All posts for the month March, 2012

This is in my head today.

Published March 31, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The World Is Too Much With Us


The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
I am not going to try and interpret and analyze this.  I’m not a big fan  of doing that, and I’m not really sure why this poem is in my head to begin with.  I’m sure it has something to do with a nun or other obsessed teacher from my overeducated past pounding this into my head like so many grains of sand.  I overhead two separate groups of kids today talking about Justin Bieber. I have no idea why.  I absolutely did not understand a single moment of South Park last night.  I am falling out of the pop culture orbit.  Part of me hopes so.
But then, this poem is also stuck in my head
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

No wonder my head hurts.
It’s full of old poem residue

This may be why I can’t find it.

Published March 27, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Many of my friends are brilliant, wise and even urbane.  Several of these folk are librarians.  (Library people are cracker jack factory crazy. Just my kind of folk.)

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Amanda, is a reference librarian.  I imagine that there are days where she feels like Hell’s court reporter, what with all of the crazy information for which she is responsible.  One of the tasks that befalls her and her comrades is the perpetual, “Hey, do you know the name of that book . . . . ” And then the patron goes on to describe the book cover’s color, sheen ratio and the scent that the author was wearing on the day the book was published.  All of this is interesting information but does very little to help the librarian find the book.

My friend is very nice to all and doesn’t do what  I would do which is blast an air horn in their face and demand that they go away and figure out what they hell they want before returning to darken my desktop.  No, Amanda simple does her darndest to get the answer to their question or at least distract them before sending them on their way.

I was congratulating her on this skill when I found myself telling her about a book I enjoyed reading when I was a child, and have since been unable to locate.

I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through the 12th grade.  I would like to think  that it didn’t screw me up too badly.  I think Catholic school libraries are stocked by books picked out by someone who is doing penance for having too much fun in their youth.  The books are usually very old and less than thrilling.  (If you wanted something really spicy you would have to go to the public library and check out things by Norma Klein or Judy Blume)

The book I loved so much that I checked it out over and over was very popular with several other students. The book was called Slave Girl and it was a historical novel about a, you guessed it, slave.  It  was kind of a Uncle Tom’s Cabin-lite with a soupcon of Harriet Tubman’s biography tossed in for zest.

The book stands out in my memory because of Enrichment classes.

Enrichment class was an hour or so in the day where students in grades 4-6 would study Art, Drama, Cooking or get tutoring. I think it was some kind of Catholic School Social Darwinism, but I don’t think I could prove that.

Anyway, my older brother and I wound up in the same Drama Enrichment  class.  The class voted to re -enact a scene from Slave Girl. We would perform this scene with sock puppets.

Close your eyes and think.

A small group of 4-6th graders in Catholic School Uniform in 1977 acting out a scene about a slave girl with sock puppets.

I want to know what stoned student teacher let that genie out of the bottle.

My brother, the character actor, played the wizened slave whose slightly askew googly eyes and white yarn told of many long, hard days on the plantation.

He doesn’t remember this event at all. I didn’t remember it until I was asking Amanda about Slave Girl. (Don’t do an Amazon or Google search on “Slave Girl”)

My brother and I have gone on to team up on plays such as “Of Mice and Men” and “The Grapes of Wrath”.  He has given award winning performances all over North Texas.

Ah, but none as noble as the slave sock.

Fly in the face of frustration

Published March 26, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am trying to get somethings done and there is fly the size of a zeppelin zooming around.

Jobs are still scarce, so I have been updating my profile and adding to my portfolio  on both Odesk and Elance.  I’m hoping that will help.  I am teaching a couple of days this week, so I am expecting a flood of jobs to land on me so I have to race around like a mad fiend trying to get everything done.

I know I should embrace this downtime,but I feel incredibly unproductive.  I have been cleaning, but the house is still I sty. (I have created a lot of dust and other allergen clouds so I guess that wasn’t a total loss.)  I need to add 2500 words to part I of my novel, but my focus is split.  I don’t know by what.  There’s not much else going on.

I have no real timetable so that may be it. I hate being wandery of the brain.

My two major observations of the day are:

1) The arrival of spring is best celebrated by dancing through your living room in capri pants while listening to Madonna’s Immaculate Collection.  Wearing a headband and keds also help, but are not required.

2) If you sneeze hard enough you will completely forget what you were talking about leading you to believe that you have perhaps dislodged a portion of your brain.

Premature Gloating

Published March 22, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Yesterday was rainy and stormy and I smugly snuggled back under the covers, gloating that since I now work from home, jumping from the lucrative career in Arts Education  to the slightly less lucrative career of freelance writing, I could sleep in if I chose to.  So I did.

I am between assignments for both companies I work with, mainly because I worked like a fiend to get them finished before I had surgery two weeks ago.

One company doesn’t have any new work for me because they are having server issues.  The other company has a few jobs for self assignment, but I am only qualified for maybe one or two. (Shocker for everyone: I am not qualified to write a long essay on calculus.)

So I’m kind of at loose ends.  It’s still rainy and dreary and I’m so broke right now that I can’t afford to do anything.  I mean anything at all. I am going to make an appointment to sell the last of Steve’s silver.  I’m not doing that just for the money, although that will help.  I don’t know how much of the silver is real or what it’s worth or any of that stuff. I’m just tired of lugging it around. The house should be closing soon, so there will be that money.

I could bid on new writing jobs, but since I am under contract to the two others, I don’t really want to get bogged down in something else when they others may need me.  (It sounds like an excuse because it is.)

Both companies say this lull is temporary and that things will pick up once things have been edited and clients will want new things. I’m just at loose ends and the money thing is bothering me a whole lot.

I do plan to keep to a writing schedule even thought I don’t have any actual deadlines right now. I should be using this time to work on my own stuff that I know I won’t have time to deal with when the assignments start coming back in.

I need a nanny or some kind of zookeeper to push me around through this lull.

I can’t think of anything bad enough to call him

Published March 17, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Most of the time I am very proud to be who I am.  I am embarrassed and appalled to be associated with the Great State of Texas, in  way that I have not been since the days of George W.

Really Rick Perry, we all screw the pooch sometimes, but Planned Parenthood was giving a lot of people a chance to do it safely.

I don’t even want to voice how I feel about the Catholic Church right now.

I’m stir crazy from the recovery process of my recent surgery, which essentially hangs the hat and throws in the towel on some possibilities and potentialities of my life.

I hang my head in disgust.

We’re going to need a bigger iron

Published March 13, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have had a strange several weeks.  I know, how can I tell? It’s amazing how someone, okay me, can not have any specific schedule and yet still wind up with so much to do that I can’t really slow down, and now it’s Spring Break and I still have a bazillion things to do, not the least of which is update my web page and move things around because Microsoft Small Business is going to delete all of my stuff if I don’t move it over to whatever it is they are changing over to by the end of the month.  I need to do that

I realize that the previous sentence was run on and underpunctuated, as am I.

I have been writing a lot. Which is good because that means that business is as booming as could hope for at this time. No one is breaking down my virtual door offering me a book deal, which is probably better because I had minor surgery last week.

That in itself is a long and involved story.  I am still recovering, but am mostly ok.

I have also been subbing as much as I can at Country Day because I can use the extra cash.

The primary reason I sat down to write this today is because

a) I’m afraid that I’m starting to lose my touch for writing fiction and I want to scrape some of the worry off on the virtual public

b) I have been sharing stories from my past that have sparked crazy memories, not repressed, because if I were going to repress memories, I would need a bigger iron.

And we’re back.

Stories to Come

Sock Puppet Shows of the 1970’s

How a Priest with a lawsuit pending taught sex ed to me at my high school

Fun facts about Pocahontas and Willa Cather

and some really weird stuff.