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Birthday Revenge


Not really.

My neighbor did an exceedingly excellent job of making me feel special on my birthday. (Darn her!) I was quite nervous as to how I could possibly return the favor. Then I realized the solution was simple.


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Wordle was messing with me


Now, relax. This was the wordle from days ago, while I was isolated thanks to my visit from the ‘rona fairy. Here’s my text complaint to my mother.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for: everyone’s ideas for a new blog name!

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“And then I woke up with a tattoo.”

“And then I woke up with a tattoo.”

That’s the title of the post by Wynne Leon in which she bares her arm with my face on it!

Isn’t she brave? Sleeveless shirt and all! She even wore me to Starbucks! Since my friend who made these tattoos wore hers with me to Starbucks, that felt like a special kind of solidarity.

BTW, when the barista asked for my name, I told her “Birthday Girl.” She sort of smirked/snorted. Smorted? But she went along with it.

Several days after my birthday celebration, I got an email titled, “Sending D to college with a little bit of Betsy on him.”

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The night the band came. Again. Part 2

The night the band came. Again. Part 2

This is what I get for not keeping up with Swinged Cat‘s posts. Turns out, I read several days later, my birthday coincided with the 30th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” When the band came the first time and played that song, Neighbor and I spontaneously combusted in unison even though no one else was dancing. I told her this time we needed to up our game by dancing on a table. Even *I* thought that was crazy, but she was up for it!

This might be one of those situations were my neighbor is secretly a spy or a superhero, like I won’t know until I accidentally see her take off her mask when she thinks no one is watching after she’s just saved someone from a mugging.

Anyway, back to the song, it wasn’t played. 😦 After she left, another friend asked me to request “500 Miles.” So, between songs, I walked up to the singer and said, “I’ve been requested to ask if you’d play ‘500 Miles.'” They made that the very next song. Apparently I had some pull. Why, oh why, did I not just ASK them to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit”? Again, IF I had read M’s post, I would’ve asked them to play it in honor of the anniversary. Missed opportunity! Next time, I suppose, unless, now having read this, Hubby says to me, “Uh, no, honey. No dancing on tables.” Drat!

Remember the Betsy tattoos? Here’s a slideshow of my neighbor applying one to Hubby’s fun-loving Colombian coworker.

And by the way,

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The night the band came. Again.

The night the band came. Again.

Previously, I posted about The Band that came in December. I’d been trying to get them back ever since. Finally, amazingly, I managed to book them for my birthday!

When we arrived late, I was relieved the band hadn’t started yet. The guitarist, my point of contact, told me on arrival that when he had asked his bandmates if they should start on time, the bassist said, “But Betsy isn’t here yet.” First of all, honored, secondly, the bassist knew and remembered who I was?!

The music was terrific, as, of course, I knew it would be. Remembering that I love Pearl Jam, they played three PJ songs for me. Literally. After one, someone in the band said into the mic, “That was for Betsy.” Then, at the first set break, I pulled out what I’d been saving since April! Behold:

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Another story about birds.

Another story about birds.

No, not that bird. Not chickens. Not this time. (But soon.)

My friend, M, and I have this thing about flamingos and birthdays. All too late I realized it would be fun to buy flamingos to put in her yard. (Much later I remembered there are companies that do this for you, but oh well.)

Amazon told me the birds would arrive the day AFTER her birthday, but often they only SAY that. Then later I get an email saying, “Your order will arrive early!” as though they are the most amiable, benevolent massive corporation ever.

I was banking on that email. And it came! Telling me the birds would arrive ON her birthday, but that was too late to have them on her lawn by the time she got up in the morning.

Plan B: Construct your own flamingo.

Step 1: Go to Hubby’s work and scour it for large cardboard.

Step 2: Enlist artistic daughters to draw and paint flamingo on cardboard.

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My new grocery store friend

My new grocery store friend

Maybe two months ago, this older gentleman at the store was stocking shelves near me. Something I needed was on the top shelf out of my reach. I said to him, “You’re tall. Would you mind reaching that for me?”

He responded, “AND handsome. People always forget the handsome part.”

I laughed and thanked him for retrieving my animal cookies. I mean, uh, something much cooler like ostrich beef jerky.

Anyway, I passed him today and remarked, “You know, you’re tall AND handsome.”

“And handsome,” he said. “That’s right. People always forget that.”

“I didn’t forget,” I said.

“No, you didn’t. Thank you. That made my weekend.”

And maybe it did.

Animal cookies. Err, ostrich jerky. Unless you find that offensive. Then it’s animal cookies. Unless you find that offensive. Then it’s water.

My most embarrassing text


We got this fun ninja mask from relatives.

The son of my neighbor left his flip flops at my house, so I slipped on the mask to return them.

“Jim”, “Pam,” and son were outside admiring Jim’s new work truck when I walked up, slid the shoes onto the tailgate and backed away.

Before I explain what happened next, you should know that Pam and I had a long running joke involving me texting her the ninja emoji. It probably had to do with the time she let me sneak into her house for a cup of sugar.

What happened after this little shoe drop off is explained in this text I sent Pam soon after.

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“I don’t think that [letter] means what you think it means.”


We cleaned out our garage so as to host the “annual” (minus 2020) block party. It was my beloved neighbor who kindly suggested we have it in our garage instead of on the street since we have pool and ping pong tables, shuffle board, and corn hole.

The day before the party, I watched, eyes narrowed, as this neighbor came and went merrily from her driveway, not a care in the world, as we spent hours clearing stuff out of the garage, hiding it in the shed, leaf blowing, sweeping, etc. (I kid, she’s lovely.)

At one point, unbeknownst to me, little Joe got the broom and decided to draw in the dirt, creating an incredible likeness of the letter “P.”

“This is not the P you’re looking for.”

When I saw it, I remarked to my husband, Paul, “You know, that’s not what they mean by marking your territory with p.”

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The band that DID come

The band that DID come

So there’s this band…

I first heard about it from my friend who tends bar at a nearby brewery. “They play stuff from the 90s,” and he started listing several bands, making my jaw drop lower with each one.

“You’ve got to book them!” I told him.

A couple months later, he did. I told all my friends.

Then, for whatever reason, the band canceled.

Then they rescheduled. I told all my friends.

The band came! And I had one of the best nights of my life. I remember repeatedly saying, “I am so happy right now.” Plus, I did this: (It’s a slide show, so go quickly and you can almost see me playing! 😉 )

Do I know how to play the drums? No.

Did I have permission to climb on stage during a break and play the drums? No.

Did the drummer turn around and say, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Yes. But after the first two words his face went from irritation/borderline anger to a broad smile. I was clearly having fun, for one thing, and I was the one who gave him food, for another. (That would be a separate blog post.)

Then, after applying some subtle pressure, the band got booked for a second time. I told all my friends.

The band got canceled.

The band was booked for a third time to play this past Saturday! I told all my friends.

Then Thursday morning I got a message from the bartender:

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the band isn’t playing Saturday night after all. There was a miscommunication and we double booked.”

Picture me hanging my head.

Then he says, “The band that will be playing instead is a Pearl Jam cover band.”

Now picture me laughing my head off.

Pearl Jam is the band of my youth, my first musical love since age 12 when my big brother handed me their first album and said, “Check this out.” I was instantly hooked.

I told the bartender all was forgiven. I’d be there.

The bartender and me at the brewery on another occasion. When I asked if he’d mind if I put his face on my blog, he said, “I’d be honored.” Stand up guy. Despite the fact that he’s kneeling here.

I had told my mom and sister that the band was returning, so I updated them with the news that instead the performance would be by a cover band for “a particular Seattle 90s grunge band.”

My sister responded, “Nice,” then launched into a series of puns involving PJ song titles. (I love her.)

My mom said, “Is it a country band?”

She could hear me rolling my eyes from across the country.

“Ok. Ok. EV’s band?” EV, as in, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s singer. Mom’s way cooler than she lets on. Living in Cleveland, my parents sometimes take out-of-town guests to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. After one trip, she mailed this to me:

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