I’m not dead!

Yes, even though I haven’t updated in two weeks, I am not dead. Really. I’ve just been pretty busy. And distracted.

What have I been doing? I bought a dining room table off of craigslist over Thanksgiving weekend, which I was able to move with Christy’s help. I had a games day, where we played Strange Synergy, Carcassonne, and, after a dinner of Christy-provided Thanksgiving leftovers, Trivial Pursuit. Fortunately, I was able to back up my Trivial Pursuit trash talk (back in my high school Scholastic Bowl days (check it out – Wheaton Central, runner-up in 1988, my sophomore year), I had memorized a large portion of the Trivial Pursuit deck, and once won Trivial Pursuit in something like three turns and 15 minutes) and pull out a victory, although that was partially getting lucky, because Christy had a couple shots to win before I snuck in. Wow. Christy shows up a lot in that paragraph. Hi Christy!

Oh, and my laptop is finally coming tomorrow. I think. It’s allegedly in Oakland tonight, according to internet tracking. I’m still pretty mad at HP, but they agreed to refund the extra charges, and if I wanted a laptop before the holidays, I was pretty much stuck. The computer got delayed a few extra days even beyond the initial delay, but there was really nothing I could do at that point. But it’ll finally be here tomorrow. And the wireless router I bought from buy.com arrived yesterday, so I should be wireless-enabled after this weekend. Yay! Oh, hp did offer me a $50 coupon to hpshopping.com for my troubles. I may use it in a couple months to get an extra battery or something. Even though their prices are outrageously high. I’m also somewhat tempted to get a new calculator with the coupon.

What else? I played in an ultimate frisbee hat tournament last Saturday, which was a lot of fun (hat tournament just means that the teams are randomly drawn, e.g. drawn out of a hat, so you get to play with and meet some new people), but it wore me out – four hours of running around. And I’m out of shape. Again. Blah. Since I hadn’t played in two weeks, I played pretty poorly the first game, but got better as the afternoon went on. Three highlights of the day:

  • I was being covered by Jeff, a guy who was on my first team in this league last fall, and who’d taken me under his wing a bit and helped me get better. We’re in the end zone. I use one of the moves he taught me – fake one way, take two steps hard the other way, and then stop and go the first way. Experienced defenders recognize the first fake, accelerate to catch up with you going the other way, and blow right by you when you stop and go back. It worked beautifully. I got wide open. So wide open that another defender in front of me called “Switch!” telling Jeff to switch and defend his guy running the other way. Jeff didn’t hear him, I ended up double-covered, and the other guy on my team was wide open for the score. It’s kinda funny – I didn’t get the score, but it was probably one of my best plays all day.
  • Another time down the field. The disc is dropped by the other team. I take off down the field. I look back, see that one of our best throwers, Apu, is picking up the disc. I see that my defender is also looking back to see what’s going on. I make eye contact with Apu, point to one corner of the endzone. My defender is pretty much right on top of me, but when I make the sharp cut to the corner, the disc is already in the air, and I catch it before my defender had a chance to catch up. Afterwards, one of the guys on the sideline complimented me on the cut, saying that my guy was right on me, and there was only one moment when I could have cut and gotten free and I’d nailed it. So that felt pretty good.
  • End of the day. We have game point. I was lined up on a guy that I knew was a bit slower than me. Again, I’m heading downfield when I see Apu get the disc. I accelerate towards the end zone. Apu puts up a high floating throw. I’m in good position for it, especially since I know I can outjump my guy. I jump…too soon. I have that awful sinking feeling when the disc floats a couple inches over my outstretched hand. My defender jumps as well, and barely tips it, deflecting it. Fortunately, he deflected it towards me. I catch it as we both fall to the ground. I turn out not to be in the end zone, but I toss it to a teammate running by for the score. I should have grabbed it the first time in the air, but at least I stayed with the play and was able to recover.

So that was a lot of fun. Even though I was totally beat up, and ended up lying pathetic on the couch for a couple hours after getting back before getting up to do some stuff.

On Sunday morning was my normal league game. I figured I’d take it easy, sit on the sidelines a bunch. I get to Golden Gate Park. It’s bitterly cold. Like 45 degrees with a 20 mph wind. I’m in sweats, sweatshirt, jacket, and a hat, and I’m still jumping up and down trying to stay warm. It’s also the 9am game, so everybody’s late. By 9:30, we’re told we have to start playing. At this point, the other team has 12 or 13 players there. We have 6. You need 7 on the field. Rather than forfeit, we agree to play 6 on 7. Again, remember than I’m exhausted because I’d played 4 hours the day before. As had the other two guys who were there from my team. And the other team had lots and lots of subs, so they could run all they want, and then take a break. We were hosed.

We actually did okay for about 45 minutes. At that point, it was 6-4 them. And we weren’t cold any more, given how much running we were doing. We’d done a good job of switching on defense, mixing things up on offense, and generally not letting them take advantage of their extra player. But then I think we all hit the wall. They ended up scoring the next 9 points to win 15-4. Sheer exhaustion. I’ve mentioned before how being tired affects even simple skills like catching the disc. On one point, I think I ended up dropping four throws in the end zone. Any of them would have been a score, stopped their run, and given our team some life. And every one I dropped. Admittedly, none of them were easy catches. One I was double-covered, and, again, mis-timed my jump. One was a race to the disc, and my defender just out-ran me and was able to knock it away. One was a couple inches off the ground and I wasn’t able to dig it out. It was incredibly frustrating – I lost my temper after blowing that last one and just screamed. I went to the other team after they eventually scored and apologized. But, man, it sucked.

Anyway. Playing 6 on 7 with no subs for an hour and a half is incredibly tiring. After I’d worn myself out the day before, it was even worse. I got back to my place, collapsed all afternoon, and then had to do run some errands. This week? More work. Plus a chorus rehearsal on Tuesday.

But I’m finally caught up, at least for a day, so I’m going to take this opportunity to write some. Whee!