Friday, July 30, 2010

3rd Time's The Charm!

Title So, Tuesday I completed my July hat trick of body scanning with an MRI on my ankle. Finally*, one of these damn scans leads to some action. I have a chunk o' bone floating around in my ankle, and in medical terms, this is known as "bad". So they're going to scope it and take the thing out**. Good times, but it means my dream of non-gimpiness is postponed until at least November. Ugh.

And to all of you that said I needed to brush the sand out of my mangina and play (I'm looking at you, Matthias): GFY.

And to Judit: If you want to call me Gimp until I finish rehab on the ankle, I guess I deserve it!

* Said sarcastically -- I was pretty fing ecstatic that the CT scan was negative.
** I'm hoping to have it set into a ring.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I May Not Be The Wizard...

But at least I have proof that I'm not the goddamn scarecrow!

When Is It OK To Bail Without Calling?

So, a friend of mine was recently ditched, without warning*. So it brought up the question, when can you bail on your date without so much as a call or text? And here are my scenarios:

  1. Somali pirates expand operations into your region & you are captured, but you'll need CNN/BBC footage to back your claim.
  2. The inevitable zombie apocalypse started in your neighborhood and you spent the day beheading/debraining the undead. Again, footage.
  3. Your super-hero alter ego was called away to fight Dr. Colossus. No footage necessary, but taking your ditched date for a flight over London (or any major city) will balance the scales.
  4. Your dog had rabies and it needed to be shot, Old Yeller-style. This one will require documentation from the authorities and witnesses of you crying while pulling the trigger.
  5. Anything that killed you, but the polite thing to do is a quick haunting to show you care.

* Though the dipshit called 2 hours earlier to say he'd be there.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Do You Know It's a Düsseldorf Groupon?

... when it's for Botox. I've seen discounts on hair styling, bars (woo hoo!), tanning, lots of restaurants, but BOTOX? Welcome to the 'dorf, Groupon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Post-Worlds Blahs Recovery Plan

OK, so Worlds is over. I've spent the last 6+ months training, planning, overwhelming teammates with emails*, etc. And now? The post-tournament blahs. They always hit after a tournament, but this time it's been like a Mack truck. Oy vey**.

So, what to do? Like Red says, "You can get busy livin', or you can get busy dyin'" I'm going with the former. Here's my to-do list, post-Worlds:

  • Learn to rollerblade. I've had them for years, now i need to learn. I will NOT be learning to wear spandex without shorts over it.
  • Keep a clean apartment. For one month.
  • Keep blogging, but about something that might interest people that aren't my teammates***.
  • Not read "An American Tragedy". It was craptacular. I will tell you what I'm reading when I read a book that won't lead to mocking. Don't hold your breath.
  • Rehab my ankle so I can play ultimate.
  • Get back in the gym.
  • Be more social. This year I've been pretty much antisocial outside of ultimate, so I need to change that.

This should be more than enough.  But if I don't set unrealistic goals, I won't have an excuse for not reaching them.

* I'm definitely the team's MOE - Most Overbearing Emailer
** How bad? I'm doing my Yiddish accent, that's how bad.
*** Yeah, I know. But I like to tell myself it might happen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ultimate Worlds 2010 Live Blogging - Day 5

OK, sorry for the delay. Three games in a day is a lot, especially when all three are disappointments. But no more spoilers, the day awaits.

7:30 - Breakfast was, to quote Kramer, "No bagel, no bagel, no bagel". The usually salami-cucumber sandwich and off to the bus to ride across Prague to the "main" fields. How they're the "main" fields when 20 of the 30 fields are at the other location, I have no idea. I'm betting 5 Ultimate (company motto: We only bring enough inventory for 2 days of a 7 day tournament) had something to do with the decision.

8:30 - Get on to the bus that's gonna take you to Beelze... no, wait, Vršovice. We try to convince the driver to stop to buy a vowel, but he doesn't go for it.

8:45 - Fred gets that pressed Elf ham he's been dreaming about.

10:30 - We face off against Frizmi, the Slovenian team. It's a bad sign when Meryl forgets whether we're on O or D. It's also not a good sign when I take our first turn, fake a forehand huck and then throw a backhand huck out of bounds instead of to the Duke. We show an impressive inability to handle against a zone with no wind and to convert on our turns.

14:00 - A short break and we're off to face Sexy Legs. Several of their players live up to the name, and this clearly distracts us. We play much better than against Frizmi, but still lose. This is getting real old, real fast.

16:30 - A short break and we're back against Brazzinga from Brazil. They beat Frizmi on ultimate point, so to avoid the bottom bracket we need to either win big or win and hope Frizmi beats Sexy Legs.

18:00 - Aaaaannnnndddd... neither happens. We get a lead but never can quite remember to stay behind our defenders as Brazil's only strategy is huck, huck, huck. Even with a straight-up mark forcing high floaty throws, we see a seemingly-endless series of hucks to wide-open players. In fairness, I should've had us try zone, but I fell into the trap of "we are smarter/better than this." We're not, and now we're playing for 37th. It really takes all the fun out of winning.

On the upside, Fred gets voted best-looking male player 2 games in a row, and Gudi gets a new nickname -- Demon. And no elf candidate is more obvious than a Demon Elf!

Also, Germany lost to Spain, leading to more disappointment for the Germans. But it does mean I don't have to put up with my coworkers endless gloating. So there's that.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ultimate Worlds 2010 Live Blogging - Day 4


7:30am - Wake up wayyyyy before my alarm goes off. I consider crawling into bed with Meryl as a joke, but realize she's probably asked to room with me to get justifiable cause for manslaughter. Instead I wake up, shower and find the gang for bagels.

10:00am - Damn, but I love me some bagels. Had a bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel, with coffee (with free refills!) and excellent service by the cool (and cute!) waitress. A good breakfast to get ready to kick some Slovenian ass.

12:30pm - Just as I get there to warm up, the skies open up, complete with lightning. As the teams go back out to play, the field owners kibosh it and the rest of the day is cancelled. So, time to change and head into town.

However, Flash*'s enthusiasm at finally hearing his theme song reminds me that I should give a rundown on the team's best nicknames:

1. Flash* - Awesome because a) it has a theme song b) refers to 2 pop culture references and c) I came up with it
2. Lich (the Elf!) - Ines hates it, so it must be good. Also, chanting Lich the Elf! Lich the Elf! Lich the Elf! causes her to give the finger, which is good.
3. Alpha - Fred was already rockin' Stiffy, Reverend and Brazil, but when you are never seen without a woman or two on your arm, you're the Alpha Dog.
4. Giggles - Tammy is so happy, this is perfect. Of course, if Chunk were still here, he'd be Giggles.
5. J Money - If Snoop and The Gourds have their minds on J Money (and J Money on their minds), I think that's celeb endorsement enough.

Runners-up: J'Arrive/Chuff, Blu-Ray, Skillanza, Snort, Yoda and Meister
Ineligible due to inoriginality: T, AC, Meesh, Weebs, Gudi, Schnitter

What about CBK, you ask? Well, if my plan to have her name legally changed is successful, it'll no longer be a nickname. We can hope.

5:30pm - Tasty Czech food and beer make for a good end to the day, well, that and soccer.

* Aaaahah!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ultimate Worlds 2010 Live Blogging - Day 3

4:00am - I wake up to a wicked cool lightning storm to realize that I left my Under Armour airing on the window. When I tilt the window to pick it up, I get a nice splash of water from the accumulation. I narrowly avoid dousing my computer and close the window so I don't get rained on.

6:00am - Meryl wakes up whining about me being a noisy sleeper for the 2nd consecutive day. This would normally be understandable, but I warned her about the likelihood of me snoring when she INSISTED that we room together. So I mock her a bit, then ignore her.

6:10am - To beat the breakfast rush before our 2nd consecutive 8:30 game, we go even earlier. However, salami and cucumber sandwiches are no tastier without the amuse bouche of standing in line.

7:30am - After the 10 minute drive to the fields, we have a 10 minute hike downhill into a swamp to make it to the fields. "Squishy" isn't just a nickname for Adriano -- it's an excellent description of the conditions.

8:30am - We have a more focused warmup after discussing that our handlers need to sack up*, we need to use our women, and we all need to play D.

10:30am - The talk worked ok on offense, as we score 7 on the 2009 UPA runners-up and second seed at Worlds. We again forget the visors and give a promise of such to a rather dubious group of Iowans. In return, they explain the origins of their name: Chad Larson, a former UNI player, claimed that no team named after him could be any good, and the team set out to prove him wrong. I'd say they succeeded.

12:00pm - I eat another salami-cucumber sandwich for lunch, then head out to watch Showdown take JinX behind the woodshed. Go AJ! It's amazing to think that I've known her for close to 15 years. Even married, she manages to exude a cool combination of intensity and exuberance. Strong work!

12:30pm - After watching Reija's Viima team fall into a huge early hole (10-3, I think), they can't quite finish the comeback and lose 16-12ish. We then play Freespeed on a field that is a swamp -- they turned on the sprinklers last night in addition to the large amount of rain from the storm. Nice work, Brainiac. We're ready for the game, though.

2:30pm - The game was tight throughout, with us taking at 11-10 lead. Unfortunately, we choke and lose 6 of the last 7 points, mainly through a series of short turns. We're now in the bottom pool and hoping to play a full game instead of just a half. Ugh. I feel like punching myself in the junk after the way we ended the last two days.

5:00pm - We try to find a microbrewery that was recommended to me, but instead end up at a pub serving decent Czech food (menu roulette - no translations!) and Pilsner Urquell. At about 6E a person for a meal and a 0.5L beer. Not bad at all.

9:00pm - We skip the end of Doublewide kicking a Columbian team's ass (glad I missed that last score for Columbia!) to make the team elf vote. Frauzi decided to campaign for me, in spite of me making it clear I'd much prefer to be elf at the main party. Dolt. She'll get hers, though. Oh, yes, she will.

* My words, not Meryl's.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ultimate Worlds 2010 Live Blogging - Day 2

6:30am - Breakfast, complete with a gargantuan line. But Worlds is starting in earnest!

7:30am - We arrive and start warming up. We're pumped, energetic and ready to rumble.

8:15am - Jeremy Codhands, clearly intimidated by our warmup, shows up and rushes to put on cleats. You can smell the fear from them*!

8:32am - After a few turns, we score the first point at Worlds! Booyah! Unfortunately, JC scores the next few.

9:00am-ish - Davide gets whacked when a JC player makes a bid on his catch, so I rush in as an injury sub once I realize they're forcing backhand. I have the disc about 5m outside the endzone and immediately start giving Ines and AC "the look"**. They see it, then cut in rather than going for a huck. I now miss B-Smoove as much as humanly possible. At stall 5, Fred sees an opening and cuts deep*** from the far handler position. I fake the break mark, then throw a monster huck to hit Fred in stride in the middle of the endzone -- the best huck of my life.  And all due to me imagining the goalposts at the back of the endzone were lightposts!

9:30am - JC finishes whomping us and then gives us Lance Armstrong-style wristbands that read "What Would Jeremy Do?" We give them a promise of a visor after I win Kitty-Microwave-Foil.

11:00am - Lunch is chicken quesadillas followed by hours of nothing while we wait for our 16:30 game.

5:30pm - How to describe the game against Gronical Dizziness? Here's how you can reenact it:

  1. Go to the temple of the Ultimate god**** and piss on the altar
  2. As you leave, punch the High Priest in the junk***** and tell him he couldn't sky a frisbee dog
  3. When you get to the field, take a dump in the middle of the endzone.
  4. Sit in said dump, then light yourself on fire

It was that bad. John Starks 2-for-18 in the Finals bad. Two Girls-One Cup bad. Napoleon leaving Moscow bad. Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl bad. We couldn't have beaten Jerry's Kids playing this way, much less a solid team like GD. It was easily the worst game deLux has ever played. Fortunately, Casey saw the whole thing so he now knows that I'm Captain Suckage (except for my hand block). We skip the opening ceremonies to drink with the Sockeye guys, with Sockeye's Ben Wiggins learning to his delight that Meryl's nickname is "Captain Buzz Kill". So we have that going for us.

9:00pm - Freek arrives, too late to help us, but he does cheer us up with his guitar (named, and I'm not kidding, Peni5).  Time to
crash to get ready for the Chad Larson Experience and Freespeed.

* It smells suspiciously like stale Staropramen.
** Not the creepy "look" -- I give that to them after the game
*** Or, possibly, starts running to play D in anticipation of my crap huck.
**** Scooberus
***** It's wrong to punch the High Priestess, so if she's there, shake the shit out of her.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 7 The Slackers

So, now we've covered all the important players, what about the ones who didn't want to play with us?

Nickname(s): Boy Toy, Houdini
Best Throw: Whatever Meryl tells him to throw.
Why He's Awesome: Chilly O, great D, always positive. Or at least I think he's always positive -- my sample size is one tournament we one together* and one game of him either kicking my ass or me "taking him out of the play"**


(She thought this was a jimmy hat, which explains her condition)
Nickname(s): Dr. Finn, Medicine Woman; Pinedanger
Best Throw: Great break mark hucks right after saying, "I'm not a handler"
Why She's Awesome: Apparently NOT because of her rigorous use of birth control. But even if she isn't been eating for two, she probably would've played for the damn Finns with Rei-Rei.


(Note how into it Rei-Rei is!)
Nickname(s): Um, Chunk? Also, Man Meryl
Best Throw: The funky, full-extension flip backhand.
Why He's Awesome: The original Giggles, Chunk was just happy to be there, but that didn't mean he wasn't bringing some serious game. Supportive, competitive, everything you'd want in a teammate -- except for the quitting.


(A rare smile from LeSurl!)
Nickname(s): Surly, Lord Surly, LeSurl, The Surlinator
Best Throw: Whatever he feels like.
Why He's Awesome: Hot D? Great Throws? Occasional smiles? Hosting a great tournament? Putting up with this guy↓?


(She's thinking how much she'd like to smack that camera out of my hand)
Nickname(s): Rei-Rei (pronounced "Ray-Ray"), and Reeeeeeiiiiiijjjjjjaaaaaa!
Best Throw: Forehand break mark. It's like a Bernini sculpture, beautiful yet functional.
Why She's Awesome: She really doesn't seem to understand how good she is, it's quite vexing. I'd pay to play on her team any day of the week (and pay double on Sundays), yet she seems to think she's not fantabulous.


(Hey, clown, make with the laugh laugh!)
Nickname(s): Benny, Jackhole, B-Original
Best Throw: High hammer while yelling "Surrrllll!"
Why He's Awesome: The reason I joined Ultimate deLux, and not a small part of the reason I like living in Europe. Also knows a bit about the Simpsons, mocking Meryl and a lot about heckling. Not so much about weaseling out of work.

* By "together" I mean, of course, "Tobi did a shitload more than JT"
** I.e., trying not to get D'ed by hiding as the dump.

Ultimate Worlds 2010 Live Blogging - Day 1

While ultimate players previously had to wait a week or even 10 days, due to the magic of the Tinterwebs, I'll be blogging live from Worlds this week. First up? Saturday, also known as Check-In And Wait For The Team.

5am: Wake up at to go to the airport. Those of you who know me will know that this is easily my favorite part of Worlds. I do love to get up early.

9:30am: Make it to the check in and flirt with the super-cool check-in girl until I admit to myself that she's too young. Dammit. I make a note to myself to reconsider this assessment after sampling a few Czech beers.

10am: Dump all my crap in my room and head out for tasty beer.

1pm: Lunch meat-o-rama and beer tasting at the Strahov brewery (a 10 minute downhill-walk from the dorms) is interrupted by the first set of teammates whining about not getting into their rooms. I feign urgency and finish my beer, then gimp my ass back uphill. The bum ankle is singing, "I'm going to hurt all week long, doo-dah"*

4pm: Big mass of teammates arrive to check-in and watch games. The parade of beers that I'd dreamed would be mine for sacrificing my day to check-in never arrives. Must find a new team.

6pm: Sockeye throwing clinic led by Ben "Wiggy" Wiggins and Nate and Matt. I learn a lot which I'm sure will prevent me from any throwaways this week. When I express this to the team, they seem dubious. I'm sure it's jealousy of my awesome throws**

9pm: Dinner, and our first Buzz is killed by CBK. She sees a group of us with an open table, sniffs, then sits elsewhere. Not a good sign.

* To the tune of "Camptown Ladies"
** Well, awesome everything, really.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 6

Sooooo close to done -- just the leaders and the chum.

(Actually, Till is normally even MORE positive than he appears here. Judith is normally this unimpressed.)
Nickname(s): Yoda
Best Throw: Is massage a throw?
Why He's Awesome: Well, I wouldn't have played Geneva if not for him, and I'm sure he'll do the same magic at Worlds. In addition to teaching us to sprint, run plyos and fixing our ailments, he's always there with a positive word.


(Please, Santa, let me be the elf!)
Nickname(s): T
Best Throw: Flat forehand hucks that gently settle into your hands. They're like biscuits.
Why He's Awesome: In Dallas, I was called T. And were it anyone else, I would fight for the nickname in Lux. But T is fing awesome. Set the standards for public elfery (Be sure to click on the soccer ball on the video -- it adds to the experience)? No problem. 2 hours sleep each night the week before a tournament? No problem. Translate docs to get us into Worlds? No problem. Throw a forehand huck to win the game? No. Fing. Problem. T gets it done, AND he's a great guy. I just want to be T, Jr.


(Guess which one?)
Nickname(s): Der Schnitter, which is more of a last name and a German joke, so, suggestions?
Best Throw: His next one
Why He's Awesome: The Guayota game summed it up -- he kept shutting down these really tall, speedy, athletic guys, then he would take them behind the woodshed on offense. Imagine Scottie Pippen in the old Nike commercial*


Nickname(s): CHeryl (Hard "ch" sound, like in "cherry"), Captain Buzz Kill, Lady Chunk
Best Throw: Not Scoobers.
Why She's Awesome: This goes against everything I believe in to compliment Meryl, but I cheered for fing Mexico's World Cup team this week, so I can do this. She's fought through a hamstring injury yet keeps us focused and positive, and when she plays, we're a better... Nope, can't do it. CHerylllll, CHerylllll, CHerylllll!

* Or better, the Michael Jordan "1st Black Harlem Globetrotter" which I couldn't find.

Meet Ultimate deLux - Part 5


(Meike is the one drinking the beer, Giggles is the one smiling, and if there were a Gimp, she'd probably be the one seated the lowest, right?)
Nickname(s): Again, none. It's getting pathetic.
Best Throw: The sneaky huck after only throwing short throws for 2 training camps.
Why She's Awesome: Generally, when I get injured, I like to whine. Not Meike. First, she keeps playing, up until the point where the captain* has to tell her, "Meike, you should stop playing because your foot just fell off." Meike will then argue that it's her backup foot and she rarely uses it because she's right-footed. But if you do get her to stop trying to play through intense pain, does she whine like a little punk blogger that responds to "J'arrive"? No, she keeps cheering and takes stats. And when she's not injured, what does she do? Kick ass, that's what.


(Baggage? She don't need no stinkin' baggage!)
Nickname(s): Meesh, I guess. Though it's not much of a nickname.
Best Throw: The one with the spin. Give me a break, our team is freaking huge. OK, fine. She's got a great, um, backhand. What with the flatness and all.
Why She's Awesome: Well, it's not for bailing out on the team for a year to go see if toilets flush backwards in Australia. It might be for showing up J'arrive in a beer race. It might be for her smart-ass attitude couched in a quiet niceness.


(Steve in mid-heckle, as you can see by the intense expression on Freek's and Adriano trying to pretend like he's not listening)
Nickname(s): Kiwi
Best Throw: The quick dump so he can go beat his man, again. Steve sees O possessions as a challenge to catch as many passes as possible. He is especially good at catching a pass, throwing it, then catching ANOTHER before his defender catches up. It's really rather rude.
Why He's Awesome: When I started playing with deLux, Steve was an incredibly nice, speedy guy. I'm proud to say that after 4 years of my influence, he's a key heckler on the team (and still speedy). He's also still very nice, but at least now he can ignore that temporarily to mock anyone, especially Meryl, that needs it. Seeing him might also be a reason I look forward to playing deLux tournaments, but it might not**.


(As much as Tammy looks like an elf, it looks like T has on those fake antenna, right?)
Nickname(s): Giggles, "Future Elf"
Best Throw: All her throws, where she screams out, "Catch it, asshole, or I'll break your goddamn legs!" -- At least I'm betting that's true. She's so happy and nice I assume there's a dark side lurking.
Why She's Awesome: Not the speed. Not the handling. Not the constant positivity. Not even her assertion that, and I quote, "bloggers are the sexiest men alive"***. It's that she loves**** playing with deLux, and it shows. And she's BORN to be an elf.


(Torben regrets being close enough to JT to catch injury-itis)
Nickname(s): Flash, ah-ah!*****
Best Throw: Either a sweet fing huck or a hot fing break-mark. WHen your team is screaming at you for allowing one of those, you choose.
Why He's Awesome: Layout Ds? Ballsy throws? Trying to play through injuries? Why don't you pick one? Oh, and he's there to keep up our spirits.


(Bojan is beaten down, Flash is making a great face, and Weebs is surviving Meryl's tactics with such a cute expression. Heh.)
Nickname(s): Weebs, Doc Rocket
Best Throw: A low air bounce backhand that gently settles into her receiver's hands.
Why She's Awesome: Let's make a list:

  • Shut-down D?  Check
  • Open all-day, everyday?  Check
  • Can break a mark, huck it, or just chill?  Check
  • Is constantly looking to improve on every aspect of her game EXCEPT for buying beers for bloggers? Check 
  • Always is receptive to advice, even from midget D coordinators?  Check
  • After she beats her defender so badly that they have a heart attack, can resuscitate him/her on the spot?  Check and checkmate
Yeah, I guess all that is ok in a teammate, if you like that sort of thing. Which I do!

* Or just someone who likes to kill a good buzz
** It is.
*** By quote, I mean "make up a sentence that she would never say"
**** Or is REALLY good at faking it.
***** The savior of the universe!