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 oranges...christmas 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 constantly...so 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... http://jamphat.com/rap/

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 "thing...in...bed!"

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!