Saturday, November 26, 2011

Girlie Night

I spent the end of reading week in Edinburgh with some of the frisbee ladies. It was a spur of the moment trip but I would have to say it was one of my favorite weekends in Scotland. It was nice to go to another city but not be a tourist. Don't get me wrong, I love being a tourist but it is just so stressful. I feel like I have to make the most of my time in a place and fit as much in as possible. Or I'm traveling because of a frisbee tournament and that's a whole different kind of stress. It was nice to visit and just have a girly night. One of the girls I went with is from Edinburgh so it was good to know that at the end of the night a warm bed was waiting for me and not the hard floor of a flat or a youth hostel.

It was a girly drinks, getting ready in a pub bathroom, crazy shopping, dancing until 4am, not backing down from dares, mac n' cheese, pleather dresses, fantastic friends, huge comfy bed, frisbee goggles, spur of the moment kind of a night. Do I really go home in three weeks?
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Coming next is an explanation of what Raisin is and how I lived though it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spirit of the Game

So I said I would write a post about calls and here it is! Spirit circles and calls are a new thing to me because we don't do them back home. Of course we get to know other teams because you end up playing the same people for four years and there's all sorts of good spirit, we just don't do spirit circles. I was really confused when the experienced players started walking out of the sports center after our first game and were like "are you coming?". Basically we all circle up and mingle and the experienced players take turns complimenting the other team on things they did right and pointing out places where we could improve our game. Then we do a call. One of the two teams picks a game to get us to mingle and have some fun. It really helps break the competitive tension. Games can vary from ninja to some very interesting stuff. Sometimes teams exchange calls and sometimes we just do one call if we have another game coming up or the call takes a long time. After the call we do slaps (high fives) and go our separate ways. Slaps can simply be high fives or you might have to hop on one foot or other silly things. Below is a list of some of my favorite calls.

Electric Bum: Teams stand in two lines. The genders from the two opposite teams go together. You stand boy girl boy girl behind each other. A water bottle or something is placed before the first people in line. One person stands at the back of the line of both teams and squeezes the bums of the last two people. Then you go up the line squeezing the bum of the person in front of you. Your eyes are closed so you can only go once your bum is squeezed. When the squeeze gets to the person at the front of the line they run to get the water bottle. Whichever team gets the water bottle first wins and goes to the back of the line. Whichever team gets through the whole line first wins. I hope that made some sort of sense. It's a fun, kinda awkward game. It gets really interesting when the person behind you gets a little too enthusiastic.

Sexy Pants: 5 or 6 people from each team line up facing each other. The first person shows a little bit of their underwear. Then the team has to guess if the next person's underwear will be more or less sexy. This is how I learned that you should always wear your sexy pants to tournaments.

Stories: Both teams think of two or three embarrassing stories to tell about members of their own team. The other team then has to guess who the story is about. I know some really personal details about people whose names I don't even know.

Weeds: Both teams form one giant human knot or weed and then it is up to the people not in the weed to pull them apart. Once you get pulled out of the weed you help pull people apart. The last two people attached to each other wins. You get really close to people and injuries can happen. It is an intense game.

There are other more boring calls like ninja, but these are the most interesting ones I've done. Like I've said numerous times before, spirit circles are a great way to mingle and get to know one another. Sometimes you just get to know people a little too well...

Friday, November 18, 2011

In Which I Stalk William Shakespeare

Over reading week I visited my friends in London. And I was the ultimate tourist. My trip started on the train. I had the pleasure of spending the second half of my train ride sitting next to a girl who felt the need to talk on her phone the whole entire time. As interesting as her weight problems were (apparently she had just stopped eating "American sized portions") I really wished her phone would run out of battery. When I arrived a Kings Cross Christy was there to pick me up and take me around the city. She even gave me my very own Oyster card. I dropped my stuff off at her place and then we went out to see Driving Miss Daisy. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! It stared Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones. After getting over the fact that I was watching the voice of Mufasa and Darth Vader in person I sat back and enjoyed the play. I will say that I wrote a glowing review of it for class. We went to bed early after that in order to prepare for the next day. It was to be my main day for sight seeing.
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The day started by meeting up with Albert! Yay! Then we began with Westminster Abbey. We took the whole guided audio tour. It was really interesting. I especially liked Poets Corner. And that is where I started stalking Shakespeare. He has quite an impressive memorial there. 
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After that we walked around to see some of the other sights. This included Big Ben...
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The street where the Prime Minister lives...
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The Household Cavalry Museum. The guards don't smile here either.
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Nelson's Column...
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We even ran quickly into The National Gallery.
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Then we met up with Hannah for lunch. It was so exciting to see her! She showed us around the LSE campus. The library there is insane. It's even busier than the library at St. Andrews and that library is full of stressed out students. I miss the calm atmosphere of the Knox library. We made sure to do a Kappas abroad picture and then we had to part ways because Hannah was off to Wales. Such a jetsetter. 
Next Albert and I wandered around Kensington Garden looking for the statue of Peter Pan. Story time! The first time I knew I wanted to visit London was when Emmie and I watched the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Winning London. One of the twin's love interests took them to that Peter Pan statue and probably said some really poorly written dialogue. That is when I knew I had to go to London. Go ahead, judge away. Anyway, due to my poor sense of direction, we went the complete opposite direction from the statue and couldn't find it. I was so bummed. But don't worry, there is a happy ending to this.
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We ran over to The Globe to continue my stalking of Shakespeare. I fulfilled a childhood dream and bought a poster! All in one trip!
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I ended my day with the ultimate tourist attraction. The Lion King! It was so good! Then I managed to take the tube all by myself. I made sure to put my best "I'm so bored because I do this everyday" face on and headed back to Christy's.
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Wednesday was spent on a day trip to Stratford Upon Avon. That is when my stalking of Shakespeare became serious. We started at his place of birth. I cannot tell you how much I freaked out when I walked in the door. I'm pretty sure I looked at Albert and said "Shakespeare walked on this floor!". I'm kind of embarrassing to be a tourist with.
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Next we went to the excavation of the house where Shakespeare died. We also walked around the pretty garden next door.
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This is where Shakespeare went to school. I don't think we were actually supposed to take pictures because school was in session but I'm sure they are used to Shakespeare enthusiasts.
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Home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
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Inside this church is the place where Shakespeare is buried. We weren't allowed inside because they were filming something and apparently it was too dangerous because of all the wiring. I don't think they understood how sad I was about this.
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Then we just wandered around the town until it was time for our train to leave. Also, the ticket to get into Shakespeare's house and other houses important to his history lasts for a year. Let me know if you want it. I'm not kidding.
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My last day in London began in the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The thing about a Sherlock Holmes museum is that he didn't actually exist (contrary to what my 10 year old self believed. Although I also thought he was the Great Mouse Detective so cut me a little slack). So everything was fake. It was cool to see a replica of his apartment the way it was described in the books but I couldn't get over the fact that nothing there was actually real. 
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TADA! It's the Peter Pan statue! Before getting on my train back to St. Andrews, Albert and I went back to Kensington Garden. This time I let him read the map. It was everything the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie made it out to be. After taking about a bazillion pictures I was ready to go. 
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We had some extra time before my train left so Albert took me over to The British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone, as well as the fragments from the Parthenon. Apparently there's all sorts of controversy about where the fragments belong but I was just happy to get to see them. Then I went over to Kings Cross. Albert and I went on a search for Platform 9 3/4 before I left but apparently they have moved the cart. It was very disappointing. The train ride back was one of the longest train rides of my life. It got delayed about two hours because there was a "fatal accident" ahead of us so we had to wait for that to be cleared up. I don't know what this fatal accident was, but I made it home safe and sound.  
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And that was my trip to London! Thank you tons and tons to my hosts. You made my trip so much fun and so easy. I would still be stuck in the tube right now if it wasn't for you!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mixed Regionals

November 5-6 I went to back to Edinburgh for Indoor Mixed Regionals. I'm going to do the same highlights and lowlights list that I did for Edinburgh Beginners. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures but I promise it was an amazing time and a wonderful weekend of frisbee.

Highlights:
-Everything my team did. We really meshed as a team and only got better as the matches went on. We ended up finishing in eighth. We were the second highest ranking second team at regionals. We also finished in the top eight of the tournament. That's the top half. That means we were really good. Like better than expected.
-Our first team making it to Division One Nationals. That's a big deal.
-MAJOR frisbee goggles. Frisbee goggles happen when boys appear more attractive when they play frisbee.
-A girl on our team bringing a duvet the second day (the pitches were freezing).
-Snuggles under the duvet
-Learning to always wear my sexy pants
-Electric bum. Calls sometimes include some very...interesting games. I'll have to do a post explaining them because they are hilarious.
-Hot chocolate in the morning.

Lowlights:
-The pitches being colder than outside. The fields were astroturf which was really fun. But the pitches were located inside a sports complex that was basically covered by netting to keep out the wind and rain.
-Getting hit in the nose with a frisbee. Don't worry mom, nothing is broken. Just a little bruised and sore.
-Not getting to go to the party/fireworks Saturday night. Saturday night also happened to be Guy Fawkes Night. "Remember, remember the fifth of November." Ring a bell? Apparently Edinburgh does some pretty amazing fireworks to celebrate this night. The people running the tournament had organized a viewing of these fireworks for teams staying in Edinburgh. Due to circumstances which I won't get into, we didn't stay over. I was bummed.

And that's it. Another fantastic tournament!



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dublin!

So I fail at updating frequently. I still have to post about Mixed Regionals and London. But this one is about my trip to Dublin. October 28-30 my friend and I went to Dublin. My friend plays frisbee with me and she's also a study abroad student. We got to stay in Trinity College housing with my cousin, Sara. Thank you Sara! I'll do this post in the same style as Edinburgh where I'll explain everything with visual aids.
Day One:
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We started by meeting up with my friend Josh. He's also studying abroad. We then went to Merrion Square. It was full of war memorials but I was looking for one statue in particular.
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Say hello to Oscar Wilde. This statue is called some pretty crude names. All of which are too inappropriate to type here. If you wanna know, feel free to ask. I think it is important to say that my trip to Dublin revolved around literature. Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin and attended Trinity College. Samuel Beckett also attended Trinity College. Since I am studying their work at St. Andrews I was really excited to see where they had lived and studied. The funny thing is that Eva is a science person so we had to balance the literature with the science. We were very good at compromising.
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Brownie points if you can tell me which Oscar Wilde play this quote comes from.
We ended our night by going to a Halloween party thrown for the Trinity College post graduate students. Thank you Sara for getting us tickets! Eva and I were both really tired from a day full of traveling so we left pretty early. 
Day Two:
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We started our day at St. Stephen's Green. It is a little park in the middle of the city. It was nice to take a break from the bustling city in the quiet of the Green. St. Stephen's Green was full of statues and pretty gardens. It also houses the James Joyce Memorial.
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Next we went to the National Museum of Archeology. It was huge so there was no way we were going to be able to see everything in the museum. Both of us were interested in seeing an exhibition called Kingship and Sacrifice so we went there first. The exhibition housed bodies from the Iron Age that had been preserved in the bogs of Ireland. Scientists had done analysis of the bodies and were able to tell how they had lived, died, even what their last meal was. It was like Bones. The pictures below are from the exhibit. Warning: these pictures are rated PG-13 because they're a little gross. Ask Eva, it was difficult for me to walk into the rooms with the bodies in them. I would kinda creep in and then when I got used to the ickyness I would creep in a little further, snap a picture and then book it out of there. It didn't help that the bodies were in these tiny, secluded rooms with creepy lighting.
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We ended with a trip to The Treasury. Because who doesn't like gold and jewels? After that we wandered around Trinity College for a little while. It really is a gorgeous campus. Maybe a little congested by tourism, although I shouldn't be talking considering I was a tourist there. I even managed to find the Samuel Beckett Theatre. I snapped a picture and peeked my head in. The students inside looked at me kind of funny. Yes, I'm very embarrassing to travel with. 
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Then we met up with Sara and she got us free admission into the Book of Kells and the Old Library. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside but I personally thought the Old Library was cooler than the Book of Kells. And Grandma, Sara noticed that they turned the page. They even had a draft of The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge in the Old Library. To a theatre nerd like me that is very exciting. It's not like I'm obsessed or anything.
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After that it was time for The Guinness Brewery. The tour was really well done and I now know more about brewing beer than I would ever like to know. We even got our very own pints of Guinness at the end of the tour in the Gravity Bar. The Gravity Bar is at the top of the building and is made of windows. The view was gorgeous. Guinness is a little too much for me but it was nice to try after learning so much about it. Word to the wise though, don't go into the tour hungry and over tired. It makes drinking your pint a little difficult.
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Day Three:
Eva and I were awake and ready at 5am to catch our 7:30am flight. Sunday was a day of travel. Buses don't run as frequently on Sundays so it was a long trip back to St. Andrews. We had to change buses three times to get to where we wanted to go. By the time I got back to my flat I was exhausted and ready to crash. 
Dublin was a fantastic trip and I feel like we didn't get to spend nearly enough time there. Thank you again Sara for letting us stay with you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Edinburgh Beginners

October 14-16 I attended Edinburgh Beginners. It was another Beginners tournament where only one experienced player is allowed on the pitch at a time and they are not allowed to score points. This tournament was much larger than Glasgow One Day. There were even teams that flew in from Ireland. If you're a beginner and wanted some experience playing a fun, relaxed tournament, this would have been the one to go to. Flatball has the tradition of sending out highlights e-mails after every tournament. They highlight the good stuff and lowlight the bad stuff. So that's what I'm going to do in this post.
Highlights
- The costume party. As you can see from the pictures below, there was a party Saturday night. No, Halloween didn't come early, Ultimate players are just that cool. The theme was cartoon characters. I went as Strawberry Shortcake. The party took place at one of the clubs in Edinburgh. It was really fun to meet other frisbee players in a setting other than a dirty, sweaty gym.
- Getting to try out new things on the frisbee pitch. Since everyone was relatively new to frisbee there wasn't as much pressure to play perfect. I got to try out throws that I had just learned and hadn't perfected yet (think hammers, scoobers and full field blades). Instead of being heckled for messing up, a lot of the experienced players were super encouraging (to be fair, they also thought I had never played before). One of the Irish teams even called me "that little lady who throws those awesome blades". Yay!
- Having frisbee goggles. Yup, guys look better when they're playing frisbee. 
- When we arrived we were given directions to a pub, threw our bags in a back room, had our hands stamped and were told the stamps gave us drink discounts. And that's how Edinburgh Beginners began.  Needless to say, it was a very fun first night. 
- Calls. It's so much fun to meet players from other teams. 
- Playing the second day of Edinburgh Beginners. There were lots of remnants of costumes and even more hangovers. It was very common to see a rather sick looking player with the remains of blue body paint from the night before. I thought it was hilarious. 
I don't really have any lowlights. It was an awesome weekend and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to go to the tournament. I got closer with the people on my team and met people from all over Scotland and Ireland. Below are some pictures from the weekend. 
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