Last night was an adventure. I was invited by an old friend from Edmonton who has recently moved to town to join a group of her friends to go to roller derby. Before we went to the roller derby, we met at one of their houses for a finger food pot luck, and then we took the party bus to the event.
I ended up bringing another friend along with me, (which was a really good choice, if for no other reason than the fact that she brought homemade ice cream balls dipped in chocolate to the pot luck). It was funny, because there were only nine of us that got together. When my friend Michele and I arrived and were introduced to the others, one of the guys and Michele started eyeballing each other like they'd met before. It turns out that they both used to live in Grande Prairie. He was a car salesman up north, and he sold her the SUV that she drives now. We just finished laughing over what a small world it is when another lady arrived, and it turns out that I know her. We both work at the hospital, and were in the same office until last year.
The pot luck was great. Everybody brought something yummy, and I'm not ashamed to say that the food there (including the dishes brought by the men) was better than a lot of the food that's often served at my cooking club events. This was a group of gourmands. Where cooking club can sometimes focus a little too much on speed and convenience, this food was made to impress. There were ham an pineapple potato skins, blue cheese guacamole amuse-bouch, three different flavours of the ice cream balls mentioned above, meatballs in a spicy mustard sauce and homemade crackers with a selection of dips that were amazing. The food was so good, my bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers almost seemed a little pedestrian by comparison.
After an hour or so, we all loaded into the party bus. I can see the draw of party buses, in the sense that it's convenient and a much better choice over DUIs, but it was kind of a non-event. The windows are blacked, so it's really dark. The music was loud. The stripper poles had been removed. And, probably more importantly, we only about about 10 blocks to go. We got in, we laughed a few times, we got off.
Roller Derby is confusing. They skated around this really tight circle, almost as small as my living room. The goal was for the skater at the back of the crowd to push her way to the front of the crowd, and then lap them. There's one girl for each team that does this, and the rest of the team focuses on blocking the other team's way. There were almost as many participants and refs as there were audience members, so we spent a good half of the night figuring out who is who and which team we were supposed to cheer for. Roller Derby, I think it's safe to say, is not my thing. Although, the inappropriate comments from the people around me were pretty funny (which may be the point of the whole thing). Also, the costumes and the skaters' names were entertaining too.
There were also a few merchants set up on the outskirts of the arena. I figured "when in Rome" and had a look... and ended up picking up a couple of groany glow in the dark bug necklaces for the nephews. From a guy with a mohawk, no less.
We couldn't get the party bus home, so we grabbed a couple of cabs. We had the cabbie crank "Black Betty" on the radio and pretended that his mini-van was a party bus. We gave him a good tip, and headed back into the house to drink, eat and tell stories.
So, it was a fun night. Good food, lots of drinking (Note to self - jello shots taste good but sneak up on you faster than you think.) and great company. There are already plans for us to get together again, but I suspect that it'll be a while before we go back to the derby.
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