Thursday, July 26, 2012

city city city city.

has it really been almost a month since i last blogged?

why, yes, yes it has. oops. can i give you a list of reasons? sure i can.

1. i have an average of five appointments a week. don't worry. i'm fine. i think.
2. odd thomas. this is a legitimate reason.
3. work work work!
4. um. more odd thomas.

but this post is about city. which is work.

do you even know what city is? probably not. you're about to find out.

city in a nutshell is this: athreedayswimmeetwithseventeenteamsandtheresabigparadeanditssuperlongandsuperfunandyoudecoratecarsandstuff.


city is basically the biggest weekend of my entire life. like, bigger than anything i do at school.

theoreticaly, i have been a part of seventeen cities. realistically, i think i've done maybe... ten.

it's broken into four sessions.

1. eight and under session. friday night, three until eight.
2. fifteen and over and eleven and twelve session. six forty-five until noon-ish, saturday morning.
3. thirteen and fourteen and nine and ten session. noon-ish until seven-ish. saturday afternoon.
4. finals session. all ages that made it back for finals. noon until whenever the hell the meet gets done.

this doesn't count sunday morning. but i'll get to that.


so this begins with the twins (hannah and emma) and parker, our prep coach, coming over to my house on friday afternoon so we could carpool to southside, because it's a hefty trip. note that southside, the nicest pool in fort wayne, is in the ghetto.

parker and the twins arrive. emma and i paint parker's toenails bright pink. i mean BRIGHT PINK. we don't mess around. my mom stands next to me and croons about how cute parker's toenails are.

on the way to southside, we're sitting in traffic between two SVUs full of older, african american women. what are we doing?

blasting "single ladies" and screaming IF YA LIKE THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON IT

because that's what we do. we're dancing. parker is trying to disappear in my back seat.

aren't they cute? :)
as far as the friday night session goes, it's always decently stressful. it takes forever because every single person swimming is between the ages of three and eight. and yes, there was a three year old.

our eight and unders swam amazingly. a bunch of them dropped time and even made it back for finals, which is awesome, because they only take the top sixteen, and believe me, there were over 100 girls swimming the 25 freestyle.

emma and i spent a decent amount of time stalking ryan, who coaches arlington's little kids. he was at leigh-ann palmer with his toenails painted and wearing a pink bathrobe with puppies on it.

the life of a swim coach.

the only bad thing about friday night was the fact that brian was his normal pain in the butt seven year old self. we couldn't find him, and parker finally tracked him down up in the stands, where three of us had expressly forbidden him to go. like the west wing in the beauty and the beast.

he then slipped, fell, and almost seriously injured himself, like almost cracked open his head on the pool deck injured himself, and that involved five lifeguards, the natatorium director, and his babysitter.

if anything medically is going to happen to you, you want it to happen to you at southside. it's in the top five safest pools in the country.


the twins and parker arrive at my house at six ten in the morning. we load up into the twins' car and what do we do?

go through the starbucks drive thru.

ignore the blurriness. we were
rounding a curve.
we're wearing matching shirts. all four of us. hannah rolls down the window, leans out, and says, "we need four of the biggest java chips that you have with extra whipped cream, please." like this is the most normal thing in the world.

that was some damn good starbucks.

we get to the natatorium at six forty-five am. it's gonna be a long day.

i drink my starbucks way too quickly. i have to pee. we're not allowed on deck, so i use the bathroom upstairs where the parents are, and there's some orchard ridge parent in the stall next to me on her cell phone. i'm just doing my business and suddenly she's asking me if clinton and calhoun are parallel streets. and i'm like, yeah, clinton is east of calhoun, but they're parallel, and she's like, oh okay thanks, i'm giving this lady directions, and i'm sitting there like, uh, we're using the bathroom here. at seven in the morning.

the morning session was almost but not quite a nightmare. we had a large number of eleven twelve girls, and none of them made it back, but they sure had fun. the problem was, every other team (that's sixteen teams.) had a bunch of eleven twelve girls too.

the meet. did. not. end.

we were scheduled to end at noon and have warm ups for the third session be at twelve fifteen.

it's noon. we're still on backstroke. that leaves butterfly, IM, and the relays. oh, and there's another age group competing, too, don't forget the fifteen and overs.

at this point, my back is starting to hurt. a lot. a lot a lot. it hurt enough that emma and i snuck into the lifeguard locker room, raided their freezer, and got a bag of ice. i sat against a wall for a while, highlighting my heat sheet for the next session, and then it broke and dripped all over me. it looked like i sweated through my shirt. delightful.

around eleven thirty, hannah and i were hungry. lucky for us coaches, there's a hospitality room where you can walk in and basically eat anything that you want. last year i explicitly suggested vegetarian options, and so far all i had encountered for a main meal was a chicken wrap and some fried chicken, so that was upsetting.

but they had doughnuts.

you know those dunkin' donuts oreo doughnuts that are new?

i grabbed one.

i eat some cheese and pasta salad and hannah's going through results, and i start it on my doughnut.

absolute foodgasm.

hannah's sitting next to me and david (arlington's coach that i went to high school with) is across from me and they're talking to me about results, but all i can think about is how this doughnut is seriously the best thing i have eaten in my entire freaking life.

me: eskhrgkeushgkjdhgsg
david: emily. you're moaning.

um. yes. tumblrspeak employed in the work place.

oh, i forgot to mention, i've had "prince ali" from aladdin stuck in my head. the entire fuggin' day.

if you don't know that song, here it is, for your enjoyment.

i know.

so by three o'clock in the afternoon, the third session is dragging. we have a lot of nine ten girls, and they're swimming fabulously. but our coffee has worn out, and we've been here since before seven. we're getting reeeal sleepy.

and prince ali is melting my brain.

so emma and i start holding hands. we're popping up behind people (mostly david) and screaming STRONG AS TEN REGULAR MEN DEFINITELYYYYY like it's our job. every time we sit down, we wonder if we'll have the strength to stand back up. my entire life has become scratching events off my heat sheet and robin william's singing in my head.

around five, parker sits down with me and hannah and emma. and he decides to tell us a story about driving over here.

parker: so i was driving to emily's house and i saw a ferret.
this is the funniest thing that emma and i have ever heard. we are so delirious that we burst into laughter.
parker: so this ferret has a bird in its mouth, right?
emma and i are crying we are laughing so hard.
parker: so i'm watching this ferret cross the road with a bird in its mouth and then BOOM it's hit by a truck!
emma and i are literally on the pool deck, crying because we are laughing so hard.

i think you can agree that this story isn't funny. this is what city does to you.

i was instructed to go find my chiropractor's husband (who is also a chiropractor) to help time about halfway through the third session. i find her in the stands and she runs up to me and she's like, OMG EMILY IS YOUR BACK OKAY DO YOU NEED ME TO DO SOMETHING TO IT I CAN TRY TO ADJUST IT I KNOW YOUV'E BEEN STANDING ALL DAY ARE YOU GOING TO DIE

and i'm like, i just need your husband.


to keep it in your head while you're reading.

so. saturday is EXACTLY twelve hours long. i call my dad to tell him i'm on my way home. he hopes that i don't mind that they started eating dinner without me. it's seven at night and they just couldn't wait to eat their pizza. when i get home, my voice is gone and my dad doesn't trust me to hold my own plate.

i'm that tired.

we end up watching the little mermaid. i tried singing poor unfortunate souls and i sounded almost exactly like ursula.


sunday is full of fun activities that involve me picking up the twins and being at the pool at nine thirty. we're wearing our matching tank tops that we puffy painted ourselves. mr. nanna, my boss's husband, has like, surround sound in his escalade, and we're listening to party music. kids start arriving. we have a guy in a frog costume running around and dying of heat stroke. we're car decorating.

oooooh yeah.

after car decorating, there's dancing. and they start playing the macarena, and the twins and i are like, YEAH! NINETIES!

and the younger kids are like, what the hell is the macarena. 

it's a sad world that we live in.

most of the kids and the twins ride in a trolley all the way downtown. we parade our cars and i'm waving a flag out of my car. we get to southside and everything is completely parked up, and i parallel parked (go me!) and then it's warm up time, and then it's parade time.

parade time. seventeen teams. we all line up outside, we all dress up (one year sean was buzz lightyear. that was pretty sweet.) and we walk in and scream and hoot and holler and do our team cheer and this is what city is really about, it's about getting together and having a fun meet with all the other summer teams.


and thank god avalon didn't do their cheer that they've been doing since i was little. because that damn cheer will get stuck in my head all day and i already have the macarena in my head. i'd rather have prince ali.

after warm ups, the meet begins.

and let me tell you, we swam like bosses. it was our best city performance in a long, long time. and it was extra super fun.

my feet were soaked. they were tired. my voice was absolutely gone, but does that stop me from screaming and sounding like a dying pneumonia patient?

no, of course not.

when the meet was over, the twins and i sat on a bench, holding hands, completely dazed. and then we cried a little bit.

it was a good weekend. we had four kids take firsts in finals, and our relays were outstanding.

my voice still hasn't sufficiently recovered. but that's okay.

so now my job is over and i have another year without the most stressful weekend of my life. hoooray!

now here's some stuff i forgot to mention.

1. muffin smuggling and stuffing.
2. emma seeing jesus in the heat sheet.
3. me reading CCST as something completely inapproriate in my delirium.
4. various crying over ankle bracelets being banned.
5. me stuffing my face with olives because that was all that was left in the hospitality room.

those were some fine olives, by the way. very fine olives.

i didn't do this justice.

but nobody can ever do city justice unless you go and experience it. city is a once in a lifetime experience.

i've just gotten to experience it every year since i was four. :)

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