Oprah.com: Show Me Who You Really Are — How Roller Derby Can Save Your Life

I got so excited about this I screwed up the update twice.

When times get tough, tough girls get rolling. At least that’s what Pamela Ribon says. The author of Going in Circles (which she affectionately refers to as Eat, Cry, Shove) extols the virtues of roller derby, why it worked better than therapy when her marriage ended and what she learned along the way.

Read the article here. Hope you enjoy. Please forward, Tweet, Facebook, email and/or share it with your favorite roller girl.

Dear Oprah,

Please stop Skyping.

I don’t watch your show to meet Jennifer from Oahu on her webcam. Once I’m done judging her home (.000023 seconds), I’ve got nothing left to do but judge her clothes, haircut and webcam quality. And if her husband’s sitting next to her, then I have to think about their relationship, and how she talked him into Skyping with Oprah, and then sometimes Jennifer isn’t from Oahu, she’s from Norway or Australia, and then I start thinking about time zones, and I’m wondering when Jennifer had to start getting ready to be on your show and if she’s eaten anything since she heard she’s going to be seen by the entire world and then I wonder if there are other Jennifers who got up at two in the morning to be on Oprah but they ran out of time, so they have to email blast everyone to say, “Hey! Just letting you know I won’t be on Oprah after all. Soo… I’m also probably not coming in today. Have a great week!” And then she sits alone in her dark, silent kitchen and cries for days.

The point is, Oprah, this show is about you. If I wanted to find out what people on webcams think about things, I’d open up my iChat. I know you think you’ve discovered the Internet, but the pixels and the time delays — it’s like some kind of public access show. Please, Oprah. No more Skyping. And please don’t multi-Skype anymore. That time you had twelve people on at once? It was like you’d invited us to a Sims seminar. Nobody knew when anybody was talking or what they were talking about or why. Iraq interrupting Africa; terminal cancer woman taking all of pretending-to-be-happy lady’s time. It was like we were all on a very awkward group date.

Look, I get it. Everybody has something to say. But you’re the only one we all want to listen to.

But please listen to this: No more Skyping.

Thank you.

happy friday.

Last night.

I was sound asleep. Then I heard screaming. A man, screaming, “I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU!”

I bolt up in my bed and stare at the window. My heart is racing, but my brain is not quite fully awake, but Wonder Killing: No, you know that voice. You know that sound. You’ve heard this before. It’s not real. It’s not real.

It was my neighbor watching a movie on what must be as loud as his television would allow. Continue reading

day ten.

Some mornings, when I’m holding my sign and walking in a circle, I realize this is the second time I’ve lost my job because of the Internet. And if you count the giant day of the dot com bust where my 401K was smashed to pennies, I find that while I only have so much control over my career and my destiny, the Internet seems to be what really drives almost all the major decisions in my life. It’s very strange.

Oh, that’s not a flattering picture of my face. But I wanted to talk about Andy.

This is Andy Gordon. He’s very funny. He’s one of the sweetest, funniest guys I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with. He’s a prankster and he’s kind. Everybody loves Andy. But because he has such respect for writers, he’s also not interested in coddling. Therefore, Andy Gordon is the person who taught me what a “clam” is. He taught me by pointing out that I’d written one in my first script that was to be produced for television. He pointed it out by shouting it to everyone in the room.

You see, a clam is not a good thing. Continue reading

do you want to know a secret?

I just wrote three hundred words of the next novel, so you know it’s time to procrastinate with so many more words over here. Because it’s easier, okay? Leave me alone! I’m trying to be an artist!

So. The Festival of Books. Yeah, yeah. I know. It was a month ago. Let me see if I can remember anything.

I took Sara with me because

a) she’s geeky enough to appreciate it,
b) had a friend/mentor speaking on another panel,
c) lived over there and
d) takes pity on me almost as much as she supports me in my endeavors.

The night before we stayed up late on the phone looking over the roster, deciding if we were going to attend any other panels. I scanned name after name of authors and then stopped at one.

“S.E. Hinton! S.E. Hinton is going to be there!”

There was a pause before Sara asked, “And I guess that makes you happy?”

She had no idea. Continue reading


It wasn’t a hallucination.

It just feels like it was.

Almost two weeks after the marathon, I’m now sort of completely healed. The nasty blister on my foot has been drained of blood, so it looks sad instead of angry. There’s still a bruise on one of my toenails, which I didn’t know about until I took off my nail polish. (I ran with red toenails. I’m extreme, but i’m girlie!) The cut on my chest from my sports bra (Thanks, Oprah), has healed, but still has left a bit of a mark. But my feet, which were in so much pain — the tendons just under my ankles — are now letting me walk again. But I was a bit limpy there for a while. It turned out the only shoes that didn’t give me extreme pain were high heels. Ironically. Something about keeping my weight on the balls of my feet made it so the tops of my feet were no longer screaming in pain. Lots of Motrin, and about three days with an ACE bandage, but I’m okay. No sunburn. My hip was fine. But my feet are so sad-looking, I can’t even treat myself to a pedicure. I’m going to wait until they’re less embarrassing.

postcards from topeka

I woke up this morning with the joke I should have fit into last night’s late-night blog about Dr. Inappropriate. (“Less Talkin’, More Doc’in.“)

Meghan has posted parts of our Topeka pre-reading podcast. I’m just going to do myself a favor and not listen. But you can. She had to cut the coffee-fueled dirty parts where I talked about Johnny Depp and fingerpainting, and somehow I think that’s for the best. Continue reading


Yesterday I made a list of people I needed to call to schedule appointments. At the top of the list: allergist. Mom called yesterday morning and said, “Have you seen the wheat doctor yet? I really want you to be able to eat bread again.” I think the next time I come to town, she’d like to be able to serve “normal food” again. It’s very difficult to eat like a proper Polish girl without pierogies. Also, I don’t like life as much without pierogies. Continue reading

they walk alike, they talk alike, sometimes they even… (nevermind.)

When my friend Rebecca and I are out in public, we are sometimes mistaken for sisters. In fact, when Dan, his brother Adam, Rebecca and I are sitting at a restaurant together, we look like an East Side version of the Bobbsey Twins: the boys in their ringer t-shirts, Rebecca and I in blue hoodies with our hair pulled into ponytails.

But the story Dan told me today, this one’s the best. Here it is as I heard it, during mile three of this morning’s ten-mile run with Dan (Yes, I ran anyway, even though the nice nurse suggested (ordered) that I don’t. I didn’t want to call Dan in the middle of the night or early in the morning and puss out on him, particularly because we’d logged all the miles during the week leading up to our long run. I got up early and had a good breakfast, drank lots of water, ate an orange, and did some stretching. What do you know, all that preparation worked! We did all ten miles, and didn’t die, and we’re awesome and this week, unlike last, I didn’t come down with the chills for an hour afterward. Yay, us.)

Anyway. Back to the story.

Continue reading