Monday, August 21, 2006

This summer has been liberating for me. This will go down in history as the summer that I pared down the amount of makeup that I wear to what I consider a bare minimum.

First, let me first explain how I got to the point of wearing as much makeup as I did before I had this epiphany. I was a small child. Very skinny, very small, and very young looking. And, because I skipped second grade, I was one year younger than all of my classmates. For example, when I was a junior at good old Oakdale High School, I was just turning 15 years old, about 4 ft 9, weighing about 85 pounds. I had no reason to wear a bra. Those showers after PE were like torture, trying to hide my body (or rather LACK of body) from the classmates that would make my absence of “womanly charms” known all over the school. I was even late losing my baby teeth and cutting my 12 year molars. I didn’t start my period until I was 16, and a senior in high school. I was what you call a “late bloomer”. I felt very much like a little girl, but I wanted to feel like a teenager, and I wanted to fit in, to be accepted by the “in crowd”. My mother said “No! Absolutely not!” to the request to wear makeup like the other girls did. Which, by the way, was her answer to pierced ears, shaving my legs, and wearing nail polish. And no, we weren’t Pentecostal, she was just an older mother(she had me when she was 40), with older ideas about how a "young lady" should look and what a "young lady" should and should not do. Her favorite admonishment was “I have to live in this town”. The only bit of mercy for me was that I was allowed to wear a little bit of “rouge” my senior year in high school.

The next year, I went to a college 150 miles away from my mother and my small town in south Louisiana. Watch out! The FIRST thing I did was shave my legs. Then I pierced my ears. Next came the makeup. I was determined to look older than my 16 years. (That’s also when I took up the nasty habit of smoking. I just wanted to look older. Now I know that young people who smoke just look idiotic, but at the time, I thought that I was so cool. And that I looked much older. Now I cringe when I think of how ridiculous I must have looked.)

Makeup was as exciting as I had thought it would be. Eyeshadow colors were beautiful, and eyeliner definitely showed that I was now a college woman. Lipstick, foundation, blush (not rouge, like my mother wore), and nail polish in every color under the sun (kind of like now-except that it was NEW then, not recycled from the 60’s and 70’s….this WAS the 60’s and 70’s). Mary Quant, Twiggy, false eyelashes, this was breaking new ground. By this time, I actually needed a bra (not needed as in the way I need one now, since gravity has done its evil deeds, but needed as in at least there was a little something there to put in one). Twiggy had made thin popular, and for once in my life, it was GOOD to be my size. And makeup brightened up my life. It made me feel pretty, sophisticated, mature, like I fit in. I embraced makeup. If I felt unsure about my body, size or baby face, makeup made it clear that I was not 12 years old. Or at least I thought that it did. (And really, isn't that really what counts?) Over the years, I have refined my makeup techniques, learned how to use the new products as they came out (except eyeliner pencils…I learned how to put on cake eyeliner a’ la Maybeline, which was just about all we had back then. I have never been able to get the hang of the pencils). I have eagerly awaited the new season’s new colors at the makeup counters the way some people await the new car models or new television seasons (I know, some of you didn’t even know that cosmetic companies change their colors every season…well, add to their collection and feature new colors. Just take my word for it, they do). I have read numerous articles in magazines about makeup application and color ideas. I have browsed makeup counters, dreaming of the many products and/or colors that I didn’t have the money to buy that month. So you see, makeup has always been my friend. Something to disguise myself with, something to hide behind. Thirty years ago, it was something to make me look older. Now it’s something to make me look younger. It’s interesting how time changes one’s perspective….

Up until this summer, I wore makeup everywhere. Not only to work, but also anyplace else outside my home. To the convenience store up on the corner, to WalMart, to the bank, everywhere. I did not venture out in public without makeup on. But this summer, I didn’t teach summer school, as I have done for the past umpteen years. I was just at home most of the time. This meant that I didn’t wear makeup except for the few times I went anywhere. I don’t know if I just got used to seeing myself without makeup, but I started thinking, “you know, I’m really not hideous without makeup.” That’s right…I determined that people wouldn’t turn to stone if they saw me sans makeup. My wife loves me with or without makeup (and believe me, she has seen me at my worst), and she assured me that I looked just fine without makeup. So I ventured out a few times without any on, and gradually increased the time spent without my safety net. I thought about the people that I teach with. I could count on one hand the number of women who wore makeup to school. Not many. I guess they figure ‘what’s the point?’. At this time of year in Louisiana, its 103 degrees out there, with 95% humidity. Any makeup you put on is going to get sweated off by 9:00 am anyway. Why bother? I have not worn my usual makeup since school started, and so far, no one has said a thing to me about the absence of my lifelong security blanket.
But still, I cling to wearing some makeup. I don’t think that I will ever be able to give all of it up. I still put on some blush, and a little color on my eyelids (something close to my skin color). But that's all. I consider this quite an achievement, thanks to all of the emotional baggage tied up in my old makeup routine. But I think about how easy it would be to “get back on” the makeup wagon. This is my attempt to simplify, to be myself and be happy and comfortable in my own skin. I still look at the ads in the magazines and linger at the cosmetics counters in the stores. It’s been a long (almost 35 year) relationship with makeup, so its hard to say goodbye to something that I have depended on almost my entire life to make me feel like I fit in, to help me disguise my insecurities and hide my flaws (real or imagined). Wish me luck….and I reserve the right to relapse at any time, especially if I am in a situation that needs poise and confidence. Wait! This is not just about looking good anymore is it? Oh god, another epiphany! Why does writing have to be so cathartic?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I’ve been thinking about our son a lot recently, probably because he has a birthday very soon. You know, the right wingers seem to think that we are not good influences on our children. Are they right? Are we corrupting our children, screwing them up so much that they will never have happy, satisfying lives? I can’t speak about all children. The only one I know very well is my own son. He was 15 when I came out to him. He didn’t blink an eye. He knew my (now) wife because she had been staying with us quite a bit, and after a few months, I decided that I should tell him. I’m sure that he would have figured it out sooner or later, but we were tired of sneaking kisses and holding hands when he wasn’t in the room. His response was, “Oh, ok”. When I told him that we wanted to get married, but it wouldn’t be legal here in Louisiana, he asked us where it WOULD be legal. At that time, Vermont was the only place even offering civil unions, and that’s what I told him. He said, “Let’s take a road trip to Vermont”. Now, I knew that I had raised him to be a good feminist and good Democrat. He helped me work for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential campaign (when he was six years old), and again in 1996, and he has helped me with many other Democratic political campaigns for local, state and national offices during the years. He and I are what we call “yellow dog democrats” down here in the south. He has helped me with National Organization for Women rallies and protests, and he even sat with me at the NOW booth at the Ouachita Parish Fair. We have watched the news together, fussed at the TV and analyzed the propaganda. He refuses to look at anything that portrays women as sexual objects (such as beauty contests and certain well-known underwear commercials). In fact, once I was watching the Miss USA Pageant, because it was held here in Shreveport, and I wanted to see the little mini-commercials about our city. He came into the room, took one look, and said, “I can’t believe that you are watching something that treats women like objects”. Some kid, huh? So, I knew that I had raised him to be open-minded and non-judgemental. Why would he be anything other than accepting of me and my relationship with my (now) wife? But it’s different in theory than in real life. In real life, it’s kind of scary. What if he got upset? What would we do? I had already subjected him to a divorce, turned his world upside down, and moved him 100 miles away from his father and grandparents. And now, I’m telling him that I’m a lesbian, I’m in love with another woman, and the three of us are going to be a family. And all he said was “Oh, ok”. And wanted to go with us to get legally civil unioned. In the 5 years since this conversation, my wife has taught him to drive, taught him to cook and taught him to work for his allowance. His grades were less than desirable in middle school and ninth grade (my wife and I met the summer after his freshman year). Three years later, he graduated in a liberal arts magnet program from a top high school here in Shreveport, with honors (and a 3.9 average). He is a junior in college now, on a scholarship, majoring in psychology, and has been on the Chancellor’s List for all but one semester. He does not drink, smoke or take drugs. Everyone mentions his excellent manners, and caring ways. So, even though I can’t speak for any other children, I don’t think that being raised by lesbians has hurt our son at all. Now, I do have to add that he occasionally calls my wife the “stepmother of dark destruction”, and there is an occasional grumble about some assigned task that she has given him. But he loves her and she loves him. We are a happy family. The only drawback that I can foresee is that our son will probably never be able to enjoy the # 1 male fantasy…..yes, the lesbian fantasy. I have never talked to him about it (and never will, ewwww), but I would think that might be a little difficult for him to think about (my moms…ewwww). But hey, if that’s the only harm that we have done, he’ll just have to find another fantasy.
We love you son! Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 14, 2006

My wife and I are looking at houses. We would like an older wooden house, up on piers, with hardwood floors, an attic fan, original tile bathrooms. It's more of a "feel" that we are looking for. I don't know if I can describe it, but I will know it when I feel it. I wanted to be out in the country, so I could have a whole pack of bad little dogs, but my wife thinks that we need to be in the city, where there is easy access to a hospital. Since this will probably be the last house we ever live in, I guess that I agree with her. I'm 9 years older than her, so I can see her concern. I mean, I've got hips that are just waiting to be broken. Anyway, these are pictures from a bizarre house that we toured. These photographs will make more sense after you read the whole post. The photograph above was taken in what we called the "grand ballroom", looking back into the "unknown use room" at the top of the steps. There are steps and handrailings, which would afford you a grand entrance. The curtains to the right of the "unknown use room" cover a tiny window to the bathroom with the tub in it. The handrailings to the left of the photograph are the steps up to the kitchen. The steps up to the master bathroom are off to the right and cannot be seen in this photograph, but are visible in the photograph at the bottom of this post. Anyway, as I said, my wife and I are looking at houses. We don’t plan on moving next week, but we are looking at doing something in the next few years. I have been reluctant to look at houses, because if we find THE perfect house, and we are not able to move right now, I will be upset. I just figure that there’s no point in looking until you are serious about buying. But it is fun to look at houses, I suppose, especially when you get to tour the strange and unusual. And during the search for a house, I actually learned something about my wife that I didn’t know. We have been together for five years, married for four of those five years. We have many things in common, such as religious views, work ethic and our love of animals. We are both hard core skeptics and liberal democrats. We are both only children, with older parents who are all now deceased. We like the same kinds of music and the same movies. There are a few differences, though. Just enough to make things interesting. I thought that I knew most of our differences, but we discovered a new one when we went house-looking. This house was interesting from the outside. It had a kind of “hidden garden” in the back yard, a greenhouse, from the outside we could see that it had two chimneys. It had a carport and a garage, plenty of parking room, and a place to sit and watch the hummingbirds. So my wife called the realtor so that we could see the interior of the house. This realtor had never been inside the house, so we got her honest attempt to put a positive spin on it. She was saying that it had a "lot of potential". I’ll just say it point blank. This was one of the most bizarre houses I have ever seen, outside of some of the ones in my dreams. In the dining room, there was a curtain in the middle of the wall. There, behind the curtain were the remains of a window. The sill was still there, and the frame, but there was a piece of paneling covering up the actual hole where the window had been. On the other side of the nonexistent window was the glassed in porch. Obviously, when they glassed in the porch, they covered the window up, but why didn’t they do it correctly? Who knows? In the bathroom with the bathtub in it (there were two other bathrooms, but neither had a tub in it), there was a window, covered by a curtain. When you pulled the curtain aside to look out of the window, there was another curtain on the other side of the window. And when you exited the bathroom, there was another room that we weren’t really sure about, I'll call it the "unkown use room". Then came the "grand ballroom" room. This room was huge! It was much lower than the rest of the house, and you could access it from the kitchen, master bedroom or room of unknown use. There were steps and handrails going down to this room at all three access points. I felt like the music should be playing and I should be dressed in a beautiful gown, making my entrance into the ballroom, to adoring applause. It was not a square room. The far wall, which had a fireplace, was at a 30 degree angle to the rest of the room. The master bedroom windows looked out on the "grand ballroom", as well as the tiny bathroom window, which was covered by the gigantic curtain. It was just plain bizarre. The real estate agent (who, by the way showed no surprise or shock when I was introduced as my wife’s partner, give her 2 points for that) was pretty apologetic about the entire house, and she understood that we weren't really ready to gut the entire house in order to make it livable. She said that she would keep her eyes out for something that we would like, then we left. We had a few more errands to run, and for a few minutes, we discussed the strangeness of the house, how the real estate agent was very nice, that sort of stuff. We were driving around, running our errands, and I started talking about the house again. My wife said, “Why are we still talking about that house?” I was speechless for a moment or two. “Because it was strange,” was all I could think to respond. Why were we still talking about that house? What kind of question was that? Isn’t it obvious why we were still talking about that house? My wife explained her line of thought. “Well, we aren’t going to buy it, we saw it and didn’t like it, so why keep talking about it?” I had never heard something so crazy in my entire life! What do you mean, why keep talking about it? It was strange, it was bizarre, it was so interesting, and a good source of speculation about WHY the people who had lived there had done the things that they had done to this house. Obviously they had added the grand ballroom on, but why had they not taken the windows out of the master bedroom? You don't see too many windows looking into another room of your house. Why had they built in seating in the grand ballroom? What did they use the "unknown use room" for? There was already a dining room, so surely they didn't have two dining rooms. Why did they put a HUGE curtain in the "grand ballroom" to cover up a tiny window in the bathroom with the tub? Why didn't they just take that window out also? Why had they even added the "grand ballroom" on? What did they do in there? The whole house perplexed me. And I wanted to talk about it. I couldn't comprehend someone NOT wanting to talk about something as bizarre as that house! But, that's where we stood. Any anyone who has ever tried to talk about something with someone that doesn't want to talk about it knows who is going to win that one! You can want to talk all you want, but if the other person doesn't want to talk, theres not going to be much talking going on. So, reluctantly, I let it go. But, she has lapsed once or twice, and we have had a few mini conversations about the house. During one of these mini conversations, we actually came up with a use for the "grand ballroom". We decided that we could make that a gay and lesbian meeting place. Not a bar, mind you, just a place to meet and talk. And the "unknown use room" could be a stage, where all the drag kings and drag queens could make their grand entrance, sing a couple of numbers, then float down those steps to their adoring audience. You know, maybe the house wasn't that bad after all. That would be a lot of fun, to provide Shreveport with a queer "coffee house" of sorts. But with all of those steps to get up and down, I up my chances for a broken hip. You know, now that I think about it, drag kings or not, I don't think that this is the house for us.
This photograph was taken from the far wall of the "grand ballroom". You can see the huge curtain that covers the tiny bathroom window, the built in seating on that wall, and the steps leading up to the master bedroom. The windows of the master bedroom look out over the "grand ballroom" Notice the ugly gold indoor/outdoor carpeting (covering a concrete floor with no pad underneath). The possible stage with its railings is seen to the left of the huge curtain covering the tiny bathroom window.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Another of our “cast of thousands” is a Dalmatian named Pooh (above, in our "garden room", which is a nice name for the screened in patio-type room where our tools and lawnmowers live, kind of like a mud room). He actually belongs to our son, but he’s my baby. Our son got him when he was about 9 years old (our son, not Pooh), and named him Mr. Body (he was big into Clue at that point in time). I must tell you that our son has always had a creative flair when it comes to naming pets. We have had cats named “ABC”, "123" and “Doughnut”. The cat that he has now (I’ll tell you more about this cat later) is named “Pizza Puss”. He came by that name because when we got him (my son was 7 at that time), he thought that his orange fur looked like cheese on a pizza. But, I digress. The dog’s real name is Mr. Body. But I call him Pooh. OK, sometimes Pooh Dog, Pooter, and/or Pooter Dooter (how embarassing-must I tell all of the strange things that we say and do?).

Pooh came to live with us about 11 years ago. I had told my son that he could get a dog. We already had a Beagle and a Golden Retriever, but he wanted a dog of his own. So when he was visiting his father, 100 miles away, they got a puppy. A four week old puppy. When he returned from his weekend with his dad, they brought the puppy back to Shreveport. I couldn’t do anything about it, because there we were, 100 miles away from the puppy’s mother. He was a teeny little dog. He could actually fit in the palm of your hand. I had to get up every two hours, warm canned dog food mixed with milk and feed it to him. This went on for several weeks, until he got big enough to eat regular food on his own. Because of this early bonding, Pooh thinks that I am his mother. He got the name “Pooh” exactly the way you would think that he did. He was so little, he couldn’t go out to use the bathroom. At four weeks old, the mother dog is still cleaning the puppies up herself. They are not housebroken at this point in time. So, I guess that I said something to Mr. Body about being a little “poo poo puppy" (notice how that rolls off of your tongue), and it just stuck. I added the h when I had to tell the vet his name. Pooh will come to our son if he calls him Mr. Body (our son refuses to call him Pooh), but not to anyone else. An interesting aside here is that the Golden Retriever, who was about 15 years old, who had never had a littler of puppies and who had been spayed, let Pooh nurse on her. And amazingly, she got milk in. Pretty soon she had not only Pooh nursing, but several cats as well.

As you can probably tell from the picture above, Pooh is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He gets confused quite easily. Pooh is also the wussiest dog on the planet. He is afraid of everything. The cats, Bad Little Dog, thunder, the doorbell, the vacuum, fireworks, flashlights, pretty much any noise or unusual occurrence. A few times the three dogs have gotten out of our fenced-in yard. The other two dogs go on a world tour, which causes us great worry and a canvass of the neigborhood, leaning out of the rolled down car window calling their names. Where is Pooh, you ask? On the front porch. Sitting by the door. He takes the trouble to get out of the fenced yard, then is too scared to go anywhere, and just sits on the porch and waits for us to return home.

Pooh is also the sweetest, most gentle dog I have ever known. He loves everyone and everything. He is very protective of the very cats that he is afraid of. If another cat somehow gets into the yard and tries to fight one of the outside cats, Pooh gets courage from somewhere deep inside and chases the intruder from the yard. He is also extremely protective of me. If I am sick and have to stay in bed, he begs to be let in the bedroom with me, and he will stay there, at the end of the bed, for days, until I am well, only leaving to eat and go out to relieve himself. You see why I love my Pooh Dog.

I worry because Pooh is getting more and more neurotic by the day, and I wonder if he isn't having doogy mental problems or maybe little doggy strokes. He has recently started getting extremely anxious for no apparent reason. He will come to me, shaking, insist on climbing on top of me, not just next to me, but literally on top of me, and whining. There is nothing obviously wrong with him, and even once he gets on top of me, he continues to be anxious, whining and shaking. Then in a little while he is back to his old self. I don't know why he is doing this, but if anyone has an answer or theory, please let me know. I hate the thought of Pooh getting old and dying, but I know that one day it will happen. I just love him as much as I can now, so that when it happens, I won't worry that he didn't know that I loved him. I know that I will miss him, but I'll always be thankful for the time that I did have with my sweet Pooh Dog.

Thisis one of our daylilies. When I moved from the city I used to live in (100 miles away) to Shreveport, I dug my daylillies up and moved them with me to the first house I lived in here in Shreveport. When I moved in with my wife, I dug them up and moved them over here. When we move again, I'll move the daylillies yet another time. They are such beautiful flowers, and they are really hard to kill (another check in the plus column). I think that's why they are one of my favorite flowers.

I'm not sure if anyone has wondered where I have been this week, but just in case you have wondered, I am back at work. I know... I can't believe that school started back on August 7th either. What happened to school starting after Labor Day? It's 103 degrees here in Louisiana! I hate putting small children on the bus when it is over 100 degrees outside. Think how hot it is in those big metal boxes! Anyway, I'm getting back in the swing of things. My aide got transferred to another school, thanks to our mighty King George W. and his "No Child Left Behind", so I have not had any help this week at all. Because of this, I've been staying until about 6:30 every day, trying to get things just right. Due to this unfortunate situation, I am so tired when I finally get home that I have just not had the energy to write. At least not coherently. But thanks to the free time that I had this summer, I have found that I really enjoy writing this blog, and I hope that people like reading it. I also love reading other people's blogs. But since we like to eat at our house, I guess the correct thing for me to do is to cut back on the reading and the writing and get back to work! You know, if we were just properly compensated for our efforts to destroy heterosexual marriage, I wouldn't have to work. I could just stay home and write anti-DOMA propaganda. Married heterosexuals would have to step up their defense strategies and get ready to defend their marriages from a barrage of short (yet humorous) essays designed to destroy the institution of heterosexual marriage. Sounds like a good plan to me. I'll contact the Queer Authorities, and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, August 04, 2006

We decided this summer that we needed new towels. This all came about because we had a hot water situation during the month of June which caused us to take baths in our son's bathroom instead of ours. Since we were using his bathroom, we used his towels, and we noticed that his towels were a LOT better than ours. His towels are what those in the towel business call "thirsty", and they do an excellent job of what you need a towel to do. This prompted us to decide that we really needed better towels in our bathroom. So began the quest for new towels. We discussed the prospect of buying towels before we went shopping. MY idea was to buy one each of several different towels, test each of them to see which one worked the best, then buy more of the one that we liked the best. Of course, there is a problem with this strategy that we did not foresee. If you buy one of enough different types of towels, you won't NEED to buy any more. You will, at this point, have a collection of one each of many different types of towels. But, as I said, we were on a quest. There was no logical thinking on my part involved in this venture. [Author's note: Notice that the shopping strategy is MY idea. This is because my wife does not care what kind of towels we have in our bathroom, just so long as there are towels and that they are clean. Therefore, she does not have a shopping strategy. Believe it or not, this happens quite often. She says that she is just practicing Buddhism, and not fixating on material possessions. Personally, I think that it is because I am the type of person that advertising agencies wish populated the planet. You advertise it, I want to try it. But, that's another story entirely.]

So, my wife humored me, and we went shopping for towels. The first store that we went to was one of those big box kind of household furnishings/linens stores. At the store, we mysteriously turned into Goldhighlightedlocks and her wife, Curlybrownhair. This towel is too soft. This towel is too thick. This towel is too thin. This towel is too big. This towel is not the exact shade of red that we want. You name the problem, we found it. You would have thought that we were negotiating world peace. People buy houses with less inspection than we gave those towels. Finally, we found a towel that we thought might work, so we bought it. To be perfectly accurate, we bought one towel, one washcloth and one hand towel. (Well, they each have their own specific job, therefore they each have their own necessary qualifications to be accepted as our towels of choice). We went to several other stores, inspected and bought acceptable towels from each of those stores, and headed home to try them and evaluate their performance.

Who needs Consumer Reports? We had our own Two-Dyke Consumer Report Test Squad. That night, I was the Designated Tester of the first set of towels. I drew my bath, dropped the washcloth in the water, and watched the pink spread through the tub. It was slightly reminiscent of "Psycho". Oops. Not good. But it's too late now. I braved the colorful water and took my bath. You know, I didn't realize that towels/washcloths need to have a certain amount of friction to do their jobs correctly. This washcloth glided over my face and body. I just didn't feel like I had gotten clean. The towel did dry fairly well, but it was also a bit too soft. Points against this towel for the pink water and the softness. Not looking good for towel number 1.

The next towel contestant was utilized by my beautiful wife. She took her bath, dried off, came to bed. "Is that a rash all over you?" I asked. No, it seemed that there were little bits of red towel lint all over her body. Everywhere. But it was fun getting them off of her. Give that towel one point for fun.

The Towel Trials continued until we had tested each and every towel that we had purchased, and rated each one accordingly. That's when we came to the realization that we now had plenty of towels. We didn't need to purchase any more, not even any more of the ones that we liked the best. So, our towels don't all match, not exactly. But they are in our bathroom, so no one will ever see them but us. And some of the towels work better than others. But at least we have new towels. Since that's what we set out to do, I guess we have accomplished our mission. We'll just know better than to let me determine buying strategy next time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

If you have been reading this blog faithfully, but still aren't sure if you are a dyke or not, here is a questionnaire to help you determine your Lesbian Status. Now, look deep within yourself and be brutally honest, its better to know now, than to find out after you are married and have eight kids (although better late than never). And, by the way, if you DO discover from taking this quiz, that yes, you have gained admittance into the ultra-exclusive Queer Society, I am the one to put down as recruiter, although I didn't physically recruit you, I am responsible for your new Lesbian Status. (And please say that yes, you will be out, because I really need a new food processor). Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

This is Roscoe, our Bearded Dragon. Roscoe has lived with us for about two years. He is a handsome dragon, and for those of you that are not familiar with Bearded Dragons, the reason I know that Roscoe is a he is that he puffs out his "beard" and it turns black, usually when he is unhappy with something, such as a teakettle whistling (he lives in the kitchen because it is the warmest spot in the house). When he is not puffed out like this, his beard is the same color as the rest of his face. Roscoe is a spoiled Dragon, he even gets hand fed mealworms if he doesn't want to come down from his perch when it is time to eat. I love all reptiles and amphibians, but Roscoe is my favorite. Unfortunately, I had to sell my Ball Python when I moved in with my wife, so no more snakes for me. I have found that most people agree with her stance on the snake issue, so I don't even try to get sympathy anymore. But I am happy with Roscoe. He is not able to hang around outside of his cage, like some Dragons do, because we have Bad Little Dog and numerous cats. (The two other dogs would probably run from him.) Bearded Dragons are from Australia, and they sometimes "wave" their front legs in little circles when they see other Dragons. They say that they sometimes wave at people, but Roscoe has never even attempted to wave to me, even though I provide him with a steady diet of mealworms (which, by the way are NOT actually worms), greens/vegies, and crickets. He will cock his head and listen to me, and definitely recognizes my presence, but no waves. That's OK, simply being a Bearded Dragon is enough for me. I can live without waves.