As some of you know, I finished finals ridiculously early this quarter. I really tried not to be annoying about it, but I probably still was. My only final was on the Friday before finals week and I had a paper due on Monday for an ethnic studies class, so I scheduled a flight home for that Tuesday. For some big, long, complicated reason involving a registration renewal for my car, a smog check, a check engine light, turning off my check engine light, having it come back on, and a $3000 estimate for a rebuilt transmission, a couple hours before my flight, I decided to fly home on Saturday night instead.
You probably have never been done with finals on the Monday of finals week, so let me tell you that hanging out all week and not studying isn't as fun as it might seem. I mostly sat around with Karishma while she studied, reading a book and gchatting. My life actually appeared to be so lame that I'm pretty sure all the guys living in our house thought I was still studying until Wednesday. It was still a nice week though. I got some throwing in with Katie on Monday, a Taco Tuesday, a grunion run and other shenanigans with Joule on Wednesday, Loryn's Thirsty Thursday, watching Jean slave away in her kitchen on Friday, followed by our newest roommate's lasagna and Cass St. I really can't complain.
By Wednesday, I'd decided that I would drive home instead of flying so I would be able to go to Joule's team's practice in Long Beach on Saturday on my way home and work on my car with my dad once I got home. I threw my cleats, some clothes, and my surfboard in my car and took off on Saturday afternoon. I lucked out and got Meeko's company for part of the way up, not to mention arriving in style with the girl that is friends with everybody that has ever touched a frisbee.
When we were introducing ourselves at the beginning of practice, I recognized a lot of the girls from teams all over So Cal. There were also a couple of players from Berkeley and some that were a little older and had gone to school farther away. I was most excited to play with Carny from Claremont because I'd been so impressed with her this past season. My first glimpse of her was in the Rookie Showcase Game at Centex, where she utterly dominated. We played Claremont five times this year, so that wasn't the last of her. Talking to her in the stretching circle, I tried to figure out how she'd picked up the game so fast. I already knew she was a graduate student, but it turns out she played basketball as an undergraduate at Puget Sound. That explains her athleticism and field sense somewhat, but I'm still in awe of how she made the transition between sports and developed into such a dominant ultimate player so quickly. I also recognized one girl that was an observer this year at Nationals and actually observed that dramatic Washington-Stanford semifinal game.
Practice was laid back and a lot of fun. We ran a few different offenses and I finally got some experience playing in a horizontal stack beyond doing a sloppy version of one at Lei Out earlier this year. I found myself getting open easier than I anticipated but had some trouble moving the disc upfield at first. I let a couple mistakes go without getting too frustrated and was able to play my game again after a few bad points. We were playing sixes and my team didn't have a sub, so when a player on my team twisted her ankle, an injured Meeko stepped in and picked up the disc on the endzone line. Most of the girls there didn't know much about her or what she was capable of, but I knew exactly what she wanted to do, so I busted deep to set up a huge forehand to the middle of the endzone. I showed that I was a little rusty and misread it, setting up a more difficult reception, and letting it slip out of my fingertips, but it felt really great to cut for Meeko again, knowing that I could go wherever I wanted (deep every time) and that she trusts me enough to send it my way (maybe she shouldn't). The other team played a really solid zone defense for a lot of the scrimmage that was shutting my team down, but we were able to break it down once we got more familiar with playing with each other.
By the time we finished scrimmaging, it was past five and I had a six hour drive ahead of me. Joule offered to let me stay at her house for the night and I always regret when I pass up chances to hang out with her, so I jumped on the opportunity. After we BBQ'd and ate dinner with her mom, Joule proceeded to dominate me in board game after board game, except Pretty Pretty Princess. I took her to beauty school in that game.
Since I stayed the night, I thought I might as well go to practice in the morning as well. This time, practice was more structured, as Joule set up a 1,2,3,4 drill to get a feel for a spread offense, in addition to other standard warm up drills. The crowd was a little different, and having a few UCLA girls there noticeably improved the dynamic of our warm up. A lot of good things happened in the scrimmage and there were much less drops than there were on Saturday. Both teams opted to run a spread offense for most of the day, but the field was really short, so neither team was able to establish much of a flow before scoring. I was stoked to get the chance to guard Hawkins and Boba from UCLA, both very athletic players. Also, after playing against Carny all day on Saturday, I finally got her on my team, which was fun because I knew I didn't have to give her that great of a throw for her to come down with it.
After practice, I hit the road (for real that time). My iPod tape adapter doesn't work, so I rocked out to country all up the 5. I made it home a little after 8:00, in pretty good time as long as you don't consider I was supposed to be home a little after 8:00 on Tuesday.
I've been working at a basketball camp this week, trying to convince the campers that I still know how to play basketball. I don't think I've blown my cover yet, but there's still tomorrow...
On Tuesday, I played in a casual pick up game with Karishma and a bunch of high school friends. I got skied by a guy in a cast up to his knee. Please don't cut me.