Monday, May 28, 2012

Never Met a Stranger

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how rollerbladers generally form an instant bond.  If you move to a new town, encourage your rollerblader to go skating, chances are when he comes home you already have a new group of friends.  Fort Myers, Florida was a perfect example.  We knew people from our work but my rollerblader went to the skate park and we had a huge, amazing group of friends.  He went skating with them during the day and unfortunately had to work at night so I went out partying with them. 

It's also amazing to me that you can post something on be-mag to the effect that you're going to be in town, looking for people to skate with, just want to meet some good people, and those that would normally be strangers to you open up their home and let you in.  I know I've been a part of that phenomenon.  It's as if the one fundamental similarity of sharing in the rollerblading culture makes you a friend.

I am always also amazed at the diversity within the population... ages, races, religions, education levels, backgrounds... people with seemingly nothing in common, no thread to hold them together, but all are bound together with the rollerblading culture.  Make no mistakes about it, it's not just a hobby, something active for them to do, an obession... it truly is a culture. 

I remember standing on our balcony and saying we look like a Benetton add.  If you're younger this means nothing to you.  If you remember those commercials their marketing was based on "the united colors"  The commercials were for a clothing store but they had people from every color under the sun represented and they would stand together, hold hands, or some other type of We Are The World stuff.  At that moment in time, without ever realizing it until that moment, I was standing with all of our friends - An Asian (student), African America (Business Major), Colombian (Military), Caucasian (Medical Doctor), Hispanic (Service Industry), Puerto Rican (Customer Service Support),  Czech Republic (Artist) and thought, "If it wasn't for rollerblading, I wouldn't know these people" 

The Loss of Favorite Spots

It's always nice when your rollerblader finds a spot that they love to skate and is safe because it never gets busted.  You know that you never have to worry about them getting messed with by cops and they always come home in a great mood because they love that spot.  Occassionally, they will lose that spot.

So many people loved the Strom Thurmond building!  This place had perfect ledges, was sort of hidden off the street, and I also appreciated the fact there was a water hose because South Carolina in the middle of August was ridiculous.  Enough so that the newspaper heading one year was "Columbia, the screen door to hell" true story.  Years of love and good times were taken away when they increased security.  It went from hours of skating to when you walk up to the building and are holding your skates they kick you out. 

I think there are random, covert, skate operations in the works where they'll all bust out of nowhere at some ridiculous hour just so they can feel the ledges again.  I almost have the visual of Prayer of the Rollerboys in my head without the trench coats... I hope.

If it's not a place where they can or need to increase security, they could potentially cap it.  Good news, the plastic ones sometimes they can sometimes pop off.  This I don't understand at all.  If people are so worried about preserving things then why the hell do they cap it?  So you have a ledge that is getting a little warn or chunked by skateboarders... your solution is to put these hideous caps every foot?  In your attempts to preserve history or the architecture you make it hideous and render it useless?  Could it be that these ledges are also a part of rollerblading history? 

Skate Rituals - Creatures of Habit

Mostly rollerbladers are unpredictable but there are certain things that remain a constant.  In South Carolina there was a very specific gas station, which was amazing, that they always stopped at on the way out of town and occassionally would stop at on the way back to get Subway.  That was the variation... stopping at Subway.  The constant was going to the Waffle House, playing the Scribble Game, and their server was always "Big John" who would steal their lighters if it was the right color.  This may be why I love the Waffle House.  Yes, the hanging out with friends part but mostly being fed and having a handy bathroom after being with them skating all night. 

Moving Trucks

I think the most common way to get people to help you move is the promise of pizza and beer.  The same could hold true for a rollerblader but it's just so much more effective to get them excited and bring some friends along when you promise the pizza, beer, and that you'll let them skate the moving truck ramp. It works.  I have proof.

I have seen stranger things like people in Florida skating a compact disc in a parking lot for a very long time, a group of people getting very excited to hit up some scr's (shopping cart racks)... I just smile and take a seat to the show.

Amusement Parks

If you've ever been to an amusement park with rollerbladers you will more than likely hear, "I wish that I could rent this place out and skate it for a day"  You might hear that several times during the day or caveman like grunts when they pass by some random object, ledge, bench, you name it.

You could also be on some crazy rollercoaster and when you're at the top you'll hear something like "Oh my god that's amazing."  Yep. That has nothing to do with the crazy drop you're about to take, some upside down loopdey loop, it's because somewhere off in the distance... there are some ledges or a bench that they have fallen in love with. 

It's Their Therapy

Although you might have to put up with their strange behaviors, time warps, and other things that you won't understand... you can definitely benefit from their skating because it's their therapy.  If you've had a fight, something bad has happened in your lives, or they are just distracted and not acting like themselves... skating is the cure.  In the 12 years that I've been with my rollerblader so much has happened, everyone has their way of dealing with the good and the bad, and this has definitely helped out in so many ways. 

If they say they need to skate.  They truly do.  Let them go.  If you're having an argument and it's clear there is going to be no solution and you're looking at them wanting some kind of closure with the bull shit and they say "I'm fine, I think I wanna skate."  Encourage them to go, as long as you are willing to drop the great debate, when they return everything will be different.  I promise.  The worst case scenario, they've busted some body part but still the focus is off the nonsense.

The same holds true for when life happens, things aren't always easy, bad things happen to good people, and it's impossible to always spew sunshine and rainbows.  If something bad happens or something has them distracted and your normal antics aren't making them smile, encourage them to skate.  Sometimes they'll say I don't know, don't know if anyone can skate, encourage them to put a status update on facebook, have a practice rail session... anything you can do to encourage them to strap on those skates and have a therapy session. 

You might be the most important person in their lives but skating is the most important thing for so many reasons... many of them you won't understand but you will learn to appreciate it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Skates They Can't Wear

My rollerblader has issues with certain types of skates one type crushes his toes, one type hurts the side of his foot, and things like that.  There is one type that have never caused him any problems. 

If your rollerblader experiences similar problems with his feet, don't think they won't try to buy a different skate knowing that they'll most likely crush their feet but there is that one glimmer of hope that these ones will be different. 

They could buy the different skates, be very excited, skate them for a little while, come home with sore feet.  You don't feel all that bad because you knew they were going to hurt their feet and you assumed that logically, they would too.  

Anyway, they will most likely spend a lot of time trying to modify the skates to make them work.  This is when the dremmel makes his appearance and they'll cut little slits by the laces to try and create a little more room and shave off certain parts because they are sure that they can make the skates work. 

Not always, but sometimes this won't make a bit of difference.  They'll waste time and energy on skates that you weren't sure were going to be the best in the first place.  Maybe it was the excitement from ebay that got the best of them.


This is just hilarious because it can be the most intense thing you will ever experience.  I haven't had to do this in years but can remember it so well.  If they get into a bidding war or are waiting until the last minute to bid on something, you will get called into the room thinking something horrible happened.  Usually they need to pee but don't want to leave the computer.  You just have to sit there making sure that they don't lose the bid.  If they have to go to work, you might get a call to make bids up to a certain amount at a specific time.  It was usually worth it to help him out with things like that to save a few bucks... I have grown accustomed to electricity.  

Cold / Flu

Most of the time when a guy is sick it's pretty pathetic. They can be so sick that they can't move enough to reach a glass of water a couple of feet away. This goes on for a couple of days and they don't look like they are doing any better. You go to the store to get them something or you have to go to work and when you call them they're fine and going skating. You say something like, "you sure you're ok?" Their response, "yep, I'm sure. I am feeling pretty good" If for some reason you talk to them while they're out skating they are still feeling better but maybe a little tired. They return home, collapse, and return to the "can you please get me a glass of water? I don't feel good"

Hardcore Skater Man Music

I was once told by a friend who was blasting Cranberries that they are 'hardcore skater man music'... I just don't get it. If you've watched a lot of skate video's like I have you might have heard some Spice Girls. You might watch some guy skate and think he is crazy badass skating something ridiculous... swipe his i-pod and your thoughts might change.

Crazy wheel codes

I don't know if you've ever noticed but there are these crazy codes on wheels. Just don't try to buy them wheels. That jibberish has to do with the hardness and diameter of the wheel. I am pretty sure that I would never get it right so I don't bother. Sometimes I have him tell me specifically what he wants if I want to buy him a present. If you can find an enormous box online then you'd be safe to get them because they'll be able to use them in an emergency or their friends will need them eventually. If they wear out too fast, it's ok because they have a hundred more. If they're the wrong size and don't spin right in their frames they'll say something like "it's fine, I'll just go bomb a hill." Sometimes they'll dye them for a little variety and after they're done you can dye something of yours that had a stain on it. At least that way you can benefit from it... since you might have to clean up after it.

Road Trips

I love road trips! Road trips with rollerbladers are a little different and they always vary to a certain extent. The things that will remain a constant are that you may never have the opportunity to shower, there will be hours of skating, skate videos, partying, and very little sleeping. So, if you're one of those girls that has to shower, do your hair, and put make up on a daily basis you may not want to join one of their road trips. There are the short trips where you drive a few hours and stay with friends where you pass out on their floor... those one's might be fine because you can shower and put on your face. I have been on a million of these trips. If you're lucky enough to have found another long time girlfriend of a rollerblader you can always find ways to entertain yourself that don't involve skating. There are the longer road trips like the one Smiley, Adam, and I made to Florida for the Hair Ball. We drove all night, didn't have a plan for a place to stay, sort of rested while watching skate videos, spent the next couple of days skating, I showered, and we went to the ball. There is where Adam locked the keys to my car in the trunk, fortunately someone had AAA and got them out. We spent so many hours upon days out skating, having no money, and eating hotdogs from the 7-11. By the time we left after being in 100+ degree weather with two rollerbladers that hadn't showered, my car smelled like ass. Pretty sure it smelled like that for weeks. Then there are those ridiculous road trips like the Colorado Road Trip. The first year my rollerblader moved here we went on the road trip. Driving all over the place, skating different parks, camping and partying all night. Fortunately I packed all kinds of things so we didn't have to stop for anything. You can't really stop because if you lose whoever you're following you're lost for good. Driving a car on empty down crazy windy roads in the middle of nowhere freaked me out to no end but fortunately someone else stopped at a gas station so all was well. It was a good experience, once. I partied a little too hard that weekend, ended up sliding down a mountain full of scorpions, twisting my ankle, and still raising all kinds of hell.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Doctors Visits

Rollerbladers, like most men, avoid doctors.  There are times that your rollerblader or one of his friends should go to the doctor but they won't.  They will insist upon the fact that they can be fixed with whatever is in your house.  If you have taken my advice you will be better equipt to deal with the whole ordeal.  Things that should require stitches will be held together with butterfly closures.  If you haven't taken my advice you'll be checking your drawers for superglue and duct tape..

I am pretty confident that they will go to the doctor if something is broken or newly dislocated... the ones familiar with dislocations will just pop it back into place. 

My rollerblader, also a previous pole vaulter is a perfect example.  He was out skating and hurt his wrist.  What he did is what most rollerbladers will do, wrap up their wrist and continue skating.  After this happened he proceeded to pole vault on his injured wrist, the one that held most of his weight.  As a result, his hand doesn't bend back very far.  This injury was a result of rollerblading so it doesn't really exist.

My Attempt To Be The Best Girlfriend

I tried once to be the best girlfriend of a rollerblader.  We moved to a new town and it was his birthday.  He did not know anyone and didn't have anyone to skate with him and all we had were really crappy skate parks.  I suggested that we go skate at one of those crappy parks for his birthday.  I decided that I would skate my first park with him as a present. 

So, after mustering up some courage because I just knew I would bust my ass, I was ready.  I got on the ramp and totally psyched myself up.  He coached me and I was ready.  He was standing at the end of the ramp with his arms outstretched to catch me in case I needed him to catch me.  I was totally fearless and dropped in any my feet flew out completely from underneath me and I landed a few feet in front of him.  I was so shocked that I didn't successfully make it down the ramp and didn't even reach him.  So was he... I wish I had a picture of his face.  I think I jarred everything in my body and he asked me if I was ok and all I can remember saying is "it hurts so bad that I can't cry"  He picked me up and put me in the car telling me that he would never ask me to do that again. 

One of my other friends went to visit her boyfriend while he was at the park and he convinced her to try and skate.  She rolled down one of the ramps, busted her butt, and split her pants.  If you too decide to try and skate with your rollerblader and you bust your butt... don't worry... we've all been there. 

Dress Up

They may try to dress you up in their skates and just look at you rolling around in them.  Maybe this is because they dream that one day you might decide to strap on some skates and share in this part of their life. 

I am able to do this around the house with no problem.  Mostly because it's carpeted.  I have no balance at all and can't stop unless I run into something like a mailbox, car, or side of the house.  Seriously, I can roll down the street, run into a street sign, sit down to get off the curb, stand up and skate until I can find something to run into to stop myself again.

Naming The Spot

Every rollerblader knows the names of some famous spots and when they travel or go to skate competitions they can recognize the spot.  Some of these names don't make any sense at all.  I understand the logic behind the Strawberry Ledges in England because strawberries grow out of the ledges.  I can understand the crayola rails because they are colorful rails.  I do not understand the black rails or the silver rails because aren't a lot of rails black or silver?  How's that going to help when they are giving directions? I guess this is yet another reason why I am a mere girlfriend of a rollerblader.


On occassion, you'll be driving down the road and hear "look at that" and you aren't sure if they are pointing to a curb, rail, ledge, or something like that.  Just smile and look excited even though you have no idea what is going on. 

We've been on the interstate and there was a rail that was way off in the distance but he always noticed.  I remember him pointing something out all the time and I would say, that looks awesome... you should skate it.  So, onetime we were going to be passing that thing that I always said looked perfect, we took an exit so he could skate it late one night and got there and it was a square rail with no approach.

That's generally what happens... something from a distance looks amazing to them and they can think about skating it for a long time but when you get there and look at it close up... it's square, there's no approach, or a really crappy landing. 

Sometimes I think it would just be better for them not to take the time and go look at it up close... at least they could hold on to the possibilities and the tricks they could do on it.

Skate Videos

Rollerbladers will not often be interested in watching the same movie twice but the same does not hold true for skate videos.  They can watch them for hours and days and weeks.  It never seems to get old.  If friends come over that haven't seen the video they'll watch it again.  I feel like I am experiencing deja vu.  I will hear a song and be like... are you watching that again?!?  If they're with friends someone will definitely say lets watch so and so's section again.  I particularly enjoy falling sections for some reason.

I like videos for various reasons and sometimes it has to do with skating but sometimes it has to do with nothing at all.  Some of the videos I like are... What Do You Believe In because it's entertaining and short or at least it feels short... Blood Stained Concrete for the skating and the music...  Mushroom Blading because it reminds me of my friends and all their shenanigans... Feet because Rob G. has a bench talking to him... Subculture because Morgan Reed from South Carolina is in it and when he does his trick it has him listed as Morgan Fromsc... the Dirty Show cause of the people and so many reasons... Southern Motion because it's the best video ever!!! I love Dodge and everyone in that video especially Smiley!

Be Careful of Their Injuries

After your rollerblader has sustained an injury take care not to bump it or snuggle up to them.  They will be in excrutiating pain and if you accidently bump into it, they will give you "the look".  Yeah, like I told you to jump off that building. 

It's really tricky to remember which day they have which injury.  It's best to just avoid touching them from the neck down on the day that they skate because if they aren't injured... they'll let you know!

Injuries On Dumb Stuff

It seems that when a rollerblader sustains an injury it's usually doing something dumb.  The worst injuries that my rollerblader has sustained has usually been because he was just messing around and ate ashpalt.  He'll often times arrive home, show me some bad injury, and say... "I wasn't even doing anything crazy at all, I was just rolling around and got this"  Most of the injuries that I have administered first aid to a variety of rollerbladers was because of something silly. 

Don't get me wrong, they can get hurt while doing some crazy drop rail but most of the injuries that I see have to do with something silly.


There seems to be an ongoing battle with skateboarders.  This is generally due to the fact that rollerbladers wax things to help them slide faster and skateboarders can't handle that and get really pissed about it.  They also just seem to roll right into the way when rollerbladers are going at mach 10. 

You may hear a skateboarder refer to a rollerblader as a fruit booter I guess that's because they think they are gay.  You may hear a rollerblader refer to a skateboarder as a wood pusher for obvious reasons. 

You may hear a skateboarder make fun of rollerbladers because it's just too easy.  I guess it's easier to learn how to rollerblade in a general rolling around sense but it's much harder to do tricks. 

Don't ask me, I'm the one that busted my butt just trying to roll around a parking lot.  I was rolling around and was next to a car where noone could see me, hit a twig, and my feet flew out from underneath me in slow motion much like a cartoon.  Because there was someone else further away truly skating, when I stood up and skated around the car, I heard them say so and so must have busted ass! Did you hear that?  A couple of days later I randomly busted out into laughter and had to explain what had happened.

Bumps In The Night

What are those scary bumps in the night? Oh wait, that's me!  Make sure that you walk carefully through your house, especially at night.  You will undoubtedly kick a skate in the dark.  Other things that might happen are a bolt in your heel, frame through your arch, or soul plate to your entire foot.  All are equally as painful. 

If you had a situation like we did several years ago, beware of practice rails in your hallway.  We moved into a new apartment, Smiley had built a practice rail, and we got in trouble for having it outside.  The only place it would fit was down our hallway.  I knew that damned thing was there... I saw it everyday!  Everytime our friends went down the hallway they had to do a stall on it.  After a night of drinking you lose sight of the fact that your hallway has become a skate spot.  In the dark, on the way to the kitchen to get water, I kicked the piece of wood that was attached to the rail so many times and ran my shin into the rail itself just as many times.  Let me tell you, that crap really hurts.  I can't imagine falling on it with a greater speed or force then strolling down your hall.  It's also one of those times that it swells instantaneously.  Darn my virgin shins!


If you live in one of those hot and humid locations, you will probably want to wash their clothes regularly so the smell doesn't radiate througout the house.  Don't open their skate bags to get out their clothes though... you might get knocked out. 

You may want to wash your clothes seperately because the funk may cause your clothes to deteriorate.  That's a bit extreme but you get my point.  Two words oxy clean!  That stuff is amazing. 

Also, if you've got a tall one... you might want to dry their shirts with no heat because for some reason skate shirts shrink like nothing else I have ever seen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Definition of Insanity

I have experienced this more times than I could tell you.  I say, "I'm going to bed, goodnight!" with the response, "I'll be in bed in a minute, I just need to change something on my skate"  This is usually referring to wheels, frames, or soul plates. 

It is quite likely that you will wake up in the morning and find them still awake, sitting in a pile of shavings, with a dremmel to their side.  You may also notice that their skates look the exact same way they did when you went to sleep. 

Apparently they tried to change something on their skate, it didn't work out as they had hoped so they tried to alter something with a dremmel, and that didn't help so they tried something else, and that didn't work, so they put it back to the original state.

I believe this is the definition of insanity... doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Are You Deaf?

Some rollerbladers don't listen.  Mine doesn't always listen when there are skate related things going on but I've realized there are some that just don't listen at all.  So, if you have one of those that doesn't ever listen, feel free to tell them anything as long as there is some distraction because they aren't paying attention anyway.  For me, I can be telling someone something that is very important or asking them a question about something and they are watching a skate video... their eyes may never break focus with the television.  I can repeat it louder and louder with the same response until they say "I'm soooorrrrrrryyyyy"

Because I have grown used to it I am not phased by it at all.  If I ask a question and get no response, sometimes I just dance around saying "I'm invisible you can't see me" and have proven the fact that I am a superhero because I do turn invisible when there is a video on and no one does see me.  Until I cross paths with the television... I guess that's my cryptonite.

Covert Skate Operation

Now, this is not true in all circumstances because we have taken random trips together that didn't involve skating at all... but this could happen to you!

If they suggest that you take a trip together to somewhere you've never been, there may be another reason for this trip.  This could be a covert skate operation.  Upon your arrival, you may "bump into" fellow rollerbladers and an impromptu session might occur.  On the other hand, you may be driving around to find something to do together and BAM! Oh baby look at those rails/ledges let me just do 3 tricks and then we can leave.  Three tricks could turn into fifteen which translates into an hour.  The kicker is when you say "can we go?" they will insist that you've only been there for ten minutes.  Also, chances are they have gotten bloody and sweaty so they need to go shower and change and by then all you really want is to go to a bar and have a couple of drinks at which point you can laugh it off.  At that point, you'll realize that this is all just part of being the girlfriend of a rollerblader.

The Let's Go / Fake Out

If you hear the phrase, "I'm hungry, lets go get something to eat.  I am starving" or "Let's go home, I am exhausted" while they are skating, at a skatepark, have just finished skating, or are watching skate videos at someone's house do not get too excited.  These phrases are only spoken to let you know they had a brief thought that escaped their brain almost as fast as it entered it.  It will take at least a good hour before you actually leave.  This is because their friends will say things like one more trick, lets watch this one section really fast, or you haven't seen this new video. 

Before when he would say that I would gather my things and look at him all confused while he was watching another part of a video or doing a trick or two.  Now when he says that I smile, nod, sit there, and say... whenever you're ready you just let me know.

The Smell

There is a very distinct smell associated with rollerbladers.  Get used to the smell... it does not go away... EVER!  This smell lingers in my car, house, where ever you can think of.  Febreeze will help in most matters but sometimes it only makes things worse. 

The bad thing is that you may become immune to the smell but when your friends come over they may think that there is something rotting somewhere.  They most likely will not say anything but I am fairly certain they are confused by the fact that you don't even notice a smell at all.

This isn't really a problem in certain geographic locations like where we live now in Colorado but if you live somewhere hot and humid like Florida or South Carolina it could be. 

We lived in Florida with my sister and when they went to sell the house they offered me a glade plug in and I looked at them kinda strange and they said, well we didn't know how to tell you but there is a subtle strange funk to your room.  It could have been skate related or who knows it could have been because of my shoes but nonetheless it was there. 

The Who's Trick Game

Be ready for this sequence... a song is playing on the radio or ipod and you could potentially hear "who's section? what trick? where at?"  Sounds impossible right?  Wrong!  Your boyfriend and his friends will most likely know the answers.  This is because your boyfriend at one time in his life was a big grommet.  This game is usually played best when they have had some cocktails and the sad part is you might also be able to match the skater to the song. 

Trick Names

They will, of course, try to teach you the names of tricks.  Don't try to remember them because it's really just way too much.  They will show you tricks standing on a step, p-rail, or with those little bendable people.  I don't know if you will ever completely understand what on Earth they are talking about.  You'll become familiar with certain tricks, but if you can figure them all out you're doing a lot better than I am.  The whole frontside, backside, alley oop thing I get but most of it has me at a loss and they might as well be speaking Portugese.  This all has to do with the placement of their feet and which direction they are going. 

You will hear fakie, which means exactly what you think it means... skating backwards up to a trick.  Natural is when they do the trick with their natural or dominant foot.  So, you can figure that switch means they're using the other foot.

There are also differences between the "old school" and "new school" tricks.  Savannah and Alley Oop Unity are the same thing but only one of them means something to a rollerblader depending on the time frame. 

I can really only recognize a few tricks.  One is because it's Smiley's TTS.  I know 2 others because I have actually done them on his practice rail.  By "doing them" I mean I was not going fast enough to actually do the trick but I did sort of jump on the high rail and he pushed me down to the low end.  I can name a ridiculous amount of tricks because I have heard them or read the names in daily bread but couldn't actually recognize them.

I would suggest that you make up your own names for tricks.  I have been known to scream things like "that's a sick alley oop left side" or "sweet piss stance!"  Just another way to entertain myself while I am watching them skate.

Skate Parts

These are boots

These are the cuffs that go around the top

These are the liners that go inside

These are soul plates that go on the bottom

These are the frames that go on soul plates and hold the wheels

Obvioulsy... these are the wheels

These are the bearings that go inside the wheels.  Good ones make them go really fast, their main complaint about skating in the rain is that these get messed up, squeak, and sometimes rust.

These are some random nuts and bolts that they need some for the soul plates, some bearings, allen wrenches and things that I still don't understand.

These are some examples of allen wrenches.  They NEED them.  Lots of them in all sizes! I find these things everywhere... skate bags, car, couch, floor, garage... you name it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Know Your Hospitals

It may benefit you to know the fastest route to the hospital.  You will, undoubtedly, have to take someone to the hospital.  Our friend came up from Florida and they left to go skating, not long afterwards my rollerblader comes running through the house and says come with us to the hospital.  It took us a minute to figure out where we had seen a hospital and when we got there, we waited for a while, and now the problem is a broken ankle swelling inside a skate.  How do we get it out?  Cut the skate? Hell no! Let's just get 3 people to try and pull the skate off of a gigantic swollen, broken ankle.

Next time we were at a skate park and our friend was dropping in and clipped the coping (all of this you'll figure out later) and he dislocated his shoulder.  Another friend broke his arm, my rollerblader called on the way to the hospital, they put a cast on him, my rollerblader drove his car 2.5 hours back to his house while I followed behind them.

Just in case, you should also encourage health insurance so you don't have to go any further than the general first aid and by this I mean trying to stitch them up with dental floss, gluing them back together, or making them a cast out of duct tape, although it does fix everything, right?  Actually, they generally won't go to the doctor unless something is broken or dislocated and dangling.

House Guests

Be ready at any moment for any number of house guests to appear at any given time.  Even if you don't know there are people coming in from out of town, there will be more than expected, and they may end up at your house.  Don't worry, they are respectful and they won't bother you at all.  They may not even notice that you live there, they are very focused on all things skate related!  That is unless you're cooking.  Just make sure that you like to watch hours and hours of skate video's because they'll have to check out your rollerbladers collection.  If you've taken my advice, you can just relocate to another room of the house.

These houseguests won't require much at all.  They'll need something to drink, and some place to sit like the floor, and towels in case they decide to shower but really who are we kidding. 

We lived in a smaller, ghetto, townhouse and there were 12 people spending the night at our house.  They were lined up down our halls, under tables, and if we had a hammock someone would be blissfully asleep in that.  It didn't bother me in the least because by day I was at work, by night drunk.  They had even brought an extra television and two game systems and had a Halo tournament.

Fortunately, we later moved into a house.  One weekend seven people stayed there, the next there were four.  Our new place had three bedrooms, two living rooms, and three couches so we always had a full house.  This place worked out best for me because I could avoid watching the same section of the same video thirteen times.

The Size Issues

You know how while you are growing up all the boys want to be taller?  Most of the time in everyday life you won't hear a guy say, "I wish I was shorter".  This is not necessarily true for rollerbladers.  Some rollerbladers want to be shorter.  This is really the only time someone would want to be shorter.  But then again it kinda goes both ways because some of the short rollerbladers get mad because they can't jump high enough to skate a rail or a ledge.  I have seen some epic tantrums because they can't jump onto the rail. 

They also often times want their feet to be smaller.  The reason for this is two fold.  They want their feet to be smaller first because they think skates look better on small feet and secondly because it seems like they run out of skates and parts in larger sizes.  I guess you can tell I'm not a rollerblader because I would think that bigger skates would be better because there is more to them and you could lock onto things better... but what do I know?

Disappearing Boyfriends

If your rollerblader is home and you leave for a few minutes don't take for granted the fact that he will have sat still long enough for you to come home.  It's quite possible that upon your return he will be gone.  This is also true of times that you know there is nothing going on, have just talked to him, and know with every element of your being that he will be home.  Don't be alarmed if you return to an empty house.  Check for skates and if they are gone then so is he. If the skates remain then he couldn't have gone far.  Remember earlier how I said not to make plans in advance?  It truly can happen that fast!

I've asked my rollerblader if he needed anything from the store and said, "I'll be right back."  He has replied with, "I will see you in a minute", and when I returned he was gone.  A mere 15-20 minutes and he has disappeared but his car is still in the driveway.  So, you open the door, say hello, and get no response.  You look around the house and he is nowhere to be found.  Look around for a minute, notice the skates are gone, and you know that it has happened again.

The first time it happened, I was worried.  I remembered that he's a rollerblader and therefore completely unpredictible.  Also, don't bother looking for a note because that won't happen either... just check for the skates.

Necessity of High Speed Internet

For this new usage of computers... it would be a good idea to have high speed/cable internet or if nothing elsea different phone line.  Today that's not such a problem because it's rare to have dial up and not have a cell phone but in the past this could have been a problem for you too.  The reason for this is everything would be tied up for several hours to download a 3 minute long edit.  This would also tie up the phone line for the same amount of time.

If for some reason you were having an emergency or your car broke down, your phone would be busy for hours.  Fortunately that never happened to me but I could never get through while I was at work.  The worst would be when they'd been downloading a trailer or an edit for several hours and something happens and it gets disconnected and they have to start all over again.

I swear it was one of those things where they'd start downloading the trailer, go eat dinner, check on it and it would read 20% downloaded, watch a movie, and hopefully it would be downloaded.  Sometimes after the movie they'd go check and you'd hear NOOOOOO! Son of a bleep!  Realize the same thing may happen over and over again until they've got the trailer and it took 12 hours to get those 3 minutes. 

Computer Usages

I was in graduate school and did most of my classes online and did a lot of research for papers.  When the computer wasn't being used for those purposes it was a device to connect my rollerblader to all things skate related.  This device was used to download skate videos, look at new skates, listen to podcasts about skating, or for Be-Mag. 

It amazes me how a person can almost be afflicted with ADD but can sit at a computer for extended periods of time with no problem.  This could happen several times a day.  I didn't think so much could change over the course of a day in skating but I was wrong.  You can post something on Be-Mag and have so many views, responses, and new posts that it's amazing. 

Of course since I am who I am, and look for things to entertain myself amongst their "world" that there are many things that make me happy about Be-Mag especially those cats with the LOLZ and those ones where there is something blaringly obvious like a half naked girl and the caption says something like "oh yay, there's a twix" then you're forced to study it like one of those games you find in bars, find the difference. 

Music Players

It is very important for rollerbladers to have music, it gets them juiced, takes their mind off of things, is good when the park has crappy music, or they are out skating street.  As a general rule of thumb, if you have an attachment to an mp3 player or an ipod you should probably hide it.

If they take your mp3 player they will most likely fall on it and crack the screen.  I suggest an ipod shuffle because even though it's really small and it will get scratched, it's pretty durable and it won't be effected at all.  Come to think of it, don't they have headphones the shuffle plugs right into?  I really don't think they fall on their ears that much.  You never know, but if they do, you've got more important things to worry about than the ipod.

Recreating the Days Tricks

Quite often after they've gotten done skating a friend will come over who wasn't able to skate and will ask details on the session.  Be prepared to hear something to the effect of so and so did a such and such on whatever they were skating (doesn't matter the details that's what it will sound like to you"  The person that they are talking to will look very confused, try to recreate the maneuver on flat ground, scratch their head and say, "how is that possible?"  The person telling the story will say "like this" and do the move.  The other person will try it again, the person telling the story will say say, "no like this" and this dance will go on for what seems a very long time but is at least entertaining to watch.

Location of Skate Spots

They are almost always some place that you are not supposed to be.  Many times they are at schools where you are chased down by campus security, near businesses where generally overweight people attempt to chase you away from the spot, a random place frequented by cops, and you catch my drift.  Occassionally you'll meet some nice people that want to watch and give props but often times they are screaming, trying to chase you panting like crazy, or attempting to rip the camera out of someone's hand.  The cops can go either way as well, sometimes they just say stay out of the street, put on a helmet or something of that nature, other times they take everyone's information are jerks and make you leave.  In the 12 years I've been with my rollerblader it's only gotten out of hand one time with an incident that I'm not going to talk about on here.   I guess my point is, it happens and if you're out with them and see cops roll up, don't completely freak out, most of them are fine, and it will lend itself to a good laugh later.

It also seems like for the most part, if it's not a school, near a business, or some random place where cops show up, it's in the ghetto or near a strip club.  Most of the times when I have been skating with them in the ghetto, we've been out of town, I have no idea where the hell we are, we've been out for hours, I am freezing and really have to pee.  Of course there are no trees, bushes, or walls you can duck behind and it's virtually impossible to go in a bottle so you say something like, "did you see a gas station or anything around here" there response is almost always, no but just drive down this street and I think you'll end up on a main road.  I always love hearing that because I have absolutely no sense of direction and everything looks the same at night.  So, I always take off driving hoping that I can find my way back to them and that they've not been busted by the cops because of course, I never have my phone.  So ladies, pee at every stop they make because there won't be many and they'll undoubtedly get stuck in their time warp. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scoping Things Out

Wherever you go they will be scoping things out for a future skate spot.  Say you're running errands and pull into a shopping complex to go grocery shopping.  They might insist that you drive around the back of the building and that's because they are looking for something they could potentially skate.  I always feel like a criminal creeping behind buildings to rob at a later time. 

Sometimes they'll find something interesting, say to you "I'm going to skate that real quick, cool?  Just 3 tricks."  3 tricks turn to 5 and then into 10 and before you know it, you've been sitting behind a grocery store for 30-40 minutes.  Sometimes you have a camera and you can entertain yourself by getting pictures like this...


If you're a girl that likes really fancy expensive candles, it's quite possible that your candle may end up on a curb, ledge, or rail.  This is because your rollerblader needed to wax something so they don't get "stuck" on it and can grind faster. 

For a couple of years I had been making a wax ball from candles I had burned.  This ball of wax was the size of a baseball.  My rollerblader found it in a kitchen drawer and said, "Man, that is badass" I took it as a compliment and thanked him but I didn't really know why, or why I had been making it.  A couple of days later I was going to add some wax to it but couldn't find it.  I asked him about it and he said, "well, I really needed wax because I was out."  I didn't have a clue what he meant but thought, ok.  I later found out he needed it for skating.

A couple of years later I got some candle decorating kit because we were really poor and I was going to make them as Christmas presents.  I got some motivation, went to the box, and then candles were gone.  All I could do was laugh. 

So, if you really like nice candles, I suggest that you go to a craft store and buy a huge 10 pound block of wax.  Not only will they be very appreciative that you did that, impressed by the fact you knew that it would help with their skating, you will have salvaged your candles.

You should also know that if you live in a really hot place and they've borrowed your car to go skating, you may want to double check that they didn't leave wax in it before leaving your car in the hot sun... that crap will get everywhere!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Buy Electronics In Pairs

If you're wise you'll invest in two televisions, DVD players, VCR's what have you.  Reason being, you'll be minding your own business watching television, it might be your favorite show of the last 15 minutes of a 3 hour movie and this is what could happen... Your rollerblader and friends may be leaving to go skate or coming home from skating, casually walk up to the television, take out whatever DVD you're watching or simply change the channel, sit down, look at you and say, "OH! Were you watching that?"

Like they were oblivious to the fact that you were in the room... edit that... they were oblivious that you were in the room.  They can be very focused on skating.  If you've taken my advice you can simply relocated, don't worry... you won't be missed until they come out of their zone.

The Bitch Scream

Be prepared for the possibility that "the bitch scream" may come out of their, or one of their friends, mouths.  This is the most terrifying feminine scream you will hear.  The first time you hear it your heart might stop for a moment. 

It's best to understand that this occurs generally when they are about to jump on a rail and punk out or if they are about to lock on and something goes wrong and they jump off unexpectedly.  Some say this scream has saved their life.

There is really no cause for concern if you hear this "bitch scream"  because a truly bad fall will be accompanied by cursing or moaning.  I think that in order to make the "bitch scream" you know you'll remain conscious. 

It's almost as terrifying a noise as our old roommate's I was bending down to tie my shoe, sneezed, and dislocated my shoulder scream.  Interchangeable to the normal person's ears but nobody is going to end up in the hospital.

Daily Bread (RIP)

Obviously this is outdated but you've all got boxes of old issues and you'll remember these days so the point will remain the same...

Learn to love or at least appreciate Daily Bread.  This will most likely be the only magazine that you have in the house and you too might need something to read in the bathroom.  The thing about Daily Bread is it is one of the only reasons for them to check the mail.  When they know a new issue has been released they will check the mail until they receive it and then forget about what mail is.  Be prepared for when they receive an issue that the next couple of hours will be spent reading it.  So, again this kind of goes a long with the the fact that you should not try to make plans in advance.  They may also take you to bookstores to check out the new Daily Bread to just look at it real quick and then you can leave... two words... time warp.

Goodwill Is Your Friend!

Don't try and buy them nice clothes.  Undoubtedly one of those important skate sessions will come up when they are out and wearing their nice clothes.  Thus, they will end up skating in those nice clothes and tear out the ass.  So, try not to spend too much money on clothes for them because it doesn't matter to them anyway.  That is of course unless you have one of those guys that's into fashion and then they'll probably have a pair of skate pants in their trunk just in case.  Fortunately, my rollerblader doesn't care as long as it doesn't look ridiculous. 

The biggest concern I have heard from other skaters are if their pants are too tight or not tight enough.  I think it's hilarious how some rollerbladers have pants that are so tight they can barely walk in them.  I made fun of those friends by telling them they were hoping the pants would hold them up while they are skating a rail.  I always thought it was funny how the rest of the world was concerned if their pants were too tight while there didn't seem to be a "too tight" in rollerblading.  I guess that is just another one of those things that sets rollerbladers apart from the rest of the world.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How They Give Directions To Locations

One skater phenomenon that I've experienced several times is how they give directions.  They don't give street names or use blaringly obvious landmarks, they use skate spots.  They say things like, "You know those awesome blue rails? Yea, go a block past them and turn right"  Sometimes I think that they wouldn't know where they were going unless they used skate spots to identify places. 

I had orientation at the School of Medicine so I asked Doc Hartis, also a rollerblader, where the building was that I had to go to.  His response, "Go past those amazing silver rails that look like a lot of fun but won't slide, and walk into the building on the right, right past them."  The funny thing was, I arrived on campus, saw some silver rails and thought I hope he wasn't talking about these ones... hit another set and thought, those have to be them.  I found the building with no problem.

He Did a Pornstar?!?

The term porn should not be confused with the normal usage of the word.  They are not referring to two people getting dirty on film, they are simply referring to a trick.  So, if you hear that someone did a porn star on a crazy rail,  it's not what you think.

Likewise the names of skate video's can be a little curious.  I was cleaning my rollerbladers room because I was stuck at his house without a car and found all these movies under his bed.  This led me to think he had a massive collection of adult films.  The first 3 I saw were Day of the Rope, Night of the Sting, and The Puppetmaster.  I was thinking geeze, is this guy a pervert? Hmmm Day of the Rope is that some weird bondage thing?  Night of the String, some weird g-string diva thing.  Puppetmaster, do I even want to know?  What's worse is I put them into his VCR to see what they were and lo and behold they were all skate videos.  I was taken aback but hey, I'm no saint.

Don't Make Plans With Your Rollerblader

Do not make plans too far in advance.  By too far I mean two days, one day, or even a few hours before.  Note, you have decided to date a rollerblader so something unexpected will always come up.  I am not exaggerating.  At any given moment they may get a call that someone is in town and their gathering for a session.  This will be the most important session in the world as far as they are concerned and they will have to leave immediately.  This will be regardless of your plans, because lets face it, they forgot about them anyway.

I am confident that they will make exceptions on a few occassions like holidays and birthdays but that's not to imply they will stay with you the whole day.  This may be because a future session may be affected by the decision to up and leave the whole day.  Make no mistakes, every decision they make has something to do with skating.  This is not just something that they do for fun, its their passion, and a whole lifestyle that you've chosen to be a part of and support.

Time warps

You have to understand that time ceases to exist the moment that skates are on their feet.  They also tend to lose their ability to think logically, maybe the smell killed their logic... I just don't know.  Understand that when they say, "I will be right back" what they really mean is I will not see you for a long time. 

Onetime, a group of them went out skating around 7:00 and the girls stayed at my house.  We were all getting hungry so they said "we're going out for a 20 minute session."  A friends new girlfriend started checking her phone after 30 minutes saying, "where are they?" our response was, "you'll learn".  I received a call around 11:30 asking if we were hungry.

 Generally when they go skating, they'll leave in the early afternoon and return sometime late at night.  You would think there is no way they could spend 13 hours skating in 100+ weather and that much is true.  You have to take into account that they went to go pick someone up, watched some video's to "get juiced", went skating, ate, skated some more, something broke on someone's skate so they went to their house to get a spare part, watched a couple of video's, went skating, and then went and watched the footage. 

Take What They Say Loosely

Say your boyfriend leaves to go skating around 4:00 and says, "I'll be right back because nobody wants to skate today."  That's not necessarily true.  You may get a call from him several hours later telling you that he's in another town about 2 hours away.  This too I know from personal experience.

We had just moved to Columbia, SC from Fort Myers, FL.  All the friends we still had in South Carolina lived near Spartanburg so he didn't have anyone to skate with in town.  He said he was going to skate the church around the corner and would be right back.  This was 4:00 so around 8 or 9 I started to get worried, I understood the time warp that will be addressed later.  I started thinking that no one could skate that long in the Columbia heat by themselves and was also concerned because we didn't have cell phones so I wouldn't know if he got hurt.  I thought that I would just get in my car and drive to the spot to make sure he was ok.  Ah, ha... he took my car... perfect! 

So, I sit there and worry.  I decided I needed to relax and not worry so much because there was nothing I could do so I started drinking.  Around 1:00am I get a phone call, look on the caller id and it says Inman Skatepark.  Hmmm Inman is a good two hours away and I answer the phone to "Hiiiiiiii Honey" and I know the whole story before he says another word.  I also know that I will see him around 5:00am because there has to be a trip to the Waffle House before he makes it home. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beware of the phrase: "Hey, smell this!"

Remember this because it might just save your life one day.  Ok, that's probably a bit extreme but you will be much better off not making the same mistakes that I have made in the past.  I was totally ignorant to the fact that those three words could be so detrimental.  So, just trust me and beware of the phrase, "Hey, smell this!"

Those words will be followed by your rollerblader lunging at you and covering your face with an article of clothing, skates, some skate part, or a helmet.  Do not, I repeat whatever you do... do not inhale.  Also, running away is not the best decision.  When you run away, you do protect yourself for a brief moment but in the long run you will agree that this was the dumbest idea ever.  This is because the end result will go something like this... you will run away, be tackled, held down, and the item will be smashed into your face.  The only safe thing for you to do is place your face near the article, taking great care not to inhale and immediately scream, THAT IS SO DAMN NASTY! They will start laughing and believe that you've smelled it because it will be the worst smell ever, trust me!  The whole reason they want you to smell it is because it is the most repulsive, vile, disguisting, ungodly smell on the face of the Earth.

I was unaware that this smell existed.  So, when he said to me, "hey, smell this"  I did.  I am pretty sure I almost blacked out for a moment.  The next time I was on to him.  When he said it, I ran as fast as I could.  Because he ran track and pole vaulted for years there was no escaping him.  This resulted in the scenario that I presented a moment ago when he lept through the air, tackled me, and I was almost suffocated.  Ah, yes.  Now, I use the fake out followed by pretending to vomit.  Works like a charm every time.

Mystery of Gold Bond

I never fully understood the fascination with Gold Bond powder until a few years after I had been living wih my rollerblader.  Gold Bond is something that occassionally I would find around the house, in skate bags, and in my car and I was genuinely confused but thought better that I don't ask. 

When I would go skating with them, if by some chance someone had Gold Bond, I would see someone pull out a bottle, everyone migrate towards it, form a circle around it, and then stick their hands down their pants.

Why might someone need medicated powder? Or why do they all form a circle around a bottle of powder while they all stick their hands down their pants?  I realize that rollerbladers will do strange things but what the hell is up with that?  I will share with you what I have discovered.  Apparently, when this is applied to a males testicles, it prevents chaffing, keeps them from sticking to their legs, as well as providing what has been referred to as a cool breeze in their pants.  Most recently, Richard said, "It's like listerine for your balls."  I think that about sums it up.

If by chance you meet a rollerblader that has never used Gold Bond and you witness them using it for the first time, it's one of the most hilarious and strangest things that you will ever see.  They look at the bottle confused, put the powder on their hands, stick their hands down their pants, and bust out into a smile almost instantaneously.  If you are curious, it does not work for women the same way.  Don't ask, I would rather not talk about it at this point.