lorraine that her group of herself, Neil, Kitty, Jounie, and Dan Guy had made it to their rooms. We joined up with them, then headed back to the house for a guided tour.
Now keep in mind, I googled the heck out of House on the Rock! I looked at pictures! Video! Read reviews!
Didn’t matter. The place blew my socks off! I was just in shock and their were choruses from us of “No WAY!” “AWESOME!” “WOW”! It was an amazing place. Neil said one of the best parts was seeing the reaction of people who had never seen it before.
After that it was dinner with everyone, then Neil went back to go sign lots and lots of autographs until the wee hours of the morning. The next day was to begin my job as chai monkey/coat and purse girl and the rest of our groups job as GNOME security. Monster Mouth in the Carousel room
Lorraine fleeing the Infinity room with Kitty
Us going into the carousel room. We squealed like little children. It was LOUD and bright and amazing!
House on the Rock made this wolf specifically because Neil put it into the book American Gods. It was the only animal that he made up! Now it’s there for people to sit on and get photos, since you can not ride the actual carousel. (More on that in the next post)
Oh and a quick edit here! I got a book from Neil for his All Hallows Read project! The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson!
We have an awesome speed skater on our team. Her mom, who is also an awesome speed skater, offered to come in and show us “a few things”.
What she essentially did, was come in and break down the perfect skating stride for us, turns, backwards skating, jumping etc. Things that I have been doing for six years, and doing WRONG. I can backwards skate, but always had trouble crossing over. She corrected my stance, and boom! Whizzing around the track like I’d been doing it for years! Same thing with my stride. I’m one of the faster blockers on the team, but I FEEL like I should be faster. She broke down a stride for us, and I realized how much energy I wasted doing it incorrectly. I started pushing more effectively, and I could feel all the POWER in my legs that I don’t feel normally. (I also found some new muscles to be sore)
Basic footwork and maneuverability was also a big part of the night. At the end, I felt like it was one of the most beneficial practices that I could have gone to. I wish I wish I wish I had done this six years ago!
Does your league bring in guest coaches to break down basics for you? I love our coach for her ideas on strategy, plays, pushing us hard, etc, but it was nice to have a guest coach come in and show us some basic skating! I have a lot of new things to work on now, that I can incorporate into our normal practice times!
Saturday Naptown Roller Girls faced off against the Maine Port Authority Roller Girls!
For those of you that were there, you know it was an awesome bout. For those of you that weren’t… work on that. Our bouts are awesome! You should go.
Attendance seemed a little low, maybe around 2,500 people or a little more. Not bad though considering we didn’t have a lot of promotion time for this one!
I had one person bit of FAIL in the bout. Came out of penalty, hit a wall of Maine skaters, blocker pushed her foot back, wheels tangled, she went down… and I got called out. It seriously looked like I back blocked her. Good call on the refs part. It just sucked for me because I didn’t! We just tripped up! So right back in penalty I went. *sigh*
Maine did a really weird intro that I didn’t get. They were all on phones! Anyone else out there understand it? No one I talked to got it, and it’s really bugging me!
After party was wonderful as always! I wore scary boots with scary heels, and did not fall down. This may be, in part, due to Crasher giving me a seat. But it counts as not falling as far as I’m concerned!
Photo by Marc Lebryk
Me whipping Slammy. Photo by Tom Klubens
Me being extremely unlady like.
Oh. And many thanks to my friend Lorraine! I messaged her at some point in the party, with something along the lines of, “are we good enough friends for me to drunk text you?” then proceeded to message her for several hours. Kept me from posting inappropriate things to twitter. Me drunk with a smart phone is a dangerous combination.