Sunday, April 22, 2007

Oh. My. GORE....

The second aide approached by Vice-President Gore's allies said: "There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. They don't think she can win and they're probably right. If Gore runs, he's got a really good chance of getting the nomination. And he has a good chance of pulling off the election, too."
That's just the best part of the article. You can read the rest here. Remember, bloggers; if Gore does run, lots of people owe me beers.

Check out the discussion here and here.

P.S. Gore is pulling STRONGLY as a top candidate, and he isn't even running yet...(or IS he?)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sen. Webb, Gov. Kaine work together to help the Tech victims

As some of you may have already heard, one of our Richmond bloggers, Alicia Farrell, lost her brother Jarrett in the Virginia Tech tragedy. Alicia has a wonderful tribute to him on her blog, and I highly suggest checking it out when you get a chance.

Thanks to the good people at the offices of both Gov. Kaine and Sen. Webb, Jarrett's best friend and his wife will be able to get a few days off, special permission from the military, in order to attend Jarrett's funeral. Read more about that here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today: Statewide Day of Mourning and a prayer service in Richmond

Please wear the Hokie colors today when you attend Governor Kaine's prayer service at Monroe Park here in Richmond (on VCU campus). If you are coming from out of town and have any questions about the area, please contact me in the comments and I will do my best to help you.
RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine has declared Friday, April 20, 2007 a statewide day of mourning for the victims of Monday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech.

On Friday, Governor Kaine will participate in an interfaith prayer service in Monroe Park on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has encouraged other communities in Virginia and across the nation to hold their own simultaneous ceremonies and participate in prayer services, beginning with the ringing of bells at noon, eastern daylight savings time.

“As our Commonwealth begins the long and difficult healing process, I am filled with images of a Virginia Tech community that is resilient and unified,” said Governor Kaine. “I ask that everyone in Virginia pause at noon on Friday to offer prayers of support for the victims, their families, and for all those affected by this tragedy.”

The Richmond prayer service will take place at Monroe Park, Belvidere and Main Streets, and will begin at noon, eastern daylight savings time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Updated-BREAKING: Tech shooter sent pics/video to NBC

My heart goes out to the entire Hokie nation. The wound we all sustained on 4/16/07 was more than bad enough; the salt poured on it tonight was more than we should have to bear...
LAST UPDATE (bc I am sick to my stomach): His homemade disgusting video shot between shootings is available. You can view it here if you look for it. *link to video removed bc there is no way to NOT see it at this point, and I don't feel like linking to a such a horrible, pathetic, disgusting waste of skin and bones.

UPDATE III: There is a picture that Cho took of himself between murders included in the package he sent to NBC. You can view it here if you look for it. *link to image removed bc there is no way to NOT see it at this point, and I don't feel like linking to a such a despicable, horrible being.

UPDATE II: NBC statement:
A statement from NBC News: "NBC received a communication from Cho Seung-Hui, the man identified by police as the Virginia Tech shooter, via the US Mail this morning and immediately turned it over to the authorities. The package included images, videos and writings, and appears to have been mailed between the two shootings. We are cooperating fully with the authorities."


UPDATES COMING... of the page...

More here

The tributes are rolling in...

I don't have much left to say. Pictures and videos speak louder at this point...

H/T to Kilo

H/T to Ward

OP-ED - A Black Day in Blue Ridge

What a wonderful letter penned by Lucinda Roy, a co-director of the creative writing program at Virginia Tech, is the author, most recently, of the novel “The Hotel Alleluia.”
A FEW months ago, when I returned from a trip to Sierra Leone, a country I lived in for years and one still reeling from the effects of a brutal civil war, I was filled with relief to be returning to a crime-free place like Blacksburg. As usual, I was welcomed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and by the friends I’ve grown to love during my 22 years on the faculty at Virginia Tech.

It’s a quiet place. The town is full of turkeys — statues of our mascot, the Hokie Bird, painted in garish colors — as if being a Hokie were not a sports metaphor but a way of life. There’s a 5-foot-tall turkey just outside the bank; one near the police station; another in the parking lot of a Cleaner World, where I take my clothes. We have a sense of humor in Blacksburg — it’s part of our charm.

Blacksburg is a misnomer, of course. It’s the whitest town I’ve ever lived in. And although I’m not white, I’ve grown used to the fact that we can, for the most part, live in relative harmony — black and white, town and gown, young and old together. It’s a place that lulls you into believing you can predict what will happen next.

Apart from the gusty, frigid weather, the campus was enjoying another typical spring. Classes were winding down — graduation was fast closing in. Then, this month, we had two bomb threats on the campus. Still, people took it in stride: when classes in Torgersen Hall were canceled, the faculty grumbled and the students rejoiced. A $5,000 reward was offered if we could find the culprit. Back then, in the era before the slaughter, this seemed significant.

Monday morning, I was preparing for class at home; my husband, Larry, a computer engineer in the chemistry department, was at work on campus. I’d woken up with a sense of dread. I put it down to the visions I was having of the massacres in Sierra Leone, where I’d left behind people I cared about. Nervously, I kept flicking the TV on and off for news. In spite of my agitation, when I saw a map of Virginia on CNN with the name “Blacksburg” highlighted, I didn’t initially associate it with my Blacksburg.

The statistics that ran along the bottom of the CNN ticker were, at first, merciful: one death. My friends and I called each other and said reassuring, clichéd things. We knew how to handle this.

We’d had a similar scare at the beginning of the academic year when an escaped prisoner had been on the loose, armed. There were two fatalities in that event — a police officer and a security guard — twice what they were reporting today. Once again, we’d need to pull together as a community and grieve, but it seemed manageable.

When a local TV news reporter first uttered the phrase “more than 20,” I knew she had made an obscene error. This was Blacksburg, not Freetown. When the CNN ticker turned brutal, and the numbers tore across the bottom of the screen like bullets, faculty and staff called one another in disbelief. “Oh my God!” we said, struggling to find words that would guide us back to a recognizable place.

My husband returned a few minutes later. As if proximity were too risky an option, we spoke on separate phones to family and friends in nearby Culpeper and distant London. Whenever our paths crossed, we’d begin sentences that went nowhere. All over Blacksburg, all over Virginia, there were others like us, wandering around absentmindedly — trying to find what was lost.

Hours have passed, and now we know that there was — as a friend of mine put it when she called saying she was safe — “a massacre in that classroom.”

But Blacksburg isn’t a place of massacres — Blacksburg is my home in southwest Virginia. It’s boring — that’s why I like it. We are Virginia Tech, the fighting gobblers, the ones who wear the funny turkey hats and plant tasteless turkey sculptures all over town. We are not the stuff of massacres.

As I write this I am being flooded with e-mail from friends asking if I’m O.K. How do you answer them? What can you say when so many — so many of our young — were slaughtered?

I hit “Reply” — try to type the phrase “I am fine,” but it seems ridiculous to type that. I substitute “safe” for “fine” — another lie, for none of us is safe as long as there are angry young men who yearn to blast a hole in the world.

I think of the parents hurtling down to Blacksburg on Interstate 81, praying for miracles. My son is safe in Atlanta; their grief will dwarf mine. How do we begin to comprehend absolute loss?

A friend, another woman of color, says, “Everybody’s gonna need everybody”; and when another friend, a white man not prone to sentiment, tells me, “We’ll need to act like a family,” I want to believe them both. Those of us who have borne witness to suffering in the past will need to help those who cannot believe that healing is possible.

Two students called me today. They were recently accepted into our graduate creative writing program; I have never met them.

“This hasn’t changed my mind about coming,” the first, a young woman, assures me.

“I still plan to come and join you guys,” the other, a man, says in a confident, strong voice. I tell them we will welcome them. We will.

And when the parents — our bereft sisters and brothers — come to mourn their lost children, we will find a way to speak to one another over the din of despair.

A bomb exploded today in a classroom on a campus in a community I love. It wasn’t an empty threat after all.

4/30/07 - a day of silence from bloggers

This is a great idea. I am in, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Unfortunately, bat shit CRAZY isn't illegal

Honestly, though, maybe it should be...
APRIL 17--The college student responsible for yesterday's Virginia Tech slaughter was referred last year to counseling after professors became concerned about the violent nature of his writings, as evidenced in a one-act play obtained by The Smoking Gun. The play by Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was submitted last year as part of a short story writing class. Entitled "Richard McBeef," Cho's bizarre play features a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia and murdering his father. A copy of the killer's play can be found below. The teenager talks of killing the older man and, at one point, the child's mother brandishes a chain saw at the stepfather. The play ends with the man striking the child with "a deadly blow." (10 pages)
It is also now being reported that Cho did indeed leave a lengthy letter at the scene of the first shooting blaming his girlfriend for his actions, which is clearly why the administrators and University officials assumed that this was a contained and isolated incident. Every action he took over the past few weeks (and judging from his writings, perhaps years) shows what a premeditated and calculated move this killing spree was.

I think we can all agree that if there is a Hell, Cho is rotting in it. Here's another one of his literary pieces, if you can even call it that.

Finally, since we are discussing crazy people, the Scientologists offer their "logic" here.

Virginia Tech Vigil at VCU

From President Eugene P. Trani:
Dear Members of the VCU and VCU Health System Communities:

I know that you join me in extending our deepest sympathies and prayers to the victims of the tragic events at Virginia Tech, and in offering our heartfelt support to the Virginia Tech community as they deal with this horrific and profound loss.

There has been a great outpouring of support and concern from the University and Health System communities today. I hope that it will be comforting to come together Tuesday, April 17th, at 3:00 p.m., in the Siegel Center, to honor the Virginia Tech victims and their families and loved ones at a VCU Vigil.

We are aware that many of our students, faculty and staff have family and friends at Virginia Tech, and Dr. Jihad Aziz, Acting Director of University Counseling Services, and his staff are prepared to assist the VCU communities with support in this time of sadness and grief. They can be reached at 828-6200.

I wanted the University and Health System communities to know that the media have made inquiries today as to what VCU would do if such a situation were to occur on our campuses. The questions focused on how to prevent an incident such as this from happening, and whether this incident caused us to think about campus security. While no one can prevent a single individual from committing a violent act on a campus or anywhere else, we pay very close attention to security. Our residence halls are very secure facilities that are monitored 24-hours by VCU Police. No one may enter without a current student ID, or without being signed in and accompanied by a student with a current ID. We have 78 sworn police officers in our VCU Police Department, and over 200 security staff in our residence halls and academic buildings on campus. There is a system of emergency call boxes on both campuses that connect directly to the VCU Police. The system can be identified on buildings and in parking facilities on both campuses by a yellow call box, or indoors, by a red wall phone. Additionally, we work regularly on our ability to handle emergencies, and we practice following our emergency procedures.

Please remember the victims of this tragedy and join us, if you can, at the vigil Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the Siegel Center.

Best regards.

Eugene P. Trani
President, Virginia Commonwealth University
President and Chair, VCU Health System
Yesterday's statement:
On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Health System, we extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the victims in today’s tragic events. We offer our heartfelt support as the Virginia Tech community deals with this horrific and profound loss.

Eugene P. Trani
President, Virginia Commonwealth University
President and Chair, VCU Health System

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sigh...again; we are STILL, today, all Hokies...


UPDATE: We are ALL Hokies today...

The BBC has some accounts from students as well as a heartbreaking audio interview with a student who was in a classroom that was shot at. The students were able to barricade the door and hide, just moments before the police arrived. thoughts, my heart, my mind, and my prayers are with all associated with this senseless, horrific tragedy.

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Virginia is collectively crying today.

Thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and love to any and all associated in any way with this tragedy.

Pic courtesy of Jim McLesky

April 16th-Emancipation Day and more

Happy Emancipation Day!
The municipality of Washington, D.C., celebrates April 16 as Emancipation Day. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation which presaged the eventual end of slavery to the rest of the nation. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act represents the only example of compensation by the federal government to free enslaved persons.

On January 4, 2005, Mayor Anthony Williams signed legislation making Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District. Each year, a series of activities will be held during the public holiday including the traditional Emancipation Day parade celebrating the freedom of enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The Emancipation Day celebration was held yearly from 1866 to 1901, and was resumed as a tradition and historic celebration in 2002 as a direct result of years of research, lobbying and leadership done by Ms. Loretta Carter-Hanes.

In 2007, the observance of this holiday in Washington DC had the effect of nationally extending the 2006 income tax filing deadline from the 16th to the 17th of April, a delay that will recur in April of 2012. This 2007 date change was not discovered until after many forms went to print.
April 16th is clearly the greatest day of the year. If the anniversary of Emancipation Day isn't enough for you, please do read on for more.
1789 President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

1862 A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

Sir Charlie Chaplin, the British-born actor and director who became internationally famous for his role in American silent movies, was born.

1912 Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1943 Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD.

1946 Syria gains independence.

Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

1964 "The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)," the band's debut album, was released.

1972 Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon.

1979 I was born after keeping my mom in labor for over 36 hours. Apparently, I got stuck because I tried to use my elbow as opposed to my head, and when I got tired, I just quit and fell asleep, leaving my mom in agony from Easter Sunday into Easter Monday. Once my mom finally passed out, my dad snuck away for beer, eggs and bacon; my mom was livid for days. I think these details tell a lot about me as a person, be it good or bad. I am still really stubborn, I push really hard for things I want, I can fall asleep anywhere at any time, and I love bacon and beer more than most people.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Great sign, or the greatest sign?

I am going with GREATEST...

H/T to Alice at GOTV
, and please read the original post so you can check out all the love for this kind of freedom of speech in the comments.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

HILARIOUS UPDATE: Benny Lambert has a "blog"

UPDATE: Looks like JC and I awoke the sleeping beast that is Benny Lambert's blog. They have updated the site so a) it doesn't seem so strange that there is no content and b) that they created the blog in January and "haven't had the time" to do anything with it yet.

Oh, but don't worry; the reason why they haven't had time is because they are busy "on the road to victory".

The funniest part? After I commented that I would be supporting Don McEachin over Lambert, a brand new Republican blogger (you are very welcome for the link and the hits, "Phil") came to Benny's defense. Which makes sense, since Benny supports Republicans, has an entirely red website, won't debate a real Democrat, and is 20 points behind the man who will win the race (read: Don McEachin)

Hilarity on a Saturday...very much appreciated!


It's red. It's REALLY RED. And there is nothing on it yet. In fact, "Mr. Wordpress" is the only commenter and the only post is a hello to the world. I am incredibly confused by this addition to the blogosphere.

You can laugh at it here. H/T to RD.

Want some free stuff?

Thadd and I are moving. We haven't signed anything yet and we haven't broken the news to our landlord yet either, but today is the day we are going through our mountains of crap (we are pack rats) and packing/throwing away. So, leave me a note in the comments if you are looking for out of style clothing and/or shoes, or useless trinkets and furniture. That's probably easier then me listing the various pieces of garbage we have, right?

I am also interested in your opinions as to where the best place is to drop off said crap, so it can be given to the needy or sold second hand. Thanks in advance.

Friday, April 13, 2007

UPDATE: The people running for McEachin's old seat...

UPDATE: I am definitely going to look further into Jackie Jackson's creds, as she appears to be the only person with a website and she seems to have the most impressive resume. Additionally, I got an interesting tip through an email, this morning; I have to look further into why exactly Jackie lost her city council seat. It seemed strange and surprising back when she DID lose, and now it seems even weirder based on the comment. I'll keep readers posted.


Wow. Real light and not defined list of people we have here. Frankly, at this point, I am not ready at all to make an endorsement.

First, we have Jackie Jackson, a woman who lost her City Council seat this past election because she couldn't get along with Mayor Wilder. Yeah, you can blame it on a lot of other reasons, but to be perfectly honest, it was literally embarrassing to watch public access television and witness the vendetta she seemed to have against Mayor Wilder. I really like her as a person, I just was not impressed with her behavior as a member of the Richmond City Council. She has some atoning to do, and I hope she can clean up her act a bit, because this is a very serious election for a very important seat.

Next, we have Floyd H. Miles, Sr., who lost to Don McEachin two years ago. He apparently doesn't have a website up yet, so is he really running? In an electronic world in the year 2007, I would think that a website by the time the filing deadline has passed is a MUST. I guess we will see whether or not he plans to run in the primary race for his old seat.

According to some, Benny Lambert's son, David Lambert, is running as well. He has no website, he has no media coverage, and I am not going to give this fleeting rumor much more attention. I will only say that he did open a pretty cool internet coffee shop, which is now closed after 5pm, yet they haven't bothered to update their website to include that pertinent info. AND THEY ARE AN INTERNET SAVVY COFFEE SHOP. Kinda sad.

Finally, we have the former Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Morrissey, who also doesn't have a website up as of yet. And why would that be? Oh, maybe because his license to practice law has been suspended because he has been found IN CONTEMPT OF COURT THREE TIMES IN THE PAST THREE YEARS. He also beat up a contractor he personally hired to work on his house.
The Virginia Bar Association Judiciary Panel decided to suspend Morrissey's state law license for three years in December because Morrissey had been found in contempt of court three times in the past three years. Morrissey won a stay on the suspension pending his appeal before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The controversial attorney also got into legal trouble last year over a well-publicized fistfight with a contractor who was supposed to work on Morrissey's house. Morrissey was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.
Unfortunately, there's more...
Morrissey’s TV ads relentlessly portray him as one who ”fights” for his clients because he cares. Thus, what might otherwise be interpreted as a problem with rage and disregard for the dignity of the court has been transformed into a crusade for a higher justice.

Morrissey’s celebrity image has brought him clients and provided for the princely lifestyle he enjoys when he’s not in jail. Now it may save his neck.

On Wednesday Sept. 29 in Richmond Circuit Court, Morrissey is slated to face more than the usual contempt citation. Stemming from a bloody fight with contractor Garien H. Wycoff, Morrissey is charged with “aggravated malicious wounding.”
So basically, while I am thrilled that the honorable Donald McEachin is running for Benny Lambert's Senate seat, I wish we had some better people to run for his current seat.

Thaddaeus Toad
is pretty smart and savvy...maybe he should have run...

EDIT: Thadd didn't think that was funny. In conclusion, one or more of these candidates may be and some should be able to make the case for their candidacy over the others, but I have to wait and see. I have no favorite(s) yet.

Richmonders, go fill out this form. RIGHT NOW.

It's a travesy that we don't have a Trader Joe's grocery store. We need one, we want one, and we should have one. Preferably, yesterday. So go fill out this location request form, and send it on in. It's easy and takes less than a minute to accomplish.

Seeing electeds at the grocery store

Not too long ao, I stopped by the Kroger on Broad Street and Lombardy in downtown Richmond. This is NOT my favorite place to shop, but it IS the closest, so unfortunately, I have to go sometimes. The store was pretty busy as it always is, seeing as how it is a) on a main road and commuters hit it on their way to/from work, and b) smack dab in the middle of VCU's Monroe Park campus (read shortage of beer and mac and cheese at all times). I finally found a spot, and pulled my rented electric blue PT Cruiser into a spot next to a big, shiny, white SUV with flags all over it and Benjamin Lambert for Senate stickers. I checked the car out pretty good, considering I had never before then (and never again to this day) seen an actual Lambert bumper sticker. I was shocked, and I wondered who was actually supporting this Democrat turned Republican in downtown Richmond.

Pholks, license plates tell a lot about a driver, and this case was no different.

The license plate on this "GO BENNY GO!!!" car read BJL III. So basically, the only person with Lambert bumper stickers on their car is Benjamin Lambert, III himself. Pretty funny.

I myself, am supporting a better candidate and a REAL Democrat. His name is Don McEachin. He is not going to have a hard time winning the race. He's a great guy, a great leader, he is into sports, and he looks awesome in Timberland boots and sweats when he isn't in a suit. He is DEFINITELY the kind of guy you want to go out and have a beer with.

If you haven't yet, check out Don's new website and throw him some bones if you can. Make sure you take a moment to read about Lambert's REFUSAL to debate Don McEachin on any issues, and his previous Republican donations. Remember; the Democratic Party is CLEARLY the big tent party, but I am not sure how much room we have left for Mr. Lambert. We are getting quite full these days. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You have GOT to be kidding me...

This is almost as funny as Eric Cantor's atempt at blogging.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quick Hits from The Commonwealth

I am back at work, and miserable. I have been back to work since Monday, but as of last night, I became acutely aware that I am one of the very few people to suffer from a rare post-wisdom tooth removal surgical complication. Simply, the surgery perforated my sinus cavity, and liquids, air and even tiny bits of food are making their way through the hole in my mouth from surgery and through my sinuses and then leaving through my nose. It was amusing with water, not so much with lentil soup. I don't think I need to go into any more detail than that. Further, because my life is always annoying, it makes sense that my surgeon is on vacation, no one else can see me unless I drive 40 minutes, and I am almost out of pain meds. Oh. JOY.

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) is speaking at the commencement ceremony here at VCU on May 19, 2007 at 10am. We will be attending, and will be available for rockin' Richmond brunch afterwards. Let me know if you will be in town for the event.

We are still looking for an apartment/house to rent. We are leaning more towards Jackson Ward at this point though. Again, let me know in the comments if you have any leads, and thanks.

This is one of the greatest articles about the ever present and seemingly GROWING racial divide in Richmond, VA that I have ever read. In fact, after reading this article, I am hesitant to move out of the downtown area, and I am inclined to do all I can to find out how this terrible situation can be fixed. Richmond is a city full of history, and the folks that have lived here all of their lives and put their blood, sweat, and tears into this city throughout the years should not be pushed out so a suburban jerk with a couple grand and a tool belt can NOT pay taxes and make a few bucks while putting long time residents on the streets. I intend to study this more closely, and I hope our lawmakers don't continue to ignore this problem. The city of Richmond should not become what NOLA is destined to become because of private and corporate greed in the wake of Katrina.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

E.R.I.C. Cantor is still a stain on the state of Virginia, entire country

Wow, E.R.I.C. Cantor is acting like a partisan douchebag! I am SHOCKED!!!

The basic premise is that he's OUTRAGED that Nancy Pelosi went to Syria. However, he couldn't be bothered to mention that 5, count em, 5 REPUBLICANS (Reps. Frank Wolf, Joseph Pitts, Robert Aderholt, David Hobson, and Darrell Issa) also met with Assad last week. So, remember, according to E.R.I.C. Cantor, when a Democratic woman more powerful than him does it, it is wrong. When people in his own party do it, it is perfectly ok.

The only silver lining is that E.R.I.C. is getting trashed in the comments section of his own blog. I can bet he will be trashed by the media as well, and he will end up taking down the blog posting. Good riddance, E.R.I.C.

Virginians should make ripping the chair out from under Cantor's bigoted and partisan ass their top priority. We deserve better than this joke of a representative.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Oh yeah? Well, you know you're from _______ if...

I had to chuckle at Vivian Paige's post about Hampton Roads, and
"knowing" that you may be from there. There are a few about Richmond, VA floating around as well, but as a transplant, I don't really "get it", I guess. So, I found one that suits me a lot more. I've bolded the ones that particularly strike my fancy.
* You don't understand why there aren't more 24-hour diners elsewhere in the country.
* You know what a Wawa is, and know the location of at least 15 of them.
* You think a mountain is that big freakin' hill in Atlantic Highlands.
* You know Asbury Park is no longer the mecca of East Coast resort towns.
* Even though there's a new Wal-Mart in your town, you still go to the Englishtown Auction for cheap stuff.
* You can name all the flavors of salt water taffy.
* Your car is covered with yellow-green dust in April and May.
* You buy Shop-Rite brand food at Shop-Rite.
* You can smell and know when it's low tide.
* The Jets/Giants game has started fights at your school and/or local bar.
* There are no self serve gas stations and you like it that way.
* You've had sex on the beach, and I'm not talking about the beverage.
* You know how to successfully handle a traffic circle.
* You know what skeeball is and you can get three 50's in a row.
* You think the Olive Garden is crap and should have never opened any restaurants in New Jersey.
* You've run out of money on the Parkway.
* You're Italian.
* You know where to get the best bagels and pizza.
* Donald Trump is mentioned at least daily in your local paper.
* You say "water" weird. (Wooder, Cawfee, Dowg, wadever).
* Even your school made good Italian subs.
* You've lived through hurricanes, nor'easters and fires, but have never seen a tornado, earthquake, tsunami or volcano.
* You can't believe MTV went to Seaside Heights.
* You know that ACME is an actual store, not just a Warner Bros. creation.
* You only go to New York City for day trips.
* You know what a "jug handle" is.
* You have mandatory recycling. Enforced by law.
* You've eaten a pork roll and cheese on a hard roll...and like it.
* You go to at least one parade at the boardwalk each year.
* You've pondered, "Maybe basketball would be more popular in New Jersey if the Nets didn't blow."
* You can go bowling at 1:30 A.M. (with automatic scoring)!
* In high school, you worked at a Friendly's.
* Route 18 doesn't freak you out at night.
* Because your town was founded before 1776, all the restaurants, taverns and shops have "ye," "olde," and "colonial" in their names.
* You don't have to go to Red Lobster to get fresh seafood.
* You once said, "It smells like New York in here."
* You've waited for the damn drawbridge for more than 20 damn minutes.
* At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen.
* There's a fruit and vegetable stand down the road.
* "Anyone who makes bad pizza can go to hell" is your attitude.
* You always use a minimum of 10 variations of the word "damn" while driving.
* You don't take any shit from anybody. Especially from someone from New York, because you live here for Christ's sake and just who the hell do they think they are anyway? Invading our damn beaches and bars, they're just here for the damn summer and they think they own the damn place and....
* You've gone to the race track with twenty different daily double bets from twenty different people.
* You've spent St Patrick's day in Belmar.
* You know that there are bakeries which are not part of a supermarket, but actual individual stores.
* You've ordered a "hard roll with butter" for breakfast.
* At least one time, a sea gull shit on your head.
* You've eaten at the Windmill, drunk off your ass, at 3am at least a dozen times.
* You know what a "benny" is and can pick one out at the beach.
* You've planned a local trip around ensuring you pass at least one Dunkin' Donuts.
* You're an aggressive driver.
* Your drinking water should not be used for drinking.
* Your town has more water restrictions than people living in "dry" states i.e. Arizona, and Nevada.
* Potholes are as common as mosquitoes.
* You believe pigeons carry hand guns.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

What an AMAZING night...

I realized about 2 hours ago that I could chew. I COULD CHEW FOOD. So, drastic measures were taken, and food was ordered on Easter Sunday...

I have never before appreciated the sheer awesomeness that is a slice of pizza and a glass of wine. Cheers to all, and long live pizza and vino...

4 Truths and a LIE Answers

I may as well put up my answers, while I am thinking about it. Last week, I listed my 4 truths and a lie since the fun was floating around the VA blogosphere and I thought it was very interesting. Here are my truths and lies, and my admission of a lie is below...
1. I (also) have a gay dog who prefers to stick to his own "race" (color of hair). He's very embarrassing.

2. I stuck my hand in a blender that was running on high/Chop 3 years ago and sliced up my fingers terribly. I then hung up on the 911 people because I realized how stupid I sounded. They showed up with a fire truck, 2 cop cars, and an ambulance. They assumed Thadd was beating me in the apartment and that was why I hung up, so they questioned him pretty harshly while I cried in the bathroom. I have recovered, but have no feeling in the tips of 2 of my fingers.

3. I flunked my written driver's test 3 times, and I failed the actual driving test once. To this day, I suck at driving.

4. I helped the police catch a criminal when I was 10. It was on Halloween, and I was very, very angry that I was missing trick-or-treat time in order to help put a man behind bars. My mom felt bad and took me out very late, and then neighbors questioned her parenting skills.

5. I think that bacon is the greatest meat product. Ever. I consider bacon to be a gateway drug for non-meat eaters. It's certainly what cured me of my bout of veganism.
Sadly, though it's hard to believe, the LIE was #3. I actually only failed the written test once, and I passed the physical driving test even though I killed every orange cone while parallel parking. In retrospect, I think the person who gave me my test was high. Or drunk. Had the cones been people, they wouldn't be walking today. But, with practice, I have gotten better. Seriously.

Post Op Update

So, I didn't blog yesterday. Why? Because the 3rd day of surgery recuperation is the worst day, in my opinion. My face swelled back up again, the pain meds aren't as strong as they were the first few days, and not smoking is making me seriously cranky. But, since other bloggers are offering gifts (thanks, PM, I am totally up to the challenge, and thank "Mrs. PM" for the sock offer) I am going to go ahead and see how long I can make this quitting thing work. I'll keep you posted.

To add to my stress, we are going to move. Our new lease was brought over, and after reviewing it and thinking about the fact that we have lived here for over 4 years and are still treated like we moved in yesterday, we are going to get out before we have to resign our lives over for another 12 months. That gives us about 14 days to find a new place, explain that we are moving, and actually move. If anyone reading this has info on great places to rent in the city of Richmond, preferably Church Hill, please drop me a line in the comments. We need a place with an outside area of some sort and a place that is pet friendly. Oh, and I break into hives at the very mention of the word "laundromat", so a W/D in the unit is a must. This should be a fun process while icing my face and taking pain meds. I'll keep you posted on this craziness as well.

Take care, all. I wish that you and all of yours are born without wisdom teeth. They are useless and a total pain in the ass.

Friday, April 06, 2007

How ironical...

So, I had my last cigarette at 11:00pm the same day the restaurant smoking ban failed. This was not by choice, though I had a feeling it might happen. As a personal preference, I never smoke in the morning and my surgery was scheduled for 10:45 yesterday so obviously I didn't smoke beforehand. Patients are HIGHLY ADVISED to abstain from smoking cigarettes until the gaping open wounds in the back of your mouth start to heal (over a week) or you can get dry sockets...or pockets, I am not really sure (note, I just took another dose of pain meds, googling and linking is not happening). Whatever the nasty dry things are, they sound horrible and painful, and I am not chancing it. So, anyway, since mental and physical cravings are gone within 24-48 hours after the last cigarette, I guess I have basically quit for almost 2 days.


Like I said, kind of ironical. It doesn't change my feeling on the ban at all, however, if this surgery is my gateway to quitting, then that's cool with me. We'll see what happens. As you can see from the chart below, some cool stuff has already happened to my body, which makes me feel a little better about having chunky cheeks and bruises and a boring cadre of food to eat.

Mmmmmmmmmm, semi-solid food.

I just had a piece of Laughing Cow Babybel Light cheese. You know, the cheese that comes individually packaged in red plastic that you peel off and munch. It is very soft cheese, which is why I could handle it. I had to chew it with my 2 front teeth, and it took me about 20 minutes, but wasn't yogurt or soup.

I miss wine.

What's NOT fun about surgery

Yesterday I posted my first blog entry regarding the surgical procedure I had yesterday morning. As you can see from the comments section, after some speculation it was clear that I did indeed have oral surgery. I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled at an emergency appointment. My 2 right wisdom teeth were impacted, or not poking through the gums, while the 2 on the left had broken through and were not only cutting into the side of my face, but damaging the teeth next to them. In fact, the bottom tooth on the left side actually made a noticeable shift to my entire bottom row of teeth in just a few months, and 2 weeks ago, my gums/inner cheek started bleeding constantly as a result of the crowding. Eating became a chore, and brushing and flossing was somewhat a horror show because of the bleeding and the pain towards the back. Additionally, if any of you have had infected and impacted wisdom teeth before, you know that the pain from the infection also attacks your throat and ears, as well as giving you a pretty bad headache. Living on Orajel and Advil (8-12 a day? C'mon now...) gets a little old, very fast, I'll tell you that much. So, on Wednesday, after I called out from work AGAIN, I called the surgeon's office and told them that there was simply no way in hell that I could possibly wait until April 18, 2007 for them to see me and perform surgery. I don't know if it was luck, my tears (yes, all of us have wuss moments), or the dental Gods looking over me, but they were able to squeeze me in yesterday morning. Good times.

So, what's not fun about surgery...well, I can't read a book while on the heavy duty pain medication. I end up reading the same line 4 or 5 times and suddenly I realize I am looking for pictures. So, I'm kind of stuck with the computer and the TV. The computer doesn't really ever disappoint, but daytime TV is horrendous and I don't know how people can stand it. How many diet pills/products with infomercials are out there? I have seen some of the craziest contraptions and "plans" this morning to lose weight, and I really am in shock. Apparently, "eat less, move more" just doesn't cut it anymore for Americans. Too bad, because it's the only proven tried and true method. Daytime news is HORRIBLE. It's the same pretty blond girl all day, repeating "breaking news" stories. And don't even get me started on the rest of the crap that's out there, whether it's new or in syndication. It's a good thing I have a DVD player and a huge collection of movies. Right now, I am deciding between some episodes of The Office or Talladega Nights. I'll keep you posted...

Also NOT FUN is the fact that for the first 48 hours after surgery, I have to ice my face as much as possible. It definitely makes it feel better, but Thadd laughs at me every time he sees me and it took the dog about 4 hours to not be afraid of me. At the risk of this photo showing up on blogs to ridicule me, I am going to post it anyway because you all could probably use a good laugh.

This is me, a few nights before surgery. I was actually commenting on NLS when that photo was taken.

This me with my awesome ice contraption to make the swelling go down ASAP. It's a pair of tights cut at the thigh, with 2 zip lock bags full of crushed ice at the knee and then the ends tied to your head. Sexy, huh?

This is what I hope to be doing ASAP.

So, there you go. I'm going to go have another exciting can of soup, which I get to eat while gauze is in my mouth. Jealous? I figured.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What's fun about surgery

Clearly, the pain meds and the nitrous oxide they use to put you under is fun. I went to sleep listening to my surgeon and the nurses singing along to the radio, and I woke up to being told how great I was. The car ride home was way fun as well. I don't remember ever being so amused at the streets of Richmond. I doubt my driver had as much fun as I did, but hey; it's all about me today.

Since I have been home, the loopiness has worn off and the pain is starting up again. So I just took my first pain pill, and I cannot wait to experience what Rush Limbaugh does on a daily basis. Oh wait, he's "recovered". Riiiiiiiiiiight...

I would also like to point out that the following soft foods are awesome (in small amounts, of course), and I highly suggest them to all, post surgery or not:
Haagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet (fat-free)
Haagen-Dazs Raspberry Sorbet (fat-free)
Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream
Jello Mint Chocolate Fudge Pudding (sugar-free)
Amy's Low Fat Organic Cream of Tomato Soup
Thadd was an awesome guy and took before and after pictures of me today. I'll post them later so you have something to laugh at hysterically. Let's just say that I am not at my best right now...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Quick Round Up and a warning for the next week

What a week. I wanted to take a minute to touch on a few things and also explain why this site may seem crazy for the next week or so. Starting tomorrow afternoon, I am following the footsteps of a great Virginia blogger, and I hope you'll join me for some fun and non-political antics. More on that in a bit...

Note to all: yes, I am still a Democrat. I took the liberal quiz again, and I am still a moderate liberal. I haven't donated $$ to any Republicans, and my bumper stickers are still on my car (which, by the way, I just got back today from the unfortunate accident at the JJ) and I haven't added any flag decals. I realize I am in the minority here, but I am glad the smoking ban didn't pass. I'm sure we will see more anti-smoking legislation in the future, so I fully expect that the heated and emotional battles will continue. I'm game if you are, I guess. However, rest assured that I do go to and spend money at non-smoking restaurants, I follow rules about smoking when they are in place, and I would never blow smoke on any of you, nor would I expect that a group of non-smokers accept/put up with my or anyone else's smoking. I understand what "respect" means. So, please try to understand that calling my political affiliation into question only makes ME question whether or not you understand what respect is. Thanks.

Big, huge, awesome, great, can't contain my own excitement news about Don "The Donald" McEachin over at The Richmond Democrat. Go check it out, and if you haven't yet checked out Don's new website, make sure you do so. And remember; every penny/vote/volunteer counts!

I don't think I can handle the Fred Thompson gushing for another minute. Then again, I say the words "Al Gore" and "President" and "2008" about 7 times a day, so who am I to judge? Interestingly enough, Sam Waterston (also on Law and Order) and Michael Moriarty (from the early L&O days) have also jumped into the political ring. Waterston is heading up the Unity 08 craziness (which someone referred to as the American Idol of politics, and I totally agree) and Moriarty may run for the Presidential seat. It's a Law and Order showdown, folks. We may have to add the Law and Order "chung chung" sound effects to all debates and political commercials, which I totally endorse.

4 truths and a lie has been floating around the blogs this week. So, here are mine:
1. I (also) have a gay dog who prefers to stick to his own "race" (color of hair). He's very embarrassing.

2. I stuck my hand in a blender that was running on high/Chop 3 years ago and sliced up my fingers terribly. I then hung up on the 911 people because I realized how stupid I sounded. They showed up with a fire truck, 2 cop cars, and an ambulance. They assumed Thadd was beating me in the apartment and that was why I hung up, so they questioned him pretty harshly while I cried in the bathroom. I have recovered, but have no feeling in the tips of 2 of my fingers.

3. I flunked my written driver's test 3 times, and I failed the actual driving test once. To this day, I suck at driving.

4. I helped the police catch a criminal when I was 10. It was on Halloween, and I was very, very angry that I was missing trick-or-treat time in order to help put a man behind bars. My mom felt bad and took me out very late, and then neighbors questioned her parenting skills.

5. I think that bacon is the greatest meat product. Ever. I consider bacon to be a gateway drug for non-meat eaters. It's certainly what cured me of my bout of veganism.
This is VERY late, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the Richmond Blog Meet Up we had a few weeks ago. The day I checked out and took a blogging vacation was the day a group of bloggers (some political, mostly other very cool stuff related) from Richmond got together to chat at a local restaurant here in the Fan. Among the blogs that were represented were Awkward Things I Say To Girls, Church Hill People’s News, River City Food and Wine, River City Rapids, RVA blogs, Save Richmond, The Shambling Darkness Project, Sisyphus, SLANTblog, your's truly, and West of the Boulevard News. What may seem the most amazing to some is that I sat next to (without knowing, because I cannot be on time to save my life, even if I live 2 miles from my destination) Jason Kenney of J's Notes, and fisticuffs did not ensue. Quite the contrary, in fact; we got along very well, and it was refreshing to be reminded that the blogging world looks very different when bloggers are face to face. I had a great time with everyone, and I look forward to seeing them again.

OK, and now for the announcement...drumroll please...

Following in the footsteps of the great Waldo Jaquith and his fabulous work with his flu coverage last year, I am going to be live blogging my post op starting tomorrow. I am going in for a surgical procedure tomorrow morning, and the only reason they are seeing me tomorrow as opposed to 4/18/07 is because my condition has worsened and I am in a constant state of pain. I was squeezed in for tomorrow morning, and I went out tonight to gather up everything I need, including the post op pain meds. This should prove to be very interesting. It'll either be a string of babble, or nothing because I will be out stone cold. We'll see, I guess.

Lastly, please enjoy this fun quiz. It's also educational!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

UPDATE: The only quote you need to read re: smoking ban...

“The United States is not some hellish kibbutz where there’s just one communal dining area, which only serves comfort food...The person who smells cigarette smoke and wrinkles his nose before batting the air like a loon is now in the same position as the Peeping Tom neighbor who climbs precariously atop the fridge, binoculars clutched in leprous palm, in order to report the vile bedroom antics of the couple next door. You have to go out of your way to be offended. Never doubt that there are such people; never give them an inch either if you value privacy or diversity.”
(Hitchens, Vanity Fair, May 2001)
Unless you believe in the slippery slope to fascism, do NOT support this bill.

UPDATE: I find it interesting that people who are arguing strongly FOR this ban, some who definitely have an easier time at getting in touch with our elected representatives than I do (hint, hint, platinum bloggers), are keeping silent on Senator Webb's feelings about the ban. In fact, I have not heard of many electeds who support this ban at all. So, I just called Senator Webb's office here in Richmond. I would be interested to hear his views, and I suggest others do the same.

Unless, of course, it wouldn't help you make your point. :)

UPDATE II: I just rec'd a call back from Webb's office in Richmond, and they do not know if Jim Webb will take a position on this. That's strange, since Senator Warner already did (he supports the ban).

UPDATE III: Ben at NLS is now reporting on John Warner's support of this bill. Apparently, Senator Warner does not consider a smoker having to get up and go outside a big deal. I would like to point out once again that in a very short amount of time, a simple little non-smoking ban in California turned a county into a haven for the extreme agenda of the anti-smoking folks.
In February 2006, Calabasas (CA) placed a ban on smoking in nearly all public places, including sidewalks, parking lots, patios, and even outdoor balconies in apartment complexes if they were near common areas, making it the city with the strictest anti-smoking laws in the United States. Under the new laws, smoking outside in the city is restricted to selected "smoker outposts." Smoking in undesignated areas under the new law could earn smokers fines of up to $500. The ban went into effect in March 2006, garnering much local and national media attention. The full text of the ordinance may be found at Calabasas' official website on the issue.
Clearly, this is indeed a slippery slope topic...remember, folks; once someone begins telling you that taking away freedom is ‘for your own good’, they have turned you into a child.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Slowly crawling out of my blog hiatus...

So, I am sure most people either a) haven't noticed, or b) don't care, but I have been out of blogging commission for a few weeks. There are a myriad of reasons as to why that is, and I plan on posting more in full as to some of them later this week.

However, I wanted to take a quick moment to give some public love to THE Ohio State Buckeyes before the big game tonight. I already didn't win NLS's free lunch for being the worst bracket picker, and I sure as hell am not going to win a free ad for being the best, but it was way fun. It's definitely time to stop the beer/wing frenzy until football, though. I will be sports free for the next few months, as I cannot for the life of me think of anything that is more boring than the "game" of baseball.

I know; I must hate America.

So, good luck, Bucks!