Friday, after Total Information Awareness -- named after the lately rebranded and now cancelled Terrorist Spy Program, I went up to SqHill. From there, Tracy, her best friend Jodi, and I got in her (fairly roomy) Honda Civic and drove to Rochester, NY. Took way too long, and ended up getting to the hotel around 2am. We got to the fields about 9am.
We were in Rochester for the Zodiac frisbee tournament. One of the key elements of Ultimate is the notion of Spirit of the Game -- this is embodied by the lack of referees, that all "out of bounds", "fouls", etc are self-called or agreed on, all the way up to international competitions. No red cards, and teams pride themselves on their own integrity. As a result, and because of the recruiting desire of the sport, you get various Spirit tournaments, of which Zodiac is the coolest I've heard of.
Your team is assigned based on your Zodiac sign -- therefore, I was on Team Pisces.
The best part of the format is that each of the signs really did start to resemble their sign type -- enough to make just about anyone a believer. True to form, Pisces didn't quite manage to win any games the first day -- came close, losing the last two games based on the time cap. Also true to form, Pisces still managed to win the Spirit of the Tournament prize -- each team evaluates the spirit of the teams they played against, and we scored 29 out of 30 possible points. Naturally. This is the nth year where Pisces has won this.
The Ultimate community for Zodiac is pretty cool. Alternative years the tournament is in Toronto, and so apparently there were more Toronto people signed up than even native Rochesterians. In a nice twist from last year, the tournament got a really good deal at a Crowne Royal Plaza hotel, and so most of the out-of-towners were there. Team Pisces was majority Canadian (which is great fun: Canadian Pisces are just aboot as mellow as they come, eh) and we all ended up on the same floor, which meant that after the games on Saturday one was able to wander about the floor and get dragged into everyone's little room parties.
They were all pre-gaming for the club the tournament had rented for the evening. I eventually wandered over to it (about 3 blocks away), and was amazed at how active everyone was (considering 7 or so hours of hot ultimate play). Confirmed that many Pisces do indeed consume a lot of alcohol.
8am on Sunday came even earlier than the day before. Ugh. In the middle of the night, I realized I was getting sick. I blame Tracy -- she was, in fact, sick. I was having difficulty hydrating, and so at one point (~3am) got up and forced myself to drink a lot of cups of water. Which caused me to have to get up every subsequent hour. :( I had wondered why I was only able to go about 3/4 speed the day before, and why breathing was becoming more difficult -- YAY nasal congestion!
Sunday we played another 3 games. We lost the first one in perhaps the most miserable of ways: game to thirteen, we took the half 7-4. And lost 13-7. That was against Gemini, winners of this year's Closest to Sign award. Then we played Sagitarius -- neither of us had won a game at that point. We both agreed on some interestings variations to the scoring, to make the game more fun (because it didn't matter) including: a transgender (M to F, or F to M) Hammer thrown for a score was 2 points. 3 points were given if the receiver had performed a summersault in the endzone prior to reception. Other points could be awarded for style. Naturally, this caused a pretty high scoring (and hammer filled) game, which we won 27-18.
Our last game was a rematch against the Taurus. We had lost to them the day before in a closely contested game -- and lost on a technicality within the cap rules of the tournament. Both teams were anxious to set it straight, and so out of character for a Pisces team, we had a very intense game. The parameters of the game, straight-up: race to 11, half at 6, no cap, no footblocks. Its funny, because traditionally Taurus and Pisces are supposed to be very compatible -- ommkarja is a Taurus, the Captain's girlfriend was one, etc. Someone hypothesized that the intensity of the game was just your typical too-much-passion type play. Anyway, we won, 11-10.
And so after 6 hours the first day, and another 6 the second, we were done playing. Caught the last couple of minutes of the finals -- Scorpio (who beat us badly in our first game) beat Aquarius (who won last year). Then we got in the car and drove back to Pittsburgh, which didn't take as long. Although at that point the cold, flu, or whatever I have had taken over, and so a couple Sudafeds were still not enough to make it very pleasant. On returning, bucy and I went to dinner, and then he assisted in his role as local OTC King. I drugged up and went to bed.
And so now I'm all clogged, and I'm sore all over both from lots of sport as well as the typical muscle fatigue of the sick. Everything hurts, the world is fuzzy, and I still have a problem set that I've only marginally started due in a couple of hours. But had a lot of fun this weekend, and regret nothing.