They apparently told two friends

Published August 17, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I was at Target the other day, (I know, shocking.) and because I spent so much time at a Professional Development training thing, I was practically brain dead so I mostly just wandered about after I got the one thing I actually needed to get. (Cat food, because Target is the only place that carries exactly the kind they like, unless I want to order the GIANT BAG O’FOOD from Amazon and I already order a monolith of cat litter from there and I think I’m starting to give the impression that my cats run my life, and oh, yeah.)

So there I was staggering around the health and beauty aisles of Target, because when in doubt, buy a Bath Bomb because Target carries the kind with a prize inside, so yay, fizzy yummy bath with a present. And, as, usual, I found myself looking at the make-up.

I truly love make-up. I just never really have the chance to really glam up.  (I know I could do serious make-up every day, but since I spend most of my days herding cats or kids, it seems pointless.) I looked at all of the pretty colors and since I don’t get to talk to grown-ups very often I started a conversation with the Target lady who was eyeing me suspiciously as if I were going to run gleefully amok amongst the unguents and potions.

I mentioned to Target Lady that I was allowed to wear mascara when I was in the Eighth grade and then we both strolled down the misty, Aqua-Net scented blocks of Memory Lane (I suspect some climate change is directly linked to hair bands, groupies and Cholas of the late 80’s)

I mulled this over as I drove home. I have very vivid memories  of the Faberge Wheat Germ Oil and Honey shampoo commercials talking about how lovely your hair would look if only you used it. Their commercials featured a blonde, natural (ha!) beauty, thus giving the impression that if you used their oddly gooey shampoo you would also have lovely and luxorios locks just like their model. There was also a wildly successful advertising campaign that explained why it was so popular (And they told two friends and so on and so on.)

The ad campaign was so successful that it was lampooned  in Wayne’s World.  (Would that be an ad campoon?)

Well, the campaign worked. I remember being in grade school and wanting the shampoo, just knowing that it would transform a dumpy kid whose Catholic School uniform wasn’t doing her boxy shape any good into a glamorous willowy blonde.

If I knew then what I know now, that even the model in the commercial didn’t look like that and probably had a zillion wind machines and stylists and probably a personal trainer and lived on a diet of cottage cheese and Tab, and even if I had those things I was in the Fourth Grade and who ever heard of a nine-year-old shampoo salesmen.

And why would I want to? Ask two friends and get back to me.

One of the many, part one: a Writer

Published August 11, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

One of the colloquialisms with which I am in complete and total agreement is “Dance With the One that Brung You.” ( If you have never heard this phrase, I am so sorry and I sentence you to find a Diner and set yourself down and order some sweet tea and biscuits.)

So very many people brung me to my successes and survival that this is going to take a series to give them all their just due.

Steven Alan McGaw has done so much for me as a writer. He is also an outstanding actor, director and friend.  I have no idea when I met. I’m pretty sure I met him when I was getting copies of the program for “When Ya Comin’ Back Red Ryder”. He was working at the copy place and commented that a friend of his  was in the play, too. We immediately hit it off and I’m certain that we had an entire conversation by simply rolling our eyes.

From that point on, Mr. McGaw became a part of my theatre family. He was/is incredibly witty and charming. He introduced me to his fantastic creation: . SceneShop is great

Please check out the website because they are awesome.  His loyalty to his actors and writers is outstanding. This can be scene by his brutally honest, but incredibly accurate honing of scenes and productions.  (He once told me a story about a playwright who wanted him to way an Ice Blue tuxedo with a cape and open a briefcase that would then fire a blank into the room. This made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.)

He was in my production of the Grapes Of Wrath and was instrumental to its success not only because he is an amazing actor but also because he found me a lighting designer and board operator. He also arranged for the “Soul-Robbing Fluorescent Lighting) to be covered, which only added to the magic simplicity of the show.

He also nominated me to be the featured Playwright in the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas for their tenth year. This coincided with the tenth year of my stroke survival.

Speaking of Strokes that I Had; it was at Mr. McGaw’s behest that I wrote my ten-minute play “Watch Your Head”:More information here.

He edited, produced and directed this piece and made it hugely successful. SceneShop’s production of this piece was so outstanding that it was like having an out of body experience.

He did all of this because he is truly an advocate of the arts and one hell of a nice guy.  (My mother made him an apple pie, but he didn’t know that she was going to do that.)

I don’t mean to write this all in the passive voice; Mr. McGaw is indeed alive, possibly kicking. He is probably not kicking yet because it’s early and he just closed another successful weekend of SceneShop. I once again missed it. I am ashamed to say that I have missed many productions of this, but I was absolutely drooling with exhaustion and couldn’t drag myself out of the house.  That is scant excuse but is in no way a reflection on the respect I have for him.

Years ago he invited me to be an adjudicator at an audition for his acclaimed Improv Troupe. I referred to his as Mr.McGaw. One of the students auditioning said, “He lets us call him Steve.”

I want to give him the respect he deserves.

Thank you, Mr. McGaw. I owe you a dance

In case S#&%T

Published August 4, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My head, it is troubled. (Actually my head is a bit sweaty and my hair is a mess.) My thoughts will not stop. I’m kind of freaking out because today is my last day of vacation. Tomorrow I start all of the “have to’s” that are a part of every teacher’s life.

I had a great day yesterday. I had the opportunity to speak at the Southwest Writer’s Conference. I spoke about the Frozen Burrito Theory.  That means about seventy people volunteered to listen to me ramble on and I have to say there were moments when my head got away from me, but I was able to reel it back in with promises of cookies and long sleeps.

I have the unfortunate habit of wanting to know what is happening on the planet, just in case the Evil Robot Lizards decide that today’s the day. I certainly don’t want to be wearing uncomfortable shoes if it is, indeed, The End. BatBeard thinks I’m pessimistic, not really; I didn’t say it was MY end. I can bring a lot to the impending Apocalypse.

I made the mistake of looking at CNN. My heart hurts. My brain hurts. My sense of social justice hurts. I’m talking about Dayton and El Paso. Mass Shootings again.

I go back to work this week. I will see students again on the 20th. As a teacher I am terrified. I take my responsibility to keep my students safe very seriously. Any child I have ever taught knows that I will do whatever needs to be done to keep them safe.  Chris Rock says that insurance should be called “in case S#$%t.” As in in case S#$% happens, you have money or coverage or some kind of escape fund.

Here are my instructions “in case S#$%”

First, Amanda and ActorBoy  are to go to my place and destroy my written journals (No one is going to get any grand ideas about writing a one act play about me and my journey. My journey MY royalty check) When it comes to planning a service, I want Rebecca Luby and Scotty Cole to sing How Great Thou Art. Then I want  Be Not Afraid-Sung by the Saint Rita School Honor Choir. I am up in the air on any other arrangements, except of course, please use my demise as a means of making the gun violence madness stop.

 

 

 

I think I’m mad at Victor Hugo

Published July 29, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Although it may seem that I’ haven’t been honing my craft (get out of my head, Jerry Seinfeld!) I have been reading and resting and getting my brain together.This weekend my Amanda Friend has arranged for me to speak at a Writer’s conference.  I will be discussing the Frozen Burrito theory as a means to create rich  and vital characters. In spite of E. L. James’ success, characters don’t usually just poof into being.

I have been listening and reading and what becomes emergent. A lot of the words that have been burbling in my head reminded me of some sad, tired and lame character tropes.  These tropes (on a rope?) may have been created by Victor Hugo or may just be as old as time itself.

I saw Les Miz a few weeks ago and what bothered me the most about it was the way the characters Cosette and Eponine are treated. I hate hate hate that Cosette has a relatively cushy life and gets to love and be loved by the hero. She survives and Eponine who had terrible parents loves and helps the hero only to be literally shot down while doing the right thing.

It’s just like Barb from Stranger Things.  While her traditionally pretty friend is getting her groove on, Barb is left to wait for her (Spoiler alert.) For all of her faithfulness, she’s eaten by a pool monster.

How cool would it be if the montster’s name was Victor Hugo?

Something is usually screaming at me.

Published July 25, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m trying to pace myself on these last few days of my break. (I’m not going to go insane and clean or organize things, really. Right now I have prepped stock bases for at least two weeks of dinners once school gets started. I am changing schools and it will be a hard period of adjustment for a number of reasons. I have no idea what my schedule will be so I can’t really prep much else. I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed. I went out to forage for work clothes and it wasn’t very fruitful.

I find it absurd to pay a bunch of money for clothes and I am fortunate enough to have a thrift store outlet that usually has some great things. ( I am becoming fond of Chico’s accoutrement) Thursday is restock day and it usually has a great selection. I set my budget, thirty dollars, and set out.

My survival hack for thrift stores is to listen to an audio book while shop. This way I can ignore the kids goofing around in the aisles and focus on the clothes. I am listening to a book called “The Party”. It’s pretty good, someone lost an eye. (In the book.) I only found two things. Not very many accoutrement, but I did get a nice blouse that still had the tags on it! I only spent five dollars, so I put some of it towards the coffee fund.

I’m working up to the big confession. Guess whose cats got new cat toys?  I needed to go to target anyway, long story that involves some cat subterfuge. (It just occurred to me, maybe the cats were playing the long con, Frances gets out, I misplace my debit card because I dive after her. Then I have to go to Target and only Target to get my stuff, because I only have my Target red card, so therefore I’m there anyway to get my razors and pretzels and cleaning stuff, and while I’m there, I might as well get their preferred choice of cat toys.)  So they have new toys.

I am excited about my new job, but I’m trying to not get in my own way. To avoid this, I’m meditating regularly and winding myself down on a regular schedule. I am trying to find something new to watch that won’t hurt my brain. I tried “Call the Mid-wife” It’s pretty good and I understand the need for verisimilitude, but the labor scenes really ooged me out. So next I tried Black Summer, and realized I had already scene it, but by then zombies were screaming at me.  I switched to Degrassi High, the original one and the episode I landed on involved a girl sneaking out of the house and going to a party and she walked up to a boy she knew and exuberantly yelled in his face, “Hi!”, you know like you do at a party? She was complimented on her top, I didn’t think much of it; it wasn’t a Chico’s ensemble with it’s accoutrement.

 

Has it really come to this?

Published July 24, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I did something very grown up today. I went to see my financial advisor. He is technically a “wealth manager”. Since I just went out to the parking lot to scrounge for quarters under my car seat, I find it difficult to believe that I have wealth to manage.

I do have some funds in an IRA and a 401k, mainly because I got half from my EH. It’s the law.

Anyway I was pleased to find out that unless the republic crumbles, I may actually be able to retire in seventeen years. (I’m not sure I will still be alive then, but I didn’t really think I would be on this side of fifty, so who knows?)

I asked my WM would he be able to warn me if society completely tanks and assets are grabbed. (I made it clear that I was referring to both my ethnicity and gender.)  He said that if that happened it would be without warning and would happen overnight.

I found that slightly reassuring, because my plan B is to hope that some friendly Anglos would help out. BatBeard is fully prepared to shoot zombies and marauders got protect me. (He is! I’ve seen the results of his target practice.)

I’ve made so little money over the past two years that I have gotten really good at this budgeting thing. So the upside of the surviving til retirement thing is that I  actually have some experience with the scrimping and pinching to make ends meet thing. I do like having a bit extra and I am in no way suffering.

Right this minute, I am ok and the only thing on my shopping list is cat toys.  Really.

I actually put pen to paper to remember cat toys.  This is because the little terror called Sabrina has disemboweled all of the catnip mice. There are other toys but she is insistent on playing fetch (BatBeard taught her to do that, and then went back to Myrtle Beach.) with the limp empty husks of catnip mice. There are tufts of catnip scented cotton all over the apartment.

So I need to get new catnip mice. It sounds like I’m spoiling the cats. I’m not. I’m not making a special trip or anything. But she prefers the mice from Target. So if I happen to be at Target, I will get her the mice. I’m not going to Target just for the cat.

I will let you know how I do with that.

 

 

I’m sure I was saving it for something.

Published July 23, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This has been an interesting day. I call it interesting because I don’t think I’ve done much but sit in one spot and try to make sense. This is not as easy as it sounds. I finished my set of articles and this batch was insane. ( I edit and ghostwrite.) I do learn a lot at this task.  And because I thrive in chaos, I listen to audiobooks or podcasts when I write. (Right now I’m listening to the opening credits of what appears to be a very poor quality movie. I do like the good and terrible.)

This batch of articles taught me that it is possible to have blocked chakras. Who knew? I asked my Amanda Friend if that was a valid excuse for being late. She thought it was kind of flimsy. The podcast I was listening to, The Fall Line, hosted on the new Exactly Right Network. I am sorry to say that I wasn’t playing closer attention, so I will have to go back and listen to the whole thing and considering that I was trying to make numerology make sense, I may have misheard- I thought the host said something about an ambiguous pelvis.

So which is worse, blocked chakras or ambiguity in your skeleton? Who knows? I’m pretty sure there is no algorithm for that.

Something I have noticed on my schlubby journey (BTW, I didn’t forget the exercise thing, I’ve just been distracted lately.) is that I stash things in my humble abode and then can’t find them. That’s not much of a problem because I live in a wee little place now so the problem is not if I find something it’s more of a when. Or a why the sweaty hell did I save this.

I have misplaced an important item and I know it’s here somewhere it just got shifted from where it was supposed to be due to the fact that the terribly social cat, Frances, eeled out the door while I was distracted. Frances is a sweet kitty and she loves people. Mostly she loves men. Since men rarely stroll through my apartment to say hello to the cats, sometimes she has to use her feline wiles to get out and stroll around the veranda.  It’s eleventy million degrees outside and I don’t want Frances to singe her sweet little paws so I set down the important item and sought to bring her back in. (She allowed me to scoop her up after she had strolled past a gentleman who was by the mailbox.)

Whilst on my search for the missing item, I went through a stack of papers. I mostly established where they item wasn’t, but what I did find:  my ID from my freshman year of college, 1987, my expired passport, a desiccated whole wheat rotini, and a business card sized replica of my Bachelor’s degree which I once used to scrape ice off of my side view mirror.  I understand everything else, but why the rotini?

Why the rotini indeed.