One-hour photo

19 Oct

Tonight on the way to get a fall jacket at Walmart …

(Me: “You don’t have to buy Walmart clothes anymore. I can afford to get you something nicer now.”

Vivi: “But I LIKE this jacket. It just happens to BE from Walmart.”)

… she’s reading the signs on the side of the building.

“One hour photo … ‘Can I stop smiling now?’ ‘No, 49 minutes to go.’ ”

 

Knock ’em a kiss

11 Aug

I just got off the phone with a good friend who found out this afternoon that her elementary teaching contract hadn’t been renewed for this school year.

Not only was she informed of the school’s decision a week before she was to report to her classroom, she is currently raising three beautiful, charming little girls while her husband serves our country in the National Guard.

Four Oklahoma National Guardsmen have been killed in the last week in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of course we suffered an incredible blow earlier this month when a helicopter full of Navy SEALS was shot down.

This has been a stressful time for her, as her sister is also serving in Afghanistan. Now, my friend is faced not only with the uncertainly of her sister and husband’s welfare, she has to somehow find a job that will help her family put food on the table.

It hurt my heart to find out tonight that this fabulous teacher was pushed out for purely political reasons (and she knew that it might happen — all year she’d been saying “I could lose my job for doing the right thing.”). I am seriously considering rallying to her defense, and putting as much pressure as I can on the school board to find her a position, but you know what the worst part is? She can’t talk to her husband about it. He’s a million miles away in some desert, ensuring that our kids even GET an education.

When I found out she hadn’t been offered her job back, my heart ached. But when I imagined the pain she must be enduring from having to go it alone — without even being able to discuss with her best friend how her legs had been cut from under her — I couldn’t help but tearing up.

She’s the kind who will be OK. She’ll land on her feet, and someday she’ll see this as a blessing, just like every other obstacle in her life.

But right now it must hurt so bad.

So for her, go kiss your best friend — hopefully it’s the one you’re married to, living with, in a facebook relationship with. Imagine how you’d live your life without their advice and hugs. Imagine what she must be going through alone.

Imagine it and be glad it’s not you, and pay it forward with a hug, a kiss, a kind word, a supportive note, a helpful call.

She doesn’t get that luxury.

The storm a-brewin’ …

9 Aug

Well, OK, technically it brewed previously, but that’s the only title I could think of, because I SUCK AT HEADLINES. On my resume it should say, “Reliable and hard-working, but no headlines, please.”
So this crazy wind storm kicked up tonight, trapping me in the JB building (not the BJ building — that’s a story for another time). I looked out and it was getting dark at 7 p.m., so I opened up the doors to find the acrid smell of a grass fire (not unlike what the organic burning material Satan will foreshadow the apocalypse with) and wind blowing so hard that there were metal barrels and drywall soaring around in the air.
As with any good Oklahoma storm, limbs were cracked, roofs were torn off, and my power JUST went off.
Damn.
Now I feel like a live blogger.
So I’m home alone at nearly midnight because Billy is working late, and I have no power, an NO clue where some candles might be. I don’t even thing I OWN any candles.
The light from this laptop is the only thing I’ve got going for me.
So I guess it’s time to go find an alternate power source. Damn. I hope I’m not horribly murdered in the middle of the night as in so many cheap horror movies. I hope Billy get home soon. I hope it’s OK that I let in the muddy dog. It better be — he’s my best chance at survival at this point!

“You’re rapidly becoming …”

1 Jun

” … a big underground success in this town!”

In 25 years, I’ll be able to shake Burns Hargis’s hand in broad daylight!

A year ago I frothed at the mouth over a rental house we found near campus, and now it’s official — we are set to close on a house out west of town in two weeks.

I have been feeling guilty about gushing over this rental house and then moving. Our current home is lovely. It has massive trees and it’s in a cool-looking old neighborhood that’s close to campus and I have a set of amazing neighbors. But there’s a busy street out front and no kids for Vivian to play with and no place to ride bikes. There are amazing … ly hard to keep clean hardwood floors throughout, outdated appliances, no room in the kitchen, two tiny bathrooms and a basement for laundry. Ol’Boy is tired of having to carry his drums up and down the basement steps and not having a garage.

In short, we had a wonderful time in this conveniently located house that’s full of character, and now we’re going to sell out and move to the suburbs. The new house is nothing spectacular from the outside — in fact, I’m never sure which one it is when we drive up. It’s a totally non-descript, cookie-cutter tan (I think?) brick house. But it has a two-car garage, wall-to-wall carpeting, a huge master and guest bath, and best of all it backs to a massive greenbelt and sits near a neighborhood pond. All of Vivian’s best school friends live in this neighborhood, and I know a bunch of people out there.

I am relieved at the idea that I can once again walk through my own home barefoot, that my dog will finally have a fenced yard, that my kid can play in the neighborhood with friends, that we can go fishing any time we want, that I can walk through the miles of woods behind my house, that I can sit on the new wooden deck at night and face nature. I will miss the big trees of University Street, the feeling that you can feel the pulse of the city because you’re so close to its heart.

I will miss The SuperRogers who live next door to me and who have redefined what it means to be a neighbor and a friend so many times over. I will miss them most of all.

The urge toward comfort aligns closely with conformity, I’ve learned. Now I just have to learn to be OK with that.

 

10 phrases

27 May

that will get a suburban husband laid:

10. “Why do you look so hot? Isn’t it just at PTA meeting?”

9. “Hey, I was just about to buy you this Groupon for a pedicure …”

8. “… but it’s at that one place you don’t like because you think the Asian ladies are making fun of your feet in Vietnamese …”

7. ” … so I found a better one on Living Social.”

6. “Damn, I need to go to your hair stylist. You’re having like, a good hair month.”

5. “How do you keep your toenail polish so free of chips and your heels so smooth?”

4. “It’s not like I don’t LIKE porn — I just with the women looked more realistic … ”

3.  ” … all those hairless vaginas just seem kinda pervy … ”

2. ” … I’d much rather be with a woman with a little meat on her bones.”

1. “I wish my stepchildren were my real children. They are amazing.”

“Let’s get drunk …

23 May

“… and misbehave with inflatable toys.”

Day Two of the inspiration box, and pardon me — I originally posted to the wrong blog, so I added that post here.

To be honest, I have no idea what that references, but it’s funny. It either has to do with the lake, sex toys or a story I once did about a prank some high school band members played on their freshmen members at an away game where they made them pose sexually (though fully clothed) with inflatable sheep and took pictures of them, then got in trouble for sexually exploiting minors. Way to understand kids, authority figures. And way to seem super cool, senior bandies!

Speaking of getting drunk … such an ugly way to put it! We had five couple over this weekend for a band/fan cookout. It was BYOB, a mission each couple/family took fairly seriously. So there was hamburgering, and drinking, and caking and cooking and I think most people left around midnight and I would say it was a successful evening.

Events included:

* Real-life snake handling

* This:

* The formulation of a pilot for a series called “The Real Housewives of Payne County” (highlight: A clip of one of my new friends saying, “I honestly am a nice person and I usually get along with everyone!” spliced over a shot of her throwing a drink in someone’s face)

* “Shots” of Ol’Boy’s margaritas (a much better way to consume them, really)

* Walking into the kitchen the next morning and feeling like an extra in “The Hangover.” In so many ways.

So it’s been two years, and look at me! Friends, a new house, a great job, a puppy, a cat, wonderful child and a husband who knows just want to say, when to say it and when to just shut the fuck up and clean up the kitchen while I nap.

“Just FYI …

23 May

… my boyfriend is taking a shit in the woods.”

This is just one of the many messages written on a scrap of paper that I unfold, read, and laugh aloud at daily at my desk.

I’m not sure how many are in the handmade box, and I dread the day I run out.

The notes are part of a going-away present given to me by one of my favorite students and best friends, JC, who spent who knows how many hours jotting down random quotes, facts and anecdotes relating to our lives. The idea was that I could read one each day. I love my little tequila-box-turned-decoupage decoration, even if we two are the only ones who know what secrets it holds.

Summer means a slow time for me, and a chance to catch up on reading. Along those lines, I’d like to write more, and it occurred to me today that these notes would be a perfect chance to write a little about our many amazing adventures and probably just stir some emotions and thoughts about my life. She knows me so well, Baxter …

So here’s the story behind today’s note (the hope being that I salvage one daily this summer and write just a bit about it):

One of the (secret) epics of my life is simply known as Bubba Keg Day. I will save some of the details of that saga for a later post, and also hope my mom never seems them, because she would shit. It’s a story best told in chapters: Chapter 1, A Last-Minute Decision (Prompted by PK Bringing a Roadie into Our House Because it Was Officially Noon); Chapter 2, The River’s Mouth; Chapter 3, Exploring the Cave; Chapter 4, The Mysterious Turn-Around No One Actually Remembers (so that’s going to be a really short chapter); Chapter 5, Possibly the Cave Again? We’re Really Not Sure, But Definitely PK Skis With His Teeth; Chapter 6, The Flash; Chapter 7, Remains of the Day; Chapter 8, The Wagoner Sonic. The Epilogue shares its title with a film known simply as “The Hangover.”

So today’s note is the story of Chapter 6, The Flash.

After engaging in activities in Chapters 1-5, which in summary include taking five gallons of frozen margaritas onto the lake, we arrive, sloppy and sunburned, at Party Island, a nasty little spit of sand known for its drunken revelry and, presumably, lots of Girls Gone Wild-style flashing. We nose up and gun the boat onto the sand in a narrow spot between about six million other boats. It’s a fleshy, boozy carnival of gas, girls, cigarettes, a few unfortunate children that DHS had not yet picked up, and us– the Fab Five. Needless to say I’m wildly uncomfortable, and Ol’Boy never wants to leave. I’m not sure what led us to trapse up the sand, but the girls went walking and along the way ran into a girl waist deep in the water who warned us not to go any further on the island because, “Just FYI, my boyfriend is taking a shit in the woods.” There was something really hysterical to me about this buxom, mermaid-ic chick rising up out of the water to fill our ears with such filth that we promptly ran back to the boat to fill the boys in.

I decided to engage in a complete re-enactment just to show how funny it had been, and when I thrust myself up out of the water, Budweiser-girl style, my tube top popped off and slid down to my waist. Fortunately, the only person paying attention was our party, and the only member of that who HADN’T seen my ta-tas was PK, JR’s boyfriend. He was so embarrassed he couldn’t even compliment my fabulous rack. Poor guy was speechless.

Ol’Boy just turned to him and said, “Well, I guess now we’ve got something else in common.”

He always knows just what to say.