Hawaii 2003: Sparky Crashes the Invitational
By Darla Burns
For my dad.
Straight from the suitcase to the storage room go my linen pants, Uncle Wierdy flops, and swimsuits for hibernation through the winter months. Fortunately I was able to delay putting them away for the second year in a row thanks to the most anticipated lacrosse tournament of the year-the Hawaii Lacrosse Tournament. This is a tradition that I started last year as a vacation for myself after running the Baltimore Marathon. The flight was a nooner, and I was recovering from a Ravens' Halloween party the night before, so I was amped for the zzzz's I was about to catch on the ten hour flight I had ahead of me. My hopes fell short when I was placed right in the middle of a fairly rotund man and a mother with her baby. The baby was cute until he took his "my ears are popping" aggressions out on me. So I was left with one option: watching Finding Nemo. The movie was great. But when a very unattractive character with braces was introduced I had enough. Her name was fittingly entitled, Darla. So I switched channels for a bit and corrected this bad time by ordering a slew of Bloody Marys and listening to Kenny Chesney. It was all good.
I finally arrived at the Ohana Village where the Crease Monkeys were staying. The first person I see you ask? Meet Mark Breier. Breier is a Salisbury alum and occasional Rancid concert go-er with the shiners to prove it. He enjoys long walks on the beach quoting lines from Crank Yankers, (even though he's never caught an episode) and pink alcoholic beverages with pretty garnishes. Yaaay. Already and obviously intoxicated, he came to play. I bee-lined it for bed, cause while it was only 9 p.m. there it was already 2 a.m. in Baltimore. The next day I juiced up and hit the beach. I wasn't sure whether people were wearing sunglasses because the sun was so bright or because I was so bright white. I don't care how good or bad your body is, a tan just makes the world of difference. I made the mistake of jumping in head first by lubing myself up with Oil, SPF negative 12. Fortunately no one got hurt. But because I was so burnt, I was unable to lift Mai Tais to my mouth. With my McIver-like instincts, I decided to cut out the middle man and just lean in and put the mouth on the straw.
That night, I was freshly tan and ready to rage. We all headed to Jay Moore's house who had us all over for a spread you wouldn't believe including fresh caught raw tuna, meats, pasta, and on and on. With an incredible view, great weather, and great people to be around, one might say I had an epiphany. Josh Bergey had me rollin' along with other onlookers as he sang funny songs and some you know by heart. Anyway thank you Jay for your amazing hospitality. After that we decided to go to what would be our local hangout for the week, The Irish Rose Saloon. The bar doesn't shut down until 4 and if you're lucky, you might be able to play an instrument or two with the band. Kinsley and I had the honor of being egg shakers for the night. They are plastic eggs filled with sand so when you shake it, it sounds like maracas. I called them the rump shakers. "Ghetto" one might say, but if you ask me - Fabulous. As usual people were all over the place, and I misplaced my credit card. I have to take this time to thank my older brother, Pipo for wiring me money in my time of turmoil.
The next day, Robin Coveleski, Kevin Travis, Ed Fay, Darah Ross, Stas Kotula, Mark Breier and myself headed to the North Shore. Ed rented us a randy minivan that I am amazed survived the road trip. We decided to take the scenic route but I was unable enjoy the view because my ears were screaming. Kevin Travis was yapping away and when he wasn't yapping he was singing. I know, I know, the pot calling the kettle black, but lemme tell ya- I couldn't get a word in edgewise. After the long drive we were finally there and it was like a scene out of Blue Crush. STOKEY DOKEY! Robin hit the North Shore and ripped up the 100 feet barrels (I'm trying to use surf lingo, but it's not working is it?) with grace. Robin's special. And I don't mean "wear a helmet, Darla" special. I mean like a great person special.
Sparky with E-Lacrosse Photog John Strohsacker
So Travis and Ed rented these boards and after pulling teeth, I decided to borrow KT's and see what damage I could do. I figure, hey I snowboard. This should be cake. Well I didn't even get to see. Why you ask? I'll tell ya. I paddled out for like a mile until I was finally where I needed to be. After paddling around a very large rock, I anticipated my first wave. When I noticed that the rock, which had a circumference of about 9 feet, was in fact a sea turtle, I wasted no time paddling back to shore in thirty seconds flat. Now I know that sea turtles are supposed to be friendly, but where I come from, if the turtle is too big to hold in your hand then you better keep it away from me. I don't play that.
Some of the Japanese players borrowed our uniforms
After a long, but fun day, everyone got ready for the Halloween Party. I spent $60 and a lot of stops at Vintage Stores to come up with my outfit, only to fall asleep at 9 and completely miss the whole thing altogether. So, because I will probably use this costume for next year in Hawaii, I will withhold any information to my demographic as to what this costume might be. Next year cats. Apparently I didn't miss much because word on the streets is that it was such a process to get to this party that people either didn't go or bailed early. Breier, Travis and two others decided to be the Flinstones, but didn't have anywhere to go. I have to tell you, the image of Breier dressed like Fred Flinstone sitting at the hotel bar downstairs with his entourage is without a doubt making me chuckle as I type.
The next day was the first day of the official tournament. It was a good day for Crease Monkeys and Crease Monkettes - both teams were undefeated. The Crease Monkeys went on to win the whole tournament after defeating a very strong Long Island Jesters squad. This game was fun to watch and Eric Miller deserves an award for his stellar performance. A lot went on in this game with heated battles and fights, controversies and all the while I had three chicken burritos in one sitting! After the first day of the tournament, we watched the Outrigger Races and basked once again. I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Despain and Ryan Turnbow from A&M who were convinced by Blair Allison to cut school and head for Hawaii. That night we all decided to have dinner at a local fish restaurant that was amazing. Heather Bentley, who by the way is still in Hawaii as I type this, Darah Ross and Charlene Stout intrigued us with their stories about New Zealand and how amazing it was. After several bottles of wine and great sashimi and oysters, we hit the Hard Rock. Chad Wittman, Aime Cannes and I escaped the line for drinks and the techno strobe light and bolted. I am a big fan of pubs and bars, Aime is a hoser from Canada, and Chad, well he just wanted the same thing we all did, a drink. Eventually we made it back to our old stomping ground, The Irish Rose Saloon and the hotel bar, and the rest is history.
The next day was the last of our nights of partying so we did it right. We hit up Duke's and enjoyed wonderful food and a fabulous sunset. Every Sunday at Duke's is their signature deck party, so we took it all in. That night we got ready to go to my favorite bar next to Duke's in Hawaii. I took pictures with another guy called Sparky, cut a few rugs and by the time last call was announced, Fay had gathered all the troops and we literally sprinted out the door to hail a cab. We all learned our lesson from last year when there were no cabs around and everyone was tipsy. Not fun. I am actually working on a proposal that wherever there are cab stands, there should be full bars present. That way everyone can enjoy some concoctions while waiting. I'm telling you, this one's got potential. We soon made it back to Kelly's, of course, and by 3 am I was spent. I threw in the towel and said bye to everyone, the bar, and Hawaii and itself, 'cause it was officially over. Once again, this was a wonderful tournament, and again, I had the time of my life, if you can do that twice.
After this tournament I asked a Northwest Monkey and Barbary Coast player to be my on-site freelance reporter of the new A&M tournament the weekend after Hawaii. Many Monkeys participated in this event, and my man Blake is on location with this report:
for costumes. But that's really our maid in the black.
Sparky, Sadly enough, the mischief was at an all-time low with the Barbary Coast boys in Texas. The brothers Kim were both nursing some nasty colds from the Hawaii trip so there are no twin-swapping stories to share with you, not that that's ever happened.
Mark Breier managed to hitch himself a youthful cowgirl, and a couple of girls from this year's Mardi Gras tourney showed up from Houston to root for the famed 'Barbary Coast pretty boy pair', PJ and Jed.
Billy Curtis hooked us up with some sweet Rebel Lacrosse Wear gear and finally, Joey High was up to his typical antics on the lacrosse field - very dramatic, yet very entertaining.
Back to you, Sparky.
Thanks, Blake, but, um, who won? Well, he's new. Time to sign off and head to the Charm City lacrosse party! See the pictures here! I'll be back next month with something fun for ya!
This is Sparky as always signing off by saying Mahalo!
Photos by John Strohsacker
PREVIOUS SPARKPLUG COLUMNS:
Sparky in Ocean City
Sparky's Final Four
Sparky Storms into Jersey
Sparky @ Mardi Gras
Sparky in Philly