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All posts for the month June, 2013

How this bodes: I’m not sure it’s well

Published June 29, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

FREE ACCESS TO LOCAL SLUTS!‏

LocalSluts (lmqdzbz@hvmikbwxv.com)Add to contacts 6/28/13

I got many, many messages today. Most of them wishing me well on my birthday. Starbucks gave me a free drink, Panera gave me a free pastry.  I had a wonderful lunch with my wonderful mother. I saw some free comedy with some good friends. Then I checked my email. The above was in my junk mail box.  Apparently a perk of my entering the mid forties (I’m 44) is that I now have access to local sluts.

I did not realize this was difficulty. True, one usually has to leave one’s house to find a convenient slut (World’s Worst Dominick Dunne novel.)

Who knows what this year will bring?  Maybe when I turn 45 I will gain access to that most elusive of all creatures: The International Slut (Coming soon to an art house near you.)

Thanks for the birthday wishes, world.

Universe, you haven’t knocked me out yet!

I wonder what Mel is thinking

Published June 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Tomorrow is my birthday. I share this day with Gilda Radner (RIP Emily Latella) Todd Camp, King Henry the Eighth, and Mel Brooks.

I’m feeling a bit introspective and more than I little ooged out.  (The introspective is because of the birthday, the oog is because I just stepped on a cockroach with my bare foot. EEEEEWWWW)

This time of year is usually a big ball of confusion for me because I am used to having down time. Now that I don’t teach regularly, my schedule is less rigid and with Sunday being  the longest day of my work week, I’m always a little off. (Yes, that’s the reason.)  And this week Actor Boy was here.  I insisted he take the good bed. After spending a week camping with his family, he didn’t put up much of a fight.  So I slept on one of the less comfy beds. And then the day before he left I was awake 22 hours. It wasn’t difficult to stay awake, I am an insomniac, but it was difficult to stay focused.  I slept all day yesterday only waking to slug from one room to the next and feed myself.  I’m still disoriented.

What I’m thinking now is “Where did I want to be by this time in my life?” The answer to that is “I don’t know.”  I should probably know the answer to that.

Where am I now? Is it closer to find than the what? It’s all very confusing, especially since my ambien just kicked in.

Actor Boy and Writer Chick are undertaking a grand adventure tomorrow. I need to rest up.

Three Hundred!

Published June 25, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

300!

This is blog three hundred. It is a mind blowing concept. Even if my mind isn’t worth much today because I used many neurons to teach and stay positive and not fling someone off of the balcony and remember that I was hired for my skill and my ability to stay unflapped. (For some reason the idea of me flapping struck me as HILARIOUS.)

Since I clearly need structure, I did a Google search on Three Hundred. Of course I got the movie, but this also came up.

http://www.threehundred.com/

Bowling. With a twist. (Their slogan, not mine.)  Apparently it is upscale bowling. I don’t mean to scoff; I’m a terrible bowler. One of the attractions for me is the possibility of enjoying some onion rings and the terrible atmosphere.  This is my favorite thing from the website:

“Our baby shower at 300 was the best party I ever hosted, mostly because my only job was to make the lane assignments! Everyone’s still raving about the ambiance and food, thanks!”

– Lisette

There are at least three hundred things I could say about my kid. And about that much about my friends and my family.

And then, there’s going back two years to May, 2011

I wrote a blog entitled: “How did we get here?”

No idea.

Actually, plenty of ideas, just very little focus.  The irony of this is that I am reviewing the purpose of focus in acting.

In my spare time (actually I have more of that than you would think) I am researching for my third novel (yes, yes, I know, I haven‘t quite polished the first one or really written the second one  but in the weirdness of my day, it’s much easier to stop/start research rather than narrow my focus to my story and have some child demand my attention by asking me why it’s important to protect your head in a tornado drill.  That really happened. Really. )

Anyway, the research I am doing involves World History.  It came to my attention that I don’t really know enough about World History.  Maybe it’s because I have such a bad memory of World History from High School because Denny King is an ass.

So I am reviewing World History for Dummies. (Making a crack at Denny King right now would be too easy.)

The first thing on the first page is the query, “How did we get here?”

Ideally, the answers will spring forth as I go through this book.

I’m pretty sure that’s a lot to ask of one book.  But then again, I’m no dummy.

When I wrote that blog I was still recovering from the death of my good pal Mr. Steve. I was also facing a pretty major transition in my life since it was apparent that I was going to be downsized out of a job I truly loved, but I was being afforded the opportunity to make the most out of a career in freelancing. My kid was about to embark on his journey to become Actor Boy, so things were interesting to say the least.

Two years later, I still wake up in the morning thinking, “I should ask Steve about this.”   Actor Boy has finished his initial journey and is now ready to take on the task of become the artist and entertainer I know he can be.

I am also facing a major transition. Because EH is now firmly ensconced/entrapped with AWT, I am trying to get out more and adjust to life alone. Just me the cat and the Bunnies and occasional visits from Actor Boy. I don’t think it will be too lonely as long as I keep busy and don’t become isolated and weird.

I also need to find a job that will pay me at least 400 per week because that is what I will need to supplement the money I make writing so I can, you know, live.  The need is getting pretty dire. This last month has been ok because all of the little jobs I have been working on add up to what I need. Most of these jobs end next week. So I have to maintain until July, then I get to freak out.

But my kid is here, so Actor Boy and Writer Chick will have a few adventures in the next day or so. Here’s the cliffhanger: Will Actor Boy help Writer Chick avoid a nervous breakdown before her impending birthday?  Stay tuned for the further adventures.

And thanks you folk out in the intrawebs for taking the time to read my rantings.

Crushing, crunching and loving.

Published June 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have a massive crush on Lesley Kinzel. I am totally crunching on Ryan Gosling. I am deeply in love with Aisha Tyler.

I know that was an odd way to open what I was hoping would be some sort of literary respite from the other stuff I’m writing today.

I tried to calm myself by taking an extended coffee break. I enjoyed a lovely iced latte with extra shot.  (Why, yes, yes I do know how coffee works SO KEEP THE SNIDE REMARKS TO YOURSELF!!!!)

I am having some abject panic moments  today because I have ten days to crank out five stories. I also have to get my verbal act together for the next rapidly approaching deadline. I also have to vacuum, change the sheets, do the dishes, teach some children and try to be a hard ass because they really need it. I’m finding it very difficult to make sense and stay focused.

So what do I do to try to regain my will to create?

That’s right, friends and neighbors, I go to XO JANE!

Lesley Kinzel is responsible for some of my very favorite articles. I strongly suspect that my internal monologue is the Greek Chorus for hers.   My new favorite thing that La Kinzel has said, “If obesity is a disease, can I call in fat?” as in, “Oh,Mr. Boss, I can’t come to work today, I’m too fat.”

I don’t think I really need to explain why I’m crunching on Ryan Gosling.  I’ve always thought he was pretty in that slightly awkward, secretly cool boy next door.  And even though he’s let the rest of the world in on his secret coolness, you just know he’d much rather be curled up on the couch watching a movie with you.

And Aisha Tyler.

I’ve always adored her from afar. She was a grounding influence on the first season of Ghost Whisperer. (Yes, I did just read that sentence. Don’t  judge me. Try spending a day walking around in my brain and see what sticks to you.)  Her stand-up comedy is hilarious. Her voice over work on Archer is inspiring. (I’m heartbroken that there is absolutely no way that I can afford to go see Archer live this weekend. I can’t spend the cash, or the time.Thanks, AWT!)

I have now stumbled on her podcast, Girl on Guy. It’s very interesting and her interview with Joe Manganiello is very informative, especially for the young actor, or possibly, the manager/assistant/ mom of a young actor.

So that was about four hundred words to answer the question that nobody asked,  “What’s on your mind?”

I think the planet knows better than to ask .

 

 

So rare a human to think and define

Published June 19, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I know that sounds kind of word salad-y, haiku-ish. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to arrange things in the verbal picture of me and my warped little mind. (Ok, it’s not warped, it’s just a bit dented and marred, not unlike my car, because I keep scraping against the same tree.  There’s a metaphor in that)

I’m a bit bumble fingered today, and the things I’m accidentally typing are actually better than what I’m trying to say. For example, I accidentally typed “Meataphor.” The weird little gnome that lives in my head ran around drawing pictures trying to put together a definition. Meataphor- A  large filet topiarily arranged. Then I realized that “Topiarily” is not a word and that I shouldn’t really be turning to a weird imaginary creature for writing tips.

Yes, it is exhausting being me.

That whole verbal meandering is an excellent example of how my entire day has been.

I have gotten 250 words written on the next story for the ghost contract and very little else.

I have some very lofty ideas waiting for the boost or at least some kind of support structure. Flying word buttresses, if you will.

I sat down to write this in hopes of making an actual point.

The point I was trying to make is that we often hear about the events that define us. I have been thinking about that lately. Which events really defined me as a person?

Is it the brain thing? Or the best friend dying ten feet away from me? Or perhaps one of the many, many other instances of life yoinking the rug out from under me with absolutely no warning.

Then it occurred to me. Events and moments don’t define us.

We define them. Things happen and we decided what to keep and what to edit.

That’s exactly why I write.

I started writing to create and understand. I kept writing as an escape. I used writing to make a point. I keep writing because it manages the truth.

Sometimes you have to work out a deal with the head gnomes and time weasels so you can be productive.

What? Write now, Right Now?

Published June 19, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As I may have mentioned a time or two I have been having a difficult time pushing myself in the right direction. Actually, that’s not true. I do really good for a while then something insane happens to harsh my mellow and I get temporarily derailed.  This creates an environment in which I find it hard to produce something if there’s not a deadline exhaling hot, steamy breath down my neck. (I know, ooh gross. I’m writing frisky romance short stories to help Actor Boy with his transportation fees.)

I know that I’m going to have to create an essay about “Why I write” for the Langdon Review and I shouldn’t gripe, but I don’t want to sound like a mental patient in this scholarly tome. Forever. In Print. For Real.  This sends a icy cold finger of fear down my spine to the small of my back causing me to start, frightened; but somehow retaining my warm smile (I’m still working on the stories and it’s causing me to get a little blurry.)

Anyway, I’m fairly sure I don’t want fluttery and frisky language to leak out when I actually write the essay. I know who I am and I’m pretty sure I won’t have the final draft ready until the last possible moment, but I do want to at least practice.

I am very fortunate in that come from a family that values education and encourages intellectual curiosity.  My parents were both in college when my brother and I were small. I remember being lightly reprimanded for highlighting sections in a book because I saw my parents doing that. I have vague memories of seeing a professor’s office door with the letters next their name. I wanted to be able to have a sign on my door with letters after my name.

My handwriting has always been terrible, but I have always had the urge to write, tell stories, and read.  Unfortunately, I did not grow up in the computer age and the best of my creativity was recorded in spiral notebooks. When I was in the sixth grade I attempted to write a musical about the Pilgrims and their tradition of prayer meetings .  I was a very naive child, but I had big dreams.

Immortalizing Puritans took a backseat to the creation of a Young Adult novel that was an unofficial group project among several girls in my class. I was the keeper of the notebook and did most of the writing, but everyone contributed to the concept and sometimes provided unsolicited criticism.

I have no idea what happened to this notebook, but it was the first time that I used writing as an escape. Writing gave me the power to go beyond the day to day limits of an 11 year old Catholic School student. In my story,  I was a bright, pretty teen who was falling in love with one of the very popular triplets at her school (Everyone wanted to date a cute guy, so we turned the cute guy in the class into triplets. Very fair minded of us. I got the sweet one. It was my notebook and I had to keep it safe from boys, parents and nuns. I deserved a perk.)

From that point on, I used my writing as an escape. I had two running projects, one in the school year and one during the summer. I had a set of friends that were part of the process for each of those. One project was a historical romance, one was a soap opera set at a professional theater

I did write papers and essays for school, but the only one that every reached the passion of the other projects was part of my final for Senior Honors English. I wrote an essay about Paradise Lost being a thinly veiled attack on women by John Milton.

I still remember how much I wanted to punch him in the face, not just because I was forced to read his work while dressed in a plaid uniform in the balmy heat of a Texas spring.

That made me short of breath. I should go do something else for awhile

Something new on which to fixate

Published June 17, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As if I needed something else to over think and weird out about, I heard a podcast about capgras syndrome.

This is a direct quote :

“When people with Capgras Syndrome see a friend, spouse, or themselves in a mirror, they believe they are seeing an exact double or an impostor.

Sometimes, people with Capgras Syndrome even believe that inanimate objects — like a chair, watch, book, or lamp — have been replaced by exact replicas. If people own a pet, the pet may be seen as an impostor, a strange animal roaming through their lives and homes.

Capgras patients are often so disturbed when they see a doppelganger in the mirror that they remove all mirrors from the home. The syndrome, named for French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Capgras, afflicts thousands of people in the United States.”

http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/pickover/pc/capgras.html

Needless to say, this blew my already fragile mind.

Of course this tidbit of info went right into the hopper (I sometimes picture my brain as one of those fisher price push toys that has little bits that pop around making a pleasing poppity pop sound. This nugget of info is now dancing with the plotlines I need to refine and the areas of my house that need cleaning and sheer joy that is trying to pop out because Actor Boy will be here in a few days.)

Actually this syndrome makes sense to me. It would certainly explain a lot about recent events.  But it also may just be fodder for my extended proof that I am working my way through the circles of modern hell (world’s worse Must See TV sitcom.)

I can actually see how insane this would make everyone and everything involved. I have had some days that were so weird and horrifying or weird and delightful that I had to actually just sit and stare into the middle distance while the rest of me functions. Would that mean that I was replaced with my own impostor? Who would the real me be? And why didn’t  Up with People or Marlo Thomas write a happy skippy song about that, “Free to be who you think you may be” ?

On the upside the last moment that poleaxed me was actually pretty good.

I have been given the honor of recognition by the Dora Lee Langdon Center for the Arts for my work as a playwright. A profile of  Writer Chick (me) will appear in their publication “Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas” 2013 edition.

I have to say I was speechless.

Maybe that’s when they switched me out with the impostor. If it happens again, I’m hoping this one cleans.

 

Playing Coy: Things I am carping about today.

Published June 14, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I listen to podcasts from the How Stuff Works people. I just heard in the Zenobia warrior queen episode, one of the hosts MISPRONOUNCE denouement.  It is not pronounced De-Know-Meant. If a  third generation Mexican-American can learn and remember the correct, French pronunciation, surely someone who is PAID to educate and inform people can take the minute or two to Google it or ask someone how to say it. It took me six seconds to find it online. There’s even an option to click on so you can hear someone pronounce it correctly. (I even know what it means. It is the falling action and generally follows the climax of a play or story. )

I think this is why Actor Boy says that I tend to be a snob when it comes to the uninformed. I don’t try to force  my ideas on those who don’t want to hear them, but if I were so inclined I would find out how to pronounce them.

Zenobia, (died about 274 A.D.), a queen of Palmyra, a city-state in what is now Syria. She ruled in the name of her son after her husband, King Odenathus, was murdered (probably at her instigation) in 267 A.D. Zenobia expanded Palmyra’s power, sending her armies to occupy Asia Minor and Egypt. The Roman emperor, Aurelian, became alarmed and in 271 attacked and defeated her forces. Zenobia fled but was captured and taken to Rome. Aurelian pardoned her and she lived near Rome for the rest of her life. Zenobia was romanticized by later writers, who portrayed her as a second Cleopatra

http://history.howstuffworks.com/ancient-rome/zenobia.htm

I found this interesting(not just because of the heinous pronunciation thing, that was just a bonus.) because Zenobia is known in Arabic as  Bat-Zabbai, which to my uneducated ear (uneducated in Arabic, that is) sounded like the chant from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they pulled that guy’s heart out. But it wasn’t that was “Aum Namah Shivaya” (“adoration to Shiva”). It is chanted to help protect one’s soul during times of peril.

I know this because I took the extra minute to look the information up so I could make my point with as few mistakes as possible.

I may be a snob, but I’m a snob whose reference skills are second to none.

(A side note: Koi and Carp are the same species but they are not exactly the same. All Koi are Carp, but not all Carp are Koi)

Sponsored by that merry prankster, William Faulkner

Published June 13, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I bet no one ever called him Billy.

I’m only wondering that aloud (or a-type) because I just finished the first of six stories I am ghosting for pay and one of the character’s is named Billy.

I’m starting to realize that “Freelance Writer” actually means “the Universe’s Bitch.”   ( I know, first world problem,”Oh, my life sucks because someone will actually pay me to write stuff.)  Anyway, the stuff I’m writing right now is not in my genre, but someone is paying me to do it, so there you have it.

I am in no way blaming my headache on William Faulkner. I actually enjoy Faulkner, which is kind of like saying I enjoy drinking terrible bourbon and lounging around in the hot humid summer.  (I do like bourbon, but not terrible, so I don’t see the resemblance.

Today has been fairly productive. I did finish the story that was plaguing me, so now I only have five more to pull out of magic story land.  I decided to use some of my downtime to deepen my pool of knowledge, and not play Candy Crush until my tablet runs completely down, so I decided to check out one of the how stuff works Youtube channels.  Now my mind is officially blown.

There is so much information out in the interwebs and on the Youtube it made my head hurt. The five clips on time travel actually warped my mind. (I think the time weasels got stuck and they are trying to use my sinus cavity to push off and get back to their weasely shenanigans. )

I may have to watch it again. The information flew by me so fast that I think I could hear my brain cells frantically trying to take notes. I think one of them even broke a pencil and freaked out because it couldn’t find a sharpener. (My brain is a very busy place with a limited office supply budget.)

Suffice it to say that there is so much information that is very sciencey. Everyone I know who could explain it to me would come up with at least ten reasons why they believe time travel is impossible creating the need for me to hold back the scream, ” Could you just explain the big words and let me draw my own conclusions?!!”

What I gleaned from it is if you say you believe in Time Travel and may have actually been a part of this phenomena, people will laugh, nod and then back slowly away.

I was following a tangent on a guy who says he is a time traveler from 2034 and is apparently still hanging around in the present. I didn’t get the exact name because I was about to implode from information overload (and other songs by the Ramones)  In my search I ran across this quote:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

-William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

Touche’ , Billy, Touche’

It’s not just for the Police

Published June 12, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I know a lot of words. (What an odd thing for a writer to say.) There are many that I know, but have never heard pronounced in real life.  There are a few that I have only heard on audio book . I first heard the word “Incongruous” pronounced in a book that I think was called Reefer Madness, but I can’t quite remember if that’s the right book. I include this factoid because not being able to remember the book is probably a side effect. (Bonus points for you if you got the joke without me having to explain it.)

That little experience brings me to the next little bit: Synchronicity. I have heard this word for a long time but I never really thought about it’s meaning. ( I know that is especially strange considering the amount of time I spend trying to shake pattern and meaning into my life as if the whole world is just some giant Woolly Willy waiting for me to nudge the beads into a new shape. )

Today Synchronicity popped right off of the word list (and album cover) and into reality.

This morning I’m pretty sure the time weasels were setting their usual warped trap for me.  They started by whispering an odd school yard chant in my ear so that all I could think of was Sam Honea (the tough girl in my Kindergarten class)  chanting , “Jane-Jane made a machine. Joe-Joe made it go.  Art-Art laid a fart and blew the whole machine a part.”

My day got off to a weird start.

I got to work with some kids today. This is always a good thing, but I did feel kind of off. (of course, the time weasels were just waiting for the right moment to blow the whole machine apart. )  I taught a quick and fun introduction to writing  and actually got some interesting stuff out of my own brain.  The kids told me they loved me.  (The best part of any class!)

Then this afternoon I discovered that I am being recognized for my work as a playwright by The Dora Lee Langdon Center for the Arts.  I will be featured in their publication, “The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas.”

I have to say I was stunned. In a good way this time.

Pretty good day. Except maybe for the weasels. Their nefarious plot to hoist my time seems to have been foiled for another day.