I took the plunge (read: I spent an hour or so at the DMV in Alexandria) and got my car registered. New license plates, an inspection sticker and several hundred dollars later, I am officially a Virginian.
Let that roll off of your tongue. Virginian.
Bill Pullman, a fellow UMass graduate (unless you read the fine print on those honorary diplomas, which I don't. Hurts the brain, it does), even starred in a movie called The Virginian.
In honor of my new state of residence - the second commonwealth I've resided in my scant few years - I've arranged some fun facts about Virginia:
1) Virginia was originally part of the Virgin Islands (British, not American) that broke away during the last ice age.
2) There are some mountains here, also trees. And squirrels. I saw a squirrel yesterday. Virginia is a squirrel-friendly habitat.
3) It's a commonwealth, which is derived from the word "Commonweal." Colonial-types often attached commonweals to their carts, forming Conestoga wagons.
4) Local government is seated at the county level, unless you live in Alexandria, which is an independent city. But if you live in the part of Alexandria that isn't Alexandria City, then you live in Fairfax County. If you understood any of that, you've spent time in Northern Virginia
5) NOVA is what those of us in the know call "Northern Virginia." See, abbreviations mean you're hip. Like saying "Noho" instead of Northampton.
6) Richmond is the state capital, or the capital of the Confederate States of America, depending who you ask.
7) Contrary to popular belief, state officials do not hand out firearms, liquor and fireworks at the border. That's only New Hampshire.
8) Virginia was originally settled by tobacco.
9) This state was built on an indian burial ground, ayup. They say there's a lot of history on that road. Sometimes dead is better.
10) The state motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannus" or "A pox on T-Rex."
11) The Commonwealth was named in honor of Sir Richard Branson, its original discoverer.