All posts for the month November, 2012

Attack of the media

Published November 29, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am winding down another day of editing. To keep my brain from exploding again (neat trick, but I can only do it once. I’m saving Brain Hemorrhage: The Return to perhaps save my family from Zombies. )

One of the things I do to keep the brain from shrieking from, shall we say, the skill level of the writers who have created the gems that I am perusing and fine tuning, is watch documentaries. (Years of doing homework and paperwork during rehearsals have created the need for background noise.)

Today’s documentary was Girl  27

It’s the story of Patricia Douglas who, as a seventeen year old dancer for MGM, was raped in 1937 at a studio party.

There are many things about this documentary that I find disturbing.  The most horrifying is that over six decades later, pretty teenage girls are still considered a disposable commodity.

This is not news to me. But I’m still horrified.

This is something that has been on my mind lately.

The person who introduced me to the idea that show business values pretty more than it does smart and hard working recently passed away.  This was not an overt comment, he didn’t come up to me and say:

“You are a troll and therefore you will be required to work harder and be paid less than Busty and Dingy  who lounge around simpering cutely.”

But it was still pretty obvious.  It’s not his fault.  It’s just the way things are.  They will be this way until individual people do something about it.

What should you do?

I was looking at a picture from this time   (1985) where I am positioned right next to Busty and Dingy.  Looking at the picture, I was just as pretty as those two.

I just never thought so.

I devalued myself so I allowed others to devalue me.

Teach your girls to speak up and that no matter what, they are just as important as the Busty and Dingy’s of the world.

And watch that documentary.

You have the write, but do you have the ability?

Published November 28, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am still editing the “adult content.” I am also teaching a couple of days a week. I have to compartmentalize  things quite a bit so I don’t get blurry between the two.  I  read a lot, and I read really fast.  When  I edit, I have to read critically.

That does not mean that I actually criticize these stories in any productive way.(To be honest, if I were to do so, I would suggest that someone strike one or two of these writers with a piece of office machinery so that perhaps they would think twice about ever setting cursor to blank screen ever, ever again.)

By critical read, I mean that I have to examine every word for grammatical error and readability. (That’s different from legibility, unfortunately some of these stories come through loud and clear. No pun intended)

At the same time  I cobble together a review/synopsis thing that is both positive and true.

Not easy.

I am in no way saying that every single word that comes out of my mouth or out of my fingers is fascinating and the work of genius, but conversely, not everything is inane twaddle either (Inane Twaddle sounds like the worst Tea and Room and Bed and Breakfast ever.  I think it would be the perfect place to go on a first date. )

I sometimes wonder which words will survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

You have the write, but should you?

ex libri scientia

Published November 27, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I wanted to say “Ex Librum Platfomum”, which is crazy Writer Chick-ese for ” Books to build platform”.

I’m too much of an overachiever and pompous pontificator to let myself get away with that. (To say nothing of the Catholic Guilt I would feel for faking it when my Latin teacher, Father Howard Hetzel patiently taught Latin I and II when I was in High School.  Poor man.  Not only was it his lot in life to teach Latin to a bunch of ungrateful students in an unairconditioned classroom in Texas, but he also stuttered.  And he later died of Cancer of the tongue.  You see why I can’t fake the  Latin.

So the title means,”From books, knowledge.” (Thank you Google!)

As I may have mentioned, the school is having a book fair. There are signs everywhere suggesting that students purchase extra books to donate to St. George Catholic School.

I went to St. George.

It’s amazing how things come full circle.

Books were so much of my childhood, particularly at St. George.  Both my brother, George, and I could read when we were in Kindergarten and as such, we were allowed and encouraged to read to the class. (It’s possible that the teacher wanted to zone out for awhile. Having spent a day or two in Kindergarten, I completely understand.)

It was also at St. George that I read the book “Slave Girl”, of which I have such vivid/soul scarring memories. (I will never forget the Sock Puppet recreation of key scenes.  It was not unlike a googly-eyed version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.)

I am very certain that all of my achievements, neuroses, psychotic episodes and the like are all directly related to the fact that not only was I read to, I was also encouraged to read.

Now a key part of that encouragement is part of the book fair.

And we’re back.

Still building that platform

Published November 26, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have not given up on the professional diatribe about education.  I simply have not had the time I would like to hone and shape the words.   I know that sounds like rationalization (And believe me, I could get a higher level degree in rationalization just on my post Zombie-Apocalypse food necessities alone.)  I know it seems like I am boosting the hype for little to no pay off.

I can not just show up and speechify about something in a field for which I have qualifications.  I would not just show up and play. I will officially pontificate when the platform is completely ready.

I did get some information today. I have reserved the first part of this week to cover classes for a colleague who is welcoming her new grandchild.  Because her classes are also in an area for which I have diplomas and credentials, I feel qualified to punt, if necessary.

Today, by happy accident, there was a guest speaker who addressed the students about the process of directing and playwriting.  This made me happy not only because I am interested, but also because it gave me a moment to reflect a bit about what this workshop means in the bigger picture of education.

Opportunity.  Education is about opportunity.

Some schools can afford to give more, like workshops on special topics so that students can learn from working professionals and gain a respect for different aspects of society.

There are so many other things that fall under the heading of opportunity.

Today I felt as if I were firing on all cylinders and that most of the brain was working towards the same goal.

Teach and be teached. (I know the right word is “taught”.  “Teached” sounds better.)

Writer Chick and Katboy’s infinite do list

Published November 25, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I don’t think my life would be a very interesting movie. (Although if it were I would want either Margaret Cho or Janene Garafolo to play me.)

Actually, one of my professors said that stories are NEVER written about the “Day things went Ok” , and my day’s are rarely just Ok.  It’s usually an oddly paced ride through a strangely lit fun house.

Katboy’s days are even more bizarre, but you can usually predict the pace. (He’s an engineer, and for those of you who are new to my personal Freak Show, Katboy is my husband.)

Today is one of my actual days off. By actual I mean that there is no chance that I will be called in to teach or otherwise be in charge of anything.

Instead today is one of the days that I have to, absolutely have to Self-Motivate. (Not nearly as fun as Self-Medicate.)  I have a lot on my list today. There’s so much on the list that there are things on it starred as the ones that absolutely have to get done today. (Like get my Brother-law’s Christmas present, because I have a coupon that expires today. )

So the bare minimum

* Go to Barnes and Noble to get Mike’s Xmas present

*Go to Half-Price books to get George and Dad’s Xmas present(s)

* Organize short stories that need editing (this will be what I am working on when I’m not teaching.)

* Go to Thrift Store Outlet for gift bags and gag gifts. (This is across town, but today is everything a dollar day, so there.)

* Find the sink. (I think that’s much more interesting than do the dishes, but it’s the same thing.)

*Work out. (This has to be on the list so that I will do it, there’s only a few weeks til the Zombie Apocalypse)

There are about a zillion other things that need doing, but this is the bare minimum that must be done today.

It has to get done today because I’m on call to cover classes for my favorite teacher this week.

This is a deceptively simply sounding list, but remember it’s me, after all, and there is absolutely no way of predicting when extra clowns or weasels will jump out as I move through the world.

And we know there will be weasels.

Mind field

Published November 25, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Lots of weirdness today.  I commenced cleaning. I’m finding a lot of interesting things, mostly crap, but uncovering mountains of carpet lint that I can use to build a little fort to hide from zombies or maybe burn in a bonfire to keep warm in the cold,post zombie dawn.

What if they had a confrontation and nobody came?

Published November 24, 2012 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This Thanksgiving was relatively peaceful, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I mean, seriously where am I supposed to get my writing material if everyone is going to behave themselves?

My uncle did show up with the most likely candidate for wife number 5 and  we encouraged him to NOT sha re this with my grandmother, since the ensuing trauma would have most likely given my mother a heart attack.

My brother, aunt and I all agreed that we will all be yea verily screwed if anything happens to my mom.

As far as I know, there was no residual drama.

I went to visit my other grandmother this morning.  She was eating prunes.  She offered me one and told me in Spanish that when she was a child they used to call prunes “Changos” (slang for monkey).

I am as delighted by the information as I am that I understood what she was saying.

I did not battle the sales, but I moved at a leisurely pace as I bought my printer (on sale and I had a gift card) and presents for my nieces, mother and brother (again, more coupons.)

Now I’m tired. Time for delicious, non shame or guilt filled pie.