Friday, September 15, 2006

Tori's New Hobby

I am a big fan of trying new things and having new experiences. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to do something that I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself doing.

Everyone in my office was going to an inter-office event, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to meet some of the people that I know exclusively through email and telephone conversations. The event was to take place at the nearby hunting club.

That's right, a hunting club.

I was assured that we would not be killing any actual live animals, but rather shooting at clay pigeons which, I was again assured, are literally made of clay and are not and never have been alive. "Skeet shooting" I believe it is called.

Okay, I told myself, I can handle this.

I was wrong.

As I drove up to the club, I thought, "This is pretty. It is sunny out, I'm in a fairly woodsy place, I like this." Then I turned off the car and heard LOTS OF GUNSHOTS.

I try to act calm as I walk into the lodge and meet up with the people from work. The front desk person asks if I will need to borrow a gun or if I've brought my own. (?!?!?!?!)

I borrow a gun.

She then asks me if I will need a lesson. "Have you ever fired a gun before?"

"Uh, once . . . in a play . . . I fired a gun . . . for, um, a sound effect. I was . . . offstage."

"Yes, I need a lesson."

As we walk outside, I try to ignore the incredibly loud gunfire all around me. I hang back and let the others shoot first, hoping that I will get used to the sound and stop trembling. Eventually, everyone else has gone, and I walk up to the - I don't even know the word - little half-cagey-thing where you stand while firing guns at clay pigeons. One of my co-workers hands me the gun. I am startled by how heavy and unrelentless and powerful it feels. My hands are shaking as I try to get the shells out of my pocket and I drop one on the ground. I fumble to pick it up while holding on to the gun but not wanting to hold the gun too close to myself oh my god what am I doing - okay, okay, load the gun - she told us how to do this - the safety, where is the safety? don't pinch your fingers while you push the shell in - that's right push it until it clicks but don't push too hard or you will pinch your fingers - now turn off the safety. Aim. "Pull". FIRE.

I'm nearly thrown backwards as I experience the kick of a gun for the first time. I don't want to do this again, but I have three shots left for my turn. C'mon be a good sport you can do it calm down breathe breathe stop trembling hands push 'til it clicks wait put on the safety okay here we go again.

I finish my turn in a blur while trying desperately not to show how much I want to cry.

I politely deline any more shots and try to enjoy what would have been really peaceful surroundings if not for the bullets flying around me.

On the upside, I won a prize in the drawing. I was really hoping for the Carnivore Blood-Tracking Light, but I was happy enough with my camouflage beer cozy made to resemble a shell.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Big Day

Here's some really big news for you:

On April 8, 2006 Jason Michael Tomalia and Victoria Ann Low got married in a beautifully intimate ceremony on San Clemente Beach in California.

Here we are walking down the beach toward the spot we picked out for the ceremony.

Here I am getting all teary during the vows.

The big kiss.

Woo-hoo! We did it!

We had our honeymoon on a little island resort in San Diego called Paradise Point. Very green, very lush, very beautiful.

Awww, even the ducks are in love.


Here's where we had dinner the last night of the honeymoon.

Now we are back in Minnesota enjoying wedded bliss. Life is good.