A blog named BETTY

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whatever. Hi. Now where do you hide your treats?

Thought I'd show you what an hour of my free time produces:

Isn't he so precious?? He also lifts his paw to shake when you say "Howdy" to him. He learns REALLY fast--like I said, it took me a total of an hour to teach him "play dead." Part of the reason he's so easy to teach tricks is that he's HIGHLY, highly, HIGHLY food-motivated. When he gets a hankering for a treat (which is 23 hours of every day), he'll actually start lifting his paw to you. First one, then the other, then the other, over and over again. People come in our house, and they're so impressed he wants to greet them with a howdy shake. Friendly, polite doggy!! In reality, he's hitting them up for a treat. Ya know, just in case they go through their day with a dog biscuit in their pocket. We should just teach him to hold a pistol, then he could get straight to the point, without any of that annoying human gushing.

Boozer is so food motivated that he'll go on hunger strikes for DAYS. If he gets a hold of one little piece of hot dog that rolled into the family room (it happens), he will refuse to eat his dry dog food. Instead, he'd rather hold out for the good stuff he's just sure is rolling his way any second. (If the kids were younger, that strategy would probably make sense--spilled food 24/7!) Then he'll get hungry, he'll paw us to death trying to instigate a howdy shake, we get annoyed, we put him outside, and he eats his own poop. Yes, this dog would rather eat THAT than stoop to eating the specialty liver, chicken and beef dog food we give him. I think even in the doggy world that is called irony.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exposing the Art Geek's Offspring

Remember my whole passionate, rambling tribute to the Monet to Picasso exhibit? Well, the whole of Utah (and lucky parts of Wyoming and Idaho, I suppose) had the opportunity to bask in it, thanks to Carole Makita at Channel 5 News. She spotted our potential Friday, as I was walking out of the exhibit with my 3 daughters. First thought? "Oh no--someone told her about the lady who makes strange spontaneous noises." (Oh, and BTW I got in trouble this time for getting too close to the paintings. Excuse me for wanting to lick the tempura applied by the hand of Matisse! Sheesh!)

Instead, it appears that Carole was in search of a saintly parent who had opened the world of art to her children that day. Naturally, that would be me. Before we knew it, the camera was rolling, and each of us gave a little shpeal (sp?) about the vistas opened to us during our visit. For those of you who don't live in Utah (or lucky parts of Wyoming and Idaho), and for those of you who do, but don't watch news at 4:00 in the afternoon (c'mon!!), here's the clip:

Can you believe how poised and articulate my 3 girls are?? She put the microphone to their mouths, and that is exactly what came out of their mouths! I was in awe. Or should I say I was "MOVED." That's the big joke in our house this weekend..."Mom, are you MOVED?"

After we were done, Carole thanked us and told us we were just the ideal family. My reply? "We get that a lot." Sometimes I just can't help myself.

I like that Carole. She was so nice and easy to talk to, and she obviously knows quality when she sees it. :)

If ever there were a time to be grateful I'd bothered to put on some makeup in the morning, this would be it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

6 Unremarkable Things About ME!

I've been tagged by Jen B., and I must tell 6 unremarkable things about myself. I think I probably divulge 60 unremarkable things every time I post, so basically--to you readers--this will be a mini session of what I put you through regularly.

1. I have three moles on my left ankle that, when connected, make a perfect triangle. Just more evidence that my body is a wonderland. (As John Mayer likes to tell me.)

2. It used to drive me crazy that my mom never finished her glass of milk at dinner. NOW...what do you think I do???? Yup. I think that subconsciously I'm saving some in case we have dessert and I need that extra 2 swallows. Of course, we rarely have dessert, and if we did, I'd have been the one to make it, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise, now, would it?

3. For the last three years, every time a season changes, I procrastinate packing up my off-season clothes. When I finally get it done, I'm so proud of myself! But then I leave the big containers in my bedroom, so that I can carry them down "the next time I go to the basement." I'm staring at them right now, in my bedroom, full of the winter clothes I'll start procrastinating to hang up soon.

4. I have never been a nail-biter (except for that one month in Italy, who knows why), but I cannot leave my TOE nails alone to grow. I always peel off the new growth, or, when a tough growth warrants it, I've been known to bite at it.

4. I could go on forever at this.

4b. And I can't count.

5. I used to sleep with my hands crossed over my heart so that if someone put a knife into me, maybe it wouldn't reach my heart. Always the pragmatist, even in my night terrors.

The very official terms & conditions:

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules on your blog.
List 6 unspectacular things about you.
Tag 6 other bloggers by linking them.

Are there six people who even read my blog?? Hmmm. If I just made up names, no one would ever know, right? tee hee...so tempting.

Okay, so I'm just gonna tag some of my nieces: Jeni, Alaina, Brittney, Beyonce, and Mary; and then Jill, because she needs some motivation to update her blog and stop driving me crazy with curiosity!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeding the Art Geek

I had one of those life-changing experiences yesterday. Hubby and I went with our dear friends Paul and Merrie to the Monet to Dali exhibit at the Utah Museum of Modern Art (that's UMFA, or even uuummmmpha for those of us too lazy to pronounce five extra words) (me). This is a traveling expedition from the Cleveland Museum of Art. (You'll have to ask a Clevelanite to find out what lazy people there call it.)

I SAW REAL ART!!! Not that all art isn't real art, mind you--it's just that when I see actual objects I studied about in college, I get a little excited. Okay, A LOT excited. There was hyperventilation...I kid you not. When I stood next to Rodin's "The Thinker," I literally teared up. (It's one of several casts done of the sculpture, of course, but still...) Paul and Merrie had already been once to the exhibition, and Hubby...well, Hubby obviously connects with masterpieces much more quickly than I do. So they all gave up on staying with me by the 5th painting. Therefore, I was alone (which was fine--less pressure). The problem was, I kept forgetting that I wasn't totally ALONE, and strange noises kept escaping from my mouth. I'm sure a few people thought I was possessed. Maybe I was, but I'll embrace that demon every day! I just could.not.believe what I'd find around every corner, so those little gasps and foreign sounds were completely out of my control.

Here's a sampling of just a few pieces I saw:

Of course, Rodin's "The Thinker" (and many more of his works--amazing):

Picasso's "Harlequin and Violin 1918":

Dali's "The Dream":

and Van Gogh's "The Poplars at Saint-Remy 1889." No print I've ever seen could do this one justice. It was SO VIVID in real life.

Oh, and I can't leave out the Mondrian I saw! I was in total awe of that, a lot because it's so widely printed and imitated in modern life. But none of the reproductions show the actual brushstrokes, and that gave me chills. Sometimes it looks like a 1st grader (or a computer) could do the same simple thing, but when you see the small, deliberate brushstrokes he used, you see the care and patience it must've taken. I stood with my face 2 inches from the painting for a long time. (Between that and the noises, I think people were starting to give me a wide berth!) So, here's "Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue 1927"(The biggest image I could find, unfortunately. Good luck seeing those brushstrokes!):

And remember--these are just a mere fraction of the masterpieces I saw. All of those artists had many more works on display, plus there were numerous works by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Renior, and on and on and on. I was literally breathless when I met up with my toe-tapping party (not really--they were very patient). It took me 10 minutes to feel like I wasn't going to pass out. I'm gonna go back with my kids next week, if my health can endure it. Maybe an oxygen tank is in order.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Not again...

Shnookies 3 & 4 came home from the bus stop yesterday, their heads exploding with joy, because someone was passing out POKEMAN cards. That's when MY head exploded. Not with joy, mind you. I survived through a Pokeman obsession with Shnookie 1, and I still show the scars. At the time, I told myself "Breathe deeply, this fad won't last, I won't be staring at hideous creatures and their impossible Japanese names forever. Just get through it." And I did. Becky offered to teach me how the whole 'game' works, but I declined, knowing that I only had one boy and that kind of torturous investment of energy is just not worth it. Kinda like boyscouting.

Yet here I am, scheduled, as in written in stone, to go to Target today and look for Pokeman cards immediately after school. Alas, Shnookie 4 has caught the fever. It's all she can think about. I could strangle that little generous kid at the bus stop. Grrrr.

You're probably thinking it's perfect--that Shnook 1 can just give his old cards to #4. YOU WOULD BRING THAT UP!! Sheesh. Now I have to relive one of those moments that still makes me so angry I see red. It's about when Shnookie 1 sold his Pokeman cards.

Five years ago we had a big garage sale. Shnook1 had all sorts of electronics and stuff to sell--all the stuff he'd grown past--so we made him his own little station. One of the things he wanted to sell was a big binder, stuffed full of all the Pokeman cards he'd collected. And these weren't just lame-o $2 pack cards; he'd put a lot of his own money into collecting rare ones.

The garage sale got pretty busy (valuable junk like mine draws the crowds in!), so Hubby and I were occupied answering questions, etc. At the end of the day, I asked Shnook how it went with his stuff, cuz he seemed a little down. That's when I learn about this monster middle-aged woman who bartered my 12-yr-old son down to $15 for his entire Pokeman collection. Can you imagine taking advantage of a kid that way? And the despicable woman paid with cash, so I couldn't take her check and hunt her down at home. If I could, I'm sure I'd find triple 6's on her forehead. grrrrrrrrrrrr.