Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Christmas Niece

This is Millie McChesney, the newest addition to the Chez clan. My sister, Bryn, bought herself a pound puppy from the local animal shelter. She is an 11 week old Hound Mix, mostly Blue Tick and Hound pup. She has a case of kennel cough and pneumonia, but the antibiotics are working well and she is all puppy. She's the cutest damn macaroni you've ever seen!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Picture Tag: A Picture Really Is Worth A Thousand Words

The Explanation

My normal routine in the morning once I'm at work is to procure the necessary caffeinated beverage, turn on the computer, check email, then hit the blog scroll for updated posts. Sometimes a blog that I subscribe to leads to an other's blog which leads to an other's blog, much like Amazon's 'if you liked this, you might like this to' link. While following a link of bloggers, I ran across GingerMagnolia's blog post about a picture tag. The idea was that you are supposed to post the 6th photo on the 6th page of your computer’s picture files, and also on whatever photo-sharing website you use.

While writing this post I'm not at home. Therefore, I do not have my laptop in front of me. However, I do have some pictures on this particular computer and I do utilize a photo-sharing website. I have decided to complete this picture tag. The results brought back two very nostalgic moments for me. Both made me tear up a bit. Let me share with you.

Picture Tag #1: : The Photo-Sharing Site

Last year one of the High School's Business Partners (BP) sponsored a visitation trip to WVU. The BP (Business Partner) set some guidelines as to the students that would attend the trip. The High School pulls from some areas that are more poverty ridden than most other areas in Kanawha Valley. Some of our students will be first generation to graduate from high school. Some of our students want to go to college, but struggle to find enough financial aid. Many of our students that do realize that college is a possibility will be first generation college students and hopeful graduates. Most of our students go into the blue collar workforce, mostly the mines. Our BP wants to help change the attitude that college is an impossibility, by granting students the opportunity to see what else is out there, that there are other possibilities, goals, and dreams. Those of us at The High School are very grateful for what our BP and all of our other Partners do for the school and our students. So as I stated before, there were some guidelines.

1. Students needed to be Juniors.
2. Potential first generation college student.
3. Most likely their parents wouldn't or couldn't take them on college visitation days.
4. Teacher recommended.

Seeing that I am a WVU alum and I still have many connections to the University via friends who still live there and friends who work for the University, I was asked to put the trip together. I worked with the folks at the Visitors Resource Center in Morgantown and a friend works in an upper level of the University. If you haven't been to the new visitation center...go. They have put together a wonderful facility. It is very informative, great design, wonderful employees, and the ability to host a number of people and bring guest lecturers in. The director of the Center brought in a representative from the recruiting office and from financial aid to inform students of admission regulations and how to find the money to go to school.

To make a long story short, the students were treated to a Greyhound bus for transportation to and from Morgantown rather than the Cheese Mobile. (TeacherChez was grateful too!) They experience a day in the life of a college student. From touring classrooms and meeting current professors and students, having a one on one with WVU's then President, eating lunch in the Mountainlair with other students, to being able to walk on to Mountaineer Field with WVU's very own Mountaineer Brady Campbell. I took this picture as 28 kids walked through the tunnel that the band and football team walk through on Saturdays to enter and run around on Mountaineer Field! It was quite possible one of the coolest moments to experience and to see kids experience. I cried when I took the picture; it's a good thing I was in the back so the kids didn't see me. I doubt they would have minded, a few of the boys were shedding tears too.

Photo Tag #2: From My Hard Drive

My uncle has a new hobby...genealogy. In his search to find and document our roots, he has also been putting all of the family pictures on the Internet at a share-site, so that we can share them have them documented. As he updates, I have been snagging a few at a time for a project that I have in mind for the future.

The picture is of my grandparents in the very late '70's or the very early '80's. If you look to the right of the picture, I believe that is a 3-4 year old Chez. I was born in 1977. Therefore, I'm thinking this picture is most likely dated 1980. Nonetheless, I adore my grandparents. (Feel free to read my short story Dancing Lessons to determine exactly how much I adore them. It truly is a sweet story.) My grandfather is no longer with us. He lost a fight to Parkinson's when I was a junior in college. My grandmother has since remarried. Her husband happens to be one of my grandfather's best friends. It was awkward at first, but now it makes sense.

I can't remember exactly where this picture was taken, but it caught my grandparents sharing a very loving moment. They always were very much in love. It shows here. It makes my heart swell.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Want To Play A Game?

Evil Twin's Wife and several other local bloggers have been having some getting-to-know you fun on their blogs lately. They have been brave enough to allow someone to interview them and then pay the favor forward to a fellow blogger. Every interview consists of five questions and each interview uses five different questions. What a wonderful way to learn more about your blogging community and to put your own blogger butt in the hot seat!

I volunteered to let Evil Twin's Wife interview me and here is the outcome:

1. What would be your dream job?

I am a bibliophile as I mentioned in my last posting. I love books. I love the feel, the texture, the smell, the weight, the crinkle of the spine as you open it for the first time, all of it. I get lost in their stories. I have loved, hated, pitied, mourned many a character. Because of this love of reading, books, stories, and characters (both fictional and reality based) I have always wanted to open/own/run a book themed hot spot, a cross between a bookstore, a neighborhood tavern and eatery. New and used books to line the shelves and offer a warming environment adding to the decor. A beautiful wooded and mirrored bar that fantastically displays the preferred beverages of the neighborhood. Couches and chairs set up in very intimate settings to offer the ability to read alone, share a cup of coffee or adult beverage with a friend while discuss current events or the latest storyline for the book club. Tables sporadically placed throughout the space to allow for a lunch or dinner diners to partake in a menu displaying the best fusion of comfort and class. That would be my dream job.

2. If you could send a message to your 18 year old self, what would it be?

If I could send a message to my 18 year old self it would be "go a head and do it; you're are going to end up being A-OK, and better for all of the experiences. Be a little wild at time. Be a bit too cautious. Be a bit restless. Be a bit content. Be happy. Be sad. Be all of those things and more. Just continue to BE."

3. If you could purchase any item for yourself and money was no object, what would it be?

I would purchase one of the beautiful old houses on the East End and refinish, refurbish, redecorate it into my dream home. It would have to have a wrap around porch, ferns, and rocking chairs. I would create my library with the fireplace, floor to ceiling bookshelves, the rolling librarian's latter, and a desk with my computer so that I might begin to write again. I would create a warm, user friend kitchen that welcomed anyone who might want to use it. Bedrooms with the plushest colors and textures. I have to stop. I'm getting depressed.

4. What is your favorite kind of dessert (and be anything: cake, pie, pastry, etc)?

I don't have a very loud or big sweet tooth. However, if there is anything out there that I do crave on a rare occasion and when I see it on a menu, I can't resist it... A ROOT BEER FLOAT! Especially, if it is a fountain root beer float. There is nothing better in this world than that!

5. Do you have any odd phobias?

Yes. I'm neurotic with some phobias. I can't help it. I've learned to adapt.

a. I hate squishy cooked fruit. Wait, I hate cooked fruit period.

b. I don't like my food to touch on a plate. My mother broke me of the habit 30 years ago, but sometimes I still wish I could do this...use a different fork for every item on my plate.

c. I hate spider plants. They are scary at night.

d. The word j-u-i-c-y absolutely freaks me out. The sound that word makes is disgusting.

e. I have an unnatural fear of leaving for the weekend and coming back to see my house in flames. (This did actually happen recently. Nightmare to reality.)

f. MILK by itself is the most disgusting thing ever. Milk is to be cooked, baked, mixed with, not to drink plain. Vomit!

g. This isn't odd, but I am extremely claustrophobic both mentally and physically.

Evil Twin's Wife, thank you for developing and asking such thought provoking questions! I actually enjoyed answering them!


Are YOU ready to play the game????

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. (don't forget to include your email).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I <3 Books!

I am an obsessive reader. I read quickly. I read feverishly when it is a book that I love. I read with an appetite that devours every paragraph, sentence, word, letter. I have always been this particular brand of reader. When I was younger, my parents didn't take the T V away as punishment; they removed my books from my room.

I am a bibliophile. I have trouble borrowing books from the library because I like the feeling of owning a book and being able to pay that book forward to someone if I feel compelled to do so. My literary collection is massive and takes over many, many, many rooms in my house and one grandmother's attic. Relatives who have died have willed me their books collections. If ANOTHER fire were to take place in apartment building and it was to move beyond the kitchen, the amount of paper in my house would cause an implosion and the building would disintegrate in a matter of moments. I'm obsessed.

Books take on a life of their own. Stories are sometimes easier to deal with the reality of our own worlds. There are so many characters out there that I feel like they are family. There is a connection there, a bond, a definite attachment.

With all of this said there is no wonder that I managed to stumble upon the goodreads site a year or so ago. It was recommend to me by my friend, Mia. It is one of my favorite sites. If you aren't familiar with goodreads, it is a site that allows you to rate, review, and compare books. It is a social utility that connects you with people you may know or only know via a screen name. I think it is a great tool for discussion about literature and also as a means to determine what will be next.

Recently, goodreads added another feature to their site. The GIVE AWAYS section. Many publishing companies and authors are giving away copies of their books prior to publication. They ask, not require, that if you are a winner of a goodreads give away that once you have finished reading the book, to please give it a quick review. How easy is that?! The reader receives a free book and the author/publishing company gets some marketing and free press.

I was one of the lucky winners this week. I am anxiously awaiting The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir by John Grogan. He is the author of Marley and Me. How exciting! Now that I have won once, I'm hoping to receive the book, read it, review it, and win more! I visit the site daily to see what other authors are going to be giving away.

If you aren't registered on it. If you already are...look me up; let's compare our reading tastes. If you haven't submitted to win a give on explore books, give aways and get to the winning!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dave Thomas and His ART

Several posts ago, I introduced you to my very good friend, Dave Thomas. If you missed his introduction, simply click away right here. I strongly suggest that you check out his introduction to the blogosphere. He is an amazing artist, musician, and human being.

The reason I bring Dave back to the forefront of our minds is because he will be showing his work at Chet Lowther's Studio this weekend. Dave and Ian Bode, who is also a very talented individual, and Chet Lowther, the owner of the studio, will be showing their work this Friday (12/12) and Saturday (12/13) between the hours of 6pm and 9pm.

The Chet Lowther Studio is located at 223 1/2 Hale Street in downtown Charleston, WV. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pat McAfee for Ray Guy Award

* picture borrowed from

Let's help Patrick win the Ray Guy Award! Go here to vote for him today! Polls close on Thursday, December 11, 2008!

Congratulations WV First Lady of Soul!

One of West Virginia's very own has won The Obama Music, Arts, and Entertainment Competition! Lady D's original song, Go Higher, was inspired by President Elect Barack Obama. West Virginia's "First Lady of Soul's" winning song won by a mere 8 votes! To hear Lady D's winning song, go here. You can see Lady D perform Go Higher on Radio Free Charleston with Rudy Panucci! The website announces that they are working with Lady D and making arrangements for her to be present at the inauguration.

West Virginia, stand up and give this lady a round of applause!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Wish for 2009

This fantastically, wonderful phenomenon blew into Morgantown about a year before I blew out. However, when I made the move to Berkeley Springs, WV, I was pleased to find that just down the street, as in walking distance, was a SHEETZ! When time was an issue or I was too damn tired to make dinner for one, I would walk on down to THE Sheetz-iz, as the locals called it, and order a MTO Chicken Caesar Salad or wrap. It was even a great big deal when the local Sheetz-iz received their deep frier from head quarters; it made the dream of French Fries, Hashbrowns and other fried goodness a possibility. I have sincerely missed my MTOs since moving to Charleston. If I can have any wish for the upcoming year it would be for Sheetz to make it's way to Charleston. What will it take to get them here??? Do I need to start a petition? Overload them with email? Any suggestions?

I'm contemplating putting this T-shirt in the BoyFriend's stocking this year. He said between my iPhone and vampires he feels he's in second place. Awwwwww.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' At A Dinner Party

A few weekends ago, TheBoyFriend and I were invited to a dinner party at our friend's house. The meal was Caribbean inspired and fantastic. You can read all about it here. Our hostess served Pina Coladas and Red Stripe. The guests brought multiple bottles of wine. There was a karaoke machine. This is what happens when grown men partake in too much of the vino. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Got A Lil Somethin' On Your Face There...

What one won't do for a good cause. With the economy in the mess that it is in, poverty at a high, and hungry people in the streets during this holiday season, I couldn't help but want to volunteer for a proper and good cause. Thankfully, the Student Council at our school came up with a fantastic, yet devious, idea to help get people involved this holiday season.

I just sent the following email out to all of the students and their parents in my Advisory Group (Homeroom). What have I gotten myself into???


Canned Food Drive + You = Pie in Chez's Face

Due to the shortage of food in the food pantries, Student Council would like to take-on a pre-Thanksgiving Food Drive. They are challenging each Advisor Group to collect 5 cans of food per person enrolled in the Advisor Group. That means that our Advisor Group would have to donate 18 x 5 = 90 cans of food. If you all meet that goal by next Tuesday, then you all will get to pie ME in the face next Wednesday. I have agreed to the terms. Now I challenge you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Darth Greco Returns

iPhone has an application out called Star Wars The Force Unleashed. Basically, there are 5 characters that you can pick from. They each have their own personal biography and a specialty LightSaber with which you can haul off and kick some ass. You can even play theme music as you are wiping out the Galaxy. It's tons of fun.

The other day, I noticed that I had an application update. I updated, only to find that now I can create my own character on the LightSaber application! What fun! With that said, there was only one person that we thought could become the next Dirty Jedi Character on my iPhone. Introducing...Darth Greco!

Darth Greco

He's one diiirty Jedi!

After his entire race of people were slaughtered by the Genotians, he vowed to seek revenge on them. The Genotians populated 70% of the known Universe, inhabiting 13 planets. Consuming the lives of 400 billion beings and single handedly responsible for the extinction of over 13 different species in the known Universe, Darth Greco seeks his revenge by first mesmerizing his enemy with his rhythmic style of the Bass before handing out the enemy's punishment with The Saber!

Beware of Darth Greco. He has been spotted in the downtown vicinity of Charleston, WV-specifically the Capitol Street block between the library and the boulevard. He is not to be startled. Approach him with care. If you hear the low grumblings of discontent and disgust, move away from the Greco before you are handed out the punishment. It is wise to align yourself with his people. They will destroy those who are not among them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dano's Diner Reopens!

A few weeks ago, I blogged a letter to Senator McCain asking him to concede so that I might get my personal chef back in the kitchen. Dano, my chef, worked to get Senator Obama elected as our next president. He has been extremely busy doing so. However, now he has had time to stop and get his ass back in the kitchen! Thank GAWD!

Last night was the first night that Dano's Diner was reopened. And a grand reopening it was. Dano prepared a Baked Mostaccioli Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli for Krista, TheBoyfriend, and me. It was fantastic! Head on over to his blog to get the recipe and see some much better pictures. Finally, thank you, Senator McCain for FINALLY conceding and letting Dano come back to the kitchen!

I especially love that he gave me the Fiestaware plate that matched my pants! I love my red pants almost as much as I love eating what Dano's Diner is serving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doggies Need A Home.

A friend of a friend needs to find a home for 2 little boy doxies:

Ebby - (1/2 Chihuahua) is a small long hair black and tan. While he is 1/2 Chi, he looks all doxie. He is 5 years old.

Freight - 3 year old double dapple with blue eyes. Minature size doxie.

Both are neutured, up to date on shots, and have been well-cared for. Their owner dumped them on her mother when she decided to move north with her boyfriend and claimed she couldn't take them. The woman who has them is overwhelmed with a teenager with severe mental and physical handicaps and is in the middle of moving to Atlanta. The house they were able to find that was suitable for the wheelchair and ramp allows dogs but it increases the monthly rent and they cannot aford what they have to pay now.

Preferable if they can stay together.

Contact Dee at if you are interested. Please cross-post.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Want A Little Bit More Than My Two Front Teeth

Chez found out that she is getting this from Santa this Christmas! She is very, very, very, very excited!!!!! She is going to have a Rockin' New Years Eve!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


SP: "I know. I know, Cindy. I've gotten away with misusin' all that money on top of the line apparel, but dontchaknowit all I could findta wear was a towel!"

CM: "I'd laugh at the thought of Steve and Mark opening that door, but I can't move my face."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Working Together To Get The Job Done

I was trying to get caught up on my blog reading today. I knew that there would be a plethora of blogs to read through after last night's election. I knew that I had ideas that I needed to write about. When I have had the spare time today, between answering teenagers' questions about the election and literature, I have been reading and doing my own writing. Though I am ecstatic at the outcome of the election, a friend of mine helped to put some ideas into perspective.

My friend who is a West Virginian transplanted in Oregon is doing wonderful work with the Presbyterian youth, writes a blog titled The Oregon Mountaineer. He reflected on his emotions last night when hearing of the results of who would be our next president. I ask you to take a look at it. It's honest and fair. It's reminds me of what we must constantly remind ourselves; change will only come with everyone listening and working together-bipartisanship, working together for the common good. If not, change will not take place. There will be a disconnect that will do more harm than good. It's time for HOPE. It's time for CHANGE. It's time to make a DIFFERENCE.

The following is an excerpt from The Oregon Mountaineer's Reflection:

I sent out a mass text message last night. I made it my facebook status this morning and it went like this, "A new day has dawned and today the work of reconciliation begins in earnest, it is our job to set the example. God be with us."

I only hope that those that "won" will not gloat, but be of the same demeanor of our President-Elect, poised, solemn, and determined to work to make this country better, more loving, and more gracious.

I hope that those that "lost" will not disengage, will not take their hurt and frustration and completely give up on the conversation. We need all voices to be heard if we are going to actually make any changes. When we stand together in a great multitude seeking to work for change and compromise and love and wholeness that is when we as a country will truly be changed.That takes all of us, all of us in the conversation, all of us talking, and most importantly, all of us listening.

Thank You!

Let the count down to January begin!

The Times, They Are A Changin'

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference."

-President Elect Barack Obama

Nearly 100 years ago, my great grandmother and aunts marched throughout the streets of New York City and demanded that their voices be heard! They marched for the right to vote, for the equality of their voices to be heard and recognized, and for the opportunity to make a choice. Nearly 100 years later, I cast a vote and America shared and echoed my voice and my choice. Our voices were heard. They were the difference. Waking this morning, I feel that change isn't just on the rise, it has begun, it will become, it will continue, it is inevitable, a better world is possible.

Yes we can.
We did.
We will continue.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Rhythm is Gonna Getcha!

Sometimes the rhythm is gonna getcha! The rhythm definitely got a hold of *The BoyFriend Saturday night. I'm not sure if it was the thrill of going to Tri State Game and Racing for the first time that day, popping his horse/dog betting cherry, watching his girlfriend win $250 at the Black Jack Table, the free beer and food pairing he attended, The St. Pauli Girlssssss, or the groove of Taste Like Chicken playing at Sam's that night that did it for him. Either way it doesn't matter; the rhythm got a hold of him and **he broke it down for us! Sometimes you just have to get up and dance like nobody's watching!
*he was the only one on the dance floor
**one minute we were all talking, the next minute he was up and boogying to the beat

Mac 'n Chez

Because I'm The Chez


The Macaroni!

Everyone had a blast at Sam's Uptown Cafe's Halloween Party! Special thanks goes out to Bon Scottscock for their musical homage to everything 80's and hair metal and to the Jagermeister and Red Bull sponsors! A fun time was had by all! I didn't win the $400 costume prize, but Chez and Macaroni did place in the top 5! Congratulations to Evan for his big win as The Joker!

The Joker

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Have a GHOULISHLY good time this Halloween Weekend!
Don't drink and fly; you're better looking alive.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane With Some of My Favorite Couples

I'm a reader. I'm a teacher. I'm a literature teacher. I belong to Goodreads. I have a library card. I could easily spend my salary at a Barnes and Nobel, in one day. I own more books that I do...anything else. If my house were to catch on fire, it would burn quickly and proficiently. Many days I would rather dive into a book than actually have a conversation with a real person. These elements prove that I am indeed a bibliophile.

I've been reading more than usual lately. Which to say, is A LOT and quickly. I was recently having a discussion with my friend MW about the literary couple in the Twilight Series. The conversation brought about a question in my mind..."Who are the most memorable literary couples out there?" I have started a list that I hope you will add to.

Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights. One either loves or hates this novel. I am of the love camp. Their souls are tragically intertwined with one another. The love, the hate, the passion. Can happiness ever truly come to fruition without the eternal loss and suffering of something or someone? A Romantic idea and philosophy.

Romeo and Juliet of Romeo and Juliet. Really this needs no explanation. They are the archetype.

Henry and Claire of The Time Traveler's Wife. The patience. The love. The patience. The compromise. Did I mention the patience?

Janie and Tea Cake of Their Eyes Were Watching God. I'm weeping while writing, knowing what it took for them to find one another, and because of what they lost. However, how lucky for Janie to get to experience the kind of love that would cause one to say, "[Tea Cake] looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom - a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung about him. He was a glance from God." What luck to have found him.

Odysseus and Penelope of The Odyssey. She waited 20 years for his return. I don't think there needs to be any further explanation.

Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart of The Thorn Birds. Though their love is plagued with devotion, dedication, ambition, and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church, it manages to transcend another level.

Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot of any Arthurian Legend, The Once and Future King. The most famous of the love triangles. Romantic love, brotherly love, kingly love, and everything in between.

Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen gave us the character. GAWD gave us Colin Firth! Thank goodness for both!

*I'll be adding to this as you all suggest couples and as I think of more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A New Addiction

...Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series

If you haven't read them, start NOW! They are fantastic. I can't wait to get home to pick up the third book.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Because I'm An Ego Maniac

*photo courtesy of Bethie.
Denver, CO. 2008.

Obama v. McCain

Voting Extravaganza

A Voting Extravaganza to Support
Barack Obama
and the entire
Democratic Team
Live Music: Bluegrass, Jazz, Gospel, Blues, Reggae & Funk
Free Family Fun: Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Hot Dogs, Jupiter Jump, Balloons, Clowns, Magic, Games &
Much, Much, More!!!
Live Broadcast by 98.7 FM - The Beat
Where: Haddad Riverfront Park
on Kanawha Boulevard
When:Saturday, Oct. 25
(Rain date: November 1)
10A.M. - 6P.M.
Bring Family, Bring Friends, Then Go Vote

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Lupus Lady

I have a friend who after being misdiagnosed with a stomach ulcer, skin allergies, sun poisoning, and countless other issues, was finally diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. She not only is faced with living with Lupus daily, but is doing so with a support group that is learning about the disease along side of her. Her friends and family are reading literature that she provides and being directed to websites to learn more about it while she is living it first hand. Because of this, she is asking everyone to educate yourself and help to educate those around you. Then if the time should ever come, you can provide the support that is needed and there is one more individual who doesn't feel so alone. Support and education have the power to heal.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that effects mostly skin, joints, blood, kidneys, brain, and lungs. With lupus, the body's antibodies become confused and not only attack the bad stuff, but also the good stuff like cells and tissues. Pain, discomfort, lesions, and damage to the body are symptoms and issues that are Lupus related. Luckily, for most people the effects of the disease are mild. However, for some it can become life threatening. If it isn't properly maintained it is quite painful.

Lupus affects most often women, and becomes prevalent during the childbearing years. This isn't to say that men aren't afflicted with Lupus. However, the likelihood for men is far less compared to females.

There is no known cure for Lupus at this time. However, daily they are learning more and more about the disease that affects over 1.5 million Americans a year. They have found that preventative measures can reduce the frequency of flareups and discomforts tremendously. There are also maintance drugs available to those that suffer from Lupus.

Just because Lupus is not considered for the most part to be fatal, it is however, debilitating in the sense that it affects a person's daily life, comfort, and quality of life. Skin rashes can lead to not only physical discomfort, but also image issues and mental discomfort. I've never met anyone who enjoys a fever and flu-like symptoms. The idea of your kidneys perhaps failing on you is not a pleasant thought either.

Much more research needs to be done to help find a cure for Lupus. Educating yourself and those around you is the first step. Finding the funding is the second. If you are interested in learning more about Lupus visit The Lupus Foundation of America. Unfortunately, there is not a local chapter set up in the state of West Virginia. However, my friend is currently working on starting a local chapter that is in direct affiliation with the National Foundations. She also has a facebook group that is dedicated to Lupus Education and helping to find a cure. Please check it out. Educate yourself. Educate others. Help find a cure.

Few "Take Backs"

Today's Lesson:

It is an old lesson from long ago. We hear it all of the time. However, it isn't until it directly affects us that we actually listen to the message at hand.

Never put anything into writing, email, blog, memo, essay, or any form of thought outside of your brain that you don't want others to see, are afraid of being passed along to others, or aren't prepared to defend or deal with the consequences.

In the tech savvy world that we live in today, emails and computer generated documents can be sent with the simplest push of a button. It happens daily. Great moments and ideas can come from such impulsive or even deliberate moves. However, many times hurt, miscommunication, or misinterpretation can come from such instances-even when goodness is intended. In fact, most often goodness is intended.

During this emotional, political, opinionated, passionate time in our country, it is important to remember this lesson. We have personal responsibility for the ideas that we write about or forward on to others. Many times a message has been sent inappropriately or to the inappropriate person and it takes on a life of it's own, outside of the author. I have been guilty of writing emails without thinking of where they may end. I have been guilty of pressing the forward/post button without completely thinking it through as well. There are many of us out there that get excited and write, send, post, forward an idea without completely thinking through the consequence plan. Mistakes happen. However...

Think before you post or press the send/forward button. You never can tell where that email or memo might end up or for that matter, from where it stems. There are few 'take backs' in this computer generated, tele-communicative world we live in today. Don't create havic for yourself!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Praying and Singing For Change

"I Shall Not Walk Alone"

Battered and torn

still I can see the light

tattered and worn

but I must kneel to fight

Friend of mine

what can't you spare

I know some times

it gets cold in there

When my legs no longer carry

and the warm wind chills my bones

I reach for Mother Mary

and I shall not walk alone

Hope is alive

while we're apart

only tears speak from my heart

break the chains

that hold us down

and we shall be

forever bound

When I'm tired and weary

and a long way from home

I reach for Mother Mary

and I shall not walk alone

Beauty that we left behind

how shall we tomorrow find

Set aside our weight in sin

so that we can live again

When my legs no longer carry

and the warm wind chills my bones

I reach for Mother Mary

and I shall not walk alone

Do what you can to get people to the polls. Our country needs repaired. People are tired. People are worn. However, together, we can make the change happen.

We shall not walk alone.

Politically Correct?

I recently received an email from a college roommate that was filled with incredibly inaccurate data, misinformation, and the worst part, it was in all capital letters. An email that is in all capital letters does NOT make it more important, smarter, or factually accurate. In fact 99.9% of the time, you can bet the farm that it is the exact opposite. Educated people (whether street educated or school educated) know these things! So I thought...

I received an all capital letter email from FRM (Former Roommate) that took excerpts from Obama's books completely out of context and used it in much the same way that fundamentalist, religious nutcases might use the Bible to prove a discussion point. I shouldn't say discussion point; discussion tends to lend itself to the idea that two people are participating in the conversation, which often is not the case. Mind you, she did not author the email, but she did forward it on.

Whether the email had endorsed Obama rather than McCain, I would have still been appalled at the fact that a well educated woman would send such inaccurate and media-spooged nonsense. I replied in an email that I would prefer to be left off any emails that promoted a political agenda based out of inaccuracies and slander. I informed FRW that I was indeed an Obama Supporter, but that so often in elections these days, all candidates are taken like lambs to the slaughter in terms of the media.

She replied to the email in such a matter:
"I'm sorry to hear that..."

What is she sorry about that I asked her to remove my email from further slanderous exchanges?
Is she sorry that I am an Obama supporter?
Is she sorry that she sent an email so full of false information and as a teacher she should be ashamed? What?

Either way, I was upset that she responded in the manner in which she did. She has known me for a very long time, as I her. I have been a bra burning liberal soul my whole life. I'm shocked that she thought it was a good idea to send the email to me to begin with. Unless there is a new mission to save bra burning souls?!

I was raised that religion and politics were ill advised when having discussions in mixed company. That is always better to take the high road and walk a thin line between debate and argument. I always try to keep the following words in mind when either topic comes about:

* You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.

* You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.
* You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man, by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot build character and courage, by taking away men's initiative and independence.
* You cannot help men permanently, by doing for them what they could and should, do for themselves.

-Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps we could all take a lesson from President Lincoln

Monday, October 20, 2008


Thanks to the folks over at Shakesville for this giggle.
Rock it out, Dems! Rock it out!

Titled Food

I had a dream about 'IT' last night. Soon. I'll get some soon!

Election Day is right around the corner. As soon as Election Day comes, we get our Dano back and Chez gets her Macaroni!

No Good Deed Goes Unnoticed

Benefit Auction
Featuring Products From The
#1 Shopping Network
from LCD TVs to bedroom sheets

Saturday Oct. 25, 2008
Starting At 6:00pm
At Chesapeake Town Hall

A portion of the proceeds will go to Cory Barton who recently received a liver transplant from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Cory is a Riverside High School (Kanawha County) graduate and a West Virginia University student. The funds will cover any additional medical bills, travel expenses, and any other unforeseen financial circumstances directly related to the transplant recovery process.

**Concessions will also be available…come hungry!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mr. WV Has Been A Bad Boy!

According to many online tabloid blogs and articles, A HOTTY bachelor from WV was dis-invited from a Cosmopolitan Party for the 50 Hottest Bachelors of the US. Every year Cosmo invites a hunky hotty from each of the 50 states to join the fun at the party held in NYC. This year two of the beau hunks were dis-invited, one for appearing in a gay porn site for money, the other for posing for Playboy. Apparently, being paid for The Full Monty is out this year, and slightly skinned is the new black.

Tic Tac Toe

Give it a shot. See if you can beat the computer!

Great iPhone Application Recommendation

Yesterday, I was reading blogging and Twitter buddy's Oncee's most recent post. He blogged about a new iPhone application called RjDj. To understand the application one really must download the free single version and play with it. Only then would I recommend buying the album version for $2.99.

It's trippy! It basically picks up the sounds around you in your environment and creates a unique soundtrack of your life! I downloaded the free single and was so amazed that I immediately bought the album version so that I would have more options.

It's awesome. One of the soundtracks took me back to some of my illegal activity days of experimentation in college. I think I might now know what it felt like to be at a Doors concert or the movie Legend. I definitely know that this application is going to give hours of entertainment!

Please Don't...

Please don't ever let this become a reality!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bork Bork Bork!

The Muppets Swedish Chef - video powered by Metacafe

In a desperate attempt to find my Happy Place, I look back to one of my favorite Muppets. Bork! Bork! Bork!

The Match-O-Matic II

Still trying to decide which candidate is your ideal Commander In Chief?

Want to solidify your decision?

Take this quiz.
*Thanks ABC News.
Subliminal Message: Vote Obama! Vote Obama!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Seats!

A big public thanks again to my friend, Chris, who GAVE me the two GREAT tickets to the WVU Homecoming game against Syracuse. The Mounties did NOT look great playing, but thankfully they pulled out a W! Can we say 30 yard line, 8th row?! Fantastic! A good time was had by all!

Mario's Fishbowl

Mario's Fishbowl

704 Richwood Avenue

Morgantown, WV 26505

(304) 292-2511
(304) 292-9109

Rich in history and awards, Mario's Fishbowl sits on top of the hill between WVU's main down campus and neighboring area of Sabraton. The Fishbowl has been in existence since 1949. Three couples have been lucky enough to call themselves owner. The most famous owners are the legendary Mario and Rose Spina; their picture sits above the bar. Story goes that upon entering Mario's, Rose would take your car keys and only give them back at the end of your stay if she felt you were okay to drive home. If not, she would hold on to your keys until the following day. This was the location of my parent's very first date! Classy, Dad. However, having been a dutiful customer to Mario's during my decade in Morgantown and now as a visitor, I find it to be the best place my parents could have had their first day. I feel a connection to the younger version of them when sitting in the small venue.

Today, Mario's is much the same as it was in Rose and Mario's days. The walls are still decorated with homemade record breakers recorded on paper from receipts, boxes, cardboard. ect- from who traveled the furthest to drink a fishbowl to being able to eat 17 hot dogs in 12 minutes. The fishbowls of beer (multiple draft selections are available) are still available along with a great menu. Individuals rave about the hot dogs, wings, and fish sandwiches. They also offer catering both on and off site through Crosley's which sits next door to The Fishbowl. The Fishbowl hosts three big screen TVs that are constantly tuned into college and pro sports. The Juke Box is awesome!

This past weekend was Homecoming at WVU. My friends, The BoyFriend, and I went to Morgantown for the weekend. We spent Friday night at McClafferty's, the game on Saturday, a quick dinner at The Black Bear, and then by request of AT, we hit The Fishbowl.

Immediately upon entering, I ran into old high school and college friends. It's amazing how everyone flocks back to the hot spots of their college days. We all laughed and reminisced about previous visits to The Fishbowl. Everyone had a blast reading the records and attempting to get the quarter in the vase for the free beer possibility. You can't beat $4.50 for a fishbowl of New Castle either! It's always at treat to go to The Fishbowl. I've never had anything but a memorable experience and time there! If you are in the area it is a must go to!

Fishbowl Ii-Mario's on Urbanspoon

Macaroni Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to I'm The Chez's Baby Sister! This Macaroni turns 28 today! Happy Birthday, Bryn!

*How is it possible that my younger sister who is four years younger than me is actually now the same age that I am? According to my math, she should still be in her early 20s. Hmmmm....

Why They Keep Me Around


In the fall of 1985 I was 8 years old, enrolled in the 3rd grade at Holz Elementary, and Til Tuesday debuted their title song, Voices Carry. For years I couldn't understand why the title was Voices Carry. I really believed that Aimee and the kids should have called the song This Is Scary. After all it was a song about a girl who was in love with an abusive boyfriend; to me that sounded pretty scary. "Hush! Keep it down now, this is scary." I would sing this song at the top of my lungs. I remembered watching the video feeling empowered at the end, when she had finally had enough and just started singing while sitting in the audience with her asshole boyfriend. Yeah, girl now matter how SCARY it is, you can do it!

It wasn't until some time in the early days of the 21st Century that I actually googled the song, and much to my surprise found out that I have been wrong about the lyrics for much of my life. I was devastated. Are you kidding me?! Seriously?! I'm still a bit pissed about it.

I recently told two girl friends this story, and they have laughed for days. Hell, one has laughed for months. I received the following text message this morning at 8am: "I can't stop singing 'this is scary.' I woke up with it in my head! Thanks! :-P" Perhaps, this is one of the many reasons they all keep me around, entertainment value.



1 Wall Street

Morgantown, WV 26505


Happy 30th Anniversary, Maxwell's!!!

One of my absolute FAVORITE places to dine in this world is Maxwell's in Morgantown, WV. Maxwell's is located in the alley perpendicular to High Street known as Wall Street. Brunch, lunch, dinner, coffee and dessert-it doesn't matter; Maxwell's is there to meet your culinary needs. Their food is to die for and the prices are quite reasonable. I can honestly say that I have NEVER had anything less than spectacular in the 15 years that I have been going to Maxwell's for meals.

I had not been to Maxwell's in roughly a year. I was jonesing for some of their homemade blue cheese dressing. There is nothing better than ordering a side of their home fries and dipping them into the BEST blue cheese dressing that I have ever had the opportunity to be blessed with. The BoyFriend, two friends, and I decided to stop by and see Becky and the ladies at Maxwell's this Sunday prior to hitting I79 back to Charleston. What better way to end a fantastic homecoming weekend in Morgantown than with a Maxwell's brunch?!

When entering the small, but quaint restaurant we were met with a 10 minute wait. The place was hopping with diners, but the staff was efficient in table turn overs. The wait gave us time to peruse the local artists that were featured on the wall this particular month. Plus, this is the most important part, the 10 minutes that we waited prior to be seated gave us a moment to contemplate the Specials Board. The Specials Board is really a beautiful, beautiful thing. Rum butter French toast for brunch or skip straight to the homemade cheese cake?!

Normally, when going to Maxwell's I almost ALWAYS get the Italian Griller, home fries, and a side of blue cheese. However, today the Specials Board all but slapped me across the face. From the top of the Specials Board I ordered the Eggs Oscar, home fries, and homemade blue cheese dressing. Eggs Oscar might be the best brunch I have ever had in my life. Eggs Oscar- Eggs Benedict, but the Canadian Bacon is substituted with a homemade crab cake drizzled in Maxwell's original homemade Hollandaise Sauce. The Boyfriend ordered the same. Friend 1 ordered the omelet special. I believe it was a mushroom, Swiss, red pepper omelet. It smelled devine! Friend 2 ordered the Rum Butter French Toast. I was givent he opportunity to sample this. Wow! Everyone was beyond satisfied. In retrospect I wish that I had taken pictures, but I don't believe my meal stood a chance-I ravished it!

If you are ever in the Morgantown area, I urge you to try Maxwell's. They have the Tuesday Taste of Home Specials, Thursday Pasta Nights, Friday and Saturday Seafood Feasts, Sunday Brunches, and the daily menu. Open 7 days a week, Maxwell's is there to serve the best in home made and fresh dishes! You have to taste for yourself.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I'm at work. It's my prep period. I logged on to my Pandora account. I created a few more music stations to my tastes. "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson just came on. I'm jamming! I mean, I'm getting down at my desk. Students are walking by the room laughing at the old crazy lady in A44. I just did the whole hand in front of the face, backwards wave while singing "Wooo Wooo, Chum-On!" to one of them in the hall. I feel the moon walk coming if the next MJ song is rocking! No wonder the rumor about Chez being a loon is going around! Hell, it's not a rumor.

OMG! Prince's 1999 just came! This calls for volume increase! Chair dancing at it's finest! "I was dreaming when I wrote this..." Oh yeah, I'm working it. "Party like it's 1999!" Shoulder shrug. Shoulder shrug. Booty shake! I'm having too much fun.

TGIF! Come on guys, get yourselves out from behind your desks for a Friday Dance Party! It'll make ya feel gooooooood!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Satire Leads To Reality

I snagged this from a blogger friend's page. Go and give her some props!

Grassroots Movement for New Presidential Candidate

Just when we thought our hopes were swirling down the drain, we finally found a person capable of being "The Agent of Change"that we really need. Click here to watch this inspirational video of a person who is willing to tackle the hard stuff.

An Open Letter To Senator McCain

October 8, 2008

Dear Senator McCain,

I'm very, very hungry and it is your fault. I blame you for the rumbling in my belly, the roar coming from my GI tract, and the dry smacking of my starving lips. My lack of eating a consistently healthy dinner EVERY night is YOUR fault, sir. Let me provide a bit of background information to help you completely understand what you have done to me!

A year ago, my upstairs neighbor got hammered, decided it was time to try his hands at the latest Iron Chef recipes, fell asleep, and burned his apartment to shit. Unfortunately, my kitchen and dining room suffered the brunt of the fireman's hose and my kitchen was out of commission from October to February. (That's a whole other blog at another time when I don't feel as if I might stroke out!) Not having a kitchen makes it hard to feed one's self from home. The BoyFriend and Dano stepped up to the plate and really took over in the kitchen area. The Domestic Goddess retired. I became spoiled. Dinner at Dano's a couple of times a week. The Boyfriend would cook on the weekends. I didn't have to do anything! I became their DIVA Creation!

Then all of a sudden the election year kind of sneaked up on us. Dano, being the good Young Democrat and politico that he is, puts his nose to the grind stone for the WV Democratic Delegation and all Democratic Re-election campaigns. He's good at what he does. However, it keeps him in the office until almost 10pm, sometimes midnight, 6 nights a week! Now how the hell is a girl suppose to get fed when her personal chef is at the office until the wee hours of the night?! She doesn't! She either eats shit that is bad for her on the run, drinks a ton of water, or just goes to bed, anxiously awaiting Friday when The BoyFriend will throw together something spectacular! (I'll blog the BoyFriend some other day.)

I am a good Democrat. I support your opponents because I think they speak to me and my values, wants, needs, and desires much more so than you and that Tinky "Winky" Teletubby that you have running with you. (By the by, shame on you for thinking that most American women are stupid enough to vote for you based on your Veep pick. We aren't falling for that with deaf ears.) Needless to say, the Dems have my vote.

Here is where you could help my rapidly shrinking waist line. Just concede and let Obama win. We all know he is going to. Walk away from the office. The sooner the election is over, the sooner I can have my Dano back in the kitchen. I really, really need him back in the kitchen. I miss the eggplant dish, and I miss the hybrid noodle curry dish, and I really miss having every meal that he prepares do this to me. Please, please, please Senator McCain, put an end to this madness, so that we may all experience the Lazy Man's Supper again! I, no we, need our Dano back in the kitchen. Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what you can do for my belly!

I thank you very much,
I'm The Chez

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Blogger Boobie-Thon

Ladies and Gentlemen, you have until midnight to participate and/or donate to the 7th annual Boobiethon! All money goes towards Breast Cancer Research. One of the ways to donate is to submit a picture of your boobies (covered creatively or uncovered naturally) to be posted anonymously on the gallery pages. If modesty is your thing, please give a little pocket change to such an honorable cause. It's never too late to give back! (I might even get brave and put my picture up here on the blog! It will be tasteful of course!)

Matching Game

Directions: Match the correct name to the correct picture. This may prove to be quite difficult!
a. Cindy McCain
b. Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous

Picture #1 ________________

Picture #2 ______________

Picture #3 _______________