Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TheCompanyIDietFor, or You Big Fat Fatty Fat Fat

Oh, my friends and blogees. I am about to tell you a story so bizarre I'm sure you won't believe it, but I promise you it is true. I also promise you that I know I should not be telling you this story.

See, even though I work for TheCompanyIWorkFor, and have never identified this rather large corporation as anything other than TheCompanyIWorkFor, I still have this fear that someone somewhere will see it, figure it out, and I'll be on the business end of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Or that one of you kind people, who actually knows the name of this rather large corporation, will in casual conversation blurt out, "Oh, that Bet. She works for [actual name of TheCompanyIWorkFor], you know." And so all their secrets will be spilled, and I'll be at that same business end of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Or they'll just dispatch some unsavory character to break my knees.


However, there are two things that are standing behind me, pushing me into telling you all this. The first is that it's simply such a great (and bizarre) story I can not but tell it, and the second is that, and as I tell the story you'll realize this too, it's apparently all going to become very public anyway, and so what's a little preview between friends and blogees.

Last week was a very hurried and busy week at work, owing to the fact the boss took a rather lengthy vacation. And one day during all this un-fun and frivolity, the UPS man delivered a box to the old TheCompanyIWorkFor offices. This is not an odd occurrence, for we are often sent boxes with supplies, posters, promotional crap, and the like. This box had a big ol' logo on it, and said something I didn't quite understand, but also didn't have time to think much about. But one of the words in the logo was "pound." I didn't open the box, didn't care enough about it to make the effort, and somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking, "Oh, the big TCWIF promotional trip this year must be to London." Pound. London. Get it?

And so yesterday about mid-day the boss strolled in, we all got caught up on vacation news, and sometime after the Monday Morning Rush died down, she found that box and opened it up. And so commenced the gigglefest that went on even as the three of us were walking out the door to our cars at 5:00.

Because "pound" had nothing to do with foreign currency, and had everything to do with personal heft.

There were all manners of goodies inside this box. There was a t-shirt encased in a little plastic bag, a poster, a few other items to be discussed later, and an explanation. Apparently TheCompanyIWorkFor has decided to climb on the "Let's Get Healthy" bandwagon and ride it for all it's worth.

It's hard to explain how this all went there in our little office. Puzzled looks as we went through the items, suppressed snickers, and the discussion of, well, I hate to keep saying it, but of just how bizarre this was. TheCompanyIWorkFor has nothing to do with the health/beauty/personal fitness & wellness industry. And we couldn't help but go flimsily weak at the knees over these items. "TheCompanyIWorkFor thinks we're fat! They don't want fat employees! They're going to make us lose weight!" We saw it all coming - we'd have to weigh ourselves, go on some sort of team quest for thinness, send our results to field managers, and risk the embarrassment of frowns and pointed fingers when we were the low men (or low fat men) on the totem pole at the end of it all. TheCompanyIWorkFor, and I've always been rather proud of this, has been from my experience one of the really liberally-hiring corporations out there. Many women, people of color, people of gayness. But no fat employees in our company!

And it didn't help matters any when we pulled the t-shirt out of the box, there in its little plastic bag, and the sticker on it said, "X-Large." See? They know! I told the boss we needed to send it back saying, "Sorry, this t-shirt's too small for any of us. Got any size 2X?"

But as we started reading the printed material that came with all this, things took a rather ugly and hilarious turn.

This stuff wasn't for us. It was for our clients!

TheCompanyIWorkFor doesn't want fat clients!

For in and amongst all these goodies were posters these boobheaded higher-ups think we will actually display in our offices, posters with some famous dieting hoohah, saying, "TheCompanyIWorkFor wants you to get in shape" or some such thing. And the little weight-loss goodies are to be given out as client gifts.

And just in case (as I mentioned in something of a hyena-like heckling scream in the office) our clients don't hate us enough as it is, there in that box were some sample postcards we can send to our clients inviting them into the office so we can give them these diet tips and items. I want to be at this meeting: "OK girls, we'll meet at 7, shake up some martinis, and get just tiddly enough to make a big list of our fattest clients."

Actually, the boss had it right, and gave us the biggest laugh of the day (and my blog title), when she said, "Why don't they just put on these cards, 'Get your fat ass in here and pick up some diet tips. If you can fit through the door. You big fat fatty fat fat.'"

Now, I generally wear make-up, eye and otherwise, to work, but yesterday I shouldn't have bothered. Because I spent the day laughing so hard at all this that tears rolled down my face, and I sat for hours wiping them away with a Kleenex. Saying, "You big fat fatty fat fat."

OK. Let's get to the business end of all this. I'm a plus-sized gal. Yes, I've lost something of a whole person over the past 2½ years, but I'm still struggling and still not thin. So I feel I'm the perfect person to tell TheCompanyIWorkFor this little nugget of wisdom. People don't like to be told they need to lose weight! They don't like to hear it from their doctors, their spouses, their best friends, or random strangers on the street rude enough to say it. I don't like it now, and I was mortified by it when I was a whole person larger. And people definitely don't want to hear it from TheCompanyIWorkFor, who they pay money to every year and would just as soon have stay out of their personal affairs.

And speaking of business ends, I couldn't help but marvel all afternoon, sitting there cackling and crying and wiping away tears and repeating, "You big fat fatty fat fat," at the amount of money TCIWF must be pouring into this little venture. The posters, gifts, t-shirts, corporate-mailed postcards, and surely (watch for them!) national TV commercials. And lawsuits, probably.

And I guess this means we have to dispense with the big basket of free candy in our office, which is, I truly believe, the only reason people come in there anyway.

And once this little public service extravaganza hits the national press, for I can bet the Poderosa our offices won't be signing up to send out those postcards, I'm going to just count the days until some poor soul blusters into our little place and mentions how three women who look like we do can have the nerve to offer them diet tips. I hope I can adopt a sympathetic look and explain it wasn't our own personal idea, and not fall on the floor to my knees laughing and asking for the box of Kleenex.

So keep an eye out for the campaign. You'll know it. A rather large corporation who has nothing to do with weight loss offering to help you get in shape. Then be sure to go by your local branch of this rather large corporation and get your free diet goodies.

You big fat fatty fat fat.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So, what kind of birthday party did you all have for me?
- Guys, I'm going to something I've never ever done in acromania. I'm declaring an all-out tie in acro. Not only can I not pick between the three acroers, I can't pick the best of their acros. Some damn fine acroing this week, and you all deserve praise.
- Enterer and Winner #1 is LilyG, with her "Fearless Leader roasting over hot gases," but all her acros rocked.
- Enterer and Winner #2 is Kellie (with an ie), with her "Ferd Lionel. Rockin! Oh Hackensaws! Guitars!" which is a party I wouldn't miss, and all her acros rocked as well.
- Enterer and Winner #3 is Michelle, with her "Falan Larkin returns, orally hickeying guests." Falan Larkin. Cute, and all her acros rocked as well.
- Thanks, guys, you all did extremely well!

Monday, February 26, 2007


Hello, my little acrobabies, and welcome to another Monday round of acromania.

Today is my birthday. Well, today was my birthday. It's nearing its end. And thank you, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for remembering me by giving no less a person than Alan Arkin himself an Oscar last night. I watched online with the poundsqueeze faithful, and instead of getting drunk during the Oscar Drinking Game, I just started going hog wild and pig crazy after Alan won, and, well, I don't remember a whole lot about last night.

So, anyway. No birthday party tonight. I guess I didn't get your invitations. That's OK, though, because tonight's acrotopic is, "The Birthday Party You Planned For Me." Give me details, and I'll use them to decide whose party I'll be attending next birthday.

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. The acrobasket generally hires strippers for his parties. But they're wicker basket strippers. Then at 10pm est tomorrow I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

This week's topic, "The Birthday Party You Planned For Me." The letters:


Now, acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Academy Award Winner Alan F Arkin. Nice ring, huh?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to a star-studded (don't believe that, it's not true) edition of Picture Sunday.

Picture Sunday will be rather abbreviated tonight owing to the fact the Oscars© are on, and some of us will be watching online. And playing Stennie's Annual Oscar Drinking Game, which should provide just the excuse I need to get blistered. (The dead people montage. It's always the dead people montage that gets me.)

This weekend it was off to Mr M's, where he took me to the Indian restaurant for my birthday. It was very nice. It was also clarinet duets, which went decidedly south when I decided in the first measure of the first piece we played that I was going to suck that day, and by damn, I was right. I couldn't play anything right! Was out of tune, had lead fingers, couldn't hit high notes. I'm the living example of why more people need to go into the field of "Musician Psychology." For as much as I knew it was all in my head, I couldn't release it, nor escape it, and I was doomed. Oh, so so sorry, Mr M, for you had to endure it. No movies, just TV, during which he read and I fell asleep. Then I had to leave early because of another brewing ice storm. I was a bad houseguest this weekend.

As I mentioned above, kind of, tomorrow is my birthday. Yee ha. They don't excite me anymore, I enjoy the greetings from friends, and I'll probably hang around the Poderosa by myself, enjoying the quiet after-a-Monday at work, then hook up with Stennie for the podcast. That should be fun.

However, I did get a rather nice gift Friday night. My boy Sherman, with some help from Mr M I'm sure, gave me a photograph.

Nothing like a birthday hat.

I also got on Friday my gift from the parents. See, as you all know, or at least those of you who listen to the podcast, I've been limping along for about a year on a pair of glasses so horribly broken that not only can I not wear them out in public, I'm embarrassed to wear them alone in my own home. Only one nose piece, a seriously scratched right lens, earpieces that wobble so badly they don't stay on even when I wear them on a leash.

So the folks, kind, kind people they are, told me, "Go and pick out some glasses. Don't go for the cheap, get a nice pair that will last you." And so I did. And found out something quite interesting in the process.

I thought it would be a quick "go in and get some frames" type of thing, but seems the doctor wanted to look me over again. It hadn't been a full year since my last exam, but with my family eye history he couldn't let another opportunity to shine the light at my pupils pass by. And he put me through the whole process again, and oddly enough, changed the perscription in both my eyes. The right went one degree stronger, and the left, one degree less.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to admit that this all could be me and not my eyes. You know, when they start adding lenses to the letter chart and saying, "Better here or better there," there comes a point where they all look the same to me. So in the last "better here better there" choice, it's entirely possible I might be choosing "there" when I should have chosen "here."

Anyway, I got new perscriptions, a bagfull of new contact lenses, some cleasner and cases for good measure, and the glasses, which arrived Friday. But here's the exciting thing about it all.

Since the new contact lenses, I've not once - I mean this, not one single time - had to resort to the trusty bag glasses to be able to read small print, write checks, or thread needles. So what I was considering a quirk of old age was maybe not so, and I guess the lens change has corrected that. For now, anyway. And I, for one, am glad.

So how about a pic of me and my new glasses?

Boy, those are some thick lenses. Even with the fancy "high index" kind that aren't supposed to be so thick, they distort my face.

And now, time for the recipe du jour. As you all know, tonight is that most special of celebrity nights, The Oscars©. (I use that copyright because I hate it.) Many people will be attending after-Oscar© parties and having all kinds of delightful treats. Well, what could be more delightful than this one? From the "Vegetable Awards" file in cardland, please give a healthy round of applause to The Squashcar©.

The Squashcar© is a healthy, happy, and hip little dish, though I wouldn't say it's easy to make. What you need is the squash(©) of your choice, I chose butternut, and the patience and gumption to carve it into your own little statuette. Mine has no sword, what looks like a crewcut, and a decidedly forlorn look on his face. And physique? Well, he's no Oscar© in that area either. The Squashcar© doesn't work out. He sits around watching movies, for God's sake! Maybe he knows that after the awards are presented and the pictures are taken, he's going to be boiled and whipped into a side dish. Then you will have to accept the Squashcar© on his behalf.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Listen, people. I have not forgotten about the Kim Jong Il Fashion Show. As we stand I only have one entry and one promise for an entry. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to last week's Picture Sunday. If I don't get a few more entries, I swear I'm going to spend every Picture Sunday posting my own Kim Jong Il fashion pictures. That's a threat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This Doesn't Suck

I mentioned on Sunday night that I bought a new vacuum cleaner. I also mentioned it was a long story, vacuums and me. Well, maybe it is long, but I'll tell it tonight, in hopes that maybe someone can learn from my misfortune.

Until I moved into the Poderosa five years ago, I'd never owned a real-live vacuum. I mean, I'd owned them, but they were always hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. So they generally sucked (or in reality didn't suck), but I was expecting them to suck (or in reality not suck). They were, well, as we say in the doll-collecting world, "pre-loved." And so I'd accept a vacuum from someone, use it a few times, have it go south on me, and think, "OK, it was only good for four final sweeps, and pbbbbt." And I'd wait for someone else's kindness for four more sweeps.

But when I bought my very first house, I got a brand spanking new vacuum cleaner as a housewarming gift. And boy, was I excited. I was excited to tear into the box, to put it together, and to begin that initial carpet sweep. I felt like June Cleaver on Cloud Nine, dipping in and out of rooms and having the time of my middle-aged life.

Then, about 3 months later, pbbbbt.

My brand new vacuum was acting suspiciously like my brand old vacuums of the past. It sounded not unlike a 747 taking off for parts unknown, and nothing much seemed to be disappearing inside the machine. And it was at that point that I started to wonder if it wasn't all those used vacuums, but their owner.

When it became clear that this vacuum wasn't going to be the friend I'd anticipated, I ditched it (never telling the kind soul who bought it for me) and purchased another one. This one was very nice, not overly expensive, but not a drop in the bucket either, and was a bagless type. Bagless! Surely this was right up my cleaning alley!

And it was, for a while. Sure was nice not worrying about those cumbersome bags, and being able to look through the little window to see my progress in the whole dirt-sucking process. Then, after about four months, you guessed it, pbbbbt. No airplane sounds this time - he ended more with a whimper than a bang. He was a very quiet little fellow, bless his dead heart. And after taking a long hard look at this dead soldier, I came to the stunning realization that I was indeed the Black Widow of vacuum cleaners.

When one realizes this, there's only one thing to do. Head out to the store for another vacuum to kill! Which I did, and I actually spent quite a large amount of money for the next one, another bagless, that had all kinds of hoses and buttons and features that I never learned how to use before it went and died on my ass. Now, I'm sure you're wondering, "Why exactly would you spend a large amount of money on your next vacuum, after killing approximately four vacuums previously, two of them brand new?" And I wondered that too! I wondered it as I was loading it into the cart, zooming it to the cashier, and writing my check. "Why am I doing this?" I asked myself, then signed the check and headed home to hook it up and suck.

And as if that weren't enough, probably within a month of this rather large purchase, I bought another vacuum! This one was a little "dustbuster" type of gizmo, a hand-held vacuum that fit into a small upright frame so I could use it as a vacuum cleaner or a hand-held vacuum. I did this for three reasons - it was cute, it was cheap, and I suddenly decided on this day that I needed a hand-held number for those hard to reach nooks and crannies.

OK. Here's where I get to put in my aside. I haven't inserted an aside into a blog of late, and I'm starting to miss them. So here it is. While all of the above was taking place, while I was buying and killing and buying and killing vacuums, I would always notice something. While I was using these machines of death, something odd was happening. Let's see, how to explain this. You know the comic strip Peanuts? You know Pig Pen? You know how Pig Pen always has this little puff of dirt around his feet wherever he goes? Well, my vacuums had that, but it wasn't dirt. It was white. And I would also notice that in changing bags and emptying bagless chambers and cleaning and changing filters, that my guys would just be permeated with white powder. It would end up everywhere. I don't do cocaine, don't play with chalk, don't have problem dandruff, I don't line my carpets like a football field, and I don't really powder myself very much. And yet, I had this powder.

And after less than three months, although my $40 Dustbuster Who Pretends He's A Vacuum was still working, well, working when hand-held, not in his upright cleaner frame, my expensive bagless vacuum had indeed again gone toe-up.

Up until about a year ago, I'd never really mentioned my problem to anyone. I mean, would you? Here I am, a grown woman allowed to vote and drive a car and carry a checkbook and buy liquor, and I couldn't keep a vacuum cleaner for more than five months. It's not the kind of thing you really want to advertise. Especially to a vacuum cleaner salesman. But finally, somewhere in between sweepers two and three, I had a discreet word with my friend, workmate, and mother figure, San. And boy, did she lay some interesting news on me.

When I told her my sad and sorry vacuum tale, and then explained about the white powder, she jumped on me like the proverbial rooster on a junebug. "You don't use Carpet Fresh, do you? Love My Carpet?" she groaned, and I explained that while I did at one time, I hadn't for years. Which was true. For about the first year of homeownership, I'd take a day, and right before heading off to work I'd sprinkle that stuff all over my carpets, let it sit while I was at work, then vacuum it up when I got home. I liked the way it made my house smell all happy. Then, some wonderful person, some person who surely deserves the Nobel Prize for Housekeeping, invented Febreze. It smelled better, wasn't messy, and lasted longer. And so I started with it, and for about (up until the time of my conversation with San) three and a half years, my house was Love My Carpet-free.

"Makes no difference," San said, matter-of-factly. (San says everything matter-of-factly, which is exactly why she's my mother figure.) "If you've used it once, it's in your carpet forever. For-Fucking-Ever. And that's what's killing your vacuums."

And I'm perfectly willing to believe this, not only for the fact that it takes some of the blame off me for killing my appliances, but also for the fact that with that expensive bagless, I'd really made an effort to keep it going. I emptied it and cleaned the filter after every single vacuum, and after every single vacuum the filter would be so clogged with white icky powder I took on the look of George Washington after the cleaning. (As did Mr M once, inheritor of my Vacuum #2, when he dropped that one and it kind of exploded, turning him and his living room white. And his yard. His yard was white for quite some time.)

But no matter, I knew my expensive bagless was dead. He turned on just fine, and I'd still vacuum, still go through the motions. Of a sort. Actually, here's how it went. I'd turn on the machine, it would whirl along, I'd glide it along my carpets, and then bend over and pick up the lint and bits in the floor. It would have been so much easier to just forgo starting the machine at all and start the bending over and picking up without it, but somehow I felt better running the vacuum while I was picking up the dirt. Then I began taking my little hand-held number (remember, he still works - to this day! - as long as I take him out of his upright vacuum frame), and actually vacuuming my entire house with it. Yes, I'd walk along, stooped over like Groucho Marx, vacuuming my house with a dustbuster. And emptying the filter of its white whoofiness after every room.

But I knew I couldn't go on much longer. In a week or so I'll be closer to 50 than I've ever been before, and I'm not going to see 50 if I have to vacuum like Ape #2 on the Darwin Evolution Scale. So this weekend, I decided to buy another vacuum to kill.

Which I did. This time, I went cheap and cheerful. 50 bucks, a bag type, recommended highly by the lady in the aisle buying vacuum cleaner bags, and that was good enough for me.

It may not last a month. Hell, it may not last past that first vacuuming, but to be honest, I don't care. It was worth $50 to me to have a clean carpet on Sunday. And it's clean, so I guess I got my money's worth. Which is good, since after that one vacuum, I looked at the little plastic window at the bottom of my cleaner, and it's already white.

So where is this all leading? I'm not sure. It's not my fault, and maybe it is my fault. I certainly didn't know what I was doing that first year of Carpet Freshness. Really, I didn't. I mean, you know me. It's not like I'm a cleaning fiend. I didn't use that stuff every day, or even every month, for cryin' out loud. I guess San's right, and once is all it takes.

So please, blogees, learn from my mistake. Never, and when I say never, I mean never ever, even if someone holds a broken bottle to your throat and threatens you with pain of death, use those powdered carpet fresheners. You shall end up like me, buying vacuum cleaners every three months, using dustbusters stooped over like Groucho Marx, and running vacuums while picking up the dirt with your hands.

If I've saved one poor soul from such a fate as mine, it's been, well, actually it hasn't been worth all the money I've spent, but at least I can go to bed with a clear conscience.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. And who are you thanking, besides, of course, the Academy?
- Honorable Mention goes to Capt A, Mr M, with his "'Dungbreath Gail': Gross kisser. Decidedly unsavory." I'm sure Gail was fond of you, too!
- Runner-Up goes to DeepFatFriar, with his "Dear God! Guess Klan deserved unrobing!" I don't even know what it has to do with anything, but it borders on a political statement, so I'll take it.
- And this week's winner goes to LilyG, with her "Darling guests, great kindness doth unnerve." Leave it to LilyG to use "Darling," then go into Shakespeare. Hark!
- Thanks to all who played. You've all done very well!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Hello, acroers, acroees, and acroites. Welcome to Monday, and another brain-pounding round of acromania.

The Oscars are Sunday night. I'm still waiting for the drinking game instructions, and wondering if anyone will want to watch it online with me. But mainly, I'm wondering what I'm going to say when I win. OK, so I'm not even nominated, but a girl can dream, can't she?

That is why this week's acrotopic is, "I'd Like To Thank The Academy." Mom and Dad, your favorite actors and actresses, your pet, your teacher? Political speeches, curses to see if the censors are still awake? Anything. You decide what you want to say when your name is called and you make your way to the podium.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three tries 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 won "Best Performance By A Prop" in 1974. Then tomorrow night at 10 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners, who get the little gold man, and the non-winners, who get an extended interview with Joan Rivers on the red carpet.

So this week's topic, "I'd Like To Thank The Academy." The letters:


And the winner is - you! Go acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Proof positive that the world is coming to an end. CNN and MSNBC are both using "baby daddy" as a legitimate term on their websites. No reason to keep living, really.
* REMEMBER! If you haven't yet, look below and join the Kim Jong Il fashion show! We already have two takers!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to yet another Picture Sunday.

Little bit of a departure this weekend, a whole blissful two days at home. Got the house nice and sparkling clean, owing to the fact that I finally broke down and bought myself a new vacuum cleaner today. It's a long story, me and vacuums, and I'll tell you about it one day. I worked very hard on The Beast, aka the spare bedroom, which I have to do every six months or so, and got it back into a very manageable state. Practiced the clarinet, watched movies, watched TV, napped, did laundry, and generally enjoyed hanging around at The Pod.

And... I spent a good deal of time sitting inside watching it snow! We've finally had our first sizable snow of the year, and all I can say is, "It's about damn time." It's not winter for me until the first snow. It's not the biggest in the world, tiny by the standards of our friends in Ohio and New York, but still, enough to make me happy.

And how about a snowy photo of the Poderosa for posterity?

Now, I bet you don't know this, but I happen to know exactly what's on all of your minds. "Wonder whatever became of your rodent friend, Walter?" I'm sure you're all asking yourselves. And to be honest, I've wondered it my own self from time to time. Until today, when I realized I shall have to wonder no more. I can't believe I'd been worried about him, alone in the parking lot where I released his mousy ass after catching him in my house. Apparently, he's doing just fine.

Escapes from lab. Lab, my foot. He escaped from the Kroger parking lot. Seems my worries about Walter starving to death were completely unfounded. The other two headlines are interesting, too. "Golfers learn: Never t-off T-Rex," which I happen to know is a very serious problem on the links today, and the story of my very own life, "Writer's Mind Wanders." Literally. I've yet to find it.

Now comes the fun portion of our Picture Sunday. The most current version of (follow the link and you can find it) has a little feature where the editors decided that North Korean dictator and all-around fun guy Kim Jong Il needs a makeover. And they asked a few fasion designers to come up with ideas for his "new look." Then - they give you a template where you can design your own new look for Mr Kim. Or Mr Il. Well, you know me, I absolutely couldn't pass up a chance at this, even though I'm supposed to be spending all of my time working on the hucklebug logo, and yes, I know this, but I just couldn't help it.

Here's the original picture.

First I decided Mr Kim (Mr Il, whatever) needed to get in the Southern Hillbilly Groove. Here he is, ready for a day out at the Farm Tractor Supply, in his bibbed overalls, t-shirt, and trucker cap.

Then I decided he needs to go a little more upscale. After all, the Oscars are coming up, and something tells me he's just dying to be on the carpet answering the question, "Who are you wearing?" So how about a lovely green organza strapless number, complete with blue-pink back bow, sandals, and hair in a bun?

The last one is my personal favorite. I thought maybe Mr Kim/Il needed to step back in time a bit, to circa 1980. New wave was all the rage, and black and white, skinny ties, and peg pants were in. It's a look that needs to come back - let evil world leaders show us the way!

And here's where I'm asking something of you, my dear readers. I want you to do a Kim Jong Il fashion for me. I am serious about this. Go to the above link for and you will find your way to the downloadable template. Or just use the one I published above. Make a little outfit for Kim (or Il), email it to me (, and I shall print it in my blog. See, that's my dream right there. To get enough to have a Kim Jong Il Fashion Show, all designed by you guys. Please, don't be shy - jump in and do it! Could your ideas be any worse than mine?

And now it's time for the recipe du jour. Today was a bad day, if you happen to be the maker of the recipe du jour. For the original idea tanked, big-time tanked, and I was left with a dishfull of glop and nothing to do with it. Quick thinking there in the kitchen, and I came up with this one. From the file in cardland labeled simply, "Yeccch," please say hello if you dare to The Leaning Tower of Potted Meat.

Now, let it be known that I've got this thing about potted meat. I certainly don't eat it, but I do wonder about it often. What the hell is potted meat? I understand deviled ham, since you can devil an egg I guess you can devil some ham, I understand Spam, I almost understand Treet. But potted meat? What the hell is it!

Nonetheless I'd made up my mind that it might be funny to make a recipe du jour called "Meated Pot," which would be a pot made out of potted meat. However, I did not anticipate the fact that potted meat is the most disgusting substance on the face of the earth. It has no texture to speak of, it won't hold together, it sticks to everything including your hands, it smells like "potted" might mean "stored for 14 months in a stevedore's armpit," and it's just one hell of a disgusting proposition altogether. So when my bowl wouldn't hold and fell into a big pile, I went in a different direction. The tower. All it takes are potted meat and crackers. And an iron constitution.

Until tonight, Cream of Pickle Soup was the only recipe du jour to make me ill. Give me dill pickle-soured cream anyday. Potted meat is of the devil.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm deadly serious about two things:
- I really want you to design Kim Jong Il an outfit for me. And
- As God is my witness, may I never - and when I say never, I mean never ever ever, touch potted meat again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Some Probing Questions I Answered the Other Day

Well, I had two takers on the quiz, and you both did very well. Questions 7 and 9 were pretty hard, but you both gave it a valiant effort, and if only Mr M had been correct with his answer to question 7.

Anyway, here were the questions.

1. Why did I consider the hour spent watching the "Best in Show" competition at Westminster on Tuesday a complete waste of my time?

2. Why am I secretly happy that Community Band practice keeps being canceled because of the weather?

3. What should they do about the whole Anna Nicole Smith thing?

4. Why was there no acrochallenge this week, nor Tuesday blog?

5. When is there going to be an actual Hucklebug Podcast logo?

6. I took the Newsweek Valentine's Day "Love Couples" challenge. Why did I only score 20%?

7. Bet, did you ever put away your Christmas gifts?

8. When are you going to add some new items to your Sherman and Peabody collection?

9. So, since you've been home two weeks in a row, is there anything on TV on Wednesday night?

10. And did you get anything done with your second free Wednesday night in a row?

So there you have it.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* That's it. Have a nice weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Answers to Some Probing Questions

1. Because he was only the third cutest dog! The Dandie Dinmont was a baby, and the PBGV was so cute he made me squeal with delight. Standards, schmandards.

2. Because I keep forgetting to practice my music.

3. Bury the body, put the baby in foster care, dissolve the whole 4 billion dollar lawsuit, declare no father, and forget the whole thing. Forever.

4. Because I was so tired from doing a four-hour Picture Sunday, I kind of lost interest in the whole thing.

5. I can't help it. I get ¼ into my rough drafts and hate everything I've drawn, even if I've barely drawn anything.

6. Because as much as I think I know about pop culture, apparently current celebrities are not part of my knowledge base.

7. Nope, still in two neat stacks right in front of my plant, whose name is Mamaw Bowles.

8. Never, it seems, due to the paucity of Ebay items. A rotating void of four already-owned things.

9. Not a damn thing, save for one boring hour of "American Idol." (Then again, aren't all their hours boring anymore?)

10. Well, maybe, if you count laundry, doing 30 minutes of exercise, and fixing dinner. And this blog.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* OK, opportunity for a quiz here. You all know how I love a quiz. If you think you know the questions, buzz in.
* Took this cue from my buddy Stennie. Who'd have ever thought I'd be tied with her, and still be so far behind her on the movie list?

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 86%

You are a movie buff of the most obsessive variety. If a movie exists, chances are that you've seen it.
You're an expert on movie facts and trivia. It's hard to stump you with a question about film.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to another happy round of Picture Sunday.

More of the same this weekend, movies, clarinet duets, a very nice dinner prepared by Mr M. It's warmed up a bit here, gas is higher again, I shopped a bit before going home, Alice the Kitty was alternately very sweet and a colossal pain the ass. I had two separate dreams about her last night (that cat has now invaded my REM sleep), and in one of them I got so mad at her I broke one of her front legs. Therefore, when I woke up I was extra nice to her as she gnawed away on my forearm.

You know, my boy Sherman is always looking for something to do. Just like his adoptive father, Peabody, he's always full of good ideas. And tonight, he asked me if I'd help him illustrate one of those ideas.

See, Sherman has been watching his share of Telemundo lately, and has decided he wants to star in his very own Mexican soap opera. It will be geared towards the younger set, of course, and he wanted to give you all a preview, submitted for your approval.

It's the story of Sherman, Good Little Boy, and his evil twin, Bad Sherman, or Shermano El Diablo. And it might go a little bit like this.

Aquí está Sherman. Sherman es un muchacho muy bueno. Le gusta leer libros por Sr. Alan Arkin. A todo el mundo le gusta Sherman. Pero, Sherman tiene un hermano, un hermano muy malo y malo. Y su nombre es Shermano el Diablo.

Shermano es un muchacho muy malo. Él empujó a su amigo Sr. Huckleberry del barco. Mal Shermano. El perro se enferma en su estómago y no puede nadar. Mal, mal Shermano. Shermano el Diablo.

Shermano también dibuja cuadros sobre la pared con un lápiz. Otra gente debe limpiar la pared. Shermano dibujó una imagen de Peabody sobre la pared. Shermano el Diablo está muy mal.

Shermano puso un cojín de whoopee en la silla favorita de Peabody. Peabody estará muy enfadado. Peabody no gusta sentarse sobre cojines de whoopee. ¡Mal, mal Shermano el Diablo!

Well, you get the idea. He's hoping to pitch it to the Telemundo execs within the year, if he can think of enough bad stuff for Shermano el Diablo to get into.

Anyway, enough silliness, and let's get to the recipe du jour. Or the receta del día, if you will.

You know, there are breakfasts and there are breakfasts. And what kid doesn't want a good sugary breakfast. Hell, let's be honest, what adult doesn't want a good sugary breakfast. But sometimes the cabinets are bare and it's breakfast and you're wondering what in the heck to do. When in doubt, just look down. From the "They're Grrreat!" section in Cardland, please say hello to our recipe du jour, Sugar Frosted Feet.

Sugar Frosted Feet are just what they're advertised as, and it doesn't get any simpler than this. All you need are some feet (I've used my own, but feel free to use a friend's, loved one's, pet's), some frosting, and some sugar. You have a breakfast full of enough sugary energy to keep you going all day, and the frosting feels really good when it squishes between your toes.

Clean up's no fun, though.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* ¡Los lectores de betland son la mejor gente en el mundo!
* By the way, the above was translated from a website, and I haven't studied Spanish since 11th grade, so I couldn't possibly tell you if that says what I wanted it to.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How To Raise a Jesus-Loving Child (While Scaring the Rest of the Civilized World Witless in the Process)

Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today....

With their long hair, and their rock and roll music, and their cell phones and dvds and ipods. And their books. And their public schools. They're just doomed for the hot place. Well, most of them are. However, a select few have been chosen to lead the path for us all to Heaven, and aren't they lucky.

Mr M and I watched a documentary this weekend called "Jesus Camp." Well, I watched it. He got very twitchy and rose upwards and downwards and rambled through all the rooms of his house, warning me he'd be doing this throughout the entire movie because he couldn't stand to see all of what was taking place before him. But you know me. I sat and watched, just like a highway gooner watches a car wreck, because I just had to see the gore. And I don't mean Al. Al was nowhere near the general vicinity of this film.

"Jesus Camp" tells the story of a lady, well, she's a woman, I'm not so sure about the lady part, named Becky Fischer. Becky runs a camp for kids, and it's called the "Kids on Fire" Camp, which should be enough to keep any kid from wanting to go to it, but apparently that's not so much the case. ("Awww, Mom, can't I go to baseball camp? I don't wanna get set on fire!") See, Becky knows what's going on in the world. She's seen all these "militant" religions in the Middle East indoctrinating their kids to be warriors for their Gods, and she doesn't like that. So she's gonna by God get some kids on the Christian Warpath. And so she's set up this camp, this Boot Camp for the Lord.

So we see Becky tell her story (where she says that she wants to have every liberal out there "shaking in their boots"), then we meet some kids who are born into Evangelical Christian families, and then we see them all congregate to get set on fire. We meet kids like Levi (nice Jewish name, Levi), who already writes his own sermons and sports a killer rat-tail mullet the likes of which haven't been seen since 1987. And Tori, who likes to dance to Christian Death Metal music, but says she's working really hard at being able to "dance for the Lord instead of dancing for the flesh." And Rachael, a sad little creature who picks out random strangers and gives them literature, saying, "God told me He wants to love on you," and thinks that the best way she could possibly spread The Word is to be a manicurist when she grows up, fixing nails and preaching the gospel to her manicurees.

(By the way, these kids - it's not their fault. You try so hard to find fault with them because they're proselytizing robots, but one wonders about what might have been. Levi has a nice smile and is outgoing, and might be a likeable kid if not for the constant preaching, the slack jaw, and the thought-repellant haircut. Rachael is a lost lamb, friendly to a fault, and one wonders what will happen to her when she picks the wrong stranger to tell, "God told me He wants to love on you." Tori, on the other hand, is as dumb as a post, and one wonders how soon she'll get pregnant and be forced into a wedding with the teenaged father. Better start dancing for the Lord soon, Tori.)

So it's easy to say this camp is a seriously literal case of preaching to the converted, but those are just the kids they focus on. There are scads more little rascals waiting to be set aflame at Becky's camp, and through this documentary we see her work her wonders. And based on this, I'm going to tell you how you too can have your very own Kid on Fire. Providing of course you have a kid, and if you don't, what are you waiting for? God needs more troops for His army!

Don't be afraid to volunteer: The very first session at the Camp O' Fire, Becky starts asking kids if they're ready to be martyrs. If they're ready to die for Jesus. Ones in the know, of course, pop their hands right up like they studied all night for the answer. A few look around, with faces perplexed as if to say, "Die? We have to die?" before slowly lifting a hand. Then there are those kids so small they have no idea what Ms Becky is even talking about, I mean, kids four and five years old sitting on their mommies' laps wondering when Cookie Time is, and so in those cases, the moms take hold of their babies' hands and raise them up. Yes, don't be afraid to volunteer your four year old for martyrdom, please. They'll learn what it means one day.

Study the Nazis: It didn't take long for the sentence to come rolling out of my mouth and to Mr M. "This movie would be great on a double bill with 'Triumph of the Will.'" For certainly Becky has studied her share of Hitler Hints re getting the young ones on the right track. Also in that very first camp session, Becky gathers the kids around and tells them this little nugget. "Somebody told me that some of you don't practice your faith outside of church. That when you're with your friends you cuss and lie, and this makes you phonies and hypocrites." She needles and needles until the kids start crying, I mean, bawling out of fear, then she starts inviting kids to come forward and wash their hands in the holy water that will set them free. Which, oddly enough, comes in plastic 16.9 oz bottles, with labels marked "Nestle." I'm not making that up. In her opening speech, Becky promises us she can go onto any playground and within 10 minutes she'll have every kid there ready to give up his life for the Lord. Somehow, I believe this. I'd do it in five, if only to get her to stop ragging on me and let me play on the jungle gym a little longer. "Somebody told me." Jesus Christ, no pun intended.

Use really good props: Later in the movie, Ms Fischer shows us some of her camp supplies. Teaching aids, if you will. They include a Barbie and Ken, with plastic leaves attached to their nether regions, to be Adam and Eve. One can only wonder what will happen when those leaves fall off. I wonder if she tries to make them have clunky, plastic sex, like we used to do with our dolls. It's not easy, especially seeing as how Ken has no penis to speak of. She also has, sold in the Archie McPhee catalog, no less, and I know this because I've bought them, gelatin molds shaped like brains. At camp, these go in conjunction with some little gooey rubber hands on elastic strings, which are meant to represent sin. Because we all know sin has four fingers. When the gelatin molds are filled and the kids have some jiggly brains before them, Becky slaps them with the gooey hands to show the youngsters how sin sticks to the brain. Unfortunately, with these hands, sin also sticks to the table, the wall, itself, and everything else. Boy, that sin sure is a nuisance.

For God's sake, homeschool your kids: It's no secret that homeschooling is big in the Evangelical world. This is because our government, our separation of church and state government, has seen fit to take God out of the schools. We see several of these kids at home, being taught by their parents, having long discussions about how global warming is a myth perpetrated by the liberals to make people disbelieve God's word. Explain this one to me, because I've been thinking about it ever since I saw the movie, and I still don't get it. These people really hate the idea of global warming, for some reason. I'm no scholar, but doesn't that kind of say to you, "Love God, have no respect whatsoever for His creation, the earth?" Also, Tongues can be considered the homeschool educational equivalent of a foreign language. These kids spoke in tongues more times than I've had hot dinners. Not sure about verb conjugation, but they seemed to be quite good at it.

Get with the program, or prepare to disappear: Becky Fischer and her ilk are certainly no fans of poor Harry Potter's. "Harry Potter and his friends are witches and warlocks, and in biblical times they would have been killed!" Later, at dinner, some kids are sitting around a table, and a poor kid with wire glasses and brown hair is pointed out to Becky and told, "Doesn't he look like Harry Potter?" Another kid says to his buddies, "My mom won't let me watch the Harry Potter movies." Then laughs. "But I go to my dad's and watch them there." Neither kid is seen again at Kids O' Fire camp. (Wouldn't it be hilarious if the final installment of the Potter books, soon to be released, would have Harry and his friends stoned to death by the public at large for having magical powers? These kids will have missed the best book-reading opportunity of their young lives!) (And by the way, warlocks would have been killed in biblical times. OK. That's um, that's kind of like, um, murder, isn't it?)

God fixes EVERYTHING: Now, I'll readily admit that I've been known to pray on occasion, but lil' ol' me, I like to stick to the big things. "Please comfort my grandmother with her Parkinson's disease." "Now that I've lost the steering wheel of the podmobile and am sitting in high-speed traffic, please keep those tractor trailers in the right lane. Thanks, sorry to bother." Ever wonder why so many prayers go unanswered? Because these hoo-hahs are clogging God's ears praying for everything in sight. Little Rachael prays while bowling. With every throw. "Oh, God, please bless this ball and make it go straight down the alley." And Becky and her minions roam the hall before camp begins, praying over every fucking thing in the room. "Oh, God, we pray over these seats that they'll be filled tonight, we pray over the projector and the Power Point presentation, we pray over these microphones that they'll work, God, we pray that there will be no lightning storms that will knock out the electricity tonight." I mean, forgive me, but if a bolt of lightning comes out of the sky and knocks out your microphone? I think God might be trying to tell you something.

Be sure to let suspect-looking men touch around on your kids and tell them about abortion: There's some dude at the Fire Camp, with a raspy voice and a bushy mustache, who comes out one night in a red t-shirt emblazoned with the legend "LIFE," and he starts telling kids all about abortion. I know times have changed, but I was probably about 14 before I even knew what abortion was, and here he is telling four year olds, six year olds, nine year olds about it. He works them up into a frenzy and gets them all bawling again, then proceeds to pull out his own little props. Pieces of red duct tape, each saying "LIFE" in black letters on them, which he then sticks across the kids' mouths. And that makes crying rather painful, I'd say. I noticed he didn't do this to himself, because apparently the pain of duct tape over a bushy mustache isn't worth stopping abortion for. And speaking of which....

Get the tears going: If being in the bosom of the Lord is so much fun, then why are all these kids crying so much? Every time Becky starts in on them about one kind of sin or other, the tears start. Uncontrollable weeping and sobbing. Wailing. Mr M, ever the psychologist, said the kids had no idea on earth why they were crying, it was an emotional response to the situation. And you know what? He's absolutely right. (Cherish that, Mr M, for it doesn't come often.)

Don't go to a dead church: Yes, apparently some churches have been declared DOA. According to the campers, these are the churches where people sit quietly on their pews and say, "We worship you, we worship you." As little Rachael tells us, Jesus will not go to these churches. He will only go to churches where people jump up and down, scream, and shout, "Hallelujah!" Apparently, Jesus has an endless supply of Excedrin.

Buy a life-sized cardboard cut-out of George W Bush for your home: Because W is anointed by God to rule our nation. One night at camp, Fischer brings out such a cut-out, and tells kids the Godly wonder of Bush. She has the kids come up to the cut-out and lay hands on it, and pray on it. Which, hey, I got no problems whatsoever with people praying for George Bush. Pray that the man suddenly develops a brain, or some morals, or some scruples, or decides to disassociate himself with all the criminal-element cronies he loves so well. But Becky can lean on me all day (keeping me from the jungle gym I love so much) and not convince me that this alcoholic crook who's sent nearly 5000 men to die overseas for no reason is a man of God. Sorry, Becky. Not gonna win that one. However, while we're at it again....

Remember that you're living in God's country: Having not read my Bible cover-to-cover, I guess it's no surprise that I missed the part where God held His earth in one hand, scanned it with the index finger of the other one, pointed to North America, and said, "Ahhh, there it is. This part's mine." If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone in "Jesus Camp" proclaim, "America is God's country, and we're taking it back for God," I'd be a rich woman. Or at least be able to have dinner out at a nice restaurant, complete with a few martinis. I mean, you have your Bethlehem, your Jerusalem, your Vatican City, and yet America is God's. If you're a true believer, wouldn't all countries be God's? Nope, our great land, our melting pot of democracy and diversity and people of all creeds living in peace and harmony, is God's country. So you other creeds better beat it, and pronto.

You know, this has already turned into a hefty blog, and yet there's still so much more I could say about Becky Fischer and her fiery camp. Things like "child abuse." Things like, "I wish they'd do a sequel, a la the 7-Up Series, to show us where these kids end up." One can only pray that when they hit their teen years they get to see enough of the real world to realize what they've been led into. I don't know, though. I fear they'll never see a world outside their front doors, or the big church at Fire Camp. De-frocked meth addict/male prostitue-patronizing evangelist Ted Haggard appears briefly in the documentary, in all his sleazy glory, giving some (embarrassingly condescending) preaching advice to rat-tailed Levi and his brother. I found myself wondering if these kids even know of his indiscretions, or if it's all been shielded from them by their parents.

So, yes, I'm a highway gooner, and I had to watch this car wreck. It was sad, it was funny. Then again, it was about this time last year I was blogging with laughter over a paranoid schizophrenic who got eaten by a bear.

But even if you're not a highway gooner, I'd advise you to watch this movie. Because along with being sad and funny, it was also scary. It was fucking scary. So when you watch it, it's OK to giggle. Just as long as you remember that in the 30s, people were so busy giggling at the funny men goosestepping through their towns that they forgot to do anything about it.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! So, what did the marching band form on the field?
- Honorable Mentions go to LilyG, with her "Stoned, gasping Federline," and Kellie, with her "Striking Grand Flag."
- Runner-Up goes to Flipsy, with her "Single gay female."
- And this week's winner goes to DeepFatFriar, with his "Sexy gorgeous floozy."
- Thanks to all who played. You've all done very well!

Monday, February 05, 2007


Hello, acroites, acrosirs, and acrodames. Welcome to another Monday night edition of the love that is acromania.

You know, I'm a band person. I like bands. I like listening to them, playing in them, and watching them. Prince (Prince who was the artist formerly known as but is now again Prince) was the halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl last night, and was accompanied by a large marching band out on the field while he played. And I liked that. I liked Prince, too, but I liked the fact that there was actually a marching band on the field at halftime of a football game, just like God intended.

And that brings us to our acrotopic. Bear with me here, as this one takes on a little bit of a Match Game feel, but it's gonna work. I promise. "The Marching Band Formed A _______ On The Field!" Just fill in the blank.

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. The acrobasket (and my nephew, when he was little) likes to get out the letter tiles sometimes and make marching band formations with them. Then tomorrow at 10pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners, who will ride on a float while a marching band plays the song of his/her choice, and the non-winners, who will march in a band that follows a horse platoon.

So, the topic? "The Marching Band Formed A ________ On The Field!" The letters:


And there you have it. Put down your batons (that's you, Liane) and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm right in the middle of the big blast of cold. With no heat in the dennette. I'm thinking of setting myself on fire.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders. Yes, it's that very bewitching time of night, the Picture Sunday.

Hope your weekend went well. Mine was more of the same, but fun because clarinet playing went well. No fights, no eye-poking, not a tear shed. Alice the kitty is doing fine, attacked my leg in the middle of the night but no blood, movies were watched, and as always, it all went by way too fast.

You know, there's a little Friday night tradition here at the Pod. Yes, it's Friday Chill Night, but that's just for me. For the other Poderosa residents, it's Game Night. Sometimes it's Chinese Checkers (Sherman always wins), sometimes it's tag (a knock-down, drag-out free-for-all). But sometimes it's hide and seek. And that's what it was this past Friday.

Now, I've been known to get in on tag once in a while, but I'm rarely successful, because I'm not a cartoon character. Cartoon characters can go airborne, run at warp speed, and pick up couches and kitchen tables to get where they need to be. I mean, who can compete with that? I rarely get into the hide and seek game, though. However, this week I took a few pictures.

Quick Draw McGraw is fitting in very nicely here since his Christmas arrival, and he's always game to join in on the fun. This week he picked out a hiding spot in my dishes.

That red hat gave him away rather quickly, though, and he was out pretty early on into things.

Huckleberry Hound has the right idea. He picked a very good hiding spot. However, he always makes the same mistake, the mistake all dogs seem to make when hiding. He was sure he was all covered up, but, no.

Good luck baby Lily is an excellent hider. This is because she is so small. She just picks a spot and tucks herself away, and often wins hide and seek because she's so quiet people don't realize she's still in her hiding place, and then days later she comes out, asking if the game is still going on.

Mr Peanut isn't really the game type (other than Gin Rummy, which he gave up when he stopped drinking, just to be safe), but occasionally he'll join in the fun and frivolity. He picked a rather obvious hiding spot, and, well, I guess he should have removed his hat.

Gossamer doesn't really understand hide and seek, nor any other game, I'm afraid. (Watching him play Chinese Checkers is interesting. Mainly he just eats the marbles.) He's usually the first one out, for rather obvious reasons.

Sherman, my boy Sherman, is just a hide and seek wonder. See, he thinks about these things. He picks very inconspicuous spots around the house, and is without a doubt the second best hider at the Poderosa.

(Everybody say, "Hi Melf!" Melf doesn't play, he just hangs around listening to everyone talk about what they might want next Christmas.)

However, I guess it should come as no surprise that the best hider, not only at the Pod but in the Free World, is Peabody. In fact, he's so good that at one point he wasn't allowed to play anymore. But now sometimes the others will let him join in the fun, if he's not too busy reading stock reports or doing his beloved Morris Dancing.

Yes, Peabody is actually leaning somewhere against my living room wall. He picked out his spot earlier on Friday, then made up a special mud and mayonnaise paste to cover himself with. He won this week, which means next week he'll probably be Morris Dancing around the house while the others are playing games. He always likes to give the others a chance to win.

And now comes that time of night where we gird our loins (and get the Rolaids handy), the recipe du jour.

How many of you remember that old dish from childhood, Chicken a la King? Tuesday nights, pot luck buffets, church dinners, there it was, staring at you from the table like the barometer of fear it was. You don't hear a lot about Chicken a la King anymore, so I thought maybe it was time for a revival. So from the "Poultry Abuse" file at cardland, please say hello if you dare to Chicken a la Knave.

It's OK, you can look. It's just a picture, it can't hurt you. Chicken a la Knave begins with some canned chicken, mixed up with olives, peas, a little ketchup, some basil in oil, and a sprinkling of cinnamon (those olives are salty). Then you make up some hollandaise sauce, stir your chicken mixture into it, and garnish the whole mess (and I mean that) with a couple of radishes.

You know, I have a theory about Chicken a la Knave. I have an idea that if eaten, it might be lost again quite quickly. And that when lost, it will take on the exact same look it had when it went in.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Watched the Super Bowl with one eye, mainly for the commercials. Didn't see one that was anything other than ordinary. It sure did rain, though. Made me wonder about Prince's performance. He didn't seem to be lip synching, but he had to have been, right? All that pouring rain, all those electrical instruments? Oh, well, don't care enough to ponder it that much.
* I went with bigger pictures in this week's PS. Better? Worse? Any opinions?