Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 2--Saturday and Sunday)

We woke up around 8am on Saturday, in preparation for a long day of ultimate. We got to the fields as the first horn blew for the first round of games to start, but as hard as Schmed tried to get things going on "real" time... "Ultimate" time ruled the day. The first round didn't get underway for another 20 minutes, and we were nice and warmed up by the first point.

We played Red Hand, which was a mix of high school and high school alumni from some Bay Area school. They were pretty good, but reminded me a lot of my old junior's team. They had a few really amazing athletes and frisbee players, but half of the team was still learning a lot of the basics of the game. On the other hand, the Nevada City / Grass Valley pick up team I was on, was pretty much stacked with people who either knew how to handle the disc, or were great at running deep--and everyone played good defense. Red Hand had just a few too many novices, and we were able to capitalize on their turn overs. I think we ended up taking the game 10-7 after the hard cap ended the game.

The next game was Kristina's favorite game of the entire weekend, because it was against her high school alumni team--the team she would have been on if she hadn't been picked up by the NV/GV pickup team earlier. She had a lot of younger friends on the team, including three or four people I had met numerous times at Roxie's parties before--but never got a chance to play with or against. I knew they all had tons of energy, but I wasn't sure how good they'd be at ultimate. They were definitely the most spirited team we played, but again, the experience of the pickup team I was on overmatched their zeal. We won roughly 13-6 or so.

Our next game was against Reno college team. I had actually watched this team play the Saturday of the Davis Invitational tourney I went to a few months ago--and they were a great match-up for Mad Dog 20-20 team. Two girls from Tahoe City who played with us the first few points of the day defected over to the Reno team, because the Reno team needed more players, and the girls knew a lot of the players on the other team. We ended up taking half with a score of 7-1, but by the time the hard cap sounded, the score was 10-8--and we barely squeaked out of this one with a win. Kristina rightly pointed out that as soon as it looked like Keith purposely dropped a sure catch in the endzone, karma was against us, and we got steam-rolled. I think we lost the last six or seven points in a row--it was ugly.

Our last game of the day was against a high school team, who was probably attending their first tournament. I know how that goes, and we had our way with the team of newbies. My last point of play was at about the 9-1 mark. We were on defense, and there was a throw to the far corner of the end-zone, to someone other than the person I was guarding--but there was enough time to get over and snatch the disc away from the kid. I walked the disc up to the end-zone line, which just so happened to be on their sideline. I saw Joe running deep, so I pulled back and hucked it the entire field to him for a score. I overheard the kids on the sideline: "whoooaa" "crap" "daaaamn" I trotted off the field, then decided we had the game wrapped up, so Kristina and I took off to go get some food, then head back to walk Raffle along the ditch.

We stopped at an Indian Buffet for lunch, and it was amazing. Much like any other Indian Buffet, but it hit the spot, and I could barely walk to the car after having two big plates of naan, rice, chicken curry and potatoes. We headed back to her place, and I promptly fell asleep from the running and the large amount of Indian food.

Three hours later, still groggy, I wake up to find an empty house. I sort of expected Kristina to be doing the report cards she kept talking about, but then she walked in with Raffle. They had been tossing the ball out front, but were ready for a walk at the ditch--so we drove down to the ditch and went for a couple-mile walk before dusk. I went walking with Raffle and Kristina a lot when I was living in Nevada City, so it was nice to get back there in Spring to see the differences. It was a beautiful walk, capped off by Raffle jumping in the water, getting stuck in the current and before I could offer to hop in--Kristina was in the water after him, trying to haul him out of the water. Raffle has probably jumped in that stream hundreds of times, but in the Spring, the current is a lot swifter, and there were no points with a low enough bank for him to hop back out of the water. Poor dog.

We headed back to her house and played some crazy eights before bed, and she continued her crazy 8's dominance. I lost a few bets, but nothing too humiliating, because I can't recall either of them. I hit the hay, not sure if we'd be playing any ultimate on Sunday.

Got woken up early on Sunday to a chipper Kristina, ready for some more disc. We got to the fields late, but it turned out we got a first-round bye, because the Nevada Union alumni team (which we played 2nd on Saturday), skipped town early, and wasn't able to field a team. Our next game wasn't for another 90 minutes--and we hadn't had breakfast yet, so we zoomed over to South Pine Cafe--both Kristina and my favorite breakfast spot in Nevada City.

Kristina had actually forgotten her cleats at home, so she dropped me off to place the orders, and she raced back to the house to get the cleats. A few minutes after she arrived back at the cafe, the food was brought out and we scarfed down our favorites. We made it back to the fields with plenty of time to spare, and warmed up for our first game of the day, which also turned out to be the semi-finals of the tournament... against...

Reno! I was a bit scared for this game, because they were the team that ran off a string of six or seven points against us the day before. I only saw one of the two Tahoe ladies, but I said "hi" and we talked about the Tahoe ultimate scene. Apparently, there is a pretty hi-level pickup game in Truckee on Thursdays. Liz said it wasn't on any website, but if I'd give her my number, she'd give me a buzz with directions.

I'm thinking about riding up to Truckee tomorrow to check out the game, but there is a chance of T-storms, so I'm about 50/50 right now. She hasn't given me a call yet, so I'm thinking if she calls, I'll make the trip and if she doesn't, I'll stick around Zephyr Cove tomorrow.

We actually handled Reno pretty easily in the Semi's, much in part to the fact that they partied much harder than we did the night before. Also, due to the addition of Patrick from the Nevada Union alumni team which ditched him. Patrick is about to graduate from Santa Cruz, and recognized Jeremy and Sam's names from Santa Cruz ultimate in years past. Two guys I played junior's with. Patrick was a BEAST!

We assumed we'd be meeting up with Red Hand again in the finals, but they ended up losing to a Nova alumni team, which was chalk-full of high-aggro college guys. They only had one lady on their team, who they rarely threw too. I felt a bit sorry for her, and understood why no other ladies wanted to play with those guys.

We traded points points for a while, then they took half 7-6 after we had a 6-4 lead. That was a bit depressing, especially because two of the points involved me getting sky'd in the end-zone, or close to it. No fun there! Most of their scores were huge, soring skies above a couple of our guys, and most of our scores were methodical works down the field to an open man in the end-zone. Neither team could really stop the other, but we got lucky on a few points, and we were up 8-7 in a game to 10 after the soft cap horn blew.

We scored to bring it to 9-7, a point away from victory--then they scored the next two points to make it UNIVERSE POINT in the championship game of the tourney! High drama for sure, and I got to play in the last point. We received the disk, worked it down the field, only to throw it away out the back of the end-zone. I felt strongly that we could get a D, but when I saw the huck go up to one of their most athletic guys, I thought we'd lost the game. Then Patrick flew out of nowhere to knock the disc out of bounds! Woot!

On our second-life, we worked the disc down the field again, and had a really good shot at putting Nova away. Patrick got a pass in the end-zone, but tried to play it safe and catch it with two hands, which ended up twisting his torso awkwardly, forcing him to drop the disc. He kicked himself because if he had just gone up with one-hand, he was sure he would have caught it in a more natural motion. He made up for it on defense though, by getting a hand-block on their best player on another almost-sure score. Double-woot!

We worked the disc down the field one last time, and the disc finally made its way to Mark in the end-zone for the final score of the tourney! There was a bit of controversy--as Nova thought you still had to win by two, but the rules clearly stated that once the soft cap was on, you add two to the leader's score, and play win-by-one to that point total, which was 10 at 8-7 our favor. The Nova team was a bit too agro for my liking, but I still had a good time. It was fun to win a tournament--I'm not sure when the last time I won a tournament was--maybe a Hat Tourney in Seattle?? Reno ended up beating Red-Hand in the 3rd place game, so that was a cool upset, and I was glad the very nice and spirited Reno team beat the relatively aggro Red Hand team.

Kristina and I helped clean up the fields a bit, then we headed back to her place. She got a call from her brother, saying that he could take care of Raffle on Monday--so we could head to Marin to play with the Sacramento team! Kristina was still on the fence as to whether or not she wanted to play three days of ultimate in a row, but the dog-help from A.J. sealed the deal. We met A.J. on the way to Davis to spend the night with Kristen.

Kristen is awesome. Her and Conor have two cats: Ebony and Ash--and guess what colors they are? They also have a game cube with Mario Party 4 and 5, so after a really good pasta salad and foccacia bread appetizer, Kristen, Kristina and I played a game of Mario Party 5. Conor was away on a business trip unfortunately, so he didn't get to play both Mario Party and in the ultimate tourney the following day.

I confessed to playing before, so Kristen gave Kristina a 2-star handicap, and we also played against an "easy" Mario. Of course, I chose Wario, cause he is the bestest... "Meeeehhh!" Kristina just trounced us. Kristen dominated me, and I only got one star, which I stole from Mario to put him in last place. Kristen won all the bonus stars at the end of the game, but still wasn't able to catch up to Kristina, who won nearly all of the board-game stars. Kristen got an absurd 230+ coins, after winning a few of the 30-coin "battle games". I won the 50-coin battle game, but was at zero, so I only ended up getting 100 coins, and Kristen came in 2nd and got 40 of her 50 back--bah! It was the "accurately trace this line" battle game, and I somehow lucked into a 93 (out of 100?), which beat out Kristen's 89. I'm a bit worried about playing Kristen and Conor at a later date... I think the only mini-game out-right win besides the big coin battle for me was the underwater breathing one--which is just a button-masher. I held my breath for 9 seconds, but Conor somehow managed 13 seconds! Good Grief!

After Kristina's victory dance, we were all pretty tired, so we headed up to the master bedroom for a slumber party. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before anything interesting happened. We had popped in "Dave" the movie, and I was out a few minutes later. When I went to sleep, I was completely cocooned in my sleeping bag, but when I woke up later, the sleeping bag was at my feet--so the two ladies may or may not have taken advantage of me. Either works!


1) Jordan trying to catch a bagel with his mouth. He was the son of the father/son duo on the NC/GV pickup team, and one of our two high schoolers (we called them token 1 and token 2--after all, it WAS a high school tournament!).

2) NC/GV pickup teammates (Peter, Kristina, Corryon, Rory, Denise)

3) Corryon looking sexy in preparation for a point with the Nevada Union Alumns!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Bed time, Monday/Tuesday tomorrow~ Many more ultimate pictures to come!

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