Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Hi, friends.

Once again, I'm posting acrowinners with no blog.

My mom is back in the hospital, and frankly, I've been freaking out more than a bit tonight. Mom is quite sick. I called the hospital about an hour ago and spoke to her nurse, who said she's resting right now. Please keep good thoughts, I beg you.

Now, acrowinners.

Runner-Up goes to LilyG, with her "Saxophone, trombone, sousaphone, even rehearse trumpets." I think I have to get him to stop howling when I play clarinet first.

And this week's winner goes to Kellie (with an ie), with her "Singing. Texting. Surfing. Emoticons. Rudimentary Technology." My little geeky doggie!

For the longest time I had no entries, so I thought I'd have to declare myself winner. "Slump, then sit erect, roll, talk." But you chimed in, so I didn't have to.

Thanks, folks, will post more when I know more.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Hello, lovers of letters. Welcome to another round of acromania.

I'm a little stuck here. So let's do this one. "What Trick Should Milo Learn?" Of course he's at the Hi D Ho Academy now, where they don't teach tricks per se, but let's say they did. What should he learn to do?

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that matches not only the topic above, but the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket wants Milo to juggle letters without trying to eat them. That last part's important. Then Wednesday - remember, Wednesday - at 10:00 pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So the topic - "What Trick Should Milo Learn." The letters:


So, start getting out your treats - and acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm growing weary of Picture Sunday during Oktoberfest. It'll return sometime, though. I can promise you that.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Am I Crazy?

Hello, friends. Don't answer the above question, please.

I had several things to write about, I made a little list on the way to the wilds of Ohio, but something came up today that has been griping at me for some 12 hours. See, 12 hours ago, I got my mail.

It went a little like this. [open envelope] "Shit." [open envelope] "Shit." I got a past-due bill for $325 from the little ambulance ride I took during my June Freakout to the ER. I'd already paid $325, then I paid another $325. Yes, $650 for a two-mile trip. Then here was another. I called, knowing it was wrong, and it was, they had my money and I was clear as far as they were concerned.

I also got a new bill from the same June Freakout, I don't even know what this one was, maybe blood tests, $149. That brings my total for the JF to over $1340, all payable by me. Who knows if I'll get more.

I got my cable bill, I was expecting that one, and my sewer bill, expected but sent quite early.

Then I happened upon a teeny tiny envelope. The address was in my sister's handwriting.

"Hmmm," I thought. "What have I done? What haven't I done? Thank you card? Sister having a party she'd actually invite me to? Throwing a party for the lower social caste?" I opened it up. And said, "Shit."

"A Baby Shower!" it said, in happy letters.

I opened the card, and that's when the griping began.

Now, I don't know the social norms on this subject, and I don't care about them. I'm talking sense and right and good taste.

Seems my sister is throwing a baby shindig for a friend of ours. This friend is someone I love dearly and whose husband I love dearly. They are both gainfully employed with good jobs, live in a new subdivision in a large brand new home. They have nice automobiles, nice clothes, and take regular vacations.

But here's the thing.

Our friend, who I love dearly, has a daughter who's about four. I love her dearly too. And the baby that's on the way, who I'm sure I'll love dearly, is also a girl.

Why a shower?

Why are people expected to put out money buying loads of baby goods for an upwardly mobile someone who's already had one baby of the same sex a scant four years ago? Hasn't the world heard of hand-me-downs?

I don't know, maybe this all got to me so much because of the $1340 and the fact that my first Sauerkraut Band Oktoberfest check, which was going to be put towards the $230 mouthpiece I broke the first night, is now going to be put towards the $149 from the hospital, and I'm supposed to be happy to go sit and play baby games and watch other people eat cupcakes I can't eat and have to come up with a gift for someone who should already have more than enough to spare.

Is it me? Is this in bad taste? I could probably live with it if it was a boy happening along, no one wants to dress her little boy in a pink dress (well, no one around here), but it smacks to me of giving a wedding shower to someone on her second husband. Which maybe they do nowadays, who am I to say?

Anyway, I looked at the date and thankfully it was on an Oktoberfest day. I told my sister I wouldn't be there, and she said she figured as much since she knew I'd be gone. Then I just went all out and told her how tacky I found it. And you know what? She kind of agreed, which meant she was either lying or so desperate to throw a party at her house that maybe I'll be getting that invitation to the Lower Social Caste Party in the near future.

Sometimes the world puzzles me.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, boy, do we have acrowinners! So, tell my about my next Annual Nervous Breakdown.
- Honorable Mentions go to LilyG, with her "Took little unprescribed analgesic. Straitjacket!" and Duke (duke,duke,duke of comments), with his "Tiptoeing lightly under autumn scrapheaps."
- Runner-Up goes to the DeepFatFriar, with his "Tossing lascivious underwear at sister." Might happen, DFF.
- And this week winner is Marla (marlamarla), with her "Tomorrow. Lock up all steakknives." Might happen again, Marla.
- Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Pictures and Acrochallenge!

Hello, lovers of pictures, lovers of letters. We're combining some pictures from my trip up north with this week's acrochallenge. Remember, since Milo and I go to the Hi-D-Ho Academy on Tuesdays, acro judging won't be till Wednesday, so you all get an extra day to be creative and make me laugh.

OK. The reason for the whole trip, if you read the trip summary in last night's blog, was to go to Bowling Green State University so Mr M could march in the alumni band. Here he is at the morning marching practice, looking very happy. So as I said, don't believe him if you hear him say "never again."

Sorry, I had to do the labeling. One of the funny things about high school was that all those pictures of the band that appeared in the yearbook, we'd find ourselves and circle ourselves and sign it. People not in the band were amazed we could pick ourselves out of 130 or so uniformed people shot aerially while on a football field, which is basically why we did it.

OK, from BGSU we headed to Cleveland, where it was time to visit the Giant Rubber Stamp.

It says "free." It says it again right here.

And of course, for posterity, here's one of me and the Giant Rubber Stamp.

There will be a video of this at the Comfy Chair Cinema tonight. I'll remind you below.

Then we headed over to Lake Erie to walk around on the rocks. Mr M said that used to be a favorite activity of his as a child. Ah, those simpler times. Anyway, it was cold, but the last time I was in that spot the lake was frozen for as far as we could see.

Ack! Bades! Filthy, disgusting bades!

And the next time you're in a bar, be sure to order a Bet on the Rocks.

OK, I'll stop there, but I have more! Stay tuned tomorrow!

Now, acrochallenge. Hmmmm. I was thinking about something as I drove down the mountain from Oktoberfest Friday night, and lo and behold, you know we do share a brain, when I got home and started to podcast with Stennie, she mentioned the same thing. "You haven't had your annual nervous breakdown yet. What's up with that?"

I don't know. What is up with that? Let's make this week's acro "My Next Nervous Breakdown." You can predict when it will happen, or where, or what I'll do. It's all up to you.

All the rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can, one that matches not only the topic above, but also the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket holds onto his letters very carefully when I have my nervous breakdown - he worries about losing G, P, D, those letters there aren't enough of. Then Wednesday night, remember, Wednesday night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So the topic, "My Next Nervous Breakdown." The letters:


So there you go - don't be nervous, acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Yes, I shall have, in a scant few minutes, the Giant Rubber Stamp movie up at the Comfy Chair Cinema. It's riveting! Go watch it!
* Milo had a bath tonight so he can go to school clean tomorrow. (He was filthy from two play dates with his new BFF Lincoln.) He barked at me for about a half hour after. I mean, he just gave me down the road.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pictureless Sunday

Hello, blogees!

Yes, it's been a long time since I blogged. I was on vacation, sue me. Wait, don't sue me. You'd have to garnish my wages, I have nothing in reserve.

I've been traveling a little, staying at home a little, not doing all those things I promised to do while I was off, and - oh. And Oktoberfesting.

Mr M and I took a trip over last weekend. It started in Bowling Green, OH, to the campus of Bowling Green State University, where he marched in the alumni band at BGSU's homecoming football game. That was an interesting day. A bit of waiting around for me while he did all the requisite practices and such, but still fun. BGSU has a great marching band, and it was fun watching Mr M in his element. Well, he wouldn't agree with that, he said it was his last-ever marching experience, but I thought he did fine.

We didn't stay for much of the actual game, Mr M's part came in the pre-game, and it was a long day, and cold? My God, it was cold. And I'd forgotten that in a place with no mountains, the cold wind tends to cut you off at the knees.

However, Mr M and I did get lovely orange BGSU windbreakers out of the day, which of course was great for me. You know, the whole Chicago Symphony Windbreaker Debacle and all.

From the game we headed back to Cleveland, the Land of Cleves, to spend a day or two. It was there I saw the Giant Rubber Stamp. I saw the GRS on our first trip to Cleveland a few years ago, but I wanted to go back and give it its due. Which I did, in a video that I put up on my Facebook page. However, I realized that not all of you are on Facebook, so I'll try to get it up as a Comfy Chair Movie.

Got back home, then Tuesday was my first class at the Hi D Ho Academy, where my little Milo will be taking classes. Tuesday was a parents-only night, where we all met each other and learned a little about what we'll be doing in upcoming classes. We also had homework, trying get our dogs to:

Lure: holding a treat and moving our dogs to where we want them.
Sit: using that treat to get our dogs to sit.
Down: then getting them in a lying position from the sitting position.
Target: holding out a hand and getting our dogs to touch their noses to our palms.
Attention: saying our dogs names and getting them to make eye contact with us.

A large list, I'd say. But Milo's been doing very well in all those areas except the "attention" one. I think he has ADD.

With Oktoberfest coming on Friday, I was worried about leaving Milo to his own devices again (remember last time when he climbed his gate), so on Thursday I carted him to my cousin Jacob's. See, she has her own pound puppy (well, he's not so much a puppy) named Lincoln that she adopted back in January. She offered to keep Milo on a couple of my Friday nights on the mountain, and I wanted to make sure Milo and Lincoln got along. So we went for a play date.

Milo and Lincoln got on like a house afire. Jacob has a nice fenced-in back yard, and they played and ran and chased each other for a few hours. Nary a cross word (or bark). It was hilarious watching Lincoln the giant baby and Milo, the little guy, playing. Lincoln is an absolute sweetheart of a doggie. And so Friday night was set, and I had a sitter for Oktoberfest.

Then two nights of fun and frivolity on the mountain this weekend, our old buddy SaraBeth sat in with us. She was visiting from her new home in Michigan. It was an odd weekend, to be sure (other random people sitting in with the band), but still pretty fun. Another oddity, on Friday it was about 80 degrees at start time (and 100 in the barn), Saturday, about 5o, and even less when it was over. We'll see if the big drop in temperature takes a toll on my system.

And then back home today. And all the normalcies. Trash night, then a regular work week tomorrow. My vacation went by way too fast.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* By the way, we'll have to do some scheduling changes in the coming weeks. I'll still try to put up acrochallenges on Monday nights, but now that Tuesdays are Hi D Ho nights instead of Blog in Earnest nights, you'll all have 48 hours to acro instead of 24. So that should work out well, right?