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Ros' soccer team just had their fifth game, and this is the first chance I've had to post about the footie season. I got paired up to coach with another dad this year, so the Sweetie briefly thought he was getting off helping out. But it turns out the two of us were really bad at running lineups, so the Sweetie is back on the roster. And another dad, who was a goalie, volunteered to help out coaching the goalies so there are four of us running the team.

There was some period of adjustment, but we're now all playing to our strengths. I do the overall organizing and running drills at practices, the goalie dad drills the goalies and helps with strategy during games and the other dad helps run drills and keeping the kids enthusiastic. Non-sporty Sweetie does his bit making sure everyone gets an equal amount of playing time on the field.

We've been having practices every week, and it's really starting to pay off. Last night the girls were actually passing and running plays with each other, and we pulled off a 0 – 4 win against a team that has some of the best players in the league and two coaches who usually have one of the better teams. So, yay!

Ros was in goal the first half, and she's really doing fab. I think working with a coach who is NOT me is good for her. Our goalie dad is really pushing her, and she's made some fabulous saves.

On the downside, our goalie in the second half sprained her finger, and since we're on a full-sized field and she was in the other end and didn't say anything, we didn't know she needed to be pulled off until one of the other girls rotated off and told us she was crying. I felt horrible! But her dad (the non-goalie coach) tells me she's okay.

It's a nice bunch of girls, and they're playing well together so it's looking to be a fun rest of the season. And they actually come to practices! (Last year, I was lucky some weeks to have three girls at practice. This year, most of them show up.)
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I don't know how it's been a month since I posted. (Okay, I do know how. BistoCon and soccer and the film fest and life, that's how.) Anyway, here's my attempt at a catch-up post.

First with the footie. We've had four games since I last posted, the last four of the season. The first two were disappointing, including a loss to the team of one of Ros' best friends. We had (cruelly) been hoping we could beat them since they were the only team below us on the standings, but they had a good night and we had a tough one. At least we could be happy for their win.

Last week's game was heartening. We played a pretty good team and managed to hold them to a tie.

This week's game was awesome. We were playing another team in the middle of the pack, but our girls seemed to really figure out how to play together. There was passing, and working together, and actually playing of their positions. Ros managed to score a goal by really sticking with the ball in front of the net. And another girl, who's always game but hasn't yet scored, got in a really nice goal as well. Add in two more goals from one of our best players, and we managed a 1 - 4 win! A nice way to end the season.

That's the regular season done, but next week we have Cup Weekend, which is our club's house league playoffs. We play four round robin games, and the top four teams play in finals a week Sunday.

Onto fans!

It's been over a week since BistoCon 2016, our little biannual Pros con in charming Romulus, MI. We had 22 people attending, and the feedback is that everyone had a fab time. I know I did! There were panels and episodes and games (provided by the brilliant Krisser) and lots of laughter. And we've agreed to do it all again in 2018!

Rejuvenated by the con and by spending time with such passionate fellow fans, I've finally started writing again. I've got over 1,000 words of a Pros story done, and a more or less complete idea of where it's going. This has all been helped by getting stuck in meetings at work that don't really concern me, thus giving me found time to scribble as I like. Very exciting!

The last thing that's taken up a good chunk of the last week, and will take up 11 days starting next week, is the Toronto International Film Fest, a.k.a. TIFF. The schedule came out last week, and we had to have our picks for tickets in this past Sunday, so I got home from BistoCon in time to spend days poring over descriptions of the nearly 400 scheduled films and narrowing them down to the 21 I want to see.

I'm hopeful it's going to be a good year. I'm most excited to see Free Fire, a '70s crime film. I saw this pic from it, with Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer rocking these '70s threads, and it shot to the top of my must see list.
Free-Fire.jpg
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We played one of the very best teams again this week. The last time we played them, we traded the lead back and forth but lost 3 - 4. This time we only managed one goal on them, but we did hold them to only two goals, due to stellar work from our keepers. Ros, in particular, did an amazing job in goal in the second half, stopping a bunch of goals that looked almost impossible to get in front of. Of course, she beat herself up for the one goal she did let in, but it was one that would have been difficult to stop. We've assured her she did an awesome job and stopped the game from being a big blow out.

I had to cancel our practice this week. An hour before it was due to start, we got an absolute torrential downpour. I reckoned (correctly, as it turned out) that even if the rain stopped in time for the practice, the field would be a mess.

Ros and I went to the field anyway, to head off anyone who hadn't got the cancellation email, and we got the pleasure of watching the U9 girls play their 7:30 game on the other field. (Our league only cancels games for lightning, so they had to play.) It was HI-LARIOUS. The field was a big squishy swamp in the middle, which stopped the ball cold anytime it got kicked there. And when a player kicked the to get it going again, there'd be a huge spray of water drenching everyone close by. The parents watching alternated between telling their kids not to worry about their shoes and laughing hysterically. Ros wanted to stay and watch the whole game, but we finally bailed after ten minutes.
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This week, we were playing the top team in the league. Though fortunately the standings hadn't been posted yet, so we didn't know that. And we managed to win!

We had our last untested goalkeeper in net in the first half (well, there is one other player who hasn't played net yet, but she's been MIA for four weeks now and we're beginning to suspect she's just not coming back), and she did okay, but let in a flukey ball that went way over her head and she only touched it with the tip of her fingers. But in the second half she managed to score, so that evened out. And two of our best players managed a really nice play in front of the net for a very pretty goal, so the final score was 2 - 1 for us!

In Pros and writing news, I sent off the absolutely final copy of a story I managed to write for the BistoCon zine. It's a wee thing, just over 800 words, but it's nice to finally be writing again.

Now it's time to get moving on all those organizational things we need to do for the con. Yikes!
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Ros is at sleepaway camp this week, so we coached the game without her. (Hardly seems fair, but that's the joy of volunteering. *g*) It was a scorching hot night, and we were missing more girls than expected, so it was a tough slog. Fortunately, one girl who was supposed to be missing managed to make it to the game.

On the plus side, we've discovered two more goalkeepers who were really good. Both the Sweetie and I made a point of telling them that they'd done really well, since they'd both told us before the game that they weren't good in goal. (They totally were!) On the minus side, the other side managed to get in one goal on each girl (one blooper that went right over our first keeper's head, and one when our second keeper had the sun right in her eyes), and we only scored once. But the one goal we did get was courtesy of a girl who's never scored before, so she was very excited. All told, for a 1 - 2 loss, I consider it a successful game.

Tomorrow, we're picking up Ros and whisking her and a friend off to a cottage for a week. Our hope is that the girls will mostly amuse themselves, and we can chill on the deck, read some books and write some stuff. (I'm writing Pros again. Whee!)

We got an email from the woman from whom we're renting the cottage with instructions for the property, including this gem:

  • Do not leave any food or put any garbage outside of the cottage. There are bears in the woods and they will come.


  • The Sweetie thinks it sounds like the start of a horror movie. Wish us luck!
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    This week's game was our first really hot and sticky night. I got the team to do more passing drills before kick off, since running in that kind of heat is a big pile of no fun.

    They're making progress with working together, which is nice to see. And we made a goalkeeper discovery! We put one of our smaller and more timid girls in net, and she turned out to be brilliant! She kept out everything that came her way. Alas, our other keeper, one of our girls from last year who was always solid in goal, seemed to forget for a moment that she could pick up the ball with her hands and let the ball in early in her half. We had a number of good scoring opportunities--Ros has a great run, but kicked it just wide--but never quite got it in the net, so the game ended 1 - 0 for them.

    Our practice this week coincided with the last day of school, so only four girls made it. On the plus side, it was a lovely night, the perfect temperature for running around, and the four girls who did come out did some great work.

    Ros is off to sleep away camp on Saturday, so we'll be coaching next Monday without our kid there. Seems wrong, somehow...
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    Two games. Two very different results.

    Last week, our girls seemed to forget everything they knew about passing and were back to clumping on the ball and fighting each other for possession. Since we were up against a team that was a) fast and b) really good at passing and working the ball up the field, this was not good. We also had two less than experienced goalkeepers. The result was us getting killed, 4 - 0.

    This week, I spent the half hour before the game doing a lot of passing drills and working with our next new keeper. (Ros was in goal the second half so I knew she was solid.) There was some clumping, but they did much better working together. And the new keeper ended up being great, as was Ros. Though afterward, Ros beat herself up for letting in one goal. (Not entirely her fault. One of their players got a breakaway and our defense fell apart on her.)

    We had one line in particular that really clicked and managed to score twice in quick succession, to give us a final score of 2 - 1 for us. Our first win of the season, hooray!

    The win was a bit bittersweet, though. Our opponents were the team of one of Ros' best friends. Ros and her friend have been on the same team for four seasons, but this year the club was desperate for coaches so her friend's dad took on his own team.

    Tonight, I'm off to see one of the James Plays from the National Theatre of Scotland, and the Sweetie is going to be running a soccer practice on his own. Given that the Sweetie is not a big soccer guy, I expect to hear interesting stories from the practice. Ros has promised to help him out.
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    Monday we had our second game, and it went loads better.

    I got there early so we could do some passing drills, and it seemed to pay off. The girls were working together better, and most of them are now working to move the ball up the field. Three different players scored our three goals, so that was good. It's always a worry when most of your goals are scored by the same player.

    We kept trading the lead back and forth with our opponents, but alas when the game got cut five minutes short by a thunderstorm we were down 3 - 4. But it really could have gone either way.

    Even more importantly, the girls really seem to be getting along, so that will make for a fun season.

    And there were no grannies walking across the field in the middle of the game, so yay for that!
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    Black Belt season isn't yet over (we've got two weeks of rehearsals left before the Black Belt Spectacular performance) but footie season is now underway. Because I'm not busy enough.

    We had our first game last night. The girls seem nice. The parents are mostly okay. (Well, there was the one grandmother who walked across the field IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME!) So far, there's only one girl who's really super aggressive on the field, so I think we're going to have to work on that.

    The girls kept it competitive, they had the ball in the other team's end a lot, but they couldn't quite seem to get it in the goal. In the interest of fairness, we're trying something new this year and making every girl do at least one rotation in goal, so our keepers were a bit on the inexperienced side. The final score was 1 - 3 for the other side, but I felt like it was a good start for the team.

    The club has gotten hardcore about not allowing requests to play with their friends (it was an administrative nightmare for them, so I totally get it) so none of Ros' friends are on the team. But we do have three girls back from previous teams of ours, which is nice. I mostly have them sorted out, except for Jamie and Julia, who are both thin-framed girls with curly blonde hair, and Christina and Vanessa, who are both stocky blondes. Fortunately, Mia and Tia look nothing alike. (Last year we had Kira, Kari and Katherine with similar builds and hair colour. That was fun for a few weeks.)
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    We had a really great game this morning. The girls played really well together, and managed to score the first goal, a really pretty one that came from a lovely pass and went right over their goalkeeper's head. Unfortunately, we had a hand ball in the crease that gave them a penalty kick they managed convert on, tying us up.

    We didn't score for the rest of the game, but neither did they, so we went to penalty kicks. (Just try to pick 5 kickers when you're surrounded by 14 girls who all want to take a kick. Fortunately, the Sweetie ran interference while I came up with a list.)

    Our goalkeeper rocked, but so did theirs, and after the first round we were tied again, 1 penalty kick apiece. That put us in sudden death, and unfortunately their first kicker scored, and ours didn't, so that was the end of our season.

    But considering the team we were playing was the top of our division, and they beat their opponents by three or four all their other games, I think we did a fab job.

    I'm already planning my strategy for next year!
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    We had our final game of the regular season tonight, and the girls did brilliantly! They were hustling and passing and working together. And it all paid off. We were playing the third rated team and we managed to beat them 0 - 3. Yay! It was a really nice end to the season.

    Now there's just the cup weekend playoffs. We play three games on Sept. 10th and 12th, and then the top four teams go on to the semis and final on the 13th. I'm not going to get my hopes up for making the semis, but it would be fun if we did.

    I brought my good camera to the game tonight hoping to get a few shots, but it was such a tense game that I never even took it out of its case.
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    Things have been a bit mental, so it's been a couple of weeks since I've done an update.

    The team are getting better at working together and passing. And they're still really good at holding even high scoring teams to very few goals. (We still have the lowest goals against by a long shot.) But they are still having trouble turning opportunities into goals. Some of it is just bad luck--shots going wide or the other goalkeeper getting hold of a near thing--and some of it is their desire to put the ball in the goal themselves, even if someone else on the team has a clearer shot at the net. ::sigh::

    Last week we played the team that was lowest in the standings, and I thought we had a shot at winning. But they have clearly improved (they've got a three game winning streak going) and our defence fell apart at a couple of key moments, so they managed a 2 - 1 win. But Ros got our "1," so that was awesome. She's definitely become a much more aggressive player, which is lovely to see.

    This week we played the top team in our division, and they really could have killed us, but we played a really solid game. They scored early, but we kept the pressure on and our best player got a really lovely goal she chipped over the head of their keeper. (Ros also made a really lovely run and had a clear shot on net, but kicked it right at their keeper, alas.) We had them at a 1 - 1 tie for most of the game, and I thought we might keep that, but our defence fell apart two minutes from the end and they got a goal in. Still, it was a great game.

    Outside of soccer, things have been a bit crazy. I did my back in about a month ago, irritating two arthritic vertebrae doing some yoga moves after a running class. Yoga always seems like a good idea, but my crazy passing-itself-on-a-curve spine just can't handle it. This has not only meant no Taekwando until I get the pain under control, it has also meant I've been sleeping badly to not at all a majority of the time. Which means that every few nights after we get Ros to sleep I pretty much keel over where I'm standing. This has almost entirely eliminated most of the computer and TV watching time I usually eke out.

    Stupid back.

    In spite of that, there has been fun had.

    We went camping two weekends ago, which I always enjoy. Though sleeping on an air mattress really did not impress my back, and was managed only after I ventured into the nearest town to buy the strongest over the counter pain meds I could find. (It was that, or find a cheap nearby hotel so I didn't feel like someone was drilling into my spine.) The drugs were lovely stuff for knocking you out, but not a sustainable solution due to its not-so-lovely side effects.

    Today, I took the day off work to take Ros and a friend to the Canadian National Exhibition,a.k.a. the Ex. It's a fall fair on a huge scale, with a midway, a giant food building where you can get all sorts of crazy things like donut hamburgers (the girls had perogies; I had a yummy fish taco), and lots of shows, demonstrations and ridiculous things for sale.

    Ros loves to go primarily for the kids' circus workshop that gets put on every year. She always has done the tightrope walking and acrobatics, but this year she was finally big enough to do the trapeze, which was very exciting.

    Circus pics this way... )
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    There's at least one game every year that you play in the pouring rain, and this week was that game. It started out as a steady drizzle, but midway through the game it was just chucking it down. Fortunately it was an entirely reasonable temperature, so we weren't wet and cold, just wet.

    This game had one awesome milestone: Ros scored her first goal ever! She's been much more aggressive this year than she has in past years when she's been a more defensive player, and she managed a lovely shot right into the net. (All that playing with soccer with the boys has paid off.)

    Alas, that was our only goal. And since we were playing one of the better teams and our defence fell apart a few times, the final result was 1 - 3 for them.

    I'm wishing now I'd started practices much sooner. In spite of me emphasizing passing and not clumping up, the team still aren't passing and in fact keep trying to strip the ball from their teammates so they can score. There's three games left. I'm hoping for one good passing play before the end of the season.

    Apart from soccer, there's been a few outings. The weekend before last we were up in Sault Ste. Marie visiting the Sweetie's family. It was a low key visit, which was nice. The Sweetie had got his mom an iPad for her birthday and in the course of showing her how to take pictures with it he took my new favourite picture of me and Ros.

    Me and Ros reading The Order of the Phoenix )

    This past weekend, the Sweetie and Ros were in Halifax visiting his dad, leaving me solo. There was housework and writing done (though not nearly enough of either), a joint 50th birthday/20th wedding anniversary party for a pair of friends, and a trip to Stratford with other friends for a fun performance of Jonson's The Alchemist.

    And tomorrow we're off for five days of camping.
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    This weekend we picked Ros up from her first sleepaway camp. She was happy to see us (and there's nothing like the smile of your child as they run towards you after a week away) and also had a great time. Not surprisingly, climber that she is, the aerial park/zipline was her favourite thing. (The zipline is 900 feet long and passes over a river. More power to her. I'd never do it.) She's already decided if she goes back to the same camp next year she want to get the week pass for the ziplining that'll let her do it whenever she wants.

    The one downside (for me possibly more than Ros) was that the friend we sent her with is much less active than her and mostly just wanted to do the arts & crafts activities, so Ros didn't get the full camp experience. She didn't try canoeing, alas, and was most disappointed she couldn't get her friend to do the fishing activity. (The Sweetie's dad is an obsessive fisherman and Ros loves going fishing with her grandfather.) She's already launching a PR campaign to get one of her friends who is more active/more malleable to go to the camp with her next year. We've also pointed out that she doesn't have to do the same stuff as her friends all the time, but I know that's a bit tough at this age.

    Here's Ros in front of the camp map and bulletin board )

    And here's a close up of the bulletin board that made me smile.
    fruitloop.jpg

    I'm adopting that as my motto, me. *g*

    This week's soccer game was brutal. We're in the middle of a heatwave, and it was still over 30C with high humidity during our game. And since it's prime vacation time, we were down to seven kids, which is how many kids you need on the field, so everybody had to play the whole game. We kept switching the forwards and defence, and the ref gave us a water break in the middle of each half, but it still wasn't fun. Ros said she "wanted to die" after the first five minutes, but then she got used to it.

    When it was clear no one else was showing up and they'd have to play the whole game, one of our players started saying "But what if someone gets injured?" over and over again. Three guesses as to who got a ball kicked into the side of her face. She was more shocked than hurt, but we still had to play a person down for a few minutes while her mom got her calmed down.

    As a consolation for the injury, before the unfortunate ball incident the same player scored a rather nice goal. Since we kept the other team scoreless (through a miracle in the first half, when we had our enthusiastic but inexperienced goalie in net but the other team kept kicking wide) we managed a 0 - 1 win! That's our first win in a while, so yay!

    Today the heat wave continued and we had a practice. The Sweetie and I were taking bets as to how many kids we'd get. He guessed five, and I was hoping for six. The actual number was four, but at least they were enthusiastic in spite of the heat, and we got in some good passing practice.
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    Yesterday, we dropped Ros off for her first ever week of sleepaway camp. She was very excited, and eager for it all to get started, which meant that the meltdown we feared might hit never came. (I, however, was a leetle bit teary, but managed to successfully hide it.) As we were leaving, the counsellors were taking the girls in Ros' cabin for a welcome swim, and Ros barely looked back. Hopefully she's having a grand time. (The main counsellor will be calling on Wednesday to let us know how Ros is doing, so we've got our fingers crossed.)

    Even with Ros gone, we still had to coach the soccer team tonight. We had a practice last week and I ran a bunch of passing practices that seems to have paid off. The girls are doing a bit better at passing to each other, though they started bunching up more towards the end of the game. We still can't score, though, but since our goalies and defence did their usual bang up job, score was a nil - nil tie. I'll take that as a success.

    At the next practice, I'm going to have them work on passing and running plays off corner kicks. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'm going to try and introduce the wall pass. Back when I was younger and quicker I used to love doing those.

    Last night the Sweetie and I used our child-free status to fall asleep in front of the 1969 version of The Italian Job. (That is one sloppy, sloppy film. It seems entirely built around the question "what cool buildings can we drive Minis on in Torino?" and plot coherence and character development be damned.) Tonight, I've managed another 2,000 words on the spy story. (Win!)
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    There have been three games since I last managed a footie post. And alas, we've lost all three of them.

    In spite of how that sounds, though, they were all really good games, the girls have been getting better every week, and we've only ever lost by one point. Our goalies are all good to great, and our defence (mostly) keeps it out of our end. Our worst problem is that we just can't score. The club has posted all the results, and we've got the second worst goals for average (1.7), but also the absolute lowest goals against average (1.3).

    Tonight's game was against the top team in the league, and according to my team also the nastiest. There was one girl who was particularly bad, and Ros not only managed to strip the ball from her but also to (legally) take her out. Given how badly they were manhandling us and not getting called for it I was not terribly upset by this. Especially since the same girl then refused to shake our players' hands at the end of the game, and after the game kept repeatedly walking past us and giving our team the stink eye. Given that this girl also turned out to be the daughter of one of their coaches, I'm doubly, or trebly not impressed with their team. (It's this sort of thing that makes me question whether I really want to coach again every year.)

    Anyway, moving on, I've booked a practice field for this Wednesday, so I'm going to try and run some drills to get some more passing and shooting going.

    On Sunday, Ros leaves for a week of sleep away camp (OMG!) so on Monday we'll be coaching sans our kid. And I get to go out with the Sweetie next week to do adult stuff without booking a babysitter. I'm sure there will be movies watched, restaurants Ros doesn't like visited, and possibly even a titch of alcohol consumed. Oh, the debauchery! *g*
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    I've been struggling to find any time at all to get on the computer since we've been back from London. Either I'm constantly on the run, or I pass out as soon as Ros does. But I've finally got a few minutes, and I realized I'm behind on footie updates.

    There was a game while we were in London, and my former co-coach took that one over for us. She got a dad to help run the line-ups, a few more dads to put up the nets. (They're full-sized nets, now, and she's my height, so reaching the crossbar isn't even an option for either of us.) She said the girls played really well, and they held the other team to a draw, 1 - 1.

    Our first game back we played a team with three of our best players from our team two years ago. Both teams played really well and dug in. They scored first, then we tied them up, but they managed to score a final goal to win 2 - 1.

    And our game this week was against a team that was fast and, according to my girls, really pushy. But our girls held firm and managed to win 3 - 1. (It was nearly 3 - 2. They scored right at the end, but it turns out that time was already up and the ref's whistle just wasn't working.)

    There have been Taekwando developments as well.

    On Saturday, I attended the meeting to kick off the new black belt cycle. Looks like I'll be testing for my black belt next year. That means a serious commitment: four classes a week, including a 6:45 a.m. two hour class on Saturdays, extra training at home, running a certain mileage a week, and getting all the forms so I can do them in my sleep. I'm looking forward to it--I'll be training with a few of my friends at the club who are at the same point--but it's going to take a lot of indulgence from the Sweetie, since I'll be doing at least one evening class a week. And it's going to mean I have to really prioritize what I have time to do.

    I've been struggling, and failing to find time to write of late, and I've only managed to grab the occasional hour to watch any TV. Since I've got to be up early three days anyway for early classes, I've got a possible scheme which will allow for writing. I'm thinking of going to bed early, like right after Ros early, and then getting up around 5 every day. On the days I don't have Taekwando, that'll give me an hour of writing time before everyone else is awake.

    Of course, the problem with this scheme is that I'm a total night owl, and going to bed early is something I've never quite been able to manage. It also means that I'll mostly be swearing off TV for the coming year, which is annoying.

    Oh, and the fly in the ointment in all of this is my continued problems with anaphylaxis as a result of exercise. I'm going to try to gradually build up my running and see if I can train my body not to swell up when I do cardio.

    We shall see how it all goes...

    In further Taekwando news, Ros tested for her brown belt last night! She's now edging closer to black, and she's now considered a Masters student. Which means her classes are now an hour, and she gets to train with the cool weapons, like sais and kamas.

    It also means she'll likely be going for her black belt the year after I do, which means I'll probably end up doing two years for the Saturday black belt training sessions, because if I'm going to take Ros, I might as well do the training.

    Here's me with Ros after the belt ceremony )
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    Things are a bit hectic (T minus two days to England!) so I've had absolutely no computer time for about the last week. But I did want to do a footie update before we head across the pond.

    We had our second soccer game on Monday night, and we won again! This time is was 2 - 1. I switched our positions so we have two defenders, two midfielders, and two forwards, and that seemed to work out really well.

    A few more players started to shine, but really, the whole team are solid. I suspect there's a loss in our future soon, but we'll enjoy the wins for now. I'm especially happy for Ros' two friends, C and E, who are on our team this year. They're both rather good, but last year were on a team that didn't manage a single win. They're chuffed we've won twice now.

    Ros and I had another footie event on Friday evening. I'd got us tickets to a friendly between the Canadian national women's team and England.
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    It was held in Hamilton, four cities over from Toronto (it's really one big metropolitan region) in their new football stadium. The stadium is really nice, but even with leaving ridiculously early to avoid the worst of rush hour it took us two and a half hours to get there, and another two and a half back.

    Crazy though the travel was, it was a fun game. The Canadian team won, 1 - 0, and I have to say there's really nothing like being in the stands when your team scores and everyone roars to their feet.

    Here's Ros looking pleased as punch to be at the game )

    I had bought a Canadian women's jersey for myself to wear to the game, but since it actually fit Ros (she's getting bigger! OMG!) she pinched it on me. Which left me to wear the England t-shirt I optimistically bought ahead of last year's World Cup. Fortunately, they were selling jerseys at the game, so I got Ros her very own Canada jersey, and then we changed there so we could both be Canada supporters.

    Here we both are in Canadian red )

    Usually there's a healthy contingent of England supporters when English teams play over here, but at this game I only saw three English jerseys in the stands the whole night. It was lovely to see such a wash of maple leaf red and such support for the women's team.

    In travel news, I think we're just about ready for England. I was getting a bit worried because our Take That tickets hadn't arrived, and then when I checked the Ticketmaster site on Friday they said they didn't even have them from the promoter yet. And when I tried to call on the weekend, I kept getting an automated message that said to call if you didn't have your tickets five days ahead of travel (I was trying to!) but that their call volumes were too high and they were going to disconnect me. (Nooooo!) After three days, I finally got through to an actual human being who arranged for me to pick up the tickets at the O2, so after much anxiety it all ended well.

    Work is bleeding stressful just at the moment (I'm fighting a migraine today that I'm pretty sure was caused by a combination of atmospheric and work pressure) so I'm going to be sooooo pleased to get out of Dodge and across the pond, even if only for a week.
    przed: (tt footie mark's feet)
    I got back from MediaWest last night in just enough time to inhale the dinner the Sweetie had prepared and dash off to the pitch for our first soccer game of the year. The games are now 7x7, on a bigger field, and using nearly a full-sized net. I thought the bigger goal might result in higher scores, but the need to run a bigger field seems to have evened that out. And I'm trying to really enforce positions this year--three up, three back at the moment, though I may move two to midfield--because otherwise they're going to kill themselves running up and down the field.

    We seem to have a solid team, with a few really good players, a bunch of really solid players, and one who's never played before and is a combination of really enthusiastic and a wee bit clueless. (One of my clueless first time kids last year turned into a killer defense player, so I have hope. *g*) They all seem to be nice kids, and so far the parents seem lovely too. Fingers crossed that all continues.

    Ros volunteered for goal in the second half, and then complained that she only got to touch the ball three times. The Sweetie and I pointed out that this meant the defense were doing their jobs.

    Oh, and we won! 0 - 2.

    As for MediaWest, it was a lovely, though rather more low key time than ever before. The registration is very much down, there were function rooms that barely got used for panels, and the dealer room is a ghost of its former self. Though I did get a fun t-shirt, "Sarcasm is My Super Power", because it totally is, and a Captain America watch, because Cap!

    But the main reason for going to the con has always been the people, and many of my favourite people were there. We had Pros panels and a Pros party. I attended a Big Bang Theory panel, that may have convinced me to give the show another shot. Maybe. (Hi, Krisser!) There was a visit to our favourite Mexican restaurant, Los Tres Amigos, followed by a viewing of Mad Max: Fury Road. Which is just as amazing as everyone has been saying.

    I've been saying this is my last MW, and barring a miracle I think that's going to hold, but at least I feel like I've gone out on, if not a high note, and really satisfying one.
    przed: (tt footie mark's feet)
    I booked a Harry Potter walking tour of London through Muggle Tours today. It runs from London Bridge to Leicester Square, so it'll cover some cool territory even without the Harry Potter thing.

    The Sweetie has taken to singing "My Patronus" to the tune of "My Sharona." He is evil.

    Finally saw Age of Ultron tonight. I liked it. Not loved it (at this point I think that would have taken lots of Steve moping about Bucky, and then him and Sam going off to bring Bucky into the Avengers fold, followed by lots of OT3 sexy tiems, but then that's why I read fanfic) but liked it a lot. What I did love was Paul Bettany as The Vision. And I thought Natasha and Bruce were sweet together. But I was rather annoyed that Jeremy Renner being a sexist ass on the Marvel promotional tour has rather soured me on Clint Barton's character, because Barton was basically a good guy in the film.

    I got Ros and I tickets to see a Canada v. England friendly match on the lead up to the women's World Cup. Still a little bitter that the world cup is in Canada, but Toronto doesn't get any games. WTF, FIFA?

    Soccer season is gearing up. I'm coaching Ros' team again this year, and I've drafted the Sweetie to be lineup guy again. He's even got an official coach t-shirt this year. I picked up the uniforms yesterday, and will be meeting the team and handing them out on Saturday morning. It'll be my fourth year coaching, and yet again there are no kids we know on the team except for three of Ros' friends who requested Ros as their teammate. (Getting the four girls on the same team is totally awesome, though. The club's head coach definitely likes us!)

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