Here too many times


I've been in Boston way too much in the last year. This is visit number five inthe last year and a half, and it's to the point that I can actually find my way around. I can't give directions, nor can I neccesarily find my way home blindfolded as I once did out of Hollywood in college, starting with only an intersection. I do, however, recognize city names. I recognize buildings. I know which direction is North. I can navigate to the airport. I can drive without being flustered.

I have clearly spent too much time in Boston.

Time for a new city.

Post tournament fun


Of COURSE there was the ro-sham-eat.

At the sports bar, where we went after the last game to watch the EuroCup finals, a thunderstorm came rolling in. Being last June, and wonderfully warm as the rain came pouring down. Several teammates ran out into the rain to celebrate.

Well, celebrate isn't necessarily a great word, but the ladies did have fun.

I found the reaction of the other three sports bar patrons interesting. All three of them walked outside to "smoke," where "smoke" means ooogle at the half naked women prancing in the rain.

Prancing, at least, until the lighting started flashing with the booms less than three counts afterward. Then "prancing" became "mad dash back indoors."

Boston Invite 2008 - day 2


Okay, today was no where near as good as yesterday. I mean, aside from the fact I kept getting plowed into by my defenders yesterday, I didn't have any serious physical problems. I didn't think I was doing particularly better at making sharper cuts and stopping quickly to change directions, but the actions of my defenders said otherwise, as one after another ran into me on the field.

Today, however, I was knocked on my ass from a pivoting thrower who lowered her shoulder into me. Warren and Wade told me to step back, as she was deliberately drawing the foul, which I did, but thought I just made it easier for her to throw all of her throws. I probably should have contested the foul instead of accepting it: if I'm knocked on my ass, I'm pretty sure I didn't initiate that contact. If we had observers, I would have asked for their opinions.

That was, however, the least of my problems today. I woke up with stiff lower back that I couldn't loosen. I knew what was going on. I knew this was a physical manifestation of the frustration I've been having with myself. Knowing this does not make accepting it any easier. I tried to continuing playing, until I ended up dropping two very easy catches that I was WIDE open for, catches I rarely miss.

Eventually, however, my back completely seized on me, making even standing nearly impossible in the waves of pain. I stopped playing and took off my cleats.

And watched from the sidelines as yet another team cheated in a way that COMPLETELY infuriates me didn't help my mood any. Didn't help so much that I actually ended up in a fight with a guy from the other team about their cheating.

"We're not cheating."

"You have four people within three meters of the thrower. How is that not cheating?"

"There's another player in that three meters."

"Which means you get TWO players, not FOUR."

"They're allowed to be there."

"You know you can't have two people within three meters of the thrower right?"


"And your players are within three meters of the thrower, right?"


"And your players know they aren't supposed to be there, right?"


"But they're there anyway, right?"

"That's the way they play."

"So, they know they're not supposed to be there, but they do it anyway. That's the definition of cheating."

"Not if they think it's okay to be there."

"It's still cheating."

"No, it's not."

"How is it not cheating to have four people within three meters, all of whom know that only one person is allowed to be there? It's not like they're 10 feet away, they're like four feet away. The tall guy can touch the thrower!" I cursed here. "That's cheating."

"No, it's not."

How do you argue with blindness? How do you argue with people cheating? Worse, how do you accept a loss to a team that so clearly cheats, and thinks it's okay?

I couldn't. I walked away. I called Kris, waking him up at 7:30 AM, crying because I didn't know how to handle this confrontation, given how upset I was with the moron with whom I just had a screaming match.

To my surprise, the team noticed I was gone. Few people knew why, so I might not have been screaming as loudly as I feared I did.

We lost that game, and the last game of the tournament.

Doyle, Ninja style


Boston Invite 2008, day 1


Today was strange. The tournament this year is the same as last year, in that it's a round-robin tournament where we play all the other teams. I note that I didn't write about it last year, despite Kris bringing me two cakes for my birthday. Oddly, I didn't have any tournament pictures either. Strange.

I didn't play much today, but that's not surprising. We have nine women, which is plenty. The team was very encouraging about my playing time, cheering me on when I did go in, which makes me smile every time. I nearly always hear Steffi and Will ("Go, Kitty!"), both of whose cheers make me want to play hard.

We ended up losing the first game to Hooray for Ultimate, Hooray in our first game, which was in the second round. Yes, it's easy to say, "Well, we had a first round bye, they didn't" and "we were still on West Coast time," and any number of other excuses you want to bring, but the reality is they played better than we did. Yes, we had some odd, uncharacteristic turnovers (the one I recall most vividly was Mark dropping a disc on an in cut, uncovered, while still looking forward (i.e. not looking to throw before catching the disc, which is the cause of many uncharacteristic turnovers)). Yes, our energy was low. We lost.

We heard later, after Hooray had lost every other game today, that they said they played out of their minds against us. I like stories like that, where the underdog plays with such intensity and drive that they beat the expected winners. That's why you play the games, because you can never be completely sure of the victor.

My only memorable point in this game was when I was cutting deep to set up an in-cut, and had turned for the cut slightly too soon. Someone had thrown to Lyndsay along the sideline, with the throw it was slightly too far to the outside when she went up for it. The disc bounced off her somehow, and macked up. I adjusted my cut and caught the disc low, with my signature thunk. I turned to see Mark cutting deep at an angle toward the cone on the sideline I was on, his defender right on his inside hip. I put up a loopy forehand that was high and around his defender, which Mark caught seemingly effortlessly. DanO later told me that he was thinking, "No! Conservation of greatness!" when I made the throw, but, eh, know your receiver: Mark's awesome, he'll catch it. Mark did, then threw for the score. Everyone erupted from the sidelines for me.

Doyle did say I ran for a few steps with my arm outstretched, his thinking "Don't run with your arm outstretched! Get there then reach out!" Emily Biss used to catch that way, running with her arms outstretched. It looked funny. I hope I don't get into that habit.

Our next game was against the British National Team, which is going to Worlds. We won the game 15-10, with my only memory of the game being of a very tall Englishman commenting that we were an arrogant bunch after the team rushed the field chanting "I see red!". I have to admit that I sometimes feel uncomfortable when the team does this, especially when the team doesn't really need it to psych itself up. However, I don't mind enough to actually care one way or the other.

Our next game was with Slow White, our cross-country rival since 2006. During the game, in which I played maybe three points (but was QUITE happy with those three points), I started talking with another spectator on the sideline. He commented to me, while pointing to the Mischief seven on the line, "that team isn't well know for its spirit."

I responded with, "You mean, around here, because they beat that team," while pointing to the Slow White seven on the line. I was particularly annoyed by that man's comments, sure he had some connection to Slow White, as I watched the Slow White players spike the disc time and time again after they score. Okay, so, we may cheer "I see RED!" but we don't spike the disc our way to a 15-11 victory.

I did have to wonder, though, if, because Mischief was a top team, that we were becoming Donner-like. Were we the Donner Party of this tournament? Of course, that brought up the speculation that perhaps Donner wasn't as awful as I thought they were, that maybe I was just annoyed/frustrated/spiteful because they were the better team.

Of course, the Donner thought is not new to me.

Our last game was against Puppet Regime, and was also quite unmemorable. We won 13-10.

Tomorrow we play another three games, against Bashing Pinatas, Team Fisher Price, and AMP.

Town of Bitch, population: Me.


All I wanted was a bed.

Instead, I got a one way ticket to the town of Bitch, population: me.

So, this is my last tournament with Mischief. With the roster solid, and full of enough women players that I'm not needed, this should be the last tournament I go to with the team. Certainly as a player, as I haven't ruled out taking statistics. Of course, that assumes the team is okay with my tagging along. I think the next tournament isn't until the middle of August, so I have time to ponder the next tournament.

Given this is my last expected tournament with the team, I was really hoping, hoping beyond hope, that I would be able to go to the tournament and, like everyone else, just have everything taken care of for me: someone else rent the car, someone else deal with the rooms, someone else deal with game times and getting the players to the right fields, someone else deal with the organizing and coordinating, and just let me play.

The biggest reason I became the defacto team manager so long ago was because every time I left it to someone else, something disastrous happened and I would get screwed. Okay, a bit dramatic there, and a definite exaggeration, but if not screwed, certainly get the short end of whatever stick happened to be presented.

Think: Rippit, Regionals 2002 and the disgusting hotel to save $20 a night.

Of course, there are serious, way big exceptions to this rule, Nationals 2005 being the perfect example of this.

Yeah, well, tonight wasn't an exception, unfortunately. Since I was flying in from Chicago, and not with the group, despite the fact I was scheduled to arrive two hours before everyone, there wasn't car space for me, I'd have to get my own car. WTF? I'm arriving BEFORE everyone else so that they don't have to wait for me, but I have to rent my own car.

Fine. Whatever.

My carload, which I have to admit, was the best carload ever, with Mark, Wade and Andy, went to get cannolis in Boston's North End. However, by the time we finished eating and the retarded GPS unit navigated us through Boston to the hotel, we were the last to the hotel.

Last to the hotel that gave us three rooms with single king sized beds instead of two double beds. So, each room sleeps two, maybe three on the big bed, instead of four.

Last one to the hotel equals no bed space.

This is why I make the travel arrangements. This is why I always want to be the first to a hotel. This is why I always get more rooms than the team thinks it needs. $100 / 20 people is $5 a person, and $5 I'm willing to cover if needed. Hell, I was willing to get my own room tonight, I didn't care.

I went up to the woman at the front desk for help. "You gave us three rooms with King sized beds. That's six bed spaces. We reserved three rooms with double beds, that's twelve bed spaces. One of those missing spaces is my bed space. What are you going to do to fix this problem?"

"We don't have any rooms available."

Right. So much for getting another room. "That's not what I asked. I asked what are you going to do to solve my problem, the problem you created?"

"We don't have any rooms."

"Do you have any rollaway beds available?"


"Perhaps you should move several rollaway beds into each room, and comp the cost, since this was your error."

"Uh... I'll have to wait for my manager."

In the end, I was so angry with the incompetence of the woman at the front desk that I just launched into bitch-mode, becoming completely ineffective in resolving the bed issue. Mark saved me by running down the hall, around the corner, and returning with a rollaway bed and three blankets. The rollaway had been used, but sleeping on a blanket and under another one, and I was fine.

Now that I have bed, I'm embarrassed about my inability to resolve the problem myself. If someone else had a problem, I'd be able to solve it. My problems? I just become bitch.

I need to know when Regionals are this year to make hotel arrangements sooner than later. That, and I'm glad the team has Spawnfest hotel rooms already. Gah.