Story last updated at 1:48 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

The Betster hates these dark, rainy days. I'm sick of repairing leaks. It's too dark and wet to go hiking, and skiing, fuhgetaboutit! I got there late to the video store on Friday night and missed all the cool new movies. The library doesn't have the new Michael Connelly novel yet. Going to a bar in town is like licking an ashtray. Mom, there's just nothing to do -- What am I saying? It's the first weekend in December! From First Friday to community fund-raisers to the Nutcracker, the season of merriment and overbooked social calendars has begun.

BEST KEEP IT GREEN BET: Like anyone in Homer needs to know the drill -- reduce, reuse, recycle. But just in case, Homer Youth for Environmental Action, the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society and Vessels for Hope sponsor "Recycling! Making it Happen in Homer" starting at 7 p.m. tonight at Homer City Hall.

BEST MY BODY IS MY ART BET: The rules for "Body Adorned" at Bunnell Street Gallery are "any kind of adornment as long as no one gets hurt." There's no telling what Homer's artists can do with that. Check it out from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday. While you're cruising for art, don't miss the other First Friday openings: Lynn Marie Naden's sculpture at the Ptarmigan Back Room, Elizabeth West's stoneware and Leslie Klaar's monoprints at the Fireweed Gallery and Sylva Alana Smyth-Timinskis's watercolor flowers at Picture Alaska.

BEST YOU GOTTA BE NUTS BET: Every year the cast of dozens in the Nutcracker Ballet tries to come up with some new twist. No, no, we're not talking Clara in drag. The Betster's informed sources say there might just be some equal-opportunity villains, though. Performances start Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee and continue next week. This is also the weekend of the Nutcracker Arts and Crafts Faire, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, with almost 100 booths.

BEST TREAT 'EM GINGERLY BET: The Festival of Gingerbread starts at 5 p.m. Friday at the Pratt Museum, with gingerbread and gumdrop houses made by local artists. The big $10,000 raffle drawing is held that night, too.

BEST REMEMBER PEARL BET: There aren't any scheduled ceremonies to remember Pearl Harbor Day on Saturday, but while you're out and about this weekend, take a moment to think of Dec. 7, 1941, when enemies of America attacked us in the morning and shattered our complacency.

BEST FIT TO BE TIED BET: Tie one on with a Mai Tai and Thai food while wearing your favorite tie at a fund-raiser for Martie Krohn 5 p.m. Sunday at Alice's Champagne Palace. (Mar-tie, get it?). Martie has been having some health problems, which means money problems in our enlightened U.S. health system. There's Thai food, a balloon auction and music by Too Fat to Fly.

BEST ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI BET: Now that Burger King is closed, Homer dinner options might be fewer. But not on Tuesday, with Share the Spirit's annual Spaghetti Feed. It's 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Elks Club. Dinner is $6 or six cans of food.

BEST ATV TRAILBLAZER BET: The TV program "Heart Beat Alaska" is featuring a segment on ATV trail issues from a bush perspective with a spotlight on the Caribou Lake trails program here on the lower peninsula. It will air on KAKM channel 7 at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and again at 8 p.m. Sunday on KTUU channel 2.