Mark is officially in the UAE. I received an email at 10:15 last night and then again at 2:07 this morning. Yes, I woke up to check. Well, technically I sleep with my blackberry under my pillow (I know this is weird, but it is a habit I picked up somewhere), so I didn't have to really wake up, just barely pry open my sleepy eyes. Mark, who does know me better than anyone, wrote this last sentence in his email at 2:07: "Stop checking your messages in bed, it will wake your mom up."
Turtle (my mother) is staying with me while Mark is away.
Mark's first email was short, yet still captured Mark's dry sense of humor as he was making fun of me. The first bit of the email recapped the fact that for some reason Skype is banned from the UAE (this was a minor crisis in our household when we found out last week) and that his phone (which we just paid an extra $64 this month to have the international plan) was also not working. The second bit of the email went like this: "The flight wasn't too bad, I slept for about 8 hours. Eric is my roomie so we are happy to be bffs again."
This is a lot of information from Mark (who is typically like the super hero of silence). That last sentence, if you didn't pick up on it, was Mark mocking me. Well, Mr. Olympian, I am happy that you are back with your BFF. The wives (Eric will be marrying my best friend in less than six months!) have already been talking. We're happy that you're roomies again, too. Don't stay up too late telling ghost stories or playing "light as a feather stiff as a board." This is serious business.
Mark's second email talked about how amazing the pool is. He said it is one of the best (if not THE best) venue he has ever seen. That is pretty impressive considering some of the venues in which Mark has swam. "It is a huge stadium in the middle of the desert." Cool. I'd tell him to take a lot of pictures, but I kept the camera because I couldn't not take pictures of Annabelle this week.
If you'd like to send Mark well wishes and "good lucks" you are welcome to include them as a comment on the blog or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow the meet and results here. Mark will swim both the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke on the 15th, so I expect a lot of positive energy, crossing of the fingers, and little prayers on that day. Our everyday Olympian will have a full day of racing and will need all of the support we can give him.