This rollercoaster belongs in a theme park.

Looks pretty scary, huh?

Welcome to my point of view. Just a typical day in my life, recently.

As I mentioned here, life has been pretty nuts around the ole Calibama Ranch. And here’s the thing: it’s all family drama.  Okay, maybe not ALL of it.  But…whatever.

My struggle is with the fact that I built this family. Literally. Everyone knows each other because I packed my life up and drove to California 16 years ago. Might as well change my name to CATALYST, because that initial decision, followed by the marital union of The Man and me 3.5 years later, charted the life courses of no less than 8 people. Seriously. I’m not kidding, nor exaggerating. I’d list all the connections and such, but they aren’t my stories to tell and at the rate I’m going, I certainly can’t risk the shit getting any deeper up in here. Suffice to say, with the exception of one, who made the move here shortly after I did, and served a stint as my roommate for a bit in the early years…my closest girlfriends from college, are now family…for reals. Sister brought it full-circle, by leaving blood relation–complete with their own full-scale dramatic productions– behind in ‘Bama and creating my very own ‘friendamily’ here on the West Coast. It took me sixteen years…actually only thirteen to be exact…to do it, but masterpieces take time, right?

So.

Does that mean I’m responsible for this chaos? Please. Don’t. Answer. That.

At any rate, guilty or not, I have no regrets. None. Life has its highs and lows, peaks and valleys. Sometimes all in the same effing week. Even if the genie from Aladdin–complete with Robin Williams’ voice, a shiny gold lamp and a groovy magic carpet–suddenly appeared, offering me the opportunity to go back 13 years and do things differently, I wouldn’t. Every single introduction, experience, and life-altering event would remain intact, in its original, organic state. Honestly. Having all these people assembled together in my world interacting in such an amazing, tumultuous, meaningful way is a blessing, truly worth its weight in gold. Why, you ask?

Because I was given this life, and I appreciate every ounce of it.

Damn. I just tripped over a memory.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/14436396]

**I wrote the following essay 2-1/2 years ago, as a note on FB. Just stumbled upon it and thought it was blog worthy. The video above is from my work with Mimoda Jazzo Gruppa, although I have…sadly… since left the company 🙂 

As some of you may or may not know, I have been a dancer my entire life. Started when I was small….about 5 years old, I think….and just kept running with it. Straight on through a degree majoring in the art of it at the University of Alabama. Whew! You might think getting your Bachelor’s degree in dance was a picnic. I assure you, it was not. Worked my ass off. Lost both my parents while still in college, and graduated with a big fat, WTF, am I gonna do now?” sign handed to me right along with my diploma. OH….I CAN TEACH….right. I’ll be honest. I hate teaching, and truly admire people who can do it, because I didn’t get that gene. A flaw, I know, but I get too effing frustrated trying to teach people how to do something that comes so naturally for me. Makes me madder than a wet hen when I run into a student who can’t do it, or worse, a dancer who can’t follow choreography. So what if I like to use “creative visualization” as tool for teaching dance steps? Get over it, and follow my instructions.

So I simply avoid the task. Problem solved.

Of course, I had grand dreams of dancing professionally, in a company….in New York. Didn’t know a soul there, and didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together to create enough friction to get there. Much less, money to live on until I could find a job to support my dancing habit. Without a support network to speak of, I was terrified to go. End of story? Not quite. A ray of hope shined through, and a friend who lived in Los Angeles, offered me a place to stay until I could get on my feet. So I decided that was God’s way of telling me that California would be my new home. After all, nothing left for me in Alabama, really.

My biggest fans had passed, landing front row seats in Heaven. Time for a new audience. 

That was in June of 1996.

Cut to present day…I still reside in my “Land of Opportunity” aka Los Angeles. I’ve lived all over the city, from the beach to the Valley and several places in between. Met The Man a year into my residence here, played hard to get for 18 months, and then married him in 1999.

So what have I been “doing” for the past 10 years, you ask? Have I been dancing professionally? Um….no. Life took me in a different direction, and that aspiration got put on hold….for 3 excellent reasons. Their names are Sugar Bean, Butter Bean and Sweet Pea. But now, they are all in school, and I have a little time for myself each week. And life has once again begun to work in strange, yet exquisite ways. Which brings me to this…..

At 37 years old, after giving birth to 3 babies and being largely absent from dance class for 10 years, I decided to audition for a new dance company, and I was accepted. My goal of being in a professional company…checked off the bucket list. YAY!! I posted about this a week ago, and was elated over it for 48 hours. Then I made the very difficult decision to turn down the invitation to join. For reasons I won’t get into here. Suffice to say, I settled into the reality that simply being asked was good enough for me. Although, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about calling the artistic director, claiming a momentary lapse of reason, and groveling until he let me join.

But…..remember…..my life works in strange ways. 

The phone rang yesterday, and it was his assistant calling. To invite me to rehearsal. Guess they are still hashing out the details of who’s in, and who’s out…..and I got a reprieve. A second chance without asking. I was speechless, and it’s hard to render me speechless. Lol.

Anyway, I am chalking it up to divine intervention. God is trying to tell me something. He opened a window because I needed a way out, after someone else shut the doors. I closed the window because of a draft. Thought it was locked, but now He has thrown me the key.

I’m not stupid. I have my first rehearsal from 5pm to 9pm tonight.

Oh, and here’s something my sister wrote about me, I think is pretty relevant to this story. Enjoy 🙂

TINY DANCER by Shane Jackson

She captured the hearts of many; a hard life up ahead.

Found her heart was broken, her parents both were dead.

She dug deep into her soul, the strength she found within,

With high hopes and her tears, her journey did begin.

I stood there pleading loudly, “Please sweetheart stay with me.”

But I knew deep inside that, I was not what she needs.

So on my knees I prayed hard, “Dear God, please wrap her soul.

Protect my precious sister, on the road she chose so cold.”

Today the years have flown past, on each we’ve leaned quite hard.

Though loss of memory plagues us, our pain seems now afar.

She told me of a story, that brought her heart so near.

Each time she entered God’s House, out of nowhere tears appeared.

This tiny dancer sparks up and beams a sun filled glow,

To anybody she sees, and everywhere she goes.

To her family, and 3 children now, she plays the role of life.

God’s work upon this dancer, leaves you knowing God’s great might.

If ever you seem troubled, or feel your load to much to bear,

Remember the Tiny Dancer, who faced life’s utmost dare.

He’ll never leave you lonely; He’ll never stray away.

If you continue praying,

You’ll dance like her one day.

🙂 

“You got 10 Minutes?”

There should be a picture of a MAN.

There should be a picture of a MAN.

Okay, I learned a valuable lesson yesterday:

Don’t read posts from other blogs to The Man, as he will inevitably ask a question related to the post, leading to a discussion I really don’t want to be a part of. How did I not anticipate that? Dammit.  

That being said, his question inspired this post, so I suppose I should mumble ‘thank you’ under my breath at some point later this evening. Of course, that will depend on how many views it gets…lol. Yeah, I’m a bitch like that 🙂 

Anyway, after reading this to him, from Chopping Potatoes, The Man asked:

“Why do women always put the desire of sex on their mates, by saying ‘he might get lucky’? How come I’ve never heard a woman say, ‘It would make my day if I GET LUCKY later’? Do women view sex as an obligatory chore?” 

wow. Wow. WOW.

I sat speechless, which almost never happens. Searching for, not just words, but the right words. Blurting out what I was thinking was simply unacceptable, but I had to say something, right? So I stammered and managed to evade a direct answer by saying I needed to consult other women before opening Pandora‘s Box. He suggested I blog about it, and here I am. Something tells me after reading this, he will not make that mistake again 🙂

My theory is that, sex drives and desires are unique to each individual woman. You’re probably thinking, “Damn. This woman is a genius!”  Yeah, right.  This being said, I believe once you become a mother, a completely different light is cast upon sex, and it occupies a less emergent spot on the “to do list”. When a woman is single and dating, or committed–yet not tethered to small humans demanding her undivided attention–sex is a little more, dare I say?…exciting. Something you WANT TO DO. It can be spontaneous, and happen almost anywhere, anytime. If the mood hits, BAM…you can be in the moment. However, when you are constantly aware of the bazillion things you must do to maintain order among your tribe, it somehow morphs into…well…a chore. One more thing you have to schedule into your already-bursting-at-the-seams calendar. Something reserved for date nights, the occasional kids are sleeping at a friends’ or  their grandparents’ house….OR the miraculous, by the grace of God, once every few years, “grown up weekend away together”. Oh what I would give for one of those! And even then, I suspect, I might just want to sleep. LOL.

There is another aspect to all of this though. Scientific evidence exists to support the fact that men think about sex more often than women, they seek it out more frequently, and are more straightforward in the approach and expectations. An excellent article highlighting these statements can be found here at WebMD.  Honestly, my own husband could be the poster child for the article. There is a running joke in our house associated with the normally benign statement “Hey, you got 10 minutes?” as it is code for “I want to bang you like a drum–right now. The problem is,  The Man asks whenever I am busy with things like getting ready for a meeting, catching up on laundry, doing dishes, taking care of the family pets, paying bills, gathering internet research or performing just about any other responsibility that must be completed in the precious hours of the day when all three of  The Girls are at school, and before they need to be shuttled here and there for after school activities.

Oooohhhhh…..Did I forget to mention The Man has been on hiatus from his job, intermittently, for the better portion of the last 7 months? And he doesn’t have any hobbies. NONEAre you understanding why this is a problem for me? Yes. I thought so.

On the flip side, I AM thankful that, after 13 years of marriage and 3 delightful children…he still honestly believes I am the hottest thing on two legs, and is genuinely attracted to me. How do I know this? Because he tells me. Every. Single. Day. So, it’s not just an attempt to satisfy his biological need to “release” in order to avoid the apparent pain of blue balls. My apologies for the ‘frat boy’ reference. I just couldn’t think of a better way to say it.

I do realize I suck for not “hoping to get lucky” more often and for never being vocal about it when I desire to. Dear Husband, I owe you an apology for that. From now on, I will be diligent in my effort to let you know how very much I want to screw your brains out love and desire you, and show you how blessed I feel that you are my smoking hot hubby. Oh, and I vow to ask “You got 10 minutes?” every single time I witness you doing dishes, vacuuming floors, making dinner, or watching a big game on ESPN.

Promise.

Actually, I think I got a fandamntastic start on this with the “Trophy Husband” tee-shirt I bought you today, huh?

Night, y’all 🙂

N

11:11

 

Image

 

For the past 2 weeks, I have glanced at the clock….twice a day….at precisely 11:11 without fail. 

I’ve always heard, if you happen to catch this marvelous time of day, you should make a wish. So that’s what I have been doing. For 14 days. 

The same wish, 11:11, after 11:11. 

“Please allow something good to happen to everyone I love.” (okay, so there have been some specifics…lol)

Is it working? Let me know, okay?

xo,

N