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Mike Gruss Archive

Museum displays unmentionables worth a mention

The Virginian-Pilot
We recently went out for a Mother's Day brunch at a new place in Richmond. The Bloody Marys and omelets were tasty, but the decor raised a question. Plaster bras painted in polka-dots hung above the table across the aisle. On Mother's Day. There was a moment of awkwardness. I held off handing the Hallmark card to my mom.Let me make my position on underwear clear. I'm pro underwear. Specifically, I'm pro my own underwear. I have no interest in most other people's underwear, and I have an aversion . . .

Landstown trainer is mentor and mender to the Eagles' athletes

By Cyndi KightCorrespondent
VIRGINIA BEACH - Some people call her " Yoko," others "Yugo," but her name is Yuko. At Landstown High School, however, it's affectionately "Miss Yuko " to students and athletes.While those folks know she's the school's head athletic trainer - Yuko Kimura-Koenig's main role is seeing to student injuries and rehabilitation - there's more to her than meets the eye.Among other things, she's an interpreter and abacus champion.Welcome to the StatesKimura-Koenig's studies brought her to America. The graduate . . .

Morning coffee time isn't the place for kids

The Virginian-Pilot
MY ROOF was leaking, I was trying to pack for a trip to see the in-laws, and my hypochondria for minor ailments had kicked in with a potentially sprained ankle.I needed a pick-me-up and went in search of an embarrassingly predictable outlet: coffee.Excuse me if I pull an Andy Rooney here, but... ever wonder why there's so many kids at Starbucks?The other day I had to wait for eight kids to order before I got to chat up the barista. And this was at 11 a.m. - prime time for social studies or pre-algebra . . .

It seems women still bear the Navy etiquette load

The Virginian-Pilot
NAVY WIVES no longer wear white gloves.I know because I went to a workshop last week called "Where Did the White Gloves Go?" It was a class at Sewells Point Golf Course in Norfolk aimed at helping the spouses of junior officers become acquainted with Navy traditions and etiquette.The Navy League has offered the workshop about once a year, and it's a popular class, over other topics such as crisis management, family preparedness and career choices. While organizers never directly answered the question . . .

Coinstar has me looking for change in all the wrong places

The Virginian-Pilot
DO YOU EVEN KNOW what I would do with $90 right now?I'd buy 40 boxes of fig bars or three video games or try to get a cheap flight to the West Coast. Hard to choose, because how often does a person get a $90 windfall?Supposedly, I could find one right now.Coinstar, the company that makes those machines in the grocery store that count your change for you, just released a study saying there's $10 billion in loose change hiding in people's houses. That's about $90 in the average household.Ninety dollars! . . .

Affidavit lays out details in porn producer's slaying

By MARC DAVISThe Virginian-Pilot
At first, Sean Lockhart didn't get it. Here he was, at the luxurious Le Cirque restaurant in Las Vegas, sitting with three fellow gay-porn stars, one of whom would eventually tell State Police about the meeting. They were on the verge of a deal - a big deal. If it worked, it might make them rich. Might even make them $1 million. Or so they imagined.But there was a catch: Lockhart was caught in a messy contract dispute with a porn producer in Pennsylvania named Bryan Kocis. Across the table, fellow . . .

Cruise artifacts reflect Texas man's passion

The Virginian-Pilot
BEFORE IT CAME to Norfolk, Herbert Beazley collected it all.He stashed the goods in his Texas home, in crowded file drawers, in the attic, under the bed, and sometimes - perhaps when he knew he was close to the line and had spent just a touch too much money - he had the packages sent to his office in Houston so his wife, Norma, wouldn't see them.He loved ocean liners. He kept the passenger lists, the posters, the programs, the ashtrays, whatever he could get his hands on. When Beazley was just a . . .

Who knew a soup strainer was also a money maker?

The Virginian-Pilot
NOBODY UNDER 40 grows a mustache anymore, unless, of course, he's getting paid for it.It's like a monocle. You can't be 25 and wearing a monocle. You have to be at least 75. (Or a peanut.)In the case of the mustache, there'd better be money involved for sporting that flavor saver. At Relative Theory Records and The Boot restaurant in Norfolk, that's what's happening. Some employees are sprouting hair on their upper lips - for irony and charity.They want people to pledge money for their mustaches. . . .

Hello from sunny norfolk

The Virginian-Pilot
I needed to send a friend of a friend a postcard for his kid's school project in Michigan.I searched for postcards of Norfolk - not Virginia Beach sandcastles - at the airport, book stores and the post office. I found my first one at a pharmacy. In hot-pink letters it said "Scope," but to be fair it really just showed the building's flowering trees, some overgrown grass and the top of the dome. For years, there were two major distributors of Norfolk postcards. Bicast, of Williamsburg, started as . . .

Library policy being enforced right under our noses

The Virginian-Pilot
A COUPLE OF WEEKS ago I wrote about the Virginia Beach Central Library allowing food and drink inside its sacred doors. It's a great step forward.But some readers did not associate their libraries with the aroma of coffee beans and scones. They called to give me the heads-up that a few libraries not only have rules about food, they also have rules about smells.Specifically, Norfolk's code of conduct allows staff to remove someone for an "offensive odor." In Portsmouth, the language is a little tougher, . . .

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