Winning is fun. But fun is also fun. Try to do both at the same time whenever you can.
Winning is fun. But fun is also fun. Try to do both at the same time whenever you can.
This picture is why I’m here.
I’ve written before about what a pessimist I am before my team plays. I thought that we’d be lucky to pull off a win against a great 3rd place team in the New Orleans Curse since we’d only brought 14 players.
I was wrong.
I took this during the gap between our sweep of the Curse and our matchup against the Night Riders. Okay, I thought, at least we made it as far as last year. At least we’re having fun.
Instead of trying to get a perfect photo, I captured what my team is really like. Ridiculous, but in the best way. As much as I wish they’d take me more seriously sometimes (like when I need them to fill out forms), I loved this moment. I thought that hanging the hallway, goofing off and sitting at 2-0, would be the highlight of my day.
Later on, the day got even better. This team went on to do more ridiculous things like start game two just wanting to have fun, only to lead the Boston Night Riders for 15 minutes or so with only 14 people.
That’s why I’m here. This team.
“I HAVE A BATTLE STATION!”
Some people claim beds when they get into a hotel room first. When I walked into the hotel with Miles this afternoon and saw a huge desk with outlets to charge all my electronics and their batteries, that was what I called dibs on. So I crowed those words and took over the desk. Gotta keep my spreadsheets in front of me and up to date!
Why? Well, I have terrible short-term memory. I could tell you what gas cost in December of 2003 ($1.74, btw) before I went to Portugal because I wrote it in my diary. On the other hand, I almost never know where I left my keys.
I can never remember who is coming when or where they’re sleeping, but I always know where to find that information when I’m asked.
And I get asked. A lot. Seriously. Oh so much. But it’s what I signed up for.
There are three reasons why I travel for quidditch:
I had a plan today when I landed in Austin at noon. I was going to drop my stuff off at Caroline’s, play tourist, get some good shots of the city, and then have plenty to choose from for today’s post.
Instead, I ended up napping the day away and then using the afternoon as whine & wine (except I got a beer because this is me we’re talking about) time with Caroline, my former Skrewts teammate who I never see anymore. I didn’t even take this picture with the intention to post it. I just liked the beer and wanted to remember it for later if I wanted to find it again. It’s not even Texan; it’s from Colorado.
I had to choose between #2 and #3, but it was no contest. Austin isn’t going anywhere. My friends, on the other hand, are going places. Keeping up with them is far more important.
I have bittersweet feelings about packing this jersey. I’m not a player. I’m a not a coach. I’m a manager. That means something to me. Jerseys are for people who work on the pitch. I may get shit done off the pitch… but I know I wouldn’t make the 30-player roster for this team. I’m okay with this. Managing plays to my strengths better.
I’m supposed to be packing my gold polo.
I didn’t blog about my experiences with the Argonauts this summer because I wanted the story to be about what happens on the pitch, not what I do off of it. But fate (in the guise of an exploding bottle of sunscreen somewhere between SJ and LA) took away my manager’s uniform, so I guess is as good a reason as any to start blogging about another quidditch journey.
Time for bed. I’m catching a flight to #OutlawCountry in eight and a half hours.
In a development that will surprise absolutely no one that knows me (or that has been paying attention), I unretired this weekend with a double whammy: finally making my Skrewts debut at the Tegan and Sara Invitational on Saturday (more about that later!) and being announced as the manager for the San Francisco Argonauts on Sunday.
In spite of the “lol retirement” jokes I’m going to get—and probably deserve, so do your worst—I think I stayed true to the spirit of my dumb retirement announcement. Let’s break it down.
I am done with trying to make the big picture happen with people who only care about themselves and their petty rivalries.
I am done with hearing about rivalries and drama that predate me and have nothing to do with me.
I am a NorCal girl now and forever, but so many things I tried to do were worn down by trying to please ten teams with ten different sets of needs, ten different agendas, ten different rivalries. I tried to treat every team the same way regardless of personal feelings, but I felt like I didn’t get the same treatment once I traded a Spartan shield for a Skrewt exoskeleton. On the other hand, the Argonauts are one team that NorCal wants to see do well, no matter what jersey you wear the other nine months of the year.
However, this was also a Quidditch Media problem, which I solved by getting out of a kitchen that was too hot for me and (mostly) sticking to just blogging about quidditch. I happily stand by my writing, but being the face of a media outlet was too much. I know I disappointed people and I can’t say how sorry I am about that.
I am done being asked for help with no benefit to me.
I am done with working with teams that make my life harder.
I am done being the only person who tolerates people I can’t stand.
Everything I’ll be doing this summer will ultimately benefit one team: the Argonauts. No perceived (and I can’t emphasize that enough—no matter what team I was on, I was committed above all else to the good of the sport as a whole) conflicts of interest, period. Three months of giving my all and then laying down my burdens sounds so liberating. So many quidditch volunteer roles are open ended, which feels like a huge burden when you want to stop and there’s no obvious successor at hand.
Everything I do as a Skrewt will benefit me at no cost to others. I want to stop being #fatforquidditch. I want to be a part of a team of people I enjoy being around. I want to play quidditch, guys. I’ve been responsible for so much for so long that I’ve forgotten the joy of picking up a bludger and throwing it at the people I love, tolerate, and can’t stand with equal zeal.
I am done with knowing that nearly every tournament I run, no matter how detailed my plans and contingency plans are and no matter how much information I put out in advance, will usually end with me doing last minute magic that adds to my white hair count because someone else doesn’t have their shit together and expects me to cater to them.
As much as this behavior drove me crazy, I still loved being a TD. I am all about those Problem Solving Skills. Every TD knows that shit happens. Every good TD has plans for what to do when shit happens. Managers are responsible for running their home series, which is long way of saying that they have to be the TD for their home series. I get to scratch that itch again. I’m excited.
I am done with being the face of choices that no one likes and getting shot for being the messenger.
This was a West RC problem. I loved that role, I miss that role, but I’d be a liar if I said that I enjoyed being the bearer of bad news. #westcoastbestcoast now and always, but I am sure glad that my phone didn’t blow up again this season when hotel prices for regionals came out. (Props to Kym Couch for doing my dirty work until they hire a new Defense Against Dark Arts prof… I mean, find a new West RC.) Luckily, the problem was quickly addressed (more props to Mary Kimball for the swift response), but the whole thing happened during a particularly hectic part of my non-quidditch life.
I miss the shield of being an SJSU Spartan, my first and forever quidditch love. It was a light burden to carry because it wasn’t threatening. No one worries about someone from a mid-tier NorCal team. Trading it in for a Skrewt’s exoskeleton got me burned and nearly saw my experience with this sport see a blasted end.
But it would be an easy out for me to just blame others. The fact is, I didn’t help things. I tried to do too much. Anyone who tries to run a quidditch media outlet, represent a region (though I was trying to transition out of that one), run a conference, be a referee, captain a team, and try to start their non-quidditch career is just asking to burn out.
And yet, we ask this of so many quidditch volunteers! Props to the wearers of many hats, props to the ones who limit what they commit to, and props to everyone who has stepped away for the sake of their sanity. Everyone else: if you see something that needs doing—do it. If that happened, everyone would be more invested in the sport as a whole and our volunteer corps would stop dropping like flies.
As for me, I’m going to focus on pouring all that energy I was splitting too many ways into one thing at a time. I’m going to be the best Skrewt I can be for the rest of the USQ season. That means having a positive attitude and being a good example of how to be a competitor no matter what team I face and no matter what grievances I aired and have now gotten out of my system. (Also, actually showing up to practice. #fitforquidditch)
After the USQ season, I’m putting my Skrewt exoskeleton away and putting on an Argonaut’s golden fleece for the MLQ season. I’ve made my feelings about the team clear, so it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. I’ll never be an MVP on the pitch, but no matter whatever else anyone may think of me, I’ve proven myself as NorCal quidditch’s most experienced planner/plotter/logistician/Team Mom.
I want to put that experience to work for my home team. For our home team. Let’s join our fellow Bay Area teams such as the Sharks, Quakes, Giants, Warriors, Niners, etc, in the eternal quest to #BeatLA. Losing to the Hive stung last year; I want to invade their nest and make them pay. I want to beat Phoenix again just because. I want to go to the MLQ Championships and stand behind the best team NorCal has ever seen.
See you on the pitch.