Roller Derby: A Magical Sport for Muggles

by Angelica “Helga Hufflepunch” Rodriguez of Revolution Roller Derby
A couple of years ago a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to go see a roller derby game. “A roller derby game? Like in Whip It?” she laughed, “Yeah, sort of.” So I got in the car, drove to Orlando and watched a brand new sport, still in its infancy, with admiration. A year later I would join the fray under my new alter ego: Helga HufflePunch. My life has never been the same.

 

Helga Hufflepunch

One of the greatest things about roller derby are the fun alter-ego, or derby names. You will find everything under the sun from Luna Shovegood, to Belligerent Lestrange, Phoenix Fawkes’m Up, Militant Bulstrode, and Helga HufflePunch (‘sup)… And those are just the Potter related names that came to mind.

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Photo by Phantom Photographics

So why am I talking about this muggle sport? Partly because I’m obsessed but also because your very own Slug Club is partnering with Thunder City Derby Sirens for their first Bi-Wizard Tournament on April 16! Unlike regular roller derby games, the Bi-Wizard tournament is a roller derby scrimmage, where skaters from all over Florida are put into mashup teams and play against each other. It is sure to be a blast! Never seen a roller derby game before? Do not worry, this guide is just for you!

For those of you not in the know, roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world; the US alone has over 1,250 leagues. It has been around since the 1920s, but its modern resurgence is vastly different. The game is played on quad skates, on a flat track, with five players on each team: one jammer, and four blockers. The game consists of two 30-minute halves, each of which is broken up into 2-minute (or less) jams.

The jammers wear a star cover on their helmet and they score points every time they legally pass an opposing player. The blockers, who must skate together in a pack, try to stop the opposing jammer from scoring and help their own jammer get through the pack. Additionally, one of the blockers will also be designated as a pivot. The pivot wears a large stripe on their helmet and is able to score points if the jammer hands them their star cover, when this happens it is called a “Star Pass” or “Panty Pass.” The first jammer to break through the pack is designated as lead jammer, and while both jammers can score points at the same time, the lead jammer can call off the jam at any time.

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Photo by Starfish Derby Photography

Roller derby has an extensive rule book and contrary to popular belief, you cannot elbow someone in the face, or punch, or kick. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but it’s basically hockey rules when it comes to hits: you can hip check, shoulder check, and body check. It is one of the few sports where offense and defense are played at the same time, and it is AWESOME.

Derby is a predominantly female sport, but it has grown to include all-male leagues, co-ed leagues, and even junior leagues! The sport is really fun to watch and even more fun to play. Derby leagues are always looking for new recruits, volunteers, referees, and fans. If you are interested, chances are you have a league near you!

See you all on the track!

Thumps Up

Photo by Starfish Roller Derby Photography

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Hufflepuffs: A Dedication

In wizarding history, we often hear of tales of Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins: Gryffindors for their bravery, Ravenclaw for their wisdom, and Slytherins for their ambition. As a Gryffindor myself, I have a hard time grasping the concept that Hufflepuffs don’t get enough love in the wizarding world, which is why I am dedicating this blog post to them! Here are a few reasons why I love Hufflepuff:

1: The Hufflepuff Dormitory is right by the kitchen! Hello midnight snack satisfying!

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2: The House Mascot is a Honey Badger! We all know that Honey Badgers just don’t give a..well, you know ūüėČ

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3: Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders!

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4: Hufflepuffs look out for their friends!

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5: A lot of successful witches and wizards were (and are) Hufflepuffs!

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And last but certainly not least, J.K. Rowling herself has nothing but GOOD things to say about Hufflepuff!

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I could go on all day about why Hufflepuffs are AMAZING, but I think (and hope) that all of the non-Hufflepuffians get my point. Some of the greatest people that I have come to know in my life are Hufflepuffs, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t trade them for the world (not even for all the Gringotts money!). I love ya, Badgers! =) XOXOXOXO

Recipe: Pumpkin Pastry

Recipe submitted by Slug Club member Bryanna Plantier of Hufflepuff

Empanada makers
1 can of Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1/2 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Pie crust (homemade or store bought)

Homemade pie crust
1 cup Flour
A dash of Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 stick melted Unsalted butter
Water

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Use cookie sheet and grease bottom.
3. Combine ingredients for pie crust.
4. Roll out pie crust into a thing large circle. Approximately 1/2 inch in width.
5. Take an empanada maker (if you don’t have one use a large circular cookie cutter) and cut out as many circles as you can from dough.
6. Take the pumpkin, sugar and cinnamon and combine in bowl. Add more sugar if you feel necessary.
7. Place a circle of dough on empanada maker and take a scoop of pumpkin mixture. Place the mixture in the middle of dough and press the empanada maker together.
8. Place each one on the cookie shoot about an inch apart.
9. Repeat until mixture is gone.

*NOTE: If you do not have the empanada maker, cut circles of dough and fold with hands. Pinch dough closed.
10. Let cook 10-15 minutes or until crust is brown.
11. Finish off with a light dusting of cinnamon and butterbeer!

What does it mean to be a Hufflepuff?

By Slug Club member Arjun Govindan of Hufflepuff

Being willing to give the most and get the least. Work hard and honest and put your heart into everything you do. Where others may seek a greater glory, power, or wisdom; simply do whats right to do whats right, always.

Do what you do for love, in whatever form it manifests itself in. Be unafraid of toil, sweat and tears. Be unrelenting in what you do; dedicate your whole being into it. Never give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you.

Don’t Stop Believin’!

So my weekday night time visit started out great when I headed to Hogsmeade and peeked around the space in the wall and saw that there were people in costume back there! Plus there were some polo shirt and dress pants wearing types that were coming out of the temporary worker door at the entrance to Hogsmeade.

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So I decided to stay out there and watch the activity going on since I was a lonely girl waiting for my theme park partner to get through rush hour traffic. Then someone left the door open for a full minute!! Of course people flocked and we saw a large crowd of people heading into or out of the station! We would have taken a midnight train going anywhere but alas we saw no muggles getting pulled into the station. We decided that they all looked young and maybe were just trainees?

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I got a shot to the right but it was just trees : (. Here is one you can see the uniforms a little better. I also noticed looking through this opening that there is a glass window to the left that says tickets. We headed to the Dragon Challenge and were able to see the train in the station with people waiting to board the train! It was so good and there was no wait so we decided to go just one more time.

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Inside Hogsmeade, the fireworks window I told you that was moving last time was not moving this time so maybe they were just testing it out to work out bugs for the interactive rfid wands. What? Don’t believe that they are getting the windows ready for the interactive experiences? Check out the cauldron below, it was moving! It leaned forward to show a pixie inside. I also think they may add a little water to this as you can see a spout under the pixie on top. Maybe they were doing another test day to make sure it works okay for a length of time?

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Still don’t believe me?! Well this window is all covered up which may mean they are redoing it to make it interactive!

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And guess what? Sherman Lemon the snowman was back in his original position! Maybe other items will move too, that tower of tea cups and spoons that stir? Hey that plate is no longer on the chair! I wonder how long that has been gone I just noticed it. And is it just me or is the spoon inside the creamer dish standing straight up? It used to lean against it and there used to be a sugar dish with two spoons to the right of it but I don’t see it in this picture, but maybe it is just the angle?

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We headed over to Diagon Alley and in perfect time to see the train backing into the station! It was so awesome seeing the London facade at night! The clock had a glow to it and we were really excited to see the King’s Cross sign lit up!

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There were so many lights, you could see all the details in the window so much better.

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Street lights by the water were not on and either were the lights inside the Knight bus.

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The fountain was running! And I heard again that Kreacher was in the window, but I didn’t see him. We also thought we heard Potter music while we were there. We have a friend that took video while standing on a bench and all of the construction equipment was gone, so that is a good sign completion wise!

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I definitely suggest going at night for everyone that wants a thrill before Diagon Alley opens. There were no lines especially an hour before the park closes and plus the sun is not out so that is always a positive in Florida during summer! Sorry I was using my phone as a camera : (

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A Book and a Pub!

20140531_204125[1]It was the perfect evening for a magical gathering. ¬†The day: the 31st of May. The time: 1900 hours. The venue: the Orlando George and Dragon Pub. The book: ‚ÄúHarry Potter and the Sorcerer‚Äôs (or the Philosopher‚Äôs) Stone‚ÄĚ. Witches began to apparate from different directions; among them, two wizards! We crossed the portal in between two telephone boxes placed at the walkway to the
pub and joined the rest of the invitees in an area outside the pub, where we could be, more or less, far away from Muggles. Five new witches joined the group, which we warmly welcomed.

Then, our formal event started with a game of guessing the character.  We were all given 20140531_204137[1]
a name of a person (or ghost) from the book and we were to ask up to three indirect questions that could help us guess which name we were given. It was a very good ice breaker, since there were several new faces.  Afterwards, surrounded by beverages and appetizers, we began the discussion of the book following a list of related questions.  It was an amazing time of exchanging thoughts about various events in the book.  20140531_213616[1]This, while, unsuccessfully, trying to convince Matt (or Liam, your choice!) to sing karaoke for us and the Muggle audience inside the pub.  After some more drinks and conversation, we got to our trivia questions! Some of the answers were quite creative, which got the person some points, even if the answer was incorrect.  First, second and third place got the chance of picking a magical price from the Crate of Wonders (as I decided to call it). The witches were delighted with their choices.  We continued throughout the evening in lively conversation, getting to know each other, sharing experiences20140531_214255[1] (and songs) while, again, trying to convince Matt to sing for us as well as others that would like to participate in the karaoke night. That, for house points, but nobody dared. We let that part of the entertainment to the Muggles, which continued with their intense butchering of famous songs happening inside the pub, totally oblivious of our presence.  I wonder if the original artists, should they were magical, would
have the thought of performing the Cruciatus curse on them upon hearing them sing.  But that’s another story!

20140531_214305[1]All in all, it was a fantastic evening full of laughter, stories and vivacious conversations!
Never a dull moment or a quiet event in the Wizarding world! I, and I’m sure others as well, are looking forward to our next meetup.

Until next time…EVANESCO!

First’-years! First’-years over here!

Okay so while you won’t be able to have Hagrid take you on a boat to get your first glimpse of Hogwarts (they are totally missing the boat on that ride, by the way, I mean why not!) you can walk through Hogsmeade station into Hogsmeade!

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So they took down the walls across from Hogsmeade Station and pushed back the wall in front of it to reveal the trees and some stone work. There is a gap in the temporary wall and the trees where I got this photo! Looks like they have the fencing to put up still.

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They even took the wall down in the back area where I sneak and climb to get photos!

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I love the new sign out front of the station. And there is a fire hydrant?

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Over on the Diagon Alley side, there was not to much new stuff this weekend. Well, the Dragon of course but I don’t have a good enough camera to get a photo at that distance. You can see it from the Transformers area and Central Park. It is partially covered but I saw on Twitter they added the wings this morning. They are running the train with steam and whistle and everything!

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Looks like they are adding a layer of paint to the wall to age it and I saw they have most of the lighting done so I am going to try and go over there at night next time to get photos of that.

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They also added benches to the front of the fence now all they need to do is take it down!!!Image

I don’t think the King’s Cross sign was on the metal overhang before but can’t remember for sure lol.

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Are you ready? I know I am!

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No really, why isn’t this a ride!!!! Are they that dumb, do they not know us fans at all!

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