Momma and the Po-Po

My mom is out to visit. She's out for not very long, which is sad, but it's more than nothing. When she comes out to visit, she gets things done, which is great, because I need the motivation sometimes.

These few days, she's gone to see Revenge of the Sith with us, painted the bathroom vanity, cleaned my kitchen, made dinner for me, helped me make the communal dinner yesterday, taken me to Cold Stone Creamery, and, entertainingly enough, raced the po-po on the streets of Sunnyvale.

And even more interestingly enough, despite having a superior car, she lost the race.

Mom, it's the pedal on the right.

 To play, or not to play

Today is a day when I think about retiring from ultimate. A day of incredible frustration, and displays of my personality that I prefer to keep buried, hidden, unexposed.

We were playing at the Ashland Oregon Coed Cramp-Up, a mixed gender ultimate tournament that has been held annually for 12 years.

We lost our first game handily. I'd like to say it was because we didn't warm up properly, play intensely, or gel very well as a team. That statement is certainly true, but it doesn't justify crappy play.

We won our second game fairly handily (13-8) against a team that played a very close game to a rock star team that crushed us in the third round.

Against a team that I became quite pissy at. And that frustrates me.

A lot.

Last weekend, we played at Quincy's MUD Classic. One of our opponents was Donner Party D Pool, a reunion team made up of players from the disbanded stellar mixed team Donner Party.

Now, playing against Donner Party (DP) is the absolute worst ultimate experience... DP does not, and never did, understand the concept of Spirit of the Game™. To them, any call against them is "bad spirit"; any call for them is "good spirit." The same is true for any legitimate call that goes against them, or for them, respectively. They pretend to be "spirited," but when a game is close they become snippy, claiming no calls go their way, if their opponent wasn't so unspirited this game woyld be better. They also try to get away with decidedly cheating play such as claiming a disc caught after bouncing off the ground was still up and in play. All while calling a player inbounds from the opposite side of the field.

Actual conversation between a Donner player and me last weekend. We were standing on the home sideline as two players discussed if another Donner player caught the disc inbounds or not.

    Donner player: How can they call her out of bounds over there? She's clearly inbounds. There are no lines. There's nothing over there to show where out-of-bounds are.

    Me: Except two cones.

He shut up.

So today in our third game, the one against the top team in our pool coming into the tournament, in one point, I'm called first in the string. Meaning, I'll catch the disc from thw pull and put the disc into play for that point.

The disc floats funny and takes a low line out of bounds, landing on the line and bouncing two feet out of bounds. I call brick and ask Kyle Schleifer if he wants to take the disc as the first thrower. There's some noise downfield, and eventyally the question, "You're taking at the line, right?" floats into my consciousness. I reply, "No, I called brick." Another person, this one closer to me, replies to me, "It landed in and rolled out." "No, it landed out. I had best perspective. I was standing right there. It was out." "You looked at the cones first. That guy," he points to a non-player on the sideline, "says it landed in." I turned to this player, while walking back to the stack, and said, "That guy isn't on the field. Best perspective on the field makes the call. I had the best perspective. And I called it out."

The conversation ended at that point, but I was incredibly annoyed. The disc was two feet out of bounds. I was standing over the freaking thing when it landed. I felt like I was playing Donner all over again with the complete lack of respect for the calls of other players.

And with any emotion of irritation, I try to figure out why I'm just so angry about the whole incident. Why, after another game and dinner, am I still obsessively thinking of this on incident? I stood my ground. I was assertive. And now I feel as if I've done something wrong and it sucks.

Deep down, maybe I think I'm becoming one of those pissy Donner players. And that's what I fear the most.

I apologize when I foul someone. I apologize when I even accidently bump my opponents. I don't participate in on-field discussions when I didn't have any perspective on the field. I try to contest and move on if I disagree with calls against me. I take myself out of games when I'm getting too hotheaded, sometimes to the detriment of my team.

But situations like the pull today make me wonder if I'm as nice as I think I am, as I want to be. Did I dig in my heels because I was right, or because I wanted to be right?

 Better watch that heart rate

As part of running an ultimate league, helping run another league and generally participating in the ultimate community at large, I get a number of emails to the owners of various mailing lists and whatnot.

I also get a lot of virus and spam messages to announcement mailing lists of said leagues. Since the lists are moderated, and I'm that moderator, I reject all the bad emails, protecting the league from all the bad messages.

Other email lists don't do this (femultimate comes to mind), and it's annoying to receive so many spam messages from a women's ultimate list. Erf.

Today I received a posting to the MPUL mailing list from one Aaron Strout ( It wasn't even a reply-all to a posting that went out the various lists (one announcing a hat tournament): he emailed to every address in an email that had been forwarded several times.

Judging by the Subject line, Aaron is on the LPCultimate mailing lists. If Aaron weren't a complete idiot, he would have read his email, which includes instructions on how to be removed from the mailing list. He is obviously a moron who doesn't realize that he should remove his email address from the mailing list, instead of whining to someone else to do it.

> On 5/12/05, Las Positas Ultimate <> wrote:
> >
> > This is the first step to playing more and becoming better.  Hat tournament
> > May 21st in Modesto.  It's pretty beginner friendly and sounds like a good
> > time.
> >
> > Note: forwarded message attached.
> > ________________________________
> > Visit our forum at for more info.
> > To visit your group on the web, go to:
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Matt West <cvul*****>
> > To: Las Positas Ultimate <lpc*****>
> > Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 16:43:10 -0700 (PDT)
> > Subject: Fwd: [SFUC] Hat Tourney May 21st
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: "Dan Handler" 
> > To: sfuc, sful, mpul, santacrucial
> > Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 11:20:09 -0800
> > Subject: [SFUC] Hat Tourney May 21st
> >  Here's the propaganda from them copied below.  The absolute best part is
> > that you can practice your layouts in the huge pool next to the fields in
> > between rounds.
> >


I love his "or else". Might be time to start posting his email address to and alt.beastiality. Enjoy the spam, jerk.

 Ever read about yourself?

I should be working right now. I'm up late specifically so that I can do work, and I'm not doing it. Every since Mom visited middle of last month, I've been in bed nominally by 11:00 pm and up around 7:30 am. Which is pretty good for me, and a far cry from my 2:00 am bedtime and 10:00 am wake up time.

But I have work to do, and I'm not doing it.

Instead, I'm surfing around the 'net, looking at various sites, catching up on reading blogs I've missed recently, and generally having a relaxing time. Maybe I shouldn't be so gung-ho all the time. Maybe I should actually schedule downtime, instead of feeling guilty about it when I do.

At least I'm not watching that accursed television. Damn TiVo to hell, I say. I've watched more television since we got that damned appliance than all the television of the previous 5 years combined.

And I'm not kidding.

At least it was quality television.


But I'm not watching television, or catching up on my magazine a day. I'm surfing and reading Paul's blog.

Paul emailed me this past weekend. I didn't get the email until yesterday because of the tournament at Quincy, but when I read it, I was admittedly a little surprised: Paul, too, has an online journal (blog, if you must).

And he told me where it is.

Hop, skip and a jump, and I'm over reading it. Who can resist such an offer? The ultimate in vanity! A chance to see someone else write about you. What a deal!

Or not.

I think I now find it awkward. I wasn't specfically named in the blog, which is kinda nice, but I can hear his voice, I can see his mannerisms, I can feel his presence when I read his writings, and it's strange.

His journal is much more of a private journal than this one is for me. He doesn't publish it. It's not linked to his name. He doesn't use his friends' names. If I didn't know who he was, the blog would be completely anonymous (unless, of course, I had access to the server logs: then all bets are off).

But I do know who's writing, and it's like peering into another person's vulnerabilities, seeing his weaknesses. You're never supposed to show weaknesses, right? Chest thump, macho this and macho that, king of the world, take no prisoners crap.

Yet, here is a bit of someone's soul showing through. A hint of the self-torture in deciding whether or not to reveal personal thoughts, feelings, self-doubt or emotions that, up until now, have been show to only two other friends, neither of them ex-girlfriends.

It's fascinating, and a little bit uncomfortable to realize that I'm the cause of that internal twisting.

I don't know why I think people don't go through the same thing I go through. I have all the same "Should I put this out there?" doubts and internal struggles. I eventually decided that this is my personal blog, and will be my more public blog. I'll link to that one. I won't link to this one. You can't find this one through Google, and I'm fighting to get it off Yahoo and MSN (amazing what a $47000 invoice sent to a public company will do). So, my quirks go here, my tutorials go there and I have some segregation. But what goes where, and how do I decide what to say, and what not to say?

Because some of the personal tragedies are actually very funny after the fact.

I should be asleep now.


Today was track practice, as are most Tuesdays during the season. Kris and I have been incorporating the pylometrics, abs and power workouts we learned at ASA, and helping train our teammates. We've also been integrating longer distance, endurance running into the workout to give us a base this early in the season.

I often wonder if a 1.5 hour workout once a week can really help much, but it's better than sitting on my ass every Tuesday night.

I guess.

Last week after the plyometrics, we ran 3 800m relays: in groups of 3, each person ran 800m, then rested as the other two runners on his team ran an 800m, too. I ran with Heather, as there were 4 women at the track, and Heather likes to run with a partner. I told her I would be running at an 8:00/mile pace, if that was okay. It was, and we were actually able to run the 800s in 3:57, 3:56 and 3:47.

This week, however, we ran a 400, an 800, then a 400. We ran a reduced run because we had a tournament last weekend, and another tournament this weekend. Fair enough.

My plan was to run a 2:00, 4:00 and a 1:50, keeping with my 8:00/mile times. Brynne, Heidi and I all ran at the same time, because we were partnered with Kris and Chris in the relay. Heidi wanted to run fast, fast, fast, so I slowed her down on the first 100 of the first 400.

The back stretch of the track had a nice back wind on it, so running fast in the first 200 yards was very easy. The front stretch, on the other hand, was a bear! That head wind was almost enough to stop a runner. Ugh.

I ran my first 400 in 1:47. Faster than I expected, but good none-the-less. I was a second behind Heidi and 2 seconds behind Brynne, who kicked in the last 40 yards to pass me at the end. I minded little because we had two more runs to run.

I ran the 800 in 3:46. Faster than my expected 4:00, and pretty good with that darned head wind. And not bad after all the plyometrics we did. I was feeling pretty good at the start of the run, and ran faster than a jog, but pretty much my natural running pace, with a kick at the end. Heidi came in at 3:57, Brynne at 4:21.

My last 400 I didn't even bother to run with Heidi and Brynne. I just relaxed into my pace, making sure I kept my arms swinging forward and backward (and not side to side as they used to do when I used to get tired), and my knees up. Before I started, I was trying to decide if I wanted to run it in 90 seconds or 100, and settled on 100. I ran a 1:37.

It's very hard to run a 1:37 400m and realize I used to run them 33 seconds faster (my best time of 64 seconds in college). But I couldn't play ultimate, and couldn't catch a disc then, so it all balances out.

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