Thursday, December 27, 2007

Office Verbatim

Officemate M: How was your Christmas break?
Me: It was awesome, saw the family, etc. But you know, it wasn't really Christmas at home...
M: What?
Me: You know how Canadian Thanksgiving is a month before American Thanksgiving? Same deal with Canadian Christmas.
M: Ooohhh...
Me [thinking she got that it was a joke]: Hahaha...right...yeah, I told my teammate that and convinced her that it was because Canadian Jesus was born in November. It was pretty funny, I think she even believed me for a minute.
M: Wait....but Jesus was born in December, so why is Canadian Christmas in November?!? That doesn't make any sense!!!

I fell off my chair laughing. So did she when she realized. Good thing this carpet is soft...

Post-holiday musings

Being random & list-ish today...
  • Christmas at home was wonderful & I wish I didn't have to leave. I'm back in NY now (at work, on a very grey day), and I love the city, but for some reason I had the strongest feelings of homesickness yesterday...even before I left! And when I called my parents to say I got back here safely, I almost teared up. So strange, haven't felt like that since freshman's probably partly because of the short break (only home for 4 days!), but all day yesterday I couldn't get Led Zep out of my head. There's a feeling I get, when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving...
  • On the upside, I flew Cathay Pacific for the first time and DAMN I love them. Free (and delicious!) food, free (and stiff!) drinks, plus personal TVs with great movie selections--watched Superbad, Mulan, Pretty Woman, Transformers (yeah, I admit it), and A Mighty Heart. New favourite airline....too bad they don't fly domestically!
  • 2 day workweeks should be the norm.
  • Boxing Day should really be a holiday in the US. Seriously. "Day after Christmas Sale" just sounds stupid. Also, an extra day off would be cool :)
  • Apparently Nalgenes might leach chemicals...there have been mentions of this for a while now, but Health Canada just got involved and I think recent studies have shown that it might be serious. Mountain Equipment Co-op (basically a Canadian REI, aka, a playground for me!) won't sell them anymore, which is a pretty big step for them to take seeing as they're incredibly big sellers. I need to look into this more, but for now, my nalgenes are on the shelf...
  • I guess it's time to think about goals for the new year...slash, plans for NYE :) And maybe do some work?

Happy belated Boxing Day! Hope everyone is having great times :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Homeward Bound...

On Monday I was informed that while there would be no more layoffs in the immediate future, I (along with 6 others) would be transferred from my department to Real Estate. Um, ok, not exactly anything I have ever expressed interest in...but so far it hasn't been too bad, mainly like school. Lectures & sitting in on conference calls CONSTANTLY. The only real drawback so far is that my email/gchat/blogging/etc time has been seriously cut down :) I don't know how I will like it once I actually start doing stuff, but for now it's just kind of like college again. We shall see how things go...

But now it's time to go sit in on another call to a developer...we have to be very quiet so they don't realize we're all listening, which is tough when some of them start talking about the most random stuff...I'll post about the pigeon whisperer soon!

I can't wait for this afternoon, when I can escape and fly HOME!! and see my family & friends, most of whom I haven't seen since June. Mom & Dad emailed me last night (subject line: "ONE MORE SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"--and I'm not kidding about the number of exclamation points). I love getting those emails :) Can't wait to walk off the plane and wake up to this:

<3 home!

Safe travels to everyone and good luck to anyone else navigating planes, trains and automobiles tonight!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holy Crap

It's the week before the week before Christmas. All was normal at work today, till I noticed a girl crying in the bathroom around 4. And it was all downhill from there.

This afternoon they laid off 25% of our company. I wasn't one of the ones called, but I waited by my desk for 1.5 hours after I should have left because I was worried and they were still calling people in...I was shaking and nervous and stress-eating. I mean, I'm going to leave eventually, but I wanted to have something lined up first! They laid off my entire kids' design team, minus one person, plus all our graphics people and the other kids' buyer. So the kids' team went from 13 to 3 in two hours, and I don't even know what to say. Friends in other departments were cut too. My part of the office will be desolate on Monday. I can't imagine coming in and not seeing these people.

Ridiculous, I don't know what else to say. This weekend's new job: brushing up the resume, just in case they're not done yet...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Marathon Week continues...

If Saturday was Marathon Day (complete with night-before hydration and resting up), then this is Marathon Week! I love the holiday season and all its parties and dinners...

On Monday we celebrated my coworker Kevin's birthday by taking him to a very classy dinner at--where else?--Hooters :) He was just a little red when the waitresses circled him to sing their birthday song. Side note: if you are ever at Hooters and don't feel like wings, the grilled cheese is amazing! After dinner I went over to the east side to see my friends from college, Tara & Lauren, at their Hannukah latke party--mmmmmm....latkes hold a special place in my heart ever since I first had them at age 8 or so and decided to convert to Judaism. No joke, I went home from school and told my parents I didn't need Christmas presents that year as I would be giving up Santa and all that and becoming Jewish so I could have latkes! My parents eventually convinced me that we could just cook latkes instead of pancakes on Christmas morning, and that seemed like an ok compromise to me...ok, I was a weird kid :) but Tara & Lauren are awesome and I haven't been able to see them much since we've been in the city, so it was great to hang out.

Last night was the NYRC holiday party and despite being over an hour late (the LIRR and I are not friends), I had a blast. I mean, I learned from Cap that me + open bar is generally a good equation, but adding in the team ups the awesome factor considerably! We hung out at the bar for a good long time and then all of a sudden there were only a few of us left, so we moved the party to the bar where Sabrina hosts karaoke. Truehart and I had fun picking songs for each other and for the rest of the guys to sing--his rendition of the Divinyls' I Touch Myself was excellent, and Murphy did a hilarious performance of The Gambler despite claiming he'd never heard it before. I may or may not have decided it would be a good idea to sing the Bad Touch. Yes, the discovery channel it's a guilty pleasure :) And all of a sudden it was 2:30am! Needless to say I slept the whole train ride in the morning and have not accomplished much in the way of work...

Next on the list:
Wednesday: dinner with Casey & the NYC hot hot seniors before Case moves to Hong Kong (!!!), Liz gets swallowed back up by med school, and Tree & Haemi disappear back into their i-banking caves
Thursday: dinner with Rodney, who I love and don't see enough
Friday: housewarming party at Andy's, birthday night out for Kevin
Saturday: SLEEP!!! with breaks for shopping with Mira and the gym.

Let the marathon continue--I love it!

Also, I'm very excited because I just committed to giving blood on Sunday! I've never done it before because I don't particularly like needles (it was hard enough for me to have blood drawn for a mono test!), but I am finally going to man up and do it. Even if I have to get Mira to hold my hand...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

800 Santas can't be wrong!

SantaCon 2007 was this past Saturday, and I'd been looking forward to it ever since I read about it on Rachel's blog. It did not disappoint! From the first mob at 10am, to the crazy costume interpretations (Ninja Santa, Pirate Santa, and Alf the Elf were all in attendance), to fun tasks on a photo scavenger hunt*, all the way to the firedancing on the beach on DUMBO, it was a day to remember...I even found a Wonder Woman Santa to match my Super Santa!

It was an awesome time and totally reminded me of C&G pickups--running around in costumes, talking to random people, doing silly things, dancing on a bar, meeting new friends, and keeping the marathon going till 4:30am. I love my life :)

Rachel took tons of awesome pictures and has a great slideshow of the day here.

*buildering in NYC, hanging upside down on the subway car, and clubbing in a costume when it wasn't Halloween can now be crossed off my life list :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dirty Laundry!

This morning as I was easing into the workday (read: checking email and playing scrabulous), I heard a loud gasp come from the neighbouring cube. "You HAVE to see this!" my coworker squeaked. I wasn't sure what to expect--would it be some particularly heinous outfit being fugged? Some new celebritart being ripped to shreds by perez?--so I looked over the see her reading Home Furnishings Now magazine.

Now even though she's a buyer for the Home division, no one should get excited over coasters and flower vases. But she was red in the face, waving the magazine around, and kept saying "oh my god! oh my god!!" What could possibly have gotten her this agitated?

The Orgasmatron 3000, a "Leather clad washing machine and saddle [that] aims bring the fun back to housework". Yes, that is a saddle on top. And these are the settings:Um, wow. Profiled on the inside cover of an industry magazine. Priceless :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I was reading Saturday's a Rugby Day this morning when I got to work (gotta catch up on the important stuff after being away!) and found out I've been added to her "Ruggers Who Blog" sidebar!!! I think it's pretty sweet that something I started because I was bored at work and needed to write out my thoughts is now (somewhat) public...maybe more than 3 people will read my randomness now? ;) Either way, thanks for the link love, Blondie!

In other news, last night I talked to my dad, and after talking aboutTrinidad, he brought up the scary future question ("what are you planning to do after your visa runs out?"). When I told him my tentative plans--work in NY over the summer and through the fall in a position that will get me a TN visa (potentially at a camp or doing research), then go home for most of December/Christmas, then fly to New Zealand for 6 months or so to backpack around and do random jobs and be a vagabond--Dad was surprisingly excited! He said he and Mom wished they had done that kind of thing before they had kids, and then it just got too difficult as we were in school etc. He said that I should definitely go do it while I'm young and not tied down to anything, especially since "NYC and NZ are pretty much the same to us when you're on the other end of a phone call". SCORE! I wasn't looking for permission or anything, but it's nice to have my family be supportive of my random crazy dreams and wanderlust. I love them :)

All in all, it's been a good day so far!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hardware, baby!

It's December. It's snowing outside in NY. So it seems hard to believe that 24 hours ago, I was in 90 degree sunshine in Trinidad!
What an incredible weekend. Along with 4 of my NYRC teammates, I represented the Atlantis women's side at the Carib Beer International Rugby 7s Tournament. I was a bit nervous about playing with people I had just met, but hey--I did that at Saranac and look where it got me :) But everyone was really cool and we got along well right off the bat--we weren't at the hotel for more than 15 minutes before we were all in the pool playing an intense, full-contact game of water polo (and by full contact, I mean all-out, wrestle-the-ball-away, tickling allowed, dunking encouraged)! Hilarious.

Our hotel--the Royal Palm Suites--was surrounded by all the important amenities: a grocery store, a drug store (which had its grand opening while we were there--free gift bags for all, score!), an ATM, an adult-entertainment store (sadly, no free gift bags ;)) and not one, but TWO dance clubs. Our beds were literally vibrating from the bass every night. We also took over the pool and I think the couple that were looking for a romantic vacation there weren't too happy to see us around...25 rugby people with beer, songs, skits, and ceremonies apparently didn't fit into their plans!

Trinidad itself was gorgeous and we got to see a bit of it, between our walks to & from practice on Thursday & Friday and our drive out to Maracas Beach on Friday afternoon. At the beach we played in the big waves and had a blast playing touch football, and got to try a famous local dish, bake & shark. It's basically fried shark on a bun with whatever toppings you want--I went with tomatoes and cucumbers and it was amazing, the perfect beach food. It was such a good way to relax and enjoy ourselves and get loosened up after two hot days of practice, and get ready for the games!

Our jersey ceremony on Friday night was so cool. I've never been part of anything like it before. The coaches and captains said something about each player before announcing their position and handing out the jerseys--I was wearing #5 as flyhalf (although being Atlantis, we wore Roman numerals, so I was V). I'd played FH for half a game at NY 7s, and was really excited to play some more! Everyone kept talking about Emil and how badly we all wanted to play well because he built Atlantis and we had to represent it well, even though he wasn't there this year. I think it brought us all back to the reason we were really there and got us all focused for the games the next morning.

The games themselves were awesome. I think it took us some time to settle down and get used to each other, because we started out pretty flat and lost our first game. But once we got, was it pretty. Lara was stiff-arming girls all over the field and choo-choo-ing her way into the try zone over and over. Mira, Rosie, Cupcake and Jess were burning everyone on the outside. XL (our scrummy) was dummying and juking all over the place, powering her way through the defensive lines. JD & Emily were poaching machines at every ruck & maul! Sarah (our captain) kept us all focused and encouraged, and set up some amazing plays. After that first game, we shut out every team we played--including the first team when we played them again in the final! It was a great game, with all of us coming through and playing to our strengths. JD had a beautiful try when the other team had the ball in their own try zone--we were in the middle of a maul where I held the girl up so she couldn't touch the ball down for a 22 drop out, and JD drove in, ripped it from her hands, and dived in to score right on the line. Gorgeous! I also had a blast playing sweeper and working on my defense and my tackling (which has never been one of my strongest points...). Right at the end a girl broke our line and I took her down and was so proud of myself. I knew we had collided, but I didn't realize how hard--it wasn't until 2 plays later, when the whistle had blown and I running towards my teammates to celebrate, that I realized blood was running down my face! So in half the post-game photos, I have a tampon up my nose :) But I didn't really care because WE WON!

WE WON. Hardware was our motto for the weekend, it was what we wanted and what we had come for. Atlantis has such a history everywhere and especially at this tournament, and we didn't want to let that history (or Emil) down. We had such a blast celebrating...first at the field, with pictures and pyramids and drinking out of the trophy (which was so heavy, someone had to help you raise it), and then with the rookie skit (which was hilarious, if I may say so myself!) and then at the tournament party. It was at this great outdoor bar with a crazy playlist and so many much fun. We closed down the party and left the dance floor pretty much empty when our team went back to our hotel and a bunch of us spent most of the night chilling in the pool, looking at the stars and talking about random stuff...
So many stories, so much fun, and so many great people--I probably forgot tons of stuff and will add it on as more pictures are sent out! Also, so many new facebook friends (especially since we helped a few teammates join and set up profiles while we were down there)! I love rugby and tours and the amazing people you meet...It's such an amazing sport that way. Gotta love it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Potpourri weekend

This weekend was so much fun and involved many varied aspects of my life, which was kind of cool. It started with turkey comas, running and Cranium with a group of college friends up in Sleepy Hollow (where I think I ate about 239879 mandarin season has begun!), which was an incredibly relaxing experience. It ended with a 6am train ride back to the city to work in the store on Black Friday, which was insane but I met Kevin from Project Runway! On Saturday NYRC hosted the annual 7s tournament, in which I was coaching the U19 boys and playing for the women. I was so excited to get a chance to play, especially since this was my first time playing 7s that wasn't a PUWRFC alumni game--so basically, the first time I played sober ;) Z and I were the only rookies and in the second pool game, we both scored! We may have been jumping up and down like 5-year-olds...maybe. Unconfirmed. It was a very exciting day--our U19 girls won their championship! I was so proud of them...

The tournament party was ridiculous. I worked the door, taking tickets and charging admission and getting to meet everyone in the process. It was great fun getting to meet players from all over the world--many from the UK and Canada, but a few from other random places. I got myself into a bit of trouble talking to some guys from Montreal--they were saying how great they were at chugging, and didn't believe me that our boat race team could beat them "because you're girls!" Being my competitive self, I shot my mouth off and they challenged us. Am I even on the team? No! So I had to run downstairs and find Buss and explain to her that the Montreal men wanted to race and I had just talked a lot of shit and would she please come save my ass? Needless to say, our team dominated :)

Sunday was very interesting. I went down to Brooklyn to meet a group of teammates for brunch and a session with Lee Knight, an NYRC alum who has a business consulting overachievers. It was really interesting and got me really thinking about what I'm doing with my life and what I would like to change about it. We did a mix of individual work, partner discussions, and group sharing, and I think it was really helpful. I came up with a few ideas I'll be working on....I think my dream of throwing my life in a backpack and working my way around New Zealand will actually happen--right after Christmas 2008 seems like a great time, since I'd like to be there in the summer. As for this summer, I think I will either try to do research or maybe work at Blairstown or something...yep, still TBA, but I'm thinking. After the session I went up to the Bronx to hang out with Londie (who was my partner in the discussions) and Rachel, and we kept talking about our options and different ideas. We agreed that we both felt somewhat overwhelmed--not necessarily in a bad way, just that there are so many options and we want to try lots, but that's kind of difficult. Especially with all these stupid visa rules in the way! Ugh. Anyways, it was great food for thought and it was awesome to talk through so much with Londie.

And I also realized I should blog more often so these are not all life update posts. Perfect timing for that idea too, since I'll be flying to Trinidad tomorrow (!!!!!!!!) and won't be back till Monday. I am SO EXCITED to spend the next 5 days playing rugby and chilling on the beach and exploring the island with Rosie, Mira, Lara & Jenny and a whole bunch of new teammates! Cheers to a tan in December--it's 88 degrees there right now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks, round 2

One of the benefits of being "bi-national" is getting to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. Double the turkey, double the fun :) Double the craziness too...I will never forget the 'traditional' maple syrup & vodka shots at Canadian Thanksgiving, or the ensuing decision to hold our own archsing--if the a capella groups could do it, why couldn't we? (Answer: because they can sing.) Standing shoulder to shoulder, arms wrapped around each other like a team huddle, we took over the biggest, most beautiful Gothic arch on campus to bellow "Oh Canada" at the top of our lungs--both the English and French versions, of course. I like to think that the arch's famed acoustics made our singing at least somewhat tolerable for those living next door...

So because I'm feeling slightly cheesy and introspective, and it's about to be a holiday, and because I didn't have a blog during Canadian Thanksgiving...some things I am thankful for.

1. Families. My own especially, but also the Inkelli and the Lankesters, who welcomed me into their celebrations even when it meant putting up with a stressed-out college student in addition to their own :)
2. Friends. For creating our own celebrations when to everyone else, it was just another Sunday night (see above). For 2am easy mac and 4am Wa runs. For hugs and sound advice, even when I didn't want them. For laughter. For sharing high places, stars, and dreams. For adventures. For picking up right where we left off.
3. Princeton. Amazing.
4. Rugby. Amazing.
5. Teammates, past & present, rhythmics to field hockey to XC to rugby, for being there too.
6. The fact that after today, Christmas music will be everywhere! (And I won't have to hide the fact that "All I Want for Christmas is You" gets heavy rotation on my ipod...)
7. Jennifer Angel, horoscope writer for the Daily News, who makes our morning commute much better.
8. The store across the street from the Port Wash train station that sells 40s and big bottles of Mike's, which makes our evening commute much better. Wednesday night shenanigans!
9. Awesome co-workers, who share my love for the above.
10. Gchat, scrabulous, and the New York Times. Ok, and maybe gofugyourself and perezhilton too...
11. Spandex. So much love.
12. The Port Authority, for having a bus that will take me to Harriman State Park.
13. My boss, who is letting me leave work right now. Time to run! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A little early for a mid-life crisis?

Today I am in a very weird mood. I had all sorts of intentions of getting things done at work--I have a great to-do list sitting next to me--and then got utterly and completely distracted by the fact that I have NO IDEA what I am doing with my life.

I spent an hour on the NOLS site looking at trips, another hour or so on work/volunteer abroad websites looking at NZ and Australian opportunities, and some time looking at visa requirements in those countries (and mad props to the Commenwealth for taking care of their own--I can work in either country for up to a year!). Then I was reading a blog by a nursing student who volunteers in an ER, and my lurking "should I have done pre-med?" voice spoke up inside me. So I emailed a few hospitals about volunteer programs--rugby's (mostly) over for the season, so I could do a few hours a week at night or on weekends, right? And then I saw my friend's facebook profile and was reminded of her summer at a camp in NJ, and I started thinking about experiential outdoor education for teens. I have some background there, plus it would be an interesting marriage of my loves for psych/group dynamics and outdoor experiences...something to think about...

Because I am extremely ADD in my interests, I took one of those free career tests online, and was informed that I should be looking for something involving the outdoors (physical activity, using hands, potential risk), industrial art/science (using hands, applied problem solving), or health services (keeping people emotionally/physically healthy). So the things I was looking at actually made sense! Exciting breakthrough, perhaps. The funniest part was reading about my lowest-scoring area: clerical ("You’re not likely to be fulfilled doing routine office work that involves filing, record-keeping, word processing, operating office machines, attending to details, and other repetitive office tasks"). Umm.....that's kind of my job right now. Go figure. I actually don't mind that stuff in small doses, but not that was interesting...The psych nerd in me loved that the assessment included the Holland scale of personality styles. I am a Doer, Thinker, and Helper, with a dash of Server and Creator on the side. All in all, interesting test and it's certainly making me think...

I suppose it's not too weird that I'm questioning everything right now, seeing as I just graduated, although I think most people try to do that beforehand? Oops. I avoided going abroad in college because of rugby--both semesters were competitive and I was an officer of the club--but the wanderlust is kicking in again...who knows what I will do. I will definitely be here till June 30th (yay, lease!) and I want to come back, because I love the city and the people and NYRC too much not to. I want to spend some time at home because I miss my family & the pacific northwest in all its glory. And I want to be a nomad for a bit and explore. Maybe I can convince Pam to quit her nomad job and just come run around with me, or maybe I will go it alone. Maybe I will pick fruit or learn to spelunk or through-hike or learn a new language or usher Olympic events or teach English. The possibilities are endless and for now, I'm glad I get paid to research them :)

Damn. Blogging really is therapeutic. I feel a bit less freaked out by all this now...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

G-Squared--The Official National Championship Fan Club of the NYRC--now has an official homepage & blog!
My rainy Thursday just got a lot better :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Damn, it feels good to be a [Nerd]

MB sent me this link ("because you celebrate mole day, so I think you'll like it!") and I have been laughing my butt off in my cubicle since then...

There are just so many good ones...I'm a nerd and I like old hip-hop. The secret is out. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What a Weekend

In our first game we were down and fought our way back to be tied at 17. Everyone was working their asses off and heading for OT. Then, with 30 seconds left on the clock, Beantown hit a drop goal.

There were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs afterwards, however, we also had to look forward. The club championships are different from the collegiate ones in that everyone plays on Sunday to determine next year's seeding, so we had to move past this game in order to bring it to the Amazons on Sunday. I actually think that's much better--you get one more chance to improve upon your game, and it gives you something to focus on. I would have loved to have had that chance after the Stanford game in 2005...

Sunday's game against the Amazons was a very tough, physical one yet again and I was so proud to be with New York. People were throwing themselves at every tackle and every ruck and working so hard. It was tough on the sideline too--they wear blue & orange as well, which made things a little confusing sometimes! It was back-and-forth for a bit and we again tied it up at 17. This time the game went to overtime and it wasn't until the second half of OT that we punched in the ball off a ruck deep in the corner to win the game. 3rd in the country ain't bad...We stayed to watch Berkeley beat Beantown in the final, which was actually a good game, as opposed to the past blow-outs I've heard about. Ruth B plays for the All Blues, so at least there was a Tiger at the top ;)

The social parts of the weekend were so much fun, and we did a lot of rookie performances. We did Family Feud, with "things forwards want to say to backs" (R2: STOP KICKING!) and other fun categories, and then performed songs from 1985 (the year a bunch of us were born) in another skit, which Fontaine and I were psyched to end with our "BEEP BEEP...aaawwww, BEEP BEEP" song! The Sunday night party was ridiculous (theme: NYRC Burlesque Ball) and we totally won the costume contest. I was rocking a blue corset (4 of us had matching ones!), orange booty shorts, orange fishnets, black knee high boots, and blue velvet opera gloves--note to self: NOT an outfit to do gymnastics in! I swear my bruises are from warmup though...

Overall: amazing weekend and I'm so glad I had the chance to go. It hasn't yet really hit me that the season is over, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends (although as Rosalie said, "Next season is now."). Luckily, it's not all over--with the 7s tournament in 2 weeks and Trinidad in 3 weeks, I won't have to go long without the team :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's Go Time.

In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage.
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height!”
--Shakespeare, Henry V

Tomorrow we fly to nationals! It's my 3rd trip to a final four and my first with NYRC and the familiar butterflies are back...I love this feeling, such a great mix of nerves, excitement, pent-up energy, aggression, and love for the team. Seriously, that on-the-spot decision to go to Saranac with a bunch of people I'd known for 2 hours is second only to my decision to go to PU in terms of best life choices! I am so excited to be a part of this trip with my New York family!

It's been a long time since my last trip to a warm, sunny locale for a semi-final game, and the faces around me in the pre-game huddle are all new, but I think the following still applies to my rugby experience and I am so grateful to Maggie for expressing what I was not able to. I've read this before every game I've played in or watched since I first heard it almost 4 years ago, and it never fails to ready me. So it's here, if for no other reason than for me to read it online when I lose my printout :)

It’s getting difficult to recall what life was like
before you could say hooker without a smirk,
what you did with your afternoons before
they became rugby time.

You’re used to this sort of confusion, of course –
the green, the self-conscious, the disoriented
haze after a hit to the head that takes you
back to your first time.

You weren’t quite sure where to put your head
or your hands, or your body for that matter.
You had to learn new meanings for old words:
prop and post became what you were and did,
and a dog and small child weren’t the first
things you thought of when you heard maul.
“Nice try” didn’t carry the same subtle, veiled
note of disappointment, and that host of –tion
words (motivation, inspiration, dedication)
was no longer something you made fun of for
its tendency to overrun corporate brochures,
inspirational videos, latenight infomercials.
That host of words was now a part of you:
you understood what it meant to be dedicated,
and you liked that you were, even if it meant
late, late nights and early, early mornings,
even if it meant runs and hits in rain and snow,
even if it meant you had to travel in uniform.

It’s getting difficult to recall what life was like
before you could play without getting sore,
bruised, and broken, before you had to
justify the pain and tear to everyone.

They ask: Why do you play? How can it be worth it?
You think of how good it feels to be sore and tired,
to win, to drink out of a trophy. But you know

that the real answers they just wouldn’t understand.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Things that go Bump in the Night

My roommate and I have a somewhat...unconventional situation. While we did graduate from college, we apparently did not leave the dorm room mindset behind. Because of space constraints in our tiny apartment, we decided that the best way to organize everything and still have space to live would be to share a bedroom. Ok, you are saying, that's not too bad, you can deal with this situation.

We also have bunkbeds.

They're not quite the ones you'd associate with dorms--we went for the rare and elusive full-size versions--but they are bunkbeds nonetheless. We make it work, though. I'm on the top because I've always been scared of the bottom (if it collapses, I figure my chances of survival are much higher if I'm on top!). So it's all good and while we take a certain about of teasing from our i-banking friends, we don't mind literally living on top of one another.

I didn't, that is, till I was woken up this morning by the sound of my roommate shrieking. There is very little as disconcerting as screaming coming from a foot away from your head. She screamed and darted out of her bed across the room. Now, I'm not the sharpest when I've just woken up, especially under these circumstances, so I just sat on my bed staring at her until she managed to get out the words "!"

Apparently she woke up with beady little eyes staring at her from the side of her bed and (understandably in my mind) freaked out. We are not sure what it is--she swears there was a beak, so she thinks it was a bird, but I think a mouse is much more likely. Updates will follow, but the current situation is that some sort of vermin lives under our beds and we don't know what it is. I do know one thing though.

The top bunk was clearly the right choice!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


...for Halloween, one of my favourite holidays, which I celebrated last night at the village parade. My coworkers and I went as the Spice Girls--yes, I was voted Sporty Spice. I'll never know if it was rugby, my 100% jeans & t-shirt work wardrobe, or the fact that the last time my hair was down was approximately a month ago...but I got to wear running shoes and track pants, so 10 points for comfort! We couldn't see the parade, so we started our own little concert and began singing and dancing in the street with randos...I love it!

...AND BLUE for beating the pants off Emerald City and Keystone to advance to the Final Four in Florida and defend the national title! 7 days till we go!

The weekend was so much fun, with two really great games by our badass senior side who played their hearts out, and a mixed NRU vs. Texas A&M Developmental game. NYRC only got to play the second half of the developmental game, but our goal was to make a positive impact and we did. Slitty organized a penalty play that led to our only try, Molly led the pack from the front row, R2 and JD switched back and forth between flanking and outside centre-ing (have you ever seen a 6'1" number 13??), and I had a blast playing fullback for the first time in ages--after all, kick & catch is my favourite game :)

Our Secret Agent-themed dinner Saturday night was hilarious, with everyone wearing all-black and wigs. It was my first NYRC team dinner, complete with everything I've been hearing about: Mira's Total Eclipse of the Heart performance, Hedwig's Walking in Memphis, a kangaroo court and rookie entertainment. I was charged for forgetting the jerseys at the field and had to perform a song about it (I'm dreaming of the white jerseys, to the tune of white christmas), and Twiggs did an interpretive dance of the struggle for ball control ("Give it to the backs! Keep it in the pack..."). Our skit was great, if I may say so--we had to keep to the Secret Agent theme, so we had JD being a spy from Beantown telling them secrets about various players as we acted them out. All in all, a great night.

But to completely break chronological order, I have to document the ridiculous beginning where Fontaine, R2 and I got stuck in Newark and then stranded overnight in Dallas (where I forgot my camera, sad!) before finally arriving in Austin. In numbers:

3 number of planes we had to switch between when they were delayed/broken
2 number of times R2 gazed mournfully out a plane window and intoned "man was not meant to fly"
2389793457 number of text messages exchanged between Fontaine, Frank, & Slitty about our travel issues
1 number of crazy drunk men we met

So we're sitting at our gate, having made it through security (where a woman saw the ball in R2's hands and exclaimed, "Hit a home run for me!") to find that our flight to Dallas is delayed. A man walks by, sees R2 holding the ball (she attracts a lot of attention, that one), and asks if she plays rugby. When she replies, he whips out his cell phone and calls his wife. The following is what I managed to scribble down during the call and the ensuing 90 minute conversation...

Man (on phone to wife): Dude, there's this girl in the airport, she plays rugby! She's gonna kick my ass! I'm gonna lose my teeth!...$%*&, and I stripped for security and they didn't even give me a dollar! They wouldn't even put it in my wallet, pants, pocket, nothin...bye I love you.
Man (to R2): You're tall. I can deal with tall people, cause I can still reach their necks. You reach the neck, you can kill em. It would be so frustrating to be dead like that, you know?

Man (to me): I can't talk to you yet, I'm saving you for last, you're too intimidating.
Fontaine: She's foreign.
Man: I love foreigners!!

Man (to Fontaine): You don't take no shots to the head, do ya? Yeah that's right, you're a thinker!
Man (pointing to rando young guy who clearly thought we were all nuts; in a Scottish Accent): YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE SCRUM! (rando young guy moves to a new seat)

(TV shows Chelsea Clinton, wearing this ugly black & white gingham dress)
Man: She looks like a picnic table! I wanna lay her horizontal and eat an egg salad sandwich off her waist! We could put a keg on her and a glass in her mouth like a cupholder!

It was the most entertaining flight delay I have ever experienced :)

Anyways, amazing weekend. I'll have pictures sometime soon...and I can't wait for Florida!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Yesterday was busy so I didn't get a chance to post about this, but...On Tuesday night at practice, they announced the Senior Squad for the Sweet 16 in Austin this weekend, and I made the list!!!!!!!!!!!


Maybe I'm getting a little over-excited, since I most likely won't play (although they've arranged a Developmental game against Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon, which is awesome), but I can't help it and I'm psyched just to be there. I just never thought I'd play rugby after college, especially not with the legendary NYRC, so to be on the list for the Sweet 16 game is pretty much a dream. Thank goodness Jenni convinced me that the best thing I could do with that particular weekend was to go to Saranac!

I'm trying to listen to calming music--thanks to Jules for letting me steal it all!--in order to not be bouncing all over my cubicle, but it's not as effective as I thought it might be. Apparently Mat Kearney and Joshua Radin and Ben Harper are not enough to dampen my thoughts of sunny 78-degree Austin :)

Sooo the 3 hour meeting I'm about to have will probably be pretty interesting, seeing as I am still pretty wired and now also have Blake Shelton's song "Austin" stuck in my head...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rocky Mountain High...

Found this test online and it seemed like fun for a Tuesday morning...very interesting results :)

Your Score: DENVER!

You scored 25% Style, 30% Climate, and 48% Culture!

You are Denver, Colorado. Denver is the largest city in Colorado, the state capital, and the seat of Denver County. It lies at the foot of the Rocky Mountains at the junction of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Today, Denver is an important communications, transportation, manufacturing, and agribusiness hub. Telecommunications and biomedical technology are two of the largest industries; construction, real estate, and retail trade are among the fastest-growing industries. The city is also home to many environmental organizations, including federal government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hm, probably not very interesting to you since you're a little low on the 'culture' scale. You don't like heat much, and prefer cool weather and a landscape filled with majestic mountains. You may not be one for city life, and prefer a slower pace. You are sporty and adventurous, but not one to partake in typical 'higher class' activities, like the opera, and that's just fine. Not all culture is bad though, and you might even find that you enjoy a good play now and then if you give it a chance :)

Link: The Which Major U.S. City Are You? Test written by weeredII on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting psyched!

I've always loved the week leading up to a big's the time when the excitement is building but hasn't yet become the pregame jitters of the night before, when I like to look back at the season and at past seasons for inspiration. So I've been re-reading some of the old emails from the PUWRFC listserv and found the link to this video, which was sent out right before the EPRU championships my freshman year (the year that West Chester did the haka before funny, especially when we dominated them). So I thought I'd post it, because:

a) I love to watch it

b) a blog page looks a little more like it could be work than youtube does, for anyone walking by my cubicle

c) I just figured out how to post videos :)

The only problem is that now I want to go run around, and I have to sit here for another 2 hours...

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Lived The Dream

It's so perfect that this weekend happened right as I was beginning this blog, because I want to commemorate it somehow.

I signed up to go to Vermont with the NYRC U19s as a coach/driver, which I was really excited about. A bunch of us met to pick up the 15 passenger vans early on Saturday morning before our Developmental game. However, because of paperwork issues etc, it took longer than we thought it would and a few of us had to rush down to Coney Island to make it to the game. I guess the combination of being late, warming up without my own gear, and not having breakfast doesn't work for me, because I'm pretty sure I played some of my worst rugby ever and I couldn't stop shaking. There were good moments (and we won 41-5), but I was holding onto the ball too long, kicking straight to opposing players, and missing conversions from dead centre. Ugh, bad news. I do really want to thank whoever (Maura?) made me the sweet kicking tee from the Dunkin Donuts cup though :)

Anyways, after the game we got the kids and headed upstate. The drive was gorgeous and so much fun--Mira and I had 12 high school boys and they were hilarious, singing along to random songs on the few radio stations in range in rural VT ("Quit Playing Games With my Heart" was particularly good) and starting a capella versions when all we could find was static (those boys did a great version of "Hit Me Baby One More time"!). There was also a great full-van dance party to Soulja Boy's "Crank That". The drive itself was good because it allowed me to clear my head of the game and focus on the road and on the beautiful foliage--now I understand why people do fall foliage tours! I thought the Princeton towpath was beautiful, but upstate NY and VT are another thing entirely...

On Sunday we ran a clinic for our U19s, a U19 boys team from Saranac, and the Southern Vermont College girls. AJ and I ran the kicking station, doing grubbers and up & unders, and then we had split backs/forwards to work on different skills. I think the clinic was great for the kids' development, and also for all of us coaches--I've never been able to grubber and after practicing it with the kids, it looks much better (though still not too pretty). It also led to one of my favourite quotes of the weekend--as Twiggs was explaining that for the backs drills, the boys & girls teams would work together, she very seriously stressed that the boys shouldn't feel superior: "Just because men are faster, that doesn't mean you are any better than women. Besides, I could school all of you!" She did add a "just kidding", but I think Mira, Rosie and I were laughing so hard no one else could hear it!

But the best part was during the lunch break, when Molly asked Rosie, Mira and I to play for the SVC girls. And not just any positions--they needed forwards. After giving us the once over, she assigned Mira and Rosie to PROP and ME to LOCK!!! Direct quote from Molly: "Hoop, you're too big to prop." I told her I wanted that in writing and signed so I could have it forever--I've taken crap about my size from teammates for years!

Of course we all jumped at the chance to play our fantasy rugby positions! (Literally--we were bouncing all over the field and it took a few minutes to calm down enough to actually learn what to do!) With about 10 minutes of scrumming and lineout practice under our belts and an expert prewrap/tape headband provided by Annie to keep my ears on, we were ready to go.

We played with only 1 pod in the lineouts, so Mira and Rosie and I (the Mod Pod) were it, with the two of them lifting me and getting full extension nearly every time. And scrumming was actually pretty fun when it went well--it was kind of cozy in there! However, after we had about 3459897 scrums, it wasn't so fun anymore... It was interesting to compare the forward & back perspectives. For a back, the reaction is usually something like, "oh man, I feel stupid for dropping that ball. Oh well, better catch my breath and set up on defense" :) As a forward...well, it was a little bit different. Every back should get the chance to really experience the consequences of a forward pass or knock on!

It was definitely one of the most fun games I've ever played, and I'm so happy to have gotten the chance. The whole weekend was a great time and I loved working with the kids, and getting to live out a rugby dream was the icing on the cake. So now I can check that off the life list, and look forward to demo-ing the Mod Pod lineout tonight at practice!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Welcome to the Jungle

So, after weeks of entertaining myself by reading other people's blogs, I've decided to start my own. Thanks for the inspiration, Lee, Fatty, Katie Mac, & Blondie! (Ooh links! Those are my webmaster skillz coming back into play :) )

It's going to be a random, random, experiment, but hey, so is my life right now. Hence the title--everything is in flux. But life wouldn't be fun without it, so I'm enjoying the ride! Hopefully articulating things onto this blog will help me be less indecisive and less prone to overanalysis...or not, we'll see. At least it will help me keep in touch with people I don't talk to enough for various reasons, and keep me entertained on slow days at work ;)