Posts filed under ‘Aaron Evans’

Chariots of Fire

Heh heh heh heh. My friend Aaron uploaded this video to his YouTube site. It’s an excerpt of a really old home video from the 80’s. My siblings and I are performing Chariots of Fire. Long before Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction, we experienced an organ malfunction. The little boy who was entrusted to play one note repeatedly is my brother Jay. The man pictured on the motorcycle is my maternal grandfather. The bossy girl in the leotard….well…uh…that would be me.


December 12, 2008 at 12:08 am 2 comments

Cookie Decorating 2008

As I’ve mentioned in previous years, my family has a tradition of making and decorating Christmas cookies the day after Thanksgiving. This year may have been the year my mother has been waiting for. Instead of bloody amputees, BEOTCH Christmas trees or the army of butts we saw in 2007, we actually had an impressive inventory of “nice” cookies. Pretty butterflies, unicorns and ice cream cone cookies outnumbered the typical designs.

This year’s cookies featured butterflies instead of butts!

More pleasantly themed cookies

But, of course, we did have some unique appearances sneak in- DNA, Hydrogen Atoms, geek bunnies, monsters and a Kurt Cobain Cookie.

Monster Bunny, DNA, Hydrogen Atom

Kurt Cobain Cookie– with cigarette!

I tried to make an AT Logo and an American Chestnut Leaf, but both of those ventures didn’t come out well, particular the leaf. When it cooked, the cookie expanded and all my great American Chestnut teeth plumped up and rounded out.¬† So after the oven had its way, I was left with a Chestnut Oak Leaf instead.

Meh. An attempt at an AT Christmas Cookie

2008 was one of our more heavily attended cookie decoratings. This year we had Aaron, Meagan, Jay, Jacqueline, Mom, myself, Carolyn, Ryan Somma, Kipp, Stacy, Louise, Jenn (the bridesmaid I got to escort!), Christina and I think our youngest attendee to date– Oliver!

Stacy, Christina and Louise cut cookies

Meagan, Ryan, Mom, Me, Christina, Stacy, Louise (Photo by ae) – Note if you look at the large version, you can see I have icing on my face!

Louise, Stacy, Kipp decorating cookies

My brother prepares to decorate…by wearing latex gloves!

The youngest attendee – Oliver (shortly before Sunny stole his cookie)

As always, I enjoyed our annual cookie decorating event and I particularly enjoyed ingesting our lovely handiwork.

Additional Pictures
My Cookie Decorating Pictures
Aaron’s Cookie Decorating Pictures

December 7, 2008 at 8:28 pm 4 comments

One Great Real-Date Date

Another reason you shouldn’t shed tears for my dating life is courtesy of my divorce, I can like, go on dates and stuff and thus will have the opportunity to contribute to and mold my own dating future!

Not sure how this compares to GeekHiker’s “Them!”, but I am quite pleased with this outing from last week:

1) Eat a late breakfast of freshly made blueberry muffins (Thanks Linda!)

2) Bike four miles along the Virginia Beach boardwalk to First Landing State Park.

3) Bike another twelve miles throughout the state park via the Cape Henry Trail, enjoying views of cypress trees, spanish moss, marshlands and a bay.

Cypress Trees off the Cape Henry Trail

Spanish Moss off the Cape Henry Trail

Marshland off the Cape Henry Trail

4) Share a snack of home-grown garden tomatoes (Thanks Erin!) and homemade chocolate chip cookies (Thanks Rachelle!).

5) Bike back to the beach.

6) Walk about a mile to eat dinner with friends.

Aaron and Meagan!!!!

7) Cap off the evening with a leisurely mile walk back with friends, checking out the Ella Fitzgerald tribute, an amusement park, the Curiosities Rock Shop and, of course, the baffling Dance Heads display. Not familiar with Dance Heads? Watch this must-see demo.

Amusement Park in Motion! (Photo by aejonze)

Lights at the amusement park
Merchandise at the Curiosities Rock Shop

8 ) Hold hands

Guy on Stilts (Photo by aejonze)

9) Three of us hang out on the balcony and pretend our fourth is not having a bowel emergency in the restroom. La Dee Da Dee Da.

10) With the balcony door open and exhausted from a very full day, fall asleep listening to the ocean.

In case you were not counting, that’s:

  • 20 miles of biking
  • At least 2 miles of walking
  • and 1 dire dumping incident

What more could a girl want? ūüėČ

More pictures from First Landing State Park and Virginia Beach can by found on my Flickr site as well as my friend, Aaron’s, Flickr site.

First Landing State Park

2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Phone: (757) 412-2300


Cape Henry Trail
Length: 6 miles one way
Elevation Gain: Negligible – it’s all flat!

August 29, 2008 at 1:08 am 2 comments

Todd Miller, the Washington Monument and the Black Cat

On Friday night, I hung out with my good friend Aaron Evans. Our evening started off with a little bit of WWE. has a article on “5 Ways Hollywood Tricks You Into Seeing Bad Movies“, where they share a brilliant Venn diagram on the movie Sweeny Todd:

I would think a very similar diagram could be done for the “Raw Talent” episode of Project Runway, that the union between “People who watch WWE” and “People who watch Project Runway” would be extremely small. But there are some advantages. Aaron (a WWE fan) and I (a Project Runway fan) had both seen the episode. As a result, we were both able to participate in a conversation (albeit brief) on the other’s show. The weird union on Project Runway gave us something to chat about!

We also watched a few videos on Aaron’s computer. The highlight was this oldie-but-goodie. This is a New Year’s Eve party from many years ago. Our friend Todd gets so wound up in New Year’s that he almost kisses someone he shouldn’t.

I love how Todd pushes the guy away like it was *his* fault

After that, Aaron and I grabbed some coffee in Claredon. We stopped by the Iwo Jima Memorial and headed off to meet Heather and Joe at the Black Cat in D.C. On the way there I was already laying down the ground work for a brief visit.

“So… uh… I sort of get bored of bars quickly….” I said, “So… I don’t know how long I’ll want to stay.”

Welp, the Black Cat turned out to be super fun. It wasn’t smoky and overcrowded like the bars I am familiar with. *And* it was a special 80’s Night (Which is #29 on the Stuff White People Like List). I had so much fun (completely sober!), Aaron and I stayed until the club closed.

Me, Brenda, Heather (Photo by Aaron Evans)

In a town like Blacksburg, I would expect to run into people you know. In a city like D.C., I didn’t expect it. But as soon as we walked into the Black Cat, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen since August. And then later, a different set of friends showed up too!

I’ve known this guy since he was FOUR years old!!! In fact, you can see him in my high school photography. (Photo by Aaron Evans)

After we left the Black Cat, Aaron and I were not deterred by the time– we went and visited the Washington Monument (where I told Aaron about Virginia’s Sharp Top Mountain mistake), the Lincoln Memorial (where I told Aaron about my childhood booger incident) and the WWII Memorial (where at that point, I was too tired to have anything relevant to say).

It was an eventful evening. It was a fun evening and it was a loooooong evening. I didn’t get back to my parent’s until 5 AM.

February 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm 6 comments

The Goatse Christmas Cookie

This year I got to participate in my family’s Black Friday tradition of decorating Christmas Cookies.¬† As I’ve mentioned before, the results of our efforts aren’t your usual festive designs.¬† In past years, we’ve had cookies that read “BEOTCH”, cookies that read “JACKASS” and tons of mangled cookies covered in blood.¬†

This year started off innocently enough.  Justin Girton, a first timer, was given the honor of cutting out the first cookie.  He took some pause to review and select just the right cutter for the 2007 Kickoff.

The selections Justin got to choose from

It took some time, but Justin finally selected a donkey.  He pushed the cutter into the sugar cookie dough and we were on our way!

Justin cuts the first cookie!  (Photo by Aaron Evans)

It didn’t take long before the uh…creativity… in the room started to flow.¬† This year, Carolyn brought along a special request from a friend.¬† He wanted to have a “butt” cookie.¬† As is a good idea with any design request, this cookie coveter provider a drawing of¬†exactly what he wanted:

You should always draw out the type of cookie you want

And so our team did what we could, producing a number of butts.¬† I believe Carolyn’s friend would be pleased with some of the results:

Finished project and original specifications (Photo AND cookie by Aaron Evans)

When it came to icing time, we were left with the question, “How does one decorate a butt cookie?”¬† Welp, it turns out there isn’t¬†one¬†answer.¬† We had icing tattoos, icing thongs and then some convenient chocolate icing made it easy to… well, make a mess.

Butt cookie with a red icing tattoo.  (Photo AND cookie by Aaron Evans)

A butt cookie with a thin, white thong

A butt cookie decorated with… chocolate icing. (Photo by Aaron Evans)

It is safe to say 2007’s cookie decorating experience was already a little racy.¬† Well, then someone (who wishes to remain nameless) took it much, much further (Click More to Continue):


November 25, 2007 at 12:06 am 11 comments

Gogol Bordello in Blacksburg

First off, greetings from Bellevue, Washington!¬† I’m on another trip.¬† This explains why I didn’t enthusiatically report about the Gogol Bordello concert earlier– the very next day I was flying out to the great Pacific Northwest.¬† Anyway, it is very simple to sum up the concert:


And a couple of little tidbits.

Gogol Bordello is Harder to Photograph Than Babies
Aaron Evans is a talented photographer.¬† I already knew that and his Flickr photos¬†provide plenty of proof.¬† But now I have another reminder of Aaron’s photographing prowess.¬† His Gogol Bordello pictures¬†are far superior to mine.¬† Even though I specifically staked out a railing¬†to keep my camera steady, those dang musicians moved around so much, most of my shots were still blurry.¬† Anyway, not since little baby Ali, have I had such trouble getting the shot I wanted.
That blur on the far left is supposed to be Eugene Hutz
Here is Eugene Hutz when he is actually still

Commanding Violinist
For those of you not familiar¬†with the band, two prominent instruments are the accordian and the violin.¬† Everything about the band is energizing, but it was the violinist, ¬†Sergey Ryabtsev, who really commanded the crowd.¬† With each song, the crowd was¬†always in motion.¬† And when the violin started– that’s when the frenzied jumping would begin.¬† A Russian immigrant and his violin– not what you would expect to drive this demographic of concert-goers insane.¬† Sergey’s power does come with a cost.¬† That poor bow of his got more and more tattered with each song.

Gogol Bordello is Better Than Hawaii
My brother, Jay, works on a cruise ship in Hawaii.  So he spends months at a time circulating the Hawaiin islands and he seems to take a lot of joy in taunting me via cell phone by sending along weather updates and pictures of beautiful mountains.  Well finally, the tables are turned!!!  I sent him a picture from the concert and my brother sent back a brief reply:

“im jealous”

Ha, ha!  Someone in Hawaii is jealous of *ME*. 

Ass Cracks Welcome
I wore low-rider jeans that night.  The times I went into the crowd my wardrobe choice was troublesome.  With all the jumping and dancing and escalating energy, I often felt my pants starting to slide down.  So in the vicinity of moshers, I had to allocate one of my key defense resources to reach back and yank my pants back into place.

“This is the last time I’m wearing these jeans to a concert,” I thought.

And then I noticed Eugene Hutz.  His pants posed a similiar predictament and his butt crack was readily visible.

“Oh,” I realized, “It’s socially acceptable!”

And that was the last time I worried about that!

October 21, 2007 at 11:58 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-10-17

Some of my favorites:

October 17, 2007 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Pep-see ya! vs. Thagomizer

In college, I tried to coin a new farewell phrase.¬† Being a big Pepsi fan, I thought one should say, “Pep-see ya!” when parting ways.¬† It was an endorsement for a delicious soda and a goodbye all¬†wrapped into one.¬† What could be better?¬†

Brace yourself for this shocker–¬†“Pep-see ya!”¬†did not, I¬†repeat did not,¬†catch on.¬† It turns out the phrase is a bit on the dorky side.¬† I didn’t even say it very long myself. ¬†In fact, I think the only person who still uses the phrase is Aaron Evans and he only uses it for mockery purposes.¬† As far as introducing a new¬†vocabulary word, I have failed miserably.

The cartoonist, Gary Larson, on the other hand, has had much greater success!¬† This month’s Discover magazine¬†revealed the origins of the noun “thagomizer“.¬†¬†The word¬†actually originates from¬†a The Far Side cartoon that was published in 1982:

“Now, this end is called the thagomizer … after the late Thag Simmons”


Now the word is the official term for the spikes at the end of a stegosaurus’ tail!¬† It’s been used in speeches, reference books and even in Smithsonian Musuem exhibits.

Not bad.¬† Well…for a word that lacks the¬†irresistable ring¬†of “Pep-see ya!”¬† ūüôā

June 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm 2 comments

Hooray for Powerlines and Prisons

George Carlin has a great comedy bit about prisons and the NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) syndrome.¬† He talks about how everyone wants more prisons… but not in their backyard.¬† Carlin mocks this reasoning and points out a neighborhood by a prison would probably be safer.¬† He said (paraphrased):

If a prisoner escapes, what is he going to do?¬† Stick around?¬† Check out real estate prices?¬† No!¬† He’s going to get as far away as possible!

¬†The NIMBY philosophy isn’t limited to prisons.¬† It can apply to any number of things– Homeless shelters,¬†landfills and…powerlines.

Well, last Wednesday, I got to appreciate some unexpected benefits of having prisons and powerlines nearby and Carlin’s concepts were reinforced in my mind.

Hooray for Powerlines
In the late afternoon, Alex Moskwa, Brian Nenninger and I went after the “A Great Spot” geocache in Lake Ridge.¬† It provided some surprising views and scenery of the Occoquan River.

Occoquan River, 2006

And like I’ve found on many hikes, some of the best views can be attributed to…. powerlines.¬† Even on hikes where there isn’t a dramatic ridgeline,¬†a knob or a clearing– if there is a powerline crossing, you are still ensured a view.¬† Some examples:

Poor Mountain, 2003

Sinking Creek Valley, 2006

Town of Narrows, 2003

After finding our geocache on Wednesday, we went up a hillside and thanks to the clearing for the power lines, we had some nice views of the river and the sun illuminating the opposite shore!

Hooray for Prisons
Wednesday evening, I visited my friend Aaron Evans at his home in Alexandria.¬† He played for me the latest excerpts of his DVD, we watched some episodes of the U.S. “The Office” and then he got to watch his first episode of “Extras” (which by the way, the hilarious 2nd season starts airing on HBO on January 14th).¬† I left his house pretty late and headed home.¬† Although there was no traffic, I took the Lorton exit off I-95¬†for nostalgia.¬† That is the “shortcut” my father and I used to take each afternoon when rush hour traffic was at its worse.

In a land where townhouses and yardless homes are commonplace, suddenly I was driving amoung trees and fields.  I admired the night time views and the brighter stars as I followed gentle curves to 123.  And I knew I had the Lorton Prison to thank for the brief vacation from Northern Virginia life!  The prison had over 3000 acres of land which it used as a dairy farm.   In fact, they provided milk for D.C. hospitals. 

The Lorton prison was closed in 2001 and ownership of the property was transferred to Fairfax County.¬† I think¬†Fairfax County is keeping a¬†large portion¬†of the land slated for parks and greenspace.¬† I bet those parks end up kicking ass and providing something the prison¬†couldn’t provide me– spots for geocaches!¬† But, some of the land is going to be lost for various development projects. ¬†My friend Stacy, with his Urban¬†Planning background, can probably speak more knowledgably on the subject.¬†

As for me, I’ll just reap the surprise benefit of the prison while I can.¬† ūüôā

January 1, 2007 at 11:57 pm 2 comments

Christmas Cookies

Earlier this week, my mother-in-law wrote:

Traditions are wonderful things to share, whether you combine some of your family’s and some of Sean’s family’s traditions or start your own.

Today, I was able to revise a tradition and share it with my friend Ann.¬† Every year, my family spends the day after Thanksgiving baking and decorating cookies.¬† It started when we were young.¬† We’re all grown up now, but that doesn’t stop us and our equally grown friends from participating in the yearly cookie decorating.¬†¬†

A group of adults decorating cookies certainly brings forth new themes. ¬†For example,¬†a broken cookie is no longer a means for tears.¬† It is now an opportunity to get creative with red icing and make bloody stumps and appendages.¬†¬†A Christmas tree elegantly decorated with the word “BEOTCH” is another¬†design¬†decision¬†we didn’t quite capitalize on as children.¬† Here is a shot of last year’s effort.¬† I believe the Jackass cookie is the work of Aaron Evans, whose proven to be one of the best cookie decorators over the years.

Xmas Cookies 1995

This year, I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving and the timing was different, but cookie making and decorating was still done.¬†¬† This year the participants were myself, Ann, Penn and little Gwyn (though Gwyn was more of¬†a taste tester than a decorator).¬† We baked all day!¬† At times, Ann and I had two mixers going at once and three baking sheets were in constant circulation.¬† We made:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Sugar Cookies in the form of Snowmen, Candy Canes and Christmas Trees.¬† Penn and I used a variety of sprinkles and a delicious homemade butter cream icing Ann made.¬† Penn was especially good at embellishing the Christmas Trees and Candy Canes with the heart shaped sprinkles.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies with a Mini-Reeses Peanut Butter Cup in the middle.
  • Phifer’s Oreo Truffles which had a crushed Oreo and cream cheese filling and¬†a milk chocolate outside with a white chocolate drizzle.¬† Penn was integral in mixing the filling!¬† After kids went to bed, Ann and I had a good time coating the goodies in chocolate.
  • Most importantly– we worked on a Penguin Igloo Ice Cream Cake for Gwyn’s birthday tomorrow.

Xmas Cookies 2006

It was a fun day and I’ll have to¬†agree with my mother-in-law.¬† Traditions are wonderful things to share– especially with young children like Gwyn and Penn.

…even if it means an absence of bloody stumps and words such as “BEOTCH” and “JACKASS” ūüėČ

December 10, 2006 at 12:47 am 6 comments

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