Posts filed under ‘Ryan Schutt’

Prejudice Doesn’t Pay

The last two evenings have closed with me watching the famed Leeroy Jenkins battle on YouTube and laughing.  Before yesterday, I didn’t even know who Leeroy Jenkins was. 

How did I miss such an old and wide-spread Internet phenomenon?  Prejudice!  I’m biased against video games, thanks to their habit of sucking entire days of my life away.  It’s been almost a decade, but I still feel the sting with how fleeting my reign on the Wetrix Top Ten Board was in our apartment.  I spent days taking the entire list over.  Ryan Schutt eradicated me within a few hours and didn’t even break a sweat.  That memory of my own futility was so persistant that even when Discover Magazine pointed out the benefits of video games, my stereotypes stood firm.

And so, I’m certain when Leeroy Jenkins first found his way to me, I took one look at all those players strategizing, rolled my eyes and thought, “What the hell is this crap?!?” before closing the window.

And look at what laughter my bigoted ways deprived me.

At least I have chicken.

October 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm 9 comments

You Must Assimilate to My Tastes

My cousin’s Facebook site list her favorite books as:

Slaughterhouse 5, Cat’s Cradle. (Both by Kurt Vonnegut)

I couldn’t help but recall– those were books I got her for Christmas a few years ago!  I told her I approved of her selection and she wrote back in jest:

Hehe, I owe it all to a cool person who introduced me to those books. I don’t remember who it was…. 😛

I guess my purchases to share my tastes with others are not limited to outdoor hobbies.

Now that I think of it, one year I got Ryan Schutt the game Taboo for Christmas.  Taboo is a game I LOVE (but actually don’t own).  Though…I’m not sure if that was as a successful purchase as the Vonnegut books.  I know we played once when Sean, Ryan and I lived in an apartment together (I believe Stacy was involved in that session as well).  But I don’t know if its seen much action since then.

Two years ago, I got Carolyn a purple mini sharpie…. which just so happened to match the green mini sharpie I had attached to my keychain.  Perhaps the same year, I got Carolyn toe socks— a staple of my own relaxation warddrobe.

After I got married and fell in love with a juicer some co-workers gave us, a couple of people on my Christmas list mysteriously received…. juicers!  Like Taboo, I’m not sure how effective a gift it was to others– there is a lot of cleanup involved, so a juicer is not for everyone.  Me, I’m not deterred.  I still love the gift– especially the fresh carrot apple juice it provides. 

This is an interesting pattern that is emerging.  I might have to reflect on this more.  At the moment, it appears my biggest inspiration for gifts, may be…. me! 

January 25, 2007 at 12:26 am 2 comments

Assateague 2006

A little more than a week ago, Christina Geyer, Stacy McMahon, Jay and Jacqueline and I were first arriving on Assateague Island.  I was there for less than 24 hours, but packed a lot of activity in the time.  Here’s a recap:

Arrival Fanfare
Ponies were waiting for us in the parking lot when we arrived to the campsite.  One pony’s genitalia made it very very clear he was a male (and an aroused male at that).  Christina did not bat an eye:

“Look, he’s very excited to see you, Vicky!” she said.

It’s a statement we certainly would have uttered in high school.  Ah, to feel young again!

Our human companions were significantly less excited to see us.  Everyone was so tired and/or miserable that when I announced, “Hey everyone, this is my friend Christina!” the only acknowledgement that I had spoken was an abbreviated grunt from Wayne Howard.  🙂

Walk on Beach
Shortly after our arrival, Christina, Stacy and I went for a walk along the beach.  We were headed towards a black blob a couple with binoculars thought was a dead pony.  It turned out to be a log.  It was still a nice walk though and Christina spotted some dolphins in the ocean.

Afternoon in the Ocean
A number of us spent the afternoon in the ocean.  At one point, it was just me, Erin Jebo Cooper and Carolyn.  It reminded me of our water aerobic days!!!  When we were all three in Blacksburg we used to attend a class at the Blacksburg Aquatic Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  (Fridays were sometimes followed by Marguerita Night at El Guadeloupes!)  We reminisceced briefly about our class….and our traumatic experience where two women trapped us in the sauna, making us hostages in that continual heat.  And what weapon did those ladies against us?  Nothing but their own naked obesity and a strategic placement in our line of sight.

Quick complaint– there were some idiots fishing right in the middle of the day when the ocean was filled with people.  At one point, their fishing line was bisecting our group.  We tugged and tugged and tugged on the line–but the fisherman was so oblivious to everything he didn’t even notice.  Jerk.

At one point I was trying to tell a story and the rising sea waters kept interrupting me.  I spurted and sputtered and coughed and gagged.  Finally I told Evan and Carolyn, “It’s hard to look your sexiest in the ocean.”  Just moments later I drilled that point home.  I dove under a wave and when I came back up, I was greeted by Carolyn’s shrill:

“EWWW! You have snot hanging from your nose!”

I had been wondering just how effective those spray on sunscreens are.  Shannon Diaz Katz was able to put that question to rest.  She developed a very interesting pattern of skin coloration.  There were a few white circles running down her arm, surrounded by tan and burn.  You could see exactly where she sprayed the sunscreen…. and exactly where the coverage was missed.

Shehab has the honor of having the most distinct tan line I’ve ever seen.  He has a typical farmer’s tan, but he must have worn the exact same style of shirt every day of his life.  When he lifted up his shirt sleeve, you can see a very rigid, strict borderline between pale flesh and a deep, enviable tan.  The division was so accurate and clear– an artist would need a ruler to recreate it on paper.

Dinner at Sneaky Pete’s
Around dusk, Shehab, Wayne, Shannon, Christian and I headed off the park to go eat at Sneaky Pete’s, a seafood restaurant right across the water from Ocean City.  Due to the hour and the crowd, our party was seperated in half and we got to eat on their dining facilities in an old boat.  We were baffled by the parking meters in each booth (turns out it is for a charity event) and Shehab wasn’t too pleased with the ongoing selection of Jimmy Buffet music.  Other than that, it was a pretty darn good environment for supper.

We tried an interesting shot while we were there.  It was hazelnut liquor and citron vodka.  It came with a lemon wedge and a packet of sugar.  Basically, you put the sugar on the lemon wedge and you bit into it and swished it around.  Then you drank the shot.  It tasted just like Chocolate Cake.  The ingredients didn’t sound like chocolate and with its sickly yellow color, it certainly did not look like chocolate– but sure enough it tasted like chocolate cake.  Weird.

I mentioned our party was seperated between two tables.  Shannon, Christian and Shehab were at one table and it was me and Wayne at the other.  I very much enjoyed visting and talking to Wayne.  Through the years, I used to see him at Carolyn/Clint parties, blacklight bowling, the occassional rollerblade on the Huckleberry Trail and a Virginia Tech away game in Philadelphia.  But I think this may have been the first time we really just sat and talked for an extended period of time.

Night Owls
By the time we got back to the island, it was already dark.  I had missed the sunset I had coveted all day, but our meal was well worth it.  Now, unlike the morning, when we arrived back at the campside everyone was abuzz with activity and a second wind.  The evening was filled with great conversations.  Most notably, Carolyn and I chatted with Ryan Somma for quite some time.  Another very enjoyable conversation. 

Birthday Bonfire
Sunday was Christian’s birthday, so at midnight we moved down to the beach for a bonfire!  Originally it was intended as a surprise, but it didn’t take long before Christian was well aware of the plan.  I’m not sure how the information leaked to him, but in the past I’ve found drunk people tend not to whisper as quietly as they think.  🙂  The bonfire was very nice.  Wayne tended to it and took on the ambitious task of burning the “gigalog”.  Some of us played with glow sticks.  A number of us got to see some shooting stars. 

There was one mishap, however.  A poor little crab ran into our fire and subsequently cooked himself.  The common interpretation is the crab was suicidal.  I’m not so sure.  I thought I saw the crab run towards the fire and stop.  “Wait a second, that’s hot!”  Then I saw the crab take a few waddles away from the heat until he was frightened by Doug’s tall stature and fled… right into the fire.  Regardless of the crab’s true mental state, I like what Angel has to say to the crab:

“Party foul, dude!”

Midnight Hike
Between 12 AM and 1 AM, a heard a small party discussing a night hike.  I was sold on the notion immediately.  So Clint, Heather Diaz, Gene and I headed out to the “Life in the Forest” trail.  Thanks to Heather and Gene’s headlamps (and not much thanks to a piddly glowstick) we took the trail to a deck that overlooked the marshlands and Sinepuxent Bay.  A near full moon hung in the sky above the water.  The scenery was spectacular.  Dark blue silhouettes of the pine trees and the marshgrass contrasted with the soft blue hues of the night sky and the water.  At some places, the water was reflecting the moonlight so vibrantly, it looked like snow.  I don’t think pictures would ever do it justice.

Very peaceful, very moving.

We got attacked by some bugs, but it was well, well, well worth it.

Night Swim
When we returned to the bonfire, I heard of another activity of great interest to me– swimming in the ocean!  A number of years ago, Aaron Evans, Ryan Schutt, Stacy and I went swimming at Ocean City at 3 AM.  I remember bobbing with the tides admiring all the lights on the shore.  I remember a fun experience.  Stacy might have different recollections since he cut his head!

Anyway, Shehab and I headed into the ocean, I guess around 2ish?  Doug quickly joined us and later Ryan Somma came in as well.  Although Assateague does not sport all the lights Ocean City does, our adventure was just as beautiful.  Away from the bonfire, the stars were even brighter!  The distinct band of the Milky Way bisecting the sky could not be missed.  Then you had the brightness of the moon and of course the intermittent shooting stars.  I could just stare at that sky and feel free and happy.

Then Doug noticed something!  There was some plankton in the ocean that was reacting to our movement.  Anytime we moved, little packets would flash green.  So as we swam or walked or waved our arms under the water, little trails of green sparkles would follow us.  They even reacted to someone blowing bubbles (that was Shehab’s discovery).

So above us, we had the great lights of the formidable universe and all around us, we had the humble lights of one of nature’s smallest creatures.  We were surrounded by great visuals.  It felt very cinematic.  Magical almost.

The End
The moment was less than magical a little later when I was sleeping in a tent with wet clothes and no sleeping bag.  Luckily, sweat pants and my Virginia Tech hoodie did not let me down.  I slept four hours before waking up at 7 AM and starting my long, somber journey home.

Other Recaps and Pictures
My Pictures

Clint’s Pictures

Carolyn’s Recap

Christina’s Recap

Angel’s Pictures

Ian’s Pictures

Christian’s Pictures

Angel’s Recap

Stacy’s Pictures

August 12, 2006 at 12:40 pm 4 comments

Forgotten Dishes

A year or so ago, Sean and I were waiting for Larry Bowman to meet us at one of the many Mexican restaurants in the New River Valley.  Sean and I were just about to order when Larry arrived at the table. 

“Do you know what you want?” I asked Larry.

“I always get the same thing, but I can never remember the number,” Larry said.  He grabbed a menu, opened it and then looked up at the waiter, “Two.”

Sean and I always laugh at how Larry’s forgotten number could be so simple.

Anyway, I ran into a similiar story in my journal entry from January 18, 1999:

Ryan Schutt is sick today.  He has strep throat.  I felt bad for him being ill and decided to pick up food for him.  Sean & I were meeting Brian & Jodi @ Hokie House.  Sean and I left at 8:15 PM.  I was certain I’d be back in time for Ally McBeal.  Ryan wanted a chicken fillet sandwich, no tomato.

I didn’t get back until 10 PM!!! The service at Hokie House was horrid.  It took them at least 10 minutes to get me my water. 

When I went up to order Ryan’s sandwich I told the waitress, “I want to order a sandwich.  I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s a chicken fillet.”

The waitress looked at me blankly and muttered an “um…” before getting a menu to look it up.  She pulled the menu on the counter and guess what the sandwich was called:


How could she, an employee, not remember that sandwich name?!? Hehehe.

Note to self: Stop giving Larry such a hard time.

July 22, 2006 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

The Art Will Go On

Earlier this week, CNN had an article on Dennis Hwang.  He’s the artist who does all the specialized Google logos for holidays and special events.  Like many others, for years I’ve been looking at his work and never really thought about the artist behind it. 

To me, there is something very captivating, almost romantic, about art where the artist’s identity is not readily attached.  For all I know the artist could be dead or forgotten and it’s exactly that notion that makes the concept so appealing to me!  The artist, regardless of whereabouts, still possesses a tiny bit of immortality because his/her work lives on. 

I thought about that a lot in Mrs. Plaut’s Humanties classes, particularly when we were looking at pieces of Ancient Greek pottery.  The artists’ identities are no longer (and may have never been) known.  But thousands of years after their deaths, we know they were once on this great earth.  We know because we’re looking at (not to mention studying) their handiwork!

Ink Sketch on Paper Napkin
My favorite example of anonymous art was stumbled upon in Savannah, Georgia.  Excerpt from my journal entry on December 31, 1998:

In March while visiting Savannah, I was waiting alone [in a bar] for Sean and Ryan [Schutt].  I saw something yellow and wrinkled hanging on the bar wall.  Upon further investigation I realized it was a napkin with a city scape drawn on it.  It’s caption read, “Pre-War Dresden, Germany.”  The picture was dated nearly 25 years ago!  Not only did someone remember a beautiful city that was later destroyed during WWII, but someone saw beauty in this napkin and saved it nearly a quarter of a century.  It was a drawing on a napkin, nearly a doodle, and someone preserved it all these years.  The artist did not leave his/her name on the napkin– nonetheless the artist left a mark.

It’s been 8 years since I saw that napkin in Savannah and here I am still thinking about it!  In fact, it has made more than one appearence in my journals.  Even though I’ll never know the artist’s name, that seemingly trivial doodle continues to live on in my mind.  Through that napkin, the artist lives on… as well as his/her memory of pre-war Dresden.

“Hire Vicky” Cheerleader
As it turns out, I may have my own little subtle legacy living in cyberspace.  Oddly, that legacy may not lie in my years of hard work with QualTrax.  Instead– it may lie in a simple, animated GIF I did in a single afternoon in college!

In preparing to land my first real summer job, I added a simple little animated GIF (emphasis on simple– I made the frames in an application kin to Paint) to my personal web site.  It was a little cheerleader who’d jump up and down and hold up a sign that said “HIRE VICKY!”  She even had a little green V on her chest.  Green for my favorite color and V for Vicky.  It seemed to do the trick– I got an absolutely, inspiring job at a Web Development firm in Reston which sent me on my way to the career I have now. 

Anyway, somewhere along the line the cheerleader got added to an animated GIF gallery.  Then at some point a school emailed me and asked if I could make a version without the “HIRE VICKY!” sign so they could use it.  I cut out the last frame and sent it along.  All of a sudden, my cheerleader was popping up in unexpected places… like Brian Nenninger’s grandfather’s personal webpage!

The cheerleader is over a decade old now, but I still run across her.  A lot of people change the colors.   Some people have made her a still shot.  Some people have shrunk her and others have made her larger.  I am surprised, however, how few people remove the “V” from her chest.

Here’s a sampling of the different variations:

Red Bay High School
Valley High Athletics
Homer Stallions
Diana Flick’s Harrisonburg High Page
New York State Education Department
Clinton Elementary School
Not sure this one stays true to my original vision– they erased part of her mouth!
Miracle League of El Paso
Vaughan Road Alumni Association
The yellow smile is a nice touch.
Faubion Middle School Calendar
Mid River Eagles Football
I like this one because they use DHTML to have the cheerleader go all over the page. I also like how the cheerleader is apparently celebrating the Eagles losing 30 to 0.

The Hire Vicky Cheerleader certainly isn’t as moving as the “Pre-War Dresden” cityscape and it doesn’t have the high visibility of Dennis Hwang’s work, that’s for sure. 

But in the arena of leaving your mark, I think you should take whatever you can get!

July 22, 2006 at 4:00 pm 7 comments

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