Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rough Girls

So part of my job is to cut articles related to theatre from our local paper for scrapbooking purposes. The irony that someone is paying me to read the arts section is amusing enough in itself. But then, lo and behold, as I open the arts section today, this is what greets me (I recommend enlarging the pictures and scrolling through to get the full effect). And it warmed my ever-lovin' heart. Why, you ask? 'Cause I looooooove roller derby girls. Or, to put it more broadly, I love, with every cell, rough women.

Women in combat boots. Women with piercings and tattoos. Girls who like pain, girls who like to inflict pain. Girls who play rugby, or roller derby (where girls on roller skates with tattoos wear skull makeup and skate very fast, tackling and jostling each other as they try to knock opponents on their asses), girls who leave soccer fields with scraped, bloody knees and mud all over their jerseys. Women who box, who wrestle, who lift weights, who do pushups.

The other night, while channel surfing, I caught the final matchup in Oympic women's hockey. "Holy living fuck!" I thought. "There's been women's hockey all this time, and I never knew about it?" I mean, it doesn't have the skin factor that boxing, wrestling, soccer, rugby (I've only ever seen women's rugby in my dreams, but I refuse to believe there isn't such a thing) or roller derby (sigh) has, but it's hockey, for God's sake. Ever seen an ice skater's thighs? Plus I imagine the orthodontic distress of hockey, and . . . well, that's too dark and sick a place to go right now, but use your imagination.

Anyway, if you check out that link, you'll notice that most of the rollergirls are 30-ish, with such arcane day-job titles as "artifical-intelligence consultant", or such mundane ones as "paralegal". Certainly not what you'd expect, except that I can imagine that if your work is all about brain, your life needs a little brawn, a little blood and sweat, some cathartic aggression and commemorative bruising. Certainly working at a desk inspires me to make my evenings a little more viscerally rich.

I think that's what I do with my art in a way, which is why it seems somehow inaccurate to call myself a writer, an actor or a martial artist. What I really seek is the path by which I can take the contents of my mind, heart and soul, all my compassion, rage, love, violence, fear, guilt, intelligence and rhetorical fortitude and inscribe in on the world at large in flesh, blood and spit. Writing's just words, after all; and acting, aside from being most bourne of thoughts and desires other than my own, has all kinds of safety imperatives built into it. Well and good: I'm not an inconsiderate sort. But still . . .

Back in 1998, when 'Stine and I were in our early years at the local theatre company of which we were members for 8 years . . . well, I don't remember how it started exactly, but a minor tradition was established whereby the development director of the company at the time--a semi-burly football player type--would wrestle with My Amazon herself. There stood the love of my life, who-knows-how-many drinks into a Seattle summer's evening, wrestling dirty, grunting, straining, embedding deep grass stains and dirt streaks on her clothing in the development director's backyard, inspiring neighbors' calls and police visits. There she was, all six feet of her, a warrior's musculature already well established even before massage school pumped her up further. The morning(s) after, miss purple world would have purple bruises on her arms, her thighs, her ass. I'd kiss them and "make them better", which usually lead to a wrestling match of our own.

I'm glad I married a healer, an empath and an artist. But I'm even more glad I married a rough girl. Now if we can just get her some roller skates . . .


Blogger the beige one said...

coupla t'ings:

1)Women's Hockey is new, it was introduced at the last winter olympics.

2)Man, no fucking kidding around, I gotta go see a match live, and I'm only glad to have company. Any takers?

1:14 PM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

I'm so in. Lemme know.

As for the women's hockey, whoever introduced the idea is a genius. I'm waitin' for a league.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Missuz J said...

I LOVE soccer chicks. So hot. I can hardly stand it. Sigh.

2:19 PM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

Yeah, soccer chicks are hot . . . but not hotter than this.

2:51 PM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

Or this.

3:01 PM  
Blogger the beige one said...

Dude, why beat around the bush:

Rat City Rollergirls Website

And perhaps you'll recognize her as a past crush of th week. Other cheesy pin ups to be found under the team names, along with other photos.

3:12 PM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

Thanks for the full link.

If you click on photos, you also get that perversely captivating line of injury pics.

The crush in question is lovely.

3:31 PM  
Blogger amandak said...

Stine on skates.


That would seriously KICK ASS!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Stine said...

I had skates when I was 8. Seriously though, I'll have to stick with the occasional rough and tumble in the living room. I fear my days of wrestlemania are over.

Of course Ly, you forgot to mention me oil wrestling a dude (it was going to be a girl, but none of the girls would wrestle me) in goo, in front of like 100 people at the Circus Contraption event at that warehouse. I kicked his ass, if I do say so myself.

But alas, 2 surgeries, and two years later, I fear my neck would snap.

1:47 PM  
Blogger thelyamhound said...

Ah, well. You're still a rough girl.

3:42 PM  

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