Monday, May 19, 2014

Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod, One Night Sailed Off on an Ocean of Beer

Enjoy my assessment of the Exclusive Four Course Beer Pairing Dinner at Crown Sterling from the perspective of my eyes, ears, and other sundry noggin appendages.

SCrew Ears

So, if this lady, Lee Johns, is anywhere as good at her Beer Master skills as she is at oratory delivery I'm kind of feeling good about this whole beer pairing dinner thing...

SCrew Hand:

Shhh. I'm trying to keep up. She's explaining the intricate details of their Apocalypse sticker...

SCrew Ear:

Oh yeah I heard. Can you believe people complain about the name--how it's too evil and foreboding? 

SCrew Mouth:

(mumbling) Only in (insert suitable expletive) Lynchburg. Remember when they had an issue with "The Haunted Book Shop" and the owner had to change the name to "Bookshop on the Avenue" because all the Fundamentalists thought they were going to be possessed by enchanted bookmarks?" 

SCrew Eyes:

Be quiet. I heard her say that the first pairing is coming out--it's a salad and the beer has a flaxen, honey appearance...

SCrew Mouth: didn't hear that. Ears did. 

SCrew Eyes:

Touche, Mouth. Touche. Anyway, here's something I didn't know until Ears explained it to me--did you know each of the beers will be included in tonight's entrees?! 

SCrew Mouth:

Never! Hands--a little help here! Hmmm...Golden Censor--Canadian peel...

SCrew Ears:

I heard her say this is called a "divorce" beer because she and her husband Doug had a huge argument over offering it as a light, refreshing, summer beer. Also "Golden Censor" is a nod to the book of Revelation. You know--alters, angels, stuff...

SCrew Mouth:

It tastes like she won. And thank God for that. Meanwhile I like how the Chef--Shawn Minnix--tossed oranges into the greens mix--not to mention the zesty beer dressing is delightful.

SCrew Eyes:

Well, I see that was a success...

SCrew Ears:

Hey, I heard them talk about the second course: we're expecting stuffed mushrooms with crab meat and Andouille sausage with a spicy Hopocalypse mustard sauce on the side.

SCrew Mouth:

HOPOCALPYSE! That's RICH! Hahahahahaha!

SCrew Ears:

Mouth, you're guffawing again. No, really. Hopocalypse is an Imperial Red Ale--8% ABV with 110 IBU's. Hops throughout with a phenomenal nectar finish...

SCrew Mouth:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know what any of those abbreviations mean--just let me taste that mushroom sauce.

SCrew Ears:

I also heard IPA's and other bitter beers go well with spicy foods. In fact...

SCrew Mouth:

OH MY GOD! Eyes, is anyone looking?!?

SCrew Eyes:

Um...I don't think so but my vision has gotten worse since I turned 30 so...

SCrew Mouth:

I totally want to lick this platter clean. Sriacha, honey-mustard, buttery that sour cream in there??? I must have this recipe! 

SCrew Bladder:

Not to interrupt all this fun but I gotta piss. 

SCrew Ears:

Ok but hurry back. I heard something about a stout. That's our favorite kind of beer. And not just any stout. I heard "chocolate" stout.

SCrew Mouth:

Oh my ever loving godmother.

SCrew Ears:

Hand, are you getting this? I heard...just a second...Ecuadorian cacao...lactose to enhance the toffee richness of the brew...

SCrew Eyes:

Did you see that scorched, chestnut color? I hope it tastes as good as it...

SCrew Mouth:

OH MY GOD! It's like being in "Chocolat!" Remember that scene where the concierge lends himself to abandon and rolls around in all the chocolate...

SCrew Eyes:

You didn't see that movie. I did.

SCrew Mouth:

Shut up eyes--I heard about it.

SCrew Ears:

No you didn't--I did.

SCrew Mouth:

Everyone shut up. 

SCrew Ears:

Technically, only you can do that.

SCrew Eyes:

Well, technically I can shut up...

SCrew Mouth:

THE PORK IS HERE! You won't believe this--the barbecue sauce is made with the chocolate stout. These are the most tender pork chops ever and...the rice...and just a second there's some Swiss chard...I love greens and...OH HEAVEN ON A FORK! These are the BEST GREENS I have EVER HAD! I'm going to ask body if I can roll around on my plate...

SCrew Body:

This is a new shirt. Don't even think about it.

SCrew Brain:

I'm the thinker here.

SCrew Ears:

I heard that dessert is being served with beer and that it tastes like an oatmeal cookie.

SCrew Eyes:

Mmmm dark.

SCrew Nose:

Smells like Christmas!

SCrew Eyes/Mouth/Ears:

Where the hell have you been?

SCrew Nose:

Sorry, I had to run. 

SCrew Mouth:

He reduced this beer to make a sauce mixed with an apple crisp and ice cream. It's a caramelized raisin oatmeal with magic inside.

SCrew Eyes:

Soothing...I think this is a "nite nite" beer...

SCrew Mouth:

It's like cappuccino...creme adult cola float...

SCrew Stomach:

I'm full.

SCrew Ego:

You jerks are making me fat.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Timberlake Christian, Hypocrisy, and Sucking

I attended public school for 2 years. When it was time for second grade, my mom taught me at home--actually work because she was a single mom and her employers cared about the both of us and allowed her to teach me and work full time. I had my own office downtown at her job and it was really a unique situation.

Then it was time for High School. Public school was out of the question for me so Mom shopped around for a private school. After prayer and pamphlets, mom decided the best place for me would be New Covenant Schools. It was probably one of the best decisions ever made for me on her behalf and my own.

Listen, I never had any sexual orientation confusion, but I was the daughter of a single, divorced, female pastor. I know what it's like to be different in the world of Fundamentalists. I have seen their sexism, their racism, their judgment, fear, and ignorance face to face for over 25 years. I attended camp with them, school with them, and of course, church with them. I visited a local, popular Baptist church at age 14 and although I had never dated, I overheard a PARENT call me a slut because I wore makeup--and I'm guessing because I had breasts which were hidden under a T-Shirt but present all the same.

I was a shy and quiet child like my mom had been. But puberty, like that fabled fairy stealing incisors in the night, whisked away my timid nature and by the time I was 13, I found myself in the head master's office of a private school wearing urban garments and asking if they had enrolled any black students that year.

I wish I still had the picture of me showing off how I planned to wear my uniform. It was 1993 that The SCrew started to manifest in the womb of a young, defiant mind.

I welcomed the opposition. I spoke up and I defended damn near everything. It was the way I looked--my makeup, long hair, clothing. It was my denomination. It was my mother. My music. My movies. But I chose to be different. I chose to change a few beliefs. New Covenant taught me to do that. The staff were present through my issues. They didn't let me slide. Some were adverse to my mother being a pastor and I knew that. But it didn't matter--they loved me and I knew it and they taught me how to think for myself.

If you want more stories about being different in High School you can ask my best friend Danielle. She has way better stories than I do because she was a horrible bitch and no one liked her.

Just kidding, Danielle. Kind of.

Now, if you don't want to read any of the above, here are my three main points:

1. Private Fundamentalist Schools are not created to cater to your personal preferences.

They are available at your own cost to instruct a very specific set of boundaries and guidelines. You can sign the admission slip without reading the fine print. But the print is not really all that fine. If you want your child to have a Fundamentalist Christian education you are willfully accepting a few standards that are not reflective of what is generally accepted as fair or agreeable to our culture. Beliefs atypical to Fundamentalist Christianity are that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, homosexuality is a sin, traditional sex roles are preferable and desirable (wife submit to husband, have children, stay at home) although not mandatory (except that women submit to their husbands and cannot be pastors), and, although the unofficial doctrine has eased up in the last few decades, you will still commonly find that tattoos, piercings, rock music, dancing, anything related to liberalism, Hollywood, and generally looking or being different from what appears as "godly" is frowned upon. Many of these rockabilly, hippy churches are all about looking like what the church used to call a sinner and being super non-confrontational about sin, but if you cornered them, they might actually have to admit they believe some of these things as well. If you think your super-awesome hipster church is politically correct, ask the pastor what he believes about any of these things out right.

2. You are as much a hypocrite as Fundamentalists.

Speaking of asking people stuff outright, if you asked me outright what I thought about Timberlake Christian I would offer that I would never, ever send my child there. I would never, ever send them to any other Baptist affiliated school either. I would send my child to the private school that I attended or public school before I would send them to Timberlake. My reasoning for this is that people don't generally change all that much and the majority of people who send their kids to Timberlake, in the scenario that I've created in which I have a child, I go by SCrew Lucy, wear costumes, and lived with a man who's an atheist for six years before I got married, would not be the most friendly place for my child to receive an education. Fundamentalist women typically don't like me all that much for exactly the same reason I was called a slut in church at 14--I wear makeup, my boobs are too big, my mouth is too big, my personality is too big, and I'm generally just scary and intimidating. It is for this reason I have generally never dated Christian men and never had Christian girlfriends unless they're Methodist or Episcopal or black (because they're big and scary too). But I'm getting off point.

As you may glean from the above paragraph, I am judging Fundamentalists. I know a few families that send their kids to this school. Their kids love it. Their kids are awesome and I love them. But it obviously hasn't changed my perception of Fundamentalists in general because Fundamentalists have been jerks to me and to people I love for a very long time. I have read the comments on the websites and news sites. Timberlake Christian was condemned before they even had their say. There are two sides to every story. If you're already on one side then forget about being impartial. And that is what is way scary to me. We are a polarized nation full of finger pointers and blind eyes. I don't like the school but by god, they have the right to suspend or kick-out students for whatever reasons they see fit and the only reason this story is getting publicity is because it involves gender confusion. Kids get kicked out of private and public schools all the time for many different reasons that I would consider absurd and there is no story about it.

The child is undoubtedly being judged because of her appearance AND because of her family life--by both staff and children. But she also obviously has friends and support there since she is "crying to go back" every day. Does that sound like the story is one sided? Is it even possible that she finds some comfort and stability at the school because the same standards that cause unpleasant feelings by someone less leave-it-to-beaver also impose qualities that are desirable to a child--or an adult--whose life has been unfortunate?

3. Everyone Sucks.

Gays suck. Women suck. White men suck. Republicans suck. Children suck. You can be aghast at any of these statements but they are totally true and you say things every day to back them up you just don't say them in public or to the wrong person and that's because you my friend suck as much as they do. I have met someone in any and every one of those categories who sucks and I continue to meet people who suck weekly. Sucking includes but is not limited to: being mean, being irritating, stealing from me, committing crimes that involve my property, driving too slow in traffic, talking loudly at movies, stomping around on your hardwood floors at 3 AM, using your SNAP card in line with coupons and 3 screaming children, not tipping a really awesome waitress because you're cheap, leaving her a Christian tract instead, leaving your pee on the toilet seat (or any other fluid) and not flushing, chewing your food while talking on the phone, and assuming.

All of you have sucked and I suck too.

I know you hate to hear it but you likely jumped on a side in this story and said hateful things to others about facts and circumstances you really don't know anything about. Liberals do it to Conservatives. Blacks do it to whites. Women do it to men. Christians do it to atheists.

Two more things.

My best friend who went to private school with me was the only person I saw comment that she simply wanted to hear both sides at the very beginning. And she often wants to hear more to the story and investigate. I have seen her do this on issues that she very much wants to agree with but feels driven to receive all the information. I'm proud of her for that and I believe it shows her good upbringing and her superior education--at a gracious, loving private school.

This little girl has been made a political paradigm which will probably add to the issues she already has and will have, that have nothing to do with her gender. It is pointless of me to share what I've heard about what was possibly really going on with her issues at school because you've either made up your mind that Timberlake was totally unfair and bigoted or this little girl should be penalized for having problems that stem from a multitude of problems that are not her fault. And both of those accusations, in my opinion, are unwarranted and silly.

I have often observed that the powerful and desirable qualities I possess are the very features that make me undesirable to some demographics--including religious people. I have considered that the people we hate or avoid are the people who would benefit from the differences that cause separation. Liberals and conservatives, atheists and Christians, they all preach love and acceptance and rarely practice it to par. We are ungracious, bitter, fearful, proud, envious, and accusing. But it's far simpler to identify the problem in others while denying any ownership of the above for ourselves.

It is interesting that this news piece centers around alleged identity crisis.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Road Home

This is a random, short conversation between a friend and I a few days ago, after she came in to help take care of GrandScrew, who is currently in rehab at The Carrington:

One day I want you to tell me what it is like to stay in the same city all your life

I can tell you what it's like now
for me
it's secure
and it's like a relationship
I get homesick no matter where I go
it's comforting and a little sad

It's just like that. 

The question made me feel sorry for her. It's the way you feel sorry for someone who, even if they were disadvantaged, would roll their eyes if you knew they felt sorry for them. 

I've been traveling up and down 29N since I was a child and I'm the youngest in my family so I may as well have been five years old yesterday, squished up behind my mom in her black and silver Baja, reminiscing about how bad my motion sickness was when I was a kid. I remember driving back from visiting family in Waynesboro, in my red and white Disney World baseball jacket, short dark hair, miserable and wanting to make it home to vomit. I didn't make it home. Poor Mom.

I've seen the same cows and curves and the skeleton face in the mountain by Lovingston and ice cream cone stand in Colleen since I was a little girl. We've changed and stayed the same and so has 29N. The road home is there for me monogamously, the foundation unwavering--the new signs and detours unavoidable with progress and time. 

My grandmother reminds me of that as she asks if her sister is still alive. Mom reminds her that Aunt Monk has passed away and Grandma asks when did it happen and I offer without hesitation that it was 2001 and I recall that we stopped at the Colleen Drive-In on the way back from the funeral in Waynesboro. And now we are traveling to see my Aunt Virginia who will soon pass away and I decide that perhaps I have not traveled 29N as often as I should've. 

Grandma comments that the countryside is so beautiful. Mom agrees that the state of Virginia is beautiful. I correct Mom to advise her that Virginia is a Commonwealth and then I silently decided it might be a good idea if, upon correcting someone else in the future, I knew what makes a Commonwealth different than a state.

 My great grandma died when I was six. The last thing she ever said to me was,"What church do you go to?" and that's what my own grandma asks strangers whenever she goes to the Goodwill or Belk to bargain hunt and if they engage her long enough, she might tell them how she got saved. 

"Can we go by great grandma's old house in Fishersville?" I never knew great grandma's old house but I've seen black and white pictures. It's not there any more, but the alley is still there and a new house sits by the dying tree that volunteered as a backdrop for my Uncle Leroy and Aunt Martha as they grew up in Augusta County. 

Sometimes grief and loss and the expectation of all things related to both gets stirred up with sensations convertible with romance and the reward of gratitude for being connected with permanence is humbling. It's in the road and the earth, in the fir tree that watches children, sheds needles, and draws it's own last breath as the last of the Shenandoah rain travels through it's veins.

We turn by the sign that used to advertise Walton Mountain Store. It's blank and the store is abandoned. Grandma asks who we're going to see.

I remind her we're going to see Virginia. 

I think of my aunt and I consider my Commonwealth and most of all, I internalize the road home. And it's all so comforting and a little sad.

Tell me, where is the road
I can call my own,
That I left, that I lost
So long ago?
All these years I have wandered,
Oh when will I know
There’s a way, there’s a road
That will lead me home?


After wind, after rain,
When the dark is done,
As I wake from a dream
In the gold of day,
Through the air there’s a calling
From far away,

 There’s a voice I can hear
That will lead me home.


Rise up, follow me,
Come away, is the call,
With the love in your heart
As the only song;
There is no such beauty
As where you belong;
Rise up, follow me,
I will lead you home.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

SCrewper Weekend Series: Shakin, Not Stirred

SCrew Lucy shook it up this weekend with a collaboration of trekking and trifling. You should've been there but you were too busy not reading my blogs or following me on Facebook. Either stop being a jackoff or quit complaing about how bored you are and how there's nothing to do around here blah blah blah.

My first SCrew trip of the year was to none other than Charlottesville, Virginia where health care is better, no one carves their university initials into mountains, and bands play their own music instead of covers in order to assure that no poor white trash shows up screaming,"Play some SKIN-NARD!" Consequently, it's also so I won't elbow my way to the front to request Def Leppard in an embarrassing attempt to relive my twenties. 

Which naturally follows into the introduction to my SCrewper Weekend.

I really don't want to be one of those people who go on and on about how the "young people's" music these days doesn't compare to when I was a teenager since Grunge was the last epic music available. Of course, I was somewhat miffed that Grunge killed Hair Metal and I can't remember what killed Grunge since I was mostly drunk or high from 1999-2003 (just kidding Mom--I was actually just locked in a basement) but I do know that my first reaction upon hearing and viewing Mumford and Sons is to say and viscerally feel,"Psh. Those little wafer loafs don't know anything about REAL music."

And then I feel ridiculous because I know so little about music of any kind that I'm embarrassed to be around musicians...or I would be if I didn't have a ridiculously imbalanced idea of my own personal value as a human being. So I'm quite content to respond to any young musical talent with,"I hate the Beatles and I think Prince sucks it big time."

Really, though. Prince? Gross. I can't think of anyone I hate more besides Elton John.

Please identify your ability to continue reading this blog with humor or determine that you and I can never communicate ever again. In addition, I also hate The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga (my annoying, middle-age scruples will not allow me to like someone who has so obviously poached songs from Madonna although I never liked Madonna either and Madonna ripped off someone from the seventies).

So I subscribed to Paste and Rolling Stone a long time ago and started listening to hip and with-it albums. So last month, when I read about the new video release from Swear and Shake and discovered they would be in Charlottesville at The Southern, I was all like,"I have to go find some old 1980's skates and find out what a hipster girl looks like so I can go to this show and look like I fit in."

I will just tell you that whether or not you like this genre of music (Indie Folk) this video is bad ass and one day I will star in one just like it except I'll be in a Rockem Sockem match with Prince.

I have a girl crush on the lead singer mostly because I want to steal her hair in the middle of the night.

I couldn't find any pictures of The Southern online that helped me know what kind of establishment I was getting myself into, so I did you a favor and took some. I was imagining some smokey dive from the reviews online. Instead, I discovered a comfortable environment without annoying college students (note the "annoying"--there were college students and I learned a lot about YOLO from the lot of them), smoke, cramped seating, bitchy waitresses, or filth.

Instead, the food is far beyond standard, the patrons are a mix of hipsters, college preps, older people (like, older than me old) and, again, non-annoying people. Of course, we didn't stay late and I heard rumors of someone being escorted out, but all in all, I was all like, cool.

We didn't stay to see The Currys, but they were not-annoying too. I was just too tired and cold to endure being awake any longer.

It was really, really cold this weekend.

So anyway, I started by ordering the beet salad with a cranberry seltzer to drink. They have local beer, including Grateful Ale from Starr Hill, but I was designated driver this evening (Screw responsibly). 

I know beet salad is made with spinach and arugula, red onion, sunflower seeds and orange vinaigrette. You may want to nix the red onion because it was a little excessive. Next, I decided the Smokey Dokey sounded different enough to try: smoked sweet potato, onion jam, braised kale, and classic slaw. Although slaw was already on the sandwich, I couldn't resist order the blue cheese and apple slaw since I adore blue cheese. Then, since two sides were offered, I passed on the braised kale for the rosemary chips.

Then I was all like...

I also discovered a business this weekend called Shaking Hands Productions. If you cut through all the trappings, this business makes a movie preview out weddings for rich people. If I had enough money to pay the fee that starts at around $3500, I would start my priceless film memory with a viper green "THE FILM ADVERTISED HAS BEEN RATED R" warning and it would just continue to climb to heights of hilarity from that point forward.

I'm sorry, as previously mentioned I don't do precious. My "trash the dress" ideas end at wearing a prom dress in a bog holding a machine gun with Foster the People playing in the background. I know. I'm kind of manish.

Finally nothing would complete a SCrew weekend without a theme centered primarily on food so I thought and thought and thought some more, then decided that out of all the local places to go for a milkshake, I would choose V&T's Grill because it had been a while. They have Hershey's ice cream. They have pies. They have coffee. They have food. They have my patronage. 

I decided to make one of their sundaes into a milkshake. At first, the waitress attempted to insist that it would not be in my best interest to do this, however after I guaranteed her that payment would be received whether I liked it or not, she promptly brought my chocolate cherry milkshake (with real cherries, real chocolate, and caramel) and I enjoyed the ever-loving hell out of it.

Here is a raspberry truffle sundae:

Since I cut sugar from my diet something like this is five hundred seventeen times as desirable and also like crack.

Stay tuned in February for the next SCrewper Weekend...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Best of 2013 According to Some People I'll Offend Part I

Once upon a time I used to be afraid of offending people because this is a relatively small town but then I realize that I don't have to open my mouth for strangers to dislike and judge me and also that I've probably already pissed off the wrong people anyway.

Therefore, here's my opinion about the most recent Lynchburg Living Magazine's "Best of Insert Any Year Because It Never Changes Anyway." My review is completely trustworthy seeing as how my opinion is the most important and I hate all the people you should hate. Also you must remember that I know a lot of people around town, I know what happens in their business, their dirt, who they know, what they know, how they did it, and that time at band camp with you know who and I probably know you too even though you don't know me. But I don't tell my secrets. Otherwise, who would tell me anything ever again? But rest assured I have informants.

If we could just start with the best restaurant, that would be great.

I don't have any feelings of ill will for Waterstone, but seriously, it is not the best locally-owned restaurant in town and to assert such a ludicrous fable speaks to the audience who took the time to fill out the survey. It's an ok restaurant, with fine pizza and acceptable beer, but it's too crowded and the last time I patronized the restaurant, our waitress who was all of 18 acted like a bitch because obviously, we were not her target audience.

The runners-up are a more suitable selection. Jimmy's on the James and Isabella's offer far more in the categories of ambiance, fare, and originality.

I will also note that Waterstone won in the "Best Atmosphere" and "Best Pizza" divisions and although I've already spoken to the ambiance factor, I'm very glad that it beat out Rivermont Pizza. Among the people that I hate are hipsters and kids from the 03 who dress like homeless people yet own $500 sunglasses and have never worked a day in their lives. I also dislike slow service and annoying bands.

Best winery went to Rebec Vineyards because they host the Garlic Festival (aka Stinky Drunk Fest) and people in this area still know next to nothing about local wines. If wines in this region were judged on quality and atmosphere, Altillo Winery and Leogrande would have easily gotten a nod but since people still drink Moscato and think it's the bee's knees (this is not a reference to mead) then they go with who they know. However, I love Danny Johnson and Peak's Winery and the wine and folks at Hickory Hill are beyond amicable, so I can't really be upset about this category.

You will note the best cultural events center around alcohol. I cannot argue with that.

I don't care about golf, have no strong opinion about live theater, and am tickled pink that Liberty University was not mentioned in the "Best Tourist Attraction" category along with their atrocious bald spot on the mountain.

Let's skip the great outdoors because I don't care.

I am biased about the best auto service because I go to my friend at Harris Tire so I won't mislead you there, although you are more than welcome to read my scathing review of Billy Craft Chrysler Jeep on Yelp since they can suck it. The only thing I can say about Forest Automotive is that I love their Christmas display.

I have only stayed at one Bed and Breakfast in town and it is quite lovely, but what they say about the hostess is true--she has a chip on her shoulder and they aren't overly hospitable but I think they're from the North so what can you expect? Just kidding, Yankees. Actually, I'm not but I like yous guys anyways.

I don't shop around town for clothes but that speaks to my own body and not price or quality. I have big boobs and long legs which is the only reason some of you are reading this blog.

A bunch of other categories that I also don't care about followed clothing stores: banks, thrift shops, spas, florists, law firms. I don't care about any of this. Do you? I guess you do if you own a bank, a spa, or a law firm.

I won't say anything about best photographer because I am particularly snarky about this subject. It's not because I'm a photographer. It's because I can't stand precious, hokey pictures of couples, babies, and other things that are not endearing to me at all. I'll take a photo of a duck over one more chalkboard picture any day.

Fusion deserves the best salon. Dorothy Carson is dope and so is her crew. The end.

The best travel agency is Rejuvenation Vacations and I'm only saying that because they like my posts on Facebook. I have never booked travel through any agency because I'm poor and clueless. But if they book my trip to Los Angeles and do a good job, I'll certainly share the experience (this was a shameless attempt at discount services).

The thought of a wedding gives me a headache so I'll pass on wedding venues.

Wellness. Here is my opinion. Health care here sucks. If I expound upon this I'll go on and on and on so I'll stop now.

I see that Dragonfly beat The Worx--finally. I am not familiar with either but I like Blackout because I know for a fact their lead singer is a decent person, plus they're talented.

I'm starting to note that all I do in town, so it seems, is eat, drink, and form opinions about others...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Top Ten Reasons to Stay at the Craddock Terry

As far as I can determine from personal experience, The Craddock Terry is the best place to stay when visiting Lynchburg. I searched and searched for reasons not to like it, but by golly, I couldn't find any.

(this is me trying to find reasons in a lamp post)

On this particular evening, we would enjoy a night with our friends (K-Dub included) at Waterstone Pizza, which is connected by elevator to the hotel. Waterstone serves it's own craft beer and artisan pizzas so, if you aren't served by bitchy, unpleasant waitstaff like we were, it's a likable atmosphere.

1. Their staff is attractive, friendly, and knowledgeable. 

2. You get a free shoe cookie.

3. The beds are the most comfortable I've ever slobber on.

4. There is a unique shoe adornment on every door.

5. If you leave the shoe box outside your door, you get breakfast that includes a delicious croissant.

(I don't eat brie. Gross)

6. If you leave your shoes outside the door, they shine your shoes.

7. The gift shop is open 24 hours and you can buy local wine. And aspirin.

8. The shower. The. Shower.

9. The bathroom tissue is tied with red ribbon.

10. They call you when you leave your leather jacket there and then offer to ship it.

A Journey Through Lynchburg Through Pizza

I am offering a little history of my pizza knowledge through my experience in Lynchburg. I'll begin by asking a question--what is the first "pizza parlor" you remember in town?

I have a few memories of pizza places that are no longer with us.

I think that my first memories were of Pizza Hut on Memorial Avenue. I remember when they had a video came with one of those ball controllers. I also remember the toys from Land Before Time and The Rocketeer.

I also remember when Little Caesar's Pizza was off of Memorial Avenue where Food Land and Kathryn's Avon is located. They had the old arcade games Joust and Tron. We would pick up pizzas for youth group and children's church back when teenagers seemed so old to a seven-year-old SCrew.

 (the colors in Tron were mesmerizing)

Then of course we had Showbiz, which, near the end of it's legacy, unveiled headless, animetronic robots which were hilarious to older children and horrifying to the little ones.

(my brother and I at my seventh birthday party)

Later on, one of my first jobs was at Planet Pizza off 221 in Bedford County and at Salvatore's on Timberlake Road which eventually turned into several other restaurants of varying success. I can tell you Sal was one mean sonofabitch, who started--if I'm not mistaken--off of Memorial Avenue in what is now a Class Vogue 'N Studio. During my brief stint at a Bible College (concentration camp) in Christiansburg, I used to drive the two hours home after works some nights just for the familiarity of home and the garlicky calzones.

(back when I was a Tommy Girl)

Now I'll tell you a few things about Domino's:

1. The Domino's on 221 is stellar. As far as chains are concerned, Domino's is probably your best option for fast delivery, good customer service, quality product, and cleanliness. The best store besides 221 is the relatively new one in Downtown Lynchburg.

2. The two guys that run most of the stores are alpha males and at least one of them is a huge dick.

3. Rich people who live in Forest are some of the worst tippers ever.

4. No one wants to deliver to VES for a variety of reasons I don't feel that I need to explain.

5. Senator Steve Newman is a good tipper. He tried to hire me to work for him while I was still in High School. Wasn't that super nice of him?

It's interesting that I have such visceral feelings about local pizza establishments. All you have to do is read my polarized Yelp reviews and you'll determine that pizza affects me very deeply. 

I would also like to add that visiting Memorial Avenue Pizza Hut is more than likely an experience you'll never forget. If any past employees or current employees would like to share stories about 101 ways you can save a pizza or any number of the extremely ghetto customers who have passed in and our of your doors, please do. 


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hurt Series: Yazamatos

I like Asian food, but it's not something I typically crave. This particular Saturday afternoon however, my SCrew Crew cohort K-Dub advised me that she would prefer some Japanese food.

Per my diet, I didn't indulge in any yum-yum sauce nor steak or shrimp with rice, but I did order edamame (excellent for dieters since, like fresh artichokes, you spend so much time peeling the pods that you burn calories as you enjoy) and spring rolls. K-Dub invested her time in having a few vegetables and rice with her yum-yum sauce.

It doesn't take a genius to realize this used to be an Italian restaurant.

However, I did feel that the landscape was sort of reminiscent of the locality. Farms and hay and such.

 The important thing to note is that this establishment has been popular with locals for at least a few years and that it was in this very restaurant that SCrew Lucy tried her very first Sriracha

It's not that hot and goes great with spring rolls and rustic scenery.

Hurt Series: Pieces of the Paradox

At times, you'll discover establishments that are unfortunately positioned. For instance, upon visiting Downtown Lynchburg, you'll note that the ABC store is located directly across from a drug rehabilitation center. Other venues may simply be coincidental or even advantageous, such as a BBQ restaurant next door to a Synagogue or a Weight Watchers next door to a buffet.

In Hurt, Virginia, you'll find a church called "Let Go of the Pain" Ministries. This is a picture of me, letting go of the pain and/or just being a pain in general:

Here is a letter from the pastors that I obtained from their website:

Let Go Of The Pain Ministry is ordained by God to deliver those who have struggled with pain that life has afflicted upon us from death, self-hurt, relationships, church, rape, and being molested from those that we love and those we don’t know. We even blame God from time to time for things that have happen to us. But God has a plan and the devil is defeated because he has taught us that there is an answer to our hurt and pain, and we as a people do not have to carry such a weight around anymore.

       Through experience with such pains we as a church family have been chosen by God to reach out to the people of this land to assure them that they can be free of the devil’s plots and tactics.
       We invite you to come visit our ministry each Sunday and Monday, and give God praise for what he has and will do in your lives as he has done in ours. Let Go of the Pain.

Thank you and God bless you,
Pastors Apostle Robin and Bishop Donnie Cook
Let Go Of The Pain Church Family

I took it upon myself to highlight the portions I felt were most important.

I don't know much about this ministry but what I do know is that they are located next door to a place called PCES. What I know about PCES is the following:

1. PCES is not missing the first portion of their business lettering. 

2. The owner did not misspell "Pisces." 

3. The name is pronounced "pieces" and the owner hails from New York.

4. The name reflects upon any of number of numerous "pieces" you can purchase so you will not match anyone else at the club. There is no club in Hurt that doesn't involve special, homemade uniforms, if you know what I mean.

5. They have crazy shoes and shiny pants, but no wigs. 

The reason I know all this is because I went in and talked to the owner who was reserved at first, but then delighted in divulging a few nuggets of wisdom:

2. We must go to other sources for our history--not just the Bible.

3. Kemet is an ancient Egyptian religion that people are apparently still practicing.

("incontrovertible" means "undeniable")

4. Healers in Africa have been known to stave the effects of A.I.D.S. and healings have been recorded. 

5. HAARP: because winter wonderlands are the new global battle zones.

What you really need to know, is that they have meetings at this place and I totally plan on going. I hear there's a film night playing a documentary called Contradiction which actually seems intriguing:

According to IMDB, Contradiction addresses the paradox of churches in African American communities coupled with the abundance of societal ailments and explores if there is a correlation between high praise and low productivity. 

So my question is, do the pastors and members of "Let Go of the Pain Ministries" know that there is a convert ripe and ready next door?

 Where you saw a parking lot with a Japanese/Italian restaurant in a dilapidated, old strip mall, The SCrew saw an opportunity to bring two worlds together. Is it possible or desirable to visit the Kemet buffet and drop our spiritual weight off in the sanctuary next door?

The SCrew will find out. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Emily Kathryn Boutique (Altavista)

I read the article about a new boutique in Altavista and my first thought was,"There won't have anything there for people over a size 10."

And that may actually be the truth but I'm not complaining any longer since losing weight because I actually am a size 10 and it no longer bothers me. I can scoff at the size 12's until I eat a cheeseburger and my hips start rising over my jeans like a proverbial muffin.

Meanwhile, this shop is a little on the cute, conservative side for me in attitude but hey--that's ok. The SCrew can adjust.

Especially when a boutique in Lynchburg would offer the same items for at least twice the price. No offense, oh dear hometown, but Altavista--although reeking of rotten fruit at least several times a month--has far superior prices.

Watch this video and feel the ambiance.

Extremely not me at the core, but I liked the clothes--and did I mention they're shockingly affordable? Here are several items that caught my eye:

1. Owl rings and other accessories (under $10)

2. A  Grecian goddess inspired backless dress (under $30)

3. A plaid and black lace shirt (which confused my senses)

4. Bauble necklaces ($20)

5. A clearance rack full of shirts, one of which I purchased, less than $20.

Might I add the dresses fit--IN A MEDIUM--but there is no way a woman of my bust size can get away with a backless dress unless support it built in to the dress. Those "cup holder" things only really work for women who are a size C or less. 

Here is another sentimental video that I would never dream of requesting in a million years but is appealing to normal, precious people who don't find the following engagement photos amusing.