The Cavalry = YOU!!


(clip from Weird Al’s UHF (1989) )

Damon happy!

Hello all!!

Damon here with a call-to-action! We have two days left in our Kickstarter campaign to make the Red Dirt International Film Festival a reality (formerly FILMish). So far we’re at 67% of our goal.

thermoThe truth is, if we can get 50 people to each pledge $10 (about the cost of a festival event ticket), then we’re in! Or only 25 to pledge $20…The key is that there’s a short number of people needed to be our angels of this campaign, and you can be one of them! All levels of pledges receive great rewards (i.e. – I get video-recorded pies to-the-face with donors’ names on them, you get free festival tickets, awesome behind-the-scenes fest footage, exclusive party access, et cetera). This is a one-time drive to establish our permanent festival legitimacy with the festival clearinghouse, Withoutabox, and once we’re in we’ll be able to make this an annual tradition!

If you’ve ever purchased something on Amazon, you’ll find it even-easier to donate to our cause! And considering you can donate as-little as a $1, there is nothing to stop you from taking the length of a song to help us in this final push to bring more culture, education, charity, and fun to central Oklahoma and the arts world in-general! So don’t wait, expecting someone else to jump-in; good karma is waiting for you!

Check out this front-page article from last Friday’s local paper, the Stillwater NewsPress providing coverage about the campaign, and don’t forget to “like” Red Dirt on Facebook for regular-updates!

(click to enlarge, or go here for the digital copy)

newsAlso, be sure to check out the Payne County CASA website; they’re the organisation we’re donating 100% of our Fun-Run marathon proceeds to! CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, is a nonprofit organization advocating for the best interest of abused and neglected children involved in the court system. We can think of no better local cause to contribute to during the course of the Red Dirt Festival!!

CASAFrom Damon and Marisa, THANK YOU ALL for your support in making this a REALITY!


Things that make you go Aaaaaaaaaaa!!!


Hi there Damon and all of our awesome readers.

I wanted to take just a moment to talk about some things that make me go Aaaaaaa!!!! Some days are just scream out loud Aaaaaaaa days!

I have been a mother for 15 years. People are always shocked when they find out that I have a 15 year old… no I didn’t get pregnant in high school, I just happen to look young still.  Perhaps it’s my “lack-of-sleep” fatigued eyes that gives me that “she-must-be-in-college” look. I would love to tell you that I was up all night cramming for an important exam or completing an amazingly insightful project but the truth is I just look haggard because…well, I am! (I will admit that I was delighted when I was carded lately. I was more than happy to show my drivers license and even happier when she said “You just look really young.” I’ll take what I can get.)


Children are great.  They are smart, funny, kind, thoughtful, and even sometimes charming.  They are also messy, loud, lazy, and will sometimes run down the hall with a fork chasing the puppy (while you are typing on your blog even…). There are days when I look at them in amazement and think I am SO very lucky to get to share my life with these gifts that are my children…well, moments really, not days. And there are times when it takes all of my strength not to hop a plane to the nearest anywhere that’s not here! Nothing makes me go Aaaaaaaaaa more than my children.  They are the most frustratingly angelic things in my life.

I will also say what makes me go Aaaaaaaa is personal growth.  Why on earth does it have to be so painful?  I do tend to learn from the school of hard knocks but I’ve really been trying to grow and learn as an individual the past few years.  I will say that I have learned a lot and that I can never go back to where I was knowing the things that I know and understand now.  But growth is not easy.  Definitely earns an Aaaaaaaa!!


TOO BUSY definitely gets an Aaaaaaa mark from me!  I’m so tired of being so busy.  Now you say that I have brought it all upon myself and you would be correct.  I have five children ages 3-15 so naturally I am going to be busy at this point in my life just taking care of them and their needs.  I also have a house and a yard to keep up.  But all of the other stuff is just stuff.  I have never been so frustrated as I have been this year with public schools!  Everything is a fundraiser and a competition. Are children even learning anymore? There are more forms to sign for this and that and more homework being handed out than ever before.  Sometimes I just want to say screw this and move to a beach somewhere in some little village where we can all just subsist day-to-day and enjoy each other again.  Life is too busy, and while it is up to me to say “no” and to keep it as simple as possible, it still gets a big Aaaaaaa from me.


Judgmental people get a big Aaaaaaa too! We are all hypocrites when it comes to judging others.  I was accused a few months ago of judging unfairly and was told that I am the very thing I claim to hate. Touche. And ouch.  Tis true I’m afraid.  As much as I try to be open, honest, and compassionate, there are people who get under my skin so much that I am very biased in the way I treat them. It is difficult to remember that everyone struggles with certain things and that…wait for it….LIFE ISN’T FAIR…much to my daily chagrin.  I am a work in progress in all areas of life and am most especially working on this big Aaaaaaaa!!

Cleaning.  Cleaning. Cleaning.  Let me put down my dust rag and broom to type this paragraph.  I realize that the aforementioned five children have something to do with the endless cleaning but seriously!  I co-wrote a book called CUT THE CRAP! for heavens sake!  I know how to organize and clean and am very good at both.  I have decided that I am far too outnumbered to even worry about it anymore.  I clean a little bit each day.  My children do their chores.  My house may at any given time have toy cars lined up all along the floor, there will surely be a mess from the latest snack in the kitchen, dirty footprints adorn my floors and sticky fingerprints the walls. So what?  Does this mean that I never clean?  No.  It means that I’m tired.  If it bothers you then come visit when they all move out.  Until then I try to ignore that the laundry is never done and the bathrooms just can’t stay shiny. Look at the woman in these pictures.  She looks happy to be cleaning.  How very “whistle-while-you-work”. It’s 2013..can we just be honest now? I don’t always smile while I clean.  Aaaaaaaa!!


Lastly, I will say this.  My name is Marisa, and I have Bipolar 2.  And everything I just said is harder for me than for a person who functions without a disorder.  I have ups and downs and sometimes it is too much.  I want to dedicate this post to all of us who have Aaaaaaa moments, but especially to all of those mothers out there who have biploar disorder.  You are my heroes.

Spank me! Marisa’s birthday musings…

Hey Damon!!!

Let the party begin! Let the wrinkles set in!  Bring on the cake that I don’t have to bake! I’m officially a year older! 

I know that a lot of women have a hard time aging and I have to honestly say that until this year I have not been among them. I will never understand panicking over turning a year older.  I mean, you’re going to feel the same you did the day before; you aren’t going to look any different in the mirror on your birthday, and you get stuff that you want!  Plus, people are celebrating the fact that you were born.  Which means they like you.  Which is a good thing.

I DO have to admit to a tiny mid-life crisis this time.  Just a tiny one mind you.  The thought that when I live the same amount of time I already have I’ll be 70 is kind of a freaky thought. The thought that my child bearing years are coming to a close, that I may really start to see wrinkles soon, that things aren’t all perky like they once were has caused me to stop and ponder.  What have I learned in 35 years?  What have I done that is important to me?  What do I still want to accomplish?  Allow me to answer these questions (after all, it IS my birthday so you kind of have to be nice and let me have my moment).

What have I learned in 35 years:

  • That people are more important than things.  That everyone deserves to be loved regardless of their past, their present, or their belief system.
  •  That the simple things in life make me the most happy.  I have fun with the big things but it’s the simple, quiet moments that change who I am.
  • I’ve learned to say “no”. Finally.  This year.  Go me!  “No, I don’t want to do that.” “No, I don’t like that.” “No, I’d rather not, thanks.” “No I cannot possibly be in more than one place at a time, nor do I care to try.” “No, I will not allow your lack of planning to make me rush around and destroy my peace.” “No! No! No!”
  • I’ve learned to say “yes”. Yes to time for myself.  Yes to allowing myself not to feel guilt over every little thing.  Yes to living my life as I see fit and getting the voices of those who would like me to do otherwise out of my head. Yes to using my gifts to better the world.
  • I’ve learned that my friends are precious.  They know me and still they love me. Unconditionally. 
  • I’ve learned that comparing myself to others is a bogus waste of time.  I will never look like someone else.  I will never have a sweet and quiet disposition.  I wasn’t created to be a wallflower.  I wasn’t created to conform.  It’s not in my nature. 
  • I’ve learned that lack of self-esteem is the #1 biggest problem in this world.  It changes the choices we make.  It’s my platform in life.  Self-esteem must be raised, for only when we know who we are, when we accept ourselves with all of our glorious gifts and abilities and faults, can we truly be our best selves.

What have I done that’s important to me?

  • I’ve come out of my box.  I used to live in a box. (Metaphorically speaking people…don’t come looking for me in a cardboard box in some trashy alley.) I was held there by others’ ideas of who I should be and what I should do and where I should go.  I was a shell of a person. I stepped out of my box and found a whole world waiting to be explored and I’m having a wonderful time exploring! It’s amazing how freeing it feels just to be me.
  • I’ve had a beautiful family.  My kids are all awesome.  They are individually interesting and I love being around them.  They make me laugh, they make me cry, but most of all they teach me.
  • I have been blessed with wonderful relationships in my life.  I have been loved by great people and I’m grateful every day.
  • I bought a house that I love. This may seem silly but it was a big deal to me.  I love where I live and the house I share with the people that I love.
  • I have been able to help many of my friends in various ways over the years.  I love talking with and counseling with those who are in need of help. 

What do I still want to accomplish?

  • Well, being the bionic woman would be neat but I think I’ll stick with something more realistic…
  • I want to reach a million people through “ish”.  I want to inspire, cause to shine, and heal.  All this through information gathering and sharing, speaking in public forums, and starting our radio show.
  • I would love to travel far more.
  • I want to learn to garden-and keep things alive.
  • I want to use a potter’s wheel.  I don’t care if I ever make amazing pottery, I just want to try it.
  • I want to go back to school.
  • I want to raise five children who are happy with themselves and who know that I love them the most.
  • And about a million other things.  My bucket list is LONG.  I hope you have a bucket list too.

So, there you have it.  Though shocking to some, I have actually learned some things and have some goals in my life.  I’m happy with who I am today.  I realize that I have great untapped potential that I’m working to bring to light.  I am growing every day.  I make mistakes often and I learn.  I will never stop learning.  I know that life is a journey, not a destination.  Most of all I’m thankful. Very thankful.



Hey Marisa!


Happiest of birthdays to you!!

Your musings are all rather moving; I remember feeling the same way at 30, though I refuse to “get down” by thinking we’ve both lived half our lives at the age of 35. My favourite filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky swears he’s going to live to be at least 140 years old, based on the same lifestyle that allowed a Chinese monk to live to just over 200 years old before his death was reported in Time magazine during the 1930s. If anyone can do it, it’ll be him, and with him as one of my mentors I intend the same.

Your post is rather bittersweet; hopeful, but with that “haunted by the sea” look you get that I so adore. I can relate to being grateful for all the things you mention, and see how they work in your day-to-day life. May you achiev ALL the things on our Bucket List, and while yes, I do have one, it numbers into a few hundre items so let’s not get into that just now 🙂

Happy Birthday!!