Friday, January 30, 2004

This Blog Has No Purpose

I found myself on the road this past Wednesday, to Roanoke and then back home. A couple of hours each way. It was a horrendous trip down, big snowstorm, 40 mph winds, bright sun, frozen windshield wipers, and ugliness of all kinds.

For the trip down I listened to my newly-burned Gillian Welch mix CD, which was very fine, let me tell you. Very fine. On the way back, I found myself listening to the local public radio station, yes, my NPR friends that have on dual occasions featured my far-from-dulcet tones reading essays.

And it's for that reason that I really hate to say this. I would normally advise against biting the hand that feeds one, but since in this case one doesn't get paid for her essays, I guess maybe one can get away with it.

There was an announcer on there who really got up my nose.

He immediately got right on my bad side by committing one of the greatest sins of mankind in my book. He played the "Light Cavalry" Overture by von Suppe, and announced it as the "Light Calvary" Overture. Oh, it's bad enough to have to hear that at all over the airwaves, but on public radio? Not to be allowed. Then, as if that weren't enough, it was quite a crappy arrangement of the song, but because I'm a benevolent crumudgeon, I'll let that go.

Then later on he played a Sonata by some dude named Gregorio someone. And he announced it as, and I'll type this phonetically, "Sonata In A Kay." At first I thought he was going to say "Sonata In A Cave," which would have been interesting.

And I kept wracking my brain. Maybe it's foreign: "Sonata En Es Que." or "Sonata In A Quay."

Then I got to thinking beyond the realms of good reason and deciding it was a key. "No, no, my Sonata no in-a C, or-a D, my Sonata in-a K. Key of-a K. Five sharps and five flats. Key of-a K."

Then I realized I'd been on the road way too long and tried to clear my head. Turns out, after the song, he announced it was "Sonata In A-Minor."

Though he may have meant, for those of us in the hills, "Sonata In A Miner."

Thursday, January 29, 2004

A Mystic Movie Review

(WARNING: this blog contains spoilers in regards to a famous major motion picture. One that's nominated for an Academy Award. So if you haven't seen it and don't want to know the outcome, or you're just tired of hearing me crab-ass for a night, you might want to give this one a pass.)

I went to the movies tonight. I went to see, in an effort to get some Academy Award nominees viewed, "Mystic River." There were forces against me on this trip to the movies, however.

You know the phrase "it didn't help any?" You know, "I had a bad time on vacation. Of course, it didn't help any that the airport lost my luggage, and there was a hurricane." Well, several things tonight didn't help my movie experience any.

First of all, it didn't help any that the theatre was more crowded than I expected. In fact, to be honest, I was kind of expecting to be the only person there, seeing as how it was a cold and icy Thursday night. That happens a lot on cold icy Thursday nights, especially with movies that have already been to the theatre once. But there were a goodly number of souls there, and I chose a youngish-to-middle-aged couple to sit in front of. They laughed a lot. I was sure it was at me.

They were conversing and chomping popcorn. Yes, it was chomping, I could hear it two rows up. Then for some reason the woman decided a belch would be in order. And so she did. And they laughed and laughed and laughed. Now, I can see laughing at a belch if it slips out by accident in a public place, or if you see some other poor schlub doing it. But she forced this belch out, you could tell, and it seemed to just make their evening. Oh well, at least they were happy.

It also didn't help that the lights in the theatre wouldn't go down. The previews all ran through, no dimming lights, then the movie started, no dimming lights. I want my movies dark, dammit! Finally, maybe 25 minutes into proceedings, things started to dim. But it was too late; I was already irked.

Oh! Oh! It also didn't help things that every preview ended too soon. So soon that we never saw the titles. "Yes, coming this spring, the story of a lifetime, the story you'll never forget-" *cut* "In New York City, a cop has to be tough-" *cut* Yep, there are some big movies coming around in the next few months, but I couldn't tell you a title to one of them.

And next, and sadly, it didn't help things that this movie had its problems. I mean, after the dead body was recovered and the murder investigation begins, the momentumobile that is "Mystic River" couldn't have hit the wall any harder than if it had been filled with crash test dummies. I watched Sean Penn with interest, though, I don't like him or dislike him as a person, or an actor, for that matter; I just find his acting to always be interesting.

And finally, there was one final thing that didn't help. It didn't help a damn bit.

I was starting to figure out where this was all going. And that's not necessarily a brag. It was pretty clear early on that Sean Penn's character and his thuggo family were going to find the murderer of his daughter, kill the shit out of him (which I guess is much worse than just killing him), and then - tragedy of tragedies - find out they killed an innocent man. It was just a matter of which one they were going to kill and which one actually did it.

So just when I was thinking I knew who didn't do it (and thus would die), and maybe who could have done it, a lady three rows back of me and to the right whispers to her companion... Now when I say "whispers," I mean whispers so loud it's actually louder than you or I having a normal conversation. You know what I mean. When someone's in the library whispering, "We need to be quiii-eetttt," and you can hear them down the street. That kind of whispering.

Anyway, here is what she whispers: "No!! April said the mute boy is who killed her!"

Well, thank you, April, and thank you lady. You can both kiss my shiny ass.

And so I was left to endure knowing the outcome, dealing with the fact that it was a really stupid plot twist, and then! then! having insult added to injury by the weirdass and silly final two scenes of the film.

And then it was over. And I knew I had to come home and give it stars on my movie list.

It's getting three, but I'm tellin' ya now: If this and "Master and Commander" are two of the best five films of the year, 2003 at the Movies had to have been as shitty as it was at my house.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It's Always Christmas At The Poderosa!

It's now been over a month since the Christmas holidays. It's over and forgotten with and I'm happily trekking my way through a new year.

Well, it's over and forgotten everywhere but at the Poderosa.

See, I seem to keep finding remnants of Christmas around here.

Right after the holidays, my dennette, aka the small heatless room with a lot of record albums, a TV, and a computer, was chockfull of everything I'd gotten for Christmas. Let's see, I plugged in and set up the cordless phone, and put the (wonderful, wonderful, thanks, Mom) ultra-plush bath towels I got away. But everything else was in bags and boxes sitting right there in the floor, displayed like the crown jewels, for anyone who came to visit but no one ever did.

Finally, sometime after the New Year (that whole time was a little, ahem, hazy for me, remember) I decided it was absolutely useless and ridiculous for me to have my Christmas swag sitting in the floor of my den in bags. So I moved all the bags to the floor of my spare bedroom, where I could close the door on the whole affair.

Right around the time of the moving, I noticed a blue plastic bag slung around the bannister on my dennette steppette. (a bannister for one step. go figure.) Anyway, I looked inside it and said, "Oh, crap." It was my pre-Christmas Avon order, all stocking stuffers: lotions, hand creams, chapsticks, eyeliners, etc. So here I go the week after Christmas distributing little things of no importance to people I forgot to give things to. It was so nice: "Here, sorry I forgot about your damn stocking during the holidays, here's something." (*whack!* as I throw it at them)

Last week I was feeling rather adventurous, so I decided to try to attack the spare bedroom with full force. Which I did, for a while, till I lost interest. After the putting away of the wrapping paper and gift bags, I finally started unloading stuff (yes, I'd not touched the other gifts I'd gotten till now) and finding places to put it all. In doing that, I found another bag.

Yep, you guessed it. Full of stocking stuffers. Toys this time. Rubber stamps, figurines, key chains, all kinds of stuff. This time I just passed it round to whoever I thought might be interested (my sister got most of it this time).

After I cleared a main path through the room I gave up for a while, until this past weekend, when I tried to take one more stab and things and see if I could finish up (I finally did). On this foray to Christmasland I found something completely different. A gift bag I'd forgotten to put up. I picked it up to take the tissue paper out of it and realized this wasn't an empty bag. I looked in it.

It was a gift. To me. From Jacob and her husband. From Christmas. Christmas 2002, that is.

Inside was a bath spongie and some nice body wash, and a really cute box with kitties on it that was made like a Chinese restaurant take-away box. I opened it up and inside was a gift card from Target. Now, I vaguely remember getting this lo those many years ago, in 2002, but this is what happens when you're me and you have a pea brain and life just happens and you forget things.

And so yesterday I got on the phone and made a big donkey of myself calling the Target people and asking them about this card I was holding. Hell, I figured it would expire after a year, but had no idea, and thought "why not see?" Believe it or not, they were surprisingly nice, and if they did think I was a big donkey, they certainly didn't say so, and told me that a gift card never runs out, and mine was for $30.

So thank you Jacob and Mr Jacob. It's not that I didn't appreciate your Christmas gift year before last; it's just that I'm a pea-brain who forgot about it. Now I get to think about the free stuff I get to buy.

It's Christmas all over again!

(PS - all this cleaning also included my going through my own stocking again and putting up my goods. It brought back memories of my sister and I on Christmas, going through our stockings together, laughing at what our Mom put in there. Now, don't get me wrong, they're wonderfully useful little items. But we got Rolaids, Soltice, travel shampoo (Head & Shoulders), travel toothpaste, travel Scope, travel deodorants... We said, "OK, according to our mom, we're old, can't hold our food, have arthritis, smell, have dandruff, need to brush our teeth, and have bad breath. Thanks, Mom!")

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Dumb Things I Remember Instead of Remembering Algebraic Theories or Who the 22d President of the US Was or That I Wrote Check 2455 To Kroger For $27.88

* On "That Girl," Ann Marie once starred in a play called "A Preponderance of Artichokes."

* The Monkees recorded on the Colgems label. It was white with red-orange trim and black lettering. The Beatles were on Capitol, with a yellow and orange pinwheel swirl label.

* The Monkees' TV show was sponsored by Yardley cosmetics, who used Donovan's song "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" in their commercials.

* "The Partridge Family" spawned it's own spinoff series called "Getting Together." It starred Bobby Sherman and, as Lionel Poindexter, Wes Stern.

* Linus' and Lucy's last name is Van Pelt.

* When Twiggy first got famous, her manager was Justin de Villeneuve.

* Even though Eep Opp Ork AhAh means "meet me tonight," when Jet Screamer sings about it he says it means "I love you." (that's always bugged the shit outta me.)

* Max Frost was the main character in the movie "Wild in the Streets." His band was the Troopers, and their hit song was "The Shape of Things to Come."

* One of Mayberry's local TV stars on The Andy Griffith Show was Keevy Hazelton, who was played by Jesse Pearson, who played Conrad Birdie in the movie "Bye Bye Birdie."

* Woody Woodbury was an LA fixture in the 60s who was in a beach movie called "For Those Who Think Young." He played Uncle Woody and whenever he entered a scene the kids around him would sing "It's Woody Weeding Time" to the tune of "It's Howdy Doody Time." The movie also featured a scene where Bob Denver is buried in sand up to his face, eyes and a nose are painted on his chin, and he sings "Woah Daddy, Woah Daddy" while teenagers dance around him in a jungle fashion. No, that wasn't an LSD trip.

* The boy Sandra Dee falls for in "Take Her, She's Mine" was hunky French actor Philippe Forquet. He starred in a TV series about 13 episodes long called "The Young Rebels" where he played General LaFayette. (btw, Jimmy Stewart's character in "Take Her" is always being confused with whom?)

* Candy bars when I was a kid included Zero, Hollywood, Big Time and High Noon. Loose candies were Spree, Kits, and BB Bats. Spree came in bags with actual photographs on them (not cartoons) of healthy, pretty young people doing fun things outside. We always tried to get the bags with the girl riding the horse on them.

* Sally Rogers' cat on The Dick Van Dyke Show is Mr Henderson.

* In our neighborhood in the 60s, the Morris' dog was named Tip. His face looked like Sugar Bear's (Super Sugar Crisp), whose face in turn looked like the grill of a 1967 Ford Galaxie. There were three Morris boys, each meaner than the next. Tip must have gone to the highest realm of Doggie Heaven when he died.


Hey, acroers everywhere! We have winners!

The letters this week were H O U N I J A. The entries:

*Heavens overhead -- Ursa nimble, Io, Jupiter -- astronomical.
*Helen opens up new intractible jars. Aha!
*Help! Orville's underneath Nancy! It's just awful.
*Husband obviously undressed. Naked. It's just amusing!
*Higher! Ohhhh! Uh-oh! Nice implosion. Jenga's amazing.
*Haberneros? Ouch! Usually nachos is Jalepeno's added.
*Hmmm...Onions Underscore Ned's Irish Jalapeno Apples.
*Humbug. Olga's Uncle Never Is Jolly. Alrighty.
*However Ornery, Use Ned. I Judge A.
*He's only ugly now. In June? Attractive!
*Hopping on upholstery, Nancy: "I'ma Jumpin' Asshole!"
*Hitler: Overbearing uber Nazi. Idiot jack ass.
*Here on Uranus, Neptune is just appalling.
*Holy or unholy? Nugent in Jesus' attire.
*Home of United Narcoleptic Incontinent Jewish Americans.
*Howard's Oscar underdog - "Nerds in Jammies Attack"
*Harriet only uses Nair in jaw area
*House of Usher needs indoor Jacuzzi added
*Hundreds of undercover Ninjas in Japanese army.
*Hoary old unionists never ignore job actions.
*Hardons, often useless nocturnally, impel jizz anyway.

And so now let's turn it over to the wondrous Michelle for our results:

Such a lovely introduction! Betster, if you keep this up, I'm going to have
to come to B'field to get my groove on! Yowza!

Lots of gutsy people taking chances tonight - however Deepfatfriar and Cap'n
A are disqualified for not following the rules. Is the limeric funny? Well,
yeah, but not appropriate at this time. Sorry boys.

So now on to the honorable mentions:

Lily's Help! Orville's underneath Nancy! It's just awful gets 10 pts for
mentioning Orville alone. Orville is a #squeeze regular.

Betster's Hitler: Overbearing uber Nazi. Idiot jack ass is sheer brilliance.
I was tempted, oh so tempted to pick this one as the winner. But yet, I had
other gems catching my eye.

For example, Jeff's Harriet only uses Nair in jaw area made me giggle and
feel sorry for Harriet at the same time. Maybe she could use a little

But the creme de la creme tonight belongs, once again, to Mike. Holy or unholy? Nugent in Jesus' attire takes the prize.

Awww, come on, don't hold your applause, he likes being in the spotlight.

And so now I will gather up the whips, chains, and other fun toys and bid
you all goodnight.

Thanks, Mitchie, and thanks to all who played.

Monday, January 26, 2004


Hello ladies and laddies, gentlemen and germs, lasses and losers and everyone else who's tuned in. Yep, it's Monday, and another better-my-entry-and-I'll-punch-you-in-the-face round of Acromania!

Now, before we go any further, an important issue I must address. The pickle juice is for nothing. That's why it's notable that there are two jars of it in my fridge. I hate throwing away empty jars, because they're cumbersome and they break, and I don't keep empty jars because I have no space or use for them. So I find myself taking the last pickle out of the jar, looking at the jar, fondling the jar awhile, thinking about the jar, then shoving the jar back into the fridge. Pickle procrastination, that is.

This week, we have a guest judge again. The dishy and naughty (thanks, God, from us all) Michelle. Mitchie will be judging your entries, three per person, to the acronym below, drawn at random from the trusty acrobasket. Let's make it 10pm est tomorrow night for the winners, that'll be 9pm Mitchie's time.

And this week's letters are:


Oh, dear. Please don't disappoint me on those last two letters. Now, everyone, get to playing!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Snow Day

Hello. It's snowed and iced down all day today. I've spent the entire day inside, by myself, sleeping, watching movies, and growing very tired of my own company. It's left me with something of a headache. But I'll soldier on. For you, I'll soldier!

First order of business, I got (thanks to Mr M who recorded it, and to Stennie, who turned it into mp3 version) Friday's radio essay online. If you care to listen to it, go here:

Listen to me!

Now. Other than that, what can a person do after 12 or so hours of waltzing around the house by herself? I've laid on every inch of my furniture, practiced my clarinet, washed clothes, dried clothes, waded through the quicksand that is html, and so now what else is there to do, other than slather Soltice on my head and nap my way till tomorrow?

Well, since tomorrow is Trash Day, let's look in my refrigerator and see what's there. And Betland must stress that you must be at least 16 years of age, five feet tall, and not of the pregnant persuasion to go along on this particular ride.

What's In Bet's Refrigerator 1/25/04:

*Texas Pete Hot Sauce
*Barbecue Sauce
*½ Jar Prego Spaghetti Sauce
*One bottle Reisling, opened, about a month old but with a replacement cork (should I give up on that yet?)
*3 bottles of Warsteiner beer, approximately 2 years old
*2 large pickle jars with just the leftover pickle juice in them
*1 Jar pickles
*Brown mustard
*Dijon Mustard
*Container leftover chicken soup, approximately 6 weeks old (it goes tonight, btw)
*"Instant" bacon (you know, the kind you heat for 5 minutes and it's done)
*Orange Juice
*Hidden Valley Ranch Country French salad dressing
*Bottle of Smirnoff Ice, approximately 1 year old
*Lemon juice, the kind that comes in a big plastic lemon
*Wendy's Italian salad dressing, 22 packets (I told you I eat a lot of their salads)
*Wendy's Creamy Ranch dressing, 1 packet

In other words, unless you really like Italian salad dressing, give me notice if you're coming to my house for dinner.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Angry Red Planet

Mars seems to be all the rage nowadays. We sent some sort of roving Lego dune buggy up there and it's scampering about taking pictures of the planet we'd till now only dreamt about. Well, it was scampering about. Then it broke. But in an amazing show of American ingenuity, we're fixing it all the way down here on Earth, and it will soon be scampering about again.

I really hadn't cared too much about the whole thing; I don't know why. It was certainly exciting for me when we landed on the moon. But I was nine years old then. You're a lot easier excited when you're nine. The whole Mars thing was becoming a big "feh" in my eyes.

Then I realized, why should I be so nonchalant? I should care what they find on Mars. It should actually interest me a great deal. After all, I have the up-till-now definitive theory of All Things Mars fresh in my memory. Yes. After all, it was only in September that I saw the movie "Robinson Crusoe On Mars."

And I know this is hard to grasp, but the real Mars doesn't seem to be much the same as the Mars in that movie!

The pictures we're seeing come down to us of the Red Planet, the ones from the Lego Car, give us a view of a flat expanse of red clay/sand, scattered with little flatish black rocks. This is quite different from the Mars of "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" (RCoM), which told us that Mars looked a whole lot like the deserts of Arizona, with golden sands and craggy rock mountains, plateaus and valleys and all sorts of hills and dales. And while Lego Car's showing us a dark gray shadowy Martian sky, RCoM showed us a sunful, seriously bright blue sky, perhaps with a jet liner smoketrail or two ribboning across it.

Lego Car is sending down pictures of something that scientists think could be ice, thus proving there is water up on Mars. We knew that all along. Robinson Crusoe's traveling companion, the monkey the US so smartly sent into space with him, discovered a whole crapload of water in a cranny in some rocky cave. A neverending spring, pouring into a little stone pool of water for swimming, drinking, and bathing. And those pools had something else that the Lego Car seems to have missed. A food source: the pods which must be eaten raw, because if they're boiled into a soup, they cause bad gas and hallucinogenic nightmares.

Now, I know Lego Car hasn't made a huge swath over Mars just yet, but so far I haven't seen the stones piled on the grave of Robinson Crusoe's late traveling astronaut companion, Adam West. Nor the remains of his spaceship, for that matter.

And probably the biggest difference I'm finding from Lego Car's pictures of Mars are, yes, the absence of Big Martian Slave Guys. I mean, the Mars I knew of up to this current excursion had big monosyllabic men who looked like American Indians, only dressed as Egyptian Slaves, roaming the planet. I haven't seen a single one of those in the pictures coming back now, and frankly, I'm disappointed.

But you know, now that I think of it, I've decided what's wrong. We only sent a Lego Car up there. Robinson Crusoe had that monkey! That monkey discovered every cool thing on Mars. Why didn't we send a Lego Car and a little monkey to drive it around? We'd be finding all kinds of cool stuff on that planet. We could be lining up Big Martian Slave Guys to come down here and do our bidding for us as we speak!

But no, NASA in its neverending intelligence sent a self powered dune buggy made out of Legos. And it's showing us clay and rocks. And ice. Woo hoo.

I want NASA training monkeys, and as soon as possible.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Hello Babies, I’ve Missed You

Oh, joy of joys. Last night I finally got my Merrells back.

Back when we went on our Girls’ Weekend, all the way back at the beginning of December that was, I bought a pair of shoes. A pair of shoes, more money than I should have spent at the time, and for myself when I should have been Christmas shopping for others.

But these shoes were special. I only tried them on because someone told me a story about them. This person, who was truly suffering after having knee surgery, apparently bought these shoes and then danced across the state of Virginia like Fred Astaire on pep pills. “You gotta get some Merrells,” he said. And so we girls were walking through the mall and there was a store selling them, and I thought, hell, why not, and I picked out a pair to try on.

I picked out a walking shoe type, more like a hiking-looking shoe, tan and navy. The Shoe Man put them on me and tied them up. I got up to walk to the shoe mirror and take a look. Before I even made it there I turned around and said to the Shoe Man, “I’ll take them on one condition – if I can buy them without taking them off.” And so began my love affair with my Merrells.

I was wearing them just about every day, to play and to work. Even though they didn’t always go with my outfit, I didn’t care. The trick knee wasn’t tricking and the sore foot wasn’t sore anymore. It was good in Shoeland.

And then… (pronounced “and then, dot-dot-dot”)

And then that fateful day of Dec. 30 came. How odd for it to fall that I would have a hair appointment and a pedicure on the same evening. I mean, how beautiful can one woman get in a 3-hour period? But I headed west to T’well to get beautified, in my kakhis and Merrells, carrying with me my pedicure gear.

(It’s at this point we have to take a little detour on our trip. It’s called “Why I Hate For Anyone To See Me At The Pedicurist’s.” I arrive, face scrubbed of makeup, hair pushed back with a hair doodie, wearing big-legged sweatpants [because one must roll one’s pants way up above the knee, for a pedicure doesn’t stop at the ankle], and wearing sandals [because even though the polish seems dry, shoes and socks will ruin it if worn anywhere within an hour or so]. Even in 12 degree weather, sandals and no socks. So, let’s just say I don’t look my best and brightest, and we could even say I look like The Wrath of God struck me full force.)

OK, back to the story. I got my hair cut, then headed to Pedicureland. One nice pedicure and a long talk with S (my pedicurist) later, I was heading out the door with my coat, pocketbook, and khakis. Once I was back in the bosom of the Poderosa, it hit me. Shit! I’d left my shoes and socks sitting right there under the chair where my coat had been! I’m not used to having to wear regular clothes to get a pedicure – I couldn’t remember all I had with me to take home!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Big damn deal. Go back the next day and pick up your shoes and shut up.” Not that easy. Pedicureland is about 45 minutes away, in the middle of nowhere. It’s only open 2-3 days a week. S lives another hour west of T’well. I’m busy, she’s busy, it snows, etc, etc, etc. I had a fleeting moment of hope when last week a friend had a manicure scheduled. But alas, she had to cancel, and still I was empty-handed. Or footed.

And finally, last night came. My regular pedicure. Over three weeks, and my Merrells and I were reunited, S brought them out to me, the left one still holding the new socks I’d been wearing that night as well. After a brief and romantic getting acquainted period, I took them home with me, along the way telling them about the great New Year’s Eve party they missed and the awful black boots I’ve been wearing in the snow and ice.

And so this morning when the alarm went off I lumbered out of bed and to the shower. I pulled on some black jeans and a shirt, then pulled on my shoes and popped out to meet the day.

I don’t know if anything could make me Fred Astaire on pep pills, but I sure am happy….

But The Thing Is...

...I used to love the cold. I loved winter, and snow, and ice storms. I kept my house at a frosty 62 or so degrees. I walked in 30 degree weather with no coat.

I guess besides being bummed that I'm cold and uncomfortable, I'm bummed that I'd rather be cold and happy.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Just So You Know...

...I haven't been warm in about a week. In the house, in the car, in the bed, in the office, inside, outside.

I'm cold, dammit.

Will someone do something about this, please?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Weh-helllll! So, hope you all enjoyed your extra bumpy Betland ride last night with no acros. Just a little crossing of wires here, I’m afraid. The lovely and talented Kellie thought the judging was at 11pm, when I’d announced it was 9pm. My fault for not emailing dear Kel with the particulars, like I should have. Anyway, she did mail me the judging right on time for 11pm, but by that time I’d seriously fucked up my update on The Comfy Chair and had to spend 90 minutes working on a correction. (I’d basically wiped out the front page of the site.) Life is so fun when you’re me.

So, we had lots of great entries this week, including a new player, who unfortunately must be disqualified because he/she gave us four entries instead of three. Oh, my. Try again next week, though. Oh, and I just realized. I forgot to play. So I guess I didn’t win.

Anyway, the letters this week were V S A T L. The entries:

*Virtual sex always takes longer.
*Vital statistics all tell lies.
*Vaguely stares at topless lesbian......
*Very small animals taunt Leon.
*Verne secretly appropriated Tina's lingerie.
*Vicki, suspected anorexic, tosses lunch.
*Very sadly, Alice told lies.
*Venice scares Alligators, Tigers, Lions!
*Venomous Stennie's anger terrified Linda.
*Vasectomy: snip and tie, love.
*Virtual sex: anonymous, titillating, lonely.
*Velma: Scooby’s astute, talkative lesbian.
*"V-vib-brat-tor S-stuck-k! A-an-ny T-top-pical-l L-lub-bric-cant-t?"
*Vacation. Sailing around Tahiti. Lovely.
*Velveeta slices: Appetite truly lost.
*Vacuuming shap. Attacking the lint.
*Virgos stole all the liquor.
*Vapors sang about Turning.....Lebonese?
*Viagra? Sorry, abolished. Too long.
*Vanquish Satan! Abandon that Lucifer!
*"Veronica" -- such a lively tune.
*Velvet stockings arouse tumescence, libido

And now, I shall turn it over to the girl herself…..Kellie!

Hello all, what excitement to be here on the other side tonight! This
week virtual sex really took a hit.

But my honorable mentions go to Jeff with "Very small animals taunt Leon." Those terrible, terrible animals...the prairie dogs, the squirrels.

Second, Lily G, with a sentiment that we can all agree with "Vanquish Satan! Abandon that Lucifer!"

But, my winner is Jeff, with the statement that wives everywhere are still crying about "Viagra? Sorry, abolished. Too long."

Thanks for playing,

Thanks Kellie, fine judging, except that the winning acro actually came from Mike. And doesn't that make Mike the winner 3 times in a row? I knew he was popular with the ladies, but this is ridiculous!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

And Now...Ladies and Gentlemen...The Also Rans!

There’s an old joke in Football Land. It goes something like, well, if you’re from around here, anyway, “My two favorite teams are Virginia Tech and whoever’s playing UVA.” It’s the same joke wherever you’re from too, just change the two teams.

That’s how I feel about the 2004 elections. I’m for whoever’s against George Bush.

Now, I’m sure that’s no big revelation. I hate Republicans and I’ve hated George W Bush since I first laid eyes on his sniveling little weasel face. I hated his dad, and I hate his brother Jeb. Hell, I’m not even too fond of Millie, and you all know how much I like dogs. But I guess she can’t help who bought her, so I try to be understanding.

But now it’s Election Time again, when we get to see the herds of Democrats thinking they might have a chance to be president all jump in the ring together, and there’s much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and slinging of mud, and throwing of punches, and they all beat the shit out of each other till, when it’s finally time to pick one to run against the incumbent president, he’s so punchdrunk and downtrodden he can’t remember if he ever had a stance on the issues, much less what they might have been.

It seems to happen every four years. Except for that one wondrous year when Clinton was the incumbent. I still don’t know quite how that happened, other than God smiled and the poles slipped, and we actually won one.

Anyway. This year the herd is a bunch of nondescript white guys and a very descript black guy. Till recently there was a black woman, but she said “enough” and threw her support to one of the nondescript white guys.

I don’t know why – really, I do have no idea why – but for some reason I keep gravitating towards John Edwards. I don’t know if it’s because he looks something like a farm boy gone Ivy League, or if it’s because he’s from North Carolina, or if it's that his face is very very clean. In any case, if I had to pick a personal favorite, at this point it would be Edwards.

Dean is OK too, though there were those reports of his UFO involvement at one time. I never did get the whole poop on that one, he believes in UFOs, he’s been in a UFO, had an anal probe by a UFO, is a UFO. Something like that. It must not have been much because it didn’t stick around long enough for me to even surf the net and find out exactly what his quote on the subject was. And it didn’t garner him the reputation as “the goofy one,” although, as long as Kucinich is in the race, I think no one else will be known as that.

I gotta tell you though, something I do like where Dean’s concerned. His wife. His wife, who until yesterday I’d never seen before. Because she has a job! She works; she’s a doctor. I love the idea of a working First Lady. “Keep Mrs Putin company while you're in conference with her husband? Sorry dear, I have a gallbladder at 3:30. See you."

Add to that the fact that when I did see her, she had a little acne and was wearing no makeup, and that put me over the edge. That’s a First Lady I could get behind.

And after those two, they all run together. Gephardt is the equivalent of bologna on white bread with mayo. Only the bread is moldy because he’s been around so damn long. Same with Kerry. And normally, after someone’s been around that long, and lost so many times, you’d think they’d have no future at all. Because they’ve become, well, losers. Or so I thought. Last night proved me wrong on that front. Well, right and wrong. Moldy White Bread With Bologna and Mayonnaise Gephardt finally got the message after another loss and excused himself. But I’ll be damned if Moldy White Bread With Bologna and Miracle Whip Kerry didn't win the damn thing. No accounting for taste, especially in Iowa. I guess, bologna on white bread folks they are, they thought they’d go a little daring and take a chance on a rebel like Kerry.

For me, of what’s left, maybe Wes Clark would come in third. To me he’s the “flying under the radar” candidate. Who knows anything about him? I sure as hell don’t, except that Madonna’s supporting him, which should help him out in the “slutty moms who can’t sing and like to pretend they’re British” demographic. Then there’s Lieberman, probably the only of the bunch I outright dislike, for the way he immediately stuck his nose up Bush’s ass the minute Bush was declared the winner in 2000, and also for the fact that he has this vendetta against the entertainment industry. Which don’t get me wrong, the entertainment industry is filled with its share of morally corrupt people, but guess what – so is politics.

Which brings us down to Kucinich and Sharpton, or as I like to call them, comic relief. I mean, bless Dennis’ heart, he’s a goofy sort, but seems nice enough, needing a date and wanting to establish a Department of Peace and all. I don’t know how nice the people of Cleveland think he is, after he bankrupted their city back when he was mayor, but then again, he was only about 30 or so, and let’s be honest, what did you know at 30, huh?

And Al Sharpton. He’s, well, he’s Al Sharpton, for God’s sake. Over the last couple of decades he’s made himself into a cartoon, and as for his chances of being anything in the world of politics, one only need say the following two words: Tawana Brawley.

So, there you have it. I like Edwards. I like Dean’s wife. I really like Clinton. Damn, if Bill could run again I’d vote for him tomorrow. Twice.

But mainly, I like whoever can oust Bush.

A Slight Acroing Hitch

I hope the lovely and talented Kellie is OK. I've not heard from her with the acro judging. So let's just put it on hold for tonight, and if I don't hear from her tomorrow, I'll do an emergency judge and announce the winners then.

Sorry, folks. But you know, most people do come to Betland for it's unexpected, more joltier rides....

Monday, January 19, 2004

Birthday Boy

May I just use tonight's blog to give the proper attention to my nephew Tay, also known as (to me and to no one else, actually) DJ Taytie Mac. A few facts about the birthday boy.

* He's officially 7 hours younger than the birth of the Blacksburg Community Band.

* He was named by myself and my cousin Jacob. It was getting close to birth time and they still had no boys' names (although they had Ross, a family name, picked for a middle name). Jacob and I had just seen the movie "Eight Men Out," and one of the kids in the movie was played by Tay Strathairn. We said, "Yeah! Tay! That's cute! And he could formally be Taylor!" And lo and behold, his parents went for it.

* He's a drummin' boy. He drums with sticks, pencils, fingers, eating utensils, his toothbrush, he drums on the table, his lap, my head, his head, the back of the car seat in front of him, the floor, plates, glasses, and, well, drums. He's obsessed.

* He can quote movie lines with me till the cows come home. I like that in a boy.

* He's just a damn nice kid. He's nice to other kids, polite to grown-ups, helps people do things, volunteers his time, and just has a great disposition. I really really wish his parents realized that more, instead of the fact he made a B in Spanish.

* Even as a teenager, he's all elbows and knees. And when he hangs all over me, as he's wont to do, I occasionally have to yell, "ELBOW!" or "KNEE!" to let him know he's stabbing me with one or the other.

* And so DJ Taytie Mac, Taylor Ross, turns 15 today. I swear, he was just born yesterday. He was just a baby yesterday. He was just toddling and learning to speak in an amazing southern accent he doesn't even have now yesterday. He was going to his first day of school yesterday. He was flipping off my shoulders in the swimming pool yesterday. He was ogling and learning to play my musical instruments yesterday. He was so young yesterday.

Happy Birthday, Tay. Next year, you'll be driving us out to birthday dinner. And it'll still just seem like yesterday you were born.


It's Monday, which would normally bring on boos all around except - it's Acromania day!

This week we have a guest judge, the lovely and talented Kellie! (yay, yay) She of the Blacksburg Community Band, she of the Ervin's mom, she of the darn fine acros here herself. All bribes and gratuitous compliments may be sent to Kellie at.....

OK, to run down the rules again. Everyone gets three entries to make the best acronym they can to the letters below, randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The judging will begin around 9 or so est on Tuesday night, where Kellie will go all power-mad and start telling us who wins and loses.

And now, this week's letters:


Okay, babes, start acroing!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Getting To Know You

Well, thanks to Mr M and his external drive (or something like that, anything with "drive" in it sounds dirty to me, for some reason), I'm starting to get some files and programs moved to their new home in my zippy new computer.

Things aren't looking too good for The Comfy Chair at the moment, I don't know what happened in the transfer, but things don't want to upload. Plus the fact that I lost all those pictures in the move, including the pictures on the website. I'm sure there's a way to fix that, but it's late right now, and I'm going to let it lay for a while.

However! After a more than disappointing foray into the world of Word Perfect's Quattro Pro (which sucks - avoid at all costs!), I got my Excel back out, and viola! - beginning of the 2004 Movie List!! Five movies strong, she is, but I'm so happy to have at least gotten something successfully completed. There's a link over to the side, oddly enough right where the link to the 2003 Movie List was.

Anyway, I'm trying not to overload my brain circuits working on this, so I'm leaving it for tonight. (btw, I'll try not to overload your brain circuits with it too.)

Other than that, fun weekend hanging at Mr M's. Watched two movies, he made his ultra-special meat loaf and potato salad, played some duets (badly, on my part, anyway), and just basically hung out.

Other than that, I've spent the weekend (as I am as I'm typing this) watching the Carol Burnett marathon on TVLand. Anyone else a fan? What are some of your fave show moments?

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Mission Accomplished

I'm now in possession of a brick from the rubble that once was our Town Hall. It was funny, actually....

I got in the car to head the, what, ¼ mile downtown at about 12:30 am. As luck would have it, there were two cop cars about 50 yards from the site. Not guarding, gossiping. As small-town cops do, I guess, sitting there window-to-window talking to each other.

So I drove around the block a few times and in and out of a few side streets. Still there. I drove into a couple of neighborhoods, eventually making the big square of main roads that leads back into downtown. They were still there! Don't cops do anything anymore?

One more foray around town, I thought, and if they're not gone this time, I'll just forget it and go home to bed. After all, it was now about 1 am. So one more circle around town, and lo and behold, this time the cars had scuttled off to wherever cops scuttle off to in the wee hours of a Saturday morning when nothing's going on in the town. (WalMart, probably. Open 24 hours a day and all the coffee they can drink.)

A-ha! I thought, and pulled up beside the curb at the rubble. I shoved the car into park, hopped out, bent myself under the yellow "Police - Do Not Cross" tape, picked a nice brick for myself, back under the tape, and hopped back into my car.

"Home free!" I smirked, as I closed the door. I then leaned to the floor of the passenger side of the podmobile to lay the brick down, and I heard a tremendous "BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!" Holy shit! I'd leaned a little too far and hit my own car horn, almost giving myself a coronary, a stroke, and a perfect opportunity to pee my pants all at the same time.

But once I realized the town was still completely empty and my crime had been pulled off, I headed the ¼ mile back home.

It was fun. I think next I'm learning to make a Molotov Cocktail.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Friday Five

It's Friday, I'm tired, I'm laundried out, and I just don't seem to be able to expound upon the idea I had for a blog tonight. So I'm going to take a few steps back in time, back when I used to do the weekly Friday Five.

(ps - I'm contmeplating a midnight trip into town tonight to see if I can steal a brick from the Town Hall rubble. Just for shits and giggles. I'll let you know if I actually do it.)

The Friday Five:

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails? It changes from time to time. Normally it's movie quotes or Eddie Izzard lines. What's on there right now is the first time I've had something original as my sig line. It's "The world does not revolve around you. I know, because it revolves around me."

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be? We didn't have senior yearbook quotes, but when we were seniors we had to design little coats-of-arms for ourselves, and at the bottom had to be a quote of our choosing. I chose "The most useless of all days is that in which we have not laughed." Still a pretty good thought.

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say? I've had several sets of vanity plates on my car, all having to do with music and artists. The one I had the longest, up until I bought the podmobile, was "DRIVER 8," a reference to an REM song. Then people started equating it with NASCAR drivers, so I had to ditch it pronto. Now I have a non-vanity plate, but with a little drawing on it of a patriot in a tri-corner hat playing a fife - with music notes. Thanks for that one, Virginia.

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say? Well. I had originally answered this no, I've never gotten an engraved gift. Boy. Was I wrong. Mr M so rightly noted that he himself gave me the wonderful plaque on my front door that reads "The Poderosa Est 2001."

5. What would you like your epitaph to be? Eeesh, I hate questions like this. How about, "The world will mourn for years." Or else, "It took you long enough to get here."

PS - speaking of fives, there's a really fun website out there: Some guy out there who has maybe more time on his hands than even I do is furiously making lists of top fives. Some are inspired. I wish I had the ability to come up with ideas like this.

Um....Mike? Ideas, please?

Go Play!

Just a small interruption to tell everyone who hasn't already to get their asses in gear and go play Venice's brilliant "Rewrite Theatre." You'll love it too, I promise!

Thursday, January 15, 2004


Hello, ladies and germs. Yes, even a day earlier than I was hoping for, my new computer arrived, and I'm up and buzzing away on the little guy. I don't seem to have my fonts, and I can't find the software for my printer, and it's after 10pm and I still haven't downloaded IRC for the #squeeze chat. But it's all good. I have colors and sounds and speed. I've got speed, baby!

And since I also now have the capacity to doodle around with my camera, I thought my first blog with new machine would contain a picture of our little Town Hall. (As of today, btw, even the main part's gone. It's total rubble.)


So there you have it. 2004 really is looking up. I'm poor, but I'm happy

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Tuesday Tidbits

* You know how you feel like you're supposed to see something because everyone says it's so great? I've felt like this about those damned "Lord of the Rings" movies since they first came out. Everyone raves, everyone grovels, everyone nominates for the big awards. I've not been able to force myself into renting any or going to any because I just don't like that sort of thing. I hated trying to read Tolkien; I didn't understand it and it was dumb. And so tonight one of my movie channels was showing the first LOTR movie. And I thought, perfect. The first one. My great opportunity to start into this series and be like everybody else. I got approximately six minutes into the movie and turned the channel. Maybe I don't need to axe my "Movies I Didn't Make It Through" list just yet.

* I really like the game Cranium. I played it last month at Mr M's "academia" party, I was on the losing team but it was still a lot of fun. Then I got it for Christmas and played it again the other night. Taytie and I were a team. It was a blast. I rock at the "humdinger" questions; I can hum like nobody's business. The only time my humming wasn't a success is when I had to get Taytie to guess "Sweet Emotion," a song I wasn't even sure if he knew. So I was humming and "Nuh nuhnuh nuhnuh'ing" and he kept saying, "go back to the first part, go back!" (that would be the "sweeeeeeeet emooooooTION" part), and finally he said, "Sweet....Sweet.....Sweet...." EEEHHHHHHH. Time ran out. Then he said "Emotion." grrrr. Taytie was rocking himself at the charade questions, getting me to guess both "walk the plank" and "quadruple bypass surgery." (oh, and did I mention we won?)

* According to my confirmation email, my computer was shipped at 6:15 this morning!! I don't know if there's a chance or not I'll get it by Friday, but if I would it would rock. Then we could have an acrochallenge not on this machine, which is still incredibly slow and oddly enough, hard to blog on. Blogger looks slightly different on it, and there is no up and down scroll bar. So it's very hard to go back and review what you've written. Therefore, any glaring typos lately, please forgive me for. Yes, I end sentences with a preposition whenever possible.


Hi ho, gang. And here is why I'm always asking for volunteers to judge. You guys are getting too clever for me!

We got a great round of acros this week, so with further ado, wait, no, that should be without further ado. I don't want ado messing all this up. Without further ado, wait, by doing that, I guess I had further ado, right? Oh, well. Anyway, I'm now going to announce the winners.

The letters this week were Y A L S E R M. The entries:

*You always leave soot everywhere, Ramblin’ Man!
*Youth, alight lingering sentiments! Every reality manifests.
*Yellowtail? Akagai? Lobster? Sushi everyone remembers: Miyagis!
*Yelling, Allen Leaped. Soaring. Eaglelike. Real Madness.
*Yowsers! All Laura's Sisters Eat Red Meat.
*Yesterday Alice Loved Seth. Everyday, Random Men.
*You always love silly, erudite, raunchy men.
*Yep -- apparently Lily seems evil. Really mean. (well, it worked last week)
*Yikes, acronyms lose sense, eventually repel meaning.
*Young Abraham Lincoln stopped eating red meat.
*Yoda and Luke Skywalker elevated R2D2 mentally.
*You are lazy! Start exercising! Run, Mish!
*You and Larry seem extremely randy, Mom.
*Yes, Alan loves sometimes Eagle Randy Meisner.
*Years ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd embraced Rastafarian Mysticism.
*Yellow argyle lingerie serriptitiously emasculates randy men.
*You always look sexy, especially 'round midnight.
*Yasar Arafat loathes Sharon's enormous rump mounds.
*Yesterday's Anchovy Lasagna Suprise: especially risky meal.
*You aren't lost, sir. Everyone's roaming mindlessly.
*Your aunt -- lustily, savvily -- enjoyed raunchy mimes.
*Yodelling, Arnold "Letcher" Schwarzenegger ejaculated, repulsing many.
*Y'all, Acroing like shit exasserbates reputational mediocracies.
*Young, acid loving shiites enjoy reefer, meth.
*Young anglophiles lovingly serve English rancid meat.
*You always leave someone else really mad.
*Youth, ardor, loveliness, sexiness...excess repels men.

Wow. Some gems in there, man. Although, you know how it's funny that when you look at an acronym for the first time certain letters just stick out at you? I was expecting at least one acro telling me something juicy about "Yale Alumni."

But there you go.

Honorable Mentions: I loved DeepFatFriar's "You always look sexy, especially 'round midnight." That's me, you know. I look sexy round midnight - if the lights are off!

Michelle's "Yodelling, Arnold "Letcher" Schwarzenegger ejaculated, repulsing many" conjured up a picture in my mind that I'm still trying to erase with Comet Cleanser.

This week's runner-up goes to Flipsy with her fine "You always leave soot everywhere, Ramblin' Man!" I don't know, it just caught me and hung on. I see Flipsy standing at the door, arms akimbo, yelling that one.

But the winner this week, and our first repeat winner for a long long time was Mr Mike with "Years ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd embraced Rastafarian Mysticism." I mean, when you have a classic, you have a classic. And that's a classic.

Thanks for all who played, and come by next week to play again. mmm-wah!

Monday, January 12, 2004

Bye, Town

I got to witness a happening today.

In fact, in keeping with God's ever-crueler sense of humor, I was forced to watch a happening today, seeing as how the back entrance of our office was all iced over, so four times I had to walk around the block, right by it all, to go around to the front entrance of work.

Today's the day they tore down our Town Hall.

I'm one of those rarities: a small-town girl who still lives in her small town. For as long as I've known B'field, I've known that right there on the corner of College and Virginia Ave, the anchor of it all, stood the B'field Municipal Building, known to all as the Town Hall.

I first knew it for the Town Library, which was upstairs. My sister and I and our best friends used to love going to the library, getting to spend summer afternoons there when our moms were grocery shopping in town, or riding our bikes there when we were given a little freedom to roam. It was small; the walls were cinder block. And on those wonderful summer afternoons when we went to pick out our books, the inside temperature hovered at around 115 degrees. We didn't care. We just wanted to find the perfect book, then head up the street to ensconce ourselves in a booth at the drug store, get a fountain Coke, and read, read, read.

I actually checked out my first book with a curse word in it at that library. (The word in question was "goddamn," if I recall correctly.) I was sure I'd crossed that mystical threshold into adulthood that day.

If you took the first right through the door, not the second right which lead to upstairs, you'd go to a very nice and large auditorium. I've never understood why that auditorium wasn't used more than it was. There used to be musical programs on the weekends, local musicians putting shows together. The odd town beauty pageant. But I remember it at Christmas. Back when I was in high school, after every Christmas parade the band would march right off the street at parade's end and into the auditorium, where we'd continue playing, sharing the stage with Santa himself while he met with little kids carrying wish lists, and the town citizens came inside to listen to music and escape the cold.

For years, the Town Hall Auditorium was where voting took place. It was in that huge expanse of room, now with some broken seats and dry-rotted curtains, that I voted for the very first time. And every year after that I stood in one of the two lines that formed down the aisles (two lines: East Graham and West Graham districts), and socialized with all the other townspeople as we waited to cast our ballots. It was not only doing one's civic duty; it was fun!

Across the hall from the auditorium were the town and treasury offices. Where it was oh-so convenient, when you'd waited the last day to pay your taxes or get a new town sticker for your car, to just pop down there, plop down a check, and pop back out.

If you went straight down the hall from the front entrance of the Town Hall, all the way past the offices, you ended up at the Police Department and Town Jail. Now, while I personally can't tell you much about that, thank God, my sister or anyone in her graduating class could fill you in. Their graduation party was raided by the police and resulted in 100 or so drunkenly happy graduates crowded into the few jail cells, singing a rousing chorus of "I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)."

Beside the jail was the Fire Department. The Fire Department I visited as a Girl Scout, and was given the opportunity to slide down the fireman's pole. (I declined, even then being afraid of heights, and especially then being afraid someone would look at my panties while I slid.)

And that was it. It didn't look like that big a building, but it housed a lot of stuff. For a long time. The library left first, moving to a nice new building on the outskirts of town. Then the Fire Department moved down the street a few blocks to a big fancy building. But the voting was still there, and the police, and the town offices.

But see, we've been having this problem in our town. Our town, which had till recently suffered one minor flood in 30-some years, is now flooding every time it rains for more than two days. The Town Hall, along with a few other buildings nearby, get as much as four feet of water in them on a semi-regular basis. FEMA is a regular fixture here these days. And while FEMA's handing out sums of money to flood victims, they're dangling a large sum of money in front of the town. Around $800,000. Of course, to take that money, the town has to agree to tear down the Town Hall and rebuild it somewhere else, out of the flood zone.

And that's what town's doing.

The New Town Hall is going to be rebuilt out where the library is now. Out of the downtown area. Not within walking distance of people who work in town. Not convenient to the older people here who walk into town for all their needs. Not convenient to anyone, except maybe people who work at the library or go to the local middle school, which will be nearby.

Our town officials, who love to wave at us on public occasions and make their governing decisions in secret, decided this is where the new Hall will be. There was no vote. There was a lot of discussion, and they listened to us all, smiled, shook our hands, and went and voted to move everything out of town. We should have known it was coming when they moved the town's annual Fall Festival to a recreational park in the middle of nowhere - outside the town limits.

And so with this move starts the death of my town. The talk is town's only locally-owned grocery store, also in the flood zone, is going next. There are also six businesses in the direct line of fire. Unless they can find places up the street to relocate (and by the way, there are no places), they're gone too.

Now, here's the thing. One thing we've always been so proud of is that when WalMart muscled its way into town, the downtown area banded together to keep the megastore from letting them cause our merchants to go out of business. That happened with our B'field counterpart on the WV side when the local mall came in. B'field WV is now a crime-ridden ghost town. But we were sure our town had won.

Now, I'm no scientist, or geologist, or topographer, or anything else. But something is making our town flood every few months. Something like a huge expanse of land being cleared, timbered, and built on. And like I said, I don't know. But a lot of people who know more than I do are pointing to that huge shopping center on the outskirts of town (oddly enough, right near the area the Town Hall will be moving to, isn't that interesting?) as the cause of the flooding problems our town is having.

So who knows. Maybe WalMart won after all. Someone won, anyway. All I know is that today, our town lost.


Hello boys and girls, ladies and gents, lads and lasses, and acroers of all ages. It's Monday again, and time for one more on-the-old-computer-hopefully-for-the-last-week-forever-and-ever-and-ever round of Acromania!

Yes, just when I thought everything was going to be OK in the computer department, *pffft!* it's not. I'm officially shopping. I can't really afford it right now, but I don't care if I have to pay $1000, it's worth it to get this worry out of my life. I took my computer in to the shop the next-to-last day of 2003. Telling, huh. I should have dumped it with all the other 2003 crapola and started anew. But I will now.

Next, would anyone like to judge acro? I'll be doing it this week, but I'm taking volunteers again.

As you know, it's 3 entries per person to come up with the best acronym to the letters below, which were randomly drawn from the acrobasket, the self-same acrobasket I came an ace of knocking over into the floor last night. That really would have been the kicker, the straw that would have caused me to go straight to the roof with a rifle. If I had a rifle. Anyway, I'll judge, and announce the winners around 9pm est tomorrow night. And then the crowns and sashes will be handed out.

And here are this week's letters:


Now these look like some good letters. Have at it!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Little In-Betweens

"What good is growing up, if this is all it means,
I'm an in-between, a lonely little in-between~"

- Patty Duke, "Billie"

I saw something very interesting today. And it's all in this article right here.

Yep, it seems the Rugrats are growing up. The little ankle-biters came to us as infants 12 years ago, and by jiminy, their creators are starting up a new season of Rugrats where Tommy, Dill, and whoever the hell the other ones are are going to be 12 years old, entering the exciting world of acne and menstruation.

(May I just interrupt myself here for a moment to say I never really liked the little guys myself? They all sounded like they needed to blow their noses, they were whiny, and one of them was unnecessarily mean, and most of all, they never once made me laugh. Having said that, I know some people are gaga over them.)

Now, I guess quite a bit is going to be made of this 'growing up' phenomena, and rightly so. Do you know of any cartoon characters who have aged, especially in the right time frame? Think about it: Charlie Brown's a bald 50 year old boy, Bart Simpson's been in elementary school for about 15 years (although I guess that's not too hard to believe), Judy Jetson's been a virginal high-schooler since 1962, and in human years, Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Astro, Heckyll, Jeckyll, and Donald Duck should have all been dead in the cold cold ground by now.

And what's really odd, though I'm not suggesting here that when one watches cartoons one should cling to reality, I mean, suspending reality is why we watch them - but it is odd that all these cartoon characters who never age or even change their clothes, for cryin' out loud, that these same characters have flashbacks to when they were babies and sometimes even flash forwards to when they are elderly. That last one makes my brain hurt. I try not to think about it too much.

So I guess it is a big deal that the Rugrats are all growing up.

However, I happen to know a little about the aging of cartoon characters, since I have two of the finest out there living with me at the moment. And so I'm going to turn it over to the dearest, sweetest boy on earth, my wonderful Sherman, for a little Q & A on the subject.

B: Hi, Sherman
S: Hiya!
B: So, Sherman, I guess you've heard all about the Rugrats thing. Is this possible? I mean, aging of cartoon characters....
S: Sure! One of the neato things about cartoon characters is that we get to choose the age we wanna be. As you know, I made a big leap on my birthday in July when I went from eight to nine. I like being nine. Nine is fun!
B: And you wear it well, sweetie.
S: The thing of it is, Bet, that most cartoons are famous and making the samolians and all when they're a certain age - you know, if they're kids like me, or in their prime like Bugs, or old like Mr Magoo. So they figure, you know, why change?
B: And so you think the Rugrats thing is good, it's healthy?
S: Well....[looking at his sneakers]
B: It's OK. What?
S: I'm just a little worried.
B: Worried?
S: Yeah. I mean, if they all wanted to become preteens at once, that's OK, I guess. But they all changed at one time. I'm not sure they all wanted to grow up 12 years overnight. I hope the creators weren't mean to them, or punished them into making them change their minds. I was just thinking about that old cartoon story, you know, about Dumby.
B: Dumbo?
S: No, Dumby. Dumby Dumbass. He was a teenager and his people forced him into deciding to be a little school boy. And he got real successful and couldn't handle it. Hurt some people. Real bad stuff.
B: Um, I don't think I know that story.
S: [rolling his eyes] Well of course you don't. Nobody knows Dumby now.
B: Ahhh. So what about you, Sherman? Do you think you'll want to stay nine, or stay a little boy? Or can you see yourself making the move to teenagerdom? Or even adulthood?
S: Oh, I don't know, Bet. I like being a boy. And you know, I have to think about someone other than myself in this....
B: Mr "You-Know-Who?"
S: Sure! I love being his boy. What if I grew up? He wouldn't be happy owning a grown-up man. I don't think I'd like it, either. I like nine. I'm happy at nine.
B: Well, good. You know Sherman, I like you at nine, too.
S: Bet?
B: Yeah?
S: You're inching your finger over towards my leg again.
B: Hmmm? Oh, no. I'm just moving that pen. Can't get ink on our boy, can we?
S: Uh huh. Sure. I may be nine, but I wasn't born yesterday, you know.
B: Thank you for talking to us, Sherman.
S: Anytime, ma'am!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

By the way, folks, I'm not quite as slothful as my imood would lead you to believe. I just don't have my password to imood anymore and until I get all that back I can't change my mood.

Oh well, if I'm gonna get stuck on one, "slothful" is one that's never gonna be too far from the truth, I guess.

The Sad Realization

When I was at Mr M's Sunday, I noticed a small, um, commotion on his kitchen floor. It was a white caked on substance over by the end of his table. Almost like a big white decoupage. Being the good guest, I said nothing.

Later that night when we were talking on Messenger, I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to ask.

"What was that big white spot on your kitchen floor today?" I asked.

"It's napkins and paper towels I couldn't unstick from the floor after cleaning up the spill," came the reply.

(long pause)

"Oh. Shit!"

(more pause)

"I was the spiller, wasn't I?"

"Yup," came the reply.

And with that three letter answer, all the condemnation of life came down upon me. I started to vaguely remember my sins. A collection of plastic cups holding Jaegermeister, Goldschlager, and Champagne - three of the stickier liquors out there - and my lumbering arm taking out the whole collection in one fell swoop. Not only did I get sworpin' drunk on New Year's Eve, but I was a damn spilling drunk as well!

Oh, Lord, forgive me.

At least I wasn't a crying drunk. I don't think, anyway.


We have winners, we have winners!

Well, in actuality,'re all winners.

When I pulled this series of letters out yesterday I honestly thought, "Damn, what a hard bunch of letters." And there are so many good entries this week it's killing me to have to make a decision. There are no fewer than seven entries that I want to win. So whether or not you won or made Honorable Mention, rest assured that your acro rocked.

The letters were W A I A R E. The entries:

* I a real empath?
*W.: an idiot, a republican, evil.
*Wallowing about in a rotund elephant.
*What an iceberg! Ahoy, reverse engines!
*Well, apparently I am really evil.
*Whooville attracts insanely antisocial reptilian egotists.
*When Alice ignores Archie, revenge ensues.
*Wedding? All I . . . (. . . alcohol . . . reminiscing . . . erection . . .)
*Where all ignoramuses are rewarded, evacuate!
*When are igloos acceptable retirement escapes?
*Who ate Ingrid’s “Artichoke Raisin Extravaganza?”
*Why are idiots always running everything?
*Why am I always ruining engagements?
*Wiseass artificial intelligence: "(A)bort, (R)etry, (E)xterminate?"
*Whoa! Arnold isn't acting? Recall election!
*When Amy Irving attacks Rupert Everett
*Why am I a rock euphoniumist?
*Woeful admission: I admire Robert Evans.

Ooooookay, let's get going.

Right off the bat, Jellybean's "Wallowing around in a rotund elephant" made me giggle profusely, which is always a winner.

And Venice's "Wiseass artificial intelligence: "(A)bort, (R)etry, (E)xterminate?" was totally ingenious.

Deepfatfriar's "Wedding? All I . . . (. . . alcohol . . . reminiscing . . . erection . . .)," well, let's just say a little too much information about his younger days!

Flipsy's "When are igloos acceptable retirement escapes?" is a question for the realty hall of fame.

And this week's runner up is LilyG, with her epiphinal realization, "Well, apparently I am really evil." We love ya, Lily.

But the winner this week, the entry that I'm still laughing over, and want so much to console the poor fella, is Mike's "Why am I a rock euphoniumist?"

So good on ya, Mike. And please, stick to guitar. And congratulations.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Back In The Stirrups Again

I was given a challenge last night. It was a throw-down to incorporate two subjects into one blog for tonight: my (then) upcoming yearly pelvic exam/mammogram and what must be the wacky experience of finding nazis in one's family. Now, I hate to admit defeat right off the bat as much as anyone, but I'm also smart enough to know this is probably way beyond the realms of possibility and probable good taste. So I'll keep to one subject and call it a day.

And so was today my yearly "woman's physical." This is one of those things I endure every 12 or so months, like a good girl, the discomfort, uneasiness, downright pain, and yes, worst of all, the expense, today $355, none of which is covered by my insurance plan, the "Never Pay Policy." (I had to fork out $291 today, and life till the 15th's gonna be pretty slim.)

Nothing much changes from year to year at this ritual, and for that I guess I should be happy. I'd hate to suddenly lie down, assume the position, accept the speculum, and have bells and sirens go off and the Channel 10 News Team show up to report what surely must be one more case of some vaginal epidemic sweeping the nation. So a quick exam, a quick mammogram, and on my way, I guess I shan't complain.

There were a couple of small craw-stickers today, though. First of all, when I arrived and signed in ("Mystery Patient, would you enter and sign in please!"), I once again received the clipboard with the big long questionnaire on it. I've been going to good ol' Dr Keene & Physicians to Women four years now. Four years I've had to walk in and fill this fucker out. The first time, sure, I was new. The second and third times they were moving and updating their computers. At least this time they had the common decency to just come out with it: "It's time for all your information again!" Why can't these sadistas just come up with a system wherein, "if it's different, tell us." I'm convinced this filling out of the personal information is the equivalent of the Python sketch where the man has to fill the huge urine bottle for his insurance specimen. "Do you really need that much?" he asks. "No, we just want to make sure you're serious about buying insurance." Anyway, I've decided that next year when handed The Form, I'm filling in all new and different information just to see if they notice.

The other bugaboo today was an extra long wait time. Now, the Dr was behind due to a slight emergency, and I understand that. I also had a brand new book to start reading, pretty comfy chairs to stretch out in, and a steady stream of rain on the window. I was fine.

For a while.

Then I came face to face with the cold reality I'd heretofore forgotten. Gynecologists' offices aren't all filled with smart, quiet, single gals there for their yearly physicals or a fill-up on birth control. They can also be filled with women having babies.

When I was lead to the waiting area for Dr Keene, I slinked into a chair and began reading. There was a couple sitting on the other end of the area talking quietly to each other. Then down the hall came a young and quite pregnant woman. A nurse introduced her to the other woman in the area, pointing between the two. "Triplets? Triplets!"

Good Lord. I was amongst six babies-to-be.

And so for the next fifteen or so minutes, the more I buried my nose into the witty musings of Bill Bryson, the harder it was to eliminate the baby conversation from my head. "This is what 24 weeks looks like!" "I'm at 16!" "Well, my twenty four will be Wednesday." "My 16 will be Wednesday!!" Oh, these women hadn't been sick a day and they were both just brimming with energy. One of the women had another child at home already. Jesus Christ, I thought. I can't get it together to get a dog. These women are getting ready to fill their houses to the brim with babies and dance the Highland Fling while doing so. Maybe I need me some triplets!

Eventually, the two women and their six babies toddled off their separate ways and I was alone again. For a second. Then in came a young woman with with a baby carrier. She sat down, opened it up, and unwrapped a baby that was approximately 45 minutes old. I'm convinced this baby was born in the elevator on the way up to the office. She immediately began to talk to the baby, in the form of asking it questions, every question twice. "Did oo pit up? Did oo pit up on your onesie?" she continued to ask, as if expecting the answer, "Why yes, I did spit up on my onesie, dear, I'm afraid the trauma of being squeezed out of the womb in a moving elevator a few minutes ago has left me rather nauseous, if you don't mind."

And on it went, the incessant questions, baby talk, and the like. Just as I was about to give up and pretend to faint, she said something. "Ooo wuv your Aunt Jennie?" Well, that's OK. She's an aunt! All is forgiven! Everyone knows aunts are the coolest relatives.

Shortly after that, during the "coaxing baby to have a widdle burpie" session I heard a rather full and zesty burp. I glanced over to realize that it was in fact our Aunt Jennie who had a widdle burpie for herself. So, aunts are usually the coolest relatives, OK?

And thank the Lord, it was then my turn to hop upon the table for magic time. While waiting for the Dr to come in, something caught my eye.

Her office is filled with all kinds of goodies, tampons and pads and samples of new items. There was a display of a new kind of birth control device that for some reason fascinated me. It was called NuvaRing. In fact, I was so intrigued I took a pamphlet out with me, and had a look at it over lunch. And after looking at one and reading about it, by damn, I think I've decided I could make one of the little buggers myself.

And so add one more item to my list of things to do in the new year. Put more money in savings, work harder at learning the autoharp, and construct my own homemade birth control device.

And call now for my next year's exam. The wait time for this appointment was seven months.


I'm back up and running with my cranky old first computer (as I type and upload things here I have to pedal a bicycle furiously - the things I do for you), and home just in time to give everyone another wake-the-kids-and-phone-the-neighbors round of Acromania!

I shall be judging this week, owing to the fact that I once again in true "me" fashion forgot to ask anyone. Taking volunteers for this duty, as always.

Rules are the same. Everyone gets three tries to come up with the best acronym to the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. Tomorrow at 9ish est I shall pick the winners, and there'll be people throwing themselves off buildings across the country shortly thereafter.

Now, let's pick some letters:


OK, there you have it - be the first acroer of 2004!

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Huh? No, I'm Awake....

I seem to have re-discovered a favorite activity over the holidays - sleeping. I can't get enough.

However, in lieu of something long and rambling and not very witty at all, I'll give you something to listen to.

Yes, it finally happened. January 2d, the NPR radio station played one of my essays. Mr M was nice enough to make a sound file of it, and if you want to hear my decidedly not-so-dulcet tones, you can click the link below:

Hear Me Read!

And may I just say my last name is pronounced "Bowles." As in, the dish you put soup in, a bowl. The second running of the essay, the guy got it right both times. Good thing; I'd hate to have had to kill him.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Hello, New Year

So. 2003 is but a shitty memory in my rearview mirror, and it's time to start concentrating on the year to come. However, as happens on the first day of the year, occasionally it becomes time for a quick look back.

I rang in the New Year at Mr M's, at the Sauerkraut Band party. Well, at least I think I did. By the time Countdown arrived I was so totally blitzed that not only do I not remember it, even if it did happen I think I was in no shape to count backwards from ten. I'm sure my brain would have exploded. I do distinctly remember having a glass of champagne shoved into my hand, of which I drank a sip. And I do remember saying "rabbit rabbit," thus insuring my good luck in the year to come.

I don't know what it is about the overwhelming power the SK Band seems to have in getting me shitfaced. I know I'm often easily led, but I think with them it comes down to speed. The alarming speed with which the alcohol is consumed. I went from sober to nicely buzzed, then bypassed everything and went straight to legless within the span of about an hour. And when I say legless, I mean it. People were spotting me. When I stood up I had to have a person at either arm. Which made my exorcism ritual quite interesting.

I'd decided before even arriving at the party that I was going to do something to exorcise 2003 from my life. So I took a sheet of paper and wrote everything I hated about the year on it. Every hurt, everything that broke, everything that went bad on me, every horrible habit I got into in the past year. I folded it, wrote "Goodbye to 2003" on the outside, and decided that right after midnight I was going outside and set fire to said list, thus destroying all the rottenness. And I did. With, as the Beatles said, a little help from my friends. Between Ed and SaraBeth and Jude and his wife Leah, we got it done. Set the fucker on fire and stomped on it when it was a pile of ash. And didn't set my drunken ass on fire in the process. There's success if I ever saw it.

There's something about a having a group of people who see you at your most drunkenly stupored. It's kind of a kinship. You may have been sober once when they were crawling sworping drunk, and then the tables may reverse. It's like you can let it all fly and still know that someone has your back.

And that was my New Year's Eve. I hope all of you found yourselves where you wanted to be. And now, as is maybe going to be a tradition, and without further ado, it's time for my second annual Bet's Wags and Gags of the Year Awards.


Oktoberfest: While we're on the subject.... I had a blast this year up at Mountain Lake. I'm not sure if it's that this year I was just less nervous, felt more comfortable with the music, or got to know everyone better. Or a combination of the three. But the whole season turned out to be an exhilerating, exhausting, hilarious whirlwind of a time. I lost my digital camera the first week (it was recovered), and Mr M broke his arm after doing a double pirouetting twizzle with a front flip in the parking lot the second week (he still hasn't). Seth couldn't feel his face, and Russell, walking past the band on the stage the last night as we were all getting bombed on Goldschlager, said, "This whole band smells like a pack of Dentyne." So next year, why don't yall decide you're going to come and visit us up there on the mountain??

Movie Lists: This was the first year I followed Mike and Stennie into the world of keeping a movie list. My ideal goal was 200 movies watched in a year - a foolish brag, I think - and by damn, I made it with a few weeks to spare. I still came in a distant 3d of the three of us, but hey, I'm happy. Where M and S are concerned, I'm a mere amateur hanging with professionals. Of my 209 movies watched this year, 43 I'd previously seen, and 166 were new viewings. Favorites? Mike Leigh's "All or Nothing" and Cukor's "The Philadelphia Story" (how could I not have seen that movie somewhere along the line before?) I doubt 200 is a workable goal for the year to come, but I'm still going with the list, if Mike and Stenns are, that is.

Band Of Brothers: Speaking of movie lists, I was going to include this HBO special on mine. After all, it was 10 episodes and took up the time I could have been spending watching about 5 theatrical release movies. In the end I didn't, but this series was excellent, moreso than many movies released into theatres by major studios. The acting, writing, and directing were brilliant, and the scene of the D-Day invasion by air was gripping beyond belief. Had it shown up on my movie list, the rating would have been a solid *****.

Taking A Chance: This year I finally got up the nerve to send a few samples to my writing to the local public radio station, and lo and behold, two of them were accepted, and I went and recorded myself reading them for broadcast later. I'd have never thought I could do something like that, and it's something I'm proud of trying. And I have Mr M to thank for pushing me towards it.

The Blogathon: This was my first year taking part in the annual Blogathon. 48 blogs in 24 hours, all for charity. It was a roller coaster ride of adrenaline, creativity, lack thereof, sleeplessness, helpless giggles, mini acrochallenges, had a great online party atmosphere, then ended up with Stennie and I (she was blogathonning too) desperately sleepy, lacking in ideas, lacking in initiative, and basically lacking in everything except the will to bash that ratbag actor Tom Berenger. At about 5am, Stennie decided to put her kitty Buster into the California governor's race.

The Office: BBC's comedy show about the workings of an extremely mundane office (I think they sell paper goods), is a gem. Ricky Gervais, the show's creator and star makes me laugh just breathing. I love a show that's not afraid to have its star and lead character be so incredibly unlikable. Add to that the fact that for some reason, this show about the mundane workings of a mundane paper company seems to be done as a documentary (why would anyone do a documentary on these people?!) just sends it over the top.


Life With Bonnie: What was last year's one bright spot in the TV season has become a dismal gag this year. I don't know if this was Bonnie's decision, or if ABC decided to start fucking with her show. First of all, she's lost a kid. The family's daughter has suddenly disappeared this year, with not explanation one as to why. Then they've had a re-re-re-recurring story about the boss David having to move in with the Malloys after Bonnie keeps burning his house down. It's not funny. It's become - *gasp* - a sitcom.

The Movies I Didn't Make It Through List: It was short, it was dull, and other than one column ("feel guilty?"), it was a total throwaway. I doubt I shall be keeping it in the coming year.

Lies: I've told them, you've told them, we've all told them. Some are just worse than others and some really really hurt people. Enough said.

Napster and I-Tunes: Now, both these little nuggets were the reason I took the plunge into the world of XP anyway (even though I've just found that it was not XP that fucked up my computer) (even though it started everything). I've been pretty interested to see what the new version of Napster was going to look like. And I-Tunes offers the same option to buy songs for .99 apiece. The thing is - the selection sucks! Punch a song in the search engine. Go ahead, I dare you. You're not gonna find it. I've tried obscure, I've tried mainstream. I guess hoping for a recapture of magic in a bottle really was too much to ask for.

Michael Jackson: I was really hoping I would never have to mention this name in my blog or anywhere else again. I don't know if he molested someone. I don't know and I don't care. But Michael Jackson needs to be in jail. A jail for fuckin' freaks. Everything he's getting he deserves because he's chosen to live his life as a fuckin' freak instead of as a human being. Twice in one interview I had to hear him say rather than hurt a child he'd slit his wrists. I wanted to yell, "Well, do us all a favor, OK??" He's fuckin' freaked his way out of a successful career, the fact that he never was that talented is starting to catch up with him, and he's grasping at straws to keep being famous. Just leave him alone, everybody, and maybe he'll sink without a trace.

There you have it, lads and lasses. And now on with the year at hand!