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.