Wednesday, December 28, 2005


As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. Night broke its hip. In America it had no health insurance so the powers that be decided it had to be put down and immediately put a bullet through night’s head thus bringing on millenniums of total darkness. In the UK, Night went to its doctor and was put on a waiting list for corrective surgery. Years passed and by the time Night’s hospital appointment came round it was deemed that Night was too old for a hip replacement. Night went on sick benefit, hung round its local pub and became a drunk reeling across the UK and pissing itself regularly. The stench of Night’s urine gave new meaning to the U in UK.

As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. Night fell for the Moon and went totally mad from unrequited love. Night was institutionalised and spent the remainder of its existence in a straightjacket mumbling rhymes like, The Moon in June left me too soon. Consequently the world put to death all the poets whose singsong delivery reminded them of Night.

As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. Night managed to catch itself, only suffering scraped knees and a bruised ego. The shame of the fall turned Night into a recluse who lived under a bridge refusing to come out. The world was seared by the Sun 24 hours a day and burned to a crisp in a few short years.

As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. Night picked itself up, brushed the dust and street debris from its clothes and sought a softer place to fall. Unfortunately for mankind on Earth, this was a planet in a galaxy far far away.

As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. Night fell pregnant (I’d like to thank the UK for this expression, which I always found remarkably evocative of Oops, I slipped and fell on your penis and now I’m having a baby). Night suffered serious raging hormones during the pregnancy and eventually after a prolonged and difficult labour, gave birth to nightmares.

As the world watched the sunset on New Years Eve, people were filled with hopeful expectation of a better year… then night fell. The world ended not with a whimper or a bang but with a thud.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005



I'm thinkin' you're gonna have a fabulous holiday. If you're spendin' time with your family, n' I know you love 'em, n' you're feelin' a little family goes very far, here's my advice to lighten up your holiday spirit. Bring up politics and/or religion whilst the family is all together and always take the opposin' side. Soon you will find yourself alone in your room blissfully readin' or listenin' to your favourite music or just contently starin' into your own space (they'll get over it n' soon you'll all be playin' happy families again). If you're gonna be on your own make sure you buy yourself an awesome present, somethin' you wouldn't usually spend your money on. If, like me, you're skint, then just get yourself on down to your nearest Target, Walmart or Pound Shop and buy yourself that unnecessary plastic object you've wanted all your life n' just can't live without. N' whilst you're out drinkin' with your friends, or with your family, remember... I'm somewhere in Austin, Texas settin' in my rocker, firin' up a fag and thinkin' about you.

With my love n' a kiss on both cheeks....just for you


Wednesday, December 07, 2005


America is huge, Texas is BIGGER. Ask any Texan, they’ll tell you if you’re somewhere else in the US you’re there. If you’re in Texas, you’re HERE. All of the adverts on TV here relate their product directly to Texas. I have never seen this anywhere else in the US. The people are massive, corpulent, in most of the US and apparently the fattest people in America are in Houston. Austin seems to be the exception, many Austinites are sylph like proponents of healthy eating and healthy living. The stupidmarkets (supermarkets) are enormous. I’m living with my daughter but shopping for myself. She’s a veggie, I’m a Carnivore, yes with a a capital C. I won’t eat anything green, that’s the colour of disease. How green was my valley? Don’t know about your valley ma’am but that arm/leg/appendage of choice looks green to me, we’re afraid its gonna have to come off. Thankfully I am still in possession of all of my limbs as I have no medical insurance. Me and most other Americans, we’re just rotting away with no recourse to medical help whatsoever. Meanwhile back at the stupidmarket I search for a packet of 2 chicken breasts, hoping to have a stir fry for two nights. The smallest packet has 10, yep you count ‘em, 10 breasts inside. No, thank you, I don’t want to buy 10 and freeze 8. I certainly don’t want to eat 10 and become a country woman (I’m doing okay on that front, even with the overlarge portions of food, I have gone down another size in my favourite Gap Long and Lean jeans.) That’s another thing, every bloody thing is frozen. Oh how I miss M & S and the endless choice of fresh ready meals. I’m still stuck in the Austin stupidmarket trying to get my head round the prices. My head is still back in the 1980s, 17 years ago when I last lived here, when it comes to prices. Yes, I’ve visited over the years but its just not the same as when you have to deal with dollars and cents on a daily basis. 69cents for a chocolate bar, for fuck’s sake, they used to be 25cents, that’s more than twice the price for the same mouthful. 60 cents for a can of Campbells Chicken Noodle soup, my all time favourite and the one food I mostly exist on. Used to be 10 cents a can. I may be forced to start eating dog food but then that’s probably hugely expensive now as well. So there I am trying to be cost conscious when I spy crackers, 2 boxes for $3. Whahey, I think and reach for 2 to throw in my cart, wait a minute, they’re whole wheat crackers, I gag and toss them back on the shelf. I do have some standards you know.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I hate this word! Come on people broaden your vocabulary, find some new words to describe clothing, accessories, body parts etc. PLEASE. For example, one does not describe an accessory decorated with skulls as cute. Let's be creative, even adventurous. How about... its glamorously grotesque, drolly decadent or charmingly chaotic? What could possibly be cute about a watch with a skull and crossbones on the dial and skulls and crossbones on the strap; nothing, nada (I'm embracing living in TexMex land and becoming bilingual). One certainly does not describe a woman whose age is the same as her height (that's right I'm 5'9") with flaming red hair and a face that shows traces of a hard life and who is dripping in skulls, as cute. Some might say she is stunning, striking or even exotic (and I'd like to thank the some who would). For fuck's sake, babies and children can sometimes be cute, I've even seen the occasional puppy or kitten who is cute.

What worries me even more than the vocabulary challenged many, are the people (especially women of a certain age) who actually like being referred to as cute. Are you brain dead, do you have no pride? Think about the years you've put in, think about your intelligence (okay you probably have very low IQ's) think about the ravages of time and get a life. I can see it now, the family is at the mortuary explaining that they need the cosmetician to make mommy look cute; rosy red cheeks, a cupid's bow mouth....yeeuch. Have you never seen Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Bottom line people, you pretty much don't want to look cute and you certainly don't want to use that word ever again. I'm seriously going postal on the next person who says cute within 100 yards of me.

Just so you know that I'm not cute, go to my poetry link and read Life Imitates Art.

Monday, November 28, 2005


One of Thea's neighbours has donated her wooden rocker to our veranda. Every morning I take my coffee and fags, settle in and start that chair rockin'. I rest my head against the high back, close my eyes and let the sun sizzle my face till the freckles start exploding, not unlike popcorn poppin' in the cinema lobby. With the scent of salt seasoning my thoughts I mentally write the script for my day.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I was sad to read that George Best died. I was not surprised. I am not a fan of football (that's soccer to us Yanks) but George was truly talented and bigger than life. It feels as if its the end of an era.

Here's a quote from George that pretty much sums up his life and one of the reasons I admired him

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


But not a dollar short. Thea and I just had our Thanksgiving dinner, deferred from yesterday as she worked all day. As is de rigueur, we ate too much and I'm sitting here unable to move from the surfeit of food, two helpings of everything including pumpkin pie. It was an interesting mix, me the dedicated carnivore and Thea the faithful vegetarian. I had turkey, mashed potatoes and salad. Are mashed potatoes a vegetable I hear some of you query? I believe they are tubers, which to my mind are not vegetables. No doubt some of you horticulturists with a broad knowledge of flora are snickering at my ignorance. Might I remind you what Dortohy Parker replied when asked to define horticulture, You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her think. Thea had celebration roast from Whole Foods (or as Thea calls it Whole Paycheck), the huge health food store coming to London soon. Don't ask, all I can say is that she read me the ingredients - soy this and powdered that - and then was surprised I declined when she offered some to me. She also had green bean casserole, salad and of course my world famous mashers. Yes, those mashers are really world famous and she said they tasted just like the ones I made for her when she was growing up (everybody say ahhhhhhhhh). They were very tasty if I do say so myself, it was the first time in 17 years I had made them with the original ingredients as I was unable to get some of the spice mixtures in the UK which are essential to the perfect masher and of course there is my secret ingredient which I won't tell y'all. Thanksgiving itself was very quiet but a red letter day as I had forgotten an American custom on many radio stations, playing Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant Massacre. Almost twenty minutes of good music and lots of laughs. The station I was listening to played it once in the morning and again in the evening, I listened both times and it made my day. I recommend all y'all who haven't heard it to seek it out and give it a listen, its a classic example of the taking blues in the style of Arlo's father, Woody Guthrie, with a sixties anti war message. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant (excepting Alice).

Lastly we will go round the table and say what we are thankful for... okay let's start with me. I'm thankful Thea has given me a roof over my head and that I have, at least, a part-time job so I could provide her with a real Thanksgiving dinner. It's your turn now................

This entry was written whilst listening to brilliant bluegrass music online at (Andy they play lots of Ralph Stanley).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Dear Fashion Avenger,

My daughter recently told me that a couple of her friends said that I looked cracked out. My first reaction was, that's good 'cause I've lived a life. My second reaction was, hey at least I still have new opportunities to explore, i.e. becoming a crack ho. My third reaction was, damn do I really look that bad? Would you please, Ms Fashion Avenger, give me some before the damage is done advice?

I'm thinking I should embrace this whole old age thing and go for the total look, with a bit of a twist, as you know I embrace the Bet Lynch style of aging - more is more. So, Ms Fashion Avenger, should I get less sleep and encourage those bags under my eyes to become travelling trunks, perhaps of Louis Vuitton grandeur? Should I tug on my incipient jowls ensuring they sag even more?

Then there's the hair, most stylish seniors have grey hair. Should I dye my hair grey 'cause it just doesn't want to seem to go there on its own? I mean does anyone really dye their hair grey? I don't think there is even a grey hair dye, only those lovley shades of lilac and blue to highlight one's natural grey hair. Here's the story so far with my hair. Missing my fabulous hairdresser in London, Paul Cochrane, and displaying roots from hell there was only one thing I could do...

PAUSE Paul if you are reading this, please step away from the computer and do not read the following paragraph. Thank you. START

Yes, Ms Fashion Avenger, I took matters into my own hands and did the deed myself. My hair is now a lovely brilliant red. How brilliant do you ask? When Thea saw it she said, I don't know if I would ever colour my hair a colour that can never be found in natural hair colours. There you go, different strokes and all that. Let's just say that under the sun or any light, I have no need for relective materials to announce my whereabouts.

Hair style, oh this is the rub. The hip old ladies you see in the ads always have long silvery grey hair causually woven into plaits hanging down their backs. My hair is too fine for plaits, still has not got grey since I've started writing this, and will never grow very long. Cut it really short? I'm so over that if you're old you should have short hair thing, what do you think? So its medium long, should I wear it up or down? Up is good for the cheek bones but bad for the jowls. Oh help me, Ms Fashion Avenger, I just don't know what to do.

Clothing, I'm thinking jeans, all hip old ladies wear jeans, don't they? I'm cool with that but its the top bit I'm confused about. T-shirts, yes, but skulls or no skulls? Also your normal T-shirt neckline sucks on me so I usually cut them into a more flattering neckline. This often involves a cut low enough to show off the puppies. Puppies or no puppies? Black, yeah this is one place I draw the line and will brook no interference even if it is good advice, for which I am actually asking. Black is my colour.

I coould go on and on but I think you get the picture. Please, Ms Fashion Avenger, respond as soon as you can 'cause otherwise I may have to never leave the house again. Actually that would be a bit of a problem for Thea as this, mum living with her thing, is dragging on too fucking long. Of course it would serve her right for sharing her friend's remarks about how I looked.

I breathlessly await your response,

Cracked Out in Austin

P.S. Or should I fight the fight and spend $20.00 on two fabulous new products I've found that promise to instantly lift your face and eyes?


It got a bit chilly tonight, actually it got really cold and when I left work to catch the bus home I had to wait for what seemed an eternity on a windy corner and as I was stupidly not dressed for the weather, my arse was turning to ice (quiet down in the back, I know this is not a vision you wish to dwell upon but it was integral to the moment and necessary to set the tone of my wretched despair). Like a knight in shining armour along came my hero, Ray the bus driver, in his warm steed. Nothing weird about that right? Yes, of course you're right darlings, wait for it... we get near my stop and I pull the cord, Ray says, Stay on the bus Bette and proceeds to go off his route, drive down my street and drop me at my door step.

Yes, Austin is absolutely, awesomely weird. Cheers Ray, you are a prince among men and sound as a pound.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Been looking for a job for far too long. No one, it seems, offers programmes utlilising the experience and skills I garnered in London. That's the difference between a nanny state in the UK and the US dictum pull yourself up by your own boot straps. It appears if you are unemployed in the US, you're own your own. The enterprsie culture is not supported in this country. No problem, I think, I'll just apply for pretty much anything that will pay me a meagre wage that will cover rent, food and fags. Ah... but no. Advert after advert repeats ad naseum, you will need a valid driving license and a late model car. Austin has a pretty good bus system, pretty much always runs to schedule and goes anywhere you need to get to. Apparently not good enough for the employers in this city. It gets worse though. I decided I would apply for brain dead jobs... sit in a cubicle wearing headphones and plugged into a computer taking telephone calls from customers for a mobile phone company. Anyone with just half a brain could do that. Well maybe they could but first they would have to have a backgound check and submit to a drug test. Are they fucking kidding! I can hear the conversation now, between a recidivist drug user and anarchist (that would be me) and a customer. Dude, you know this fucking phone company is ripping you off so why don't you go postal on the bastards and take out everyone you see with a cell phone. You get the idea, okay it could be fun but I really only want to do my job, get paid, go home, smoke my fags and read my books. I didn't follow through on that job application. My latest interview is with an environmental group, I'll be going from house to house soliciting donations for a campaign to stop the artic drilling.
Good cause, a low paying job = my life.
Meaningless bureaucracy, facist requirements = US employers.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today, 8th November, is Thea's birthday. Here she is wearing her new birthday boots, her present to her self. I always taught her that it is very important to buy yourself a Happy Birthday to me prezzie and I'm proud to say she carries on the family tradition. Thea had an excellent birthday, she got me up early so she could open all of her presents under the birthday tree that I made for her, I took her out to breakfast, Pat took her out to lunch, Dana met her for drinks then they hooked up with Nathan and some other friends and after work I met up with them at Threadgills.

Here's the part about the ill wind... after Katrina decimated New Orleans many of the musicians from there came to Austin. Every Tuesday night Cyril Neville (of the Neville Brothers and Papa Mali play at Threadgills. Fabulous funky sounds from the lads and their band, Tribe 13. They played a special song for Thea and she took centre stage on the dance floor and showed the crowd what dancin' is all about. All I could say is I made that! Papa Mali said I did a really good job an all.

Oh and not to rub your faces in it but is was camisole weather here tonight, warm with just enough of a breeze to be comfortable. I'm lovin' the weather now that the killer heat has abated.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


The 5th of November is Alice Huzar's birthday. Unfortunately I thought it was later in the month, sorry darlin', and just realised the actual date a few days ago, which meant there was no way I could post a card from the US that would reach London in time. What to do? I considered an ecard but they're just not amazing enough for our Alice. Ah ha, I thought, why not just write about Alice on my blog.


That's Alice on the left in the picture. Isn't she lovely? Too bloody right she is. She has an utterly engaging contagious smile, an amazingly fetching sense of style and excellently entertaining hair (we never know what colour combo or design she will sport next). Her wit is sharp, dry and leaves a lingering finish on the palate of one's mind. She writes with skill and a deft turn of phrase that never ceases to excite me whilst making me jealous of her abilities (okay I'm only feckin' human you know and I'm feeling a bit inept trying to write this paean of praise that is worthy of our Alice). In her guise as Fashion Avenger she fearlessly chides the unfortunates who are brazen enough to appear in public in unsuitable attire. Oh how they would suffer should they happen to read her blog and recognise themselves. How I wish they would.

Things I love about Alice, in no order whatsoever:

She makes me laugh (I don't usually do that too much).
She is willing to laugh at herself.
She lets me know when I've crossed the line, like at Clare's wedding (enough said).
She is bubbly but never false and has her downs as well as her ups.
She loves Steve Guttenberg (I've always found him very cute) enough to dedicate an entire section of her blog to him.
She says things like Go big or go home.
She is incredibly intelligent.
She loves interesting quirky shoes.
She isn't into reading poetry but she came to my gigs whenever she could.
I go could on and on..... but I couldn't finish unless I mentioned those luscious ginormous puppies of hers!

Alice, darling, I so wish I could be there to celebrate your birthday with you. I will definitely being raising a galss to you on the day.

I love you sweetie.


Sunday, October 30, 2005


The death toll for US soldiers killed in Iraq has just reached 2,000. I couldn't find a definitive figure for the British but according to a BBC on-line article published today, the British death toll is rising. Please go to the poetry link for my thoughts on the war and the US.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mothers n' Daughters

I've got a case of mood poisoning.

It must have been something I hate.

Bad start to the day, a bit of yellin' n' suggestions I move on. Sometimes its tough livin' together, for a mum n' a daughter.

Thea summed it up best like this...

I always thought someday there would be someone in my life who would walk in my house and say, honey I'm home, I just didn't think it would be my mother.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Went on a road trip out to the Hill Country on Friday night. Of course we were in a pick up truck, would there be any other vehicle acceptable for bar hoppin’ in Texas? First destination Dave’s Damn Bar, a dive biker bar so I was told……… but noooooo, its now an up market place, the Detour, with a very few forlorn bikers hangin’ in the parking lot. Had a bit of a barney with one of the patrons as he was sittin’ outside with his SUV open n’ the feckin’ football game blastin’. He turned it way down… oh how persuasive I can be. Not lovin’ that place, it was back in the truck headin’ for Aunt Tilly’s which is on Lake Travis. Excellent blues band playin’ there but no people. Votes were taken, I abstained as I didn‘t have a clue where I was, and counted. Decision made, we got back in the truck and drove hell bent for leather to Poodie’s Hilltop Bar & Grill. Oh joy, a bar where you can smoke inside, n’ excitement, there’re pool tables n’ a band playin’ damn fine music. Poodie is Willie Nelson’s manager n’ Willie lives nearby n’ often drops in. Bummer, Willie and Poodie were on the road. There’s an appropriate prize for the first person who can name someone we all know n’ love who resembles Poodie’s silhouette (see picture above) minus the hat n’ long braid. Who could it be? Meanwhile back in the bar, one of the ladies in our group had attracted a cowboy n’ after Texas two steppin’ her across the dance floor a few times, he invited her to play pool. I was enjoyin’ the music, suckin’ back long neck bottles of Lone Star, n’ chain smoking’ when somehow I got hooked up with a Norwegian lad (don’t know what he was doin’ in Texas but he did say he was only there for a couple of days) for doubles n’ I’m proud to say we seriously whupped Texas ass at the pool table. So that would be Europe 1 - Texas 0. Damn I’m mean. Now for those of you who are gonna be really picky about this, yes I am a Yank, however, since I learned to shoot pool in London, I’m gonna claim a place on the scorecard, in the rack n’ balls game, on the European side. Can y’all get with that?

Friday, October 14, 2005


Good evening, my name is Bette O'Callaghan and I'm ringing you this evening because you support the arts.

Okay people, this is your opportunity to jump in and tell me that you are not an arts supporter or you don't have any money to donate. Really, I mean I hang up on people like me all the time, its okay with me. You can't believe how boring it is for me to go through the whole thing before you fess up. Trust me (I know for those of you who know me, those are two very scary words) honestly, really truly I would rather you hung up on me. Yeah, I will probably mutter nasty things about you under my breath, after you have done so, but then we will both feel better.

Thank you for listening.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


When y'all get a minute, check out the new poetry link, yes there it is, just to the right side of the page, under Gigs. Do ya see it? Cool dudes, then click on it for the giggle.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Me n' my new bloke gettin' pissed

I really didn' t think I was gonna have to write this, livin' in Austin - the land of searing temperatures - but I walked out of work last night, yes I have a part time job - raising funds for a centre for the performing arts, and it was near on freezing outside. So there I was, pretty much dressed for the stupid hot weather, which had instantly turned ridiculously cold and froze my ass off, almost literally, waiting for the bus. The good news is, now that I'm working I bought a monthly(that would be 31 days, thank you) bus pass - $10.00 - can y'all in the UK feckin' believe it?

I am very excited as I have discovered the shops here that specialise in the Mexican festival of El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead, merchandise. I am in skull heaven and financial hell as I can't at the moment afford to buy much of anything, but dudes when I get the money I'll be stockin' up on all that amazing skull merchandise. At the moment I'm particularly jonesin' for a childs set of My First Day of The Dead Collection, decorated mug, plate and bowl. I absofuckin'lutely must be the first on my block to have one!

Speaking of decorating, the Yanks (yeah that characterisation would include me) continue to amaze me with their devotion to all things gaudy. The entire buidling where Thea lives has been decorated for halloween, mind you I'm lovin' the skull in our little veranda area. There are an amazing number of houses with lighted decorations covering the entire exterior. I thought someone had got out their Xmas stuff early, but nooooooooo, it appears they decorate for everything here. It does make me wonder (surprisingly as I'm not very green) about the reckless use of resources, which are being depleted rather needlessly.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Need I say more?


I don't think this has anything to do with the US in particular but everything to do with the sort of place Austin is. After years of walkin' around with my hand on my bag, gettin' mugged at the Tube station for what they thought was my wallet, gettin' my mobile ripped out of my hand on the train, havin' the fabulous ciagrette case I bought in Edinburgh slipped out of my pocket on the train and havin' my flat broken into; I have landed up somewhere totally different. Wow Dorothy we may be in Oz after all.

When I go to my local coffee place Flipnotics to get on line, remember this is free if you have a wireless connection, I walk onto the porch, pick a table and leave my laptop on it while I go inside for my one cup of coffee, bottle of water whatever. Yes folks you can leave your laptop lying around and no one will touch it. You can buy just one drink and then spend the entire day sittin' there on line and no one will ask if you want more to drink or tell you they need the table. They provide handy plug in points so you don't even have to run down your battery. Okay, maybe I'm rapsodising overmuch about this but its just so damn different to London. No boys n' girls, I didn't say better, I said different.

Its also a real pleasure to be able to stroll around the neighbourhood at night, whilst I'm suckin' back those necessary fags, without worrying about being jumped. I've sat outside the flat till 4:30am writing on my laptop without any fear of being mugged or maimed, well at least by nothing human... the insect world, that's somethin' totally different.

As perhaps further evidence that Austin is open and friendly, The Austin Chronicle printed my letter. I would speculate that due to the content of the letter, there well may be many papers in the US who would either not print it, or print it with a note from the Editor saying if you don't like it, then leave.

Yeah, I'm in a mellow mood today, go figure. I'm gonna slip inside n' make some blueberry pancakes.

Check out my Gigs link for an on line 'zine, Humdinger, which has just published some of my poems.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Actually no, I didn't, and my advice to anyone else wo didn't, is... the family that smokes together stays together. The Alpha C*nt has spoken.

So here's the BIG QUESTION, do we take Eve Ensler's (author of The Vagina Monologues) advice and liberate the C word or do we let people use it against us in the most pejorative way possible? I trust my Pussy Posse will back me up on this, I say for fuck's sale let's liberate the F word and whilst we're at it, let's take the C word back as well. I'm proud to be the Alpha Cunt and I would like my Pussy Posse to speak the word loudly and fondly. Okay it's 2:30am ( that would be 6:30am your time, all my bevy of British lovelies) and my family (Thea and I, just like back in the day) has definitely been stayin' together tonight but this has been on my mind for awhile and it was gonna be written sooner than later.

I have this love/hate relationship with the patio (I like to think of it as a veranda)/garden) outside Thea's flat. On the one hand it is very lovely... chairs, table, a palm tree of sorts to shade one, on the other it is a nightmare of living crawling, shambling creatures. Possums for fuck's sake! I told all y'all Mother Nature is a cunt! There you go... yes, yes, yes, I know I used it in the pejorative sense (usually I never use the same word twice in a poem, oh fuck me! this isn't a poem, but some words and some lines, the city loves it's cum scum {serious orgasms when I wrote that line}) are just too good not to use again.

Here is the absolute truth (well actually it was Jameson's, I prefer the Irish to the Russian) if we want to make it ours we must be prepared to use it not only as a word of respect but also as a weapon to defend ourselves against our worst enemy, women. I swear we are one fucked up gender, we make more problems for ourselves than any man could. Come to think of it, that's probably why we are known as the smarter gender persuation. Those poor lads just aren't up to the machinations of which (no sloppy ending a sentence on a prepostion for me, darlin's) only a devious female mind could concieve.

I really need to stop now or I may..........................................

Wednesday AM - sorry folks but it appears certain words, which appear in the above have got some people too excited. The following is for them.

Will you perverts calm down, this is about the real world, not about your weirdness. Go away.


Apparently its true that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, 'cause the lovely Miss Rita (the hurricane) has left Austin in the midst of a heatwave you wouldn't feckin' believe. I'm assuming that although she may have turned away and not dropped torrential rain on the ACL festival, she wanted to ensure that we knew she'd been in the nighbourhood. Thats right boys n' girls, its in the 100s here, but no worries it goes all the way down to the mid 70s at night. I'm so glad I only went to ACL on Friday, by Sunday not only had the temperature gone up to 108 but the dust was kickin' up something fierce. Thea came home coughing black stuff and I was seriously worried her asthma was coming back after all these years.

So I know the question that is nigglin' away at your brains is... what the fuck is Bette wearing these days. Here's the deal, its true that black clothing is a sun magnet, however, that's pretty much all I own. I've had to get the arms out, from the shoulders down, not a pretty sight but fuck it all the fashion rules have had to go out the window. Y'all will be pleased to know that I haven't gone totally mad, no shorts thank you.

We interrupt this discourse on the heat for a telephone call from the Naked Kobrinsky who has just returned from a Yoga retreat. Dude what are you like? She's back in San Francisco practising her driving so she can take the test. Then she and August are off to New York to spend a couple of weeks with his mum. There you go, a Sarah update for all of y'all back in blighty.

I've discovered that if I come outside Thea's flat I can piggyback on someone's internet. Even though its got dark, its just too fuckin' hot to sit here any longer and the ants are starting to attack so I'm retiring to Thea's air conditioned flat for a little dinner.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


This is a letter that I just emailed to the Editor of The Chronicle, a very hip Austin newspaper. I've never sent a letter to the editor before but, damnit, I really felt the need to get this message across.

Dear Editor,

I am an American who has recently moved to Austin from London, England where I lived and worked for sixteen years. The universal question I am asked outside the US is, Why is there so little news in the US about the rest of the world? Therein, I believe, lies the reason the current administration has been able to perpetrate the politics of nightmares. Americans have always been insular and after September 11th seemed to turn even more inwards, if possible. Most young people ouside the US apply for and use their passports as soon as they are eligible, about 17 years old. They travel, they work, they experience other cultures and other cuisines. Yes, its true that many British people still believe that the sun never sets on the British Empire, but they absolutely know what is going on in other countries and continents. Although Blair was able to commit British troups to Iraq, the British public at large has and remains vociferously against this war, even after the recent bombings in London.

The Chronicle is an excellent paper. I would like to challenge you to bring more international news to your readership and encourage them to explore the world in which they live. Do the people in this country really want to be personally ridiculed and reviled by the rest of the world, truth is they pretty much are, or will they make the effort to assimilate with worldwide indigenous populations proving that the government may be an ass but the people are genuine and intelligent?

The Chronicle has an opportunity to dispel the enduring American media message, There's no place like home. Help your readers awake from the nightmares instilled by Washington. The reality is, no place is perfectly safe yet no place is entirely dangerous either.

Bette O'Callaghan

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


You may remeber, darlings, that I mentioned in an earlier posting how very friendly people in Austin were. Well now I'm wondering if that is only when they are face to face with you. I have sent out numerous emails, re: poetry and jobs, from both London and Austin with no response at all. People of Austin, what's your deal? I have afforded you a few risible moments, do you not remember the day y'all saw me walking down the road dressed up like a dog's dinner and carrying a full length mirror on my head? Of course you do.. you slowed down pointed and laughed and I was more than happy to bring a little amusement into your day. You've watched me fumble with coins with which I am no longer familiar and look at you stupidly when you tell me how much I owe you, 'cause I can't yet get my head round the fact that tax is not included in the price. I've nodded and said mornin', afternoon and evenin' to y'all when I see you on the street and I always thank the bus driver when I reach my destination. What more do you want of me? I don't even care if I get a fuck off response, any response would be appreciated. Let me know you're alive out there Austin.

Did y'all notice I didn't mentioned smoking at all in this posting?

Monday, September 19, 2005


Yep that woud be me prowling the car park late at night desperately smokin' one fag after another.

Cigarettes are meant to be smoked at leisure whilst reclining on one's bed, affording one the pleasure of idly watching the smoke coat the walls, ceiling and personal accoutrements so dear to one's heart with that oh so subtle tinge of yellow to which every fashionable decorator aspires. Smoking should be accompanied by music and preferably with a glass of alcohol of one's choice. Upon arising one should be able to inhale the aroma of the coffee as it brews, whilst chain smoking the 10 to 15 cigarettes necessary to replenish the overnight loss of nicotine. Bliss.

BUT FUCKIN' NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Step away from the music, step away from the coffee, step away from the friggin' air conditioning and get your ass outside into the oppressive heat where you furtively suck the life from the fag you clutch in your fingers as if you've just been ordered to abandon ship and the fag is, in fact, your only lifeline, shark repellent, lifeboat etc etc. Where is the joy in this?

Which leads us to thought of me in a slip, okay it's actually a dress but if you ask the Fashion Avenger I'm sure she would characterise it as the sort of garment worn by a ho in a spectacularly tacky house of ill repute. The hat is my attempt to lend just a bit of style and mystery to the entire undertaking. But of course the hat band is festooned with skulls (thanks, Jen for the laces) which I reckon, if the sight of me in a slip isn't enough, will scare away any Texas chainsaw nutters.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Failure To Light Up May Cause Offense

Texas has some definate advantages. I was very pissed off that on the very day I arrived the no smoking ban went into effect, however, I have decided it is of little consequence as I will continue to smoke anywhere and everywhere I can. I know some of you have been concerned about the amount that I smoke and its effect on my health... here's the advantage to living in Austin - the sun is so fuckin' intense that I will, no doubt, expire of skin cancer long before the fags get me. I am now happily lighting up one fag after another n' smokin' once more like it's my job, 'cause kiddies, it don't make no never mind (as they say out here).

There's lots of funny only in America stuff... like the female DJ on my favourite country radio station whose voice is so much like the one I described in my poem Country Women. I swear it's as abrasive as fingernails on a chalkboard turned up to supersonic level. I reckon she must have done the casting couch thing to get on the station as I don't believe anyone in their right mind would hire a DJ with a voice that evokes the sound of rabid hyenas mating unless they were thinking with their cock. Other than her lilting voice, she seems like a very charming woman.

I personally have an entire crew of homeless men whom I have met at bus stops who run down the street after me to say hello, whenever they see me. I used to be pleased that people always recognised me, hmmm, perhaps that's not really a good thing after all. The homeless here are actually very nice, they don't ask for money or fags, and are totally unthreatening. Could this be the beginning of a new male branch of the Pussy Posse?

I occasionally get very homesick for London, it couldn't be more different here. Everything is big, huge, enormous. Too generous portions of food, miles from here to there in town, four lane roads in town n' freeways everywhere. Then there's the cars, if its not a truck, then its a by god SUV. I can't figure out how people can afford these cars, gasoline is $3.00+ per gallon. I heard a bloke the other day say that it cost him $130.00 to fill his tank. That would buy a whole lot of fags and by the way, they are, in the land of NO SMOKING FUCKING ANYWHERE very cheap - go figure.

Things that drive me mental - the effing mosquitos who feed on me as if I were the sacrificial goat at their daily voodo ritual. Y'all know when I wake up I need two things, a fag n' some seriously black coffee, but oh no, I can't smoke in Thea's flat so I have to get up, put clothes on which are suitable for human consumption i.e. people can look at me without fainting at the sight of too much elderly flesh, put the coffee on n' run outside for my fags. Fortunately there is a small patio outside her flat and look there are even two chairs n' a table. Wait.... can't sit there because the chairs are crawling with ants. I had an epiphany the other night as I paced outside smoking... Mother Nature n' I are both alpha females n' we ain't never gonna get along.

Good stuff here is that you can look up at the sky at night and actually see the stars. There are trees everywhere and a huge park just around the corner from Thea's flat where there's a natural spring that is 68 degrees year round where you can go swimming. Every bar and restaurant has live music - some good, some so so but all worth dropping into. Lots of good country music on the radio - from the patriotic flag waving anthemic hymns to the good ole USA to the really excellent people like Willie, Emmy Lou, Lucinda, Steve etc etc who we all know and love.

I can't think of a better reason to be in Austin than that Thea is here. Well... Thea n' vanilla ice cream with Big Red sodas.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


In homage to Dr Frankenstein who uttered the words in the title to this posting rather loudly, okay shrieked them in an excess of insane orgasmic scientific fulfillment. I think I have cracked a way to pick up the stick from Alice's blog.

Book Reco-meme-dations:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Well if I am inside the inferno then proabably the best choice would be Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler. Normally I treasure my books and would never let them come to harm, sometimes resorting to throwing my body between them and a hail of bullets, however, regardless of any insight we may gain into his warped personality, I think this book deserves to burn baby burn.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Oh yes, almost all of the male protaganists in any of Tim Robbins books. If you haven't read 'em then get out n' buy one now.

The last book you bought is?
Leavin' Trunk Blues by Ace Atkins. Picked it up on a charity shop. I love blues music and this book reads like not only a who's who of the blues but more importantly it reads like a blues song, made me want to get up n' dance, and jam along with my mouth harp. N' it gets even better 'cause its a mystery as well with Satan himself, the legendary Stagger Lee!

The last book you read?
Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs. I'm a big fan of her work, I like reading about both the South (which one you ask, well honey there is only one and its below the Mason Dixon Line) and Montreal. Again, there's sex, guns and violence and some science, history n' anthropology thrown in as well.

What book are you currently reading?
I'm re-reading Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil by (damn I hope I get this right) John Berendt. This is a genre you don't find much of - travel book/murder mystery. Actually its the place, Savannah and the people that are so compelling about this book and the prose is extremly evocative of both. Although I prefer books to movies I must say that whilst re-reading this I am now stuck with Kevin Spacey in my head as the emodiment of Jim Williams, which is okay 'cause I bought in him the film role totally.

Five books you would take with you on a deserted island?
1. Bartlett's Quotations - what an awesome book! There ain't hardly anything that's been written or said that you can't find in there. As I am a word person and collect sayings, lines etc. I find this quite useful for getting my head away from the crazed palce it goes to when I think of a phrase, line etc and can't remember all of it, or where it came from or who wrote it/sang it/said it etc.
2.A Tom Robbins novel - see above.
3. Can't remember the title but I have a book which is a compilation of Leonard Cohen's songs, poetry and prose so I'd have to have that just so I could get off from time to time, which I find his use of words always makes me do.
4.Gorillas In the Mist by Diane Fossey. What a remarable woman and what a magnificent animal. Gorillas are prretty much the only thing I really like except for skulls, and it should go without saying, except of course for Thea. I was stopped on the street one day by one of those quasi religious/science sects who asked me If you could be anything what would you be. My reply, A GORILLA! I may be the only person who has managed to stop one of those mo'fo's in their tracks n' left 'em speechless.
5. Damn, here's the deal, I'm not at home with all of my books around me and I'm gettin' on so I can't fuckin' remember all the titles n' authors of the books I love so let's just say I'd want a volume that was vast, immense, huge n' included a million zillion books within it, 'cause if I ain't readin' I'm dyin'.

Who are you going to pass this stick to?
Sarah Kobrinsky 'cause she has time on her hands, or maybe not, but I look forward to her responses. N.B. Turns out she is very busy indeed but no excuses, we still want her comments. So come'on babe pick up the challenge.

Apologies for spelling errors or typos, haven't got time to edit them out as my time is up. Oh, were that really true. N.B. I have now attempted to edit this so if there are still any fuck ups, my bad.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Okay, I haven't got my head round this blog thing well enough to grab the stick from Alice so that will have to wait a bit. No new poetry, I've descended into the usual artistic funk, 'cause as I always say, If you haven't tried to top yourself, you're not a poet. So it goes for me as I had sorted a new place to live n' it fuckin' fell through. I seriously need to move, ask anyone, my place is bad bad bad vibes and worse people. Bummer dude! I've been packing and the first things to be wrapped n' tenderly placed in boxes were all of my skulls. I feel as if I have momentarily lost my zen with them gone. Enough bitchin', fingers n' toes crossed as I have a second interview for the all important day job, later this week. You know, I've been writin' this and readin' it n' I'm thinkin', Who the fuck cares about all this personal shite? Don't know, don't care, I'll fuckin' post it anyway.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Read My Poetry

I am currently being featured in an online film and arts amagazine at so jump along there n' read some of my poetry n' let me know what you think.


Yes, Alice of the amazing wit and ginormous puppies (I am so jealous) writes a fanfuckin'tastic blog titled Alice's Dark Place. Reading her blog made me realise that creating my own as an adjunct to my website would not necessarily be a bad thing. So here we go.