Monday, March 30, 2009

Sitting on the Q... Bored... and Angry

So apparently not posting for a week discourages some of you. I just spent an afternoon freezing in the back of a HUMVEE and then next to a lake and then next to a wall and back in a HUMVEE and although I was somewhat warm on the way back I had to endure two 180-lbs men distribute their weight across my legs which really hurt my knees... regards to the posting late, get over it.

There were a lot of funny insults and "that's-what-she-said" phrases exchanged today. We pumped up the zodiacs, but the water temperature was too cold to actually get in the water, so we actually didn't do much. Somebody broke an oar and there was a little bit of yelling but not on our team. We were all high on our misery and cursing the cold in good fun. I was laughing most of the time.

Today was actually not a bad day. I woke up a tiny bit late for the CCQ shift (which I am still on by the way), but the person who woke me up was my roommate's work-out buddy so I had time to literally throw on as-for-class and stagger to the Q desk in the hallway and scribble my name on the log sheets. I was good to go, and having fully woken up I proceeded to study for my Jurisprudence WPR and for the Econ Writ. I had a friend in company cover the Q for me during 2nd and 3rd hour and was able to fulfill all my academic requirements.

Lunch was funny as well and we played the "What are you bringing to the party?" Which turns out is just a trick with first and last initials and the most outrageous things you can think of. I ended up saying Alcohol and Legitness. Pretty sweet if I don't say so myself.

Three weeks until sandhurst and quite frankly I don't feel ready. I don't even feel ready for the APFT tomorrow... and I'm nervous all over. I just feel prickly and negative and out of breath whenever I run up the stairs or short distances during practices. I hope it's just a mental thing. No, I pray.

Today the TAC asked me what position I would want next year, and I said I was entertaining the idea of Military Development Sergeant, and he replied that I would do good at that... or the Physical Development Sergeant. Neither is a slacker job, although I think I'd rather be military development sergeant (MDS) because they have access to more opportunities I find cool like the indoor electronic range and helping organize our military training. I feel like I could totally get into that. Still... I suppose it's one of those be-careful-what-you-wish-for things. For now, I'm still just totally psyched that our TAC even asked me, and not in a mocking, pompous way just sort of throwing it out there curious about my input. It seems our TAC NCO is also benign towards me. I haven't had to do some of the ridiculous tasks he's given to some of my classmates. I wonder about that, if it's something I'm doing right or just blind luck.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quick Recap of Spring Break

Well I don't really know how I feel right now so I'm not sure whether to write philosophical, straight-forward, or snarkily. However, I have been separated from regular computer access for a while now and I feel an urge to write something. Additionally, there is A LOT to write about right now.

Spring Break was very fun, I am extremely happy to have experienced a cruise. I am also fairly certain I will never do another one for a very, very long time. The problem that arose with me was that we didn't really get to experience either of the places we visited. I think experiencing the cruise and the resort were what I really did more than anything. The whole theme of this trip was new experiences for me.

I swam, actually swam in water that was deeper than me, into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Miami. I could not believe my boldness. With my ex swimming besides me and goading me further though, I actually did what I thought I would never do and swam out into the open ocean. I was amazed and I wasn't even wearing goggles. The saltwater was intimidating to me but thank goodness the waves were gentle and I saw absolutely no sea life at all on that swim and no algae or seaweed brushed against me making me freak out. I was beaming with happiness when I came out of the water.

In Key West we had no time for the ocean, because we got a somewhat late start and we wanted to get back to the boat on time since it was leaving at 1400 hours. Instead we walked the town to discover that all it sold was excursions into the sea that would have taken too long, alcohol, tobacco, trinkets, and sea peculiarities. We ended up accidentally watching a planetarium with overt religious themes. Someone very religious put together a planetarium that is accurate, but also included his views that the world is approaching the end and included a whole section about the book of Revelation. I was a little bit speechless by the end of it.

In Cozumel we snorkeled, which was another adventure. I was happily swimming along and my ex was like a little boy completely zooming off on his own to the deeper water. I was happy in the ten to twelve foot water and even approached the edge of the tiny drop off within the buoys. In the middle of my snorkeling though, while I was still congratulating myself for getting over so many of my fears of the ocean, I saw something different than the other fish out of the corner of my eye. All the fish I had seen had been wiggling around at the bottom, this way and that, nibbling on rocks and a few were swimming in schools. This fish was sitting on the bottom, just letting the current hold him in place. This fish was silver and still. I was relatively close to it, above it so like 10 ft, but also a little to the left and it was closer to the shore than me. A second glance and I saw it was a barracuda and it was facing towards me. I held up my camera figuring for a split second if I was going to die I might as well take a picture. Then I stopped because the camera (an underwater disposable one) wasn't wound. Then I started to hyperventilate in my snorkle and tried to swim backwards while moving as little as possible. I then turned towards the shore and keeping an eye on the barracuda as long as possible I swam towards the shore. When I finally had to tear my eyes from it, I swam much faster kicking as efficiently as I could, as smoothly as I could. I held on arm on my stomach which I felt was vulnerable and used the other hand to hold my camera above the water to keep the lens from glinting in the water. I made it to the rock that marked the shore and stood on that regaining my breath and my courage. My ex asked me what had happened and I told him between gasps,

"I... saw... a... barracuda."

He gave me a skeptical look,

"Do you even know what a barracuda looks like?"

We squabbled momentatirily and then I led him back to the spot where I saw it and it was still there. My ex popped out of the water took off his snorkle and gave me this surprised half scared half excited look,

"Oh my gosh, it is a barracuda!"

I wanted to punch him in the face, but in good humor. That was the end of that adventure.

After our cruise we stayed one night in Fort Lauderdale and I took my ex on his first ride on a public bus. It was a very relaxed day and after we found out what taxis cost we quickly abandoned any big plans we may have made. I got to visit two barnes and nobles during this trip, one in ft lauderdale and one in new york city the four-story one. There is more naturally but I'm finally a bit tired.

It was a good trip, and today has not been half bad either. Tomorrow is a shake-out run, hopefully the SL will set the pace and not H, and it will also be a good day. Good night.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Night Before Spring Break '09

I stay up because I am much better able to deal with things on a late night than I am able to deal with things when I wake up cranky. We were going to be up late tonight anyway, so you can't completely pin this one on me. It's really not so bad either because the week is back on the upswing.

To finish a previously started story, my lab group eventually got their shit together. It was a little bit irritating, but the lab leader actually started to somewhat organize us. He and I really did the lab, but a third guy showed up and did a number line which was more than the fourth guy who did practically nil. We just went to the library at 2030 that night after my nap and knocked it all out practically. I was there to correct the lab leader and I did large portions of the write-up and also double checked it as best I could given I didn't write most of it. Then it was smooth sailing.

Today, Thursday, we had a lecture first hour which was awesome. Then I shopped a little bit at Thayer Store, just window shopping, reading mostly but I also bought a new drawing notebook. I got back to my room and chilled until Physics during which I was the loudest protester to sitting in alphabetical order, but it was just a demonstration and not a permanent thing. Whew! Portuguese was fun today and I learned how to call someone a show-off, which they sometimes say is like a popcorn vendor, loud and attracting attention to one's self, a "pipoqueira"! Lunch I sat with my team since our regiment had a formation that half of us missed and it took so long I was justified in sitting at the table. It helped that Jay didn't object or give me a hard time to try to get his seat back.

I scheduled some Additional Instruction with my Stat's instructor for the afternoon and when I got there I learned I was on the right track and I felt pretty good. The A.I. helped though because I didn't second-guess myself.

I got back to my room in time to get a short nap, but was woken up by my very smart friend, "Lou". Lou is trying to get into the med program, so he puts a lot of work into academics. He's also very organized and very animated and involved in a lot of groups as well as he is our class S-6 which basically means computer guy but he really doesn't have much in the way of delegated duties in that position. Anyway the point being is he was asking me for help with his stats work. I was surprised, even moreso because his roommate is really good with math. Still, I felt confident from the A.I. so I offered my help.

Then I was well awake for my work-out, I did 40 minutes of rowing, and then 3 sets squats, and 3 sets of bench and a few pull-ups. It was very light, but I was pressed for time. I got back in time to stretch with the team that had gone for a gear run (except for the plebes who had drill - practicing parading for parents). We also had Founders' Day Dinner and we all put on full dress and enjoyed some shrimp cocktails and mediocre steak. By the way... I'm still caffeine-free.

Tonight some drama sort of came up in the company, but not involving anyone in particular near and dear to me. Someone had written on our TAC NCO's board a note underlining the words "West Point Leader" and pointing an arrow to the word "oxymoron". It was obviously a joke, but one that sent our new TAC NCO over the edge and apparently he threatened the 1SG and he Company Commander (a cow and firstie respectively) with a brigade board and hours all the way down to the yearlings for disrespect. This definitely panicked everyone in the chain of command though and we had to close out tonight. I personally didn't care too much because I had planned on staying up late for packing and closing out because I was leaving right after class tomorrow. I still am and I am looking forward immensely to my spring break adventure. It is late now, and I have done three good deeds today. I feel like tomorrow can throw a lot at me and I will be able to deal with it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lame Days that get Thrown at You

Last night I sent out an email at 2130 hours to my lab group asking what the plan was. I didn't have the data from the experiment, I wasn't designated lab leader, and I wasn't even part of that hour. Then the guy in charge sends back an email to everyone asking what we want to do. He sends out the data and the coversheet in file form, but that's it. Eventually out of frustration I make a game plan for us and send it to the whole group. That's the best I can do though, because I can't just materialize a lab report if I don't have the data, and I definitely can't by looking at his tables because I'm pretty sure they are mislabeled and he doesn't know exactly what he's doing. So I tell him to do the introduction, the theory, and the procedures and graciously offer to do the more difficult results and discussion. I usually do this in my group and it helps because people don't like to do partial derivatives. I'm not fast at them, but I understand them and can slowly navigate them. I wait and wait and he doesn't send anything that night except for the data and a coversheet. It's 2300 and he's made no indication I need to start anything. I make the horrible mistake of assuming he's going to do the right thing... rather I assume he's going to do much of anything.

I have classes all of this morning. This day did not start well, because I snapped at my classmate at breakfast formation. I completely overreacted to his trying to get under my skin. Fortunately his cell phone alarm went off and I was sort of off the hook because everyone gave him a hard time. Then a plebe gave me an attitude, but I knew it was because of the relationship we had. I was not in the mood, but I was also not calm enough to deal with him without blowing up so I had to bite my tongue and go to the end of the squad. This looked odd to some people, but I did it to control at least some of my actions this morning. Then, I was embarrassed and upset all morning. I walked into the wrong room in the morning for statistics, and then second hour my instructor kept us late so I had to sprint from the 5th floor of the library to the 6th floor of Washington Hall. Second hour - which is jurisprudence - is actually one of my favorite classes but not worth 5 hours for something as simple as an avoidable late. Today we started watching Who Shot Liberty Valence?

Then we had a pop quiz I wasn't ready for in Economics. I got back my WPR and got a B+ on that which was grudgingly a little better for the day. There was a short break in the day... because during Portuguese - fourth hour - the civilian coordinator of my summer trip to Capo Verde (10 islands 250 km off the west coast of Africa, north of the equator) started talking to me animatedly and desciribing all the awesome things she was trying to get us to do and the minor "issues" that were going to make the trip an amazing adventure. Obviously we want to see as many of the islands as possible including the white beaches where loggerhead turtles lay their eggs, and maybe staying in a hotel that is actually inside the crater of a volcano, and visiting the greener islands as well. It looks like the only other girl is also a very good friend of mine since Beast Barracks and I'm sure we're going to have loads of fun.

Still lunch formation was still a drag and I didn't socialize. Lunch was not very fun either because I was floated to the other lunch table and the plebe who was supposed to be floating with me got his spot back just by chance so I was just three feet away but rendered invisible. I was already having a horrible day so I just sat in silence, ate a taco, and a bowl of icecream. A couple of teammates sort of messed with me in good fun, but by that time I was just too down to really notice. All this time I also have the thought of the lab hovering like a thundercloud over my head and I really don't want to do it because of the irresponsible way this kid who is the lab leader has acted. I go over and tell him I have an appointment, which I do, at Arvin Clinic for my IT Band. He tells me he will work on it, but he has two appointments of his own, one for a study group for economics and one for A.I. with his philosophy instructor. I am legitimately pissed off at this point because if he knew that his afternoon was this busy then why in the hell did he put it off until now? Does he assume I'm going to do it? Does he assume that he is going to do it? I go to Arvin and forget it for a while when I get back I pick up the cover sheet imagining I'll finish it and turn it in on time. It's 1400 hours and it's due at 1500 hours when I do this. I get to my room and read what he has sent me. It is A.F.U. The introduction is measly, the procedures are partially incorrect, and the graph is wrong for some reason and I cannot do calculations for error with this. I call his room in anger and when someone picks up and says, "CDT Smith*'s phone," I start to yell at this person saying that what he sent me doesn't make sense and we're going to have to turn it in late because this isn't right and the person interrupts me, "Uhhh, this isn't actually CDT Smith, it's his roommate I was just answering the phone." and I stop because that wasn't supposed to happen. The guy is very helpful and says he is good at physics and he would like to help me if I go over. I head over and most of my suspicions about the lab are right. The kid comes back to the room - his name isn't really Smith by the way but anyway - I chew him out some more and say, "Well, it's late now whether we turn it in now or 23 hours from now, so let's fix it." and I say I am going to take a nap and he can work on it. He says he will get on it... which I doubt but I did take my nap and waking up can't say I feel a whole lot better except I know I'm not failing any of my classes. Small comfort considering the work I have to do tonight including put my room away by Thursday night... ugh that's tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Update on my Life

Quite a bit has happened, but I've been tryin to get a decent amount of sleep. This past weekend was a blast because of paintball. My first experience was definitely all that I could hope for. The smell of paint was a little strong, but I also fell ill Saturday night with food poisoning. Though there weren't enough pictures, the group that went had much stronger comraderie from the experience. I definitely got to know some people in the company better. Getting hit with paintballs is still painful I found out but I escaped with only one real welt. I was a small target to hit, but it was inevitable in the small room we played in. Mike D. got me with a lucky headshot in the first game but it was down to us two, so that was fine. After paintball there was a few hours shopping, which definitely made my day! I made it a point to buy conditioner and an icepack, but I was so sore in the muscles from my lift on Saturday that I literally bought a large fountain drink from McDonalds and sat like an old woman for a good 30 minutes waiting for the soreness to ease out of my muscles. Then I went to Barnes and Nobles and read astrology books for an hour and a half, and then I decided I needed to go shoe shopping.

I literally fell in love with a pair of Chinese Laundry shoes. Silk in green, purple and pink made the most gorgeous shoes ever and a subtle platform made these the most comfortable sky-high heels I have had the honor of purchasing. I was on the verge of buying two pair, but I know that Spring Break fast approaches so I was conservative in my opinion. They were also on sale and so I was oodles satisfied with the weekend even if it was all early morning wake-ups.

This week hasn't been uneventful either. I've dealt with my bank, and the doctors, and been to a corps-wide suicide prevention briefing (mandatory for everyone) and we have a tentative list for the final team for Sandhurst Competition on 18 April 2009. So here's the breakdown so I can sleep before 12:30 tonight.

I visited the ortho. doctor today (one of them anyway) and was mostly lectured about taking care of my body. I explained that I still stretched religiously, but I had trouble working in my lifting routine into my Sandhurst routine because of a crammed schedule and just being tired after work outs. It's still just a IT Band issue, which means that worst case scenario they inject me with something non-lethal, but not surgery. This is actually pretty great news, because my knee is feeling relatively good, but now the urgency is on working with the trainers and getting a rock steady routine. I might have to put forward quite literally more than 100% in order to get ready for the team.

Finally, and I think I've hinted at this, but I wanted to save it for last... right now, this instant, my Sandhurst squad leader is leaning towards me as the primary for the competition. He sent out an email to team giving it a 90% go that this was the list for the competition. This is a huge accomplishment to have made it this far in just one semester. Having his confidence means a bunch to me and is all the more motivation to continue training as I have planned in order to be ready for the competition no matter if I'm out there on game day or not. I did tell my travel buddy though to be ready to do some running, spinning, and elliptical over spring break. We can keep it to interval work in the touristy sites. Running in the sun is going to equal an amazing tan though so I'm looking forward to staying fit over break and coming back with a vengeance IT Band syndrome or not. That's all for tonight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Running Till There's Nothing Left

Tonight is just one of those semi-lonely nights. With the roommate out at the library and no pressing academic requirements I know where I could go hang out, but I don't want to go there. It's difficult having a cadet ex-boyfriend. I decided to keep this to a minimum, discussing relationships at all, but on a night like tonight it's the just the elephant in the corner I'm trying to ignore. The problem is in the organization of my time. I just haven't been wanting to go to his room to hang out and I don't want him around my room because most of my friends think he is stand-offish and, well, he is. He's stand-offish and he monopolizes my attention and still acts like we're lovebirds, which is awkward for friends. My roommate has been around since the beginning of the relationship and so she takes it in stride whether he is hanging out, stopping by, or has that mopey look on his face that says I am mad at him. I don't like that this alienates my other friends though, and it's a major source of tension between him and I.

Yesterday we had a work out by one of the plebes on the team we call him 'Baumer' and he called his work-out the "Dirty Joe". One of his favorite phrases is "It's all for the Joes." and he is a very funny plebe. I am happy to be on the team and meet these good, strong individuals. It's eye-opening and every day I learn a little more and not just about military related stuff. I am finding a new and different niche here at West Point. I love my roommate, but our social circles are mostly different, so I really appreciate Sandhurst for that reason. After the lift yesterday we went to EST the simulated shooting and we shot scenarios that were mostly fun except for the stress shoot which was really stressful for me because "Little Ben" was standing behind me telling me the wrong color to shoot at and distracting me in general and I was accidentally forgetting that in a stress shoot you face the target and go to the 'low and ready' position between targets. It was in good fun though, not malice and I enjoy EST. I also enjoy swimming which not everybody does. My biggest weakness (and I've never denied this) has been running.

Today we were running in gear and pushing our pace toward Lee Gate. One of my teammates was pushing me and said, "Come on [my name], we're not even a quarter of a way through." I felt horrible after that sentence. I know I shouldn't have, but I felt like doing something childish like throwing down my rifle and stopping running and just yelling, "Look, I'm not in good enough shape for you!" but I pushed until we got to the gate and told the SL (Squad Leader) I could push no more and my knee was tight. He told me to take an easy jog back. I felt... unsettled. I knew I could run further, but at that pace it would be impossible. So I ended up doing intervals back to the barracks. I also didn't go straight back. I ran and walked up to Washington Gate then jogged all the way down that hill to the cemetery. I alternately walked and jogged back to the corner of the Catholic Chapel hill and then I ran, walked, ran, walked, ran up the hill to the Cadet Chapel turn off and took the stairs down to cadet area and walked back to Pershing, my barracks. I knew it wasn't the same work-out as the team, but I felt a little better about myself. I am still going to ask ortho to check out my knee and I am still going to ask the SL to give me a work-out I can do in addition to the scheduled work-outs. I was hesitant about the last thing, but I obviously lack the core running muscles that everyone else seems to have. It's true that I've never done long distance running at faster than a 7:30 per mile pace, and wrestling is less endurance running than short bursts of energy combined with generally high cardio endurance. This is light endurance though and this is basically strength running with the gear and the rifle.

It's not about being the one competing on game day to me, it's about giving the SL the best I've got and about being at least a viable option. I want to be a good alternate. I want them to know that if push came to shove they could rely on me to step up and on a good day perform for them. I want to be a valuable member of the team and I want to be able to run five miles in gear for the team and maybe one day for my platoon. I want to be capable of this, not only ask people to do this for me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better News

So sometime after getting back to my room after another PMEE session during Dean's hour I was on my way to the Arvin walk-in facility and suddenly I noticed the pain in my knee had subsided. It was gone completely after that moment. I still felt obligated to get it checked out the next day, because I know I didn't imagine the intense pain from this morning that had made me want to cry, but I was very happy to carry on the rest of the day bounding up the stairs and generally running around. I wonder if maybe I just tweaked my knee this morning when I was putting on my backpack. It would be lame, but it is possible.

This afternoon we had a lift and shot at the simulated range in Cullum Hall. A giant projector screen + ten rifles hooked up to air pressure and a super computer + the craziest simulations they had = LOTS of fun.

Also a plus, during the day I had a writ in Portuguese and I finished so fast the instructor graded it right in front of me. The result? 147/150 points so far. I still have to do the review, but I think I'll do fine on that too. Physics Lab 3 is done as well and turned in. Tomorrow I have the Econ WPR II and I absolutely need to ace that test so it's off to studying for now and hydrating for the gear run in the afternoon tomorrow. As long as I have my knees, my general health, and something to look forward to I think I will be okay tonight. Hopefully an early turn in.

Bad News

So... everything has been on an upswing and I'm not saying that's stopping, but damn life has a way of cutting your feet right out from under you doesn't it?

Yesterday I was doing good on the trail running in the snow. I was a little mountain goat practically. It was at a pace that made me lose my breath, but slow enough to still be fun.

This morning we were swimming and I was right there keeping pace with the boys. My breast stroke has really improved and I'm seriously getting this down: swimming in Army Combat Uniform (ACUs) and desert combat boots. After practice I ran up the stairs took a shower and after breakfast as usual went to class. I sat down for about an hour taking very excellent notes on my laptop that my instructor was impressed with when he perchance glanced at them. I get my backpack on and sort of take a side-step off-balanced. I wobble a little bit and... Ow. Shrug. Nothing really bad, just feels like I have to pop my knee you know the tight-ish feeling when you just have to bend your knee all the way and stretch it out and just... pop? And it's not like that's unusual or anything.

Well, no, that's not what happened. For the next 10 to 12 minutes I was in excruciating pain every time I tried to bend my knee. I got back to my room unable to bend my knee to take off my ACU pants and put some shorts on. This was by far the worst pain I'd felt in my knee ever. It was ten times more severe than when it was hurt with illitobial band syndrome. I wonder if that's come back, which doesn't make sense because my knee didn't hurt leading up to this. Now I'm trying to get an ortho appointment, but the soonest they can put me in is Tuesday next week. I will try to go to walk-in clinic in the morning, but I don't know if ortho is there every day. I took some ibuprofen and the pain has lessened. This scares me. I have to get better soon. I can't fail for this reason. This is stupid. This is ridiculous. This isn't making any sense. I'm very distracted with it too. It's a horrible way to be while I'm in class. At least classes are over for now today. I have to get back to the grind, but... updates and much more upbeat information to follow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow, Sleep, Nightmares

Last night we got a supposed 14" of snow. The sheer amount of snow and the wind that never seemed to die down transformed Thayer Road into a bleak desert of ice. I definitely slid sideways once, however it wasn't as embarrassing as those whose feet literally slipped right from under them resulting in them "eating it" in front of everyone. First hour our instructor didn't show, which resulted in higher spirits because we had an excessively early start today due to suicide briefings in the afternoon for freshmen and juniors. Since I only have morning classes I was done by 1000 hours. It was great and I decided to snooze until lunch. After lunch the sandhurst team found out that our range was cancelled because if there were no civilians to check out rifles there was no way to run a range. It was better this way because we didn't freeze our butts off either. Since our squad leader had the briefings too he designated "H" in charge of the work out. I waited until 1530 hours for an email about practice before falling asleep. Apparently I was racked out, because our squad leader came to get me and said I was practically 'dead'. I missed a rough cross-fit work out and everyone thought I was sick too like Strongbad (another pseudonym for another teammate).

During this nap though I had an insane nightmare about a zombie apocalypse in which I was armed with an M9 Beretta and had to defend a giant battleship shipwreck that had been converted into a historical building in the city.

Then Salsa dance lessons were cancelled due to the weather as well. It was quite disheartening, but I did get a lot of good sleep and apparently I looked like I needed it. I just might have in retrospect.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Late Sunday Night

I basically emptied my overhead and now I have a bunch of crap on my floor and the daunting task of cleaning everything up in my room so that it is acceptable to our Tac NCO tomorrow morning. On top of this we have an extra early formation because of compressed schedule tomorrow. We will have a short day, but if it is a code red then no civilians will be going to work and I won't be able to do any of the shopping I planned on. I will on the other hand have time to do all my laundry if I look on the bright side, and if I set aside two solid hours and go to the library I will also have time to get ahead on academics.

This Saturday we had the run through of the Sandhurst Competition. I got all my gear on and winced because I was nervous about the whole thing. I felt the pressure of the phrase, "You're only as fast as the slowest guy." We ran from Central Area to the bottom of the PX hill, and I started sucking it far more than I should have. The fatigue and soreness in my muscles made me tell our squad leader I couldn't do it that day. I was worried for two things, holding the team back or being pushed to the point I strained myself.

When I got back to my room (because I missed the HUMVEE that would have allowed me to follow the team along their way) I sat down for a while and just talked to my roommate about how I felt, and what I was worried about. I even called my mom and just talked, verbalizing my fears and concerns. Everyone had the same advice. I did what I thought was right and I made the judgment call. I ended up stretching a lot, going for a 3-mile run with my roommate at a slower pace to warm up the muscles that felt so sore, and then I went and did the sauna to further relax my muscles. That was basically the end of that adventure.

Saturday evening I took my bf to my company's get-together to see the Medieval Times show in New Jersey. It was like the show at the Excalibur hotel in Las Vegas. The experience was fun, and I bought one of those brightly colored wire circlets with the ribbons trailing off of it. The bf bought wooden swords and a wooden axe for his roommates to fight with. Everyone who was 21 got drinks and we ended up breaking two glasses as a party during the show. It was funny and our TAC Officer was there too so nothing got out of hand. The security at Medieval Times is pretty strict too. I fell asleep a lot sooner than usual that night, I guess having fun is much more tiring than I thought, but it may have had to do with the bus ride back during which one of the firsties in my company thought it would be fun to stick his hand out the window and let all the cold air in the back of the bus. I couldn't sleep on the way back because the window was open.

I woke up this afternoon to some Rock Band in the hallway and I jumped in on that. Then I almost went to the PX with "Al", but we missed the buses and couldn't get a car, so instead we all just hung out watching Robot Chicken, or for a little while "H" playing some F-22 game. We ordered out to Dong Fong, and Al paid for chicken and broccoli and a lemonade for me which was really rather nice of him. I went outside to Grant turn-around to help him pick it up and it was a generally good night.

I also did Fourth Class Development Time (FCDT) with my plebe tonight and again pointed out that having to do 3 FCDT a week is redundant and doesn't motivate me to do quality FCDT. After that I realized I haven't cleaned up my room and I have too much crap... so I've got to get the room into A.M. Inspection standard or AMI. It will be a good night when I go to sleep.