Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday Thoughts

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bee:

Today is the first day in about 3 weeks that I haven't killed at least one bee at the Poderosa.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like being a bee-killer, but they're invading my house. Every day I come home, be it for lunch or after work, and I have at least one bee in my house. They're generally in the kitchen window, though sometimes they're in the living room window or crawling around on the den-ette floor. Yesterday at lunch I killed three. I think there's a hive on my roof somewhere.

So I wouldn't say I'm covered in bees; I'm covered in bee.

Anyway, I'm hoping Fall will oust the bees and bring my ladybugs back.

No Thanks, My Wife Owns Ketchup

I had something happen to me I've never heard of before. John Kerry gave me my money back.

A while back, I sent some money to my favorite Anybody But Bush candidate. I'd had the letter for some time, just had to wait till I had a little extra cash after bills. I sent my contribution and thought nothing more of it.

Till today, when I got a letter from the Kerry campaign. I opened it, thinking it'd be one of those "Thanks for the money, can we have some more" letters, but instead it was a letter saying they were sending me my money back. And there folded in the letter was my uncashed check.

Turns out there's a law out there that says I can't give John Kerry money after he's accepted his party's nomination. I can give it to some sort of Kerry committee, but not him himself. So they did ask if I'd kindly write another check, only to the appropriate committee, which I will kindly do.

Weird, though. I was sitting there at work saying, "They don't want my money!"

Half Of My Brain Is Celebrating Tonight

I hope everyone took a moment or two today to wish a very happy birthday to my wonderful, cool, and sexy bud, who shares a brain with me, the one and only Stennie. Not only can Stennie make me laugh like crazy, she can write like a mofo, she's in the process of making a film, and she's the best Chicken In A Pot player I've ever met in my entire life. She also forced me to watch the "South Park" movie, for which I will forever be in her debt. And her shout of "Travis Comes Alive!" in Reno made me laugh so hard I almost lost a lung.

Here's to you, Stenns!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Mr M gave me a book last night about dealing with low self esteem. He told me it was a free pick from his new book club, The Behavioral Science Bookclub. I said, "Ah, they ring a bell, you buy a book?" I actually made him laugh! Really laugh!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Hello, hello. We have entries! Now we'll soon have winners!

So, the topic was "Oh, and PS, Lord...." The letters, O L O U K. The entries:

*Obliterate lousy umpires of kickball.
*Overrule logic. Upend our karma.
*Orthodontize Lucy's ugly overbite. 'Kay?
*...obliterate Larry's ugly, odoriferous kilts.
*...only let us observe Krizzer.
*...overturn legalities until Osama's killed.
*...Oh, Liza underestimated our kindling.
*...Ostracize Leslie Ugums, our king.
*...Overlook latest undulating occurance, kay?
*Orient Little Umbrellas Open. Kicky.
*Only Listen Ukuleles, Oboes, Kettledrums
*Open Luther's Urinal. Ostracized Kid.
*Overlook lusts using only kleenex.
*Or, let us only kiss.
*O lord, unembowel obstinate kettledrummer.
*Overlook lighting up on Kwanza.
*O'Neill laughingly urinated on Kobe.
*Orthodox loungwear's uncomfortable. Ok kimonos!

Wow, lots of entries!

First of all, this week's Honorable Mention goes to Jellybean, with her "Oh, and PS, Lord: only let us observe Krizzer." I'm all for that!

Runner-up this week goes to She Who Must Only Be Observed, Krizzer, with "Oh, and PS, Lord: Overlook lighting up on Kwaanza." Hey, if you gotta light up, you gotta light up. I'm sure He understands that.

And this week's winner, the grand prize, the big potato, goes to Venice, and her prayer of elementary schoolboys everywhere, "Oh, and PS, Lord: Obliterate lousy umpires of kickball." I can just see the kid praying that.

Good job, all! Huzzah, huzzah, another week of Acro is complete.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* There's a jury deciding the fate of the gold medal of gymnast Paul Hamm as we speak. Give it up, guys! The Olympics are over, you gave him a medal. Suck it up and start thinking about correcting things for the next time, not replaying this one. Geeez, I can't believe this is still going on. Then again, I guess yall can't believe Betland's Olympic Update is still going on.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Greetings, acroers! I don't know if anyone will tune in to see the challenge this week, but I figured after the pig picture the least I could do was call a round of Acromania.

I shall be your benevolent judge this week. I came up with my topic from a few fronts, actually. I was thinking of calling a topicless round this week, then too many things happened. First of all, and we all know there are certain things I cannot talk specifics about, but there's something I absolutely hate in this world. And that thing is people who 1) use The Lord when it's convenient for them, or 2) use The Lord to cover up certain ugly facts, such as the fact that said Lordusers are lying like rugs.

Second of all, I was talking to a buddy of mine today about how your mind works when you're in high school. Like - when all us band kids were out on the field for the playing of the National Anthem, they always had some local yoo-hoo saying a prayer about how The Lord should make sure no one gets hurt and we play in a spirit of fellowship (yeah, Lord, forget that starving and suffering for the next two hours to watch us, OK?), and he'd always say, "In Jesus' name we pray, Amen." And immediately every band kid around me - including me - would say, "And please let us win."

So without further ado, this week's topic is, "Oh, and PS, Lord...." After the exalting and thanking and such is done, what's that, "Oh, and by the way, Lord, if you're not too busy" kind of request one might throw at the end of a prayer?

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches topic and uses the letters below, randomly drawn from a frankly lonely acrobasket. (He's had 20 weeks worth of recipe du jour cards sitting in him.)

And so, to the topic "Oh, and PS, Lord..." The letters:


And please, don't bother Him about a better acro. He's busy enough.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

(Warning: This week's edition of Picture Sunday will surely be disturbing to at least two of my regular readers, and possibly more. If you are of a squeamish nature, you may want to give things a pass. Remember, even though I didn't partake, I'm still a reporter.)

Picture Sunday

As I was coming out of B'burg today there was a car behind me, going up the first mountain on Rt 460, with a license plate that read I LIVED. I know sometimes I expect too much of people, but I just kept hoping this license plate came from a fan of Agnes Gooch, who did in fact utter the words. "I lived. Now what am I supposed to do?" As a special added attraction, and since this license plate was viewed from my rear-view mirror, do you know that "lived" backwards is "devil?" Hmmm, makes you think, doesn't it? All of you people who believe that sins in this life are paid for in the next might want to cut down on all the um, "living," if you get my drift.

Week #2 of Oktoberfest is complete and in the books. I had a great time this week, probably because I went into the whole thing with a different mindset. "The Clarinet Polka" rocked (well, as much as a polka can), and overall, I thought I played very well. Thank you very much.

Tonight's first picture - be forewarned - is from the buffet at Oktoberfest. And as I said, I took the picture, I didn't partake, though it's obvious someone did. This pic is simply titled, "Ouch."

Ouch indeed.

Our next photo incorporates Mr M's new passion. I think it would be best named "reed fiddling."

Yes, when one buys a box of clarinet reeds, very few if any of them will be ready to play right out of the box. So Mr M bought some "inside knowledge" on how to make presumably foolproof reeds. He did a bunch of them for me a couple of weeks ago, and today gave me the tools and showed me how to do it for myself. So to speak. My reed from Spain (Antonio) never really came off the way I wanted, but my two reeds from Argentina (Guillermo 1 and Guillermo 3) were sparkling successes. However, Guillermo 2 did not survive the attempt. A moment of silence for Guillermo 2 while we look at Picture 2, also titled "Busy Hands."

Please, please. Do try to contain your excitement.

And one more for you. Just to let you know that after a few weeks of an agonizingly naked face, Mr M is finally starting to grow his beard back. And we all rejoiced. Yea.

Woo hoo!

This week's recipe du jour leaves something to be desired. The "something" here in question being "everything." It leaves everything to be desired! Here it is, all you hippies - Your Own Granola!

OK, so here's the deal. You want to make your own granola. So you go buy soy oil and flour, honey, rolled oats, raisins, coconut, sesame seeds, wheat germ, almonds, and dried dates and apricots. You get home, fix it all up, stick it in a bowl - and you've got a fuckin' bowl of Raisin Bran!

Please, if you want some granola, go patronize your local health food store and buy a bag of it. This is just silly.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Our local Kroger grocery, who's been in B'field longer than I've been alive, is going out of business. It was bound to happen, they have the highest prices and most unfriendly staff in town. But they're also less than a quarter-mile from the Poderosa and that's very convenient. I was there tonight to pick up a few things, the first time I've been there since they started liquidating. It was quite sad. Many empty shelves. The passing of a local cornerstone. And yet everything I bought was on sale! Talk about your mixed emotions.
* The Director of Betland Security has just changed the Security Alert to yellow. Yellow, or giggly. Come to Betland and be happy.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Great Lederhosen Switch of '04, or Bet Needs a Child, a Pet, a Hobby, or a Second Job (Well, Maybe Not A Child)

It really all started when I discovered Sherman's lederhosen had a tailhole.

See, most of you probably already know this, but The Boy's lederhosen were actually stolen off a bear. A stuffed bear that was for sale at Mountain Lake's Oktoberfest last year, a cute fuzzy brown number all decked out in his Bavarian outfit. The first sight of that little item set my mind in motion, and it was the very next night I bought Mr Bavarian Bear, then promptly raped and pillaged him for his outfit so I could give it to the inimitable S.

And from early on of last year, S had his "real lederhosen" so he could celebrate with all us Sauerkraut Band members. (If you'll recall, his hat came earlier, when I - and this is a sad story, so the weaker of you should look away - stole the cowboy hat off a toy monkey and turned it into a Bavarian hat. The story is sad because Mr M kept dangling him in front of me saying that if I didn't take that monkey with me and give him a good loving home, he was throwing him into the dirty smelly garbage right then and there to be taken to the landfill for all eternity. And as much as I love toys, that monkey was just unloveable. So I snatched his hat, and he's biodegrading as we speak like so many disposable diapers.)

So. Anyway. When I was dressing S for this year's Oktoberfest Opening Night, I noticed, oddly for the first time, that the leather lederhosen to his outfit did in fact have a tailhole. I went and looked at now Naked Bear, who sits in my living room, and OK, he does have a smallish tail, which is odd, because I've never once in my life thought of a bear has having a tail. But there you have it. I didn't dwell on the matter long, because as soon as I saw the tailhole my mind zoomed elsewhere.

Mr. P.

I remembered last year, on the final night when Mr P wanted to sit in on the festivities, I had to slap him together something very quickly, and in making him a very makeshift pair of lederhosen out of silk, one of the things I had to do was make an opening for his rather handsome tail to pop out of. And so I knew right there and then while dressing little S that somewhere at Mountain Lake was a pair of lederhosen screaming my name.

And last week my first order of business after putting my horn on my chair was to pop back outside and purchase one of the new Sauerkraut Band beer mugs for myself (I deserved it), and a second bear for raping and pillaging and theft of outfit.

It was a funny thing, though. Well, one of a couple of funny things for me, though I don't really see any of you laughing out there. Leslie up at the sales table, when selling me my bear (I chose the one in the blue shirt for Mr P, since that was a little different), said, "Isn't this odd, I have all these cute little bears, then I have Big Bear. They're the same price, exactly the same in every way, but he's just too big, look." And I did, and yep, he was basically Bavarian Bear With A Glandular Condition. So I bought my bear, and thought little about it.

Until Sunday night, when I tried to dress Mr P. Now, I happen to know from making his outfit last year, though don't tell anyone this, that Mr P has quite a large rear end. I mean, it's OK, many of us do, but fitting the fella in clothes is not easy. Not to mention the one thing about P that I didn't even consider: Because his left hand is affixed to his pipe, which is affixed to his mouth, I had no idea how I was going to get his shirt on!

It was pretty much an ugly mess. I had to end up actually cutting the shirt into three pieces and piecing it all back together on his body using straight pins. He's basically a canine pin cushion, bless his heart.

But the lederhosen - well, as one might expect, with his hind quarters, they were way too tight. I had to push and jam so hard to get him in them I'm surprised his inner beans didn't pop out. But I jammed him into them, stood him beside his boy, and didn't think about it till today, when I was planning on completing the project.

Tuesday night I started work on P's hat. Since I had some luck turning a cowboy hat into a bavarian hat before, I found a P-sized version of a cowboy hat at a craft store. (BTW, put it on his head in its cowboy hat incarnation, and P looks just like Lyndon Johnson.) I decided his hat would be of the dapple-gray variety, so I painted it gray and waited for it to dry. Then I spent my afternoon off today altering it, putting a hatband on it, and topping it all off with its feather. When it was complete, I went to get Mr P so he could try it on.

And I got to thinking.

Thinking about how tight his lederhosen were, and how huge S's were - I noticed from the very beginning last year that the boy is just swallowed up by his lederhosen. So I went and looked at S's bear, and lo and behold - his clothes came off one of those Bavarian Bears With a Glandular Condition!

Imagine my luck!

So, off came S's lederhosen, off came Mr P's lederhosen, and the switch was on. And it was like the perfect fit - Mr P's ample rear end is no longer squooshed, and S is no longer swallowed up.

And yes, I put what you're all thinking right up there in the title of my blog.

Anyway, for pictures, follow Mr Linky McLink:

Click here for pics!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Boy, did I have an odd occurrence today at work. I had someone refuse to take a phone message for me. I had to call a client and she was out to lunch, and I asked the person answering the phone if I could leave a message. I started with my name, then the girl said, "No, I'm not going to - she's a very private person." What does being a private person have to do with my giving my name and phone number? "You'll just have to call back," the girl said. I said thanks and hung up - and promptly left for the afternoon! Fuck all of 'em!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's Tuesday

And here I sit. I'm watching the final episode of "The Amazing Race," and things aren't going as I want. It's funny, because when I got hooked on this show the main reason was because it was the race itself that was so great, it didn't really matter who was running it. Therefore I didn't need to get all caught up in the players themselves only to be disappointed when they were eliminated.

Well, wouldn't you know it that while not having a favorite team, I do have a team I hate with the passion of a thousand burning hot suns. And it looks like they're going to be sure winners. Oh, well.

So anyway, I got home from work today and set out to work on a little crafty project I've been planning since the weekend. Funny how those things happen. On my way to the back room to get some paint I found a way to detour into two loads of laundry, cleaning out and organizing all the drawers in my dresser, and weeding out my closet. And I got Phase One of the crafty project completed. It just has to set for a night. If it's all completed, I'll of course show a picture.

Other than that, nothing much going on. Sorry about the lack of acro, I'll work on maybe doing one next week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, so I was wrong above and the team I hate did not win The Amazing Race. Thank God.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Picture Sunday

Welcome to Fall. I got home today about 5pm, and the way the afternoon light was coming in the picture window of the Poderosa was completely different. It was an Autumn light; everything even felt different.

You know, sometimes we do really foolish things in our lives. And we know they're foolish while we're doing them. And sometimes, as foolish as they are, we have no regret of them. That would describe my New Year's Eve party hijinks.

Then again, sometimes, as foolish as they are, we regret them like hell later on. That would describe Oktoberfest last night.

I'm not going into the details, but suffice to say that I made some poor "recreational" choices, for which I am still paying.

Other than that, though, things went very well. It was great to have the old gang get together for our annual six-week wrecking ball through the resort that is Mountain Lake. The only musical hitch was like something out of a Lucy rerun - somehow our books in the clarinet section got reversed, and when it came time to play The Clarinet Polka, none of us was reading from the right part. I was sitting there on first part, wondering why in the hell the music looked nothing like it was supposed to, and since my mind was in a purple haze from my "recreational" choices, instead of trying the play the music, I just stood there like an idiot wondering what was wrong. It took me about halfway through the first strain to realize I had the wrong part, then when I did, I was so rattled, any attempt to sight read it correctly was long gone. It wasn't pretty, but thank God it was late into the night and a lot of the crowd had already gone home.

The new outfit seemed to go over pretty well, I think. It's goodbye red jumper, hello plum. With peasant blouse and apron. I haven't taken a plunge into the world of dirndls yet, but I was keen to try something different.

Anyway, I have really boring pictures today, I'll warn you of that, but believe me, the recipe du jour will more than make up for it.

The first picture was taken yesterday as Mr M and I were venturing out to get some materials for a little project I'm going to be working on this week. We drove by Lane Stadium as the Hokies were playing. I love the look of the stands when they're full, it's usually a sea of maroon and orange in the bright sun. The problem is, we couldn't really get close enough for a good picture. This'll have to do.

Boy, that was worse than I thought it was. Anyway, later in the day we were, of course, at another venerable structure in the area, the barn at Mountain Lake. This is where Oktoberfest is held. That hallowed hall:

But now, the piece de resistance. Sure, last night I was around potato pancakes and boar stew. I was around smoked salmon and stuffed pork. I was around every kind of wurst imaginable. But none of it would, could - or should - compare with...Sardine Egg Canapes!

I mean, where does one start? Is it with the runny egg yolks? Is it with the sliced pimientos, laid upon the sardines in a manner that suggests some sort of fish-spider horror movie monster? Is it the totally unidentifiable crap in the middle of the plate (which to me looks like beef jerky on toast points)?

You show me the person who eats one of these and I'll show you someone doing one of the dances from that Pepto-Bismol commercial. (And I'll guess it'll either be the "upset stomach" or the "diarrhea" dance.)

Oh, by the way, the middle of the plate is alternating slices of cheese, pumpernickel bread, and salami. So, of course, everyone can have a tiny salami sandwich instead of eating the egg shit.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I mean, really. I really can't believe those Sardine-Egg Canapes.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Happy to report that I didn't float away last night. In fact, we were quite lucky and had one of the lowest rainfalls in the area. The creek rose, but didn't even get to overflow stage.

Now it's off to Oktoberfest Land.

And so begins the Autumn of Travel.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I walked the entire length and breadth of my local video store yesterday after work. For about 45 minutes I was there. Found nary a movie. I've got to start ordering again from Video Library, or, as Mikey and Stennie are urging me to do, join Netflix. Those are fine, but when you want a movie, sometimes you just want to browse. Mail order takes away the browsing.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Waiting to Float

I'm sitting here in the cool - no, actually, the cold - of my comfy home. Outside it's hot and the air is thick. We're supposed to be getting some Ivan fallout tonight.

The estimates are varying depending on who you talk to. Anywhere from 4 to 6 to 8 to 14 inches to 2 feet of rain is expected.

It's funny - not funny haha, funny queer - the Poderosa has a creek behind it, and it's gotten up before, never enough to scare me, but it's gotten up in my neighbors' yards. But this is the first time in the three years of homeownership that I'm a bit concerned. I'm a little worried.

I don't know why, there's nothing I can do about the weather, whether it comes or not. And the weird thing is, I don't know if I'm worried that water will rise enough to get into my house (and it would have to rise a lot for that), or if I'm worried enough water will get up to close the roads and I won't be able to get out of town this weekend.

I don't know if I'm worried about being here and having water permeate my house, or having water permeate my house when I'm away from it.

I don't know. All I know is that the air is still so heavy it makes you tired, and the rain hasn't started yet, and I just have an overall feeling of ickiness.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* It could be swimming, swimming, swimming this weekend. Rowing, canoeing, and whitewater rafting.
* My fortune today, which I read for some strange reason - it's at the bottom of the page and I seldom see it - was this: Take time to remember fourth grade. I did that. I don't know why I'm supposed to, though. I did think fondly of Miss Philpott, though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

This Blog Is Made Possible With Support From Viewers Like You

I've got a bit of the hump at Public TV. I like PBS, and I've been a PBS Supporter for over 20 years. Sure, I'm no Katherine Schlossberg Charitable Trust, but they get my $40 on a timely basis every March.

And I've joked about it often, how the PBS people are, well, in all kindness and trying not to hurt their feelings, they're money-grubbers. I get more mail from my local PBS station than just about anyone save for credit card companies. I send them some money and within a week I get a nice letter saying, "Thank you for the money. Now can we have some more? Here's a list of amounts you can give us, just pick the one you like best. If you don't like any of them you can write in your own amount. It's such a little price to pay for good TV. And we really do need it badly, Aunt Beulah at the station needs hernia repair surgery, so please, will you just give us some more fucking money, dammit???"

I know it costs a lot of money to put on quality programming without the commercials. Believe me I know, because they're always telling me. I like to watch (yes, I know it's lame) "All Creatures Great and Small." I've seen every episode a hundred times, but the animals are so cute and the accents make feel all warm and cozy. It comes on one of the two PBS stations I get (this would be the one I don't contribute to). One night I sat down to watch it at Mr M's, and instead of hearing the famliliar happy music and seeing Sigfried and James bouncing along in their car, I saw two dour faces staring at me. They were Local-PBS-Station-That-I-Don't-Give-Money-To employees telling us that they knew we'd turned in to see the heartwarming story of the British vets, but instead were seeing them. But did we know that it cost $3000 to get this program? (I can't remember if it was $3000 a series or $3000 an episode. For a series it sounds pretty dang cheap.) They told us this for around 15 minutes before the show started. It became a weekly ritual, aired before the show for an extended period.

Funny thing is, while they were telling us about how poor they were and how they were spending $3000 on our personal enjoyment, they also gave us an "incentive" to open up our checkbooks (they call them "gifts" - apparently someone's changed the meaning of that word since I last looked it up). The incentive? For donations of $120 or $240 we could get - DVDs of the "All Creatures Great and Small" program! Wow, what a nice "gift." First of all PBSers, if I wanted the DVDs of the program, I'd order them out of a catalog for their retail price of $39.95, and second of all, if I was going to buy DVDs of the program, I wouldn't be fucking sitting down to watch it on TV, would I?

And while we're on the subject of the station I don't contribute to, several weeks ago on Sunday mornings they started repeats of the "Manor House" series. This is the show where they hire modern Brits to go live in a manor house and be servants of another family who've been hired to be rich and live there. It's a great series that I enjoyed the first time I saw it. And this second time too. But then, when it began again the week after it ended - well, I may have had a serious "thang" for Edgar the Butler, but hell, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with him.

(Finally, this past Sunday at "Manor House" time - when it would have been time to restart it yet again - I saw a program where two men were worrying over a plate of ham, so they must have moved on.)

The PBS station I do give my money to is a little different. They used to pride themselves on being one of the only stations in the country who only did one pledge break a year. Boy, did they pride themselves on that. All they talked about, it was. Then they prided themselves on being one of the only stations in the country who only did two pledge breaks a year. This Saturday morning, when I was lazing in bed watching Britcoms only to be accosted by a pledge break - they prided themselves on being one of the only stations in the country who only did "a few" pledge breaks a year. Hmmmm, can a few be considered as many as 12? Because I swear, they're doing about one a month now.

But here's the deal. Here's the thing that's pissing me off the most about PBS these days. Pledge breaks that aren't pledge breaks.

Has anyone else noticed this? And it usually happens on weekends - your PBS station will announce a show as a "special," some big musical gala, or movie retrospective, or 3-hour-plus show of a pop psychologist giving us the lecture of our lifetimes, the one that's going to make us all deliriously happy. So you tune in to watch whatever this program is, and guess what - it's nothing more than a glorified pledge break. Peter, Paul, and Mary sing a couple of songs and we break to some centralized generic studio, filled with happy, scrubbed-clean TV personalities, telling us about how grand this show is and about how absolutely friggin lucky we are to be able to view it, and so why don't we go get off our ungrateful asses and pledge some money to PBS at the 800 number below before they go back and let Peter, Paul, and Mary sing two more songs, or Dr Dyer give you three more of his 100 tips for a happy life, and then we can have another 20 minute pledge break.

And this, my friends, is the lazy man's way of money-grubbing. This is bypassing making the station managers beat the bushes for volunteers from the local high school to answer phones, bypassing humiliating themselves for two weeks to beg, and bypassing having celebrities like Mr Humphries from "Are You Being Served" or Onslow's dog from "Keeping Up Appearances" visit the local stations and mix with the great unwashed. (And in our area, you've no idea how true that can be.)

This is, in effect, saying, "Hey, we've got a whole Sunday evening here with nothing to broadcast, let's show this four hour 'All-Star Bluegrass Spectacular,' and maybe even collect some money in the bargain - with the people in the Big Office doing the hawking! We can piss off to a bar for the rest of the night!

Hey, if I have to show up at work and humiliate myself for money, why shouldn't they?

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Just a word to the wise: when one buys batteries for $1.85, one tends to get a pack of $1.85 batteries. The pack in question lasted for one day.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Beret, Please!

Pot smokers, unite behind me!

No, really. Come on. Guys, we gotta go - Joey, put that ice cream down, let's go. Hey, come on guys, you can watch old Scooby Doo reruns anyday, it's time to follow me to The Revolution now! Aww, forget it.

(I also did "What Movie Are You," but the results were so horribly not me I wouldn't publish them.)

(And thanks to LilyG for the link.)

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Great pic of the nephew on his band's website. He's being a pirate. Arrrgh.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Picture Sunday

You know, there's a certain amount of obligation to wearing this shirt. Stennie herself has commented on this fact, as she was training for the triathalon - why wear it if you're just going to lie on the couch and watch TV? So I guess I'd better make an honest woman of myself.

Today was a full and busy day - it was the set up and rehearsal for Oktoberfest. This not only consists of going over a few old favorites and a few new ones, but also setting up all the wiring, lighting, and getting the sound system down. (We open the season this coming Saturday.) I got home tonight at about 8:30 and felt vaguely like I'd been drug behind a pack of bison by my feet, but I shall survive.

I'll not go into all the details of the carrying of equipment and setting up (which I only participated in to the extent that I could), but I will tell you about a really cool and fun portion of the day. While most of the guys were up in the rafters doing the wires and lights, two vocalists, the flute player, and Mr M and myself went outside to the barn's patio and went over a few numbers. Then Seth joined in on tuba, and more people started joining in one by one, till finally all of us were outside on the patio. We ended up having our rehearsal out there. It was fun - cold, but fun - and guests at the hotel would wander by and listen to us for awhile. It was casual and relaxed, and I had a ball.

But then we had to go inside on the stage and finish up, do our soundchecks, then clean up what messes we'd made. And it was time for me to head back down the mountain, which I did, cold and shaky, with nothing but a clove cigarette to even me out. But that was after I stopped and took this picture.

You know, it'll be fall soon enough, which I love, the leaves will be exploding with color, but I decided to take a picture of summer on my way down the mountain. For any of those who wonder why I love this area so much, wonder no longer:

Look at all those mountains. And I live right in between all of them.

Of course, you-know-who went with me up the mountain, and got his picture taken in a most adorable manner, which you can see in the Galerie de Chien and Garcon. (Go down to the very last link - well, the last one before "home.")

And now, before I call it a night, tonight's recipe du jour. Now, I love Mexican food. I love it a lot. And even post-op, it's something that generally still agrees with me, luckily. But leave it to the recipe du jour to come up with Mexican food I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I give you now (really, you can have it - I don't want it back), Tamale Pie:

Now, I'll be the first to admit that in the wonderful world of Mexican, tamales are probably my least favorite item. But I think the tamales got short shrift in this dish. All it is is chili with beans (three cups), with some corn and onions. Then it says to "slice the tamales and spread them on top." Now, are those not tomatoes? They sure as hell don't look like tamales, not the ones I know, anyway. And my Aunt Maria, who makes the tamales in our family, is right from Mexico, so I'd think what she makes is the genuine article.

Anyway, it's a damned ugly dish, and though The Card tells us we should be eating this with a guacamole salad and some whipped gelatin parfait, what we get here is an incredibly bland looking tortilla and some iceberg lettuce on a way too yellow avacado. If that's guacamole salad I'm Bennett Cerf.

Nice tablecloth, though. I'll bet Mom laid out her best sarape for that one.

Betland's Olympic Update:
*In an important message, we at Betland would like to announce that the security level has changed to orange. Orange. "Hinky," where one never knows what Bet could do or when she could strike. Visitors are still welcome at the park, but the guards will be on Orange Alert. We will do our best to make sure no one gets hurt.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Is there anything on earth more frustrating than losing your glasses and not being able to see to find them?

Friday, September 10, 2004


I've been indulging in a new favorite pastime lately. By "lately," I mean the past two days at work. I've been using the once-new, then forgotten, now once-again reinstated "Next Blog" feature at Blogger.

I used to have "Next Blog" set up on my Explorer. It was a button you could push at random, and, well, at random up would come a blog. Someone Somewhere's blog. You never knew what you were going to get. And it was pretty damn exciting.

Then I got a new computer at the beginning of the year, and nowhere in Blogger did I see the option to reload "Next Blog" onto my system, so I just figured it was a now bygone feature. And I lived without it, lo these 9 months, until I suddenly saw it start to show up again at the tops of people's blogspot blogs. And I hadn't really played with it much until yesterday at TheCompanyIWorkFor, when things weren't actually slow, but I was, because we all know that a four-day workweek is way longer than a five day workweek for some reason, and I was just damn tired of working.

As I said above, "Next Blog" really is like a box of chocolates wherein you never know what you're gonna get.

First of all, there are more Republican propaganda-spouting blogs out there than should be allowed by law. (Only one should be allowed by law.) (And that's being generous.) There are some rabid-ass bloggers out there who love W. And in loving W, they hate liberal commie pinko types. Like myself. That's OK, though, I read their blogs, well, as much of them as I could stand, and left nary a comment. People like that can't be swayed with comments any more than, well, let's face it, any more than I can.

Then there are the Singapore blogs. I hit about six of them in my two days of browsing, and let me tell you, it was like entering a weird and creepy world that one would probably conjure up thinking of teens in Singapore. They write in this weird-ass patchois of Pidgin English, Ebonics, and some other Godforsaken language I've yet to figure out yet. It's readable, but just barely. It's one of those unexplainables; I know it's creepy, I just don't know why.

And of course there are the American teen blogs. They're fun for a while. Who met who where and who likes who and why and when did who start liking who and what did who say about who where this afternoon after school and how much are we going to beat their football team by, and who was at the game and what they were drunk on. There was a particularly poignant blog I read, all done up in tones of pink, written by a girl who met a boy on Monday at school, discovered after they spent an afternoon talking she really liked him, then was madly in love with him, and then - had been dropped by him. Total cold shoulder, and she was crushed. This all happened over three blog entries. And her entire blog, folks - was three blog entries.

One high school blog was a single entry, a massive description of high school life that used the words "fuck," "fucked," "fucking," "fucking-ass," and "fuuuuuuck" more times than even I was prepared to see.

That's another big feature at "Next Blog." Blogs with only one entry. And sometimes that entry is "Test." Sometimes it's a long rambling diatribe about how this is going to be the window to their soul and to be sure and stay tuned for lots of deep dark secrets. Then the blog was abandoned like so many beer bottles on the highway.

Anyway, "Next Blog" is more than aptly named. Because after doing this for about an hour (keep in mind that over two days at work I played with it probably a total of four hours), you can categorize a blog really quickly. And there's only one thing at that point you can say: Next!


Blogs about the bliss of Mommyhood - Next!
Blogs with nothing but pictures of babies - Next!
Blogs with nothing but pictures, period - Next!
Blogs with nothing but news headlines - Next!
Blogs in a foreign language - Next!
Blogs in a foreign text as well - Next!
Blogs that contain tacky midi files of songs like "Somewhere Out There" or "You Light Up My Life" - Next!
Blogs of people's hideous poetry - Next!
Blogs about Japanese Anime - Next!
Blogs basically serving as someone's resume - Next!

However, there are the good hits. I came across some stuff, just everyday type stuff, written by teens, and written really well. That always warms my heart. And some people out there are geniunely funny, which doesn't warm my heart as much because they're generally funnier than I am, but it at least stirs admiration. And speaking of good blogs, one of them that came right up on my screen whilst "Next Blog"ging was the one and only "Bitterspice Project," the blog owned and operated by our own Venice.

But the bad poetry and the weird and creepy Singapore blogs have to end. The teenaged guy who uses "fuck" 12 times in a sentence, well, I hope he keeps at it. I really fucking do.

Betland's Olympic Update:
*I seem to be watching Miami and Florida State play football. I hate them both. As my sister and I used to say, when teams like that play, you just hope the stadium blows up.
*The Betland Security alert has been raised to "Chilled." Bet is stirring, but mellow. After all it is Friday.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Only In My Town....

No, it's not Sunday, but then again, this isn't exactly a picture.

It's something that appeared in our little berg's local paper this morning, in the "Police Blotter" section:

I love it - a rockin' movie party with barbecue!

I love the "Police Blotter" section of newspapers. The greatest stuff in there.

My all-time favorite came from the "Police Blotter" in the Atlanta free magazine "Creative Loafing." Its charm was in a combination of what the story consisted of and the matter-of-fact narrative in which the story was told. It went a little something like this, and though I'm paraphrasing, the operative phrase that keeps cropping up is quoted ver batim.

An Atlanta man was arrested Thursday night at a local gentleman's club for trying to accost a dancer. The dancer reported to the club's manager that the man kept trying to stick his finger in her. The manager confronted the man and asked what he was trying to do, and the man reportedly answered he was trying to stick his finger in a woman. When the manager told the man he could not stick his finger in a woman, the man replied that he had paid his money and he could stick his finger wherever he wanted to.

That last line actually appeared in the paper. It then went on to tell how the police were called and the man was escorted out, apparently without getting to stick his finger anywhere but on the police inkpad. Superb.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Bronze medal match: Palmer Smitherington of Great Britain emptied his holder and spelled "quinces" to take the game and the bronze medal in Scrabble over Demosthenes Papadapalapoulous of Greece in a match marred by partisan rowdiness from the crowd. Papadapalapoulous was left with the "x" and six "a" tiles, and forfeited the match.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Home Alone

There was a time, oh, not so long ago, say, three or four weeks, when all I wanted was to be alone, curled up in the Poderosa, in the Comfy Chair, in my own little world. It seemed I was gone almost every night, on the road here or there, band concerts, weekends in B'burg, support group meetings, pedicures, haircuts, clarinet quartets, meetings for TheCompanyIWorkFor, or any number of other things to occupy my time and my gas budget, which has inflated itself to hundreds per month.

And I wanted to shut a giant door on that, slip into the Big Calgon Tub of Life, and spend some quality time with myself doing nothing in particular.

Thing is, a couple of weeks ago, I got my wish. Concerts stopped for the summer, quartets are on hold, support group meetings are on hold, nothing work-wise, Mr M came to visit me one weekend instead of vice-versa, and I was finding myself virtually every weeknight alone and left to my own devices. I'd walk, or exercise, or swim, then come back here and have a quick meal (they're all quick these days), and have a whole glorious evening all to myself!

Where I'd promptly fall asleep in the Comfy Chair, missing out on all the movies I was going see, books I was going to read, and TV shows I was going to catch up on.

Tonight was Community Band's first practice of the season, after about a month of hibernation. And to be honest, I was excited about it. I've been practicing a little, enough to remember how to play my horn, anyway, and I was kind of pumped to leave work and hit the road.

And then, band got canceled. Up here in Virginia we're getting the remnants of Hurricane Frances. So we're having heavy rains (some places heavier than others, here in B'field it's been quite manageable so far). And B'burg closed their schools this afternoon, which mean they unilaterally closed down band as well (since we practice at the high school).

So I was disappointed. So disappointed that instead of sitting by myself at home I headed out to the folks' house, where I promptly - fell asleep on their loveseat, my own personal womb. There's something about their loveseat. I go to their house, my ass touches it, and I'm gone for at least an hour. It was about 90 minutes tonight. I'm such a bad houseguest.

Oh well. At least I saved on gas.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I was thinking today about Chem-Sod. Is there anyone out there old enough to know what that is? Remember back in the days of elementary school when some schmuck was unfortunate enough to lose his lunch in front of the whole class? They'd send for the school janitor - a job I'm convinced gets you an automatic pass right into heaven - and he'd come with a broom and a can of Chem-Sod. Which he'd proceed to sprinkle on the offending gak, then sweep it up and then we were all supposed to go on as if nothing happened, though it was impossible because even the thought of being in a room where someone barfed sent waves of nausea through every kid for the rest of the day. And the thing of it was, the Chem-Sod smelled as bad as the vomit. And the mix of the two together? Well, I'm in mid-retch just thinking about it. I got to thinking about Chem-Sod today while looking at "janitorial supplies" in an office supply catalog, no one at work heaved or anything, but it wasn't in the book. I looked it up on the 'net and didn't get any hits, either. I wonder if it still exists.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

For Your Safety

As the few of you who've been here this afternoon may have noticed, there's something of a new feature here.

We at Betland are doing this because we care about you, the reader. So we, in conjunction with the Director of the Department of Betland Security, have devised an alert system to keep the public informed of the severity of Bet's mood/psyche at any given time.

As you can see to your right, visitors to Betland are in luck at this time. Bet is "Dormant," and there's no reason to fear. As this changes, the Betgoing public will be duly informed, so their visit will be safer and, in turn, more fun.

Who else cares about you like we do?

(Thanks to Asst Director of the DBS Mr M for his graphics.)


OK, so it's a holiday week. It's not like we didn't give you a chance to get your acros in, folkies. The acroblog went up at 2pm yesterday.

But, thanks to those who decided to play along.

This week's letters were T I C E D R. The topic, "I Saw It In A Cartoon." The entries:

*Tiptoeing inside, cautiously enters dastardly rabbit.
*Toons insane -- cackling evilly, drooling. Repulsive.
*Tossed into canyon. "Eep!" Damn roadrunner!
*Tweety, Itchy, CatDog, Elmer, Daffy, Rocky
*Topcat is cool, elite. Dibble? Rotten.
*The Impossibles caught Elroy's dog Rastro.
*Tom inserts club, extracts dog’s rage.
*Tweety in cage. Elmer dodges rabbit.
*Timely intellectual content eventually drew ratings.

And that's it, folks. So let's turn it over to her judgeship - Kellie!

Well, what a fun time to remember the oldies but goodies; you've each come up with one of my favorites.

Flipsycab's "Tweety in cage. Elmer dodges rabbit." The darn old rabbit and that sweet Tweety bird - who knows why the hunter and the cat stalk these poor innocent creatures. It just somehow makes a good cartoon; sick really.

Bet, his boy Elroy - excellent reference to the Jetsons - also another of my classic favorites - with " The Impossibles caught Elroy's dog Rastro." Who knew that Rastro had a past! (You lost me with Top Cat, I guess I missed out on that one. I had to search the Internet for some validity there - officer Dibble - sounds like a barking mess. These things remind me of my neighbors and their barking Chihuahua dog - and their dying cat who has taken to sitting on our front porch welcome mat the past 2 days. I swear - we're going to open up our door tomorrow and find a dead cat on our step - this disturbs me. I'll have to mark you down for the bad taste of reality for that one - ha!)

But borrowing a phrase from Randy and American Idol - Props out to Lily G - for the winner by referencing the cartoon that I think of when I hear the word cartoon: Tossed into canyon. "Eep!" Damn roadrunner! There's just something about the Coyote and Road Runner - he never gives up hope - it's just inspirational! Thanks all for playing!

Many thanks for judging, Ms Kel, and hope the cat lives. Now, don't forget, in 8 days you must write a letter to LilyG telling her that the genteel thing to do would be to turn her title over to the next runner-up. Oh, who happens to be me! Isn't that odd how things work out.

Thanks to all you acroites for playing this week.

Monday, September 06, 2004


*Whing!* Wakka wakka, chuuuuhn, forsooooie! Buuddddnnnnn, budnn budnn, buddn, Tweeee! Boinnnnnng. Shhhhhhhhhhhhupop!

Well, that was this week's way of saying, "Hello, and welcome to another happy round of Acromania."

Acro is back for a week, a nice day-off-from-work holiday Monday, and we have a guest judge, the wonderful oboist and user of words like "tit" and "ass," Kellie! And as you may or may not have guessed from the above, Kellie's topic this week is, "I Saw It In A Cartoon."

The rules are blissfully the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches the topic and the letters below, which were laboriously drawn from the acrobasket, or will be soon as soon as I remove some items including a picture frame from it. Then Kellie will do the honors around 9pm est tomorrow night, and there will be many protests and the winner will eventually be asked to give back their title. Whether or not they decide to do so will be completely at their discretion.

So, this week's topic is "I Saw It In A Cartoon." The letters:

T I C E D R (and a clear plastic ring I also drew out but I don't know what it goes to)

There you go - *TWANNNNNNG!*

Picture, Um, Monday

Oh, my friends and brothers, I have been amiss in getting today's blog to you on time. It has, in fact, become tomorrow's blog.

This was due to the fact that today (today still being Sunday, September 5 to me, even though the clock is telling me otherwise) was the birthday of none other than - my mom. My dear, sweet, wonderful, fruity mom. So we all gathered and ended up going to B'burg (after I myself just drove back from B'burg earlier today) for dinner.

So a big happy b-day shout out to Mom, and I wish I had taken a picture of her tonight to put online. Of course, i could scan one. Let me try that, hang on:

This is my mom a few years back, actually on my birthday. In Atlanta.

Anyway, we had dinner out tonight, the whole family plus Mr M, and it was a lot of fun. It just made me be very late getting back here tonight.

You know, I've said it in this very blog many times: I don't know what I did right that I've come to know such nice people.

Friday I was toiling away at work, minding my own business (literally), when what should arrive on my desk but a surprise package. From none other than Jellybean herself, a woman who like myself (and some others round here) knows there's nothing in this life quite as good as getting surprises through the mail.

Well, hell, I was excited just seeing the box, but when I opened it, it was chock full of goodies. I got some cool Halloween toys, a collapsible Frankenstein and ghost, and a brand new Hard Rock Cafe pin from Indianapolis! That just rocked. (hard.) Thanks to Jellybean for being such a sweetie and a thoughtful friend. And now here's a picture of my loot for all to see:



And finally, the recipe du jour, well, to paraphrase the old Monty Python Conquistadore Coffee Ad sketch, the recipe du jour gives new meaning to the word vomit. There's really no other way to say it, so without further ado may I please introduce to you all - The Potato Salad Log!

First of all, let it be said right off the bat that I don't really want to eat anything with "log" in its name. Now, second of all, the idea of a potato salad log boggles the mind.

OK, now the outside of the log here is - mashed potatoes. Yep, you make up some mashed potatoes, roll them out on tin foil, then put potato salad on them and roll them up. Potato salad in potatoes. There's so much starch in this dish I daresay the whole family could be standing erect for days after a serving. That's just wrong.

According the The Card, we're supposed to enjoy (if we dare) this log with cold turkey loaf (we don't even get it warmed over??), tomato salad, and pineapple chiffon pie. Rolaids, anyone?

By the way, please stay tuned - there will be an acro this week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I took my very first sips of wine post-op tonight. About three. That was Olympic for me, folks.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Warning Label

I try my best to get in as much protein as I can. They say it's supposed to keep your hair from falling out, amongst other things. As you can guess, either I'm still not getting enough or "they" lie like rugs.

But anyway, because I don't eat as much, I have to use protein supplements here and there. I drink protein drinks that become much less nasty when mixed with Crystal Light instead of water (I don't know why it took me so long to figure that out), and then I sometimes eat protein bars that taste relatively like bricks with a faux-choclate covering. (Well, to be honest, there are a couple of good ones out there, one called Strive that I've only ever found online and therefore has to be mail ordered [$$], and the new Post Carbwells peanut butter are excellent, but only offer 10 grams of protein, whereas others offer as many as 23.)

I had the afternoon off today, but it was basically useless because I had so many places to go and things to do. So many, in fact, that I didn't get time to eat a proper lunch. So on my way to get the podmobile serviced, I zipped by the Poderosa and got a "regular" protein bar (high grams, but little taste) to take with me on the trip.

So there I was, driving along and munching, when I happened to see something on the package of this bar. It said, and I quote: TAMPER RESISTANT. DO NOT USE IF FOIL WRAPPER IS TORN OR MISSING.

Now, if the wrapper of this is missing, how would you know not to eat it? You don't have the warning telling you not to! It's a shame, too, because I'd say there are a lot of these bars floating around without the wrapping. Where people have opened them, taken one bite, and flung them out their car windows like so many cigarette butts (or cassette tapes, Stennie).

Plus, "do not use?" Use this product. It's kind of big for insertion, and tremendously big for injection, so I guess by "use" they mean "eat" this product.

Then again, you could "use" it - as a paperweight, weapon, to build a house with. The list is endless, really.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* My wonderfully cool nephew was not in the Olympics, mainly because he's 15 and lives in B'field and has only been running about a year. Yesterday he was in a cross-country meet, though, and to hear him tell it, these people really took the term "cross-country" to heart. There was a part of the course where, instead of hearing footsteps and exhausted breathing behind him, he heard thundering, quick footsteps - and whinneying. There were about 8 wild horses chasing him. Yep, there was a part of the course where these horses were just running wild, chasing the runners, and having the time of their lives. However, later on the course, my wonderfully cool nephew also ran right through a pile of wild horse excrement. He and a buddy were running side by side, and the buddy just lost it when T ran through the shit, and lost it even more when he spent about 100 yards running with one foot and dragging the other through the grass trying to clean it. He finished sixth overall, a pretty good result considering.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

My Bodies, My Selves

I've had quite an interesting week so far, and it's only Wednesday. And when I say interesting, that doesn't even include having my blog eaten last night.

I went today for what has come to be known as my Quarterly Bloodletting. I don't know, I've never been one that minded needles, or seeing my own blood spurt into vial after vial, but I'm beginning to think I'm having it done way too much. It made me woozy today.

This all began with a trip Monday to see, yes, Smokin' Dr Javier. He wasn't smokin' Monday, but then again I didn't get called into his Inner Sanctum, where he sits and smokes and reads the paper and pours his heart out to me.

Instead, I got called yet again into the Not-As-Nice Office, the one with the kind of rickety examining table and the lack of morning sunlight. And the photo I think is fog rolling over a town, and not Niagra Falls wiping out a small settlement, as I'd originally taken it to be.

And of course, it's the office that houses "The Doctor," that turn-of-the-century masterpiece that always grabs and holds my attention, and the masterpiece I blogged about mere months ago (May 28, to be exact). "The Doctor" is that magnificent work of art depicting a doctor who looks way too much like U.S. Grant holding vigil over a little girl laid out on two chairs pushed together while her dad who looks way too much like John Cusack looks on. Her mom, if you'll remember, doesn't look like anyone because her face is buried in her arms as she weeps.

With this visit, as I waited for the arrival of Dr J, I walked over to "The Doctor" yet again. I looked at the little girl and realized she bears a striking resemblance to an "ET"-era Drew Barrymore. I also decided that she probably didn't survive the painting of the picture, seeing as how her mother is so distraught and hiding her face so we couldn't see who she looked like.

I also noticed something else. There's Dr U.S. Grant sitting watching over Drew Barrymore. And he's beside the kitchen table, which holds some medicine, water, various knicks and knacks - and an upturned top hat! And you know, Dr Grant is awfully spiffily dressed. I'll bet you anything that he's going to go out for some fine dining and dancing with some harlot right after Drew Barrymore breathes her last. The bastard.

Anyway, soon Dr J arrived, and I made the remark to him that I certainly hope he'd come to sit by me all laid out on two chairs when I was sick, and he just gave me that "Jesus Christ, you're weird" look he's so good at giving me. Then he told me a little story about "The Doctor."

It was given to him by a close friend as a sort of commemoration. See, Dr J's father was also a Dr J back in the Philippines. And Dr J (Sr) had a print of "The Doctor" on the wall of his Not-As-Nice Office, presumably with a kind of rickety examining table, etc, etc. But at one point Dr J's (Sr) office burned to the ground and he lost everything. Now, I can only hope that this was due to some sort of electrical fire or something and not caused by a then pre-teen Dr J lighting up a smoke in the alley behind the office. But I guess we'll never know that. So I think I may now officially know more about "The Doctor" than I ever cared to know.

And then we got down to the meat of the appointment, which consisted of us arguing at each other (you know, I do that now that I've turned mean) about blood pressure, medicine, cholesterol, drug companies, and whether or not I wanted to have my blood tested (I lost that last one).

And so I left Dr J's office on that morning with my bloodletting orders for this morning.

Now, in a not completely unrelated story. I need to get my eyes checked. I'm somewhere around 8 months past due for my yearly checkup, if not more. I've been holding out on going because I've been spending so much money on hospital bills, medicines, podmobile repairs, not to mention my fabulous $334.83 phone bill (note to self - never call someone in Ireland "just to talk," unless you're ready to pay $295 for one call), and various other expenses.

But I realized I really need to go when I started seeing concrete evidence. First of all, I'm down to one spare pair of contact lenses. I noticed this when I was packing to go to Clarinetfest, and, frankly, a gal should never go on a trip with only one pair of spare lenses. When you're running that low, it's time for a refill.

I'm also coming to the realization that as much as I fear it, bifocals are in my immediate future. This was sealed when I bought yet another new mineral to add to the handfuls of vitamins and minerals I take daily (I'm up to six now, and am considering going for a seventh). I brought it home and sat down to read the dosage instructions. I adjusted my arms, I changed positions. I switched the light on, I opened the blinds more, and finally, after holding the bottle and going through the seven basic ballet positions, I decided that it, like everything else, must be of the "one-a-day" variety dosage, so that's how I've been taking it.

I actually first really started thinking about this when I was recuperating at the folks' house and was lying on the couch, and my mom came in and showed me a new lipstick she'd bought. She turned the tube over and said, "It's called.... It's called.... Shit, what is it called?" and she handed it to me and I looked at it, bringing it closer to my face, then pulling it farther and farther away. Finally I said, "Bright Pink Frenzy?" even though I have no idea what the fuck it was called, but all of the lipsticks my mom wears look like they should be called Bright Pink Frenzy, so I figured I at least had a shot at it with that.

Then Monday morning, yep, the self-same morning of my doctor's appointment, I got up and my right eye was bloodshot. Now this was upsetting because a symptom of my dad's macular degeneration (and let's make no bones about this right now, I'm scared shitless of inheriting this, every single day of my life) is that he has leakages behind his eyes, evidenced by a terrible bloodshotedness. And although what I experienced Monday wasn't really like that, it was there, and therefore fucking with my brain, which of course we all know is quite fuckable anyway.

Get thee to an optometrist - and I will, I promise. If for no other reason than finding out the name of that damned lipstick.

And so finally (keep the cheers down to a minimum, please), that brings me to this morning's bloodletting. Kind of. The bloodletting itself was very routine except for the fact that I did indeed get woozy, which normally doesn't happen. What wasn't routine was something that happened while I was walking into the hospital. I know many people talk about their Moment Of Clarity. This may well have been mine.

A couple of months ago a coworker, while commenting on my weight loss, said to me, "You even walk different!" And I took that to mean, wow, I must have some kind of ultra-sexy mantrap kind of a gait these days.

Today, as I was walking down the corridors of the hospital, I realized she may not have meant it quite that way. And maybe it was because I was wearing white tennies instead of the blue or brown or more muted tone of shoe I also wear. But - and I don't know, maybe this is because of weight redistribution, or because my leg circumference is now different - hell, I don't know why it is - I noticed I was walking just like Eugene Levy's character in "Best In Show." Yeah, the guy who literally had two left feet. As I was booking it down the hall, watching my white-shoed feet loop around with each step, all I could hear was Fred Willard saying, "Look at him go!"

You know, this has been a really interesting year.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Fred Whipple died at age 97. What does he have to do with the Olympics? Not a damn thing. He was a scientist and knew a lot about comets, though.
* The women's gymnastics team was on Leno last night, and the women's soccer team was on Dave. They've come home from Athens too. Cause, you know, it's over and all.