Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thought For The Day

OK, so it says "Thursday" above, but it's only 12:40 am, and for me it's actually the end of Wednesday. And guess what today was. My one-year anniversary.


I hadn't really thought about it till I wrote the date on something at work, "June 28." Yep, one year ago today I was hauling it down I-81 and the steering wheel of the original podmobile suddenly lifted above my head. Seems hard to believe now.

And how did I spend my evening? Driving to band, down the Betty-Bet-Bet Inspirational Highway, on my way to band practice. Tooling along in podmobile2, listening to the Hackensaw Boys, and thinking about my day.

It was another rough day at work, in what's become pretty much the week from hell. Band practice was abysmal, and the coffee shop was closed when I headed home and I had to get weak cut-rate coffee from 7-11.

But hey, by all rights I shouldn't even be here today. So that puts it all in perspective. And it'll all start over again tomorrow and I'll probably cuss the phone and every client who gives me a hard time. But for now, it's all good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If Rona Said It, It Must Be True

If you'll recall, last week or so or maybe two weeks ago, I did a blog on the fun evening I had on the leather sofa at Mr M's being transported back to 1966 by an issue of Life magazine. I read articles, looked at ads, and generally had a high old time.

Several days ago I found myself with a new magazine. A new old magazine. And although this certainly pales in comparison to that great issue of Life, and I mean really pales, I thought maybe we could have a ramble through it together this evening.

This magazine isn't exactly your high-end stuff. It's an issue of Rona Barrett's Hollywood. You know, what we used to call as kids "movie magazines," and what my mom and my aunt Nadine used to read religiously to find out what the stars were doing, and believed every word of it as the Lord's Gospel Truth. If it said that Elizabeth Taylor was actually from the planet Xenon, well, that was good enough for them. She was, and when she came home at night she took off her human mask, ate graphite, and, well, fought with Richard Burton.

It was from a movie magazine (about 1967, this was) that I first heard the news, via Mom, that the Monkees - my very own sainted Monkees - took drugs. To quote Morrissey, and I've always loved this line of his, "I never even knew what drugs were." And I didn't, it had to be explained to me that they altered their minds in an illegal way, and I refused to believe it. Well, OK, so maybe occasionally movie magazines hit their mark.

This issue of Hollywood is from September 1973. It has three pictures on the front, with headlines, and a non-pictured huge headline at the top asking the question I'm sure was on everyone's lips, "Is John Wayne Gunning For A Divorce?" And if he was, I'm sure a gun was involved somewhere. The other pictures are of Mark Spitz and his new bride and asks that other burning question, "Will Marriage Cramp His Style?" and of Chad "Medical Center" and Shelby "His Wife" Everett and asks an even more burning question, "Can a Paternity Suit Pull the Stitches Out of a Healthy Marriage?" To which the answer, and we all know this, is an enthusiastic "yes." Or should be, but guess what - I checked and it told me Chad and Shelby were still married. So there, paternity suit-bringer! Take that! And for that matter, Mark and Suzy Spitz are still married! And for that matter, The Duke and his wife stayed married till his death! So a big, "Ha Ha" to you, Rona.

The third picture on the cover is of everybody's favorite (well, I certainly liked him) cowboy Dennis Weaver, with a quote I'm sure shocked America to its core in 1973. Apparently, according to McCloud, "Sex Is Completely Overrated!" And for some reason, I can imagine Dennis saying that. Why? I couldn't possibly tell you, but it just sounds good coming from him.

Oh - another headline sans photo on that cover asks us, (they're big on asking us questions on this cover, aren't they? just full of questions, they are) "Sinatra - How Much Did You Miss Him?" Well, we all miss him a hell of a lot now, since he's dead and all, but apparently this was right before Frankie staged his big 70s comeback. I hope people were missing him back in '73, too. I wasn't, though. I was still too busy denying the fact that the Monkees took drugs. (I was very naive growing up, btw. I swear I was well into college before I realized the Village People were gay.)

There are various and sundry articles inside the pages of this Hollywood thing. There's a farewell to Irene Ryan, Granny from "The Beverly Hillbillies," who'd just died, and an interview by Rona herself with Ann-Margret, who looked way too sexy for 1973, that woman was just busting sex out of every pore on her body. I've always thought of Ann-Margret that way, though. She's the epitome of a Sex Bomb. The name of that story was, "Does She Have Everything She Wants?" And though I didn't bother to look past the pictures to find out, I'd say she probably does, just by virtue of the fact that she's Ann-Margret. I mean, if I was Ann-Margret, that'd be enough for me right there. I'd just sit and look at myself in the mirror all day. And ooze sex out of my pores.

There were photo yearbooks of Sex Gods Charlton Heston and Burt Lancaster, showing them via pictures from young men to not-so-young men. There was an article about Loretta Swit, which I also didn't bother to read, but I'm sure she's a fine person. There was also an article on Faye Dunaway who told us that "Love Has Many Faces." And maybe it does, but she seems to have the exact same face in 1973 she has now.

And then there was the article heralding the "sneak preview" of "Jesus Christ Superstar" the movie, featuring Jesus himself, Ted Neely. Ted has played Jesus longer than Jesus walked the earth, and he's actually going to be appearing in a production of JCS near where I live. (Jesus - the AARP Years!) And in what has to be one of the stranger twists in magazinedom, there's an article about Ed Bishop, who I'd never heard of but played Commander Straker on the old "UFO" TV series, which I'd also never heard of, and what was odd about the article is that it starts on page 62 of the magazine, and is continued - on page 51! Is that allowed? If it is, it shouldn't be.

There were no ads in this magazine to have fun reminiscing over, only ads for whatever Rona-based stuff was going on out there in the 70s, but I did have a good time with all the peripherals the magazine had to offer. There was the "Dear Rona" section, and a column called "William Tells" (isn't that clever), and all kinds of Q & A's and bits and bobs. One letter to Rona began, "I would like to know what is wrong with Hollywood," and goes on a major diatribe about all the sex and violence in movies, then turns into a veritable love ode extolling the virtues of "The Sound of Music." Another letter asked if it was true that Rona and Rex Reed were engaged. Oh, my. This person probably didn't know the Village People were gay, either.

But my favorite "Dear Rona" letter began as such: "I'd like to tell Bette Midler to shut up!!" Yes, two exclamation points, the writer was so upset. (Apparently Bette wasn't nearly the entertainer Barbra Streisand was, and boy, was it pissing this guy off something fierce.) And one poor woman from New Jersey wrote in just to tell Rona she wanted to sleep with Bobby Vinton. ("He can put his shoes under my bed anytime.") I hope she didn't buy a stamp just for that.

The best letter in the "William Tells" column was from a poor misguided soul who asked if it was true that Lawrence Welk was "running around" (her words, not mine) with Phyllis Diller. It was signed "Heartbroken Woman, New Jersey." I can just see that woman, in her bathrobe, walking around the house in curlers, eating bon bons with one hand and holding a box of Kleenex in the other, trying to console herself over the fact that Lawrence is running around with Phyllis Diller and wondering how to go on with life now. By the way, wouldn't that be the greatest name for a town? I'd visit Heartbroken Woman, New Jersey in a heartbeat.

There were scads of little one-liner gossip pages, and pictures of people like Howard Cosell with David Steinberg, who looked to be about 25 years old. And Groucho Marx in his little beret. And Charles Grodin, looking like he'd maybe just graduated high school. And yes, Elizabeth Taylor in her human mask.

James Brolin had a wife back then and her name wasn't Barbra, Sally Field was married to Steve Craig, and in a shocking turn of events, for me, Liza Minelli was with Desi Arnaz, Jr! Yes, the same Desi Arnaz, Jr Marcia Brady wrote about so glowingly in her diary. Before that brat Cindy gave it to the used book drive and all hell broke loose. But the less said about that the better.

Anyway, it didn't wow me like Life, and it didn't take nearly as long to dissect. But it did bring up an interesting question. What the hell ever happened to Rona Barrett? Rona, who used to be everywhere, doing interviews and catching people on the red carpet and only being photographed from one side? (I always wondered if she had a huge scar on the right side of her face.) I think the last time I can remember seeing Rona was in Blake Edwards' film "SOB," where she was on a TV set and Loretta Swit threw a tray of hospital food at the TV when her face appeared there. Then she just dropped off the face of the fucking earth!

So, Rona, if you're around, let us know. Just a wave, really, we don't need anything more. Especially not a revamp of Rona Barrett's Hollywood. The price on this issue from 1973 was 50 cents, and I'm not sure it was worth it. Except maybe to Heartbroken Woman, New Jersey, who hopefully got up off the couch and on with life when she saw her name in print.

Oh, and that article on no less a person than Alan F Arkin himself, the one I took a stab at the magazine for in the first place? It proports to be done during an interview over a lunch in San Francisco, then goes on to repeat nearly ver batim that article from Life magazine in 1966. That's OK, though - I may have been naive as a youngster, but please don't think I bought this magazine for anything other than a giggle. And I guess I got one, even if it was rather small. More of a tee-hee.

I'm just glad Rona didn't say anything bad about Mr F Arkin. Or the Monkees either, for that matter. I didn't want to end up walking around the house in my bathrobe, eating bon bons and searching for the will to live.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! So, what did yall do on your summer vacations at the dude ranch?
- Honorable Mention goes to Krizzer, with her "Played rummy, overate daily, aged." I loved that one - "aged." heehee
- Runner-up goes to Lily, with her "Pony rides? Oh, darn. Asthma." Awwww. And a sad vacation it was.
- And this week's winner goes to, Capt A, with his one and only entry, "Prodded remuda, osculated damsel's "arroyo." Which, after I looked up about half the words, turned out to be a pretty funny entry. Just don't be so high-brow all the time, Captain.
- Thanks to all who played! You've all done very well!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Whoops. I originally had this titled "Picture Sunday" right up until I proofread. Been there, done that.

Hello, everyone in the world! And welcome to another wet, soggy, rain-soaked edition of acromania.

For some reason, I'm still in the Old West. I had fun making those pictures yesterday, I guess. And so our acrochallenge is going to keep with the Old West theme. It'll be easy. "What I Did On My Summer Vacation At The Dude Ranch." You know, the Jetsons once took a summer vacation on a dude ranch, or, if I recall correctly, Jane, Judy, and Elroy did. George probably had to work. Damn that Mr Spacely.

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 also the letters below which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. Oh, what a vacation the acrobasket had at the dude ranch a few years ago. I've seen the pictures. He looked so darn cute in that hat. Then at 10pm est tomorrow night I shall be reading the entries, and will name the winners, who get a pony ride, and the non-winners, who have to clean out the stables at the Poderosa. (Yes, it's OK - the Poderosa has no stables.)

So, the topic - "What I Did On My Summer Vacation At The Dude Ranch." The letters:


Now, get out of the saddle and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Tempie called in sick today. And probably will tomorrow. Will we eventually need a temp for our temp? Who knows?
* The creek in my backyard looks like a rolling river. It has little rapids! If it doesn't stop raining here soon, I'll be floating towards the Mississippi.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Picture Sunday

It's the shank of Sunday Evening, whatever that means to you at home, and it's time for another round of Picture Sunday.

Good weekend in Betland, watched a movie, drank martinis, and generally chilled on Friday night, then it was off to Poderosa East, aka Mr M's, on Saturday. Where we sightread clarinet duets (well, I did, anyway, if in fact you could call it "reading"), watched two movies (one really good one and one really bad one - I mean, really bad one), and generally hung out.

It was a lazy few days, and although I had my camera in tow I didn't take any pictures for the old PS. But that's OK. Because with some imagination and the nephew's long-abandoned Playmobils, there can always be a Picture Sunday.

Let's take a trip Out West. Where foul things are afoot. First of all, we're going to Big Rock. Big Rock is the home of the Best Christmas Tree in the West, so named because it grows out of a big rock with no dirt whatsoever. It was planted there and lovingly cultivated to fruition by Melf of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and he's given it to the Native Americans because they love nature and he knows they'll take good care of it. However, as happens, that Pesky Cavalry is charging in to take it over. (As they've done for centuries and centuries....)

Let's hope Melf and our heroes win out.

Next, we're heading on over to Gray Rock, which, if you'll look carefully, looks amazingly like Big Rock. It's night-time out by Gray Rock, and the cowboys have let their horses have a rest while they gather around the bean pot and have some whiskey. There's old One-Eye and Lefty with their mugs. (Lefty has to sit on the barrel because he's being chased by a snake.) But wait! Could it be? No, it is! Carmel and Gabby have had to draw guns on each other because they got into a big argument over which was the better musical, "Oklahoma" or "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers." It may not look like a fair match because Gabby has two pistols to Carmel's one, but don't count Carmel out. Because not only is he right (he's on the "Seven Brides" side), he can do things with a pistol you couldn't even imagine. Just ask One-Eye.

And finally, wouldn't you just know that while all that defending of territory and honor has been going on, our own Good Luck Baby Lily has stolen the 4 o'clock stage from Reno, making away with four bags of gold from the Western Union and Bobby, the littlest cowby.

The End.

Well, only the end of our little western movie. We still have the recipe du jour to go. And boy, what I time I had with the recipe du jour this week. The original went south, it went south so bad it's probably crossing the border into Argentina as we speak. And so I went back to Krizzer's suggestions from a month or so ago. The one that had originally intrigued me. And so from the "Fun Suggestions" section of cardland, say hello to "Desserts With Beer."

We have a regular Driving While Intoxicated Dessert Cart for you tonight. Let's start with the little cup, of Strawberry Beer Cream, cream, beer, and strawberries all frozen together. Below that is our Peanut Butter Beer Candy, which, believe me folks, I'm dying to actually try because it just smells so damn good. (Simple, too - peanut butter, sugar, butter, and beer, melted into a pot, then cooled and cut into pieces.) Then beside the candy is our Beer-Soaked Waffle topped with Strawberry Beer Cream and honey (why a waffle? don't ask), and then rounding back up and to the left is a selection of Bite-Sized Beersicles. These are for those of you who prefer the savory rather than the sweet, and it's different delectables (an olive, a cherry tomato, a pickle, a cauliflower, and some cheese) frozen into tiny beer Popsicles. Something for everyone there - pick your dessert and enjoy. Thanks, Kriz, for the suggestion.

Happy Week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* And it's official. Beer Desserts had by far the worst recipe du jour cleanup yet. Beer Cream melts in about, oh, say, 14 seconds.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another Friday Blog

Thanks to Stennie for keeping me in Friday memes. This one is kind of a, "Nyah nyah" to the world. Well, to you folks, anyway, and I'm so terribly sorry about that because I love you all and I'd only ever say, "Nyah nyah" to you in the nicest way possible.

Here are the rules: It's naming things that I have that you don't have. At first I thought this might be hard, till I looked at the items. Yeah, I can do this one, with maybe the exception of the last one. Let's give it a try.

Name a CD that you own that none of your friends does.
Easy peasy. Just got it this week. That would be "Get Some" (OK, OK, it refers to dancing), that ever-elusive first album by the Hackensaw Boys. Took me forever to find it, well, at a real price, some joker was selling it on Amazon Marketplace for an astounding $49.95, and although I love my Boys, I wasn't ready to jump at that. Good thing, because the next week I found it at a more reasonable price and scooped it up. Also-ran: The Vile Geezers - "Too Stupid To Quit," which I own because my ex-cousin-in-law Boyd was in the Vile Geezers. (I wanted so much to say The Stetsons - "Up Until Now," my dear nephew's band's CD, but since I sent so many of you copies I took myself right out of the loop on that one.)

Name a book you own that none of your friends does.
How about a book from about 15 years ago that gave me immense pleasure, "Youth In Revolt," by CD Payne. Tells of the adventures of Nick Twisp, an oversexed and hapless 14 year old. Also-ran: a book that gave me just as much immense pleasure, "Municipal Bondage," a collection of essays and lists by Henry Alford.

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/whatever that none of your friends does.
Well, if any of you own "Deadhead Miles," directed by Vernon Zimmerman and starring no less a person than Alan F Arkin himself, then you've been holding out on me all these years. Also-ran: Well, I doubt any of you own "Improper Channels," also starring no less etc, etc, and to be honest, I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I own it.

Name a place you have visited that none of your friends has.
This might be harder. I could say, like, the next town over from me, but wouldn't really be very fair, would it? I think I'll try Selsey Bill, an English seaside town which I visited in the middle of January and, well, that's not a lot of fun, is it? However, when I listen to Madness singing "Driving In My Car" and they sing, "I've also been to Selsey Bill," I always shout, "So have I!" I'm worried about this one, though. I thought of it as a teeny place but I know several of you have been to England. I'll hope for the best. Also-ran: I once had breakfast in Bean Station, Tennessee. Does that count as visiting?

Name a piece of technology or a tool you own that none of your friends has.
I can't imagine any type of technology that I've blazed a trail by owning. But I like that it says, "Or tool." Maybe I'll concentrate on that one. I can't say anything clarinetty because surely Mr M will have one, so let me go arts and craftsy. I have a paper-making screen. It's a little wooden framed screen you put pulp in to squeeze out the excess water out of and start the pressing process to make your own groovy paper. It's not technology by any means, but I'd certainly consider it a tool. Also-ran: You know, come to think of it, I do have several very sharp and nasty reed knives and pointy things I bought to try and learn to make oboe reeds, and of course never followed up on it. Kellie - don't tell me you've taken up reed-making since we last talked!

And there you have it. Happy weekend.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* No updates tonight. I'm just going to chill. It is Friday, you know.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh, Thankth Thithter!

No, this isn't a blog about people who talk like Cindy Brady. I just can't seem to think of the word "sister" without then thinking of little Ronny Howard as Winthrop in "The Music Man."

My sister has been having a hair crisis lately. Well, she says lately, I say for a long time, ever since she started coloring it way too much and letting it grow. But that's a difference of hair opinion, and I realize hair is a very personal thing and that we shall never agree in that particular area.

Anyway, her Big Day, ie Haircut Day, was yesterday, and so for a few weeks she's been scouring every haircut book she can get her hands on. You know those haircut books. Magazines with picture after picture of semi-halfway-almost professional looking models with every imaginable haircut in the Free Fucking World. And a lot of them are really, really bad haircuts. And that makes me laugh.

Yesterday at lunchtime The Sister thrust her latest copy of Haircut World or Happy Hair or Hair Today (Gone Tomorrow) or whatever it was called into my hands to show me a couple of styles she liked. This was, of course, a complete waste of time, because anything she likes I'm bound not to like, and anything I like she immediately says her hair will just "not do." But I looked anyway, while The Sister proceeded to take a phone call.

And so I looked through the book. And I began to giggle. And then I began to laugh outright, and by the end of it all I was practically in tears.

This Hair Book cracked me absolutely up.

I started giggling right off the bat at the models. I don't know where they got some of these women, and God knows, with the mug I carry around I have no right to judge, but Holy Jesus. A few of them I had to take second looks at because I first thought they were men. Female impersonators sporting the latest in Weird New York Gay Disco hair. One model looked just like a girl who used to work with me, complete with Osmond-sized teeth. One looked like she'd forgotten to wash her face that morning. And then, some of them were just downright ugly. But they can't help that, and neither can we, and so we'll just let them be. I mean, who am I to judge? They got professional modeling gigs and I'm sitting here alone in my pajamas writing blogs. Unpaid.

Then I got to that other girl. She wasn't a bad looking girl, and I must admit she had a rather nice haircut, at least for one of those Hair Magazines, but she had a wonky eye. I mean, she had an eye that was so wonky she was looking at me with one eye and at the woman on the page facing her with the other. It was more than a little disconcerting.

And I giggled some more.

The haircuts ran the gamut, from the "I Cut My Own Bangs in the Dark" kind to the "The Back of My Head Looks Like the Ass-end of a White-Tailed Deer" kind. To the "Oooh, You Used Hedgecutters" kind. To the "Someone Threw Lit Matches At My Hair And a Fair Amount of Them Landed on Their Mark" kind. To the "My Hairdresser Forgot To Color Over Half of My Hair" kind, to the one called "Nights of City Lights in Paris" that wasn't so much nights in Paris as it was "Driving Along I-77 in a Convertible Without a Scarf."

But oddly enough, the thing that had me haw-hawing and slapping my knee had nothing to do with goofy hair or big teeth or female impersonating or wonky eyes. It was an ad.

It was an ad for some kind of weight-loss product, couldn't tell you what it was called, but it was a full-page ad that proclaimed in orange letters along the top, "How My Sister's Weight Loss Secret Worked For Me!" Then there was a little story underneath all about how some girl found out what her sister was doing to make the scale numbers go down and down and down.

It was accompanied by this picture.

Ahhh, so that's how she does it, that crafty sister of hers! She just gets on the scale and only lets her tippy toes touch it! And here all this time, for over two solid years, I've been standing there full flush on the pad like the beached whale I am and grimacing in pain at the numbers that pop up. Well, I guess I won't be doing that any longer!

Sister Number Two also apparently doesn't wear her glasses early in the morning, because look how she has to hunch herself all over into a ball to see the numbers going down and down and down. And I'm not even sure where to start on the fact that her scale is striped, and that blue stripe there at the end extends all the way out onto her floor. That's some cosmic scale.

So I can't wait till tomorrow. I'm going to pop right out of bed, leave off my glasses, put on my best red panties, put my toes on the scale, and get ready to hunch. I'm sure I won't be as happy as this sister here, considering she's a small girl anyway and with only the toes applied and all, her scale probably registers her at about four pounds. But it's certainly worth a try.

It's worth more of a try than any of those haircuts I saw yesterday, anyway.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* The Hucklebug podcast is up, running, and ready to be enjoyed. Click here to listen on the web, or subscribe via iTunes.
* If you'd like, you can go here and take a test to find out how southern your speech is. They use the whole "Yankee or Rebel" thing, but I prefer not to do that, and so I won't. So there. I was 78% southern, by the way.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Obli Di, Obli Da, Life Goes On, Turn, Turn, Turn, The Times They Are A-Changin', Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Na-Na Hey-Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, or Torn Between Two Mowers

I thought I'd try and go for the longest blog title, if not the one with the most commas.

For those of you who came into Betland later than Opening Day, I live at the Poderosa. It's small, but it's home, it's my cherished place. It's my Cone of Silence, though it's rarely silent around here.

Even though I've only owned the Pod for 4 ½ years, it has a long and storied history. I've had an influx of ladybugs, which I grew to love but they don't come around anymore (maybe they're still afraid I'll take them for a "swim" in the flushing toilet), an influx of bees (they're still coming, even if they're not welcome here), a broken and leaking hot water heater, a couple of scares with the heat pump, raised roof nails, a broken sink pipe, and now I'm facing the whole shower wall debacle. But don't get me wrong; I still love the Poderosa.

I've also had, well, not in that way, let me make that perfectly clear, Mowing Boy.

Ahhh, Mowing Boy. Brave, valiant, and stalwart Mowing Boy. I scared him the very first day when he knocked upon my door to ask if he could keep mowing for me like he did the previous owner. I was so excited to have someone mow for me that I practically jumped into his arms with an enthusiastic "YES!" I scared him even more when I came to the door to pay him one day donning nothing but a towel. He scared himself - twice - when he, upon seeing an open front door, opened the screen door and walked right into my house, realizing he didn't live there, nor had he knocked, and that probably wasn't a very polite thing to do. (Mowing Boy was very polite.) I laughed though, mainly at the distressed look on his face both times it happened. He scared me the day he announced to me that Mr Snake had taken up residence in my back yard. He cut down the clothes line that I hated, even though it left two unattached crosses in my backyard, which is kind of scary, and he burned out a hornet's nest for me once. I loved Mowing Boy.

But sadly, Mowing Boy graduated from high school and left for the navy. I still see him sometimes, though, and always greet him with a hearty, "Mowing Boy!" and once even with a hug.

I then inherited, I suppose, the next best thing to Mowing Boy. That would be Mowing Dad, Mowing Boy's own father, who took over some of his yards after MB's retirement.

And Mowing Dad was fine. Did his job, saw me in my pajamas once or twice, which isn't such a big deal as my pajamas cover me from neck to feet, and only knocked one time. By that I mean one knock, and if I wasn't at the door to pay him, he just went home and assumed I'd remember to do it at another time. He figured if I didn't come immediately I was busy, and he wouldn't bother me by continuing to knock. And you have to respect that.

However, at the beginning of the summer, Mowing Dad told me this would be his last mowing period for me. He has a "regular" job, and an elderly mother, and it was all getting to be more time-consuming than he'd like, and so he was, pardon the pun, weeding out his customers. He dropped some but kept me and a few others, because we'd been good clients.

Then on about Mowing Dad's second mow of the season, he told me he was really trying to get out of the Mowing Biz, and that if I knew of anyone else I'd like to have as a mower, by all means to hire them, that he'd gladly relinquish his title. I said OK, but didn't think much about it afterwards, I was more worried about who I'd corral to mow next summer. But then a couple of weeks ago my dear nephew, Taytie, asked if he could mow for me, and I started considering letting Mowing Dad go.

This was, of course, after a fair amount of grilling of my dear nephew. Would he mow on a regular basis, and not just when his car's gas tank was low and his wallet was empty? Would he trim and be neat, and not just half-ass his way through things because I'm his aunt and I love him and I'm a massive pushover where he's concerned? And most importantly, would he mow for the same $20 Mowing Boy and Mowing Dad were always happy to receive? His answer to all was an enthusiastic, "Um, OK," and so TayMac got the job. Even though I warned him he had very big Mowing Shoes to fill.

And so came that fateful day last week when I had to call and tell Mowing Dad he wouldn't be my Mowing Dad anymore. I've never removed anyone from their position, and I'm all shy and backwards and chickenshit about such things, even though MD told me he didn't really want the job this summer anyway. But I did it. Called him up and asked if he remembered telling me if I could find someone else to mow by all means hire them, and, well, that had kind of happened, and it was my dear nephew, who he knows anyway, Tay is friends with Mowing Boy, and would it please be OK and if it wasn't that was OK too, really, he could keep it if he wanted, I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings here, oh, why don't you just keep mowing. Yeah, it went something like that.

But Mowing Dad said it was fine, to let Taytie go ahead and mow. Even though he didn't sound overly happy about the whole situation and I got a massive case of the guilts when I hung up the phone. Or maybe that was just me, I don't know.

My dear nephew's first Mow was Friday. And a fine mow it was. Neat and tidy, and he was very concerned that I'd liked what he'd done, he called me up afterwards to make sure I was happy with it. And when I told him I was, he was happy, too, and then went on to tell me his "mowing methods" and how hard he'd tried to make it look like a professional job. So I guess all is well in the Mowing Department here at the Poderosa.

Thing is, apparently my dear nephew has some initiative. Seems that after he mowed my yard and got some positive feedback, he called up Mowing Dad himself and asked about those other customers he was weeding out. And if he could possibly, if MD was ready to let them go, have them as well. And you know, Tay is big in the Mock Government Association, was elected student Speaker of the House for the entire state of Virginia, and I guess his debating and persuading skills are top-notch. Because yesterday afternoon, Mowing Nephew met with Mowing Dad to learn the locations of all the yards he was inheriting.

Yes, my dear nephew is now Mowing Boy, not only mine, but a handfull of others' as well. Somehow, it's a fitting line of succession.

I can only hope that in all those new yardowners he gets a person like me. One who'll scream out enthusiastically and scare him. One who'll leave the door open and laugh when he walks in unannounced. One who'll hold him in the highest esteem and write odes about him in her blog. One who'll look at him as if to say, "My hero!" when he chases away a snake or burns out a hornet.

But not one who comes to the door wearing only a towel. If that happens, I don't even want to know.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So, if you are what you eat, what the hell are you?
- Honorable mention goes to Stennie with her "Rotten Liver," and Krizzer with her "Racka Lamb." Wouldn't Racka Lamb be a great stage name for a punk band frontman?
- Runner-up goes to Mike with his "Roasted Lint," and Michelle with her "Roasted Lard." Fine things to roast.
- And this week's winner goes to Jellybean with her "Random Lickables." I'm coming to your house, 'Bean.
- Thanks to all who played - you've all done very well!

Monday, June 19, 2006


Monday. The day of mon. And time for the mania of acro.

I had something a little funny happen to me at lunch today, and believe me, folks, I needed a little funny in my life today. I was home, trying to down an Orange Crapius and not doing a very good job of it, and hanging around on the internet. A busy day hadn't afforded me my chance to read the news on CNN yet.

I was on my home page, that's to you keeping score at home, and happened to scroll down to "Today's Fortune." Today's fortune was thusly: "You are what you eat." And guess what I happened to be popping into my cakehole just as I read that. A nut. Well, I thought it was funny.

We're going to try something different tonight. A two-letter acro. And the topic is, "You Are What You Eat. And What The Hell Are You?"

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 also the letters below which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. I guess the acrobasket is air. He doesn't eat much. Really. He's incredibly thin. Then tomorrow night at 10pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners, who will immediately turn into what they eat, and the losers, who will turn into a papier mache hot dog.

So this week's topic is, "You Are What You Eat. And What The Hell Are You?" And the letters:


Now, stop stuffing your face and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Have I mentioned lately how much I miss my friend and workmate San? I mean, really miss her?
* I mean, really, really miss her.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders. It's already Sunday night, and Monday morning is looming over me like the harbinger of doom that it is. But forget all that for now - it's time for Picture Sunday!

It was Friday. It was B'burg. And it was a performance by those musical funsters, the Hackensaw Boys. Yep, time number 6.

It was a different experience, for several reasons. Can't say it was the best time I've ever seen them, or the most fun I've had seeing them. Not that they weren't great, don't get me wrong. And not that the night didn't have its high spots. Let's start at the beginning.

First of all, the venue was a small club, one I can remember going to in my youth some 20 years ago. New management, but it was a dump 20 years ago, and time hadn't improved it any. In fact, when Mr M and I entered the place and immediately saw Ferd (Ferd's everywhere, you know), we went over to talk and when I asked him exactly where it was they were playing, his response was, "Well, I think we're standing on the stage." A funny answer when you realize we were standing at one end of the room. By the men's room. No stage, no nothing, just a plan to gather at one end of the room and start playing.

The starting time was scheduled at 10:30, which was late anyway, and at about 10 I started inching my way towards that end of the room so I could have a good vantage point. Now, let us all remember something. My back is out. Has been since last week, and it's not getting any better. So I stood there, till 10:30, till 11, till 11:30, and watched some guys who were supposed to know something - anything - about sound equipment try and set up for the band. However, they apparently knew nothing about sound equipment, and the show didn't start till midnight. And even then, there were stops and starts while microphones dodged in and out and sparked and popped. And during all that time my back went from its normal pain to spasms that worked their way down my right thigh. Things weren't looking very good, I have to tell you.

But soon enough the show got underway, and it was Hackensaw magic time. The advantage of being in this dumpy club with no stage was that basically the only thing dividing me from the band was a shin-high speaker. And therefore my pictures for the night look something like this.

And this.

I could have probably made a few up their nostrils if I'd have wanted to use my zoom. Anyway, the top one's of the one and only Baby J singing a new song, on which he plays guitar, and below is Cousin Spits strumming along while Kooky-Eyed Fox plays fiddle. (I swear, all of those boys play the fiddle. It must be a prerequisite for being a Hackensaw Boy.)

Here's one of what's become my favorite live song, "Gospel Plow." Baby J on the accordion.

Now, here's the point in the story where we take a weird turn, and I did something Friday I've never done before. Left a Hackensaw Boys' concert, gave up my great spot and went outside for a while. This is simply because after about 80 minutes of dancing, sweating, and watching the people beside me transform from fun dancers into obnoxious drunks, I just couldn't take it anymore. Mr M was nice enough to get me some water, and we went outside for a while and got away from it all, and I could have actually stayed out there a little longer than I did, but two things happened. One, I heard the boys warming up to do "Ruby Pearl," which I couldn't stand to miss, and two, the loud obnoxious drunk who was pestering me inside came outside and started pestering people. And I actually would have missed "Ruby Pearl" had I thought that the door man, who Mr Drunk was starting an argument with, would have punched this guy square in the face. But it became apparent he was a door man and not a punching bouncer, and so I went back inside and hung with Mr M by the stairs, and you know, in that place giving up one's spot doesn't exactly mean one is "out of the loop." Cause here's the view after my spot was relinquished.

By the way, about drunken dancers. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I made mention of the thought of fainting in the audience, and how it would have been funny had it not been me, and someone yelling, "Hoer Down!" Well, one of the girls beside me did hit the floor, right there in front of the band, right over a shin-high speaker. It was alcohol-induced, and I forgot to yell, "Hoer Down!" and therefore it wasn't nearly as funny as it could have been.

Anyway, the boys were great, I was in pain, the show ended at 2am, and we all found out that the newest Hackensaw Boy, Cyrus Bullington Hackensaw, was born 9 days ago to mandolin player Mahlon. All in all, a good night.

Then, there was the meet and greet.

First of all, everybody say hello to Pokey Hackensaw. I met Pokey on Friday, actually for the purposes of having his picture made with Sherman (it is a requirement, you know), and found him to be one extremely sweet little fella. I can't believe he was old enough to even make the 21 and up age requirement for the bar, he has a great accent, and, well, how can you not like someone who sings to you? Yep, Pokey sang me a song.

After the picture, I asked him if anyone ever tells him he looks like Shane McGowan. He answered his own question mid-sentence by saying, "I don't even know who the hell that is oh he's the guy from the Pogues." The answer was no, more people tell him Bob Dylan, but after I assured him he had much nicer teeth than Shane he proceeded to tell me there's an old blues song he likes to sing, and he sang it to me. It was about a guy who had really nice teeth. No kidding. It also ended with the line, "The men don't like me cause I speak my mind/But the women call me Pokey cause I take my time." And that answered that question.

One last thing - Mr M and I had a nice conversation with Salvage Hackensaw on the way out, and I decided to tell him about Rocktoberfest and the Sauerkraut Band's desire to get together and play a song with the Boys. Salvage was very enthusiastic about this, and even said he loved the Sauerkraut Band. ("Play, sing, and drink. That's what it's all about!") So Ferd and Salvage have been warned, and who knows, it might happen, it might not. I'm still thinking not, but I'm a pessimist. Oh, and Salvage and Ferd both got a huge kick out of the fact that someone sold a used copy of their elusive first CD on Amazon Marketplace for $49.95. I think it made their day.

No, wait. One more last thing. Check this out.

Yes, those are the twinkling toes of Mr M, who actually danced Friday night. It was something of a Buck and Wing, if I'm not mistaken.

And now - depression sets in. Well, something sets in, for it's time for this week's recipe du jour. I wish I knew a good introduction to this one, but I'm just stumped. It's been a long day, folks. But it's here, and it's all for you. I hope you enjoy it. From the "Very lo-cal" section of recipeland, say hello to the Papier Mache Hot Dog.

Well, first of all - that card is missing a parenthesis! Well, I never. Bad photo editing. I said it was a long day. Anyway, for those who like hot dogs but may be vegetarians or watching their calories, here's a dog sure to please. The recipe is simple. Newspaper, water, glue, paint, and imagination. Best served with a papier mache beer. Also served, for this photo, on a paper plate. Get it? A paper plate! It's funnneeeeee!

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Remember the spotted horse with the weird mask I mentioned last week? I got his picture today, but it's not very good. Maybe another time.
* Why - oh, why? - do I spot-clean my kitchen with a cleanser containing bleach, and don't take off my good clothes. My new pink blouse is completely ruined. Damn me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ten Words

OK, here comes a fun game from Venice. The rules: Comment on her blog entry and she will give you a letter. Write ten words beginning with that letter in your blog, including an explanation what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

But I'm a player, not a letter-giver. Go to Venice for a letter, please, I'm all out.

My letter was "B."

B'field - Town in which I live. Small, Mayberryish concoction of folks, everyone speaks and says hello, everyone knows everyone else's business. Has one grocery store, and a Wal-Mart. And a not-so-good video store. Still, it's home.

B'burg - My adopted town. Spend almost as much time there as here. Home of Virginia Tech, home of good coffee shops, home of Poderosa East, aka Mr M's house. Home of B'burg Community Band, though I doubt they like claiming us. And while we're at it....

Band - Love playing in my bands. The Community Band and then of course the Sauerkraut Band, those lovable loonies and purveyors of drunken German music.

Boys - I have two sets of boys in my life. The Boys, which are Sherman, Peabody, Huckleberry Hound, Mr Peanut, Gossamer, and good-luck baby Lily, they all live with me here at the Poderosa. (Yes, Lily is one of The Boys.) And The Boys, my favorite band, the Hackensaw Boys. Who I shall be seeing tomorrow night, in B'burg. At a bar once called Bayley's.

Bowels - Not a particularly lovely word, by any means. However, my last name is Bowles. And pronounced "Bowles," as it jolly well should be. You know, like things you eat soup out of. But Holy Jesus, the number of times in my life I've had to endure the "bowels" spelling and the "bowels" pronunciation. It's the bane of my existence. My dad has a line at the ready to use when telemarketers call him and ask if this is the "bowels" residence. "Sorry - the bowels moved."

Bluegrass - I like lots of music. Of all kinds. But I do have that special down-home fondness for the bluegrass music. It just makes me happy. Even when the songs are about dead crippled children and young girls being murdered. As most of them are, you know.

Bill - Many dogs throughout my lifetime, but my two favorites were my Westies, who lived with me at the same time, Bill and the Petster. Bill was a trip. He was the kind of dog who'd pull a pocket knife on you. He'd wag his tail and bite you at the same time. He did things just for spite. If Petster tried to eat her food while he was eating his, he'd walk over and pee in her food dish. That dog had the devil right inside him. God, how I loved him.

Barbies - Have collected them for about 20 years. The vintage kind, from 1959 to 1972. One of my favorite blogs was all about my Barbie collection. Haven't bought a Barbie in quite some time, owing to the fact that I haven't been anywhere to do so, and the fact that they've gotten very expensive. However, I did have a Barbie experience once one can only dream about. An auction with loads and loads of stuff, and only about three people bidding. I was buying dolls that normally go for $200 for about 30 bucks. Bitchin!

Book - I don't read all that much, it generally goes in phases. Certainly don't read as much as I think I should, as much as smart people do. But Stennie adores the way I say the word "book," and so that's good enough for me.

Bet - Hey. That's me!

So there you go. Ask Venice for your letter. She's very nice, she'll give it to you for free.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Visited my friend and workmate San today and had a lovely 2½ hours sitting on her front porch catching up. I miss San. I really miss San.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Life As We Knew It (With Pictures)

For a few weeks now, I've been in possession of something. Something rather fun. It's an issue of Life Magazine from July 22, 1966.

Now, I'd had this for these weeks, and hadn't really looked at it very well, certainly not cover-to-cover. So this weekend, at Mr M's, when I had some alone time and sleep wasn't forthcoming, I gave it more than just the regular scan. And had a good time.

I like looking at old things, and I like the 60s. This would explain perfectly my fascination with old high school yearbooks, an item I began to collect at one time till I realized they were 1) quite expensive, and 2) quite hard to find. I have several, though, from schools in Pittsburgh, Tampa, Valparaiso, Indiana, and other places. I also have one from LA, 1977, that features Marc Copage, the kid from the old TV show "Julia," as a student. One day Marc's gonna make a comeback and I'm selling that baby on Ebay for, well, hopefully for enough to get my shower wall repaired.

But anyway, back to the magazine. I sat there on Mr M's leather sofa and looked through it, every page, read some articles, skipped others (generally the long ones), and spent a lot of time reminiscing over the ads.

There was an editorial on Lady Bird Johnson's beautification of America project, and one called "'Black Power' Must Be Defined," which used the word "Negro" as many times as I've ever seen in a half-page article, and basically says that Black Power must be defined as trying to better one's black self by playing by the rules and not getting too uppity.

There were reviews, an album review of the latest Coleman Hawkins release and a movie review of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." The latter doesn't say a great deal about the movie, other than the reviewer liked it, but mainly speaks of the brouhaha over all the salty language in the film. Which made me giggle a little because I've seen this film within the last, hmm, probably year, definitely two years, and I don't remember anything salty about it.

The big news story was about a spy ring being busted, an American named William Whalen and a Czech named Frank Mrkva. Of course, I was only six at the time, but neither the case nor any of the names meant anything at all to me. There was an interesting section, though, called "The Innocents, Now Lonely and Puzzled," about the children of these guys. And how sad they looked, in their yards, with their bikes, sporting their little pixie haircuts.

Another news story was about a ski lift in the French Alps that broke. There were pictures of the rescue, that was cool.

The "Newsfront" section of the magazine, this would be on a par with People Magazine's "Star Tracks," I'm guessing, had a lovely picture of Frankie himself and Mia Farrow. They were announcing their engagement.

There was a little story about Jacques Mayol. Everybody remembers good old Jacques, don't they? Well, I didn't either, but apparently he'd just broken the world's record for deep diving, going 198 feet down into the brine. I've got to say that this intrigued me and so I went looking for the current diving record. It's 330 meters. No meters back in the 60s, so I went to a conversion chart to see how many feet that was, and it came up at an astounding 1082 feet. I still have trouble believing this and am sure I'm wrong, so hopefully if any of you reading me are mathletes, you can tell me if I'm horribly off.

The two big stories in the magazine were the cover story, all about the Miracle of Birth (and gestation), and a bio on James Dickey, the "unlikeliest poet." Dickey's story I gave a pass, although a headline within it says, "He likes people who moonshine and hunt," and so I probably should have read it, not that I necessarily like people who hunt, but anyone who can cook up a good Mason jar of moonshine is OK by me.

The birth story was about Margareta Falk, a Swedish woman, and it told her story from conception till the time she spat the baby out just like a big Swedish peach seed. It was loaded with pictures, really, really good pictures, and as I was enjoying the photography of the article I noticed that the pictures were taken by Lennart Nilsson. This is the man who would, many years later, make all of those amazing photos and films of eggs being fertilized and babies growing in the womb. The ones we saw on PBS and marveled at. He went right from photographing babies from the outside to photographing them from the inside, and one can only wonder where he'll photograph them next. "The first photo of a baby as the twinkle in his father's eye!"

There was a fantastic photo layout of the new animal print line from designer Rudi Gernreich. Now, Rudi I know, because one of my very favorite pictures from the 60s is of a rather fetching woman, with rather fetching breasts, modeling one of Rudi's topless bathing suits. In fact, I used that photo in my display at the last Barbie convention when I entered the "bathing suit competition," well, I entered it with a Barbie, one who was wearing a replica of that suit. And so I made her look just like the woman, slicked black hair, heavy eye make-up, and, well, fetching breasts. As Barbie has.

The whole animal suit runs $500-700, a bargain, I say, and you can get a more conservative animal print sheath for a steal at $55. The best, though, is the animal print bikini. A cool $7.

There was also, in the "Modern Living" section of Life, a story about the latest trend in garden furniture. Apparently in 1966 it was all about op art. There are chairs, sofas, and umbrellas of such design it conjures up the most delightful thoughts. Of upper middle class folks, out on the patio, having a lovely Friday night barbecue tripping out on LSD with their golf buddies and bridge partners.

However, the biggest kick I got out of the whole Life in 1966 experience was looking at the ads. Boy, the memories that brought back.

Saw lots of cigarette ads, the Marlboro Man in all his glory, and Viceroy, and a kind I'd never heard of, King Sao cigarettes. Not one single warning in these ads. No cancer, no lung damage, no emphysema, no "not good for pregnant women." Smoke up, everybody! There were soft drink ads, 7-Up and Canada Dry Ginger Ale, with glass bottles and tops that need a bottle opener for removal. And six-pack cartons! I used to love six-pack cartons. The things you could do with an old Coke carton when you were playing in 1966.... (Barbie time machines were always a good one, btw.)

Clairol was using its "Does she or doesn't she - only her hairdresser knows for sure" slogan in their ad, and Ford was announcing its big new feature - a tailgate that not only swung down like a tailgate but also opened like a door! - that would be available on Falcons and Fairlanes. The Falcon station wagon. Now there was a car.

Probably my favorite ad, and the one that sort of inspired this whole blog, was for Phoenix Mutual. It featured a picture of a very happy couple indeed, announcing to the world that because of their Phoenix Mutual funds, "We retired in 15 years with $300 a month!" One can only hope this couple is dead now, because if they're not, they're starving and living in a refrigerator box somewhere.

There were drinking ads, of course, for Budweiser, who wasn't the King of Beers back then but was "worth it," (boy, there's a ringing endorsement), and Schlitz, always thought by me to be the "only drink it when you've got the DTs and and that's all that's available" libation, featuring a very now and with-it upscale New York-looking couple out for a night on the town. There was an ad for something called Laird's Apple Jack, which I just couldn't even imagine, and for Gilbey's gin, featuring three very dapper gentlemen indeed. They were the "any Tom, Dick, or Harry" one was supposed to ask about the tastiness of Gilbey's.

The best liquor ad, though, was for Smirnoff vodka. It features a very young and cute Woody Allen mugging for the camera and making me really want a vodka martini right now, though not necessarily with Smirnoff.

Hey, know what a full-sized Simmons Beautyrest mattress and boxspring cost in 1966? Well, according to Life, $109. There was also an ad for something I remember vividly though never got to buy, as in our family we didn't buy things like that, French's Doggie Do-Nuts. When I was growing up if our dogs needed a treat, we just gave them some of our popcorn or potato chips. Or the last lick of our ice cream.

Two medicinal ads. One was for Phillips Milk of Magnesia, and no, it didn't make mention of the "Con-sti-PA-tion!" theme song from their TV commercials. Instead it was a little cartoon ad of a family going on vacation and the mom and dad making sure they didn't leave home without the Phillips. Because God forbid one should get caught at the beach, where it's all hot and everything, with a raging case of irregularity. The other was for Bayer aspirin and featured a photo of a woman in a lounge chair in her backyard, watching the little ones whoop it up in their inflatable pool. The text says, "When hot weather makes you feel headachy, tense, and irritable, 2 Bayer aspirin and a short rest can help you feel better fast." Now, first of all, it's not the weather, lady. It's your kids screaming and splashing around that's making you feel headachy, tense, and irritable. And if I were you, I'd reach for something other than Bayer. Possibly something Woody Allen is hawking above.

Exxon was still Esso and still liked to use the old "tiger in your tank" slogan, and Chiquita bananas were still telling us that they use only the best bananas in their bunches. And Volvo was boasting that their new models now came with automatic transmission, but if this car was from 1966, I'll eat my hat. Volvo? More like the Russian Volga to me.

And so soon enough my time machine, which was a magazine rather than a six-pack carton, upended me and deposited me back into the 21st century. But I had fun there on the sofa, thinking about glass bottles instead of plastic, and long skinny cars, well, except for that hunched-over Volvo there. But it was a nice trip. I've always said if I could ever go backwards or forwards in time I'd ask to be taken straight to 1965, knowing what I know now, and this was a little slice of what it might be like.

Oh, and the reason I even had the magazine in the first place? Just a little article on the hot new up-and-comer in the acting world. Some fellow named Alan Arkin.

Betland's Olympic Updates:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. And did you chime in with your opinions on whether I should keep or kill acro. Thanks for all comments, and I can't believe some of you out there think your acros are dumb. You're not dumb!
- Honorable Mention goes to Stennie with her "Death! No -- oh, no -- Imeantcake!," and Jellybean with her "Don't never omit needed inanity." Stennie's was a cheat, but a very funny cheat, and Jellybean's was more profound than she may even realize.
- Runner-up goes to Flipsycab with her "Do not obliterate, nerds insist!" Well, if the nerds insist, how could I refuse?
- And this week's winner goes to the dishy Michelle with her "Don't nullify! Orville needs it!" Oh, God. How could I disappoint Orville?
- Thanks to everyone. You've all done very well! You've also made me very happy. I love you all.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Hello, Monday survivors worldwide. And welcome to another round of acromania.

Well. I just don't know what to think. Actually, I do. I think acro is growing old and people are tiring of it. Seems to be. Who knows, maybe it's summer, maybe it's the letters, maybe it's the topics, it's just that fewer and fewer people are playing, the last two weeks not even enough to fill out the winners board. And that's sad.

So what do I do? Do I keep acro? Do I kill it? Do I give the acrobasket a bus ticket to Toledo and let him fend for himself from now on? Help me decide. This week's topic is, "Why I Should Keep/Kill Acro." And I don't care which side you're on, just give me an opinion.

The other rules are the same. Everyone gets three (three - you have three whole entries, you don't have to use them, but by God, you have them if you want) entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but also the letters below which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket has relatives in Ohio. Then tomorrow night at 10pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners and the non-winners. Actually, I don't name the non-winners; that would get a little ugly.

This week's topic: "Why I Should Keep/Kill Acro." The letters:


Start pondering. And acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Would it make things more exciting if I named the non-winners? Or clubbed them on the head?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Picture Sunday

Hello to you all. It's Sunday night, and, well, you all know what that means. More pictures from me. Welcome to this week's "outside" edition of Picture Sunday.

My back hurts. Why does my back hurt? Well, probably because I'm dumb, and I don't know how to dig properly. See, I finally got down to the business of flower planting here at the Poderosa. Bought my flowers this afternoon on the way home from B'burg, brought my cases from the weekend inside, and immediately set about the task of home beautification.

The drill is the same as years past. Four pots on the steps leading to the front door, and then my little fenced in flower area, home of the horrid daffodils, home of lots of weeds. Let's start with the steps.

Yep, they're in there. They're just babies at this point so they're little. White Impatients.

Now let's go - behind the fence!

OK, that doesn't tell you much at all, does it. I've got two sets of purple Impatients, and two of something I've never tried before, Persian Violets. Now, I have no hope whatsoever for the lives of these poor immigrants, everyone says violets are hard to grow, and what do I know about Persia? Nothing, that's what. As you'll also see, the middle of my fenced-in area is filled with a large patch of nothing. I guess I'll either add something new, once the violets have died, or else just let the weeds go wild.

Of course, I had some help in my planting, from a fabulous gardener and very good boy.

He told me he mixed some of his "specially made" plant food in with the water.

Here's an odd thing. Guess what seems to be growing here and there in my yard this year? Most of them were in the fenced area, but some have spread out into my yard. Well, I can't tell you what for sure, but I swear, I've got some teeny tiny wild strawberries growing about. They're red, they've got seeds, they're shaped the right way. Check this out.

That's a strawberry, folks. May look like a raspberry from there, but it's a strawberry. I just don't have the nerve to put something from my yard into my mouth.

You know, I got right into the dirt and weeds and mud and sat on my wet steps and got generally very dirty indeed. It was fun. I also did the job sans shoes. Funny things can happen when you work around in your yard sans shoes.

And that's about as close to nature as I tend to get, folks. Oh, that's OPI's La-Paz-itively Hot on the toes, in case you're wondering.

And yes, even with all that, there's still a recipe du jour for you all tonight. Hey - ya like fish? If you don't, don't even continue. For tonight's recipe is for the fish lover. It comes from the "From the Sea!" file in cardland, and is the one and only Fish Muddle.

Yes, there it is, sailing into your kitchens on the SS Sherman with no less a penguin himself than Reno Penguin guiding the boat. Fish Muddle is a bit of a freezer cleaner. It basically consists of anything fishy you may have. In this case, how about a piece of Mahi-Mahi, a piece of tuna in sesame ginger sauce, two small cod fillets, a can of tuna, and two sardines all boiled up together in their own juices. Add in a chicken bullion cube and some cilantro. Dish into a bowl, top with tartar sauce and your one remaining sardine, and you have a dish fit for, well, for anyone who's been at sea for months with nothing to eat or drink.

Guys, I have to tell you something about this dish. Now, I know that I hadn't had anything to eat all day, and that I'm also probably in need of extensive psychiatric help, but had there not been sardines in this dish, I swear I would have tasted it. It just didn't seem that bad for some reason. Maybe I was hallucinating. The smell, however, was, um, fishy. As is the current smell of my kitchen. I'm expecting to hear the plaintive meows of cats under my kitchen window at any moment.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Seems I'm going to have a new Mowing Boy. Mowing Dad has been trying to weed out (hahaha) his clientele, due to another job and an aging mother, and told me if I could find anyone else who might want to mow for me, by all means to let them do it. Seems my own nephew Taytie is looking for some extra pocket money this summer, and he will be Mowing Boy 3. I told him he had big shoes to fill.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Picture Friday

So, from my podcastmate Stennie comes the Picture Meme. Here are the rules. Go to Google Image search, and search for the following items. Then pick your favorite image that appears on the first page of the search for each. Simple, no? Yes!

1. The city and state of the town you grew up, no quotation marks.
2. The town where you currently reside.
3. Your name, first and last, but again, no quotes.
4. Your grandfather's name.
5. Your favorite food.
6. Your favorite drink.
7. Your favorite smell.

Please remember, folks, it did say, "your favorite image that appears." And by the way, I see "copyright infringement" written all over this meme, but to all you people whose pictures I used, I love you dearly and think of it as a tribute. An homage.

1. Searched "Charleston, West Virginia"

Because nothing says "home" like a picture of the bus station.

2. Searched "Bluefield, Virginia"

How can this not be my favorite image? In and amongst all the maps, pictures of Main Street, and people's faces, here was this one of a woman being comforted by a priest while her auto-crash victim husband lies there in limbo. With a big thing on his face. I hope he survived.

3. Searched "Elizabeth Bowles"

Sadly, this happens to me everytime I Google-search my name. I end up dead somewhere. And Lewis? Lewis? Lewis isn't a Hackensaw Boy. Lewis isn't my favorite actor. I don't even know this Lewis! Oh, well, at least I lived past 74.

4. Searched "Eugene Bowles"

This, by the way, is not my grandfather. Nor my grandmother, for that matter. Like their outfits, though.

5. Searched "Crab Rangoons"

Apparently Keith likes crab rangoons. At least that's what his website says. Also apparently, Keith is a dragon of sorts.

6. Searched "Martini"

Now, I have a problem with this picture. Not only is it boring, but one olive in a martini? Give me a break.

7. Searched "Puppy Breath"

Nothing says love and happiness like a face full of puppy breath. Look at that. Who's a good doggie? Who's a good doggie? You are, baby.

And so ends the meme. But not the pictures.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Friday shall be Salvage Day at Betland.

Ahhh, charismo player extraordinaire. With Baby J in the background. Salvage had added a new feature to his charismo - a nice cartoon picture of George Bush with devil horns. You can almost see it there.

During the encore, maybe the only performance picture you'll see of Salvage without the charismo. What he was beating on, I've no idea.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I can remember a commercial from my childhood. Probably for Haley's M-O (do they even make that anymore?) or Phillips Milk of Magnesia. There was a normal person going along, minding his own business, when all of a sudden he'd get a look on his face of total shock, and a chorus would sing, "Con-sti-PA-tion!" We just thought it was funny back then because of the little one-word song, which we sang all the time. Now, looking back, I think of it as funny because it happened so suddenly. A sudden attack of constipation. Constipation doesn't attack suddenly, like a stroke or coronary, it works its way into one. Now, had it been reversed, and the chorus sang, "Di-a-RRHE-a!" it would have made more sense.

Anyway, I've got a little case of blogstipation. I just can't come up with anything to write about. I think about it while I walk. I come up with little ideas, little thoughts, but they're nothing more than that, they can't be fleshed out in any way. I'm blaming this on work. As you may have guessed, it's been very busy there at TheCompanyIWorkFor, what with San gone and Tempie being there, and when I get home my brain is just gone. Really, ask anyone who's talked to me. It's gone.

So, something that popped into my mind just today. Isn't it weird how Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" is this nice, sweet, romantic film that kids and parents everywhere love, and really all it's about is a stray dog that knocks up a fancy pedigreed dog? I mean, when that happens in real life, it's a very distressing thing. See, there's a question that needs to be addressed, but there's not really anything else you can say about it other than that.

There was an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show way back when where Rob was writing a novel and wanted some time to really work on it. So he went up in the mountains, to, if I'm not mistaken, Alan Brady's cabin, where he was all alone with a table and a typewriter. And of course he developed the world's worst case of writer's block. The whole episode was him trying to write, there at that table. My boss doesn't have a cabin in the mountains, or anywhere else, for that matter, so I can't even try that, but I fear I'd be doing the same thing, only not nearly as funnily, and my problems wouldn't wind up in a tidy 30 minutes.

Something kind of funny happened at work today. The boss was on the phone, and Tempie told me that something was wrong with the fax machine, it wasn't working properly, and she asked if I'd come back and help. We'd just replaced the film, and we knew it had to have something to do with that, and there we were pulling out film and snapping it back in and doing everything to get it back in working order, but nothing helped. Finally, I had other things to do so I drifted back to my desk, and suddenly Tempie announced she'd gotten the fax back up and running. And you know how?

She said she healed it by the laying on of hands. See, I told you she was big on The Lord.

Now, there are two good things about this. First of all, if she was joking, for I didn't see what she did back there, that proves that even though she's big on TL, she still has a sense of humor about it. And second, if she wasn't joking, for again, I didn't see what she did back there, then, well - WOW. That's something else. She can fix all kinds of things in our office now. And make people happy that are disgruntled, and maybe even get me a raise.

But I'm still blogstipated. But I'm working on it. And come to think of it, it did come on rather suddenly, so I guess while one doesn't necessarily get a sudden attack of constipation, blogstipation can come on as quickly as a coronary. If they make a brain version of Haley's M-O, I'll drink a few swigs and see what happens.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* This week's edition of the Hucklebug is up and running! Go here to hear Stennie and I yuk it up, or subscribe through iTunes.
* What an odd thing it is when you can't even find the time to watch a movie. I've got two at the ready, and just can't get to them. Dammit.
* By the way, for those of you wondering, Tempie is actually doing a very good job, and San is back at home after her surgery.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Now, I'm going to be right honest here and tell you that it's Tuesday night, Blog In Earnest Night, and I don't have anything to write about. So I thought I might tell you about walking.

I mean, not like you don't already know about walking. You stand upright, you take one foot, put it front of the other, repeat steps two and three, and you've pretty much got the picture.

But recently, after a several-week period of inactivity, I decided it was time for me to get up off my ass and walk. I actually started this, well, for the physical exercise, a little, maybe 10%, but the other 90% I can attribute to those masters of music and myrth, the Hackensaw Boys. See, I figured that this past Friday night I'd be hoeing down, and I ended up being right, and I wanted to make sure I had enough stamina not to pass out and have someone yelling, "Hoer Down!" in the middle of the concert. Though that might have been kind of funny, had it not been me all sprawled out on the floor.

So I've been walking almost daily, about a mile and a half, maybe a little more because supposedly four laps are a mile and I walk six, going outwards on the track with each lap to make each lap a little longer than the last.

I walk at the town's middle school track, which is very nice, once you get up there. You have to walk up a slope that's so steep it tests your will for physical exercise before the laps even start. I used to walk this track in the "old days," the much-more-poundage days, and I can always remember that as I was slowly huffing and puffing my way through a few laps, I was being passed by various senior citizens scooting along at what seemed to be the speed of light. They don't seem to be around anymore, I've not seen one in the few weeks I've been walking. I guess they all died. From health.

I always listen to music when I walk, which makes the time go much faster and keeps me loping along rather happily, or at least as happily as one can lope when one is actually doing exercise. (I've always been of the philosophy that there are two kinds of people in the world, those who like exercise and those who don't, and no one ever goes from one side to the other.) I'm always trying to find the perfect walking music. I haven't yet. The Hackensaw Boys, while fun, are way too fast, I don't even think Olympic Walking, that weird style of walking we all giggle at on TV, would help me keep up with them. Sometimes I listen to my CD Mix Exchange CD, and the songs on it are either too fast or too slow. I'm toying with the idea of pulling out one of my CDs of march music, and just having a good old-style Sousa march around the track. It would be fun to see how quickly I can get the other walkers to clear away from me. Maybe I could even get a baton.

I walked on Memorial Day, I had to alter my time schedule for that one. See, I normally walk around 7pm, when it's cooler, but Mr M was coming down so I hit the track at about 11:30am, right in time for the midday sun to come out and put its fiery hands around my head. That wasn't a particularly good walk, but I made it through, even though it gave me a headache that lasted till I had a martini at dinner that night.

This past Sunday I was tromping around and it started to rain on me. Which, to be honest, I didn't mind that much. Sure, I could feel my hair curling up right there on my head, but it was kind of nice, that walking in the rain. Then a bolt of lightning crashed down about 50 yards away from my person, and I was at the furthest point from the track's exit, and so I did a half-lap somewhere along the speed of Ben Johnson's 100 meters on steroids to get over to the exit and back to my car.

The middle school's track, as I said, is a nice track, nicer than the high school's because it has asphalt and painted lanes. The high school's track is made of some weird sandish-gravelish concoction that your feet dig into while you try to go. However, the middle school's track has a small, well, disadvantage. Wooly worms. At the far end of the track, as you're rounding the last curve to come back up the home stretch, there are several very nice-smelling bushes growing over the asphalt, and they apparently are some kind of wooly worm condo. And so walking that end of the track entails doing a fair share of wooly dodging, live ones and ones already squooshed by other not-so-attentive walkers. The dead ones aren't so hard to dodge; the live ones, a little harder to dodge. They move, you know.

Then of course, once the laps are done, the music is enjoyed, the sweat is on the brow, and the hair is sufficiently curled, the only way to get back to your car is to - walk down that world's steepest slope that got you up there in the first place. I think of all the things I'm proud of where my new walking habit is concerned, the proudest is that I haven't fallen down that slope to my death, or at least to a broken leg or nose. Well, yet, anyway. I'm still early into things.

And that's about it, really. Walk on.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So tell us about photo lies.
- Runner-up goes to Flipsycab, with her "Paunches, jowls, blemishes, tummies suddenly gone!" I want that photographer.
- And this week's winner is LilyG, with her "Photographing Jesus blessing those sermon guys." I wonder if that photo's in the Bible autographed by Jesus?
-Thanks to you who played. You happy few, you band of acroers.
* Tuesday is Ferd Day at Betland. Hi, Ferd!
- Here he seems to be making a point. Probably to Mr M.

And here he is during the "encore on the floor," with Baby J in the background.

Monday, June 05, 2006


It's Monday, it's late, and it's time for everyone's favorite waste of time, acromania!

Let's talk about lies. Yes, those filthy rotten lies, nogoodniks that they are. See, I indulged in a tiny little baby bit of a lie only yesterday, in Picture Sunday. In the 7-11 Stroganoff I, well, I implied to you that in that cup right by the stroganoff was a blue Slurpee. This was in fact not a blue slurpee. I bought my items in B'burg and it's a 90-minute trip home, a blue Slurpee would not have survived. So instead I made a Slurpee out of a Blue Crapius which no, I did not drink afterwards, and so I kind of flat-out lied to you all.

What about other photo lies, though? You know, they're always talking about food ads, how there's generally Vaseline slathered over the hamburger bun to make it look better. And Aunt Tootsie's favorite picture of those ducks frollicking in her pond? Maybe they're nothing more than decoys she bought at the sporting goods store, and she laughs at you behind your back every time you compliment her on it. Or that picture of Jimmy on graduation day, with his parents, in his cap and gown. That was really made in April, the day his cap and gown arrived from the mail-order place.

And so tonight's topic, "Photo Lies."

All the 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 also the letters below which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket once had people thinking he was three feet wide and velvet-lined, just from the angle of a photo. Then tomorrow night at 10pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners, who'll get nothing, and the non-winners, who'll get nothing. And if that's not an incentive to excel, I don't know what is.

The topic, "Photo Lies." The letters:


Now, stop posing and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, in this blog, Monday is Kooky-Eyed Fox day. Here's a picture taken by my long-lost cousin, of Kooky on stage plying his trade:

And another one, taken by me, of K-E F during the encore.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Picture Sunday

Hello, all you Sunday People. And you know who you are. And welcome to another She Didn't Again, Really edition of Picture Sunday.

Yes, my friends and readers, I went again this past Friday to see the Hackensaw Boys. You may be sick of them by now, but, by Jove, I'm not, and I'm going to tell you about it all.

This time it was in the lovely and rural Floyd, VA. This was a big deal for me, as it was the closest the Hackies have come to me yet. About 2 hours away, which beats the old closest time of 4 ½ hours by, well, by a lot. It was also a big deal because in tow I had, yes, wait for it, my folks, otherwise known as Granny & Paw. I've been turning my dad on to the Hackensaws since I first saw them and he's become a fan too, so I've been trying like crazy to find a time and place I could take him to see them live. Mr M, the heretofore liason between me and the Boys, was along for the ride as well, of course.

First of all, a public apology to those who were with me Friday. See, Stennie herself wrote about this not too long ago, about getting all hinky whenever you're heading out to an event and want things to be right. Well, this concert was at the Sun Music Hall, which I had no idea of its location, even though Floyd's not that big a place, and I felt like we were leaving it too late to drive those winding roads, get to Floyd, and find the hall before the doors opened and I could get the best vantage point to see, and well, I thought I was just a little hyper but Mr M announced to the world that I was "bordering on weird." And I guess he should know.

But we got there in plenty of time, and may I just say that, with my advance purchase tickets, I was the first person through the doors. So there.

There were seats in the hall, and a large expanse of floor for dancing, and we went and sat on the front row so my dad could see the best he could, and we waited for it all to start.

And here's where the theme of this week's Picture Sunday begins. That theme is, "Lessons Learned."

The show started, the boys were great - looked great, sounded great, doing great songs, the whole works. And we had that great vantage point, and I was sitting there on the front row, hunched over, tapping my foot.

Lesson One Learned: Don't Be Afraid To Dance Alone: Seeing me there squirming in my chair, my mom kept saying, "Why don't you go dance?" "Because I don't have anyone to dance with," I'd reply. (Remember that one? I've used it before.) Then Mr M would lean over and say, "You should be dancing, you know," and I'd reply, "I don't have anyone to dance with." Finally, the dancers started overtaking the sitters, and my dad's view, dim in the best of times, was now starting to be blocked with dancing teenaged asses, which normally he would probably enjoy, but he wanted to see the Hackensaw Boys. So finally, I got up, told Paw to take my chair, which was over a few seats, and I hit the floor. And had a ball. There was no air conditioning in this place, it was hot, but I danced like a madwoman just like everyone else, well, except those who were dancing like madmen, my hair was wringing, my clothes were stuck to me, but it didn't matter because I was having such a blast.

Lesson Two Learned: Don't Wig Out Over A Few Rumors: And I was. Wigging out, I mean. About a week ago, the talk amongst Hackheads was that mandolin player Mahlon Hackensaw wasn't performing with the band. And this distressed me to no end. I love Mahlon. He's one of the earlier core members, he's a great player, and sings "Cannonball," "The Parking Lot Song," "Miner," and Mr M's personal favorite, "Poor Thing" ("I'm a poor thing, cut me some slack"). True enough, when the band took the stage, there in Mahlon's spot was - not Mahlon. Damn. It was true. The new guy, I think they were calling him Pokie Hackensaw but I may be wrong, was a good player, but I was still crestfallen. Then when Baby J (aww, that Baby J) was introducing a song, he announced that Mahlon wasn't around because his wife was having a baby at any moment. Possibly that moment, even. And so the mystery was solved, I stopped wigging out, and all was fine. (By the way, this Pokie, if indeed that is his name - he looked incredibly young, and was the living example of what would happen if Shane McGowan of the Pogues and Arlo Guthrie had a baby. Thank God he inherited Arlo's teeth.)

Lesson Three Learned: Don't Be Afraid To Shake The Hand Of A Hackensaw Boy: Now, as you well know, I love the Hackensaws. I'm also afraid of them. This amuses Mr M to no end, but I figure, well, I'm just me, and they're - they're the Hackensaw Boys! And so I always stand in the background while Mr M chats it up, gets me in pictures, and continues his own personal love-fest with Ferd. Those two are going to set up housekeeping together before long, I know it. But something overtook me Friday night, maybe it was the dancing alone, and there I was after the show, talking to Boys, shaking hands, and having conversations though I couldn't possibly tell you anything I said, I was pretty much on autopilot. I talked to Baby J but resisted the urge to kiss him square on the mouth or pinch his cheeks, and it was an absolute trip for me to keep introducing them to my dad. They were all so nice to him, and he and the Kooky-Eyed Fox had some way-long conversation that I was only catching bits and pieces of, about Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and Stelling banjos (Kooky's dad is Stelling banjos). It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was, though the night did begin with us seeing Ferd on the streets of Floyd and me preparing to walk on by till Mr M threw up his hand and got us all in a conversation.

And finally....

Lesson Four Learned: Don't Be Afraid To Give A Drunken Hippie Your Camera: I'd been up dancing for a long time when I suddenly realized I hadn't taken picture one. I hopped over to my bag (the little bag I always take that's only big enough for Sherman and my camera), and grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots. Then I went back to dancing, and put my camera right along the wall of the stage. Now, there was this hippie fellow basically laying in front of the stage, and he picked up my camera, turned it on, and pointed it at me. I went, "No, no, no," with my hands covering myself as I always do around cameras, but he made my picture anyway, and I said jokingly, pointing stageward, "You're supposed to take pictures of them!" "Can I take some?" he asked, and I said sure, I have brand new batteries, take as many as you like. And so here was this guy, sliding along the front of the stage from one side to the other, getting on the stage, on speakers, sitting and laying and doing everything but standing on his head, having the time of his life. It was fun watching him, but I didn't know quite what to think about it all because I figured the reason he was laying in front of the stage is that he kept, well, drinking from his backpack, and what he was drinking didn't smell like lemonade, if you get my drift. Finally he stopped taking pictures and started dancing around with us all. For the Hackies' encore, they did a song ("Poor Thing," no less) off the stage and on the floor in and amongst us all. And they were right basically in my fuckin' face. So I went back and grabbed the camera, and noticed that my new friend had changed the dial settings, and I thought, "Oh, well, so much for that," changed it back, and made some pictures while I was so close. Well, apparently drunken hippie knows more about my camera than I do, because his photos came out so well I don't even begin to know which ones to print for Picture Sunday. Let's start with a group shot.

And how could we leave out Baby J there on the bass. J didn't play the accordion nearly enough on Friday, probably my only complaint of the night.

Here's a good one. I have no better title for this one than, "Say Hi, Cousin Spits."

And finally, one of my little guy. When the Boys came out for their encore, I decided to stick Sherman on the stage for a better view. So-called Pokie saw me doing this and picked Sherman up, liked him (he was holding his fiddle and bow), and took him over to show Ferd. Ferd was laughing so I just said, "He wanted to hang out with yall for a song." Ferd was in the process of trying to actually get Sherman affixed to the microphone when they all decided to take to the floor instead of the stage, so Sherman ended up doing his song in Ferd's fiddle case.

Now, like I said, there are so many good pictures I think I'm going to print them throughout blogs this week. Would make for a fine Betland's Olympic Update.

Two little items to end my story. The first, while I was hoeing down with my hippie friend, I asked him his name and told him it was because if these pictures showed up in my blog I wanted to credit him. He answered, and I looked a little bewildered because I could have sworn he said, "Bowles." I asked him to repeat it, and he said it again, this time making a little pantomime with his hands in the shape of a bowl. I laughed out loud and told him that was my name, and I swear I don't think he believed me. So thanks, long-lost cousin, for the pictures.

And finally, get ready for it all again, because according to the Boys themselves, they're coming to B'burg in two weeks. Yes, it's all part of my cunning plan - they're working their way right to the Poderosa and don't even know it. I'm thinking they'll need to stop by Mr M's house after the show, but, well, you know, he'll have to ask that one, my nerve isn't nearly big enough yet.

And finally, with all that stomping and swaying, I still managed a recipe du jour for you good folks, and it's something of a lesson, too. That would be:

Lesson Five: Don't Dwell On Your First Choice: A while back Krizzer gave me a list of suggestions for recipes du jour. I kind fixated on the first one, desserts made with beer, because it intrigued me and left the door wide open for possibilities. But I never could pin down exactly what to do. So I went back and looked at her other suggestions, which were all great, and found a particular gem. And so from the "Fun Suggestions" file at recipeland, say hello to Krizzer's own suggestion, 7-11 Stroganoff.

Our dish consists entirely of items purchased, by me, at yes, oh thank heaven, 7-11 in B'burg. Our stroganoff begins with a base of Ramen noodles, topped with a healthy spoonful of microwavable chili. This is in turn topped with a wedge of egg from the "microwavable egg on an English muffin" we all know and love. Then we have our Four Pillars, the 7-11 Pillars of Life, Slim Jims. The noodles are surrounded by M & Ms and pieces of a Hostess Apple Pie, and it's all topped off with a lottery ticket. Because nothing says "take a chance" like 7-11 Stroganoff. The dish is served, of course, with a blue Slurpee.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* An annoucement: The Hackensaw Boys blew a big fat hole in my CD Mix Exchange CD by doing "Kiss You Down There," right with my mom and dad on the front row watching. Funny thing is, Mr M said they were both having a good chuckle over it. Oh, am I so glad I didn't see that.
* I keep seeing this brown and white spotted horse in a field on G Road where Mr M lives, and it's wearing the weirdest mask I've ever seen. It covers his whole face and has no eyeholes in it. How does that horse stand it?
* By the way, as compact as this dish looked, it had probably the most arduous recipe du jour cleanup I've ever had to make. Thanks a lot, Kriz.