Archive for May, 2006
On Easter Weekend, we all went camping down in Virginia. Chris was the primary planner for the trip, finding the camping ground and booking it. Tiffany was really excited since she’d never gone camping before.
Before we could go camping we needed some camping gear. What little gear either of us had was either still in California or in Montana, so we went to this great store called The Great Outdoors. The store is like a theme park; there are shooting games, giant fish tanks, a climbing wall… you get the picture. Anyway, we were good little consumers. We bought a tent, two sleeping bags, some ground padding, a fishing pole with a beginners’ tacklebox and some tackle. Wierd thing, I’ve fished almost exclusively in Montana where I know what I’m fishing for and what bait works. Out here, it’s a mystery. So we stuck to bread and butter with a few Mepps and my childhood favorite the Daredevil.
Worth noting here, that Tiffany had never been camping before. She’d never slept in a tent. Never fished. Never caught a fish.
We headed down to Viriginia at Pohick Bay, a freshwater outlet of the Atlantic. We got there just as the sun was setting. Chris had been ther for awhile; we pitched our tent and then came back over to where the campfire was burning. The camp ground had a no-alcohol policy, so we brought red cups. Pretty ridiculous that we could drink some beer if we rented a hotel room, but camping outside we weren’t allowed to.
Some other friends joined us (Dan, Ali and an old college buddy visiting from California, Chris), and we started roasting our dinner. Dan roasted me the best darn hot-dog I’ve ever had. And then, we started making s’mores and roasting marsh mallows.
Tiffany roasting a marsh mallow. Well, not so much roasting as toasting. She’s like me. Not patient enough to wait for the stupid thing to roast slowly. It’s all about a controlled burn…
We all talked, and laughed and had a generally good time until about 3 am (“Quiet Time” at the camp ground began at 10 pm, which is why the park ranger came to yell at us the next day), and then we retired to our tent for a good night’s sleep. It rained sporatically throughout the night; you’d wake up and hear the pitter-patter on the tent fly – which is one of the most relaxing sounds in the world.
Next morning was actually perfect weather. It wasn’t hot enough for the tent to be an oven. It wasn’t raining any more. And it wasn’t cold. I woke up early and went to help with starting the morning camp-fire for breakfast (corn beef with super-greasy bacon).
Tiffany waking up. She wasn’t overjoyed about me sticking a camera in her face first thing in the morning, but she was a good sport, and from what I’m told, really enjoyed “roughing it” in the tent. That’s our tent. It’s huge. Fits 5 people. Didn’t realize it was that big when we bought it, but it worked out well. Not a good back-packing tent though, because it weighs a lot.
After breakfast, we headed down to the bay to toss our lines into the water to see what strange species of fish the East Coast had to offer. We had one fishing pole between us, and a 5-day fishing license. The water was about a half-mile down a little trail.
Tiffany set to go with our tackle box and the push-button closed faced reel. Perfect for beginners. That tackle box has our Mepps, Daredevil, some crappy rubber worms, some hooks and a few feather lures. Not quite up to the standards of A River Runs Through It, but enough to get the job done.
Tiffany: Cast #1. Look at that form!
Cast #3: She catches something! Isn’t that always how it works. You catch something almost right away and then it’s hours before you catch anything else. She was pretty darn excited, and knew how to set the hook almost by instinct (the adrenline probably had something to do with it). It was a fight to the finish. Tiffany versus fish. Who would win…
Okay, sorry for the suspense. Tiffany won. Wasn’t even close. She was a bit hesitant to touch her massive large-mouth bass, so I got it for her and she surveyed her trophy-fish with great pride. We threw it back (a fish this magnificent deserves to live), and Tiffany got right back on the saddle. Unfortunatley, though, although her casting improved admirably, she was not to catch another fish for the rest of the trip.
After casting from land for awhile, we went to a little boat-rental place that rented canoes, fishing boats and paddle boats by the hour. It was actually a pretty good deal for the flat-bottomed fishing boat, so we rented it for two hours. It didn’t have a motor. Just two wooden oars. And the wind started blowing while we were on the water, so I got a pretty good workout while the two kids from California (Chris and Tiffany) threw their lures into the water. Chris caught a lot of weeds. Tiffany gave up and read Enders Game (great book by the way).
Eventually, I rowed us against the wind long enough to take a little break and try my hand at fishing for a few casts. I, too, got lucky pretty fast and caught myself a little Perch. There has been much debate about who’s fish (Tiffany’s Bass or my Perch) was larger. While I maintain that the perch is a good inch longer, Tiffany i convinced that this is just an optical illusion from how I am holding the fish in the two pictures. We may never know…
After returning the boat, we broke camp, packed everything up and headed home. It was Tiffany’s first time camping, and she was a champ! And now that we have the gear, I think we both want to do it again. Maybe some backpacking up in Montana some time too.
Now, I have to start off by saying that Jed and I live a very very good life. We live in a nice apartment, have good jobs that we love, have each other, great families, ect. Now, mind you, it’s not that we don’t have bad luck also, but rather than being spread out, they come in little spurts. For example, the It Could Have Been Worse trip. Today was another one of those days. Youknow those days where you probably shouldn’t have gotten out of bed. I’m overexaggerating a bit, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
9am- wake up, things are going fine, do some cleaning, Jed leaves to do some chores.
1pm- I continue to clean while Jed calls to ask if my car had a large dent on the passenger side. I begin to freak
2pm- Jed gets done changing my oil and explaining that the people who changed it put a huge dent in the side of my car, they won’t admit it, and there’s no way for us to prove it. AND I have a nail in my right back tire that is now becoming flat.
3pm- Jed picks me up and we take the car to Goodyear. I find ANOTHER nail in the right front tire, and Goodyear tells us they are closed. We go across the street. They let us know that they can fix it for 110 bucks, it will be an hour, and they’ll call us when it’s ready.
We, not having another car, head right next door to the Laurel Mall, which is one of the most run down malls I have been to. We walk around, for a while, and eventually end up at the Burlington Coat factory. I have to use the restroom and Jed says he’ll stay where he is till I return. (it’s a big store and he doesn’t have his phone for me to call him on if we get separated.) Of course, when I come out of the restroom, he’s NOT where he said he’d be and I take a little while to find him.
I finally do after a couple of minutes and by then, I realize that I no longer have my purse. I’ve left it in the restroom. No big deal, I couldn’t have left it there for more than 4 or 5 minutes, I’ll just go get it. I go into the restroom (which you have to be buzzed in via remote camera) and there is someone in the stall that my purse is in. Mind you, my purse was completely zipped up when I had left it. The lady comes out, and I see the purse. It’s there, but it’s open and guess what’s missing.
My entire wallet. My HUGE 5 lb wallet is gone.
This is where logical TIffany exits stage left. Hysterical Tiffany is in complete control.
I frantically look around the floor and around the other stalls and I’m freaking out, to put it nicely. All I can think about is all my credit cards and ID’s, and moreover all of the generous gift cards from my bridal shower that are in my wallet (probably well over 300 bucks worth) that I can’t just call and cancel. I can never get those back and they were gifts for my wedding. That may not sound like much, but it meant a lot of me.
I start crying and trying to imagine what I’m going to do. Jed tries to calm me down while flagging down help (which is a loose term, let me tell you). The lady who came to help us was rude and nearly beligerent. She informed us that the cameras they use don’t actually tape anything so they don’t have film of anyone entering of leaving the restroom so my wallet is pretty much gone.
The lady that was in the stall when I went back into the restroom stuck around and tried to help me. She went back into the restroom and came back with my wallet! I was so relieved and so was Jed and thanked her profusely. (Jed even wanted me to give her one of my gift certificates as a thank you, and if the gift cards weren’t so generous, and me not so broke, I probably would have.) So we left her with our eternal gratitude and hoped for good karma.
Then we thought about it a little more. Well, he did anyway, I was fried. I wasn’t gone that long, and she was in the stall when I got there. It’s entirely possible that she took the wallet out (which had zero cash) and looked through it. Had it with her, saw how distraught and crushed I was, felt guilty, and “found” it in the bathroom “behind the toilet”. When I realized what had happened, I FRANTICALLY looked everywhere around that stall. There wasn’t a lot of room behind that toilet, and for those who have seen my wallet, it’s not fitting behind any toilet anyway. I hate to think things like this, but it does seem very likely. It is possible that someone else had the wallet and then threw it back there and didn’t take anything, but it just doesn’t seem right. At any rate, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and am extremely grateful that God found a way to get it back to me, however it happened.
And that was our day. Oh, and my cat died.
So, we wrote down all the confirmed guests on cards to set up the seating charts (not sure why we don’t let you all sit wherever you want, but Tiffany says, “it’s a wedding” – whatever that means).
So, we got to the very end and realized we hadn’t made a card for us. So I wrote “Jed and Tiffany Link” on a card (Tiffany was glad I didn’t write Jed +1).
Tiffany looked at it for a minute and then she started happy-crying. We’re getting married!!
Any bets on whether she’ll cry during the cerimony?
Date night last night, and Tiffany and I got to wondering. Why is it that women dig Olive Garden so much? It occured to us that you almost never see a crew of guys eating at the O.G.. There’s almost always a woman there and – odds are – she’s the one who wanted to go to O.G.
Mention Olive Garden and women swoon. So what is the gender appeal of the O.G.?
The waitress said it was because “when you’re here you’re familiy” and I guess that means women like families? Personally, I think she was buying the company line a bit too much…
So, a few weeks back I used my tax refund to buy myself a new toy. Really, it’s a toy for both me and Tiffany since it will be used to record the beginning of our life together as man and wife (Tiffany, of course, is less willing to accept that this is for both of us, as most things we buy that have a battery are really for me).
Readers of this site will know that I’m a photography buff. Until now, I’ve been using an adequate point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot digital camera that I bought in 2002. It’s a good camera, and having used it for a long time, I’d learned tricks to control shutter speed to a very limited degree. But I think I’ve graduated to a new level of photography so I upgraded to an entry-level SLR Camera.
There were really two options to consider here. My sister has a Canon Digital Rebel, which I’d played around with and loved. The other option was the Nikon D50. I went with the D50 because it’s Nikon’s lowest-end camera (whereas the Digital Rebel is at the top of Canon’s food chain). My reasoning was that Nikon had more to gain from producing a high-end product (brand loyalty graduates to better cameras in the future).
So I bought myself a Nikon D50.
That’s right. That is a stereoscopic lens. In lay speak, it takes 3-D pictures. Left eye, right eye.
So here’s the plan. We’re going to take some 3-D pictures at the wedding and on the honeymoon. We’ll slap them in custom made Photo Book, put some anaglyph glasses in an envelope on the inside cover and have 3-D memories forever!
For some reason, I’m much more excited about this than Tiffany is…
With the clock a’tickin and only one month before the wedding… one does a little soul searching. And by one, I mean me. It doesn’t take a great deal of soul searching to realize that I have not pulled my weight with this journal. “Oh, I’m studying I have a test” or “I just have too much paperwork” has too long kept me from adding to this amazing thing that Jed has done for us. I realize that this is something that we will treasure for the rest of our lives together. So with this post, I renew my commitment to this journal and vow to be more involved.
So here’s an update on what you’ve missed (the abridged version): Jed and I both quit our gym membership because he only went once (didn’t even go back for the second part of the “free” personal training session), and I didn’t go a whole heck of a lot more than that, so we cut it loose. Next, I ordered several work out DVDs that are actually quite good, and we have started to do them. 8 minute abs is fantastic, and you hate the guy on the DVD enough that it just makes you want to work harder to shut him up. (obviously you can’t being that he’s straight out of the 80′s and in the DVD) I also FINALLY got a treadmill for my birthday and have used it for two straight days. (I only got it about three days ago.) So, while this renewed fervor for health and fitness maybe too little too late for the wedding, but eventually, we will be that beautiful sculpted couple on the cover of health and fitness magazine. Okay, maybe not, but we won’t be quite the amorphous blobs we are now. And while we still may be amorphous for the wedding, we will be TAN and amorphous because we just joined a tanning salon. Freaked me out the first time I did it (which was yesterday). It’s like you’re in a coffin of lights, and you gotta remember I’m from So. Cali so the beach was my tanning bed. It’s very comfortable though. And why not just bask in the sun as God intended you may ask? Because there is nowhere to bask. The nearest beach is over 1.5 hours away, the grass in front of our apartment is filled with insect predators just waiting for me (like King Kong), and it has been overcast and rainy for the past 2 weeks.
I finished my second year of medical school and am now 6 weeks into my first rotation which is pathology: quite literally, the study of disease. Pathologists are the guys you go to when you don’t know what’s wrong with your patient. A little bit of tissue from whatever is ailing you, and pathologists run all sorts of fancy-schmancy tests to ultimately diagnose what the problem is. Most know that the brain is my area of interest. Neurology is in the lead right now, but neuropathology is closing the already close gap. It’s really interesting and perhaps deserves its own post a little later. Jed is now a legislative correspondant and he’s kicking ass and taking names. Everything is ready to rock and roll for the wedding and now it’s just the nitty gritty details: getting a final head count, seating charts, ect.
If by the way, any of you would like a (nudge, nudge) better seat, just send us a letter requesting your seating preference, and a check (bigger ones might get you better seats… all I’m saying) and we’ll work something out. (Joking. Mostly.) All in all it’s going to be a beautiful wedding. I’ll post more on the wedding details that I’ve left out later, but for now, just wanted to say that I’m (we’re) back. Love you all and can’t wait to see many of you.