All posts for the month January, 2013

Here it is, you lucky folk.

Published January 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The following is my entry to the XO Jane, It happened to me contest. 

Aren’t you delighted that you get to read it first! 

It happened to me: while I was trying to write about my biggest challenge, something worse happened. 

While I was trying to figure which event in my life was the most harrowing, surviving a hemorrhagic stroke or watching one of my closest friends die a painful death from liver cancer, my husband of eighteen years told me that been having an affair and now she’s pregnant.

I am still trying to sort out all of the things that have to be sorted because this came out of the blue.  It’s too cliché for me to absorb; the wife is always the last to know.  But it’s true.  I had no idea. Not because I hadn’t had any doubts about our relationship but because I few months ago I asked him specifically if there was something was going between him and this person, let’s call her Sam. 

He said, “No.”

That’s the part that hurts the most, the out and out “No.” That would have been the time to tell me that something was up.  A good time to tell your wife that you’re having an affair is when she asks you and BEFORE your girlfriend gets pregnant

The problem is that after eighteen years my husband told me that he is not in love with me anymore.  He loves me; it’s just that he can’t find the spark we once had.   Rationally speaking, which, believe me, I don’t want to do right now, after eighteen years constant spark is not the main part of the marriage.  Marriage is about getting through life together.

I hate to shatter any illusions that any young women may have.  Marriage is about getting through life.  I thought I was with the person with whom I am going to spend the rest of my life.

Ten years ago we separated and I moved to another state, I think it’s called Insanity.  While I was there, I had a hemorrhagic stroke.


When I was released to outpatient therapy, I lived with my husband who said that my place to heal was here with him.  His ex-girlfriend, Sam, still lived in the house because she didn’t have anywhere else to go.  I wasn’t a big fan of this arrangement, but since I was trying to grow a new brain, I didn’t feel like I had a neuron to stand on. 

After I completed my therapy, I moved back to Insanity, mainly because Sam was still here. Two months after I left, Sam finally moved out. 

I did finally leave Insanity to move back home.

I asked my husband if it was all right if I moved back in with him.  He said, “Yes.”

Everything went on as life often does with little ups and downs, and big ups and big downs. True, there were many times that I wondered if I am actually part of some bizarre reality show to see how far a slightly brain damaged, moderately pudgy woman can be knocked around before completely snapping and going on a nut-punching spree, but I never expected this.

I keep waking up hoping it won’t be true.  But it is.

I’m terrified because for the first time in my whole life, I can’t detach.

All of the hard things I’ve had to face over the last two decades have been easier to handle because I always knew that I had my husband by my side.


I can’t imagine a life without him.

I’m not even angry.  Everyone wants there to be a bad guy.  I don’t know who that should be; although I strongly suspect that I will get unsolicited nominations from the general public. Every woman who has heard about this, except, of course, for Sam, is angry on my behalf.

Ten years I ago I had a hemorrhagic stroke caused by burst blood vessel.  

Two years ago my best friend died of liver cancer.

Two weeks ago my husband of 18 years told me that he had been having an affair and that his girlfriend is pregnant.

This sounds like the set up to the world’s worst improvisational comedy skit.

It’s not.

It hasn’t been profane enough to turn it into a Mamet play.  I haven’t punched anyone or had a dance number so Tarantino won’t want it.  I have, however, been having a recurring dream where Laverne DeFazio sings “Nobody knows, the trouble I’ve seen” over and over again But that’s probably because I sleep with the TV on. It’s nice to know that my subconscious is sponsored by Nick at Nite.

And then there’s the things people say to me.  I can’t decide which is the stupidest.  Maybe I am still too numb to find this anything but a background for even more sarcasm. Everyone has a friend or a cousin or an aunt that this exact thing happened to, except this time the love child shows up years later wanting a part of the estate or family and the outsider is left wondering who on earth would want to bang that guy in the first place.  Maybe it’s just me that thinks that. I do have a bent for the inappropriate.

The one thing no one has said is, “It sucks. Here’s some Cheetos and a big bottle of chocolate milk.”

I know Cheetos are not the solution.  Neither is angel food cake mix blended with cherry pie filling or two and a half huge brownies. ( I had to do the research to test my theory.)

I know I’m going to have to eventually pull myself together because I am starting to get on my own nerves.  I’m not really the “Woe is me,” type.  I’m more of a “Job is me,” in that I usually handle adversity with acceptance and do the best I can to not lose faith in the bigger picture, whatever that is.  It probably includes Cheetos, or brownies or both. (Hey, I’ve been traumatized.)

(Picture-One Week Later)  Self portrait without snack food, one week after the latest disaster. 

ImageWedding photo

ImageOne week after 

It’s all about compromise

Published January 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am not so self-involved as to think that what happens to/around/near me affects the entire planet, but I’m sure some folk have noticed that my normally sunshiny attitude and cherub-like demeanor has been altered.

I have not wanted to be Commander Bringdown but my view of the planet from my perspective has been somewhat skewed.

Here are the highlights:

Because I cherish all things XO jane, I am planning to participate in the upcoming “It happneed to me ” contest.

Here’s the bit I WAS working on.

It happened to me (and continues to happen)

I’m a lot afraid of my brain and I always have been.

It’s hard to say when I became aware of my ability to disassociate. I know that I have always been considered smart or bright.  My brother and I were raised by young parents who were in college. We were read to and have always valued the written word.   There was a lot going on in my  head that I am just now wrapping my mind around.  (Yeah, I know)  I have very vivid memories of things that must have happened when I was three or maybe four. I have crystal clear memories of specific instances, including word for word snippets of conversation from about Kindergarten on.  I know that around this time I became aware of my own ability to disassociate, that is to remove myself from the moment.  It really came into play when I was in the third grade.  That’s when I started to freak out about math.  (I still do that, nothing has changed.) I remember my teacher taking me aside and telling me kindly that she would help me with the math when I needed it and to calm down.  (of course, the same teacher later announced loudly to the entire class that I was the one singing off key, thus ruining the battle-hymn of the republic for everyone, so I guess sympathy is a harsh mistress.)

But while I was working on this topic, something much, much worse happened.

What, you may ask could be worse than the bizarre crap that’s already happened to you, Writer Chick?

What could be worse than the as to yet undisclosed childhood trauma? Worse than 2003, the year that saw the loss of my grandfather, my arrest for DWI that was largely due to the fact that the arresting officer was afraid that the AATGH was going to beat me if we were not separated by bars and the law, and a few months later my Brain Hemorrhage. What could be worse than that?

What could be worse than the death of your best friend, Mr Steve in May of 2010 and the tedious dissolution of his estate?

Or barring that, what could be worse than being downsized out of your dream job?

Way worse than all of that is my husband of 18 years coming home and telling me that he has been having an affair  and that his girlfriend is pregnant. .

Yeah, that’s worse.

That has seriously compromised me.



thoughtful morning

Published January 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

” It’s still true.” 

“why does my shoulder hurt?” 

“where’s my debit card?” 

“There’s a cat standing on my sternum.” 

” Did I forget to buy bananas?”

“I have to go to the dentist today. If don’t find my debit card before that, I will have to pay with a check.”

“I need coffee.” 

” I really hate the default new post thingy on wordpress.” 

“Why are there no q-tips in my bathroom?”

All of this before I actually walked out the bedroom into the rest of the world.


Double Randemnity

Published January 26, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

  I strongly suspect I may be having a breakdown of some kind. It’s entirely possible I’ve watched so many episodes of Parenthood that I can’t function without some kind of major drama. (I can’t really feel sorry for Lauren Graham anymore.  Seriously, why would you choose grouchy old Ray Romano over Jason Ritter? I’m probably not the best person to ask about that kind of thing.) 

I have decided to select random bits of vebage from the intrawebs and post them in some semblance of order. It might make sense, it might not.  It might be brilliant. It might just be the last thing that is read aloud at my commitment hearing. (if it’s the later, I would love to pay someone to read it ala Groucho Marx, complete with funny glasses and cigar.) 

I drink to your health so often. I’m beginning to worry about my own

( I did not write this.  I want to punch whoever did.)

The biggest mistake women make is not doing anything at all. Hair, makeup, and clothing that made you look fantastic in your younger years, often won’t cut it as you grow older. In addition, lifestyle habits often need a makeover to ensure a successful transformation.

Science has found the key to happiness–and it’s not a big, fat paycheck. Instead, making a good, respectable name for yourself leads to the most satisfaction, according to a new study in Psychological Science.

(Imagine what I could accomplish if I could acquire a good respectable name for myself while sporting a kicky new hair do and wardrobe) 

“Keep your eyes open at all times for opportunities to meet quality men, not just when you are all dressed up to go out,” says dateologistTracey Steinberg

But  can I do that while I am updating my look and making a good name for myself? And what the sweaty hell is a dateologist? 

Angst for the memories

Published January 20, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The worst part about being me is that I can’t really tell when I’m going insane. (I would say, “if” but we all know the tragic truth behind that.)

I have had an extremely intense few days, and I am still working on pulling myself together.  I keep thinking in metaphors and in bizarre bits of phrasology.

Here’s a good one  from the Huffington Post

“In fact, there’s even a section in the morning liturgy called the “nisim b’chol yom,” “the miracles of the every day.” Each morning when we wake up, we are to supposed to offer thanks to God for the most mundane realities — for being able to see. For having clothes to wear. For being able to walk. For having awoken from our sleep.”

I do appreciate the day to day gifts, but sometimes I wish my realities were a little more mundane.  I’m starting to feel like Job. I don’t have any boils, but I am prone to ingrown hairs.

I should take a nap. And I am grateful for the bed and bunny on which I will rest my head and psyche.  Maybe the mundane will happen.

I might be wearing this face right now.

Published January 17, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

While I was compiling the information for this blog, this new information came to light on MSN’s TV Buzz Blog:

Claire Danes is annoyed.

Entire memes and YouTube videos have been dedicated to her not-so-attractive “crying face,” a trait that came to light when she impressed the masses on “Homeland.”

Danes’ friend, fellow actress Anne Hathaway, even spoofed the expression when she played Danes’ “Homeland” character, Carrie, on “Saturday Night Live.” The running joke during the spoof? “It’s like her whole face is chewing gum.” Hathaway apparently apologized in advance and sent Danes flowers afterward as a conciliatory gesture.


While I have spent a lot of time looking out of my face today, I have also been reading (I know, what an odd thing to say.)

Apparently Beauty is creating as much buzz as our friend Fat.

Now I’m supposed to be feel sorry for Megan Fox because she’s Hot?

That seems to be the bent of the Esquire Cover Story.

(I don’t read Esquire, I don’t even know anyone who does, this information was found on various sources of the Intrawebs.  I will, of course be citing references because I’m cool like that. )

This is a direct quote from Esquire writer Stephen Marche

   “The symmetry of her face, up close, is genuinely shocking. The lip on the left curves exactly the same way as the lip on the right. The eyes match exactly. The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual labyrinth. It’s not really even that beautiful. It’s closer to the sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake, snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged butterfly. What she is is flawless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her.

Megan Fox is a bombshell. To be a bombshell in 2013 is to be an antiquity, an old-world relic, like movie palaces or fountain pens or the muscle cars of the 1970s or the pinball machines in the basement. Bombshells once used to roam the cultural landscape like buffalo, and like buffalo they were edging toward extinction.

Liberation and degradation both played their part. If you want to see naked women, of virtually any kind, do virtually anything to their bodies, it’s a click away. And women no longer need to be beautiful in order to express their talent. Lena Dunham and Adele and Lady Gaga and Amy Adams are all perfectly plain, and they are all at the top of their field.”


After you get over what is obviously the verbal equivalent of drooling on a person

Move on to what else Marche said in his introduction.  I think Choire Sicha of The Awl says it well (my version would include a lot of foul language, most of which would rhyme with the word “brother Trucker)

“OH YES. “And women no longer need to be beautiful in order to express their talent. Lena Dunham and Adele and Lady Gaga and Amy Adams are all perfectly plain, and they are all at the top of their field.”

Actual words, typed consecutively, and somehow published. Despite the obvious questions—how the hell did poor Amy Adams get wrapped up in that claim!? And also “how soon is Adele going to BEAT YOU TO DEATH?”—I also… I… I don’t know where to start with Stephen Marche’s half-profile of Megan Fox for Esquire. I thought the mens’ mags had moved on from hiring ghouls—I mean, smart ones even!—to be ghoulish about women and their value. I thought the age of OMG WOMEN HAVE BREASTS, SOME ARE SO PRETTY, WHAT SHALL WE DO was over.”


I, for one, want to watch Adele, Amy and Lena hold Marche Down while Lady Gaga dances the Watusi on him with her giant shoes.

My sorrow for Megan’s plight of possessing Beauty truly knows no bounds.

My friend Cathy the High Priestess of High School Technical Theatre  reminded some student actors after an audition that even though you KNOW that you weren’t right for a part, you still TELL yourself that it was a huge personal failing on your part.

I think the same thing stands for Beauty.  We KNOW how much it doesn’t really matter and that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and bla-bla-bla, but what we TELL ourselves and what we HEAR is something completely different. What we BELIEVE is also something.

An artist who I respect once said that I was the strangest person he ever met. I do take that as a compliment.  I mention this to people all the time, especially since I now  encounter his children on a regular basis. Something I he also told me that I do not mention and in fact, completely forgot about until I read the above articles was that my facial features were symmetrical and that I could use the art work for the bust of Nefertiti as the basis for our upcoming Theatrical Makeup project.

An ARTIST equated my face to the symmetry of a woman who has been said to be the most beautiful woman ever to have lived. I did not KNOW that. But after I had someone TELL me that, 25 years later all that I now KNOW is that I am weird.


Why did I forget that?  I don’t look exactly like I did when I was nineteen.  Who does?

I could (and probably will) go on about Beauty as many times as I will about Fat.

But the challenge for me comes via XO jane , the article was It happened to me: I’m skinny and I got liposuction

The Author’s friend remarked  on living in Southern California.

“It’s no fun being a hag,” she says.

This took me to seek out the definition of “Hag”  Among  others was ” woman, usually middle age or old. ”

The Synonyms of hag:

Jezebel, Medusa, bag, battle-ax, beldam, biddy,crone, fishwife, fury, gorgon, harpy, harridan,ogress, shrew, slattern,

sorceress, termagant,virago, vixenwitch

It sounds like an awful lot of fun to be a hag .


It’s Back. Fat.

Published January 16, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

For some reason I am hyper aware of articles on Fat. I made this remark aloud the other day and someone remarked that it’s because it’s that time of year.

I was unaware that Fat is a seasonal issue.

I recently purchased the lovely Leslie Kinzel’s book, “Two Whole Cakes”  and Lara Frater’s book  “Fat Chicks Rule”.  I am not trying to make a point, I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and I have been doling treats for myself.  I also ordered a memoir I couldn’t get through the library, and  the masterpiece of the MADE FOR TV MOVIE  The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.  (It stars Claudette Colbert and Ann-Margret)   but those purchases aren’t related to this topic, so who cares?

The point is, there’s a lot of Fat in the news. Leslie Kinzel has an article in XO Jane (once again, big fan.) about Ulanda  Williams.  Williams is the woman who fell through the sidewalk in NYC this past weekend.  Kinzel points out what I also noticed that between the time the six foot five inches tall Williams was released from the hospital, her weight was reported at numbers varying between 300 and 400 lbs.

I was thinking about Fat because I’m kind of messed up about that kind of thing, and because yesterday when I was trying  not to stress out about anything in specific, I ran across an update about Dara-Lynn Weiss, the mom who wrote an article in Vogue about putting her clinically obese daughter on a diet.

The quote from Jezebel writer, Katie J. M. Baker says it best:

“The socialites who write personal essays forVogue aren’t known for their kindness and humility, but Dara-Lynn Weiss, who opened up about putting her 7-year-old daughter on a Weight Watchers-style diet in Vogue‘s April issue, has to go down in history as the one of the most fucked up, selfish women to ever grace the magazine’s pages. Weiss’ initial quandary is a complicated one, to be sure: what do you do if your pediatrician tells you your child is clinically obese? But the justifications to which Weiss clings as she describes the abrasive, often irrational weight-loss strategies she imposed upon her young daughter are truly disgusting, as is the obvious fact that Weiss was projecting her hatred of her own body onto her child throughout her year-long diet. The ickiness of the essay is only overshadowed by the accompanying photos, in which Weiss and her now-slender daughter — who even Weiss admits is traumatized by the events of the past year — don miniskirts and giggle girlishly over tea.”

The update says that the girl, Bea, is now at a normal weight.

Okay, that’s a good thing. But is she at a normal psyche?

Why is Fat always up for public mockery?