Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Karma Redux

(Not a bad name for a rock band, that.)

OK. When we left off yesterday I'd just escaped the jaws of death when my steering wheel basically came off and I was zipping down I-81 at 65mph with less control than a trash can lid on a snow-covered hill. I didn't die, though I had three distinct opportunities to do so, and I was feeling lucky.

And I guess I still should, and actually, I guess I still do. But now the cold gray light of dawn has arrived and I have to deal with Loss of Steering Wheel Cleanup.

I began the day by having my folks take me to work. Now, I freely admit that if I had the gumption I could ride my bike back and forth to work, but I'm not overflowing with gumption lately, so the bike's still in the dennette, and the 'rents did the honors. After getting to work and telling an incredibly unimpressed staff of my plight, I set about doing the "next steps" of getting my, pardon the expression, shit in order. By that time I'd already been told by 3 different people that Podmobile Inc. needed to hear of my situation, so I decided that before I did anything about moving the podmobile out of my driveway that I'd talk to them.

But that didn't come until lunchtime. Most of my morning was, of course, taken up by TheCompanyIWorkFor tasks, because, as we all know, TheCompanyIWorkFor waits for no man. Or gal. But before I start dissing The Hand That Feeds Me I have to say that my first order of business was to call A Major Car Rental Company and get a car. I love my folks (more about that later), but I really didn't want them dragging me everywhere I had to be, especially if some of those places were the liquor store and the Smoker's Den. And the porno theater, of which we don't have one here in B'field, and even if we did I wouldn't be going there, but you know, it's a matter of principle, right?

So I called Major Car Rentals and decided I'd just throw in as an aside while I was giving them my information, "This is Bet at TheCompanyIWorkFor, and I need a car. And if you need to reach me, I'll be at TheCompanyIWorkFor, and here's the number." And in quoting me my prices, they gave me - the good old TheCompanyIWorkFor discount! So as far as getting a car I was still feeling pretty damn good. Because it was way cheaper than I was expecting. And I decided to enjoy that luck while it lasted, which was roughly till lunch, which I had to be taken to by my folks. (I kept telling myself, "This is what your life is going to be like if you ever get a DUI and lose your license. Remember this.")

So, when asked what I wanted to do during lunch, I gave the answer, "Go home and be alone to call Podmobile Inc." And that's what I got. I steeled myself with a clove cigarette and dialed the number. Oh, btw, one of the people who advised calling Inc. was the owner of the dealership where I take mr podmobile for his servicing, but I was still pretty nervous to make this call, because, as we all know, I'm a weenie and can't stand up for myself under any circumstances, even those in which I almost died 3 different ways.

OK. I called Inc. the first time and got the wrong number. That wasn't so good. Then I called Inc. again and got put on hold, where I was told by a very comforting automated voice that while I was waiting I should have my car's VIN handy. I didn't. So I went and got it and called Inc. one more time. After hearing the very comforting automated voice again, I finally got a real person of the female persuasion. She asked me what she could help me with, and since I knew mentioning TheCompanyIWorkFor wasn't going to help me in this situation, I told my sad and sorry tale. I started it by saying, "Many people" (Do I even know "many people?") had told me it was imperative that I call them.

"I was on the interstate going 65 mph and my steering wheel came off!" I blurted out.

"Are you okay?" she asked with concern. And now, I'm perfectly willing to admit where this is probably where I made my first mistake. Because I said, "Well, yes, I'm OK." *Ehhhhhh!* Next customer! But I went on to tell her how absolutely horrifying it was and how everyone who'd heard about or seen the residuals of the experience said they'd never seen nor heard anything like it in the whole of their lives. And she tended to agree with me on that point.

Then she asked me how many miles were on my car. And this is where I made my second mistake. Not in telling the truth, for I wouldn't have done anything else but that, but I guess the mistake was driving as much as I have all these years. Because when I said, "Around 120,000 miles," a major portion of concern went out of her voice and she went into Corporate Mode.

She then gave me "The Spiel." She told me what I had to do before they would send someone out to look at the car (it wasn't that big a deal, just have the car towed to the nearest dealership and call them back to let them know it was there so they could then start conversing between themselves). Then she told me about the inordinate amount of miles on my car (apparently Inc. sells a vehicle that goes on for as many miles as grains of sand on a beach, but they'd really rather you didn't drive that many), and how with that many miles on the vehicle I must understand that anything Inc. would do about chipping in towards repairs would be considered "a goodwill gesture," and that they couldn't guarantee the amount or even existence of their goodwill at this time.

And she gave me a case number, a pat on the back, and a boot off the phone.

And then it was back to work to get caught up on everything I'd missed by trying to get my, pardon the expression, shit in order. And I had my car towed to the dealership.

Major Car Rentals called me about 3pm to tell me my very own rental car was now available, so it was into Parentland one more time for a trip to get it. Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here with a stunning and embarrasing admission - I've never rented a car before in my life. So I had no idea what all was involved in it. In case you yourself are wondering, it's "lots."

But for now, I'm the proud driver of a Temporary Podmobile, which happens to be a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. Yes, I'm going to bulk up on the Lancome Tan-In-A-Tube, and you can all call me Malibu Bet. It's actually quite a nice car, has air and a CD player and is fun to drive as well. Well, as fun as it can be for me to drive because, let's face it, it's a 2005 model vehicle, I don't own it, and I just came off having my steering wheel desert me just when I needed it most. I know I have insurance and all, but I won't be able to deal with the shame of having those people look at me if I'd happen to scratch or dirty their vehicle. I'd have to do the honorable thing and end my life.

After taking possession of the vehicle it was a quick trip to the podmobile hospital, because I realized I'd left one of my gas credit cards in the car and that made me a little hinky. When I popped in to get it, I got to see my little fella there in Sick Bay, and when I opened the door to get my card - he actually had no steering wheel. It's hard to explain, but it was something akin to going to visit your best friend in the hospital and finding him there with no head. As I was leaving, the service bay manager said, "I've never seen anything like that in my whole life; I'm glad you called Inc." Yes, thank you friend. Tell them that when you speak to them, please.

Then it was home, where I stopped by the office to get my office keys and the phone number page with the case number on it. But all this had taken so long it was past five and the office was locked up. So the phone call back to Inc. will have to wait till tomorrow, and I'll have to come in to work in the morning through the front door - just like a client! Sheesh!

That's basically where things stand now, but just a small word about the parents. And let me preface this by saying that as nutty as they are, I do love my parents a great deal and it's very very comforting to know they'd do anything for me, even take me to the liquor store (well, my dad would probably enjoy that more than anything else), the Smoker's Den, or the porno theater if we had one and I was inclined to go, which we don't and I'm not.

But to my parents, I'm, well, yes, I can admit it, I'm their little girl. And they like being my parents. I mean, they really like it, and the older I get and stay single, they're liking it more and more. So they cling, and smother, and do things like come into my office almost every day that they're in town and stand and stare at me. And when I'm at their house they'll occasionally stop whatever they're doing and come downstairs and stand and stare at me.

And this whole experience of my being snatched from the jaws of death? Well, you've never seen such major league staring in your life. Here's a good example - when they came to take me to Major Car Rentals, they didn't pull up outside the office and honk. They pulled up and my dad - my nearly legally blind dad - got out of the car and came over and got me and escorted me to the car.

They followed my every step at Major Rentals, and when I popped over to get my credit card in Sick Bay, they followed my every step there. Then when I was driving home, I'll be damned if they didn't stay right behind me the whole way. "Hell, they've been up my ass walking all day, and now they're up my ass driving!" I recall exclaiming. But they did finally cut those hard-to-sever apron strings at the turnoff to the gas station and I was allowed to pump alone.

God bless 'em.

Anyway, after all that, a trip to band tonight was just too much to bear, even though it was the dress rehearsal for the Bigass Independence Day Concert. I'm sure they survived just fine without me. And if they didn't, hey, I almost gave my life for you guys - three times!

OK, I should shut up about that, I guess.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Just because I didn't band it tonight doesn't mean I didn't play my horn. I played the piece Mr M gave me to practice, Cavallini (and meatballs) - Adagio and Tarantella. The Tarantella's Tarant-hella fun, especially when you've had a few belts of Goldschlager.
* I also watched for the first time the show my sister is having a ball keeping up with, "Dancing With The Stars." It's not bad, though really cheesy. Sometimes, though, you have to just give up your cool and enjoy yourself some cheesy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bet Has Good Karma Today

OK, today's been one of the more interesting ones I've lived through lately.

Work sucked, but there's nothing I can do about that. Boss is on vacation, and everything seems to be falling right into my lap. Mostly it's unhappy people. I had no fewer than four unhappy people in my lap today. It was getting crowded in there, and I wasn't really in the mood to help any of them, but I did.

Then I had to leave right from work to make it to R'ford in time for a Community Band concert. I took the alternate route there because time was of the essence. The alternate route would be to bypass the Betty Bet Bet Inspirational Highway altogether, and travel Interstates 77 and 81 respectively. Higher speed limits, straighter roads, A-OK, and I made it there just in time to get set up and start playing.

The concert went well, no problems there, oh, I tell a lie. My short dixieland solo in that one piece took a turn for the worse when I squeaked on the second note, missed the smear, and was just barely hanging on for the rest. It wasn't a disaster, it just wouldn't have made Larry Combs jealous. (Mr M is the only person out there who will get that joke.)

Then, for some reason I decided to go home the same way I came. I guess the reasoning was, "Hell, I got here so fast via this route, I'll get home fast, too." And so onto I-81 I merged.

I was zipping along, at the 65-mph speed limit of course, I'm still being a very good girl in that area, and I was listening to my 80s mix cassette. "Our House" by Madness was fading out, and I was getting ready for the opening strains of "Can't Get There From Here" by REM.

Little did I know how appropriate that all would be.

I was in that driving zone we all get into from time to time, so I can't tell you exactly why I did it, but all of a sudden I seemed to be holding up my steering wheel. And when I say "holding up," I mean, the top of my wheel seemed to be hinged in its rightful place, but the bottom of the wheel, well, I was basically holding it over my head.

"Holy crap. That can't be right," I began to think, and just as I did I came to the sad realization that not only did I have no steering wheel to speak of, but that I had no steering as well.

I was going 65 miles per hour in my car and I had no fucking steering.

I hit the brakes, as one would in these situations, and as I slowed down I started to drift left. And left. And left. And there I was - knowing full well I had no steering - steering what was left of my steering wheel to the right, for nothing. I even went on that "steer in the direction you're sliding in when you're on ice" theory, and I turned my wheel to the left. Then I made a 360 with my wheel. And at that point, I knew I was pretty much doomed to death.

I just kept braking the car hoping for the best. And I got the best, well, of sorts, anyway. My car finally stopped about 3/4 inch from the left lane guardrail. I hadn't wrecked.

However, seeing as how there was no left hand roadside to speak of, that meant that a good half of the podmobile was out in the left-hand lane of I-81. And even more however, seeing as how I was now 3/4 inch away from the guardrail, I couldn't get out of my fucking car!

It was, as we say here in Betland, a bit of a worrying time.

So there I was, stuck in my car, with cars and trucks and tractor trailers zipping past me at the speed of light, only seeing me there in time to swerve and miss me by about an inch.

I was calmer than I would ever have imagined myself being in this situation. "Jesus, I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die right here. Please don't hit me. Thank you! I'm gonna die," was something of how my conversation was going, but I was still quite calm about it all.

I saw a wrecker miss me by about an inch, then hit into reverse and back up to my car. A guy got out - he had to actually jump over the guardrail and back over it to get to my car - and he asked me what was wrong. I showed him my wheel.

"Good God, Miss. I've never seen anything like that in my life!" Then he added, "You gotta get out of that car right now!"

And so like a fool, I tried again to squeeze out of my door (this was about the 3d time), and I knew there was no way. So I climbed over the console into the passenger's seat, prayed no one would please hit me now since I was closer to the traffic, waited for a small clearing, and popped out of the car.

Now, in what I know was a stunning move of stupidity, so don't even say it, once out of the car I went and - stood behind the car. I stood there, watching the guy and his helper trying to get my car on the bed of their wrecker, watched them take their feet and push their entire body weights against the wheels trying to get them to turn, and watched the traffic keep missing us all by inches. And stood there thinking, "You know, someone's going to hit my car and guess what. They'll hit me, too." But calmly.

Finally the two guys got the car onto the wrecker's bed, and I climbed in. They asked me where I lived and where I was going and all that, and to make a very long story very short, they didn't drop me off at some lonely station to find my way home, they brought me home.

And may I just say that two nicer Good Ol' Boys from the wilds of southwestern Virginia you couldn't find. They were friendly, they were polite, they even asked if they could smoke with me in the truck. They were also completely gob-smacked at what had happened to me. "No, ma'am, you don't understand. People's steering wheels don't just come off. Your steering column might break, but your wheel doing that, that's something wrong."

They were also amazed that nothing happened to me. Not as amazed as I am, I kept saying.

So we rode to B'field, which was a good hour or so, and they told me stories of their jobs (they do some car repoing on the side, and though I was trying to get some juicy gunshot stories out of them they said that rarely happens). They got me all the way back to the Poderosa and unloaded the now-dead podmobile into my driveway. They had to disconnect the battery since the lights wouldn't go off on the car. Now that means my doors won't lock, so I have to still go unearth anything of value that's in there.

And make no mistake, folks. The podmobile is, at this present time, dead. It looks sad and tired. As do I as well, I'm sure.

So, I paid Tim and his friend for the tow, and told them they were my new best friends, and they set off back from whence they came. And I'm stuck here wondering what's next for the trusty stalwart podmobile. Is it over? Can it be fixed? If it can be fixed, can I ever hit 65mph and turn the wheel again and not have a panic attack?

And I got to thinking about my good Karma. Maybe it was being nice to all those people I didn't want to be nice to today, I don't know. Maybe it was having all that work piled upon me that I didn't want nor deserve. You know, had I actually decided to take the Betty Bet Bet Inspirational Highway home, I'd be dead now, and you'd never have to read my blog again. That road's way too curvy and hilly for me to have survived losing my steering.

And I still can't believe I didn't wreck. Or get hit. In the car or out of it.

And I still love Tim and his friend for helping me.

And I'm feeling pretty damn lucky right now.

(Oh, and when I told Mr M about the steering wheel, his response was, "I've never known that to ever happen before, except in a WC Fields movie." That made me giggle. I needed a giggle.)

Betland's Olympic Update:
* And even with all that we still have acrowinners to crown. But it'll be short and sweet. So what's up with that prat Tom Cruise?
Honorable Mention goes to Flipsycab with "Jumping, telling everything, shouting - pathetic."
Runner-Up goes to DeepFatFriar with "Jesus, Tom! Enough Scientology poppycock."
And winner goes to LilyG with "Just tell everyone. Shameless poofter."
Thanks to all who played!
* I didn't die tonight.

Monday, June 27, 2005

(Warning: Tonight's blog has a rude word indeed contained therein. It's not one I personally use, but it's still in there.)


Hello, hello. And don't you all look pretty today, sitting there with your Monday Faces on. I love you dearly.

Good acrochallenge this week, and it starts with a few words about the great Crisp.

Crisp is my buddy from #squeeze, although he isn't there nearly as often as he should be. He's a warm, wry, witty, and kind guy. He also has a wonderful wife and cutie-pie daughter. And sometimes he says things that just make me double over with laughter.

Thursday night in #squeeze Crisp appeared to deliver what is undoubtedly the Quote of the Year for 2005. (This man is no stranger to the Tremendous Quote: it was Mr Crispi who delivered the line, "...And off we went on a roller coaster ride of hate!" that ended up on the #squeeze t-shirts.) It came when we were talking about none other than that Big Testimonial to Craziness Himself, Tom Cruise:

I've always liked the story about Jools Holland writing "I am a cunt" on John Cale's forehead while he slept. If I could do that to any one human being, it would be Tom Cruise. Even over Hitler.

I love it; and what's not to love? Is there anyone out there right now more annoying than Tom Cruise? Have you actually seen the man on anything lately? He's a raving lunatic! He's jumping up and down and falling in love and kissing all over this woman and spouting Scientology rhetoric and condemning the psychiatric community and fighting with Matt Lauer - the man's just a walking Fruit Loop Factory. And an annoying one at that.

(BTW, I saw the Matt Lauer interview, and I mean it folks, this man's a raving fruitcake. I almost expected "Senor Pepe" to come out. And he also went on a tirade about how gossip didn't bother him because there were always going to be people out there to say things like his current "romance" is a publicity stunt. Oh, really, Tom? If it doesn't bother you, why, when anyone breathes the first letter of the word "gay" in connection with your name, do you sue the pants off anyone who happens to be standing around at the time?)

Anyway, enough of my soapbox preaching. Our acrotopic is "Oh, That Tom Cruise."

The rules are the same. Everyone gets 3 entries each to come up with the best acronym possible that not only matches the topic, but also the letters below, from Mr Acrobasket, who roundly stood behind Nicole Kidman through all that unpleasantness. He would, though. Then tomorrow night at, say, 10pm est (or later, I'll be on the road, band concert) I shall be announcing the winners, who actually get to write the offending note and stick it on Cruise's head. And the rest of us will go write one and stick it on Hitler's.

So the topic is "Oh, That Tom Cruise." The letters:


Let the acroing begin! "Even over Hitler." Now that's funny....

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Boy, did I have a life-changing realization recently. For over 3 years I've been writing in this very blog about being one, and yet, I've been spelling it wrong. I truly never knew till within the past week or so that it's "curmudgeon" and not "crumudgeon." Well, color me embarrassed. So to anyone who finds an archive with it misspelled, you'll just have to forgive me, I'm afraid. And hey, all you smart guys - why didn't anyone correct me?
* That #squeeze chat that produced Quote of the Year also produced a gem from Stennie: "I wish I had a Hoveround so I could go to the Grand Canyon."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Picture Sunday

Well, here we go, first Picture Sunday in the newly refurbished Betland. You know, the more I'm looking at this the less odious I'm finding the whole thing. Yall seem to like polka dots, and I must admit that I'm finding them fairly pleasing as well. So maybe I'm more at home than I was predicting Friday I would be.

This weekend was pretty much "more of the same" in the World of Me. Friday night movie watching and coffee drinking, and jammie wearing, and blog retooling, then, after not nearly enough of a lie-in, Saturday, traveling to Mr M's.

I had to be there earlier than usual, because in his second attempt at spreading the clarinet love, he got another Bigass Clarinet Open House going for Saturday afternoon.

And I'll be damned if this one didn't work.

We had no fewer than six people in one room who all played the clarinet. Yes, I know, you're thinking, "Were there authorities present to make sure no one got hurt?" And the answer to that is "no." Because we live on the edge, man.

It was great fun, though, even though I felt really old because other than Mr M and myself, the other players were all students. But they were good, and nice, and no one said anything mean to me, to my face anyway, though I cannot vouch for what may have been said when they all headed out to their cars afterwards.

Mr M took several pictures of the festivities, but I'm not printing any of them, for a couple of reasons. One is that I don't have permission from any of the other guys, and I don't like to print other peoples' faces without asking, and more importantly, I look absolutely hideous in all of them.

Saturday night it was movie watching, and then I realized I wasn't feeling so well. I was attributing it to the fact that I must have slept like a pretzel the night before and was all sore, plus the fact that it was hovering somewhere around 135 degrees in Mr M's house, but as I started feeling worse and worse, we realized that maybe I was unwell. Mr M said I felt like I had a fever.

Anyway, I went to bed, feeling like I'd been dipped in boiling oil (a phrase some people just love to hear me say), and I suddenly I remembered - Mr M's huge fan!

He has this fan that's, well, I'm convinced it's the same fan Michael Jackson uses onstage to make his hair and clothes look like they're being blown off him. It's that big. So I drug it into the room, cranked it up to its lowest setting...and it almost blew me over into the floor. But I kept it on and that's about the only thing that got me through the night. Woke up feeling fine and my old self, though, and even energetic enough to play the clarinet without being handcuffed to the chair by you-know-who.

And it's at this point I'm sure you're thinking, "Fuck all that, where's our pictures?" and so a picture you shall have.

Mr M and I, who you all know have way too much time on our hands, indulged in a little "serious photography" today. Seeing as how we had the fan and all. I came up with the idea, and the apparatus to make it work, he took the photograph, and added the background. And so may we now present Captain Asshole's new helper, SuperSherman!

Whoooooooosh! Look at him go!

And that brings us to a the end of a very puny Picture Sunday with the recipe du jour. Get ready for it folks, start therapy now before you even look - it's the dreaded Broccoli and Deviled Eggs!

Now, when seeing this, I only have one question, and I'm sure it's the exact same question you have - "Why?" Why broccoli and deviled eggs? They're about the two least compatible items I can think of. And I'll be very honest here, I like them both a lot on their own, but never once have I ever said, "You know, I've just got a hankerin' for some broccoli. And I want it with deviled eggs on the side!"

In what I'm afraid is becoming a new trend in Recipecardland, there are no serving suggestions on the back of the card, but we are told we can use this dish as a vegetable, salad, or appetizer. I guess if you use it as all three, you don't need any serving suggestion dishes, though I really have trouble believing this would make an (excuse me) appetizing appetizer.

Oh, and it also bugs me that the deviled eggs are served vertically instead of cut in half and filled horizontally, which is the way God intended deviled eggs to be.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* I'm having a real crisis on my movie list, star-wise. I'm starting to mess with my own mind. I don't want to give movies the stars they deserve, and yet, I find myself giving more stars to some movies than they merit. Case in point: "In Good Company," which I enjoyed quite a lot and it actually ended right, a movie trait that's sorely missing in movies today, should have gotten 4 stars and yet it almost killed me to give it that. Then "So I Married An Axe Murderer," which by rights should have gotten 2 stars (if that), got 3. But then again, Alan F has a cameo in that that's absolutely priceless. Priceless. If your movie has Alan Arkin in it, you're liable to get a very lenient rating from me. Remember that, movie directors!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Oh, Dear

As you may have noticed, if you have a very very keen eye indeed, Betland looks a little different at the moment. Come on, admit it - ya didn't notice, did ya?

Somewhere around 10pm last night as I was typing the phrase "crab cake," something happened between the "e" and the end of my blog that monumentally, well, as we say here in Betland, fucked it up. My blog published unfinished, my borders were out of sync, and my blog entries didn't start till halfway down the page. Needless to say, it was a bit of a worrying time.

And it still is.

After wrangling with Mr M, who has no patience for me when I get "like this," Stennie came on the scene and checked things out. And apparently I just picked a crappy template to sign up with all that time ago. It blew up or something.

Anyway, all of us must face change from time to time, and here I'm facing mine. And you'll be facing it too, cause what I have here may change a hundred times in the near future. I hated all the templates, Stennie pissed off to Vegas to have some fun (and rightly so, she deserves it almost as much as I do, but no one on earth deserves a vacation more than I do right now), and so I'm just patching a little something together right now so I can have a blog.

I also made one of the most monumental fuck-ups of my life when, in copying all the "customized" html from my old blog (Betland Security Alert, Nedstat, Blogrolling), wouldn't you just know I forgot to copy the comments html. So I'm up with Blogger's comments. I don't like it, but it'll have to do for now.

But it's Friday night, and right now I'm going to put on my jammies and forget about it for a while.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* What?! All that above wasn't enough Olympic Update for you? What do want, blood?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

This Is Not A Blatant Plea For Comments. As Such.

Because you folks have been more than nice in that respect.

However, I was listening to some songs the other night, well, last night to be exact, and I happened upon a goodie indeed. That would be the Old 97s take on the Marty Robbins classic "El Paso." You know, I hope Marty's up there at the big Grand Old Opry In The Sky, singing way late, making the Opry run long, and ruining the opening of Ernest Tubb's record show. And pissing Ernest off. Just like he used to do down here on Earth.

But that's neither here nor there. Here's where we are. I was driving along listening to "El Paso" and singing along and realized that, yes, this is a "Sunset Boulevard" type of song. That means the person who's singing the song is actually dead when they're singing it.

And then, since I'd had a couple of cups of coffee at Mr M's, I got to thinking. Dead People Songs.

I thought of two right off the bat bing-bing. "Who Done It" by Nilsson, and "God's Comic" by Elvis Costello. Both of those are sung by dead narrators. But after those two I went completely blank.

There have to be more than three songs sung by dead people. Anyone know of any more? With this crowd, I know I'm bound to get a few more.

And now, on to part two of this musical but mundane entry. Without further ado may I throw out a random list:

10 of the 76,491 Songs I Couldn't Live On This Earth Without (in random order):
* "The Mercy Seat" - Nick Cave
* "The Delivery Man" - Elvis Costello
* "Fool In Love" - Ike & Tina Turner
* "Carrie Brown" - Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band
* "In My Room" - the Beach Boys
* "Elvis Presley Blues" - Gillian Welch
* "Dear Prudence" - the Beatles
* "Clove Cigarette" - Steven Ashbrook
* "MTA" - the Kingston Trio
* "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" - AC/DC

And so, what are a few of the songs you couldn't live without? Don't have to be your favorite songs of all time, just ones you hear that make you sigh and be happy that you're alive. Come on, we all have them.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Well, the crab cake and green beans that were pre-empted by the Monday headache came off tonight. And may I say a more lackluster meal you'd be hard pressed to find. I seem to be losing my cooking touch. I think it's because I don't care anymore.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sandwich This, Weasels

You are about to hear a sad and sorry tale. A tale of tragic proportions.

It's the tale of what it's like to want food and yet work for TheCompanyIWorkFor.

I work for a company where occasionally I have to go to meetings. You get up early, you hit the road, you travel a couple of hours, you listen to a day's worth of absolute crap, and you use your own car and gasoline to get there. And for your trouble you get lunch, courtesy of the TheCompanyIWorkFor weasels.

Now, I must make this clear, this isn't bread buttered and handed down by Junior himself (Jr being the company's chief chief weasel indeed). This would be bread bought with money Junior handed some people who filtered it down through some more people, then it went through appropriations and was divvied up between some more people and they took it and put it into five or six piles and every district weasel got a pile, looked at it, bought the bread, left the butter on the shelves, and pocketed the difference. (Mind you this is only a theory.)

And so, we get a free lunch, but it's only really lunch if you can eat it, right?

In my years - and as we all know, folks, there have been a lot of them - of eating lunches on TheCompanyIWorkFor's dime, I've been subjected to enough pizzas to shingle a good-sized roof (and that would have been optimum usage for some of them), runny quiches, a slice of tomato as a main course, molded rolls, and a main course soup whose maker must have thought "¼ t. salt" meant "¼ tureen salt." I've had meals made by culinary students at the local college - students who apparently had not taken the "how to make chicken so that the outside isn't charred and the inside isn't raw" class. I've had catered box lunches whose box was much better than the lunch.

But there's one thing I've had more than any other. It's the stalwart staple of TheCompanyIWorkFor foodstuffs, of their meetings, of their existences. And that would be the ever-popular, the never-ending, the awe-inspiring Make Your Own Sandwiches.

It's actually become quite the joke amongst TheCompanyIWorkFor employees. No matter what the occasion, what bigwig has come in to conduct a meeting, no matter how hard we've worked or how long we've driven to get there, when lunchtime comes they proudly announce, "For lunch, we'll be doing Make Your Own Sandwiches." And the assembled throng look at each other with that knowing glance, and we all go over to the table where there's pressed ham, thin turkey, chewy roast beef, a yellow cheese, an orange cheese, and some mustard and mayonnaise that have been in a bowl waiting for us all morning. White bread, wheat bread, and some lettuce. Have at it, you TheCompanyIWorkFor peons!

And we choke down our I-Made-It-Myself sandwich.

I've actually seen someone make rude remarks about Make Your Own Sandwiches. We were once at a meeting headed by an Agency Director (big cheese at TCIWF), and when it was announced that we'd be hoofing it over to the cold meat and cheese table, someone stood up and said to him, "Don't you guys ever get sandwiches at home?" I laughed and laughed, then fixed my sandwich as I have done since many many times, because TheCompanyIWorkFor weasels are humor-impaired. It's part of the job description.

Next weasel-fest, aka TheCompanyIWorkFor staff meeting, is July 13. I just got the memo announcing it. It will start at 9:30, end at 4:00, and include lunch. A... Deli Buffet!

Holy shit! Make Your Own Sandwiches has become a Deli Buffet! I'm sure it came down from corporate in an inter-office e-mail. "Heretofore, all Make Your Own Sandwiches tables shall be known as Deli Buffets for agents and staff. Deli Buffet will now consist of pressed ham, thin turkey, chewy roast beef, a yellow cheese, an orange cheese, and, in an upgrade for employees, mustard and mayonnaise will not be sat out four hours before the buffet begins. This will cut down on ptomaine and make for a more productive meeting."

You know, it would just be so much easier, and everyone would be so much happier, if they'd just give us $5 and let us go get lunch on our own. Or not! I'd buy my own lunch to get something hot and enjoyable.

But you see, the weasels won't do this. Because they know. They know that if they let us out of the room at lunchtime, there's the distinct possibility we won't be back. And that's probably my fault. For at the Christmas meeting two years ago I was the one who went to the bathroom and never returned.

But at least I got a hot lunch.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners! We have acrowinners! "Oy! My fuckin' head!"
Honorable Mention goes to Flipsycab with "Not enough liquids today." (She knows me!)
Runner-up goes to DeepFatFriar with "New electroencephalogram looks tragic." (The brain tumor must have been acting up again.)
And the winner, because she described how I felt perfectly, Kellie with "Not even lucid. Terrible." (I really wasn't lucid, for several hours.)
Thanks to all who played! You're clever and you rock - come back next week.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Greetings, acroheads. Welcome to another nailbiting round of acromania.

I was supposed to have my first swim of the season tonight. I was also supposed to have a crab cake and some green beans for dinner. I was also supposed to have acro up before 10:20pm, which is when it's going up. All those plans went by the wayside, though, because I have a headache of monumental proportions!

Therefore, the acrotopic shall be "Oy. My head."

Yall know all the other rules, and I don't feel like typing them. 3 entries, match the letters, acrobasket, 10pm est tomorrow night, blah, blah, blah.

The topic, "Oy. My head." The letters:


So, why are you hanging around here? Go acro. I'm going to take some Tylenol.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Oy. My head.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Picture Sunday

Hello to all out there in computerland, and welcome to a special "What I Did This Weekend" edition of Picture Sunday.

Oddly enough, here's what I did this weekend.

Mr M and I went to eat here Saturday night.

This is kind of our haunt in B'burg. I like it. He likes it. Sherman likes it. In fact, Sherman got his "regular" last night....

And oddly enough, I got my "regular" last night....

And even oddlier than that, Mr M got his "regular" last night. Though for some reason his "regular" went all shy and didn't want its picture taken. I guess because a lowly Smokehouse Chicken Sandwich can't compete with such a stupendous Tuna Salad nor the Best Fries In Town.

So it was a "regular" kind of dinner.

Then it was back to Poderosa East, where I showed Mr M the love that is "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter." Only he kept saying very very rude things about Mr Singer all through the movie. Rude and derrogatory things about Mr Singer's habits. Which are patently untrue, let me tell you that. Mr Singer's a fine man.

Then today it was - actual clarinet trioing! After weeks of lonely duets, MP showed up and we traded off on some duets, then played some trios. It was a lot of fun, and I was witness to the very first playing of MP's newest piece of music.

Then home, where it was a dinner with one of the more fun dysfunctional families you'll find anywhere, mine. Father's Day, you know.

Now home at The Pod, where there's nothing more I can add except to say that what Dad in his right mind would have the nerve, the audacity, the sheer stupidity to eat - uh, I mean turn down - a treat such as this!

Ahhhh, it's the very pinky and possibly sprinkled with wood shavings "Peppermint Pie." Mmm-hmmm. I'm thinking this is actually the Pepto Bismol Pie, where you mix up some Pepto with sugar and a few egg whites and beat it within an inch of its life. Which if you think about it, would be perfect for the Dad who ate his kids' cooking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Happy Week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* And quite the Olympic update it is! Guess what I found out today, in a very casual conversation? MP found a recorder in a drawer at Mr M's, and began noodling around on it. That's when Mr M mentioned something as an aside that became a major piece of news for me - he once played the recorder for a Windex Commercial! Apparently the commercial had a man cleaning a huge stained glass window and there was peppy Irish recorder music in the background. He then gave us a sampling of the tune. And I pretended to wash a window. It was a Kleenex moment, folks.

* A special shout out to my buddy ESP, whose birthday is today. Happy birthday, E!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

(Gimme the Downbeat, Maestro)

A Musical Blog

Was I On LSD Or What?

Now, I've never consciously dropped acid, so I can only assume it was given to me while I wasn't looking. And I think I know who the culprit was. Yes, there he was, Mr M, smiling knowingly while fixing me coffee in the red mug last night. And it was just after that he handed me a DVD I'd ordered: "The Return of Captain Invincible."

It was late when I got back home, but I was all caffeinated, and so I popped in the movie and began to watch.

I really don't know what to tell you about this movie. Because I'm sure by then the LSD had started taking effect.

I can tell you it's from 1983 and stars none other than Alan F himself. And that it's either endearingly cute or excruciatingly bad, and I'm probably going with the latter. I can also tell you that I'm no film critic, so don't take any stock in anything I say, but I can only imagine that this was supposed to be some sort of 80s version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," because it's schlocky, campy, and a musical. But other than the Time Warp and "Dammit, Janet," I had no affection for RHPS and other than Mr. A and a couple of cute moments, I didn't have much for "Captain Invincible," who may or may not be in the same hero league as Captain Asshole.

Oh, and I can tell you that at one point we see Alan F with a mullet, unless that was the LSD and not my tired eyes.

"Captain Invincible" is a perfect example of something I always seem to rabbit on about: the paper movie. The movie whose idea is great on paper, but once on film it just won't fly. (Baz Luhrmann being the King of the Paper Movie.)

Because the idea is cute: a superhero from WWII is washed up after having to go before McCarthy and the Unamerican Activities Committee. He crawls inside a bottle and ends up in Australia (wah? maybe that was the LSD), then his country needs him again and he has to overcome his demons (and the fact that he's not in superhero shape anymore) and fight the dreaded foe. Add to that Alan F as the hero, Christopher Lee as the dreaded foe, camp it up, make it a musical, and well, what's wrong with that, right?

Maybe what's wrong is that they didn't let me, Stennie, Mike, and Flipsy make it. But we'd have been awfully young then, so I guess we can't fault anyone for that.

Anyway, it's basically a big mess of a movie, and yet, there was something about it. I wanted to like it because of the idea. Because Alan was singing, and at one point actually looked like he was laughing - whether it was at something offscreen or just at the ludicrous position he was in, I've no idea, but I giggled too. And even in that big mess, there were a couple of cute moments, as I said above.

But I'm not kidding, I really think when I come back from my trip, so to speak, I'll look at it again to see if it's actually a drama.

But before I move on, a few points I must make:

1) Thursday night Stennie and I were having something of a point-counterpoint discussion, with Stenns taking the pro side and me being the skeptic. After watching this movie, Stenns, I concede; you're 100% right. I'm sure of it now.

2) A few months back I gave an interesting rating on my movie list to the movie "The Saddest Music In The World." Instead of 1, 2, etc, stars, it got the rating "Good God." This was because I had no idea what to make of that movie. Ergo, by that logic "Captain Invincible" should also be eligible for the "Good God" rating; not only was I saying that while watching, I was also throwing out a few "Jesus Christ"s, a "holy shit" or two, and more than several, "wait - I'm on LSD, right?"s. However, the difference here is that with "The Saddest Music In The World,"I was confused as to give it 1 star or 5 stars. I don't really have that dilemma with "Invincible." It'll probably get 2 on The List.

3) I wonder if Alan and Christopher Lee ever saw each other after making this film, and if they did, did they glance sideways at each other in a mutual exchange of sympathy, bow their heads, and keep moving.

4) Don't worry, Alan F, I still love ya. Maybe now more than ever.

My Rock O' Bound

Last night on my way to Band I was listening to some music, and a song from my childhood popped up. That would be "Candyman," by Donovan. I'm lucky enough to have had parents who loved popular music and always had records around, and I can remember my dad bringing home that Donovan album with "Universal Soldier," "Colors," and "Summer Day Reflection" on it. And "Candyman."

I was about 5 or 6, and boy, did I love the song "Candyman." Love, love, loved it, and went around singing it all the time. I thought it was about a man who sold candy! And you know, the part about "Yeah, my candyman, he gets me high" - well, haven't you ever eaten a six pack of Pixie Stix? Tell me it didn't mess with your brain.

Anyway, besides the obvious general theme I had wrong, I had something else wrong. There's a line, "My candyman, he's Morocco bound." Well, hell, what did I know of Morocco? I was five years old! I just thought he was saying, "My candyman, he's my rock o' bound." Because, you know, I'd heard people refer to someone who was important to them as their rock o' gibraltar, and I thought it was some sort of variant of that.

I still love "Candyman," maybe even more now, and I always think of that story when I hear it. My rock o' bound.

And that's my embarrassing story of the day.

It Bears Repeating

Speaking of Captain Asshole, which I was earlier, remember when he used to actually contribute pieces to his own little room in my web, Captain Asshole's Corner? You know, Captain A, I'm running very low on webspace at the moment. It'd be a shame if I had to start, uh, deleting things to make more room, you know? Ya know, guv? You'd better update.

Anyway, there are several classics in The Corner, but one was in the form of a haiku. And I know some of my readers out there are writers and fanciers of haiku, so sit back and let's look at the repeating of a classic. See, after the past few weeks in Community Band, this particular little niblet has been on my mind. Take it away, Captain:

Community Band.
Six saxes soon play their parts.
Hell is audible.

We should have t-shirts made up or something.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm sure it was LSD. I'm sure.
* After hearing LilyG's story of her acro of summer, I'm giving up my crown to her. It was inspired.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Be Your Own Doctor!

Back several months ago, I made a small discovery. If you're a real crum about it and get ugly, you can get your blood test results sent directly to you. I found this out when I was sure Smokin' Dr Javier had set me up for a thyroid test I neither needed nor wanted nor was willing to pay for. "Send me those results!" I cried as I pounded my fist on the desk. This was of course in the privacy of my office, for I'd never pound my fist on the desk in front of people.

And so I got my test results. And it was cool, because when they print those things out it has not only what you "scored" on your tests, but what the optimum "grade" for the test is. Which maybe isn't so cool, because they're supposed to be sent to doctors who, for some strange reason or other, are supposed to know what the "optimum" grades are.

Back a couple of months ago when I had to visit the new doctor, the friendly "your ideal weight is 110 pounds" doctor, he sent me for a barrage of blood tests. I finally had that done a few weeks ago. And for some strange reason I was expecting a call from him, or at least one of his minions, telling me how I did. ("Did I get into Healthy Person's School? Did I, did I?")

But that call never came. And I let it go for a while, thinking I must be OK if no one was knocking at my door with a wreath. But you know me; I can't let things go for too long a time.

So I called the friendly "y.i.w.i.110p." doctor and mentioned I'd had all these tests done and I was wondering if I was going to live long enough to pay off the cost of having them. And the office person said, "What's your address, we'll send them to you."

And in a few days, lo and behold, I was holding my test results.

And it was fun, reading about my blood. I've always thought I had interesting blood, simply because it never wants to come out of my body and lab techs the world over have to pound and pinch and poke (and poke and poke) and sometimes use strange gadgets to get it out. And on a few occasions, they've even had to resort to sticking me in places like the back of my hand to get a sample. It's lovely blood though, and flows well when it finally decides to leave my body.

But maybe my blood's not as interesting as I thought, for just about every little thing they tested me for came up normal. And they tested for a lot. In fact, they tested for about $800 worth of stuff.

Let's see, white blood count, red blood count, platelet count, all OK. Iron, thyroid (couldn't escape this one), glucose, protein, creatine, nitrogen, potassium, sodum, all OK. All the initial things, that would be your ALP, AST, ALT, MPV (isn't that a car? I have a car in me?), MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, and a hundred more, all OK.

Only one thing didn't fall within the norms. That was my B12. It was high. By over 200 points. Which begs the question, if I'm so damn brimming with B12, why the hell ain't I brimming with energy? Sadly, the papers don't tell me that. I guess I'll have to figure that one out on my own.

I'm thinking everything medical should work like this. Have a regular Medical Automat. You sit down and a machine takes your blood, or makes you breathe into it, or cuts a strand of your hair for DNA. Then in 4-6 weeks you get a paper showing all the results. Then you can decide what to do with the information. If you decide you need blood pressure medicine, or cholesterol lowering pills, then just go to the vending machine and get some.

Cut out the middleman, I say! Be your own doctor!

Sure, some people might die, but we're an overcrowded planet anyway.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* We have acrowinners, as judged by the dishy Michelle. So, who thought what of summers past? I'll turn it over to Mitchie and she can tell us:
"Well, now this is better. I tried to judge a weee bit early and there was but ONE entry. Now I see that two more brave souls have taken the challenge. These are all so juicy and so many remind me of my own memories - for example, Flipsy's "Ryan gave Veronica tongue. A solid romance" really took me down memory lane, even though my name isn't Veronica, and I've never known a Ryan.
*So, runner up is Flipsy's " Running, gone. Victorious tag ! Aww, streetlights! Redo! " Now, I never remember having to redo a game of tag because of street lights, but back in the day I lived in the woods. Maybe tag was different in the city?
*Special Mention to Lily's " Renovating "Gay". Very teenaged Air & Space researcher" I'm not sure I even really get this, I just think it has a nice ring to it.
*And the winner.... it's Betster!: " Reveling gaily, virginal, traipsing and singing rhymes." Now we all know Bet, that was a long, long time ago! You have a great memory!
Thank you ALL for playing!"
*Wow! What an honor!

Monday, June 13, 2005


Hello to all, and welcome to another round of acromania.

Pity the fool. Pity the fool who has to judge acromania, now that lots of people are playing and the clever answers are flying like punches in a barroom brawl. But a brave soul came forward, and that would be the dishy Michelle. So the judging, and the topic, shall be hers.

Ahhhh, Disneyland. The beach. Trips to Grandma's. Hanging around in the neighborhood, playing tag till long after dark. Yep, Michelle has summer on her mind, and her topic this week is "Memories of Summers Past."

The rules are the same: everyone gets three entries each to come up with the best acronym they can that matches not only the topic, but the letters, which are drawn from a bathing-suited and sunburnned acrobasket. (Don't pick him up, really. He cries.) Then Michelle shall judge at about 10pm est tomorrow night and announce the winners, who shall be whisked away to the vacation of their choice. In their minds, anyway.

So this week's topic is "Memories of Summers Past." The letters:


Now acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Caught "Grosse Pointe Blank" on cable tonight. It was about as lackluster as I remembered it from the first time. I feel like everyone liked that movie more than I did, and I felt quite guilty about it. Still a solid 3 stars, but - could Alan F Arkin have been in that movie any less??

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Picture Sunday

Welcome to the mind-numbing boredom that has become Picture Sunday. Then again, welcome to the mind-numbing boredom that has become my life of late. Well, mostly, anyway.

This week's PS can be parenthetically titled "The Picture Sunday That Never Was." I went to Mr M's this weekend for an event that, well, sadly, never really came off.

This was to be the Bigass Clarinet Open House Weekend.

See, Mr M, in a continuing effort to spread the clarinet love, as it were, wanted to get as many people together as he could to just hang around and play. Solos, duets, trios, quartets, whoever showed up. He set it for two days, Friday and Sunday. Friday was quite successful, with many of his students showing up. Sunday, however. Yeah. Sunday.

The day I was there everyone else had scattered to the four winds, and it was left being only Mr M and lil' ol' me. So we duetted a while, I tried out a couple of new reeds, realized this wasn't really one of my "good playing" days (do I ever have those anymore?), and not long after that I hit the road back home. Oh, but not before watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for the eleventy-twelfth time.

But, oh, the music we could have played....

No, you don't understand. Really. The music we could have played....

I told you once, we have a lot of music.

OK, now a picture from a few weeks ago.

Remember when I told you about going to the big yard sale the High School Band has every Memorial Day weekend? Well, I think I only mentioned it in the smallest of ways, that I'd bought a really cool bag there for a quarter. Anyway, I bought something else there, too. A book.

The reason I bought this book is because, well, I'm not really sure why I bought it. Yeah, really I am sure. Because it was just a weirdass looking book. It's actually a book written for probably about the junior-high set, but it looks like - well, I knew someone once who had these little slim books that also told stories, but they were porn stories, with accompanying pictures. They were quite creepy and also quite endearing at the same time. And this book reminds me exactly of one of those little books. And so I bought it.

"Ralph tried to laugh about it, but he knew he was in trouble. What he didn't know was how much trouble."

Needless to say, there's no porn in this book, but the pictures made me laugh, and so I thought I'd print you the cover, and if times get tough, as we know they can, I'll print you some inside pictures as well. And maybe even a little rundown of Ralph and whatever the hell kind of trouble he's in.

Is that Ralph on the cover? And what exactly is his Federal Case? I've no idea. Do I care? Not really, but we'll find out one day. You know, dealing in those little porn books could be a Federal Case....

And now onwards to this week's recipe du jour. It's boring, folks, unless you really dig English Muffins. For it is the not-at-all tantalizing English Muffin Pizzas!

This one must be just a freewheelin' free-for-all, because there are no serving suggestions at all on the card. It's pizza any way you like it (as long as it's on an English Muffin), and that's it. Not even a glass of milk. We are told, however, that pizzas can be made up in advance and frozen. Wow, thanks! I'd have never guessed that on my own.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* Congrats to Stennie, who's now the proud owner of one of these.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Dude, Where's My Seats?

My sister is just in a tizzy. She's been in this tizzy for around six months, and she's something of a hyper woman anyway, so you can just imagine what it must be like to be around her when she gets on this one subject and gets all tizzied up.

The subject is seats.

Here's the story. My sister and her husband have been 4-seat Hokie football season ticketholders for somewhere around 20 years. It's been a long ritual of game-going for them. Finding two buddies to tag along with them to games, filling up their seats on the 45-yard line about 16 or so rows up. Primo, primo seats. Going to games during the gestation of Taytie, then taking him along with them as a baby, and toddler, having him get used to The Cannon (this would be the cannon the ROTCs fire up after every Hokie score), bringing him up to pray at the altar of Lane Stadium, Worsham Field, on Saturday afternoons, the two extra seats turning into one then to none as Taytie himself started bringing friends along.

It's funny, because I certainly like Hokie football, but I'm not gaga about it. I don't go all buggy over it or anything. And still I say one of the great experiences in this life is walking up the ramp at Lane Stadium, through the little tunnel, and emerging inside at Worsham Field. It's an awe-inspiring sight if you like college football, as we generally do here in The South. For over the years, Hokie football has become big-time college football indeed. The field is beautiful, the crowd is electric, the stadium is huge, the band is playing...well, you have to like that sort of thing, and I do, and it's just a great time.

And the sister and brother-in-law, and me to that certain auxiliary amount, have been Hokie fans for a long time. Through the lean years. Through the "Oh, my GOD, we got invited to the Independence Bowl!!" years. Through the "Oh, my GOD, if we could just get invited to the Independence Bowl!!" years. Through the "Who wants these extra tickets? Anyone, anyone?" years.

In other words, to put it into one sentence, my sister and brother-in-law have given one hell of a shitload of money to Virginia Tech for one hell of a shitload of a long time.


Now the Hokies are in the definite fat years. They've been to the Orange Bowl, Fiesta, a few Gators, and three Sugar Bowls, one of which was for the National Championship. They've had the Vick years, and, if Vick the Younger doesn't get arrested again, will have a couple more Vick years. These are the years all those longtime fans and moneygivers have been waiting, hoping, and praying for. Praying for and paying for.

But as the saying goes, the fat get fatter.

Apparently in the world of Giving Money To Virginia Tech, for the past several years it's been like my favorite Creedence song, "Fortunate Son": when you ask 'em how much should you give, the only answer is more, more, more. And lots of people are giving more, more, more. But I think there comes a point where enough is enough, and my sibling and in-law have hit that point.

First came the fucking with their parking spots. For not giving more money, they've been moved from right next to the stadium to right across from the stadium to right down the street from the stadium to within walking distance to the stadium to within biking distance to the stadium to if you look real hard between those two trees you can see the flag at the top of the stadium if you have binoculars or very keen eyesight. But they took that in stride because at least once they finally made it to the stadium, their primo primo seats were right there waiting for them.

Oh, but this year. This was the year the Hokies started fucking with their seats. Well, everyone's seats, it's become quite the big topic of conversation in Hokieland.

This season it goes something like this: if you give enough money to VT, you get to pick what seats you want. If those seats are someone else's, tee hee, guess what, they move their asses, the seats are yours. As long as those seats are owned by someone who gave a dime less than you did.

And so, somewhere around 14 seconds after this new law was passed down, my dear sister and dear brother-in-law, who've given enough money to VT to build a small dorm on campus, lost their primo primo seats. And to this point, they don't even know where their new seats are going to be. They've been asked to be put on several prayer lists that the new seats will indeed be somewhere within Lane Stadium.

So just recently my sister was approached to give somewhere around $3500 to help sponsor the Hokies' coaches show on radio. I won't go into what her answer was, because although I have a mouth like a sailor, there are still some words I don't say.

But we decided what she needs to do is have her own show. Maybe on public access TV. It would be called "Where's My Seats?" and would consist of 15 minutes or a half-hour of people coming onto the show and telling where the seats they lost were, and where their new seats are. Then occasionally people would come out who gave more money and got better seats, and people would be allowed to kill them with sticks.

I'd watch it.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* That ended abruptly. Not not abruptly enough, probably.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Fall and Rise

I didn't have any movies to watch Tuesday night, and since I was doing laundry, a pretty sedentary form of housework, I spent my time between the washing, drying, fluffing, and folding at the TV. Yes, I know you're shocked.

I've been thinking about something lately, something from my past. And that something is an old British sitcom called "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin." I'm going out on a limb here with what I'm about to say, because 1) few people even know this show, and 2) the few who do aren't nearly as enamored with it as I am. However, I think if there is indeed a Mighty Triumvirate of British TV Comedy, with one pillar being "Monty Python" and the other being "The Office," then surely the third pillar has to be "Reggie Perrin." It's that level of affinity I feel for this show.

And since I was movieless and at the TV anyway, and awash in laundry, pardon the pun, I headed to the back bedroom and uearthed my decades-old VHS, "Reggie Perrin, Vol. 1." That would be Vol. 1 of 2, the last time our local PBS station showed Reggie (probably around 1984), I made the effort to get them all taped, and did so save for one episode. (The Lost Episode!)

So I popped in Vol. 1 and began to watch, from the very beginning.

I remember at the time I discovered Reggie Perrin, I'd never seen anything like it in the whole of my life. And even now, just last night, after all these years and a million and one sitcoms later, it still holds up as a damned original piece of work. And yet, it's really odd. On the surface it looks like any other sitcom on the planet. In fact, it actually took me a few weeks to realize that I'd never seen anything like it in the whole of my life!

Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is a 46-year old cog in the wheel in the management department of Sunshine Desserts. He has a wife, son, daughter, a house in the suburbs, and a cat named Ponsonby. He's miserable. About the only thing that keeps him going is his active imagination, which we see snippets of from time to time.

(Aside: I never thought too much of "Ally McBeal" because during the very first episode when we started to "see" what she was thinking, I snarled up and said, "Shit, they're just stealing from Reggie Perrin." And I never really forgave them for that.)

Reggie's wife is too understanding, his son's an out-of-work actor, his daughter's not only married to the biggest prig in the universe but they have two very nasty children as well, his mother-in-law reminds him of a hippopotamus, his boss is an oaf, his co-workers are boobs and yes-men, and his brother-in-law Jimmy (the incomparable Geoffrey Palmer), a man of no fixed personality, shows up from time to time to sponge food and drink off the family.

And in the middle of all this, Reggie's the head of the new Exotic Ices campaign at Sunshine Desserts. Mango delight, fig surprise, and strawberry-lychee ripple (Reggie's suggestion for advertising on this one: "I like to stroke my nipple with a strawberry-lychee ripple"). But things are not going well in the world of the new Exotic Ices campaign, and they're getting worse for Reggie. In fact, he's on the verge of a major breakdown. And so he makes a decision.

On the day he's to address the fruit sellers' annual meeting (their tie emblem is the "very unfortunate two apples and a banana"), he gets blasting drunk, delivers a scathing diatribe on Life Today, and drives off. To the seashore, where he leaves his clothes on the beach and fakes his own suicide.

After that it's a series of disguises, towns, and jobs (like sewer worker and pig farmer), until Reggie realizes how he misses his old hated life, then disguises himself as Martin Wellborne, gets a job at Sunshine Desserts, and starts courting his wife Elizabeth. (She finally lets Reggie know after she accepts his marriage proposal she knew it was him the whole time.) And now the whole thing starts all over again.

And it ends with Reggie and Elizabeth leaving their clothes on the beach.

After their faked double-suicide, the two try to devise a new way to make a living. Reggie comes up with, well, an idea only Reggie could come up with. A small shop named "Grot," which sells nothing but rubbish. Square hoops, the son-in-law's horrid homemade wines, Reggie's dentist's unsavory paintings, broken bits of furniture.... It becomes a raging success, with Grot branches springing up all over England. As Grot the shop turns into Grot, Inc., Reggie needs more employees, so he begins hiring the old Sunshine Desserts crowd, putting all of the gang in jobs completely unsuitable for them. And they turn out to be inspired appointments, making Grot more successful than ever. And yep, you guessed it. Just as Grot is on the very verge of becoming 1975 England's answer to Microsoft, the whole thing starts all over again.

And it ends with Reggie, Elizabeth, and the whole Sunshine Desserts/Grot gang on the beach, sans clothes, faking their suicides.

Now we've got a whole community of people needing new lives. And what's the root of "community?" Why, "commune," of course, and so Reggie and the gang buy a big house in the suburbs and turn it into a commune that preaches peace and love ("Peace and Love City, Arizona"), happiness, and good mental health.

Now, this is where I can only imagine that the writers/creators of this show just said, "Fuck it, fuck all of you, let's just see how weird it can get." And it got pretty weird indeed. In other words, it was the show's disrobing at the beach.

All of this action, all of this change, all of this movement - in 21 episodes of a TV show. That still blows my mind.

And may I say briefly (some would say that's impossible for me) that while it was wonderful, the sheer audacity of the writers to create this show that went all over the map 12 times and back, at the heart of the show, what made it so special, was Reggie himself.

Reggie was truly a hero for our times, and was played to absolute perfection by actor Leonard Rossiter. It's impossible to not fall in love with Reggie the character, and Rossiter's 1000-words-a-minute delivery has to be seen to be believed. And oh, how I wish you could see it.

The first time my British friend Tina came to visit, in 1988, we were lolling around in a hotel room in Cincinnati, and I asked her if she was a Reggie fan. Yes, she was, she replied. And then added, "You know the guy who played Reggie died a few years ago, didn't you?"

I didn't, and I was crushed. I couldn't imagine a world without Reggie in it. I didn't want to. That feeling lasted for a long time.

But then as time passed I realized that Leonard Rossiter the fine actor may be gone from us, but as long as I have my old video stash, Reginald Iolanthe Perrin will always be around to inspire, amaze, and make me laugh. A lot. Bless his heart.

By the way, you're all invited to The Pod for snacks and Reggie videos. Anytime.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Note to self: popcorn for dinner is not such a great idea.
* Second note to self: never trust the TV Guide listings.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It Does Not!

As I've mentioned briefly, I played a Community Band concert in R'noke Saturday morning. We didn't take the stage till about noon, I arrived at about 11, there was a high school jazz band on the stage playing, I found a bench, and for about 45 minutes I sat and let the sun beat down upon my precious face. Which was very pleasant, and kept me from having a "Local Colors" flashback, for this concert was at the same park where a month earlier I'd stood and waited in the rain, listening to my hair curl and to a man with a microphone who wouldn't shut the frig up.

And the concert went well. Even though we only had one trumpet for some odd reason, and from the stage we sounded out of tune and out of sync, I was told by someone in the audience (a surprise appearance by my cousin Jacob, who, believe me, would not lie about such things) that we sounded terrific.

The odd thing about the day is just how enjoyable it was. Although I can't say I wasn't looking forward to the concert itself, I can say I wasn't happy that I'd have to get up at 7:30am or so and drive the 2-plus hours to get to R'noke, by myself, as Mr M was off doing his own thing. I especially wasn't looking forward to it because Friday night has become my "special" night recently, and by that I mean I use it to blow off the steam of the workweek by doing exactly what I want to do. It generally involves ignoring the phone, drinking a lot of coffee and/or Goldschlager, and watching movies, but it's fun, it's mine, and I like it. The only reason I mention this is because I usually head bedwards around 4am, and so having to rise immediately after dawn cracks wasn't a very happy proposition.

Then lo and behold, a strange and wondrous thing happened. The alarm went off Saturday, and - get this - I popped out of bed. I'm not kidding, I just popped! There was even a slight *boing!* as I did it, though that may have been my old mattress and boxsprings. I bounced to the shower, donned my khakis and whites (official Community Band gear), dried and straightened my hair, got all my things ready for the trip (horn, music, stand, and even some clothes in case I ended up back at Mr M's, which I didn't), and made a large cup of coffee to take with me. And I still had 20 minutes before I had to be on the road! So I sat down and enjoyed the early morning silence for a bit, then hit the podmobile with 10 minutes to spare.

Thursday night I was hanging around in #squeeze, like you do, and decided I was tired of TV and I wanted music. So I started up Music Match and began building a playlist for the evening. And if I'm allowed to say such a thing, it was a magnificent playlist. Just the right combination of everything. And so Friday night, while I was grooving on coffee and liquor and watching movies, I decided I'd burn my playlist onto CD for the drive on Saturday.

Armed with coffee and wearing a black t-shirt over my white blouse to protect against spillage, I set off down Rt 460, aka the Betty Bet Bet Inspirational Highway. And I slid my new CD into the player.

First was "Galway Girl," by Steve Earle, a great start, then came a second song which maybe I won't mention because it's a total guilty pleasure for me and I'm not sure I want all of y'all knowing about it. And then, the third song started.

"Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah," by the Violent Femmes.

Now, I'm sure most of you know the origins of this song. You may be younger than I, but you're also hipper than I. "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah" was a song that figured prominently in a very famous episode of that wonderful Saturday morning cartoon, "The Jetsons." It was recorded by the Femmes several years ago when someone came up with the idea to compile a CD of rock bands doing music from cartoons.

Here's a quick Reader's Digest version of the episode. See, Judy Jetson enters the "Win A Date With Jet Screamer" contest, where you have to write a song good enough for Jet to sing on his TV show. Her song is pretty crappy, it goes, "Jet Screamer Screamer Screamer I'm a dreamer dreamer dreamer - when the trumpets blare, I wanna run barefoot through your jet black hair-hair-hair-hair." (To which George replies, "Be sure you don't slip on all that hair oil.")

However, when George mails the entry off for Judy, he mistakenly picks up Elroy's letter to his buddy. It's written in their "secret language" (they made it up), and says "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah" and various other cryptic things. Of course, this wins the Jet Screamer contest, and Judy gets to go out on a date with Jet (though by rights it should have been Elroy), and hijinks and hilarity ensue. And the big moment comes when Jet Screamer sings his new sure-to-be hit, "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah."

Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah
Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah
Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah
And that means "I love you."

There's only one problem with this. Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah doesn't mean "I love you!" It means "meet me tonight!"

It's mentioned twice in the episode. Once when Elroy tells Judy about his new language, and once when no less a person than Jet Screamer himself introduces the song before he sings it: "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah: and that means - meet me to-niiite!" (Jet has an accent not unlike mine, actually, though I don't recall him saying pen, pin, boil or bull. Or blonde or blind.)

And so we're told throughout the show that Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah means "meet me tonight," and yet throughout the entire song not only does it mean "I love you," but there's never any mention of anyone meeting anyone else tonight or any other night.

This fact has upset me for nigh-on 40 years. I'm not joking, it has. And maybe that explains the nervous person I grew up to be.

(By the way, it's been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to do the dance Jet Screamer originated, the Solar Swivel. But sadly, one has to become airborne to do it, and I don't see myself gaining that magical ability anytime soon. Everybody! "Swivel in the morning! Swivel at night!")

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, I think it's officially time to ask for volunteer acrojudges, because the answers are getting so funny and so good I'm having a hard time deciding. Really, folks, some of these had me laughing out loud in a bawdy manner. But we must have picks, so I'll do my best. So who had what edited out of their DVD?
Honorable Mention: Mike's "Nellie excites Willie; Ingalls' heroin negotiations."
Runner-up: LilyG's "Nearly evisecerated women in halters, naked."
And this week's winner, which has to be the dirtiest entry we've ever had (and that's saying something), DeepFatFriar's "Naked Eisenhower wanks; it hits Nixon." Indeed!
And may I say at this point that if you didn't show up in the winners' circle, it certainly didn't mean your acro wasn't up to par, because every single person had an entry worthy of a mention. I'm just trying hard to keep it the three spots. I love you all, and you're funny and clever beyond belief. So, does anyone want to judge next week?

Monday, June 06, 2005


Good evening everyone, and welcome to another pass-the-smelling-salts-I've-gotten-excited-enough-to-get-The-Vapors round of Acromania.

I caught a snippet of something on TV yesterday. It was on AMC, which is odd, because I haven't seen anything on AMC in well over a year. But it had an interesting name, like "Beep" or "Bleep" or something, and it was about censorship. Censorship of a very specific kind.

Did you all know that there are people out there snipping the shit out of movies and then selling them to the general public as "Family Friendly?" And I don't just mean they're snipping out the "fucks" and the scenes of men's naked dingles blowing in the breeze. They're snipping for content, they're snipping for anything. They snipped a dead body out of "Saving Private Ryan" because its insides were, well, not exactly inside, and a scene in "Traffic" where a girl resorts to prostitution to buy drugs. Like you do.

I must admit this all shocked the bejeesus out of me. I just had no idea this sort of thing was going on. To me, DVDs are for adding material! Adding "fucks" and men's naked dingles blowing in the breeze that the studio wouldn't let you add to the theatrical release. They're for the "uncut" versions, with "deleted scenes and materials."

No big surprise here that The Directors of Hollywood are more than a little pissed about all this, and I can't say I blame them a bit. I've always thought there's a much better method of editing films with dodgy content. Don't watch them. And don't tell me you don't know about the content - you're expecting to see "Saving Private Ryan" with no dead bodies in it?

The Editors of Morality. Hoo boy.

And I guess that brings us to Acro. How about this week's topic of - "It Was Edited Out of My DVD!"

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets 3 entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches not only the topic, but the letters below, which are drawn from an unedited (and he has quite the dirty mind, too) acrobasket. Then I'll be judging at around 10pm est tomorrow, and the winners will get to give a speech. Provided it meets with my standards and practices.

So this week's topic is "It Was Edited Out of My DVD!" The letters:



Betland's Olympic Update:
* Just so you won't worry about me, today I got Cheetos, coffee creamer, coffee, protein bars, and, and try to hold back your excitement, a small jar of pickle relish. God, I live on the edge.
* I'm movieless tonight. Not even the edited-all-to-hell kind.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Picture Sunday


It's Sunday night. Picture Sunday is upon us!

Spent Saturday in R'noke doing a concert with Community Band, which turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience. Then a little shopping afterwards and home, where I remained till this afternoon when I began my weekend task of spreading the F-love with my nearest and dearest.

First it was "The In-Laws" with DJ Taytie Mac, then it was a repeat of "Hearts of the West" with Mr M. Both liked. I liked. We all liked.

I was sans camera all weekend, which left me in a bit of a panic as far as P.S. is concerned, but enter that little old problem-solver himself, Mr M. "Take pictures of your Sherman and Peabody collection," he said, and that I've done. Mr M is here as we speak, btw, so everyone wave and say hi. Or raise a middle finger and curse. Take your pick, he's used to both. (He's toodling around on the clarinet so he probably won't pay attention to you anyway.)

OK, where to begin. Picture one: the bobbleheads, wind-up walkers, Old London coins, thimble, Sherman button, and ceramic figurines.

Very good. Picture two: Glandular Sherman and Peabody show off the pencil drawing that became part of the horse racing scene in the "First Kentucky Derby" episode of P's Improbable History.

Very good indeed. Picture three: the pinball machine, a couple of mugs, another Peabody (this one's rubber).

Lovely. Picture four: the "other" Peabody (this is the one Peabody hired his lawyers to cease production of, and he'll probably not speak to me for weeks for publishing this picture), a very nice Peabody patch, and the coveted coup, the S & P sunglasses.

Magnificent. And finally, Picture five: our very own Sherman and Peabody, showing off their very own S & P coloring book and S & P rubber stamp.

There's more in various and sundry places around the house (I didn't include the hats, shirts, or what's in my office), but here's the bulk. Yes, I'm a sad figure. I know this.

But onwards and upwards.

I've had a particularly weak stomach since Friday night (when an extremely innocuous omelette caused me no end of gastrointestinal distress), and so it is with hand over mouth that I present to you this week's recipe du jour. Say "Bonjour" to Quiche Lorraine.

OK. Now, Mr M and I have this forever-raging argument. I know you find that hard to believe. Anyway, I like my eggs cooked so hard you can stand on them, and he thinks this is basically a sin. Well, I guess he'd be orgasmic over this quiche, because to put it bluntly, this sucker ain't done. Look - it's practically dripping inside! Oh, geez. I can feel my stomach turning as we speak.

Let's add to that the side dish of some lima beans laying on a canned apricot that someone blew their nose on, - no, wait, the card says that's a vegetable-stuffed tomato, sorry. And I don't even know what's topping the quiche. It's a lump of something, that's for sure.

I just cannot figure out what's on the top of those lima beans.

Oh well. Happy week, anyway.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* I really need to go out on a Cheeto run. I'm out. I'm also out of coffee creamer. How does one live like this???

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Catching Up

I have a theory, which is mine. (Sorry, the Ms Anne Elk joke always makes me laugh.)

Here's my theory about holidays. They're great. No mistaking that at all. However, has anyone else found that weeks that begin with a Monday holiday are about 3 times as long as regular weeks? It makes no sense. They should be short; they should be a breeze. I mean, your Monday's right out of the way! But no, Tuesday and The Rest drag like a snail doing the backstroke through molasses.

So today, since there was a small lull in the action at TheCompanyIWorkFor, I spent a lot of time catching up. I had stacks of papers everywhere that needed tending to, and by damn, by 4:30 or so, I'd gotten through all of them. So I'll start off Friday clean.

Therefore, I thought I'd also do a little catching up blog-wise as well.

First of all, I got a total of four nice Stetsons comments. Be assured I'm passing them all on to the guys.

Also, re LilyG's comment, yep, I hate to admit it, but I do in fact dig Rachael Ray. There are things about her that really get up my nose, mainly that she uses the same phrases over and over till you want to puke ("need it twice, chop it once," and "[insert flying food here] overboard!"), and she's a little too cheery, but I like her recipes, and the ones I've tried you really can make in 30 minutes or under. But you're not alone in your dislike, dear. Mr M hates her guts. "Cheerleader" and "Hack" have been bandied about during viewings.

And to Krizzer, who thought she saw Mr Peanut in Washington State, well, Kriz, you may be absolutely correct.

See, seems Mr Peanut went away for a week or so to take the cure. He's been sober several days now. I don't know if he came to this decision on his own or he saw my blog or Peabody had a personal word with him, but he returned back here dried out, if not quite shaky. He's laid on my not-as-comfy-as-the-comfy-chair sofa for the better part of a week, he's slept a lot, and one particularly bad night he seemed to have a small case of the DTs. Mr M and I discussed what one might see if one was a peanut having the DTs, and I finally decided it was still elephants. One would see oneself being sucked into an elephant's trunk.

Anyway, things seem to be looking up, and Mr Peanut was even invited to partake in the traditional Wednesday night dinner for S & P, Fish Stick Night. See, every Wednesday when I'm at band, the boys indulge in Sherman's favorite food, fish sticks. Occasionally Sherman even goes all out and has a "sea dog," which is a fish stick on a hot dog bun with tartar sauce and "algae." (Spinach)

When I arrived back from band last night I realized that Mr Peanut must have had a great time at Fish Stick Night, as evidenced by the below picture:

Betland's Olympic Update:
*Finally, I've decided that even though yall know me better than I probably know myself, I'm still going to do the "Layers" survey, again from le blog de Flipsycab. And sorry for the spacing, but as we all know, publishing pictures for some reason seriously fucks up blogger's spacing.


Name: Bet

Birth date: February 26, 1960

Current Location: B'field, in the mountains of Virginia

Eye Color: Blueygreeny

Hair Color: Browny

Righty or Lefty: Righty

Zodiac Sign: Fishy, um, Pisces, though we all know horoscopes are crap.


Your heritage: Cousins marrying.

Shoes you wore today: My tan Merrells. Oddly enough, the same ones I landed on when I fell in my pants.

3 things I did today: Got my hair cut, drank two cups of coffee, watched an Alan F Arkin movie.

Your fears: Basically everything. See blog of Jan. 11, 2005, Bet's unnatural fears.

Your perfect pizza: Well, lately that would be "one that doesn't make me sick," but back in my real pizza days it would have been thin crust, then cheese, cheese, and more cheese.


Your most overused phrase: "Indeed!" Although lately I seem to really be overusing the oath "Jesus Christ," and I think I may have recently offended someone with it.

Your thoughts first waking up: Weekdays, "crap." Weekends, "wheeeee!"

Your best physical feature: You've got to be kidding.

Your best time: I seem to be quite good around 2am.

Your most missed memory: Playing with Bill and The Petster.


Pepsi or Coke: Neither. Crystal Light Pink Lemonade.

McDonald's or Burger King: Neither. In fact, in the fast food world, they're the two worst.

Single or group dates: Listen, I haven't had a date since Methusula was in knee pants.

Adidas or Nike: Merrells.

Silver or Gold: Generally silver. Sometimes gold.

Lipton Tea or Nestea: Coffee.

Chocolate or vanilla: Neither now, but chocolate, of course.


Smoke: I'd like to say no, but I'd be lying.

Take showers: Almost exclusively.

Have a crush(es): Of course. On many many people in many many ways, actually.

Think you've been in love: Know I have.

Like(d) high school?: Yep. (makes International Sign of the Geek)

Want to get married: Not particularly.

Get motion sickness: Nope.

Think you're a health freak: I can honestly say I've never ever once thought that.

Get along with your parents: Yep. Even though I lie to them and tell them what they want to hear. Makes them happy, makes me happy.

Like thunderstorms: Immensely, unless I'm driving.

Play an instrument: Play several, but we won't talk about the autoharp.


Drank alcohol: Oh yeah.

Gone on a date: So how long ago was Methusula in knee pants?

Gone to the mall: Very, very briefly, one anchor store, yes.

Been on stage: Sauerkraut Band!

Eaten an entire box of Oreos: I've never eaten an entire bag of Oreos. I once ate a 1/2 pound bag of peanut M & Ms, though, but that was a long time ago.

Eaten sushi: Only once, years ago.

Gone skating: Haven't skated since the tumble on roller blades made me realize I was way too old for that shit. I've ridden a bike, though.

Had a tan: Yes, have one now. From a tube of Lancome.

Dyed your hair: Yep, but I'm due again.


Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: I've been beyond trashed. I've sat and watched the wall and been entertained.

Changed who you were to fit in: Not really. I just don't fit in.

Thought about what age you hope to get married: Probably when I was little.

Had children? Exactly what do you mean by "had" children?

Describe your dream wedding: Not so much with the weddings - stop with the weddings! (OK, a quick story - the only appealing thing to me re a wedding would be the fact that several years ago I bought my brother-in-law a ministership out of a dodgy magazine as a Christmas present. I've always thought it would be funny to have him actually marry me.)

How do you want to die?: I'd prefer not to, if you don't mind.

What do you want to be when you grow up?: I'd prefer not to, if you don't mind.


(I'm not answering any of these questions, because a) they're dumb and b) I've lived long enough to know that if you find a really nice guy, what the shit does it matter what color his eyes are or how tall he is.)


Number of pairs of shoes: See, I know this because I recently bought the big over the door shoe holder. I think it was 46, if I'm not mistaken.

Number of bags: Probably about half that, though I bought a great bag this weekend at the High School Band's yard sale. It was a quarter.

Number of CD's I own: Wow. Geez. 500, maybe? I've often thought of trying to count all my albums and CDs, but I don't have the stamina.

Number of piercings: 4. 3 in one ear, 1 in the other.

Number of tattoos: None, and don't look for any anytime soon.

Thanks for your time.