Jersey tomatoes. That's what's up.

Sixteen dolphins washed onto the beach over the course of a year is not an alarmingly high number of washed up dolphins. It's actually fairly normal. The dolphins seem to have come ashore to die. Sixteen of them, chose the beaches of New Jersey. I don't think it had anything to do with Jersey tomatoes, though- even though Jersey tomatoes are amazing tomatoes.

In college, the Garden State was fiercely defended by those who were from there and routinely laughed at by those who weren't. Back then, the general reference point for most people not from Jersey was the Jersey Turnpike and for some, the wilds of New Jersey across the river from New York.

For myself, and the nation, that reference point has changed. While the reasons may be different, the result is that so has my view and subsequent appreciation of the animal collective of the great state of New Jersey.

I dig New Jersey. I feel New Jersey has every aspect of America within it's borders. I feel it's an injustice to only say Jersey is a microcosm of America.

I feel New Jersey
is America.

If you had told me even five years ago, that I would most likely get married in New Jersey, there is no way I would have believed you. Now it's not so much of a question of
will I get married in beautiful and wonderful New Jersey- but instead a question like, how many songs will Bruce Springsteen and at least two-thirds of the E Street Band play at Kim & I's wedding. Last Friday night, after dinner at a quiet seafood restaurant in Point Pleasant, I asked the love of my life to marry me and Kim said yes and the embrace in that quiet seafood restaurant's parking lot was the best feeling in the whole wide world.

New Jersey.

I still don't think it should be called the Garden State.

The name doesn't do the state justice. There is so much more to New Jersey than just gardens. In fact, I can't really think of one memorable garden I've seen in New Jersey. Yards in the dangerous and creepy badlands of south central Jersey have sand in their front yards. And rocks. The land won't even allow them to have a garden.

It's a misleading name. Something like New Jersey:
the buffet table of America would be better.

News that MTV- the network that used to play music videos, is signing those nitwits from the
Jersey Shore up for another year, is disheartening and certainly isn't going to help things. My cousin's boyfriend's daughter wants to go on vacation to the Jersey Shore- in italics because it's a specific, alternate version of the real Jersey shore, she wants to go to. Telemarketers think you're crazy if you're from Jersey, because regardless of where you live in Jersey, you fist bump at the gym while drinking your face off.

The show's name is as misleading as the state's where it takes place. Something like
Three filmed months in one town in New Jersey would be better.

It's a shame because in reality, in the world of sensible sedans and SUV's with normal rims, the Jersey shore is a great and amusingly entertaining slice of America.

And it's where my lady is from, so it has to be one of the greatest places in the world.

Jersey tomatoes.


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