Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIY Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree

I love magazines, holidays, recycling and saving money. So I combined all of those and a couple separate projects into a Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree.

Step One: Make your own bows out of old magazines. Last year I made them for every wrapped gift I gave. Here's how:

Step Two: Make tiny Christmas trees out of old magazines. Here's how: The "tree" below is made from two 60-page magazines.

Step Three: Use a paperclip to put the bow on top of the tree.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, another holiday or no holiday at all, these trees are adorable! If you're craftier and more patient than I am, check out Martha Stewart's directions:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Look What I Can Do: Hem Jeans!

Once upon a time, my mommy gifted me a beautiful pair of Rock & Republic jeans.

Actually, once upon a time was last Thursday. But these are some fairytale jeans, so I wanted to start with "once upon a time." They didn't fit her right, so I tried them on--and fell in love. The only problem: designer jeans have about a 33" or 34" inseam. My legs are only about 29". The overage was absurd.

The original plan was to take them to a real tailor, but I remembered that I'm often frustrated at the cost of some and not usually that thrilled with the result. So instead, I kind of figured they'd go into my sewing to-do pile and get done six months or so from now.

But when I put them on to show off to my hubby and complain about the length, he was super-impressed. I don't know about your husbands, but for mine to have any reaction to my jeans at all is kind of rare. It's not that he isn't wonderful--his wife's jeans just aren't that important to him.

Well, if I like them and the hubby likes them, I'd need to get moving a little faster. I started by tearing through all my other little sewing projects first as a warm-up because it'd been a few months since I'd so much as turned on my sewing machine. Then I got tired and abandoned the one thing I actually wanted to get done for a few days.

Finally, I got to work with some straight pins, an iron and my little fold-up ironing board.

Confession: I measure in sewing about as well as I do in cooking--that is, as little as I can get by with. This will undoubtedly make many people cringe or stop reading. Sorry.

Check out these adorable butt-pockets. The back pockets are often a selling point for me when it comes to jeans. Whoever bought these originally paid $250, according to the tag that was still attached. The price tag added to the pressure and anxiety in tailoring these, but most of my sewing experiments have gone well so far.

After measuring a couple times and having Mr. CookingOnSkates check them for me, I cut off four inches. Commence sweating and nervousness.

The little tag on the top of the back was nearly disconnected, so I sewed that back on. Easy enough. The thin, comfy, stretchy fabric was a little difficult to fold and whatnot, but pretty easy for my old machine to go through.

The bottom is the original hem that I cut off. The top is mine. It's clearly not a professional job, but I'm pleased with the result.

Comparisons of outsides. While I like the original hem, the bottoms of the pant legs were more destructed than I prefer, so it worked out pretty well to be able to cut them off.

They're now as long as they can be without ever touching the ground.

And the butt pockets are officially adorable!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Thanksgiving Accomplishment? Purple Nails.

Hey there! Guess what I didn't do over Thanksgiving. Cook. Not one ... single ... thing.

Mr. CookingOnSkates made a turkey and a cheesecake to take to his parents' house for Thanksgiving. I ate there, at a friend's house and nibble at my parents' house. And yet I didn't make anything.

Don't judge. Don't hate. The last two Thanksgivings, I cooked for 20+ people at my house. Okay, I delegated the turkeys (ew!) but that's a lot of mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, homemade rolls, wild rice and mushroom pilaf, canned corn cooked in the microwave and other little tasks throughout the day. My feet hurt. My knees hurt--especially in 2010, three months after ACL surgery.

Fortunately, my husband is amazing and did all of the post-dinner tear-down and clean-up.

This year, I decided I'd see if someone else wanted to host. And cook. And clean and all of those other things. I offered to make something to contribute, but didn't protest when the requests were for things my hubby would make instead of me. When asked if I'd help peel potatoes on Thanksgiving Day, I mumbled a protest about being morally opposed to peeling potatoes and continued to lie on the couch.

Bad, I know. But why peel a potato? Seriously, they're delicious with their skins on. And maybe I hate peeling potatoes (and apples) but still.

I'm kind of a bad person for the latter, so I had to confess. But I'm still in shock over having not cooked anything for a major holiday. The apocalypse may be near.

So what do I have to share with you this fine Monday morning? Not much. Just that I managed to get a decent purple nail polish. Lame, I know.

But I layered two polishes to get it:
-The bottom purple is so dark it looks black by itself.
-The top purple is to sheer on its own and doesn't last long.

Together, they're holding up about as well as nail polish ever does for me. And look how pretty!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vegetarian Restaurant Find: Yard House

Apparently Yard House added gardein vegetarian items to its menu in summer 2010. But I haven't been there since seeing The Dark Night in theaters. So I guess that's been more than three years now? Wow...

Tuesday night I went there with the hubby and friends.

There were so many vegetarian options, I almost died of shock and glee. Usually I have to figure out what I can call a meal at a restaurant (often a side salad and french fries) but after much indecision, I settled on this:

marsala sautéed crimini mushrooms, carmelized onions, baby spinach

Sub truffle fries for regular fries and add a Boulevard Nutcracker Ale on tap, and you've got the happiest vegetarian in Kansas City right here.

My dining buddies laughed at me for taking photos of this, but they didn't understand. A meat-eater can get a delicious (to them) burger with a ton of topping options pretty much anywhere. This may be the best restaurant burger I've had in the 3+ years I've been vegetarian.

Now I just need my financial situation to pretty up so I can go back really soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

No post today, sorry. Go enjoy the day with family and/or friends!

Much love,
Cooking on Skates

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last Weekend's Food

During the week, I try my hardest to eat as healthfully as possible. This is most likely to fail right after derby practice when I'm starving. So you can imagine how completely this could fail on the way home from a weekend-long derby bootcamp.

For the record, these are not my tacos stashed on the dash of my car, but my potato soft tacos are off-camera.

My very oldest friend (as in the person who has been my friend longest) ordered these cupcakes from a local bakery. The link doesn't do the Royal Pain purple justice, but the cupcakes were delicious and an incredibly thoughtful gift. My teammates and husband helped me devour them.

Now I'm going to try to avoid carbs for a few days before I throw all best food intentions out the window for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beat Me Halfway

Thanks to my Cowtown Butcher derby brother, Thermal Detonator, for this guest post! I couldn't have said it better myself.

When I first started derby I had a fire burning in my soul: a desire to be one of the tops, best in the world. I was excited when I figured out how to do crossovers with out tripping myself, excited to lose two pant sizes. I felt great and life was about being the best I can be. But then I hit the point where I've pushed my nose to the grindstone too long. My passion seemed to be fading into dark embers. My love for the sport was still strong, but it just didn't bring me the joy that it once did. The feeling of self-worth was gone.

After this past weekend I understand why.

When I started, everything was new and I could see my self growing. Now I can't see the growth. It happens with every practice, every fall, every hit, every miss; I'm getting better but I just can't see it. At least not until I went to Beat Me Halfway.

I had the pleasure of playing three scrimmages with other skaters I didn't know on my own skill level. This was an important development in my skill set. At home, I have my set position on the team. I'm the slowest skater and what I'm supposed to do is so drilled into my head that I hardly have to think when I'm scrimmaging.

This was something new. It was a level playing field. Folks didn't expect me to stay in one spot. After taking a class on Default Strategy, I had a clear understanding of my job on the team no matter where I was playing. The whistle blew and we were off—a bunch of skaters ready to test out new skills and see how they do against each other.

I left some of the jams thinking to myself, "Damn it, I screwed up big." Once when I was on the black team of a scrimmage, we had a great four-person wall. I looked behind me and saw a jammer star and the face of one of my teammates. I opened a door, letting him pass effortlessly and closing it back tight, only to wonder how in the world a white shirt team member made it through the wall. Then I read the number and name on his back and knew I was how. I let a person who normally is my teammate through. Well, then I had to right my wrong and chase after him.

I was even forced to jam this weekend in a class. I didn't want to and I was the last one to do it in the class because, well, I know how slow I am. I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of strangers. I took off the jammer line behind the speed of the opposing jammer... big surprise, I knew this was going to happen. But then—bam!—she hit a wall of my skaters. A magic door opened for me. I skated as hard as I could before the door closed. I passed most of the opposing blockers and—boom!—one of them ahead of me coming straight for me. In a muscle-memory reflex, I turned my skate like I do in cone drills (the same ones that been hammered in my head time and time again, creating the rut that killed my passion). I dodged her, heard the whistle blow, and the ref telling me I was lead jammer. I couldn't believe it. My legs somehow picked up speed and I skated as hard as I could. What a magical feeling.

But I left all of the scrimmages thinking, "Damn, I've learned a lot in the past seven months of derby training and year and a half of just skating."

I also had a skater who I respect for her amazing skill come to me after each one of my scrimmages and tell me what a great job I did. I feel like next season I'm not going to be the same skater I was this year. I'm going to be something feared across the country.

So in short, if you're feeling burned out on derby, don't give up. Look for a chance to learn from someone new, and to play with a group on your skill level. You might be shocked to see how much you've learned.

Beat Me Halfway was the perfect chance for me to do that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Too Sore to Write

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

I spent my weekend at Missouri Co-Ed Roller Derby's Beat Me Halfway co-ed derby bootcamp.

Good Things:
-Met some great people from leagues around the midwest.
-Saw some incredible skaters in action.
-Am infinitely more comfortable on my toe stops.
-Upgraded toe stops (to Gumballs) and replaced all my worn-out pads (with new 187s).
-Got any cockiness slammed out of me with the reminder that I have so much to learn.
-Now thinking about jamming as learning to improve starts and stops.

Bad Things:
-A fellow Royal Pain broke her leg and is having surgery today. Keep Do'er Dye in your thoughts and/or prayers today—whatever your thing is.
-I have bruises on my forearm, upper arms, left outer thigh, both inner thighs, at least one butt cheek, my right shin and possibly the tops of my feet.
-It was 1am before I got home, and I still needed to shower derby sweat off of me.

Will I do it again? Abso-freakin-lutely!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food for Workout Fuel: How much?

Since starting derby, my focus has been on getting my body in shape and spending as much time as possible on skates in order to get comfortable on eight wheels. At the same time, I can't figure out how much I should eat or why I'm so hungry all the darn time. Then I thought about it.

Saturday: Yoga, one hour. Open skate, two hours.
Sunday: League practice, three hours.
Monday: League practice, two hours.
Tuesday: Open skate, two hours.
Wednesday: League practice, two hours.

Total: Approximately 11 hours.

On Thursdays and Fridays,  I usually don't work out, but I do try to walk my dog and get some active housework done. My intent is always to get in more off-skate workouts... That's still not happening.

I want to give my body enough fuel to run at its best for these workout sessions. I do know that I feel best when I:

-Eat minimal sugar and white flour.
-Eat a substantial breakfast and lunch.
-Limit caffeine to my morning latte.
-Only eat out once or twice a week.
-Drink lots of water and decaf tea.
-Focus on whole fruits and veggies.
-Increase protein intake.
-Eat one vegan meal per day.

So why is it so difficult to figure out how much I need to eat? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

3C: Curry Cauliflower and Chickpeas

This recipe is healthy, hearty and happy. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially:
-Anyone following a South Beach diet
-People who love curry
-Athletes in search of complex carbs and high protein

When I was strictly adhering to a South Beach diet a while back, I found a recipe for a black bean and chickpea curry that I served over chopped, microwaved cauliflower. I couldn't remember the exact recipe and didn't want to search for it, so I combined the two into a similar new dish.

This is a pre-derby powerhouse, people.

Chop a small onion and a head of cauliflower. Soften in olive oil. (You could use butter, but I wanted to make something vegan.)

Drain a can of plain black beans and a can of chickpeas (also sold as garbanzo beans). I don't rinse, but you can. Also open up a can of diced plain tomatoes. Dump these all into the pot.

Stir and add curry to your liking. This could be seasoned other ways, but I love my Penzey's Majarajah Curry blend.

Cook this over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is softened. I made this on a late-evening cooking spree when I wasn't even hungry, so I portioned it out into three huge meals to eat later.

The other meals on the right—also made during this cooking spree—are basically this easy tofu dinner with some extra veggies and no soy sauce.

Curry Cauliflower and Chickpeas
(serves 3-4)

1 can black beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
Curry powder to taste
Olive oil

1. Soften onion and cauliflower in a pan over medium heat.
2. Add the black beans, garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes. Season with curry powder to taste.
3. Cook uncovered over medium heat until cauliflower is softened, about 20 minutes.
4. Serve over rice if desired.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Please welcome and thank Jackie Ow, co-captain of The Royal Pains, for today's delightful guest post!

If you have never anxiously waited to find out your fate, you are lucky. I think most people have experienced the anticipation to hear life-changing news at some point in their life. For some, it is waiting to hear about a new job opportunity, for others it is waiting to find out what grade they earned in a course, while others can remember a time they awaited test results from a doctor—but for derby girls, the most anxiety-provoking experience can be waiting to find out what team will be your new home!

Kansas City's Dead Girl Derby roller derby league recently held their draft selection of Newly Dead skaters. The Royal Pains were privileged enough to welcome Ms. Kelly Von Lunen—aka Mel Breakdown—to our team. All of the Newly Dead skaters put in great effort and showed immense determination, and Mel was no exception. Her determination, drive, fun-loving spirit and sweet heart made her an all-around great pick for The Royal Pains, and we are very excited for our upcoming season.

Let me give you a little background on how the draft selection works for our league. We have four home teams within our league. Each team tries to roster 17 skaters, with a maximum allowed of 20 skaters per team. At the beginning of our draft selection, we had one team with only 6 remaining players from the prior season, another with 10, and yet a third team with only 11 returning skaters from the prior season. The Lovely Lethals were lucky enough to have 14 returning skaters from their prior championship season. Needless to say, our league was in need of a lot of Newly Dead skaters this season. At our recruitment night, we had a turnout of more than 50 girls. Our league has a strict attendance policy and minimum skills testing requirements that help us to determine which skaters will be drafted onto a team. At the end of several weeks of training, there were 31 Newly Dead skaters remaining that had met both their attendance and skills requirements. Each team was then allowed to select the players they believed would be the best match for what their team needed.

Imagine you are coming to practice twice a week, two hours at a time, skating your heart out, giving everything you have and leaving it all on the rink, but at the end of the day, you don't really belong anywhere. It is excruciating to some and mind-numbing to others. You just really want to belong. You want to know what league members are going to become your teammates. You want to know what skills your new team is going to need from you. And most importantly, you want to know what color will instantly become your new favorite. I remember just a few months ago having all of those emotions. I just wanted to know who I was going to have the privilege of skating with and who I would be against. I just wanted to be on a team. At the time, I didn't care what team, just a team to call my own.

What a difference nine months makes!!! I am now not only in love with the color purple, but I am a co-captain for The Royal Pains and was able to help select the players that would be joining the Purple Power! As anxiety-provoking as it was to be a new recruit and not have a home, it was equally nerve-racking to know the fate of my team was in my hands. I had charts and graphs and notes and stats and spreadsheets, oh my! It quickly consumed my free time, and my not-so-free time. I didn't want to let my team down. I wanted to make sure we would continue to be a team that could count on each other no matter what. I felt a lot of pressure to make good selections for my team. In the end, I think our coaches and captains made some amazing choices and I'm loving our new teammates. There were girls we weren't able to choose and are sad about that, but look forward to skating with them as well.

So, whether you are the drafter or the draftee, drafting season is a tense time in the derby world. I am so glad it is over and so glad to have nine more girls to call my sisters and many more to call my extended derby family!

P.S. If you want me to sing your praises like I did for Mel, invite me to be a guest blogger for you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Philanthrophy: Good Girls at Heart

You may have already figured this out, but most derby girls just want you to think we're scary and naughty. We're really good girls (and guys) at heart. Whether for-profit or non-profit, most leagues (including Dead Girl Derby) do a lot of good deeds and raise money for charity.

Recently, my league skated in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in Kansas City.

Last weekend, our football game benefitted KidsTLC in Olathe, Kansas.

In January, we will be participating in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Kansas.

So yes, we do hit each other for fun. But we also help those less fortunate!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies Travel to a Football Game

I needed to make snacks for Dead Girl Derby's bake sale over the weekend. Someone remembered that I'd made vegan pumpkin cookie bars last year, and I was so flattered that I decided to make them again.

They're vegan pumpkin cookies, subbing wheat flour for half of the total flour. Then press the dough down into a large rimmed cookie sheet. The first time, I did this because I was either lazy or in a hurry. But they really worked out well for portioning out for a bake sale.

Here are 12 large cookie bars.

Labelled sandwich baggies.

Perfectly sized! These are actually quite large, but I think a nice size for selling.

The bake sale was part of a charity football game. I like this photo because it looks like maybe I don't totally suck at football when in reality, I do.

The event was a blast, and it was a great Saturday afternoon with a huge part of the Dead Girl Derby family.

Photos courtesy Steve Yates, Kansas City Star. See more here:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Oh, "Kelly's too busy obsessing about derby and stuff to give us any new recipes. She doesn't love us anymore. Royal Pain? More like a Royal Pain in the Rear!"

Yeah, I heard you thinking this. And yeah, maybe you're mostly right. But I do have a new recipe for you today! Take that!

A fellow Dead Girl made an incredible butternut squash soup for a dinner party a couple months ago. More recently, I picked up a butternut squash on a whim. They're in season, delicious and nutritious. All-around win.

Instead of doing the smart thing and asking for the recipe of the soup I knew I liked, I Googled and found this one:

Do you know how to peel and seed a butternut squash? I didn't, either. Turns out it's simple. Here's a nifty little tutorial:

After I put butter in my pot, I realized this recipe would be vegan with olive oil in place of butter. So that's an option if that sort of thing floats your boat. I love butter.

I dropped the nutmeg from the original recipe because I didn't have any. And I always use veggie stock in place of chicken stock. Finally, because all stock is salty, I didn't add extra. So those are really the only deviations from the original recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup
(serves 4-6)

1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.
2. Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. Add squash and stock to pot.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot.
5. Stir and season with pepper to taste.
6. Serve.

On an unrelated note, happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet My Derby Sisters

Stressed Kelly eats stuffed-crust veggie pizza. Don't judge her too harshly. That is why I'm still talking about derby instead of blogging some delicious butternut squash soup for you.

But yes, I did make delicious butternut squash soup that I'll share as soon as I have a little downtime to write it up and gather the photos that I took.

Allow me to introduce part of my derby family: my fellow 2012 Royal Pains. Eleven of us were on hand for the draft party. Note the purple background for the "photo booth."

The next day, I celebrated by wearing purple to work. My nails are also purple, but very dark and not visible with this crappy camera-phone-and-mirror photo.

Yesterday evening we stopped by to visit Edith Myfist, who is recovering from leg surgery. We love her and wish her a speedy recovery! Some refs, Shotgun Sheilas and Deadly Sirens were sweet enough to stop by as well and just aren't in the photo.

I went to my first practice as an official Dead Girl in fishnets (breaking my own rule and risking rink rash), purple undies, a star-covered shirt and purple socks covered in mustaches. It's good to finally be able to call myself a derby girl without any caveats.

Food and recipes to be posted soon, I promise!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm a Royal Pain!

Okay, yeah, you knew I was a "royal pain." But now I'm really a Royal Pain!

And if you haven't seen it yet, KC Derby Digest interviewed me and published the story on Monday. I'm so freakin' honored right now!

Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive of this crazy adventure.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prozac or Ice Pack?

I must be crazy...Only a crazy person would do this. Work full-time, go to school full-time, raise a teenager and a pre-teenager, maintain a healthy marriage... and then add roller derby.

My oldest daughter has debilitating ADHD, bordering on Asperger's syndrome. My youngest daughter is 10 with the brain of a 20-year-old (and this is according to her test scores). The two of them do not get along well most of the time. I have enough homework to choke a horse. The mountain of laundry is contemplating eating me, I think. My husband and I are barely able to keep up with our month-to-month necessities. Things are tough. And there is never enough time.

So how do I maintain? How do I keep from going nuts, running to the nearest psychiatrist and demanding the top-of-the-line mellow-me-out-before-I-kill-someone medication? About two months ago, I found derby. I never expected it to be my sanctuary or the place I go to relax, but it is. When I'm at home and the kids are screaming at each other and me, or when I have to rob Peter to pay Paul (again!) or when all five of my assignments somehow got lost in Cyberspace Hell, all I want to do is skate. I want to get in touch with some of my fellow "fresh meat," head to the rink, and not leave until I'm dripping with sweat and I have at least one good bruise to brag about.

I found my "thing." That's the only way I can explain it. People ask me all the time why I want to play roller derby. I can't honestly answer that question. I don't know. I can't put words to it. It's a matter of pride, for one thing--a sense of accomplishment I couldn't find anywhere else. I pushed myself hard to not just learn how to skate, but skate well enough to pass league requirements. My shining moment was when I had just finished my endurance test after the seventh time trying to beat the five-minute time limit for 20 laps. Seven times. The head ref came to me with my test sheet and merely pointed to my time. I passed by two seconds. The memory of that moment still chokes me up.

Roller derby has taught me a valuable lesson about myself: I am much stronger than I give myself credit for. I have the ability to seriously do what I tell my kids all the time that they can do. If you set your mind to something and work at it hard enough, you can accomplish anything. That's a powerful thing. I started two months ago with absolutely no skill, and tonight I will be on a roller derby team. I still don't handle stress well, and I still have a long way to go to be anywhere near a "good" skater, but I proved to myself that I was able to do something I had convinced myself I couldn't do. Not to mention the amount of support and encouragement I received the entire time.I've never found a better support system than there is in this sport.

I don't need a psychiatrist or medications. I have my own method of therapy. I have something I can use as a reference for my kids when they tell me they "can't" do something. I have new friends and a new place to go to completely be myself. I have something new to share with my husband. I also have a whole new respect for myself and a whole new level of self confidence.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gloriously Guilty Dinner

Does anyone else eat dinner at 5pm? Anyone?

.. Anyone?

Just me? Okay then.

If I come straight home from work and already have a plan of what I want to make, I can cook dinner before I'm too ravenous to think straight. When Hungry-Kelly Brain starts, I should not be trusted with fire.

So if I get home late, I need to either reheat leftovers or make up something really fast. Sometimes those made-up things turn out to be freakin' awesome. This was one of those times.

My slightly embarrassing "ingredients": Earthgrains Wheat Berry Bread, off-brand buffalo sauce, MorningStar Buffalo Wings and some mozzarella cheese (off-camera).

Microwave wings. Put those on bread with cheese and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. Put all that back in the microwave to melt the cheese.

Eat. Die of happiness. Come back to life and make another one. Live to shamefully blog about all the sodium you just consumed.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Slow Progress is Still Progress

I really need to start cooking more again. Until then, it's going to be more reflection and derby. That all right with you? I sure hope so.

My first skating post was on Feb. 16 of this year. So, not quite nine months ago? Theoretically, I could have gotten pregnant, grown a baby in my tummy, and delivered it by now.

No offense to any of you moms—your kids are adorable—but I'm so glad that is not how I've spent my last nine months.

How have I spent my last nine months? Skating and eating, of course.

February: For the first six months, I have to wear a knee brace. Because I'm nervous of further hurting my knees, I also wear knee pads, even to open skate sessions.
Don't tell my physical therapist, but I ditched the brace against her wishes. I do still wear knee pads every single time I put skates on my feet.

February: Because of the knee pads and brace, I pretty much have to wear tights. But I don't want to be a weirdo wearing tights in front of little kids, so I put shorts over them. Then I claim they're "cute."
Have you ever gotten rink rash? Well, it's a fancy term for floor burn and it hurts! So I still wear tights whenever I skate (under those knee pads, of course). And heck yeah, they're cute!

February: Maybe I don't know how to stop perfectly, but I can weave my feet in and out a little. I'm so proud of myself!
I've not yet mastered any skill and can't possibly think that I will any time soon. But I can effectively snow-plow, T-stop and revere toe stop. The "weaving my feet in and out a little" is now full watermelons.

February: Then I get lapped by eight-year-olds who can skate better than I can. Little punks.
Little kids are still punks, but now they're punks I can out-skate. (I really don't hate kids, believe it or not.)

February: I have so much fun skating on weekend afternoons! Sometimes it's the most exercise I get, but it's actually a great workout. My sides usually even hurt from balancing.
Weekend afternoons? Yeah, I still skate then. But now I'm skating at least five days a week for about two hours each of those. Whatever muscles I'm trying to improve will hurt as a result, but I have ab muscles I didn't know existed.

I'm scared of falling. Or skating over kid-fingers. And a lot of other things.
I'm still afraid I'll smash kid fingers, among many things I'm afraid of. My pads and I have made peace with each other and I'm used to falling. Falls = Pretty Bruises To Brag About. I'm cool with that.

February: Someday I will be real derby girl!
Since writing that, I have reffed eight derby games (two each on four nights). Next week I'll get drafted to a Dead Girl Derby team. "Someday" is almost here!

February: I'll skate SO fast that all you'll see is me looking back at you while you try to catch up.
I will forever be working to improve my speed, but I'm quite proud of skating 20 laps in 3 minutes and 25 seconds. 'February 2011 Me' would never believe it.

What have you accomplished in the last 9 months? Everyone has something—I want to know!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Scrimmage Down

Last night was my first official scrimmage with Dead Girl Derby. I was fortunate enough to work my way into pieces of a couple last year if a team was short, but now I finally feel like a real skater in my own right. This may be the hardest I've ever worked for anything in my life so far, and it's completely worth it. I hurt in all the best ways and am learning new things every practice.

My self-assessment is that jamming went well but not as much so as I'd hoped; however, I'm quite proud of my blocking and hitting. The other DGD Newly Dead exceeded my expectations in almost every way. These are a talented group of ladies!

This is also why I have no real blog post for you today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Favorites!

We're coming up on 200 posts of Cooking on Skates! I'll admit, I'm terribly busy right now and my brain is just about mush with the Dead Girl Derby draft coming up next Tuesday. When I started this blog, I told myself I'd write one post per day, five days per week, as long as I could. Considering my history with blogging, I figured that might last a couple months. Well, I'm still here!

And in that time, here are the posts you—my wonderful readers—seem to have liked best:

5. Derby In a Hearing World
I'm really honored that this has gotten so many page views.

4. Self-Image and Derby
Body image has always been one of my favorite topics of conversation, and it's nice to see that you guys agree.

3. Derby Pad Disinfectant
In case you're wondering, rubbing alcohol does not work as well. I need to take my own advice here.

2. How to Clean Derby Pads
Okay, so I may send this to fellow derby girls if I think they're gettin' a little stinky. But I swear I do this myself on a monthly basis, more or less.

1. Tale of Two Lasagnas
This one surprised me delightfully! When I think maybe I should abandon posting recipes—after all, do we need any more food blogs?—it's good to know that someone's reading those.

And as always, I'd love to hear what you would like me to write about! Or post a comment if you'd like to guest blog for me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dead Girl For Hire

A fellow Dead Girl, Raia Noski (aka Raia Effing Sunshine) sweetly did my hair and makeup for last weekend's Halloween party. Check it out!

Raia also did Dead Girl zombie makeup last week. She's a sweetheart, wonderful at her job and all-around awesome. Hire her for your wedding or something! Email:

I got rave reviews on this for days afterward, and it fit my Bond Girl costume perfectly.