Monthly Archives: October 2010

Our team is the best team

So, uh, heyyy everyone.  Sorry I sort of disappeared back there.  I’ve been alternately wallowing and trying to shake things off.  I have suddenly found myself indefinitely without a *thing*, and that’s been sort of a tough pill to swallow.  People have made some friendly suggestions, but when I find something I’m going to do, I’m going to do it, no holds barred, all in, it’s all I think about.  Look, I don’t claim that it’s a healthy way to live, but it’s a satisfying way to live, and it’s the way I live.  I was prepared for derby to be my thing, and now it’s not, and that really, completely, totally sucks but. Well.  What’s next?

To look on the bright side – besides, of course, not having to come up with a completely original skater name – the situation is making me take a good look at what I already have in my life, and consider what I am and am not getting out of it.  Something I need is physical exercise, so maybe I’ll join the gym or try that bicycling thing again… ugh, neither of those makes my heart flutter like roller derby, but maybe I’ll stop whining and drive up to NH three times a week.  Oh you guys, this is way more whiny that it was supposed to be.

Here’s one thing I realized, though: for the past year, focusing on the wedding has also meant focusing on my relationship with Turtle.  We were so careful to not make things be just about the wedding, and now the wedding is over and suddenly we’re talking less about our marriage.  And I think we need more of the marriage stuff, even though we’re not preparing for some big thing.

Okay, here’s a story for you: this week completely sucked.  On Monday night, I had a stupid blowup meltdown where I had verbal diarrhea and said some hurtful things that, if I had just allowed my brain to join my mouth and hormones in the conversation, could have been said without being hurtful.  The general result of this was that we went to bed way past our bedtime, both in tears, and woke up feeling emotionally bruised and still brittle.  And then the derby thing happened and you know what? My wife appeared to be at my side.  She called into work for me, she showed up with hot cocoa, and she offered to try to beat up the derby girls who cut me, whoever they were (forget the fact that she is very small and derby girls are used to hitting people – my wife is scrappy!).  Not to say that our other stuff is forgotten, but that for better or for worse, we are on each other’s sides.

photo by E. Leonardsmith

I love Team BirdTurtle. Team Birtle. Team Turd.  ❤


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Filed under Relationships, Roller Derby


Just got the email that I didn’t make the first round of cuts.

Yay! I don’t have to try to come up with another derby name.

Boo. I’m sort of a heartbroken mess.

Yay! I have… free time? Maybe I’ll find something else that is exciting and wonderful and takes up time and feels good?

Boo. I’m still a heartbroken mess.


Filed under Roller Derby

Butt Bruises, etc.

Some of you indicated that the quality of this blog (and all wedding-related blogs, really) would be vastly improved by an increase in the number of photos of butt-bruises.  And thus, I bring you the infamous bruise that I got while, ahem, playing roller derby.  By which I mean, the bruise I got while skating in a circle and then falling down.

thumbs up for bruises well earned by doing simple things.

I should add that this beauty is actually much prettier now than it was when Turtle took this picture five days ago.  Not sure how many of you get regular bruises, but they change colors and look really nice 1-2 weeks later.  What I’m trying to say is that roller derby is a very educational sport.

Speaking of roller derby, tryouts were on Sunday, and we’re supposed to hear about the first round of cuts today.  The whole thing is a complicated process that I will try to explain while not boring all of you who have no interest in standing on eight wheels and hitting people.  If you’re interested in how the game works, check out this video:

Anyway, late last week the Top Secret Tryout Location was revealed in an exclusive email, and on Sunday about 70 potential freshmeat showed up for tryouts.  We were numbered, photographed, and warmed up by skating for a few minutes before being divided into four groups.  During the official warmup, we had to do things like balance on one foot at different times, skate *very* low, and go through series of squats and coasting.  After that, we spent time at four different stations: interviews, stopping (where we demonstrated three different stops), learning a new skill, and backward-to-frontward transitions.  After that there was a surprise (uh, yay?) Hell Skate, which was ten solid of minutes of solid skating – not sprinting, exactly, but fast, good form, and did I mention ten solid minutes?  Um, I’m a bit out of shape.

me, in full blurry derby-tryout gear

Anyway, blah blah blah that was all the technical stuff I had to say, and here is the non-technical stuff:

It was kind of awesome, and completely inspiring.  I only really met the people in my group, but I got to skate with everyone during the warm-up and hell skate, and there was an awesome variety of people there.  Clearly a huge age range, some ethnic diversity, and definitely a wide range of skill; the thing that seemed to stand out for everyone, though, was how hard they were trying, how hard they were pushing, and how excited everyone was to be there.  I came home sore and excited, and also pretty stinky.

In the car on the ride home, I got to spend some serious quality time with a friend of mine I talked into trying out (Hi E!), and this is a huge part of the roller derby thing, too.  You guys, you do get to hit people, and that was a huge part of this whole thing when I worked at the rape crisis center; I had a lot of anger I needed to get out, and derby was a safe place to hit people while getting a huge endorphin high.  Since then, it has transitioned into something else: it’s still a place to find some great endorphins, but it’s also a place to meet amazing people and really make connections, whether they’re connections with my shoulder into their side or the connections we make in the car on the way there or on the way home.

Group 4 rocked: thinking of all of you today!

We hear from the league today about the first round of cuts: keep your fingers crossed for me and for everyone else who’s ready to put their heart into this thing.

P.S. Please <a href=””>email me</a> any and all awesome derby name ideas.  I once had two, but they’ve both been stolen from me; they were Rumble Pie (#3.14159) and Little Miss Roughit (#8 legs, and the inspiration for this blog), just to give you a sense of my style.  Grammatical and literary-inspired names are more than welcome.

P.P.S. Someone came up to me at tryouts and asked if I wrote a blog because her friend reads it! Someone I don’t even know!  You guys, I’m famous.  Thanks, Friend of Roller Girl, for making me feel famous.


Filed under Roller Derby

Lesbians Getting Married: The First

One thing that felt super important for me in all of the wedding planning was seeing other lesbian couples out in WeddingBlogLand.  I’m still not sure exactly why this felt important.  Maybe because it affirmed that I belonged?  I am someone who likes to throw myself into whatever my *thing* is, which means thinking about it a lot, researching it, talking to people about it, and probably way over-analyzing it.  In the case of roller derby, this means watching a lot of derby videos, wearing ankle weights all the time, and doing a lot of visualizing (thanks Dread!).  In the case of getting married, it has meant stepping up my stances on the political aspects of same-sex marriage, reading a lot of blogs, doing a lot of crafts, and being really, really involved in creating our wedding.  More on wedding creation later… now, I want to show you some things.

I found few sites out there that occasionally featured lesbian weddings, and so when it did happen, I would look at the pictures a lot.  Like, really, a lot.  I picked the parts I did like, and the parts I didn’t like, and tried to figure out what I might want to do in my own wedding.  It’s not that I didn’t do this with heterosexual weddings; it just seemed somewhat distant, like a different culture or something.  Anyway, just in case anyone else has been experiencing something similar, I bring you… Lesbians(/Queers) Getting Married.  Click on the image for a link to where they were originally found.

Emily & Ali, from 100 Layer Cake


Amber & Karen, from Jenny GG Photography

Amber & Karen again, Jenny GG Photography


Mary & Kerry, from 2000 Dollar Wedding

Sarah & Megan, from A Practical Wedding

Holly & Sari, from 100 Layer Cake

I hope that this can be a continuing series.  If you are queer or a lesbian who is getting or got married and are willing to share your pictures, please send them along! If you are someone who just found some awesome photos (and can credit whoever took them), please send those along, too!  I know that sites like SoYou’reEnGAYged exist and are awesome, but sometimes I just want to look at pictures… so that’s what I’m hoping to do here.

When you are looking at (other people’s/stranger’s) wedding pictures, do you find yourself looking for people like you, and in what way?  What are your thoughts on this? I’m still trying to articulate it for myself, and I would love to hear what you think!


Filed under gay, Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

The Perfect Size

There have been a lot of posts about losing weight for your wedding, losing weight to fit into a dress, losing weight so you feel better.  You know, being a woman and losing weight. Or thinking about weight.  Or noticing other people’s weight.  Anyway, it all sucks and there actually is something that we can do about it; even if it doesn’t feel big, or like a huge, life-changing step, it does make a difference.  Watch this:

We can all not encourage weight loss just for weight loss.  We can try to aim for healthier, not smaller.  Roller derby has played a huge role in this idea for me: in roller derby, whatever size you are is a great size: if you’re big, you can be a big blocker, if you’re small, you can avoid other blockers and come out of nowhere; if you’re fast, you might make a great jammer, and  if you’re slower, maybe blocking is for you.  I think this is part of what appeals to me so deeply about roller derby: whoever you are, you’re the perfect size.  We need to hear more of that out in the world.


Filed under other, Roller Derby

Awesome high fives

Today I logged on to show you pretty pictures and maybe say nice things about how great the first month of marriage has been.  But then I glanced at the part of the site where it tells me what search phrases brought people to my site, and I couldn’t resist telling you about it. Common searches that I notice on a regular basis are about bicycling, lesbians, or “roughing it”, often implying camping.  Usually I have a weird mish-mash of phrases, but today’s phrases made me really happy, and I felt the need to share:

  • crushing flowers in our awesome high fives: if you are the person who searched for this, you are amazing, and also please tell me why you searched for this.  Internet, thanks for thinking that I have a blog that would respond well to this query.
  • roller derby is not a hobby: well, yeah, but also it is (I hope) the only thing I am currently doing that I can describe as a hobby, since “being married” doesn’t really count, and “I write a wedding blog” sounds really lame after you’re married, and if I don’t call it a wedding blog then people want to know what I write about, and I don’t even know the answer to that right now. Search queries that end up here? Yeah, that sounds fascinating.
  • either do it big or don’t do it at all: yeah! that’s what I’m saying! Also, this sounds like something Coach Kelly would say.
  • i want to ride my bicycle, i want to ride it well: do it! Just do it and do it some more, and you will ride it well.  If you love it, do it in whatever way feels good for you – legally. By which I mean, stay off the sidewalk and stop at all the lights… but maybe if you’re nervous about the roads, stick to the bike path!  Yay you, anonymous internet searcher, for wanting it enough to search for it.

In other news, we have now been married for a month.  Happy monthiversary, Turtle!  There have been ups, there have been downs, and nothing is magically better or enormously different – but it’s different enough that it is so, so worth it.

We got a lot of awesome gifts for our wedding, but I want to show you one in particular that my mom got for us.  It’s a clock:


notice anyone familiar?

Yeah, that’s us!  We got this beautiful custom clock that even has Daphne on it!  And the outfits we are wearing are the same ones from our engagement photos.  My mom came over last night and took some pictures of us with it to send to the artist:

daphne was not excited about participating in our photo shoot

Did you happen upon this site with some weird search phrase? Are you now famous because you wrote one of the phrases above?  Are you jealous of our awesome clock?


Filed under Home, Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

Please vote! And some gems on why we shouldn’t marry

Last night, we went to our favorite wine store for our favorite weekly wine tasting with two of our friends.  It’s worth noting, for the purposes of this story, that both friends are women, and they are married – to each other! Oh gosh, the things you are allowed to do in this day and age.

Anyway, not only was this week a slightly fancier wine-tasting than usual, but there were also local politicians who are running for office; it was a Meet the Candidate evening.  Okay, fine – I didn’t really want to chat too much, but I figured we could drink some wine and avoid the politics.  Oh how wrong I was.

After a few minutes there, a man in a nice shirt walked over with some brochures and roped us in.  We were wary at first, but eventually he declared himself “a liberal democrat, the last of a dying breed,” and brought up gay marriage and a couple of other issues we were interested in, with a perspective we agreed on.  He pointed out that this really is an important election, but also one that a lot of people don’t know much about, and so “the blanks win”.  He asked us to please spread the word about him, and honestly, after talking to him, I am happy to. Friend E smiled and said, “Well, you’ve got my vote.”  So if you’re considering not voting, or are not sure who to vote for for governor’s council, let me suggest Terry Kennedy.

Shortly after that conversation, another man came up to us and introduced himself.  I realized who he was and I really wanted some wine, so I just told him: “We’re voting for the other guy.” He sort of smiled, and then asked why, which I countered with, “How do you feel about gay marriage?”

There we were, two legally-in-Massachusetts-and-a-handful-of-other-states married lesbian couples, and he told us why we shouldn’t have the right.  Some gems include:

– “Well, I believe marriage is only for having and raising children.” He had no response to A & E’s assertion that they plan to have kids, or my response that we’re interested in providing foster care.

– “I’m divorced, and my girlfriend is divorced, and lots of gay couples are divorced now, too!” Um… thanks, I’m convinced.

– “Well, my girlfriend and I decided not to get married.”  He couldn’t think of what to say when I pointed out that he could make that choice.

– “Yeah, I think you should have all the tax benefits, absolutely, and of course you should be able to have hospital and jail visitation.  But that’s not marriage.”

Ugh. I think my favorite was, “Well, my girlfriend and I decided not to get married. We were both married before, had our kids, and don’t want more.”  Well, thanks, Mr. Politician.  Enjoy your privilege.

What’s the point of telling you this?  The point is: it turns out that the upcoming election really is important.  Please do some research, even just a little bit, and make sure to vote.

Some information on who the Human Rights Campaign endorses.

Get some more information about where you should vote.


Filed under gay, Marriage/Wedding/Engagement