Sunday, November 30, 2008

I don't think all Asians look alike.

A few weeks ago, an article about Betty Kozai and her family of curlers appeared in the Seattle Times. Said article can be found here: .

That same weekend, I volunteered for an open house at the Seattle Granite Curling Club. I volunteered as the greeter and assigned guests to the available groups. As I assigned people to their groups, I received the occasional comment "Hey, you're in this weekend's paper!!" Only to reply, "No, that wasn't me."

This weekend our club hosted the Seattle Granite Cashspiel. I was looking forward to saying Hi to Bart Sawyer, a drop in instructor from the Four Foot Training Camp last summer. We dropped in on Friday, just in time for the 2:00 pm draw. Bart's team was playing against Beighton on sheet 1. The team that Emily Good was playing on was sheet 2. Emily also had attended Four Foot.

I took a few photos, and noticed sometime in the middle of the game, they had a short conversation with each other. Emily pointed up at the windows, Bart looks up, I wave at them, and Bart and Emily wave back. Last night, I was talking to Emily, to find out that Bart had thought she was ME!! LOL. Bart started talking to her about all of the photos I uploaded on Facebook. Hence, her pointing out that I was the one watching the game behind the glass. It was very amusing to see the tables turned.

Just for the record, here is a photo of Emily and myself. Emily ->Half Japanese. Cyndy (Me) -> Full Chinese. No relation.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Black Friday

Woke up at 4 am today (I'm a total crazy head).

I went to the Bellevue Old Navy, and picked up 3 pairs of jeans for $50. I got there early enough to get their free MP3 player. Not that I wanted or needed it. I'll probably end up donating it, as I have an iPhone and a nanopod that I use.

From Old Navy, I walked over to Circuit City. Circuit City wasn't nearly as crowded as last year. Last year, after the store opened, there were still lines wrapped around the building. I contemplated getting a couple of DVDs and another thumb drive, but the lines to check out were way too long.

I walked from Circuit City to Sports Authority, and picked up a new pair of tennis shoes for $50.00. When I drove past the store in the morning, they had a small line outside. The store was fairly empty when I was looking around.

From Sports Authority, I went to Joann's and rummaged around all the crafts and fabric. I picked up a little fabric, that I hope to work with tomorrow. Afterwards, I made a disappointing trip to Macy's - they didn't have anything, and then to Kohl's. I picked up a few items, including a couple of zip up hoodies.

I drove up and took a luxurious 2 hour nap, before going the the curling club to watch the 2:00 pm draw for this weekend's Cashspiel.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Deadspiel, a movie about zombies curling.

Stumbled across this via Google.

Deadspiel, a movie about zombies curling recently debuted in the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

All I can ask is, "When does it play in Seattle?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Name is Bruce...

All of these cool events popping out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, I can't go having committed myself to becoming competitive in curling.

This is a film produced by Bruce Campbell, actor in the famous series Evil Dead I, II, and the sequel Army of Darkness. He'll in in town Dec 12th at the Varsity with a Q&A.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two seconds of fame

This evening, at 9:5o pm, there was a quick blurb about the annual 2008 Seattle Granite Curling Club Turkey Shoot on the local Q13 Fox station. A quick clip showed me delivering the frozen turkey before heading to commercials. After that, there was a cameo from Doug K. Some footage of Jeremy and Barry sweeping, and then of Barry and myself sweeping.

The winners, Chris Pleasants, Jeremy Dinsel, and Barry V were all shown together. A cute side note was made about (Jeremy) the guy who took 2nd place picking the wine over the frozen turkey.

Evergreen Interleague Spiel 2008

This past weekend was filled with curling for me. I think I spent maybe 10 hours away from the Seattle Granite Curling Club. I spend so much time there, I wonder if I should change my mailing address.

Friday night, was regular league night. It is comprised of Darryl P, Jon W, my husband Jeremy D, and myself. I played an okay game, Jeremy played fairly well, and our skip kept us in the game to win.

We lucked out and ended up in the late group for the Evergreen Bonspiel. After dropping my beagle off at daycare at 8 am, everyone in the house got ready to grab breakfast at a little breakfast nook in Bothell. Biscuits with sausage gravy is always a favorite.

We got to the club in plenty of time before our noon draw to socialize, get dressed and warm up. Our mentors Ken Mabbatt and Leslie Frosch came out to watch, critique, and get some stats for us. My women's team was comprised of the skip: Gabrielle Coleman, 3rd: Beth Coffin, 2nd: Sara Skulec, and Lead : myself, Cyndy Eng-Dinsel. We not only won our first game at noon, we also won our 4 pm game and our 9 pm game.

Definitely some ego boosting with the three wins. I felt like the 2nd game was my best game, but Leslie said that my percentage was the best with the 3rd game. The criticism that has been haunting me for the last couple of weeks is my in turn is really off, and was in full force this past weekend. I did manage to work on it and felt a little better by the 4th game. However, it is definitely something in the front of my mind that needs to be worked on. We came away with 3 wins and a tie. Pretty good for our 3rd bonspiel together.

As Leslie said, Skip, 3rd and 2nd can all throw 80%, bu the Lead MUST throw 90% or better. I have lots of practice in front of me to get to 90%. Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, and the Seattle Cashspiel is in town. I am going to rest up until my Monday league game, and try to get some other kind of exercise, to let my muscles get some rest.

Jeremy played the same time I did, so I only have a couple of photos of random people playing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too much curling?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been getting headaches on a regular basis. At first, I thought they were caused by changes in my eyesight. The headaches have especially been flaring up when I've been at the curling club, while I have been playing.

Last week during Monday league, I got there early to throw a few rocks. Three rocks later, I had a headache. I got off the ice, had a few Advil, and had my team mate work on a tight spot on the back of my neck.

Thursday afternoon I went to the club to throw some practice rocks. With my third rock, I practically saw stars. Instant migraine. I went home and slept. It hurt so bad, it eclipsed my elation at receiving my new Balance Plus 3oos with the 1/4 inch slider. It also managed to overshadow my irritation at receiving a right gripper for my left sliding shoe. Grrr.

Friday I made an emergency trip to my LMP (License Massage Practictioner) to get my neck worked on. Turns out, migraine was caused by tension in the neck area. I still feel bruised by the work needed to open that area up. To fix that problem, I am doing lots of stretching for my neck, before, during, and after my games. I also have a heat pack that I purchased (and now spend time fighting with my husband as to who gets to use the heat pack). I will also probably start going to the gym, to do a little cross training, work the opposite muscles and such.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Curling practice and a draw.

Yesterday, Ken M came out and worked with my team on release point. We spent just under 2 hours working on it. I spent almost all the time working on my in turn. I'm just not comfortable with it for some reason.

Mike C was supposed to come out and practice with Jeremy, but bailed on him to watch the Masters. Sadly, there was no email notification or phone call. Jeremy would rather have stayed in bed. However, he did take some video of us, which was very helpful.

There wasn't enough time for me to run home and back after practice, so I was going to hang out until Jeremy's Mixed Doubles league finished. Jeremy's team was playing the Pleasants.

Luckily, I managed to snag a ride home with Derrick. We grabbed a late lunch at Pen Thai. Pen Thai, as always had tasty food. Yum, Phad See Iew. We spent the entire time talking about my favorite subject: curling.

I managed to get 2 loads of laundry done, wash some dishes, and hang out with Gravity before Jeremy got home. Heated up some leftovers for him, and then watched most of an episode of Numb3rs.

In the evening, our team played Derrick's team and we won, 8 to 7. We started off well, and then missed 6 shots in a row to give up 4. As my skip said, my in turn is still weak and wonky. I will continue to work on my in turn and the come around shot for the next few weeks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Practice, practice, practice

I turned down 3 requests to sub last night, and one offer to join today's Thursday afternoon game.

I'm playing lots of games and not practicing enough. It allows my bad habits to continue or get worse, and not get any better. Because of this, I decided to spend today practicing.

I started off by asking my Sunday night skip, Mike Calcagno for things he'd like to see me work on. He came back with a lengthy email, which boils down to working on my in turn, which is much weaker than my out turn. He also mentioned to work on my come arounds (drawing around a guard).

My husband also chimed in that I've changed my delivery (not for the better), and that I needed to get back to basics.

I made sure to get back to the basics. Put my rock in front of the house and clean the rock. Put my foot in the hack, line it up with the broom. Bend down, knee in front (lined up with the rock) over the rock. Slider foot heel lined up with the toe of the foot in the hack. Small forward press(rock forward, foot forward), rock back, foot back, rock forward, foot forward.

I threw 40 rocks, 36 of them working with my in turn. I then spent about 10 minutes working with my balance. Sliding out of the hack without a broom or rock, and then 5 of Leslie's angels.

Ended my practice on a positive note. I felt like my in turn is better and my delivery on my in turn much more stable.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumnspiel 2008

Autumnspiel 2008! What an event we had this past weekend.

It was the 2nd time my women's competitive team played together. We're starting to learn how to work with one another as a team. There are still years of work and learning in front of us.

We won our 1st game as a team at the Friday 8 pm draw against the McBrooms. I was almost taken out when a broom came flying in front of me from sheet 2. I was in the middle of sweeping when I got a blur out of the corner of my eye. I jumped over it and continued to sweep. It was amazing that I didn't fall down or burn the rock.

Winning our first game, put our next draw at 12:30 pm Saturday, against the Richards. It was a valiant effort, but eventually the Richard were victorious against us. We played well against them, and the Richards went on to take first place in the A bracket.

We had the unfortunate luck to pull the draw right after dinner, playing the Melton rink. Its never fun to play on a full stomach. We all tried to eat light in preparation. It was an entertaining and distracting game. Jeannie subbed for one of their players who had been drinking too much. He sat at the window watching us. In the beginning, he would rate us on our shots, plastering paper that said +10 or -10 against the glass. I also saw a line of people doing the wave.

Near the end of the game, there was a large crowd watching us on our sheet. Not a death match, so why so many people? When a few people came to change the keg, we discovered the answer. They were betting on who was going to win. Saturday evening, 6 pm draw, the Coleman rink (yay team!) won their second game. We apparently also disappointed someone who needed us to throw our last rock (hammer).

Sunday morning, our fourth game was at 8 am. We played and lost against my husband's team. I won't candy coat it. I was very disappointed in our loss. It wasn't close. We didn't play as well as I had hoped. Jeremy's team had a very good shooting percentage and a much better strategy.

Jeremy's team went on to play 2 more games on Sunday before losing to the Radmer rink in the final C bracket game. That game was fun too watch, and it was a very close match.

By the time our Mixed league game came at 6 pm, I was very glad that t was Jeremy and not myself that had played 3 games previous.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sub anyone?

It's a good thing I'm only playing in three leagues (Sunday mixed, Monday and Friday social). Being available to sub on other days makes me very popular.

We're not even in our first full month of the season and my inbox is being pinged left and right. I subbed for the Women's league yesterday, on Marj Y's team. Amazingly, I was asked by three different teams to sub last night.

I've been asked to be the 5th (wo)man on one team, a perma sub on another/joining the women's league. Last week I was a sub for the Thursday afternoon league. The week before that, I came back from a bonspiel in Langley BC to sub in the Mixed Doubles league. I love being a sub, but I need to spend some time just practicing. I have many things to learn and improve on. The hardest thing this year for me to improve on, may be in saying "No."

Last season, the only time I ever said No was when I was already subbing. Which meant I participated in quite a few back to back draws in the last couple of months. This season, unless I playing in a bonspiel, I'd like to keep it to just one draw an evening.

We need to get the word out to have people sign up for subbing. And for them not to be afraid if its their first year. How else will they get experience? Or meet all the other great people out there that can only play in one league on a regular basis?

I am trying to step up to the plate and help out with curling outreach as much as I can. Sometimes its as little as mentioning that women's 'competitive' practice is open to all the women in the club (part of your membership, no additional fees). Other times its getting on the ice a little earlier and working with someone on their delivery. I tend to want everyone to be as excited about curling and to enjoy it as much as I do. Which of course, is tough, because, as you all know from reading my blog, I'm obsessed.

Anyways, time for some sleep. I hope to visualize myself coming out of the hack at least 10 times before I fall asleep......its all about the basics.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

US Women's Nationals/2010 Olympic Trials Qualifiers

Today, my women's team registered online for the US Women's Nationals/2010 Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Now that the paperwork has been filled out, it seems so close.

We're only in the first half month of the season. My women's competitive team has been to one bonspiel, has one coming up next weekend, and another one two weeks after that. January is just around the corner. There was a brief moment of panic, that I am not getting enough practice in. I'm just not sure where I can fit it in.

A great article came across my Google Reader feed:

Lots of visualization and sports imagery to come.

Space Travel Supplies?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween 2008, Friday Night League

While my Friday night team lost their game, we had a great time looking at everyone's costumes.

Learn to pebble

Yesterday, Jeremy and I attended the Learn to pebble class, taught by Doug Williams and Joe Fox. There were 8 of us that attended. 4 women : Linda C, Christina, Katie M, and myself. There were also 4 men. Jeremy, Ethan, Jon W, and a man whose name I don't remember, but he plays on Monday night.

It was a very interesting class. Pebbling takes quite a bit of coordination. You have to walk backwards carrying a 30 to 40 lb container of hot water and ensure that your arm moves back and forth faster than you walk. Also to keep the nozzle above the water to keep it from spraying all over the place. There is no on or off switch.

We all had a great time and it was a fun learning experience. I wish there was more time to practice. I also wish it was easier to avoid feeling self conscious.

Here are some photos.