#loudlife#quietlife

Another week in the books. Less than 24 hours away from my favorite day: MARATHON DAY!!!

I’m so excited that Mark is going to go with me and get to meet Martha and see the awesomeness that is Marathon Day. Amy and Sean are going to join us and we will cheer on our friends and just be a part of this awesome thing that our city does! Gold Lame Elvis is ready for his debut!

and the added plus for this year? Our first rehearsal with the LTYM cast!

I’m so excited for the read-thru that I cannot stand it. We are THIS CLOSE to being ready to open. 7 days actually. The programs are printing. Meetings with tech are scheduled for Monday. I’m making and printing list after list after list to check off. Our press is starting to roll out. We were in the Norman Transcript today *though I cannot find it online, next week Heather will be doing an interview for the Tulsa NBC station, and I will be on NBC Monday at 6am and FOX Wednesday at 9am. Our ticket sales are gangbusters and we are–ARE– going to sell out this week. I think I’ve got the show order set and we’ll see tomorrow if it works. It’s just down to the details.

Magic in the minutiae!

The week was full of goodbyes and tears at the salon. I’ve called, emailed, texted, facebooked everyone I can think of. I wake up at night with names to contact on my mind. I’ll just do the best I can with this and have to bless it and let it go I suppose.

Tonight, I’m staying in. I’ve cleaned up most of the raccoon fiesta debris that met me when I got home, as well as some of the bird feathers in the floor. Sammy has started hunting. I’ve been telling him he’s going to have to really behave when we move to Norman. He just looks at me like, “No Habla Meow”

The windows are open (man I’m going to miss those windows) and the breeze is flowing and it’s quiet. The Thunder plays tonight, but I don’t have cable to watch it. Sad trombone. I think we’ll have a trip to Target, get some mouthwash, toothpaste, etc.

living the #quietlife

 

 

Time To Fly

For those of you that have been steady readers here at all things Ridiculous, you know that the last few years have been chock full of change for me. Personally, getting out of a toxic relationship with an alcoholic, moving to the Frontier, buying my own house, dealing with said house, deciding on That Grad School Thing, the plan for That Grad School Thing, the falling apart of That Grad School thing and the realization that what I thought I wanted…I did not. The understanding that my reasons for pursuing these goals, were no longer the driving force in my life. Finding a partner to share my life with. All of these things…

All of these things have been a portion of my journey, my quest as it were, to find the place where I can be of use in this world. There has been much gnashing of the teeth and pulling of the hair. But in the final analysis, I realized that I was searching for a particular place. I thought it might be a classroom…the traditional classroom that resides inside a school with a chalk board (dry erase/smart board/whatever) and a teachers lounge. I have discovered that I was thinking too small.

I began to really meditate on this place, and what I would do in it. It would be a place where I can affect change, where I can be of service, where I can leave a place better than I found it. There would be a call for my entire skill set. Those things I’ve learned on this quest.  It would be able to fully integrate with my focus of helping women find their voice, promoting and developing programs that will facilitate the empowerment and personal growth of girls. Advocating for education and literacy. Maybe a puppet show thrown in for good measure. I would use the skills I learned onstage, back stage, on the road touring and directing and producing. The connections that I’ve made in the 8 years behind the chair, learning about my clients, investing and connecting with them on multiple levels, that comes naturally to me, but I know that it is also a skill.

I began to really pray about this a few months ago. I wrote to you about it after the comprehensive exam disaster and that blow to my plan and self confidence. I began to do what I always do…talk to my people.

Things happened.

As of Saturday, May 4th, I will officially terminate my position with Salon W, and with hairstyling completely. If you are one of my clients, please do not panic. I have a plan for you. I’ll get to it in a bit.

As of May 14th, I will begin my new position as a Community Development Executive for the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, overseeing District 4  where I eventually will office. District 4 was initially a part time position. It became a full time position and was offered to me in place of the one I had initially interviewed for which would’ve covered my hometown, and surrounding counties. District 4, in a serendipitous twist of fate, includes Norman, Chickasha, Shawnee and surrounding cities and towns. I will office in OKC at first, but eventually will be moved to office out of Norman.

This is an exciting new opportunity for me that will include benefits such as health, vision, dental, retirement. I will work with a group of people who are committed to seeing this project through successfully, and are committed to helping develop strong, mindful and brave girls in this world. I cannot wait to join them.

The bittersweet portion of the program comes in saying goodbye to my faithful and beloved clients. I know that this is painful.  I know that your first instinct will be, “but you can still do me, right?” and my instinct will be to say, “umm sure let’s just…”

But I’m not going to do that.

I have been working on this in my head for awhile now, and I know where I think you should land, and what stylist is going to work the best with you. We will connect and get that worked out. I know that you support me in this next chapter, and that means more than you can imagine.

Meanwhile, I’ve got two weeks in the salon. For those of you wishing to get in one last hurrah!!! LETS DO IT!!! Get on the phone, and get your time.

Change is always…a thing. Sometimes I do it well. Sometimes I am ever so reluctant. I have great faith in this next phase of my life. I have no idea where it is going to lead me…but I do have faith.

 

Faith
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly

© Patrick Overton
The Leaning Tree, 1975
Rebuilding the Front Porch of America, 1997

Dearly Beloved…

So remember when I told ya’ll that my Pseudo Sis 3 got engaged? Remember? It was the perfect engagement that involved all of our favorite people (lots of people)and places (the Wormy Dog during daylight hours) and things! (All things icy, shots, beers, diamonds!)

Well I had dinner/drinks with Maggie and Shiny (Chris) on Friday night in Norman. It was so fun to have friends IN Norman!!! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but really it is. I miss my social life here in OKC and wish for it to be the same down in Norman. I want people to Sunday Funday with, to sit and listen to music with at the concerts that Mark helps produce. I miss MY friends. So this was a real treat.

During our meal and beers and laughing and kind of tip-toeing around PseudoSis1’s. . . fierce arrival. . . Maggie finally broke the news and spilled the real reason for our gathering.

She and Chris asked me if I would get ordained and along with Michelle (PS1) would we officiate the wedding ceremony!

WHAT!!!!!

I started laughing and crying and I was still chewing my bite of nacho and it was a messy, hysterical glob of family love. At this point Maggie handed us both hand stitched handkerchiefs that said NO UGLY CRYING. Michelle’s in orange. Mine in Fuschia.

Such a nice touch. Sweet Sweet Sweet.

Of course I accepted the honor and my brain immediately started racing, going through the files of quotes, passages, special writings that I love about love, movie quotes, song lyrics.

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever…Yeah. You know I said that about a million times. The scenario of Michelle and I at the end of the aisle, both nonchalantly sucking at our custom designed Xanax Necklace (patent pending) was enough to send us all into a tizzy. I at one point said that at the end of the ceremony,  instead of a nice presentation of the couple I was just going to clap my hands and exclaim:

“BOOM. MARRIED.”

and walk away.

I’ve also got a puppet just dying to do some interpretive readings of some Journey lyrics. Do not tempt me.

Do. Not.

All kidding aside, I don’t know if I can express what an honor this is. To be a part of this relationship, to be a witness to the life they are building, to be a part of the foundation of family and friends and love that they’re building it on…

This is what it’s all about ya’ll.

This day has given us some pretty devastating news. People near and far are hurting and experiencing profound loss.

Tonight, as I sit here and watch The Voice and sip a little jelly jar of $3 wine and proof my final research paper for That Grad School Thing, I choose to focus on this.

This life.

This love.

That’s what sustains.

 

Air Bubbles

My new committee has all agreed and been formed for my Fall comps exam. This is a great source of relief and all due to the work of my advisor who is leading the charge and the committee.

I should note, *this advisor, only came on board in that capacity for my program in January . Previously, in all of the semesters previous, I had the same woman. She is notorious for not communicating, for not answering or even acknowledging emails. Do you remember the trouble I had first enrolling, right? Remember how she was impossible to get through to, to get a response from or ANY kind of enrolling advise for that matter. The tiny bit she DID give me? Completely wrong, in hindsight. The moment’s we did have scheduled for face to face visits were spent talking about what did I think about her hair. SO. This guy? This new advisor? Rest assured he is just as frustrated about how all of this went down as I am. And he is working his arse off, with emails way past office hours, to help me through this.

I still have a list of things to do to clean up this mess. But the mess in my head is so much better. Thanks to all of you and your support and comments and commiseration. There is also another idea that is forming from all the muck and mire. . . I’ll tell you about it soon.

In the meantime, New Thoughts.

Thoughts become Things.

I must remember that.

Change the language, quit talking to myself in such a way that…if I saw someone talking to YOU like that? I’d karate chop their windpipe.

Be nicer to myself.

Understand that love is not contingent on a master’s degree, or any inanimate thing in this world.

Tell those voices, They Were Wrong. (thanks for that, Spence. You always know what to say)

Thank you.

Words are powerful. Believe you me. Each one was an airbubble, that you so delicately shoved down my throat and allowed me one more breath. One more breath to get to today. One more breath.

I’m working on tomorrows Shakespeare readings this morning. Then I’m going into the salon for some good hair banging and business strategery with a little LTYM business sponsorship work thrown in between.

This is perhaps the first day that I don’t feel like Pigpen with the cloud of funk swirling about.

Chin up, boobs out. peanuts-dancing

Let’s dance!

 

 

Spectacular Fail.

So. Here’s the gist of it.

I failed my comps.

I won’t graduate in the Spring.

*They don’t give the exams in the Summer like previously advised.

It will have to be the Fall.

I found all of this out Friday afternoon. That morning I received my official rejection letter from OU. I knew that was happening, and really after hearing what I’d already heard about that department, and visiting the building that stank of armpit hair, I was okay with it.

Then I got the email saying I’d failed my comps.

My advisor was and has been really supportive. He sees that while it was MY lack of thesis writing that caused all of this to happen, the really awesome lack of advisement on any of it, writing a thesis, guideline/timelines, the comprehensive exams as another option, criteria for those, the building of a committee all played a major role. My advisement to take the comps this semester, when they were 9 days away and knowing I was at a conference presenting a paper was also poor advise.  My third committee member, whom I’ve had for a class before and made an A, is known for failing students on their comps and for some reason refuses to answer/acknowledge any of my emails this semester.

I was never going to pass this. Ever. This was a perfect storm for guaranteed failure.

I had a tiny bit of hope, though.

The buck still lands with me. My thesis wasn’t happening. I wasn’t happy with my topic, not finding much in terms of research and certainly not writing. I should have done something different.

I’m going to always maintain that I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE so completely and utterly trust those with the letters by their name and take their advise anytime it’s given. But that is neither here nor there.

The bottom line is this: no graduation for at least another nine months. Student loans and financial aid are factors that are becoming dire. I meditated on that all weekend, and then yesterday I got the email saying this:

WELCOME TO OSU! WE ARE ADMITTING YOU TO THE PROGRAM AND HERE’S YOUR T.A. OFFER!

It’s like the bleach in the paper cut.

So now I have a list of things to do:

un-apply for graduation.

drop the one hour of comp exam that I enrolled in at last minute.

talk to financial aid and see where I stand with repayment.

build a new committee.

call OSU and regretfully decline their offer of the assistantship and ask about possible deferment of admission and really decide if that is what I want at all.

write an official petition to the department asking to re-take the comps in the Fall.

 

In juggling all of this, I’ve let my Shakespeare class slide. I got re-focused and caught up this weekend but not before two really spectacular failures in that class as well. I sent an email to my professor owning that and promising better.

This has just been a really awful rollar coaster of a thing. I’m angry, and embarrassed, and exhausted and defeated and angry again. But the extra time is what I know I needed. . . I just didn’t know I needed that much. I understand that there is a lesson here. Several in fact. But really…I just want it to be over. I just want it all to be over.

I don’t know when I’ll be solid with this turn of events. Right now I’m very mercurial. I’m stuck somewhere between “this is what I needed and I’m good enough to figure it all out” and swimming in a pool of self doubt that is reinforced by every single detail of this debacle.

It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok.

 

 

***some of you have text/emailed regarding yesterdays post. no. no one is talking about marriage. everybody calm down. that is not this…and really, after all of this word vomit today who’d want to. 😉 it’s not a prophetic dream. just a dream where solace was found at a train depot. 

 

 

 

 

Taking a Breath.

It’s been a week.

Mark’s brother-in-law lost his fight with Fucking Cancer this week. It was, as it always is, just bullshit from the get go. It’s not really my story to tell here, but as we all know, this kind of thing just sucks.

I’ve been in Norman every night, spending time with family, being together, and that part has been lovely.

Last night, I dreamed crazy. I dreamed about school. I dreamed about being so far behind on writing my thesis. I dreamed about not graduating until the Fall and everything just falling apart. I dreamed about this assignment we have for my Shakespeare class…

I had emailed my professor with questions about this last night and then dreamed that his reply…well his reply was nothing that I could do. It had tons of information, tons of stuff to help me…if I were Chris. I kept looking over the paper, and saw prompts that would make the assignment easier and I kept saying, “But I don’t know that episode of the Simpsons. I didn’t watch the X-Files. Dr. Who has never been on my television. Chris would know this. Chris could do this.”

It was like that all night long.

Cindy’s post today was really on point. “It doesn’t get easier…” It really is a relief, I think. . . to know that. Of course, the interpretation of  “easier” is up for grabs…just depends on your journey.

The closer we get to February, the more I’ve been thinking about him. About Cindy. About that day, about that trip with Amy and how it is still just so raw. I guess I too, have been waiting for it to get easier. This week has just kind of peeled back the scab.

I was thinking this week about Mark’s sister. I was thinking about having lived an entire life with someone…only to have another entire life ahead without them.

I was thinking about my friends who are on this path already…some many steps ahead of the other but walking it, nonetheless.

The list is just way too long.

Today I’m paying bills, reading more homework and heading to class. I didn’t go on Tuesday. My place was in Norman. So I’ve got some catching up to do. A little time in the salon with clients, then load the car, feed the livestock and head back down.

I’ve said for years, “You never have to do this day over again.”

Eventually something shifts and it becomes, “You never get to do this day over again.”

We’re somewhere in the middle this week, and that’s okay.

 

cancer

Placing Blame

Sunday night I sat at the Depot wedged between people that I love, and the minute that Gretchen Peters opened her mouth, everything I’d been carrying with me just dissipated and I was instantly lighter. The bulk of the week, the emotion of the weekend all of it immediately dissolved and I was at once in a moment of magic.

————————

I’d had a little bit of a pity party this weekend, and since there really was no good reason, we can just blame it on the full moon. For whatever reason, I felt a little lonely. I wished for my friends. I wished for my friends to be in Norman, to be in my circumference, to be close. I always wished for a “plus one” so that I could “couple” with my friends…and that has happened maybe once thus far…Don’t get me wrong. I’m not laying out a big guilt trip for those who read. I’m well aware of the busy and the children and the schedules and the Life that requires planning. Lord, am I aware. I’m merely just laying out there the shape that my psyche was in.

Are we still blaming it on the moon?

Maybe I should blame it on the weather.

The weather was gorgeous. Unseasonably gorgeous. Mark was at the Depot setting up for the show. I was at the house ostensibly doing my reading homework…yet I was not. I was wallowing in the ridiculous…and took it out on my bangs. I put Urban Cowboy on, turned it up and sang along. I love that movie. I love those songs. I’m unapologetic for my love of country music. Mainstream country, Old School country, I don’t care. It’s part of my fabric. It’s part of my quilt. I was emotional, and the Bloody Mary was delicious and before I knew it I had cut the everlivingbejeasus out of my poor, friendless bangs.

I’m not mad about it. 

I wasn’t mad then.

But I was feeling lonely.

I’m going to blame it on the music actually. The movie AND the music. Lotta memories wrapped up in that package.

Bangs!
Bangs!

—————————–

Last week George Strait came through town on his final tour. The Cowboy Rides Away, and after a lifetime of seeing him at the Myriad every October with Audra, layer after layer of memory and tears, we went to listen, to clap and sing and say good-bye. This year however, we took our sisters with us. The four of us. All in a row.

My sis has her own hectic life, choc full of children and a husband and family and work. Her escape is reading these days, and for her, this was a weekend of uninterrupted words. Staying up late, no drinks to get for anyone, no snacks to fix. All her. Only her. I was so happy she was here.

Now, I go see live music a lot. From the time I could drive, that’s what I’ve spent my money on. Audra and I would pile in and drive to the City and land in an audience of whoever. Or we would head down to Lloyd Noble or the Myriad. We’ve seen big names, little names and a  Beatle. My sister has not. Not really. And raising two rowdy boys doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to run off to a music festival. Tae kwan do lessons don’t always allow for today’s ticket prices.

It was even more special for me, to see her enjoy the show. To see it all through her eyes. As we were getting ready, we listened to George tell us how good we looked in love. We put on our boots and headed out for our possibly first ever Sister’s Weekend.

Red Boots!
Red Boots!

The night was magic.

We danced in our chairs. We sang at the top of our lungs. We watched as a woman pert near 75 years old told a much younger, much drunker, obnoxious concert goer standing in front of her seat to “SIT DOWN. I CAN’T SEE THROUGH YOUR. FAT. ASS.”

I was both amazed and a little afeared. There she sat with her perfectly coiffed white hair and her pocketbook in her lap, her sister sitting quietly next to her. The drunk girl got kicked out. We were all relieved. Seriously, she was That Drunk Girl. I’m glad she went elsewhere. I told Taryn, “that’s probably going to be us someday. But you’ll be the one screaming for her to sit down. I’ll just sit back and watch the shitshow.”

We laughed. Oh how we laughed.

Me and my Sisser
Me and my Sisser

Martina McBride sang to us about broken wings and concrete angels. We all sang about Independence Day and as Maggie said at intermission “hit every single note as if it were my own.” George took us to Marina del Rey, we blamed it on Mexcio and much to our chagrin *we sang right along to all of the Pure Country songs.

*ahem. Taryn. ahem*

Best Friends Forever
Best Friends Forever

When the cowboy finally did ride away, we’d been given over three hours of music, we were choking back tears and waving goodbye as if he could see each and every one of us.

If only I would have known, if only I’d have been as nostalgic in my 20’s as I am in my 40’s…maybe I’d have kept every ticket stub, or written down all the dates, or collected every shirt. As it stands, what I have are memories. Memories of my best friend, Ropers and Wranglers, holding hair and sneaking backstage. Added to that, I have this night, full of sisterly love. The cowboy gave us a great show before he rode away. A great show.

Oh The Concerts We Have Seen
Oh The Concerts We Have Seen

When she left that Sunday to head back home, she said “if you see anyone else coming get us tickets! I’ll come back!”

The magic…she got a taste of it.

Sisters
Sisters

———————————–

Gretchen Peters is an award winning musician and song writer.

She wrote Independence Day, and when Martina recorded it, she won Song of the Year.

She sang it Sunday night after a year of taking it out of rotation.

I’m ever so grateful.

I loved everything that came out of her mouth that night.

She sang, and I sang, and and looking down at the hand holding mine I knew that I was in a place that was safe and secure. There would be no shenanigans from the past come to hurt us anymore. There was only to be honesty and trust. I looked over and saw Marks mom, who had snuck in from her post out front where she spends most every show working. She was watching and listening and taking it all in.

There's no age limit on the magic of it all, is there?
There’s no age limit on the magic of it all, is there?

I looked over at Brad and Lisa,  my friends, our friends who were as emotionally engaged as we were with every note. . . I looked at all of us and knew in my heart that I wasn’t alone. 

I never had been.

This man. This man I love.
This man. This man I love.

And maybe it was the weather,

and maybe it was the moon.

But I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the music.

Because it…it was magic.