Thursday, December 27, 2012

These are a Few of my Least Favorite Things

As we are summarizing the year, many folk are making lists of resolutions. This year I will stop smoking, lose weight, be more positive--you realize what I mean.

This year, in light of my current depressed and lethargic mood that typically accompanies too much sugar, not enough sleep, and most importantly, an exorbitant amount of stress, I take great pleasure in another offensive blog underscoring the types of people that I cannot stand and who typically don't realize I am making fun of them to their face.

Of course those of you who know me, realize I'm typically too nice but on days like this when the crazy comes out, I just don't give a shit.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of the types of people I hate:

1. People who don't know how to drive.

I cannot count the number of occasions in which I have attempted to merge into traffic when no cars are coming, with the exception of the Sedan in the right lane who sees my turn signal from a mile away yet continues on in the right lane, even though the left lane would imply the zombie apocalypse has taken place since there is not a car in sight. I hate people who leisurely enjoy their time at newly-turned-green lights and those who go five to ten miles under the speed limit while I'm trying to arrive on time. I hate people who ride your ass when there are two lanes and they could easily pass you.

I especially hate people who ride your ass with their brights on. This particular circumstance occurred on a very dark road once while I was delivering a pizza. Mr. "I'm-making-up-for-my-incredibly-small-penis-with-this-ridiculously-large-lift-kit-truck" found that it was not as desirable as he suspected to ride my ass with his brights on (blinding me, by the way) since I casually flipped up my rear view mirror and drove 10 miles per hours for about 5 miles. Which brings me to my next hated person.

2. Alpha Males

I could write an entire book about this one, but I will attempt to keep this relatively brief. Alpha males are often confused with real men. Real men can be aggressive, full of testosterone, spit and fury. They can take charge as well as command. There is nothing wrong with this.

Alpha males, on the other hand, are men who are typically closet or open misogynists who either had a cowardly, dead beat father or a mother who spoiled them--or both. This is not a necessary condition but you'll often find it's a common factor in their history. It's also possible they had a misogynistic, Alpha Male father who instructed them on the ways of being an asshole.

I had a boss who was an Alpha Male. I'd be glad to share his name and work address if you're interested in seeing one in action. They are often in a relationship as, ironically, they cannot be without a woman and they choose women that appear to be independent but in fact, are not. They often flirt with or choose women who are significantly younger than they are since they are in reality threatened by women or anyone else who may resist their domineering mannerisms or positions. My afore mentioned boss would openly flirt with one of our teenage staff while engaged to his now wife. Alpha Males can do this because Alpha Males feel they have the right to do whatever they want--because they are Alpha Males and by god, they are in charge.

They will typically undermine their family or coworkers, humiliate others, and act inappropriately when threatened. You'll notice these are the men who use derogatory descriptions of others including but not limited to: men of another race, women, anyone else in authority.

They are also actually spineless dicks. God help you if you are forced to work with one, especially if you are a woman or--God forbid--you manage one.

3. Insecure women

I have seen this time and time again. A beautiful woman walks into a room and a group of women start bad mouthing her--what she's wearing, doing, who she thinks she is, etc.

In partnership with insecure women, I also cannot stand stupid women. If I was jealous of another woman, the last fucking thing I would do would be to make myself look jealous by talking about that woman. I would at least attempt to hide it by not saying a word or going an extra step to compliment her.

I am friends with several models. I am proud to be friends with these people because of who they are. I am not threatened by them. Everyone has something to offer--women need to learn that confidence is their best asset.

4. Men who stalk me on facebook and then leave rude comments on my posts.

I have had this happen on a number of occasions. I try to respect my family and friends who are straight laced Christians by not using the F word but I cannot understand "friending" a stranger, going out of your way to read all their posts, and then leaving comments that are obnoxious. Every single comment is rude, offensive, or undermining. It makes me want to just say,"Hey--you friended me you jerk so fuck off." But I don't because I'm nice, except in this blog.

On one particular occasion, one of these brands of stalkers made one final irritating comment and I used my sarcastic super powers to encourage him to delete me, which he did.

5. Women who friend me on Facebook and actually don't like me.

You know who you are. Why in the hell you follow me when we have mutual friends and I know what you've said about me behind my back is beyond me. You're the bad kind of crazy bitch. The reason that these women follow me is the same reason they hate me--I'm fascinating, interesting, and fabulous and they can't stand it, but they can't resist being voyeurs.

6. People who are abusive to others who they know cannot fight back.

This includes people who are mean to customer service representatives who would lose their job if they actually said,"I can't take this return because you've worn it and it stinks the same way that you do you nasty whore." It includes people who are mean to clergy in ways they would never be mean to anyone else. It includes people who say horrible things on the internet anonymously. It includes management who make underhanded and derogatory statements to their staff. Please see "Alpha Male."

7. Rich people who deny they are rich and then act just as rude and entitled as the poor people they complain about.

Not unrelated to these people are their children, who typically don't have real jobs, do massive amounts of cocaine and sleep with everyone in town. If you're rich and fucked up, that's cool. But don't be rich and fucked up and talk about us poor people like you are so much better. I know rich individuals who are so ridiculously entitled that they truly believe they are throwing you a bone by acknowledging that they know you. You're snobby and fake, and we who actually work for a living realize your ways and we laugh at you behind your back. True story.

8. People who belong to a political party, complain about aspects of the opposite party, and are so obviously guilty of the same shit.

I'll use an example for those of you who are not clear on this particular complaint. I have talked with someone who has filed bankruptcy twice in 10 years because they chose not to live within their means yet will go on and on and on about the national debt. Pardon me, but this makes no sense. You complain about government spending, but you have no personal control over your own finances and because you want to go on vacations you can't afford and buy automobiles outside of your budget, you are essentially never going to pay back your lenders--which in my opinion, is the exact same character issue.

I would be writing another book if I pointed out all the hypocrisy's of both political parties so I'll move on.

9. People who won't admit their children have issues.

This includes but is not limited to people who allow their children to act god awful in public and then make excuses for them on a consistent basis, people who will not admit their children have a mental illness because they are personally ashamed, and people who actually laugh at their children's bad behavior and encourage it.

This is another book subject but since I don't have children I'm afraid it will come back to haunt me.

10. People who think that every derogatory facebook status in the world is about them when they in fact have no idea who or what I'm talking about.

If it's about you and I made it, I'm pretty sure you'll know it's about you. Otherwise, please refer to number 3-5 and/or delete my ass.

These are a few of my least favorite things. If you have read this blog and see yourself in any of these please don't hesitate to comment, ask questions, or publicly blast me in a public forum. I welcome any and all publicity with the exception of nude photos and I'm fairly certain my Mother is the only individual in possession of those.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4 Good Lessons "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" Teaches Kids: The Rebuttal

You should first acknowledge the difference between the Expressive and Analytic personality types. Erik is an Analytic: they tend toward the pessimistic outlook on life.

This carries over to Christmas movies. You may not have noticed, but some of the individuals in your life cannot tolerate Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. There are explanations for this aversion, but they can mostly be summarized by the following description--these movies are sad and depressing.

Well folks, despite what may underscore concerning these films, I will annihilate their logic with a very Screw Lucy blog from a very Screw Lucy perspective:

1. Santa, like most management, has serious issues.

Throughout the story of Rudolph, we observe a variety of problems that are true to real life. One, the big guy in charge has serious issues. He resists his loving wife who is obviously concerned about his image in business, he is clueless about the ins and outs of the industry of which he is ultimately responsible, and he blatantly ignores the concerns of the one individual that could make or break his company.

I beg the question: what conglomerate does not reflect this archetype? You have ignored a learning opportunity with your child if, while reflecting upon Rudolph's Santa, you haven't taken your precious child upon your lap to advise them that some day they too will have the opportunity to work for a guy in a suit that, while appearing ideal and accomplished to the general public, is in actuality slighting his family and ignoring the needs of the little people who have the skills and presence of mind to usurp his authority and "stick it to the man." This movie is not called "The Uprising of the Seasonally Skinny Santa." I think you get the picture.

2. Being different sucks in the beginning.

During a commercial break, your child may be slightly miffed or unsettled at the treatment Rudolph is receiving from Santa, Clarice, his family, and even the Elves. Please utilize this time to disclose to your child that most of the greats received a barrage of bullying during the earlier stages of their career. You may want to visit the pristine examples of Eminem and Bill Clinton. Eminem was beaten up, chastised by his mother, and survived a suicide attempt. In this child/parent moment you may want to examine a few key quotes by this successful and world famous rap artist. I recommend several relevant adages including,"I am whatever you say I am; if I wasn't, then why would you say I am?" and "I was poor white trash, no glitter, no glamour but I'm not ashamed of anything."

Bill Clinton was a fat kid known for his love of fast food and equally fast women. Perhaps you could revisit a few of his more well-known quotes when your child is older, including,"I did not have sex with that woman."

On second thought, we may want to leave Clinton out of this and go with Taylor Swift instead. You may encourage your child that she has produced many successful songs based on her moments of heartbreak, which I'm sure have nothing at all to do with any personality flaws.

3. Boring and unimaginative people don't appreciate you accentuating their crap.

This particular lesson is best exemplified in Hermey the Elf. He shared his dissatisfaction with his monotonous and conventional occupation only to receive backlash from his peers, who obviously knew they were incapable of the skills and ingenuity necessary to leave a dead end job. In the summary of the film, we notice Hermey reappears, only to graciously examine his former coworkers teeth that have been rotted by excessive amounts of candy, which the elves could only afford through the paltry wages afforded by Santa the slave driver. Here is an excellent coaching tool for your unique and ambitious child to demonstrate a moment of truth: people don't like others who do not bow to the drone mentality of the commonplace.

4. The moral of the story: freaks will realize their superiority and use their solidarity against their oppressors.

In the end, we see that Santa's level of perception and character has not changed a bit. Rudolph returns from his brave and courageous journey a better buck, having rejected normalcy only to find community, challenge, and calling. Santa is still repulsed by his nose, yet in a moment of rare clarity, recognizes he may use his former employee's perceived malady to his own cunning and conniving success. I assure you, folks--Rudolph is not getting holiday pay here. He, after all, did not work the day before AND after the holiday.

However, Rudolph is not being used. No sir. Rudolph realizes that sometimes in business you have to manipulate the Big Man to truly benefit the people. He presents himself as an humble and honorable candidate for Santa's seedy scheme, but we who are also freaks acknowledge the bigger picture: Rudolph "nose" there is no funding for the Island of Misfit toys so therefore uses Santa's own meager guile against him to find homes for all his outcast associates.

We also take comfort in the even bigger picture that, unlike their dull and ne'er-do-well assembly, Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius have risen above the basic and archaic concept of an eye-for-an-eye in order to exemplemplify a higher road--a Northern Pole if you will--in doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. Yukon Cornelius is the social worker in this scenario as he has partnered with Hermey to remove the teeth of the Abominable Snowman to restore him as a productive member of society.

I will conclude this blog by quoting the often under appreciated Christmas character, Sam the Snowman:

It's always the same story. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Funnel Cake Burger

If I eat carrots with a funnel cake burger, does that make the meal healthy? No? That's too bad, because that's exactly what I'm doing as a write this, waiting for the leftover burger to cool.

In some circumstances, I like to order the same thing when I enter a frequented establishment. For instance, at Subway I typically order (on a rare occasion I will branch out) a turkey sub with wheat bread, non-toasted, with provolone, spinach, onion, black olives, tomato, oil and vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano, with a side of Cool Ranch Doritos and diet soda. At Sweet Frog I always get the original tart with slivered almonds and blueberries. If there is a new flavor I may try it, but I always get the original tart. It's my favorite and I enjoy it so much I've never gone off the beaten path there.

However, when I visit a restaurant I peruse the menu looking for the item that stands out--the item that I can't find anywhere else. This is the item I order. I don't want chicken fingers or nachos (please note I have NEVER enjoyed chicken fingers) I want the specialty item or drink or both.

This item, at Robin Alexander Bistro, is the funnel cake burger.

The other contender--I can't recall the name right off hand--was a burger topped with a hot dog, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and chips. I decided I would need to work my way up to that one.

I'm certain I didn't read the menu in detail, so I was surprised to see two smaller cheese burgers, dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. The condiment you see in the middle (I apologize that my camera was being difficult this particular day) is a raspberry dipping sauce. 

This is an ideal choice for an individual who likes salty meals, but loves their sugar.

This is not an ideal choice for someone who has eaten little beef and lots of vegetables in the last week. My stomach was upset and I was sleepy and lethargic at 6:00 in the afternoon.

But let me tell you, it was good.

Robin Alexander Bistro has revamped their menu. I would love some of you to check it out--customers who have gone there before the changes--so we can discuss the tweaks together. 

Maybe over a Fun Dip Martini?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Screw in the Pew: Redeeming (Grace) Qualities

When I started this series I loosely swore to uphold a general aura of propriety and perspective: I am not out to review churches--I am out to have an experience and further my spiritual journey (that smacked of 1/3 hippy, two parts liberal and a smattering of kook).

I do have to be honest and open, however, and honest and open I would not be lest I provided a little background.

I don't have a positive history with Baptist churches. I've been in Methodist, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Jewish, Presbyterian--you name it--but the Baptist and I have not seen eye to eye for a very, very long time.

The last time I set foot in a Baptist church was 2 years ago and I wrote the pastor an email that, while I wouldn't earmark as nasty, was at the least stern and accusatory. I'll tell you why.

One, I am the child of a divorced, single parent who chose to become a pastor. Two, said parent decided it would be in my best interest to attend private school to complete my education. I was taught a lot more than your basic reading, writing, and Aramaic.

At fourteen, I was already the height and shape I am today (minus, er, a few pounds), I wore the same amount of makeup, and had absolutely no appreciation for the word "censor." I also feigned confidence and said whatever the hell it was I wanted to say (including "whatever the hell"). I think Mom had a clue that I wouldn't be meeting anyone else like me at this school. She timidly counselled me that the other girls would probably be fresh faced, Noxema-washed girls with bobby socks and Keds.

That all turned out to be true. A great majority of them were also from Heritage Baptist church. I learned a few things my first year of High School:

1. If you're different, you ain't right.

2. If you're a female, you absolutely need your dad, husband, minister, or a combination of all to tell you what to do at all times or you're in a serious amount of trouble since women are inherently evil.

3. If you speak in tongues, you might be demon possessed.

4. If you raise your hands in church, you might be demon possessed.

5. If you listen to anything but Christian music, you might be demon possessed.

6. If you associate with anyone who is demon possessed you might be demon possessed.

7. Pride and gossip, perfectly wrapped in the trappings of insincerity, will never imply demonic possession and is actually encouraged.

8. It's perfectly fine to identify others as having issues and persecute them daily while never admitting or repenting of your own.

9. Some will be happy to pray for you and quote Scripture to you while ripping your own set of values to absolute shreds--with a smile and sometimes a hug.

10. Adults can and will be total assholes to minors in the name of Jesus.

I realize, of course, that not all Baptists are like this. But understand if you will that just as everyone has their own prejudice based on experience, I harbor mine. This persecution and experience only continued after High School because I reside in Lynchburg, Virginia.

I won't tell you I've been in a ton of Baptist churches, but it seems to me that I cannot attend one without hearing at least one of two things: Baptists have cornered the market on doctrine and women should under no circumstances be leaders in the church.

I got to hear both at Redeeming Grace church Sunday morning.

The pastor based his sermon on John 16 and I will not mislead you by communicating that his sermon was about these two things. It was, rather, concerning how Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to guide us after his departure:

"12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

However, he was able to use this to keenly instill in an already aware congregation that women should not be leaders in the church. He also presented an interesting question: if Christ said the above, then how is it that we have different denominations? 

In my hearty discrimination, of course, what I heard was,"How can everyone else be so wrong when we are so obviously correct about anything and everything?"

I appreciated the fact that he admitted he didn't know the answer for sure, but I also have to note that I found some of his assertions contradictory. For instance, he stated that people who do not confess that the Bible is the inherent Word of God are not saved. I am probably one of those people. I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. However, I also believe that men wrote the Bible and are subject to the same scrutiny--did the Holy Spirit perfectly communicate to them? 

How is it that we are still convinced that women should not be leaders in the church? I suppose the better question in my mind would be, how are women on board with this idea? And can we stop blaming the desire to lead and instruct others on the feminist movement (which, of course, he did)? Women did not wake up to the possibility that they were worthy of basic human rights in the 1960's in America. That is the most dumbass, absurd, ignorant idea propagated by churches--that homosexuality and feminism somehow manifested in the last 100 years in America just to attack the church. I had a Liberty student tell me once that homosexuality had only really become prominent in the last 100 years in America. 

I was like,"Um, just a question--do you know where the word 'lesbian' comes from?" 

The best question may be, if there is a possibility that by having it wrong, an entire people group is restricted to responding to a call from God to leadership and authority in the church, why wouldn't you pursue a more gracious interpretation of a few passages in the Bible? 

But this line of thinking can be extended to any number of things and create a slippery slope into heresy. Of course. Danger lies within this reason. Do not enter. Do not pass go. Do NOT go in there....WOOO! (Ace Venture quote complimentary of High School days).

I did wait until the service was over and then I left. And upon attempting to shake off my offense, like so many times before I assented to the assumption that Baptist's intentions are good. They raise nice families in nice neighborhoods and earnestly desire to create a righteous heritage for their families and community.

The dictionary defines grace as "a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior." My Mom always told me it was often more important to be gracious than to be right. 

Perhaps that is the one redeeming quality she instilled in an otherwise demon possessed offspring. 

How to get Free Herb Downtown

I've heard it say the best things in life are free. I'm not sure if that's always true but I do know this: you can get free herb in Downtown Lynchburg. And like Martha Stewart said--it's a good thing.

I'm a fan of Bedford Avenue Meat Shop. There are several reasons for this. I'm not a big meat eater, but when I do eat meat, I'd like to think it's healthy. It is more expensive, but if you're attempting to eat better then you're eating less and more quality. It's important for me to know what I'm getting as well so, just so you know, "all natural" embodies more than a few factors:

The animals are raised humanely. 

The meat is lower in fat.

There are less chemicals and pesticides. 

There are more vitamins A, E, and Omega 3's

It tastes better. 

And now Bedford Avenue Meat Shop has added a bonus feature--an herb wall with free clippings. You can add them to oils or use them in cooking. I'll attest to the fact they are super fresh and green. They smell absolutely fabulous. They offer basil, cilantro, oregano, dill, and 18 other varieties.

Be sure to watch for my recipe madness....

Friday, May 4, 2012

El Lucy

Since cheese is my favorite food is it any wonder that I love Mexican food?

Here is a picture of me at Mi Patron, my favorite Mexican restaurant, getting a surprise cream to the face on my 30th birthday. I know, I know, it's hard to believe I'm a day over 25.

It seems that La Carreta has been the top Mexican restaurant in Lynchburg for, what, 10 years straight? It's always busy and popular with a variety of demographics although I'll say I've observed the most interesting folk at the location on Langhorne Road. I order the Pollo Loco or a few tacos. I don't enjoy the tomato sauce they pour over the combination dinners. 

I've made a game of trying everything on Mi Patron's menu. I wonder how many folk just order the same thing every time or the standard combo meal. I've ordered the T-Bone steak, spinach enchiladas, and don't be deceived: the doritos special doesn't actually involve Doritos. 

This Cinco de Mayo I will probably spend my time at the El Cazador in Gretna. You can read my candid reviews of other Mexican restaurants in the area on Yelp.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Wants to Help Screw Lucy-fer?

Peaks of Otter Wine: some people love it, some people hate it. For those haters among us I say when life gives you lemons make lemonade wine.

The biggest issue that haters have with Peaks wine is that it's too sweet. My thoughts are, why not use Peaks wine to make mixed drinks? Mixed drinks are supposed to be sweet, right?

My first idea for a mixed drink is create a signature Screw Lucy-ifer Bloody Mary which would involve T.C. Trotters Moose Mix and Kiss-the-Devil wine for a truly local beverage (if you think you can handle it). Other ideas are to mix drinks, sans liquor add wine, for a new twist on standard drinks:

Strawberry Shortcake Daiquiri

Puff the Russian Dragon

Irish Cafe Vino

Peach on the Beach

Nuts and Blueberry Muffin

This recipes experimentation will happen soon. The question is, will you be involved?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Despite a lapse for the last few years, I have always purchased vanity plates. It's really a basic requirement for a shameless self promoter. I have considered donating them to a few local restaurants (can you name a few that have plate decor? I can think of 2 right off the bat) but haven't gotten around to digging them out of storage. Of course, my very first vanity plate is something I will never give away: they are signed by the lead singer of Def Leppard and celebrate my favorite band very obviously by proclaiming the name of my favorite album-- ADRNLIZ.

Of course, no one understood what this meant so strangers usually called me Adrian Liz.

I usually either tried to sum up a year or describe a value. One of my more laughable plates was W82M8. I didn't get a lot of dates that year.

There are folks around town who are ambiguously famous. What I mean by this of course is that we have all seen their vanity plates around town and we have no idea who they are. But when we see them we say,"Oh there goes the IZ guy." It certainly doesn't hurt that the IZ guy also drives flashy sports cars. His most recent is a black BMW. His most memorable was a yellow Corvette.

Then we have the people who put their name on their plates (a family member is guilty of this one), the ode-to people (country living, race car drivers, etc), and the people who want you to know they have been a mee maw 3 times.

Then we have the clever group of folk who make their plates difficult to discern. But I have never seen one I haven't guessed. It's another talent wasted.

But alas, this is Lynchburg, so you realize there is at least one Holy Vanity for every other 3 types. Some are more creative than others but you know them when you see them. They are all over the place. Whether generic (I LUV GD) or doctrinal (HECMNBK) if you're paying attention you can see at least one a day.

Tell me I'm wrong. Try it for a week, then tell me I'm wrong.

As for me, I purchased my first vanity plate in a while (due to poverty not lack of narcissism) last year. It unfortunately fits into the memorial category.

I'll be sticking with it for quite some time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Favorite Place to Take Old People

My Grandmother willingly volunteers to anyone within earshot that I neglect her. I don't mind strangers receiving this information, but she tells my friends and then, later on, they scold me. The conversation goes something like this:

Friend: "Oh your Grandmother is so sweet! Why don't you spend more time with her?"

Me: "You don't see the big picture."

Friend: "She just wants someone to pay attention to her and listen to her. Can't you spend more time with her."

Me: "You don't see the big picture."

Friend: "If I were you, I would spend more time with your Grandmother."

Me: "Bitch. Please."

Once at a yard sale a woman practically beat me up because of some fabrication of truth my Grandmother--in front of me mind you--told some stranger. I almost committed elderly abuse in public that day but just left for the weekend instead.

The truth is, I live with my Grandmother as a courtesy to her, so I can ensure her safety. I am the only single member of the already meager family and anyone who is single realizes that, with absence of children and husband, you are automatically volunteered for these positions since "you have nothing to do."

Never mind I spend 8 hours on the road alone each week and have around 4 hours a day to do laundry, chores, errands, eat dinner, write, and finish (FINISH--HA!) any other thing I need to do. No one does mind this--not a Grandmother nor a judgmental friend.

But believe it or not, when time is made (and duties neglected...or more often SLEEP neglected) I do enjoy spending time with Grandma. I usually squeeze in several Scrabble games a week and today, I committed myself to neglecting the gym so that I could go straight home and assist her with gardening. By "assist" I mean that I handed her flowers: I am not a fan of dirt, bugs, or heat. The people I work with find this abhorrent (this is me, restraining myself from mentioning what I find abhorrent about them).

Then I decided to ask her to go out to eat. This is generally something she doesn't do--something about her teeth not working correctly--but despite her non-existent appetite this evening she decided to go.

We go to Country Kitchen on Lakeside Drive. This establishment has no credit card reader and still naively accepts checks from strangers with a smile. It is also full of old people. And a few Harley riders. And very competent waitresses. And it's cheap.

By the way, when I do spend time with Grandma she talks about how I don't spend time with her. And at this point I'm so used to it that I hardly pay attention. I redirect the conversation and it goes something like this: quilts, house repairs, hemorrhoids, do I owe her money, gardening, how I neglect my dog, she needs new teeth, do I owe her money, where is her (insert random item of the week), dry skin, do I owe her money.

And no, I don't owe her money. And no, I don't neglect my dog: she overfeeds and babies my dog (remind me to tell you the heating pad story).

We order--me, chicken and dumplings with a side of turnip greens and cottage cheese her, beef tips with gravy and whipped potatoes with peas.

She reminds me she won't be around for long. And I know. I remind her if she'd give me all her money now, I can quit my job and devote days to painting the dog's nails and chauffeuring her around. She asks me if I owe her any money.

I don't owe her any money but she owes me: I paid for dinner. Then after dinner I took her to one of my other favorite places to take old people--CVS. I bought Eucerin and hemorrhoid wipes for her. I really tried to talk her into adult diapers but only because I secretly want to borrow them so I don't have to get up to use the bathroom at night.

Then I dropped her off so I could go write this blog. She doesn't understand what blogging is, only that it's something that depletes her time with me. She admonishes me to come home as soon as I can.

I wait to make sure she gets in the house safely, then advise God that He need not admonish her in the same way.

Then I ask Him if He owes me any money.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name is Just From Walmart

"Lynchburg Grows was formed as a not-for-profit corporation in 2003 in response to a Lynchburg News & Advance story involving a local man living at the Longwood Group Home. Paul Lam, an individual living with mental retardation, had witnessed the destruction of the garden he had lovingly cared for due to a communication error. The founding members of Lynchburg Grows came together to help build a new garden for Paul, but their aspirations quickly expanded. The mission of Lynchburg Grows became to help all disadvantaged persons enjoy the healthy benefits of gardening and have access to such spaces."

So first of all I got all choked up upon learning that Lynchburg Grows was essentially founded based on what I'm understanding as a group of folk who felt sorry for this poor mentally retarded man who lost one of the few joys in his life. I'm really glad that they rearranged our seating arrangements at work today because the girl I used to sit next to would totally make fun of me for crying. Albeit, I do cry during all pet stories and adoption stories in my Woman's Day magazine but this is different. This story is truly inspirational. 

It made me feel all kinds of good that I'm buying our rose bushes there. I mean, I tentatively am buying my rose bushes there. For Mother's Day. For my Mother's mother. And I'm making her plant them. And she's 87. But she likes to do it--I swear.And I'm going to try to be home and make sure she has a shovel that's not missing a handle.

I'm pretty sure you can get them cheaper at stupid Walmart or Lowe's, but when I fantasize about strolling through my own personal rose garden (or walking over to the bush) I'd like to petition an urge for nostalgia. I'd like to wax verbose concerning the importance of community--of being part of the greater picture.

Then as I stand by the bush my Grandmother so lovingly felt forced upon to plant, I can recall the story of this Paul Lam, of these pioneers of vision who laid ground for redemption and reconstruction and declare that my rose bush purchase was but a drop in the comprehensive ocean of their business.

Then, since Grandma will still probably be alive at age 90, she will undermine my entire speech by reminding everyone that I did absolutely no work around the house nor in the garden.

That said, here are some facts about Lynchburg Grow's roses, along with pictures I took just today. And you'll notice that the prices in some circumstances are much lower than what your local chain would offer. If only a talent like myself didn't work and spend 8 hours on the road every week:

At it's peak, the Schenkel nursery (a.k.a Lynchburg Grow's Roses) was producing 23% of the state's flower industry.

Schenkel roses have made appearances both at the White House and festooned the necks of Kentucky Derby champions.

The oldest--an English Tea Rose--dates back to the 1820's.

The bushes were neglected in extreme heat and zero care for at least 8 years. They still thrive. These flowers are for the worst gardener ever (I'll remind Grandma of that...).

There are at least a dozen varieties available.

A dozen cut will cost you $10--much less than most grocery stores and florists.

They offer a botanical garden setting for events.

Bushes range from $25 to $50...

...but the stories behind them are free. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blessed are the Poot

It's never a bad idea to be around children unless you're a witch with an edible bungalow.

Today Screw Lucy's Nuts and Bolts Children's Service ventured to see "The Lorax." Then, in the spirit of our tree theme, spent time among the willows and oaks at Lynchburg City Cemetery's aboretum. This is what I learned:

1. If you wear a green wig to Regal Cinemas, some old guy behind you will whistle a circus tune and then when you turn around, pretend not to have done it.

2. Children are just as fascinated with the projector itself as with the movie.

3. Some kids feel misunderstood too. And they like it.

4. Pulling up "lettuces" or cauliflower plants that have overgrown and look a lot LIKE lettuces are fun to pull up. Some children will even brag that they are outstanding "puller uppers."

5. "Blessed are the poot, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

6. If you want to take a handful of mints from a stranger's house, it's best to say your sister wants them then put a big handful in your pocket when no one is looking.

7. Flip flops are not the best footwear for a long walk.

8. Dung beetles are bugs that eat poop. Poop beetles would be a better name, but the best name of all would be dumb beetles because, after all, it's really dumb to eat poop.

9. Trying to find a grave of someone who died on your birthday isn't morbid or creepy. It's creative.

10. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

From Lynchburg but not of It

Last night was the first time in a long time I paid a cover to see a local band at a bar (technically, it's been so long I forgot CASH for a cover, and I owe my friend Kim for that). There are several reasons for this. One, I quit smoking and shouldn't really be around it. Two, I generally do not like crowded, noisy space. Three, I like being able to hear in the morning and not smelling like the rag a hooker uses to...take off her makeup.

Last night was St. Patrick's Day and my friend Kim (see above) invited me out to celebrate her birthday so I decided to go. I dressed festively and although it was crowded and I had to stand most of the time, once I had a view beers (and a margarita), not to mention food, I felt Lucy goosey and ready to have a great time.

Blackout was the local band playing. They are talented and I have personally known the lead singer for a number of years but I also could not help myself from commenting to Erik that Lynchburg is far from a town on the cutting edge of music since audiences don't generally want to hear anything but covers. The band did play one original song and it was good. It's not their fault that Lynchburg is not open to new music. Even the local paper covered Rare Form in Nashville who performed covers for a native talent agent.

It's ok. You can sing along and head bang. And I shouldn't present myself as some in-the-know, Rolling Stone type of person. The disc in my car is Def Leppard.

Then something happened that has happened to me for well over a decade. I was approached by a gentleman in a kilt who was obviously tipsy and having a fabulous time. He told me he liked my hair (it was a green wig) and proceeded to talk up Erik and I about working at--well, I can't tell you it's top secret--and Irish heritage. Then he asked,"So where are you guys from?" Over the blaring music we answered in unison,"HERE." He pretended like he didn't hear us right. Then said,"Get out of here! You're not from Lynchburg!"

This is a question I've been asked by strangers all my life with the same response. The reason they ask may vary but after Jim went to fetch another Yuengling last night I turned to Erik and said,"Why do people say that to me? I don't look unusual or act unusual so what is it?"

Erik in his Swedish, Irish abhorring wisdom answered,"He didn't think we were from here because of how readily and enthusiastically we engaged him. And that's always the reason. People from Lynchburg don't want you in their group if you aren't from here and they have that subtle, stand-offish way of letting you know they aren't interested in talking to you."

I supposed I've never realized this about Lynchburg--the counties, sure, but not Lynchburg. County folk will refer to someone as "not from here" when they have lived there almost all their lives. My supervisor is a perfect example of this. He moved to Gretna when he was 5 years old and he is now in his thirties and when I brought him up to Erik's dad as being from Gretna he immediately said,"Oh he's not from Gretna." And I guess he's not know.

It would be interesting to hear what outsiders think about this theory. Maybe I need to go hunt for a few more Jims.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Miller Park(ed)

In college I had to write a paper for one of my classes about the regulations concerning playgrounds that took place somewhere between 1993 and 2003--I got an A on the paper but I can't remember exactly when the government regulations were enforced and how. All I know is, playgrounds are not like they used to be when I was growing up. I was reminded of this today when I visited Miller Park and the old playground had been removed all together--without a trace, unless you count an almost completely covered with grass, old sidewalk.

I have no idea when they finally took it away. It could have been 2 years ago or 10 years ago or longer but I do remember it (I think?): I believe there was a log cabin and those little rocking horse animals (like they had at Mcdonalds), maybe a merry-go-round. I feel like this little guy at the new playground is a nod to the past:

Back then they didn't care that we could fall to the ground and crack our heads on pavement. We were tough. We played on pavement and had no car seats. Screw a car seat. You could see the road from the floor of my grandpa's VW Bug.

One of my earliest memories is my "Pa" taking me to the Fireman fountain at Miller Park (which has not worked in a very long time). In those days, kids would play in the fountain and Pa would give me money to throw in the fountain. My very earliest memory was being 3-years-old and wanting to stay at the park with Pa so badly that I pooped in my pants. I held it in a lot those days. I swear to god I think the ADHD constipates children because they don't want to go through all the necessary steps of toileting. It's personally exhausting to me to this day--pants off, go, wipe, pants up, wash hands. I mean really. Enough already.

I even remember when the pool was not there--or at least I think I do. Can anyone tell me when it was reestablished because I can't for the life of me recall it being there in 1985?

Anyway, here is a random list of memories I have that concern Miller Park. Until you spend some quiet time digging, you'll never realize how much of your precious moments are tied up in one place:

1. When I was in High School my best friend (she's still my best friend) and I walked through the park and some random creepy, crack-head-type person shoved his wrist in her face and said,"See this watch? It's a nice watch. Do you want to buy a watch?" I ran and she continued conversing with him.

2. The same best friend found a random pornographic Polaroid of a man's genitals and brought it to school to show me what a penis looked like. Her prior attempts with drawings were atrocious and still are to this day (not that she draws a lot of penises--not to say she's unattractive). In an unrelated story my mother also pulled up to the Taco Bell in Madison Heights and discovered a similar photo attached to the underside of the drive-thru window. She did not share the same joy as Danielle in allowing me to view it.

3. My favorite season is autumn and Kaleidoscope, to me, is one of the harbingers of fall. "Day in the Park"--being so close to my home--always makes a part of me feel like a kid again. 

4. I remember feeding the squirrels in the park with Mom. Once, a squirrel came right up to me and put his upper lip on my finger before taking the nut and running away. He did not offer to sell me a watch.

5. Miller Park is beautiful in the winter. Erik and I, during a bad snow one year, braved through the cold to take photos. 

It's unfortunate it is not as it used to be. Miller Park isn't in an area like Rivermont and I noticed that the exercise points around the track are gone, the cannon is gone, and of course the fountain is off. I know it must be due to vandalism and theft and it's sad. I am thankful, however, that with so many things that change and pass away--buildings that have burned down or programs that have been long gone--it is one staple in the city that I can still go to and remember the good old days--and the new day don't look all that different. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Living With AIDS in Lynchburg

Whenever I buy the paper, which is usually at least once a week, I always read the obituaries. My grandmother does this, so maybe it runs in the family, I don't know, but I think we are just both curious about people and who they are/were, including strangers.

This week I recognized one of the names.

Nationwide, Jonathan "Jonny" Ervin's book may be quite controversial. I haven't read it, but the title may clue you in. The title reads,"My Secret Place: Living with AIDS and Addiction, A Man Who Gave up Homosexuality for God."

I never met Jonny, but he was well known in the area, not only for his testimony, but because of his talent in singing and as a master stylist. I also bonded with his son when he was only a child and because of that relationship, became close to his mother who confided in me about Jonathan's struggles.

He died of AIDS in peace on Monday. His son is a young man everyone would be proud to claim. I am happy to have shared in a part of his life. He'd say the same about his Dad.

Regardless of your position on homosexuality, AIDS continues to plague the world--and our own community. This weekend, I'll be attending an AIDS awareness collaboration at The Jubilee Center. I'm excited to see my neighbor preform a drama that she composed herself. She has known someone with AIDS--a straight, young woman--as we all probably have at some point in our lives, whether we know it or not.

I respect the courage he had to tell his story.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bea Wheat Free

Wheat allergies are tough. In conversation with coworkers this week I pondered the ailment of being picky in general. I can eat anything. I don't like fennel and I don't prefer raspberry, but I eat most foods. Erik, however, discovered he was allergic to wheat a few years ago when he experimented with eliminating it from his diet and found his sinuses cleared and he stopped having nose bleeds.

But there is now no bread in the house and forget going to get Italian food. Pizza and pasta are impossible to find in a a restaurant.

That's why we were ecstatic to find out Monto Carlo started offering wheat free pizza and pasta.

I've found bad reviews for the place but you have to take into consideration, some people are just jack assess and the place has been around since 1977. We decided to go on Sunday around 12:30 and it was empty for the buffet. So if that's the norm, you can also avoid the Sunday Church Rush here.

You get salad, soup and garlic bread with the meal. Danielle is a veteran Italian Restaurant employee since she worked for Salvatore's on Timberlake (oh how I don't miss those days...) so I trusted her opinion. The waitress was quiet but seemed to know her stuff. She gave us the option of getting our own salads. By that time another table showed up just in time to witness me spraying olives all over the salad bar.

I really can't stand small salad plates. What I am supposed to do with it? You can't get too much lettuce or toppings because if you try to cut it up, it's all over the table. I thought they gave you enough options for the salad though.

Let's not talk about the soup. Oh, god, the soup. I felt like I was eating Christmas. A very salty Christmas. Vegetable with cloves? Disastrous.

I ordered a dish called Alla Hazucha that included artichoke and white wine sauce. It was ok, but what I would note is that the pasta tasted totally normal. Erik ordered the pizza and although the crust doesn't rise like wheat, the overall flavor is great for someone who cannot eat pizza. The pepperoni was greasy, but that's just fine. He at the entire pie.

I thought the whole experience was ok. I could tell you other Italian restaurants in Lynchburg that are better (La Villa and Milanos) but we would come here because they have wheat free options. I think it's a real draw.

Plus Bea Arthur ate here once. 

3230 Old Forest Rd
LynchburgVA 24501
(434) 385-7711

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lynchburg Airport is Gay

If this statement offends you take it up with the person who mentioned to me how flaming gay the new Lynchburg Airport sign be. I couldn't believe this. Although I do have ADHD I drive past the airport almost every day and you would think I would notice a new sign that is rainbow colored with flamenco dancing queens kicking up their heels atop the flashing lights.

It's magenta and the fact that I didn't even notice it leaves me wondering what the fuss is all about. Darrell Laurant has me beat on this one most definitely. I did not notice the sign so the people contacting him are seeing something I am not.

What do you think?

(credit: Erik Custer)

(Please note that I have the right to all grammatical and spelling errors including but not limited to run-on sentences, fragment sentences, ending sentences with prepositions, and all horrific forms of misspelling. It's my damn blog of, is, at, with.)

Ruby Groundhogs and Other Strattera Induced Hallucinations

I gotta tell you, Strattera is some stuff. It's kind of like having a lot of adrenaline in your blood but not being hyper or like waking up at 5 a.m. and thinking about running to your local store to buy ingredients to prepare jalepno poppers. Ok, that's not really what's it like but that's what I did this morning. I think Strattera may make you like this woman eventually:

It's groundhog day. We have a lot of groundhogs in Lynchburg. I always think they're cute and then Erik reminds me they have diseases and tear up people's gardens. He ruins everything. Well, not everything. Lewis C.K. ruined my thoughts on deer.

This may be the first year we local really don't need to see the 'ol hog. It's been the most mild winter ever, that I can recall. I miss sledding, but not that much.

Tomorrow is "Go Red Day" to raise awareness of heart disease. I wish I could say there is a group in Lynchburg participating but there isn't. I could have drummed something up I suppose but I just remembered yesterday so I guess I'll simply be wearing red. We do have a Macy's but I honestly don't frequent there since I got fired (totally a might have had something to do with the fact I called my boss a bitch) but this is the only event I know about.

If you know of anything a local business is doing for GO RED, do tell.

Meanwhile I really need to stock up on my costumes. I could be wearing an animal suit today and who knows what tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Don't Like Pink or Ladies But I Don't Mind This

The Farm Basket introduced a very fashionable line of clothing to their repertoire today. Since Sakinas closed, getting fashionable clothing is tough in Lynchburg. All we have is a J. Crew outlet and a few other hidden treasures. Then, of course, the mall. Bleh.

I hope they sell dresses. I prefer dresses...well I prefer costumes, but if I have to go somewhere, you know, where normal people go, I like to wear a dress. I checked out the Lilly Pulitzer's website and the dresses are really nice. They're expensive but really nice.

Of course, I read about the history of Lilly Pulitzer and had to laugh to myself. A woman of privilege is bored so she makes clothes for a living. I'm sorry--eye roll. That's so Boonesboro which is the crowd that usually patronizes The Farm Basket. I don't have $180 to spend on a dress. I wish I did but I don't!

I also wish I was born with my parent's money so I could make stuff and sell it then call it a living. But then I wouldn't be The Screw you've grown to love so well.

Of course, when I'm thin, rich, plastic, and not here, I'll disown all of you. You know that, right...;)

(I don't have money but I don't look scary either...well, today at least.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lynchburg

Dr. Virgil A. Wood, a leading figure during the Civil Rights movement, will be the guest speaker Jan. 16 at Lynchburg College's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at 6 p.m. in Snidow Chapel. Dr. Wood will speak on Martin Luther King Jr., the Organic Scholar: Engagement at the Intersection of Theory and Practice. The service will include music and "Majestic Praise," praise dancers from Altha Grove Baptist Church in Forest, Va.

The Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor will offer free admission in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Point of Honor will feature guided tours of the 1815 Federal period home, once the seat of a 750-acre plantation. The special exhibit: Lynchburg At War: 1861-1865 remains on exhibit at the Museum through June 15.      

Martin Luther King, Jr. Service at Houston Memorial Chapel with William A. Johnson, first African-American elected mayor of the City of Rochester, New York. Born in Lynchburg, VA Johnson moved to Rochester in 1972 and served 21 years as president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Rochester. In 2006 he became a Minett professor of public policy in Rochester Institute of Technology College of Liberal Arts. Houston Memorial Chapel 12:40 P.M.

The Lynchburg Museum at the Old Court House invites you to tour the museum for free on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Hours are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. FREE!!!

And as always you can find exhibits celebrating Dr. King and African American history at The Jones Memorial Library and Legacy Museum.

Screw in the Pew: E.X.T.R.A.O.R.D.I.N.A.R.Y.

I am a big fan of Paul, although my friends who lean toward feminist ideals cannot fathom why: Paul delivered a few pieces of instruction that leave us believing that he did not feel women should be leaders in the church. I don't argue these points with people because I believe that people of today, much like Paul, are still affected by their own ideals and culture despite the truth of Christ. I believe the saints were flawed. I know Catholics will be shrieking at the thought of this but that's what I believe. 

When I visited "All People's Church" last Sunday, I thought of the words of Paul,"To the weak, I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." 

I'm not really sure what he became for women, but I have the feeling he was not a suave man in that department. I think he may have been a little like C.S. Lewis--too wise and intelligent for the weaker sex. But we all know what happened to Lewis. People hold onto their ideals until someone falls into their path to prove all their theories wrong. Maybe Paul never met the right woman or maybe he really did have the gift of celibacy which would have come in handy while stranded on islands or chained in prison for long periods of time. 

This really has nothing to do with my experience in church Sunday. The all people part does, but I just wasted your time talking about Paul's dating habits or lack thereof. 

All People's Church welcomed a visiting minister Sunday who welcomed The Sterns, who direct King's Kids Village in Kenya, Africa. King's Kid's Village is a ministry that houses African children orphaned by the AIDS virus.

Missions really should follow Paul's concept of becoming all things to all people. I enjoy missionaries who are able to absorb and embrace the culture of their Gospel recipients. The food. The poverty. The bugs. The nudity.

I don't feel that missions work is cut out for me. But I like Paul's concept. It makes me think of costumes.

But my Mom told me that missions isn't crossing the sea; missions is seeing the cross.

Acts tells us that Paul did some pretty extraordinary things. The video above made it hard not to cry, but that's because I realize that it's the smaller concepts in the bigger concepts that sail us through the storm onto something bigger than what we are. Children are better at keeping it real. They don't get the politics and lingo yet.

This week's lesson for me was that we often need to focus on the wisdom and meaning of what is said, deeply consider it and get passed the source. I don't agree with everything Paul said, but I can absorb his wisdom because I know that people are flawed. People can be used by God and remain imperfect; God even speaks through people who think they've got it all right--and don't.

I'm kind of wondering what S.C.R.E.W. would stand for. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Monday Madness

This Monday Madness started out with an Incredible Hulk and ended with a theological discussion.

I enjoyed 2 $4 appetizers, namely the crab nachos and an appetizer on bread I can't pronounce that involved goat cheese (I really wanted to order 2).

Next week I am going to try the $10 salmon dish.

I moved along with a "Pair-It-Up" martini (staying with the green theme).

I think you cannot lose if you choose a martini from the chocolate menu. The Reese's Pieces Martini was absolutely divine and I had a hard time refusing another, but decided it was time to call it a night.

If this doesn't make you attend Monday Madness...well I'm just sorry for you.

You Businesses Need to Advertise on Facebook Better

It's Date Night at Rivermont Pizza tonight, 1 appetizer. 1 pizza. 1 dessert. 1 bottle of red or white wine. $25. 5pm-9pm

ALSO....Tonight at Ned's, take 5%OFF any 12 or more mixed beers. Ned's / RP...Making your hump-day even better..Special today: Bring in 10 or more empty six pack holders and receive a 5% DISCOUNT on your beer or wine purchase!


Harbour Inn Chicken Tenders and baby shrimp $5.99

Wine Down Wednesday Robin Alexander--glasses of wine are $5

Get 10% off your yogurt at Spoon Me! with a YMCA membership or 10% off at Sweet Frog by wearing their merchandise

Big Lick $0.45 wings and peel-and-eat shrimp. Mercutio playing from 5-8.

Briar Patch--BLIND LUCK playing at 7:30

Dozing Off In Central Virginia

I realize you thought this would be another church blog, but it's not. I have rarely had issues with sleep, but I'm aware that it's an epidemic. Many people don't prefer medication of any kind and others find sleeping pills don't leave them refreshed in the morning.

Dr. Mattews Office at 66 Timbrook Cour Lynchburg advertises assistance in sleep quality and a holistic approach to well being. I have never been there personally, but I have been to who I assume to be Dr. Luedke's husband and I found him to be very pleasant (he also thought I was amusing, which scored him big points).

It is also possible you may have sleep apnea and don't realize it. If this is the case, you'll need to be tested so that you can start receiving treatments. Lynchburg Oral surgery can schedule an appointment online to diagnose you. Follow the link for a list of participating insurances.

Another option could be to change your mattress. I've had issues with this very thing lately and visited the Great American Sleep Shop on Lakeside Drive. Although I'm not entirely enthused about their hours of operation, I found the sales personnel to be friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. I thought their prices were both reasonable and lower prices as well, considering I bought my last mattress at Mattress Warehouse. They have been locally owned and operated for 30 years.

Finally, I can make a suggestion I have actually experienced myself. Vital Edge Health Store in Altavista sells a tea that a friends personally recommended. He referred me to the beverage, describing it as a "relaxation" drink. We could all use a little relaxation at a stressful job--couldn't we?

Little did I know that half way through the bottle of "Bob Marley's Mellow Mood Black Tea" (the fact that it's black tea causes me to chuckle every time) I would struggle not to fall completely into a dark and silent sleep during work hours. It's 100% natural...and I can't help but suspect it has more "herbs" in it than what is advertised on the label...