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  • There’s so much history, always more to learn. ~ Chris

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Meat is for Pussies: A Review

MFP cover

A Review by Derek Tresize

Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph of The Cro-Mags is a  hellofa book. The title may have caught your eye as you were browsing the aisle for yet another book on crocheting, and with good reason. Far from being a typical diet and exercise guide, Meat is for Pussies is a no-holds-barred slap in the face for anyone looking to get healthy, fit, and turn their life around.

John Joseph tells it exactly like it is in his New York punk rock style, and he knows what he's talking about. Having gone through a rough childhood, struggling with drugs and violence as an adolescent, and becoming a successful musician and Ironman triathlete as an adult, John is a man with experience in hardship and perseverance. When he tells you that following the standard American diet is for pussies because it makes you fat and sick instead of vital and strong, he is dead on. And he'll give you all the tools you need to turn it around.

If you're looking for a book that sugar coats your shortcomings while watering down its solutions, this isn't for you. If you want a refreshingly direct and humorous guide to identifying and changing your unhealthy habits then look no further. The only complaint you may have is the advice for lots of superfoods and frequent colonics; but hey, he's from New York.

Derek Tresize is a competitive vegan bodybuilder residing in Richmond, Virginia where he and his wife operate Root Force Personal Training Studio. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, is a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University, and is co-author of the website Vegan Muscle & Fitness. Derek has followed a plant-based diet since 2007 and promotes it to his clients and in the fitness and bodybuilding community as the best means to fitness and long term health. Find Derek on Facebook, or follow @veganmuscle on Twitter and @veganmuscleandfitness on Instagram.

Make Gin!

gin kit full
The make your own gin kit allows you to make your own bathtub gin — without the bathtub or the moonshine. Start with good vodka, and use the kit’s juniper, mixed spices and botanicals to create a gin tinged with amber and perfumed with juniper and lavender; there are also spice, sandalwood and green cardamom notes in the flavor. That makes it better served on the rocks with a spritz of fresh lime or in a French 75 with Champagne than in a classic martini, which demands the clean, persistent whisper of juniper. The kit also contains two empty bottles, a fine-mesh strainer and a funnel. It’s a fitting gift for an amateur mixologist.



NEW ARRIVAL! 804ork— the cookbook featuring Richmond’s most delicious culinary establishments! 804ork contains 68 recipes from 24 RVA favorites, including Lemaire, The Roosevelt, Dutch & Co., Can Can, Stella’s, Millie’s, Proper Pie Co., Kuba Kuba, and many more. Part coffee table book, part functioning cookbook, 804ork features beautiful shots from local photographers, profiles of restaurateurs and chefs, and recipes for small plates, entrees, desserts, and sundries! Come in and pickup your copy today!




the replacements.
Twenty-two is a significant number here at Mongrel for two reasons.  Mongrel has been in operation and satisfying the needs of Richmonders in search of hard-to-find, unique gifts and cards for 22 years.  And it has been 22 years since the seminal, critically-acclaimed and influential band, The Replacements, played together.  Recently, the band reunited after a long period of solo performing.  "Who are The Replacements?", you may wonder, and why am I mentioning them?  I like to think of The Replacements as Mongrel's "house band" and they are on heavy rotation here in the store.  Our Store Manager Garnett, Receiving Manager Chris, and I have grown up with this band.  We see a connection between what The Replacements stood for and what Mongrel stands for:  a singular voice in what seems to be a very pedantic consumer market.  When The Replacements formed in 1979, they were fresh, original, authentic and one of the first bands to make up the beginning of a new music movement known as "Alternative".  Formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Paul Westerberg, Tommy and Bob Stinson, and Chris Mars combined to bring a completely new kind of sound to an audience steeped in disposable early 80s synth pop.  They range from hard-hitting rock and roll to power pop and then into beautifully constructed, contemplative ballads.  The spectrum of their song catalog mirrors The Beatles or Elvis Costello.  They could not be more representative of Mongrel:  unique, pioneers of originality, and champions of those who want something different!

Written by Virginia

Author's Note:  1984's "Let It Be" is widely believed to be The Replacements best album and is a frequent entry on all-time best rock albums lists.  In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it at #239 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and called it "a post-punk masterpiece".  In 1989, the magazine has also rated it #15 on its list of 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.  In the 1999 miniseries, "VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll", VH1 ranked "Let It Be" #79.  Pitchfork Media rated the album #29 on their 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.  Spin ranked it #12 on their list of the 25 Greatest Albums of All Time.  The opening track of the album, "I Will Dare" has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


Mongrel Mixtape : The Replacements
The Replacements Mixtape by Mongrel RVA on Grooveshark



RVA Merch 670

It's no secret that Mongrel loves Richmond. That's why we've been here for over twenty years! It's also why we make it a point to carry a selection of unique Richmond and Virginia merchandise. Visiting Richmond for the weekend and looking for a little something to take back home? Live in Richmond and want a little something to share your love? We've got postcards, notecards, magnets, ornaments, art prints and more... And after all, it's Mongrel, so keep your eye out for new arrivals all the time!



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The art of paper was brought to Japan in 610 AD by Buddhist monks who produced it for writing sutras. By the year 800, Japan's skill in papermaking was unrivalled, and from these ancient beginnings have come papers unbelievable in their range of color, texture and design.

Washi is the Japanese word for the traditional papers made from the long inner fibres of three plants (Kozo, Mitsuma and Gampi), wa meaning Japanese and shi meaning paper. Washi maintains a variety of unique characteristics such as strength, flexibility, low acidity, absorbency and soft translucency. Washi is ideal for creating the most elegant of gifts or as a radiant addition to any craft project. Mongrel is excited to offer a great selection of these fine papers.

Signed Young House Love books!

Oh-so-charming Sherry and John Petersik spent the afternoon with us at Mongrel, signing their NY Times Bestseller (you GO, YHL!) for fans who started lining up hours before the event. They were nice enough to sign extras that are available for purchase in-store or by mail (Hardcover, $25.95 plus tax and shipping). Give us a call at 804-342-1272 to purchase by phone.

Smells Like Christmas

If you are not familiar with our Frasier Fir candles by Thymes don’t miss them on your next visit to Mongrel! Essence of Siberian Fir needles, heartening cedarwood and relaxing sandalwood hearken the holiday season. The just-cut forest fresh fragrance begs to be carried beyond the holidays and into the new year. In addition to an extensive candle collection, we have added kitchen and bath products so that you can do just that.
All pieces of the collection include the savvy design packaging the line has become known for.   

It’s the little things

Sometimes, the very best thing that comes in the mail is a card. From you.

I saw an article the other day about writing thank you notes — not emails, but notes, on paper, with an addressed envelope and a stamp. It was presented as if it was the most novel idea of this decade. I suppose, in some ways, it is. People forget that the card they’re sending is not as much about them as it is about the recipient. Sometimes, the smallest remembrance can make someone’s day.


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