Sunday, October 30, 2005

Woeful at Wendy's

Having emerged victoriously from our recent visit to Wendy's, I allowed my child to talk me into another. The outcome of this episode was quite different.

There weren't many people in the restaurant, and I felt uninspired to spread the word about the evils of fast food this time. I quietly stood in line, spacing out.

There's something I do on those rare occasions when I visit restaurants these days. I look around at the clientel. Mind you, the only establishments I set foot into now are Chuck. E. Cheese and, of course, Wendy's. But I enjoy looking around at the waistlines of my fellow indulgers, and try to use the information gleaned from such observation to see to it that much time passes before my next visit. Am I making sense?

But this time I was stopped in my tracks. My eyes locked onto a pale man whose hands and face looked bloated. His movements were painfully slow. I know the look. I have seen it before.

He was trying to enjoy a Frosty. It took all of his effort to bring the plastic spoon to his mouth.

I know the look. I've seen it before, in my mother and grandmother, before they succumbed.

This could be his last meal in a restaurant. It could be that the only food which appeals to him is a Wendy's Frosty. This outing undoubtedly means a great deal to him and his companion.

What thoughts occupied his mind? What did he see as he looked about the restaurant? Did he see the need to rant about trans fat?

I wanted to see through his eyes, the eyes of someone who knows how to appreciate. I wanted his perspective, without paying such a dear price.

Whirling at Wendy's

My child can't stand my cooking. He'd rather starve. The Dr. Phil technique simply does not work in my household. Maybe I should contact him and go on his show...

Here's where the Chihuahua comes in handy. He, bless him, loves my amaranth peanut butter gruel and can't seem to get enough of it.

I feel obligated to feed my child somehow. That's how we ended up at Wendy's, after I had forewarned the child that I would be lecturing loudly on the nutritional travesty of fast food while we stood in line. He's good at blocking me out, so he agreed.

We must have hit rush hour at Wendy's, for I ended up with a sizeable audience of bug-eyed people for my lecture. One of them even asked a question: she wanted to know the difference between saturated and trans fat. I gleefully launched into my fat diatribe, one of my alltime favorites.

When I paused to take a breath, I noticed that a couple of fellow customers who had been pretending not to hear stole quick, furtive glances at me during my silence. Good. They were listening.

I concluded my presentation by quizzing my child. Being the bottom-line type, I asked him to identify the most healthy item on the menu. His response caught me by surprise- he named something I didn't even know Wendy's offered- the fruit plate. Sure enough, upon examining the overhead menu I learned that it was a plate of fresh fruit. Zero fat. Smart kid.

Inching closer to the counter, I overheard a senior citizen feebly ordering the fruit plate, with water for her drink. She glanced at my child and winked. He rolled his eyes, drooling for an animal patty with a side of trans fat.

Suddenly, a pudgy, befuddled-looking man awkwardly elbowed his way out of the line and exited the restaurant.

Mission accomplished.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Today I was reminded of the story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. (The SA, if you'll recall, casts a spell on his broom, which then picks up buckets and hauls water. Come time for the broom to stop, the SA is dumbfounded, not knowing that particular spell. Flooding ensues.)

We want to master what is not ours to master. We are preoccupied with pleasing and protecting ourselves. In striving for security, we make ourselves insecure. In seeking knowledge, we baffle ourselves. Pursuing power, we lose the ability to wield it wisely. Driven by ego, we net the opposite of what we're after.

This may seem like a strange topic for a whirlingbetty post, and indeed it is. Now that I know from my Strengthsfinder test that I am strong in "intellection", I feel free to indulge in thought. (Let's hope this doesn't last too long- I'd really prefer to NOT lose my readership.) Plus, I received inspiration from Garnet's poem about safety on his blog Glittering Muse.

The search for safety is what fuels our society's latest trend: "cocooning". Cocooning causes us to choose to stay home rather than venture out into the world. Fear of terrorism, crime and natural disaster has changed our social behavior. We barricade the doors and cover the windows. We order clothing, movies and pizza online, paying dearly to have it all delivered to our cocoons. We refuse to show up and participate in our own social lives.

OK, so what's the solution? Perhaps the Zen approach would be to stop controlling the world and defending ourselves against it. Just be Here Now, totally, completely, with awareness. Just respond to what is actually happening. ("Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."-John Lennon)

Garnet's poem points out that not only do we seek protection (and pleasure, IMHO) for ourselves; we even seek it for others, which reminds me of a story of Anna Quindlen's about her conversation with a homeless man on the boardwalk at Coney Island. This man described how he "wore" his newspapers when the weather turned brutal. Quindlen asked him why he didn't move to a homeless shelter. He stared out at the ocean for a while, then said, "Look at the view, young lady, just look at the view."

"Live and let live" is going to be my motto for a while, and by "live" I mean Here and Now, with awareness, responding to what really happens, and appreciating the view while I'm at it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

know thyself via world wide web

Feeling a bit peppy during the ascent from my recent plunge into viral vacuity, I decided to cash in on a gift presented to me by a book I bought entitled How Full Is Your Bucket? The gift was a secret code required to take an online test called Strengthsfinder.

Well, heaven knows I could use some strength, so I eagerly signed in and punched in my secret gift numbers. To me, it seemed that the test had an unusual format, but I forged onward, undaunted. My question-answering effort was a small price to pay for the reward of strength, I reasoned.

Fifteen minutes into the test I started to lose steam. Perhaps that virus was sneaking back, or maybe it had never really left.....

The problem was, I was only allowed 20 seconds to answer each question. At first it was a piece of cake. Then I started to feel a little dizzy, even nauseated.

Was it possible that these people, the ones who composed this test, did not want me thinking about the answers? Was that the reason for the time limit? Whoops...they got me again......

I definitely lapsed into a lower level of brain function. Was it mental exhaustion? Would this be happening if I hadn't been sick? Could this be a symptom of caffeine deficiency? How long had it been since my last hit of coffee?

I couldn't figure out how to pause the test so I could take a breather, but I did waste precious time trying. Could this really be a stress test in disguise?

FINALLY the test ended. The result? My main strength, they tell me, is "intellection". I like to think. My "intellection" damn near prevented me from even completing the test. Could that have affected the results, do you think?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Betty succumbs

I did everything imagineable to ward it off. I took 1000 mg of vitamin C every hour. I sucked down liquid echinachea. I bought and ingested zinc capsules. I even took megadoses of vitamin A, not knowing for sure what effect that might have on my liver. I washed my hands hundreds of times per day while singing Happy Birthday. I slept 8 hours each night, and chanted "IWON'TgetsickIWON'TgetsickIWON'Tgetsick" during the waking hours.

I got sick. This is the virus which my child hosted last week, which features every symptom known to man. After 3 days of being totally incapacitated, I have dragged myself, dizzy and delirious with fever, to the computer to let you all know that I have not given up blogging.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

blogged down

I want someone to enlighten me. I am a novice blogger, having been at it for a couple of weeks. I have been frustrated by the fact that I don't have nearly enough time to spend on either writing my blog or reading and commenting on other people's blogs. As a result, my blog is sure to fade into unnoticed oblivion.

Does it matter? What, after all, is the purpose of a blog? I've heard some people say that it's an opportunity for self-discovery. I am fairly certain that when I indulge in posts of that nature, I bore my tiny audience, even though the ever-supportive Liz always manages to cheer me on.

Is blogging about the writer, or about the audience, or both? Should I just write whenever I have time, about whatever topic happens to strike me? Should I care whether anyone reads it? Should I care whether anyone comments? If I lose my readership completely, is it still a blog?

I suspect that my more humerous posts are more appreciated, but for those I really must wait for the material to happen. Just now, for example, my Chihuahua took a flying leap into my lap and missed. His miniscule Halloween bandana caught on the rim of the coffee table and he basically hung himself. His huge, black, bulging eyes, bigger than his entire body, pleaded with me for his life. In the throes of strangulation he was unable to emit his squeaky little bark.

Considering all I've been through with this dog, I actually had to stop and think about how I should respond. Well, I've always believed in the bottom-line benevolence of human nature, even my own, and sure enough, I did the right thing. The dog has bounced back to life and, suspicious as ever, is now protecting me from invisible intruders, except for the ones in my mind.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Effect of Miss Bitchard

As a continuation of yesterday's "Know Thyself" post, I think the time has come for me to expose Miss Bitchard. She was my Kindergarten teacher. I feel compelled to describe at least one life-changing event in which she played a major role.

One day in the girls' bathroom, Miss Bitchard decided she had finally had enough of young Betty's antics. (Young Betty just stood in the room looking like a deer caught in the headlights while the other, more reasonable girls did what they were supposed to do in the bathroom.)

Mind you, Betty was the youngest in the class and the smallest. Today, there would be a question as to whether or not Betty was "Kindergarten-ready".

On that fateful day, Miss Bitchard, who had finally had enough, grabbed Betty by the shoulders and screeched, "Now look! I've had ENOUGH of this! You get into that stall RIGHT NOW and USE the toilet!"

With that she shoved a trembling, alarmed young Betty into the nearest stall.

The rest of the girls in my class were lined up at the door, waiting to leave. Did they leave? Nooooooo. They all stood there, watching, listening, with Miss Bitchard, who had had enough. I could see them through the cracks between the door and the stall sides. Assuming that they also could see me, I tentatively pulled down my underpants and forced my reluctant butt onto that unwelcoming, icy toilet seat.

I knew not what to do. I was shivering and crying (silently so they wouldn't know). Dead silence filled the cavernous room. Time became my enemy, because I could see them becoming more and more impatient with each dreadful moment.

"HURRY UP!!!!!" she bellowed.

I knew my time was up. I was terrified, having failed to perform the function for which I was imprisoned. (How could I ? Nobody could have emptied a bladder under such pressure!)

Panicked, I practically fell off the toilet. This was not one of those wimpy child-sized toilets you see in schools nowadays- it was a full-blown monster. I examined the behemouth, desperate to figure out how to flush, yet very much afraid of it.

"WHAT are you D-O-I-N-G in there?" Boy, she was spitting mad now.

I was cornered. I had no choice but to feebly open the stall door (once I figured out how) and whisper, "H-h-how do you f-f-f-flush it?"

The woman stormed into that stall, spitting blood and venom. Horrified beyond words, I jerked my dress up and spread it out like a canopy over the toilet bowl so she couldn't see that its liquid was not yellow.

" WHAT are you DOING????? Get your DRESS out of it!"

Gales of laughter erupted from the audience as Miss Bitchard flushed.

I don't know how I ever showed my face to the world again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

know thyself

It isn't easy. The person I pretend or wish to be is, unfortunately, not who I am exactly.

Mythical Betty is rather admirable. In fact, her only faults happen to be ones which actually endear her to others. For example, she will occasionally appear overwhelmed. This presents the ideal opportunity for those around her to feel useful. Life's futility is a foreign concept to those who know Betty.

MB likes to read inspirational literature, and in her eyes, she is actually leading the type of life she reads about. She really seems to believe on some level that she harbors only positive, loving thoughts, and that her words, spoken or written, reflect that. As a result, she attracts nothing but wondrous experiences and people into her existence.

How utterly appealing, right?

I recall asking my mother once to describe me with one word, and with exaspiration and no hesitation, she said,"Willful!"

So that gives me a starting point. I suppose people who consider themselves religious would say that she was insulting me, because they seek only knowledge of God's will and the power to carry that out.

I choose to perceive my willfulness as a virtue- one that catapulted me out of a very stifling, limiting background and into the career which 8-year-old Betty chose.

As Willful Young Betty, I knew I needed certain things to happen early on to ensure acceptance at the college of my choice. To that end, as a teenager I informed my mother that she'd have to jump through certain hoops, such as driving me 300 miles roundtrip each week for special tutoring in my chosen field.

Fortunately, before she died I did manage to appologize for being so unbelievably demanding and controlling. Her response shocked me: she said she had actually enjoyed those outings and the spice they brought to her otherwise dull life.

OK- so far we have identified these characteristics: willful, demanding, controlling, ambitious and remorseful. Lest I lose my readership, I think I'd better save further dredging for a future post.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

better off whirling

People like Whirling Betty are apparently better off busy. Over the past few days I've had a ridiculous work schedule. During that time I was able to mindlessly (or with an empty mind, maybe, if I may so flatter myself) move from task to task, not stirring up any trouble.

Today I have a few hours off before going back to work. I expected that this time would be a welcome relief, but I couldn't have been more mistaken.

First of all, being the mother of a young child, I was not allowed to sleep past 7 a.m. Furthermore, the child is sick with some kind of childhood fever-producing virus-type thing. My main goal, during this time at home, is somehow preventing him from vomiting. Talking him out of eating has worked so far.

Midmorning I was surprised by a phone call from TA, who often sleeps late when given the opportunity. The ensuing conversation summoned a lifelong issue for Whirling Betty- that of insecurity. I have a tendency to be too easily thrown off course by people's "attacks".

Still being on my Krishnamurti kick, I think I know what he'd have to offer on this topic. He'd suggest that the problem boils down to self-image. If the self-image is truly accurate, then criticism doesn't hurt- it's merely accepted as fact. The truth shall render us invulnerable.

I think I am guilty of harboring a mythical self-image, and obviously some serious self-examination is called for.

But luckily for me, I get to leave for work soon, and Whirling Betty's off the hook for a little while longer.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What Would Krishnamurti Do?

I have an annoying habit of trying to find meaning in every damn thing that happens to me. Last night while my child's deadbeat sperm donor bludgeoned me with his completely irrational, vacuous verbage, I tried to imagine what Krishnamurti would do and say.

Well, first of all, our dear Krishnamurti never would have landed himself in a situation like mine. If he had, I suppose he would have listened with his whole being, taking on the poisoned words as his own. He probably would've chuckled more than once at the outrageous histrionics we humans are capable of engaging in. At the end he would have spoken with profound kindness, "Seek only truth, my dear friend. Truth comes to you when your heart and mind are simple- there is love in your heart and your mind is empty. Right now your mind is full and your heart empty."

But Whirling Betty couldn't quite pull it off. The words I needed arrived too late; in fact, they arrived during this post. I guess it's comforting to see that I just need to work on my timing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

non-toxic intoxication

My buddy TA offered espresso with sugar after work today. Hell, I'm no fool- I eagerly accepted.

Upon arriving home I remembered that I hadn't jogged this morning, so I donned the chest-flattening jogging bra and hastened out into the park. Normally I head for the bike trails, but today was different. This particular park is one of the world's largest rose gardens. Even now, the blooms are quite profuse.

The moist, mild autumn air absorbed the rose scents like a massive sponge. I'm in this park every day and I'm usually as beauty-oblivious as the next guy. But today was different.

The roses spoke to me, "This is our last hurrah, and by god, we're going to permeate you and affect you and heal whatever ails you."

Mind you, I was already supercharged from the espresso, and now I was overcome by the roses. I ran through the twists and turns like a mouse in a maze, trapped by a band of roses, yet wanting to never escape. Yes, today was different.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Chihuahua Earns His Keep

Today I decided to get rid of the Chihuahua. Until now I had been tolerant beyond reason, but this was the last straw.

I have read that Chihuahuas are sometimes impossible to housebreak, but it's supposed to be because they can so easily hide their "mistakes". Oh, this was no mistake. This was front and center, in your face. The dog is clearly a master of the art of passive aggression.

He had defecated smack in the center of my bright red sofa, having just grown large enough to launch himself up onto the furniture.

I informed the kid of the Chihuahua's impending departure, and probably because he's tired of being bitten on a daily basis, he said nothing.

A little later I heard gleeful giggles emanating from the room with the red couch. "Mama! Come quick! You've got to see this! The Chihuahua is sumo wrestling!"

The dog was humping a haplesss stuffed animal. Ears flattened, spine arched, the dog pumped his back end up and down like there's no tomorrow. He actually scooted himself and his recipient across the room in this endeavor. (One thing I will say in the Chihuahua's defense is that everything he does, he does with great conviction.)

The kid summed it up this way: "See, mama- it's WORTH having him, for this!"....

The Universal Cry

I used to blame it on hormones, but now I suspect the Holy Basil. All day yesterday I was on the verge of tears for no obvious reason. As disclosed in a previous post, my anger addiction has subsided since I began popping Holy Basil twice a day. Something has to replace the anger, right?

And if the truth be known, I just realized that, for all intents and purposes, I have been free of any and all addictions for a couple of days now. For me, this is remarkable and surely can't last, but for now I'm off everything except Holy Basil. Whenever I dis-addict, I find myself flooded with previously repressed emotions, because, after all, the purpose of indulging is to numb.

I did drink a cup of coffee shortly before bedtime, which ensured that I would not sleep until dawn. I had to think of a way to pass time, and I wanted to cry and be done with it, so I thought of my final conversation with my mother before she died many years ago.

My mother had actually cried during that conversation, and it was the only time I had witnessed such an event (her crying). I come from a long line of very closed, tight, repressed, non-orgasmic women. Somehow I had summoned the courage to ask her if she thought she was going to die from the pancreatic cancer ravaging her body. That's when her tears emerged- the tears of a lifetime.

So I reviewed that rare occasion of communication with my mother, and yes, I cried profusely. I bawled. You'd think that would have been enough. But noooooooo. After a quick breather, I was presented with another tear-jerking memory, this time of my dear little Irish grandmother who died in my arms. (Lest I sound like a saint, let me clarify that I am normally not a very mature person. For me, Maturity waits in the wings until the chips are down and somebody's dying or something. Then, when it's all over, Maturity sneaks offstage.)

And apparently that wasn't enough. Before I knew it, I was going through my entire history of sorrow, from loss of life to breakups with boyfriends. I actually listed each profound incident of my life and systematically cried over each one.

I concluded this sobfest with my oldest memory. I was about 3 years old and in my crib, having been put to bed without my nightly Irish lullaby sung by my mother. I will never forget the despair of that endless night. She was mad at me and had withheld the lullaby as punishment. I cried at the top of my lungs and howled for dear life. Nobody came. I vowed to surround myself with lullabies when I grew up.

I am now dried out and exhausted from this emotional exercise. I'll have a hangover of sorts tomorrow (today). Is it possible that this is what living consiously entails? I need a lullaby...

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Furnace Guy

In anticipation of his arrival, I cleared a path from my front door to the basement utility room. I would've done more, but as my friend TA says, you can't undo years of neglect in an hour.

So when I heard his tentative knock on my screen door, I was ready. Or so I thought. First of all, this was a GENTLE furnace guy. Did he announce his arrival with the ever-so-obvious doorbell chimes? No. Did he pound the door down? No. He barely carressed the frame of my delicate 43-year-old screen door...

My heart stopped as I beheld the sight in front of me. He was a typical Adonis, except he was my age, give or take a decade. I looked up into his smiling, kind eyes and forgot what he was here for.

"I'm here to service your furnace."

I couldn't speak. Seeming to understand, he ever so graciously opened the door, entered, and glanced around.

"Um...Do you want to show me your furnace?"

FURNACE???? Who cares about a fucking furnace?????? Fuck the furnace!!!!!

But I played along, flushed and breathless. (Let him deal with the furnace first.)

While he fussed around with the furnace, I was cautious to tiptoe lightly on the floor above him. Thank God I was wearing my best rags. The jogging bra, though, tends to flatten the chest, so I quickly replaced that with a padded Maidenform. He'd never know... I even managed to unearth some perfume that TA's mother had given me a few Christmases ago. Then I fired up the curling iron for the first time since college.

My heart raced when I finally heard his sexy boots ascending the basement stairs. The sweat on my forehead dampened the freshly made curls. Aiming for subtlety, I desperately tried to slow down my breathing. He stood very close to me while he wrote the bill, explaining in detail everything he'd done to the furnace. I heard nothing. I just stared at his face, entranced.

I didn't snap out of it until the echo of his words rang in the distance: "Thank you... see you in the spring..."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Holy Basil theory

Before I began my Holy Basil regimen, I think that my emotional spectrum consisted of anger. Yes, there were levels, but it was all anger, ranging from venemous rage to barely bothered. And that anger was fueled by the cortisol which coursed through my blood vessels with a vengeance.

Why? Well, my blood type is A negative; thus, according to blood type research, I suffer from elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone associated with the fight or flight response. I constantly fight or flee, living on the edge of my chair, just waiting for the next "attack" to defend myself from.

Isn't anger the perfect emotional accompaniment to such a state of being? Heaven help me, I was raised in a family of type A hotheads brimming with cortisol. Our method of communication was yelling, alternating with passive aggression. Everyone was hyper, jumpy and explosive. I actively sought negative attention, both physical and verbal, because that was all there was.

OK, so now I'm on Holy Basil. (I have no idea why I've lost my color, size and font, but I take it as a sign.) It's known to help type A blood-ers with stress by regulating cortisol. Honestly, I no longer feel that adrenaline rush of the fight or flight. In situations, often involving the Chihuahua, where I would have felt my heart pounding, face flushing, muscles tensing and voice rising, I feel like a numb observer.

As for the emotional result of Holy Basil, I am still sorting it out. Yesterday at work I was "attacked" by a co-worker. It was the perfect setting for a major fight or flight outburst, and I did manage to spit out a few of the words that would have previously been inspired by anger-r-r-r-r-r. But I felt unusual. I fought back tears for a while afterwords, and thought that maybe I was hurt. Hurt is somewhat new to an anger addict. I wasn't sure how I felt or what to do, and somehow I ended up in some sort of irrational word exchange with another co-worker who happens to be a dear friend. Whatever I said to him must have been pretty upsetting because he stormed off.

It will be hard for me to describe my reaction to that. For a moment I was sent back in time to when I had a boyfriend. It was a lovers' spat. I wanted to run after him, crying, screaming that I loved him. But this guy isn't boyfriend material, so the above reaction was baffling.

At the very least, I can say that I experienced a strong emotion directed toward my friend, and it wasn't anger.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

far be it

Far be it from me to continue to imprison this poor dog whose life's goal is to escape the borders of my property. In my house he is provided with only the highest quality CANNED dog food, bottled water to drink, 2 warm beds which are washed weekly, a closet full of toys (many of which he, being a Chihuahua, is suspicious of) a young human playmate, hundreds of dollars worth of veterinary items and training gear (flea medicine, hair tonic, combs, vitamins, leashes, collars, harnesses and treats) and unlimited floor surface, both hardwood and carpeted, on which he feels free to eliminate. Yet somehow, that's not good enough. He just wants to leave.

Even though it's Saturday, a day most people consider "off", I must haul ass into work. The Holy Basil makes the early mornings just a tad more challenging, as if I'm sleepwalking for the first couple of hours. The dog eased his way out the door when I retreived the newspaper. My house is situated on a city park, and of course I had to take off running, in my pajamas, into the city park, after the Chihuahua, yelling as loudly as the Holy basil would allow. My neighbor, calmly walking his (adult) dog on a leash, was rendered speechless for the first time since I met him. It occurred to me that this didn't make sense. Who am I to wreck this dog's life by containing him? I offered this thought to the neighbor, whose eyes enlarged but voice remained silent. "Maybe I should just let him go...", my Holy Basil muttered.

I'm leaving for work now and the Chihuahua remains at large.......

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fulfilling My Motherly Obligations

Last night was Open House at my kid's school. In the world I covet, I'd whine about what a difficult week it's been and how much my head aches, thereby inspiring ever-loving (yet studly) superhusband to croon, "Oh, honey, I know what a demanding job you have. You deserve some time for yourself. Let me take the kid to Open House!"

In the actual world there is no husband, super-, ex- or otherwise. Everything that gets done for (or to!) the kid gets done by MOI.

At first I thought I had an out. The kid, who despises school, ranted about how bitterly he resented being asked to return to school that evening. How dare they cut into his time???

"What were you planning to do tonight instead?" I ventured.

"WATCH TV!!!!"

And for a few sweet moments I harbored the notion of staying home to rest my weary head and feed the kid's unwholesome addiction. Before long, alas, the familiar Irish Catholic guilt infiltrated my fantasy. I agreed to allow the kid to haul the contents of his bedroom to Open House so he could show off his bribes from his unscrupulous mother.

Somehow, as we were loading up the Open House-bound Honda, the Chihuahua escaped, frolicking joyfully into a copious stream of detoured minivans from the nearby Rec Center. The kid dashed out into the traffic to save the Chihuahua. Horns honked, vans veered, tires screeched, but my Holy Basil prevailed. (See yesterday's post.) I just stood alongside the road, smiling meekly, taking it all in, realizing that postponement of the trip to Open House could be mutually beneficial.

Eventually the dog was captured and restrained, as was the kid, and we proceeded down the main thoroughfare bisecting our fair city. Little did I know that we would have been better off walking the 4 miles rather than driving. The road was under construction, to put it mildly. Only one narrow lane was open AND my car was in the unfortunate shadow of a city bus. I am all for mass transit except when I'm positioned behind it.

We crept along at a pace of, oh, about a mile every couple of hours. My Holy Basil stupor prevented me from ditching the car and boarding the bus, which would have eliminated our next hurdle.

When we FINALLY made it to school, lo and behold, there was nowhere to park, not even in the surrounding neighborhood. I drove around in circles, half praying, half praising, not quite sure what I hoped for, until finally the child looked up from his hand-held video game bribe and moaned, "Mama, we've been in this car too long! My butt is numb!!!"

I circled the school three more times and finally threw my hands up in the air, exclaiming,"It's 9:00!!! Open House is over!!!!"

Thursday, October 06, 2005

AS IF I needed more trauma

As if I, a single working mother with no family and nearly no friends, needed more trauma in my troubled existence, I have taken in a nasty Chihuahua puppy. The good news is that I've started myself on a regime of Holy Basil to combat the added stress of attempting to control a clearly over-sexed, yet too-young-to-be-neutered Mexican. Before work this morning I discovered that I have no underwear left with the crotch intact, thanks to said dog. The Holy Basil saved the dog's life, as I calmly told myself that panties with the crotch intact are non-essential to peak job performance. I dashed out the door to escape the desperate little Chihuahua, only to discover, to my horror, that he had sunk his teeth into my whirling skirt and was on his way to work with me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Welcome to Whirling Betty's Blog!

Hi, I'm Betty and this is my blog. Here is where I'll whirl out my baggage and spin off the burden using the centrifugal force of open expression. Here I go...Watch out for large flying objects!!!