8/9/2007 – A*Thursday California Edition

Whaaaaaaasssssuuuuuuup!!!!!

Things have been a bit crazed for your intrepid reporter given my Left Coast adventure and an incredible A*T which left me at a loss for words. Imagine that–the big blabbermouth could not find his voice??? That has to be the most stunning news of all.
Before anything else: Rob Fried, Jammer extraordinaire (and one of my best friends in this life) is on the DL with a separated shoulder. He will heal and come back shredfully but please keep him in your thoughts. He’s been a true inspiration and excellent Jam-mentor for many years. Hey Rob–I’m huntin’ Gitis for you.

LA, CA
My first full day in California was Thursday August 9th and I earned my wearing of the Yella Jersey by going to Universal Studios with Carina and my hosts from Thousand Oaks. While I knew I was missing a killer session back in NYC, I had already made arrangements to make a pilgrimage to La Jolla to Jam with the San Diego Crew on Sunday. Lucky for me Dan Cameranesi lives in Thousand Oaks and he was kind enough to slide into the brief window of opportunity I had for a local Jam on Saturday. He in turn invited Tita (Ugalde?–please forgive me if that is incorrect) who folks may recall is putting together a ‘Freestyle Camp’ in LA in December which every Left Coaster should support in order to Spread the Jam. We had a nice Jam on a field that serves as the home of a 15 year old pick-up Ultimate game. The breeze was great as we put on quite a show for our run ‘n gun cousins.

The drive down the 405 from LA was a giant pain in the a** but I was serene as I looked at the ocean from time to time thinking of the hein breeze and ZZZZ’s to come. When I was dropped off on Calle Frescoda as instructed I started walking west towards the beach. La Jolla has got to be disc heaven–the sky was blue with some high cirrus clouds, the hills surrounding the beach were filled with the homes of (wealthy) folks who know a great view when the see it, and the beach was simply amazing. There were a zillion people everywhere and I was wondering how I was gonna find my plastic peeps. Just then I saw a green Skystyler zoom into the sky, followed by another as it descended. Whoosh–whoosh–whoosh–the discs just kept flying up in rhythm and the same exact flight path indicating some very serious wind knowledge and control. Some guy was doing this crazy MTA juggling act featuring 2 and then 3 discs, launching them 35 feet in the air again and again. Thus I found a kindred spirit in the form of Dave Murphy. Murf is a cat who I only knew through video and Freestyle lore who I really was geeked up to Jam with.
I was so excited I wanted to jump out of my skin as we introduced ourselves and I got nailed up. Murf is a big dude with a linebacker’s attacking style featuring much groundwork and precise control. On several occasions he did front somersaults into the delay off of MY THROW as well as hitting a couple sweet ‘instant’ Gitis seals. My favorite moves were a quadruple spinning backroll/brush and a roll straight off of one of those MTA throws–WOW! We went at it long enough to break a serious sweat and then Peter Lau-BEAR arrived and the three of us got going. The Jam was loads of fun, especially as PL and Murf worked the wind together doing multiple two-man rolls. I have to say the conditions (which of course, I have no need of) were almost too perfect. There were several times where the disc stayed up exactly where I set it and I blew the play because I just am not used to playing in a plastic paradise.

I took a hydration break and a moment to de-hydrate. As I returned from the ‘room of rest’, I ran into Tommy L. and Amy Schillz and they were followed in short order by The Sheriff himself, Mike Cronin (GREAT to meet you!), and a special appearance by Joel Rogers who is almost ready to come off of the DL. I really wish I could share more but things became a huge blur at this point. I got into several mob-ops but as soon as I got the chance to get loose with Schillz and Tommy, my ride came with the news I had to split NOW???!!!

ARRRGGGGHHH!!!! It took me 20 minutes to become civil when I got in the car.
I can share a couple of things with the world: 1) La Jolla is absolutely perfect for Freestyle and every Jammer must make their way there. It is beautiful and the players are as skilled as they are fun to hang with; 2) The Sheriff and Tommy looked like they are ready to make some noise next year’s tourneys; 3) I am really grateful that folks showed up in SD and gave me a taste of what everyone talks about; 4) Hey Murf and all y’all–You gotta come East for an A*T so we can share our hospitality.

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