I arrived friday morning, July 1st, and was met by Reid and Julia (aka juliandreid) at the airport. When i first arrived in Beijing, the ulti community was pretty awesome, but few gave me a warmer welcome than these two. I've been threatening to visit them in portland for years, and this was the best opportunity i would have for a while. I also have two close friends from college (joe and bogusia -- aka joegusia) living in portland, but they don't come in til later.
The three of us drove to Seattle for the tournament the day i arrived, and my jetlagged self had a pretty loopy, weird day. We crashed at the Titcomb family lakehouse, the original home to Five Ultimate. Five Ultimate is an apparel company started by the five ubiquitously cool Titcomb siblings: Zahlen, Xtehn, Vehro, Rohre, and Qxhna. Their house is amazing, and the hospitality of the rents, John and Linde, is legendary. They have a dozen or so beds, direct access to the lake, and a drumset+instruments in the living room. So cool.
The tournament itself was hilarious and wonderful. Our team from Portland, ULTIMATE WARRIOR, was average in skill but exemplary in fun. Our costumes were basically face paint, tight little neon shorts, and an optional shirt. We also had a portable wrestling ring in which we challenged our opponents to a title match. We played pretty well and ended up winning 5 of 8 games. Every game was close enough to be interesting and most of the teams had great spirit. These next eleven pictures are all from Warrior John King, our team photographer and all around great guy.
I didn't take many pictures this weekend, but i did do an alright job of capturing our pre-battle ceremonies and the mulleting of Warrior Paul.
Amazingly, jetlag didn't affect me beyond the day i arrived. By day two, Saturday, i was golden. One secret for overcoming jetlag was to play ultimate all day to keep my energy going. The other secret was my pink suit.
Each day after the games, i showered and changed into my pink suit and immediately felt energized. I think i've become a bit of an attention-lover since moving to Beijing, and the suit gave me plenty of it. Xtehn Titcomb hooked me up with the official Five Ultimate Pimp Hat to top off my look.
He also made me an official sun-giver for the weekend. I shall explain...
Five Ultimate made a game for everyone at the tournament to play throughout the weekend, called Ravens and Suns. The idea is, each team gets two pink Raven hats and three suns, yellow strips of silk about the length of a tie. Anyone wearing a Raven hat can approach anyone with a sunshine and request a challenge. If the Raven completes the challenge, they steal the suns. The team with the most suns at the end of the weekend wins a prize. The game took off immediately. Examples of challenges are: find 20 people to do a conga-line; start a dance party; shotgun 2 beers in one minute; give a 10 minute back massage; etc. As a sun giver, i had a pocketful of suns to give out. I gave out a bunch of challenges throughout the weekend, but here are my favorite three:
- Two vs. Two co-ed clothing swap. Two teams, a guy and a girl from each team, compete to switch clothing (EBU: everything but underwear) as fast as possible. Fastest team wins the sun. I did that one twice.
- You've lost that loving feeling. I made a team of about 8 people get up on tables at the party and sing this song to me. See the video.
- You are my Sunshine. Sunday morning, we went for breakfast at a little diner in the small town of Redmond. I was still in my pink suit, because i slept in it every night. (Side note, Five Ultimate had a bunch of couches at the fields and one of them pulled out into a bed. I slept in it, on the fields, both sat and sun nights. It was amazing.) So, a Raven at the diner asked my for my sun, and i made him stand up, say very loudly "MAY I HAVE EVERYONE'S ATTENTION PLEASE!" and then proceed to sing You Are My Sunshine to the entire restaurant. It almost brought tears to my eyes. It's not a long song, but halfway through the first verse, the waitstaff and local patrons were singing along, and we got a applause and infinite smiles.
After the tournament, i spent one more night, July 4th at the Titcomb lakehouse and watching fireworks from the backyard. A late afternoon dip in the lake followed by beers by a fire with new friends was a perfect way to finish off the weekend. The next morning, we drove back to Portland.