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My back survived Wednesday disc. I was pretty unwilling to twist or bend much. This lead to my dropping (and I do mean in-my-hands and then to-the-ground dropping) of an easy throw from Obert, more a vertical marking style which probably helped me get a hand on one of tall Mike’s throws, and backhands with more wrist action. Now, my back is cranky and insists on a few days of rest. I’m inclined to oblige and not complain too much.

Switched from working on Fuel Eaters to working on Divine Fire. My job for this past week has been to come up with how to end the book. While putzing through a few ideas, I occurs to me that Divine Fire might be better with a totally different beginning. Oh, the first chapter is okay, but the entire set up of our main characters would have to change. This would solidify a few ideas that are currently a little amorphous. Or, in a grand gesture of procrastination I’m considering rewriting the beginning of the book to avoid writing the end. I’ll run it by Eric.


Book #8 – Over to You by Roald Dahl

Dahl is another author I totally missed as a kid. I finally read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a few years back and found it enjoyable though obviously a kid’s book. While looking for some other author in the adult fiction section of the library, I came across Dahl’s general audience works. I picked out a slim volume of short stories based on his experiences as a pilot in WWII. It’s a decent collection. No one story stands out, but as a whole they paint an interesting picture of the R.A.F.’s involvement in Greece and Africa.

On an interesting synergy in my reading:
I’m currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring and I was struck by the similarity in Tolkien and Dahl writing about mountains. In Dahl’s case, Penteliko (among others); in Tolkien, it’s Caradhras. Both are anthropomorphically given malevolent wills. Just interesting considering Tolkien’s WWI experiences.

Also, Dahl might be one of those authors that would cause problems in the land of filtering.  Imagine, a kid searching for Charlie and coming up with the result Switch Bitch as well.

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Queue Queen

Cleaned out my almost empty beer cooler for the last time for a while. Spring League 2009 is finished for me, at least playing-wise. And it ended somewhat, kinda-sotra auspiciously.

Monday and Wednesday teams were picked from entirely different rosters and there was an obvious talent difference between the nights. Regardless, we played crossover games and had combined pool play, resulting in a championship bracket of top ranked teams from each pool (which will be played on Wednesday and is populated entirely with Wednesday teams) and an “opposite day” bracket which was filled out with, in this case, the Monday teams with the best pool play records. (These weren’t necessarily the #2 teams in each pool.) This secondary bracket received the label “consolation;” the NIT of our ultimate league. And, unless you root for a team that makes it to the NCAA tournament once in a blue-moon, no one gets incredibly excited about the NIT.

Our first game last night was against Fade into Bolivion, a team in bright orange shirts that made it into the bracket by beating the bottom Monday team. To their credit, a good portion of Fade’s roster showed up for the game and played us pretty hard. We were down two men and a woman, but Ned, Brent, and Christie had missed weekend play and were fresh for us. I think the score was 7-2 at half when Fade picked up their play and we went a little lax. We regrouped and ended out the game 13-9.

In the meantime, the other “semifinal” game got off to a late start since Mad Bids and Stimulus Package had trouble gathering enough players for a line. There was (non)serious talk about them putting together a combined team to play the winner of our game. It didn’t come to that. They eventually got a game going with Stimulus Package coming out as the winner. Adding to the lack-luster atmosphere of the evening was the lack of hecklers. It’s always more interesting to play with some noise going on. I have to give some props to the Wednesday players that did come out to see the Monday final.

First game of league, we lost to Stimulus Package.  During that game, we didn’t play very well. It’s been very satisfying to see the improvement in our playing. Stimulus was missing a few key players including Sam, one of the better huckers in league. On defense, they almost exclusively played zone. I assume this was in an effort to get us to turn it over near the endzone and take advantage of the chaos that ensues. And if we had been playing that first night, it would have been an excellent choice. The Plastic Falls of Game 15 swung the disc with endless patience. Big Nate couldn’t get much done on offense with Eric covering him (and in some cases with two Erics covering him), and the rest of the team was pretty much held in check by the rest of us.  We won 15-6.  So there you are: Plastic Falls, the Monday don’t-call-it-the-consolation Bracket Champions.

Well, “the rest of us” didn’t entirely include me. I warmed up my back with two hot baths, three ibuprofen, a dollop of Icy-Hot, and a good long jog. My backhands were sketchy since I didn’t want to twist much and my running/cutting was tentative, but I played the first game and about half of the second. The nice thing about Stimulus Package using zone defense is that I didn’t have to move all that much in the handler spot. Unfortunately, on a defensive point I turned just the wrong way and couldn’t straighten up for a while afterward. The girl that I was covering zoomed across the endzone for a score before I could remember that I should yell “Injury!” The disc could have gone back to the thrower, but we were up, she was happy to have caught a score, and I just wanted off the field with a minimum of fuss. So ended my playing in “finals.”

My back is stiff and sore today, but in surprisingly decent shape.  Of course, I’m going out to play tomorrow at noon. Or try to. No one ever accused me of being very bright.

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Pool Play Saturday

Ah, league finals. Whether it’s two games of pool play with semis and finals after or three games with the rest during the week, the Saturday of league finals is one of my favorite days. Play a few games, hang out with people, take in the upsets of the day, and have a drink and a burger. In various ratios depending on the season. Yesterday, it was mostly playing with less of the other stuff.

We ended up in the B pool with Wednesday teams we had played in crossover games during the regular season.  That was a tad bit disappointing.  It would have been nice to test the team against others, but what are you going to do?  We also had the later start time, which meant that we’d be missing Ned for the duration. We were also missing Brent, Joe, Nicole and Christina.  To top it all off, there were 20 mph winds to put up with.  While an ultimate disc is heavier than the usual garden-variety frisbee, it’s not enough to make much difference in those conditions.  Not an ideal situation at all, but the remainder of Plastic Falls was in good spirits by game time.

Our first game was against the other Monday team in our bracket.  They were *very* shorthanded for most of the game, and we beat them pretty quickly 13-0.  We’re a pretty decent team in the wind with lots of solid handling and we took the opportunity to work on a trap zone for the next two teams.  Unfortunately, this game, the end of the second point of this game to be exact, was the beginning of my back problems.  As I stopped to avoid getting in the way of a score-winning cut by Sean, my back seized up.  I babied it for a few points, put some Theragesic on it, ate some asprin and made it to the end of that short game.  In the forty-five minutes before our next game, I had a nice red beer and was feeling pretty good.

Our second game was against a Wednesday team, equal to us in the handling department, but generally slower.  After playing a few points of zone against them and staying even up score-wise, we switched to man defense and pulled away.  For me, my favorite moment of the day happened during this game.  We were playing against their zone defense and I was popping.  One of the handlers, I think it was Tim, put a throw out to the right of me near the sideline.  It floated a bit.  All season, I’ve botched anything that has remotely floated, even without sideline and defensive pressure.  This one, I totally had.  I followed it up with a through-the-cup cross-field forehand to Reif, getting the disc off the sideline and opening up the field.  That was my Go Me! moment.  (Even better than scoring the point on that same possession.)  We took that game to soft cap, 12-6, which was much longer than I preferred.

I then did a stupid thing.  I didn’t warm up any before the third game because I was beat from the previous game.  As I ran to the line, I found that I couldn’t.  My back wasn’t going to allow it.  I called on Melanie to play the first few and slowly ran the knot out of my back.  As long as I stayed relaxed and built up running speed (what little speed I have), I was okay.  Okay, not great.  I didn’t play very well during that last game and was just happy it was over.

Today, my back is not good.  (My sinuses aren’t either either, resulting in a hell of an earache.)  I can’t walk without being in an S shape and if I tense up (like when someone makes me laugh with his impersonations of Quasimodo Katherine), I can’t walk at all.  Couldn’t make it down the stairs to go get lunch.  Our finals bracket is tomorrow and I’m not sure I’ll be able to play.

This sucks, but it only puts a very small damper on watching my team play so well this past weekend.  We lost that last game, 8-12, but in all the play was so solid.  All around, all day.  So lovely to see. Whatever happens tomorrow, it will have been a good season for me.

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I’m in slow-motion today, which is often my day-after-a-night-of-disc state.  My body has been pretty creaky these last couple weeks, mostly due to weather.  We’ve actually been having weather.  Last Wednesday we had cold 25 mph winds.  Today we’re up to 99 degrees.  Mostly, it’s been my hands and feet giving me problems.  At least those parts are easily taped and menthol-ed.

Strangely, I’ve felt pretty good while playing disc.  Not when rowing or lifting weights, certainly not when jogging, but lace me into some cleat and put a disc in front of me and I’m good.  That’s probably because I prepare better before disc than when I just head off to workout.

Last night’s game was the last of regular season.  For once, the outcome of the last game actually meant something for us for the standings.  Win, we move up to second.  Lose, we stay at third.  We were playing the team that sat at the #1 spot until they were beat last week.  And, by game time, Melanie and I discovered we were going to play the game savage.  And our team did quite well.  We played solidly.  Considering Melanie had played at a tournament over the weekend, I felt a little bad about sticking her with Alex (the opposition’s female captain), but Alex played over the weekend too and was probably the worse off.  Melanie was open all game.  We took an early lead and never gave it up.  Hence, we’re 2nd for the season and top of the B pool.  Pool play is Saturday.  While there’s a Monday consolation bracket, I’d *really* like to make it to the championship bracket next Wednesday.

What I did yesterday aside from disc and disc-related stuff:
Obscure Music Monday: Unto Ashes
I reeeaaally need to get some work done.

Tempe wins ‘Wolverine’ premiere
Which means Hugh Jackman will be within 2 miles of me!

Lifehacker – Expensive Running Shoes Aren’t a Necessity – Exercise
The painful truth about trainers: Are expensive running shoes a waste of money?
I have always been at war with shoes. I have flat, wide feet and have always been more comfortable barefoot. Shoes hurt. But running in shoes with little arch support hurt too. Although, I’m often more comfortable running in my cleats. Is that only because I’m running on softer ground (rather than concrete)?

A few trips to Circle K ago, the cashier (who is way too familiar with Eric and I) warned us that our favorite energy drink, GazZu, would soon be discontinued. This is very sad, especially for me that has a difficult time finding a calorie-free energy drink that doesn’t take like crap. But I don’t think that
Alien Energy Jerky: Caffeine Laced Beefy Goodness will be my replacement product.

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The Medium – Let Them Eat Tweets – Why Twitter Is a Trap –

Bruce Sterling, the cyberpunk writer, proposed at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin that the clearest symbol of poverty is dependence on “connections” like the Internet, Skype and texting.

Or maybe interconnectedness is the next stage in human evolution. You should always leave it up to the prominent science fiction author to come up with the most pessimistic, depressing view of any technology.

Honestly, while I am a consumer of social networks, I am a very poor user of them. I don’t really *network*. I’m sort of there on Twitter and Facebook and here on Live Journal, without worrying too much about the interaction aspect of the services. Each has a fairly separate circle of friends and its own charm. I follow a small number of people and honestly love hearing about food and the weather. What content I produce it mostly for my own benefit. I’m a compulsive recorder, and if my lunch, the weather, and my generally poor work ethic are not interesting, that’s cool. I don’t mind that I have a small number of friends and followers. Maybe I will when it’s time to sell books, but I don’t think so. There is already a disparity between the social-ness of on-line Katherine and in-person Katherine; I don’t see any advantage long-term by pretending to be even more social than I am.

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Book #7 – Body Rides by Richard Laymon

What a mess of a book. 

I’m a fan of Laymon.  I know that his works are not great literature.  They contain large amounts of sex and violence, and that’s part of their charm.  Laymon’s books are a guilty pleasure, a big bag of thin-cut potato chips that are fun going down and leave you feeling a little sick and greasy when you’re done.  Usually. 

Body Rides starts with a semi-interesting concept (a magic bracelet that allows one’s spirit to enter the body of another), but doesn’t do anything meaningful with it.  Then we’re introduced to a character and sub-plot–involving a long rode trip–and doesn’t do much with that either.  It’s sort of like a very long and-then-this-happened without structure.  Granted, that is how life is, but fiction should have a little more overall…plot.  The back of the Leisure Book edition says "Author’s restored version!"  I wonder if the non-restored version is better.  Or at least shorter.


Windy, tiring day.  I played disc at noon, but underdressed.  I was fine while I played, but waiting for the bus was cold and uncomfortable.  I got back home and was really tired.  I should have napped then, but I stayed awake until Eric got home and we had dinner.  Feeling better now.  I should get some work done.

Been watching Dead Like Me via Netflix.  Interesting little show.

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A Tuesday Afternoon

One trip to the Tempe Public Library (with detour to procure Cheap Peeps):

2 light rail rides
1 neighborhood shuttle ride
1 bus ride with a driver that had ripped off a fingernail at the previous stop
2+ miles walked

Books purchased:
The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh
What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (Sloan Foundation Science) by Francis Crick

Books checked out:
On my list:
Diablerie: A Novel by Walter Mosley
Pound for Pound: A Novel by F.X. Toole
Not on my list:
White Walls by Tatyana Tolstaya (Shelved near F.X. Toole. Loved Tolstaya’s On the Golden Porch.)
Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying by Roald Dahl (Shelved by Dahlquist. I wasn’t aware that Dahl wrote adult fiction much less war fiction.)

Food eaten at the Connections Cafe:
Cup of Chicken and Artichoke Soup (tasty)
Bag of Lay’s Potato Chip (was having major salt cravings)
Frozen Chai Tea

Minutes of work done on Fuel Eaters:

Places visited in the search for Cheap Peeps:
Fry’s Supermarket

Number of individual Peeps purchased:

Other candy purchased during the search for Peeps:
7 “Easter” Nerd Ropes
Hazelwood Gourmet Assorted Speckled Eggs
Harry London Assorted Cream Eggs