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All posts for the month May, 2013

To tell the truth, the hedgehog was the best part of the day.

Published May 31, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Today is one of those days that I wish I was filming so I would have evidence for either the commitment hearing or to use as evidence when I present my case that I am actually crawling out of purgatory.

My head is full of blurry and I overslept because the cat that usually stands on my sternum until I wake up decided she would sleep sweetly next to me and pat me on the face till  I went back to sleep.  I had to write at least  2000 words on story 4 on this set so I can stay on schedule, so after searing my lips on my coffee, I went into my office where  I promptly kicked over my water glass and knocked my speakers off the desk. This created a veritable hedgehog of cords(Hedgehogs are actually quite neat and fun loving. I bet that’s why you’ve never seen them on an episode of  Hoarders. Researching that bit of information is actually the best part of this not so great day.)

I slogged through the story (bet you’re dying to read it now!) and got about halfway done. I didn’t get waylaid by writer’s block. I was stopped by writer’s slack.

So what do I do when I slack?  I read XO Jane !

Today my slack was rewarded by this article

http://www.xojane.com/sex/i-sent-guys-on-okcupid-the-types-of-messages-they-send-me?utm_source=Friends+of+xoJane&utm_campaign=b743873106-xoJane_Newsletter_5_24_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ff762b8521-b743873106-407537581

There is no way I could describe this article with the fabulous it requires, but if you have ever, ever, ever been on an online dating site you will really enjoy this.  It made me laugh out loud.

I really needed this laugh because I had a phone interview with Varsity Tutoring.  This is a college-prep type tutoring service, that quite frankly I had forgotten I had submitted an application to.

A word about jobs and dating sites that have taken me by surprise:  In the aftermath of the bomb that was dropped upon me like so many jagulars (Katboy impregnating someone who I wouldn’t like anyway even if the situation was not what it, well, is.)  I filled out a couple of online dating profiles. (Because when you are feeling low, you can always get lower. To the windows, to the wall . . . I shouldn’t like this song so much.)  I also have filled out profiles and applications for just about everything I can possibly do in the freelance world.

The interview went ok, even though the interviewer’s phone kept cutting out. I did get the  “Who is this freak?” vibe from the interviewer. I don’t know how that is going to turn out, but right now it looks like the entire month of June is going to be a whirlwind of ghostwriting and racing from place to place to coach actors.  Wall to wall crazy.

I did get a bit distracted by the 9-5 diet. It is the newest diet sensation. (I would say craze, but the z is sticking on my keyboard.) I did a little research because I do want to shake things up and kick my actual diet around, I was hoping to see if there was any evidence to support the theory that eating for only 8 out of the 24 hours a day actually works.

I ran across this article:

http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/8-hour-diet-cheat-sheet

 

The best part of his was the Doctor’s name: Doctor Panda.

Really.  What’s better than Doctor Panda?

A neat hedgehog.

And We’re back.

The truth of the day or Are you for Real?

Published May 31, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I had to pace myself today.

This did not bode well, but I did my usual pre-Ambien ritual, (I am not a prescription drug abuser, I just have chronic insomnia from that time my head blew up and what with the separation anxiety from Actor Boy being over a thousand miles away combined with the tragic truth of my husband moving out because he wants to live with his GIRLFRIEND because she is PREGNANT, twirled artfully with sheer panic because I still don’t know where the bulk of my income is going to spring from, so yeah, I have trouble sleeping.)

I made a list of the things I have to do today.

Write story three of the four story set I am ghosting.

Outline story four

Prep lesson for Sunday.

Clean Something.

Well, the first thing was to get story three written. To stay on anything approximating a schedule, I absolutely had to get story three written today.

I didn’t have writer’s block, my brain was just dragging it’s feet (Yes, my brain has feet.)

So I did what I always do when I need to do something. I cruised my email and looked at various news feeds. Whilst checking the headlines, I followed a trail to Wonderwall, which had an interesting  bit about stars and their tour riders. ( I actually knew most of them, but was surprised that John Mayer had the least douchey rider.And other short stories by Zane Grey.)

This led me to ponder what would be on my tour rider. I think it would vary. But I bet it would always include a Route 44 Coke Cherry Zero and probably a cupcake.

Fat made an appearance in the news. (Fat has a better PR agent than any celebrity. Figure out a Rider for that.  I dare you.)

A quote I found particularly inspiring:

Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize winning commentator, (where do I get THAT job?) says that we are lard butt nation waddling toward demise.

I am amply butted, but I do not waddle. My pace is more of a scurry or trot. Actor Boy says it’s because I have short legs like a chihuahua. I love him anyway.

As for the demise, I have so much artificial sweetener in my system that I suspect I will live forever, not unlike that Roman Soldier or heckler from Medieval Mythology.   Of course I didn’t heckle anyone, I just enjoy the sweet chemical tang of diet soda.

And then I meandered over to Jezebel, which lead me to prancersise

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/30/prancercise-creator-on-her-wacky-workout-and-being-too-famous-to-prancercise.html

This made me so happy I had to take a break, but it reinforced the idea that music, tv and theatre should all be fun for everyone, at least on some level.

I did actually finish the story and outline the next one. As for the lesson plan, I realized I couldn’t finalize it until I talk to the director tomorrow.  I took the trash out and swept, so I did clean something.

Now at the end of the day, I am so punchy I can’t write with a straight face. And it’s too humid to prancersise.

It figures

Published May 29, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been involved in some aspect of show business for most of my life. It is not news to me that people are judged by their looks. I sometimes forget that because I spend much of my working day trying to stay on task, as they say in the academic world and on those days my wardrobe is dependent on what pair of pajama bottoms is clean. (Today it is the Horton Hears a Who pair, topped off with a T-Shirt that is so old it’s ironic and pithy saying has faded to invisible and there is an unfortunately located hole growing near the center.)

Other days I actually have to interact with people and figure out who I want to appear to be.

This weekend I begin a new job (part-time, don’t get too excited) as an acting coach for a summer workshop.  I know I need to look as if I know what I’m talking about and I do wish I had a hearty Eastern European accent and can to slam on the floor to punctuate my pearls of wisdom.  But I’m not that kind of acting teacher. I’m more of the human cartoon/spastic lunatic kind.

I do have to remember to reinforce the notion of not being easily offended because show is indeed the business where many decisions are based on what  look is needed at the time.

I am trying to remember this as I am faced with a lot of Guh in my world and I kind of wish I didn’t look like me.

XO Jane features a story about a woman who has had not one, but two boyfriends request that she do something about her flat butt to make it more appealing. http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/it-happened-to-me-my-boyfriend-asked-me-to-have-butt-augmentation-surgery

No one has ever said that to me, so that’s a plus.

I didn’t get much done today, but I do like these pajama bottoms.

Horton has never voiced an opinion about my butt.

My how the truth flies-The Woman Who Wasn’t There or What’s in Tania’s Head ?

Published May 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I spend a great deal of time bragging about my kid, Actor Boy. When I’m not raving about my kid, I am usually doing whatever I can to avoid cleaning my house or doing anything that smacks of effort.  I do have to rouse myself from time to time in order to, you know, make money to keep Actor Boy supplied with the basics, Pop-tarts, Pizza and a Metro pass. These days I’m hustling to get as many freelance jobs as possible to stay afloat until the school year starts up again.  (When I will again be hustling but for jobs with a slightly higher pay grade.)

Since I spent the last several days racing around NYC with Actor Boy and The Mom, I had to force myself to focus and finish a story I am ghosting in a genre that I am not entirely committed to, but apparently good at writing because I am actually being paid to do so, forcing the process (world’s worst hair salon?) made me a bit tired and flaky, so I did what I always do when my brain is feeling particular sad and spongy (coming soon to Nickelodeon?), fire up Netflix and watch a documentary.

I have been meaning to watch The Woman Who Wasn’t There for quite sometime ever since I saw it being promoted on the Dr. Phil Show.

For the unfamiliar, The Woman Who Wasn’t There is a documentary about alleged 9-11 survivor Tania Head.

Now, I say alleged because it turns out that this woman who purported to not only be a survivor but also a the widow of a victim of the 9-11 attacks.

She made up the whole thing.

She wasn’t even in the United States when the attacks occurred.

Another survivor said about their own survival, “It went from the question of ‘Why did I survive to Why did I have to survive?”  and  “It’s like being in a parallel reality.”

I find these thoughts resonant because I find myself thinking the same things.

More on that later

Tania Head aka Alicia Esteve created this elaborate, graphic and incredibly well  researched lie. The documentary pieces together what she said, what she did and what was said about her, all of the basic elements that lead to building a good character.   It’s a good documentary because it engages the viewer and answers as many questions as it asks.

I question the motivation behind creating a lie of this enormity.   The information about her past in her native Spain tells of personal strife caused by a scandal with her immediate family and a car accident in which her arm was almost severed.

Yes, but personal strife and scandal is no reason or license to act like a dick.

And if it is, please let me know where I can get my own.

Oh, the huge manatees!

Published May 27, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Try as I might, I can’t seem to leave my subconscious behind.  I just had an amazing weekend in NYC . The Kid officially  became Actor Boy.

There are so many great things I want to say about that.

But first let me try to give you an idea of the voyage to La Guardia

Due to circumstances beyond our control, my wonderful mother and I had to spend the night before we left in a hotel. (Mom has a lot of bonus points and miles and the like, and she shares with me, so this wasn’t a big deal. When rifled through our luggage, Mom discovered that she had forgotten to pack her comfy walking shoes. I discovered that while I had brought enough make-up to supply the first round of Drag Race with preliminary product, I forgot all of my make-up brushes.

No big deal, I am nothing if not resourceful. Besides it was late and I knew my mom was going to drag me out of bed at some ridiculous hour and the most important thing was getting to see the kid.

The best part of the flight was the floor show in Nashville. Our hour long layover turned into a three hour adventure. I talked my mom out of ordering the fish tacos (Call me biased, I just don’t fully trust fish in a land locked state.)  Then we wandered from store to store to see if we could find make-up tools or comfy shows (No we could not.)

While we were relaxing (Ok, trying not to look tense as we waited for our flight.)  we got to see the result of showing up at the gate five minutes before departure time. Not boarding time, departure time.

Any one who does a lot of traveling and most of us with common sense know not to poke the bears that work for the airline.

I was already staring at these people before they began behaving like a bad episode of Flava of Love. One of the women had basketball sized bazooms and was wearing a neon pink tank dress. I’m pretty sure she was wearing shoes, but who was looking at her feet, especially when she started berating the poor American Airlines people who had drawn the short straw to work on Memorial day weekend when there were so many flight delays.  There was a lot of swearing (not by the airline staff, unfortunately.) This one woman show culminated in several demands to see the manager. I strongly suspect the CEO of American Airlines was not in the Nashville airport.

Someone did eventually show up and listened to part two of the pointing and stomping and boob shaking.

There was so much to look at and to hear. I was a little embarrassed that the only conversation I had to offer was a discussion of what endangered animals are cute and which ones are just creepy.

So much humanity. All I had to offer was the information that pocket gophers actually have little pockets they can turn inside out like pants pockets. That’s pretty cute. I may have to ask one for change sometime.

 

Beauty is truth, truth beauty- But does that mean it’s okay to wear Crocs to Lincoln Center?

Published May 23, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

John Keats confuses me. Not in person, obviously, but poetry in general.  I also do not get Modern Art. I feel like an idiot because I don’t understand it, and in fact, often find it hilarious.

As an educated person,  I should know better than to mistake misunderstanding for stupidity.

I know, the possibilities are endless.

I am going to NYC tomorrow; the Kid graduates on Saturday.  I am so excited I am numb. (It could be the allergy medication combined with the carbs and caffeine I slammed down about an hour ago.)

I spent most of the day packing and misplacing things all over the house.  I checked and  double checked to make sure everything fits and that I have the appropriate undergarments for everything. (The last four decades have wreaked havoc on my body.)

I am wearing my sneakers and have packed my heels and two pairs of crocs. They are really nice crocs, and they do go well with the outfits I have picked.

We are going to see a show tomorrow night, and I am not conceited enough to think that anyone will be looking at my feet. I will be wearing crocs to Lincoln Center.

Real Beauty is comfortable shoes.

The truth is in here, probably

Published May 22, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am cleaning and organizing my office. It’s an arduous task, mostly because I’m lazy and easily distracted.  I keep uncovering things I completely forgot I had, like some very nice china and crystal that I got for my wedding. It’s been boxed up in the closet that’s here in my office.  I took some of it out and unpacked it so that when my Kid and his cousin come to visit we can have nice place settings on which to enjoy our bagel bites and kool-aid.  Really. I unpacked them because I haven’t used them at all over the last eighteen years because I kept thinking there would be time to use them, I thought that I was married for good. and bad. and better. or worse. But we’ve all seen the tragic result of that.

So enough for the whining. I also unearthed a few random notes to myself.

Doesn’t Jiminy Cricket look a little smug? Is it because he’s a cricket? Wouldn’t he have been as effective if he was a click bug?”

Maybe a tarantula would have been more effective.  I have no idea what this means. It must have been important for me to write it down in the first place. But not important enough to actually use before it drifted down into the recesses of my office.

It’s a process. I don’t really have a huge push to finish today.  So I probably won’t. Maybe I’ll write something down and toss it into the closet and see if the truth is any different eighteen years from now.

 

The truth and I (or me)

Published May 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The truth is that I did not realize how incredibly lazy I am when I don’t have a pressing deadline. I had a pretty intense week last week (Intense for me: I was required to be around people, and I had to wear real clothes and a good face. Let’s suffice it to say it wore me out. ) The good news is, I did get a lot t done, got a rave review on a story, got a job as an acting coach for a workshop this summer discovered that everything I had to say about the Golden Cheeked Warbler and Poison Dart Frog had already been said by at least three other people, none of whom has the stringent ethics of myself and the client for this job.  ( I also learned that while the Black Footed Ferret is kind of cute with its tiny little mask face and black feet, it is also a big jerk, what with stalking prairie dogs just to trap them  in their homes and eat them.)

I also learned that if you have a ten year old car that has never needed brake work you should not be surprised if your brakes will need some looking over so you do not plummet to your untimely death.  The only reason I really care at all is that The Kid is graduating this weekend from The New York Conservatory of Drama and I can’t let him down. ( yeah, I know, I allegedly have a purpose,and my family would probably be bereft, and all of that other stuff, but the Mom and I are the Kid’s only family to attend the ceremony, so I gritted my teeth and paid the three hundred bucks to get my brakes fixed.)

Anyway,  I’m incredibly lazy. I am supposed to be taking today to clean my office and get it organized so I can keep the freelance jobs straight so I don’t look like a bigger yutz than necessary.

I started this yesterday and now the office is destroyed.  I am perched amid the rubble to write. I have notes from the last few things  I read but up until about a minute ago, I was just too lazy to walk the ten feet into the other room to get my notes.

For the most part, I feel terrible about complaining, (and let’s be honest, that’s when I’m the funniest.) because of yesterday’s huge tornado and devastation in Oklahoma. My family there is safe, but my heart breaks for the teachers at the elementary school. I know how hard it is to keep a kid’s attention at this time of the year anyway, and with all the chaos and storm and other madness I can only imagine their sheer panic.

So I don’t feel much like complaining.

And that’s the truth.

This is the end (or not.)

Published May 20, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am finally getting close to the bottom of the stack of books that started this whole business. This week has seemed eternal. I just finished writing a report about Endangered Species that kind of skewed my viewpoint. As I compiled the list, I made sure to include some pretty gross looking fish and a creepy blind spider that will actually chase you before it gives you the deathly chomp (World’s Worst Diagon Alley restaurant?)

I wanted to show the reader that it’s not just cute animals that are endangered. We should try to save everyone.

I know, I little ham fisted for someone who is a carnivore.

But I think my little journey through the books, and I still have a few more to go, has helped me narrow down what it is I am hoping to discover.

I want to figure out the big Why. Not just my why, like why the hell does the universe mock me, unless of course, I am, in fact, in hell. There will be a follow up weighing the case for and against.  I am hoping to have a little  more time to figure things out since everything is slowing down (no teaching  for awhile.)

I want to know why people do some of the terrible things they do. It seems for me to figure out the ends of that, I ‘m going to have to start with what is happening in the Now and work my way back to the Then.  I think that’s where the good stories are anyway.  I think this is going to involve some grim and heavy work.

It may be a good time for coffee and doughnuts.

The Free will set you, Truth.

Published May 15, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am having an odd week. If I think it’s odd, I can’t even imagine what the rest of the world is thinking.    Its only Wednesday. All day yesterday I thought it was Thursday.  (This is where the white rabbit should hop out and nag me to take my meds.)

I have a lot going on, you know what with ranting maniacally about Hineys and Abercrombie and Fitch.   I do other things, too. I applied for a real job, the kind that will allow me to use those qualifications and diplomas and fill me with a sense of purpose so I don’t spend so much time trying to get mall employees to look the other way while I round up a bunch of people with cupcakes in their mouths and buttocks all ready for pressing against the store windows.  (World’s Worst Flash Mob?)

I have two new contracts that I am working on. One is a report on endangered species for kids ages 8-10.  I’m learning a lot and there are times that I have seriously cracked myself up when I think about Blackfooted ferrets being introduced into new habitats.  Then there is the pocket gopher whose little pockets can actually turn inside out like pants pockets.  That sound seriously cute and makes me wonder what a gopher keeps in his pocket.   I am about halfway done with that. I am still, yes, still working on Girls Like Us. (I know I am a huge slack and I am setting a bad example for all of the other freelancers by not finishing on thread of research before I go barreling on through to the next thing ) But as I was writing this excuse, I realize that there is a thread of resonance between this book and the research I am doing on endangered species.  There are things happening worldwide that are a trickle down effect because of things that would never occur to most people.  The extreme relevance of human trafficking and the loss of many natural resources due to human stupidity makes me want to flurb.

That’s the only word I can find.

But that’s what I feel. It kind of feels like a cloudy pinch behind your eye near your sinus cavity and you can’t sneeze it loose because your eye might just pop out. And you would feel much better if you had a nice cold Coke Cherry Zero, but you are out and now it’s storm and almost time for you to wind down so you can finish up this contract and have time to edit and get a jump on the next thing, so just quit thinking about it and don’t even look at the Huffington post because it will just make you mad.

Yep.

Flurb.