Sunday, February 2, 2020

Meatfest VII (2020): The Quilt of a Ria Culpa

Edit (2/8): Added some photos to augment the post.

(Warning: Wall of Words) Meatfest has come and gone. Thank you for all the well-wishing! Shebra made this for my birthday and presented it to me yesterday. It's one of the most sentimental and heartfelt gifts that I've ever gotten. Not only was it heartfelt from her, but it's given from a ton of other people providing material for it.



I wanted to explain the entirety of this quilt because it's ridiculously powerful as to some huge milestones of my derby career, and it's nuts to think of all the stuff I've done/gone through, etc. So I'm gonna. If I got who donated the things wrong, please let me know!

  • "Ria Culpa, LV, EST 2006" -- I started with derby in 2006. "LV" is short for Lehigh Valley, obviously, but my officiating number is a callback, roman numeral-wise of that. "55." Thank you to TBD for the cricut work.
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A livejournal (yes, I had one of those) screenshot of my first encounter with derby.
Count the modern-day safety violations! Did you catch all 2,534?

  • Montreal 2016 Playoffs - This was the first playoff Shebra and I worked together. IIRC this was the shirt we had an extra of.
2016 Montreal Playoffs - the calm before the storm
  • Charlottesville T-Shirt -- This is related to my first away tournament I ever did (Gold Coast Beach Brawl). This is where I realized how much I needed to work on my own officiating, after being busted down to ALT from OPR. I grew and learned and realized this sport is way bigger than myself and it was a very big ego-adjusting event for me. While it was painful at the time, it was very much needed for my personal growth. Thank you to Beck-N-HateHer for that T-shirt.
Kara, Torte, and myself on the way to Beach Brawl I, 2014

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This photo made its way to being one of the "Be an Official!" style posts on Beach Brawl 2015. I'm so honored. lol
  • Original LVRG T-Shirt. One of the original navy-green colors that LVRG used, with the original logo. Outside of the "misprint" run, this was the first run of merch LVRG ever had. Thank you to Torte for this one.
  • PA All Stars -- Shebra and I have been helping out off and on for this for a long time and we've seen them grow from just an idea to the creators and purveyors of BOTAS. This one was from Shebra's wardrobe.
  • PJRD/Hooligans Shirt -- Shebra and I worked the Hooligans' transition and growth from MADE to MRDA. And we helped with PJRD's growth from fully-banked to hybrid-banked-and-WFTDA leagues. I was even on call for their WFTDA application (for a hot second before I realized I couldn't do it justice and wanted to make sure I wasn't bottlenecking them). Such a great league with a ton of great people. Thank you to Scissors for the shirt.
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MVC 2018 with the Hoooooooligans.
  • Betties/Vixens Uniform -- I was around when the Special Vixens Unit was created, and when they moved to being two home teams from a singular B team. And last year I jumped in being the Betties' A. I will be the Metal Betties' (new B team) A this year and I expect to have a ton of fun. Thank you again to Torte for using her jersey.
Being the A for the first time. Not pictured: My extreme nervousness.
  • Jersey Stripes: Self-explanatory. Thank you to TBD for that.
  • Hanover Roller Derby - I was around for the original Hanover group's foray into derby, and seeing them grow into the Black Rose Rollers that they are now has been a fun journey (of course, this is what I remember--maybe they were separate leagues? I forget now). This one was one of Shebra's.
  • Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars -- The Fabulous Disasters was one of many names of teams within PRDR before they became the Rockstars. Up until schedules went to hell over the last few years and they moved away from WFTDA we helped out with PRDR a lot and we loved spending time with the skaters there. This one was one of Beck's, again.
  • Arch Rival Roller Girls: I come from St. Louis, as I've said about eighty majillion times. ARRG was, and is (as Arch Rival Roller Derby) my favorite D1 team. Will always be. Also as a side story, I was asked very early-in on by one of the founders of the St. Louis Gatekeepers to join in. This was back in the coordinating-derby-by-MySpace years, and it was because I hadn't changed my location from St. Louis to PA yet. It's amazing to think that over the years they grew from being a pickup guys' team to being the powerhouses they are today. I'd like to think I'm a friend of both of those leagues (could never forget that 4th of July party a couple of years ago!). This was another of Shebra's shirts.
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Independence Day 2017. I am still so honored I was invited!
  • Hammer City: Significant because of our round-robin we did in Ontario, that I was able to travel by chartered bus to, with the league. It was fun and an amazing journey. Thank you to Helen Darink for providing that one! I will never forget going to Niagara Falls with the league, taking some pretty epic photos, and the we-almost-died trip home with the crazy bus driver. Oh, and all of the chanting in the back of the bus. So much chanting.
August 2016 -- Maiden of the Mists (Canada-side)
    • Hartford: We have done a lot of way games to CT, and Hartford was one of those games that will stick out to me as one of the most hilarious mini-events that has ever happened. I was a jammer referee and the jammer was being engaged by Helen Darink. The front-IPR called "out of play," and Helen disengaged. The jammer, however, significantly after the warning was given, ploughed right through her and knocked her out of bounds. I gave the OOP Block penalty, and a hush fell over the crowd. The bench coach for the Wailers yelled, super-distinctly, "HOW CAN A JAMMER GET AN OUT OF PLAY??!!?!" It was just so funny. Thank you to Beck for providing this one.
    • Denver, Glasgow, Hot Pants Cold Beer--this is related to the 2012 season when we decided we were going to create a drinking team for ECDX, known as Hot Pants Cold Beer. We created beer-derby names, drank at the event, and became the best spectators ever. We had Wicked print the design I made. It was when we saw the prominence and skill of Rose City (and our premonitions that they'd overtake Gotham soon thereafter), and we were the cheer squad at ECDX that was the one splash of purple in turn two of the Rose/Gotham game that year. Thanks to Torte for the Glasgow shirt, and Shebra's personal shirts for Denver and HPCB.
    The original OGs.
    • FYRDZ: If you were around for the heavy Tumblr years (yeah, it's still a thing, but now kinda not as much a thing)--I was the one who created "Fuck Yeah Roller Derby Zebra" as a meme. It was my baby and got some mild notoriety amongst those in the niche arm of a niche sport. I met some really cool people through that meme. Thank you to TBD, again, for the cricut work.
    Yep, this was a thing.
    • Rare Breed: This is from Shebra's collection, a shirt we got at (we think) either the year we were co-crew-heads for Bunker, or while we were sitting at the dais for BOTAS together. Fun times for both of those. Being Shebra's CHNSO while she was my CHR and vice-versa was a fun little turnabout over a weekend at Bunker. And BOTAS, while I don't know if I'd do it again, was fun to do for the years I did.
    • Collision Roller Derby: This shirt is from Ange. I guarantee it was when Lehigh Valley went to K-Town Shakedown the first time I was there. LVRG and Collision were hangout buddies throughout that entire event. I worked it. And it gave birth to the "Transfer of Sanctioning" sub-policy in the WFTDA Sanctioning Policy when LVRG's game was restarted 0-0 after 14 minutes of gameplay had elapsed. An interesting year to be sure! That event, somehow, dovetailed into getting me a THR spot, and started my experience as a tournament head. Also, as Ange mentioned, "This was the first time [Lehigh Valley] got [me] to crack a smile whilst in an officiating role"--they had a "Ria Cheer Squad" during that K-Town Shakedown.
    2017 LVRD Kalamazoo Kazoo Crew a/k/a Ria Culpa Cheer Squad
    • Rose Beef / A1: This is one of Rook's jerseys from way back in the day. Rook was one of the first people to really make me feel at home, welcome, and part of the league as a whole as a fresh, new official and friend. She was new-ish too, but we bonded over the years and she became one of my groomspeople.
    These are some very swanky folks. Every swank that could swank. Swankest.

    That so many people would provide such a loving tapestry of personal items and created squares that are so severely significant in my derby career is something that touched me to well up in tears. I didn't cry, but it was hard to choke back the positive emotional response to just a very-moist-ocular-situation.

    Shebra had apparently been working in secret for this for 6 weeks and I had no idea, and the quilt is now one of my prized possessions.

    Add to it a ton of meat dishes from various people, watching Cats, and just generally making a memorable time of it, and that's the recipe for an amazing event.

    What a wonderful way to ring in my 36th birthday! Good people, good food, and a gift from a bunch of my favorites commemorating some of my favorite memories. I love you all and hope that you all can feel as loved as I did yesterday (and continue to feel, 'cause this is one comfy quilt)!