Posts filed under ‘Jay’

Weekly Winners – March 15th – March 21, 2009

This week’s Weekly Winners come from a variety of locales. I started the week at home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Wednesday was an eventful day. We woke up at dawn, did some hiking in Fairy Stone State Park, Virginia. Next we attended the planting of a blight-resistant American Chestnut. The afternoon brought more hiking and then a quiet night in a lake front cabin. The weekend was spent in Occoquan, Virginia where I attended my brother’s 30th Birthday Party.

Elizabeth City - Henry Yawns
Henry Relaxing – Elizabeth City, NC

Fairystone State Park - View From Cabin at Dawn
Fairy Stone Lake at Dawn – Fairy Stone State Park

Fairystone State Park - Little Mountain Falls Trail - Holly Silhouette
Holly at Dawn – Fairy Stone State Park

Fairystone State Park - Little Mountain Falls Trail - Mossy Log and Falls
Little Mountain Falls – Fairy Stone State Park

Fairystone State Park - Little Mountain Falls Trail - Jimmie and Henry with Shadows
Shadowy Trail – Fairy Stone State Park

Fairystone State Park - Little Mountain Falls Trail - Neat Leaf
Learning a New Leaf – Fairy Stone State Park

Philpott Lake -  Susan Martin and Cathy Mayes Head to Planting Site
Park Ranger Susan Martin and American Chestnut Foundation Virginia Chapter President Cathy Mayes Head to Planting Site – Philpott Lake, Virginia

Philpott Lake -  Susan Martin Digs
Future of the Appalachian Forests? – Philpott Lake, Virginia

Stuarts Knob -  Beach View
Fairy Stone Lake from Stuart’s Knob – Fairy Stone State Park

Fairystone State Park - Jimmie and Ryan on Cabin Couch
Jimmie and Ryan Rest in Cabin – Fairy Stone State Park

Jay's Birthday -  Jay and Jacqueline Hug
Birthday Boy Hugs Girlfriend – Occoquan, Virginia

More pictures of Fairy Stone State Park, the American Chestnut Planting and my brother’s birthday party are available on my Flickr site.

Also, be sure to check out more of this week’s Weekly Winners out at Sarcastic Mom!

March 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm 6 comments

Sound Sleepers!

Last night I wasn’t feeling too hot, so I went to bed early. In the middle of the night I heard a really loud *SNAP* sound, but I promptly fell back to sleep. I wasn’t the only one. The two cats didn’t budge. Jimmie reportedly got up briefly and laid back down and most telling– Henry didn’t make a peep. Henry. The Beagle! The one who loves to aroo! To put it in perspective, this is how my brother describes Henry:

He would bark at an ant taking a shit on a piece of cotton.

By the time I woke up in the morning, the sound was a distant memory, but I did ask Ryan about it.

“Mmpf. What was that sound last night? Did I dream that?”

Ryan said he heard it too, but we shrugged off. As Ryan shaved, he speculated on possible causes. Thinking that maybe the foundation shifted, he came back in the bedroom and looked out the window above my head. He got an odd look on his face.

“IS IT SNOW?!?!??!?!” I said and jumped up anxious to see a white dusting on the ground.

Instead I saw this:

Ryan’s bedroom window

In the middle of the night, someone took it upon themselves to shoot the bedroom window with a buckshot:

Picture of the outside

Another view of the inside

So let me recap:

The window above the bed got shot at.

And two dogs, two cats and two people managed to sleep through it!

Obviously no one in the room was hurt. That, I hope we would have actually noticed. : )

And yes, the police were called and they started an investigation. I felt for the poor guys as they searched for evidence outside the bedroom window. Not only was it unusually cold, but that’s the compost pile. To do their jobs, the forensic team had to search through our old rotting food! : )

Anyway, try not to fret too much and certainly don’t lose sleep over this incident.

We didn’t!

December 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm 15 comments

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

Countdown to Gogol Bordello (Again)

Yay! It’s time for another Countdown to Gogol Bordello!

Earlier this week I followed through with a verbal commitment to my brother and bought my ticket to Gogol Bordello! So on June 19th, I’ll be meeting my brother, my brother’s girlfriend and my brother-in-law‘s cousin’s ex-boyfriend for the Richmond, Virginia show at Toad’s Place (anyone else out there going???  Aaron?  You know you want to!).

I’m psyched!

To share my excitement, here is a quick video I took with my camera at the 10/18/2008 show in Blacksburg, Virginia. Yeah, so what if the resolution and the sound aren’t that great? You get to see the energy of the band and how eclectic they are! In this video, you’ll see drums, an accordion, cymbals, a guitar, a violin and the lead singer playing a plastic bucket. Yup, a plastic bucket. How is that for diversity?


If you want better pictures of the band, once again I recommend Aaron Evan’s set from the October 16, 2007 show in Baltimore, Maryland.

As long as my brother doesn’t lose his shoe and his car keys like he did at the New York City show, I think a good time will be had by all!

May 29, 2008 at 1:38 pm 3 comments

The Peace Eagle

My favorite bird really didn’t do much to earn its title. It’s the chickadee and the only reason it was propelled to the top was because it was my maternal grandmother’s favorite bird. Sure they are cute, but I really did not embrace them until 2000 when my grandmother died. After that, anytime I saw a chickadee I was reminded of her and it made me smile. And from there my love of those little birds with the black caps grew.

BUT– my second favorite bird earned its right on its own volition. And, unlike the chickadee, I think it’s a less traditional candidate. It’s the turkey vulture or, as I indiscriminately call them and black vultures, buzzards. I ran into a few yesterday as I drove to Deerfield Bike Path for a walk.

Three “buzzards” just hanging out – the two on the left are actually black vultures and the one on the right is a turkey vulture.

I love these birds. A buzzard’s floating silhouette was a near constant fixture in sky when I was a child. They always looked so tranquil. Now whenever I see a buzzard above, I feel closer to my family and closer to home.

Turkey Vulture (Photo by Ms. Kathleen)

On the subject of childhood, buzzards evoke a memory that still makes me smile. One day my father was especially displeased with my younger brother. I was out in the yard with a gruff Dad, and he noted a group of buzzards circling above us.

“They know I’m about to kill Jay,” he said. 🙂

Painting by my brother, who was not in fact devoured by buzzards.

Buzzards are also sentimental to me on the emetophobia front. In winter 2002, I was visiting my parents and had a horrible bout of anxiety and appetite loss. One morning my father asked if I wanted to go to breakfast. To me, that was a terrifying request (and not because he suggested McDonald’s).

“I don’t know,” I said with tears in my eyes, “What if I get there and I’m not hungry?”

My father was not phased by this obstacle in the least. “Well, then we bring it home and feed it to the dogs!”

Sounded easy enough. I got in the car and went with my father to McDonald’s. I cautiously ate a few bites of a Yogurt Parfait before my fearful esophagus would swallow no more.

On our way back, Dad got enthusiastic, “Oh Vicky, you’ve GOT to see this!”

He took a few turns and suddenly we were at a townhouse development. Typical to Northern Virginia architecture, all the houses looked exactly the same. But then there was one house in the row that stood out. The roof was COVERED with buzzards… and subsequently had its fair share of buzzard crap as well.

“There are here every morning,” Dad said, “And then after lunch, they go and fly across the river.”

We laughed and pointed and laughed some more. We speculated. What was it about that ONE townhouse that made it such an appealing roost? How come they didn’t sit on any of the adjacent townhouses? Did they used to have a tree in the same spot? Do the owners of the house know they have visitors while they are away?

Eventually, we returned back to the car where the yogurt was waiting in the cup holder. I was now relaxed and happy and as we drove back to the house and continued to marvel about buzzards, I finished every bit of my breakfast.

The root of my worries that day was a fear of vomit. And here a bird whose defense mechanism is to vomit on its threats was my salvation.

Vicky’s unlikely hero (Photo by Vicki and Chuck Rogers)

“Turkey vulture” and “buzzard” aren’t exactly appealing terms. The scientific name is a little better– Cathartes aura where cathartes means “purifier”. But I think the Cherokees came up with the best name. They call the birds “Peace Eagles” because buzzards don’t kill to eat. They simply recycle.

From my perspective, “Peace Eagle” is the perfect name! When I see a buzzard gliding around in the sky, “peaceful” is definitely a word I would use to describe their flight. Their ability to make me think of my family and feel as if I were home again brings along a sense of ease, a feeling of peace. And one day way back in 2002 when even a meal was a scary notion, it was a group of buzzards who brought me the most important type of peace.

Peace from one’s own mind.

May 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm 16 comments

Nerd Squad!

After Christmas, some of my closest high school classmates all convened in the Washington, D.C. area:

  • Christina came in from Germany with her husband, her nephew and her young son
  • Alex came in from Washington State
  • Brian came in from Texas
  • and then Stacy made the grueling trek from his new home in Chantilly, Virginia. 🙂

As for me, after Christmas I made my way to my parents house, so I can spend some time having a mini-reunion with my friends.

When I told my brother my plans, he laughed.

“Ahahaha, the Nerd Squad!” he declared.

At first, I think I was a little appalled at the term because I promptly ran to Brian to tattle on what my brother had said.

“Jay called us the nerd squad!!!!”

Brian paused thoughtfully and then said, “Yeah. That sounds about right.”

And you know what? I think we did live up to the name. Here are some of the antics the “Nerd Squad” got into.

  • Watched YouTube videos (such as The Office’s The More You Know series, Man Knocks Himself Out with a Log, Prank Gone Wrong) and shared our favorite xkcd comics.
  • Spent an evening troubleshooting my parent’s LinkSys router so we could have wireless.
  • Test drove trikes at a local bike store.

    Me (foreground) and Alex (background) riding trikes
  • Spent a lot of time playing with our various electronics including Brian’s iPhone and Alex’s iPod Touch. I spent a lot of time on my LG enV, but I failed to make them jealous.
    Me taking pictures for Flickr. Alex plays with my LG enV while his iPod Touch sits nearby. My laptop is in the background. It’s on the wireless network, of course.
  • Spent a day at the Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles. I think that in itself is not too nerdy, but we did spend an awful lot of time taking pictures of an old keyboard and marveling about how a computer with 128 kb of memory could be in use into the 1990s.

    Old keyboard– It doesn’t have an @ sign. The horror!

Now, we did do some things that were decidedly unnerdy. We had a delicious lunch at Siam-Classic (Christina’s Mother’s restaurant in Manassas) and Saturday evening, I did spend an evening with Christina’s family watching the Patriots win their last regular season game. Hmm… Christina seems to be the catalyst for non-nerd adventures. 🙂

Nerds or not, I very much enjoyed seeing my old classmates. I was quite sad Sunday when we all started to part ways and I had to drive home to Blacksburg. Actually, I’m still a bit sad. I had so much fun seeing everyone.

January 3, 2008 at 9:40 am 11 comments

Gogol Bordello in NYC

My brother and his friend Pat traveled up to New York City to see Gogol Bordello perform on New Year’s Eve.  They report it was a great show.  But… they did have their fair share of complications.  Here is my brother’s write-up on the trip.  I’m particularly fond of his shoe hunt.

Pat and Jay’s Fear and Loathing in New York City Excursion

         To Whom ever is reading this I just want to say first that I am a responsible adult but I wanted to convey my intense New Year’s going to a Gogol Bordello concert in NYC.  I purchased some tickets for Gogol Bordello in NYC online for my girlfriend and I thinking she could get New Years Eve off.  She couldn’t go so I decided I wouldn’t go and that I would just give the tickets to someone else as a Christmas gift.  I went through several different people and couldn’t get rid of them if I held a gun to someone’s head.  My girlfriend convinced me to go anyway and suggested I take my friend Pat.  Pat was happy to go so it’s set in stone I am going to NYC for my first time to see Gogol Bordello.
         We arrive at our hotel with no incidences in Brooklyn, NY.  We have time to spare so we decided to walk around Brooklyn a little bit to get a feel for it and to have a cocktail or two before we left for the show.  We strike up some conversations with some locals (who are very nice) and found out our show is not in Brooklyn like the web site I got the tickets from said but is in Manhattan. The locals are laughing at us because it’s New Years Eve and the club where the concert is located right next to the beginning of the Times Square New Years Eve bullshit.  Even though they are snickering about it they still insist we should be fine that the club won’t be that hard to get to. Our bartender did the same snicker when he heard what we are doing that night but said we should be good.  Before we left this bar the bartender gave Pat and I a free drink to help move a pool table. 
         We take the subway and find our stop pretty easy and the subway wasn’t crowded. We take a quick bathroom break to find the worst bathroom on the planet which smells like what I imagine a prison laundry room to smell like. We walk to the street to find the beginning of the massive sea of people that are waiting to go to Times Square.  Our club is only 6 blocks from the metro but every direct root was blocked off.  On top of it the direction that we have to go is the opposite direction that the sea of people is going.  We are like salmon. After an hour and a half and fifteen or twenty blocks we arrived at the club.
        The club is impressive as big as the capitol ballroom if not bigger.  In our excitement we make our way to the bar and have a victory shot/beer.  I buy Jacklyn, my girlfriend, a tee-shirt while I still have money and decided to wear it under my shirt so I don’t lose it (Great Idea!)  The show hasn’t yet started so we keep making our way in between the bar and outside cigarette smoking area while having stimulating conversation. The show starts and I feel pretty good.
        Gogol Bordello rocks the house.  Pat and I are fucking excited.  Everyone is jumping, screaming and singing.  I keep looking at pat and saying, “I’m Happy!” and he’s like, “I’m happy too!”
        The night goes on and we still keep making are way between the bar, crowd and smoking area.  Gogol Bordello starts counting down and its 2008! By this time I and Pat are in “I Fucking Love You Man!” stage.  The show starts getting more and more intense and Pat and I want a piece of the action in front.  We start making our way up to the front by just walking where we want to go and we get real close like 3 rows away.  Everybody is jumping and we’re jumping and we still want to get closer.  We try just moving people out of the way or sticking our arms in where we want to go and a few people get pissed. People started pushing us and we’re like, “Oh you want to push”  on each side of us we’re pushing like 6 people a piece and they would push back which would push us into other bystanders and suddenly it’s a classic 1992 mash pit.  I get real hot and I decide to ditch my jacket (Great Idea!) It reverts back to jumping and singing and I feel the urge to jump on stage. 
     I start position my self to jump when suddenly my shoe falls off.  I look down and try to grab it when it disappears.  I turn to Pat who is still jumping and say, “I LOST MY SHOE!”  He’s like, “WHAT!?”   I scream, “I LOST MY SHOE I AM GOING TO THE BAR.”   He laughs but comes with me we make our way back to the bar.  A few shots and a beer later and a couple of snickers from the bartender about my predicament the show ends. I make my way back to the floor to find my shoe.  They had some DJ music playing and it was a lot less crowded but there was a cesspool of trash, clothing articles, and people dancing everywhere none of which is my jacket or my shoe.  I keep looking and try to act like I was dancing in between my searches.  I did find a hat I though I would need and a black ballerina looking slipper which I did try to put on (it was way too small.)  I decide to let go of my shoe and jacket and we stumble back to the metro.
       We go to the metro and Pat is looking at a map like he can read a fucking map.  I have the address of our hotel in my pocket and I tell him I am going to ask someone.  I ask the metro guy and he simply points to the train I need.  I turn around and Pat is nowhere to be found.  I comb the area.  I check the bathroom first and then I look everywhere else .I look twice, and again and again.  That fool is nowhere to be found.  I decided that hopefully he smart enough to find his way back. I did try hard to find him but he is gone.
        I get on the train only to find to these 2 sketchy looking crack-heads who keep trying to give me a hard time but I am still in invincibility mode from the club. They keep trying to make fun of my missing shoe.  We start arguing about things like “the Irish vs. the English” and I over shot my stop by one.  I vocally blame one of the shady characters who I’ve been arguing with. As I leave I also call him Dracula because of his weird trench coat thing. 
        I know that I am like ten blocks away from my hotel and its raining. I still don’t have a shoe so I decide to take a cab.  I hail like 10 cabs who all speed pass me and finally I get one by walking in front of one that was stuck at a red light.  I tell him where I need to go and show him the address and we get on the way.  We get to the street my hotel is on and I notice he is going the wrong way direction.  I’m like, “Hey we’re going the wrong way can u bust a u-ee?”  He responds sharply,” I’m not getting a ticket for you, you get out here!”  And so I am back to the streets in the rain with no shoe and I still have seven blocks to go. 
        I finally make it to the hotel and the first thing I do is go to my car because I have an extra pair of shoes in there.  I reach in my pocket to find my car key is missing. I am thinking to myself that Pat and I are screwed. I go to my room and I try to call pat (I would’ve called him earlier but my phone doesn’t work in the subway,)   it rings like 10 times and the voice mail picks up. I keep calling it over and over and then someone picks up, “Hello?”  I’m like, “PAT!”  They guy on the other end is like, “No this is Robert I found your buddies phone in the club.” I told Robert to leave the phone in the club.  I am very angry at this point but I am tired too.  It was 4 in the morning I decided to go to bed.  I hoped pat was alright and that I would be able to find me key.  I fall asleep.
      I awake to Pat saying,”Wake up man lets go to the bar!”  It’s about 7 in the morning.  I blow him off and he lies down and immediately starts snoring. At about eleven-fifteen in the morning I wake up and remember that check out was at 11.  I call and get an extension.  I wake up Pat and ask to borrow his shoes so I can go buy some shoes.  He fucking laughs at me but points them out.  I start walking to a shopping area on a quest for shoes. 
     First place I see open on New Years is a gym.  I have an idea that there might be a lost and found there with someone’s shoes they never claimed.   No luck.  Most stores are closed but a few small clothing stores are open and they don’t have any shoes.  I keep looking.  I walk for like an hour and decide to give up on shoes again.  I turn around and start walking back.  I walk by this trash can and there on top is this white beat up left shoe.  I thinking well I got to go back to Manhattan to try to find my keys so I might as well wear the fucking thing (Although my other shoe is brown.)  I make my way back to the hotel. 
    I show pat what I found and he’s in hysterics.  I give his shoes back and put my new one on which is soaking wet and we are off to Manhattan again.
   We get to the subway and we can’t stop laughing.  I got two different shoes on and my beanie cap that I found last night.  Pat keeps walking ahead of me and turning around yelling not to follow him and called me names like hobo.  We get on the train to Manhattan and he sits where I can’t sit next to him.  I try to hide my new white shoe but it is totally obvious.  No one will look at me and a few people whisper and point when they think I’m not looking.  I still keep laughing uncontrollable sometimes about the situation which probably makes me look schizophrenic.  We finally arrive back in Manhattan and we start walking to the club again.
  Pat told me about how the previous night how he didn’t remember leaving the club and when he snapped out of his drunkenness he was on a train.  How he was lost for 3 hours and has pizza sauce on his shirt and doesn’t remember eating.
    We get to the club and luckily it’s open and has some kids’ dance competition in it and is magically very clean.  We find the club owner and we explain or situation.  He pulls out a pen and starts making a list of what we lost.   Pat’s like “My phone. His jacket and his car keys,” and I add while pointing down, “And my shoe.”  The guy laughs at me but he’s British so he’s like “oh dear.” He goes and looks in the lost and found and doesn’t find a single thing.  He told us to call in a few days and we leave.
  We call this “Robert” who picked up pats phone and he says he has it (my battery is dying) Pat gets his address and we head back to the metro to retrieve his phone. We think we are going the right towards this guy’s house but we aren’t.  We get off and go look at the map. We get back on but another wrong train.  We get off again and look at a map and we see a certain color line of train that we need. We wait for the train and it never comes.  We look at the map again and it doesn’t run on weekends and I guess new years day counts as a weekend even though it’s Tuesday.  After 3 hours of this I mention to pat that we really died last night and this is purgatory. I decide to split from pat and return to the hotel to work on my not having a car key problem. Pat agrees.  We still keep having flashbacks about last night and keep laughing hysterically.  We part ways again this time intentionally. 
   I return to the hotel and call a locksmith.  His name is Joey and he says they can do it, ”But its gonna cost 400 bucks being New Years and everting”  Luckily,  I have my credit card and if it weren’t for that thing I would be homeless in New York  because for now after last night I only have like 20 dollars in my account.  Even though this key making thing took a while it was a lot quicker then Pats cell phone scavenger hunt.  When they came to fix it the first thing I did was get my shoes out of the trunk.  When I put them on they had dogshit all over them which is why they were in the trunk. I washed them off and threw the two old ones away. No fucking souvenirs for me. 
      Pat returns with his phone and we eat in a pizza place.  We start having flashbacks again and laughing hysterically at my day as a hobo.  We then make our way out of the city to the highway.  We get lost a few more times which set us back another hour but we finally get it right. 
     Through it all the trip cost us about 1100 dollars for one day.  Key made, tolls, hotel, tickets, gas, drinks, food all that stuff. Even though were on the brink of being homeless we did not stop laughing hysterically the whole time.  I would do it again in a heartbeat and highly recommend everyone do it.  Although I think if it wasn’t Pat and I, whoever it would have been would have broke.

January 2, 2008 at 6:08 pm 4 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

Catch Up – Weekend of Sept 22nd

Okay, I’ve been quite busy as of late.  Here are quick glimspes of what I’ve been up to:

Groomsman Dress
Two weekends ago, I went up to the Northern Virginia area to do an activity that used to fill me with dread– I went dress shopping.  And it turned out to be a fabulous time.  I got to meet Stacy’s fiance, Louise.  I got to meet Stacy’s daughter, Addie and I got to get to know one of the bridesmaids better.

One of the bridesmaids, Jenn, and little Addison

On top of that, the act on trying on those fancy dresses was quite fun.  I’m pleased with our selection.  I was also pleasantly surprised with the price!  The whole drive up, I mentally braced myself for something along the lines of $500.  The morning of the shopping outing, my father got me flustered.

“No!  That dress is going to be a thousand dollars!” he exclaimed.

I was a bit worried until I reported Dad’s statement to Mom.  She rolled her eyes and asked me a simple question:

“Oh come on, how many bridesmaid dresses has your father bought?!?” 

How much is this dress? $1000? $500?

Dad’s guess was a gross overestimate, as was mine.  We would both suck ass at The Price is Right. 

Thank goodness. 🙂

That same weekend, I got to visit my home town!  The reinnovations to the 123 Bridge are almost done and they include a pedestrian walkway with beautiful views of the river and the town!

Occoquan River

Town of Occoquan

I also got to visit the house I grew up in, my grandmother’s house, and a brick dedicated to my grandmother on the sidewalk in front of our town hall.

Grandma’s Brick

It was a brief, but very pleasant homecoming.  More photos of Occoquan are available on my Flickr site.

Surprising Art
Within eighteen hours I discovered that *two* individuals I know have some artistic talent.  First off, Ryan Somma can draw cartoons?!?  And then an absolutely mind-boggling discovery followed.  My brother, that pesky little boy who ruined my first kiss, can paint?!?!?!  I was helping my Mom move furniture to my brother’s room and found his rendition of a turkey buzzard (my 2nd favorite bird!) on display:

Turkey Buzzard by Jay

Who knew.

Serendipity and Spit-up
When I met little Addison, I got to hold her for a while.  Things were going smoothly for while, but then she made a face and I suspected that at any moment she would start to cry.  With an audience of people I just met for the very first time, I was self-conscious about triggering a sobbing spectacle.  So what do I do?  Run away!  I handed Addie back over to her father before she had a chance to cry.  Almost immediately after the hand-off, Addie spit up on Stacy.  With him, it got on his shirt.  BUT– the way I was holding her, it would have been a perfect shot on my still-growing Locks of Love hair.  Sometimes, it pays off to be a wuss!  😉

September 30, 2007 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

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