The New Adventures of Kitty Killswitch

Yesterday morning I was up bright and early. Well... I was up at 7am.

It's true that there's not many things that can get me up that early on a Sunday, but some of my derby girlfriends and I had planned to take on one of the local skate parks before the onslaught of pubescent dudes and their Boards of Terror took it over. We were pretty certain that no sk8erboi's would be up at that hour.

The morning was fresh and just a bit chilly. I threw on my clothes from the previous night's practice and grabbed my gear and a muffin, hoping to have got my directions straight. We were going to one of the city's newer skate parks... I guess that skate "plaza" is the correct term as such things go. A skate plaza is apparently set up more like a skater-friendly urban terrain. No bowls, but lots of rails and stairs, ramps, jumps, transitions and the like. Oh... and also a quarter pipe. (which is like a one-sided half-pipe; hence the "quarter").

I had switched my indoor wheels out the night before and my skates were sporting their hot pink rubber-y outdoor ones. This was their virgin run. Yup. I had not yet skated outdoors. I had heard that outdoor skating is a whole different ballgame, but honestly? I kinda thought that maybe people didn't really know what they were talking about. Were overreacting.

Not so much Overreacting, it seems.


Now, I had just spent the evening previous at derby practice. It had been a bit of a "free night" -- one of those practices we call a Dance Party practice. After some warm-ups and a bit of endurance drills and basic skill work, our coach will throw on some tunes and we have some fun trying "stuff", working on whatever we want. Truthfully, I was feeling pretty good after that practice. I had mastered some sorta neato stuff, skate-wise. Some two wheel "grinds", some side stance cornering that I had seen some fierce skaters exhibit during warm-ups at our last bout; lots of jumps and back-front transitions. Worked on some wicked cool back-front whip/blocks with some other skaters and was generally feeling good about how far I've come as a skater these past months.

Which only makes me laugh when I think of the next morning.

Gone was my solid, predictable oval track with it's 10 foot safety clearance all around. Gone. Instead I was looking at THIS:

I can not tell you how much that messed with my head.

I have to admit that it took me awhile to get my bearings, so to speak. It was very intimidating to be faced with literal danger at every turn and eight wheels on one's feet. Even skating a pyramid ramp was making my lil heart race. Where had all my ease and confidence gone? Where were my feet that felt so at home in these skates, that could propel me, weave me in and out of a pack of skaters while racing endurance drills with certainty?

Apparently, they were Gone.

And I spent the next hour or so acquainting my backside with concrete. (Yee-ouch!) Getting my mind to let go of it's death grip on Personal Safety and let me jump off stairs and navigate the quarter pipe.

I loved it. Every crazy, dangerous minute.

Now, that's not to say that I was good at it. I fought my body every step of the way. And I'm sure my childlike first attempts at some of this stuff were nothing more than outright laughable. (No. Really. I laughed, myself.) The good, belly-laughing-roll-on-the-ground-until-you-gotta-pee kind of laughable. But by the end of the hour, the highlight reel in my head had a few clips of some sizable jumps off the two-stair, conquering the jump off the one foot vertical box (which was just a bit of a longer way to "fall" than the two-stair), being comfortable on the ramps and making it about half-way up the quarter pipe. (which I'd love to say was high, but really? Not that much.) My two derby sisters dusted my butt at the plaza, taking on the four-stair and a two and a half foot ramp/jump that looked to me like a good way to kill oneself. But, I'm happy with what I attempted... although the four-stair is on my to-do list for my next visit. I know I can do it, I was just too chicken to go for it.

I have to admit that this is highly addictive stuff and I wish I had gone earlier in the summer. There's only a few more months -- if we're lucky -- of outdoor-skateable weather and I'm a bit irked at all the experience I've missed out on.

The girls were talking about bringing a camera one day when we've got some tricks down. So, maybe I'll have some pics to share come fall. And maybe I won't look like a wide-eyed, shaky-kneed kid in them. If I'm lucky.



After what seemed to be an endless summer (and not really Endless in the good way, thanks to some crazy weeks spent on the road doing renovations), the day finally arrived.

It seems that everyone had been asking "Are you ready for "Back To School"? (like it's some civic holiday or something.). I admit that had I actually BEEN ready, this question may not have grated my nerves as much... but only having arrived back home three days before school started -- I was not ready. At all. And the question was driving me nuts.

Cause there was some Stuff to be done round my house. Important stuff and needful stuff and, whatever. Bottom line is that I found myself skulking around Staples the day before my children's first day of school, buying their school supplies.

I realize that the end result is the same... my kids went to their first day of school with all the right stuff in their backpacks. Just like everyone else. I just was way more stressed about it. Which leads me to mutter those Famous Last Words:

Next year....

Nevertheless, I was pretty proud of my grommets as they posed for their pics at the door, grown taller and tanned and looking ready for the next school years' adventure.

I'm amazed at all the changes the years have brought. It doesn't seem that long ago that each First Day would have me "recharging" Kissy Kitty with love (a cute little pendant that I hung on the Princess' backpack as she wanted to feel like I was there with her. Kissy Kitty's job was to hold all my kisses so that the Princess could go get one whenever she needed.) and talking her through what to expect that day. Now... Kissy Kitty still hangs on her backpack, which makes me smile, but it's just a cherished relic of her childhood; not something that's needed any longer. This year, as the past few have been, she ran off eager to see her friends again, happy to be in a new class and excited for the projects and things she will be learning. She is a very social, easy-going kid who is a natural match for school in many ways. Well-behaved and just "cool" enough to inspire other kids to act the same, the teachers love her to bits and she has grown an amazing amount; confident and self-assured, as a result.

The Kid has grown up so much this last year, but some things never change. The little dude hates school. Granted, proclaiming so much on the very first day is might be a little premature on his part. But it is not an easy match for him. I struggle to know what's right for him. Do I help him to persevere through something that challenges him, that pushes his boundaries by expecting a standard from him? Cause I don't see that as being all that bad. The Kid is going to have to live in a world that will expect those same things from him; and he will have to meet that challenge, or else live an isolated and perhaps unsucessful life. But, there is a part of me that wonders if he wouldn't do well in a homeschool situation. If he wouldn't flourish where he's not constantly found somewhat lacking as a person or feeling a bit out of the loop in terms of "the other kids like this or find it easy to be here, why don't I?". I sort of feel that this year will be a turning point for him -- or at least for me in helping me know what he needs. Either things will level out for him, or it will become clear that school isn't his best environment.

Whatever the case, I think that this year is going to be pretty memorable. And hopefully only in good ways!


Stranger and Stranger.

Does it mean anything important when you realize something kinda weird and strange about yourself?

Cause lately I've noticed that I have this strange compulsion to do stuff while I'm brushing my teeth at night.

I think I've always been like that -- most would probably just call it multi-tasking. I straighten the bathroom, attempt to slip my headband over my head for when I wash my face later, or maybe start the shower or stop to pick at a blemish (and really, I know... Ewwwww...) or do any one of many things which are not, by definition, furthering the cause of cleaning my teeth.

On the positive side, it means that I often end up brushing my teeth for large amounts of time which would probably make my dentist smile and send me a nice, smiley note saying "Keep Up The Good Work, Flutterby". That's good, right?

On the other hand, well... I'm brushing my teeth for a long time. Nuff said.

Any of this would just be a cute little annotation to the list of Things That Make Me Speshhhal, except that I'm finding it a bit worrisome. Cause I've tried to stop it. You know, stop doing the Other Stuff and just Be One With The Brush. Focus. Stay on Task.

And I can't.

Isn't that just a bit effed up?

I sorta thought so.


The One Where I'm Going Slightly Crazy With Busyness.

Yeah. I've been busy. Super, super busy and I've about had it with the busyness.

And as much as I'm sure you're all dying to hear all the mundane, ridiculous things that have been filling my days, (what? I thought you guys liked hearing that stuff!!) I'm going to skip that part lest my head blow up and splatter it's brain-ish contents all over the wall behind me.

I'm going to talk about really important stuff instead.


Ha hahaha. Got you all there... Don't think I didn't hear that collective sigh. Don't think I didn't see you roll your eyes and make little swirly Crazy-Lady Gestures beside your head with your non-derby loving fingers.

But seriously? I do have derby stories.

*chirp chirp* *silence*

Really, readers? That's all you can give me? Crickets chirping and silence in response to the temptation of DERBY stories??? Really?

I expected more.


OK, the truth is, I really don't have anything to write about. But I'm feeling bad for neglecting this little blog. I'll try really, really hard to find something to write about.


I still can't believe you didn't want to hear the derby stories.