Tag Archives: art

kick out the jams, motherfu-

@mickipedia at the roller derby

(Photo by me. Click to embiggen and get more info at Flickr.) 

Last night, Anne and I went to watch Roller Derby (which doesn't, by the rules of English grammar, need to be capitalized, but by the rules of capitalizing Things What Are Awesome does) live for the very first time. 

I used to watch it on TV when I was a kid, and grew out of it the same time I grew out of wrestling, for pretty much the same reasons, so each time my friend Burns, who is a referee at the Doll Factory, told me to come watch a derby, I always had something else to do.

About a week ago, Burns told us that he'd get us VIP tickets if we wanted to come out. He promised us that we'd have a good time. Anne and I have been looking for excuses to get out of goddamn fucking suburbia lately, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to see something our friend loves, experience something new, and get out of goddamn fucking suburbia all at once.

We fought through horrible are-you-fucking-kidding-me-it's-7pm-on-a-Saturday traffic (we can't move away from Los Angeles soon enough) and walked into the Doll Factory just before 7:30. I instantly fell in love with the scene: an incredibly diverse crowd of enthusiastic, interesting people mingled around The Doll Mall, a room off to one side of the main building where artists and vendors had all sorts of cool stuff for sale. Skaters from both teams cruised around, talking to fans and each other, and the vibe was overwhelmingly positive.

We found Burns, found our seats, paid way too much for two Newcastles (not the Dolls' fault, apparently, but come on, vendors: $7 for one can of beer is bullshit) and got ready for the derby to start. Checking Twitter, I learned that the people sitting next to me were friends of @Mickipedia, putting them one degree from me through a bunch of different friends, including Sean Bonner, who I've concluded is the nexus of awesome in Los Angeles.

(Fun fact: About two weeks ago, I taunted Paul F. Tompkins during his hilarious #verifypft efforts that I'd get reverified before he got verified. I didn't think it would actually happen, but I sat next to @trammell who works for Twitter, and he was able to speed up my process. I got reverified this morning. Your move, @PFTompkins.)

Just before 8, the derby started. The Dolls' fielded an all-star team called the After Shockers, while Arizona brought the Derby Dames. The match was a blowout – LA won by something like 80 points – but it didn't seem to bother either team, because it was obvious that everyone was having a hell of a good time. All the girls skated like they meant it, and I'm pretty sure most of them are feeling it today, because they beat the shit out of each other for every point.

Unlike the televised stuff I watched in the late 70s and early 80s, this was not scripted or planned or faked or stupid, and by the end of the first quarter, the only thing I regretted about coming to the derby was waiting so long. The entire experience was amazing, from beginning to end, and did I mention that the girls are incredibly sexy? Because holy shit, you guys.

Now that our kids are grown and becoming more independent, Anne and I finally have time for ourselves that we haven't had for over a decade. In the absence of being full-time parents, we're starting to miss all the art and culture that we used to experience before we moved out here for the schools. We both feel like we've been trapped in a Suburban world bounded by responsibility, yard work and the mall, and the only road out is so choked with traffic, taking it is an aggravating ordeal that's barely worth the effort … but I keep thinking about the quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off about life moving by pretty fast, and I'm not quite ready to resign myself to missing it. Going to the Roller Derby last night, and being around all the non-suburbanized people there felt foreign and familiar and inspiring, all at once. It viscerally reminded me of all the things I've been missing, and I can't wait to go back.

Seriously, guys, if you live anywhere near roller derby, it's really worth making the effort to go and see it in person, at least once. Unless, as I said on Twitter last night, you hate things that are awesome.

LEVERAGE: day three

I wasn't on the call sheet today, but I went to the set anyway, because I felt like I was welcome to visit if I wasn't in the way, and because we were shooting at the Portland Art Museum, and I was planning to go see their collection on my day off.

I slept much later than I've been able to since I got here, and climbed out of bed at 8:50. I grabbed some coffee and read some news before I got my Actual Work™ for the day completed.

Behold this magnificent bit of information, my pretties: I let the manuscript for Memories of the Future go at about 10 this morning. I say "let go," because this is truly one of those books that I could keep tweaking and polishing until they turn the lights off on planet Earth, and it's really just time (past time, really) that I let it go and move on to some other things.

It's a good sign that parts of it I'd forgotten about made me laugh out loud when I was going over the final pass, and when it was done, I didn't hate it.

After I sent it off, I headed out into beautiful downtown Portland, and made my way to the set.

I can't say anything about this scene I watched them shoot, because it will be a big old spoiler, but here's what I told Twitter:

Watching them put together a VERY cool stedicam shot on #Leverage. This is going to be awesome on TV.

OH: "If you think this shot is awesome, wait until you see what we did in the season opener!"

My respect and
admiration for Gary Camp (camera operator on #Leverage) grows
exponentially with each take. This shot is just unreal.

Rogers posted this SPOILER picture before I left, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon at the art museum, which has a wonderful collection. There is an M.C. Escher exhibition there right now, and I think I spent two full hours looking at the ninety different pieces they have, including one of the original Crazy Stairs lithos (yes, art geeks, I know it's actually called Relativity.) In addition to completed works, they also had several sketches and studies that he did on his way to completing things like Heaven and Hell, and I gotta tell you that it was pretty damn impressive and inspiring to watch his process. If you're in PDX or can make it to PDX before they close this exhibition, I highly recommend it.

I explored the rest of the museum, and then went to Powell's after lunch, where I spent hours looking through their old D&D books and browsing the Sci-Fi shelves.

I stumbled across two books that I can't wait to read tonight: The Pillars of Pentegarn, which I remember reading when I was 10 or 11, and … Shatnerquake. That's right, SHATNER-FUCKING-QUAKE. Allow me to quote the jacket copy:

It's Shatner VS Shatners!

After a reality bomb goes off at the first ever ShatnerCon, all of he characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

Featuring: Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, Priceline Shatner, Cartoon Kirk, Rescue 9-1-1 Shatner, singer Shatner, and many more. No costumed con-goer will be spared in their wave of destruction, no red shirt will make it out alive, and not even the Klingons will be able to stand up to a deranged Captain Kirk with a light saber. But these Shatner-clones are about to learn a hard lesson…that the real William Shatner doesn't take crap from anybody. Not even himself!

I read the first chapter in the café, and it was as silly and awesome and wrong as you'd expect. It's a short book, so I suspect I'll have a review sooner than later.

I didn't know I'd been in Powells for two hours until I left and noticed that it had gotten darker and cooler outside. I just love bookstores that much, I guess, and it's easy for time to stand still while I wander through the stacks, especially in a place like Powells, which just feels magical.

On my way up the street, I said this to Twitter:

I just spent two hours in Powells. eBooks are convenient, but I don't want to live in a world without books and bookstores.

That's all for today. I have…somereading…to! do!