Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I can't seem to stay awake tonight.

I sat down after work to decide my next plan of action, turned on Rachael Ray at 6:00, and suddenly I was watching "Emeril" and it was 8:30. I rummaged around for food, ate said food, then was getting ready to fall off again when I punched myself in the leg and made myself get up and walk around a while.

Maybe I've been bitten by a tse tse fly. With a beak. (A Jose Greco de Muerto)

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Wow - I may have thought it'd be hard, but many people came out for acro. And some fine entries, too. It's going to be very difficult judging tonight.
So - what changed yall's lives?
Honorable Mention: DeepFatFriar's "Having Wire Rimmed Glasses."
Runner-Up: Jellybean's "Hungry was radio gold."
And for the first time in acrohistory, and, sure I may be copping out, but I can not decide. We've got a three-way tie!!
Winners: Stennie's "Hitchcock, Wilder, Renoir, Gilliam." Kellie's "Having Wedding Ring Given." LilyG's "Hearing Whizzing Rockets, Grenades."
Now, this is because for all three of you, I know that these really did change your lives, and actually, reading them kind of touched me. In that acro sort of way. So kudos to you three, and kudos to everyone, because there were some great acros here - too bad everyone can't win.
Thanks for playing!

Monday, May 30, 2005


Hello, welcome to the end of the weekend, happy Memorial Day, and get ready for acromania!

This week's acro is going to be hard. I've already decided. See, as evidenced by my update of yesterday (thanks for the nice Stetson comment, I'll pass it along), I watched an episode of a TV show last night that took me right back to 1978. It was so nice that when I got in the car today I got out my "Armed Forces" CD and popped it in, for the express purpose of hearing "Two Little Hitlers." Then it went on to "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding," "Accidents Will Happen," "Oliver's Army," and I got to thinking about how this album changed my life.

Now, I know when someone says something changed his/her life, and it wasn't God or Jesus or Scientology, people tend to believe it's a gross exaggeration. But in my case, "Armed Forces" changed my life. See, it was at the exact point I heard that album that I realized that until then, everything I liked had been total and complete shit and that everything I was going to like in the future was going to be completely different, new and exciting. And it was. And it changed my life.

Also couple that with the fact that not six months later was when I saw that picture in my art book of Marcello riding the girl in "La Dolce Vita," and, well, the new me had come out and old me had been discarded in the wastebasket for good.

So tonight's acrotopic is, "It Changed My Life."

The other rules are as always. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches the topic and the letters below, which are drawn from the friendly acrobasket. Boggle changed his life, btw. Then I'll be judging around 10pm est tomorrow night, and the winners will be new people, and the losers will be their old selves.

So the topic this week is "It Changed My Life." The letters:


To the acromobile!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* The other night I happened upon "Edward Scissorhands" on cable. Now, it's a movie I like quite a lot anyway, but of course, my husband to be Alan F Arkin is also in it, so I sat and watched from beginning to end. I'd forgotten about one scene in the movie, which I'm convinced is 20 or seconds of the sweetest adorableness put on film. That's where Edward has run away and is sitting dejectedly on the curb. Then up beside him lopes a sheepdog. Edward looks over at it, reaches out, cuts it some bangs, the doggie kisses him, and trots off. That's just priceless.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Picture Sunday or Stetson Sunday

Hello to all my friends.

I'm currently enjoying the laziest weekend on record, well, at least on record for a long time here in Betland. I made the decision to blow off the band concert tomorrow morning (screw patriotic music), and have spent Friday night, Saturday, and today doing fuck-all. And loving it. And you know what I have on tap for tomorrow? Fuck-all.

Well, a major occurrence in the life of an aunt Friday. I became a proud owner of a new CD by none other than The Stetsons. As we all know, because I won't shut up about it, The Nephew is drummer and founding member. Now, see, I just think it's beyond cool that some high school kids would not only form a band, but write some songs of their own, record them, then go about the business of making their very own CD that they can sell to family and friends.

OK, so there's one part of that that's not so cool - it should be, "making their very own CD that they can give to family and sell to friends." But remember, teenage boys. Gas money. Date money. Expense of having the CD made money. No one got off free on this one. Even their mothers had to pay up front.

Anyway, once the recording was done, it was sent away and turned into a real CD with a cover, photos, disc artwork and everything. And when I say "everything," I mean it even came in shrinkwrap. I think Taytie was prouder of the shrinkwrap than anything else.

And so may I just share the Stetson love here with a cover of their CD.

Ahh, a night-time photo taken from the top of East River Mountain. Just in case you're wondering what the hell it is. And if you are, you're not alone, because I had to be told, and I live here.

And to share more Stetson love, how about the inside cover.

And because, and let's face it folks, there's so much Stetsons love to share, as a special added bonus for you all, and try not to pee your pants with excitement over this, let's share the ultimate Stetsons love by giving you a chance to listen to the guys.

Now, I did ask permission before doing this. And as a disclaimer of sorts, well, not so much a disclaimer as a warning, because of webspace concerns, this may not be up here permanently. So listen while you can.

This is Track Six, also known as "I Find."

I Find

And may I just say at this point a big thanks to Mr M, upon whose site this has been uploaded. I'm perilously close to going over my webspace allocations, and no song would go to my site. He volunteered, thus giving me back my will to live. I thank you, and The Stetsons thank you. (And my intentions were to get my two favorites, the above and another song, "D," both up here, but poor "D" just doesn't seem to want to upload correctly. Maybe Mr M's out of webspace, too. Oh, well, if you want more, you'll just have to buy the CD. Like a family member.)

And finally, after a long day in the recording studio, what do a promising local band like The Stetsons like to help them relax and unwind? Well, if I were them, I'd surely be thinking about Swordfish with Pineapple Chunks!

Yeah, I can just see that one backstage at Madison Square Garden.

I guess the main question about this week's recipe du jour is, "Why in the hell would anyone want to put pineapple chunks on swordfish?" If you can answer it, you win the golden prize. Which, incidentally, is a tray of swordfish with pineapple chunks. Along with a myriad of other prizes, steamed zucchini, noodle pudding, and creamy cheese pie, which happen to be the serving suggestions on the recipe card. Noodle pudding - mmmmm.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I watched, for the very first time tonight, the TV show "Cold Case Files." The episode did a lot of flashing back to 1978. During the episode I got to hear "Accidents Will Happen," "Cruel To Be Kind," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding," and a song by the Cars that I can't remember the name of.
* The tray those swordfish and pineapple chunks are on looks really rusted.

Friday, May 27, 2005

I'm It

Oooh, aren't I just, though.

I've been tagged by Flipsycab to do the "A Bunch of 'If I Were' Questions" Quiz. And, well, when you're tagged, you know you have to do it. I'm a woman of principle. Actually, I'm alone in my principles. And I'm going off to write that hit song of the same name.

Before I start "If I Were"ing, let me tell you about my knee. It's wrenched, and it hurts.

See, this morning I seem to have fallen in my pants.

I have no idea what happened, really, all I know is that one minute there was a foot in the leg of my jeans and the next minute I was being hurled to the floor. It was like the minute I tried to enter those pants, the legs twisted up like a pretzel. And I landed on my shoe. And it was a hard shoe. I guess I don't put my pants on just like everybody else.

And I also realized, with the little blanket tumble at Mr M's, this is now two times in as many months I've found myself floor bound. I'll end up breaking a hip, I just know it.

OK, now on to the fun and frivolity:

If I could be a scientist: I'd work on the Healthy Cigarette.
If I could be a farmer: My animals would all learn to sleep way past dawn.
If I could be a musician: What are you talking about - I am a musician!
If I could be a doctor: I'd barter and take trades for payment from the uninsured. I'd also not ridicule people for not being healthy.
If I could be a painter: I wouldn't get frustrated and give up every five minutes.
If I could be a gardener: I'd wear green jeans.
If I could be a missionary: I'd tell everyone about the Bible autographed by Jesus.
If I could be a chef: I'd specialize in foods shaped like famous people and things.
I could be an architect: I'd start a partnership with George Costanza.
If I could be a linguist: I'd like to speak German. It's such a harsh language, when you speak it it sounds like you mean something.
If I could be a psychologist: I'd heal myself.
If I could be a librarian: I'd just hang at the library and read all day long.
If I could be an athlete: I'd faint.
If I could be a lawyer: I wouldn't. Except maybe real estate. I had nice people who made the Poderosa purchase not-so-scary.
If I could be an innkeeper: I would let Jesus stay in a nice room. With cable and air conditioning.
If I could be a professor: I like Flipsy's answer to this one.
If I could be a writer: My blogs would be funny and entertaining, like they were a couple of years ago.
If I could be a llama-rider: I would ride him up to people I don't like and let him spit.

There. I tag everyone else now.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* For the first time in I really can't remember how long, there's a distinct possibility that I may get to spend a whole, long, holiday weekend at my house. I'm so damned excited about that. Who wants to go in my place Monday and play patriotic music?
* I fell in my pants.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

When Houseguests Smell

What's the saying? It's so old and famous I can't remember it verbatim. You know, the one about fish and houseguests starting to smell after about 3 days.

My home seems to have become a haven of sorts for the cartoon character looking for a place to perch. Sherman and Peabody came first, moving their home to the humble Pod from the big city. Seems Peabody wanted Sherman to enjoy some small-town life after keeping him for years in a cramped apartment in Manhattan. And this has been fine. They're both a joy to live with, even if P is a little, well, you know, P-ish. They're no trouble, they're immaculately clean (what little boy messes Sherman makes are always cleaned promptly), and they've enriched my life beyond belief. They're the family I always wanted. Well, actually, I guess they're the family I never really wanted but was glad I got.

But apparently word got out.

Next who should show up at my door but Gossamer. This was a conspiracy upon my person. Seems Sherman liked him a lot from the old days, and with just a word or two in Mr M's ear, it was all arranged that Gossamer would come for a stay. Gossamer isn't much trouble, really, other than the fact that he knocks things over when he and Sherman play hide-and-seek in the house. And his table manners are attrocious. And he tends to smell, especially if he gets wet. And then there was that time on my birthday when he ate my good luck baby Lily, but fortunately we got him to cough her up in time and she survived, albeit with a hole in her midsection. And he occasionally burps, but really, he's no trouble.

Before I knew it, I had a third border. Huckleberry Hound. Now, Huckie and I are old friends, so this was a bit of a welcoming sight for me. Huckie lived with me once before, came to visit me when I was in the hospital about 10 years ago and never left, till he went to live with my nephew for awhile during The Greatest Scare of My Life, aka Taytie's Hospitalization When He Was Seven. So Taytie and Huckie got on like a house afire, as ol' Huck is a winner with the kids.

However, when I entered the hospital for surgery last year, who should come back into my life but My Little Blue Friend With The Doody Hat. I guess at heart, Huckleberry Hound's just a caring fellow. Wherever there's sickness and a need for comfort, he's right there on the spot. He's been living with me since, and he's a great friend to little Sherman, even though Peabody gets anxious when the two spend too much time together. Seems that, although impressed with the hound's manners, Peabody's a little squeamish Sherman might pick up the accent.

And then there's the story of Mr Peanut.

First of all I'd just like to say that I was excited, nay, wowed, at the thought of probably my all-time favorite advertising character coming to spend some time with me and the boys. I can remember when I was but a podlet living in Charleston. One of my biggest treats was going to the peanut store and getting to pick out my own little bag (it was always English walnuts, btw). And there, in bright neon outside the building, welcoming me in, was Mr Peanut.

Such a debonair and dashing nut as well. With the spats and top hat and cane. And the monacle. He's the very epitome of the erudite man about town.

Mr M did a stint of consulting work in Richmond a while back, and wouldn't you just know the very company he was working for was the big conglomeration who just happens to be the parent company for Mr Peanut. There were rumblings every now and again that Mr Peanut would be in the building, but he seemed to be quite elusive and was rarely spotted. But Mr M sought him out, knowing what a fan I was, and lo and behold, one weekend when he came back home to B'burg he had The Peanut Himself in tow. Mr Peanut expressed a desire to come and visit and hang with some of his contemporaries, and to be truthful, I was honored.

Mr Peanut followed me home.

And Mr Peanut is a charming fellow. Always ready with a funny story, or a light for your smoke, can mix a martini for you and help coordinate your wardrobe as well. He's talented in the social graces.

But as happens when houseguests start staying long enough for you to really get to know them, well, Mr Peanut's not all sweetness and light.

First of all, he's quite - clingy. He likes to travel. With me. No matter where I'm going, at what time of the day or night, I start up the car, look in the rear-view mirror, and there sitting in the back seat is Mr Peanut, donning his top hat, legs crossed, waiting for a ride somewhere. He's just always there. But has he ever offered to chip on gas? Never.

That's the second thing. He's basically a sponge. Here is a peanut that's been in the public eye since around 1920 - you can't tell me that, barring The Great Depression or some devestating investments in the 80s, this goober is broke. But the rides are on me, the drinks are on me, the room and board are on me. Sure, he's polite and expresses gratefulness, but that's not keeping me afloat here on the financial front.

Lately, though. It's just not pretty. See, we haven't quite figured out if he was always this way, or if there's some sort of depression we're not diagnosing right, or if he's just a lonely nut or what, but Mr Peanut's drinking seems to have gotten out of control.

At first it was fun. Always a martini, a shot of Goldschlager, a Cosmopolitan. It lent an air of sophistication and fun to my new friend, even if I was the one footing the bill for the libations.

Now it's not so fun anymore. I'm worried about Mr Peanut. Most weekends one can find him, top hat askew, slumped down face foward on the back seat of my car; I don't know what he gets up to in the wee hours of the morning, but by the time anyone can get out to the podmobile there he is, sick as a dog, nursing hangovers of monumental proportions, moaning, weeping, invoking names of saints, etc. The other day, as Mr M was at the wheel driving down G Road, I picked my confused friend up to sit him on my lap and have a little word or two with him. He promptly rolled down my window and retched out of it. (Oddly enough, his top hat didn't blow away.)

Peabody thinks it's disgusting, Sherman thinks it's funny. Well, he thinks it's funny when Mr Peanut's high; he doesn't understand the sudden change in demeanor the next day. Huckie judges no moral character, as he enjoys a tipple from time to time as well. Gossamer has no comprehension of the situation, or any other, I'm afraid. Baby Lily is wishing all her good luck Mr Peanut's way, which is difficult for her now, what with the hole in her midsection and all.

I'm just hoping peanuts don't have livers.

Last Monday I had a most unpleasant occurrence here at The Pod. I'd gone to bed, as usual, and also, as usual, woke up about 2 hours into my sleep. It was around 2:30am, and when I reached over for a drink of water I realized I hadn't filled my mug and it was dry. So I got up to get myself a drink.

As I was fumbling around in the kitchen, I heard a very familiar tapping sound. I realized it was coming from the dennette. It was the sound of keyboard typing. I peeked in, and imagine my surprise.

Seems my "friend" Mr Peanut has been using my computer to chat up women on the internet.

So maybe he is lonely. Maybe he needs some female companionship. I know B'field is not exactly a major metropolis teeming with opportunities for love. (Believe me; I know that.) But I don't want him all liquored up in the dead of night flirting with God-knows-who, especially on my computer, online through my provider, all while drinking my liquor.

I've tried to get Mr M to treat him, but he says he can't because they have a prior friendship. I've toyed with the idea of an intervention. But somehow the thought of Me, Peabody, Sherman, Huckleberry Hound, Gossamer, and Lily confronting Mr Peanut gives me a creepy feeling.

And it's probably giving you one, too. So maybe I'd better sign off.

Betland's Olympic Update:

*Sorry for the lack of weekly features. I've been away, in body and in spirit. They shall return.

* It is with the heaviest of heavy hearts that I mention the news today of the death of Howard Morris, funnyman extraordinaire. Ernest T. Bass. What a character. Tonight in his honor I shall sing his love song to Charlene Darling.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Just One More Reason Why My Nephew Rocks

I wasn't there, but the story was related to me.

Yesterday, DJ TaytieMac was playing in a baseball game. I think I mentioned briefly how his baseball team is, well, struggling. They happened to be playing one of the better teams in the area.

And they were getting shellacked. 10 runs behind. Hadn't had a man on base all day, till DJTM got up to bat and got a single.

So there stood The Nephew on first. And, as should never happen, but often happens in Little League, and is embarrassing when it happens in high school, my guy started being taunted by the rival team's first baseman.

"Oooooh, look at you, got on base, think you're a big man. Aren't you cool. Ooooooh." Et Cetera.

Finally, TM turned around to his taunter.

"Tell me something. Does my butt look OK in these pants?"

Stare of disbelief.

"No, really. I was checking it earlier, but I can't really tell."

Stare of disbelief. Followed by a curt, "I'm not lookin' at your butt." And silence.

Way to go, Mac.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Last night Mr M and I blew off band and went on a bike ride. Remember that "3/8 of a mile" I'd been huffing and puffing my way through? Turns out there are mile markers on the park benches throughout the bike path. We've been going 5-6 miles. Told you so.
* On the fashion front: One of the new babies in my life, Baby Kendall. She's 18 days old, and is already the proud owner of five bathing suits. I'm not sure I've had five bathing suits in the last five years.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ein (*yawn* *cough* *tap-tap-tap*) Prosit


Saturday was the big Local Colors Festival in R'noke. And right there on the bill between the African chanters, Jamaican steel drummers, and Irish pipers were your humble Sauerkraut Band.

I was actually pretty stoked about this one - we did the festival last year and it went really well. It was a great day with lots of people. There were also some guys from a folk-dancing troupe who happened along the festival on their way to somewhere else, and they loved us. They danced en masse all over the park, twirling and whirling and generally putting on a real show.

Cut to this year.

This year Mr M and I set out to R'noke in a driving thunderstorm, and were dodging lightning bolts all the way down Rt 460 out of town. However, thankfully, the closer we got to our destination, the drier it seemed all around. We held out hope.

Now, I know full well I'm going to get in trouble for this next paragraph. I don't care, I'll take my chances. One of the first problems of the trip was my decision for a traveling companion. Now, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to go with anyone more than I would Mr M, but Mr M has this character trait - fanatical earliness. When you go to an event with Mr M you generally get there so early that by the time the event starts you're ready to leave.

And so we arrived in R'noke way too early. We were the only Sauerkrauters there, and pretty much the only people there save for a few granola'ed teenagers who came for the big draw of the festival, Celtic-rock band Enter the Haggis. And so we really had no options at that point but to have a mosey round. And that's just what we did - we moseyed.

However, about four minutes into our mosey it began to rain.

We both had umbrellas, so it wasn't a big deal - much, anyway. Remember we did still both have armloads of horns and horn paraphernalia, and so we walked up till we found a little tented area and rested our stuff there, standing, looking, hoping the wind didn't blow, wanting to stay dry.

We stood like this maybe 45 minutes. Or more.

Finally, like a light in the darkness, out on the horizon, at the other end of EW Park, we saw another pair of lederhosen. And we rejoiced.

And then scattered lederhosen and dirndls made their way, through the rain, up to the little tent under which Mr M and I were already ensconced. And we stood some more. And of course by "some" I mean at least another hour, hour and a half. Sure, it was more fun having the whole gang there to huddle with, but we were still standing, watching it rain, wondering where this all would take us.

But Ed, our Fearless Leader, came back and had The Plans. We were waiting out the storm and rain, which was (supposedly) passing through, then one band was to play about 30 minutes, then we were to play about 40 minutes, and that would take us with plenty of time to spare to 8pm, at which time Enter The Haggis would take the stage and we could all go home. We'd end up the same time we were originally scheduled to end, just have a much shorter set (ixed by about an hour or more).


We all made our way down to the stage area to get ready. I dispensed with the umbrella by this point, even though it was still lightly sprinkling, because my hours-in-the-making painfully straightened hair had already curled back up tightly and taken on that oh-so-familiar Brillo Pad effect. We were all by the stage. And we were again waiting.

Waiting for that first band to start. And oh, how we waited.

They just stood there, noodling around on their instruments. At first I thought that was their set - that they were just one of those noodling kinds of bands. Then I realized there was some sort of delay. I realized this because the emcee of the event kept standing there, microphone in hand, telling us how this band was going to start any minute. And he stood there the entire time telling us that. And telling us anything else he could think of. I think he maybe told us at one point what he had for lunch. Above the noodling.

Now, I don't think anyone would be surprised at this point by the news that I was becoming of a very bad humor. I was tired, I wanted to sit down (I never got to, btw), my hair was increasingly Kramer-like, these damn noodlers were onstage, and I swear, hand to God, that if I could have gotten hold of that bullshitter emcee's microphone I'd have stuck it right up his ass. And he'd have probably described it to everyone as I was doing it.

I'm not sure quite how it happened, but the noodlers, after about 45 minutes of, well, noodling, started their set. Oddly enough, once their set started, they were - noodlers! And all of their songs sounded like "Oye Como Va." In fact, TD the trumpet player and I sang, over and over, during all their songs, "Oye Como Va."

The noodlers played their 30 minutes, and there we were, perched on the side of the stage ready to pounce. Two sound guys came up to us and started asking who played what instrument and who would and wouldn't mind sharing microphones. Finally someone popped up and said, "It's OK, sir, we all have our own mics ready to go, we just plug in and play." We were then informed that we couldn't do that, that we'd have to use their equipment. As one, we all pointed to Ed.

As the sound dudes were talking to Ed, I was remembering last year. We were right before E. the H. just like this year, and no one had nary a problem with us and our sound setup. My brain was starting to hurt. Anyway, whatever the conversation with Ed contained, it ended up with us going onstage and waiting to be mic'ed by these guys.

And in the nicest possible way, these sound guys were complete ho-hoes. They didn't a bit more know what was going on - they set us up 10 microphones, some positioned correctly for their instruments, some not - and of the 10, I think 2 worked. And they were hovering and motioning to the soundboard guys and blowing and tapping and yelling "test." Had it not been so infuriating it would have been funny. In fact, after they'd worked on Mr M's mic for a while with no results, I finally got the nerve to tap one of the guys on the shoulder and tell him I thought I knew the problem - the mic wasn't plugged in. It was just laying there, unconnected, at my feet.

The comedy of errors continued. And this might be a good time to mention that the bar had now opened, the beer (or in my case, the wine) had started flowing, and things were starting to get just a little rowdy on the stage. The ho-hoes were still at work, there were rubber chickens flying through the air, my favorite chicken, the one with the squeaky inside of him, was being used by the band to soundcheck the mics, we got out Mr M's bubble machine and started filling the air with bubbles, and at one point I started to tap dance. It had been 35 minutes since we'd taken the stage, and not a note had been played. Not even a noodle.

Then in the blink of an eye we got the go-ahead from Ed; let's get started. I just had a "certain feeling," so decided to give it a shot, and I tapped my and MK's mic. Deader than four o'clock. We looked at each other with a dismissive wave; who gave a shit at that point, we just wanted to play.

And so we played. And we sounded great! And the crowd liked us, people were dancing and little kids were hopping around and people were waving their beers and toasting with us!

And after four songs, they told us it was over. Get off the stage now! And so we grabbed our stuff and ran, like thieves in the night.

It seems that after those ho-hoin' bastards finally got us set up, it was 7:50. We had a total of 10 minutes to play, and apparently they weren't letting us slip over into the Big Act of the Evening's time. Hell, I didn't even get to start my baby bottle of Goldschlager! That's OK, though - once we were safely to the side of the stage DTFP and I halved it.

I spent almost four hours there, standing up, getting wet, being bored, being annoyed, feeling my hair curl, listening to noodling, and listening to the bullshittingest emcee the world has ever known - for 10 minutes of playing.


Betland's Olympic Update:
* Lawks a mercy, look at the acro entries! Everyone wants to tell me Why We're Here!
Honorable Mentions: Mike, with "Airedales," and Michelle, with "Accolades."
Runner-up: Venice, with "Apes."
And winner, for the 2d straight week, Flipsycab, with "Accident."
Thanks for playing, everybody, and I mean that!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Experimental Acrochallenge!

OK, babies, gather round.

I hear the death toll for acromania; the entries are getting fewer and fewer as the weeks go by. So today I'm going to go experimental. Maybe this will give acro the kick in the ass it's needed for months. Then again, maybe it will give acro the final nail in the coffin.

The topic for this week's acrochallenge is "Why Are We Here?"

And here's where we get goofy: It's going to be a one-letter acro. Why? I don't know, I guess I'm just on the edge, man!

All the other rules will be the same: everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym that matches the topics and the letter below, drawn from Mr Acrobasket himself. Then I'll do the judging at around 10pm est tomorrow night, and the winners will be allowed to stay "here." The losers, well, don't pack your bags, you won't be taking anything with you. So if I were you I'd acro like my life depended on it.

This week's topic: Why Are We Here? The letter:


Well, there you have it. Let's give it a go.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I hate to be an idiot here, but what exactly is a sitz bath, anyway?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Picture Sunday


I'm sliding in quietly to fulfill my contractual obligations of Picture Sunday. I was a bad girl yet again, leaving for the weekend without remembering to grab my camera, but I'll improvise.

Saturday was my second Sauerkraut Band concert in as many weeks, and this one - though in a completely different way - was as chaotic as the first. In fact, so much was involved, I'll think I'll save it for a separate blog in a day or two. I will tell you it rained a lot and my hair turned into a Brillo Pad.

It rained today too, thus ending my dreams of another Sunday bike ride. We tried to wait out the weather, but, as it often does, the weather won.

And before I print the first picture tonight, may I just say to those of you nice enough to leave comments in Friday's blog, there's no way I can tell you the remark that cracked me up at the luncheon. See, the fact that the number 69 was mentioned had absolutely nothing to do with it. I could probably have brought myself to tell had it just been a smutty double entendre, but it was something completely else. Just imagine yourselves in that great old cartoon from Mad Magazine that convinces us that it's actually better to bleep out dirty words on TV, because the words you imagine for the bleeps are always dirtier and better than what the real words were. ("And I said, "&#($&@(!" )

OK, so here's my new present. Mr M and I found yet another unbelievable item on Ebay in the S & P department. He was kind enough to keep bidding till he got it for me. Rocky and Bullwinkle Colorforms, anyone?

Great Box. Bullwinkle looks to be doing the frug, Sherman looks to be doing the limbo, and Peabody looks to be Morris dancing. And all the pieces are there - they're just very old and have some stickability issues.

Thanks, Mr M!

And now let's get right to the recipe du jour so I can wash a few dishes and call it an early night.

It's the dish that's soup but so much more, Gazpacho!

Wow. Look at that tablecloth. You know, that would be the perfect tablecloth for The Pod's kitchen, it has the right colors. But beyond that, let's look at the soup. Looks like Campbell's Cream of Tomato to me, but of course the telling shot there is the bowl taking its own personal icy sitz bath.

It's odd, because the soup is set up almost like a side dish there; the real stars on this card are the avacados. Sure, the card says to serve the Gazpacho with stuffed avacados, but these are all different, as if they were the result of some "avacado bar" set up in the kitchen. And for some reason when I look at those avacados arranged there, all I see are John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* OK, In the past two or so weeks I've seen "Catch 22," "The In-Laws (had seen it)," "Wait Until Dark," "The In-Laws (this time with the commentary track)," and then watched "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter," thus sealing my undying love of Alan Arkin. But I mainly mentioned all that just to say that if you're as big a fan of "The In-Laws" as I am (and I know most of you out there are), please watch the commentary track at least once; it's really funny, enjoyable, and tells you things you'll be happy to know about the movie.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I Wish I Had A Better Title For This Entry

Yesterday was not a particularly stellar day in Betland.

I pretty much didn't go to bed Wednesday night, two cups of coffee and a case of The Hinkies kept me up till about 5:30, after which I went and stretched out on the bed just long enough for my alarms (all 3 of them) to go off, then it was up and a quick dash of getting ready for work.

And I felt wretched. And so I just picked out the first and most comfortable thing I came to, which was a pair of navy capris and a light green long-sleeved polo shirt. I threw on my white tennies and was out the door. I was out the door thinking, "Ohhhh, Lord if I can just make it till lunch time I can come back to The Pod and get an hour's sleep."

Then as I was walking up to the back door of the building, it hit me. There'd be no hour-long nap that day. Because Thursday was the day of the local Downtown Development Corporation's Annual Luncheon. And there I was dressed like I just got up out of the flower patch.

And I'd get no sleep.

Normally the luncheon is in the Downtown area, in the basement of one of the local churches, is catered by a local grocer, attended by folks from Downtown businesses, and a good time is had by all. And I'm not being facetious, it really is a nice luncheon. It was particularly fun the year the Mayor, the Town Council, the Town Manager, and several of the town's businessowners got into a fight during the post-lunch discussion session. That was a really good luncheon.

However. This year. You know, this year, with the advent of the razing of not only the Town Hall but the store of the local grocer who catered our previous luncheons, and the mass exodus of activity from the actual Downtown area to points south in the town, I guess it was all destined to be a little different. And I was right.

The luncheon was held at the college here in town, a small, private, Southern Baptist-affiliated college. We knew it was somewhere on campus but didn't know where. And after a short amount of rambling, we found it. In the cafeteria. In the fucking cafeteria.

We went in and it, well, it smelled like a school cafeteria. They had us set up in a little collapsible-walled area in the upper corner of the room, and we went in only to find that the room wasn't even the size of the old church basement. But the four TheCompanyIWorkForGirls found a table, occupied it, and waited for the lunch to start being served.

And that's when they informed us we need to go ahead and get our lunches.

Yes, we heard right. Go get our lunches. We had to go through the cafeteria line.

Oh, boy.

So there we went, through the doorway, picked up a tray, picked up our silverware, and started this Journey of Hell that was sliding our trays down that cafeteria line. Desserts came first. Desserts are, of course, out for me. But I did find some fresh fruit. The trough of fresh fruit was pretty much down to the nubs though, so after spooning and spooning I still came away with only three squares of cantaloupe and two grapes.

Then, and hold on to your hats for this one, we hit the beans. I think they were your garden variety white beans, but they were so much more, really. There were pieces of ham, well, I'm assuming it was ham because I can't imagine it would be legal if it were what it actually looked like, floating around in there and I gave the beans a quick pass. As did everyone apparently, because it looked to be that nary a bean had been lifted from the bowl.

Next we came to something green. Now, I'm quite the devotee of kale, and of spinach if it's done right. And so, little leap-of-faith-taker that I am, I took a chance on the greens.

There were pita sandwiches that looked very Italian. San in front of me picked up one and it fell apart, so I gave it a pass as well.

That left two items to go on the menu at Cafeteria Barfé. Some red mushy stuff, and some potatoes. Since I knew what the potatoes actually were, I went ahead and got some. (They were "not" potatoes, btw - not mashed, not fried, not baked, not tater tots, not hash rounds. They were just squares of potato.) Then looking at my sad plate, with a spoonful of green stuff, the cantaloupe and two grapes, and the not-potatoes, I said, "What the hell, if I die, I die," and dove into the red mushy stuff. Which a lady told me as I was spooning it out was beef barbecue.

And so we went back to our table and well, it wasn't pretty. The fruit wasn't bad, but I attribute that to God, I guess. The rest of it was just gagalicious. The greens were a taste I'd truly never experienced before, and I got to thinking about how nicely mown the grounds of the campus were as we were walking along earlier. And my bites got smaller and smaller.

The potatoes were just, I don't know what they were just. They were just hard. They were just tasteless. And they were just salted into submission.

And the barbecue was what I would imagine barbecue would be if it were a flavor of baby food. It certainly was that consistency.

So for about 10 minutes I'd take a pinch of barbecue pablum, move a blade of grass or two on top of it, and try and choke it down. Then the speakers started coming to the podium, and it was like someone arriving at the electric chair with a pardon from the governor.

Or so I thought.

The "hostess" for the thing was a local woman from TheCompanyIDon'tWorkFor. Now, has anyone seen "Blazing Saddles?" Remember the schoolmarm who gives the speech at the town meeting? Talking so quietly no one can hear? Well, put that woman's voice up about two octaves and add a constant giggle to it, and you'll be starting to get the idea. There's a word I'm thinking of, and the word is "annoying."

So, various and sundry speakers came up and talked about all the great things that were supposed to be coming to B'field. "Two Fortune 500 companies" showed interest. "Several major restaurants." Of course, no one mentioned any names, so again the rumor mill will start about who wants to come to B'field. I personally didn't believe it was true anyway, so my wondering lasted about 4 minutes.

Then, as someone was boasting about all the new businesses who'd come in in the last year (69 was the number, I think), San looked at me in disbelief. "Well, that's what he said," I whispered back. And she thought a moment and said something, earnestly, innocently, and quietly - that was so hilarious I was worthless for the rest of the luncheon.

The sad part is that I can't tell you what it was because it was so offensive. Which is truly a shame. However, just as I'd get a little calmed down and look away to steel my nerves, I'd start again, usually proceeded by a small "eeeeeeeee" just before the tee hees. Tears were running down my face, my mascara was beginning to run.

And finally, thankfully, it was over.

As everyone was streaming out, I made a bee-line for the coffee pots and got a cup of coffee to go. That also gave me a chance to say hi to, and get a hug from, one of my favorite kids in the world, Drewie, who's just finishing his first year at Virginia Tech. He's a trainer for the Hokies, and showed me his Sugar Bowl ring.

Quite impressive. A hell of a lot more impressive than lunch, that's for damn sure.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, Proof Positive Horoscopes Are A Bunch of Crap, Part 2. For the second day in a row:
"The stars have arranged a day that's just perfect for exchanging vows -- or promises, at the very least. The good news is that everyone will be a lot more prone to think before they speak, so, for once, you can actually believe that the people around you are just as liable to keep their word as you always are. It's not always easy for you to trust, but now's the time to enjoy honest, candid communication."
* Yeah, right.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Proof Positive Horoscopes Are A Bunch of Crap


Here's another nice, quiet day for you -- the stuff that lovely memories are made of. The heavens are primed for romance, tenderness and the exchange of truly meaningful words. Your best bet is to spend as much of your time as you possibly can with someone who shares your affectionate feelings. You know exactly who to invite along for the ride. Get on the phone.

Yeah, right.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Looks like other certain branches of my family tree are not having a good day today, as evidenced by the below:

Tatum? Glad he's a kid of good nature. The ribbing must have started about homeroom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How Dry I Am

As some of you may have noticed, I don't seem to be clogging the airwaves with a lot of blogs lately.

I don't know what the problem is. I just don't seem to have many ideas.

This too shall pass, I suppose.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Not much interest in acro this week, but we still have acrowinners!
Runner-Up: LilyG, with "Soapy effluvia approaches rim, causing torrents."
Winner: Flipsycab, with "Static electricity and really clingy towels."

Monday, May 09, 2005


Greetings, acro lovers. I've been cleaning, I've been watching movies, and now I'm finally here to give you the acro fix you're looking for.

This week's topic comes from Stennie, though she has no idea I'm going to do this.

Since I also did two loads of laundry tonight, I was taken back to a time a couple of years ago when Stennie told us the story whose punchline was "Laundry Is Pain." (Actually, it was meant to be "Laundry Is A Pain," but the person delivering the line had broken English.)

So this week's topic is: Laundry Is Pain. Discuss.

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches the topic and also matches the below letters, drawn from a newly cleaned and pressed acrobasket. Then I'll announce winners at about 10pm est tomorrow, and the winners will get a personal fold from me, and losers will get a free ride in the dryer.

The topic: Laundry Is Pain. Discuss. The letters:


There you have it. Now start the spin cycle!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* It's nice outside. I really hate working when it's nice outside.
* I'm not fond of working when it's not nice outside.
* I'm extremely lazy.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Picture Sunday

Well, hello one and all, here it is on time and in all its glory, Picture Sunday.

Nice weekend.

Mr M, as of Saturday, became the only person I know with 3 Masters Degrees. Well, the only person that I know of. He didn't go to the graduation ceremonies, but really, when it's your third, I guess you've got them all memorized by then.

Instead we did something a lot more fun. Something I've been planning to do for weeks now with Mr M's expertise, and it finally came to pass. Yes, readers, Your Humble Blogger is now the proud owner of a brand new bike!

Ha! I'll bet you all thought I was going to say "dog," didn't you?

True to "me" form, after testing it, buying it, signing the registrations, getting a kickstand and a water bottle holder put on it, we carried it out to the car and it immediately started to rain upon our precious heads.

Then Saturday night we had something of a little celebration. ESP wanted to take us out to dinner but couldn't get the reservations we wanted, and so Mr M said he actually would like to cook. So ESP said she'd buy the groceries if he'd make the food - so Mr M made lamb chops, spinach, and his famous $21 salad. (Which used to be called the $13 salad before inflation.) It was absolutely wonderful from beginning to end, the end being some fried apples which he altered a small portion of to make them sugar-free for lil' ol me.

Then today after a little Mother's Day shopping (yes, I left that a little late too), we put the new podcycle to use and rode one of the bike trails in B'burg. I only had to push my bike twice - up two killer hills, and one of them I actually made it about 2/3 up before I started going more backward than forward. But hey, my first ride in about 15 years? That's not bad.

The trail went all over creation, and though Mr M said we only went about 3/8 of a mile, he's totally full of it. I walk a mile and if that was only a mile I'm Queen Elizabeth. I'm sure we went fifteen, sixteen miles today. Well, OK. Maybe two.

Then it was Mexican and I had to hit the road back home.

And since I don't have any more pictures from the weekend, I thought I'd throw in one of one of the bracelets I made last weekend. This is the one that's supposed to stop me from tearing the skin off my face. As you'll notice, it's red. Red for no. Has red stopped me doing it? No. Not yet, anyway.

Geez, is that a big wrist. You know, you all have seen more pictures of my hands and wrists to last you your whole lifetimes, haven't you? So let's look at someone else's wrist. Let's look at a chicken's wrist, because this week's recipe du jour is Paella!

Well, you know, other than the ghostly white shrimp, this one doesn't look too bad. I mean, the salad's pretty lame and they burned the bread, but hell, so would I, right?

And once again, they've left the dessert off the card, but since it's Angel Food Cake, I can see why. One of the most boring desserts in history.

Actually, what makes me giggle on this one is the folded napkin. Beside the whole pot of Paella. It looks like that's someone's serving.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Two simple questions: how did I miss seeing "Catch-22" all these years, and how cool is Alan Arkin?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Baby Love

I'm always the first person in the room to say it - I don't like kids. I didn't even like kids when I was a kid.

And yet....

When Taytie was born, I found myself liking him an awful lot, but I just chalked that up to the fact that he was related and it was mandatory. But as he started to grow and have friends, I found myself liking them as well. Then came Matt, the little boy of a friend, who I've always had more than a soft spot for, and then Kath at work's grandson, affectionately known as Pugsley (or The Pugman, as I call him), the toddler who growls at people who are eating without offering him a bite. Then there are the Marrs Boys, the three brothers who live down the street from Taytie, three of the coolest, neatest, and nicest kids you'd ever meet. Oh, and of course there's Ervin the Cute, little boy of Kellie the oboist and acroer. And whiz-kid M from clarinet trios, and her brother, the equally whizzed-kid E. And of course, there's a long line of various and sundry anklebiters who come through the office and ogle my toys.

And soon I came to realize that at a lot of adult/child gatherings, I was hanging around with the kids. So I decided that kids are probably just like cats. They know the people who don't like them, and go right up to them and cling to their legs. Out of spite.

And now there are two more little ones in my life, if only peripherally. A couple of weeks ago, my beautiful and strong-handed pedicurist S gave birth to a little girl, Johnna. Now, one part of me said this was completely horrible. See, a couple of years ago, S had the same surgery I did, and how anyone could go through all that and want to get pregnant is beyond me, though that's not really a fair statement because how someone could want to get pregnant under any circumstances is beyond me. But another part of me knew that S and a baby girl were a perfect match. After all, S is one of the great carers of the world, as evidenced by the fact that she can't say no to a stray animal, and that she spent four or so years caring for her ex-husband when he was stricken with a terminal illness. S and her little girl will be very happy.

Then remember the baby shower I told you I went to last weekend? The one where I won a prize for being a worthless TV- and movie-watching couch potato? Well, that was for my friend San's daughter-in-law. And apparently that baby was so excited by the massive stash coming her way from the baby shower she popped out a whole three weeks early to have a look at it. So Sunday night little Kendall appeared in the world. And may I just make it clear that I've never been so happy to see a baby named Kendall in my entire life. As I think I mentioned here once, this is the baby a family member was trying to pin the name Emerson on. And this tiny hours-old girl actually went about 2/3 of her first day of living thinking her name was going to be Emerson. Then cooler heads prevailed. Thank God. Emerson should only be your name if you're a VCR or a flute. Or a member of a now-defunct 70s band.

Now, although A & D are going to be great parents, I must admit I was a little disappointed by the prospect of their having a girl. See, I've known D, San's son, forever, and he really needed a boy. He needed a boy to give him the same kind of hell he gave his folks growing up. Something I would have enjoyed seeing in my waning years.

And who knows, maybe I'll still have that chance. Because babies are being born all the time now, aren't they?

But I don't like them. You can't make me like them!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Spent the first of my tax refund money today by buying a new TV for the dennette. I picked it out, pushed it into my cart, bought it, got it in the car, and got it in the house all by myself, without nary a man. I'm proud.
* Hold the phone and stop the presses. I ate an M & M today.
* I also got a kiss at work from an 88 year old man.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Picture Monday

Hello, hello, I'm a day late and a few hours late. But here I am with a Picture Monday for you all. Seems my life has gone something in the direction of hell lately, but I'm trying to hold it together. I'm just not very timely.

I did finally get the podmobile serviced today, about 3000 miles past its sell-by date. And although I called to get a new back tail-light and cover, they couldn't order it till I look and see if one very important part of my vehicle (a little silver rod) is bent; if it's bent, it's not going to be the quickie job I'd hoped for. I guess I was so excited to finally get my car serviced I forgot to look at the rod. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow morning.

Anyway, let's look back to the weekend. If we dare.

Well, first of all, I got to spend some quality time with the one, the only, he of the acro and so much more, yes, the DeepFatFriar:

You know, we've tried to get DFF to have a little work done to remove some of his more feline features, but he seems quite happy this way. Rrrrowwwrrrr!

Now, our next picture comes courtesy of The Friar himself. And let me tell you, it's quite a coup.

As you'll recall, last week I mentioned Sherman's friend Herschel the Woodchuck. Now, I have a feeling you may have thought I was making all this up. You know, that maybe Sherman's friend was imaginary. Because Herschel is a pretty skittish creature, even when he's being wooed by clarinet music. But by damn, look what DFF shot (photographically speaking) while he was here:

Awwwww - look at that baybeeeee!

Saturday night was fun and games night. Mr M and The Friar played Scrabble, while ESP and I indulged in a little idea of hers - psychological crafts. She decided we were going to make me a bracelet that I could wear that would be a reminder not to scratch the skin off my face. I ended up making four bracelets (just because it was so damn fun), while she made me two pairs of earrings. Has it stopped the tearing? Well, it sure as hell didn't Saturday or Sunday, but I'm working on it today.

Now, I'm not going to print pictures of my wares yet because I don't have enough confidence to show them off, plus, if I gain said confidence they might make a whole Picture Sunday next week.

And now, drum roll please (bddddddddddddddd): A brand new set of recipe du jour cards!

And thank you, Jellybean for these. One day in a perfect world I'll be able to read your blog again at work. We'll start this time with the opener card and get it out of the way. So may I present for you all, Some Fish!

This is one of those things I generally don't like - fish that's actually shaped like a fish. Fish shaped like a fish generally has bones and skin on it. However, how could one turn down a piece of fish shaped like a fish with those beautiful ziggy-zaggy lemons topped with olives? Or the puddings, in their only little cups? Or? Or?? The piece de resistance, the gourmet tater tots? No one turns down tots on my watch.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* OK, so they're saying they might bring charges against the woman who ran away from her wedding. This pisses me off. The authorities are going to charge her because she made them - do their job. What other business or organization on earth other than law enforcement has the right to prosecute a person because he/she wastes their time? None. If someone wants to come in and pretend to want my services and then piss off laughing, I have to sit there and take it. Why should the police be any different?

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I'm not equipped to have Picture Sunday up in the next 12 minutes, so it has been officially moved for this week to Picture Monday.

Thanks for your support.