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All posts for the month October, 2013

Happy Whatever You Want to Call it

Published October 31, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I can’t seem to focus, so here’s a bunch of random Writer Chick stuff.

Halloween means something different to everyone. It’s a bizarre way to celebrate the harvest.

“Hey we just brought in all of this great produce for the winter, let’s celebrate by dressing up and eating lots of junk food!”

I think some of us do this every day.

All day long I’ve been hearing the creepy song from

Halloween III, you know the one about Silver Shamrock. (spoiler alert) The whole thing was gimmick to turn children’s mind into writhing angry worms.

Now we just do that with Standardized Testing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIHUv2ooG38

 

So there’s that.

I have forty little treat bags each with a candy miniature, top, noisemaker and pencil eraser.  (I know, I am made of awesome.)

I don’t know if there will be any little goblins or ghosts or their giant counter parts. I think if I have any left, I might just pelt them at passersby.

Now the real holiday is tomorrow.  Technically it’s All Saint’s day. To me and Mr Steve, November 1st is Clearance Chocolate Day. It is also a great time to go out and score some awesome fake mustaches,devil horns, fairy wings and bad wigs.

Here’s an idea: go out to your party store/drug store and get cranked up on chocolate and run around putting together your costume for next year. The only rule is YOU MUST WEAR IT. Take a picture of yourself wearing it on November 1st of this year and on Halloween of next year.

There are plenty of spooky stories out there to retell and horrify each other as you gather around your cauldron/mug of wine/ tub of booze or whatever you gather around.

How about instead of that, give someone a real treat and do something nice for someone, even if it is just giving them a genuine smile or complimenting the probably-shouldn’t-be-wearing-the-costume-that-was-too-small-last-year on their ensemble.

 

 

No news, no questions, no answers

Published October 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

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I lost a lot of time today. (Not lost in fun way like you do when you are getting a massage and it seems like only five minutes have past when actually your massage is finished and will you kindly get off of my table, get dressed and drink lots of water.)

I have been in a Benadryl haze. My shredded tire landed me squarely on top of ant hill. I got three pretty major bites from some incredibly determined ants. I was wearing long sleeves and pants tucked into boots and these ants still got me. Today I feel like scratching, not just the bitten area, but my whole face and eyeballs. I can squash this urge by zoning out on the bright pink caplets of zombie joy, but it keeps from doing anything at all. I have had a few surges of energy between doses and I have actually gotten part of a story written. The main problem I am having is that the pills are killing my intellectual curiosity.

Wow, what does being a zombie have to say about the skill level needed to write the kind of story I have become contractually obligated to scribe? I wonder if this could be the start of a new phase of my career. Do you think I could take Benadryl to mix-in with ice cream or maybe crumble into sprinkles for the top of my coffee? I mean didn’t some of the writers in the Victorian era use Absinthe and/ or opium to inspire them?

Yeah, I know, move away from the computer, Writer Chick lie down until the pills embrace you in their vague numby pink arms.

I guess we’ll never know

Published October 28, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Socrates will have to go one without me. I think there are some questions for which we are never meant to have answers. Like  the amount of calories and saturated fat in a chimichanga. We just were not meant to know. It bums me out. (But really, did anyone actually expect for a deep fried burrito covered in sour cream with a side of cheese to be healthy?)

And it seems that my well thought out questions will not be answered by a group (unless you count a room full of Fabricated Americans, both  Differently Powered and others a group. Actually that sounds like fun. I might do that. ) tonight.

The good stuff:

I went over to my grandmother’s house to celebrate her birthday. She turned 91  on October 25. One of my cousins hosted a celebration. It was great, too much excellent food, lots of little kids running around and general mayhem.

The best part was when I went to say hello to  my grandmother she hugged me, took a look at me and said, “You’re pretty.” Then she kissed my cheek and hands.

After the party I headed across town where this happened

shredded

It happened somewhere on 287 South as I was headed towards Arlington. I’m just grateful that I had time to pull over before something extreme happened. Of course I came to a stop on a bed of fire ants and the only place to stop was at the embankment in front of a haunted house,  but other than sheer frustration and exhaustion, I’m fine.

Really, I wish that I was making the haunted house part up, but that, combined with the fire ants and the tire and the snow globe of crummy that is surrounding me these days, no one would believe it.

roadside haint

you will notice that it is conveniently located next to a thickly vegetated embankment, the perfect spot to dispose of my corpse and any identification related thereto. (I wasn’t really afraid, I just wanted to use the word “Thereto.”

Questions Asked

Published October 27, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Today is the day that I will set forth to play Stump the Chump with strangers. It’s not my intention to go out and piss people off, in fact, I’m not going to imbibe in excessive amounts of caffeine in order to prevent that very thing.  I have thought a lot about the questions that I am going to throw into the pool.

It is my understanding that the moderator will be given several questions by the attendees and will then select the question to throw out for discussion.

As of right this very minute, I am the only female. This would make some people nervous. I am not those people.  I am quite comfortable being the only female nerd in the herd. (That actually describes how I went through high school).

My questions:

Can we trust our own memories?  And for that matter, can we trust our own perception of things?

How do we discern what is real and what is not?

It is enough that we believe it to make it true?

Capgras syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the person does not recognize the people around them and becomes convinced that they are surrounded by impostors.

Revisionist historians are using newly discovered technologies to disprove previously accepted histories, such as George Washington chopping down the cherry tree when  no cherry trees were ever grown on his family’s land.

For many people that is not enough to disprove the generally accepted truth. In that case, memory builds its own reality.

What is wrong with education and how can it be fixed?

Is technology helping or harming our children?

I have a tendency to be inappropriate and to find things hilarious that no one else even understands. (Yesterday I was at the Walk to end Alzheimer’s. One of the speakers said “When I found out my husband had Alzheimer’s, I almost lost my mind.” Clearly she didn’t think that one through. I thought it was hysterical. I did not laugh out loud.)   I will try to curb my burbling laughter, but I’m not making any guarantees.

I will let you know how it turns out.

That’s why he’s the King. (Stephen, that is.)

Published October 24, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As I was driving across town last night, a series of thoughts washed over me like some kind of bizarre word salad (Thank you James Spader.)  This isn’t unusual; I usually get a lot of great ideas while I’m hurtling down a strip of asphalt operating a motor vehicle at 60 MPH, which is plenty fast thank you, Mr Loud on the horn because I’m adhering to the laws of man and gravity.  One of the thoughts I remembered was related to Miley Cyrus (I don’t know why she has decided to set up camp in my head, but there it is.) When I researched the song that she sang at the VMA’s and watched that video and the one for Blurred Lines, the whole situation made a little more sense.

I did all that background work before I started mouthing off because  I didn’t want to just go off Happy Assholing all over the place.  That phrase is a Stephen King-ism and perfectly describes the act of just mindlessly performing some action with little to no regard to their surroundings or consequences.

I’m still boiling down the essence of the questions I plan to ask at the event on Sunday, but I’m having a little brain blockage. I did have kind of a breakthrough while eating a Tortuga (Mexican pastry and it’s delicious.) and watching Breaking Bad. More about that later.

It’s nice to have a breakthrough and not a breakdown for a change.

I have discovered that I am not writing as much as I would like because I’m afraid of not saying anything important or worthwhile.  This is not something a lot of writers struggle with, (See 50 Shades of Grey)

I’m also having a difficult time finding something engaging to read. I don’t know why, but the last thing that really pulled me in was Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King.  His stories pull me in, engage me and make me want to know the whole story because he makes me care about every character, even Eric the Crazed Pomeranian who was a minor character in The Tommy Knockers. (I read that book in 1988 and I still remember Eric,)

I think my mental balk/block is related to the fact that I am stalling as I work the story machine to churn out romances such as a delightful romp about an ER doctor who meets a hot farmer when he is kicked by a cow.

I am not making this up.

I know we can’t all be Stephen King.

But I think we should at least try.

The Big Questions

Published October 22, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

 

So I’m going to something called a Socrates Café this weekend.

As defined by the nice folk at Wikipedia;

Socrates Café are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the Socratic Method. The groups model their discussions from the book of the same name by Christopher Phillips. Today, there are over 600 ongoing gatherings around the globe coordinated by hundreds of volunteers who share the common goal of making a more inclusive world.[1]

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates_Cafe)

A friend of mine is hosting this one and I asked him if there was a specific question or topic and he told me that as moderator he will collect questions from the group and select one or two for the open discussion.

So now my challenge is to come up with some questions. I was explaining all of this to my mother and she looked at me and said, “So this is a big round of Stump the Chump.”  I had no idea that Sam Hatcher’s vernacular had made it full circle from my college experience and back into my mother’s vocabulary (Sam Hatcher was my brother’s college roommate who, along with my brother, a big part of how I turned out.) 

When I was being inducted into Alpha Psi Omega, Sam had to lead my portion of the induction because my brother was Alpha Psi President that year. Unbeknownst to me, I answered every single question correctly and they actually ran out of questions.  They made one up that they thought I would not know the answer to. I got partial credit because my answer was half-right. Sam later said that he didn’t realize that I came prepared to play Stump the Chump.

Clearly the Chumps were Stumped.

Which brings us to this week; I explained to my mother that both the Stumper and the Chump are yet to be determined, and as I may have mentioned, I love knowledge, in fact I yearn for it.

A Socrates café is something that sounds like great fun. (I am a little disappointed that my reference to Hemlock tea went right over a few heads.) I am not setting out with the purpose of pissing people off, but that might be an excellent side benefit.

I plan to do a lot of reading this week and research in preparation to come up with thought provoking queries. I have alerted the moderator that I will be preparing index cards in advance.

I’m  big nerd. I know you are all shocked. 

I want to know if the Moon landing was faked. This will make engineers flurb.

I want to know if we are setting the bar too low for educators and is there a way to ensure that our teachers aren’t going to get too touchy feely with our kids. This will make the teachers freak out.

Flurbing and Freaking aren’t my goal (World’s worst dance craze.)

I want to know why it’s okay for Football players to get away with low grades and felonies.

I realize that saying this kind of thing in football season is likely to get my run out of town on a rail

I hope wherever they take me has Wi-Fi. 

Face it!

Published October 19, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Barbara Walters told me that I was washing my face all wrong.

Imagine my surprise. I always thought this would be the one thing  I consistently got right. (What the hell do I know about this skin layer that protects my skull and brain for the slings and arrows of the pointers and laughers?)

Apparently you are only supposed to cleanse lightly with a substance that does not contain soap but does have some magical combination of ingredients that only the crack team of make-up artist that keep Barbara’s face from chipping off in one mighty crunch have access to. (Of course they didn’t SAY that, but the implication was there. It was in the twitch of her eyebrow.)

Once you have lathered, (or not, depending on your skin type.) you are to rinse by splashing your face with water three times. (No more or less, or trolls will leap out and place a big warty curse on your shriveled hided. Shriveled because you used the wrong cleanser, try and stay with me.)

I see problems with this plan.

My friend Auston has gorgeous skin, creamy smooth and blemish free. He’s twenty years old, so that’s a big part of the equation. He cares for his skin by washing it with water. That’s it. Water.

I bet Barbara doesn’t know.

Speaking of faces, the media and it’s followers, (I don’t consider myself a follower, I am more of an active of observer of the zeitgeist.) are talking about Melissa McCarthy’s Elle  magazine cover photo. Apparently as an ample butted woman, I am supposed to be terribly upset that Melissa is wearing a large coat on the cover.

The coat is gorgeous and cashmere  and it is draped beautifully on her, not tossed over her head with holes cut in it for her to see through like a terribly expensive Halloween ghost costume. The folk who are upset start their tirades with  accolades for Melissa’s make-up and hair, but then go on to gripe that the other actresses featured in the magazine are scantily clad.

My question is, why couldn’t they stop with “Melissa’s make-up and hair looked great.”  Why take away the compliment by applying the complaint?

And it’s not just a photo of a coat, a palette of makeup and a beautifully styled wig. All of those things make a pretty picture because of the woman underneath.

She’s not just a face.

And neither are the rest of us.  No matter what you use to cleanse/wash/hydrate/sandblast with.