Flying done right


Kris and I are flying from Perth to Brisbane this afternoon, and I have to say, I'm remarkably relieved at how pleasant boarding the plane was.

There were no absurdly stupid "security" checks done. Our IDs, which can be faked, weren't checked. Our shoes, which were sandals and soft soled, didn't need to be removed. Our liquids, which could be any clear liquid, weren't confiscated. Our toothpaste was left alone. We had accents, yet weren't pulled aside for extra security measures. Incoming passengers were met at the gate. Departing passengers were able to say goodbye to their friends and loved ones at the gate. All of the retarded, onerous tasks that need to be done in the United States in order to board a plane, none of which make the flying of the plane actually safer, were avoided, and the reasonable ones (check for explosives and sharp objects) were done.

The flight out was such a sharp contrast to the rest of this trip, that it was actually pleasant. Even the large number of overhead bins that popped open during takeoff were funny instead of worrisome, as they would have been elsewhere.

Four star, my foot


When I made the hotel arrangements for this so-called "four star resort" for Worlds, I agreed that, should the need arise, the two 2-bedroom rooms we have would move into two 1-bedroom rooms, with the additional persons sleeping on the sofabed or a hotel-provided-at-no-fee rollaway bed. From the pictures on the website, the place looked roomy and cushy enough that, well, even if we did, we'd be moving for the night before the finals only, so, hey, no problem.

Several days ago, Lynelle stopped by the room and said, as per our agreement, you need to reduce rooms. To me, that meant reduce from a two bedroom to a 1-bedroom as agreed.

To her, that meant move from two 2-bedrooms into 1 2-bedroom, since weren't most of our people leaving on Saturday anyway, and, oh, could those two 1-bedrooms that I also reserved, could they move into one 2-bedroom.

Except only one person was leaving on Saturday. And the two 1-bedroom families each had infant children. My original reservation for four rooms was dropping to two rooms, and this "four star resort" was asking us, pushing us, to having seven people in one room with two bedrooms and one toliet.

I'm glad Brynne was around.

After the disaster of confusion, negotiation, and foot-dragging (oh, and a shoulder breaking by Mark), Brynne put on her hard-ass persona and gave Lynelle a one-two about moving all the rooms around. She, Megan and Katie managed to keep all of our rooms, the latter by refusing to move in the first place.

My favorite part of the whole disaster (if disasters can have favorite parts) is Mark's, statement, "I know you think what you're offering is a good deal, but it's not," directly to Lynelle, words for some reason I couldn't say.

I should probably find my notes on this issue, instead of summarizing from memory. The event was so disastrous it makes my blood pressure rise thinking about it, so maybe just spewing will be sufficient. Regardless, I think I can mark this down as another reason why it's very unlikely Kris and I will ever bother to come to Australia again.

Fifth day at Worlds


Fifth day at Worlds, and, well, we're out of the running.

Part of me is disappointed, but another part of me is relieved. We as a team originally said we came here to have fun, but, in reality, we were playing to win: subbing in our top roster, getting snippy when we didn't play well, the usual.

We lost in the round of 16 to the Bombing Mad Fatties who, as a team, has pretty bad spirit (independently confirmed by teams that play the team on a regular basis). We didn't figure out how to defend against their big players until late in the game (the top receiver is one of their worst throwers, and their women were universally non-stellar), so forcing to the women and their top guy under (instead of allowing him to score in the endzone) worked effectively. Tragically, we didn't figure this out until the gusty game was too close to overcome, losing 16-17.

The worst moment of the game was 14-14, when Mark went out of the game with a level 3 separated shoulder, requiring x-rays, an MRI and most certainly surgery.

Then losing to another team nearly immediately after that, a team that was clearly inferior, but we lacked heart.

We're on our way to 13th at the rate we're going. We'll meet Joyride again tomorrow morning at 8:30, and play our final game at 12:30. I'm uncertain to play, having rolled my ankle (the "healthy" one) in the second game of the day.

Can't say this has been one of my best tournaments.

Or vacations.

Fourth day at Worlds


Fourth day at Worlds and I'm remarkably stressed, but not from playing. We won our first game, against the Chad Larson Experience fairly handily, though I don't recall the score at the moment.

Our second game was against Whorshack, from Portland, and was interestingly less closer than the final score of 17-16 would suggest. We were up 15-11, when Foss and Adam adamantly suggested we throw the game to end up on the opposite side of the 16 teams bracket from Brass Monkey. I think it was less the Brass Monkey and more the playing three US teams that we've played before on the way to the finals.

Assuming we make the finals.

Part of me is hoping we don't make it, as that would mean the disasterous room situation would be more dire. But that part is the hestiant, fearful part. The other part of me is gearin' to go.

I'm playing okay at this tournament, but not great. I'm not playing much, trying to get back into playing in the first place. This season has been pretty awful in terms of fitness, skills and confidence. I think I'm ready for the season to be over, actually.

Two, maybe three days left.

Can't wait to be home again.

Third day at Worlds


Third day of play at Worlds and the flies are relentless. They're buzzing all over the place, landing on every body part, exposed or not, and staying there. Kris says they're biting him, which thrills me not at all. Mark discovered the flies will move if a fast moving object, say, a hand, is coming towards them, but not if a slow moving object is coming toweards them. He also learned how to squish the flies moving his hands slowly together, the fly trapped between.

Mark is brilliant.

We won our first game of day three against Joyride, a practicing mixed team from Vancouver, Canada. They were at Regionals, also, and played Family Style to a close win, finishing fifth in the Region, I think. We won 17-8, though, which was surprising for us, actually.

We have the retarded 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM schedule today, so most of the team has gone on a lunch cruise. Kria and I are, as usual, here at the fields, watching games. Kris is anyway. I'm writing this.

We're so predictable.

Second day at Worlds


Second day at Worlds, and Mark is angry at me. What a sucky suck day, when Mark is mad at me.

We beat the China/South Korea team, 17-5, in an incredibly blustery, windy day. We're undefeated in pool play, and will play Joyride, a Vancouver, Canada, team, and I think Osaka Natto from Japan tomorrow, with the retarted 8:30 AM / 4:30 PM schedule.

First day at Worlds, continued


Won our second game against the German team Endzonis 17-10 Good game in general, I dropped two discs in the endzone, fortunately on the same point. The wind grabbed the first one and pushed it down. I don't know why I missed the second one.

With the win, we secured the A pool win. Tragically, this means we have an 8:30 am game and a 4:30 PM game on Tuesday. The schedule for this tournament has been remarkably retarded. We're tourists in this city, it would be nice to actually spend our dollars with a schedule that permits us to travel outside the tournament. Though, admittedly, in later days, playing means we're doing well, and I'd prefer playing a crappy schedule to being knocked out early in the tournament.

Tomorrow is a game against Zhong, a China/South Korea team of expats similar to the Hong Kong team I played with at Worlds in 2002. I wonder if I'll recognize anyone.

First day at Worlds


First day at Worlds here in Perth, Western Australia, and they keep booting me off the wireless internet.

Turns out that, in Australia, it's not uncommon to nickel and dime everyone to poverty. Oh, you want ketchup (sorry, tomato sauce) with that? That'll be another 20cents. Oh, you want a second room key? That'll be an extra five dollars a day.

Because of the nickel and dime culture, complimentary wireless internet at the hotel costs $30AUD a day (or about $24/day on current exchange rates).

It's kinda annoying.

The only free wireless is at the fields, and they keep bumping me off the connection. Must be the massive uploads I've been trying to do to Flickr. Sigh.

We won our first game 17-11, against Dis'chords, a Montreal based team. The next game is against Endzonis, a German team, so we expect the style to be considerably different. Should be fun.

Dumb flies


"Why does this fly keep divebombing my nostrils?"

Megan offered, "Because you smell good?"

"What? Because my boogers smell good but the rest of me doesn't?"

Three oceans down


I'm a mountain girl. I'm not a water girl. Give me a hike in the mountains, through the forest, and around the lake over a swim in the ocean or a day lying around at the beach any day.

There are exceptions to my general mountain over ocean preferences: an ultimate game on the beach is preferable to a death march hike through the Grand Canyon, for example. For the most part, though, mountain over ocean.

For some reason I'm not quite clear on, I keep ending up at the ocean at these ultimate tournaments. Nationals was in Sarasota, Florida (a gulf more than an ocean, but a large body of water nonetheless), Worlds is in Perth, Western Australia.

So, in Perth, we're staying (ick! mixing verb tenses!) at a beach apartment complex, across the street from the beach, so all of maybe 50 yards from the waterfront. We wandered across the street to the beach,

"It's cold. I don't want do it, but I want to have done it." I smiled and said, "Well, the only way to have done it is to do it. Let's go."

The water was cold, close but not quite unbearably so, so we rushed out into the water, letting the waves crash higher and higher up our bodies. Eventually Kris went under, and a few waves later, I followed. I didn't go completely under, so chose to ride the next wave back towards shore.

I pushed off poorly on the next wave, but started swimming as fast as I could toward shore. Unfortunately, I also started after the wave started crashing. Instead of getting an easy ride to shore, I was dumped under the water, with the wave crashing over my head.

As I went under and couldn't find my feet under me, I kept thinking of my scuba diving qualification dive at Zuma Beach, and felt the brief tickle of panic that accompanies that memory when I'm in the water. Before it could become panic, my feet struck sand, and I surged forward, running to the shore.

I can now say, I have swum in the Indian Ocean. Kris can say the same.

I suspect I'll be heading back in the next few days, though. Once doesn't seem quite enough.