Camping with Ken, Tiff, and Whatshisname

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


Apparently Ken had wanted to go camping all summer, but the only time Tiff could manage it was during August, after she’d completed an internship of some sort. And so it was that one weekend in August 1997, Ken, Tiff, Tiff’s boyfriend, and I went camping. It began with grocery shopping by Ken and I on a Friday night (or maybe a Thursday) and ended with us driving home on a Sunday and here’s what happened in between.

On the way there we listened to several CDs in KenMills’ hot-pink sedan among them the recent release by Aerosmith, Nine Lives. The fact that I hadn’t brought any other Aerosmith began to grate on everyone because Nine Lives, while not a bad album, left everyone wanting to hear other, more popular songs.

We also had my little microcassette recorder and we recorded snippets of audio along our journey. Ken loved that thing, probably more than I did. I probably should have bought him one for Christmas at some point.

When we finally got the camping part of our camping trip it was at a campground just outside of White River Junction, VT. I found it quite amusing while driving up there that almost every house we passed was old and decrepit, yet also possessed of a satellite dish. I wondered what the houses would look like if the owners spent more on home improvement than they did on home entertainment.

The camping trip was uneventful. I don’t think we did very many camping things. I think we drove out and did stuff a lot. I remember going to a music store with Ken and checking out keyboards. I remember Tiff and I driving off in the car (we recorded that as well) because she was pissed at her boyfriend. I think we had to travel over a bridge or something.

We played music at night on Ken’s little portable tape player, trying to keep it low so as not to annoy the neighbors. I think this was when Tiff first introduced me to Liz Phair.

The thrust of the weekend was that Tiff and I got each other because I was very female-friendly and kind of a pussy and the other guys stuck together. We wrapped up the whole thing at a Weathervane down the road. Ken got the number of the waitress or something. I don’t know if it was because they were teasing me about my singleness or if Ken liked her, but whatever.