Jet Setting

Tomorrow night, I leave for what will be the start of my 7th round trip to the East Coast this year.

Holy. Crap.

This was for 3 weddings, 2 bridal showers, 1 funeral, and finally, Christmas. And I'm not even counting Kenya in that because that was technically crossing the Atlantic, and was tacked onto the beginning of one of the wedding trips, so there were no extra continental crossings there. Unless you count Africa, which I probably should, but 8 trips to the East Coast (of two different continents) is just too overwhelming. Anyway. It's been a busy year.

To say that I am travel-weary would be an understatement. I will have spent nearly 10 weeks in not-my-bed over the course of the year. And over 50 hours on airplanes. I guess that dude played by George Clooney in that movie from a year ago would scoff at such statistics, but right now it feels like a lot. And it definitely feels like it should have earned me more frequent flyer miles than it did—I still don't have enough for another trip back East, after all of that.

And yet, somehow, in the middle of all of this, I feel like I'm finally growing some roots in the damp clay soils of California. There are finally things that I will be sad to miss happening in the Bay Area this weekend.

And there are just as many people back East who I am so, so excited to see again. I continue to call it home. I just have many homes now, painfully far away from each other. But, on the bright side, I'm always excited to go back to every one of them.


I can't, I have roller derby.

So a week after getting married, I went over to Oakland, put on some roller skates

[Interlude: holy cow, I just saw a blimp! What crazy thing is my job doing today that there is a blimp over it?]

Anyway... I strapped on some roller skates—the kind you skated in when you were a kid, with 4 wheels in a square, but these didn't have Barbie on them—and tried out for the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls flat-track roller derby league.

Yes, this is a thing that exists. Across the country, women (and men) are spreading plastic surfaces out in warehouses and other cheaply-rentable places, taping off an oval track, and skating around and around and hitting each other. It's an actual sport with actual rules. There's some showmanship, but nothing is staged. Unless you go to that one 'no-rules' banked track league in northern New Jersey, which is more like pro wrestling.

Anyhoo, I made tryouts!

What followed was three months of probation, where I went to as many practices as possible, trying to get drafted onto a team. I learned skating, hitting, strategy... A little bit of everything. Probably the most fun were the once-a-week scrimmages that gave me more game experience over those three months than I saw in two years of varsity college hockey (scrimmage time included).

To me, derby is all the awesome of varsity sports, minus all of the drama of high school and college, with some extra showmanship thrown in. What could possibly be more fun for an ex-hockey player/ex-dancer?

I quickly formed an addiction and am already wondering where I'll get my fix when I go home for the holidays, where the local leagues aren't practicing between Christmas and New Year's (Slackers! I'm looking at you, Gotham!) Well, not to worry (unless you're my husband or someone else who wants to see me at all in the new year), the new season starts on January 15th!