Posted tagged ‘New Jersey’

Goodbye, Chris Christie!

January 16, 2018

As of noon today, January 16, 2018, Chris Christie is no longer the Governor of the Armpit of America. What a relief! Though immensely popular at the start of his tenure, he’s leaving office in shame after eight incredibly long years. With a 14% approval rating, he has the distinction of being the least popular governor in New Jersey’s history.

While I’m happy to see him go, like many people, I’ll miss making fun of him (which I’ve done plenty of times). So in honor of his last day, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of his time leading New Jersey.

Like that whole Bridgegate thing:

Bridgegate

And who can forget about Beachgate?

Beachgate

And that time he sold his soul to the devil himself:

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

December 10, 2017

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. (more…)

So Chris Christie Went to the Beach…

July 4, 2017

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.

Three Jars and a Bottle of Jersey

January 27, 2017

Hard to believe, but it’s been nearly four years since I left my beloved New Jersey. Since then, I’ve collected numerous things to remind me of the Armpit of America and comfort me as I get nostalgic for the state’s litter-strewn highways, chemical vapor-filled skies and golden but dirty shores. So join me as I break into four cherished mementos, in the form of Jersey-flavored tomatoes, alcohol and wax!

Jar #1 – Ethnic Cottage Jersey Tomato Sauce

tomato-sauce

Purveyors of internationally flavored products like Indian and Thai sauces, Ethnic Cottage decided to cover a new ethnicity, Jersey-Italian, with its line of four Jersey tomato sauces, including the pictured marinara. I was pretty surprised by the ingredient list, comprised of just tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and seasonings, and no sugar, no chemicals and no weird thickeners. The result is a great tasting sauce that tastes like some little Italian grandmother made it herself. Sure, if you like your tomato sauce to be overly sweet and salty, you might not enjoy this. But if you want a tomato sauce without any weird additives and in which you can actually taste every individual ingredient, give Ethnic Cottage a try! (more…)

Some New Jersey “Nursery Rhymes”

September 24, 2016

New Jersey is home to so many heroes and villains, myths and monsters, making it the perfect inspiration for nursery rhymes! Here are my attempts to memorialize the Armpit of America in nursery rhyme form.

Please note: I don’t recommend actually reading these to kids, especially that last one…

 

A Man Named Christie

There once was a man named Christie
Who ruled his state with an iron fist-y
His temper would erupt
And his actions, corrupt
But deep down, he was just a big sissy.

 

Always Second Best

This is the story of a boy named Jon
Last name, Jovi – his middle name, Bon
He left his small New Jersey town
Trying to become the best singer around

So he put together a band and grew his hair real big
And soon he was getting gig after gig
He wanted to be the biggest star from his state
Anything less than that, he would hate

Little Jon made the charts with many a song
About working class heroes and girls who done him wrong
But there was someone who did this all much better
From his shadow, Jon couldn’t get unfettered

Against this man, he counted many a loss
How could he ever win against a guy called The Boss?
Try as he might, his songs were never as good
And he started to wonder if give up music he should

But his career is nothing to laugh at or reason to be sad
Anyone with his success should certainly be glad
And as he stood there on stage in his black leather vest,
Jon thought to himself, “Maybe it’s not so bad, to be second best”

(more…)

Top 5 Pokemon You’d Find in New Jersey

August 31, 2016

It’s pretty amazing how Pokemon Go continues to take the world by storm. What’s even more amazing is that the Pokemon franchise is still around. What started as a game for the primitive Game Boy console 20 years ago has spawned a TV show, movies and a media empire that still excites everyone. Not even the other video game veterans like our favorite Italian plumber, a boomerang-throwing elf, a blue hedgehog or a barrel-tossing gorilla can boast the level of popularity that Pokemon continually enjoys.

But as the franchise evolved, its creators expanded the list of Pokemon from the original beloved set of 150 weird little monsters to now more than 700. And you can tell they’re running out of ideas, with newer-generation Pokemon like Chandelure – an anthropomorphic light fixture, or Vanillite – a smiling ice cream cone. Even in a world where children roam around unsupervised hunting animals, imprisoning them in little balls, and making them fight against each other, Chandelure and Vanillite force you to stretch your imagination a little too far.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a blog about New Jersey. So what the hell does Pokemon have to do with the Armpit of America? Not much, to be honest. However, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the Pokemon most likely to inhabit our favorite state. And don’t worry – they’re all from the first generation Pokedex.

1. Caterpie010Caterpie

This cute little guy is the Pokemon world’s version of a caterpillar. His real-world brethren aren’t nearly as adorable. Drive down the Parkway in the summer and you’ll notice many of the trees covered in caterpillar nests. Although Caterpie will eventually evolve into the equally adorable Butterfree, the New Jersey versions just become ugly moths.

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 2. Machoke

These things look like body builders with lizard heads, and certainly wouldn’t be out of place at the Jersey Shore. Machoke is the Pokemon version of the guido if you will, complete with spiky hair, arm tattoos, and the need to compensate for a clear lack of a bulge in the crotch area.

 

109Koffing

3. Koffing

Koffing is like a floating ball that farts out toxic gases – just like the many factories throughout the state polluting our sky and water.

 

 

088Grimer

 

 

4. Grimer

According to this source, Grimer is “a slimy, amorphous blob-like Pokémon, made of living purple sludge. Its body contains a variety of pungent bacteria…” So pretty much a poisonous slimeball – New Jersey has more than it’s fair share of those (e.g., any of the husbands from Real Housewives of New Jersey).

 

143Snorlax

5. Snorlax

The largest of all Pokemon, you are most likely to see a Snorlax sitting on his throne in the governor’s mansion in Trenton, or on the campaign trail trying to get another poisonous slimeball elected president (no offense to Grimer).

How I Spent My Childhood Summers in New Jersey

July 25, 2016

Summers are often a magical time, where you take a break from the pressures and schedules of school and just get to be lazy for a couple months. Unless of course your parents made you go to day camp, in which case you still had to catch the bus, take on a full schedule of activities and deal with the drama and struggle of fitting in, just like at school. Such was the case with my childhood summers in the Armpit of America, where I would count down the days for school to end, only to start camp soon after (and then count down the days until camp was over).

Though this may seem like a vicious cycle of misery, camp was never that bad….much like Ronnie and Sammi from “Jersey Shore” (speaking of which, I toured the infamous house, in case you missed it), I just had a complicated love/hate relationship with camp, as described below.

pine.grove.day.campI went to three different day camps during my childhood, but it was only the third that had a significant impact on my life. That camp was Pine Grove Day Camp, located in Wall Township. It was run by a guy who looked like a cute old Jewish man like Mel Brooks but who managed a children’s day camp like a concentration camp. Seriously, the guy could make you wet your pants with one harsh look. But still, he knew what he was doing. Aside from sunburn and mosquito bites and all the times I wished I didn’t have to go each summer, that camp gave me a lifetime of memories from eight summers.

Pine Grove touted itself as a camp “as complete as a sleepaway camp” and pretty much lived up to that description. Sure, it had a few pools, sports facilities, arts and crafts and all that standard stuff, but what set it apart more than anything is that it served lunch. Not just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but real food cooked in a real kitchen – fried chicken (or as the camp menu called it, “honey dip’t chicken”), meatball subs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, etc., complete with sides and dessert. In fact, the only meal that sucked where those days every two weeks where the option would be tuna and egg salad platters. But any day you didn’t like the main course being offered, there was a range of substitutes you could order – bagels, turkey sandwiches, yogurt. Hell, even if you kept kosher, they would accommodate you. Needless to say, the food was one of the best parts of Pine Grove, especially if you were a fat kid like me.

(more…)