roller derby

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Jet City Cadet here!

Published January 25, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
At adult night at Lynnwood on Thursday.

At adult night at Lynnwood on Thursday.

Guess who made it onto the Jet City Rollergirls Cadets this morning?!! 😀

Just a quick post to share the news! After 4 months, I have now gone from “potential fresh meat” (which is SO thanks to all the ladies that make PFM happen!) to actual legitimate fresh meat in Jet City’s new skater program. I’m so excited and proud, and will be cheering extra loud tonight as all 4 of their home teams bout in their season opener. Woo!

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First Four Months: Derby Doubts and Determination

Published January 17, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
New certified helmet, faster wheels, and of course, no trip to the derby store would be complete without new socks!

❀

Written at 2 months in:

1. If I skip practice, the doubts begin.

Skipping one practice makes it really easy to skip another practice. And it’s not out of laziness, it’s generally been out of other life business. In September my parents were in town, so I wanted to get the most out of their time here, but ended up being off skates for 2 weeks. That made for a big setback, especially because I had only gone to a couple of practices at that point. So in October I was pretty diligent, and only skipped on Halloween night. November we had some friends in town for only a few days, and another had a birthday, so those two skips had me off skates for a week and a half. But each of these times, whether it was one practice or three, I noticed the same thing…

The doubts would creep in right away.

Maybe I’m too busy right now? Maybe I’m not good enough? Maybe I should just quit, and drop in to skate occasionally?

Fortunately there’s also another force at play here, a greater force. Every time I go to practice I get so inspired by not only what we’re doing and learning, but what I can see that I’ve already accomplished.

2. Every time I go to practice, I’m energized, motivated and addicted.

At the nearly 3 month mark (Early December), I did my 1st attempt at 27 [laps] in 5 [minutes], and got 24. For me this was a huge moment. I was so impressed with how far I’d come in a short time. So impressed, that I even lugged my gear down to Florida with me, so I could skate while I was gone and not lose the momentum. During that trip I also downloaded a copy of the WFTDA minimum skills, so I could look it over and see what else I needed to work on. I was a bit overwhelmed (but still determined!) For some reason I was expecting it to be more like a few things. It turns out that it’s more like 6 pages.

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Well, it’s 4 Months in now (mid January), and I can say, what I wrote 2 months in is still true. The more I skate, the more I want to skate, so I try to keep myself skating as much as possible. Also, when I glanced at the minimum skills again a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised at how much simpler those demands seemed. Most of it I can do now, it’s just a matter of doing it better and faster. December was a great month, and Christmas also brought my new plates! (Crazy Venus plates) I LOVE my new plates so much, mostly because they’re so much lighter, but also because my toe stops don’t budge now. Oh, and speaking of toe stops… I’ve also finally just got the hang of getting good turn around toe stops (YAY! Well, at least on my dominant side!)

They’re now no longer all drawn out and awkward like this:

but more fast and fluid, like this:

I also made another attempt at 27 in 5 last night, and got 26. While I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the full 27, I’m positive that I’ll be able to make it on my next attempt. Our attempt last night was the last 10 minutes of an hour and a half endurance practice (that I started out a little sore for), so I was definitely dragging for the last few laps. Also, I have to get used to my recently much loosened (probably 2 full turns) trucks. They were making everything a little wonky last night. But really my speed is way up. I’m actually passing people now! Which is a twofold achievement. One, because I’ve gotten a lot stronger and faster, and two, because I’ve been trying to get over the fear of passing people. In fact I even got some feedback this morning from some of the girls on my team about how they’ve noticed a real improvement in my skating recently. Awwww. It’s still amazing to me how awesome and supportive most derby girls tend to be.

The other cool thing that happened in December was that I finally settled on a derby name, as I already mentioned, but this was a real solidifying thing. It made me feel like okay, I’m actually really doing this now. I have a shirt with my name on it! Hahaha 😉

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But yes, my goals have certainly shifted again. At this point I’m planning on going to train with Jet City‘s new skater program. They have basic skills classes, and a Cadet program. Cadets are the fresh meat for their organization, and while I’m not entirely sure if I’m quite Cadet ready right now, they’re starting a new cycle of both on the 25th, and they’ll be able to make that call. Either way I’m excited, because I still feel like the basic skills classes would be beneficial so that I could have a really solid base, clearly explained from the ground up. (Especially for the things PFM doesn’t really teach, namely proper falling. Which a coach just touched on for the 1st time yesterday, after all the practices I’ve been going to for 4 months!) But getting on Cadets, if I’m ready, would be a really exciting change too.

We shall see!

And for vegan food, stay tuned! I’ve been trying out a whole bunch of recipes from Isa Chandra’s newest offering, Isa Does it, and the post will be up next!

<3,

Ty / Vampira Knightley

Vegan Beef Pot Pies & a Derbyfull Christmas

Published December 27, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Seriously.

This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Yah, seriously.

This is two posts in one. A recipe from this past weekend, and me showing off my awesome derby presents!

So Thomas had a craving for vegan pot pie Saturday night. Unfortunately for him, it was much too late, and I just didn’t have the energy to be baking something for the 1st time in the middle of the night, but I did offer to make it as Sunday’s dinner meal. Gardein beefless tips was our original intent, but we ended up with Boca Burger crumbles since the regular grocer didn’t have them, so that’s what we used here. It worked really well!

I’m really lacking in the pie crust making department, so I googled a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one. I ended up using the Crisco crust recipe (easily found online) with some whole wheat flour and earth balance shortening, and got a sub par result. More on that below, but first…

Trying to gain Midna's approval...

Happy Christmas to me!

I had also been anxiously waiting for a phone call from the skate shop where my skates were getting mounted to my awesome Christmas present plates, and finally called Sunday morning, and found out they were ready. Of course as soon as I got home I had to play with them, and get them all setup again. These are the lovely Crazy Venus plates in a fantastic metallic purple finish. I also spent a lot of time with the hairdryer trying to stretch the toe box on my boots, with some success. Getting my toe stops in just the right spot is tricky without actually being able to do some crossovers, but I think I got them in a pretty good spot, so at least I can walk/skip/run on them easier now. Maybe. We’ll see when I can actually skate again. No practice this Thursday because: Christmas, but hopefully some rink time.

Then somewhere in the middle of this, we got really hungry…

Vegan Beef Pot Pies

Olive oil for misting pot

1 med onion, cut into half moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped
1 c. green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 package of frozen Boca Burger crumbles, sautéed Gardein, or prepared TVP beef (recipe here)
1 c. frozen corn
2 c. filtered water + bouillon cube (or veggie broth)
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp. thyme
Pinch of rosemary
Pinch of sage
2 tbs. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce / shoyu / Bragg’s)
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
~1Tsp. fine sea salt (or regular), to taste
ground fresh pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne, optional

1 c. non-dairy milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 recipe for single/double pie crust, as desired

OR  1 thawed package of filo dough, OR you can try topping with 1 recipe for biscuits (Here’s mine! Try the cheezy or herb variations) which is what I’ll do next time.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425*F. Mist medium pot with olive oil and cook onions until almost translucent. Add all fresh veggies and sautee for an additional 5-7 minutes.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, except for milk & cornstarch, and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-med, and simmer uncovered. In a separate cup, whisk cornstarch into the milk and then stir into pot. Cook until veggies are mostly cooked and sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring often.

3. Depending on what you’ve chosen for the dough, either line a 3 quart baking dish with dough, fill and then top with smaller of the double pie crust OR cover with a single pie crust / filo dough and seal edges, OR try topping with biscuits and baking up that way. The bake on the pie crust version was 30 minutes, but you can adjust as necessary since the filling’s already done.

I will just say this makes much more filling than you need for a deep pie plate, and that I didn’t really love the way my pie crust came out. I think I was supposed to add more water, and didn’t. It was very dry. I will definitely try the filo (easy!) or biscuits (time tested!) next time and report back. But that filling was mighty tasty.

Filling

Filling

I could've probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

I could’ve probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling! Also, that Star Wars water bottle was my rolling pin.

Sealed and slits

Sealed and slits

I went for a theme!

I went for a theme!

And even though that was probably more than enough for one post, I wanted to share the derby stuff that I got myself for Christmas, and also some VERY IMPORTANT NEWS! I finally came up with a name, and ordered a few things to debut it!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

I found Represent Art Co. on Etsy, and had them make me a tank and some decals for my helmet. They did a great job, and even got it to me before Christmas, which I wasn’t expecting. So that’s what I did today. Got my helmet all done up! I love how everything turned out!

wpid-IMG_20131225_183808.jpgThe number was just a little big for my helmet, so I trimmed it down and was able to get some bats and blood drops to decorate with the excess! I LOVE my helmet, and can’t wait to get out to the rink tomorrow to try out all my new goodies.

*** EDIT ***

Yah, that's my mouthguard smile.

Yah, that’s my mouthguard smile.

MY NEW SKATE SETUP IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! So, so, light and so, so fast! And the stretching I did worked really well too. First time I’ve been able to wear regular socks with them and be comfortable. Toe stops seem to be in the perfect position now, as well. YAY! Thanks Santa! 🙂

Skatecation in Florida: 1 Central Florida

Published December 6, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Here's me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Here’s me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Hello from Celebration, Florida!

I’m happy to report that my dad is recovering very well from his surgery on Monday, which is actually the reason we’re currently in Celebration. It’s also about halfway between downtown Orlando, and Thomas’ hometown of Winter Haven, so it worked out pretty nicely.

Right before we left Seattle, I did my first attempt at 27 in 5 (27 laps in 5 minutes is one of WFTDA’s minimum skills) and got a very respectable [for a 1st try] 24. Having had a week break due to Thanksgiving between my last two practices, I knew I didn’t really care for such a big gap between sessions, so I googled leagues in central Florida right before we left Seattle for our 9 day trip. (I brought my gear backpack & helmet with me on the flights as my personal item with no issues.) Orlando Area Derby Revolution got back to me first, but unfortunately none of their practices coincided with my days here. Then I was lucky enough to get ahold of the Lakeland Derby Dames, who were willing to let me drop in on Wednesday night.

But before that, we went to check out Ethos Vegan Kitchen at their new location…

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The new place is HUGE! They’ve lost some of the greener, homier touches of the old place like the Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathrooms and a patio area (from what I could tell), but it’s a really nice space with an impressively long full bar to boot (not pictured).

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Thomas went for the All American Burger $8.95, right away. He got his with the chips and mango salsa. He said it was all good, and that the burger tasted like Gardein, but we didn’t get conirmation on that.

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After some deliberation, I settled on the Coconut Curry Wrap $8.95, made gluten-free with a brown rice wrap, and upgraded for a side of black beans and [white] rice. I really liked the flavor of the black beans, even before the Tabasco & Sriracha, but did wish it’d come with the less authentic brown rice instead. The wrap was more like a soft taco, and a little diificult to manage without a fork, but I’m thinking it was just the way the brown rice wrap worked out. It was just a little salty for me, but the raisins and walnuts helped to give it some contrast. I liked it more the longer I ate, and ended up eating the whole thing instead of taking half home, like I’d originally thought.

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! :)

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! 🙂

When it came time to leave for practice I was still pretty full. I got a little nap in on the way to Lakeland since Thomas drove, and cars make me nearly narcoleptic. Once it was time to go in, I didn’t give it much thought again until about halfway through. The girls were all really great and friendly, and I was super thankful for the awesome endurance practice they gave me. About halfway through I did feel a bit nauseated, so I’m not sure if it was the overeating or all the vegenaise or nerves, or all of the above! 😉 I did make it through their whole practice though, which I was super proud of since I’m not on a competetive team yet, and just a week shy of three months in.

If you want to check out their team, the Rockabilly Rebels, watch their quick video, here’s the link on Vimeo! Like it if you can, because they’re trying to win a contest! And if you’re interested in joining them, they have a recruitment night coming up on Monday!

As always, thanks for reading! We’ll be heading down to South Florida on Saturday, so stay tuned for part 2! 🙂

Still haven't been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

Still haven’t been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

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