Sunday, April 25, 2010

Picture Sunday

Yes, I know you don't believe me. But it's true! Welcome to an edition of Picture Sunday!

As usual, things are pretty busy in Betland. We're now a week away from the Community Band's spring concert. And as you may have guessed, I've hit the hinky stage. I know the piece, know it backward to forward. What's getting in my way now is just all in my head. I'm thinking too much. Small things are getting in my way and causing me big problems. I need to, at this point, be able to go on automatic pilot, and I don't seem to be able to do that.

And so I keep practicing.

And today, my clarinet friend and soloing partner Mary came down to practice our piece. And Mary brought her friend to hang out with the Boys.

Her friend just happens to be Jiminy Crickett!

What a nice and cheerful fellow he is. The Boys all loved him. He fit right in.

Sherman, who is always ready to make a new friend, wanted an up close and personal pic with Jiminy.

And while we practiced, Sherman decided to take Jiminy into the kitchen to visit the Sandwich of Destiny. And nice souls that they are, llamas Che and Roy offered to give the two a ride.

Ah, the fun we have here.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I think I'm taking a few days off when this is all over with.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rock-a-Bye, Baby

Sometimes I write blogs I don't really want to write. And this generally happens because I let out some bit of information about me I'd just as soon you not know. I do it anyway, because I guess a blog is just as much for embarrassing admissions as reports of good news and pictures of the Hackensaw Boys.

Tonight's story comes from three places. Yes, three roads that converge right in the middle of Hinky Boulevard.

And I knew about this, knew it for a while, but only last night, when I was tired and exasperated and in a discussion with Mr M, did I just come out and admit it for the first time.

But let's get back to the roads.

The first road is Insomnia Street. I've told you all about this many times, how I hit a certain age a few years ago and sleep ceased to be a normal part of my life. I either go to bed and lie awake, eyes as wide open as that time Sylvester ate Tweety Bird, or I fall off to sleep for about an hour, wake back up, then proceed to toss and turn the rest of the night.

The second road is Anxiety Avenue. See, for a great deal of my youth, I suffered from anxiety attacks. And when I say anxiety attacks, I mean the kind that landed me in the emergency room on a regular basis. I didn't really know what they were at first, then I realized it, but it didn't stop them. They continued for a long time. Then, one day, and I swear, I don't even know how it happened, I learned to control them. I saw them coming, greeted them with a lot of conversation, and they turned around and went back to whence they came. Then they got a little pissed off at me and decided they just wouldn't come around at all. The sad thing is that recently they've missed me, and last year decided to pay me a surprise visit. And I seem to have forgotten now what I said to them to piss them off.

And the third road is This Part Isn't So Easy Lane. People who know me know this, I've told them, but I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it here. See, when I get particularly depressed, which has happened on and off in my years of living, I avoid getting in bed. I have always done this, from teen years on. I might sleep on the bed, on top of the covers, or sleep on the couch, or after buying the Poderosa, sleep in the Comfy Chair. Or I might just stay up all night. It's just something I've always done, I know it's weird, but sometimes I'm weird and that's the way it is.

When I landed in the emergency room last year after my anxiety attacks first decided to start visiting again, and I got $3000 worth of uninsured care, a pat on the head, an announcement that my liver was fabulous, and some advice to get professional help, I figured the cause of it all was my mom's being so sick all year. The worry, the travel, the frustration. Only Mom's better now, well, to a point, and the little anxiety shits are still hanging around. In fact, I think my biggest point of anxiety at the moment is that I can't recapture that tenacity that sent them away the first time.

I had another one Monday morning. I woke up around 5:45 sweating, heart beating out of my chest, hands numb, dizzy. "Oh, shit," I said, "Here it comes. Nothing's wrong. It's just anxiety. I'm fine. Really. I'm not kidding! I'm fucking fine!" But I laid there like a beached whale till it was time to get up, and it didn't really start to subside till I'd been at work for a couple of hours.

And so last night it was getting quite late and I was still up, and that's when the conversation with Mr M took place. He told me it was very late and I should be in bed, and I told him, as I tell him many times, how much I despise going to bed. He always finds this incredulous, how such a normal part of life could rile me so.

And so I started explaining how it wasn't normal for me at all, how going to bed when sleep was not one's friend was rather abnormal, and that's when the admission came out.

Now, I know I'm a mature woman, old enough and bright enough to drive a car, write checks, buy liquor and everything, but here it is. My admission? I'm actually afraid to go to bed.

I used to joke about it. I'm a night person. I just don't want to miss anything. Blah de blah. And blah.

I'm afraid to go to bed.

Well, if you thought Mr M was incredulous before, and you should, I just told you above, you should have been around for that little nugget of confession.

But Mr M knows all my ugliest secrets, so I just let it out. It's embarrassing, to be sure. And the thing is, I wish I could understand it. Because really, it's happening to me, and I don't think I understand it any more than Mr M did.

And here's the thing. When I go visit Mr M at Poderosa East, seems like all I do is sleep. Like this weekend. I fell asleep in the chair and had to be woken up for dinner. I nodded twice during the movie we watched - and really, who could sleep during a second viewing of "Robinson Crusoe on Mars?" - and had to be prodded by Mr M. Then I slept all night, got up early, took Milo outside, got on the couch, and slept some more.

When Mr M comes to my house, we'll play clarinets a while, then watch TV a while, where I always fall fast asleep. To be honest, so does Mr M, but then again, he's a guest in someone's home who's fast asleep, so what else is there to do?

And so, that's it. Hinky Boulevard.

Am I afraid of sleeping alone? No, I don't think so. I certainly like living alone, couldn't imagine it any other way. When I'm out on the road, in a hotel, I climb right in that bed and snooze away.

Does it have to do with thinking about the next day? Going to work, being stressed out? I don't know. If I'm home alone on a weekend, I stay up almost all night, but when I go to bed I'm certainly not all worked up about it. If it does have to do with work, I'm never thinking about it when hedging going to bed, other than, "Shit, I have to go to work tomorrow, and I don't want to go to bed."

I'm at a loss here.

Anyway, I did a little looking around today, and found out that I'm apparently not alone, because there seems to be something called clinophobia, which is, oh, my friends this is true, "the fear of going to bed." Explanations on this were fearing nightmares, bedwetting, or dying in one's sleep.

And I have to say, the thought of dying in someone else's company sure beats the hell out of dying alone, surrounded by clutter and in a t-shirt that usually has a stain on it.

In fact, the only thing worse, I guess, would be dying alone surrounded by clutter in a dirty t-shirt after wetting the bed. If that little disorder finds its way into my life, I won't be able to sleep at Mr M's either, and I'll traverse Hinky Boulevard and turn left onto the Flat Ass Crazy Highway.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! So, what is the worst thing your doggie could investigate on a walk?
- Runner-Up is the DeepFatFriar, with his "Sexy elastic garters and triple E's." Milo likes my socks and underwear, so that's a distinct possibility, should someone throw something of that ilk out the window.
- And this week's winner is Marla (marlamarla), with her "Smelly Easter Geese And Their Eggs." Yes, that would definitely creep me out.
- Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Monday, April 19, 2010


Hello, lovers of letters - welcome to another round of acromania.

Tonight's acro involves Milo. See, around here, spring is in the air. And with that comes nice walks after work. We've been having lovely walks, and this is because of Miss Rosie at Milo's alma mater, the Hi D Ho Academy. See, Miss Rosie taught me something I was doing quite wrong. When you take your doggie for a walk, it's supposed to be fun for the doggie, not walking right at your side with slack in the leash. Mr (or Ms) Doggie needs to romp and explore. Once I realized that, our walks have become lots of fun.

So we walk, and Milo explores the grass along the route, the telephone poles (he's about 50% on leg-lifting there), and he sniffs around old drink cups, cigarette packages, and food bags assholes have thrown out their windows on the street. He's investigated old car parts and beer bottles, moldy hamburger buns and plastic bags. It all creeps me out, but Milo seems to think it's Disneyland.

So tonight's acro - "What's The Worst Thing You Can Have Your Doggie Investigate On A Walk?"

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 the letters below. The letters are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket often finds clothespins, remote controls, and hair accessories in his basket. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

So, the topic? "What's The Worst Thing You Can Have Your Doggie Investigate On A Walk?" The letters:


So there. Crate your pet and play acro!

Betland's Olympic Update
* Still practicing the clarinet. The spring concert's just a couple of weeks away.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Which is what I'm thinking the Sunday Blog should be named.

It's been a really busy week. Work, Housework, and Bandwork. Just no time.

I promise I'll embellish tomorrow with an acrochallenge.

Really, I promise!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Blog!

Hey, how about a rarity? A quick Friday blog.

I'm sitting here using Lunch Hour to make a packing list for my Hackensaw Boys trip to Morgantown this weekend. But I thought I'd also tell you a little something about what I've discovered recently.

I've discovered that my little Milo has a sense of humor. Yes, I have a jokester on my hands.

Wednesday night I made it home after the long trip to band practice. It was about midnight. I'm always a little hinky for a few seconds coming home at midnight to a dark house. It doesn't last long.

I came in, Milo in tow, and put my band stuff in the floor. Milo wandered around and ended up nosing around his food bowl. I wandered around and ended up in the bathroom for a short, well, pee.

The only light I had on at that point was in the kitchen. And I was sitting there in the bathroom, eyes half closed, tired, sleepy. The door was open.

Well, I didn't realize that Mr HaHa had crawled up to the doorway on his belly, commando-style, and all of a sudden he let out a bark that made me scream. When I did that, he knew he'd gotten me, and he just jumped around and barked, butt in the air, tail wagging. He was so funny.

Then I got to thinking about another thing Milo's been doing lately.

My house, the Poderosa, from the living room to kitchen to hallway, is kind of a circle. You can get to the hallway and back of the house by way of kitchen or living room. I normally use the kitchen. And Milo used to follow right behind me, glued to my heels.

Now when I start through the kitchen, Milo high-tails it through the living room and tries to beat me into the hallway. He stands there waiting for me, hopping around like, "Beat you! Beat you!"

I don't know, it makes me laugh. The vet was right when he said Milo was full of personality.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Could Be Worse - Could Be Raining

You know, I love a day off from work more than just about anybody I know. So imagine my excitement when I found myself with not only one, but two days off for the Easter Holiday.

The first was Friday. I went out for a long-overdue pedicure, which was nice and relaxing, then I came home and started doing a few preppish things for the Comfy Chair Movie. (I made a Comfy Chair Movie - did you hear?)

And so I worked on that throughout the weekend, got it finished, Mr M came down on Sunday and we went for dinner at Granny & Paw's, Milo got to run a lot in their fenced-in back yard, I got laundry and trash duty done - and I still had one more day off!

I decided I'd just do myself a little shopping.

I went to a place I seldom go. That would be your Beckley, WV. I don't go there for a few reasons. The first is that I hate Beckley, WV. The traffic alone - if I had to drive in that town every day, I'd ending up killing someone. Every day.

Another reason I don't go there is because it involves driving on the West Virginia Turnpike. What an armpit of a highway that is. And it's an armpit you have to pay to traverse. It's hilly, curvy, badly maintained, and people drive like maniacs on it.

And even worse, it's a highway of lies! As you enter the Turnpike at P'ton, WV, there's a sign telling you Beckley is 30 miles away. This is blatantly not true. I know this because not only does it take about another 50 minutes to get there, and that's with a 70mph speed limit, but I also know it because on the way back, the sign 13 miles south of Beckley says it's 42 miles to P'ton.

But off I went anyway, because R'noke was too far, and I've shopped B'burg to death. I put up Milo, figured it'd be no different than any workday, and set off about my business.

As I reached the first toll plaza on the Turnpike (thieves!), I handed over my two bucks, and the man in the little booth told me to be careful, that there was a wreck up ahead and traffic was stopped. "Oh, hell," thought I, but said instead, "Thank you," and headed off. And I drove for a while, dodging all the maniacs zipping past me on the left and the right, and I figured maybe the wreck was cleared off the road and all was well again.

Well, "Ha Ha!" Fate said to me. All of a sudden I hit the stopped traffic. I was OK, I was listening to music, and, you know, people do get stuck in traffic sometimes.

Until we crept over a hill and I saw the line ahead of me. It reached for miles on end, I couldn't even see the end of the line. I knew I was in for a long wait.

I had a Clarinet Magazine (The Most Boring Publication on Earth!) loaned by Mr M, so I got it out and read it while we inched forward. I read the whole thing. Well, so much for having something to do.

I could tell you about every inch we lurched forward, but I think you get the idea. Suffice to say that 2 1/2 hours later I was still in that same line of traffic, still inching, and the end was still not in sight. Thankfully, after that 2-plus hours, I reached a junction for I-64. Now, I didn't know if I could navigate from that, but I really didn't care. I'd rather be lost and moving than found and still. So I took the exit.

Turns out, I found my way into Beckley quite easily. However, when I took that exit, it deposited me in the horrible "city" traffic. Another half hour to go 3 miles, and I was finally where I wanted to shop, even though I was pretty much out of the mood by that time.

I loped through the store a few times and ended up with three pairs of pants. I went there looking for shirts. One of the pants was jeans, which I need like I need a hole in the head, but they were on sale. "Pbbbbt," I said to myself, "I'm going home."

I scooted back into the city traffic and headed home the way I'd planned to be going in before my little detour. When I reached the exit that put me back on the Turnpike, traffic in the opposite direction was still at a standstill. In fact, it was all the way to that first toll plaza (thieves!) where I was warned of the accident. Of course this time I was on the moving side of the road, so I could only send sympathy waves to those traveling north.

When I got home I found out what was holding us all up was an eight-car pileup. Three of the eight were a police car, a logging truck, and a car pulling a boat. God knows how long people were stuck. There were a few injuries, but no fatalities.

Ahhhh, home. Milo was looking at me like, "Why in the hell did you leave me like that?" and we went out and played in the sun a while, then I really needed to relax and try to get rid of the headache I felt coming on, so I curled up in the Comfy Chair. I found myself falling off to sleep, and it felt wonderful.


Until the front doorbell rang, scaring the peewater out of me and sending Milo into a barking, jumping fit, knocking over a table next to my door. I opened the door and there was my brother-in-law's father. I said hello, and his words to me were, "Please call your parents."

Oh, crap, I thought, and picked up the phone. My dad answered. "Hello, you needed me?" I said, and he seemed to be filled with confusion. "Where are you?" he demanded. "I'm sitting in my living room," I answered.

Turns out (and you're gonna love this) my parents had been trying to call me since 9:00 that morning. The line was busy. It was busy with every call, and apparently, there were hundreds. They then devised a whole scenario where I was dead in the floor of my house, for some reason. The more they called, the more upset they got. They called the phone company to have the lines checked, and were told there was a problem with the lines. Then, as if that wasn't enough, my dad called the service people at the phone company and told them to go fix my lines. He said they told him they couldn't unless the request came from me, although they may have in reality said, "Who are you? Piss off."


Now, I don't even know where to start on this one. I guess I could start by saying that the longer this conversation went on, the more furious I got, and I showed some pretty good restraint to keep from just letting go and calling my folks morons right over the phone.

I did, however impart these pieces of information upon them:

1. If they knew it was my day off, what were they doing calling me at 9:00 in the morning?

2. How many times have I told them that a phone means absolutely nothing to me, and that if it's out of service for half a day, I really don't care in the least.

3. In fact, I may, at any time, take my phone off the hook because I don't want the fucking thing ringing all day.

4. I was gone most of the day anyway, so they wouldn't have been able to reach me even if it did ring.

And last, but certainly not least:

5. If I was dead in the floor and couldn't get to the phone, wouldn't the damn thing be ringing off the hook instead of being busy?

Well, my dad, for some reason, seemed to be very pissed off that I was very pissed off. It wasn't going particularly well there on the phone, and it got worse when a thought came to me.

"You didn't ask Brine's father to make a special trip to my house just to tell me to call you, did he?"

"Well, of course I did," my dad said, "I almost called the police. Maybe I should have."

I wanted to reply, "Yes, you should have. Then they could have followed me to your house and arrested me after I kicked your ass." But I didn't.

I mean, my parents have been doing pretty good lately, but I don't know what caused a regression like this.

(By the way, my brother-in-law's [Brine's] father is so good to my parents. He takes them anywhere they need to go, he takes them out to lunch. Just so sweet to them, and now I'll never be able to look him in the face again.)

Anyway, after the conversation I was all riled up and stalked around the house looking for something for dinner. I fed Milo and put a piece of leftover turkey from Sunday in the oven.

Before I ate dinner, Milo wanted to go out, so we headed out into the front yard, where it promptly began to rain on my head. When I came back inside I caught sight of myself in the mirror and I swear this is true, the rain had turned my hair into a perfectly-shaped afro.

While I was eating, it began to thunder, and Milo got scared. Not running away and crying scared, just snuggling up as close as he could get to me scared. After I finished dinner, such as it was, I headed to wash dishes, and the thunder got worse, and paired itself up with lightning. Bad lightning. Then the rain turned to light hail.

And we lost power.

It was only brief, but when it came back on, Milo just went nutso. He was trying to get outside. I kept telling him going outside was only going to make him hinkier, but somehow he wasn't picking up the words.

Finally, the lightning stopped, as did the hail, turning back into hard rain, and I sat down for a little TV.

And promptly threw up my dinner.

I still like days off. Sometimes they're just not what I'd planned.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners! So, what does "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah" really mean?
* Honorable Mention goes to Michelle (the dishy), with her "Sensual earthling, point ass groundward!"
*Runner-Up goes to Marla (marlamarla), with her "Say, Ever Pass Asparagus Gas?"
*And this week's winner goes to LilyG, with her "So, Earthling, Party Alot? Groovy!"
* Thanks to all who played, you've all done very well!


Monday, April 05, 2010


Hello, lovers of letters, and welcome to another round of acromania.

It's been a long day. That's the bad thing. The good thing is that it's also been a long weekend. I got Friday and Monday off for Easter. And since I had all that spare time, I decided I'd do something I haven't done in about 9 months. I made a Comfy Chair movie.

Now, it's not really up on the Comfy Chair Cinema yet, but I'll get it there. It's along the lines of something else I did this time last year, a little experiment, really, to test out the bitchin' stop-motion program Stennie gave me for my last birthday.

That movie was called "Bollypeep." This one's called "Peep Opp Ork Ah-Ah."

Now, I don't know that you're all familiar with the Jetson's episode where Judy Jetson wins a date with teen idol Jet Screamer. She does this by writing a song for him. Her song goes, "Jet Screamer Screamer Screamer I'm a dreamer dreamer dreamer - when the trumpets blare, I wanna run barefoot through your jet black hair hair hair." (George Jetson: be sure you don't slip on all that hair oil.)

Anyway, George hates Jet, and so instead of mailing Judy's contest entry, he mails Elroy's secret code language Elroy and his buddy made up. "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah." Which means "meet me tonight."

And so Elroy's song wins and Judy goes on a date with Jet. And here's the thing that's driven me bats for 45 years. "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah," according to Elroy, means "meet me tonight." When Jet introduces the song, he says it means "meet me tonight." But when he sings the damn song, "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah" means "I love you." Thanks, show. Way to mess with a kid's mind.

Anyway, I hope you liked the movie, and now on to acro.

So this week's topic - What Does "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah" really mean?

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 had a hit single in the 60s. It was called "Wicker Wicka Wicka, Dicka Dicka Doo." He was a one-hit basket. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners.

This week's topic, What Does "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah" really mean? The letters:


There. Now stop swooning over Jet Screamer and acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Hello!