Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roosting With the Dead

Update for you on Shit Mountain. It seems that either the NYC pigeon housing market is just as tight as the human one, or pigeons are not all that fussed about ritual burial. This isn’t the greatest picture, but if you look closely you can see the pigeon that has been ‘napping’ on the right side, unmoved for over 11 days now, and a new SM resident on the upper left.
In an unrelated story, I made it back to NYC after 5 days in Raleigh. I am glad to be home. I saw my parents, sister, brother-in-law and two nieces. This year I gave the girls a Wii and many rounds of Wii bowling and Hanna Montana World Tour were subsequently played. I am happy to report that low-tech is still alive and well. Santa brought the girls each a Slinky and I think those coils were the hit of Christmas. Certainly no toy garnered more attention. I gave my parents and sister & brother-in-law a Flip video camera so look for them all up on You Tube any minute.

Everyone else got a Kiva gift certificate. Kiva is a micro-loan organization that allows members to lend directly to small opportunities in the developing world. The entrepreneur then pays back the loan and you can relend to another opportunity. I think this supports growth and is more likely to make a long term difference than traditional aid, which often begets the need for more aid. Check it out.

I’m presently reading the Elegance of the Hedgehog. So far I would give it just an *okay* rating. It’s a bit of a slow starter with tons of allusions to Japanese films I haven’t seen and Russian novels I haven’t read. In short, it seems to be a bit culturally snobby and I’m more of a Philistine, so maybe I’m just not the target audience. I’ll finish it out just the same and let you know if it picks up.

I’m 23 days into 31 days with no alcohol. It has been pretty easy, though I did really want a glass of red wine when I went to Frankie’s recently with Keri and being around my family was a bit of a struggle. Still, so far I would say that 31 days without alcohol has been much easier than the times recently I’ve tried to go a month with no meat (one success, one failure), but New Year’s Eve tomorrow may present a special challenge. Maybe I’ll take my flask (Blomus) full of water to seem like I’m participating.

Given that not drinking for a month was pretty easy so far, and looking for more of a test, I think I’ll try this 100 push up challenge that Jesse told me about. I'm just getting started and so far I’ve only taken the first test (30) but you if you really have an unnatural level of interest in the details of my life you can track my progress here . Sorry about that, but it’s only through public scrutiny that I’ll motivate myself to complete this. Lynn & Robbie have a friend named Andre that is performing a similar challenge, but with Chin-ups. I think he is a mad man. I am envious of his drive and I will not be picking any fights with him.

I have declared off season cross training offically underway. I've been running again and getting back into 7 minute abs. Some of Ambush is meeting on Saturday for a run, pushups, abs, throwing session and it will be good to shaek off some cobwebs.


Any and all theories on why I’ve had a splitting headache for the past week or so are welcome. I thought it was a gas leak in 29, but my head also hurt the whole time I was in Raleigh and I think they have an electric stove so there must be some other reason. I am trying to cut out caffeine to see if that helps. (No Makers Mark, No Coffee, No Meat? What else is there...? I hardly recognize myself.)

Last night my headache was super bad (railroad spike in the forehead bad) after the viewing of Slumdog Millionaire, which, conversely, was super good. GO SEE IT. It’s an impossible love story and a comment on urban slums. It reminded me a bit of The Usual Suspects and the child actors are incredible.

Speaking of 29 (scroll up, I was. Transitions are hard), no one told Stefan Slywotzky about the economic downturn. He’s raising my rent 8%. I love 29 but in this market rents should be stable or perhaps giving back some of the gains of recent years, (like everyone else) so perhaps it is finally time to move. We’ll see. The thought of packing and getting a truck makes my stomach turn.

It seems my Eagles were just waiting for me to disown them again, to prove to me that they deserved my love. It worked. I am so excited to be in the playoffs. I can’t really explain how we lost to Dallas in week 2 and scored only 3 points against the hapless Redskins in week 16 and then somehow laid 44 points on a Cowboys team that had everything to play for in week 17, but I don’t really care. This weekend takes the Eagles to the dome in Minnesota and I will be yelling at my TV all game.

Here’s another one of those stories that I think helps to answer the question, “Why do the terrorist
hate us?”

Today’s Fun fact: 12 – The number of shirts I own with 55 on the back.

This is a bit dated, but here's a pic I took in the Fiji airport and meant to show you back in July but I lost track of it.

Keep that in mind. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I could be the Jane Goodall of pigeons…

So much more happens in my life when I get to work in town for a few days. It is great to be home in NYC.

I went to see The Wrestler (Aronofsky's new film) last night. Though it seems to draw its inspiration from the 1999 documentary, Beyond the Mat it somehow makes the story more real, by turning it into fiction. The film is intense. I had to watch several scenes through parted fingers with my hands pressed over my eyes. I would strongly recommend the film. The set and so many tiny costume details nail the desperate mood perfectly. Look for the duct tape patches on his vest to increase throughout the film. The van and trailer are depressing enough in a single shot to capture the mood of the entire film. (Todd Berry, who I once accidentally bought a beer for and subsequently, took said beer away from, turns in a spot-on performance of a prick supervisor.) I think you pretty much know the plot if you’ve seen a single trailer, and I won’t give anything more away, but I found Randy/Robin to be everyman, struggling to make our way in the world as who we wish we were, while being confronted at every turn with who we actually are, and while we wait for whatever means we use of earning a living to destroy us and leave us broken and hopeless. Merry Christmas.

In other news, I gave blood yesterday. Don’t forget to make an appointment as blood banks need you this time of year more than any other. I wanted to ask the Phlebotomist about the training course he’d had taken to be certified to draw blood in New York State (It’s a three week course that you can complete in 3 consecutive weekends and I’m considering as a test to gather some input about myself as to whether I could survive nursing school) but I thought he might mistake my curiosity about the course as concerns about his proficiency and I didn’t want to pry or seem rude while he had a huge needle in my arm.

Also draining my very lifeblood these days: the Philadelphia Eagles. I am actually jealous of Detroit Lions fans. At least they knew what was happening early on and didn’t waste all season to have their heart broken by a team that could only muster 3 points in a game against the anemic Redskins with the entire season on the line. The game made me sick. I guess we just don’t deserve to go the playoffs. I don’t know what my second team will be; I’ll hope the playoffs are just cancelled, like the year baseball went on strike. If that doesn’t workout, it’s likely that I’ll throw my support behind anyone playing the New York Gnats.
After that terrible Eagle loss, where they teased out hope until the very last second, I did not drown my sorrows, as would typically be my custom. I’m conducting a little experiment to take 31 days off from drinking. A search of this blog for the keyword ‘hangover’ yields 10 hits, and there are certainly others I haven’t even felt well enough to whine about, which is probably a bit more than recommended. To see if things are better sans hangover, I’m taking a 31 day hiatus from alcohol. I’m 16 days in and so far, so good. No major revelations or changes. One thing I have learned is that what I thought was being ‘hungover’ is actually the sensation of ‘waking up’. I wake up with a headache and a stomach ache every day. I think my body has an adverse reaction to morning. And to beeping. I hate beeping.

Not sure if this is a side effect from the ‘break’ or if I was briefly possessed by an alien life form, but I made soup the other day. A whole pot of it. Celery. Tomatoes. Carrots. Corn. Garlic. Pasta. Oregano. It was good. I don’t expect it to happen again.



Those of you who know me, know one of my favorite features of my beloved apartment is ‘Shit Mountain’. Two pigeon nests outside a window near my apartment that appear to have been built up out of decades of piled up pigeon waste. No other nesting material is visible. What an innovative use of materials to build a safe place to rear your young! I check the nests every day when I go in and out of the apartment. I’ve seen many generations hatch. I have never before seen what is happening now. There seems to be a perished pigeon on the right side of the ‘duplex’. He’s been slumped over, head hanging down low for days now. Maybe he got into some rat baited food and flew home before the poison kicked in. What I find so strange is that other pigeons seem to come and go from the ‘nest’ with little regard of this apparent detail. You would think they might find settling in next to a corpse, well... unsettling, but they don’t seem bothered at all. I’m excited about seeing this other end of the life cycle, since I’ve seen the beginning of the story so many times. I’m curious what will become of the dead pigeon. From where he is, wind wouldn’t blow him out, so it’s fairly likely he’ll just be absorbed into the nest and the next generation will hatch literally on top of him!


A quick check of the New York City weather tells me this: It’s presently 30 degrees and the High for today is 29, the Low is 26. Tomorrow’s projected low is 40, with a projected high of 49. Can anyone tell me how this is possible? If it’s 30 now, shouldn’t the high for today be at least 30? And if the high for today is 30 and the low for tomorrow is 40, then is the temperature going to jump from 30 to 40 at 12:01 AM? This infuriates me. Get it straight meteorologist!

Tomorrow I fly to Raleigh to see the nieces, my parents, sister and brother-in-law. Here’s hoping we have an ambulance free holiday (for once). Deck the Halls.

Friday, December 19, 2008

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly...

Happy Holidays 2008! I hope this annual holiday letter finds you well.

2008 was a ‘Tale of Two Hemispheres’ for me with the first half still in Australia and the second half back home in NYC.

I’m still working for Accenture, now in my 10th year (can that be possible?) and now a Senior Manager. This year I’ve worked in Melbourne for Telstra, in Dallas for AT&T and in Minneapolis (where I am now) for Best Buy. In between Telstra and AT&T, this August, I got the opportunity to teach a new joiner school for a few weeks in St. Charles, Illinois and that was a great change of pace.

I started 2008 on a trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa. It was an incredible trip. (I’ve done the scouting now, so do let me know if you want to join in on my return trip to SA for the 2010 world cup.) I enjoyed safaris in the Pilanesburg National Park, gambling at Sun City, climbing Table Mountain and touring Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned.


While South Africa was the most beautiful place I have ever been, the striking beauty was paired with unavoidable scenes of struggle and inequity. Millions of people live in Townships in abject poverty with few opportunities and little hope. Shacks like the ones below stretch for miles in all directions. It was a sobering reminder throughout my trip how lucky I am.

African wildlife isn’t fairing much better with continual reduction in habitat pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Outside of Cape Town, I visited a Cheetah rescue. While orphan cheetahs raised in captivity cannot be reintroduced into the wild, the funds raised from tourist attractions like this one (below) are used for conservation efforts. This cheetah was impossibly soft and shockingly, painfully beautiful. Being close to it was one of the highlights of the year.

In March I went to Rimini, Italy for the Paganello World Beach Ultimate Championships. I had a blast with my team, D-Rex. It was cold and rainy and we partied pretty hard. I think we finished 9th overall but none of us could still count to 9 when it was all said and done.

Back in Australia, the ultimate continued as I played a second season with the top women’s team from Melbourne, Sporting Team Box Althetico United. In April, I road-tripped to the Australian National Ultimate Championships in Coffs Harbor with my pal Lauren. Team Box is an incredible group of women and girls and we bring an irreverence to ultimate that is sorely needed.
Team Box (I’m in the very middle.)

All over the landscape of Australia there are these big tourist attractions like "The Big Banana" pictured below. They are hokey, quaint and a lot of fun, not unlike Australia itself.

This May, I made a trip back to the US for my sister Lynn’s 40th birthday. (Man Lynn, you are really getting up there!) Another reason for that trip was to attend my friend and Ambush teammate Jennifer Christenson’s wedding to Brian (Chip) Stout in North Carolina. They had a beautiful ceremony and we all had a wonderful time. Here is me as a bridesmaid on the far left:

In July, I left Australia and moved back to NYC and back into my East Village apartment. I had a great time while I was in Melbourne and I’ll miss all the friends I made there. There was a fun ultimate pick-up game send off my last day there, which was the perfect way to say farewell. I spent a few days in Fiji on the way home. Fiji was beautiful, but by that point I was impatient to get back to the city. I’ve really enjoyed being back home and getting reacquainted with the best city in the world. I’d say my favorite thing about being home is good places to get brunch.

As soon as I got back home I synced up with my NY Ultimate team, Ambush. This year we played tournaments in Ottawa, Vermont, Santa Cruz, outside of Boston and also qualified for the UPA national championship in Sarasota, Florida in October:

We finished up in 14th place and had a great time at the big dance. (I’m in the middle.)

With 2008 drawing to a close, I got the chance to spend Thanksgiving in Myersville, Maryland. Again I was surrounded by animals, but this time slightly less exotic ones: 2 parents, 2 dogs, 2 cats (not pictured), 2 horses (not pictured) and 2 “mini” horses.
We had a feast for twenty (divided by only 3) and I spent some time with my parents and all the animals. My dad and I caught a Wizards game as well. (Thanks to all of you who continue to ask about my nieces Kate & Lindy. Both are doing just great and spent Thanksgiving at Disney World with their parents.)

That’s about it. Look forward to next year’s letter when I’ll tell you about all my antics 2009. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

mild update on my 'life'

Greetings. What can I tell you?

I am pretty much finished with my holiday shopping. The only thing left is that I have been looking for US Senate vacancies on eBay. There are a couple of seats I have my eye on so I guess we’ll see how the bidding goes at the last minute.

Also, if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, Jesse suggests this item, which is truly appropriate for anyone, and has a low carbon footprint.

It will shock no one to report that Minneapolis was cold. Work was work. I am back working in NY for now and won’t have to go back to Minneapolis until January. I didn’t do or see anything while I was there, save the inside of my hotel room and my client’s corporate headquarters. I did not even visit Camp Snoopy in the Mall of Americas. Mostly the cold suppresses any and all exploration urges but not having a car dampens my roaming around as well.

Last weekend Chip & Jen were in town visiting but I barely got to see them as they had a whirlwind schedule and I was quite busy as well. We had the Ambush end of season banquet and it was great to see everyone, eat waaay too much and shake it to our favorites. We are really a dance troupe that plays ultimate to cross-train.

Last weekend I also went to a Knicks game at the garden to see my (ex)boyfriend AI with his new team the Pistons and it really did not work out. (Abysmal no-name Knicks prevail.) I am hoping it is a timing thing and that he has not jumped the shark.

Stephen has offered this comment on AI as a means of explanation. Scroll down for Allen.

The Eagles also beat the Giants which was an unexpected source of much joy.

Other than work and watching sports things have been pretty quiet. Ultimate is in the off season and my hamstring is appreciating that.

The only other major update for me is that I have joined this decade and purchased an iPhone (Leroy). I love him. It is the best thing that has happened to my life in years. I compulsively download apps for it (I love Lux Touch and Around Me). The e-mail interface is better that the one on my laptop. There’s basically nothing he can’t do as far as I can tell. Airport delays are just more time to surf, mail, play games and listen to audio. I’m a happy-camper.

This coming weekend should be busy with some visitors in town from Australia and a holiday brunch. MNF is my birds hosting the Browns which they absolutely must win and are completely capable of losing. I’ll be yelling at the TV with my hands over my eyes, like any Philly fan.

For Christmas I’ll be in Raleigh with my nieces, the Gupton girls. I am looking forward to seeing them and they are looking forward to Santa’s arrival. I have been running queries against the naughty/nice database and it seems they are both in good shape.


It’s almost time to draft this year’s holiday letter. In order to be prepared, be sure check out last year’s letter.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Home on the Range

Happy Thanksgiving. Sorry it's been a while. Things have been busy with work.

Minneapolis is really cold, as expected. I like living in the Sheraton, watching cable and eating room service. As always, my hotel room us much larger than my home, so it seems pretty plush. I fly home on Thursday nights and the trip into LGA is always delayed and fills me with rage, but that's part of the deal, I guess.

Nationals at the end of October was great. Ambush lost most of our games but we still had a great time. There's no scrubs at nationals so any win is respectable. We came in the 16th seed and left in 14th place so, we did better than expected. We're fired up about next season. We were there over Halloween and I spent a fair amount of time in my costume, but so far no photos of that have surfaced. (If someone sends me one I'll post it here.)

I'm at my parents house in rural Maryland for the Thanksgiving Holiday. (I only narrowly escaped being at the Magic Kingdom with my sister and nieces.) We had a huge Thanksgiving feast (turkey, stuffing, asparagus, oyster casserole, mashed potatoes, grapefruit salad, and cranberry sauce) for just the three of us.

My parents have added to their domestic 'ark' which previously had 2 female golden retrievers, 2 female house cats and 2 male horses. We now also have 2 female mini-horses. Mini-horses are like big dogs that live in a barn and don't fetch.

Some great things of late:

  • I've been playing some Little Big Planet. I think it is pretty rad.


  • I watch this puppy cam about 6 hours a day. It is the best thing ever.


  • My friend Gideon is a talented artist and his blog has some very interesting sketches


I guess it's time to give up on the Eagles. Not sure yet who my playoffs team will be. Maybe the Jets?

In other sports news, I'm excited about the Iverson/Pistons trade, but not that he's wearing #1 now so that Rodney Stuckey can keep the 3. This makes no sense to me. The Hoyas look pretty good so far this season as well, so we'll see how that goes.


Finally, congrats to Tim and Alex who've welcomed newest Rogers baby Rafa to the family. In a surprising turn of events, he's a real cutie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And the winner is...

Minneapolis. That's right. Not London or China or somewhere in Africa. Minneapolis. Perfect timing too. I guess I better buy a coat...

I'll be up there at least through the end of the year, but likely longer. You know I'll keep you posted. (Pun intended. Help me...)

I fly up there on Sunday after practice and I am dreading the first day of school feeling...

Looming much larger on the horizon is Nationals in Sarasota next week. I'll fly to Tampa on Wednesday. Do keep an eye on the results here. I am really looking forward to it. This weekend will basically be practice and packing.

Went to see TV on the Radio with Stephen and that was a pretty good show. A psychic told me I liked Abraham Lincoln and freaked me out, but maybe he just says that to everyone. Burgers at the Spotted Pig post show.

I was also summoned for Jury duty recently. Man! Let me tell you, if you ever think a process is inefficient, you should compare it to jury duty. I was selected for a jury pool for two trials, but was never placed into the jury box for voir dire so, I never got to tell the judge that as I did not believe in 'facts' or 'reality' it would probably be difficult for me to follow his instructions. I just sat there for two straight days listening to others in the box think of any excuse possible to be excused. One watched too much CSI. One refused to sit on a gun related charge in defense of the second amendment. One woman announced that since the beginning of the voir dire she had developed a strong dislike of the prosecuting attorney and could not possibly be objective.

They asked everyone the same introductory questions: Where they lived and for how long, what level of education, what they did for employment, who else lived in their household and what they did for employment. It was very strange. We are all strangers. This city does not look you in the eye on the subway. Now there you are sitting in a jury box in a room full of 100 strangers telling us all that you've lived in Hell's Kitchen for 12 years. You went to SUNY New Paltz for 2 years and dropped out. You're in between office jobs and supplementing your income with online sales (eBay) and you live alone. I had too look away. All this personal information. It's like when the homeless guy bathes in the fountain. You just can't watch...

And that last question. Most New Yorkers, it seems live alone. I would say 12 out of 18 on each panel, (and I watched 4 but was never called to the box) responded that they had no one else in their household. Everyone answered that differently, "Divorced" "Single Occupant Household" "On my own" and one woman who confessed, "I am alone, totally alone".

I left with a sense that I am one of the least crazy people out there, on average. It seemed to me that everyone in the room was enduring some kind of withdrawal. Is everyone on drugs? Just sit quietly and read the paper. Do not fidget ceaselessly. Do not feel the need to comment on all the proceedings. Do not complain like this is the height of torture. DO NOT try to talk to me and get me to commiserate with you about how terrible this all is, how inconvenienced you are. Just sit still and be quiet you stupid babies!!!!!!! Grrrrr.

Anyway that's over for a few years and I'm off to Scandinavia Camp. Woo woo.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ambush Ultimate: Courtney Kelly

Ambush Ultimate: Courtney Kelly

We're going to the Dance!



So, it came down to the bitter end, but Ambush is going to nationals. (I'm in the back row, 5th from the left.) Devens was gorgeous and sunny and not even windy both days, though there were a lot of mosquitoes.
We won our pool on Saturday against a good high school team, a bad college team and Sugar Shack, the 5 seed from Vermont. Then we played the #1 v. #4 crossover against Brute Squad and had them even at 9s before losing 15-9. Sunday we beat Hatch, then lost to the Capitals (Go back to Canada!) and had to play Sugar Shack again in the back door game to go for the 4th spot. They were a little tougher on Sunday, but we still finished them off. (Godiva shocked everyone and beat Brute Squad in the finals.) The scores of all the games are here.

Here's me scoring a goal:


I think that is from the Saturday Sugar Shack game, though I'm not sure.







Hillary has more free time now that she is not campaigning as much and she came out to watch the tournament.
She played really well.

Congrats to NY teams Pony (Open) and Puppet Regime (Coed) for qualifying for the trip to Florida as well.

I'll be down in Sarasota Oct 29-Nov 3 so start getting amped now!
See here:
http://club2008.upa.org/team/women

In other news I saw a few minutes of Les Savy Fav at the Williamsburg Music Hall Sunday night and they are insane in a good way.



Also, my mom got some miniature horses. Initially, I was very excited about this. I assumed that they were pocket-sized and could live indoors in a terrarium, like the household deer from that Johnathan Letham novel but I was mistaken. See?

They are more the size of a Saint Bernard, but as far as I can tell, do not fetch and will not bring you whiskey in an avalanche. (Which has me wondering why there aren;t more alcohol delivering dogs these days, that was a real 'value add service' as we say in consulto-speak.)


I was also mistaken in assuming that the miniature horses might serve as a replacement to the full sized horses already in the back yard. No actually, they are a supplement.
Supplemental mini horses. So There.
Stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2008

SARASOTA (it is on)

4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS! 4 BIDS!

see:
http://www.upa.org/club/2008_club/2008_fall_wildcards.shtml

Regionals is Oct 12 & 13. Stay tuned. It is an understatement to say that I am fully amped.

Not sure if you've been checking the personals, but it looks like Something About Mary's ex-boyfriend is causing some hurt feelings in the Meadowlands: check it out.

Jets game was pretty fun by the way. Last year of Giants stadium at the Meadowlands. Favre throws no less than 6 TDs and only one INT. Tell your grandkids you knew me, and I went to the game.

If he were only dead, I'm pretty sure Morrissey would be spinning in his grave that NFL Sunday Ticket is using "Every day's like Sunday" as a theme song.

The Ambush fundraiser Slumber Party was 'successful' in so many ways. You can probably find the pics on Picasa and Facebook if you are over 18.

Dallas persists.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All Hail the Mighty State

So it seems that September 24, 2008 is officially, “Launch Your New Web Business Day”. I have two to share with you. Both cool, very different:

My friend Tushar kicked off this new site, http://www.ecomii.com/. , that provides us, the conscious consumers, valuable tips about how to make choices that are more environmentally friendly. The site design does look a little familiar to me, reminding me of a certain health web site we both know well. Hmmmm…

My friend Brandon launched this political advertising hedge site, http://www.centristmessenger.com/default.asp . You can buy an ad for Obama here and it’ll run with “brought to you by Brian Stout” in the copy. Then when the Republicans steal the election again, if Obama doesn’t win you GET YOUR MONEY BACK, which you’ll need, to buy your plane ticket out of the country before the hell fires reign.

When old man McCain kicks it, evangelical Governor Palin will be in charge and I get the sense she is looking forward to The Reckoning to the point of hastening it, if she can.
The onion agrees:
http://www.theonion.com/content/point/point_counterpoint_gov_palin_has
http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/kissinger_instructs_palin

Was anyone else bowled over by how articulate Ahmadinejad seems in speeches and on Larry King? Maybe he is just talking about recipes and his female interpreter is the genius, but he sure seems a lot smarter than our President. I’m adding Iran to my places to visit list.

Bush's request for 700 B today went over a little thin for me. Frankly, I’m hoping the dollar devalues to nothing and we can get back to a barter economy. I have some cool shit to trade and eBay and paypal are already the infrastructure we need for this to work. I’ll trade you season 2 of The Wire for an excellent steak dinner and a bottle of Shiraz. See?

This dispatch comes to you from Dallas, where I’m presently staffed. It’s weird. I haven’t been here since 1994 or so. It doesn’t seem to have changed much. I drove past the old house. There were bigger trees out front but it basically looked the same. I drove past R.L. Turner High School which looks similar, but with more additions. There’s a fence around the property that gives off a prison feel. The Tippin’s Pie Pantry where I worked in high school is now a CVS pharmacy. For old time’s sake I went in and demanded a pie, but no dice. I went by Sophia’s grave. That made me feel 16. And sad.

I had dinner with Dennis on Tuesday, which was great. We had real live Tex-Mex which I love, but cannot find properly in NYC, and we discussed all manner of updates including his upcoming direction of the Tempest.

Snap back to reality (NYC):
Ambush won sectionals without a fight, which we always do. Regionals in Devens, MA in October will be another story, but we are amped about the prospects. We have sic new jerseys with lady liberty on the front and back and we look super fly. Also, another Ambush 'fund raiser' is on this weekend. We’ve had cow girls, prom dates, and girl scouts, but get it all ready for this one which may be the rager of them all: Slumber Party!

House guests recap: I had a great time seeing Mama who’s in Mexico now. Ariba! We went to a Mets game and a poetry slam. I didn’t spend quite enough time with Amy & Simon when they were in NYC, but I expect to make that up next year when I visit them in Fiji! Double Fulbright Holla!

This weekend I’m going to see John Madden’s boyfriend Bret Favre play the Arizona Cardinals at Giants stadium. I also have Ambush practice and then I’ll fly back to the Big D. Much further out than that is still hazy but stay tuned.

I saw this great sign today:

I can only assume this was put up when our President was still the Guv’ner of this ‘Mighty State’.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Pains, Labor Day

Hello, dear reader. Now that we've run-off those fair-weather-friends who expect a post more than once a month, we can get back to basics.

When we left off, I was about to head up to Vermont with Ambush for LogJam. Vermont is still beautiful. However, it rained all day, both days on us and we were cold and pruney. Ambush won the tournament (after a couple of massive come-backs) so that was fun. Although, arguably not quite enough fun to justify 16 hours of driving and 16 hours outside in the rain in a weekend.

Shortly after LogJam I had to report to the Chicago suburbs for 3 weeks for new robot training. This time, I'm faculty, We had to work weekends. All the participants are fresh out of university. My job is to wind the key in their back, exorcise any tendencies of original thought and dampen their spirits. Objective achieved. I actually had more fun at school than I expected. I attribute this to the fact that many of the co-faculty and participants were international and I generally prefer the company of non-Americans to Americans.

I also learned what many of you already doubtlessly know: that I speak too quickly, too loudly and too frequently. I am now trying to work on this.

As a 'section room lead' I showed great restraint when i did not hang an 'arbeit mach frie' sign over the doorway.

Following the prison camp, I went with Ambush to beautiful Santa Cruz, California for the very tough, high level Labor Day tournament. We played Fury, Backhoe, Safari, Loose Cannon, Brute Squad and Godiva and lost all 6 games. Ugly. On the upside, we had awesome pickups from the CA area: Gulley, Lisa, Bossa, Puja and Mega it was great to play with you guys. Let me know when you are next in NYC. Also I had incredible burritos. CA does Mexican like you can't find in NYC. Finally, the fields, although in a desert were plush and green (irrigated) and on Mount Olympus. Seriously, the nature of clouds and fog and the view from the fields down to the bay made it seems like we were playing in the clouds. Red eye home was as much fun as you'd expect.

September is crazy house guest month: Seb and Tex, Aussies touring after worlds in Vancouver are staying with me now. Mama will be here this weekend for a week or so. Amy and Simon are also coming up from Caracus for a while. So yay! Fun to see everyone.

What does the future hold? Reply hazy try again later. Here's what I can tell you: Ambush has sectionals and regionals coming up, so once again I'll do that, though both the ankle and hamstring are functioning way below normal. I still haven't seen Sarah, or my parents or sister since returning home, so that is on the agenda.

Work wise, I am still 'unstaffed' and uncertain. I'm working on resolving that. I'll either be staffed in New York (+), London (+++), North Jersey (- - - - - - - - - ), West Africa (+++++++++) or any other conceivable location. Once I figure that out, I'll go there. So there.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

10,000 Maniacs

Hey there. Hope all is well. Here's a few odd's and ends.

1) 'Spondence has had more than 10,000 hits now, which is about what google gets per minute I think so we are really in the big time. That is a lot of visits, Mom.
2) Welcome Sawyer Patten Wichman Mayes. Paige is doing fine and we are all glad he has arrived.
3) Last weekend was Wildwood Beach Ultimate Tourney in NJ, this weekend is LogJam in Vermont. I am getting my disc on. My hamstring is protesting loudly.
4) Here's a really old link I meant to post ages ago: These are the photos of my Leaving pick-up day festivities from my last day in Melbourne (June 29). It was a blast and also sad. Thanks to Owen Shepherd for taking and posting these pics. Thanks to everyone to attended. I miss you guys heaps.
5) Even more ancient history is this australian world wide of sports video clip of the nationals tournament I was in in April in Coffs Harbor. Photos of that event are online here: pics.

Work, as always, is nuts and I had better get back to it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Float Like Gravity

Everything is a Blur. I am making up for 18 months out of the city in one month. Wish me luck. It is still really great to be back. I know you love lists, and I can't be bothered to construct a meaningful narrative here, so here's what I've been up to the past couple weeks:
  • All my belongings from Melbourne finally arrived successfully after being shipped. I have unpacked everything and nothing was lost or broken. I am most excited to have Dierdre back. I am glad to say I still fit into 29. ( I was nervous about that after the palace that was 301.)
  • I went to see my Dentist Dr. Schwartz after 18 months of no dental care, my longest ever gap. (Sorry no trust for Aussie dentists.) I was convinced he would say that all my teeth had rotted out of my head, but luckily there were STILL NO CAVITIES. (*Proving my moral superiority.)
  • After 10 days of begging and waiting Time-Warner set up my high speed internet in 29. Yes, I pay for it now. Not sure why there are no more free hot spots. Also not sure why anyone would make a 24 month commitment to Verizon for a higher monthly fee for DSL than you can get with High Speed Broadband from TW. 24 months? They should give me a diamond ring with that deal. I am very glad to be back connected to the interwebs and even though I am taking a few days 'off' I am working a lot from home.
  • I went out to Long Island City to Jax's gorgeous and huge apartment for a Margarita party. Delicious and satisfying. Beautiful rooftop view of Manhattan. It was wonderful to see her again (and Georgia, Devo, Meg, Ali and Dave.) Not to mention Chip's bride Jen Stout-nee-Christ was in town so we all got a chance to hear about the honeymoon.
  • I went to my first Gastronauts dinner in 18 months and traveled up to the Bronx for delicious African food and some Malt liquor (BYO). It was great to see Curtiss and Ben again.
  • I went to the No Borders tournament in Ottawa Canada with Ambush. It was great to be back with Ambush, even if there were only two players in attendance who were on the team the last time I was there. It is about 9 hours each way with city traffic and summer traffic and we had as pleasant as possible a car trip. The fields were nice and we came 6th place and had a couple of really good games. It was a good weekend.
  • After many, many, many attempts I finally caught up with Paige on the phone. She is about to pop. I cannot wait for the arrival of baby boy Wichman-Mayes.

That's the bulk of my updates. This weekend I'm off to Wildwood NJ for the beach tournament with my favorite beach team, the Sex-Cons. I think we may stop on the way down at Atlantic city to make a donation to the poker tables. I'm also going to a Mets game on Thursday during the day so that should be fun.

I'll check back in in another couple of weeks. I'm off to St. Charles, Illinois (nearish to Chicago) for 3 weeks in August to teach an Accenture class and after that I really am not sure where I'll be, but stay tuned here to find out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

NEW YORK CITY

i am home. i am home i am home.

after 2 days of 'additional touring' my luggage is now how as well. i did have to wear the same shirt for 4 days. :(

i have already cleaned 29 extensively, been to a barbecue (happy birthday ali!) and to a yankees/red sox game that went to extra innings (thanks jesse!).

29 is exactly the same. the same graffiti is up in the hallways, shit mountain even has a 'nest' full of hatchlings. the same people are standing around out front smoking cigarettes.

there will be a posting hiatus while i enjoy getting back into the swing of things here. there is so much i still need to do: blue and gold, jones, ambush, schnack, i can't even type the list for the excitement of needing to go do it. it is great to be back. l8r.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ouchy head. still not home.

another airport, another business class champagne hangover. oh man. at least i am reliable.

i'm in chicago. so close to home. still so far from a shower. nice to be able to use US currency.

so, the flight from fiji was delayed, and then diverted to refuel in samoa. then the flight from honolulu had a leak in some coolant system, so after 2 hours (and some boarding champagne) they got us all off and rerouted me to chicago. now i'm in chicago for a 4 hour layover and then i can finally get home. who knows where my bags are...

it's finally saturday. i had two full fourth of julys. the first was the one i described below, snorkeling on south sea island. the second (after crosing the international date line) was all flying and airports.

the flight to chicago didn't have the personal entertainment system, it just had one big tv for us all to watch and the only movie was horton hears a who. i liked some of the animation but i'm suspect of the anti-choice overtones in the, 'a person's a person no matter how small' mantra throughout the film. while i'm critiquing, just exactly why does carol burnett hate the spec any way? i guess the film just needs a villain but she seems to have no motivation at all.

anyway, that's it. i'm only a timezone away from nyc. i already have plans for prospect park pickup and a barbecue tomorrow. woo hoo!

Friday, July 4, 2008

even paradise is hell when you'd rather be in new york city

day 3 in fiji: quick post here. i am about to head to the airport. (yay!) i cannot wait to get back.

today was great really, but i am so ready to leave. i spent today on this beautiful (calebra-esque) island spec called south island. it was all you can drink and there was a buffet lunch and a 20 minute back massage provided. still, it drove me friking nuts and i could not wait to get off.

one major problem is that there are "couples only" islands, (which i am not eligible for) but no child free islands and those little buggers just scream and scream. i hope there are none in business class. grrr!

on the up side, snorkeling was even more incredible today. the island is completely surrounded by a reef (does that make it an atoll?). i saw huge bright plum starfish at least 16 inches across (inches are back! bye-bye metric system). also heaps of sea cucumbers over a foot long. i also saw bright blue fish and swam through a school of large fish with every fluorescent color on their body at once. incredible. the weirdest bit is that you can hear the large fish when they eat, when they take bites off the coral it makes a loud "chomp!"

lynn: i took out a sea kayak called a 'peekaboo' with a clear plastic floor. i had fun and saw lots more fish. i also got beached on the reef several times as it gets right up to the water level quite suddenly. (i know it's bad to touch the reef but this one is pretty much gone as it literally has children climbing on it all day and there are no warnings or restrictions. i decided to be part of the problem...)

i also went for a ride on a glass bottomed, and sided boat and saw even more of the reef and the diverse fish population. beautiful. crowded with humans.

i am still quite sick of taking multiple ferries everywhere you want to go and the requisite 30 minutes for loading and unloading. and all the honeymooning couples. and all the college backpackers. and the families. and basically anyone but me!

happy 4th of july. see you in nyc. anyway i am about to miss my plane.

(ps: does anyone remember how to make it rain in gaston hall?)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bula! (Proud Mary)

so "Bula!" is what Fijians say as a greeting and i hear it here about 200 times a day. Proud Mary is what the Fijean 3-piece acoutsic guitar group is playing right now by the pool in my hotel. of course.

today was better. i did one of those package tours. i know what you are thinking: 'how touristy'. i know, but there's no hiding it really and i'm here for 2.5 days on my own and hardly about to dive in to the real fiji. i think i will be back for a proper trip for that. it's just easy to be taken care of and to have so little expected of you (because you are a tourist). i like not worrying if i am getting lost or if i am in a strange place for a single woman to be. a lot of the island (>50%) is hindi and their women seem to be expected to stay put and act specific ways i don't really know.

today at 8 am a bus picked me up at hotel and drove to 5 or 6 other hotels before taking me to (no joke this is what it is called) robinson crusoe island. a 30 minute skiff ride to a tiny spec of sand with an eco hotel. i spent the day on the island, snorkeling, eating grilled fish, watching fire walking, fire dancing and drinking fiji gold. if you are ever here, do not miss the turtle viewing. the snorkeling was the highlight. i swam through a large school of bright blue fish and saw fish of every other imaginable color near by. also heaps of coral. it's a bit surreal and i lose track of time. i could do that all day.

special to lynn: i tried to do a little shelling and got you a pretty one, i was carrying back to my bag when it bit me. i guess it was a hermit and i hadn't noticed. in typical suave-courtney fashion i screamed and threw the shells everywhere and everyone looked at the weird american girl there on her own. anyway, you won't be getting that shell. (neither you, mom.)

amy: thanks for the tip on the indian food. dosis! naan! curries of all varieties. and for cheap. oh dear!

all fijian women seem to have the same hairstyle, one like oj simpson had during the naked gun films. come on ladies. diversify....

lots of men here still wear skirts or whatever the right name is for man-skirt loincloth things. security guard? skirt. taxi driver? skirt. handicraft dealer? skirt. school boy? skirt.

there was a bus strike today. the government imposes a fixed bus fare, but the buses are privately run and have to buy their own fuel, the price of which has increased 7 times this year. the bus fare can't increase to match the fuel price, so the buses operate at a loss. the bus strike stopped the city of nadi in it's tracks. school children use the private buses to get to school so they were just milling about in their school uniforms (all skirts, the boys with ties). by the time i got back from robinson crusoe island my driver told me the strike was over, but it wasn't clear if the bus fares would increase. that would be hard on school children and most of the workers who rely on the system... i'm a free market fan. whizzer? what's a libertarian to do? what about the school kids?

the soap in my hotel smells exactly like grape hubba bubba. exactly. even though i know it is soap i have considered eating it. (just a little piece...)

my hotel tv gets three channels: the national geographic channel, a fijian news & soap opera channel and espn. i am in heaven and have not had any trouble finding something good to watch. also, there are no commercials for some reason, so when sports center goes to break they just show one of those 'on this day in sports' bits and come right back.

i went into a supermarket and there was a huge display of canned mutton. hundreds of cans. must be all the rage here.

speaking of espn, i just heard that favre is coming back. again? maybe i should just go back to australia. please. what a fool. he had the unexpected chance of a lifetime to go out on a high note after 6 bad seasons and he wants to come back again? i hope he goes down in a steroids probe.

i'll be back in nyc soon and am already looking forward to tournaments in ottawa and a wildwood! i can't wait to get home... see everyone soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

quick fiji update

i am here in Nadi. my resort, the smuggler's cove, is safe and clean. i think they kill drug smugglers here so the name seems a bit ironic.

the island seems pretty nice. it is 27 Celcius today and sunny.

service is quite sloooooow and casual. no one is in a hurry.

all the fijeans are are SUPER friendly which makes me think they are trying a scam or something but i think they are just like that. they won't accept tips. even when they carry your 38 kilo suitcase up two flights of stairs.

it is pretty quiet here and i think most people just come for honeymoons. i will take a tour of the outer islands tomorrow and do some snorkleing. i am glad i only have a couple of days here as there is not a ton to do in Nadi. i think Suva is where it's at, but i'm not driving or bussing to the east side of the island in the next two days.

i'll fly to nyc on friday night, arrive sat morning. i am looking forward to that.

food seems not so great so far, reminds me of puerto rico, lots of bland fried fish, but i actually think they are just trying to pander to what british tourists want. today i'll try to find some more authentic food.

just wanted to let you know that all was well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

this just in

so, the great american pack-off is complete. it nearly killed me, but most of my belongings are now en route to NYC. i do hate packing. when the movers came today, i couldn't watch. dierdre is gone baby gone. she is better traveled than most schwinns.

i only have 5 more days in melbourne. panic! panic! what have i done? i am leaving a pretty good set up here. i am telling myself i can always come back. (clicking the heels of my ugg boots...)

my good friend gil (accenture florham park) talked me off the ledge. thanks gil! i was double plus stressing about going home and didn't want to fit in a side trip. too much stress to sort out the details. hassle, i said. gil slapped me upside the head and said, "go to fiji". so i will. he's right. why not. i'll be in fiji from july 1-4 which should be long enough to figure out what is up in fiji and maybe have a fruity drink or too, but not long enough to fall into a pit of existential single traveler angst. on ontic anxiety in business class. on discordant situations. oh ennui.

what's left: leaving drinks rager, palmer's birthday. my farewell pick-up game at albert park followed by a trip to the gun island hotel to watch footy and eat 'parma' and one last day of work and league. hugs and tears and then i fly to fiji.


also, i already packed my camera, so don't expect any pics of figi from me. if you want to see figi, look on flickr for much better than i would take anyway, like this:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

winding down, wind out

so, i am down to my last few days here in melbourne. everything is in fast forward. there is not enough time. i am really going to miss this place.

i'll be back in nyc on july 2. i decided to just come straight home. i am too stressed about planning the move to plan a side trip to rarotonga or figi or tahiti. i know that sounds wasteful and a pity, but it's the truth. french polynesia will just have to wait.

it's been a busy few weeks. last weekend i had folks over for a poker tournament. at least i intended to have a poker tournament, but it turns out most of my friends prefer snacking and word games. i was bummed there wasn't more poker, but it was great to see everyone. on saturday i went to an ultimate fund raising trivia night and had a blast. on sunday i took a trip to ballarat. on monday, i had the most fun i've ever had in my entire life when tim wise gave me a ride on the back of his motorbike. it was incredible. yes, mom i wore a helmet (thanks for the loaner dave!)

the work week was nuts. work is still just as hectic and now i'm also transitioning to a replacement so i need to make time for that as well.

on saturday i went 'rogaining' in country victoria (creswick) with jess, steven, diego and some other friends. despite the name of this activity, this is not anything to do with hair loss medication. this is essentially an orienteering race where you run around in the australian bush with a compass looking for checkpoints and getting points for finding stations. jess kept me from getting lost and we saw several large kangaroos. it was a 6 hour race in the rain on and off. it was a very australian way to spend one of my last saturdays here, walking around appreciating the landscape with 'good mates'.

on saturday night i had the time of my life. the boys from heads of state had challenged the jerk stores from chilly to a game. but it was not the 4th rematch of the year for these rivals in ultimate. no, this time it would be basketball. as i know several of the players on each team, this was going to be a prime time heckling opportunity. the boys did not disappoint, for as smooth as they may be on the ultimate pitch they all looked pretty uncoordinated on the hardwood, with a couple of notable exceptions. tom rogacki did actually dunk the basketball and some fool in a malone jersey and a deron williams hair style rained down several threes. sadly, chilly finished off the fourth 20 minute quarter up 94 to 35 or so, but the boys from HOS never lost heart or more importantly, willingness to talk smack.

after the game we all went to a pub followed by a little poker.

to top it all off (perhaps due to the day in the rain) i've come down with a cold and feel 'crook'. i spent today moping about the apartment, drinking tea, blowing my nose and packing. I missed a farewell gathering at Gil and Susan's.

next weekend i'll have leaving drinks with workmates around town and amanda palmer's birthday. on sunday my farewell gathering will most appropriately be pick-up followed by beers and watching the footy.

some time in all this i need to finish packing... you know how i love PACKING

oh and here's a picture of me as a bridesmaid fom jen and chip's wedding with the other maids and the bride:


and finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to lindy who turned 6 on 21 June. 6! can you believe it?!?!? look out world!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;

38 hours of airplanes and airports later I'm back in Melbourne. I'm tired and getting over jet lag and work is nuts. I have a lot to do before I head back to NYC on July 1.

Business class is so weird. All anyone really wants is to sleep and watch the in seat entertainment, but the airlines serve these elaborate 6 course meals of rich gourmet everything that is just ideal for preemptive air sickness. I would rather just have Pret a Manger which tastes great is high in quality and doesn't spill. The last Qantas flight I was on offered people a full icecream sunday bar. Nuts for nuts I guess.

One nice touch on the American Airlines leg from JFK to LAX was a think full sized duvet, rather than just a blanket. Other than that I think all the deluxe touches are wacko.



This time on the planes I watched The Bucket List (C), Charlie Wilson's War (B+) and likely some others that I have now forgotten. Mostly I slept.



The wedding was a blast. I didn't know many people there, but it really seems like most people didn't know many people there as Jen & Chip's friends cut a wide swath of friends from Ultimate, Amherst, Yale, New York and the West Coast. They're off on the honeymoon now so I'll be checking Chip's blog soon for updates.





Here's the bridesmaids (minus Trina who I suspect was Taking the photo) and bride on the Friday night before the Sunday wedding out at a dance club in Greensboro NC.



I'm using 'club' as loosely as possible. This is Greensboro people. There are reports that on Sunday night after the wedding I organized some running and Wheelbarrow relay races on the putting green, and I do have the bruises to corroborate this story.


The resort where the wedding was held was beautiful, but the staff were a little slack. I woke up and hour late on Monday June 2 after the wedding in part due to a wake up call that did not come. I grabbed my stuff and got out of there, but an hour later than I was supposed to get back on the road to Raleigh, which made me late to return my sister's car. It was a huge favor for her to lend me her car for the long weekend and I am a stupid jerk who returned the favor by making her late for work. Sorry Lynn. Thanks again for trying to help me.



As penance for being an irresponsible sister, I spent my entire birthday alone in airports in Raleigh, New York and LA. I read Jesse's old copy of ESPN the magazine and Kurt Vonnegut's Armageddon in Retrospect. He's produced more work post-mortem than anyone since Tupac, but I'll take it as he's still the best writer I've ever read and maybe the only voice that has ever seemed genuine enough to give me any hope.

I'm glad to be back in Melbourne for a few weeks and getting ready for July in NYC.

NBA: The Celtics got 1. Let's hope they get three more.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

We on award tour with muhammad my man...

Hey. I am in North Carolina. It is good to be back in the states. I have been dealing with by overseas cravings for Strawberry Pop Tarts and Little Powdered Donuts. Thirst quenched.

One night in NYC was waaaaay to short, but it was great to see Jesse, Ben and Caitlin and Curtiss. I had a proper brunch on my way out. Look out NYC. I'll be back in July.

Then I spent some time with my family in Oak Island North Carolina. I got to see my much much much older sister (love you Lynn) have another birthday and also her now teenager-in-training daughters Kate and Lindy. It was good to sit on the beach and play in the sand.

Now I am at the Grandover Resort at Jen and Chip's wedding in Greensboro. I lived here from aged 2-4 or so and it is all coming right back to me: the nightlife, the wooden furniture...

I've had a pedicure, a back yard barbecue at Jen's parents' beautiful home and a night out on the 'town' with the bridal party where we made Jen do body shots off strange men and then we shook it all night to Bell Biv Devoe. Oh yes. That girl is poison.

We've had a rehersal brunch, and next is the rehersal and the rehersal dinner. Sunday will be the primping, photos and wedding. Look out.

I fly back to Melbourne on Monday morning but I don't arrive until Wednesday morning, so you go twice as hard on Tuesday for me, since I won't be having one.

Kobe is no Magic so don't tell me that again. Only Paul Pierce can save me now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bidness Class

ok. quick update here. i am flying back to the usa for jen & chip's wedding. it'll be my first time back in the usa in 16 months and i am pretty excited. my bridesmaid dress is all packed up.

i am in the quantas business class lounge where there is free internet and free food. and cnn. i could just live here maybe. if the nba playoffs were on. i am gamecasting the pistons/celtics on espn. come on chauncey!

i am hung over to the point of near death experience. that is the best way to kick off a 17 hour flight. it is morning, so i may just reject the free champagne offer. there was poker and makers mark last night after going to see my friend andy's band. i wish i could tell you more, but i can't recall. this really is an 'i am not a role model' post i guess.

i may have even lost at poker using my patented 'never fold' strategy. explain that?

my flight is delayed. boo.

see you if you will be in north carolina. fear not my nyc brethren, i will be back to see you in july and you'll get more of me than you can stand.

the hangover is amping up my normal travel paranoia so i may just forsake all this free comfort and go stand next to the gate and act impatient.

blogger spell check offers this suggestion for 'internet': 'interned'. um. okay. you are on the internet. booya.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jess is Rad

Hey there. I went to see Architecture in Helsinki in St. Kilda with Jess. It was great to see her and we had a fantastic time. AIH was awesome. Kellie Sutherland might just be the next Neko Case, (at least when she tours with the New Pornographers) in that she's the most talented person on the stage, but relegated to back up singer for half the set, so when she does sing her lead songs the crowd goes nuts from the anticipation.

Jess bought me heaps of beers and I had a bad headache the next day at work. First time for everything.

Work is double plus nuts and I missed league again which makes me sad. I fly home on Friday morning for Jen & Chip's wedding. Looking forward to business class champagne and watching 10 movies.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the prodigal blogger

hey. sorry it's been ages. things are nuts. peanuts. brazil nuts. pecans. hazelnuts. even pistachios. i'm naming nuts.


nationals was pretty fun, although sporting team box athletico united came 6th. we had hoped to do better. coffs harbor was a small town and it rained on us. we had some injuries. (crime box, whale, huswald) we lost a huge game to the national team from new zealand. we won two great games in the stadium on the nicest grass i've ever played on. then we lost two games in a row to sydney's wildcard to get bounced out of the semi's bracket. we ended up 6th, and the 5/6 game was lost on universe point. here's a write up of the overall tournament. here's heaps of pictures if you've got the time to dig around (mom).






i had a great time playing with team box and i have some truly great friends on that team. i'll miss playing with them heaps.






mama and i had a great road trip down. we celebrated her birthday in byron bay and i had a lot of fun returning to some of the places jesse and i saw last july. we swam on the rocky beach, had some dinner, some sleep, a great massage and a great brunch. we are adorable:




and mama shares my respect for oral hygiene.



here's me at the major coff's harbour tourist attraction, the big banana



now on to other huge news. fatten your calves. i'm coming home. first for just a few days, and then for longer.


first off i'm coming back to north carolina to be in chip and jen's wedding. it should be great. i'll be in the great state of NC from may 25 or so until june 1. i'll get to see my parents at their beach house and my sister and my nieces. then, i'll head to greensborough for the wedding. once i've supervised the nuptials and partied with the best dancing couple i've ever known i'll fly back to melbourne.







then i'm rolling off my Telstra account on June 30. i'll be throwing a hella holla send off out of 301 in late june. book your fancy dress now. stay tuned.





I'll be back in NYC on July 2 or so. back in 29. i am getting amped. book out blue and gold for a week. who wants great jones? who wants veselka? who wants boca chica? bring it. i think i'll take some PTO to get re-acclimated to the northern hemisphere. i am looking forward to the subway and playing some disc with my ambush girls. and eating some gastronautical cuisine. i'll miss melbourne heaps, but right now, i am psyched about coming home. see you soon.



p.s. happy mother's day mom. you're the best mom i've ever had!

Monday, April 21, 2008

frantic

I'm frantic. Work is completely insane. There could be no worse time to be heading out for a few days off, but there's never a good time.

I'm off to coffs Harbour for Nationals in a few hours.

I am super psyched to be going with my team.

I have not packed. You know how I feel about packing.

Will there be live scoring again this year? I do not know.

If so, it might be here:

http://nationals.ultimatefrisbee.org.au/email.php

If not, i'll tell you all about it when I get home next week.

Happy Anzac Day!

Monday, April 14, 2008

i am still here

in australia. for a time.

all persists. work is still work. i am busy. laaaaate nights.

also, as usual there is some disc. i played in a co-ed tournament this weekend in ballarat. as they say here, we came second. the fields were crap.

tonight i won the division two league finals with the magic mushrooms and my team box teammate cat 'litter box' phillips and snail 'spring box' phillips. the phillips sisters and i then won the division one finals with twelve cheers for and more team box teammates: joy 'human beat' box and hussey 'this is not a' box. yeah league. twelve cheers for is the coolest coed team i have ever played with and it almost makes you consider co-ed. as an option. then again, all of our guys are open players, which i think is what made it so fun. they are also all 19 and the fastest MFs you have ever seen.

i watched the nuggets game cast today on a conference call. AI was huge in the victory over houston. i think the 8 spot is locked in now.

next up is nationals in coff's harbor with sporting team box althetico united. i cannot wait. it will be rad, assuredly. i'll be road tripping to nationals with mama, raging on the gold coast and then four days at the tourney with my St. Bau boxes. Might just be the best time ever.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Impossible Germany, Unlikely Japan. Incredible Melbourne.

I saw Wilco again on Wednesday night. I saw them at a venue formerly called the Metro where Sarah and I went to see the Shins in the Melbourne CBD. It was a great show. Some of the tracks were downright country, and on others they RAWKED it with a Kid-A style light show.
This show was critical to my returning home from Rimini. I needed something to look forward to or I might just have run away from home and I built the show up in my mind to epic proportions. Wilco delivered.

They played for 2 and half hours and played fan favorites from AM (Casino Queen, Passenger Side) Being There (Outta Mind, I Got You, Sunken Treasure, The Lonely One) and Summer Teeth (She’s a Jar, Via Chicago, Shot in the Arm, How to Fight Loneliness). There wasn’t too much from YHF or even Sky Blue Sky.

Jeff was in a last-day-of-school mood and dedicated every song to one of the roadies like he was signing their yearbooks. I had a great time and bought a swell new t-shirt to stave off the impending t-shirt shortage of 2008 (Al Gore’s new pet cause now that global warming is all sorted out).

Here’s a pic and a wack tiny video. You get the idea.

Going through a Johnny Cash Phase?


video


Since you are procrastinating at work (I know it and your boss knows it) I’ll offer these up as well:

Please check out this skit that Matteo suggested with Gob from arrested development.

And this list from Kimmie that is spot on like lime Jello.

Also, check out this typo that Jesse found on ESPN where the #s 1 and 5 are reversed. Hello? Proofreaders?

(Boos and tears to G-Town for losing to Davidson in the 10-2 game. What the hell?)

Okay, it's 4 AM. I'm going to try going to bed now again and see if the jet-lag gods will shine down upon me.