Monthly Archives: March 2013

Peace Be With You – BINGO!

I have a confession.  I love bingo.  I really, really, do.  I love all sorts of bingo.  Online flash bingo, money bingo, candy bingo.  I used to think bingo and I had a connection defined by fate.  For the last couple of years we would go to a campground on my birthday weekend and rent one of those fancy campers.  Every year on my birthday the theme for the campground’s weekend activities was “Bingo Bonanza”.  Crazy, right?  It is fate!

You would think for someone who is so connected to bingo would win at least one game, right?  No.  Dear friends, I kid you not, I have never once felt the joy of yelling out “BINGO” in a crowded hall.  I get ahead of myself though.  Let me begin with Wednesday.

As you know, it has been an interesting week.  I had crazy, drama, D&D session on Sunday; crazy, drama, marriage talks on Monday; Tuesday was normal, with the exception that I was in THE WORST PAIN OF ALL TIME!  I blame being a woman.  Wednesday wasn’t too much better, but K and I had told my mom that we would attend bingo with her. 

Mom helps out with bingo on Wednesday at one church and Fridays at another.  She is serious about helping out at bingo.  I started to think about it, bingo is a popular pastime at church, so bingo must be God’s favorite game too!  I mean, if most of God’s houses have special nights for bingo playing patrons, this could be a good conversation opener.  Like, “Hey, God.  It’s been a while.  I thought we could chat for a bit about our favorite game, bingo.  Afterwards, do you think you could help me with my life?  Oh, hey God, you missed B9, they called that a while ago.”

She picked us up at my house and full of anticipation, I leave for a ride in the death van.  Anyone who has ever been in any car with my mom operating knows they better buckle up and start praying.  She doesn’t understand simple things, like braking, when she is driving.  I started texting my goodbyes while we were on our way, and asked her at one point if she wanted me to drive, but that wasn’t happening.  We made it, safely, and I went out to embrace my first time at bingo.

You see, I have never played in a church hall.  I have never played in the casino.  I have only ever played in school, online, and at the campground.  I wasn’t prepared.

Tables, as far as the eye could see, were set up.  There were tables with “Reserved” place cards, people already sitting at most.  There was a kitchen and free coffee.  FREE COFFEE!  This really was my place!  God was listening and he was here and he brought me FREE COFFEE!  My step father was already there and had saved us some seats.  K and I wandered over to the free coffee table, looked over the kitchen menu, and decided it was time to get our bingo cards. 

This. Was. Crazy.  It was one table with about 6 people sitting at it.  You went to the first guy and handed him $2.  He gave you a instant win ticket and a raffle ticket.  You go to the next guy and get the package cards.  This was like a booklet of colored bingo cards, probably like 6 different colors.  This was $4 a book.  Then you go to the next person and get the winner take all game, pay them and move on to the special game, then move on to the next special game and then the quickie.  Hand monies, move to the next.  I was so confused.

K went to the Friday night bingo with my mom, so she was a pro.  We went back to our table, and there was someone else there who told K she didn’t want to sit there because she plays “a lot of cards”.  Basically, she kicked us out and we went to the table behind us.  This was my first clue that bingo was not going to be filled with people who were just happy to be playing the game.

There was a lot more work to this bingo then I had remembered from my other days.  You had to tape the like cards together, you had to do the starting game that was already lit up, you had to get out your good luck charms, bears, ticket holders, have a sandwich.  People were coming in and setting up their spots.  You may not know this, but apparently whatever seat you sit in becomes your forever seat.  There may not be names at the tables, but there should be.  When K and I tried to move to another table they pretty much stared us down and pointed to the only two chairs that could be available.  This was a long table.  Another woman came in and sat next to me, there were oodles of space between us and she commented that it wasn’t enough space.  You begin to feel shunned.

At 7, it started.  The caller took her place and silence filled the room.  Monitors came on to show the balls being drawn.  People got serious.  Brows furrowed, dabbers dabbing like the wind, you could hear a pin drop.  You start to get close, dabbing, looking at your tickets, watching the numbers needed dwindle down.  Just 4 numbers left, 3, ohmygoodness it’s 2 numbers!  At this point you start to think and plan out how you will call your bingo.  Will it be triumphant BINGO!  Will it be softly said with the hand raised?  Will you jump up and proclaim it for all to hear or hunker down and not make eye contact?  It is high stakes, people!  This is not your 4th grade bingo!

What really surprised me is how angry people get while playing bingo.  This is God’s game in God’s house!  You would think that it would be peaceful and neighbor loving!  Oh no, it isn’t.  When a bingo is called you can see it in everyone’s faces.  It is all the negative emotions you can think of spelled out on these faces.  People who sit across from you are now your enemy, looking over from the sides of their eyes, sizing up your bingo sheet.  When it is called, there is a low murmur that runs through the crowd, some still looking at their sheets, checking to see if maybe they can cash in as well, or hoping that it was a false bingo.

I love to people watch and this may have been my most favorite of experiences.  I want to keep going back and just watch.  You wouldn’t think of bingo as high emotions, but oh, it is.  It is serious business.  I didn’t win, not a single game.  I think I came close once, but close only counts in horseshoes friends.  I have given up any hope of ever winning bingo, which means I can just enjoy it without really feeling that anger and disappointment.  I will eventually learn the crazy kite, the jail bars, and the postage stamps without having to stare at the screen or have to draw it out on my sheet in pen so I don’t get confused. 

On flip side, I did get to see people coming together; families sitting together, friends catching up after a busy weekend.  You could tell for some that this was their social environment; people were happy to be there, happy to see others.  I liked spending the time with my mom, and K.  It has been a long time since I have been able to do anything with my mom and this may be the thing that we can do.  It’s also nice to see her in her element, not just as mom and grandma, but as her.  She is a caring person with a huge heart, and it never shines more than when she is out socializing.  It’s nice to hang out with K as well; we seem to have this old lady thing about us and the things we like to do together.  Bingo may make some people mean, but it is still love to me, which is maybe why it is God’s game. 


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Ripples in the Water

Today isn’t a pretty day.  It was that morning where you wake up at 7 and realize you set your alarm for 7 instead of 6:30 (I blame my iPhone for having my 6:30 and 7 right next to each other).  I stumbled into the bathroom trying to get the zipper of my footy pajamas unstuck while bouncing around trying to buy myself time.  I looked at myself in the mirror and almost screamed.  Half my hair was out of the pseudo-bun I put it in and in every which direction it could probably be in, one of my eyes was wide open so I could see and the other was squinted shut.  I looked ridiculous.  I somehow made it through my bathroom fiasco and headed downstairs to do my other routine things and made it out of the door; I get to work and realized I forgot to brush my hair.  Who forgets to brush their hair?  The best part is since my hair is very curly, even when I pull it back, I have all these little hairs that come popping out of everywhere.  Today is just not a pretty day.  It’s okay, I am going to embrace it.

I have had so many adventures over the last month.  It seems crazy for me looking back on it, everything that I did and the directions that my life that have changed course.  In the last month I have left the country, spent 13 hours on an airplane where my TV didn’t work, was amazed by the most beautiful country in the world, came back home, attempted to adjust back to normal life, had D&D, talked divorce, and went to Bingo.  How could I not have a million things to write about?  I do, dear friends, and I am really grateful that you are all still here with me.  I tried to write about my NZ trip a few times, but I can’t get the words to come.  I think for now it’s not ready to be told and it has to stay with me, as just mine.  Ana wants to tell her story today anyways, so I am sure you all don’t mind if I let her go for just a few moments.

The kids D&D session was great this last time.  I don’t know if it was because it had been so long since we had played; maybe it was just slated to be a good session.  The last time we had left off we were back in the small town getting rested up since some ghosts almost recruited us to be ghosts with them.  Our bard wanted to make some money so they decided to have a concert and during this somehow we managed to discover that spies were in the town, working for the evil clerics we had spotted before.  Yes, a concert.  Anyways, before I go further, let me introduce you all again to our group as there have been a couple of changes!

Our Group!

The Bard (Melodie) – Played by Girl1

The Rogue (Dirge) – Played by Boy

The Cleric (Anastasia) – Played by yours truly

The Wizard (Ithil)  – Played by Alysson

The Sorcerer (Kovu) – Played by Corte

The Fighter (Myrna Orcbreaker) – Played by K

The Barbarian (Frederick) – Played by Billy

Now K and Billy are fairly new to both the game and the group.  Corte ran a druid before but wasn’t having much fun playing him so he asked our lovely DM if she minded him switching out.  So he ditched the druid and decided to run the Chaotic Neutral sorcerer.  Our group seemed to sort of split into two groups – Bard, Rogue, Wizard, and Sorcerer in one mischievous group and myself, Fighter, and Barbarian into the more level headed group.

Ana rather enjoys looking at the Sorcerer; he is pretty good looking and she is an adult female.  She is very logical, and can be quite stern, but she is still a woman at her core.  She has a feeling that he has used his charms to get away with some sketchy things within the group, but he had not done anything to truly make her mad until this day.

The group learned that there was a spy circuit running in the town and was able to obtain the information of where they were staying.  Myrna, Fred, and I decided to just go to the Mill, while the others were doing who knows what behind us.  We made it in and were talking to the workers before the others showed up, and they told us that there were people downstairs.  Once downstairs we noticed the bedrolls that had clearly been slept in but were no longer occupied and three sets of doors at the far end of the room.  We approached the doors carefully when the popped open and surprised us, weapons drawn and ready. 

As we were fighting we came up with a plan to hold one, to try to get information out of the spy about who they were working for, what they were doing in the town, etc.  My hold spell had failed to do it’s job, but luckily we had one that yielded.  A half-orc threw down his weapon and shouted “Yield” in Common.  I was quite happy with the turn of events considering I was unable to hold the other.  Before I knew what was going on I saw the Sorcerer wind out and throw out Magic Missiles right into the Half-Orc’s chest.  I was dumbfounded and unable to speak for a good solid moment. 

Basic rules of combat dictate when an enemy yields, throws down his arms, at that moment they are taken prisoner.  I was angry, really more infuriated, at what had just transpired.  This was senseless and cruel, even if he was an evil person, did he not deserve a chance to say his peace?  I, of all people, know even one who has been branded as evil can have a life change.  What if someone took that choice from me?  I had to walk away to compose myself before I could address the group.  Myrna followed, also shocked at what had happened.  Being a dwarf, she did not care for the life of a half-orc, but she still saw the error of what happened.  I wanted to leave at first, but once my mind had cleared I knew I would not be able to leave the Bard and the Rogue.  Trouble as they may be, I still feel softness for them, and my mind worries about what would happen to them if they did not have someone to help them follow the path of clarity.  What about Ithil, who was left by her last travelling partner, and now has to find her own way?  I feel a need to protect them, even if they do not feel they need it.

I went back, ready to confront the situation.  I told Kovu I was displeased with his actions, that we should have waited to hear what he had to say.  He started to speak, to say that the half-orc deserved it because he was evil, that he attacked first.  I told him that before he joined I was elected leader of the group and we had a plan in motion to obtain information.  The question of my leadership came up, as more had joined the group after my being nominated as leader and I gladly offered a revote.  Out of no where, papers descended from the sky, one for each, to write in the name of the one who should lead.  I’m not sure how the Barbarian wrote his down, but he handed in his paper none the less, and it disappeared into a puff of fire.  My name was called, retaining my place as leader, with Myrna as second in command.

I wish I could say this was the end; that apologies were made and we made our way back to the situation at hand, but no.  Kovu started asking people who they voted for, as he clearly was unhappy with the outcome.  When Ithil stated she had put my name down, he charged up and attacked her but immediately yielded.  Again, chaos ensued.  The Bard became frightened and came over to me, the Barbarian was ready to start battling him, I was speaking to Myrna, trying to understand what was happening.  I understand chaotic, but I have a difficult time understanding striking down a yielding enemy and attacking a team member, who has not wronged you.  He stated he was trying to prove a point, that I as leader would make wrong decisions when it came to evil characters that yield.  I am still unsure of his point, as I did not attack him and he still lived.  His rules would have had me take his life for his actions. 

The group was in shambles after this.  Confusion was everywhere and no one quite knew what to do.  We searched around and learned through notes that we had taken care of all the spies in the town, so I wanted us to regroup.  I told everyone that we would go back to the inn and rest for the evening.  I would buy a round of drinks and we could play a game after I informed the town’s elder of the situation with the spies.  We played a drinking game (which I won, the Motherland would be proud) and as I watched my sleeping group, placing blankets around them, I gave them all a blessing, except one.  I will watch him, with one eye open at all times. 


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The Tower

I have been back home now for over a week and I hope you all forgive me for not posting.  It’s certainly not for a lack of material; I had an amazing trip filled with amazing adventures and amazing people. Maybe one day soon I will be able to tell you all about it.  I also had a wonderful welcome back session of D&D with the kids yesterday, which was also pretty awesome.  It was really good to connect again and see everyone from the group.

I had a tarot card reading the other day; nothing formal like, just via email.  I think they are interesting and while I am extremely logical, there is a piece of me that likes to believe there are strings being pulled from somewhere directing us along.  One thing in particular that stuck out in my mind was that I was told the Tower card came out.  I was told that my world as I knew it was about to come crumbling down.  How right it was.

I know I write about many things, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes a mix. I will throw out the disclaimer that this will probably be more serious than funny, maybe a little sad.  I will write about it because I made a promise to myself that I will use this space to write what I need to write, no matter what it is.

When you get married, you don’t plan the end.  You never think of what could possibly happen in that regard.  You imagine this forever future where things will be picturesque with a house, a fence, some kids, maybe a dog.  You think of family vacations and long nights with discussions about the news.  You picture old age and taking walks.  You don’t think of sitting on your bed, discussing what went wrong.  You don’t plan on talking about possible ways of co-parenting.  

It’s been a long road, but looking back, it really wasn’t that long.  It just feels longer when you feel most of it was travelled alone, which is what really was the beginning of the end.  I don’t just think one person is to blame, because it is always two people responsible in relationships of any kind.  There just comes a point where you realize that you have been dancing to the same song and doing the same steps for years, but they just don’t match.

The hardest part was the calmness of how it was approached.  No fighting, no screaming, though that has never been what we do.  We were much better at pretending and ignoring the situations; it was emotional, sure, but still calm.  I told him I didn’t think he was a bad person, nor did I think I was a bad person, but sometimes people are bad together.  There is no inspiration, just complacency.  

I will be okay.  He will be okay.  The kids will be okay.  We’ll weather through and do what needs to be done, no matter what it may be.  I have my emergency supply pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and coffee creamer to last me until next week.  Life is indeed brutiful, friends.  I will leave with the tarot reader’s words concerning the Tower card.  She said, “I don’t think it’s always a bad card because sometimes things have to come down to rebuild it how it should be.”  


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Home from Middle Earth

Oh, friends, I have so much to tell you.  I have had the most wonderful, beautiful, adventures filled with many, many, highs and a couple of sad lows.  I just got home yesterday and I am sure you know I am still a little jet lagged.  I am sure it will take me a few posts to cover it all, so I will call this post 1 of what is to come.

I am excited to be able to tell you all about it, so please hang with me for a bit while I get myself together.  

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