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Mike Gruss Archive

Academi? Latin homework or new company name?

What's an Academi?
Or an Altria?
Or a Verizon, for that matter?
Country of origin? Type of speech? Can you use it in a sentence, please? Can you see an Academi, way out there on the Verizon, from the second-floor Altria?
In 2003, tobacco giant Phillip Morris became Altria. The switch quickly became the subject of countless studies and public-relations theories.

Reliving the glory days – with or without guests

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for some kind of surprise.
Around Thanksgiving, I went to a concert in Nags Head at Kelly’s, a smallish venue with a crowded bar and locals in something other than beach clothes.

And the winner of Hampton Roads' lie of the year is...

The job of any newspaper is to distinguish fact from fiction, to hungrily rip hyperbole and partisan rhetoric from the sturdy bone of truth.

Was 2011 a good year to you? Pause. Reflect. Sigh.

"So this is Christmas / And what have you done?" - John Lennon

New theater is cutting edge, but snacks are real treat

It's one of the most technologically advanced movie theaters in the region.
At a ribbon-cutting/ticket-tearing ceremony last week in Chesapeake, a crowd of about 1,400, including city residents and VIPs and movie-goers, kept repeating that phrase.

Which product is for a doll, which is for a real child?

American Girls - the popular, squat, glassy-eyed dolls with lifelike outfits and the most precious of accessories - are celebrating their 25th anniversary.
Earlier this month, an American Girl catalog touting the milestone surprisingly showed up at my house. Apparently, I was expected to be part of the celebration.

As far as awards shows go, this is the main event

The most innovative awards show of the decade was held earlier this week, and surprisingly enough it was in Norfolk.

Ho, ho ... whoa. Is that Santa with an assault rifle?

Is this really the most wonderful time of the year for Santa?
These days, it’s not hard to spot a Santa Claus with a bottle, a Santa Claus with an assault rifle or, as was the case in Massachusetts earlier this year, a Santa Claus urinating on himself. Every thief, petty criminal and all-around bad guy who so much as wears a fuzzy red hat makes the TV news as a Santa bandit.

When life gives you dementia, make new memories

The first time Bill Wood recognized something wasn't right was at a funeral in Virginia Beach.
He saw faces he didn't remember. They knew him. He didn't know them. He was scared.
His wife, Carol, said he needed to go to a doctor.
He was 62.

More Christmas music stations? No, really, you shouldn't have.

It's officially The Season.
It's officially OK to listen to holiday music without shame or fear of reprisal. No reason to be afraid of bopping along your merry way with your requisite Christmas CDs and MP3s.
But no one person's music collection can do it alone.

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