Exclusive Interview with Ceres (One of the Women from the NJ Flag!)

Posted December 10, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: NJ Personalities

Tags: , , ,

Proud to say that I scored an interview with a real New Jersey goddess! No, not Snooki, but Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. She’s lived quite a crazy life – being eaten by her father, getting impregnated by her brother, losing her daughter to the god of the underworld, etc. And since 1777, she’s stood stoically on the New Jersey state flag, the red-robed figure on the right holding the giant cornucopia.

New_Jersey_State_Flag.svg

In this wide ranging interview, Ceres shares her experiences as a deity, her views on state politics and even her favorite Jersey Shore cast member. I think you’ll find her just as smart, sweet and surprisingly sassy as I did.

ArmpitNJ: So, Ceres, first of all, I speak on behalf of the entire state of New Jersey in thanking you for watching over us and providing our agricultural riches.

Ceres: It truly is my pleasure.

ArmpitNJ: Great, now that the formalities are out of the way, let me ask the big question: how does someone go from being worshiped among the pantheon of Roman gods, to standing next to a decapitated horse’s head on a flag of a state known as the Armpit of America?

Ceres: And like your career is any better?

ArmpitNJ: Ouch. Well I see the Jersey attitude has certainly rubbed off on you! But please just answer my question.

Ceres: I wish I could tell you. One day, millions of peasants from across the Roman Empire are sacrificing animals in my name, and a couple millennia later, I find myself on the flag. Not that I’m complaining – I should be happy people still know me and appreciate me. It could be far worse. My brother Neptune is stuck on countless neon signs promoting all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Read the rest of this post »

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A Trumpian World Atlas

Posted October 1, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: politics, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Atlas - 2

As we all know, our glorious leader was busy spending his weekend playing golf in the Armpit of America, rather than focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. That’s not to say he totally ignored the hurricane-devastated island, though – after all, in between holes, he took the time to insult the mayor of San Juan for trying to get her government’s help.

To be fair, I think we can all assume Trump simply didn’t know that Puerto Rico is part of the United States. But at least he knows it’s an island! That’s right, just like some second-grader who just learned what an island is, our glorious leader enlightened the world with this quote when speaking about Puerto Rico:

“This is an island surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water.”

Yes, he literally said that. The best words indeed! Anyway, it got me thinking how he would describe other geographical features. Fortunately, I happen to be in possession of the elusive Rand McTrumpy World Atlas, and I’m happy to share some entries from it!

peninsula

 

Peninsula: “Most people think a peninsula is an island. I know the fake news media want you to think it’s an island. But a peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on many sides. Many sides. Not on all sides, mind you. But many, many sides.”

 

isthmus

 

Isthmus: “An isthmus – hard to pronounce, I know – is a thin piece of land connecting two bigger pieces of land. Kind of like how my daughter Ivanka has a perfect isthmus of flesh connecting her beautiful chest to her nice hips. She has perfect hips.”


IMG_2172

Black Sea: “I have a great relationship with the Black Sea. But let’s face it. It’s full of thugs. Maybe not as many thugs as there are in Chicago. But still a lot. In fact, it’s so full of thugs that the whitefish don’t even want to swim there anymore.”

 

 

glacier

 

Glacier: “A cold, slow-moving mass of ice and dirt that leaves a path of destruction as it cuts through the land. Kind of like Rosie O’Donnell at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Only much nicer to look at – believe me!”

 

 

Sout America

 

South America: “All of the states in the southern U.S. that voted for Trump. Of course, the Democrats and the dishonest media don’t like to talk about this, but did you know I won Alabama by 28 points? And Florida. Very, very hard for a Republican to win Florida. But I won it.”

 

 

So Chris Christie Went to the Beach…

Posted July 4, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: Jersey Shore, MTV's "Jersey Shore", politics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Oh, Chris Christie. How the mighty have fallen. At one time he was celebrated for being a Republican twice elected governor of a blue state and considered a shoe-in to be the GOP presidential nominee. Then, that whole plan of his to close the George Washington bridge to punish a mayor who didn’t support him comes to light. Then, he finds that whatever appeal he once had in the Armpit of America didn’t extend beyond the state, resulting in his dismal performance in the primaries. Then, he drops out and awkwardly supports the eventual President, hoping to be appointed Vice President, Attorney General or even Secretary of Transportation (he does know a lot about bridges, after all). But none of that happened – he still remains governor of New Jersey.

Obviously growing bored and disillusioned with that job, Christie has mentally checked out. And that may explain his clear lack of judgment in the whole “let me close the state-run beaches to everyone but myself on the busiest weekend of the summer” thing. While you may point fingers at Christie or the Democratic-led legislature for the budget stalemate that led to the state shutdown, the real reason for the beach closures has nothing to do with that.

Apparently, Christie is terrified about his future. Rightfully so; who would hire a washed up governor with a historically dismal 15% approval rating once his term is over in January? So he tried to secure whatever job he could, tapping whatever resources he could find. And the solution? Well, you can say goodbye to Chris Christie the politician, and give a warm welcome to Kris Kristie, the newest reality TV star!

Kris Kristie

Kris Kristie – because apparently you need the initials “K.K.” to be famous these days.

That’s right, in a recently inked deal with MTV, a rebranded Chris Christie and his family will star in a show about a bunch of rich, spoiled people who live at the beach and cause all kind of ruckus for their small Jersey Shore town. If that sounds familiar and like something that’s been done before, you’re absolutely right – this is MTV after all.

So anyway, the whole thing about closing the beaches had nothing to do with the state budget – they were actually filming the pilot and needed a closed set. Oh, and in case you were wondering what this show will be called, it’s name is “Son of a Beach.” As if there was any other option.

Son of a Beach

His version of GTL? Grift, tax and [money] laundering.

Even Store Brand Cereal Boxes Make Fun of New Jersey

Posted June 11, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: Food

Tags: , ,

Everyone loves to make fun of New Jersey, and it’s no surprise that the Armpit of America has long been the butt of everyone’s jokes. While negative comments about the state are typically relegated to pop culture or conversations with those from out of state, hate for New Jersey can also be found in the unlikeliest of places: a cereal box.

My discovery came from a recently purchased box of store brand cereal (don’t judge me), in particular, Shoprite brand bran flakes (again, don’t judge me). On the back of the box is this whole trivia thing about American cities:

cereal 1

In that left-side panel is a quiz about city nicknames, listing the nickname of a city and offering two possible answers. One city nickname presented is”Hornet’s Nest,” with the two choices being Charlotte, North Carolina and none other than Newark, New Jersey.

cereal 2

Obviously, the answer is Charlotte – and that name isn’t just because of the basketball team. The city first earned the moniker during the Revolutionary War when it was known as a “hornet’s nest of rebellion.”

But whoever designed this box took a swipe at New Jersey by making Newark the other option. Unless you live in Charlotte, a hornet’s next is a terrifying thing to encounter, and something you’d want to stay the hell away from. Sure, Newark might not have the best reputation, between the city itself and its namesake airport, but to call it a hornet’s nest? I’d say it’s more of a beehive – might be a little scary, but there is some good stuff inside.

Exploring the Urban Nature of North Jersey

Posted April 29, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: Armpit Adventures, Uncategorized

Think of the biggest stereotypes of New Jersey – overcrowding, factories spewing out pollution, a mess of traffic-choked highways, garbage dumps, etc. While this is what most of the world thinks about the Armpit of America, it is totally wrong – except when it comes to the northeastern corner of the state. I’m exaggerating of course, but the area of New Jersey across from New York City isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when you want to spend the day in nature. But you’d be totally wrong for thinking that.

I recently explored Richard W. DeKorte Park, right in the middle of the New Jersey’s Meadowlands – an area now more famous for its sports and entertainment venues rather than the wetlands for which it was named. Now I would say that the park provides a nice escape from all of the New Jerseyishness of being in New Jersey, but it’s all still there, just pushed into the background. And somehow, despite having all the highways, factories, powerlines, and buildings in view and all the associated noise within earshot, it just adds to the experience rather than detracting from it.

 

meadowlands 1

The park consists of multiple walking bridges built right over the wetlands, allowing you to see fish swimming around the water and birds flying all around. But it’s not just the birds flying overhead – you’ll see countless planes making their way to or from Newark Airport. And amid the rustling of the tall grasses, you’ll hear the whistle of the train coming by.  Moreover, the whole scene is framed by New Jersey’s endless network of highways. Not sure why, but it all makes sense.

meadowlands 2

 

Maybe that’s because the area has always been impacted by humans, and nature has always had to adapt. Wikipedia tells me that before the Meadowlands were actually made up of their namesake meadowlands, it was full of cedar forests, which the early Dutch settlers cleared away to grow salt hay. And since then, the area has been treated as a garbage dump by every group of people who passed through.

Still, Mother Nature persisted. The result is an urban yet natural landscape that can only be found in New Jersey.

Born to Run….Back to New Jersey!

Posted March 23, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: Uncategorized

I heart njAfter living on Long Island for the past four years, I am beyond thrilled to formally announce that I am moving back to New Jersey. Yes, it’s really happening. In just a few weeks.

Actually, I am already officially a resident of the Armpit of America once again, having done the dirty work at the DMV (or MVC as NJ calls it) earlier this week. And I’m not usually one to believe in “signs” or spiritual stuff, but the first song I heard on the radio upon leaving the DMV MVC with my new New Jersey driver’s license and license plates was “Born to Run” – clearly that was the work of a higher power.

Though the wife and I had been talking about moving back for a while, the urge became clear once we welcomed our son into the world a few months ago.  With our families being either two, or three and a half, hours away, it’s been difficult for him to see his grandparents. And every time we make the trip to Jersey, we have to pack up half the house. Also, I want my kid off of Long Island before he starts talking – I’d never forgive myself if he were to start speaking with that Lawn Guyland accent.

I’ll be honest – although I like to complain about Long Island a lot, there were a lot of great things about living here.  We got to be closer to my grandmother during her final years, hang out with some wonderful relatives who live nearby a lot more often, and made some good friends. And while I’m thrilled to be moving back to the promised land, there are some things about this place that I will really miss. Like grandma pizza (sorry, pizza places in New Jersey just don’t get it right), the wineries on the North Fork (such a great setting compared to NJ’s wine country in South Jersey) and the ability to buy beer at every single grocery store, pharmacy, and gas station.

Despite these benefits, my heart is, always was, and forever will be in New Jersey. And now it’s time to come home.

Years ago, back in the glory days when I was living in an oceanfront apartment in Belmar, some friends and I spent a night on the balcony playing the board game “Escape From New Jersey!” And in the blog post recapping this adventure, I lamented how the game is impossible to win – just like in real life, there is no escape from the Armpit of America. However, having actually escaped for four years, I couldn’t be happier to be back. And I don’t plan on escaping ever again.

 

Ready for “Jersey Shore: The Next Generation”?

Posted February 20, 2017 by armpitnj
Categories: Jersey Shore, MTV's "Jersey Shore"

Tags: , , , ,

I think it’s fair to assume that the attention and buzz around MTV’s “Jersey Shore” has officially flickered out. When was the last time you heard anything about Snooki or the Situation? And when has any late night talk show host cracked a joke about them? And while New Jersey was the butt of everyone’s jokes during the show’s 2009-2012 run, even that has died down.

I think it’s safe to say that the orange grease balls who made up the show’s cast have finally faded back into the faceless obscurity from which they emerged. And the scene of the crime, Seaside Heights, has finally recovered after dealing with the aftermath of the show, Hurricane Sandy, and a nasty boardwalk fire, reclaiming its title as a family-friendly shore town – or so those poor residents thought!

According to our friends at NJ.com, there may be a new “reality” show taking place in Seaside. The infamous club that the “Jersey Shore” cast frequently frequented, Bamboo, posted a casting call for a new show – “I Love Summer.” Specifically, they’re looking for “loud and fun” people, which obviously has residents and officials ready to fight back and save their town from reliving the attention and embarrassment MTV already bestowed upon them.

So is the world ready to watch a bunch of loud New Yorkers making idiots of themselves at the Jersey Shore once again? I think so. Just consider this birthday card (created by New Jersey’s own Designer Greetings) I bought the day before hearing about the new show:

jersey-shore-card

I was pretty confused upon seeing it – seemed like something that should have been on the shelves back in 2010/2011 at the height of Snooki and friends’ popularity. Who aside from second rate bloggers looking for inspiration for a quick and easy blog post would buy such a thing? Why would Designer Greetings put out the card now?? Why would a small grocery store chain on Long Island carry such a thing???

I take it all as a sign that after a few quiet years, the world is indeed ready to make the Armpit of America everyone’s punching bag once again. And if  “I Love Summer” actually comes to fruition, that will surely happen. And you know I’ll be watching it…and writing about it.