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All posts for the month June, 2015

That’s still the problem

Published June 24, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m mad at my cat. Samantha is a calico who is more meatloaf than cat.  She is about 12 years old.  I have no idea how old she is because, like everything else in my life, there is a long insane story about how she came to live with me.  She was spoiled before she got to me and I have done nothing to change her sense of entitlement. She was declawed, badly, so she sometimes minces around and I feel bad for her pain and lack of grace so I give her extra skritches.  Last year she got out of the house and had an altercation with some wild animal and had to have surgery. Twelve hundred dollars worth of surgery.  Yet I have deemed her worthy because she misses me when I’m gone and gives me kitty kisses and purrs charmingly and looks at me adoringly.

She also stands on my face in the morning when I want to sleep in and licks the wall behind me if I don’t get up when she wants me to feed her.

This is all par for the kitty course.

I am mad at her because she was about to relieve herself in the plants. Usually I can scream,”Samantha! Get out the plants!” and she will race off and ignore me for the rest of the day.  Yesterday she did not run off. She merely put her two front feet in the plants for balance, cast me a look of feline disdain and then proceeded to pee on the floor. Then she raced away.

I was not happy and let her know of my displeasure by ignoring her plaintive wails as she looked pointedly at her food dish. (She had food!)  Late last night, she crawled into bed with me and rested her head charmingly on my shoulder and purred.

I get it her logic; it’s a new day, I’m not mad at her yet.

I was trying to start out on a new paw (foot) and as I was struggling to find the right philips screwdriver. (Really, why don’t they tell you on the outside of the package that you will need a smaller than average screwdriver to get to the battery compartment which you also didn’t know you had to deal with, all to provide temporary lighting for the back bathroom because the whole back of the house needs to be rewired and you don’t happen to have a year’s salary just hanging around to deal with that, and if you did, you would maybe take a year to write. ) I found her favorite, mouse shaped laser pointer.  She usually loves this thing. I flashed the infuriating red dot on the floor in her line of vision.

She gave  me a look that clearly said, “Bitch Please.”

I took this as a sign to just flail around in the dim for another day.

Which also means I didn’t get much studying and only got as far in my purgatorial proof as heckling the things in the 500’s section of my branch library.

I also looked up extinction in the catalog. I was kind of zinging around on a chocolate covered espresso bean high.  Which did not kill the dinosaurs, or the plants.

And we’re back.

I said W.I.P. (Wip it good!)

Published June 22, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have a grand opportunity in September. I get to participate in one of Stage West’s Storyteller series. Stage West is a local theatre that  is recognized world wide for its programming and performances. I am to read one of my own creations. I have no idea what I’m going to do. It is my understanding that each storyteller will have about 30 mintues and that any topic is fair game.   I am thinking about reading the first chapter of Circumstance, which I swear is almost ready, except Charlotte Bronte keeps telling me I need to rework the first few pages.  I know that most people expect a little wackiness from me (I have no idea why.), so I am considering a follow up piece to “Watch My head” entitled, “I watched my head, or I had a stroke, not a lobotomy”   Which brings me to WIP. WIP Stands for Work In Progress.  This may be the perfect forum in which to work out the final pieces of my theory, in a tongue in cheek way. I realize that not everyone will find the humor in my proving the case for own on death and afterlife, and may just get me committed. However, it is possible that everything will Poof out of existence as I go on to the next stage of either purgatory, paradise, perhaps places parsiminous. ( I love alliteration in the summer!) In a world where E.L. James contiues to milk money out of a numb public of lazy readers by churning out yet another book in this ouevre of fan faction masquerading as new literature by releasing Grey. (For some reason, V.C. Andrews’ treatment of the Dollanganger family doesnt’ bother me so much. Althought I am VERY bothered by the fact that Petals on the Wind and Flowers in The Attic both have AR tests that students can take for points. And I do realize I used three dairy realated allusions in row.  I miss Blue Bell.) Anyway, yesterday, my family and I all went to see Jurassic World.

I am not a huge fan of Michael Crichton. (To be honest, his treatment of logic in his book “Sphere” literally made me hopping mad. Seriously, if you are creating your own reality, you should at least be consistent within that realty.This may be a clue for furture reference.)  But, my dad really wanted to see this as did my mother and it was Father’s Day and since my family rarely agrees on anything, it seemed like a good idea not to trot out my grievances with Mike.  I did have foreknowledge of the assumptions one would have to make prior to seeing the movie, so that was very helpful.

I enjoyed the movie  for the things it was. It was large and colorful and definitely nothing you could do on stage and on a small scale.   I thought it was very Greek in terms of entertainment. There was Hubris and Tragic Heroism all over the place. It did get a little Schmaltzy, so I guess you could say it covered the spectrum of theartre history.

But there was a moment of revelation for me. As you may recall, I had the fun and delightful expereince of a lockdown with a room full of adolescents who could not grasp the concept of danger.   In the movie (and I’m certain this isn’t a spoiler alert) there were several instances of characters who were quite casual literally in the face of scaly, drooly danger.

I think it is indicative of the state of our society as a whole.  For some reason,extreme peril doesn’t seem to compute. Or process. I know that I have the ability to distance myself from the realities of danger, but that’s because stupid crap happens to me all the time; I’m used to it.  I think in a world where combat and general violence is all too commonplace we are losing are ability to freak out.

Maybe that’s why we are so willing to five E. L. James a career.

And we’re back.

It’s time to sit up and face the mustard!

Published June 17, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have some time on my hands right now. This is a huge change for me after racing around and around the exercise wheel that is public education.  I’m having a bit of trouble relaxing and taking a break. A big part of this is because now that I don’t have the constant whirl of the wheel to block out my thoughts.  (See, I’ve manged to stay within the same basic metaphor. And what’s a metaphor? Sheep!)

One of my ongoing streams of consciousness is somehow relating every weird bizarre event in humanity to another; fitting all of  the pieces together to make one big jigsaw puzzle. Anyone else every feel like they could make sense of things if they could just get the edges finished?

One of the bigger threads in the stream is the fact that I keep getting evidence to push forward the I’ve-actually-been-dead-for-over-a-decade-but-I’m-fighting-my-way-through-purgatory concept.

This is exactly why I have to sleep with the TV on. Because we all know what happens when my thoughts get free reign. Except, since I don’t have satellite TV anymore and have to watch through Hipster Cable (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube  and borrowed Amazon and HBOGO) I get regular doses of selected advertising.

To be honest, I am offended by the commercials introducing Heinz’s new mustard. Apparently Heinz has been with the wrong mustard all of these years, and now he is Oh  So Very Happy with one of his own kind. They were MADE  for each other.  As someone who was unceremoniously disposed of for a new product,I am wrankled.  On a non-personal level, I think the Heinz company is trying to push their own political agenda.  Think about it, clearly Heinz wants us to believe that “French’s” product is inferior and weak (in one of the commercials, a casual nudge makes the French’s lose their mustard.) and isn’t the Ketchup MUCH better off with one of his OWN KIND?! I think that’s just plain bizarre. And I watch entirely too much television.

It’s also possible I am on the verge of making an Inception level break through. Except I didn’t see that movie. EH swears I saw it with him. I did not. One of my former students, Bird, told me that it would make my head hurt.  I think EH saw it with the Crusty Mustard.

And we’re back.

And that’s a wrap! (But not a sandwich.)

Published June 14, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I just completed my internship year for my alternative certification. (Even though I have a Master’s Degree in Education and a MA in Performing Arts, I have to jump through many, many hurdles to teach in a public school.) I had a wonderful time and I am exhausted.  I learned quite a bit about myself and the process of education(which, strangely enough, has very little to do with actual teaching.)

I appreciate the support of my school’s administration and colleagues, but overall, I don’t think the job itself was a good fit for me. I cannot in good conscience give less than a hundred percent to my students, and as a  forty-five year old stroke survivor, there is absolutely no way I can give that to 160 students per day, every day.  I don’t want to cheat them, or myself for that matter.

I have so much to say and I can’t seem to get it all together. I think there’s a correlation to the tired, the dizzy and the crazy (World’s worst Spaghetti Western.)

One of the other bi-products of my school year is my filthy and disgusting house.  I am slowly working on making it less disgusting.  I have also lost the habit of writing. I’m jumping back into that as well

Related to both the last blog and this one, my mother is worried about my safety as I continue to hope for the best as I online date.  I told her that I am actually in more danger teaching in a public school than I am  skimming the dating pool.

The last day of school we had a lockdown, not a drill. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a lockdown in  school situation means that every student and teacher goes to the closest designated safe place, sits on the ground away from the windows. The lights are also turned out and the doors are locked. Everyone stays in place until given the signal to return to class. Each teacher is to ema the office to let them know if all of the students are secured.

The last school day during my free period, I went to get coffee for myself and my colleague, Choir Boy. I usually do this every other day, but since it was the last day we were working together, I decided to go ahead and do it. I came back and was hanging out until it was time to go back to my own class of madness. The band teacher came by and told us we were in lock down. Then Choir Boy and I moved all of the kids into an interior closet, turned out the lights and locked the door. Choir Boy also locked the exterior doors.  it took several minutes to get the kids to get quiet. During that time, Choir Boy got an email saying that it wasn’t a drill and to keep the kids quiet and away from any doors or windows.

We were relatively safe in an interior room behind a total of three locked doors, but still I was floored by the amount of time it took to get the kids to be silent. I don’t think they thought there was any real danger.

I don’t know if there’s a disconnect with our kids and violence; if they’ve become so desensitized to violence or just don’t grasp the concept of real fear, or what the situation is. I know that it is my job to stay calm and alert, but I was starting to get angry, for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that this was happening during the last half of the school day on the last day of school. Seriously?   Not to mention that I had to ask Choir Boy to let the office know that I was with them and also accounted for (Really, did no one care if I was okay? Well, Actor Boy did, and he fussed at me for just texting him six words “Lock Down. Not a drill. Will Call.”  To be fair it was the same six words I sent to my mother and My Amanda Friend, and they weren’t nearly as vexed with me.)

It is that disconnect from the kids that I want to talk about, but Netflix tells me I have been kicked offline. Too bad because I have a way to connect that to the mild horror that is online dating.

Ok! Stupid.

Published June 7, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The Universe’s unerring ability and consistency to make a mockery of me is starting to get a little frustrating. (In fact, its becoming maddening and tri-state crime spree inducing, but I still want to have a teaching career in a very conservative state, so I’m erring on the side of caution.)

In the past seven days I’ve discovered that my house is teetering on the edge of lethal toxicity (and that’s after I got rid of the lying, cheating husband!) told several of my favorite students that I am not returning to school next year, given finals and had to corral my least enjoyable classes at such a volume and stress level that I actually lost my voice again.   I have tamped down my advance panic enough that I can sleep through and around most of the rough edges.

And what is on those edges?

I’m so glad you asked. Two of the more ridiculous things that I have encountered this past week is catfishing attempts.

For those of you not in the know,

according to Urban Dictionary, Catfishing is

The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).

Possible motivations: revenge, loneliness, curiosity, boredom

I don’t want to discuss how these attempts came about, just suffice it to say because my life is the way it is the only way I can meet people outside of my immediate circle (said circle consists of several perfectly lovely people who are either in committed relationships,gay or both.  I am tired of being a third or fifth wheel, and to be honest, my cat is not a good dining companion.) is by going online.  I am careful, but also genuine. I don’t take stupid chances or make ridiculous mistakes. (I watch entirely too much crime drama and Dr. Phil.)

This care and paranoia led me to discover that one person I was messaging was not only not real, he  had  three different identities and had an entire webpage devoted to his particular brand of hypocrisy.

I was already in a seethe about this when I got a message from a peripheral “Good Match” from another fishy website. (There’s plenty of those.)  I have been exchanging perfunctory small talkery with this  particular fish for  several weeks, so I wasn’t really suspicious.  Last night I had a phone conversation with him. It was a nice general exchange of information, nothing too risky, because I’M NOT STUPID.   It was pleasant.

This morning, because I’M NOT STUPID, I did a google image search of the fish. (I watch a LOT of TV)

While there was not an entire scam page devoted to this guy, his picture did appear on the Canadian version of the fishy pond. His name in that pond is not the name he told me.  So that might not be that big of a deal.

What is a big deal to me is why people would do this in the first place.

There is a whole series on MTV (remember when they used to play music?) about this topic. Dr. Phil has done many, many episodes on the topic.  People get bilked out of thousands of dollars and lose quite a bit of self-respect.

Even if it’s harmless, why would anyone want to intentionally force a false personality on the public?

Yes I realize I just described the whole Presidential election process and possibly the fall line up for FOX.

So what’s the punch line?

Published June 1, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My days are usually crazy and unpredictable. As much as I like to joke around about being the pawn between good and evil, there are days like today when I want to shout to the Heavens. “Oh Come On!”

I know in the big picture sense, my life is pretty good. But no matter how comfy and cushy-cozy your life is, it’s still a big pain in the butt if something is poking you all day.

Middle School poked me all day. I finally got kids to quit trying to summon demons and at least to pretend we’re all facing in the same direction, and now the kids, boys AND girls are creating any joke possible that turns into the punch line- “”Deese Nuts!” and then everyone collapses into piles of mirth and joy. I know it’s just their age and their limited mastery of the language at this point, but I am seriously tired of it.

The other tiny-pokey thing (World’s worst party dance.) is that my Keurig picked this morning to decide to throw a tantrum and refuse to make coffee.  I was fine, I had every thing planned, I could probably swing by McDonald’s to get coffee. (If you think I could just go without coffee, you clearly never had to teach 75 drama students before noon.) But on the way to school I saw a woman standing on the side of the highway waving as if she was trying to flag someone down. There wasn’t an abandoned car that I could see and she did look as if she had climbed up from somewhere.  I thought, surely someone will see her and call the police. About five seconds later it occurred to me that hey, I’m someone. So I pulled over, called the police, gave them my name and went on to school, leaving no time for coffee. But nil desperandum (Latin for don’t freak out.), I had the morning planned out with fun activities for my classes.

Exactly one third of the my first period class made the attempt to do the activity. On the bright side, the ones that did participate followed the directions and adhered to the plan. On the, oh year its the first day of the last week of school side, the remaining two thirds hung around being obnoxious and getting in the way of those trying to participate, and of course perfecting the set up to the best joke of the year.

My second period class defies description. Really. It makes me so frustrated and angry I can’t think about it and still return to work tomorrow.

Have I lost my sense of humor?

Have I lost my patience? My perspective? My ability to give a tiny teeny little rats behind?

I just don’t get the set up.