Yes, the universal markers of weekend goodness.
Also dispassionately observing how sometimes the weekender slides into Monday. Well, it is a holiday.
So, roller derby. So much great. Truly, unbelievably. I seem to have missed it in its 70s heyday (thanks, Mom & Dad), but it probably enables me to appreciate it oh-so much more now.
Also, unrelatedly, how great is Pearl Jam's Just Breathe? Truly. I'm not even a Pearl Jam fan, but this song is nearly making me one.
OK, roller derby. It's hard to put words on the spectacle. Take a Shriners' auditorium, complete with, yes, old men in fezzes. I mean, that alone, that right there.... Then, you add crazy-great women of all sizes on roller skates and hot pants (some glittery) hip-checking each other, trying to get their zippiest teammate around a tape-delinated oval track first. There were all kinds of things and strategies and hand motions and such my friend and I puzzled over and made up our own rules about, but it was just so great.
And then names, the names...! It starts with team names: Boston Massacre, Cosmonaughties, Nutcrackers, Wicked Pissahs ... and continues on to the players themselves: Killary Clinton, Heavy Flo (uh...), Lady Shatterly, Gloria Grindem ... there were many more that my brain can't recall. Also, also, there was a giant lobster running around the stands. And a, um, large walking bag of nuts, and two accompanying adorable child-squirrels, the tiniest of which soundly won a half-time danceoff with a robot. I haven't started taking drugs, this is simply the goodness of life all around you, just waiting for you to venture into a Shriners' stadium to discover.
I tried finding a T-shirt for my brother because, really, what better way to say happy birthday to a fire battalion chief? I thought so, too. Alas, they don't make the shirts big enough! So, naturally, I had to comfort myself with finding one for me. The Boston Massacres just weren't my size, I thought, so I headed for a Nutcracker, only to find ... it's snug. Of course, as my friend pointed out ... if you're wearing such a shirt ... it kinda has to be. It's just an unspoken rule. So, I've got my pink-emblazoned mace-thing-across-chest goin' on.
The weekend closed with a gathering at a friend's that culminated in ... a fry-off of sorts? It started with fried candy bars, but her friend is a crazy chef and pretty soon was tossing in hot dog pieces, cornbread souffle chunks, mac & cheese (OMG good), and then, then ... he takes his giant multi-pound hamburger in bun with bacon mayo (oh yes, this: he fries up a few pounds of bacon, purees it, makes his own mayo, and combines ... wordlessness ... yes, it is in these rare moments I surely wish I ate meat), lettuce and fixings, dunks it in the batter, sticks toothpicks in it ... and fries it. He had an audience of about six of us at this point, a pot of boiling oil, all of us awaiting an explosion or disaster to occur. He pronounced the fried burger great. The rest of us were too fried or scared to sample. Greatness....