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On Friday I had another minor freakout. I spent the morning in an autopsy and after leaving work found out that Pittsburgh Boy hadn’t even left Pittsburgh. “We need to talk,” he said. He went on to say that even though he’s been fairly intense lately with us dating, he thinks we should take it slower, not throw titles around. I’m definitely not a titles type of girl, but my head started flashing back to PK. Four years of moderate dating with no titles thrown around? I couldn’t take that again. I told him that perhaps it would be best for him not to come then, that I didn’t want this just to become some stagnant relationship with no clear lines. Calmly, he told me to think it over for ten minutes and figure out what I wanted. I did want to see him, so I called back and told him to come before rushing back over to a crime scene.

The crime scene was, to say the least, morbid, so I handled it by meeting up for drinks with Gay Rower afterwards. We discussed how I needed to seduce Pittsburgh boy (hadn’t I already done that?) and what the outcome of the weekend would be. Another one of our rowing friends met up with us, and the two of them walked me back to my car. I picked up a cheesesteak and black and white cookies for Pittsburgh Boy, a nice welcome to the city. Over at the hotel I threw on boxers and a movie and opened a bottle of wine.

He got there twenty minutes later and I pounced. It felt so amazing to be back with him, so natural. There have never been any nerves, any uncertainties when we’re together. We took a quick shower and then curled up in bed talking for the night.

In the morning I took him to my hometown, where we had a fantastic brunch and then wandered the main street. He was infatuated with it, and raised his eyebrow repeatedly asking how long the train is to Philadelphia and wondering if they had his field of jobs in the city. We went to the local candy store, with jars upon jars of every candy imaginable, and filled up a bag of jelly beans and gummy worms.

We made a quick stop over at the races- College Roomie was there and things were tense with her, and I wanted to spend as much alone time with the boy as possible. We stopped by my house to grab Willa and I took him to the local park, which had a few miles of easy hiking and a spot for Willa to swim. We held hands through the entire walk and he stopped every so often to pull me closer to him. I really could not help noting how natural everything felt, as if this were our routine that we’d been doing for years.

We stopped by to drop the pup back off and (through devious planning on their part) my parents were there. I hadn’t wanted them to meet so early, wanted to give him and I time to develop before scarring him with my family. He got along well with them, was at ease answering their few questions, both sides teasing me at my insistance on leaving. And then my grandmother showed up. You see, my grandmother had made clear that she wanted to meet the man that I was holed up with for the weekend. The only way that would work out would be to trick me. Pittsburgh Boy handled it well though- while I was a general mess, he calmly talked about golf with my grandmother. I pulled him out of there as quickly as I could, ignoring pleas from my parents to stay for dinner.

Pittsburgh Boy asked to see our local grocery store- they don’t have this chain out in Pittsburgh and it’s actually very impressive. We walked through the rows of artisan breads and homemade desserts and chose a dinner of eggplant roullettes, stuffed shells, and cannolis.

Back at the hotel we settled in for a long bubble bath with glasses of wine- I’m by far not this type of girl but it felt nice to relax and just talk. He ran downstairs after and grabbed even more food from the restaurant- giant pub pretzels, spring rolls, and bruschetta- while I laid our spread out on the bed. I have not felt this relaxed or this happy in a very long time over something as simple as dinner on a hotel bed over intensely serious conversation.

In the morning I felt a pang of sadness knowing that I was getting this attached to someone who probably wouldn’t work out. Writing out directions for him to get home I realized just how impossible all of this is. We’re starting off our relationship long distance, and there’s a pressure for it either to continue like this or for one of us to move. It’s true that I’ve been interviewing for jobs there, but I’ve also been interviewing for jobs in New York and Iraq and Washington. I could never move somewhere for someone else, so at this point I’m just hoping that things work out.

Writing all of this out has really cleared up why he doesn’t want to place titles on us. It makes everything more definitive, makes us feel guilty if we don’t talk for a day or if we go a few weeks without seeing one another. But I know what it is- I’d rather drive the six hours to see him than drive five minutes to the local bar to see anyone else.

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Wow, the blog has really sat on the backburner. But between classes, my internship, and weekends down the shore life has gotten a little ridiculous.

The internship is exactly what I’ve always wanted. I’m technically not allowed to go into details about what I’m doing, but generally I’m working with fugitives, counterterrorism, intelligence, and homeland security. I’ll also be experiencing a bunch of other sides in this field. For instance, yesterday I got to sit in on an autopsy and do a few cuts. It’s incredibly interesting and a perfect fit for me.

The actual internship group is large, but there’s only one other guy in my unit. Our personalities match up, so it’ll make all of the grunt work (filing, organizing) a ton easier.

Between classes and the internship I’m fairly busy. I still manage to get down to the beach on the weekends- last weekend John, Mer, Rachel, Brian and I went down to Mer’s beach house. I’m not even going to go over Saturday night because I basically spent the night crying. It was horrible. But the next morning was great; I got up and went for a long, long run on the beach. On the way home I picked up breakfast for my hungover friends- egg and cheese sandwiches and donuts. We headed down to the beach afterwards, spent the day soaking up the sun, digging a giant penis-shaped hole (John called it the “cockpit”), and playing football. A guy a bit down the beach was fishing and caught a dogfish shark and I got to hold it.

OH! And Tennessee! I forgot to mention that entire trip. Between leaving my laptop in Virginia (hence the lack of posts), getting to the second hotel and finding a squatter in my room, and keeping 20 high school boys from running across the highway to the “Guns and Golf” store, it was hectic. We also had two major emergencies on our last day- one of our boats crossed the finish line (and won Nationals!) but one of the girls had a horrible asthma attack and was pulled from the boat and rushed to an ambulance. Another girl crossed the finish line and passed out, and was also pulled and rushed to an ambulance. I ended up running about 6 miles that day between the finish line, the docks and the ambulances. When I ran back over to the ambulance the girl was just waking up. I asked her if she was ok, she goes “Did you see my sprint?”

So really, have been ultra busy lately between the trip to Tennessee, the new internship, classes, and training for the half marathon (oh yeah, that too). But I’m sure I’ll end up with plenty of “my hands were in a body!” or “I got to see the best crime scene photos today…” stories.

I’m in scatterbrained-Caitlyn mode again, so of course that means everything’s going to be in list form again:

1. My coach wants me to race lightweight again this summer. Lightweight is 130 pounds; I’m currently 138 pounds. Rowing is largely about weight. When I was a heavyweight rower in high school my coach (the very same one I’m working with now) had me bulk up to 165. When I switched to lightweight, I went to 130. In college, when I started coxing (yes, that’s the term. No, it’s not perverted) I was between 115 and 120. I’m obviously not a natural 130 so it’s going to be a trying few months getting back to that for this summer’s racing.

2. I went with a new layout on here. I kept telling Peter that it was too dreary, too miserable. He refused to help me change it. It made me feel sad when I looked at my blog and I hated that. This, hopefully, it a bit more cheery. Does anyone know how to change fonts on here though?

3. I got the internship that I wanted. It’s unpaid, but I’ll be working at one of the most prestigious offices in the area with counter-terrorism, intelligence, and homeland security. The guy that I’ll be working under is a HUGE name in the field. I’ve also been asked to come and do a second interview with the agency in NYC.

4. In the past four days I’ve met two of the most beautiful men in the world. I went to a race with my friend Rach the other day and we were meeting up with her old coach. At one point I look over and see a guy that can only be described as “my type”. I nudged her and said, “I think I’m in love.” Rach laughed, and started frantically waving to him. “That’s P,” she said. I spent the next few hours drooling. The guy rowed at a D1 school, coached high school and then college afterwards. And now? He’s in the same field I am, working for a government agency. Rach couldn’t stop laughing as we talked about inter-agency tensions between the one he works for and the one I’m interviewing with.

5. The second guy is a coach at my boathouse. I walked up to my lightweight boat yesterday and asked them to get their oars down. None of them moved. None of them, in fact, even looked at me as I spoke. I followed their direct line of vision. “Holy crap,” I muttered. The stroke seat started cracking up. Now with rowing, the girls are supposed to keep their heads directly in the boat unless we tell them otherwise- it can ruin the balance of the boat if someone is looking out. Unfortunately, high school girls are predisposed to turn every time we pass a boys boat. “They’re not cute! Get your heads in!” I shout at them. I’m known for saying that. This guy? Is the exception. All yesterday I kept warning the girls when we were coming up on his launch so they could watch him. Their faces when he smiled and waved at me? And then when he walked up and started talking to me back on the docks? Kodak moment.

6. I’m trying to talk myself out of buying this dress. It reminds me of the dress Carrie wore in Sex and the City- you know, her “sex dress”. But I’m deadly in love with it. Please, someone, talk me out of it. Criticize it. Save my wallet after the other night.

 

This morning I woke up to an email in my inbox from my ex boyfriend, subject: “Can we talk about last night?” I haven’t read it yet mostly because I’m scared of what it’s going to say.

Last night had no intentions of being an ordinary night for me. My college roommate happened to be in town and I’ve only seen her at rowing events since college. (A quick disclaimer: the majority of my friends from college were either on the rowing team, had something to do with rowing, or I met them through other rowers. Several of them are still involved with rowing, either through racing themselves or through coaching.) My roommate and I (obviously) met through rowing- she was the manager and ended up helping with coaching. When we were roommates, we were dating two best friends from the guys team.

College Roommate actually came to visit my rowing practice yesterday and got to meet the freshies that I coach. We made plan when she left to call another rower and have him meet us for drinks. I called the guy, Gay Rower, who is exactly what his name states. He was openly and proudly gay, and he was in my boat during college. When I called him, he squealed and said “you girls can be my fag-hags tonight! Oh wait, is that derogatory towards myself?”

We all got together at a back-neck bar about ten minutes from my house. The first drink became our catching up: we talked about Gay Rower’s new boyfriend, we talked about College Roommates bad breakup last year and subsequent making out with my ex-boyfriend’s (her ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s) brother. They were wide-eyed when I told them that I hadn’t been with anyone except Pete since October. “But you’re a serial dater!” College Roommate protested. “Holy crap, you must really like him.” I shrugged and explained that it wasn’t going anywhere.

Another two rounds later, as Gay Rower started dancing in his seat, College Roommate’s cell phone went off. It was my ex-boyfriend calling, and three drinks in I was ready to talk to him. When she tossed the phone at me, he started telling me how much he missed me and that he hoped to see me at a race soon. He told me that he was coaching a high school program, just like I am. “Except my team would demolish your team on the river,” I pointed out. We hung up as the next round came, and I turned to trying to convince Gay Rower to do karaoke.

College Roommate’s cell phone lit up, a text message: “What’s Cait’s number?” A minute after she responded, my phone went off: “I really do miss you, I want to see you.” Meanwhile College Roommate’s was going off, with him asking her to bring me to visit him. She asked if he was serious, and he responded that us breaking up had been the worst decision of his life.

I started letting Gay Rower (who of course in a twist had a crush on my ex) text with the ex. I regretted that decision ten minutes later when he cooed, “Oh! He wants to tie you up!” College Roommate and I both grappled at the phone, her winning, laughing at the screen, and then passing the phone to me. I shrugged again and passed the phone back to Gay Rower just as College Roommate’s phone went off again. She answered, and passed it to me. “He wants to talk to you,” she said, winking.

I ended up outside on the phone talking to the ex for a half hour. Long enough that Gay Rower and College Roommate came out and grabbed me as they left the bar. We stayed on the phone while the three of us walked to the nearby 711, and as College Roommate ate a giant iced donut. College Roommate eventually grabbed the phone and said that we were getting ready to leave, so that he’d have to call me in an hour.

He did, at one in the morning. We talked about everything: college, rowing in college, rowing after college, life after college. We compared the programs we coach, the rivers we coach on, the boats we use, the rigging we have on the boats, the lengths and makes of our oars. In a rower’s world, this is the dirty talk.

And then he suggested that I come spend a week with him to scout his team. Plus, he said, he’s missed me and he hated how things turned out. When we hung up around four in the morning, he instantly messaged me. “I couldn’t say this over the phone,” he typed, “but I want to make it clear just how much I’ve missed you.” He listed the things that he’s missed about me, the mental, physical, and emotional characteristics. We talked for another forty-five minutes there until I pointed out that I needed to wake in the morning.

And so now the email. I’m not sure if I’m more scared of the idea of him saying more along those lines, or the idea of him taking everything he said back.

I can’t believe this weather lately. Yesterday it was sixty-some degrees outside- so warm that I refused to make my girls erg indoors. Our erg room is actually the converted locker room of the football field (not as sweaty as you’d imagine, plus we have lockers and a full bathroom) so I let the girls pull all of their ergs out onto the track to do their steady state piece.

“You should be able to talk to each other during this,” I explained, “but not so much that I have to take six Advil after practice.” I don’t know if you readers know this, but high school girls have the ability to chatter endlessly. These girls are hardly different; as I was coming back out from the erg room, I heard “But Patrick is soooo much hotter than Ryan!”

The girls quickly got bored of their gossiping and instead started talking about their latest erg competition, which had been delightfully scheduled on the same day as my boating certification class; needless to say, I didn’t get to be there. “You weren’t there, so we have to make you thinkthat you were!” one of the girls informed me. I faked a giant sigh, but in actuality I loved their excitment. I remember the bubbly feeling when I was falling in love with this sport. “Well I wish I’d been there instead of in that 8 hour boating course with all of the other coaches.”

One of the girls stopped erging, and I could see her brain processing what I’d just said. Her lips moved into a sly grin, and her eyes bore into me. “So then you met the new coach?” They have yet to meet this new guy, but I already knew where she was going with this. After gossiping and talking about crew, the next favorite thing is torturing me. I noticed that every one of them, even if they had previously been engaged in other conversations, perked up to hear my answer. It reminded of meerkats, if meerkats had side-swept ponytails, pearls, and could erg.

I admitted that I did meet him, and suddenly there was a barrage of questions. How old is he? What’s he like? But most of all, is he cute? And then one of the nosier ones asked, “so, did you get your flirt on?” She said it with such attitude that I had to laugh, which, I don’t know if you guys know this, translates loosely to “yes” in high school girl speak. And then: “Are you guys going to date?” and “Are you guys going to get married? You could get married at the boathouse!”

In actuality, I’d thought the guy had looked like a cocky ass for the first three hours of the class. He had that I-rowed-Ivy-League attitude about him, sunglasses flipped onto his forehead even though we were indoors. But on one of our few and far-between breaks we had gotten to talking about different rivers and the cockiness faded a bit. After five hours of the course, we were all getting stir-crazy. Head Coach was taking calls on his phone, ignoring the fact that the old lady was still teaching us the differences between sailboats, and the new coach had taken to shooting rubber bands at me.

Holing a bunch of rowers up in one room overlooking a river and talking about boats? Should be considered torture. We burst out of there, shoving our new licenses into our pockets, and then spent the next hour working on the engine of one of our launches.

With the girls’ comments, I tried to think back to whether the new coach and I had been flirting. And then I remembered when we were about to leave: Head Coach told me to be in the erg room at three the next day. “I’m free then too, I can go help her,” the new coach said. Head Coach eyed us suspiciously, and then said “If you’re free then, you can help me out at the boathouse. I’ve got to keep you two separated.”

…to sit in bed while a spring time thunderstorm rages outside.
…to move somewhere new, somewhere far. Djibouti, Cairo, even Oregon.
…him to stop seeing me as just another girl, to see me as his girl the way I see him as my boy.
…to hop on a plane to Texas to see my Meredith.
…to hop on a plane to anywhere warm.
…an apartment with white molding and walls painted blues and greens. And a purple bathroom, with hydrangea by the sink.
…a library with bookcases stuffed with books, and a warm leather chair in the corner.
…a flight to Denver to see my love Brizzle before she moves to Thailand next week.
…to be able to travel to Boston this weekend with my rowers.
…to get over this flu, and be able to run more than three miles without feeling nauseous.
…a pair of J. Crew Fulham heels from several years ago. I have dreams about those shoes.
…to never, ever be hit on by a married or relationshipped man again.
…to rock my interview (my third call back!) with this agency on Monday morning.
…a sunny, warm day so that I can get to water practices already.
…a pot of lilies of the valley in my bedroom.
…to end the fighting and arguing, him calling me crazy and me calling him a jerk.
….me to stop being crazy and him to stop being a jerk. In essence, for us to work out.
…a weekend in Atlantic City with all of my friends from college.
….the Phillies season to start up already! I’m impatient.
…a bowl of pomegranate seeds, fresh and cold.
…that brown sweater dress that fit me like a glove, and the gold belt on top.
…all of my favorite bloggers to stop going on hiatuses (I miss them!)

What do you guys want on this dreary, snowy friday?

I mentioned the other day about how I had an accidental slip up with my shirt coming undone at practice. I had been hoping that the incident would be forgotten, that high school boys would somehow forget that they had seen a woman’s breasts. Is that asking too much?

Apparently, it is. If anything though, it’s made the boys team like me a lot more. The following day we had a “Friday Funday” for the kids. They’d all PRed on their 4k and 6k tests, so we figured it was only fair to let them have a day of dodgeball, pizza, and homemade cookies. Head Coach and I picked up the pizzas and brought them back to the erg room, and when the kids came in- still sweaty from dodgeball- all of the boys sat in a circle around me. Head Coach couldn’t stop laughing. “You won them over,” he joked.

And this week has proved no differently. I covered the tail end of their practice last night after basketball practice, and the boys hit their rates the entire time I was there. Between each of their sets, they told me stories from school and joked with me. Endearing, really. Well, at least it was endearing until one of them hung his sweaty spandex into my coaching locker. “That’s his way of flirting,” the little coxswain noted. As if I hadn’t dealt with years of immature high school boys to understand that.

I pulled the spandex out and threw it so that it landed squarely against his face.

I’m going to be honest: Yesterday was one of those terribly, horrible, no good, very bad days. One of those days where you catch yourself chuckling while stuck in traffic because really, how does it all add up like this? And you start thinking of all of those idioms that people use, like when it rains, it pours. But I don’t want to write about all of the stupid people that made my stupid day, well, stupid. Instead, I’m going to mention two moments from the day that, while still horrible, were at least moderately humorous. OK, at least to my stir-crazed mind yesterday they were funny.

A bit of the back-story on the first: Just recently, a woman was killed in my general vicinity, and while they have a confession they have yet to find the body. I had literally just been reading an article in the Inquirer about it before heading over to crew practice. My schedule was supposed to be girls crew practice, boys crew practice, then driving over to a different school for basketball practice, but the head coach said that he needed me to stay and stick with the novices. I called Childhood Friend and told her that I wouldn’t be able to be at the basketball practice, but that I would run the basketballs over to her house. I got to her house and carried the giant bag of balls up to the front of her house. I saw a car slowing down on her street, the passenger staring at me. After a few moments I decided to just put the bag of basketballs into the shed next to her garage.

I walked down the driveway and opened the door, put the balls in, and was closing the door when I heard “Stop right there!” I turned around and saw the woman in the car that had passed earlier. “I’m calling the police!” she added, furiously grabbing at her cell phone. Now, Childhood Friend lives in the town I grew up in, a town where my friends and I would go over to each others houses and walk in the door. “I’m not breaking in,” I explained. I would have laughed, but her face was stricken with shock. “There was a body in that bag!” I felt instantly relieved, and smiled. She opened up her door, and said “I’m overreacting, aren’t I?” I told her that Childhood Friend and I coached basketball, and that the bag (which, by the way, could totally fit a body in it) was full of basketballs. The woman and I shared a laugh over the fact that she had really though I was stashing a body in complete daylight. “I guess the news is making all of us a little tense,” she said.

The second moment happened when I got back over to crew practice. The girls finished up their practice, and then the boys jumped on the ergs. The pieces we lined up for them were terrible, as yesterday had been their 4k and 6k tests. The running equivalent would be training by running 7 miles every day, and then one day switching over and running several 400 meter sprints as fast as possible and maintaining those speeds. The head coach came in and was shaking his head that none of the boys were able to hold their rates. “They’re not going to be able to hit them today,” he said before walking into the other room. 

I sat down in front of the ergs to talk to one of the boys about his form. The head coach came back in and was watching their ergs from behind him. I watched as his face lit up, and a few minutes later he mouthed they’re hitting them! to me. He looked absolutely confused- every single guy in the room was suddenly hitting their times and rates. But I realized none of the boys were actually looking at their ergs; they were looking at me. More specifically, my chest.

The head coach and I realized it at the same time- when I had crouched down in front of the erg my button-down shirt had opened and my pink lace balconet bra was completely visible. The head coach was cracking up, and I turned pink to match the bra as I scrambled out of the room. “At least we know how to motivate high school boys!” he laughed as I grabbed at my shirt.

Embarrassing? Yes. But at least it provided some humor to cushion the rest of the day.

The Interview was a bit ridiculous. It was in Philadelphia, and thankfully I arrived there fairly early and found the floor to get to. There was only one other person waiting, so I’m wondering whether they staggered the interviews or if my odds are that much better. The room I was interviewed in felt cramped, maybe because of the large desk with three people sitting behind it to interview me. The older man was fairly nice, told me that my suit was “impeccable”. The woman with hair in a tight bun seemed a little less so, as she daggered questions like “Why are you not finished with your graduate program yet?” and “Can you speak any other languages?” Considering that I am finished my Masters in a year and a half, I figured that she didn’t have the room to purse her lips at me. But she did. The younger man simply said that my knowledge of the Arabic alphabet and slight words was a good start, and kept his mouth shut for the remainder of the interview. I’m still not sure if it is a position I would take even if I were to get it. Iraq right now? It is a scary place.

The Game was against a team that has technically beaten the team in second place, but is in third place in our conference. The girls didn’t know this- we didn’t tell them. They were so excited in the locker room, they knew it would be a hard game. We got the first possession, Werewolf drove a layup and missed, and our defense looked amazing. They couldn’t seem to get through that defense all night. Unfortunately, their coach (who looked unmistakeably like Gary Busey and ended up acting similarly) screamed to press. The girls hardly remembered our new press break, but when we finally did it ended up to our advantage. Our strongest ball handler would get the ball right at the half, and with our tallest girl at the top of their key we’d have two of us on one of them. Gary Busey was the furious kind of coach, screaming and flailing arms. And spitting. Childhood Friend and I sat there, eyes wide, catching each others face and then cracking up.

I can’t even remember when it started- fairly early in the game. Childhood Friend and I had recognized the ref as being the one that our school district has problems with. He had kicked our friend out of a game once for standing up on the sidelines (coaches are allowed to stand) and then kicked out the assistant coach for having argued that call. It seemed like his reffing was worse today. When we were fouled, it was called on us. Things that no ref has ever called at this level (though perhaps at college or professional levels) was called on our girls. It was though his eyes were hawked down on us. Childhood Friend grinded her teeth and gave me the look that said she was just as pissed as me. Nothing was being called against them, and Gary Busey realized it. His girls started pushing a bit more, boxing out a little too hard. I started screaming, but apparently this ref was also deaf. At the half I led a group of my girls to the water fountain, and in passing heard their coach say “Go ahead and let them shoot- they’re just going to airball anyway.It didn’t help that their assistant coach was working their home book and the clock. At the end of the third quarter I had to pull in the refs and argue that she wasn’t putting up all of our points.

“That point didn’t count,” she said. I countered that she should realize, as a coach, that every time the ref holds up two or three fingers that the points counted. I was snarling, and finally the refs told her that she had to add the points. She didn’t back down, said that they had to follow what the home book said. I bit back that apparently the home book had no idea what the rules of the game were, and therefore we should follow the away book. The nice ref (thankfully he came over!) agreed. The points were put on the board.

There was nothing that could be done though. We were three points away and the ref (who, by the way, had a belt that was wayyyy too tight and cut his rather large midsection into two giant rolls) called the most ridiculous calls on us. I tried to argue, but he ignored anything I said. We ended up losing by only a few points. Though it must be noted that our JV won 22-2. Childhood Friend and I allowed them to keep scoring, as we were livid with the disrespect from the other coach and from the ref.

At least there was one funny part about the game: I followed behind the bus in my car so that I could drive to practice after- as we were driving to the school the path seemed really familiar. I texted Childhood Friend to see if she knew what the name of the school was. She wrote back that she had no idea. When we pulled into the parking lot I recognized it- it was the school that The New Guy teaches at! I haven’t spoken to him since New Years, and before that since late November. At the end it had gotten very awkward, so I ducked my head down as we passed the classroom that he worked in. I was relieved when we didn’t end up seeing him in the stands.

The Crew Practice was immediately after my basketball game so I sped over to it and managed to get there right before warm up. The guys had to do two 6ks, and most wanted to PR. I’ve been trying to work with the coxswain on his calls, but none of it seems to stick. He can’t do a coxing voice, can’t remember all of the calls, and says things like “take it down” or “take it up” without clarification. No matter what I say, he nods his head but then immediately forgets. At one point, he went to call a ten for one of the boys. I head him say “Power ten NOW…One……………..four.” I pulled him aside immediately, told him that if he was going to call a ten that he’d have to call every number. And that he couldn’t be looking around the room while doing it.

The majority of the guys PRed, and one said he’d never had someone cox him through a full 6k like that. I let them have a long rest before the second, which they used to try to bribe me out of their second piece. I wasn’t swayed, though I was a ton easier on the second piece than on the first. The (humorous) highlight of the night came when one of the boys pulled me aside as we were closing up the erg room, saying that he had a question for me. I was expecting a question about how to tape blisters, or how to drop a few more seconds, I think that him asking me to his prom by far the last thing I was expecting. Thankfully I didn’t laugh, but explained that as his coach, it wasn’t ethical or appropriate. He grinned, and thanked me anyway.

 I got a call this morning: I have an interview in an hour for a private sector company that, if I get the job, will be sending me to Iraq in the next year. I’d spend the next few months training in different subjects, including language. I’m terribly excited, but I’m also terribly afraid.

And I’m not necessarily sure that this is the path I want to be on yet. In fact, I really want to finish my Masters program first, which should be complete by next December. This is a position I’d want in two to three years, but I’m being interviewed for it now. I called Childhood Friend, who kept telling me to relax, that there is no specific guideline that I will have to follow to get where I want to go. “All roads lead to Rome, or the FBI”, she joked. Meanwhile I’m trying to keep myself breathing, going through double practices every day, three basketball games this week, and classes twice a week.

And as for the basketball team that hasn’t won a game yet? We came incredibly close with the number two team in the conference. We finally have a strong defensive shift, something that has taken them all season to get down. We would have had more of a chance if the girls could have remembered our press break. We’ve switched them over to an easier press break that has a triangle of girls under the basket, one at the half court, and our center at the top of our key. Hopefully they can remember it- I’m fairly sure that today’s team will be pressing.

Anyway, must head out. Will post later this evening about the events of the interview, the game, and the practice.