Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ebb and Flow

High Note of My Professional Day:

This morning I received an email from one of my lawyer friends informing me that our other lawyer friend would be on a webcast arguing before the WVSC. Friend 1 provided background information about the case and the law and statute being addressed. I thought, "What a great learning experience for the students! Mock trial is coming up! I should inform the rest of the school staff! They might tune in." Bright Idea- The Chez will fwd friend 1's email to the entire staff at school...after she deletes the personal information about new haircuts and color, along with the statement "Are you going to the kegger tonight? I have your beads!" SEND.

Low Point of MY Professional Day:

I then realized that the delete button stuck. Everything was deleted with the exception of the court information AND "Are you going to the kegger tonight? I have your beads!"

I realized that it had not been deleted only after hitting Send To All Staff! Several staff members emailed asking me where the party was and if they could come! I then had to send out another email explaining that I would not be doing keg stands at a keg party tonight, provided a loose definition of what a *"Kegger" actually is, and completely chose to ignore the bead comment. Ignoring bead comment proved to be futile. (.)(.) (Flashed ya!)

*A Kegger is when the my female friends and I hit a happy hour from 5:00-6:30 before going home to significant others, children, animals, etc. It rejuvenates us for the remainder of the week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Seriously?! Are You Kidding Me?

Be sure to read the opinion piece that was in the paper on Sunday. It contains an argument to increase School Board Members' financial compensation. They are hoping to introduce a bill to the Legislature to increase payment to close to $18,000 for 50 meetings a year. On the topic of school boards not being paid adequately Snuffer, a Raleigh County Board Member, was quoted as saying, "It becomes a very thankless job. It's hard to keep attracting professional people. It just gets harder."

I have strong beliefs on the pitiful pay that educators in the state of West Virginia receive. I know how hard they work because I am one of the thousands of under paid, under appreciated teachers in the state. It's easy for people to BITCH about teachers pay when they have never stepped foot in a classroom since their own days of schooling. I've heard all of the arguments. I dispute them all. Nonetheless, teacher salaries aren't the ones being examined at the moment. We are currently looking at the argument to increase a board member's compensation. Keeping in mind that most board members in the business world are voluntary positions to begin with. They are asking for a raise that is more than what they are currently being reimbursed?! $8,000-$18,5000.

The annual pay that they are asking to be given for 50 meetings a year is more than half of the starting salary of a university or college educated beginning teacher with a Master's degree. My thoughts to those of you who are are feeling under appreciated in your elected positions: Welcome to the world of teachers in the educational field. Seriously?! Join the ranks with the group of professionals who have been underpaid and under appreciated for decades?! Welcome.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Useless Super Powers = I <3 Keanu Reeves!

Several years ago when I was teaching High School English in Berkeley Springs, WV, I asked my students, "What's your hidden super power? You know, the one talent that you have that is silly, creative, absurd, helpful, whatever it might be. How did you find out that you possessed such an amazing super power?"

Needless to say, the essays and discussions that came from those two questions were fantastic, some scary, but nonetheless, fantastic. People can do some weird shit! AND they found out that they can do this weird shit in some really bizarre ways!

I started thinking about this former assignment that I had given out so many years ago the other day when The BoyFriend made an unrelated (unrelated because he didn't know about the former assignment) comment about my USELESS super power. He informed me that I had a USELESS super power and the uncanny ability to find a Keanu Reeve's movie on television on any particular time on any particular day.

After I first recovered from his ability to speak in bold, big letters such as he did when he spat the word USELESS, I laughed hysterically's true! I can do it. I do it all the time, but it is always by accident. Nine times out of ten I can turn on the TV, do a quick search through the channel guide, and find a Keanu Reeves movie. It's amazing.

The humorous part is this...I am slightly obsessed with his looks. I think he is the hottest man to walk the planet. I have thought this since the early days of Parenthood and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (which was the movie that I found on TV this past Saturday). I have naughty dreams about him all of the time, but I'm not a fanatic of his acting ability or inability. I don't rave over his movies so much because in all honesty, I get lost at looking at him and don't always pay attention to the plot line. Hence the reason that I might actually possess this USELESS ability to find a movie of his at any given time. I NEED to watch his flicks multiple times! In short, I don't think he is as stupid as does everyone else, but I am incredibly intrigued by the mystery of Mr. Reeves and his hotness!

Molly Ringwald possessed the super power of applying the lipstick to her lips with the help of her ta tas. Spiderman grew webs out of his wrist. Super Man could change clothes in a telephone booth, not to mention fly. My friend, D, can predict consecutive songs on the radio. K, in Berkeley Springs, can speak bubble talk. (It literally sounds like she is not only in the bubble, but also IS the bubble.) My other friend, KG, can most likely smell bacon within a 10 mile radius AND inform us based on smell and taste of what region the swine was raised. (I say most likely because this theory hasn't been tested, but if it were, I KNOW he could do it!) We all possess USELESS super powers! Now...I want to know yours!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting Down At The Uptown

Sam's Uptown Cafe
28 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Sam's Uptown Cafe has been calling 28 Capitol Street home for 14 years. People have been coming through those doors time and time again for some of the best food, service, and fun for over a decade! Sam's staff and regulars have been paying the dues and raving about one of Charleston's best kept secrets for some time. The hard work is paying off...Sam's is FINALLY considered to be a Charleston Landmark by most in the Greater Kanawha Valley.

Daily, business people, airline flight crews, and visitors of the capital city ask their hotel concierge or local dining server, "Where can I go to relax, listen to some music, be treated well, and meet some great folks with Charleston flavor?" Due to the amount of hotel car service vans that are viewed outside on Capitol Street dropping off customers, I'd say Sam's was the answer given. Sitting at the bar on any given night, you can have this conversation with a visitor from out of town and they seem very impressed with the comfort level and the hospitality that Sam's staff and regular customers have to offer. Not only do the visitors love Sam's, but there is a reason so many individuals consider themselves REGULARS to The Cafe.

If you have never been to Sam's Uptown Cafe before, then you really are missing out. Sam's has a variety of offerings and services that cater to almost any individual.

In addition to the full menu available during lunch time, Monday through Friday, Sam's offers a Blue Plate Special. Marie and the gang prepare homemade,wholesome meals that range from Chicken and Dumplings to Spaghetti and meat sauce. Each meal is accompanied by a side. If the Blue Plate isn't your cup of soup, then we might just have one that is. Sam's offers two soup de jour during the lunch shift or a wrap that varies from day to day. Robbie, a long time employee, will deliver for free within a 5 block radius. If you are near the Capital in Charleston's Historical East End, then deliveries need to be a $40 minimum, but will be delivered.

Happy Hour
Need to relax after a long day at the office? Sam's offers Happy Hour Specials from 1pm-7pm. This is a great time to meet up with friends and/or co-workers. Plenty of seating is available. Ask your bartender for daily specials.

Dinner or Late Night Grubbing
Sam's Kitchen is open until 2am! Does it get any better than that?! Might I suggest The Prime Rib Sandwich, Wings, A Greek Salad, or The Rachel! Check out the menu, you are sure to find something that you'll love!

Live Music 5 Nights A Week!
Sam's brags that they provide live music AT LEAST 5 nights a week. From Open Mic Nights on Tuesdays to local, regional, and nationally labeled bands playing Wednesdays-Saturdays! Be sure to check out the band schedules on the myspace page.

Sports Watching Needs
They can all be met here. Sam's has definitely become an unofficial West Virginia University Sports Bar. However, they will allow the occasional opponent to venture in through the doors. Sam's sports TVs in every wall and corner in The Cafe, both upstairs and downstairs. Sam's subscribes to a satellite service. Therefore, 9 times out of 10 they have what you are wanting to watch!

Beers and Libations
Sam's Uptown Cafe almost always has what anyone is looking for. If they don't, they'll try there hardest to get it. From micro-brews and imports to everyday domestics and old favorite standbys, Sam's has what you want and need to take the edge away.

For this and many other reason that you will just simply have to find out for yourself, Sam's is a special asset to the downtown Charleston Music, Business Lunch, and Night Life Scene. If you haven't been, come and give it a try. If you have, then they will be sure to see you come through those doors again shortly!

Sam's Uptown Cafe on Urbanspoon

If Facebook Owns My Ass, Does That Make Me An Assface?

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's basically saying that Facebook owns your ass, or at least any part of your ass that you have ever posted to the site. Pictures, links, blogs, comments, notes, all of it. It owns it even after you have terminated the account. Hmmmm. Thoughts? Opinions? Questions? I'm still formulating mine.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

V. D. It Really Is A Social Disease

Oh, the dreaded V. D. The time of year when singles cry, protest, or pretend and coupled people pour money into the economy on frivolous junk. Valentine's Day.

I'm not a hater nor am I full-fledged participate-or of this wonderfully, commercialized holiday. I have had good Valentine's Days and I have had awful, disgusting Valentine's Days in the past. However, most often it is the one time of year that I can expect to see a package in the mail with new heart colored underwear or pajamas that my mom thought were cute.

That's right. To me, Valentine's Day always undies and sleepwear. For the past two decades, my mother has purchased Valentine's Day Panties and PJs for my sister and me. She called yesterday to say that she had mailed our V.D. cards. That means in mere days, I'll be wearing new undies while I blog. Yippppeeee! Won't The BoyFriend be happy then.

Speaking of The BoyFriend. He tiptoed around the subject of Valentine's Day plans the other day. Last year was our first V.D. together. I emphatically told him then that this was to be treated like any other day. I didn't want him going out of his way to do anything that required financial payment or was over the top. My thoughts on the matter...we just had Christmas and my birthday is right around the corner. Granted, I did buy him a card, and did so this year, but I don't see the need to be extravagant on just one particular day. Last year he did place a Valentine's Day card in a parking ticket envelope and placed it on my car in the middle of the night. I thought that was hysterical after I got over the initial panic.

I was simply glad that it wasn't anything like the VD of 1997. The College Ex and I had been together for quite some time by that point. We weren't living together, but we did spend a great deal of time together. I was in love. I thought we were in love. He managed to provoke a huge fight on 2/13. Quite convenient in retrospect. We broke up. (Found out a few years later, he had a date that night. He had a bit of an extra curricular activities problem.)

Nonetheless, the morning of V.D. I woke up to a stuffed monkey with a back pack on sitting outside of my door. In the back pack were 5-10 airplane liquor bottles and a card from him-not apologizing for being a douche, but rather telling me to tie one on. I still can't quite get over that one. Like an idiot I ended up getting completely shit-wasted, ordered Papa John's Cheese Sticks with the Cheese Sauce, threatened the pizza guy all while crying and slobbering liquor that if he didn't bring me my cheese sauce for the sticks I would flip out and maybe not ever recover. I felt the need in my inebriated state to fill him in on my boyfriend's most recent infractions. PoorPizzaGuy felt so badly for me that he showed up with the Cheese Sticks, a whole pizza boy full of Cheese Sauce, and a get-well soon card that he had everyone at Papa John's sign for me...and it was all free! One of the nicest gestures from a stranger ever, but the worst Valentine's Day over all. *

This year The BoyFriend (not College Ex! He's been gone for over a decade now), we did agree to go to dinner on Saturday night at Sitar and if any of our friends would like to go with us they are more than welcome to go, too. I look forward to the night. I think it will be a pleasant evening with him and our friends. I'll give him his card. He'll like it. He'll appreciate it and so will I. **
* like a love sick fool, I took him back two days later. It ended finally a few years later. Things wouldn't end if they didn't end badly.
** The BoyFriend is one of the most appreciative people on the planet. He really is one of the world's last true gentlemen. He was raised well! I'm lucky to call him The BoyFriend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What the Pho?

All day long on Friday, my twitter, facebook, and gmail status read "Wants Vietnamese Food Now!" Without consultation, The BoyFriend suggested Pho Vinh Long in South Charleston, down from the Mound. Great minds think a like. We had yet to go to Pho Vinh Long and we were anxious to see what was going on down on D Street. We called our buddy, Kitchen Geeking, a local foodie, and the three of us embarked on a Vietnamese adventure.

This was not our first trip into the world of Vietnamese dining. All had experienced Vietnamese cooking and eating, and we were anxious to do a comparision to our previous encounters. However, expectations were kept to a minimum, so as not to jade the initial experience.

I must tell you...we were pleased. The menu is limited with the idea that they want to stick to what they do best; a great decision on their part. A family owned and run resteraunt that has grandma in the kitchen cooking up family recipes and grandchildren in the diningroom refilling your drinks can't go wrong if it is done correctly.

The Pho is great! I've had better spring rolls, but they weren't awful. I would order them again. The portions to money ratio is very pleasing to the customer. I believe that The BoyFriend and I ate for right around $25/tip included. The decor is mimimal, which to me is fine; I'm there for the food and company. The service is great. Smiles all around. (However, if you are a vegetarian, the offerings are limited.)

If you have never experienced Vietnamese food, go to Pho Vinh Long and give it a try. Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for a recommendation. The people at PVL are courteous and helpful. Give it a try!
Check out Kitchen Geeking's post about our experience. There are even pretty pictures.

Pho Vinh Long on Urbanspoon