Sunday, May 31, 2009

Battle Wounds

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, Girlfriend and I played paintball with her co-workers, then went to watch our minor league baseball team play, then headed directly over to watch our friends perform in a drag king show. I slept in this morning and recovered from my first time playing paintball. Guess who is bad at paintball? Answer: Girlfriend. Guess who is a bad-ass at paintball? Answer: Me.
I really really really wanted some bad-ass battle wounds to show my children on Monday because when they found out I was going to play one kid said, "Are you sure?" and another told me I was going to quote "cry like a little girl when I get hit." When readers I will have you know that not only did I not cry like a little girl, I only got hit twice and neither left battle wounds. Girlfriend however has several welts on her body and I'm totally jealous.
The only down part of the day was when she introduced me. Inadvertently she said, "This is my friend ______." Later she apologized profusely, and said she just meant to introduce me with my name, no titles attached. Introducing me by my name only is no big deal. I don't need her to state that I'm her girlfriend, especially around some of her co-workers who don't know. The "friend" statement stung a little (just for a second...much like a paintball) but the apology sex later that night/morning more than made up for it. So, in conclusion I had a great Saturday and am spending the rest of my Sunday letting my muscles recover. While I don't have any battle wounds to show off, I do have sore muscles that I didn't know existed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hot Button

So, not to harp on a topic but I found Girlfriend's hot button last week (insert dirty joke know you want to!) when we were discussing summer plans. Since I don't work a "regular" job I have a lot of flexibility over the summer that she doesn't. I'll be going to visit my family, possibly going to Florida to visit the rest of the relatives, but mostly hanging around here. Girlfriend will be working, going with her mom to the beach for a few days, and attending her cousin's wedding. Why am I not going you ask? Girlfriend only got one invite, so she will be attending sans-guest. I don't really care. I've never met her cousin, am not a huge fan of going to weddings where I don't know people, and don't like being outdoors in the heat of summer. Girlfriend is also less than thrilled to go...and she likes her cousin. I didn't know weddings were her hot button...oh, but I found out. She went off on a tirade about who cares about their tying the knot page with a lengthy story, buying expensive gifts they will use once a year, etc. I sat back quietly taking it all in. Finally she looked and me and said, "Sorry. I'm not a big fan of all this." My only response? "Bitter party of one, your soapbox is ready." which promptly caused me to be hit in the head with a french fry. Whatever, I still think I was funny. What I realized later was not that she hates weddings, marriage, etc. but is bitter because of the double standard for the gays.

Note to self: avoid marriage topics lest being hit by flying food.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dinner Dilemma

Tonight is my friend ComicChick's thirtieth birthday!!! A bunch of us are going to dinner and celebrating, cuz that's just how we roll. Here's a run-down of the people that are going ComicChick (duh), ComicChick's girl-of-the-week, her roommate, her roommate's girlfriend, our friends N&R, Me (duh), maybe Girlfriend, and possibly ComicChick's ex-girlfriend. We run the gamut of presenting from stone butch to high is what it is. What it always is, is very, very gay. I love it, but sometimes I forget about how it must look from the outside in a restaurant. We are who we are and we make no apologies. We also run the gamut in terms of how vocal our personalities are. Most of the time we don't have problems because we go to the same gay-friendly places, but there have been places where we have been stared and pointed at, not brought re-fills on our drinks, and other little gestures to let us know that we were not exactly welcome patrons.
While I recognize it's not right, I also know there is nothing I can do to change people. Getting angry, loud, causing a scene or being a stereotype of what they expect gets us nowhere. What does help is smiling, being polite and courteous. You can call me naive, whatever. I don't care. Hate and anger just breed more hate and anger. I'd rather take the high road and while I might not change that particular person, maybe it will influence someone who is observing that maybe, just maybe, we are good people-just like them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pronouns, People and Perspective

All this week I am blogging as a member of Bloggers for Truth and sharing about my life, struggles, and how hate has affected me personally simply based upon my sexual orientation. Today's topic is labeled pronouns, people and perspective...can you guess where this is going?
By a show of hands, who has played the pronoun game? I'd venture to guess that if you are reading this as a member of the LGBT community you just raised your hand (or at least did in your mind if you are a weenie). If you aren't a member of the LGBT community you have probably been on the receiving end of the pronoun game whether you realized it or not. We all do it-we adjust pronouns to "they", "them", "they'll" and other various ways of not saying "he" or "she" as to leave out the gender of the person we are with or instead of using their name. Side note-how many of us only do this when our partners don't have "gender-neutral" names? I just realized that if they have a "gender-neutral" name like Chris, Jamie, Sam, etc. I use their name...just not the full version. Let me know in the comment section about what you do...I'm curious.
Anyway, why do we do this? Fear. Fear of being rejected, judged, chastised, condemned or fired. We play the game with our families, acquaintances, co-workers and even sometimes friends. We decide that people aren't ready for the truth, aren't capable of understanding, aren't willing to be accepting of us for who we are if we are honest with them. We do it to "protect" ourselves, "protect" the people we love, and "protect" those we are talking to. If we are honest with ourselves, how many times do we really need to do this for protection, and how many times is it out of being a coward? When we make a big deal out of the pronoun game, we are teaching society that there is something wrong with us. Please don't misinterpret what I write-there are times and places to play the pronoun game-when your job, security, and safety are at stake...but I'd venture to say that many of us play the game when it's not necessary, just more comfortable.
I admit that I play the pronoun game at work and am not ashamed of it. I hear the homophobic comments from co-workers, the jokes, etc. and just don't want any part of it. Sometimes I say something about it being inappropriate, but I'm not putting myself on the chopping block by telling them that I'm a big gay. I work with some homophobic people and can be fired, even though I kick-ass at my job, if they push for it. I also work with some awesome people who are "down with the gays," have more than 2 brain cells and figured it out from conversations and my facebook page. Other than work, I refuse to play the game. It takes too much work and is not worth it. If someone doesn't like that I date women, then I don't really care-their approval is not required for my happiness.
I challenge you to be uncomfortable, be honest, and be yourself-the uncomfortable will change to comfortable as you stop over thinking all the time. Use gender-specific pronouns, give people credit, and change your perspective as to how they will react. Sometimes they surprise you...but sometimes they don't.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Disappointed by society

I had another post I was planning to write, but after everything that has happened today I felt the need to write something else, and save what I was planning for tomorrow. Society has failed today on several levels and I'm in a rather foul mood.
Fail # 1: Money stolen at work.
Correction, a lot of money stolen at work. What makes it even worse, it that they stole from the kids. Second grade students brought in four dollars each to pay for an ice cream party and craft supplies. The money was put in two different drawers and only the classroom teachers knew who had it. They took the cash, left a check and the envelope. Kindergarten students brought in up to six dollars for Chick-Fil-A and craft supplies. Their money was hidden in a drawer, under paperwork, behind a box. The library money was stolen from a hidden cash box in the back of a cabinet. In all, four classrooms were broken into and money we had collected for end of year parties has all been taken-checks left behind. It was absolutely heartbreaking this morning. What are we going to tell the kids? How are we going to pay for everything? I don't know which is worse-if it was all stolen by a kid or one of the night custodians. It's a no-win situation and we have no idea how we are going to pay for everything. The students at our school do not come from affluent neighborhoods and over half of the school is on free/reduced lunch. Many of our parents have saved up in order to be able to send in the four dollar. We can't ask the parents to send in money again, I can't afford to pay for all of my students because the state government took back 5% of our paychecks this month (which is another rant for another day), and we are utterly screwed. School was consumed by an emotional dark cloud today and the stormy weather outside was an appropriate view for how we were all feeling.
Fail #2-California upholding the ruling on Prop. 8
As if having someone steal the money for parties wasn't bad enough, coming home and reading online that California has failed us all did not help. I do not live in California. I am not married. It still affects me. I do however live in the only state in the south that hasn't passed an anti-LGBT, anti-marriage constitutional amendment despite repeated attempts. As Prop. 8 has been unfolding my state has again been in the battle as to sign/or not sign an amendment. It's bad enough that we have to constantly fight for rights, it's an entirely different story when rights are given and then taken away. For those of you who are in committed relationships, I urge you to protect yourselves and the ones you love. State approval is not required, but some serious work is. There is a website (and book) called The Gay Marriage Alternative that gives a lot of information on how to create the same (if not more) rights than selective state-approved gay marriages. [stepping on my soapbox] Does it suck that California failed us? Yes. Does it mean we get all pissed, say it's not fair and demand people explain how who I love threatens them? Yes. Do we sit back and wait for state and federal laws to catch up with common sense? No. It's time our community educates and protects themselves, rather than sit back and wait for legislation to pass. Sorry if this post has become preachy, but it kills me when our community suddenly lets society dictate our lives. Do I believe that one day there will not be "regular marriage" and "gay marriage" but just "marriage" in the United States? Yes. One day. However we as a community have created our own lives, our own rules, our own structures of what a family is based upon being true to ourselves. Don't let politics stop us just because they control titles-we have ways of getting around the system. And really, isn't that what we've been doing to live our lives authentically? [stepping least temporarily]

Monday, May 25, 2009

Double entendre of abbreviations

School has become my life (which we have already established in a previous post) with only 14 more days left. I have finally finished all of my assessments and am working on their report cards and updating their cumulative records. Girlfriend was reading over one of the many checklists-specifically the cumulative record checklist when all of a sudden she busts out laughing...I mean uncontrollably laughing. I was lost. There was nothing funny about the list, it just list the order for each folder: school picture, immunization records, report cards, vision test, etc. So naturally the conversation went something like this:

Girlfriend: (still laughing) Have you read this?
Me: Um, yeah...
Girlfriend: Really? You read this and didn't laugh?
Me:, I didn't laugh. Is there a major typo or something?
Girlfriend: Yeah, or something. Read it again.

I began to read it again in my head and she stopped me, insisting I read it out loud.

Me: Staff, please double check the cumulative before going on. Mistakes make a mess for everyone, refer to the instructions attached if you are not sure about the cumulative process. There. What is so f*cking funny? (as girlfriend is dying laughing)
Girlfriend: Baby, that is NOT what it says!!! This is what it actually states, listen carefully. Staff, please double check the cum before going on. Mistakes make a mess for everyone, refer to the instructions attached if you are not sure about the cum process.
Me: You are ridiculous, you know that in the school world c-u-m is short for cumulative right, and it's pronounced with a long u sound...
Girlfriend: I don't care, it's funnier this way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cheep Cheep Cheep Chacheep

We have baby chicks in the classroom! (and yes, they are there on purpose...) We have been taking care of eggs and I have been terrified of accidentally killing the eggs, but rest assured all but 1 egg has hatched and the room is a peep, cheep, chacheeping...just in time for end of grade testing to begin! My kids and I are loving them, I only wish that they stayed cute and fluffy for longer than a week. After a week they start to look like regular old chickens and are no longer tiny adorable creatures to be kept in the classroom.
In leu of the chickens, my students are writing about a time when 100 baby chicks hatched in the classroom. Here have been my two favorite things they came up with: 1) the chicks kicked over my coffee cup, drank the coffee and started peeping in circles 2) they played Hide-and-go-peep and Peep-a-boo with the chicks. My kids are fun, the chicks are fun, being quiet while 3-5th grades are testing...not fun. There are 14 days left of school, and we are ALL counting down.

In other non-school related news my dog is in love with Q (Girlfriend's dog) which we all know. However something happened Saturday night. Girlfriend and I went to bed and the dogs were fine. B was Q's bitch (as usual) but when we woke up there was a distinct shift in power. B was no longer bringing him toys, rather he was taking the toys away from Q and had decided that he was going to be a top. Poor Q. He was so excited to be in charge of his little twinkie for once, but alas, B's wiener has been sprayed several times with a squirt bottle of ice water for his behavior. Don't get me wrong, it's funny for a few minutes, but quickly turns twisted and uncomfortable for us.
This weekend B is going to Girlfriend's new place and is going to meet her cat while we are staying there. Cross your fingers that he likes cats...this can go very well or horribly wrong...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Excuses Excuses

Jeeze Louise, I am SOOOO behind on my blogging and reading of blogs...but I have a good excuse. Isn't there always a good excuse? I mean I hear excuses all freaking day, none of them are ever good but that's okay with me. My students are seven and still working out the kinks on "good versus lame" excuses. Anyway, back to my point: there are less than thirty days left of school and unfortunately work has temporarily become my life. I promise to be back in my rhythm soon (soon is a relative term with end of year stuff taking over) with stories galore.