Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mixed Nuts

I’m tired. Here’s a quick update.

Since NUFL 1 there was a week of work. I started making my own lunches for some reason which are pretty gross. This won’t last long.

Last weekend was a Mixed Nats qualifier. I played with Gary. We had a lot of fun. We beat two established teams (Honey Badgers and Mucous) and even gave Station 59 (Joy, Hussey, Liz, Chris, Jess, etc,) a decent game. (Tied at 5s, final 17-12). I played pretty well and handled a lot. I tied in the women’s MVP voting and got to split the spoils (a beer) with Mama (Lauren) which is pretty cool. Pretty much everyone on Gary is like a Freshman at Uni and there are also some juniors like Snail's
super cool sister Cat. The team is goofy and very positive and it was a lot of fun. Cute Kids.

After the tournament, we went to the beach near St. Kilda. The water was freezing and made my feet numb but Mel Jackson and Chris and Sebbo Barr got all the way in the ocean. Dave did a back flip on the sand despite an ankle too sore to play the second half of the finals against Station 59. I was suspect and biked off to the Gunn Island Hotel where we all watched two footy games and drank Bees Knees beer and ate bar food. It was a good Sunday.

NUFL 2 is coming up. I’m helping to organize “billets” which means a free place to crash with another ultimate player. It’s pretty common here and a uniquely Australian thing. No one makes hotel reservations. They all just couch surf around the country. Slackers!

I got a great card in the mail from my mom. Kelly humor is puntastic. Hippo Birdy Two Ewe. You get the idea. This card couples my mom’s essential criteria (a golden retriever on the front) with a Kelly pun. The golden on the front is standing in a baby pool. The text inside reads, “You’re the one I waded for.” I laughed.

My parents will be here in early October. We’ll be checking out Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road and the Yarra Wine Valley. I am preparing for the impact.

This weekend will involve VOS practice, a party at Joy & Hussey’s house and watching some footy.

Congrats to Ambush for finally getting over on Godiva.
Congrats to Lindy for her first day of Kindergarten.

Thanks to Jesse for passing on this link of the AFL player who is trying out as punter for the eagles: Sav Rocca

Have a great Labor Day you lazy Americans.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Victorian Era

NUFL 1: This past weekend (August 18 & 19) was the National Ultimate Frisbee League tournament in Sydney.

Friday after work I went home, got all my stuff together and headed out to Southern Cross Station to catch the red SkyBus to Tullamarine airport. Also on the bus with me were my Team Box and NUFL captain Liz Edye and Heads of State team member Owen Shepard. The traffic was bad on the way to the airport and Owen was nervous about missing his flight. I wasn’t worried as I had plenty of time. I was going to check in, fly to Sydney, meet up with Liz in the airport and rent a car. I went to the JetStar counter to check in and couldn’t find the queue for my flight. Hmmm. I went to the JetStar information counter to learn that my flight (which was taking off in about an hour) was departing from Avalon airport near Geelong, not Tullamarine. No one’s fault but my own; it was right there in the confirmation e-mail I had printed out and not read very closely.

There was no way to make it to Avalon in that time, and that was the last flight to Sydney that day. The nice folks at JetStar moved me to the 6 AM Saturday morning flight at no charge. I called Liz to let her know that her parents would need to pick her up as I couldn’t give her a lift home if I was still in Melbourne. Back on the SkyBus (through traffic again) to Southern Cross Station where I learned that the bus I needed to the Avalon airport for my flight on Saturday morning departed at 3:45 AM. Great. It was 10 PM and I needed to get up at about 3 to make my flight. I went home, failed to change my Budget rental reservation because their customer service line closes at 6 PM (thanks jerks) and they won’t take same day reservation modifications online.

I got about four hours of sleep before returning to Southern Cross and then onto the SunBus to Avalon where I met Timill from Heads of State. Quick nap of a flight and then we’re in Sydney. I go to pick up my rental car which has somehow become twice as expensive because I didn’t pick it up last night but I have no time to fight with them as I need to get to the fields. It’s 7:30 Saturday morning and I’m tired and cranky from the mix up and lack of sleep. I need to exit the rental lot and double back around to terminal 2 arrivals to pick up Timill, Rueben and Dave from Heads of State who I had agreed to give a lift to the fields. I’m trying to hurry, adjust my mirrors, stay on the left side of the road and read airport signage. My rental car is also making a suspicious beeping sound. I can’t figure out how to get back to arrivals and I keep ending up in turn only lanes. Well, I end up miles away and have to follow the signs back to the airport and explain to the boys what happened and why I abandoned them at the airport. Rueben agrees to navigate, I assign Dave to ‘left side of the road’ duty and Timill figures out that the annoying beeping is a speed monitor that beeps when I drive above the speed limit. Thankfully, this distraction can be disabled. Let’s hope this ‘innovation’ never makes it to the US.

We go through three separate toll roads and tunnels that don’t accept cash and will require me to pay online later, but we do safely arrive at the fields at MacQuarie University in North Sydney in time to warm up and play.

The Victorian team here is VOS, Victoria One Squad, which refers to the three club teams that joined like Voltron to form the NUFL team: Team Box, Ishtar and Honey. Sydney has decided to form two teams to represent New South Wales: Betty Crocker and Sarah Lee. First up on Saturday morning we play Betty Crocker. The fields are nice, it’s warm and sunny and not much wind. It’s a perfect day for ultimate.

Check out this website for the results: NUFL .For more detail, read on.

Our first Sydney game was close and tough. We started out down a couple quickly like we weren’t quite ready to play. Then we traded for the rest of the first half. I was cutting well and catching well, but I had a turn when I threw a quick break to a receiver who called for the disc but wasn’t open. (I still have to look!) Despite the lack of wind, both teams were having more success with Zone and Junk Ds than with man. I think this is because it stopped the set O plays we had all been planning to run. We fought hard in the second half mostly trading but were never able to string enough points in a row to get the lead.

Pretty much directly after the first game, we had a second game against the fACTory girls from Canberra (Australian Capital Territory). This was another close, hard fought game. We trailed most of the game but were able to string together a few points late in the second half to take the lead and the game. Towards the end of the game I rolled my ankle jumping over to strike on the mark. Mama (Lauren) brought me ice. As close as the game had been, we were lucky to come away 1-1 for the day.

By 2:00 PM we were done for the day, eating a ‘typical’ Australian Frisbee lunch and watching the Heads of State guys lose a close one to Barefoot from Sydney. I was exhausted and getting cranky. In typical ultimate style there was a lot of faffing around and it was 6 PM or so before I could gather up the girls in my rental car to drive to ‘The Ranch’ which was a huge social club like restaurant where all the teams were going for dinner. At this point, I felt like a captive being subjected to sleep deprivation by my interrogators, the VOS girls. All I want is sleep and to be left alone. I ate some pretty crummy pasta and then went out to the car to sleep. In what seemed like one second after I sat down in the rental car, (but was actually an hour) the girls were outside and ready to go back to Liz’s parents place for sleep. We went to a grocery store on the way there to buy breakfast for in the morning and then off to the Edye’s home. They have a beautiful house that easily and comfortably slept the 10 of us. I showered and passed out in a bedroom.

I woke up 10 hours later and feeling much better to the sound of rain on the skylights. I met Liz’s mom and dad who were super nice. We had some toast and tea and packed up to get on the road to the fields, which were a convenient 10 minutes away. It seemed like it was raining pretty hard as I led the warm up for our game against Brisbane’s Sultry. Little did I know that was as light as it would rain all day. The game was dominated by zone on both sides of the disc due to the deluge. The standard of play was actually pretty high despite the wet disc. My ankle was feeling a lot better and I ran a lot of cup and fence. We were pretty much trading until Brisbane scored 2 in a row from 5-6 to lead 5-8. In a game that sloppy, I was concerned that those points would be the break that won the game, but VOS rallied to run off 4 straight points and take half at 9-8.

It was pretty miserable out there. We had a big squad so people were freezing when we were off in between points. It was raining harder than taking a shower. There was 2-3 inches of standing water on the field. I was still pretty happy with how I played getting a few Ds and busting long with enough conviction to make Tasmanian star Ash Martin cover me for most of the second half. VOS hung on to narrowly win in the second half at the cap (maybe 13-11?).

After that, the NUFL coordinators met and agreed to cancel games for the rest of the day due to the damage that is done to the fields when people play in cleats in that kind of rain. I was bummed to come all the way to Sydney and only play 3 games, but we were all blue, trembling and miserable, so I guess it was for the best.

We ran to a nearby squash court which sold us hot showers for $3 each, which was the best $3 dollars I have even spent in my entire life. My fingers were raisins for another hour after that. We all drove to a nearby hotel (read pub) to eat and wait for our flights. We passed most of the afternoon playing Dilemma and that 3 person chuck or marry game. In the most exciting event of the afternoon, Lucy Ross borrowed the keys to the rental to get her stuff out of the trunk and put it in the taxi to the airport. She forgot to bring back the keys and I called her 20 minutes later as she was on the way to the airport. She had to hop out of her cab and get another taxi back to us to return the keys so that I could let other people get their stuff out of the trunk and so we could drive to the airport. Now really late, she jumped in with us, and stressed the whole drive to the airport, in the still pouring rain, that she was going to miss her flight. Thanks to Owen, a Sydney native, for navigating well and keeping me calm despite the nutcase in the back seat during the drive.

We all ended up making our flights and getting back to Melbourne in one (soggy) piece. I've been to Sydney a few times now and there is just nothing charming about that city. It reminds me of Dallas. You have to drive everywhere and the traffic is terrible and there are lots of strip malls. I'm so glad I ended up living in Melbourne.

This week at work was pretty busy and I am very tired. I didn’t do anything from Monday-Friday other than work, work and sleep. Thrilling, I know.

In other news, Australia is having a national election for Prime Minister in a few weeks. It consistently gets less coverage by the local news media than the Hillary/Barack democratic primary races back home. There was a spike in the coverage earlier this week when Kevin Rudd, the opposition candidate, was exposed to have gone to a strip club in 2003 in New York City. He went to Scores. Big deal. Who hasn’t been to Scores? The best part about this story is that an Australian newspaper has got the Scores manager from 4 years ago on record saying he remembers Rudd’s visit and that he was there for about 15 minutes. Right. A politician that might be a big deal in Australia in four years would make a strong impression on your strip club management team. I can see that.

Here’s wishing you a good week and reminding you to turn off the mixer before you lick off the cake batter.

Also, I got a new Flickr Uploadr which makes it much easier to use, and I have no more monthly limit, so I've put some more pics from earlier this year up on Flickr and added some descriptions on the pics.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brief Mailbag Update

Extra special thanks to Alex, Tim and Nina Rogers for a package and to Mara for a letter and gift. It just keeps flooding in people. My mom has sent a number of golden retreiver related cards as well. I wonder what percentage of the greeting card market those dogs make up?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sarah's Visit

Sarah at Torquay in the wind
The Beach at Torquay
Cosy Corney Beach at Torquay
Surfers (I promise)
Sarah in Public Art at thew Docklands, it's still windy

It was great to have Sarah visit. She stayed with me for about 10 days. I worked most of the time and she toured around during the day seeing museums and stuff and we hung out in the evenings.

Some of our activities included:

  • Comedians at the Gunn Island Hotel (which is a bar)
  • A house warming party for a lawyer I know from Frisbee
  • MIFF 3 films, including the powerful Grace is Gone. (Also, a terrible Blair-Witch style local modern version of Hamlet, {we hated it but it is getting good reviews somehow} and the afore mentioned Forbidden Lies)
  • A trip to see the Shins. This 3rd album is really blowing up I guess. It has a single on it called Australia, which is very popular here.
  • Hussey’s Vegetarian Birthday Dinner in Carlton
  • A train & bus trip to a town called Torquay, which is a surfer’s haven and involved losing and miraculously finding my wallet a few hours later. The strong wind makes the desirable surf waves but also makes long walks loud, unpleasant and for Sarah, headache inducing. Torquay is about an hour west of Geelong and is at the foot of the great ocean road.
  • An AFL game at the MCG, The Hawthorne Hawks vs. the Brisbane Lions. Sarah was suspicious at first but came to really enjoy the fast paced game.
  • A cocktail party at my apartment with many Frisbee humans
  • Several brunches
  • We wrapped up the trip by watching bad American TV in my apartment before she flew off for a few more days in Brisbane and Sydney.

    (I’ve finally updated my, Flickr , so some of the pics of Torquay are there.)

    This weekend I’m off to Sydney again, for NUFL 1. My Victorian team will be playing for state pride in front of the world’s team selectors against teams from Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide. I’m looking forward to the tournament, though I could also use a quiet weekend at home to catch up on e-mail and errands. If you are expecting to hear back from me soon, keep waiting.

Part 4: Savage Halibut

These have to get a bit shorter. It’s August 14 and I’m blogging about the events of the July 28 & 29. At this rate I’ll spend all of 2009 blogging about 2008. This is the last entry on my drive up the east coast of Australia a few weeks ago. Also, all this blogging about the past has my tenses all wacked up.

We arrived in Brisbane Friday night. I had reserved some very cheap, accommodations that turned out to be ‘riverside’ which also meant right on the freeway. The truck traffic shook the building day and night. The neighborhood was super sketch and only blocks from a racetrack. (I’m only telling you this now mom because nothing was stolen or harmed in anyway.)

For the big finish of the tour I had decided to attend a fun coed tournament in Brisbane, Queensland called Halibut. It’s one of the bigger co-ed tournaments held annually here in Australia. Co-ed, also called Mixed ultimate, is entirely separate from the club season here, and is played by Open and Women’s club players in the off season. There is a separate co-ed nationals tourney, which is coming up in September.

I don’t have a regular coed team here that was going to Halibut so I e-mailed the Tournament Director asking if I could pick up with a team. Instead, I was assigned to the pick-up team, and by virtue of sending an e-mail promoted to ‘captain’ of that team which meant reporting scores and nagging folks for entry fees.

The tournament was in a nice park just about 20 minutes north of Brisbane downtown. It was very dry up there (there were even bush fires that every weekend) and the fields were dry and hard. The tournament had 16 teams. The pick up team, named by the TD ‘Lost at Sea’ was a skeleton crew. We had 6 players for a weekend of 7 on 7 where most of the teams we were playing had 18 -20 players. It was going to be a long weekend. We played mostly savage (no subs) for the weekend, though teams that were having a bye sometimes sent a player or two over to help us out. I wasn’t planning on playing the entire tournament savage, so I got a bit tired and lost most of the skin on my feet. We didn’t match up well against any of the ‘real teams’ that had come to the tourney but we had a few good points. I handled most of the weekend, which was good practice. We also played a lot of zone and I ran a lot of cup, so that’s good exercise I guess. It was good weather and fun to be outside and all in all a pretty well run tournament that was not entirely different than one in the states. (Better lunch?)

After our last game on Sunday, our only victory, We returned the rental car (Hamish) and flew back to Melbourne’s Avalon airport. I slept during the 2 hour flight, but still managed to be quite exhausted when I arrived in Melbourne, took the bus back to 301 and faced up to the reality that I had
work the next day.

Part 3: Katoomba to the Gold Coast

Me and Sally: (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

After the National Training Camp ended on Sunday we had a week to work our way up the New South Wales coast to Queensland, headed for Brisbane on Friday night to play in Halibut. We started out only an hour west of Sydney in Katoomba and that was one of the highlights of the trip.

Katoomba is a cool little town. An easy, 60 minute train from Sydney, it is quiet and feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. There are views of the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters that rival the grand canyon. Hiking in the area is filled with strange fauna that seems a bit like the set of Jurassic Park.

The Three Sisters
Blue Mountains
More Blue Mountains
Waterfall in Katoomba
The only Koala I had seen at this point...

There are a number of hostels and cute B&Bs. The town is full of adorable, art deco little places to eat and galleries that are all a manageable walk from the cliffs. Like when I was at Wilson’s prom (part 1) I got the idea that I could spend another week or another year in Katoomba.

The only really bad bit you need to avoid is ScenicWorld! Which has attempted to make a theme park out of the hikes where you buy tickets and ride along in a cable car or train, which is easier on the obese masses who queue up here in the only parking lot for miles around. The theme is: “All this nature confuses and confounds me. I need something that feels familiar like a mall.” We went in just to laugh at the gift show which is full of ScenicWorld! gear. I almost bought some, except that ironic shopping sends the wrong market signals and we should all be thinking about how we vote with our dollars.

After hiking in Katoombah for most of the way we drove a bit more and then stayed at a pretty charmless Quality inn on the pacific highway in Singleton.

On Tuesday we got an early start and drove to yet another gorgeous national park and wildlife preserve in Myall Shores. Here we had to take a ferry to a super cute eco village with cabins and a restaurant. The beach near here was gorgeous and empty and we collected coral and read on the beach. Our cabin was cold and smelled like distilled intense moth balls which gave me a bit of a headache. The mosquitoes on Myall Shores lake were Pterodactyl size and bit me several times. On the plus side, the lake was gorgeous and we went out on the lake in a canoe where we saw huge pelicans and a really distinctive musk duck .

Myall Shores Lake
Myall Shores Lake
Beach Near Myall Shores

Wednesday was Koala day and definitely the high point of the entire trip. We started at the Billabong Koala & Wildlife Park. Here we saw and fed Wallabies and Kangaroos and saw joeys with little heads poking out of the original Baby Bjorns. The Koala enclosure held 12 or so big, active health Koalas, including a youngster that was partially in the pouch. There are several Koala shows a day, in which you can actually pet the Koala. Sally was soft and fuzzy and much more adorable this photo demonstrates.

See the Joey?

Koala looks up.

See the Baby?

Sally and Jesse

You might think that would be enough Koalas for most people. After all these slothlike, giant tailless squirrels have chosen an exclusive diet of gum tree leaves which is so low in nutrients they only have the energy to be away about 4 hours a day, which they devote almost entirely to eating. They don’t have the accomplishments of termites or bees, the power of sharks or the speed of gazelles. In an ecosystem with ANY predators they never would have evolved. They have big furry ears though. I’m sold.

Our next stop was to see some ‘wild’ koalas at the Koala rescue Hospital. This entirely volunteer operation cares for Koala’s that are reported to wildlife assistance. They have been burned in bush fires, mauled by dogs, hit by cars and nearly drowned in swimming pools. The ‘hospital’ gives each patient its own enclosure that resembles a natural habitat and treats the various wounds and ailments. Eye problems are common. Wounds are dressed. Nutritional supplements are administered. Antibiotic courses treat infection. Once the Koalas are healthy enough to climb again they are moved into ‘dehumanization’* enclosures that are further removed from the people where the Koalas must entirely feed and care for themselves. (Not to be confused with the dehumanization enclosures the United States government is running in Gitmo where we torture essentially innocent people that we bought with reward money. Please listen to Habeas Schmabeas But I digress…) If they are successful at that, the Koalas are retuned to the wild, near where they were released. Koalas spend their entire lives in just a few acres. The hospital was great. These recovering Koalas were smaller and less active than the one’s we’d seen that were raised in captivity. I did my best not to make the happy “eeeeeeeeeeeeee” noise the entire time.

The Patient Board at the Koala Hospital

After the glorious double Koala experience, we drove on to Nambucca Heads. This was a fine little beach community. There are lengthy wooden waterfront walks that are like a pleasant ocean boardwalk without any shops or commercial elements.

Thursday after some really good French toast we hit the road. We had lunch and a short beach walk in the ocean community of Evans Head. From there we drove on to Lenox Head, which was a gorgeous little beach community, also known as the 7 mile beach. We stayed in a youth hostel with cold rooms and annoying community bathrooms. The beach was great and the giant pelicans were used to being fed and not at all afraid of humans, making me a bit afraid of them. In something of a theme for me, I decided to try some Mexican food here. You know how good that was. When will I learn?

Friday we got up and drove a short way to Byron Bay. In Byron Bay we hung out on the beach a bit and watched the surfers. There is a cool whale watching point on land there. (This is the eastern most point of Australia and a lot of whales come pretty close into shore here to avoid going too far around.) We did some ocean kayaking looking for dolphins. This is exhausting. My arms were sore for days. I was a bit scared of the rather rough waves and a bit cold. After all that fun, we had some lunch and wine and then did a bit of touristy site seeing. Then we drove the last leg to Brisbane to get some rest for the tournament.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Part 2: National Training Camp

A warning to my reader: If you are not an ultimate player this next post may be quite boring and or make very little sense.

{I know I am kidding myself, but I like to at least pretend I still have some friends outside the sport.}

National Training camp was fantastic. I had an incredible time. It was really tough but I learned a lot.

I arrived at the fields Sunday morning at 9. There were 80 women trying out for the Australian Worlds team that will represent the country in Vancouver in 08. At this point they are looking to cull the group to about 30. That’s too many to take to Vancouver, but gives them enough for a full training squad and to see how things play out over the next year with injuries and commitment, and for women some of the best players get in a family way, which makes you not in a ‘sprinting-down-to-catch-the-Callahan-off-the-muffed-pull way’, all reasons to have a large squad a year out and then make decisions closer to tourney time about who will actually fly to Vancouver.

I would not technically be able to play for Australia in Vancouver 08 due to the residency restrictions (2 years) but there are loads of exemptions handed out to those residency restrictions and the Australian organizers asked everyone interested to try out regardless of eligibility concerns and they would worry about that after they saw who made the team. Realistically, I’m a long shot any way skill-wise, but I was excited to be at the training camp to work hard and learn new things.

Saturday at the camp was very intense. We did an active stretching warm-up and then went into four stations of drills in groups of about 20. Officials with whistles and clipboards kept detailed notes on everyone’s performance. The first station was a dump drill (setting up horizontal when trapped on the line and behind at a 45 degree angle if in the middle of the field, in both instances looking for the up-the-line dump). The second station was a break-mark drill with a straight up mark and the cutter downfield 20 yards. The third station was a drill to work on cuts for a horizontal offense with two cutters mirroring and then splitting. The fourth station was an end-zone drill. We spent about 30 minutes in each station. I did well in most of the drills. The ho-stack cutting drill was tricky and I didn’t really get the timing right until about half way through the station.

After two hours of drills it was time for lunch.

After lunch we were re-assigned to new groups of 20 and went through the stations again, but this time each station was harder. The dump drill added an additional poach D. The break-mark drill was force one side rather than straight up and the cutter was closer. The ho-stack drill had two handlers, but one could only throw short (in-cuts) and one could only throw long (as a rule) so as they swung the disc you had to time a cut for the right handler. The end zone drill was only break-mark. I thought these drills would have been really hard for me, but because we had done the easier version before lunch, adding one additional element wasn’t so bad and I did pretty well.

At this point some of the girls were sick of drills, but I like drills so I was having a great time. I feel like I especially improved my breaks and my up the line dump, both very useful.

After that we had two scrimmages, each with different teams. In the first there was a stall of 7, instead of 10. In the second we had to run the Horizontal stack O, which I am pretty used to playing. Those were okay. There were a lot of drops all around and the level of play did not seem to be at a world’s standard.

That was it for day 1. After that we cooled down, there was a recovery session in a nearby pool and a pub for everyone to meet up and have dinner and a beer. I was a bit sore and exhausted.

On Sunday, we had a great time. We played at the same fields as the boys. (In Australia, they are picking the worlds “girls” and “boys” team even though we are not juniors. In the states these teams would be called “women’s” and “open” but the Australians just cannot wrap their heads around that so it is just girls and boys. The masters team is even sometimes called the "boys master’s team".) The plan for the day was 8 short scrimmages, each with a different focus or rule change to influence what we worked on. The boys would have the same rule change and we’d all meet, all 160 of us, before each scrimmage to learn the new rule and switch teams. Playing on 8 different teams would allow us to play with almost everyone at the camp and interact in different ways. I thought this would be a logistical nightmare, but it actually worked out really well. We fit in all 8 games. The level of play was VERY high and everyone had their A game. Again, the clip board patrol was out, watching every game taking stats and making notes.

In an added twist, two of the games were co-ed, as the selectors were picking the Vancouver Worlds’ Mixed applicants from this group as well. I hadn’t played co-ed in a couple of years, so I wasn’t too excited about this.

It’s been a few weeks now, and it was all happening really quickly, but I think this is what the 8 games were. Apologies if these are a bit off:
1. O must run the ‘standard’ offense (Vert stack, handler to first in the stack to last in the stack for the score)
2. D must run what the Australian’s call “puppy-fence”. (1 -3 -3)
3. Co-ed game, scores must be cross gender
4. D must run a clam
5. O gets 2 points for a huck, D gets 2 points for a breakmark score after a turn
6. Co-ed game, D must play zone for 5, focus on cross gender D transition to man
7. D must force straight up/ no huck
8. 10 pull, D has once chance to score, but only 15 seconds, focus on the fast break

In general I played pretty well. The co-ed/mixed games were hard for me as the timing is different. I wish I had a few handling decisions back, but such is life. I was completely exhausted after the 8 scrimmages. I could be in better shape. I have been working a lot, swimming a bit and no track workouts, so there’s considerable room for improvement. Also I need new cleats. The polka dots are shot!

We cooled down and said our good byes and I headed off for Katoomba and beyond (see part 3).

It’s a shame we can’t do something like this in the states. Our world’s representatives are the teams who win the North American championship. There is no real national team. (It’s akin to the argument of should you make a Dream Team for basketball in the Olympics, or should you just send the Spurs since they are used to playing together. For Ultimate, we just send the Spurs, but we call them Riot and Fury.)

A skill focused training camp, even of just the best women’s teams on the East coast would be so interesting. We’d meet each other as something more than adversaries and we’d all raise our level of play. I had never spent a whole weekend, playing just as much as a tournament, focusing not on winning games but on getting better and learning new things. It was shocking how much it helped.

The next steps are two tournaments in August and September. Based on performance at those tournaments, the selectors will announce a team and training for Vancouver will begin. I’m looking forward to those tournaments as a place to show off my new skilz to pay the bilz.

On a side note, Sarah is here and we are having tons of fun. We have been eating out, seeing the sites and going to parties. We also went to see Forbidden Lie$ at the MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) and saw a Q&A session with the director which was pretty cool.