Will you go to the 8th grade formal with me?

You know the deal: hands on the shoulders or waist, six inches apart. I don't think we ever actually had chaperones walking around with rulers, but I definitely heard talk of such things.
Inevitably, they wouldn't be able control us anymore and we'd end up like this (or worse):

Do you remember this dirty dancing anthem? I remember all of us tweens figuring out what it meant and giggling. Those are some risqué lyrics!

(I'll cite the images soon, I promise.)

Song of the Day: You Are Not Alone

V: the most disturbing part is when they show lisa marie's back naked
V: who would ever willingly disrobe in front of mj?!
H: well, the implication that the two of them are naked
H: ahhhhhh
V: groooooss

Song of the Day: Daydreaming

Computer Time: Kid Pix

Maybe the whole class trooped down the hall to the computer lab (quietly behind the line leader, of course) or else you were rewarded with time at the classroom computer for doing your work, but we all know what the best part was:

My favorite memories are the random voices counting and the exploding firecracker. What were yours?

(screenshot via Wikipedia)

Song of the Day: Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)

This is how we all learned to count in Spanish, right?

Before I bought my GBA...

I had my own TI-83 at home, a TI-89 through school, and a TI-92 from one of my college math professor father's conferences. It was awesome. I was also the reigning champ of Phoenix in Mrs. Green's Magnet Chemistry class.


There were lots of games, but we all spent most of our time with Tetris, Nibbles, Insane Game, Mario, Tunnel, or that ridiculously difficult Penguins (am I the only one who remembers that one?).

BONUS for you making it to the end of the post: ZTetris gameplay video.

Song of the Day: Candy Rain

That loud-mouthed, hilarious Indian kid in your math/science/programming class

Pavan Gupta. Either you know or you don't.

Song of the Day: Fantasy

This is actually the remix with ODB; all of the copies of the original song/video had embedding disabled. Besides, this is the version I remember being played over and over and over and over again on The Box.

Virtual Reality at Nauticus

Nauticus is little more than a glorified Navy recruitment center for the pre-teen set, but we all took a field trip there in the year 1995 nonetheless. (Bonus: lunch at Waterside!) Supposedly Nauticus was the home of the world's first group virtual reality experience, but I sort of feel like Questor was a group virtual reality experience, wasn't it?

Anyway, Nauticus pretty much had only three attractions.

1) The People Mover. This was basically a conveyor belt that you stood on, and it became less exciting once you had traveled to an airport larger than the one in Norfolk, where they are quite common, and a LOT less exciting once they actually installed one at Norfolk "International" Airport.

2) The dog tag kiosk. Is it just me or was it kind of creepy for prepubescent kids to be wearing metal identification tags that exist solely to identify your body in the event the rest of you is charred to a crisp? Plus, they kind of made you look like a tool. The only famous people who wore dog tags were those bitches from Top Gun, and we all know what happened to the careers of Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise, Guy Who Died When His Ejector Malfunctioned. Leave the dog tags to those who actually need them.

3) Virtual reality. Everyone I knew skipped the actual education parts of Nauticus to secure a spot in the virtual reality line. I can't seem to find any information about it on the official Nauticus website. Perhaps they took it down because they realized that sending kids on a virtual mission to save the Loch Ness Monster's eggs is a shitty, shitty way to get them interested in maritime sciences and technology, seeing as how Loch Ness is a LAKE and the Loch Ness Monster is IMAGINARY.

I'm sorry, I take that last one back. Plesiosaurs are real.

Song of the Day: Hey Lover

Further adventures in interactive media

Does anyone else remember Radio Graffiti on 92.1 The Beat?

Channel 19

Growing up, I didn't have cable. In fact, my father still uses bunny ears and dial-up. Anyway, I was always jealous of my friends with their fancy-pants MTV, excluding me from their involved conversations about the latest and greatest parody by Weird Al Yankovich or how naughty LL Cool J's newest video was.

Then one day, as I fiddled with the antennae to get them in just the right spot, I discovered a channel heretofore unknown to me: 19. Sure, we had 3, 10, 13, 15, 27, 33, and 43, but 19?

At first glance, it seemed pretty useless - just a bunch of scrolling text and occasional beeps and boops. However, on closer examination, I realized that it was listings of hit songs preceded by three digit codes. And as I sat there, hypnotized by the numbers and letters, something at the bottom of the screen changed:

You know what happened next.

Even though the reception was often wonky and it eventually became MTV2, The Box was my one hope for social acceptance. I never did call in for a video (the idea of an unauthorized charge on somebody else's phone bill still frightens me), but I was always content to sit there watching endless repeats of Gangsta's Paradise, Amish Paradise, Dr. Greenthumb, One Sweet Day, or whatever video was the hit of the moment.

Extended clip of listings and promos:

Song of the Day: Spice Up Your Life

Extra points if you remember the movie.

The unfortunate supposed comeback of jelly shoes

Even though we lived in a climate where these shoes were even plausibly a good idea (sandy beaches, lots of ocean, also the added bonus of avoiding a sandal tan), I think we all knew deep down inside that wearing plastic t-strap sandals was something that we would all someday regret. Sometimes that regret even came less than 24 hours later, while you were soaking your blistered feet in an Epsom salt bath. (But they just looked so cute with your floral-print baby doll dress!

So needless to say, I am a little skeptical of the newly resurrected House of Style doing a segment on the comeback of the jelly sandal.

However, they also did a segment on friendship bracelets, and as we well know, those will be awesome always and forever (or 637, if you will).

Song of the Day: Gangsta's Paradise

You know you knew all the words. Don't deny it. The real question is: what was the three digit code?


Would you consider this layout to be "nifty" or "spiffy"? I just can't decide!

WordArt courtesy my mad Word 97 skills

What's better than fried chicken & biscuits?

Fried chicken and DEEP-FRIED biscuits! With honey on top! Mmmm....frying oil and honey taste so good together. (photo via)

Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to find a picture of Pollard's puffs. Not even the kid in the picture is eating a puff. He appears to be eating a dinner roll, or a piece of Hawaiian bread.

Pollard's Chicken has been our go-to chicken joint since I was a kid. It's kind of ghetto inside, and when I was a kid, I would be so embarrassed to go inside. I would think to myself, WTF there is not enough room in here for my whole family! Why do I have to eat my chicken on top of the Pac-Man table?! But now I yearn for their delicious chicken and biscuits.

I found out much later that my parents loved going to Pollard's because it was where they ate dinner after they got married at the Justice of the Peace of Va Beezy back in 1980. That must have been the most tasty, well-seasoned, and juicy love dinner of all.

Song of the Day: Waterfalls

The other half saw 'NSync at the Hampton Coliseum back in 1999 - I saw TLC instead.

Speaking of mix tapes

I had this awesome boom box back in the day, with two tape decks, a CD player, and really good radio reception. Since I wasn't allowed to buy any non-classical music, I spent a lot of time making the perfect mix tapes on my boombox. Thanks to the magic of having two tape decks, I could record the song as soon as it started on a scratch tape and then dub it into the right place on the final product.

Like I said, I've always been really, really anal-retentive.

Anyway, remember when 96X became a Z104 competitor for a while? All the "posers" were complaining about not getting their Offspring fix, but I was excited to have not one, but two stations to get music for my mix tapes from.


Believe me, I got really good at dialing quickly between 104.5 and 96.1 (or 106.1, the alternative frequency) to find the song I was missing from my current project. I spent a lot of time waiting for the right remix during Club 104 on Saturday nights...

Song of the Day: Push It

Technically, this is pre-90s, but it still makes me think of mix tapes and skating rinks.

ZOMFG caffeine!

Ah, the taste of a radioactive-green citrus soda. We all believed that it had more caffeine than any other soda and the fact that our parents hated it - well, that just made us love it even more.

For me and my nerdy KLMS friends, it spawned our version of a margarita: Surge with a healthy dollop of lime sherbet. Oh yes.

Sadly, now that we're adults, we know that it contains less caffeine than Mountain Dew and thus was not pulled for any controversial reason. It was all about the sales. It always was.


Middle School Crafts, Pt. 2

Friendship bracelets. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

First came the trip to Michaels for the following supplies:

Embroidery floss in as many colors and varieties as you could convince your parent(s) to buy.

Bobbins on which to wind your newly-acquired floss.

A box in which to store your freshly wound bobbins.

You probably taped the knotted end of your newest project to the underside of your desk, to be worked on whenever the teacher wasn't looking. If you were really seriously anal retentive like me, you had a clipboard. After some nimble finger work, you'd end up feeling like you accomplished something and were ready to share it with the world.

Finished product, ready for your BFF of the week. (final photo from wikiHow; all others from Joann product pages)

1999, the year that music executives were able to convince British and Irish pop stars to do painfully un-British and un-Irish things

5ive. When the Lights Go Out. And, Got the Feelin'. Please click through to see a group of British boys doing things like riding around the 'hood in a convertible, waving their hands in the air like they just don't care (next to a swimming pool no less), rapping about taking your clothes off and how your body is so soft, and sunbathing.

I definitely used to have a videocassette of the Disney concert that 5ive did with these ladies (OMG it's on Youtube)....

me: my god how were they able to convince grown women that this was a good idea
helen: who knows
but i'm glad they did, somehow
me: the boy in the video looks like he's 12
and those women look like they're almost 30
helen: hahahaha it's true
the hair auggghh
me: oh my god so many canadian tuxedoes

I actually saw B*Witched open for THESE GUYS at the Hampton Coliseum in 1999!

I think the entire concert is actually on Youtube! I had this on VHS. God bless RachelMK18 for preserving this wonderful historical event.

Here's the video for "I Want You Back"

And my favorite, their cover of "Sailing"! When they did this at the Coliseum they were strapped into harnesses that allowed them to fly over the audience!

Julian chooses to hold the Coliseum in high regard because it's Phish's favorite venue, and their chosen place of reunion. Me, I will always remember the Coliseum as the place where I breathed the same air as 'NSync a mere decade ago.

Middle School Crafts, Pt. 1

I used to eat a ton of Starbursts, especially during fundraising season at school. I would always make a little pile of wrappers on my desk (perhaps to guilt myself into not eating more?) and then toss them at the end of class.

Then one day, a classmate demonstrated how to make an awesome chain out of said wrappers.

Paper folding. It must be an Asian thing. (photo via Candy Addict)

Sanrio Tins

Sanrio tins were all the rage in 1996. Where I went to middle school, in Chesapeake, there was a very small Filipino population, so we banded together in the only way we knew how: by not telling the white girls where to buy Sanrio. Oh, they would beg. "Pleeeease tell us where you bought your purse!" But no, I had been sworn to secrecy by my older sister and my Filipino friends. They would have to be happy with their Girl Scout uniforms and Baptist church youth group meetings. They may have had the collective wealth of white America at their backs, but I, I had my Sanrio tin. "Vivian, that is so racist." Yes, we were incredibly racist.

(Image via Hello Kitty Junkie)

It's also a good time for the Tootsie Roll

It's time for the...

Perculator!!! [sic]

P.S. No, I don't know why they spell it that way.

"We are the VA players"

View Larger Map

Did you ever hear anybody say "I drove past Missy Elliott's house during Driver's Ed!"? Well, I'm pretty sure we never went quite that far during our lessons on how to drive on winding Pungo roads, at least from Ocean Lakes, but it turns out that she really does have a house there. Apparently she bought it for her mother.

(via Virtual Globetrotting)

Jimmy Buffett's Annual Appearance at the VB Amphitheater

Do you know why this guy is so popular? Neither do I. Nonetheless, boozy, middle-aged, over-tanned white folks (and a few black people too) have practically adopted him as an honorary native son. I suppose it comes with the territory of living in a coastal area.

Where bridge-tunnels are no big deal

Even though hitting a tunnel meant that you were leaving VaBeezy, it was always exciting to see if you could hold your breath through the whole tunnel. Midtown or Downtown Tunnel? Ain't no thang. Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel? Alright, maybe a little respect there.

But the big prize was, and always will be, either underwater section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Did you know that in 1964 it was selected as "One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World" in a worldwide competition? Neither did I, but I am proud of it.

Let's take a little trip (all photos via Delmarva Highways):

Big breath in!

Hold it hold it hold it!

We've made it!

(More facts at the Wikipedia entry)

The best part of taking a field trip to Jamestown

The Glassblowers!

Upstate New York is also known for its fine glass products.

Remember when Meyera Oberndorf was mayor?

I know, that only ended like two months ago. But it wouldn't be a blog about Virginia Beach without a mention of our (formerly up until recently) Mayor 4 Life Meyera Oberndorf!

Do you want to know why Virginia is the best state ever?

Because unlike some states, we actually remove the toll from a toll road once it's paid for.

Yes, I'm talking about Old 44. The caption that accompanies this photo states: "The abandoned overhead sign was a warning sign for what used to be the mainline toll booth along the former VA 44 'Norfolk-Virginia Beach Toll Road'. You can see the location of the paved-over toll booths in the asphalt pavement in the background. The tolls were removed in the mid-1990s, and the route became an extension of I-264 in 1999." (Photo from vahighways.com)

Reppin' tha 757

Remember when we were still part of 804? We split into the 757 on July 1, 1996.

Check out the full list of exchange prefixes that switched over on that sweet, sweet day.
(via Area Code Change Details)


So you're wondering: "What in the Sam Heezy is a Throwback VaBeezy?"

This is a blog dedicated to the nostalgia and hometown pride of Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads in the '90s (and early '00s).

Your writers are part of the full-time workforce, located in different areas of the state of New York - one in the city and one way upstate. We work hard and we love what we do, but there is just no place quite like the big V-A. Besides, the snow up here is mad wack, son.