I stayed close to home for most of this month and recharged after a very busy February, which allowed me to do some necessary relaxing, recharging, and recalibrating before an almost as busy April ahead of me.
Last weekend was the first time I left my Bay Area bubble all month, which explains why it inspired all of this month’s favorites.
The Violet Femmes
Someday this category won’t be taken up by a quidditch team — but it is not this day. I haven’t been on a fantasy team since 2017, when I was drafted too damn high for Hella Fantasy and I drafted my last Snow Cup team. I enjoy running tournaments more than participating in them these days. However, when Glorious Bitches Galore was announced. I was willing to contemplate breaking out my cleats again and drafting a team.
While I ultimately decided not to play (nothing like throwing out your back the week before to remind you that you are too old for this shit), it was still an amazing weekend. We initially went 0-2, including one blowout and one snitch range loss. We switched things up a bit (with me hoping not to get swept at a fantasy again) and then went on to win all the rest of our games, including the final in overtime!
Even if we hadn’t won, this still would have gone down as my favorite fantasy team I’ve ever drafted. I got to pick a bunch of ladies who I’ve enjoyed watching play for a while now — I and I have watched more quidditch than ever this year, oof. Seeing them come together and figure out what new things they wanted to try while still being willing to play the roles needed to get the win was an absolute pleasure. Thank you all for letting me yell at you this weekend and scratch that coaching itch, ladies.
As much as winning felt good, I was having a great time long before I had any home of taking the trophy home. Watching women and non-binary players take roles on the pitch that they don’t usually get the chance to, as ballhandlers and snitches and even head referees, made driving down with a bad back more than worth it. It was easily the most chill tournament in regards to ref/player interaction I’ve ever seen. (I was probably the chirpiest speaking captain.)
This season, I’ve been stoked to see players across the country and beyond who are usually in the minority on their teams create events that they want, whether it’s training camps or fantasy tournaments. It was wonderful to be able to participate instead of organizing for once, so hats off to the organizers of Glorious Bitches Galore. Let’s do it again next year.
Carrizo Plain National Monument
I hate driving to LA. Haaaaaaaaate it. Part of the reason I became a freelance tournament director was to make people pay for my flights. However, I put off booking a ticket to LA for Glorious Bitches Galore until it was too late to get a cheap flight, so it was time to carpool.
But if I’m gonna drive, I’m going to make it worth it. I didn’t want to drive past LA to contribute to the the Poppy Apocalypse, so I limited my search to places between the Bay and LA. That’s when I found the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
To get there, take 101 South from San Jose until you hit Paso Robles. From there, you’ll take some side streets before you get to CA-58, which will get you to Soda Lake Road, which goes through the whole monument. My four door sedan managed to make the drive just fine, but be forewarned: there’s a mix of paved and dirt roads, and some of the latter are impassible if it’s been raining.
Luckily for Ra and I, we had dry roads but all the blooms you’d expect from a long rainy season. Before we even arrived, the roadsides were in bloom.
Because this spot isn’t as well known as Lake Elsinore or other orange covered hills further south, it was relatively quiet. While there were no California poppies (my favorite flower along with hydrangeas, in case you were wondering), there were plenty of other flower covered hills and fields to take in.
I considered taking my DSLR with me and making a full-blown photography project out of this, but I eventually decided to leave it at home and not make more work out of what I was doing for relaxation. I’ve also been reading about how taking photos might actually make it harder to remember things, so I took that to heart.
That didn’t stop me from taking some quick shots with my iPhone, though.
The Retirement Throne
While I’ve had this since the fall, I got a lot of questions about this one last weekend so I decided to share.
“The Retirement Throne” is not the official name for this chair. It’s the Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair and I got it at Target. It has gone with me by car and by air to every tournament I have attended and it is the best fifty bucks I have ever spent on quidditch adjacent equipment. Why?
- It has a built-in canopy. I got my first sunburn of the season last weekend, but only on my uncovered legs. In addition to keeping me out of the sun, it also kept the rain off of me at West Regionals (before it started raining sideways, anyway).
- The canopy folds back and wraps sturdily around the chair, which means you can check it with regular luggage and bring it with you if you hate driving as much as I do!
- The cupholder is clutch for hydration/iced coffee/spectator beers.
I’m not sponsored (I wish), I’m not getting a cut of this, etc disclosures etc. Rain or shine, I love this damn chair to bits.