What’s the proper attire for a roller-derby match?

That’s what I thought when friend VR called and said she had tickets to a match for Saturday night of the Race City Rebels. Well, nothing else happening on a hot, humid July evening so I said sure, let’s go.  VR’s co-worker is on the team (#9 Rebel Yell) and invited her to attend.  Since the match didn’t start till 7:30 and was at Ellenberger Ice Rink (minus the ice) we had time for dinner and picked Chef Dan’s in Irvington.  If you’ve not tried out this place – shame on you.  It’s Mississippi/Louisiana cooking in the heart of Indy.  Check out their link: http://chefdansindy.com

We got to the Rink with a few minutes to go in the Naptown Roller Girls match and discovered without the ice, the Rink is very toasty, especially on a late July evening.  They did provide energy efficient fans: cardboard on a wooden stick.  We found a couple of chairs and started to peruse the crowd.

Obviously, our clothing color was wrong – almost everyone had on black, and we def didn’t sport enough tats. No matter, the crowd was excited and totally engrossed in the match.  We had no idea what was going on; all we knew was they were going around in a circle, trying to stay between the markers and the referees blew their whistles and made all kinds of hand motions. During a time out a fellow would skate out and re-tape the circle.  The Roller Derby Girls won by a large margin; we have no idea who the opponent was. At the end of the game the crowd jumped up and stood around the circle to get a hand slap from the teams.

There was a short break then the men’s team took the floor.  The acoustics were terrible, it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher: wha, wha, wha. Plus, there was loud music playing so we were at a complete loss but determined to not use technology for information. Everyone jumped up again and got hand slaps as the teams were introduced. I wish we could have heard the announcer, the web site has a team roster and their names are very colorful!

During the men’s game we did figure out that there was one guy trying to get through a group of opponents and if he did it three times, it was a grand slam.  We never did figure out the scoring or any of the penalty calls. I think there were seven officials; it took that many to keep an eye on all the skaters.

I looked up the Race City Rebels after I got home and they have a handy FAQ on their website.  We weren’t too off in how we thought the match was played but I learned a lot more.  Check it out for yourself:  http://www.racecityrebels.com.

Just one more thing I can add to my Life List of things I’ve done.

HGTV = Hardly Good TV

Back when there was a cable ‘box’ I enjoyed the early years of HGTV. Since I’ve ‘cut the cable cord’ I get my remodel fix by watching PBS shows. When Son #1 asked me to pet-sit while they were on vacation I said sure – they have satellite and Netflix – win/win for me! I remembered all the fun shows I used to watch: Design on a Dime, Decorating Cents, Curb Appeal, and Holmes on Homes. Then I got a rude awakening – it was nothing but repeats all day or night long of the same shows: people looking for houses on a beach, in another country or less than 150 sq. feet; people flipping houses, people remodeling then selling a house, people letting brothers remodel and sell their house. . . . Not any of the quick and easy fix it shows from the old days.
I tried watching but after a few, it became apparent that there are plenty of highly opinionated, non-imaginative folks looking for a home. The price tags for these are incomphrendable to me. Guess things are different outside the Midwest. This was just another version of reality TV with whiners and it’s all about me participants. I was also very disappointed that when they did a remodel, the cabinets and fixtures were completely destroyed. You’d think in this day and age they’d reuse and recycle all of that. Habitat for Humanity would be glad to get those things for their ReStore facilities. I checked on-line to see why the changes and found out most of them are scripted and produced in Canada even tho the HGTV headquarters is in Knoxville, TN. The homeowners are carefully chosen and of course the hosts don’t do any of the actual work.
I suppose you can find all the projects you’d ever want on Pintrest with videos and instructions. Just search on YouTube and you’ll be able to learn to knit or crochet. Gone are the days when you learned these things from your Grandmother.
On my “free” TV there was a Live Well Network and it had some hands on, crafty shows. But the local station discontinued it so I watch it via my laptop now. I still watch This Old House but deep down, the Scott brothers are much better to look at than Norm and Roger!

Tech Neck?

Tech Neck?  Check out this great blog post by my friend Kate Piscopo to learn more!

Tips to Avoid Tech Neck

Tech neck – I really just created that term!  I am sure you know what I mean – hours of work on our computers and smart phones can lead to an unhappy spine and a crinky neck.

 In today’s world of technology, instant email and social media, we need to be mindful of our bodies while our minds are whirring along each day.


This image shows us the ugly truth of what happens to our spines with prolonged poor posture.  We will experience stiffness and pain in our necks and shoulders as a result.  Daily stretches are a great way to avoid tech neck and can easily be performed at your desk each day. Print the image below and keep it near your desk!


Here are a few other tips that will help you minimize the risk of overuse while working:

  • Go wireless and go big!  Consider a wireless mouse and keyboard if you do not have one already.  This will greatly reduce the strain on your hands and wrists.  If you use a laptop regularly, think about getting a separate monitor so you can avoid neck pain associated with bad posture.  You can also set your display to a bigger font (simply go to settings and look for the Zoom tab).  This will reduce eye strain and fatigue as well as help you to avoid craning your neck to see your screen,
  • Invest in an ergonomic keyboard.  Again, this will ease hand and wrist strain if you are working at a workstation all day.  Make sure you get a proper set up – have yourself fitted for the keyboard to ensure it is right for you.
  • Get moving!  This is so important!!  When working we often forget to get up and move – I am guilty of this myself.  Take a break at least once an hour and take a brisk 5 minute walk.  Your body will thank you!


The technology of smart phones increases our risk of injury even more.  There are several injuries and dysfunctional postures that can occur with overuse of our phones.

  • Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the flexor tendon.  This can happen with prolonged holding of a cell phone
  • Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, affects the extensor tendon and can result in fatigue and overuse.  This is also a result of holding a cell phone for long periods.
  • “Uptight” shoulders results from holding the cell phone between your ear and neck when talking.  Our shoulders will become fatigued and pinched with this posture.
  • Anterior shoulder strain occurs when the shoulder joints are strained for holding the cell phone in front of our bodies for long periods of time.  The upper arms and shoulders can become fatigued and painful with overuse. We can also develop strains and injuries in the rotator cuff muscles with this posture.
  • Rounded shoulders, upper back and forward head strain can all occur when we are looking down at our cell phones.  When we are looking down, our thoracic spine is hyperextended, putting strain on our necks and upper back.  This can also lead to headaches.
  • Rounded lower back happens in this posture as well.  Our pelvis is in an excessive state of posterior tilt which collapses the entire trunk forward and strains the low back muscles.
  • Finally, we have texting thumb! I know it exists, I have experienced it!  Irritation, inflammation and injury can occur in the tendons of the thumb due to repetitive overuse.

So what can we do about all of this?  How can we improve our posture while using our phones as well?

First and foremost, be mindful.  As with our posture when we are sitting at our desk on the computer, we often lose track of what our body is doing as the day drags on.  When using your phone, adjust your posture to take the pressure off of your neck, shoulders and low back.  Get a bluetooth headset to reduce strain when talking on your phone.

Click here to view more information on these potential injuries and to see what changes you can make to your posture starting today!

Better posture leads to better health.  Learn more about other postural adjustments for daily life in this printable – click the link to download – Four Steps to Better Posture

Be well and avoid tech neck!