Category Archives: Hip-Hip-Hooray!

A Real, Live Sooner

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It is done. I AM AN OU STUDENT. I have a schedule and a fancy binder.

Following my advisement today, I enrolled in two classes. What I got…well, it’s not optimal. I had wanted two online classes, to go with the two on-campus classes I’m enrolled in at my current school. Since Robert is still working on getting back home more, I didn’t feel like having to drive to OU numerous times a week was a wise idea.

Well, I was able to get one online class, but the other that I needed is full. I don’t really have the option of not taking this class, as it’s a prerequisite for, oh, all the other Anthropology classes. So, for now, I am enrolled in an on-campus class, M-W-F. While I’m there on Mondays I will also attend the lab for my online Geology course.

At the suggestion of my advisor, I did contact the instructor of the online class to see if he’d make an exception and let me in. I don’t know if that’s at all within the realm of possibility. There may be a waiting list and I have no grounds to assume he’ll allow this. I really hope he does, though, because, if so, I will only have to drive to OU once a week…and my two local classes are going to be easy, so I’ll have plenty of time to maintain my sparkling 4.0. Or just pass. I’m good with just passing.

In either event, I am on my way.

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Merry….birthday

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Next week is going to be Christmas in September….or maybe happy early birthday to me. Not only do I get to go see my Maroon 5 boys (have I mentioned the sixth row, center?) but I will also, God and UPS willing, become the proud possessor of new headphones and a headphone amp, a new iron and a new hair dryer.

For some reason I always feel like I have to justify myself and my purchases so allow me to impart, to one and all, the following information:

1) My current hair dryer is pushing 20 years old. I brought it with me when I moved to Oklahoma from California in 1996. It was not new then. It was my mom’s before that. Its plastic housing is cracked and every time I turn it on I think I have it set on low by accident. It’s not. It’s on high. It takes approximately eight hundred years to dry my hair with it.

My diffuser....let me show you it.

2) I, as many peole know, iron A LOT. My current iron is at least as old as my sixth-grader. The non-stick coating on the plate is coming off, it won’t squirt water any more, I can’t adjust the steam level because the switch broke off, and it leaks.

Don't worry, love. I'm coming to save you.

3) I have been owed a pair of headphones for more than a year now. In the summer of 2010 my very nice pair of Bose headphones (barely over six months old) went missing from our house while I was out of town. They either found their way into a box while Robert was cleaning out the closet and were accidentally thrown out or put into the impromptu yard sale he held, or one of the girls he had helping stole them. I know that I did not move them somewhere because part of the two-piece cord was left behind in the closet. I never would’ve separated the two halves, as I had no reason to do so (and I couldn’t have used the headphones without the lower half of the cord). I have also ruled out the perennial favorite parental explanation that they must’ve grown legs and walked away. Ever since the disappearance Robert has been promising me a new pair so I can listen to all the Beatles remasters.

John, Paul, George and Ringo live in here.

So, yep; I officially love next week. Shallow? Perhaps – but I think a good case can be made for it being well past time for an upgrade on two of those items. The third? Maybe not so much, although it does bear repeating that it’s a replacement for an item I already had which was lost through no fault of my own. And, what can I say? Music makes me happy. Being able to really crawl inside the recording and hear things I’ve never heard before? Makes me even happier. Surely that’s worth something.

No idea how to use one of these but it was totally a must. Totally.

God bless the University of Oklahoma

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I’ve had to….I won’t say “fight hard” to get into school because, compared to some people’s trials, my experience wasn’t that difficult. I did have to jump through some hoops, though, and there was a time or two when it would’ve been easier to say, “Forget about it, I don’t need the hassle” and walk away.

Because of this you might think that my main emotion upon being accepted into school would be jubilation. That isn’t entirely accurate. I’ve been excited, sure. But it’s been tempered by a feeling of trepidation. Part of this, I am sure, has its roots in “Can I do this?” in the sense of the actual work/homework.

The other part, I now realize, stemmed from a different kind of  “Can I do this?” You see, I was led to believe that the University of Oklahoma (where I plan to get my degree in Anthropology) did not have an archaeology program.

We don't want your kind 'round here! Also, get off our lawn!

This left me with quite a dilemma; namely, that the closest university with an archaeology program is in Austin, TX. Now, whether I’d be able to even get in there or not (they are notoriously biased against non-Texas residents), the bottom line was the same: I was looking at leaving home to get my Masters and being away from my family for months at a time. The uncertainty as to how I was going to manage this cast a definite pall over the whole school situation.

So imagine my absolute and utter delight today when I started researching schools and found that I was completely, 100% wrong. Not only can I get a Masters in archaeology at dear old OU, I can get my PhD if I am so inclined. All I need, it seems, is to get some field school work before beginning the program – which I’d intended to do anyway.

You may laugh at my pants but you and I are going to be seeing a LOT of each other. Where you stayin' at, girl?

I have always wanted to go to OU, anyway, and the glaringly obvious practicality makes it that much more attractive. I freaking LOVE the University of Oklahoma now. I would gay marry the University of Oklahoma if I could (but we’d have to move to New York first). I am filled with so much school spirit already.

Okay, maybe not quite that much.

Now, OU is an hour+ away from where I live, so there will likely be some separation anyway. Husband and I have discussed my actually getting a place up there and staying M-Th or M-F. This way I could take a full load and actually get finished in a normal amount of time rather than dragging it out for a decade or more. I could come home for the whole weekend and even be readily available if one of the kids has a school function. If my schedule worked out so that there was a day where my classes ended early and the next day’s classes started later it’s even close enough where I could run home just for the night and be there to help get the kids off to school in the morning. That, compared to my actual moving away and only coming home on school breaks? Is positively heavenly.

Cue the jubilation.

After I graduate I'm going to dress like this every. single. day. You've been warned.

College Drama: Resolved

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It was called to my attention that I had never updated following my last post about the kerfuffle at the university. Someone on Facebook asked me the following day “What did you have to do?” to which my answer was, “Talk to someone who actually knew what they were doing.”

Basically what I did was go back the next day and see my advocate in the Educational Opportunity Center. He is there to help me with whatever I need and I told him it was a positive insult that I should have to test in English and Reading after scoring near-perfect on the ACT. He told me I didn’t have to take the whole test, just the Math. I still didn’t think that was necessary – it was patently clear that I could do basic math but not algebra or above, and that I should be in zero-level Math – but I found it more important to get myself accepted than to argue. I felt I could live with taking the doofus Math test if it meant getting past this particular hurdle. So I took it – and tested at “post-high school” level. And if someone can explain to me how I can test at post-high school level when the ACT is (allegedly) high school or post-high school level and I bombed it, I’d be most obliged.

Anyway. The next step was to go talk to people in three different departments and let them look at my paperwork, my scores, etc., and tell them why I am deficient in Math. They were all very nice and very impressed with my scores, and all said that they couldn’t see me having any problems. The final lady I talked to advised me against taking a full load (I hadn’t planned on it; there’s no way, with three kids and having to do most of the work myself). She thought three classes would be a good place to start and I agreed.

From there it was on to make my appointment to come back for enrollment and class selection (June 9th), and there we had it. I was accepted. They asked me if I wanted an official letter and I said yes. It came the other day and you’d better believe I’m going to keep it, thank you very much. I can see it, framed, on the wall of my office years down the road.

And so, ladies and gents, off we go into the wild blue yonder. What will happen? I don’t know. Maybe this won’t work out how I’m currently planning. Maybe it will. Is it insane for me to pursue this course of study at this particular time in my life? Perhaps. But I’ll never know if I can do it until I try. I have the means, I have the support and I am more motivated than I’ve been maybe in my entire life. I have decided I want to do something and I’m actually following through. Even when it didn’t go as smoothly getting started as I’d expected, I followed through. The quote that has kept me going through this beginning process has been, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I made that step and now the journey has begun. I’m thrilled to see where it takes me.

Happy birthday, Babyhead

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Happy birthday to my darling oldest child, and happy anniversary-of-becoming-a-mom to me.
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In a happy coincidence, Madalyn’s field trip to the local kids’ ranch (a reward for meeting reading goals) is today. She is going to be one busy bee. She arrived at school only to immediately jump on the bus to her gifted & talented class. She’ll get back to her campus and go straight to lunch and, from lunch, onto another bus for the field trip. She will return to school an hour before the end of the day, during which time she and her classmates will eat the cupcakes I’m taking down there when I go to drop off her special birthday lunch. When she gets home she’ll have her presents and after that we’ll go to dinner. It’s going to be a fun birthday, and that’s not even counting her party on Friday evening!
Personally, I will be glad when it’s all over and I can relax, because this crap doesn’t get done by itself, people. Phew.

Rock Show

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‘Tis a sad state of affairs when I have even failed to blog about the fact that I am going to be seeing Paul McCartney next week….twice.

All of this came about (relatively) quickly. In the past I’ve known for months in advance the cities where he would be playing and then tickets have always gone on sale several months before the shows. On this abbreviated tour, however, his August 17th show in Tulsa was announced in July. I have known about the Dallas show for even less time. Somehow, and I’m not sure how I managed it, but somehow I missed the news that Paul was playing there. I had no clue until a friend mentioned it to me on July 13th, scarcely more than a month before the show!

There was some self-created drama centered around whether or not I’d get tickets for both shows or not, and also whether or not I could take Madalyn as I’d been planning to do for about the past seven years. It really is crap timing, though, us having just got back from practically the entire summer in California, and financing that, and having to pay our part of the body work incurred by Robert and his run-in with the Single Horse, Man, of the Apocalypse. So, though it was contrary to my wishes, I decided to go solo again (and, okay, it meant I could afford better seats. Shut up.) Now, if Paul never tours again, I will go to my grave wracked with guilt that I never took at least one of my kids to see him, so let’s all cross our fingers that he comes around again so my soul can (at some date far in the future) rest in peace, mmmmkay?

So, where does that leave us? Well, it leaves me dashing off to Tulsa on Monday for the show at 7:30. Unfortunately I won’t be able to stay overnight so it will be a late, late drive back home afterward. Then I have Tuesday to prepare to be gone overnight and Wednesday I’m off to Dallas for concert #2. I’m staying the night at Le Meridien, near the Dallas Galleria. I plan to have a couple of good meals while I’m out and enjoy the peace and quiet in the hotel room during the short period I’m there.

Not only do I get the joy and thrill of seeing Paul but, like the spoiled brat I am, I have some pretty spiffy seats for both shows. To whit:
Tulsa, Section 120, Row D
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Dallas, Section C, Row 16
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Yes, needing only a single ticket does have its advantages.

Incidentally, I paid face value for both of these tickets, via the official online ticket outlets (Tickets.com for Tulsa and Ticketbastard for Dallas). Tulsa was simple. I got online and was waiting at the website when the tickets went on sale. The first three or four times I clicked it said nothing was available but I kept trying and that seat popped up. It was actually the section I was hoping for, if I couldn’t get a floor seat.

Dallas took a little more diligence. The show was, officially, sold out. However, as many people advised me, the venue often releases seats they’d held as the concert date got closer. I’d been browsing secondary-market tickets on several websites and was frustrated with the selection. The cheaper ones were all too far away from the stage for me to consider and the really good seats were out of my price range. Taking into account the advice I’d received I started checking Ticketbastard every few hours, daily. This went on for about a week. I’d had some moderately acceptable lower-level stadium seats pop up and then some poor floors seats (in Sections A and E, which is flagged as having “limited views of the stage.”) This past Monday night I was getting ready to head to bed. I almost closed the computer and then thought, “Oh yeah, I’ll just check one last time for tonight.” Thirty seconds later I nearly fell off the couch when a Section C seat popped up. I even opened a new tab and pulled up the seating chart to make sure it was really where I thought it was! I had a brief moment of temptation where I thought, “Hey, maybe if I put this one back it will give me another one, even closer!” but then I snapped out of it and went, “Whoa, lady, you’ve ridden the luck train as far as it’s going to go. Take it and be done with it!” And, really, you can’t get much better than 16th row, dead center floor for face value. I feel like I got off cheaply, and the good thing about shopping for tickets on the secondary market and then reporting the prices back to Robert is, he feels like it was pretty cheap, too. Everybody’s happy.

So there’s the latest. Check back later in the week for Part Two: Depression and the Aftermath of Post-Concert Letdown.

Oh, and this minor detail….

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WE’RE LEAVING FOR CALIFORNIA IN SIX DAYS!!!
Now, will someone please tell me how I managed to miss making mention of this? The plane tickets were booked two weeks ago.
Not only are we heading to the land of sunshine, beaches and the Governator (who, in an effort to salvage the budget, is proposing to shut down this blog), we are practically moving in, people. We arrive on June 19th not to depart again until July 28th. (Me: “Yay!” My dad: “I think I’m having a stroke….”)
Seems like a long visit, indeed. But when one takes into account how much we intend to do while there, 5.5 weeks really isn’t all that much time. We have several overnight trips planned plus all our usual activities, not to mention the people who keep popping up, wanting to get together (thank you, Facebook!) So, while I’m sure we will have some down time where we can just hang around at my parents’ house and take up space, I think we will be out of the house quite a lot and the time is going to go by quickly.
The actual travel part has worked out pretty well. True, we do depart from and arrive in two of my less-favorite (read: furthest away) cities. However, I can deal with that if the times are palatable and the travel in between the cities is fairly stress-free. This trip falls into those categories. We depart from Dallas at 12:20, which means we have to get up earlyish but not torturously early. We do make a stop in Phoenix; however, we don’t change planes. This means no stress on the first leg about us getting there in time to make our connection and no possibility of sprinting through the airport dragging three kids plus luggage to try to make the next flight. Conversely, it also means no sitting in Phoenix airport for two or three hours trying to entertain the two-year-old because the only other option for the second leg gave us 35 minutes’ connection time and we were afraid to book it. It will be so nice to get on the plane and be able to remain cool as a cucumber, even if they are late leaving.
After all of that we arrive in San Jose at 3:24. It’s a three-hour drive to my parents’ house but, being that we’re getting there that early, we should be able to get our luggage, our car, stop at Fresh Choice for dinner and still arrive before it gets dark. It’s really the sweet spot, for me and my preferences, anyway. I don’t have to get up at 4 a.m. but we get in early enough that we should be in before the kids’ bedtimes. (Coming back, incidentally, the flight is nearly identical except that a little more time on the ground in Phoenix plus the two hours we gain means we won’t be into Dallas until almost 7:30. Fortunately the kids travel well by car so driving back late won’t be an issue.)
The first major event after our arrival will be JZ’s birthday on the 23rd. We are throwing him a party at the zoo either on his actual birthday or the following day (still waiting to hear from the zoo coordinator as to which day is available). I’m excited to give JZ one of his gifts because it’s something he’s been asking for since last year and thinks he’s not going to get! (More on that later.)
However, I am getting ahead of myself. Before all this can happen I have a couple boxes of clothes to pack and ship, today, preferably, and unfortunately half the stuff I want to pack is unfolded and buried in an enormous pile of (clean) laundry on a chair. I guess I should get moving on that. Stay tuned for much blogging from California.