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All posts for the month August, 2013

Does this sound dated?

Published August 31, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So I am in relationship limbo, and I’m not the one holding the stick. EH and his BM (Baby Momma and yes I realize the initials can be used to mean something else *sly grin*) is still blissfully cohabitating, the baby is here, but EH and I are still married.

We are still married because the day we were supposed to discuss finances prior to scheduling a meeting with a lawyer, BM went into labor. So, EH hasn’t had time to deal with it and I choose not to because I’m being Passive Aggressive. (Can you be passive aggressive while still acknowledging it? Would that make it Conscious Passivity? )

I realize the thing that bother’s me the most about this whole thing is that after 22 years, I’m going to have to go out and date again. (I may have kvetched about this before, but it still REALLY sucks.)

I don’t think I know how to date. I’m kind of a tense and sort of angry person in general. I’m slightly more mellow than I used to be, because I’m medicated and I’ve learned to better control my aggression so I don’t drop dead of a rage induced stroke.

So where does one start when dating? I met EH at an audition for a band. I was auditioning to be the singer. We did have an instant connection and three dates in it was as if we had always been together.

Maybe this is not the best example.

The guy I dated before that was four years younger than me and very pretty. We met college. He was an incoming freshman and I was a graduating Senior.  It was fun and rife with dating drama. We are still friends.

But other than that, I don’t really remember just dating someone. I hung out with a few winners  (No names please, but suffice it to say that their combined IQ’s don’t add up to a respectable number.) Some of these guys referred to me as their girlfriend or friend. I can actually only think of two that actively acknowledged my presence in public.

All of these relationships were post high school and do not include the guy I was engaged to my Senior year in high school.

I blocked that out.

I have become eerily aware of the stories/Stand-Up Comedy/Bad Game Shows/Youtube videos about dating.

It’s grim.

This story on Jezebel is a microcosm of what I fear in dating

http://jezebel.com/insanely-detailed-craigslist-personal-ad-has-a-28-quest-1212317513

If you choose not to check it out it’s the recap of some guy who posted a personal ad on Craig’s List who is open to dating all kinds of women, as long as they aren’t older than 27. He will ask for ID to verify age. He has a FAQ section on his ad to clear out anyone who might actually consider dating his pompous ass.

Part of me wonder’s if this guy has Asperger’s Syndrome or something similar. It has been my experience that someone on that end of the spectrum  wants to be told if they are behaving inappropriately for the occasion.

Dude. You are behaving inappropriately.  You sound like an ass.

Is the idea of wanting to meet a nice person dated?

 

Fate (and s%^)

Published August 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I had an interesting neurological encounter this morning.  (Am I the only one to whom this happens? See what I did with that correct grammar?)

I was reviewing the list of presentations for next week’s Langdon Review weekend. One of my co-contributor’s to the Landon Review of the Arts in Texas, Larry E. Fink,  is presenting this : There are strong connections between flânerie (the act of extended, observant strolling in an urban environment) and the practice of street photography. Flânerie is usually associated with writers—often, in Paris—and their efforts to fuel their creativity. This PowerPoint talk, illustrated with images by famous street photographers (and some of Larry’s), will explore similarities between the writer’s and the photographer’s efforts to reap a harvest of art from flânerie.

Now this is the kind of thing I truly appreciate. I often seek to fuel my creativity with wandery thought.  I did not realize there was a fancy sounding name for it. Now I am starting to wonder if I can get some kind of research grant to actually get paid to research the people in my neighborhood. I truly want to know Who Are the People in My Neighborhood? I’ll even sing the song.

Anyway, while I was pondering this, I felt a neuron in my brain sidle over to another neuron and they had a conversation.

“Hey that flanerie thing sounds interesting.”

“Yeah, it really does.  Hey I wonder if that’s where Flannery O’Connor got her name?”

“I think that’s her real name.”

“But you know what I mean, right? She writes about the average folk, true those folk are usually demented and weird, but they’re not nobility.”

“Yes! And if it’s her real name, wouldn’t it mean that some force of fate is at work? ”

Then the neurons nodded wisely to each other and one of them sent  a neurintern. (neuron intern) to go check the facts.

Her full name is Mary Flannery O’Connor.

Now the neurons moved a little faster than that but the weird part is that could actually feel the thought process at work.

Just a dream

Published August 29, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Last night I dreamed that I forgot that I had a dog. The dog in question belonged to AATGH. I haven’t seen the dog in six years and he was five then.  The dog, Aikira loved me so much that he would growl at AATGH because  he thought I was in danger.

In the dream, Aikira was protecting me from a rabid dog who was eating half of a cow.

What the hell does that mean?

So after that kick-start to my day, I am trying to figure out what I need to do today. We are not at war yet, but according to reliable sources, (not a bird named Harry who appeared to me in a vision to warn me of impending doom)while we should be ready for the eventuality of some sort of strike from the US, congress and the UN are holding back, as is POTUS. (I love acronyms.)

So no war yet. That’s a plus. We, (as a public) are still talking about Miley.  The Oxford English Dictionary has added “twerk” I feel the same way I did when I noticed that my tiny branch library had Steinbeck shelved cheek to jowl with Danielle Steele. (They have since remodeled, so it’s not quite as bad as it was. There are more books so more distance.)

The information above  was culled from an actual page of news. (Not Fox news, but various reporters for NBC.)

This made my stomach hurt, so what do I do when I feel like I want curl up in a ball and ignore current events? That’s right, I go to XOJane. I do feel a bit better about the situation of the world but now I’ve been provoked into thoughts about why we, as people, treat other people so badly.

There was a terrific, but hard to read article, by a girl who was attacked and assaulted for the sole reason that she was walking while female. She was treated shabbily by the police and it is unlikely that her attackers will ever be caught.

There is  a really great article by a former Lane Bryant employee who relays the info that her training stressed making the customer feel better about themselves whether they buy anything or not.

Why do we have to be told to be nice to people?  Or if we can’t make a concerted effort to be nice, can’t we at least be human?

We shall see.

Miley Cyrus taught me something about Syria

Published August 26, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Miley Cyrus may have just taught me a thing or two about Syria.

I woke up this morning, feeling not at all like P.Diddy, but actually thinking about him a little bit. I enjoy getting my news and relevance in tiny bite size chunks. This ensures that I won’t learn too much in one sitting and then need a mental Heimlich. (Once again, you may quote me, but PLEASE refer anyone who seems interested to my web page and to this blog.  www.ellesview.com)

One of my new favorite time sucks is watchmojo.com’s YouTube channel. There’s a bunch of neat top 10 lists such as the best astronaut movies or best disaster movies.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  I wandered onto a list that mentioned the movie Monster’s Ball. I wondered briefly how I managed to leave this off of my blacktress sorrow film festival. Every person in this movie gave terrific, understated performances. Sean (Diddy) Combs is in this and gives a surprisingly wonderful portrayal of a man on Death Row.

So my brain was already attuned to the pop culture scene this morning when I checked the news feeds this morning, the various stunning VMA performances popped out at me.  If you haven’t seen La Miley’s interesting presentation, by all means, warp your soul a little and check it out on the YouTube.

It was effective and disturbing. I am not disturbed by her. I could not give a teeny tiny little rat’s ass what moral code she may be violating by basically grinding her cute butt to force her Disney Diva persona to run away, screaming, into the night.  I’m disturbed by the bear shaped space ship (A bear wearing a Geordi LaForge visor.) in which she arrived on stage. Ambien night mare bears  danced around while some dancers wearing some bizarre bear backpack things gave La Miley something to do while she made the kind of  face that little kids do when they have accidentally let an aspirin dissolve on their tongues.

Later on I was exposed to the concept that characters relay the writer’s theme to the audience. The case in point was Medea. The concept is that while Medea appears selfish on the surface but there’s so much more behind it.  Medea doesn’t murder her children because of HER hubris. She kills them to protect them from Jason’s Hubris. (World’s worst Greek Restaurant.)   The play itself can be seen as an allegorical representation of Greek society. Jason met and married Medea when he was on his By-Any-Means-Necessary-World-Tour. A few kids and sometime later he gets tired of Medea and he thinks, “Hey, she’s not Greek, so she’s not worthy of me.  I think I will go find myself a shiny new wife.”  He forgets that Medea literally ripped her brother limb from limb to help Jason escape her father.

Jason, don’t cross that crazy bitch.

We all know the tragic result of Jason’s Hubris and Bitch Crazy.  The concept of character revealing the theme made me think about Miley.

She is a character in this Human Comedy.  She just can’t decide which character she is. We know what we want her to be.  We want her to be a fun filled distraction from whatever else is happening. Like Syria. I realize I know much more about Medea and Miley than I do about the crisis in Syria. What my tired brain has managed to cobble together is that Assad has used chemical weapons on the Syrian people.  Assad has been warned that if he crosses this line, there will be consequences. Consequences that could further rile up things in the Middle East.  Miley is gearing up for the dress rehearsal. She’s still trying on costumes and figuring out what theme she is supposed to be pushing forward in the overall story. I think it’s making her freak out.  I don’t blame her. I’m not sure I understand what she was trying to do and no one in the world wants to see me in a flesh toned vinyl bikini but when I think about what they world may be asking of me and of the future, it makes me want to dance around the room with some bears and hope it all goes away.

I should probably stop saying that

Published August 25, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have come to the conclusion that I should stop asking “What the hell is wrong with people?” in the tone that implies that I need another example to put together a more thorough hypothesis.

Example 1: The public is LOSING IT’S MIND because Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman.  This is an actual story on the MSN home page.  All of that public outrage could have been harnessed for something useful. I’m afraid to make a suggestion because I am afraid what the public would consider useful

Example 2: Daycare workers fired after Instagram photos mock kids. Actual news story: A daycare in Newport News, VA took pictures of the kids and posted them with captions that mocked the children. There are so many things wrong with this I can’t really isolate what bothers me more. (Oh, wait, the fact that these people HAVE JOBS)

Example 3: There is an actual website/ business created by Christian Carter called “Catch Him and Keep Him. I could find out what I do that kills a relationship. He’s going to take me into the mind of a man. I can create a shift in the relationship. But he can’t share all of this unless I sign up for his free newsletter. I would do it for scientific reasons, but it would probably lead to me punching some stranger to vent my rage on this pompous jerk.

Example 4

People have to be told NOT to buy bathing suits and car seats at a garage sale.  I’m going to go ahead and spread the news that it’s not a good idea to put something on your naughty bits that have been on a stranger’s naughty bits. (Of course, this would mean that several people I know would never date again.) It is also NOT a good idea to trust your child’s safety to a used anything.

Example 5

The city of Fort Worth, Texas has demolished TWO houses by mistake. They were supposed to tear down a house, so it’s not as stupid as it could be, although it would be easier for me, personally to understand a demolition spree.  Twice over the last few months, the city has approved the demolition, and the contractors took down the wrong house.  Really. The parties involved are on paid administrative leave.

Hey, City of Fort Worth, here’s an idea, why don’t you pay someone who didn’t tear ANYTHING down. Or maybe use that money to buy sandwiches and Otter Pops for the poor folk living on the streets near E Lancaster.

I have to stop. I could list examples all day.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I think everyone should go out and get a new box of crayons. C

What to do when your brain is not fried, but a little sizzly.

Published August 24, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I  feel better about the SAT retake, particularly since I discovered that three other teachers did not do well either.

This warrants the question, “Is the SAT geared against students?”  or the better question, “I am just too freaking old to learn old tricks?”

I have spent the last three hours avoiding what I need to do. I’m a little zingy because I celebrated my finishing the SAT with a nutritious veggie sub and diet lemonade before I ran errands.  On the way home I ate some chocolate covered mini oreos, and washed it down with a coke zero.

I am now metabolizing all of this while I process the rest of my to do list.  I need to clean my bedroom.  It’s especially pitly since I have essentially spread my crap all over the house and am no longer required to confine the crap to one place.  My plan is to bag up everything in the room, except the furniture and then vacuum, dust and change the linens before putting everything back.  The point of this is to have a really clean sleep oasis and maybe encourage myself to get rid of some of the accumulated detriitus once and for all.  (I started doing this earlier in the summer but then I got tired/angry/lost interest.   I have a little film festival set aside. I have Precious, The Color Purple and the Help.   It may seem like a big fat downer waiting to happen, but the point is to not focus on how dreadful my luck has been lately.

No matter how bad it gets at least Danny Glover/ MoNique/ Bryce Dallas Howard isn’t keeping me down and/or beating the crap out of me.

 

It may be a little dry; try it with wine.

Published August 23, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been studying and preparing to re-take the written portion of the SAT. The following is my practice essay. It is a lot less wacky than I really wanted it to be.  (But what isn’t these days?)  I’m trying to give this whole business the due diligence it needs.  I’m not going to go all crazy and start acting like a grown-up all the time.

My experience as an educator has taught me that one should not show fear or display ignorance in the classroom.  My experiences as a student lead me to believe that admitting a lack of knowledge is the best way to open oneself up to learning experiences.  The combined experiences have shown me that the only thing to fear IS ignorance itself.

I began teaching twenty years ago when I, like many other people with Performing Arts Degrees found it difficult to secure employment.  I began teaching theater at an alternative high school in an urban area.  I was terrified that I would be a horrible teacher. Even though  I was only a year or two older than most of the students, I was never afraid for my safety.   I saw everyday as a challenge that I had to meet and there was absolutely no backing down.  My focus on the subject as opposed to the geography of the school helped me assuage my fear.

I knew that I was ignorant about some of the student’s lives and since there was a playwriting component to the course, I encouraged my students to write monologues based on their own experiences. I was later admonished by fellow teachers because this admitted ignorance could backfire on me.  It did not.

After teaching for a few years, I decided to attend graduate school and to teach part-time.  As a student I was more receptive to the instructor’s involvement with their classes and with asking questions. As I teacher, I really wanted to make a connection to my students and the best way to do that was by responding to questions.

Throughout the many stages of my academic career, I have been told that the best way to learn something is to ask questions. This concept of intellectual curiosity never resonated until I was learning concurrent with teaching.  It is for this reason that I think that teachers should continue to learn so that they may continue to teach with the open mind of a learner

Thanks Janis!

Published August 22, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The Song Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster. The song has a crazy, convoluted story behind it. (This. I. Love.)  Kristofferson relays the whole story here: http://performingsongwriter.com/kris-kristofferson-bobby-mcgee/. It’s interesting to me because I love this song and I love Janis Joplin.  I owe both of these loves to my mother who was fond of the album Pearl. (Writer Chick Fun Fact: The first song I ever sang was Mercedes Benz. I think I was three.)

Today’s topic of discussion was going to be “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” (For those of you that don’t know, that is a lyric from Me and Bobby McGee by Miss Janis. Now buy it on the itunes and get yerself some musical education you cretin!)   I am thinking about that because I’m trying to be positive and in addition to looking on the bright side of job violence, I realize that I am in the unique position of having the kind of freedom that having absolutely nothing left to lose.  Seriously, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? Will I lose my job? Will I lose my husband? Will I lose my best friend?

I know I shouldn’t tempt fate but it is empowering. I’m not entirely fearless. Tomorrow is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers. That’s scary.

Because that is something I do have left to lose.

And we’re back.

The Who that I Am

Published August 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am going to take the SAT again (a vast, ye scurvy gnomes! I know enough not to shout that as I take the test, although that would come really close to creating a more comfortable work environment.) I really, really need the extra bucks that the test prep job will pay me, plus I have the innate urge to respond to any and all thrown gauntlets. (Gauntlets, gnomes, I detect a pattern emerging.)

My biggest problem that I am having with this test thing as I prepare for the re-test is that I am having a difficult time staying focused.

That big blank space was provided for you to fill with hooting, uproarious laughter, or hoot-roarious if you will.

My whole head is parenthetical, which I guess would mean that my ears are parentheses. (The time weasels just suggested that there might be son or daughter-theses; there would have to be, since there are parent-theses.)  Most of the errors I am making are due to my tendency to skim instead of critically read.   I know, big deal, don’t we teach kids to read for context? Yes, but we also want them to notice what is wrong so take a closer look, will you?  That was my head arguing with itself while I was trying to write a sentence. This is why I am having trouble.

This revelation comes to me as I realize that I am not working as hard as I could be.  So I should definitely get on top of things, as the gnome flies.

One of the meander thoughts that I had that may actually lead to something productive is from a documentary, I don’t remember specifically which one it was, but the gist of it was that you can tell a lot about a person by what they read or if they read.

I completely understand, particularly in light of the given example. If a politician reveals that his favorite book is Mein Kampf that would  definitely say lot about his mind and his personal philosophy.   It’s a toss-up whether that would bother more or less than a leader who doesn’t read at all.

It makes me wonder what can be told about my favorite books.

My all time favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King.  I know the characters better than I know some blood relatives.   It is a dystopian book and in its Dystopacracy, (I just made that up.  I like it.) The characters reveal themselves to be either good or evil.  This is more or less what Dystopia does it sort of an accent crisis in that it brings out the best or worst feature of a person.

What I like about The Stand is that not only do you get to see who the crisis made the characters become, you also get to see how the characters got there. The back story makes the characters Boss, as Mr. King would say.

My current crisis, while not global in nature, is starting to become an accent crisis.  It’s going to bring out the Who that I Am.  I’m starting to figure out that I’m not paying someone else’s Karmic Debt.

I often kid that I am the reincarnation of Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan. This would account for a lot of the weird crap that happens to me.  I realize now that the Reprehensible are not invited back.

This is about to get real interesting.

Gnome, Gnome is deranged

Published August 20, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Gnome, Gnome is deranged

The head gnome (that is, the gnome that lives in my head and not the gnome who is the leader) is working really hard right now. The inside of my head is aching. This ache started in the center of my sinus cavity and made a slow, trudgy progress to the upper left side where it has decided to have a slow, kicky tantrum.   If only there was a head dystopia filled with militia, zombies or some make-shift police that would keep the gnomes in line.  (Now I am picturing a conga line of gnomes, which is, at least, entertaining.)

I know. I sound like I am losing my mind. At least it’s not another ranty-whine about how I am having such a damn hard time finding a job. (I promise that’s not where this is going.)  The test prep place reviewed my resume and said that I should come in and take the test again.  This means that I have to acknowledge that I do have a bit of a processing disorder as a result of that time my head blew up.  It means that my neurons work a little bit slower than what might be required to handle the language of a standardized test that I haven’t taken in 27 years. (I would love to blame it on the gnome, but I somehow think that line of reasoning won’t help me at all.)

So there’s that. If I do that and pass there’s that little ort of cash I can make per week. After crunching numbers and applying actual math without shrieking, I know!) I figured out that working as an administrative temp doing the type/file/ office work thing would pay me as much as subbing. I decided that if I have to be a low paid temp, I would rather be a low paid temp for a job that I know will absolutely end at the same time every day. (An added bonus for the working as sub is that if I am killed on the job in a public school, it is considered a felony offense. If I get killed at an office job, I’m just a statistic.  I don’t want have a cap busted in my ass at ANY job, but if I have to choose, I would rather be a martyr for education than be a casualty of a parking dispute.) So no rant, just some grim positivity.

I blame the gnome.