Monday, January 12, 2009

Kicking off Betsy Appreciation Week

Here is the definition of a transient community: coming like the warm season, all joy and bravado; leaving on the humped back of a solitary traveler, all sadness, candor; some are never heard from again; others return, bearing newfound appreciation for what they left behind; others still barrack themselves with their memories in a land far away with only a blog and a bottle...

But one person alone in Beijing seems unbound by the mortal coil. She is our better half -- our comprehending eyes, our sense of humor. Without her we would be uprooted and scattered by the winds, maybe to the Siberian desert. We would become unmoored as a rudderless boat in the empty seas.

That person, of course, is Betsy. If you've ever played Frisbee in Beijing it's likely you've met her. And if you're a guy, then she's definitely met you. Hip, modern and sophisticated, among the most well-read people in the world, fashion-savvy, forward-thinking, cute and devilishly funny, she is everyman's dream girl, his aspirations and hopes for a prosperous tomorrow. As such, we thought we'd kick off this blog -- devoted to Beijing Ultimate and the community around it -- with a five-day celebration of the one person this community cannot function without.

We told Betsy about this and she was only too excited to get her voice on the record. Here's part one of two of an interview conducted last month:

First off, Betsy, thanks for taking time to sit down with us. How would you describe yourself in relation to the Beijing Ultimate community? To what extent does it define you as a person?
i think that i define beijing ultimate more than it defines me.

How did you get involved?
pending lawsuits make it impossible for me to answer this question at this time.

We know your knowledge of Ultimate is nonpareil, but have you actually played Frisbee?
you remember the team that beat you in summer league? that was my team. i scored the winning goal. i spiked it next to your head. you have a selective memory.

You've been around a while now, so I was wondering if you could tell us briefly how the Beijing Ultimate scene has changed from your arrival to now.
when i started playing utlimate here, there was one chinese player. his name was duncan. he was our token chinese player for about 3 years. then he got a girlfriend and we never saw him again. now there are lots of token chinese players, so that if one of them gets married, we have lots of other players to take his or her place.

chinese players, be sure to let your friends know that playing frisbee makes you more attractive as a mate.

How would you characterize the community?
inescapable. once you are a part of the beijing ultimate community, you can never escape it. just ask matt flynn. seriously, ask him. his email is he'd love to hear from you.

What is the best part of playing Ultimate in Beijing?
how fast the community is growing.

What is the worst part?
the people

What tournament do you hold the most fond memories of?
i think the best memory is: winning the 2004 singapore tournament, winning the friday night registration party, having the best costumes, coming in seeded 7th and going undefeated, guaranteeing to pat mccarthy before the tournament we would win the tournament no matter where the seeded us, all of these things led us to belief that this victory would be the first of many. and then streaking naked on the fields so that a number of our players could never go to singapore again so that we have never had the chance to defend our title.

The most memorable party?
quinn's thanksgiving day party, the one with the food fight.

Your favorite Beijing couple of all time?
david joiner and michelle

Your favorite Beijing player of all time?

Who are the best dancers in Beijing, male and female?
me and jim.

Are Jim and Joe half-brothers?
they are a 6th grade science fair experiment gone horribly horribly wrong.

Why does Sandy not like you? [Not you personally, you understand]
sandy is just jealous of you.

Why is Char so nice?
it's a cover. believe me, you don't want to see her when she gets mad. just ask jim.

Can Ken Su be my uncle?
there is a 38% statistical certainty that ken su already is your uncle.

How can I donate to the Free Happy Rat fund, for his impending arrest and house durance?
i can tell you how, but why would you want to.

Should foreigners in China know Chinese, or is that not necessary?
you mean chinese food? all you need to know is gong bao ji ding.

What's up with Doc?
he's old.

Is it true there's a guy named Boner in the Frisbee community? That's funny, isn't it?
only funny in an ironic way. i know this based on personal experience.

Now, it's no secret you get around. Some people say it's because you have low self-esteem, others attribute your reckless behavior to a dark, traumatic childhood, while even others say you're just a girl who likes to have fun. But I think it's something else. I think you have a special someone you're too shy to approach, so you act out in hopes of attracting his attention and proving to him -- and yourself -- that you're desirable. Who are you saving yourself for, Betsy?
i don't believe in saving myself. that's a patriarchial concept created by males who wanted to have a virgin on their wedding night.

Thank you for your time.

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