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. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hurt Happens

There's a little place in a little county 45 minutes from Lynchburg that I get mixed up with other little places that are virtually impossible to distinguish from other parts in the same said country over the river or bridge or through the woods or hop left and stick your right leg in and out past McDonalds.

Obviously I'm talking about Hurt, Virginia.

In the grab bag of crazy that is SCrew Lucy, you may reach in and pull out a quality that looks something like this:

A child raised in urban America all her life, later exposed to a small town, running gleefully through the streets, amazed at rural people, places, and things. Driving on back roads, staring at people who live in houses that don't look like they should be lived in (but, as indicated by a local Gretna, "you can tell by the mowed grass and the firewood on the porch"), fascination at parking lots of abandoned strip malls that are home to two businesses and are run by the town's only people of color, an Asian woman and a black man--both of whom sell pipes that are emphatically "only for tobacco use."

I obviously deserve the disdain provided by my peers but I want to emphasize the fact that I make fun of all people equally and with the best of intentions--including myself.

That said, these types of towns are full of interesting things. Really. They are. For instance, both Stacy Compton and Ricky Van Shelton are from Hurt. The former temporarily owned a restaurant in Altavista and the later has his own dilapidated landmark advising residents and visitors that Hurt was at one time his home. Well, technically it's in Grit which is to the left of the tree up the road from the bridge by the old factory and half a stone's throw from Dooder's place.

Meanwhile, here is a song Ricky Van Shelton wrote about me:

Don't be quick to condemn me. Life turned me this way.

The next series of blogs will include my discoveries about Hurt. If you're from the area, please feel free to litter the comments section below with everything including, but not limited to, gossip about Stacy Compton and Ricky Van Shelton, gossip about people who are not Stacy Compton and Ricky Van Shelton, stories about people who have the last name of Shelton or Dalton (which is half the populace, by the way), your experiences or pictures growing up, and last but not least, inflammatory comments about me personally, still keeping in mind that life made me this way. 

And let me know if you've met Dooder.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wednesday Nights: Abraham Launches a Journey Through the Bible

The last few months at The Lighthouse, we've been using seven men as an overview to the Old and New Testament.

When we started with Abraham, I was convinced it would only be an overview for me (since I often win at Bible trivia...against people who have little to no Bible training) but I was mistaken. I have learned a number of important facts, insights, and lessons while attending Bible study. It is refreshing to attend a church where you learn.

Here is an overview of what The SCrew learned and observed. If you're careful, you may find a significant point. Then, if you dare, you can challenge me to a game of Bible trivia.

Don't ever challenge the pastor to a game of Bible Trivia. It's not a good idea.

1. A third of Genesis is about Abraham.

2. Abraham is the first recorded tither. (Gen 14:20)

3. The "word of the Lord" first came to Abraham.

4. The first recorded healing was performed through Abraham.

5.  Abraham's covenant preceded the Law. (Gen 17:10)

6. Isaac was born 25 years after the promise of his birth.

7. The Angel of the Lord first appeared to Hagar.

8. God first refers to Himself as "El Shadai" to Abraham.

9. Abraham was likely a moon worshiper before he heard from the Lord. (Josh 24:1-3)

10. Noah was still alive when Abraham was on the earth.

SCrew Year Resolutions

I can hardly wait to tell you what I plan to do in the new year with every good intention, then fail miserably at half way through January!

Here goes, as you journey with me through the SCrew Year!

1. I resolve to drink my coffee black without sugar or cream.

The best way not to keep this resolution is to order any dark roast at Starbucks. Bitter, bitter, bitter. However, the most likely way to stick to this resolution is to order the French Toast roast at Joe Beans (you can actually taste the French Toast) or the regular coffee at Main Street Cafe in Altavista and then cheat once in a while by adding cream.


( per January 16th) I have cheated once in a while by adding cream. I haven't added sugar and it didn't take long for me to get used to the idea although drinking coffee at the above mentioned establishments is much better than home.

2. I resolve to write more. Specifically, at least 15 blogs, in total, a month.


(per January 16th) So far I have written seven if you don't count this one.

3. I resolve to stop smoking.


(per January 16th) So far, so good. It's not the cancer or emphasize I mind so much. It's the wrinkles. Although, I wouldn't mind a husky voice...

4. I resolve to travel Virginia more.


(per January 16th) Note to self: resolve to get a second job as well because you haven't been able to travel yet.

5. I resolve to maintain my weight goals.


(per January 16th) The size I had only hoped to maintain falling off of me at The Craddock Terry. This will encourage more blogging about things like hiking, sports, and other rigorous activity.