Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

So, you may be wondering where I have been. It's been a busy few weeks, so I'll explain as best as possible. First Jamie and I went for our first downhill mountain biking excursion to Snowshoe, WV. Jamie had the best time of his life and is considering racing as an amateur. I found the entire experience to be thrilling, death-defying, scary, and somewhat exhilirating and the jury is still out, but I've agreed to try it again. On my very first run the guys took me down the old race course and I did well through the rockgardens (super scary) and then I came to a rock drop that was several feet high. No one had really warned me that it was coming up, or trained me on the proper procedure to deal with such an obstacle, so I did what came naturally...I grabbed the brake. This was, of course, the wrong answer and as my friend's $5,000.00 bike plummeted straight down, I flew about 20 or so feet through the air (looking very much like a pink power ranger in my protective gear) and landed on my hand. I either bruised the bone or fractured it (its too difficult to tell without an MRI), but the end result was the same...pain. After a minute of sitting it out and a sniffle or two, I got up and kept riding for another 2 full days...yikes. Although I wore full body armor, a full face helmet, and goggles, very little of me managed to escape unbruised.

Next up came our first real camping trip. We bought cots and portable potties and carted all of our crap including our bikes out to Green Ridge State Forest for the weekend. We arrived Friday night, pitched our tent, roasted weenies over the fire, had some drinks and went to bed. We woke up early on Saturday to 92 degree weather, but decided to go mountain biking. Fortunately, Jamie forgot his shoes, so we traveled to nearby Cumberland, MD to shop. We found a local bike shop and learned that the trails there pretty much suck, so we agreed to pack all of our stuff back up and head for the relative comfort of Jamie's parents pool. We learned that camping in 90-100 degree weather is never fun, even if you do have your shoes.
Next come the tomatoes...so before we left for our camping trip on Friday I went to my local Safeway and purchased some delicious roast beef, bread, and tomatoes to make myself a real sandwhich that would leave me feeling full and ready to traipse off into the woods. Fast forward to Monday, June 9th. I arrive at work with a fever of 103 degrees and am feeling pretty crummy. I head to my doctor's office on the second floor where she tells me that I need to develop some more symptoms before she can treat me, but its probably just a virus that's going around. I take 800 mg of iburprofren and 500 mg of acetaminophen just to keep my temperature down to 101/102 degrees. Tuesday morning I develop horrific stomach cramping and spasms..to the ER I go. I was hospitalized from June 10 - 13th (4 days!). For two days, nothing but blood came out. It look like someone had been axe murdered in my butt. That is one excruciating experience that I hope to never, ever relive. Oh, and did I mention that when I got to Johns Hopkins Emergency Room, that the wait was so long, that there were no seats in the waiting room! 2 hours later, the gentleman assigned to making us more comfortable indicated that it might be another 3-4 hours wait. I promptly left, went home and took a nap. Once the pain returned I made my fiancee drive me to the closest ER where I was subsequently admitted and treated for.......salmonella poisoning! The Department of Health interviwed me, but it was too late, another woman had already claimed the first reported case in Maryland. So, I was taken out by a tomato; I couldn't believe it. This is one more reason to stick to local, organic farms as your veggie source. I'm just glad no one else in my family was sickened. Now, this week....Motorcycle License. That's right, I'm going to learn to ride and receive a license to operate a donorcycle. Wish me luck!

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Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.


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