All posts for the month November, 2013

Do they even have butts?

Published November 29, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It is Black Friday. If I were from another planet and someone was trying to explain the concept to me, I would think that the “Black” part stands for the fact that rational, thinking people black out their impulse control and social mores for one day because they want to save money.

The lead story on MSN today is “Violence Flares of Black Friday deals.” Really people? Again?

I read that fights broke out when people tried to cut in line.  Didn’t we lean the consequences of line cutting in elementary school. When I read that line my every whimsical brain chanted “No Cuts, No Nuts, No Alligator Butts.” This lead me to wonder if Alligators do indeed have Butts. Apparently I’m not the only one who has ever wondered because according to wiki-answers, they do have butts. It is where they dispose of their waste.

So the school yard chant reveals to us the consequences of not waiting your turn, because if you cut, you will be assaulted by Mr. Peanut. (unintentional pun) and/or be pooped on by and alligator.

It is unknown if crocodiles have any input on the situation

I’m going people watching. It should be fun. Depending on the amount of caffeine I can put in my body, I might warm shoppers of what may befall them.

Have fun everyone!

The bouillon cube of Humanity or Don’t Ig Knorr Me.) sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Published November 25, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As you may have noticed, or for the first time realized, sometimes my brain is a pan waiting for the ingredients to be chopped and prepared. (I have no idea what it is with the food metaphors today.)

When something new hits my brain (In a good way, not like the head-melty thing) it simmers and then turns into something either delicious or something a bit iffy that is consumed anyway because I’m trying to maximize my food dollar.

I mentioned some of the thoughts that are being processed for serving and I wonder if they are all related. I have gotten as far as the introduction of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember. How humans will survive a mass extinction. To be honest, this may be as far as I can get. The concept makes me a little squiffy, and I think I have made it abundantly clear that I am dangling pretty close to the edge right now and don’t need anything that will make me totter off into God knows what.

The introduction mentions the number of extinction level events that the planet has already suffered and survived and sets up the information about our impending doom.

It’s not really a knee slapping, fun filled ride as it proposes what we should do to ensure the survival of the human race.  Part of me wonders if we deserve this information. I’m not sure if we are worthy of it.

Yes, I will be a fun addition to anyone’s holiday event.

Which gets me to the point: Scatter Adapt and Remember or (SCAR, It’s amazing how these things come together.) basically says that as long as the basics of our people/ humanity/culture survive, so shall we all. (I provided the high-falutin’ language.)

This directly relates to the other thing I’ve been trying to do: Finding the overlap between what we expect our kids to know and the literature that is recommended for their grade level. Is it too much? Is it enough? Is it pandering? Why doesn’t pandering mean to put on a costume and act like a panda?

I am using the “What your sixth grader needs to know” as a resource. This spells out the basic skills your sixth grader should have. Because I am a big nerd, I also have the sixth grade level reader that that is put out by the same publisher.

I am doing this because I want to see what culture and skills students at the exact center of their education have and are expected to have (That was a really awkward sentence. I’m aware.)

This leads to the whole Joe Kennedy/Lucifer partnership conspiracy.

I think it’s all about survival. What wouldn’t you do for your children? Will they have something cool to read while you’re doing it?

Tune in tomorrow for the next episode when I may actually run amok. There will be pictures.

I can only hope Meankitty will accept my meager offerings

Published November 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I think I have brought slack and ennui and procrastination to a new and glorious high.

I had several clusters of time this week where I actually cared about something and had enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long.

I straightened one room of the house. (Not clean, but straightened.) The vacuum is at least closer to the grungiest carpet in the house. It has been there for a week. I did finish this contract so there’s that.

And I am about a week overdue on part 2 of the CatNoMoWriMo entry, Zombie A-purr-calypse. I just finished it,but I can’t get it up on the site  until tomorrow (It’s a long, soul robbing, guilt fueled story.)

Big things are afoot. I am taking notes and will be following the threads of the following thoughts:

Can the book Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction give me new hope or just reinforce the feeling that I have been dead for ten years and am still struggling to get out of Purgatory (and I don’t even ski!) ?

What I discovered in the overlap between the reader for the Language Arts portion of the Core Knowledge curriculum. (This is different than the Common Core transition that is making educators and parents flurb. Well, at least they can finally agree on something.)

Why are we, as a people, particularly those of us in Texas, and just get my dad going on this topic, still obsessed with the Kennedy Assassination?  Is my brother’s theory a better concept for perusal and discussion (His idea is that Pater Kennedy made a deal with the devil to secure his fortune and all of the subsequent tragedy that followed was just giving the devil his due.)?

And now, dear blog audience, you are the first to view part 2 of Zombie A-Purrcalypse:

Part two: Wherein Fluffers seeks information from the least likely of sources.

Fluffers was restless. She couldn’t fight the feeling that some rodent related treachery was afoot. It was starting to interfere with her naptime and other important business. She kept watch by the open window, patrolling back and forth until she saw what she was looking for. Stretching luxuriously to disguise her open mouth as a yawn, she gave a little bark. She lay by the window until she heard an answering chirp. She barked again and the chirp came closer.

An old and bedraggled looking squirrel moved tentatively toward the window. Fluffers extended one paw towards the screen in greeting. The squirrel raised his paw back.  He stepped a little closer and tilted his head while Fluffers barked her question. After a series of short chirps, he dashed away and run up a tree. Fluffers stretched and watched the squirrel leap from branch to branch until he was out of sight. She sighed.  She hadn’t seen any rats close to the house but  the stray cats that wandered back and forth on the porch had indicated that things were not as they should be.

She had even gone as far as to ask the Dog Thing to use his resources. She didn’t like to make a practice of consorting with the Dog, but at least she could do that without having to resort to subterfuge. She would nuzzle against his ears and whisper her instructions and the Girl Thing would squeal with delight and say, “That’s a sweet Fluffers, loving on the puppy!” Then she would run and fetch a crunchy treat. Really the only down side to the whole affair was having to repeat herself to the Dog and hearing the inane tone of the Girl Thing.  At this point, she didn’t feel that she had much choice.

After dinner time, the Dog Thing went on his usual patrol of the perimeter. Fluffers waited by the open door, hoping to see the squirrel. She didn’t really expect to see him until the next day, but maybe the Dog Thing would have some information.

Fluffers heard the unmistakable sound of dogs barking. She heard her Dog Thing’s bark blended with the others. She hoped that they weren’t communicating in some hard to understand dialect. It was going to be hard enough to assemble the correct information and figure out what was to be done.

She was so tense and frustrated that she wandered into the laundry room and found a plastic bag to gnaw on.  The bag had a small jagged hole on its edge when the Dog Thing came galloping in. She was startled and gave him a little hiss and a swipe. He turned his head on its side in confusion, and then lowered it. He breathed his dog breath scented information into her ear.

What she learned was indeed disturbing.  The rat rebellion seemed to have swept over the entire neighborhood. Dogs had seen rats so dangerously close to their home sites that threat of disruption was imminent. Fluffers hadn’t herself experienced a disruption but she had it on good authority that an encroaching rat problem could lead to the Boy Things and the Girl Things flurrying to clean the house and move the Cats and the Dogs to unfamiliar territory, only to return them a short time later to a house that looked exactly the same, but smelled horrible.  Any treat that fell on the floor was accompanied by screaming and interference so the house animals couldn’t eat it.

The idea was maddening.  It was best not to panic. She would just nap near the window and wait for the update from the squirrels.

The verbal Rorshach (no not the guy from Welcome Back Kotter.)

Published November 19, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So it just occurred to me that it is incredibly bizarre that my sole source of cash flow right now is the writing of Erotic Romance, stress on the Romance. In the job description, the publisher said the level of explicity  was up to the writer, and if the sex was just implied or there was very heavy everything but that was fine, too, which means the stories have to be fairly heavy on the romance.

I haven’t felt less like writing about romance or blissful love. Except maybe when I was in a coma. I probably didn’t feel like writing about it then, either.  Of course if I had the heavy painkillers now, I might actually be a little less snarly about everything.

I was wondering if, in the event of my untimely demise or unfortunate breakdown, someone might be able to chart my decline into madness/chocolate fueled rage/cheeto-binge-resulting in vehicular trauma by looking at my more recent works, including the 120,000 words I have written in the Erotic Romance category. (That’s just this contract, the other stuff I have ghosted had a much bigger frisky to romance ratio.)

What kind of madness would a verbal  Rorschach test( a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly.[4] The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach.)   indicate?

I have entrusted some of my good friends and well wishers with the sentences I have written that were so disgustingly sweet and dripping with obvious goo  that I have wanted to punch myself in the face. I am fortunate that these people love me or at least want to see how much crazier I can actually get before imploding in a great big flurry of bat wings and  Coke Cherry Zero fountain.

I have at least three writing projects stomping around the bat factory waiting for me to finish this contract so I can work on them. I have the outline of Fluffer’s next adventure (wherein Fluffers Reconnuters with the Squirrels.)  I also have at least three steno columns full of reference materials to follow up and at least on rampage aimed at this nut-job (no offense, Squirrels)

This person has made MILLIONS by offering parenting advice publishing books on how to “Train Up A Child.”

Do a couple of searches on this nightmare. Even his own website makes him appear creepy. The objective news stories are worse.

I also have a few pithy comments aimed at the eventual demise of humanity and what it might take to survive the next uprising.

I also want to start the second season of Sons of Anarchy.

None of these things can happen until I write the last 3400 words on this Erotic Romance contract.

And We’re back

I should and I would, but I don’t wanna

Published November 15, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m having motivation issues. I am also having headache-general malaise-ennui problems, too.

I did manage to slog through another story for the contract. It was so gooey and icky sweet it actually made me feel as disgusted as if I had just eaten soggy french fries dipped in cotton candy. (I know! That’s gross!)

I have a lot of stuff that I need to do and fully intended to do today. I still have another installment for CatNoMoWriMo before I face the full wrath of Meankitty. (I think the dream I had where my backyard turned into a swamp and there were forty cats just wandering around was some sort of Nightmare on Elm Street cat threat.)  I know what I want to write I even have my scientific facts lined up and ready to parade around.

I just didn’t do it.

I also have heaps of information to fire up my rant on education (Oh, yeah, that thing.)  as well as some new and exciting stuff about the fall of mankind and what humans need to do to survive the next Extinction Level Event.  (Why, yes, I know it is kind of dickly not to give you that information or at least my source materials.)

But I got sidetracked by my headache which is making me woozy.

But the story in my head dragged me to the computer.

I started cobbling together the ideas for my second novel years ago. I got a brainstorm on it’s format and there’s a teaser on my webpage under the works in progress. For a long while now, the individual characters have popped out and began speechifying.

The working title is Intentionally Left Blank

This took over the machine today.

The end is just the beginning

Billy Russell arrived early. He needed the time to be alone before the celebration started. He sat in the middle of the floor and pulled out the locked metal box. Carefully removing the key from its hiding place, he clicked the box open. There were only a few things in the box. Most of them he had seen before. There was  a picture of two young girls. One held a baby in her arms, toddler sat on the knee of the other.

Billy smiled. He knew their faces like he knew his own. He carefully set the picture aside and took a notebook out of the box. It was the kind of cheaply made thing you only found in discount stores and every spare inch of paper was covered with words. These were stories and poems of such brilliance and innocent beauty that no one would ever have believed they came from the mind of girl who spoke so little that everyone assumed she was either a complete idiot or had some developmental disability.  Billy opened the notebook and read his favorite. He had heard this story in the author’s voice so many times he knew it like he knew his own name.  A tear fell from his eyes and onto the page.  He placed the notebook next to the picture.

There were only two things left in the box, a much folded scrap of paper and a cassette tape.  He pulled out the paper and unfolded it.  The writing was so small, he had to squint to see read it. He had read it so many times he knew what it said. It had arrived. in an envelope full of newspaper clippings. The clippings were advertisements for various medical supplies. The ads didn’t mean anything. The note was stuffed into the bottom of the envelope.

The tiny words said it all.

“I took care of it. J didn’t mean to. Love you, K. Don’t come again.”

He straightened the paper as much as he could and placed it next to the picture and notebook. This last one would be the hardest of all. He reached under the couch and pulled out the player. He popped the tape in and pressed play. The sweet voice that told him stories and yelled at him and made the rules and kept him safe came forth. It was just as warm and comforting as he remembered it.

“I don’t know who you are now. That’s for the best. The night we left, you were so mad at me. You kept reminding me that it was your idea and we should have let you be there. It doesn’t matter, you know. None of it matters now.  It may have been your idea but we planned it that way. We had to get you out of there and away from it all. That was the plan all along.  I know it has been hard for you to understand, but this is the only way it works. We kept it away from you as much as we could. You are the best of us. We all knew it. You are the best and so you deserved the best chance, and that means we had to take care of it for you so you can take care of yourself.

You asked me once if I was your Mother. Everyone always asked that. The ages are almost right and if you talk to people they will say it was always assumed. It’s not true. I wish it was, because then I would have had more to say than I did.  But I was your mother in every way that counted.   Every single thing I have done since you were born has been for you. I wanted to keep you out of it.  We all did.

I don’t know what else to tell you. When they find this and they find me, you will truly be free of all of it and all of us. I know you don’t want to, but try and understand why we did it. We love you so much. Take your best chance and have the best life.”

The tape hissed as it ended and Billy pulled it out of the player. He felt like a shell as he remembered opening the envelope when it had arrived just a few months earlier. He hadn’t heard from her in over a year. He knew she hadn’t forgotten him anymore than he had forgotten her.  It was for the last best chance.

He pulled the tape from the plastic casing and tied it into knots. He stood up and crushed the casing, then went into the kitchen for a large metal pot. He pulled out his lighter and set fire to the tape, dropping the rank and smoldering ribbon into the bottom. He ripped the cover off of the notebook and dropped that in first. He methodically ripped every page out and dropped it into the flames as they began to burn down he dropped in the scrap of paper.

He took one long moment to look at the faces of his sisters and brother one last time, then dropped the picture in. He waited until everything had burned out before he took the key out of the box and dropped it in the garbage disposal. He stomped on the metal box itself, bending the hinges loose. He put every moment of every bit of pent-up rage he had in every movement. He remembered their faces and the last time they had all been together. He couldn’t let any bit of it remain with him now.  He put the mangled box in the metal pot. He didn’t think anyone would go through his trash, but you never knew.  He put the pot in the back of his closet along with the cassette player. He stood up and turned his back on Kane Grey for the last time. It was almost time for Billy Russell’s bachelor party and the guest of honor couldn’t be late.

It all depends on the question

Published November 12, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It’s no big secret that I am prone to slack. (If you did not know that, sorry to shatter your illusion. I would formally apologize but that would take effort.)

I don’t think I’m lazy, per se. It’s just that if nothing specific is required of me, I won’t do anything.

I get a lot done on days when I HAVE to do something. Days like today where I don’t have a specific time table I find myself discovering answers to seriously unimportant questions:

1) How much time can I waste watching Weird Al videos on Youtube? 45 minutes.

2) How hard is it to ignore my to do list? It’s the easiest thing about the list.

3) How many times will I say, out loud, to no one, I need more coffee?   Five times then I decide I will just suck the caffeinated residue at the bottom of the cup.

4) How many times will I bang my knee on the bottom of the desk before I actually move my chair the two inches it would take to avoid such a fate?  Somewhere upwards of twenty-five.

5) How long will I sit at the computer babbling about my own laziness before imparting actual knowledge? 67 Minutes and it depends on what you call actual knowledge

Todd Ray owns an operates The Venice Beach Freakshow in Los Angeles. He displays two headed creatures. Among these is a two headed snapping turtle named Thor and Loki.

The best part about the turtle is that it bit Todd.

I think it’s nature’s way of showing who is the real Freak at the Show.

Go get ’em Thor-Loki!

CatNoWriMo: or submit to Meankitty, puny human!

Published November 8, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My sister-in-law, the wondrous and amazing author Jody Wallace (  is also a the typist for Meankitty. (www.meankitty.c0m)  She is also a great mom and a fine Purrveyor  of snark. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the pun.)

November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWirMo. There is an official website and organization set up to help writers challenge themselves to write enough every day so that they will have an entire novel written by the end of the month.

This probably helps a lot of people. It makes me a little balky.

My sis-in-law set up a different kind of challenge CatNoWriMo

The structure is a little more fluid and will be judged and evaluated solely at the discretion of Meankitty.

To appease Meankitty, the stories must be written about cats and cats should be presented in a favorable light.

This is the beginnings of my offering

A-Purr-calypse Meow or Oh, Rat’s Zombies


Part One: In which Fluffers senses danger afoot while enjoying a sun spot


Fluffers licked a paw and washed her face. She wished The Girl Thing wouldn’t use that sticky stuff that made the floor shine. Fluffers had tried to show her displeasure by covering it with a number of other liquids, but The Girl Thing only made the loud noise and put more of the sticky down. It was a huge waste of valuable nap time to dwell on it. It wasn’t so bad. The floor situation and the unfortunate name were the only real problems she had. The Girl Thing said her name was Fluffer Nutter. That was much worse. The Boy Thing said that it was insulting to call any creature by that stupid name. Fluffers was surprised. The Boy Thing wasn’t usually that smart. He did not at all appreciate the token of her esteem.  Fluffers decided she would keep all future heads of vole for those who might appreciate them.

The sticky paw situation was just the beginning. Fluffers stretched in the sun spot and arranged herself so she could reach maximum warmth. The Dog Thing galloped towards her and she extended one paw in his direction. He turned and went the other way. They had an understanding, sometimes they huddled together for warmth or treats. This was not one of those times.  She enjoyed the sun and the sparkle it made in the air. As she watched the sparkle, she noticed a small creature lurking in the pile of leaves nearest the house. She would have to do something about that. She thudded a paw on the window. The rat didn’t even turn its head, just marched importantly away. She pounded the window again, loud enough so the Girl Thing called from the other room.

“Fluffers, is there something outside?”

Fluffers hoped she wouldn’t come in here; if she did Fluffers would have to get up and pretend to be excited and then she might not get her nap time.  By the time the Girl Thing got in the room and Fluffers arched her back and made a perfunctory hiss, the rat was gone.

There was something wrong with the situation. Even the chin skritches and good kitty cooing did nothing to assuage the uneasiness Fluffers felt.  She thought about this as she rubbed her face in the reward nip. It was soothing and helped her think.

She had nothing against rats, that is, not as long as they were willing to work within the system. For the most part, they were willing to negotiate. Most of the cats in the neighborhood worked out a deal, if the rats remained out of site they were permitted to co-exist and to get the occasional treat tossed out in the garage (always in a pre-determined space so as not to get  the Boy Things and The Girl Things riled up.) If a rat showed himself to a human and if there was shrieking involved, the rat must then leave or face the consequences.  A rat that strayed too close to a house would at least meet the eye of the cat of record and hurry away. This one didn’t even saunter defiantly or scurry in fright.  This one simply went about its business as if it were completely unaware of its surroundings. It was almost as if it were bewitched.

Fluffers felt her whiskers tingle. This was a clear sign of danger ahead. She rubbed her head against the nip and tried not to think about it.