Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home Work Work Home Home Work Work Home Work Home Work Home Work Color Betty Batty

Can someone keel over from too much grading?

I love teaching. I really do. However, this weekend the grading nearly did me in. Above you can see my wonderfully color-coded folders for my classes, packed with the papers I graded this past weekend.

(Quick Guide to Folder Colors:
Yellow=Sunshine=Morning 101 class
Red=Stop and Breathe Deep for the Week Ahead= M/W 96 class
Blue=Mellow Out and Relax =T/TH 96 class
Green=Super Growth=American Literature II
Purple=Sunset=Evening 101 Class
Manila=Everyday Use=Everyday 9:30 class)

I try and make comments on every paper, and I thoroughly mark every essay. I really believe that the students need to know their content is important--what they have to say is important, so even as I am marking sentence-level errors, I am also making comments on their insights.

This takes a lot of time.

Did I mention the 101's are partially on-line classes, so I have lots of homework on-line to check too? Last I checked there were about 250 assignments there.

Did I also mention that I promise my students I will return their papers one week from the day they give them to me?

I think I may go crazy before the end of the semester.
That could be entertaining for everyone involved.

Stay tuned!

The good news is, if I go completing nutty/batty/wacky, I'll make sure you all get to come on the trip with me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: "Things" by Lisel Mueller


What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bossy Betty Delivers Your Monday Morning Flowers and Thought for the Day

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

--Ashley Smith

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snuggie Saturday! It's For the Kids!

Well, I know what all the lucky kids on my list are getting for Christmas!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Your Results for Bossy Betty's All-Revealing, Two-Day, Chair-Based Personality Test!

Chair #1

Strangely, exotically attractive, you seek out places to display yourself as the rare museum piece that you are. Unfortunately, that knowing look you give people as they walk by is often misinterpreted as a mental imbalance. You have daily thoughts about stuffing your cat who is equally as exotic as you are to use as a companion piece, perhaps placing his stiff, cold, but perfectly preserved body in the chair next to you. At night you often eat small individually wrapped candies in front of your glowing television.

Chair #2

Rules? You love them and there's nothing better than guiding others to live just the way you do. You are the person who automatically moves to the center of the auditorium seating and urges others to do the same. People tend to wear tight smiles around you and look at their watches when listening to you discuss your expertise at packing a suitcase. You correct people's grammar, making you very popular at parties.

Chair #3

Though you prefer to think of yourself as independent,self-reliant and self-sufficient, your chair selection points to a very clear streak of martyrism which annoys, then entertains those around you. "I'll just get my own chair," you say as you struggle with the one in the far back as you look around to make sure everyone sees your effort. You seethe when people get out a new tube of toothpaste when there is still a lentil-sized drop in there--a drop you, and only you, will strive to get you by slicing the tube with a razor blade. You just hope no one minds all the blood on the counter from nicked and damaged hands.

Chair #4

Special. That's how everyone has always described you. And you take that as the compliment it is intended to be. You tend to be a tad bit self-centered, but that's only because you deserve to be. Your mother always gave you the biggest piece of chicken. You have seat-warmers in your car. You look longingly at the fluffy, ruffly coverings they now make for shopping carts for babies and toddlers and wish they made them for theater seats for adults.

Chair #5

After burping loudly in your fifth grade classroom, your teacher took you out into the hallway and made you sit alone on the cold linoleum. She did this to punish you, but you found that you enjoyed the solitude, the cool, simplicity of the floor, causing you to begin a series of socially unacceptable behaviors in order to get back to your beloved solitude and linoleum. Unfortunately, these behaviors have now become habits which have become a part of your permanent personality.

Chair #6

Congratulations! You are well-balanced and perfectly normal. Have fun playing with your horsey.

Chair #7

You enjoy jury duty. You find waiting rooms soothing. You long to travel, to sit, facing forward on a plane, train or automobile. You were most comfortable at your wedding ceremony while facing the minister. Your options for employment are fairly limited, but there will always be benches at bus stations upon which you can spend your spare time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bossy Betty's Amazing, All-Revealing, Two-Day, Chair-Based Personality Test.

Which chair appeals to you and your all-important buttocks?
Which would you choose to sit in for an hour or so?
Choose carefully.
Your answer will reveal important aspects of your personality--aspects you MAY want to keep hidden from the outside world.
Ah, but the chairs never lie.
This may take some time, so Betty is giving you two days to decide.
Then on Friday, Betty whips out her 6 Cell D Maglite of Truth to shine on the cracks, crevices and dusty, mold-filled corners of your innermost self.
Won't that be fun?

# 1







Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: "Nothing Gold Can Stay" (Happy First Day of Fall!)

Nothing Gold Can Stay
--Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Your Monday Morning Flower Delivery: Your Signal To Get Up and Go Out Into the World and Do Good Things and Be Productive and Shine Like the Sun!

(I like it when the title of the post is longer than the post itself)

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
--Mark Twain

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Walk On The Wild Side With Betty


Or This?

Last night I looked around the bedroom and saw how very close I was to having an entire episode of a TLC program devoted to me and my squalor. Somehow, the mess had gotten out of control and so before I went to bed, I wrote out a long, satisfying list of how I was going to rectify this situation and be a productive member of society once again.

This morning, at 6:00, I reached for my list to remind myself of the urgency of the situation, and I rolled out of bed, stepped over the clothes and walked past the numerous dishes stacked up on the dresser. It was time to get this situation under control. Because I am a creature of habit, I stepped outside to get the newspaper--not to read it! No! No Time! Must Clean!

But when I walked outside, it all changed. Intoxicated by the misty air, the silence, the solitude, I was drawn, enticed, beguiled, seduced, tempted, by the morning.

I went back to the bedroom, dug out my MBT's from under a pile of towels and dirty jeans, put them on, grabbed my poles and set off on a long walk.

Morning walks are the best. We have established here in this blog that Betty is a lark. I am up at 6:00 and ready to go. For the owls among us, I am sure a walk at 6:00am is a horrifying scenario, but I love to get out there first thing in the morning.

For one thing, there's community in this solitary activity. I tend to see the same people day after day. We wave and nod to each other. I don't even know their names, but when one has been missing for awhile, I start to worry. When I see them back out, I wave and nod again and say, "Glad to see you back!" I used to walk Maddie in the morning and when she switched to night (shorter) walks, many people stopped to ask about her, worried that something had happened.

As a morning walker, I see a lot of people emerge from their homes first thing in the morning, fresh from their beds. I have noticed that a great many people do the same thing: they stand and survey their lawns, slowly looking around, nodding a bit as they inspect their property. Slowly, they walk to the end of their drives, pick up newspapers, look down the street one way and then the other, then view the front of their homes with that same slow sense of inspection.

I can't help but think this is a holdover from our earlier days as a species. How many years have creatures and human beings alike, crawled out of their respective sleeping holes, stepped out onto the savanna, the tundra, the great plains, to check for changes in their environments? On my walks I try to creep by so as not to disturb this moment, to let this necessary step in our anthropological make-up take place.

Speaking of throwbacks to our evolutionary history, I read once that if you get out first thing in the morning and go for a walk, you are sending your caveman-linked brain the message that all is well, you are out on a hunt, and your metabolism will actually respond to this activity. If, on the other hand, you don't get out and walk, your caveman-linked brain thinks, "Oh, oh, my human is not hunting. There must be a famine. Therefore I will limit my metabolic energy and watch the television all day."

Well, Betty has hunted today, my people. The brain is engaged. I have surveyed my tundra/plain/savanna. All is well.

Now I guess I had better get to that bedroom before they send that camera crew, host, and psychologist over.

Hope you all have happy Sundays!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Snuggie Saturday!

It's the Snuggie Sequel!
I've been waiting for this.
My favorite is the dusting scene.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In Appreciation

"I think the most important thing a woman can have - next to talent, of course - is her hairdresser.”

--Joan Crawford

To most people hair is a source of some confusion. We love it; we hate it. We strive to please it with expensive shampoos and conditioners. Some days it turns against us in our hour of need; other times it comes through big time, somehow understanding it needs to take center stage on those days when the wardrobe falls apart.

I used to hate my hair, longing to have more of it, frying it with perms and torturing it with curling irons to get it to look like I wanted it to look. Like a relationship in which one person wants to change the inherent nature of the other person, it was fraught with adversity. My hair wasn't happy and I wasn't happy either. It was bad. Believe me. I have the pictures to prove it.

Then, about twelve years ago, I found Zeke, my hairdresser.

I sat down in Zeke's chair and he worked his magic on me. He said no to perms; he said no to strange exotic cuts. He worked with my straight, somewhat thin hair and showed me how to style my hair to accent my fine features. He made Betty look good, honey.

I have seen Zeke every six or seven weeks since then. He is a constant in my life, one of those people I count on. He is the consummate professional, always on time, always willing to listen. Above all, he is kind. Ten years ago, he reached out to a child in the foster care system and adopted him, providing him with much needed stability, a sense of belonging and, most of all, love.

I realized how much I counted on him years ago when he sent out letters to all his clients. I knew he was considering changing careers at that time, and I shook when I saw that envelope arrived. I was sure this was his way of telling us he was getting out of the hair biz and moving on. I couldn't even open the letter. I made one of my sons do it. "What's it say?" I asked nervously. "He's raising his prices," my son read. "Oh, thank God," I replied. When I think back on that event, I realize now how selfish I sounds. And I was thinking of my hair, but I was also thinking of the possibility of not having contact with Zeke every seven weeks.

Just recently Zeke's son died. It was a sudden, unexpected death. Now he faces the battle of his life as he copes with this loss. I remember how he helped me work with what I had and stop wishing for what might have been and wish somehow I could give him that gift. This, however, is bigger than all of that. What he has in his life is a large chunk of ugly, lonely, rocky reality. He has to face it day after day after day, yet he somehow climbs over every day and comes to work in the salon. Through it all, he is the consummate professional, a kind, generous man.

I wish I could express to him my admiration for all he does and how my heart hurts for him right now. I tend to get all choked up when I try, so instead I sit in the chair, while he clips away and we talk about movies, and about how he is doing, how he is filling his time now that his son is gone. I leave and go out into the world with my new haircut and my deepening true appreciation for Zeke, for his skill, not only as a hairdresser, but as a human being as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Supply Your Own Deep Thoughts Thursday

Dig down deep, people.
Assign meaning.
Use this time.
You can do this.
Make me proud.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Once More to the Library

Betty's got a headache today so I thought we'd just spend some quiet time in the library.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: To Autumn

To Autumn
--John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Your Monday Morning Flower and Quote

In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.
---Karl Reiland

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Elvis Comes to Town

Every year our fair city's Arts Council hosts a local Elvis impersonator.
This is BIG STUFF and the town really turns out for it.

Raymond Michaels is a local high school teacher/Elvis impersonator and I think he is dreamy.

People start reserving their spaces for the Saturday night concert on Thursday afternoon. I took these pictures on Friday, by Saturday afternoon, the number of chairs had doubled.

As I was taking these pics, an older guy came to set up something on the stage and he yelled out to me, "There's nobody there!" I smiled and waved back. "You're taking pictures of empty chairs, you know!" he yelled again. I smiled and waved again. He shook his head at the crazy lady.

Far back on the small hill, someone had staked out this simple arrangement.
It was my favorite.

HOB and I dropped by the Elvis show last night but I couldn't get any good pictures in the dark. There were hundreds of people there, though, listening to "Elvis, " many older women in windbreakers with jeweled brooches pinned on, hoping, praying, that they would catch one of the many scarves Elvis likes to throw from around his neck during the concert.

I love the whole camp of the Elvis show. It happens every year and is the finale of the concert season in the park. For us, it's become a sign that summer is over and fall is here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oh, Did You Think We Were Done? Because We're Not Done.

I felt a follow up posting about the whole left/right things was in order since I got some fairly high and mighty e-mails from family members and some friends touting how darn special they were since they could tell their lefts from their rights. Now, I have seen some of these same people get lost in their own cars (no, I really do mean INSIDE their own cars) so I am beginning to believe the tone of these letters is a desperate attempt to deny the truth that they know exists.

That's fine. I'll wait for us ALL to learn self-acceptance and love. I've got time.

I have also done some research on the subject and found I am not alone in the universe. According to Wikipedia, "Left/right confusion is the difficulty some people have in distinguishing the difference between the directions left and right. It afflicts an estimated 15% of the population." I have also discovered some posts (thanks to the comment left by Anonymous) of people who have the same problem. One refers to his right side as the "watch" side and others report pinching their fingers together to remind themselves which hand they write with.

(Mini tangent ahead.) So, how do you all remember which knob to turn to get hot water and which to get cold? Oh sure, it's easy if you have H and C printed on them. (I relied on that until HOB once switched them during a plumbing repair.) But how about those kitchen faucets that don't have any knobs? You know the kind you just move the lever around on? Well, I will be forever grateful to one of my sisters who once told me her secret. She just remembers the phrase "RC Cola" and thinks R (right) C (cold). That helped, so all I have to do now is:

1) stand in front of the faucet
2) murmur "RC Cola"
3)put my hand over my heart
4) flip faucet in correct direction.

This has been a real time saver for me.

(Another tangent ahead, slightly longer than last.) What I really confuses me is when faucets and car heating system guides rely on the colors red and blue to indicate hot and cold. Quick: does Blue stand for cold or does Red stand for cold? If you get really cold you can be both red (blood rushing to your extremities) or you can be blue (blood leaving extremities to go take care of important organs). So, shouldn't blue stand for HOT? If a piece of metal is sitting in front of you and it is throbbing with heat it may very well be blue. Are you going to touch it expecting it to be cold? Well, are you? According to the heating/cooling guides painted on the dashboard of your car, you can just go right ahead! Didn't we all learn in school that the blue part of the flame is hotter than the red? So when you are sitting in your car and you are freezing, aren't you going to want the fastest heat possible? Isn't that the blue part of the flame? Yes! Slide the lever to blue and you get cold air! What's that all about?

(Even longer, more bizzare, but final, tangent ahead.) After sliding my credit card through the little glowing box at the check-out of my favorite grocery store, I am required to write my signature on the line provided there, with the magical (though germ-ladened) pen. After I sign, I must peck at the screen, marking one of two boxes: "Accept" or "Clear." The "Clear" box is on the right-hand side, so naturally, I go there. My first thought upon seeing this box is that it indicates, "OK! Cleared for take-off! Take me to the next step! I am hereby affirming my signature is Clear and easy to read!" so naturally, I will peck at "Clear" only to find that I have to sign again.

Apparently, the correct answer is "Accept." Hummm.... Very tricky.

Is this perhaps a ploy to make you stay in the store longer? Perhaps they hope your eye will drift to the "Traveler's Box" of Dark Chocolate located at the register among all the other impulse items and you will decide to make an additional purchase as the signature box re-sets itself. While I am struggling with the whole signature thing, I often hear the woman behind me sighing loudly, obviously softly voicing her agreement with me that the whole thing is designed to confuse the shopper. I look back and give her that sisterly "I Know!" look.

OK, Betty's finished now. I was going to get started on people who give me directions using words like "South," "North," "East," and "West," but I'd just get too worked up and Elvis is coming to our community park tonight for a big show. I need to stay calm and pretty for the big event.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Betty's Usually Right, Unless She's Left Her Rings At Home.

Some have described Betty as directionally challenged, but I believe that would be an overstatement.

Really, that time I got a little confused after stopping in at the rest stop at the border of Colorado and Kansas and then inadvertently proceeded back into Kansas instead of Colorado as I had planned was just a fluke. AND, it only took about thirty minutes for me to discover my error. During those thirty minutes my brain was thoroughly entertained as I contemplated why it was that the many border towns in Colorado had chosen the same names as the border towns in Kansas.

OK, well, maybe I am a bit directionally challenged.

It was just relatively recently that I discovered that some people just intuitively know their left sides from their right sides.


To find my right side I make a swift motion with my hand, bringing it to rest briefly over my heart. This comes from years of saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school. To find my left hand I simply throw my hand in front of me out to check for my wedding rings.

Before I got married I wore a ring only on my right hand, so I had to adjust to that change, but that only took me about two years. (Now that I have the whole system down, it's served as an incentive to work at my marriage, so the rings can stay in place. I really don't want to have to change the whole system again.)

Once, I got my rings on the wrong hand and I was driving when HOB said, "Go ahead and get in the left lane." I looked at my rings, and proceeded to change lanes. He said, "No! The left lane!" I shook my hand with the wedding ring on it at him and said, "I am! Look! I'm going left!" "No, you're not," he said. I shook the ring at him again. He STILL argued with me. That's when I did a quick Pledge of Allegiance test and discovered my error.

Then there was the time I was out walking and someone stopped to ask for directions. "Well," I said, "You go down this street," (hand to heart motion) "Turn right, and go about two blocks then, (wedding ring hand thrown out for assurance) turn left, then take another right," (hand to heart motion) and it should be on the left (hand thrown out in front to check for ring.) "But you may want to park on the right" (hand to heart again).

I looked at the person, expecting to see a look of comprehension tinged with gratitude and instead saw a look of confusion combined with an ample amount of pity. Apparently, he thought the person giving him directions was indeed challenged, but not only directionally so.

My system works just fine for me, though it does entail a bit of flailing about. I'd be interested in knowing how others deal with this whole left/right thing. HOB insists that it's instinctual for him, and, he adds, for the majority of the human race. True? Hummmm.... Let me know, readers.

Signing off on the left hand side of the post,
(I checked!)
Yours truly,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jst N Tme

I have spent a great deal of time sifting the following ideas through my mind, mixing them with ample amounts of experience, and now I am ready to pour this brain batter out in this square cake pan of a post

If you are reading this, it means you are reading a B-L-O-G. This is good. It makes you very cool. If you are above the age of 50, it makes you very, very cool.

When I told some of my older friends in my book club I was writing a blog, naturally I expected them to flock to their computers and start pecking away to get to it. Instead, they smiled politely and I recognized the looks on their faces as the same ones they had when I showed them my Kindle and my entries on My Library Thing. It was the look that said, "OK, that's nice. now please back away." It was like telling someone how really, really great it would be to take a road trip with him/her and having that person nod politely, as if he/she agreed that it would be great, but you know, you just know there is no chance in hell they are going to get in a car and take that road trip with you.

Now these ladies have computers and they do send e-mails. (I have warned them I am NOT opening any forwarded e-mails from them. They get carried away with those pet pictures and Sylvia cartoons.) Some even consented with to Facebook when told by their children it was the best/only way to see the latest pictures of their grandchildren. However, reading a blog was out of the question.

So here's what I've noticed about people closer to my age. Some of them, when confronted with a new trail up the mountain of technology will take a deep breath and head up the sometimes rocky path. Some will go halfway up the trail and come back and some will say, "No thanks. I'm fine right here. This is enough." However, most of us are pushed forward by our jobs that demand that we learn new technology. There are forms, applications, information we can only get online.
However, in our personal lives we have to make climbing/camping decisions too. I must admit, I had sort of decided to be a camper, not a climber when it came to texting. One of my students tried to show me how to do it once, but I was not very successful at it. Then, one time when I was at work, I had to reach Evan and texting was the only way. I was sitting in my office and I actually went out on the sidewalk looking for a student, any student who could help me. It was late afternoon, it was raining and the campus was abandoned. I stood out there like the little match girl, my phone held out in front of me, looking pathetic.

That incident and Evan's tremendous appetite for texting drove us to an unlimited texting plan which coincided wth a new, full QWERTY keyboard which resulted in me being one of those people who used to annoy me--walking around texting while walking. Mostly I text Sonny Boy and Evan. (They are SO happy Mommy is texting now!) Since my letter"o" is on the same key as my number 9, and I often mistake it for zero, I have also texted A LOT to some poor guy who has a similar number to Evan. He finally wrote me back and asked me who I was. I texted back: "Sorry. New Phone. Middle-Aged Woman Learning to Text." He sent back "LOL."

To me, e-mail remains the greatest gift of all presented to me by this brave new world. I awake to find letters from my sisters and mom, all of who live in different states, every day. I am so proud of my mom who, at 86, e-mails on a regular day and reads our letters to her from her screen.

So, there I was in our computer lab at at school the other day and since the printer was broken, I suggested that the students e-mail their work to their homes and print it out there. I saw a few of them looking at me, puzzled, so I asked one about it and he said he had an e-mail account but he didn't really use it and couldn't remember the password. I said, "Well, how do you get by without e-mail?" "Well," he said, "I text all my friends. I really don't need e-mail unless I am dealing with, you know, old people."


In education, the buzzword these days is scaffolding. If you want students to perform a task, you break it down into smaller tasks at which they can be successful and then go on to the next, slightly bigger task. I have been fairly lucky in my path up the technological mountain. My workplace, my on-line class, my students and my children have all helped build that scaffolding for me.

What's next up the mountain? Well, I see Twittering around the bend, but I'm pretty sure I'll pass on that trail.

Of course, that's what I said about blogging a few years ago....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Snooty Betty and her Fabulous MBT Shoes

We all know Bossy Betty is a prudent gal. She's a back-to-basics, grain-eating, sensible shopper who knows how to clip coupons and use those tester bottles of lotion at the drug store to her best advantage, if you know what I mean. That's why my fans may be shocked to learn about my extravagance when it comes to exercise footwear.

These are my newest pair of MBT sneakers. Attractive, yes? Oh yes. I make quite the fashion statement when I step out in these. Honey, Betty is all about her MBT's. Now, brace yourself: They cost around $250.00 a pair.

It was my sister who got me started on these shoes and to tell you the truth, I bought my first pair, flunked wearing them and shipped them off to another sister who wore them, fell in love with them and convinced me to go get another pair.

Here's the deal: MBT shoes are designed to simulate walking on uneven ground. According to the website, "This creates a natural instability to which the body responds with small intuitive, compensatory movements."

It takes awhile to get used to them. New wearers are given DVD's on how to start walking in them. Dizziness and falling over are not unusual. Going down stairs is somewhat life-threatening. However, once you get used to them you'll be hooked like a monkey on these shoes. You'll be that mouse whacking away on the bar to stimulate your hypothalamus. They're that good.

Now, I did buy a black pair for work, thinking my students would not notice my new Herman Munster look, but they did, in about 3 seconds flat. "What's with the shoes?" one called out. Later, one of them said, "Hey, I think my grandma has a pair like that." I bent down (carefully so as not to topple over) and hissed, "Your grandmother wouldn't be able to stand for three seconds in these shoes."

About four years passed, and then, seeking even more excitement and stimulation, I bought a pair of "Super Sport" MBT shoes which are higher and have a more severe angle to the roll. According to one web site no one should attempt to wear these except for yoga experts. However, another website said they were recommended for highly autistic children. It noted the shoes having a "calming effect" for them. Hummm....

Sketchers has come out with a copycat model of this kind of shoes, but I'm sticking with my MBT's. I mean, I think I have a responsibility to the style community to keep up an example for others.

It's the Betty Way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: Dialogue Between the Soul and Body


--Andrew Marvell

O, WHO shall from this dungeon raise
A soul enslaved so many ways ?
With bolts of bones, that fettered stands
In feet, and manacled in hands ;
Here blinded with an eye, and there
Deaf with the drumming of an ear ;
A soul hung up, as 'twere, in chains
Of nerves, and arteries, and veins ;
Tortured, besides each other part,
In a vain head, and double heart ?

O, who shall me deliver whole,
From bonds of this tyrannic soul ?
Which, stretched upright, impales me so
That mine own precipice I go ;
And warms and moves this needless frame,
(A fever could but do the same),
And, wanting where its spite to try,
Has made me live to let me die
A body that could never rest,
Since this ill spirit it possessed.

What magic could me thus confine
Within another's grief to pine ?
Where, whatsoever it complain,
I feel, that cannot feel, the pain ;
And all my care itself employs,
That to preserve which me destroys ;
Constrained not only to endure
Diseases, but, what's worse, the cure ;
And, ready oft the port to gain,
Am shipwrecked into health again.

But Physic yet could never reach
The maladies thou me dost teach ;
Whom first the cramp of hope does tear,
And then the palsy shakes of fear ;
The pestilence of love does heat,
Or hatred's hidden ulcer eat ;
Joy's cheerful madness does perplex,
Or sorrow's other madness vex ;
Which knowledge forces me to know,
And memory will not forego ;
What but a soul could have the wit
To build me up for sin so fit ?
So architects do square and hew
Green trees that in the forest grew.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Your Labor Day Supplies Are Here!

Hope you are having a great Labor Day holiday! Here are your instructions from Bossy Betty:

Have a seat on this bench.

Here's your snack.

Here's your book. (I just finished it! It was good!)

Your Monday morning flower delivery is via Doodle the desert tortoise.
(Well, you can have whatever she doesn't eat.)

Sit. Eat. Read. Pat the tortoise.
Got it?
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Betty Goes to the Theatricum Botanicum

It was another night of sucking in culture for Betty as she accompanied her friend to the Theatricum Botanicum out in the lovely Topanga Canyon. This outdoor theater was originally started by Will Geer (Grandpa Walton!) in the 1950's after he and others were backlisted by Hollywood. He owned the land and since he was unable to find work in Hollywood he grew fruits and vegetables and herbs and invited his (also blacklisted) actor friends to come out and participate in the theater.

Today they are a professional repertory theater, offering a variety of performances and outreach to nearby schools. This season they are putting on Julius Caeser, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Cherry Orchard, and The Miser.

Now, on to the visual portion of our tour:

We loved the outdoor setting.

People are encouraged to bring a picnic and eat it on the grounds.
(OK, on the tables on the grounds.)

Loved the old buildings and the winding walkways.

We saw The Cherry Orchid by Chekov. This was the stage. Very cool, huh?

Thanks Theatricum Botanicum! I'll be back!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday at the Library

Not too long ago Sonny Boy and I wandered out to the nearby university and visited the library there. Actually we were on our way to the Scary Dairy which is an abandoned dairy farm that as been a part of the nearby landscape for years and is slated to be torn down soon. However, when we got there we found about fifteen police cars and a big sign that said, "Training in Progress."

We decided to give up the dairy business and get into something more academic. We had a great time taking pictures at the library. Hope you enjoy them. I played around with black and white here, but if you're good, I'll take you back and next time you'll get real, live color pictures.