Monday, October 31, 2005

Vacation, Day One

Hello. First day of vacation.


I'll tell you about it later, when I'm better equipped.

It's not a formal acrochallenge, but if anyone wants to throw out a Halloween acro, I'll be glad to accept it. No judging though. I've been judged enough today.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* It's the doctor. He's a quack.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Picture Sunday

It's that day, and that time, and so let's get right to it with yet another Picture Sunday. This one could be long, so settle in with a cup of coffee.

As everyone knows by now, I just completed the 2005 version of Oktoberfest with the Sauerkraut Band. And so tonight's Picture Sunday shall be all about the love that is the SKB.

First off, a story, and an answer to the dishy Michelle's comment to my last blog. So why was I announcing the fact that I hated chocolate? Because I spent two nights last week, a total of about 12 hours, up to my elbows in it.

See, it was time for the Last Night of Oktoberfest Gift-Giving. Last year it was the Jager Bench posters, and this year it was to be Chocolate Shermans for everyone. Some months back Picture Sunday contained a photo of a chocolate Sherman and chocolate Peabody made from the molds Mr M and I found on Ebay. Those were made by ESP. And fine examples of chocolatiering they were.

However, I'm no chocolatier. Remember, I was born without the Betty Crocker gene, which makes it impossible for me to cook, bake, decorate a house, or comfort a child.

I started my Chocolate Shermans Tuesday night. I spent about five hours, made a mess, ended up with one broken Peabody, four broken Shermans, two good Shermans, a burned batch of chocolate, and a bad case of "What In The Hell Am I Doing This For?"

Thanks to, again, ESP, I got some suggestions, as in, I was using the wrong kind of chocolate. I started again fresh on Thursday, and got - two broken Shermans, two broken Peabodys (at this point I flat gave up on Peabody - between the tail and the nose he was just a bitch to work with). This time the chocolate was breaking in the molds! Eventually I came out with two good Shermans, and then when the next three broke in the mold, I realized something. That if I worked round the clock for the next three weeks, I still couldn't come up with the 20 Chocolate Shermans I wanted for Saturday. I was crushed.


Until I decided that, well, if all the heads were going to break off my Shermans, then I was just going to give everyone at Mountain Lake - Sherman Heads! Chocolate Sherman Heads. And so I started picking out all those broken heads from the "failure" pile, cut the heads off the good ones I already had, and started ending the chocolate in the new molds in the neck area. In the next four hours of Thursday I finished 21 Chocolate Sherman Heads, with one Chocolate Peabody Head for good measure.

And may I just say, they were quite the success Saturday on the mountain.

I still hate chocolate, though. Do you know what it's like to be eyeball deep in chocolate and not be able to eat it?

And so the last night of Oktoberfest. The brood was there, that would be my sister, brother-in-law, Taytie, and Taytie's friend Andrew. It was also two days before Halloween. This makes for a few extra hijinks amongst the band. Say hello to the Girls of the Sauerkraut Band!

Ahh, you just can't beat a fake mustache. You also can't beat Target's One Spot for cheap Halloween stuff. Check out Tim, also known as Binky (it's a long story), the devil, and me, the old bat.

Thing of it is, when it came time for "The Clarinet Polka," I wore the bat, Mr M wore the devil, and Mary wore her mustache.

And oddly enough, I actually remember "The Clarinet Polka." "Oddly," because I'd been drinking Goldschlager shots all evening (give Eddie the Jager Master a simple task, like, oh, say, "Get me drunk," and he really takes it to heart). I was happily buzzed but still playing and singing and prosting and having a good old time. Then it seemed like that one shot we all took after "The Clarinet Polka," well, I really don't remember anything else. I remember very little. Here's what I remember:

- Introducing everyone in the band to my family and keep getting Taylor and Andrew mixed up. I kept introducing Andrew as my nephew and Taylor as his friend. I think I did that three different times.
- Selling my own two personal Sauerkraut Band mugs. I now have none of my own.
- Changing clothes in the bathroom with someone who had a camera. I do not know if this will come back to haunt me later.
- Pleading unsuccessfully with everyone to help me burn my Sauerkraut Band outfit.
- Sitting in front of the fireplace, really not wanting to go home, partly because I knew the ride down the mountain would be a very nauseating experience, but mainly because I couldn't get up off the hearth. (Thanks, SaraBeth and Jude the Corruptor, for helping me stand.)

All in all, a very long, very short, very fun, very tedious, whirlwind of an Oktoberfest. A few more pictures I just feel like printing, because I liked them.

After a week out of commission, I got the bubble machine working again!

Just like last year on the final night, this year we had a little visitor. We'll call him Rocky, as I guess they're all called Rocky, right?

And guess who Sara Beth plucked out of the audience, without having any idea who he was, to come onstage and be part of the Chicken Dance - my brother-in-law! Heehee, he never reads my blog so he won't know I'm putting his picture up here for posterity. He's 2d from the left, at least he didn't have to wear the Chicken Hat.

And goodbye, Oktoberfest 2005.

Now to something that, considering how squishy my stomach's been today, isn't exactly something I want to ponder over too much. But with Charles and Camilla coming to our shores in the near future, I guess it's only appropriate that our recipe du jour should be Burger Beef Tiara.

Ahh, yes. A meal fit for royalty, and something tells me ol' Camilla has probably fixed this for Charles a time or two. Apparently it's canned biscuits on top of some dog food with a few frozen green beans dropped on the top. Oh, according to the card, that's exactly what it is! No, no, it's ground beef. But those are frozen green beans, and the biscuits are from a mix. And boy, let's just go all out on this meal - the side dishes are fresh raw vegetables and fresh fruit. Just lay some raw shit down and let them put on the feedbag, Mom!

Happy Week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Yes, I have the coming week off. Well, four days of it, anyway, I have to go back to work Friday. I get to spend tomorrow of it on the road going to see the dreaded "You Should Weigh 110 Pounds" doctor.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday Thoughts, And Believe Me Folks, That's An Accomplishment

Here I sit in between trips to the refrigerator. No, I'm not eating a lot, I'm just working on a project that requires coolness. And seeing as how I have no cool, I must keep on a constant jaunt to the fridge.

Thought I'd take this Thursday to tell you some random things that are on my mind at the moment.

People are idiots.

OK, thank you folks, and goodnight!

No, I guess I have more on my mind tonight, but boy, are people just idiots. I've spent the past two days at TheCompanyIWorkFor dealing with someone who refuses to listen to and/or understand anything I tell her. I can't make it any simpler, or speak any clearer, and yet she refuses to actually hear anything I tell her. I'm thinking of passing her off to someone else if she calls tomorrow. Which of course she will.

Do you know what I want more than anything in the world right now? You know those huge tabletop maps all the generals have in those World War II movies? The ones with the long slider poles where they slide their little plastic armies all over Europe? I want one of those.

In fact, I want one of those so badly I'm thinking of making one myself and putting it in my living room floor. Then I'll make me one of those sliding poles, and put stuff all over my map and slide it around. "Cookies to France! Bracelets to Italy! Coins to Germany! DVDs to England!" I'll have a ball.

I'll invite yall to my first "Sliding Shit Around Europe" party.

I can't really elaborate on this one till after Saturday, but let me just make a very heartfelt statement. Chocolate is one stubborn-ass substance.

I currently have a major case of the hump at Ipswitch, otherwise known as the WS_FTP people. When I went through the big reformat a month or so ago, I had to redownload WS. Believe it or not, I actually had all my emails from where I'd ordered it, with a serial number attached. Even had my billing statement where it was charged to my credit card.

However, there was no activation key, so I emailed the Ipswitch people and told them of my dilemma. I promptly got an email saying - that I'd get an email. I hate those. Anyway, I was promised a quick reply to my problem. Well, my 30-day evaluation period for the download I had to do post-reformat has run out, I can't redownload their product (I'm not guessing here - I've tried), and - I still haven't heard word one from those Ipswitch bastards.

In other words, I can't update my Movie List!

I'll give them a few more days, but if I don't hear from them (I won't), or I do hear from them (I won't) and they tell me they won't give me back my product after I paid $45 for it, I'm going to go buy any other FTP program out there. I don't care if it sucks, I don't care if it's hard to use, I don't care if I have to FTP with two Dixie Cups and a piece of string.

By the way, did I mention how much I hate chocolate?

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I do not have a pair of gloves. I have lived in my house for four years now, and as of Saturday morning, there is not one single pair of gloves here. That I can find, anyway. Not even a stray one. This leads me to believe that sometime this summer I bundled up all my gloves, packed them into a box, and put them somewhere. Could someone please tell me where? My damn hands are cold.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Slingblade, or Hey Hey Hee Hee Get Off Of My Field

As I mentioned in Sunday's blog, I spent a blissfully geeky day Saturday watching high school marching bands. As I also mentioned, one band in particular inspired a little giggle-fest up in the section where I was sitting.

Well, it wasn't so much the band. The band was OK, I guess, "OK" was pretty much the rating they got when everything was over with. It was their "auxiliary." "Auxiliary" is the fancy term for all the other crap that bands seem to have attached to them these days.

And let me just get this out of the way right now. I hate auxiliary. I always have. Then again, I'm from the Old School. I believe a marching band should be a marching band. No flag girls, no majorettes, no rifle throwers, no pom-poms, no interpretive dancers, no fire batons, no farm animals being led around on the field. Well, to be honest, I've never seen that last one, and on second thought, it might be kind of interesting. "The band will now perform their rendition of 'Old MacDonald;'" then bring out those animals and let them do a little jig right there amongst the players. I think I'd be OK with that, as long as I'm not in the band that marches next; I've done my share of parades behind horse platoons.

However, I do have a particular distaste for flag girls (and boys, occasionally you'll see flag boys out there). Anyone ever notice that, well, besides being completely useless, the flags never match anything? They don't match the uniforms, they don't match the music being played, they're just brightly colored crap flying around out there. But that's another rant for another time.

And so back to the story at hand.

The band in question was loaded up with flag girls. And within seconds of their taking the field, something became very apparent. One of their flag girls didn't have a flag. She was just out there holding nothing. And the reason she was holding nothing was because she had her left arm in a sling.

And I'm sure the first question that comes to everyone's mind is, if this girl had a broken arm, why the hell was she out there on the field? And I'm sure that I can't answer that question for you, because I don't know the answer my own self. Because me, arbitrary fool that I am, I would have said, "Sorry about the broken arm, honey, looks like your season's shot to hell." But apparently in this world of "let's not let anyone get their feelings hurt lest they be traumatized for life and end up in the post office with a machine gun," they said to her, "Sorry about the broken arm, honey, now get out there and be the trooper we know you can be. We love you, you're worthwhile, and please don't go looking for that rifle. Unless it's one of those wooden ones that girls twirl around with bands, even though of course you can't twirl it, because your arm's in a fucking sling!"

So there she was out there in the auxiliary. With no flag. And her arm in a sling. And the girls were all adorned in black, and it was a gleaming white sling. And so no matter where one's eye tried to focus, that eye went right back to her.

She became the star of the show. Which I'm guessing will probably keep her from shooting up the post office one day.

When we first noticed this fact, ESP made a great suggestion. That she should have been given some tiny little flags, like those little American flags they give out on the Fourth of July, that are about two inches wide and stapled to a dowel rod the size of a pencil. And she could run around the field waving her tiny flag in the air. It conjured up a nice picture.

But no, she was indeed unflagged. In a gleaming white sling. And here's the thing. She stood out there, head held high, and, well, she stood. If the flag girls ran to the left side of the field, she ran along with them. If they came to the front, she came along too.

But that's all she did. If the other girls twirled around in a circle, she stood there. If they did a high kick or assumed a one-legged position (what we call "The Big Fig Newton," though I doubt anyone's old enough to remember that commercial), she stood there. If the girls hit the ground for a graceful ballet pose, she stood there. Hell, if they even as much as leaned to the right or left, she stood there. With her arm in a sling.

And the more she stood there, the more we giggled.

Now, about halfway into this band's performance, and as I said, it was an OK performance even though I didn't see that much of it because I couldn't take my eyes off Sling Girl, something else happened.

All of a sudden, another flag girl, a regular flag girl with two good arms and a shitload of flags to twirl around, hit her knees and knelt there, on the 40-yard line, motionless. No, you don't understand. Completely motionless. She was staring into space with a fixed expression, not moving a muscle, there on her knees, in what can only be described as catatonia.

All the other flag girls were twirling and hopping and Big Fig Newtoning it, well, all of them except Miss Broken Arm, and this girl was there at the front of the field, dead. Well, if not dead, then certainly in a persistent vegetative state.

And I've got to tell you, folks, this little episode just put me right over the edge.

I was sitting with my sister to one side of me, another set of band parents (who I'd just met) on the other side, and ESP and another band parent (and a client of ours) one row below. Now, when I'm with my sister and she's with the people in her little circle, I try not to be so, well, so me. I try to keep something of a sense of decorum, which could be why they all think of me as so much wallpaper paste, though it could also be because I'm not in their social or economic realm, but I do try to rein things in a bit.

But I just couldn't hold it in any longer.

I began to lose it; I began to rant. "Look at this one! What the hell - what's with her? She's catatonic! She's dead! What the hell is that? Flag girl down!" I started wondering aloud if she was on drugs, or having a cosmic flashback of some sort, or if it was a band rule that if you dropped your appointed flag you had to go have "time out" at the front of the field until everyone else picked up the next flag. I don't know; maybe she was consumed with the sudden urge to pray that God would heal the flag girl with the broken arm.

Oh, Lord Jesus. I just can't describe to you how upsetting this whole scene became to me.

And so Schizophrenic Flag Girl stayed there, dead on her knees, for approximately two minutes. Then she just got back up and started twirling again as if nothing ever happened. Oh, but it happened. It happened, and I'm here to tell the tale.

My sister, who when she lets herself go can be as goofy as I can, carried along right with me, for I think she was almost as amazed as I was by this whole affair. The client lady in front of me, a very kind and shy lady, giggled along and also did her share of wondering aloud what the hell was going on as well. The couple on the other side of me, who I'm sure are fine people because they're the parents of Tay's Stetson-mate Andrew, stayed silent. And - and I'm not kidding here - moved away from me about six inches.

And then there was my buddy ESP. She knows me, so nothing came as a surprise to her. In fact, she was the one who, after suggesting the tiny flags, corrected her opinion to, "No, she just needs to get the hell off the field." She wasn't the least bit offended by my display.

Then on the other hand, not long after she sat down she told a story to me in front of the assembled throng that lofted out the phrase "blow job."

Will they ever let me go watch band practice again....

Betland's Olympic Update:
* We have acrowinners! So, what did yall want to tell me about Oktoberfest?
- Honorable Mention goes to Michelle, with her "Entsetzlich! Mein Liter Rotwein ist Dreck!" Not sure of the exact translation there, but I get the idea. And also Honorable Mention goes to LilyG, with her "Ewww. Many libations regurgitated in drain." Remind me not to check the drains this weekend.
- Runner-up goes to DeepFatFriar, with his "Elizabeth! Mountain Lake! Remember? I'll drive!" This Saturday I doubt I'll remember anything.
- And this week's winner goes to Kellie, with her "Ed, Music, Lederhosen. Raucous Indignant Drunks." That pretty much says it all, though it doesn't specify whether she's mentioning the raucous indignant drunks in the audience or those in the Sauerkraut Band. (By the way, I'm waiting for the day Ernest makes love right in the dessert.)
Thanks to all who played!

Monday, October 24, 2005


Monday, Monday, can't trust that day. Or so said the Mamas and Papas so many years ago. Then again, the Mamas and Papas didn't have that cornucopia of happiness known as acromania.

My Monday consisted of driving off to yet another TheCompanyIWorkFor meeting - in the snow, no less! No accumulation of any sort, but it was snowing right there upon the old podmobile2 for a good 30 minutes. Odd, considering that just last night I watched a Marcello movie in which snow figured prominently. In fact, the movie ended with a cold Marcello walking through the snow and making friends with a doggie. Now how's that for swoon factor?

So anyway, I'm thinking snow, but something tells me we've done snow as an acrotopic. I know we've done just about every other weather phenomena. So, since the last weekend of Oktoberfest is upon us, let's make that our topic du jour. Or du week. Tell me anything you want about Oktoberfest.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but the letters below, which are drawn from an increasingly surly acrobasket. He's a little miffed he's not been invited up the mountain to join in the festivities as of yet. Then at 10pm est tomorrow night (remember that - there is a time limit) I shall be judging the entries and the winning acros get a low-brass shot of Jagermeister, and the losers shall get a plate filled to the brim with liverwurst.

So the topic, Oktoberfest. The letters:


Now, prost! And acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Boy, did I watch a fun movie tonight - a sad and cautionary tale called "Maryjane," all about the marijuana problem amongst high schoolers in the sixties, and starring no less a person than Fabian as a hip teacher. What a load of crap. Fun crap, though. Very fun crap.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Picture Sunday

Ahhhh, Sunday. The sky is bright (or was, before the sun went away), the air is crisp, the leaves are crunchy, the neighbors are slamming their car doors. What a wonderful world we live in.

The weekend is indeed over, and unfortunately for you, or fortunately, depending upon how you see things, I spent most of it without my trusty camera by my side. Friday's Oktoberfest was absolutely dismal, don't even ask, but one day if I get the nerve I might blog about Poodle Night and the The Night of the Seven Trumpets so you'll understand. Anyway, if anything, it brought out three stellar Sauerkraut Band quotes. However, only one of them is printable, so that's the one you'll get tonight.

Me [bemoaning the lack of room onstage]: Some night I'm going to come up here with a bunch of my friends. Except that I only have the one.
Mr M: And I'm already here.
Me: Oh well.

That's actually kind of a sad quote, sadder now that it's in print for everyone to see.

Saturday was the day of the big Band Festival. My sister and I got up early and arrived to see all the bands but two. It was Geek Heaven, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I got to see:

- The B'burg High School Band, which got a Superior rating (the highest you get), featuring K, R, J, and whiz-kid M, who was the band's soloist for the program, and a cute thing she was, too. Not only plays the saxophone, but dances while doing it!
- R's mother, a very nice lady who always seems to be toting cookies. And they're really nice-looking cookies.
- ESP, who came and sat with us during GHS's performance and another, and helped us giggle through something I'll be telling you about later.
- The GHS Band, featuring no less a person than Taytie himself. His band got a Superior rating as well. OK, I'll pause a few moments while you all cheer.
- Another Band, which featured one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in my life, which inspired the giggling.
- No less than three kids from three different bands fall on the wet football field.
- Flag girls in lime green jumpsuits so thin and slinky they may as well have been wearing nothing at all.
- Tay's dad, who sat with us after the band played. See, he's a Hood. The band's show was based on music from Robin Hood, and a bunch of Band Dads did the engineering and building of the props. They call themselves Robin's Hoods, of course, and their salutational greeting is, "How go ye?"

Anyway, it was lots of fun, didn't rain nearly as much as we'd feared, in fact, only a fraction of my 27 pounds of rain gear was put into use, and it was a good, if pictureless, experience.

Last night I sat and listened to my TV a lot, since it's about to die and has no picture. Finally, after beating it for five or so minutes, a picture appeared, but, well, it's just one more thing to worry about.

Then today I met the morning knowing I had a whole day with nothing to do! No traveling, no concerting, no commitments of any kind! And I got so hinky I pleaded to come to Mr M's and hang out with him and play duets. So on the road I went, and I'm glad he let me hang out while he was still busy packing things away to go to Maryland for his new job. The duets turned into a clarinet lesson, but it was still fun, we ate, and we watched British people fight World War II. On TV, they didn't do it in his living room, though that would certainly have made for an exciting weekend.

I got to thinking on the way down today that in all this talk of Mr M, you haven't seen Poderosa East, where he makes his home. And will now be making it on the weekends. So here it is, with the man himself out front.

Yeah, you think he's out there on the porch waving at you, don't you? Well, think again. In reality, he's showing off his brand-new bottle of 10w-30 motor oil. If you've got it, flaunt it, I guess.

Our dinner came from a very nice restaurant in B'burg.

That would be Zeppoli's. I had mozzarella sticks and salad, Mr M had rigatoni and Italian sausage, and cheesecake. The cheesecake was separate, it wasn't part of the pasta. OK, when you're giving the menu, you know it's time to wrap things up, right?

It's just that such a nice restaurant, such a nice meal, and now I have to look at this. This! Say hello, if you dare, to Beef Stroganoff.

Oh dear. This whole card reminds me of the Tilt-a-Whirl. Between the tablecloth, which basically camouflages the green beans, the plates, and the suspect color of the beef, I'm starting to feel just the least little bit queasy. Thank God the card people didn't include pictures of the other suggestions for this meal, apple dumplings and tomato-cucumber salad. The salad may have just pushed me over the edge.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Blogger worked! Blogger's picture file upload feature actually worked for me this week! Thank you, Blogger people. I love you.
* Oh, and on the blog front, I'm afraid I have had to go "word verification" on the comments. I'm sick of the clarinet spam, I'm sick of the asparagus-growing spam, and I'm sick of the "my, what a nice blog you have!" adult website spam. You can still post anonymously, you just have to type in some letters before doing so. Think of it as my own personal eye test for you. Because I care. And I hate spam.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Art Is Everywhere

I spent most of today learning a new skill. I was attempting an old skill, but realized that to attempt this particular old skill I'd have to learn a new one in the bargain. And I was so intimidated, I almost didn't try.

See, as you know, I'm heading out early Saturday morning to my dear nephew's State Band Festival. Band geek that I am, I shall be sitting on a hard bleacher, probably in the rain, for about 8 hours watching marching bands. And I'll be happy.

But you see, I wanted to be adorned. All the kids in the band have special band t-shirts. And the parents have other band shirts. And I wanted a band shirt for the day. And hey, I'm as talented as the next schlub, right? I outfitted Sherman and Peabody in their lederhosen, and made them German hats, and even made Mr M his official "F.O.P. - Friends of Pods" t-shirt. So why couldn't I just sit down and damn make myself a band shirt, huh? Huh?

And so today on my afternoon off that's exactly what I did. I stole the header image from the Band's website, cropped it down to the school's image, the "G-Star," and had at it. Only, it was very early on that I realized I was going to have to put some text on my image. I mean, the G-Star alone, well, that was just advertising the school; and anyway, you can buy any number and type of GHS items around town. I wanted to be identified as a band geek.

Since I'd never tried this particular trick, I immediately got online and summoned Mr M. I asked him if one could, if one had the desire, put text on an image. He replied that yes, one could, but it was "a pain in the ass." And he offered to do it for me if I'd send him the image, but I told him I'd soldier a bit, but if I got the urge to start throwing things around the room, I'd send it on over.

I experimented. "Pain in the ass?" Well, a little. I had to do and undo for about an hour, but I finally figured it out enough to get an image I kind of liked. Discreet, tasteful - just like the designated wearer. So I sized, flipped, and printed.

Then I began the old skill, the one I was sure I knew so well, so well that I didn't bother reading the instructions that came with the transfer paper, and well, guess what. It didn't work. But the gods must have been smiling upon me, dear readers, because even though it didn't work, it didn't mess up my shirt, either. Which was a good thing, because I only had the one. So I decided to take a rest, watch a little Marcello, and try later after reading the instructions.

Good thing, too. Completely different instructions from the last time I did this. I wasn't supposed to flip the image, and, well, everything was different. Amazing what actually reading the instructions can do for a person. Anyway, after a reprint, recut, and retry, everything came out just fine.

The fruits of my labor are above.

So, it's not art. Or is it? Mr M and I were watching a thing on PBS last night, it was about immigrants, and they interviewed two artists. And that, of course, led to a discussion.

Mr M has very distinct opinions about art, as do I, and they don't always coincide. He says there should be no art galleries; that it separates what is considered "valid" art from what is considered "not valid." Or something like that. I asked him, then, where should the great works of art be displayed? "On the street," he replied, and though something in me liked that reply, I don't envision walking down Spruce Street here in town and happening upon a Van Gogh.

We agreed, however, that artists are amazingly self-absorbed people, and didn't quite make it to the subject of, "Well, what is art, anyway, dammit?" I almost opened that subject up because one of the displays in an above-mentioned artist's show was a toilet door with a man behind it, singing. Now, I have a little trouble appreciating that as art, call me simple, many have. But it got me thinking.

Are my doodles art? Is my silly watercolor portrait of Sherman art? My homemade Barbies? Mr M's Captain Asshole doll? My shirt?

I don't know, but all way the home from Mr M's last night I got to thinking about this little snippet of my trip to Cleveland back during the winter.

I've never told this story before, because it borders on the embarrassing, but I'll impart it upon you now. When we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr M and I, I was having a ball going through all the rooms and checking out the great works of art through history. The museum has an amazingly vast and enjoyable variety of stuff, and you could probably walk around all day without getting bored.

We finally made our way into the modern art section, and I was enjoying that tremendously, because it's what I like most. I saw some Warhols, Klees, a Chagall or two, a Kandinsky.... But about fifty feet after you entered the huge hall there, and over to the left, there in the middle of the room was a bucket, with a rag in it, and a bright yellow "Caution - Wet Floor" stand. I looked at it, looked away, and looked again. Hmm. Was this a piece in the museum, or was this a bucket with a rag in it and a sign telling me to watch my step?

I discreetly scanned the walls for a plaque. "Wet Floor - Artist Unknown." I never found one.

But to this day, I still don't know if it was some piece of modern art or some piece of unfinished business by the cleaning crew.

Ahh, what the hell. Let's call it art anyway. After all, according to Mr M, if it was in the museum, it was valid.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Well, Mr M has changed jobs again. This time he'll be working in Gaithersburg, MD. He swears he's doing the "there during the week, here on weekends" thing like when he worked in Richmond a couple of years ago. I hope it works that way and is not too long a drive to make every weekend. In any case, I'm without a visit and free coffee on Band nights. That bastard's gonna make me have to buy my own coffee for the trip home!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Slow Day, Slow Mind

You know it's a slow day when you come to the decision to make your blog a riveting episode of "What The Boys Are Up To."

Up early, on the road early, armed with a large coffee and my 3 Hackensaw Boys CDs (OK, has anyone taken me up on my "buy everything these guys have done" challenge?), I headed to A'don to a TheCompanyIWorkFor meeting. Boring stuff, but I did get to see my absolutely very favorite TheCompanyIWorkFor employee, E. Is cool beyond belief, and till I met her I didn't know what 4:20 meant. Not that either of us would indulge, I'm sure.

Stopped on the way home at a foreign Wal-Mart and bought 57 bars of soap (no, I'm not that dirty, it was the only size they had, the Wash Your Entire Neighborhood Pak), and as much rain gear as I could lay my hands on. I'm ditching Oktoberfest this Saturday to go to Tay's band festival (well, and my buddy whiz-kid-M's band will be there too, a double treat), and there's a 70% chance of rain on the day. Now there's a band geek for you, sitting for 8 hours in the pouring rain watching high school marching bands. I'll be in heaven.

Then it was home, where I basically forgot about laundry and napped on and off all evening.

And so - what are the boys up to tonight?

- Peabody is practicing his yoga. First he was standing on his head, now he's sitting cross-legged on the floor, deep in meditation.
- Sherman is drawing. He's drawing a picture of Gossamer.
- Gossamer is posing for his picture, though he's not totally aware of this fact. He's chewing on a pencil eraser.
- Huckleberry Hound is attempting to play my autoharp. He figured it was a shame for it to sit there in its case, ignored. He's not bad at "Red River Valley," but, alas, I'm not the only one not to master "The Wildwood Flower," if you get my drift.
- Good Luck Baby Lily is playing with the miniature Barbie my buddy ESP gave me. Not miniature to Lily, though. She thinks of it as a life-sized playmate.

And that's the constant hullaballoo that is the Poderosa.

Happy Tuesday.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* We have acrowinners. Mmmmmm, pie.
- Honorable Mention goes to Flipsy, with her "Rhubarb? Indeed! Horseradish lingers tastier." I don't know about horseradish, but anyone who works "Indeed!" into an acro is fine by me.
- Runner-up goes to LilyG, with her "Responsibly, I halve lemon tart." Oh, that Lily. Always so responsible....
- And this week's winner goes to DeepFatFriar, with his "Reagan? I hit Lana Turner." Now there's the perfect use of a pie. Hitting Lana Turner.
- (The dishy Michelle had a nice entry with "Romanians ingest honey liver treats." However - her entry arrived 58 minutes after the alloted acroing time. Therefore, for her trouble, five dozen Nature's Macaroons are winging their way to her doorstep!)
- Thanks to all who played!

Monday, October 17, 2005


Long day. Long, long Monday. So let's get to that little slice of Monday heaven with ice cream on top, acromania.

Mmmm. Pie. I haven't had pie in ages, and hadn't really missed it till Oktoberfest. Now I'm seeing everyone walk away from the dessert table with this really wonderful-looking fruit pie with flaky crust. It seems to be quite the hit, even Sherman forgoes chocolate cake for it once in a while. So this week's topic is "Pie." Anything you want to tell me about pie.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. He's a Key Lime man. Then at around 10pm est tomorrow night I'll be reading over the entries and judging the winners, who shall receive the pie of their choice, and the non-winners get, well, five dozen Nature's Macaroons. What they do with them is at their discretion.

And so this week's topic is "Pie." And the letters:


There you go. Now stop sitting there all pie-faced and acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* My third Hackensaw Boys CD arrived today. And yes, I'm still groovin'....
* Is it OK if I mention I'm already dead-tired and it's only Monday?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Picture Sunday

OK. Here we go.

It's Sunday again, yes it is, and I'm going to try for a stress-free Picture Sunday. And even if it's not stress-free, hopefully I'll still be able to work something together with Tuesday's tutorial from my web maven Stennie.

It was your normal Betland weekend, Friday Oktoberfest, Saturday Oktoberfest, and an attempt today at Mr M's to watch a movie that consisted of two hours of people washing a rug. Well, I'm assuming. We only made it through about 45 minutes of the washing.

Since I haven't supplied you with many Oktoberfest pictures yet, and because I don't have a quote for you this week, I'm going to introduce you to a member of your esteemed Sauerkraut Band. That would be the lovely, the happy, the vivacious Sara Beth. Sara Beth plays the trumpet. She's the only girl trumpeter, which believe me folks, is a pretty precarious position to find oneself in.

Anyway, Sara Beth came up with probably the finest Sauerkraut Band idea since the invention of the tuba. As you all have heard me mention from time to time, our trumpet players occasionally have been known to, well, how should I say this.... Stink? Yes, stink is a good word. They apparently have no qualms whatsoever about their bodily functions, and in fact, take quite a bit of pride in them.

So Friday Sara Beth showed up with her own personal bottle of Renuzit Citrus Freshener. And she wielded it better than James Bond wields his pistol. In fact, while the world's making such a big deal of the new blonde James Bond, we here on the mountain have our very own redheaded Bond.

In the last one, she's shooting her bottle of citrus delight at an imaginary offending trumpet. Oh, if only they were all imaginary....

My next picture is just amazing. I mean, that it was even taken.

As you may or may not know, my dear nephew Taytie runs cross-country. I think I mentioned the time last season where he heard some interesting sounds behind him during a meet and looked around to find himself being chased by a bunch of wild horses. (You thought I was going to say "a bunch of trumpet players," didn't you?)

Well, this past week, on that self-same course no less, as everyone waited for him to come out of the woods and to the finish line, he, well, he kind of didn't show up. Turns out he'd tripped over a hidden tree trunk and went ass over elbow. AND - if you don't believe me, he has proof!

Ouch. What presence of mind a parent had to snap that picture, I say. (Only ended up with bruised ribs, btw. And a uniform full of burrs.)

And now to another physical disaster, the recipe du jour. Now, when I hear the term I think of something much more sinister, but on the card here, they're cookies. I think. Say hello to Nature's Macaroons.

OK, so the cookies are nasty, we were expecting that. Anything with the term "nature" in it can't be very good anyway. And by the by, for future reference, anyone who offers me a cookie made with wheat germ and sesame seeds is going to get a punch flat in the face.

However, what upsets me on this card is that godawful elephant statue. What the hell is that? Is he made of chocolate? Is he made of the same shit the cookies are made of? Is he made of clay, porcelain? Whatever he's made of, he looks like he's three sheets to the wind. That elephant's stoned, I tell you! I don't think I've ever seen anything so upsetting in the whole of my life.

The recipe for these cookies has a five dozen yield. Yeah, that'll last about, what, six years?

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* Oh, in case you're wondering, it wasn't stress-free. This Blogger picture thing is really bumming me out. Does anyone else use Blogger to upload pictures, and are they having the same trouble?

* Well, two of my three Hackensaw Boys CDs arrived on Saturday. And yes, I'm groovin'....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

(This little doggie appears at the top of my blog as a tribute to my own personal web maven Stennie, without whom this blog would never, ever, ever, ever, EVER have taken place. She is a genius and an "expert." And if you don't believe me, ask Remote Assistance.)

cture Tuesday Which Is Now Picture Wednesday

I started this blog on Tuesday. Early Tuesday. Long story.

OK, now that I'm all recovered from Weekend on the Road, let's look at some visuals of my little jaunt in what will be known this week only as Picture Tuesday. No, make that Picture Tuesday Which Is Now Picture Wednesday.

We did Oktoberfest Thursday. We did Oktoberfest Friday. We did Oktoberfest Saturday. And on Sunday, we did Rocktoberfest! Woooo!

We started down I-81 to Winchester at about 9:30. No, wait, I'm already telling a lie. I guess we started up I-81 to Winchester. It's north, you know. Mr M drove, I passengered, Sherman was in his car seat, and Mr P took a look at the lovely scenery.

We arrived in Winchester and found the Rocktoberfest site. Now, I must tell you, I was expecting a speedway, or a football field, or, oh, let me just go ahead and say it. I was expecting Woodstock.

When we reached our final destination, it turned out to be in the middle of the city, in - a bank parking lot. So instead of 100,000 hippie rock fans freaking out on the brown acid, our crowd ended up looking just a little bit like this. Well, exactly like this, actually.

Not quite breakfast for 100,000, or whatever it was Wavy Gravy said all those years ago. But what the hell. We played, we had fun, the crowd was semi-enthusiastic, the Sauerkraut Band was very enthusiastic, the beer was free, we got free T-shirts from the organizers of the event, and, in a stunning surprise event, I discovered my new favorite band of all time.

Move over, Squeeze, out of the way, REM, Beatles - well, you can stay right there, I'll never abandon you. But all of you need to make way for these guys, The Hackensaw Boys.

They're bluegrass, they're old-time, they're jugband, they're rock, they're punk, they're funk, they're everything you want in a band, they'll change your life. I promise. I have their entire catalog winging its way to me as we speak via Amazon. I can't wait. I danced to them in Winchester, and now I'll be able to dance to them in the privacy of my own home, where I can be a lot geekier and therefore have double the fun.

Then after a final set from your humble Sauerkraut Band, this one a little more beer-fueled, it was time to pack up the equipment and head home, with a dinner stop on the way. We all went, in lederhosen and dirndls, to Edelweiss, a German restaurant. Oh, boy! More German Food! But it was fun, and a nice way to end the evening.

And I got home by midnight, so that wasn't bad at all.

Now, there will be no recipe du jour for this Picture Tuesday Which Is Now Picture Wednesday. I just don't have the stamina. In case you're wondering about all the delays, either Blogger is broken or it has changed it picture uploading feature. Not a good change, either. I went all hinky over it, drove Mr M offline, and finally, of course, Maven Stenns came to the rescue. But placing the pictures was a long process and I'm ending it here.

Happy rest of the week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* See how much I love yall? I kept at it all this time so I could post acrowinners. Let's get to my Spam Comments.
- Honorable Mention goes to DeepFatFriar, with his ingenious "Qatar Ichabob crasy resolute Zanzibar rollickingly." Yep, I get those too, Friar.
- Runner-Up goes to LilyG, with her "Queenly in capaciousness? Reduce! Zero roundness!"
- And this week's Winner goes to Kellie, with her "Quaking? Impotent? Cialis Restores. Zap Rhonda." I'm betting Rhonda really hopes they don't take up the offer.
- And as this week's winner, Kellie gets a case of Cialis sent to her home or office.
- Thanks to all who played!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Ahh, hello, my friends and fans of the little lettered tiles. It's Monday, and yes, I survived Rocktoberfest without nary a bottle hitting my person, but more about that tomorrow. For now, let's get to another way-too-happy round of acromania.

Well, it has finally happened here in Betland. It happened over the weekend while I was away. Some lowly snake-in-the-grass spammers got ahold of my blog comments and had at it. Not one, not even two, but three, count them, I know you won't, spam advertisement comments in my blog. They should be ashamed.

While everyone else was lamenting the sad fact of spammers in their comments a while back, I listened attentively and commiserated, thinking the only way I'd escaped so far is that I have Blogger Pro. Well, apparently that wasn't the case cause now I've been infiltrated. So to speak. And now I have to make the decision I was hoping I wouldn't have to make - to go "no anonymous comments" or not. I really don't want to, I want any old soul who drops by to be able to comment, but it may come to that. I'll wait a few days and see what happens.

In the meantime, I guess I'll turn lemons into lemonade and make my dilemma this week's acrotopic. So this week, how about "Leave Me A Spam Comment." Yep, whatever product or website you want to hawk, send it to me as this week's acro.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but the letters below, randomly drawn from an advertisement-free acrobasket. Acrobasket is the Public TV of baskets, only he doesn't take 17 pledge weeks a year. Then tomorrow night at around 10pm est I'll be reading the entries and judging, and the winner will recieve whatever product is hawked in their acro. The losers, well, I guess they'll just remain losers they are.

So, this week's topic, "Leave Me A Spam Comment." The letters:


Holy shit. The Q and the Z in one draw? This has to be some sort of record. I know it'll be hard, but you'll be up to the task. Now, everybody! "Spam, spam, spam, spam...."

Betland's Olympic Update:
* One of my spams was for tips on how to grow really nice asparagus. Didn't that guy see my "phallic asparagus" Picture Sunday? I mean, why would I need help growing my asparagus?
* Having now completed the longest four-day weekend of my life, I get to watch some movies again. A Marcello is up for tonight. Wait, that's not fair of me to say, because during the longest four-day weekend of my life, I still managed to cram in two Alan F movies. Poor Alan F....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Not My Day

I had a more-than-interesting experience last night.

I seem to be unnaturally tired lately. My body and my mind. In fact, I wonder sometimes if it's not my mind that's causing my body to be so tired. After all, it shouldn't be - I keep pumping vitamins, minerals, extracts, protein, and God knows what else into it. I think I just need some quality quiet time.

Anyway, when I got home from work yesterday I unloaded some more clothes from the dryer, loaded some more clothes into it, and loaded yet more clothes into the now-empty washer. How can one person have so much laundry? I must be some sort of sartorial miracle.

I folded the first-mentioned load, which was sheets and towels and pillowcases, and afterwards I was just drained in the way that only trying to fold a fitted sheet can drain a person. And so I thought, man, if I could just lie down and rest for an hour or so, maybe I'd feel rejuvinated enough to continue being an unmarried housewife. And so I went, in my clothes and shoes, and laid down on the top of my comfy bed.

And slept. Slept what might be termed a lumbering sleep.

I woke with a start. There was faint light coming through the blinds, and I looked over at the clock. It was 6:40. Wow. I still had a while to go before Alarm Time, but I got up anyway. I headed to the cabinet for a coffee filter, then went to the refrigerator to get the beginnings of an Orange Crapius drink.

I looked into the dennette, and noticed the light was on. "Damn. I went to bed with the lights still on," I thought. Then I thought some more. "I went to bed with my clothes on! Hell - I don't even remember going to bed!"

It was only then I realized it wasn't 6:40 Wednesday morning. It was 6:40 Tuesday night. I'd slept about 15 minutes.

That was one of the oddest feelings I think I've ever had.

But at least it afforded me another 13 or so hours before I had to get up for real and go to work.

Today is only Wednesday, but I had to take my normal bi-weekly Thursday afternoon off today because of work conflicts. I don't like doing this, because I start thinking Wednesday is Thursday, and then I get really grumpy when I realize, oh, upwards of 30 times, that Thursday is not Friday. I guess that's normal for a person who wakes up after 15 minutes' sleep and thinks it's time to go to work.

Anyway, I left work at around 1:30 with only one task at hand. To get Podmobile2 his first servicing. So to speak. So off I went straight from work, and after standing in line about 10 minutes waiting for someone to speak to me, I found out that they didn't have an oil filter (or an ull filter to me) for a 2006 Forester. They told me I could go buy an oil (ull) filter at an auto parts store, bring it back, and they could get right to the servicing.

So I went to Advance. Well, I went to what I thought was Advance, and found an empty building. Then I started driving around and found Advance had picked up one night when I wasn't looking and moved somewhere else. I went inside and asked for my filter. They didn't have one. But they said to try NAPA.

I went to NAPA, which was, oddly, right where it was the last time I saw it, and went inside to ask them. They didn't have one either. So it was left to me to go to the dealership and buy an exorbitantly priced oil (ull) filter to take somewhere else to have put on my car. And I didn't do it.

Why didn't I do it? I don't know. I guess to paraphrase Alan F in "Catch-22," I didn't wanna. Who cares if my new car is 1000 miles over its servicing time and I'll be driving more miles this weekend than my brain can count. I just flat didn't wanna.

And since my afternoon was pretty much shot by that time anyway, I decided to take a trip to the hell that is Wal-Mart. I needed some light bulbs. I needed some light bulbs real bad. In fact, had it not been light when I woke up last night, I'd have been stumbling around my kitchen in my clothes and shoes, because of the three bulbs in my kitchen light fixture, none is of a working order.

So I made my way to Low Price Mecca, hitting every yellow light in town, driving behind every 90-year old slow driver B'field has to offer. I got inside and began to shop.

I bought a few things, some hair clips, a new mascara, some more protein bars (my, I'm quite the hoarder these days), some Crystal Light, and in a stunning moment of fortune, I found a personal cassette player. Apparently Wal-Mart understands the out-of-date amongst us. There was no way I could pass it up either, seeing as how it was a paltry $5.00. $5.00! Never mind that when I got it home it really is a $5.00 cassette player, it doesn't even have a rewind button, but seeing as how I was only needing it to listen to a book on tape, I don't guess I needed something fit for the London Philharmonic. Unless of course my book was being read by twins, simultaneously, but it's not, so I'm fine on that count.

$90.14 later and I was walking back out to my car. (How does one spend $90.14 and only have enough items to fill up the childseat portion of one's buggy, anyway?) I loaded everything in and started home, realizing that I hadn't eaten today (so much for the filling up my body with all those vitamins, I guess I need food as well).

I got inside, laid down my bags, and flipped on the kitchen light. Shit. I forgot light bulbs.

For $90.14 there really should have been light bulbs in there somewhere. But there weren't. So I rummaged around the house and found one in a seldom-used lamp and stole it away for the kitchen.

Let there be light. A little, anyway.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I watched a movie today with subtitles. Subtitles are fine under most circumstances, unless they're white. This movie had yellow subtitles. It was bliss.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Roctoberfest! (*ouch!*)

I'm tired. I'm having one of those ass-kicking weeks. Busy workdays, busy Poderosa-upkeep days. And music. Lots of music.

If I were to go to B'burg for Community Band tomorrow night, it would be a week of Community Band Wednesday, Sauerkraut Band benefit in B'burg on Thursday, Oktoberfest Friday and Saturday, and another SK Band gig, this one in Winchester, VA, on Sunday. Something tells me Community Band practice will be right out.

So anyway, this gig Sunday in Winchester. First of all, Winchester is far away. It's even farther up on the map than Washington, DC. It's going to be a long trip up, and probably even a longer trip back, seeing as how it will be Sunday night, in the wee hours of Monday morning actually, and I'll be having to go to work the next day. And I may be drunk.

But there's another thing about this Winchester gig. Your semi-esteemed Sauerkraut Band has been invited to play at - yes, get ready for it - Roctoberfest. It's some sort of an all-day festival with a bunch of rock bands...and us. And frankly, I'm just a little bit worried about that.

I've done my share of wondering about why we were even put on the bill, then it came to me that we may well be there for comedic effect.

Last week we all got an email from Ed, our Fearless Leader (obviously), saying we probably need to approach this gig with a little different mindset from the normal Sauerkraut Band fare. And he was open to suggestions. And, well, you know us, you've read some of the quotes, the suggestions started pouring in.

First of all, Mr M fired this missive: "Frankly, I'll be surprised if we don't have things thrown at us--garbage and bottles--and I'm not kidding. We need a plan for what to do if that happens."

Then the inimitable Seth suggested a song to do (a collection of polkas). Then he suggested a song not to do (a horrid arrangement of "The Sauerkraut Polka," a song that's probably our theme song, though no one wants it to be), unless each member of the band had put away an entire bottle of Jagermeister first. Then he casually mentioned that, based on Mr M's statement, he'd be packing heat for this gig.

Kevin suggested doing an arrangement of "Rawhide," and Mr M suggested a German march version of "House of the Rising Sun." I threw in a polka Sex Pistols medley and possibly a waltzing-schunkling version of "Free Bird."

Then I suggested, quite seriously, actually, that this concert should be - and I still shudder to think I ever said it - the raunchiest, rowdiest set we've ever done. Just give up the reins and let the horse run wild. And letting the Sauerkraut Band horse run wild is something akin to releasing the Tasmanian Devil in Tiffany's, let me tell you.

Anyway, we have absolutely no idea what's going to happen. It would make me deliriously happy, for some reason or other, to see a sea of rock fans swaying back and forth to the Sauerkraut Band, flicking their lighters and yelling, "En Muchen Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus!"

Then again, I'm weird.

Anyway, when it's all over, if I'm still alive, maybe the next Picture Sunday can be of the various scars I've accrued from the thrown rocks and bottles.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So, what makes yall feel old?
- Honorable Mention goes to Funafuti, with his "Sandra's ass, naked, left Brian nevertheless edgy." Well, it makes me feel old, anyway.
- Runner-Up goes to LilyG, with her "Sought a new lens, because no eyesight." Too true, though I loved the Barbara Eden one - too bad it didn't have the right letter combo.
- And this week's winner is DeepFatFriar, with his "Sanity, and not libido, being nearly everything." You bet. No, I bet. You blog reader. And him Dr Birtenshaw.
-Thanks for all who played, well, you three above. Your prizes are in the mail.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Hello, my little acroites. It's Monday, which of course means it's time for another semi-titillating round of acromania!

Let me tell you a little story of what happened to me yesterday. It's a sad tale.

Yesterday, after I sat in the pumpkin patch burning my brains out for 90 minutes, I went home by way of Target. See, I needed some clothes hangers. And for some reason I felt I had to go into a huge department store to get them; what that reason was I've yet to decipher.

Anyway, since I'd parked and made my way in, after I picked up my $3.00 purchase I stood there thinking there must be something else I needed that I could also pick up. And eventually I realized that there was indeed something else I could look for for myself.

See, somewhere at the Poderosa, in the last, oh, 3 years or so, I seem to have lost my Walkman. Discman, sure, it's sitting right there on the not-as-comfy couch, but the cassette version, well, it's suffered the same fate as many other things in my life - I know it's here, I actually saw it here once, but I'll be damned if I could tell you where to save my life.

So I went into the electronics section, to the "portables." Do you know that you cannot buy a personal cassette player anymore? You can buy any number or kind of personal cd players, or ipods, mp3 players, or whatever else the kids are listening to music with these days. But cassettes? Forget it.

I'd never felt so old in such a short period of time. I may as well have been the world's oldest hippie, ambling into the store looking for a good 8-track player to play the latest Vanilla Fudge on. Needless to say I came home with some clothes hangers and a bad attitude.

So, this week's acrotopic? "It Made Me Feel So Old."

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym possible that matches not only the topic above, but the letters below, which are drawn from my humble but lovable friend the acrobasket. He's a reel-to-reel guy himself. Then at around 10pm est tomorrow night I shall judge the entries, and the winner shall receive a 16mm projector and a stack of albums, while the non-winners shall get a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni and my best wishes.

This week's topic? "It Made Me Feel So Old." The letters:


Now, get off your rotary dial phones and acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I know my hair has a mind of its own, and lately I've just been letting it go free, but today a man told me I looked like a poodle dog. That was just uncalled for.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Picture Sunday

Hello, hello, hello. It's that very busy time of year for me, sorry about the bloglessness since Tuesday last, but now Sunday is here it's time for that little joy in the corner of your life, Picture Sunday.

Well, Friday was the first Friday night Oktoberfest. Good crowd, an alcohol-free night for me, since I was driving, I came back home afterwards after a stop by the grocery at midnight, in my Oktoberfest outfit, where I bought a few foodstuffs and about 40 protein bars. (I think they're phasing out the flavor I like.)

Then it was Saturday, where I had a driver and let the good times roll. Huge crowd, lots of fun, no "Clarinet Polka," tried the wild boar stew this time for dinner, and wore my new Oktoberfest dress. One size smaller, and red instead of purple. I don't know. I kind of liked the purple better.

Anyway, I was writing in my quote book like mad this weekend, and instead of one quote for you, I have two. First is from Friday.

Ed [to the crowd, before Tom plays "Edelwiess"]: And I'm sure you all remember "The Sound of Music...."
Tim: After two hours of listening to the Sauerkraut Band, how could they possibly remember the sound of music?

And the second, from Saturday.

Ed [again to the crowd, explaining what Gemultlichkeit means]: In other words, it means good food! Good beer! And good music!
A sardonic Mr M: Yeah, when are we gonna get some of that?

Ahhh, the fun we have.

Today I had the utmost of fortune to play a concert with the Community Band. It involved sitting out in a field in the hot blazing sun in black jeans for 90 minutes. Woo-hoo! Community Band played in Floyd County at the Pumpkinfest!

Ahh, there are the little devils right there.

It was, despite the heat, and the fact that I had to tackle with nature (bugs, grass, hay), a very nice area to have an outdoor concert. Mr M came along because word on the vine (pumpkins - vine - get it? it's funny!) was that clarinets were going to be scarce. Didn't turn out to be, but it was fun having him sit in after a rather long absence with our humble group. Here's a panoramic view of the beautiful Virginia countryside.

A fun weekend of clarinet playing. And why was it so fun, seeing as how I basically hate the clarinet? Well, because I spent Saturday and Sunday playing - my new clarinet! Yes, Mr M acquired yet another horn, and it was so magnificent he at first told me I couldn't buy it from him (I've been needing a second horn "just in case"), but he finally relented and is letting me not only buy it from him, but pay him in installments (the money will go to his "I want a new Rossi clarinet" fund).

This one is as wonderful as he told me it was, I can see why he balked at selling it, and as an added attraction, he found out it once belonged to a famous clarinetist. Who's now spinning violently in his grave after knowing how I've used it the past two days, I'm sure.

And now it's time for our recipe du jour. And tonight it's everybody's favorite, Shish Kabobs!

Here we have for your eating enjoyment some marbled meat (ooh! it's lamb!), cherry tomatoes, pearly onions, mushrooms, potatoes, and green peppers, all skewered right through the heart and grilled within an inch of their lives. Actually, it's not the worst-looking thing I've ever seen, and The Card says we get to splash some wine and tabasco sauce on them, too. And who can argue the fact that we get to eat them with a romaine salad with Russian dressing (the dressing that says "Emergency! Everybody to get from street!") and an ice cream roll. (I wonder if it looks like the Sandwich Loaf?)

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:

* Look for an update to the Galerie de Chien et Garcon soon. (OK, so it's a boring update. Sue me.)