I Call Shenanigans

I DON’T DO CATFIGHTS

Women who believe this:

best

Don’t understand this:

Women-EmpowerA person might believe that the first statement is true empowerment, but it isn’t. In reality, it’s nothing more than fear biting.

Telling me that I get to choose whether you are my best friend or my worst enemy  gives all of your personal power away.

I am the one in control when that happens. You are giving me the power to choose who you are in my life instead of choosing for yourself.

I value my female friends and I know not all women do. Some women build walls because they believe we are the competition and we should be feared

They’ve been lied to.

This isn’t about feminism, it’s about recognizing the value in friendships and in each other. We are not the competition. Girlfriends are of vital importance in our lives. Don’t allow insecurity, jealousy, or fear keep you from the richness that is so vital to our psyche.

I have no interest in being friends with anyone, male or female, who feels the need to use fear and manipulation in order to control me. 

I have no interest in being friends with little girls today. 

Or little boys for that matter. 

And so I call shenanigans on any and all lies, manipulation, power trips, gossip, threats, with-holdings and fear based everything. 

Give me the power to choose and I will.

I choose neither and leave you alone to yourself and your fear.

I chose wisely, but have you?

 

 

 

 

The Tulsa Tough Diva’s are Back!

divas2Most of you dear readers remember my past stories and adventures while I ventured out into cycling back in 2011. I remember the thrill of doing my own research, going to Tom’s on Peoria and buying my very first street bike. My husband liked my bike so much he bought one as well. Personally, I think it’s because he was jealous that my new bike was faster than his.

Then I  did the Tulsa Tour de Cure on my own for the first time in 2012. I had so much fun I captained my own team in 2013.  Then my husband and I got our own dirt bikes, because you know dirt bikes are fun.

I even lamented on occasion about how I only know male cyclists (including my GYN and yes I posted snarky jokes about that. Hopefully he does not know this blog exists.), how even on the web there just weren’t that many women cyclist bloggers, and if I read one more story about man-scaping I was going to barf.

Well, things have changed.

Say hello to the Tulsa Diva’s.

I remember writing about how thrilled I was last year when the Tulsa Diva team started and how I was going to ride with them as soon as I got back from Nashville, only I didn’t because I fell and hurt my leg. Well, that and I totally wussed out because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up and that my leg would give out again. I totally regret that because they treat newbies like me so well and now, at least for this year, I’m not allowed to ride. — My tibia is in three pieces and I’m still working towards getting a full ankle replacement. I’m down for the whole 2014 season. I missed out.

Don’t be me.

There are a lot of great things to be had with the Tulsa Diva’s.

  1. Support – these women do a great job in including and encouraging riders. They have a Facebook group where they post up coming rides, tips and encouragement.
  2. Knowledge –– You don’t know anything about cycling? Great! Tulsa Diva’s host clinics for everyone on all aspects of riding. How to fix a bike, being properly fitted, rules of the road, how to ride with a group, mastering the three sisters,  racing and so much more.
  3. Fellowship — It’s not just the group rides. Everyone is included and invited to post ride fellowship, parties, and other events. Great friendships have already been built because of the Tulsa Diva’s. I’ve even made friends with a few on Facebook that I am looking forward to getting to know in real life.
  4. Events — the Tulsa Diva’s do more than just Tulsa Tough and weekly training rides. Throughout the year they participate in numerous rides like Tour de Cure, MS-150, Gran Frodos, biathlons, marathons, triathlons, CAT Races and whatever else they can come up with. When you sign up for any kind of cycling event or whatnot, you know you are not alone. There is a Diva Sister there with you for fun, encouragement, and support.

Women Cycling in Tulsa! Can you believe it?

Even though I haven’t made it to a group ride, these women (and the guys who help run it) have been wonderfully encouraging, passing on information, and giving me ideas on how I can still train while my leg heals. (Like swimming).

Oh, and their kits are awesome.

Check them out at TULSA  DIVAS

You can bet come next Spring, I WILL be riding with them. Hope you’ll join me.

Better yet, join now. You won’t regret it.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda Take Two

ImageFor those who tried to click on this yesterday, I do apologize. A technical glitch (ie. ID10T error) caused this post to temporarily post prematurely.

———–

Nothing quite says “good morning” like walking outside and realizing your car has been stolen and nothing quite makes finding the car bittersweet like discovering that the thief kept all of your electronics.

Granted the whole issue is 90% my fault. If I hadn’t decided to unpack my car in the morning because I was “tired” from a road trip, I’d still have my camera, IPad, and laptop. Lesson learned.

And I’d still have my video footage of my comedy as well as the boys high school graduations if I’d backed my camera up to more than just my laptop. But I didn’t.

Oh well.

Coulda woulda shoulda does nothing for how I feel about the whole situation though. Truth is, I feel violated.

Feeling violated is a perfectly normal response. Staying stuck in that feeling however, is not.

Even though I wrote a rather funny comedy bit about how the police officer didn’t believe my car was actually stolen and even though I got to tell my bit on a nationally syndicated radio show (Thank you Daren Streblow for that wonderful chance), it was months before I could tell that bit without my voice shaking.

I kept telling myself “It’s just stuff, no big deal. At least we got my car back” but I didn’t really believe it.

My “stuff” – my tapes, my stories, my photos, were stolen in July 2013. It is now March 2014 and only now have I saved up enough money to replace my lap top and my camera. I even took that as forgive me for this “a sign from God” that maybe I shouldn’t do comedy ever again.

I mean let’s face it, all proof that I’d ever done comedy was now gone.

We let fear get the best of us during the in between stage of theft and recovery. I live in Fort Knox. I no longer keep my front door unlocked. I keep lights on in my house, I leave nothing in my car and I don’t go anywhere alone.

I really needed to take back my peace of mind. I made the decision to replace what was stolen once and for all.

This is my first post on my new laptop. This is me telling whomever stole my stuff that you can’t steal my heart.

Honestly, I could have probably found a way to replace it sooner, but I think I was punishing myself for allowing it to be stolen in the first place and put it off.

I convinced myself that my $299 Samsung tablet was good enough. It wasn’t. Not for what I do anyway.

I write.

I do stand up comedy.

I take amazing photographs.

I love sitting on my back porch, writing in the sunshine.

I’m doing that today.

I win.

Question for you dear readers. Have you ever had anything stolen? How did you deal with it?

Hard-Core Cowgirl or Stubborn Redhead?

20131009_103635In all fairness I did not realize I had broken my ankle on the beach.

Yes, it hurt.

No I could not walk on it properly.

But as long as I stepped on the ball of my right foot, and walked in sand, I could move around pretty well.

Besides I paid $100 to ride those horses.

On the beach.

In the ocean.

In the Bahamas.

I’m not going to let a little pain get in  the way.

I did not find out my ankle was broken (Tibia) until I got home and had it x-rayed. That’s when I realized that I rode a horse, bareback, in the ocean with a broken ankle.

I think that makes me a hard-core cowgirl.

My husband thinks that makes me a stubborn redhead. What can I say, guilty as charged.

Stubborn or not, broken ankle or not, I had a wonderful time on the Girls Getaway Cruise sponsored by Premier Christian Cruises. Four days of insightful speakers, comedy via The Comedy Angels (Man they are hilarious), and great music with Selah. A few of us even got to come on stage and “sing” with Selah. That was a blast. Oh yeah, I’ll be holding that over my praise and worship leader husband for sure. I got to sing with Selah. BAM!

Because of my injury and needing special assistance by the airlines, I even got to sit with one of my favorite bible teachers, Jennifer Rothschild, on the flight from Orlando to Dallas. And yes for those who know me — it took a lot to hide giddy. I also prayed heavily before opening my mouth, “Dear Lord, what ever you do please don’t let me sound like an idiot.”

That lasted five minutes. We were talking about the comedy angels and I told her I was friends with one of them. She asked which one. I said, “The Redhead.”

For those who don’t know, Jennifer is blind.

Yep. I really did that.

I could have said, the one from Washington DC who compared Target to hell. That she could have gotten. Not “the redhead. ”

Oh well. She was gracious and didn’t point out the uselessness of that description, and for that I’m grateful.

Jesus Knows Me

bull-headed

Opinionated

Stubborn 

Redheaded

rides horses with a broken ankle

get’s my words mixed up

Sometimes fearful

ME

This I love.

What a ride!

Last night’s interview on Slay N Savage was a blast. — If you missed it you can CLICK HERE for the archive.  One of the questions they asked was how did I become a stand up comic. That’s not an easy question to answer off the top of my head. It’s been a crazy journey full of twists, turns, starts, stops, long periods of self-doubt with bursts of WOW THAT ROCKED!

It’s been a wonderful journey so far. If someone had told me back when I started that I would be playing in bars and clubs, be cast as an extra in local movies and get interviewed on Blog Talk Radio, I would not have believed you. So a quick thank you to my son Charlie, and the always affable Yakov Smirnoff who accidentally gave me my start, without even realizing it. — oh and sorry about the stalking dude.

I found this story today while I was going through my old notes looking for material. I’d forgotten I’d written it. Hope you like it.

How I became a stand up comic.

Written: November 4, 2009 – Just four months after deciding to go pro.

The roads I travel in life are rarely smooth. Maybe it’s because I live in Oklahoma and we don’t believe in repairing concrete, or maybe it’s the wanderlust redhead in me, either way I start down one path and I inevitably wind up on some motocross race track doing loops, turns, tricks and stops, pausing from time to time to eat mud pies.

This is a mud pie kind of day. I’m editing what I used to think are funny stories into something more compatible with a stand up format. As I sit at my computer picking gravel out of my knees and my stories, I’m struck by the thought of “Who can I blame for this mess?”

Being a humor writer and loaning out stories and jokes is a smooth road. Stand up comedy? Not so much. I don’t know this road and yet here I am, forsaking one for the other. I’m taking my shot and running with the big dogs. Why? Only my therapist can answer that. It just feels right. That’s all there is to it. I have this insatiable need to make people laugh and to do it well. “Hi, I’m Deana and I’m a stand up comic.” My 12 step group meets in clubs throughout the United States.

I didn’t start my comedy career doing stand up. I’m a humorist. I write and tell funny stories. Have for years. Then it happened. My oldest son gets straight A’s in 6th grade and he wants to see Yakov Smirnoff in Branson. Simple enough really. Branson is only three hours away so off we go. I should have just bought him a car. It would have been cheaper.

Yakov has this part in his show where members of the audience are allowed to tell him jokes. The person with the funniest story gets to go on stage and interview him. Neat little piece. At least it was before my son looked up at me and said “Mom! You’re funny, why don’t you tell him one of your stories?”

” How hard can it be.” I thought to myself.

I’m convinced those words will be on my tombstone. In short, I died a horrible, humiliating, miserable death-by-choking in front of Yakov, my son, and 1,400 people. All of it on film. Nice.

I can only blame myself for what happened next. I spent the next two years striving to save my pride and convince this dear sweet long on patience man that I am indeed funny. I went to no less than six of his shows hoping for another shot. We communicated via telephone, email, snail mail and in person. I even bought roughly ten of his paintings. Hey, it’s not stalking until you see the whites of the restraining order, okay? It turns out that I cannot get within a hundred yards of Yakov without turning into a walking lobotomy. Go figure.

In short I made an idiot out of myself. I convinced him that I was something alright. I’m not so sure about the funny part though. Suffice to say, I have not set foot in Branson in about five years. Just driving through Missouri gives me hives.

undeterred by my egostically driven set back, I continue on as a humor writer and story-teller. Joining writing groups and comedic message boards to better hone my craft, I learn that Christian comics have their own club of sorts. They have a message board, Facebook, fan pages and conferences. Figuring that four years is enough time to hide from comics and that the stigma has to have worn off by now, I drive with a friend to their most recent conference in Nashville Tennessee.

I am at home with these funny people. No longer a slave to my comedic lust, I find other kindred spirits and I find peace. My friend talks me into participating in their Open Mic for newbies and I gladly participate.

In all fairness, I erroneously assumed that the men and women would be separated. Women would critique women and men would critique men kind of thing. I assumed incorrectly. Imagine my surprise to learn that my panel of advisors would consist of men named Bone, Nazareth and Thor. There was also Kenn and LeLand, the oddballs with normal names, but I digress. Bottom line, I’m a female humorist/story-teller about to face an entire audience of comics and male critiquers with a story about the time my husband’s doctor guilted me into being present during his vasectomy.

I’m an intelligent woman. It did not take me long to assess three things.

1.) This story was probably not appropriate for this particular venue.
2.) I don’t have the energy to stalk these five men for two years to convince them I really am funny so I better think of something quick.
3.) I had consumed so much sweet tea that evening that the stability of my bladder is now questionable.

I took three of my funniest bits and tried to turn them into stand up material on the fly. Thankfully they laughed while I tried not to hyperventilate or pee.

As for my bladder issues, I just moved around a lot hoping it would stabilize. If that failed, I’m over weight so I was just going to tell the guys that I’m pregnant and my water broke. They are men. They would have dropped me off at the nearest hospital and gone on their merry way and I would have hidden out in my hotel room until the conference was over and my room-mate was ready to drive home.

And that, my friends is how I became a stand up comic.

I Will Beat Her

316017_4200182861719_1861147339_n

I saw this yesterday on my cycling group page and fell in love with this.

I am totally putting this one on my bathroom mirror!

I’ve heard it said many times that performing artists are basically needy and insecure. I’d laugh, but it’s kinda true at least for me. I’m an approval junkie for sure. I also want to be fit and healthy again. I get really frustrated at times by how long that is taking me. I’m not rolling with set backs as well I used to either. My husband is a great encourager in that regard. He keeps me from giving up, which is a good thing.

My husband, son and I tried to go cycling last night. I’ll admit I really didn’t want to. I’d been to the doctors in the morning to talk about my neuropathy in my left leg and was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the possible causes, cures et al. I don’t yet know the full extent of what is going on with my leg and part of me is afraid to ride. I’ll see a specialist in the next week or so and have and EMG performed to test the nerve functions in my left ankle and foot. Hopefully that will provide some answers. I don’t have diabetes, we know that, and I’ve learned that peripheral neuropathy can also a sign of hypothyroidism and blood work will be coming up after the EMG. To add to the fun mix the middle finger on my left hand is now spontaneously twitching. I could very well simply have a pinched nerve in my back. I’ll know more in a couple of weeks, no point obsessing at this time. Not that logic like that stops me, you know?

I can ride, doc said so. I just shouldn’t ride alone, which I’m not. I always feel better after I ride. I just need to do it more often.

I ran out of excuses last night and recognized that look that communicates he’s run out of patience and conceded to ride with him. If I’m going to make him drink green smoothies and try vegan dishes, I darn well better hit the trails.

We finally get to the trail head only to discover our bikes were trying to copulate. His pedal was somehow stuck on my water bottle holder and nothing we did could untangle them and we had to go home and find a screw driver in order to separate the bikes. Amused is not the word I would choose to describe our mutual state of mind when we got home.

We’ll be getting a bike rack for the back of the pick up this week.

All that’s wrong really is I’m afraid. Old fears have no place in my world today. They still show up and it’s my job to silence them.

I’ve genuinely overweight for the first time in my life. This has been an eye opening experience, let me tell you. The assumptions, and prejudices that come with that are astounding. On one hand I enjoy not being hit on anymore and I do enjoy being taken more seriously on an intellectual level (both are bonuses to me) on other hand I don’t enjoy the whole stigma that comes with it. Not to mention the impact it’s had on my own self esteem or my health. My looks used to be very important to me. Not that I was ever vain or shallow, I just worked hard to look my best. I’ve really had to reassess how I see myself. I didn’t get this way because I gave up, truth is I landed here through fad dieting, bulimia, and probably menopause. I can change most of that.

 I’ll write more about that later. suffice to say, deep down there is this little girl who is afraid of failing yet again. She does like to show up once in a while and I’m not going to let her win. I will beat her, after all, no one knows her like I do. And that is a good thing.

Ambulance on Stand By? — On Deck Route 66 Marathon

320362_479224935424341_664089366_nAwesome moments in history — In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki] /

This woman is amazing!

I’m not even going to do her justice here. Talk about resolve. An official tried to forcibly remove her from the race and other men stepped in to protect her and she was able to finish the race. You can read her online bio HERE

Anyone who has the wherewithal to finish a marathon has my utmost respect, male or female, but do be the first woman ever to run in one and do it like she did, is priceless in my book.

I do not presently have my sights on running a full marathon. Heck, I’m lucky to run down the block without throwing up. I do however want to climb Pikes Peak in Colorado on my 50th birthday (in 2015) and that is going to take some training.

Why Pikes Peak? Because action trumps self pity every day.

The book “Don’t Let Me Go: What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make” by David Pierce planted this seed of mine back in 2009. It’s about his mountain climbing adventures with his daughter. I almost didn’t read the book because I hate father daughter everything. In a moment of personal bravery, I decided to get over myself and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. They climbed quite a few mountains and ran a lot of races together. I can almost bet if his daughter was the one being attacked in a marathon, he’d be the first man to protect her. I’m a little envious to be honest.

While Don’t Let Me Go opened a desire for adventure it also opened a wound. Bits and pieces of self-pity starting seeping into my veins. Not all at once mind you, just a little here and a little there. I ignored it for a long time and went on my own adventures like horseback riding through the jungles of Belize in 2011 (wicked cool!) and swimming with sharks in Cancun with my husband and boys in 2012 (and amazingly awesome) as well as snorkeling a barrier reef that same year. I love going on adventures with my guys and I hope we get to do many more as the years go by.

Even so, I could not shake the “oh how I wish I had a father to do things with while I was growing up.” bug of a monster in the back of my brain. Self-Pity is a horrible, nasty, terrible disease that lies and festers if you don’t kick it in the butt as soon as it surfaces. I finally had to face it and call it out for what it is — a self absorbed, egotistical, useless waste of time, breath, and energy.

I don’t have a father. There is nothing I can do about that. That is reality. I have a birth father, but that’s not the same thing.

It.

is

what

it

is.

I know, I’m 47 and I have “daddy issues” so sue me. Deep down, I believe a lot of women do. That’ s not always as easy as I can make it sound. Books have been written on it and I’m not going to bore you here. I’m just adding this because for some  reason self-pity told me I could never climb Pikes Peak.

My brain is bad neighborhood and I cannot go there alone most days so I finally I decided to talk this out with a friend of mine. She’s ruthless mind you which is why I talk to her only when I’m ready.

“Let me get this straight. You want to climb Pikes Peak because of a book you read, but you can’t because you don’t have a dad and your husband’s knees are too bad to join you? Well that sounds ridiculous.  Call a friend to go with you and climb the stupid mountain. Don’t call me because I have arthritis, but I’m sure there is at least one other crazy person in Tulsa who will travel with you.”

Sure enough I mentioned my desire while at a friend’s house and one of the gals at the table said she’d driven UP the mountain but had never climbed it, she’d love to go with me.

Huhn.

And there you have it. On August 27, 2015 – my 50th birthday, I Deana will summit Pikes Peak – without using the train, or a four-wheeler. I will do it the old-fashioned way – hiking up and I will be doing it with friends.

I have some hurdles to get over before attempting to climb this mountain. It’s a two-day climb I have some physical issues that need to be addressed. My son’s doctor was correct, parent’s of special needs kids do great taking care of their kids, but are lousy at taking care of themselves. My youngest is now grown, seizure free (because of the right meds)  functioning as an adult with a job, a car, and is going to college. I can relax. I get to take care of me now. That’s a good thing. I can either feel lost and un-needed (and that does come up some days) or I can remind myself that I am needed, by me, to take care of me because no one else can do that quite like I can.

1. I’m way out of shape — 50+ pounds out of shape.

2. My right ankle cannot tolerate long distance walking and PP is a lot of walking. (I shattered it as a kid and it’s pretty messed up today)

3. My left foot likes to go to sleep randomly, without warning. – no clue why and yes my doc is looking into it.

4. I’ve never been to Colorado. I have no idea if I can handle the altitude.

I have to start somewhere and the best place to start is where my feet are.

How do I start? by planning smaller steps, acknowledging my obstacles and planning ways to overcome those. — (I learned all this from Storyline by the way.)

Baby Steps:

  1. I will be in cycling events, starting with 25 miles this June and culminating with the MS-150 in 2014. (my base mileage is still at 10-15. I need to bring it up a lot)
  2. I will participate in 5k’s. Walking at first and eventually running in those. – I’ll be posting these events on my side bar for accountability.
  3. I will (Big Gulp) participate in the Route 66 half marathon this November. I signed up yesterday. This to me is a big hairy audacious deal. I make fun of marathon runners. Who knows maybe I’ll like it so much that I actually want to run in the full one next year.  Don’t laugh, it could happen. I swam with sharks last year — anything’s possible. And I’m told they have medics on stand-by just in case, so it’s all good.

I’m not in a holding pattern between being a Mom and waiting to be a Grandma — I’m a woman. I have a story to write. I have my story to live.

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

DARE TO LIVE