Jersey Pizza, Extra Saucy


Pepperoni Pizza by sirensofsilence on

“Whadya got?”

I hear this from the young man behind the counter at the pizzeria, but assume he must be talking to a co-worker so I don’t respond.

“Miss!  Miss!  Whadya got?”

“Are you… talking… to me?”  I think about going all DeNiro on his behind, but hold myself in check once I realize this is his way of saying, “What would you like to order?” and he’s actually semi-smiling.

Off to my right, I hear an older gentleman working behind the counter approach the next person in line. “Whadya got, sir?”

So that’s just how they do it.  “Whadya got.”  Indeed.  I would tell ya what I got right here (as we say in Jersey) but my mama raised me better.

I tell the young man I’d like to order a sub with fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers and ask what else usually comes on it.  “Whadya want?  We can put anything.  You want lettuce?  We’ll put lettuce.  You want tomato?  We’ll…”

I’m onto the pattern here.  I ask for tomatoes, oil and vinegar and wait for the order to be completed.

As my order came up, the young man placed bags of zeppole on the counter, shaking them so the powdered sugar in the bag spread out over the warm, doughy treats.  “For you,” he points to me.  “No charge.”  He says to the next man, “Zeppole, enjoy.”

Well, points for that.  I thank him for the zeppole and take my food on home.

So I realized I may have found the most New Jersey pizzeria in existence.  Next time you’re in the mood for a tasty pie, I’ve got a pizza place for you.  Just hope you’re in the mood for a side of Jersey ‘tude, no extra charge.

Jersey Fresh



Word of advice for tourists:  Here in New Jersey, a person you’ve just met may say something sarcastic to you.  Don’t be alarmed; this is what we consider exchanging pleasantries.

Our FCS (First Contact to Sarcasm) Ratio is shorter here than in most states.

You might chat with a stranger on the check-out line at the grocery store, and at the end of the conversation, say, “See you later,” only to have him respond:  “Thanks for the warning!”

You’ll get used to it in time!

Rutgers Webcam Verdict


The world has been following the Rutgers Webcam Spying Trial since it began, and everybody here in Jersey has got an opinion.

During the trial, Ravi’s mother testified on behalf of her son’s character.  Upon meeting Tyler Clementi, she found him quiet but polite.  “I thought one day he’d come over to our house with Dharun.  It’s so sad,” she said “that he chose to end his life early.”  The emphasis she put on “chose” just bugged me.

When Judge Glenn Berman said to Ravi, “I heard this jury call you ‘guilty’ 288 times – 24 questions, 12 jurors, that’s the multiplication,” he said. “And I haven’t heard you apologize once,” we all assumed he was about to open up a can of whup-ass.  Then he issued his sentence.

Thirty days.

In county jail.

Not even state prison.

The jury had found Ravi guilty on all counts, including bias intimidation. This is a rhetorical question, but what’s the point of doing your civic duty when a judge gets to disregard a jury’s decision?  The prosecution plans to appeal, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this case in the future.

Bad Ads


Okay, I’m onto you now, headache medicine advertisers! You’re making your commercials irritating on purpose. To give me a headache!! AHA! Excedrin Migraine features Elisabeth Moss (pre-Mad Men) staring at the camera, saying “These things are for real” about migraines. Like, who said they weren’t? Then there’s Head On. Designed to bore into your brain until you run screaming from the room.

Other bad ads stay with me as well.  I mean, I can’t make Sensa this ad campaign. What are they selling here?  Ladies’ jiggly bits?  This must be a popular product!

Then there’s the Adult Pertussis Vaccination Public Service Announcement.  So alarmist and awful, I have no words.

Lest we forget my old unfavorite, Education Connection.  So poorly written and such ham-handed acting that you KNOW somebody needs to go back to school.  I see what they did there.

Good times!

Mother’s Day Ode


Relatives tell me I look a lot like my late mother (she would never have liked the term late, for indeed, she was always on time for any appointment).

While we do share some characteristics (like the patented “snort and cackle” when laughing – the snackle, if you will) and a penchant for saying to unresponsive teen-age ears, “Enunciate!,” I’d have to say we were not really all that similar.

  •  She spoke five languages.
  •  I speech wun (Inglich).
  •  She played Bach like nobody’s business.
  •  I play the radio like a professional.
  •  She was genteel and cultured.
  •  I am kinda like, from Jersey (she was too, but seemed less so, if youse know what’m sayin.)
  •  She was always in my corner and cheered me on no matter what.
  •  I was oblivious to her encouragement until it wasn’t there anymore.

Thank you, Lord, for the mother you gifted me with.  I hope she’s snackling up there with you, playing a fugue on the piano and sitting in that log cabin she always pined for.  God bless all the mothers, always in our hearts.

Court of Public Opinion


How do some people end up on the wrong side of famous?  Here in New Jersey, the Tanning Mom, Patricia Krentsil, seems to be the latest Person the World Loves to Hate.

Some celebrities have done abhorrent things; even though we hated them “with cause,” it seems we’ll never allow them to redeem themselves.

  • Nadya Suleman
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Michael Richards
  • Mel Gibson
  • Isaiah Washington

How do people get instantly and eternally on the public’s bad side?  Has any “fallen star” ever returned to the “good side?”

Some stars have found their way back into our good graces:

  • Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Christian Bale
  • Russell Crowe
  • Tracey Morgan

Even Chris Brown, who definitely has detractors (hello, Miranda Lambert), seems to have found some measure of forgiveness (i.e., Grammy win).

Looking at this list, it seems all of them have (or had) issues and could use a little compassion.  Maybe a chance to get back into the human race again.

Pray Day


Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Do I pray?  Oh boy, do I.  So much so that I write for a prayer blog and have written prayers for websites such as Prayables and WorldPrayers.

Now, I’m not trying to be a Prayer-Party-Pooper, but I don’t like the idea of someone telling me when to pray.

For those of us inclined to pray, we’re already doing it.  It’s preaching to the choir.  The designation of a day that is set aside for prayer is unnecessary for people who pray and exclusionary to those who don’t.

Growing up here in central Jersey, we had a “moment of silence” to start the school day.  95% of the kids just daydreamed, and the other 5% who were praying during the moment of silence were praying already.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I didn’t need anybody’s Official Okay to pray.  I’m already on it.