The Wheels Are Off

First tooth!
Big days for G-man.

Last week the little dude lost a tooth and yesterday he rode around with his training wheels removed.  After much hemming and hawing, we were finally able to convince him to try it out.  He did really well and I'm really happy for him.  Too often his sister goes blazing around the neighborhood without him because his little bike is too slow to keep up.  Now that he's free to ride like the wind, I foresee many more local adventures.  G is the type of kid that will take two hours to ride around the block because he wants to literally stop and smell the flowers.

We also have a video of me totally biting it.  I may save that one for friends and family only because I might try to win $10,000 on AFV.  I was running with G-man, holding on to his handlebars, you know, Dad style.  I was waiting for him to say "Let go!" but he didn't and I was running into a low hanging tree and then a truck in a driveway.  I let go and fell to the ground and G-man fell shortly after on the other side of the truck.  At first he got really upset until I showed him my skinned knee.  Then he laughed.

After his triumphant couple rides, he smashed his inner thigh on one crash so we called it a day, but not before a fist pumping four house long ride on his own.

Very proud of you little dude.  I can't wait to ride around with you.

Carry on.


Season Ender

Rowan is ready for roller derby.
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
TXRD's championship bout was last Saturday. The Cherry Bombs were triumphant over the Hellcats in a nail biter of a match that was hard fought, tightly contested and full of emotion. Skaters flew off the track, fought, danced and skated their brains out. The last jam saw two rival skaters arms around each other's shoulders, pumping their fists in celebration. Despite the animosity seen on the track, in the end they are all skaters and they all belong to the league and they all do it for the love of roller derby.

I told someone about the upcoming event and how LMA was going to be manning a table to raise funds for her new league, and they rolled their eyes and said with much derision that there was a group of people you want to get involved with. At the bout when I could sit in the crowd and watch the bout, I sat in front of an older couple that seemed to take pleasure in tsk-tsk-ing and belittling everything that went on in front of them from the music, to the dress code to the actual match.

I'd always thought that roller derby now is like what comic books used to be in the 70's. Mostly a cult following but slowly growing in popularity. At first it's just those involved and their friends and families. People in the know really appreciate what it means to be involved but have a hard time relaying that to The Everyday Joe. Eventually enough people across the globe are involved, a movie is made based on the idea and suddenly it lives somewhere between cult and mainstream. People know about it, may have participated in it, but most generally don't know enough about it and some even look down on it.

The difference is, a comic book nerd is much less likely to start a fight over costuming.

Derby girls are hard working, genuine and passionate folks who aren't afraid to speak their mind. They are loyal, creative, determined creatures who have found in derby something meaningful. They are strong and at the end of the day, I'd rather have my girl emulate them than any girl scout or beauty queen or movie actress. These ladies are entrepreneurs and business owners and athletes and they have thousands of girls looking up to them. Not only because they skate fast and hit hard, but because they are successful at doing what they want when other people shake their heads.

So the next time you're not sure about how to react at a bout, or what to say to someone affiliated with derby, it's probably best to keep your mouth shut. Because while they may be role models to young women, they'll still punch your lights out for being a judgmental douchebag.

Carry on.


The Littlest Capitalist

Button Maker
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
A sign would show up on the counter, "Shop Open!" with hearts and stars and rainbows and an arrow pointing into the living room. Behind the steamer trunk sat Lil Miss Austin with an open lock box full of all the change she'd been siphoning off laundry and her parents' pockets. The shelves of her store were bookshelves, end tables and chairs. The merchandise for sale were items from around the house; DVDs, books, kitchen utensils, tools, knick-knacks, toys and jewelry. Often the items were marked with a price tag. Other times she had all the prices in her head.

She summon us from whatever adult thing we were doing and we'd make the slow walk through the emporium to sample her wares. It felt like a role playing game in which the store may not have what you actually needed, but you felt the urge to spend money on it just the same. I'd end up buying (back) a few DVDs and a ceramic kitten. I'd part with my nickels or quarters and be on my way. If she didn't have what I needed, I'd be put at ease at her placing the item on order if I wanted to come back later.

She built blanket forts and played dress up too, but to me the single activity that defined LMA was her capitalist nature. She likes to organize, plan and make money. If she can delegate, she will. If she can pull in favors, she will. She dislikes the idea of raising money for charities and would rather earn pure profit. She's not greedy, she doesn't just ask for money. She's constantly thinking of ways to make money. So this is a big deal for her.

She had a plastic button maker set, the kind you get from Michael's for $12. It came with a handful of buttons and you could order refills. She loved making them and wanted more. Ms. A had an acquaintance with a button maker for sale and so surprised LMA with it with the understanding that she'd make buttons and sell them to support her derby league. It's one of those giant, official, professional button makers too.

LMA's going to be part of the 3rd Jr. Derby league in Austin. It's brand new and will start skating soon. They're associated with the Boys and Girls Club of Austin. The reason behind this third group's formation is a weird and almost sad conflict of politics and bloodlines, but needless to say we're mostly just happy LMA can skate.

So this Saturday is the TXRD Championship. Part of Ms. A's derby responsibilities is marketing and merchandise. She's in charge of getting sponsors and setting up a lot of the tables and helping with vendors at the event. She's also signed on to do the same thing for the new Jr. league, which means LMA will have a table to sell her buttons at the big girl championship.

It's like a dream come true for her.

So a couple of the TXRD girls came over for "family dinner" night and helped make a lot of buttons. My guess is we'll need a couple hundred, so hopefully LMA doesn't run out of ideas.

So if you're going to the bout this Saturday, stop by the TXCR (or Jr. Derby) table and buy a button.

Carry on.