Venice Beach, Roller Derby and Wendi Friesen

Derby Doll Fresh Meat SkateToday I went to Venice Beach to meet up with a few of the Derby Doll Fresh Meat for a beach skate. We congregated near muscle beach then skated to the “end of the world” (Santa Monica) and back. It was fun, exhilirating, energizing and freeing. There were five of us all togehter:

L to R: Buttersnatch Sundae, Gritty in Pink, STEPHCON1, me (Gal VanIZed), Jess (still waiting on a skate name, would love one that is somehow related to a douche bag), Lusty Loveless (I probably totally got that wrong, school me fellow freshies). Also, if you want me to add your myspace links, make sure I’m your friend and/or send me your link.

Now here’s something pretty cool. I was rolling around, sorta in my own world when I hear someone calling my name. First I hear “Sheri” then I hear “Gal VanIZed.” I know for sure, this is a person who knows me. I spin around, fall to my knees and there stands Wendi Friesen. She was spending time with her son on a beautiful Southern California Mother’s Day.

Wendi Friesen and Sheri Zampelli at Venice Beach

What you have to know is, Wendi and I have been Twittering and G-mailing about a creative marketing idea. It’ll have to do with food, with hunger, and with hypnosis. You will actually come eat with us! You’ll love Wendi, she is great.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that here we’ve been brainstorming this idea pretty consistently for like 2 days and then boom, there we are. Me, her, Venice Beach, 2:36 p.m., in a precise area of a sprawling landscape of choices. Add to that, it was really her son that spotted us. If it wasn’t for him, well, who knows. He told his mom “look at those roller girls” and Wendi thought, “I wonder if one of them is Sheri.” There I was, a glowing beacon of pinkness standing before her.

Thousands of people are milling the aisles of the boardwalk, catching the mime show, chillin’ with the guitar guy on roller blades. You know the scene. You’ve been there or you’ve seen it in a movie. So how did it happen and why? Is it just “coincidence?” I think you’re gonna have to wait and find out.

P.S. Can I just say, I am getting a distinct vibe of L.A. Story happenin’ here.

There’s So Much to Love about Roller Derby

This Saturday night, May 3 I went to the Doll Factory to see the LA Derby Doll All-Stars play the San Diego Derby Dolls.  The game was exciting to be sure, lots of energy, lots of screaming and the fact that LA won by 115 points, well…that just leaves me speechless.

I’ll be honest, its not just the game or the rules or the uniforms that keep me going to roller derby, it’s the people. Never will you find an assemblage of more cool people per square foot than you do when you enter the Doll Factory. 

If your only exposure to LADD is that you heard about it from a friend, saw a video or read an article about them in the paper, I’m sure you could make all kinds of snap judgments and analyses of what you think roller derby is and what you think the people are like but until you set foot in the building and feel the energy first hand, you really don’t know anything about what makes roller derby so cool.

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the evening here.  I have more favorites on my Facebook page and you can see even more action by visiting the photo gallery at

Aunt Flo throws free tampons to the excited audience

Aunt Flo throws free tampons to the excited audience


While the rest of the Dolls hold out their hands to “five” the crowd, P.I.T.A. keeps her hands on her hips and gives her ass for “fives” maintaining true form to her derby name.

Myna Threat supporters (mom and grandma?) wait to see if they won the raffle

Myna Threat supporters (mom and grandma?) wait in silent anticipation to see if they won the raffle. They just might be eligible for a skateboard without wheels or an oversized VANS (off the wall) tennis shoe.

LA Derby Dolls Fearleader

LA Derby Dolls Fear Leader. Pink flower in her flowing blond hair, scowl on her face and skull belt buckle on her waist.

Dr. Rick celebrates his birthday with the LA Derby Dolls

Dr. Rick celebrates his birthday with the LA Derby Dolls

Mila Minute jams backwards

With an 80 point lead on the scoreboard, Mila decides to finish off the jam skating backwards. The crowd went wild, the screams were deafening.

Dolls jumpin' over Dolls, all in the name of Derby

Dolls jumpin’ over Dolls, all in the name of Derby

This is how happy I am at the end of a bout.

Even though I arrived at 5:30 to work the guest list and stood on my feet for five or more hours, this is what I feel like after a Derby Doll bout: Charged.

Hoopin’ in the Hood w/ Comic Roy Anthony

Roy Anthony does great work for the community including bringing comedy right to the neighborhood that needs a good laugh. On this evening, the comic line-up included Roy Anthony, “The Funny Lady of Comedy” and “Woody” the ventriloquist.

Sheri Zampelli hoops at a church fundraiser in Los Angeles and all participants enjoy the comedy of Roy Anthony and his fine selection of comics.

Black Eyed Peas at Universal City Walk 1998

Here are some photos from 1998 when my husband and I went to see the Black Eyed Peas at the Universal City Walk. This was at the very beginning of their career so it was no big deal to walk right up to, of the Black Eyed Peas. I can honestly say, most people were not there to see the Black Eyed Peas, nor did they even seem to know who the Black Eyed Peas were. The event was for Kobe, a Galaxy (soccer) player and the Black Eyed Peas just happened to be the entertainment. My husband and I were one of maybe 5 people who were there for the Black Eyed Peas only. Check out these photos.

The Black Eyed Peas (Manager?) was so excited that I knew all the words to all the songs that he insisted that I get them to sign the Behind The Front album cover (scroll down to take a look). My husband took these photos of me with the band. Notice, no one was paying any attention to us, we were in the middle of the store and not one person asked for their autographs or to take their pictures…too bad for them! I KNEW the Black Eyed Peas would go places!

Look at how young Taboo is in this picture. If the Black Eyed Peas had been discouraged early on and given up, they wouldn’t be who they are today. The same tenacity, faith and persistence that I’m sure they use to be successful is available and possible for all of us. In fact, if you listen to some of their lyrics, that’s exactly the message they want to convey. Believe it for yourself and great things can and WILL happen!

Here is the promo Behind the Front album cover I got signed by the Black Eyed Peas at the store that day. I didn’t want to take it out of the glass so it is a little fuzzy….Sorry about that.

Phyllis Diller’s Mansion Photos

Sheri and Dr. Kate hang out in Phyllis Diller’s costume room. Check out the zebra covering on the wall and ceiling. You can’t see it here, but one entire wall is all wigs from the rainbow afro wig to the spiky wild woman wig. You can see a few of her costumes off to the side. The room was filled with fun sequin costumes with feather boas and all kinds of other good stuff!

Here is a portrait near Phyllis Diller’s fireplace. If you look very closely you’ll see it’s a collage of everything from bottle caps, to a can of Beef Bouillon to hair spray cans to a tube of Poli-Grip to plastic hair rollers. Such fun.

Phyllis Diller's Mansion

While I was there I bought a piece of art called “Four O’Clock Kitty Time” and also asked Ms. Diller to sign a photo. It was fun to tour her hallway, see her workspaces and to lounge in her large living room alongside a Baby Grand Piano.

Marilyn Monroe Exhibit aboard the Queen Mary

Check out some of our fun photos from the Marilyn Monroe Media Event and advance tour of the “World Premier of Marilyn Monroe: The Exhibit.” aboard the Queen Mary. We had a blast! Go to for more information.

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Sheri Zampelli and Dr. Kate Bergam pose with the Marilyn Monroe look-alikes, aren’t they fun?

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Hugh Hefner is interviewed on the red carpet as Playboy Bunny’s stand by.

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Sheri Zampelli runs into some of her favorite people from the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce:
Edwina McKay from Drake Office Overload,
Mike Johnson, Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Membership,
Steven Kimbrough, Owner of Laugh is Hope Comedy Club
and on the end, Richard Greenbaum, Attorney at Law with his assistant, Patricia.

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Hugh Hefner poses with all the Marilyn Monroe Look-Alikes

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Panel members discuss the topic: Was it Really Suicide?
Panel Members include: June DiMaggio (niece of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn’s closest friend), Robert W. Otto, President and CEO of Marilyn Monroe Exhibits, Hugh Hefner, Mark Roesler, chairman and CEO of CMG Worldwide.

According to June DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe was a very intelligent woman who often read and quoted Emerson. Why is it that our society rarely allows a woman to be beautiful, sexy AND intelligent?

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Sheri Zampelli and Dr. Kate Bergam with Comic, Roy Anthony.

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Sheri Zampelli and Dr. Kate Bergam with Comic, Roy Anthony and Comedy Club Owner, Steven Kimbrough.

To see all photos from the Marilyn Monroe Event on the Queen Mary, Scroll Up!

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Sheri Zampelli and Dr. Kate Bergam in front of a beautiful Cadillac.

From Marilyn Monroe Exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Marilyn Monroe ice sculpture. Doesn’t it look great against the woodwork in the Queen Mary Grand Ballroom?