Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GAY BINGO!!! That's where we were on Saturday night! We went to Dallas on Saturday, spent the night and returned home on Sunday. The highlight of the trip was ...GAY BINGO! I'm not sure if this is just a Dallas occurrance, or if this is a national trend, but if it isn't going on other places, it should be! The location was an old theater, complete with stage and rows of seats. Long tables were placed over a row of seats, so that you had a row of seats, then tables, then seats, then tables, etc. On the stage was the "bingo machine" that lit up the numbers called, and a large cage, draped in chiffon. When we entered the theater, we picked up our packet, which included 2 sets of sheets for 10 games. We went on in and found our seats, which in itself is kind of an amazing story. We chose a row that looked like a good distance from both the front and the back (far enough back to make running to the bathroom fairly easy, far enough front to be able to see and hear adequately), and we eased down to the end of the row and sat down. Later some other people came looking for their seats, and we discovered that the row and seat numbers were written on our packet. And (here's the amazing part) we were sitting in the exact seats that we were supposed to be sitting in! I know, amazing, right? Out of all of the seats in the theater, we had lit in our designated chairs. We knew at this time that we had good vibes...winning vibes!

Before we sat down, I told my wife that we needed to buy the markers for the games. She said, no, they were included with the price of the packets and 10 games. She pointed to the brown paper bags on the tables (at each seat) marked "CHIPS", (you know, chips=markers). We sat there a few minutes, and I decided to check out what color markers we had gotten in our bag. I opened the bag in front of my seat and discovered....chips. Nacho chips. With picante sauce. I immediately went and bought several markers for us(right after I finished laughing). By the way, the chips were actually pretty good. I should mention that in addition to bingo markers, they sold drinks, tshirts, photographs, and 5 additional "bonus" games. They were also selling raffle tickets, and since my wife had a slight attraction to a cute little baby-dyke drag king, we ended up with quite a few raffle tickets.

Neither of us had ever played "professional" bingo. I noticed that the guys that were sitting next to us had their markers out and were going to town marking out spots on their game sheets. I asked what they were doing (my wife hates it when I do that), and they said that they were marking out the ones that weren't needed. Those of you who have played "professional" bingo might know this, but we did not realize that the games had different patterns that had to be filled in to win. Silly me, I thought it was up and down or across that won the game. So, after finding this out, I began marking out my sheets in earnest. My wife just sneered at this activity. She had that whole "It's just a game" attitude. Well, I'm not competitive, I just needed to be able to do what I came to do. Which was WIN AT GAY BINGO! I mean, the whole evening was festive, a lot of fun, but if you play GAY BINGO, you play to win, right? Well, I marked and marked and marked, while my wife sat there, enjoying looking at all of the queens in their costumes. About five minutes before the games started, my wife was suddenly bit by the bug and started frantically marking her sheets! I'm not sure why, but she did. And surprisingly, she did get them all marked.

Each GAY BINGO night has a theme. This time it was "fairy tales". Queens in various fairy tale dress went up and down the aisles, looking for someone to put in jail. It turned out that the cage on the stage was the "jail". Various infractions could land you in jail. Talking or texting on your cell phone was one. Another was calling BINGO when you did not actually have it (you had to be very careful). Also, not doing the required motions to certain calls was another. (We were schooled in the special motions for B7, B13, and of course, O69). If you were "jailed", someone had to pay $20 to get you out of captivity. I made sure that I did what I was supposed to do. I didn't really want to lose $20 and be humiliated by being placed in a jail on the stage and jeered at by queens in Raggedy Ann costumes.

By the way, the theater was packed, and before the games began, we were asked to stand up and repeat the GAY BINGO oath. This included the promise that we will continue playing GAY BINGO until everyone is treated the same, homosexual and heterosexual alike. I would say that the audience was about 50% gay, 50% straight. Very nice to see.

The games finally began, and we got firsthand experience on how much having your sheets premarked helped. We watched as one girl got put in jail for texting on her cell phone. We felt sorry for her, but we were playing GAY BINGO, no time for sympathy. We got into the games, but we were never expecting to win. But, on the third game, I had one spot left. They called the next number and I told my beautiful wife that I had bingo. I stood up to call out "GAY BINGO"! My wife was pulling on my arm, no, don't, you'll get put in jail if you don't have it. But I had it. I told her that. She said, "You'd better be sure". I was sure. They took my card, checked it, and yes, I had won GAY BINGO! They took me out to the cashier, where I had to put down all of my pertinent information. I thought that I had probably won a candle or paperweight or something like that. But then they started counting the money into my hand...10, 20, (Oh boy!, I won 25 dollars!) 30, 40, (I can't believe that I won fifty dollars!!!), 50, 60 70, 80, 90, 95. Ninety five dollars!.... I couldn't believe it. I NEVER win anything! But if I only get to win one thing in my life, I'm glad that it was GAY BINGO!

I went back into the theater and told my wife. She informed me that the "special games" paid $250 or more. I had no idea that it was such a big deal. I guess that I was having so much fun, winning didn't matter. Anyway, we finished the games. No more wins for us, but the guy that I had pestered about how to mark the game sheets won a trip to Las Vegas. But even if I had not won, we had fun. GAY BINGO happens once a month, so we plan to go back in a few months. The dressing up would be fun, and every month there is a different theme. (I'm an old Rocky Horror cast member, so you know that I love to dress up.) If anyone out there lives close enough to Dallas to go to a game, let us know! And if anyone out there has GAY BINGO in their town, let us know also! Is this a national phenomoena? Or is it just a local amusement? Anyway it winds up, I loved GAY BINGO!!!!!!
**note: I tried to put a photograph with this post, but I am having many technical problems. But hopefully sometime in the future I will be able to publish photographs of GAY BINGO!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh no! I got tagged! I didn't even know what this meant until I saw it on Gogo's site. So, here is my:

10 Wonderful Things That Start With 'S'

1. Sweet Tea - Living in Louisiana, we have a southern tradition of serving iced tea either already sweetened or plain. I didn't realize that people in other states were not so fortunate. And on top of it all, down here, if you want more tea, you just ask for it, and it is poured into your glass...over and over and over, as much as you want, for just the price of the first glass. I was surprised when I traveled up north and found that if you asked for more tea, you received another glass of tea (still unsweetened, by the way) and a charge on your bill for the second glass of tea.
2. Snakes - OK, so everyone wouldn't put snakes on the wonderful part of the list, but I can't help it if I am drawn to reptiles and amphibians. To me, snakes are graceful, beautiful creatures. And yes, I'll say it, I really like holding them and feeling their muscular bodies move in my hands. I find them fascinating. Now, I can't say that I am particularly fond of venemous snakes, and I would definitely kill one if push came to shove. But I have to like them from afar, because my beautiful wife has drawn the line at snakes. And I would rather have her in my arms than a snake any day.
3. Swinging- One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice, especially in the spring, is sit on the swing in the backyard with my beautiful wife and watch the birds and squirrels and enjoy our gardens. We can sit there without talking, just swinging and enjoying the smells, sounds and feel of the day. Everything else is inconsequential when we are there on the swing together.
4. Silence- Silence is golden. Especially when you have been in a classroom all day with absolutely no silence. I value silence highly, maybe because I have so little of it. Even at home, there are the sounds of the tv, the animals, all of us talking to each other. Don't get me wrong...I love those sounds. But I also enjoy a bit of silence every now and then.
5. Sea Lions- I have always liked sea lions, since the first time I saw them with my family as a young girl at one of those vacation spots in Florida. They are just so cute, so intelligent. I think that actually they are not as sweet as they look when they put on a show, but who is?
6. Surprise!- Who doesn't like surprises? Well, good surprises, at least. Surprise parties, surprise gifts, surprise activities of the good kind. Not the "Surprise! The IRS is auditing you!" kind of surprise, though.
7. Summertime-I love the summer! I love everything about the summer, except for the mosquitos. I just love the feel of summer. I love working in the yard, growing things to eat and flowers. I love the hummingbirds, the butterflies, all the little creatures that are out and about. And one more thing, my ex-husband once (and only once) said something profound..."It's easier to scrape the sunshine off of your windshield than ice and snow." I love summer!
8. Screen doors- I remember how it felt, sitting in the kitchen in front of a wooden screen door, shelling speckled butter beans or purple hulled peas and enjoying the cool breeze that the attic fan pulled in. I can still hear the sound of the spring stretching as the door opened and the sound of the screen door clapping shut whenever someone came in or went out. Sadly, you don't see many screen doors like that any more.
9. Sex - I don't want to embarass anyone, but everyone knows that if you are talking about wonderful things that begin with S, you simply cannot leave sex off of the list. OK, making love is better (actually MUCH better), but you have to admit that sex is pretty wonderful.
10. Sisterhood - That is such a powerful, wonderful word! If we don't stand up for each other and take care of each other, who will? Together we are powerful, a force of nature, something to be reckoned with.

5 Bad Things That Start With 'S'

1. Swollen- Maybe it's just me, but I have never known anything that is swollen to be a good thing.
2. Slugs- I hate slugs. They get in your garden and eat your plants, destroying all of your hard work. And they aren't very attractive either. At least snails have that shell that makes them a little cuter, but slugs have no redeeming cute-factor.
3. Sadness- This one is pretty much self-explanatory, isn't it? No one likes to be sad or to have a loved one who is sad. I know that into each life some rain must fall...but I don't have to like it.
4. Shrimp- This is on my bad word list because I am allergic to shellfish, and if I eat shrimp, I will end up in the hospital, which would not be a good thing.
5. Sorry- This is what I am, because I am so late posting this. I can make excuses...too busy at school, finishing everything before Friday (and Thanksgiving holidays), a trip to Dallas to play GAY BINGO! (hopefully I will post something on this tomorrow), and my AOL acting crazy. But the bottom line is, I'm Sorry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fall. When I was a child, you could tell it was fall, because you could smell the burning leaves and see the wisps of smoke as they made their way up into the sky. I remember raking leaves and picking up pecans. I don’t know that I was any help with either task. I’m sure that I ate a good many pecans, and I‘m also sure that I jumped in many a pile of leaves, causing leaf havoc. But after a few jumps and the subsequent re-raking, a jumping ban was put into place. Then my father would light the pile, and the smoke would drift into the sky, along with that instantly recognizable smell of burning leaves that still defines "fall" to me, even today.

Fall meant back to school clothes. School dresses, made of durable (read scratchy) material, sometimes plain, sometimes a fancier plaid, that tied in the back were the staple of every little girl’s wardrobe. Back then, girls didn’t wear pants to school. Pants were reserved for "play clothes", to be worn afternoons after school and on the weekends. And the pants that we DID wear either had an elastic waistband or zipped on the side, not down the front like a boy’s pants.
I suppose the same people that made the rule of buttoning boys shirts and girls shirts on opposite sides made the rule about the zippers. I'm not sure exactly why these clothing rules were made, but I had to play by them, like it or not.

Back to school supplies. Do you remember the smell of new crayons? What size box did you get? Eight? Sixteen? Twenty-four? Forty eight? Sixty four? Or were you one of the most fortunate to own a box of 128 beautiful, sharp pointed crayons in every color imaginable, and which came in a box that even had a crayon sharpener in it? The only smell better than new crayons is the smell of a new can of play doh. Both are truly intoxicating. I teach, and get to smell both quite a bit, but they still make me remember my elementary years and those first days of school each year. Put them in your little book bag (no backpacks then-we carried a book bag with a little handle, like a little briefcase, but in plaids and bright school colors) with your new pencils and scissors, and you were set for school.

Back then, when I grew up, we burned our trash out in the back yard in a large metal drum. Every evening we would take our day’s trash, in a large brown grocery bag, out to the trash can. Put the paper bag in the can, light the edge, watch it burn. It was a special treat to be allowed to light the bag. You had to have been very good to get that honor. The fire lit up the area above the barrel. If you watched the trash bag burn for a few minutes, large pieces of ash, which were pieces of the brown paper bag, would soar into the sky, propelled by the heated air from the fire, then slowly drift back to earth after they escaped from the force of the heated air. I was fascinated by the trash barrel and the huge pieces of bag, reduced to ash. It was as though they danced through the air, til no longer in the spotlight, they were resigned to their return to earth.

Fall also meant Thanksgiving. Even though I am a little heavier than I would like to be at this stage of my life, I was a terribly skinny child. I’m not sure why. My mother fried almost everything that we ate and we had rice and gravy at every meal (I grew up in south Louisiana, remember?). But I was just not that interested in food. And we didn’t have a big family, so Thanksgiving was not ever a holiday that even I cared about. Usually Thanksgiving was a meal for the three of us, not much different from any other meal, except for the turkey and cornbread dressing. Every now and then, relatives would come to our house for Thanksgiving or we would go to someone else’s house. But my mother and father were the babies of their families, and they did not have me until they were both in their forties. So there wasn’t an abundance of children in our extended family. My closest cousin was at least ten years older than me. Most were twenty to thirty years older. So the prospect of Thanksgiving dinner did not even contain the excitement of having someone different to play with. It was usually just me, trying to not be noticed too much, or someone would insist that I eat lima beans, which I detested. I sat in front of a plate of lima beans for hours on more occassions that I would like to remember.("You can't leave the table until you have eaten all the food on your plate-there are children starving in Korea who would love to have those lima beans.") When people did come to our house for Thanksgiving, I remember Momma getting out dishes that I NEVER got to see. Different plates, little cut glass dishes (for pickles and olives) and pretty drinking glasses. I wondered why we didn't use those things all of the time. Now I know why.

One more thing defines fall to me. Here in the south, there is an excitement that comes with fall. For ten weeks every fall, people's minds were on one thing...football. Playing football at recess, playing football in front and back yards all over town, and yes, HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Football season is the highlight of most small town southern schools. Ten weeks of excitement and hoping. Hoping that the season will extend beyond those ten weeks for your high school this year, all the way to the playoffs. Everyone was involved in some way or another at my school. I come from a small south Louisiana town. Population approximately 5,000. Not far south, like New Orleans, south like Ville Platte. Of course you grow up going to the games, but when you hit high school, it ceases to be simply a diversion on fall Friday evenings and becomes an integral part of your life. During football season, everything revolved around the football game to be played that Friday. Each grade (Freshman-Senior) would make huge signs to hang all over the school with catchy slogans, such as "Whip the Wildcats" or "Butcher the Bears". We would work on these every afternoon after school, starting on Monday, then hang them on Thursday. They were judged by someone (I never knew who judged them) and during the Pep Rally (held every Friday afternoon), the class with the best signs would win the "Spirit Stick", which was an exciting event. We were just crazy about football. Everyone (I would wager 85-90%) of the high school student body was involved in one way or another in the football machine. Personally, I was in the band. My best friend at the time was in the Pep Squad. And of course, there were the cheerleaders, and finally, the actual football players themselves. Parents were there working in concession stands or in the bleachers, watching the games. I do not remember missing a single game during the entire time I was in high school. We even went to the rainy games, with our rain gear on. I played piccolo, so I could not take my instrument out in the rain (the pads would get wet and be ruined), but the brass and percussion went on playing, and we were there to support them and the team. So ingrained was high school football, that to this day, on Saturday mornings, I read the prep scores in the newspaper aloud to my beautiful wife. Not just my home town, but any town that we might have played during my years in high school. I get great joy out of seeing a team that consistently beat us being trounced by anyone else (of course if the team that does the trouncing is my high school, that makes it even better).

I can't say that fall is my favorite season, but I do have some fond memories of fall activities, fall smells and tastes and sounds. Most of the things that I assosciate fondly with fall do not even exist for me any more. We are not allowed to burn leaves, and raking leaves into a garbage bag just doesn't have the same feel. My fall "back to school" clothing excitement doesn't really exist either. One thing is for certain, you would never catch me in a little plaid "school dress" and knee socks ever again. (Note to wife: if we ever decide to play "school girl and gym teacher", you have to be the school girl.) No more burning trash in a metal drum. And since I teach in an elementary school, and I am 150 miles away from my home town, no more excitement over football games. But, when it comes to Thanksgiving, I don't need a special day, because I am thankful every day. I am thankful for my beautiful wife, for our son, for our jobs and home and all of our "cast of thousands". I am thankful that we make enough money to be able to feed the "cast of thousands". I am thankful for so many things that I can't even begin to list all of them. I am even thankful for the opportunity to write these posts, to be able to share my thoughts and memories, and especially thankful for all of you who read it and let me know that it made you laugh or made you think or made you remember something important to you. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

???????????????????????????????????????????? I have a question for everyone out there. Why does the sidebar sometimes drop down to the bottom of the posts? I thought that it was because a post was extending out into the sidebar's space, so it forced the sidebar to go down to the bottom, but now I'm not sure. I deleted the post that seemed to be the offending one (the sidebar was where it was supposed to be until that post was added), and I was hoping that the sidebar would move back up to it's rightful spot. But it didn't. I want to get everything back like it should be, but I just don't know how. I also tried going into the template and reducing the margins or the width of the sidebar, so it would fit in what space I had, but couldn't do that. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Your IQ Is 140
Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius
Quick and Dirty IQ Test

Monday, November 06, 2006

Well, I am entering a new period of my life, I think. I haven't been feeling quite like myself recently. Some of my complaints include extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, mood swings, headaches, weight gain, increase in allergies, some loss of balance, and night sweats/clammy feeling/hot flashes. If those of you under 40 have not figured it out yet, I'm sure any readers over 50 know exactly what I am going through. Yep, it seems like I have hit menopause. For some reason this didn't even occur to me. The main give-away is not available for me to use as a guide. I had a partial hysterectomy five years ago, and when they take your uterus out, no more menstrual cycle. But, the rest of your reproductive system is there, functioning as it always has, So when you get to that point in time, there is nothing to reference it to, no dead giveaway, no less frequent monthly visitor to point you in the right direction to the correct diagnosis. Actually, figuring out that my symptoms are probably menopause is somewhat comforting. At least I know that I'm not just crazy, deathly anemic or losing my mind. I don't have to worry about a brain tumor causing my forgetfulness, loss of balance or headaches. I'm not dying from some energy-eating condition or creature (like in a Star Trek episode). And see, I told you long ago that the weight gain is not my fault! That is quite a relief. Now, comes the figuring out how to deal with these changes. The main thing that is bothering me is the fatigue and the difficulty concentrating. I used to read constantly, but now I just don't have patience or concentration needed to read for an extended period of time. And the thing is, I see books that look terribly interesting, buy them, then they sit there, waiting to be read. Magazines are a little easier to read, because the articles come in small portions, and I don't have to concentrate for any great amount of time. The fatigue is terrible, because there are things that I would love to do, but I just can't get the energy up to do them. Every action seems to wear me out. I worry about losing friendships, because I cannot always manage to get the energy up to go out. I worry that my wife will get tired of my naps and headaches, mood swings and being "jumpy" all of the time. I worry that I might not being doing my best job at school. I worry that I might not be such a good mother, because I can't listen and concentrate on what our son is telling me. But, I'm going to research this, find out what I can do to help the symptoms, and concentrate on getting back to my old self. Every woman goes through this at some point in time, so I'm going to ask around, talk with women who have been through this already, get some insight. Then hopefully, I will have enough energy to do what I need to do to get back on track. And I also hope that my family and friends will stick with me until I get things all balanced out. So if you see a woman who has lost her energy and seems particularly jumpy (and sweaty), it may be me. Just be patient with me until I get things under control. Yes, I know that I'm not the first woman to experience these symptoms, and I won't be the last (note to my beautiful wife, who is 9 years younger than I am: get ready sweetheart!). Women have been going through this for as long as they have been on this earth, and I'm sure that I will get through it just as they have always done (hopefully with my dignity and life as I know it intact). Wish me luck! And if anyone has any advice, please share it!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Is this sexy? Or is it just a male fantasy? After having posted the Dove Real Beauty video, I was thinking about the whole "beauty" thing. One of the extremely wonderful things about being married to another woman is that for the most part, lesbians don't buy into the whole "male idea of beauty". My wife tells me that her ex-husband constantly complained that she didn't dress "sexy" enough, wanted her to wear the Victoria's Secret type underwear, complained that she didn't wear makeup and wanted her to be "more feminine". My experience was somewhat the same. My ex-husband bought me corsets, thongs, other "sexy" lingere, and complained when I didn't wear them around the house. You know, cleaning the kitchen and washing clothes are perfect times to wear a see through camisole and matching thong. He begged me to wear low cut clothing, to show off my (then) perky breasts. As you know, I wear makeup (OK, I fell back onto the makeup wagon-but that's another story). But for my ex-husband, my understated makeup was just not enough for him. He took me to cosmetic counters to get "made over", but I always left feeling that I looked like a... um, let's just say not like a person making a living during the daylight hours. Now, before you read this next part, I have to state that I am in no way the Lesbian Authority on Appearance. I am just a normal everyday lesbian who likes to observe and study other people. That said, I must say that, like straight people, yes, lesbians do care what other women look like. Most of us have a "type" that we tend to look at with more lust than others. For instance, take the L word...Shane is the main object of lust on that show. But, there are others who prefer the other characters, although I must say that I have never met anyone who liked Jenny. I'm not sure if that is because of her looks or her character's personality. But I believe that I can safely say that Shane is the favorite character, as far as appearance goes. (Sorry, I digressed.) But, I venture to say that lesbians don't limit their relationships to women that fit a certain type of attractiveness. Being the "type" that someone is attracted to might catch their attention, but I believe that for most lesbians, our relationships are forged on a much deeper level. My wife and I are soulmates. We connect on a level that I don't believe you can ever have with a man. Not because men are "bad". But because men are just different from women. They don't have the same thoughts, the same experiences, the same needs. I read somewhere (and I have been looking on the internet to find this study again, but haven't been able to locate it) that one of men's top 2-3 priorities in life is having an "attractive" wife. What this is saying is that men are defined by their wife's attractiveness to other men. How shallow/crazy is that? Now, let me say that I know that every man (or woman) is not the same, and this does not apply to all men, but the fact that it is one of the top 2-3 priorities in this study tells you that it IS an extremely important thing to a LOT of men. But back to the issue at hand. My wife is beautiful to me, and she tells me that I am beautiful to her. My weight increase, issues with letting my hair grow out again, and a rogue pimple every now and then do not diminish her love for me. My ex-husband would have me at Weight Watchers, with a new hairstylist and to a dermatologist right away. AND, he would have used the fact that to him, I was losing my attractiveness, as a rationale for cheating on me. See the difference? Again, I don't think that ALL men are like this. I'm sure that there are some decent men out there somewhere. There have to be. I just have not seen (or heard of) very many of them. And to be fair, there are lesbians who are manipulative, who cheat on their girlfriends, and who are just as abusive as men. We are not perfect by far. Nobody is, gay or straight. But I do feel sorry for women who have to worry, as they get older, how they will cope with the physical changes, wrinkles, age spots, body parts that have experienced the effects of gravity, weight increases, and gray hair. The ones that constantly worry that their mate will be looking for someone younger, thinner, prettier. And I am blissfully thankful that my wife will never try to put me in skimpy lingere and ridiculous clothing, but instead cherish me and the changes that my body goes through as we grow old together. Just as I will cherish her in the same way. And that's real beauty.