The Haul

7 Oct


This is how my August trip to Portland turnout out. I ended up getting about $40 in store credit for the books I sold, which parlayed nicely into this stack. Even though I have a tendency to buy books and not read them, I’ve already read three of them: How Georgia Became O’KeeffeMind Gym, and The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs. Not bad (especially considering that in that time, I’ve finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Sleepwalk With Me).

[Incidentally, I was in Portland again at the end of September and sold the latter two back to Powells…and managed to buy only three for myself on that trip.]

Most of these books were unplanned purchases–the O’Keeffe book one was one of these. I don’t normally get into artists, but an idea that’s lurking around in the back of my brain said, “GET SOMETHING ON GEORGIA O’KEEFFE!” I’d fully intended to just get a book of some of her pictures, but this was also on the shelf, and after a quick glance, my subconscious said, “BUY THIS BOOK!” I’m glad I listened because I so enjoyed it. Karen Karbo put so much personality into the story of O’Keeffe and made her so alive and relatable. With this book you wanted to be friends with both O’Keeffe and Karbo. I’d tell Karbo this myself, but it would border on stalkerishness, and well, we’ll save that for when my writing career is a little further along and it might be more acceptable for me to gush over her.  Karbo has a new book out on Julia Child that I would like to read some day (but if you’ve got nothing to read, I suggest you do so now), which means I need to get cracking on the rest of this pile.

I entitled this post “The Haul,” not just to show off the new books (that are actually sitting on the floor of my office because I’m out of shelf space), but also to describe the haul that was my September.

September had five weekends; I traveled for four of them. It’s the WFTDA’s tournament season, and I went to the four Division I playoff tournaments in various capacities. Among roller derby officials, the four September tournaments was traditionally known as the “death march” — you apply for all four feeling excited and you end the last one on your last legs, wondering what you got yourself into.

While it’s insanely fun to go to every tournament, by the end you’re tired, drained, and most likely sick. You don’t know where anything you own is located. You’re insanely behind on non-essential laundry. The folks at the TSA security checkpoint at your home airport start recognizing you.

I’d never done the death march until this year, and now it’s not even the full march anymore. The WFTDA added two Division II tournaments in August. Since I was going to be out of town during the first two weekends in August, I didn’t apply to work these two, nor did my association position in officials’ certification require me to be at either one of them. I saved it all for September.

First up was Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where I was a penalty box manager for the first Division I Playoff. Then I headed to Richmond, Virginia to lead a crew of non-skating officials for the second tournament. Next was Asheville, North Carolina and finally Salem, Oregon. At both of those tournaments I represented NSO Certification to help give feedback and write evaluations on non-skating officials.

I have to admit that in many aspects, the march was fun. I love participating in roller derby, and being able to do it and observe it at the highest levels of gameplay is pretty amazing. I got to hang out with friends from all over the country–and beyond–who I don’t get to see very often, and they like to hang out and get geeked about roller derby officiating, which I don’t often get to do with my husband. There’s also usually a few good restaurants along the way.

In other ways, the march was a slog. I was home for about seven days in September. I missed my husband. I didn’t get to see my other friends. Keeping up with everyone at home was difficult, particularly when you’re dealing with a three-hour time difference and you’ve got bouts from 10AM to 10PM. By the end I was extraordinarily tired, and I needed about a week to recover, unpack, tidy up the house a little bit, catch up on sleep, and start cracking on those evaluations I need to write. By some miracle, I didn’t get sick.

Now I’ve got a few weeks to try to catch up with everyone before I make one last trip for the year to Milwaukee for Championships. The 2013 Haul is almost complete.

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