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Archive for the ‘Skate’ Category

Thursday Night

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I have discovered WoW. “Oh no!,” you say? Oh yes! Surrounded by others of varrying talent. Some chose to go slow. Some go fast. Some can do things I could only watch in amazement, hoping that I can improve to a point of doing such things with ease.

I speak, my friends, of World on Wheels. I found this place online while searching for a place that sold roller skates. They do indeed sell skates, but they are also something else of high value. WoW is a roller rink. I headed down there following my Google Maps directions on Monday. Got a little lost when I did due to one odd little road, but I found it. Unfortunately, Monday is closed to all but private events.

You head down the stairs into some strange bowling alley basement where you find yourself in a small room of carpeted walls. The lighting is dim. It’s a bit intimidating. There’s a ticket window where a woman in a black and white striped shirt takes your money. It seems whenever a transaction occours in this building, the cashier must slide a card. Here, she gave me my reciept and change and pressed a button to unlock the door so that I might enter.

Inside was nostalgia. All the bits and pieces I remember from hitting various roller rinks as a kid. Shelves full of rental skates. Fancy wheels ond accessories on display. Pay keyed lockers. Concessions, though not nearly as much candy as I remember. The 30 year old decor was well worn but in well enough condition. And there was the rink. On the other side of a small fence to keep people from falling in and at the bottom of a carpeted ramp was the old fashioned polished wood floor.

Dozens of skaters rolled around the oval surrounding a small island in the center where someone might take a break. There were two areas in the corners where one could also take a breather. Now, when I was a kid, the rinks I went to didn’t have a little island. They were more inclined to have their DJ in the center who would invariably play the Hokey Pokey at some point during the skate. Their DJ was off beside one of the ramps above the rink and he did not at any point play that particular song.

A disco ball hung in the center reflecting off the colored lights with good music playing over head. No pretention. Everyone enjoying themselves. Thursday nights are adult skate(25 and up) and this was my first night, so I suppose I can’t really say if things are different on other nights, but it was comfortable there. I left my stuff on a table(like several others) and it was left alone. Despite the corner with so many lockers it seemed I didn’t need one. Didn’t have any quarters at that point anyway.

I skated off and on, occasionally stopping for a song or two on the little island. Got off the rink for a drink and found my way back on after the three-song backwards skate. I watched others to see how they got it down. There was some great skill presented that showed me where I stand. I loved to watch the others who could dance and glide across the floor. I am in awe of them.

At this point, my best ability is to not crash into other people or fall down. And then I started to watch everyone at once to see what the commonality was. If I’m to get good enough to skate down Santa Monica Blvd, then I need to learn what the body’s supposed to do. It’s not so nearly as agressive as I had thought. Sure, it is when you’re doing derby, but other than that, you need to be lose and relaxed. If you can’t dance on the wheels, don’t try to dance on them. Wait till you get better. And I will. It’s an education and doing this reminds me that I love learning.

So… the plan now is to make this my Thursdays. Perhaps I’ll skate at other times during the week. Try to get around the block and maybe reach he point of doing it without crashing into the thorny bush, but I’m making this night important.

Roller-volution

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Appologies for the months of entry-free roboticdragon.com, but really there wasn’t anything hugely interesting going on. At least… not enough to keep my interest long enough for a blog entry. Thought of using this space for a webcomic have come to mind and that may happen in the future. Not a change over. Just additional content. Anyway…

The other day I got it in my head that I was going to buy some (quad-style, as I have learned) roller skates. My roommate is a skater in the sense that he has a few specially designed pieces of wood with wheels attached to them. He occasionally breaks said pieces of wood and himself in the process. Luckily no bones while he’s been living here, but there have been some nasty scrapes and a dislocated shoulder.

Me, I know very well that I am not very good at staying on a skateboard, but it does look like something rather exciting and I remembered having a pair of skates as a little girl. I also have a larger-than-desired rear end that could stand to drop down a couple notches to something less… uh… boyant? Yeah, that.

Stage one was to find a pair. This is not so easy as it used to be back in the eighties, so I had to do a search online before heading out. Inline skates(or Rollerblades) are a little easier to find but still not as easy as they used to be back in the nineties, but I wasn’t looking for Summertime ice skates. I wanted what I was more familiar with.

I found a location not far from work that theoretically sold the classic quad-style and headed there this evening after opting to not wait an hour or so for a movie. Play it Again Sports which is a shop for new and used sporting goods, had a few in stock and I bought myself a pair of men’s size 8 black roller skates. They had a total of something like 7 pairs of these things. Tiny stock.

Stage two was to put these things on and go for a spin. Ok. Not hard, right? First thing I did upon getting both on was to take several minutes descending the stairs from my 2nd-floor apartment, clinging to the hand rails; hoping that these occasionally used painted metal bars were more secure than they appeared. Yes, they are indeed. Clinging to everything I could on the way, I made it out to the sidewalk.

Some people were out walking their tiny dogs when I made my attempt to get somewhere on these wheels strapped to my feet. Now I had to figure out how to use these things without falling on my face. It had been at least a decade and a half since I used a pair of these. I used to go to rollerrinks every Summer. I can recall now, after having made my attempt on these new foot-vehicles, that I spent a lot of time on the edge, either hanging on the wall or very close to the thing.

I decided my first go would just be around the block. I wouldn’t cross the street. I’d stay on this small loop. Using these things is not immediately easy. I have to go back and nearly start from the beginning. First, there’s the motion. Then there’s the balance. Eventually, near the end of my short trek, I got down the full body motion where swinging your arms becomes incredibly important. It was quite a bit scary trying to not fall down and searching for my new center of gravity.

So, I’ve found my workout. Now, I did find that there is a rollerrink down on Venice Blvd and I could start going there as well as attempting to get it down on my own street. Eventually, I’d say my goal is to be able to head down Santa Monica and back. For now, the block. The block is tiring enough. Hell, I’m sore and I was indeed sweating.

Updates to follow on a weekly basis…

Damn. I got a splinter in my arm from running into that bush.