St. Petersburg and Back

Well wow. What a week.
As I mentioned, work was pretty aggravating. I’m less angry about it now, though the situation really isn’t any better. I think I’ve been busy enough with non-work stuff to keep my mind off it. If you want to know more, scroll down and read the comments for the “Rectal Inversion” post.
Last Sunday at the New College pickup game, Eric J and Sonia mentioned that they’d like to head up to St. Pete for Ultimate at Coquina Key. I’ve been meaning to check it out for the past 5 months, but I’ve never actually made the 42-mile trip, especially since it starts at 7:45pm on Wednesday nights.
Wednesday morning rolled around, and I decided to send Eric J an email to see if he was still into it. He was, and so was Eric G, so at 6pm, Sonia, Eric G and I piled into Eric J’s Pathfinder and bombed up the 275*.
We arrived 45 minutes later to a field split in two. On one side were players for the casual game. On the other, the Tampa Bay Ultimate team — “Bulge” — was going through a hardcore warmup routine. Sounds like discipline to me!

That’s Bulge doing jumping jacks in the background and Becky in the foreground. Becky, and six or seven other talented highschoolers made up part of the 22 folks playing in the casual game. Since there are only 14 on the field at any given point in time, we had plenty of subs!

That’s a blurred Eric J on the left, and Eric G sitting on the chair.

Eric J watches as Sonia shows what she thinks of you.

(Notice the apology was *after* the catch was missed, haha…).
Eric and Sonia have the most well-behaved dog ever. Melvin rode in the back of the Pathfinder with Eric G and I on the way up to St. Pete, and he didn’t even bark once! Here he is, in black:

Teams in ultimate are generally denoted by shirt colour (white and dark). Here, the team on offense (dark) has set up a 45-degree angle stack.

See the player who just threw the disc? She’s got a player from white on her right. See how the other white players are on the left of the dark players? This is called forcing. The idea works like this: if the defensive player ensures the offensive player (“thrower”) can only throw to side “a” so that side “b” is inaccessible, the other defensive players don’t need to worry about checking their offensive player on side “b”.
Forcing can be an extremely powerful defensive technique. Done right, it can reduce the playing area available to the offensive team in half. Done wrong — e.g., say the defensive players are all standing on the same side of their check — and scoring becomes easier than if the defensive team had not tried to apply a force at all. Okay, enough theory. Did that make any sense to the non-ultimate players out there?
We played for three hours, and I think we started an “official” game (you know, one where you keep track of the score) somewhere in there. Maybe. All I know is I had a lot of fun. Afterwards we headed over to a tiny little pub on the USF campus — The Tavern. After running around for three hours I *really* really wanted a beer and some fries. But the Tavern didn’t sell fries! Whose bright idea was it to come here? Their menu listed nachos, but they had run out of those too. Suppose maybe it had something to do with being 10:45pm on a weeknight? I compromised by having a Guinness.

Two-and-a-half liquid meals and a Shakespeare (like a club sandwich) later and I was ready to call it a night. Eric G owes me $10 from that night. Don’t let me forget.

In Eric J’s jeep, heading south on the 275 from St. Pete.

No, we didn’t go to a rave afterwards. šŸ˜€ This shot is from the drive back home, as we went over the breathtaking Sunshine Skyway bridge [more pictures, history]. I swear it’s the highest point within a 40 mile radius. The yellow blur is light reflecting off the support cables.
Got home — totally exhausted — at 1:15. Man. My futon never felt so nice.
*Verbiage courtesy girlrepair.
mp3 [8:03, 128kbps, 7.4 mb]