Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet the Cadaver: Kanna

cadaver name: Kanna
age: 43 going on 32
neighborhood: SE a couple miles from the hangar
beverage of choice: shots of Bushmills or a good room temperature stout
Heathers fan for 2 years and counting
: Always sitting on the jam line

CORONER: How did you get started going to Portland Roller Derby?

Kanna: There was a front page article in the Oregonian’s entertainment section back in February 2006 that talked about a local women’s roller derby league. I remember watching roller derby as a kid so when I first read about a team in Portland I was pretty excited and wanted to check it out. The story talked about a rag-tag group of diverse women who had come together to revamp roller derby. How could I not be interested?

My first bout wasn’t until the final match of the 2006 season. I went with my buddy George and we had an absolute blast; there were times I felt as if I was on a psychedelic acid trip. Walking back to the car that night we vowed that we could easily be season ticket holders if ONLY they sold season tickets. Voila, the season ticket program was launched the following year and both George and I have been season ticket holders ever since. In fact, this year, we are season ticket holders #1 and #2. Something I’m very dorkingly proud of!

Now I’m totally addicted to derby. Whereas in the 80s and 90s I was a Deadhead traveling around the west coast and the U.S. experiencing as much music as I could I’ve now transitioned into being a Derbyhead. I can be found down at the hanger on scrimmage nights watching the gals practice and I plan on being in Houston to watch the Wheels of Justice skate in the Western Regionals in October. In fact, I enjoy derby so much that my family thinks I’m downright crazy but I really don’t care!

You're a great fan, and that you and your man bust ass as volunteers for the team. Why did you become a Heathers fan and what keeps you coming back to for the team?

Why did I become a Heather’s fan? They are freaking Heartless and we hate the Betties! My man and I love the Heathers and we have been faithful fans from the very beginning. It was just luck that George and I sat in the Ice Box for our first bout and I don’t know if there was one thing that I found fascinating with the Heathers; they are too multi-faceted to have just one single attraction, you know?

The lovely WMC, wicked Nurse Ratched and some Heather cheerleaders were pumping up the cadavers in the crowd and the pre-bout energy was infectious. Then the bout began! Women with amazing skating prowess had names such as Vominatrix, Goodie Two-Skates, Sol Train, Slaybia Majora, Teqkillya and Scratcher in the Eye, with crazy personalities that matched their athletic intensity. How could I not be attracted to such an awesome team? The fan base, the support crew and the skaters themselves are all a bunch of freaks and I fit into that dysfunctionality perfectly.

Now, what’s this volunteer thing you are asking me about? Wrench from the Guns and Rollers sold my man George and I these ticket packages for "Roller Derby Fantasy Camp" (RDFC) that takes place the Friday before each bout. We each gave Wrench $100.00 because she told us if we sign up together we can save $50 per person and she gave us promises of "rubbing elbows with roller girls" and maybe getting a free beer or two if there’s any left over at the end of the day. What a farce!

Seriously though, George and I volunteer because we simply want to give back to the derby community by showing our appreciation for all that the Rose City Rollers organization does. We had no idea about the magnitude of energy that goes into each and every bout set up/tear down coupled with the commitment and dedication of all the skaters and the entire support crew; so why not volunteer some of our time to help the organization that we love flourish? I’ve also started to volunteer in other aspects other then just bout set up. This past spring I started to sit on the events committee, I’m helping out with the Northwest Knock Down after party committee and recently joined the new merch committee.

And who is this guy George? He’s a great guy who’s my "man" in derby speak only. I have known George for over ten years and we decided last year to mimic the derby girls who take on derby wives and become "derby hitched" ourselves. I guess it was at Derby Days at Oaks Park last year when George and I decided to make that "commitment" and since then he’s been my derby hubby. He’s the best. Love ya hubby!

Do you have any favorite moments from bouts past?

Favorite moments are hard to chronicle on paper. There are many from the past two years but a few do need mentioning. I believe a lot of my favorite moments are more gestaltian (if I can make up a word) then a specific jam or block from a bout. For example, I enjoy the plethora of costumes worn by both Vominatrix and Goodie Two-Skates whose derby personalities are expressed through fashion statements. I have also had a lot of fun traveling up to Washington to watch Axels of Annihilation play at the Rust Riot tournament and recently against Jet City in Lynnwood. There’s something about being in "enemy territory" and cheering for the out of town underdogs.

If I must pick a specific bout moment, I would say the last bout between the High Rollers and the Betties was by far one of the most exciting roller derby matches I have ever watched. The last jam between Licker-N-Split and Rhea DeRange was intense with the outcome of the bout resting on this one last jam. I think every derby fan in attendance had to have loved that moment.

Describe some favorite non-bout moments with the Heathers.

There are many favorite moments; some I can remember and some I am reminded of!
I think my first non-bout activity was Derby Days last year at Oaks Park. Being a previous beer snob, Derby Days was my inauguration into consuming massive amounts of PBR. One of my fondest memories that day was watching my plastered hubby George try to hit the target on the dunk tank whenever a Heather took a seat in the tank.

Speaking of George, the Heathers’ Anti-Valentine’s Day party 2008 was another fine time, or what I can remember of the party. This time a little too much Dead Guy Pale Ale was consumed. . .but I do remember watching Viagrra pull George’s pants down at the spanking booth exposing his "tidy whities" and laughing hysterically while both Viagrra and Skyotica spanked the bad boy.

Some other fun moments that come to mind is a night drinking "tea" with Sol Train’s brother at Plan B. Ha Ha Hahaha, tea! The "Coup de Ebay" when George won Vominatrix’s silver bikini at a recent Wheels of Justice fundraiser. Or something as laid back as eating dinner with Goodie, Edie Disorder from the Betties and a couple other folks at Cha Cha Cha’s on Hawthorne.

Confess: do you have a favorite Heather? Many favorites? Who and why?

I have several favorite Heathers. The team is full of women with great character and skating skills. I already brought up Vominatrix and Goodie’s ability to change costumes and skater personalities but they are both great athletic skaters as well. Sol Train must also be mentioned to round out the Heathers’ triumvirate. Sol Train is just crazy fun to watch. I have too many favorites and too much to say about each of them. Cheesy but true. I do want to say quickly that I love watching Ringer, Viagrra and Scratcher jam; all have improved so much this year.

A recent addition to the Heathers Mobi-Wan Kenobi deserves a quick shout out though. I was happy to see the Heathers draft her earlier this year. George first met Mo last year at RDFC and I remember watching her skate as Fresh Meat and I’ve spoken to her a few times at RDFC too. Mo has unselfishly shaved her head twice this year for the sake of others - that says a lot about someone’s character in my book. I look forward to watching Mo and the other two newest Heathers - Ginger Binger and SheRex during the 2009 season.

What words of inspiration or advice do you have to offer to the Heathers as they prepare for their upcoming epic battle with the Breakneck Betties?

The Betties can be beaten. Snap their undefeated streak August 9 and take back the championship trophy! Stay focused and out of the penalty box. Be mentally strong and take each two minute jam as another opportunity to put those Betties in their place. . .SECOND PLACE.

I will lose my voice cheering you guys on and George is already working on signs to pass out to the crowd. I have even made a "death wager" that hinges on your victory. I have made a bet with a certain Bettie that the loser has to drink a shot of straight absinthe - that’s 140 proof alcohol people. That’s how much I love my Heartless Heathers. It’s very bitter and did I mention 140 proof? It’s really strong, as in corroding the esophagus strong. So, please selfishly, win so I can make the Bettie sprout hair on her chest when she takes that shot of unadulterated absinthe.



JeLLyPiG said...

"Derbyheads"...NICE!!! Good thing Kanna found the support group she needs for this sickness we ALL share. It must be nice to have a partner in crime that understands. Thanks for sharing the tale.

Miss Conduct PDX said...

Loved the interview, Kanna! We even saw you at Bones and Brew this weekend, right?

Y'all know, Kanna and I are neighbors.

BTW, there's yet another Cadaver in Sellwood--the guy I like to call "New Seasons Matt". He works at New Seasons (thus the clever name) and wears a HH button on his apron. There's also Meat Counter Guy (the bounds of my clever name-picking abilities are limitless) who makes Bettie disparaging remarks from behind the meat counter.

A bastion of Cadaver-ness. Sellwood. Who knew?


Miss Conduct PDX said...

Oh, I totally forgot to mention the photo at the top. Totally awesome!

What's going on in that picture?

Ringer said...

AWESOME interview! I am so excited for us, to have you! Can't wait for Saturday - see you on the LINE!


Noz said...

Kanna is everywhere derby is, a true super fan. Glad she calls herself a Cadever, glad she gives so much back.

Loud, Proud... HPV!!!!


D-Day said...

I just KNEW you were a Deadhead Kanna!

Karah said...

Yes the photo is awesome...I took it after we hiked to Mirror Lake on Hood. Kanna is pretty much the coolest! So am I the derby step child?

Mercgirl said...

What an interview! I am shaken to the core! We are quite a tribe, are we not?

Vominatrix said...

This interview really should have included a picture of George in the bikini...will he be wearing it for the bout it is a beach theme?

George said...

Be careful what you ask for, Vominatrix! HA HA HA HA HA. Obviously you haven’t seen the photos of me in the bikini, or you wouldn’t be asking for it. HA HA HA HA HA. Seriously though, I won’t subject people to a skinny white guy in a silver bikini. By the way, I love your bikini. I’m mounting it in a shadow box and hanging on my wall! Thanks again for putting it up for auction. VOMINATRIX ROCKS!