Mischief EYE


Tonight was Mischief's End of Year Extravaganza, also known as the Michief EYE.

The EYE is a good time to review the season, congratulate ourselves on a season well done, see people we haven't seen for a while (say, since the season ended, which is strange because these people are so part of our lifes, so close to us during the season, that the abruptness of their disappearance from our lives is startling - or that could be just me).

Kris played a song on his electric guitar for Lori, after partaking in some PARS. He was making up his lack of psych-up-buddiness during the season to Lori, since he had done a particularly poor job (which even he admits he didn't do so well). He had grand plans, they just took a while to actually complete.

After the song, team awards were handed out. I received the Most Statistically Significant award, by making all the other statistics possible. I lurve the award.

After the awards, we had the captains' gifts and then the white elephant gift exchange. The exchange was quite entertaining, more-so since I didn't actually bring a gift, and could watch everyone else's gift exchange many hands.

That, and play with Mirabelle and Meter. That's the best part of the evening.

Amazing teammates


Question: How amazingly cool are the Mischief folk?

Answer: Incredibly so.

Brynne had Pickett as her psych-up buddy. He made her a special batch of beer for her as a psych-up gift. The name of the beer?

Big Booty Ale.

The layout


So, the layout.

I don't layout in ultimate. I can count on one hand the number of times I've laid out (4), but I've wanted to be able to do so for a long time. Actually, I've been wanting to be able to be able to reach a disc, increase my range of reception, be a bigger target.

So, to overcome this "limitation," I've been visualizing. My body can't do what I want it to do if even *I* don't know what I want it to do. I've been watching videos, and live games, watching for what I want to learn to do, imagining myself doing it. Mostly what I'm trying to figure out is how to lay out in stride. I recall seeing Dave Brokaw lay out in stride by reaching by just running and reaching out straight, and that seemed the smoothest way to go.

Figuring out the movement has been the challenge. I'd settled on a one-two-boom! step where the first two steps set up the launch.

Not sure it helped though. I've asked Doyle to teach me, but his response has always been, "No, you just have to do it."

Somehow, today was the day. I had cleared to the back of the stack, and saw the disc swing from the sideline to the dump straight in front of the stack. I started cutting in as the disc was swinging, as hard as I could. Ryan threw the disc, but it was low.

Just as Doyle say, "You just have to do it," I got low and tried to reach low. It wasn't graceful. It wasn't pretty. I held my right arm tucked into me as I landed, slightly jamming my shoulder as I landed, my left arm reaching out for that disc, I wanted that disc.

I missed. It hit the ground and bounced up. I don't know what my legs were doing during the attempt. I could have looked as much like a dork as I fear I did, but I don't care. I had one arm stretched out and I tried for that disc.

Shirley congratulated me on the attempt, and included a "so close!" A couple other people commented on it. I've heard a few comments on my attempt from other teammates when they didn't realize I was listening. I've been so happy to hear their praise. It means I didn't look like the dork I think I might have been at that moment. *smirk*

Odd that I'd post on just one play in one game in the entire tournament, but I'm happy that, on my last tournament at the elite level of ultimate, I managed to achieve that one elusive goal.

I can retire satisfied.

Well, phooey


We lost our first game, quarters, dropping us to the bottom half of the top bracket, playing for 5th. We lost to Slow White, whom we had beaten last year in the finals to win the Championship. We had beaten them earlier this year, and, well, they had their revenge today.

Since we were out in the finals, we played two more games for fifth place. We won both of them and finished the tournament in 5th place. Not bad, but not 1st. I played a lot more points in the last two games, managing to actually lay out in a bid for a low disc coming in. I missed, but the visualizations I've been doing for the last month paid off: I didn't think about getting low, I didn't think about reaching, I just did it.

Next time, I'll actually catch the disc.

Tonight will be a night of debauchery, given we're done with the tournament. Not the reason we wanted to celebrate, even Kris dashed off for beer as soon as the game was over and psych-up buddies were revealed, but, well, sometimes parties don't need reasons.

Today went much better


Today was better than yesterday. We played Brass Monkey in the first game. We have their number, though it was close, close, close, and won 15-13. I wasn't at the field to see the end of the game, as I took Steffi's friend Janie to the airport (thankfully close!), leaving as the score was 12-12.

The second game of the day was against AMP. We took half 8-5. Shirley let me know when we were up by four points, I should sub in. I asked if I should go in, or if I should wait for her to call me in, and she said just go. Three points later, and we were up 10-6. On the line, Kyle told the women to front their women. After the pull, I ran down, and was fronting my woman, but the sideline started screaming at me to back my woman. I did, and tragically she caught the disc three times going in on the way to their scoring the next point. Sigh.

Winning two games, however, meant we don't have to play a third today. The other games finished such that we have probably our best possible path to the finals. One game, one point, one cut, one catch at a time, not looking past the next game.

However, if I had to request a path, given yesterday's results, it would look like this:



Andy, DanO, Kris and I went off for lunch to a local Italian place. When the drinks arrived, DanO picked up his straw, removed the wrapper, plunked it into his drink, and started drinking.

"Given how environmentally conscious you are, I'm surprised you use straws. Is there a particular reason for doing so?" I commented and asked.

Kris looked over at me surprised at my directness. Andy looked over at me unsurprised, but reached for his drink.

DanO hemmed and hawwed for a few moments, trying to come up with some reason for using a straw, as I continued, "You know, those take decades to decompose. They're made of plastic."

Kris sat silent. Andy looked down, busy with something in his hands.

DanO continued to wave his hands and say little, until he finally stopped, and stated, "I like drinking from straws."

"That's fine," I responded, "As long as there's a reason, and not just a mindless use of them. Liking them and deliberately using them, say, to keep the liquids from staining your teeth, is reasonable."

We looked over at the relief on Kris' face.

And Andy's answer to my straw accusation:

It exploded five seconds after the picture.

I miss Megan


Kris and I travelled to Florida today for this year's UPA Club Championships. It's the same tournament we won last year, and return as defending National champs. Travelling isn't something I like to admit, but, well, we have someone staying at the house and another someone taking care of the dogs so I guess it's no different than our being at the house and I can admint it.

I just realized the comma isn't working on my keyboard. Oddly enough the less than symbol (or shift-comma) is.

After an annoying flight, a mad dash, and an entertaining flight in the back of the plane next to the bathroom, but next to Kris, so who cares, Kris and I arrived in Sarasota, rented a car, and drove to our villa.

Although it was only 11:30 or so here, 8:30 at home, we were tired. Too much travelling today. Way too much. However, we were also very hungry. The Waffle House didn't tempt Kris enough, and we were unable to find a grocery store on the way to the villas, so we went back out to find food.

We drove along the road perpendicular to the freeway, on the way back to the freeway. Kris asked if I wanted to go to the ghetto Safeway, or the upscale Safeway. I said surely the upscale one was better, though I didn't realize the ghetto Safeway was actually a Publix (and how to you pronounce that name? Similar to pubic? Or like public?). After we passed the one with a Hooters next door, I asked Kris if the Publix we were going to had the coffee show close to it, did it have a dark brown brick strip mall near it.

Kris said yes, and, oh, crap, I do remember where we were going. The moment seemed very deja-vu. I realized I thought the strip mall we were going to was associated with a different tournament. I couldn't place the tournament until we turned into the shopping complex, but when I did, it all came back very quickly.

And then I thought, argh, we're at Nationals, and Megan isn't. Gah! What is a tournament without Megan? And Mirabelle?

Crap, that's what it is. A crappy tournament.


I miss Megan already.

Double practice


We had double practice this weekend. This is only my second double practice weekend practice this season, as I've been out of town or otherwise occupied (read: excused from practice) every other double practice weekend. Regionals are past, so now it's all preparing for Nationals. I'm sure what I could do other than maybe be a good opponent for my teammates.

With this in mind, I played as hard as I could this morning. Each point I went in, I ran as hard as I could. Practice was only four hours long, but it felt like a full tournament day, with the sun, and wind, and exertion of play. I was sore and tired at the end of the day, which felt wonderful. It's been a long time since I could play all out, and I'm glad I had the opportunity today.



I find it strange that Tyler believes any turnover in a game is caused by a lack of respect for the opponent.

I'm pretty sure that's not why I wasn't able to catch a couple discs yesterday.

Regionals, day 2, with a low


Patrick Hard used to play for a top Open team, Ring of Fire, which played in the finals of the 2002 Club Championships. Watching the various videos of him and his team, many people would say something to the effect of Patrick's being one of the, if not the, top players on the team. I recall phrases like "carried the team to..." in reference to Patrick and the team. Not only is he that good of an ultimate player, but he's that good regardless. One of the good people I like in my life, if only at the edges.

Patrick plays Mixed ultimate these days. When asked why he switched, he said, "because I don't like the person I become when I play Open." I think he was 22 when I first heard him say that, and was impressed with the wisdom and maturity of the statement. Had I known Patrick, I wouldn't have been surprised (see above reference to "good people").