Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flyover States and StarBucks

This past weekend, while Aaron and I were at Hasting's renting another disc of "The Tudors" (we highly recommend this TV series on Showtime), we took a walk through the country music Cd's (in part to avoid an older gentlemen author who was handing out flyer's on his new book and encouraging us to buy it. We felt guilty, because Aaron's a nice guy, so we tried to avoid walking by him again). Anyways, for anyone who is a Texas country fan, Hasting's always has a pretty legit stock of red dirt music. I am always impressed and have purchased everything from Aaron Watson to Mikey and the Motorcars from there; this day, however, I chose more modern rock country: Jason Aldean's "My Kind of Party". I have all of his other albums and somehow missed that he had a new one out (thank you music guru fiance). "Dirt Road Anthem" is my favorite main stream country music radio song right now and probably have listened to it 20 times, already. At first run through, I thought the album was so-so; many of the songs sounded similar to the other, but I love acting like I am Kelly Clarkson in my car and belt out "Don't you Want to Stay?".

(((disclaimer:: Jason Aldean does not write his own music, which is a major thorn in my side. To anyone who appreciates a singer who writes his own music, I am 110% behind you. I never will say that Jason wrote his music, because it ain't true))) However, after spending longer than 5 seconds on each song, I have a few that are quickly becoming emotional pieces for me: "See You When I See You" and "Flyover States".

"Flyover States" is a ballad (shocker) talking about being on a first class plane ride to LA from New York City and describes the uppity asses who are also on the ride and their opinions of the "flyover states". You know, those states that their only purpose seems to be get to the state on the other side of 'em. Kansas has a fabulous reputation for this: the only good thing about Kansas is I-70, Highway 50, etc. Those outside the state (and a bunch who live within) don't seem to happy with this reputation; they see no point in the square corn, wheat, soybean, and milo fields. It's the middle of nowhere and they don't quite get why one would choose to live this sort of life.

"They've never drove through Indiana
Met the man who plowed that earth, planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me
Or a harvest moon in Kansas
They'd understand why God made those flyover states"

One of our faculty members and a good friend of mine, told me yesterday that I won't need to take my ambien when we're in Colorado, because I will be so bored, that I will fall asleep standing up. I laughed, because that is quite clever, Jason. I have no issues in making fun of "my kind": those people from those flyover states and small towns with odd sounding names (although, I find "Holly" to be an adorable name). I'm not living in la-la land, so I feel that I can laugh at those funny jokes that are meant in good fun.

But, I tell you what: I am damn proud to be from a flyover state and from a town that when I say "Halstead", people give you that slight nod of their head, but you know internally they're thinking "Where in the FUCK is that?!" Same thing goes for Holly, Colorado. My first year of college, I was embarrassed to admit that I wasn't from the thriving city of Kansas City. It seemed everyone who thought of themselves as important was from KC; they had no clue where anything west of KC was (now, this isn't to say that everyone from KC is in their own little world. No, it's just to say that for the purpose of this writing, I'm lumping you all together). They viewed my small town of no-stoplights as "cute", but you know that they thought that I was dumb and not exposed to the possibilities of the world and Star Bucks.

They can keep their world of stress, anxiety, brakes, and hand sanitizers. I'll take my flyover status.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

he's in charge, now

I handed over the reigns last night; handed over the reigns of further wedding planning to the groom.

Yes, the groom.

It is not that I do not want to be married, actually it's quite the contrary. I want to be married more than nearly anything. Perhaps it's because I am not caught up in the glitz, glamor, and shit that doesn't matter. I know that I love that guy; even when he absent mindly forgets to put the trash to the curb on Tuesday mornings or starts laughing when I kiss him on the cheek and neck, because it's tickling him (I swear, that man has sensitive skin more than anyone I have known). I have been practicing writing my name as "Monica Leiker" since the week we became official (May 20, 2010) and, duh, have already named our six GIRLS we'll be having (with the grace of God). To quote Stoney LaRue "With you by my side, I can do without the city limits" and we'll be doing without city limits, here in about a week.

I was feeling the slow creeping tide of stress trickling towards me as I thought "Shit, invitations? Fuck. I am betting creating a private Facebook event is considered tacky?" The only two things that I was slightly concerned with was: flowers, booze, and food. Flowers? I have that done. Booze? Not yet, per say, but I know that we're having an extreme ample amount of beer and wine ("Fo FREE, of course" It's our party for you), and some of SE Colorado's best BBQ for the dinner. Other than that? Eh, yeah. Not too worried. I've been through experiences and witnessed weddings (I'm looking at you, Melanie Bergkamp Newell) that so much effort was placed into little details: center pieces, lights, table cloths. And those weddings were beautiful. Stunning. And some of those weddings, the marriages were not meant to last. Which is normal. Shit happens. Humans are humans.

But, I do not believe for a minute that that my lack of desire to stress over lights, invitations, center pieces, and cakes means that I do not want to marry Aaron Leiker. I would go down to the court house TODAY (if he did not like the idea of the attention and everyone looking at him, which he does). Truth be told, the man likes attention: he knows, he admits to it, and everyone know it. So, I am going to let him have the attention and take over the rest of this event.

To prove that he was comfortable with this role assertion, he was looking at wedding invitations last night. I think I may enjoy being the typical groom (not doing shit, but showing up the day of) quite well.

Unless, of course, the cast of "Glee" show up for the dance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

keeping the list

Finish graduate school
Continue working full time
Graduate graduate school
Keep my sanity
Keep my sanity
No more emotional breakdowns
Finish counseling hours while working full time
Meet Aaron Leiker
Get Aaron Leiker to kiss me
Marry Aaron Leiker
Move? to where in the HELL?!
Quit my job
Leave the town I've been living and active within for the past 9 years
Leave the state

The above list is a compilation of the tasks that I'll be completing here soon. Almost too soon. I talked and planned me graduating from Graduate School since I started the program in August 2007. It's one of those things, that you talk about all the time and then when it gets here, it scares the living shit out of you. But you have to play the role that you're totally prepared for it. You were made for this and you could not be happier. It was all part of your plan, after all. You can't get pissed off at the plan that you made, right? That's insane. And that would be a sign of weakness and no way can anyone show signs of weakness or honesty.

I am scared shitless.

I have planned for this, yes. It was all part of my plan (graduating from Grad. School, at least). The Aaron Leiker part presented itself out of my estimated plan little over a year ago. And that's still throwing me off. There is a security, though, in staying in school. You have the excuse that you can't move on (out of Manhattan), because you are finishing school. I have a big handful of students who, I believe, are scared shitless of leaving Manhattan (Kansas State Univ.). So, they'll add majors and minors to their curriculum or make up excuses why they do not want to leave the university. They'll blame someone: crappy advising (how dare you!) or shitty professors. However, when it's all whittled down: they're scared to leave the security of a "plan".

And I am just as guilty as the next.

The idea of leaving Manhattan is incredibly exhilarating for me: to leave the idiot PT and GE county drivers, the radical driving of military men in their huge trucks cutting in and out of traffic as if this is Philly, the ditzy Johnson County sorority girls with their Daddys money over priced SUVs for their skinny asses, and the horribly overpriced cost of living. Then, it's overwhelming depressing. I took a dear friend to the airport today, for he's researching in Italy for the next 3 months.

It was the first of many good byes for me. It is becoming that time in Aaron and I's lives that we must move on and follow a bigger dream for us and leave the rest behind. We can still cling to those memories and the people we've met and loved and cared for. And we still will.

However, as the seasons change and time moves on through the upcoming days, months, and years, our new chapter will take full effect. I will be a Colorado resident and the only state my kids will know will be Colorado. They will not be able to look at a Kansas licence plate and rattle off the county it is from. They won't know that SG is Sedgwick or RN is Reno. They will not tell their friends that their Mom is from Halstead; they'll say "She's from Kansas", as if I am from a foreign country, instead of the state 4 miles down the highway.

It is a new chapter, a new licence plate, a new drivers licence with a new last name, a new title "M.S: Masters of Science), and a new day.

Once we load up our crap.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pitching crap

"I really should be doing something right now. But I just don't want to."

My motto this morning, thus far. Perhaps it's the dreary weather outside; the light sprinkle that will potentially give way to humidity as high as the anxiety my father will feel on July 30. Or the fact that I have THREE WEEKS left before I pack up for the *god willing* second to last time move of my life. As always happens when I move (or clean the house), I pitch half of my belongings, because I have no need for various things. That will probably end up happening with me by the end of this month. Many friends have already benefited from the fruits of my pitching (for example: clothes and shoes). Mom always calls it "pitching", so the namesake has stuck with me. Aaron and my mother can testify to the fact that when I "clean", I throw half the shit away. Anyone who has seen my parents house, can also testify to the fact that my mother is a pack rat. Dear, Lord. It's frustrating and annoying. Probably because I know that at some point, someone will have to clean and deal with all that shit. Those people will be my sisters and myself, obviously. Why not start the cleaning out process now? Ahem.

It's amazing the crap some people hold on to. I used to be horrid at holding on to tops, pants, dress trousers, shoes, etc. Just with the thought "Some day, I'll need this. Some day, I may gain 10 pounds back and will want bigger pants." Well, hell. If I ever gain 10 pounds back, someone can shoot me between the eyes on Main Street in Holly, Colorado. Kidding on that, I really don't give a flying fuck if I gain 10 pounds. Point is, I've adopted a trend to throw shit away if I haven't worn it within 2-3 months. When I say "throw away", I don't really mean that, of course. I first try to give it away. If that doesn't work, then I "try" to donate to SAV. Does that always happen? No, duh. I'm human and sometimes I find it tempting and easier to throw the crap in the dumpster. So, I do.

This may be a fun and easy transition to how certain members of my family dumpster dive at local Casey's stores when they know the sweets are being thrown out. Nah. I'll allow your imaginations run free.

Back to the hypothetical grind. THREE WEEKS until my last DAY! One week+day= graduation. THREE WEEKS TWO DAYS until we move. That numerical time line is screwed. Whateva.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Not falling into the GAP is hard

A Burberry scarf. An authentic Burberry scarf; that's all that I want after Harvest 2011. That is it. I've repeated this to Aaron about 120x over the past six months. That and also one day of being able to shop like I used to.

It was nothing for me to walk into GAP here in Manhattan and drop $300-$400. You can imagine how excited management was when they saw me walk in; they knew they would hit their daily goal, because of my insistence on constantly updating my wardrobe with them. Then, I started working for them. That was a beautiful looking romance, that zapped all my free time and I had to retire my tenure with them (and also my discount, major lame).

Allow me to clear the air, before everyone assumes that I made a killing lifting flags and playing an art adivsor: it was all on credit. Store credit, so you know the interest rate was tres high. With the work I did during harvest last year, I paid off my GAP card and gave it back to my sister (Yes, I am the evil sister who used her sister's credit card, with her approval. That was one of her wedding gifts: getting her GAP card back, with a credit still. Ahem).

So, through my exhilarating shopping days, it was all on credit. And it was a killer time for me. I'd walk in: I like that top, hell I'll get it. Actually, I'll do myself one better: I'll buy one is TWO colors. Wide Leg Trousers? You look sexy as hell on me, I'll get YOU in navy, khaki, olive green, black, and denim. Ah, I was a spoiled charger. I remember filling my trunk with my "on credit" goodies that I worked sooo hard for. I'd relish my closet with the tags on, believing that I was such a rich girl.

Those days of seriously dressing outside my means, has been torture statement the past semester. I love clothes. I love GAP. However, I love being smart most important. I haven't looked at in months; last Saturday, I went with a close friend to GAP and it was a test of my resolve to be smart w/money. I did not buy one thing. I did use my "Free VS panty" card, though. It was hard, to not spend money. God, there were so many outfits and tanks and perfect summer dresses that I spied.

It's odd; when you're in the store, you feel as though you MUST have this (enter clothing type here). You think you HAVE to have this; your happiness hinges on whether you purchase it. But, once you get home, you don't really think much of it. Your Monday doesn't go any better. Well, that's partly true; I like to think that when I wore new outfits, I performed better at work. Now, I realize it was just my credit score that was doing the performing (in this case, lowering).

However, that's not to say that IF we have a decent harvest, that I won't want to do some splurging at GAP or get that prized Burberry scarf.