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All posts for the month October, 2015

Not much, how about you?

Published October 30, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am having a whole barrel full of First World Problems, and we all know that the only thing good that comes in barrels is pickles and monkeys, but not together.  Imagine opening a barrel and having  a whole bunch of monkeys come springing out slinging Hamburger Dill Slices.

I got up this morning when the alarm went off. However, I did not stay up. I stayed in prime dozing position as the clock clicked down the amount of time I can wait to reasonably expect that I won’t be called into work for the morning. It was raining pretty hard, so I was grateful to have the opportunity to lie about.

When I finally decided to get out of bed, I discovered that my Kindle wasn’t where I thought it was. This is not a big deal because I clearly have a myriad of ways to amuse myself and stay connected to the internet, etc.  But once I got the idea in my head,  I became like a thing possessed. I know I didn’t take it out of the house yesterday because I had two very informative and productive meetings. ( I won’t talk about it yet; I don’t want to jinx it.)  and then I went to give blood so the people at the blood bank would stop guilt calling me.

I know the thing is in the house. It is not a necessity to my life or the survival of the human race. I have plenty of books to read, so that’s taken care of. I’m just maddened that I can’t find it.

And today, I just can’t get my brain to settle. It’s running around my head poking my in the psyche and the guilt centers.  I need to be writing more, I need to be cleaning more, and I probably could be improving myself in some other way, but all I could bring myself to do was watch videos on youtube and make notes on every weird thought that crosses my mind.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Did Hitler escape to Argentina? Why is this important now? Shouldn’t we have been more concerned in 1939? Or am I out of line for saying so.

My least favorite transitory phrase is “Due to the fact . . . . ” or ” Because of the fact . . . . ”   I personally think it is a lazy transition, and it was also one of the AATGH’s favorites.  That coluld be part of it.

I also sprayed myself full on in the face with glasses cleaner.  True, I wasn’t wearing my glasses at the time, so I couldn’t really judge which way the nozzle was facing, but still, it did make me feel a bit stupid. I think that’s the point where I decided I was just going to give up on anything that would require effort today.

So there.

Pandora, Android, Salmander Fish Slug!

Published October 28, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been extra lazy about the writing thing and I feel guilty that now that I have the super-fast-super -awesome computer, I have been mainly using it to expedite the reading of the articles on Cracked or playing a truly fast game of word mojo.

In an effort to improve this, I have been following the Writer’s Digest 12 day whatever to get your brain potato off of the couch (I have no idea where brain potato came from.)  I have been posting all of the process on my webpage at http://www.ellesview.com.  I thought today’s was mighty interesting.

Day 7:

Write a letter to yourself telling you what you need to improve in the coming 6 months.

Dear me, (That’s funny!) If I were in the woods, would it be Deer-Mi. (Deer re mi?)  Focus!

There are many things you/we need to work on. Focus is clearly at the top of the list (Don’t you just have to adjust the lens to get clearer focus?) 

So focus. And discipline. We need to get back to a specific writing plan and some rigorous goal setting.  I think we are capable of it, and we don’t have the stress from last year to deal with, so there’s an improvement. So we have Focus, Self-Discipline, Here’s the hard part. Cleaning and organization.  Seriously, the house needs to be dealt with on a regular basis. Think about the nightmare with the salmander-fish-slug getting caught in a giant spider web.  We may think that a salamander fish slug is unlikely, but imagine coming home to that. Samantha would probably not be much help. (She would probably be caught in the web, too, batting impotently at the fish-slug.)  Try doing a bit of organization every day. Start small, like with Mount Sockmore. (Seriously, where did all of these socks come from?)  Pair up three weeks worth of white/sport socks and all of the dress socks, then get rid of everything else. Maybe there is a start-up sock puppet theatre that is in dire need of them.  Yes, I know that they could be repurposed into rag rugs, but unless we have the inclination and means to do so, they are just taking up valuable  real estate. They could fall on us and smother us.

Wouldn’t it be truly stupid to survive a 95% fatality rate stroke to be smothered by a giant mountain of socks or subdued in a giant spider web with a Salamander -Fish-Slug?

Stupid yes, Interesting Definitely. Surprising to those who know me? Sadly, no.

So we have Focus, Self-Discipline, Cleaning and Organizing, what else is there, active relaxing time. Now this is going to be hard because it’s all of the things that seem counterproductive (The most action packed part of the store) to resting.   It means lying still, in the quiet with just breathing in and out.Maybe some soft meditative music, but no popping up and down and no switching back and forth from book to book or book to word search or book to Candy Crush. Just the relaxing and breathing.

I be the Salmander-Fish-Slug would approve.

Some signs may point to yes

Published October 28, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am trying, really trying, to kick my motivation right in the pants.  So far, I havent been very successful.

I am getting plenty of rest, but I’m still having crazy dreams. I think it’s due to minor power surges in my neighborhood. This makes my google chromecast blip in the middle of the night. This means that the constant narrative feed of American Justice, Cold Case Files and Investigation Discovery’s finest shows are interrupted. This means that my brain can romp festively with my psyche and create some truly bizarre crap.

Now I have had some strange dreams (Electric Shark anyone?) and some good dreams.  I have had some that I wished would never end.

Two nights running I had a dream that involved a guy I had a crush on in High School, I have no idea why. He was so beige in personality that a friend referred to him as “The Corpse that Wouldn’t Die.” One year I asked him to our Backwards Dance.  This was a tradition at our school. The Valentine’s dance was a girls as the guys kind of thing. I asked him to go to the one our Sophomore year. He said, “I don’t think so.”

Anyway, I moved on with my life and went to three Backward’s Dances. (My dates were, in this order, Jay Knowlton, Brad Cardinal, and Kevin Lambert.)  The Corpse and I were in Marching Band together. (Wow what a strange sentence). Much of my interaction with the Corpse was watching him hit on and be rejected by our first chair flautist. After that humilation, he would proceed  directly to the last chair clarinet.

We actually wound up at the same college, The Corpse and I. My college wasn’t that big and although we had vastly different majors, the buildings were right next to each other, so we saw each other every know and then. I would always give him a half hearted wave. The Corpse would wave back ever so slightly as if he had a nervous tic.

High school was 28 years ago, that’s why it was such a big surprise to see the Corpse turn up in not one, but two dreams.

In the first dream, he was most apologetic about being a jerk to me, and throughout the dream he morphed into an amalgam of the worst people I ever dated (No names, please)  I’m not sure what that meant. (Maybe he would have been a terrible date. Safe bet.) After the first night I thought I would see if I could find him online, just out of curiousity.

I found him. He looks terrible. I shared this information with my Amanda Friend and I have to say I did giggle a little and confessed that I sent him a friend request, just so he would see how awesome I look in my profile picture.

Sometiiems I wonder if I’m a good person. Then I remember I am a bit merciless to people who rebuffed me who have, shall we say, not aged as well as others.

That’s when I think I might not be as good as I could be.

The Corpse has yet to Answer (World’s worst closed room mystery.)

That’s an awful lot of pressure for one person.

Published October 23, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am still stubbornly dragging the kite that is my life trying to get it to fly. I have been back in the classroom a few times and I have to say the most challenging days have been in the Kindergarten classroom.  I have to confess, I’m a little nervous around small children. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy their honesty and genuine sense of wonder and the firm knowledge that not a single one of them is trying to plot some nefarious plan against me.  (Except, possibly Niece three, who I swear is one lab experiment away from turning into a super villain.)

No, the pressure is far greater on me to be aware of what I say and do because every single moment in the Kindergarten classroom is the most important of that student’s life.

The last time I subbed in one of the classes, one of the students couldn’t quite wrap his mind around  the Ms. in Ms. Rodriguez. He simply called me The Rodriguez. There is an awful lot of pressure in being The Rodriguez and if I have to take the job I want a tiara.

Yesterday I wore myself out again by spending the day in Kindergarten. The kids were great and mostly normal. (No supervillains or potential X Men). Since this is a parochial school, there was time set aside for a religion class. Apparently there had been some problems in the school with lying, nothing serious, not Wall Street or Congress lying, just some moderate fibbing, so to address the problem in a non-confrontational way, we all watched a Veggie Tale about a Fib from Outer Space.

I am unfamiliar with the Veggie Tales because Actor Boy was way past the age of watching that, (In fact, unless there is a drinking game associated with it, there is no plane of reality that Actor Boy and I would find ourselve accidentally watching Veggie Tales.

The story was interesting and involved a spear of asparagus accidently breaking his father’s favorite collecter plate.  When confronted he blamed the plate breaking on a sweet potato, (I think) Everytime he fibbed, this little alien blueberry thing would grow bigger and bigger. By the end of the story, the Fib was so huge it was going to take over the world and a super hero with plungers for ears had to save everyone.

I know.

That makes all of my electric sharks and time weasels (world’s worst thrift store) sound normal.

I truly enjoyed the video.

My favorite part of yesterday came when we were saying our closing prayers and one student tattled on another saying he wasn’t  “praying right”.

I replied that it would be up to God to sort that one out.

His reply, “But YOU’RE the teacher!”

And The Rodriguez.

I don’t know if I can handle the pressure.

Robert Stack wouldn’t lie to me about an Electric Shark

Published October 21, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This week I have been working very hard to do my best impersonation of a tree sloth with motivation issues. (Are there any highly motivated tree sloths?)

I think I may be overtired from my action packed week last week. It could be that I don’t much care.  I think it’s a combination of both.  I am genuinely tired and I am trying to get it together because I certainly have plenty to do.

During my nap today (Yeah, I’m not doing so good on the  motivation thing.) I had a totally bizarre dream. In the dream I was riding on speeding freight train while being holographically beamed to my Great Grandmother’s house which was being remodeled. My holograph was having a conversation with my dad a movie we had both seen. The movie started with a shark attacking a bunch of indigenous peoples whilst they frolicked on the ancient shore of their water source. (I’m assuming they were frolicking. They only thing that sucks worse than being attacked by a shark is being attacked by  shark while you are performing chores. I think I just found the reason why I don’t want to do any housework. It would be no fun if I were attacked by a shark.)

The rest of the movie was kind of vague, but the ending wrapped all of the events up and took us back to the beginning which revealed that the shark was actually a three dimensional hologram that apparently had connectivity problems because it flickered out for a milisecond. The revelation also showed that this whole event happened on a plane of existence that was on the outside of the actual planet, like on the edge of sphere.

Meanwhile, in the dream, I realized that the train I was on was actually the orphan train, and had the cast of the 1979 movie of the week, including John Femia who went on to star in Square Pegs.   The train began to speed out of control (In my dream. If memory serves, the actual  train in the movie locomoted at regular train speed.)

I decided to do the dishes and clear my head by listening to a pod cast. This particular podcast was about different unsolved mysteries of american history. Neither was particularly spooky and may have actually been solved. But then they did listener mail. In the mail was  a letter from someone whose grandmother was actually a side story related to a Robert Stack narrated Unsolved Mystery. The letter went on to negate some of the information in the episode.

I immediately turned off the podcast. Robert Stack wouldn’t lie to me. Dennis Farina might, but not Robert Stack.

(FYI the name of the Electric Shark movie was Enlightenment.)

And so it goes

Published October 20, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

You know the phrase, “No matter where you go, there you are.”?

Most of my life serves as the perfect example of this adage. Harken back to the tale of how I sent my 46th birthday when I was asked to create a disturbance and I thought arm wrestling strangers twenty years my junior was the logical choice.

I get older but I just can’t outrun the yutz inside. ( I seriously suspect my inner child reads way above grade level, but can’t get that shoe tying thing quite right.)

Today I had an interview and orientation at a very well respected private school near me.  I have been trying to get on their sublist for months and was delighted when I finally heard back. I arranged my ensemble and styled my hair. I was a bit pleased with myself because the my argyle socks matched the stripes on my sweater, and the frames of my glasses matched my purse.

I felt very pulled together as I assembled my paperwork in a tidy, professional looking folder.

I arrived in plenty of time and had a very productive interview. I do have a whole heap of paperwork to fill out and get back to the offices, but overall, it was great and it is entirely possible that I have found the place where I am supposed to be.

Then came the tour. The school is lovely and is a warm, safe nurturing environment. All of the teachers are very qualified and seem friendly. As I toured the school, I fidgeted a bit with the hem of my sweater. Too my horror, I realized that I had spent my entire, well-coordinated morning wearing my sweater inside out.

Fortunately the only person who seemed to notice was the receptionist, who waited until the interviewer had stepped away to tell me. She said she wanted me to know before I went out.

I gave her a flustered look, thanked her and said, “I AM out.”

I go on to goof around another day.

I’m afraid so.

Published October 18, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This last week was challengning, different and downright nervewracking. I’m not even going to discuss what my house looks like. (I feel like a child who thinks by not looking the monster will go away. I think my filthy, disorganized house with it’s unstable foundation is much scarier than any thing that goes bump in the night.)

I had two very productive teaching days last week. I did a playwriting workshop and was amazed at how quickly the drama teaching thing kicked back in.  I also subbed for a history teacher at a Catholic School. I have subbed for this school a few times before, and will be returing their for an all day kindergarten job on Thursday.

After last year, I am very familiar with the quirks and behaviors of Middle School students.  I was completely unprepared with polite, respectful and responsible 7th and 8th graders.

They did get a bit rowdy at the end of the day, but I only had to use my teacher voice once as a warning.  It was great and did give me a major clue as to what enviornment in which I would like to teach.

I also had two performances this weekend.

They were successful, and not just in a “Well, I did my monologue and didn’t have a stroke” kind of way. In an actual, enjoyed the performance and feel confident about performing again.

However, now that I have conquered another one of the things that I was scared of doing, I’m starting to ramp up the worry about a few other things.

Survival is a big one. Its a very first world problem, because I am in no way in immediate danger of losing the roof over my head. Nor am I beseiged by a disfiguring disease, or any other ennobling detractor to a productive life.

I’m worried about being caught in a loop that I can’t escape.

Right now I’m reading $2 a day: living on almost nothing in America. 

It certainly eye opening and pretty damn scary. (I fall asleep listening to unsolved crime mysteries, so it takes a lot to rattle me.

There are thousands of people in our country who are barely getting by. Many of whom do not have a permanent address or reliable source of income.

I do have a stockpile of funds I can get to that will get me through November, but after juggling the fincances and running them through the reality computer, I have come to the grim realization that I need to be working full time by January at the very latest or I will not be able to survive.

I don’t mean that I will immediately drop dead; I couldn’t get that lucky. I mean that I will be in danger of falling into the cycle that so many of the people about whom I’ve read.  A cycle where in a matter of months I could lose most of what surrounds me, including the roof that keeps me dry and shaded.

It can happen so quickly.

I do have the advantage of an excellent and paid for education.  So I do have resources that many do not. It makes me feel a bit better, especially since I can use my powers for good. It costs so little to keep the wolves away from the door. (Cookies and grandma’s nightgown, right?)

I just need to get back out there and take it on.

But I need cookies first.

What I am doing instead of panicking.

Published October 13, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Right now I have at least a handful of things to worry about: I have a show opening in four days; I do know most of my lines, and I have time to review them, even though I have booked a workshop on Thursday and a class for Friday (opening night.)

The reason I’m not planning to lie still like broccoli round the clock is the other reason I’m trying not to panick.  I need money. I’m ok, right this minute. But I am eventually, like the end of November,going to be in dire need of reliable cash flow, not to mention for the foreseeable future.  Samantha, with her unerring abitlity to read my mind is now sitting inside my purse where my script and money are located.

I can’t tell my director I can’t be at rehearsal because my cat won’t let me. (Although if it weren’t production week, he would be ok with it.) I’m pretty sure the mortgage lender and the electric company (not the fun kind) won’t care that the cat is holding my money hostage.

The most frustrating thing about all of this is that there is not a single thing I can do about any of this right now.  I won’t know my weak spots production wise til after rehearsal. And  it will be different every night. Teachers only get paid once a month so I won’t be able to really do anything til the moment that I need to do it.

I think I am always poised to spring.  I think that it is my fate to be the one person whose job it is to think Zombies mean Zombies.

It’s a good thing I have medication

And here’s why. . .

Published October 12, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am way behind on reporting the weirdness from the frontlines of my crazy life.   Last week my Amanda Friend had surgery. Since I have no real plans, with the exception of the occasional substitute or freelance gig, I arranged to come by the hospital to amuse and distract (It’s the job I was born to do!)  One of the times I came by, I had to amuse myself in the hallway.

There were several pictures of Texana on the walls.  One of the descriptor plaques (I don’t know what they are really called, so that works.) said that the picture was over folklorico dancers in orange and yellow dresses. Great! Except the picture the plaque was next to was blue. I have to say for a brief moment I thought that my perception of what is blue was incorrect, after all, why would a plaque lie to me, then I looked further down the hall and there were two pictures, one of dancers in orange, and one in yellow. My question is  where is the plaque for the blue dresses?

I decided to look on the other walls. It seemed a wiser choice then whipping myself up into a frenzy over the lack of plaque.  One picture was an accurately named field of wildflowers, in red and blue. The flowers were actual red and blue flowers, so I moved on. The description on the next one said “Open field with lone trees.” My question is, how can there be more than one if they are lone? Maybe they were just snobby trees who refused to talk to each other. I don’t know these trees.

Around that time I received the all clear to go in to see my friend.

As we sat and chatted we heard an announcement that an emergency siren would go off but it was a test. This gave me and Amanda Friend a chuckle, because we are Lucy and Ethel-like under the best of circumstances. But with one of us in a hospital bed and the other a bit confuzled by the hallway artwork, there is no question that some chaos would spring up.  We giggled as we imagined me leaping to my feet, pushing Amanda and bed out into the hallway with no real plan of where to go. (Realistically speaking, I would probably get the  bed wedged in the door and I would have to climb over it, pulling Amanda with me.) We agreed that such antics would cause her husband AOG and The Mom to forbid us to play together unsupervised ever again.

So now we are onto the next event. I will be bringing my Amanda Friend a treat as a bribe so that she will run lines with me because I have show this weekend.

Maybe it’s about the eyebrows

Published October 6, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I spend a lot of my down time watching TV. Since I have Hipster Cable (Passwords shared with friends for the streaming channels, it’s ok, HBO doesn’t care. Seriously, they don’t) I see a lot of the same sponsor commercials over and over. One that has me particularly confused, is the one for European Wax Center. It depicts a beautiful long legged woman who sails regally out of her equally beautiful domicile and promenades around her world where she is met with smiles and general good will by all.

Every time I see this commercial, I am a bit surprised that it’s for a waxing center. You know, a place that specializes in pouring hot wax on your skin to rip out unwanted hair.  Because of the way the commercial is filmed, I’m assuming they viewer to think it’s the eyebrows that have ensured this woman of her beauty and success.  (I do shudder to think that they are implying anything else, although, come to think of it, that would make more sense. )

I really want to know what she looked like before the eyebrow waxing.  I picture a taller, female Yosemite Sam who long awaited the magic of waxing (I don’t know what makes the wax European.) to make her lovely and successful.

I looked at their web page, they offer a full service. For a mere fifty dollars, (plus tip, because it’s not nice to leave the person who is holding an armful of cloth strips festooned with a the small forest of tiny hairs that used to be on your face without a gratuity.)  I can get my entire face waxed.

I’m not putting down anyone here, waxers and wax-ees alike (I would like to make a Mr. Miyagi joke here, but I can’t make it happen.) I do occasionally find the need to defuzz my lip. (They never tell you that once you hit the north side of forty, you have to stay constantly vigilant for giant stray black hairs that will spontaneously appear like Betelguese when  least expected.)

I am mostly ok with my eyebrows. I had them shaped many years ago, and have been doing light maintenance with tweezers. I don’t know what motivated the shaping, I wouldn’t exactly win any Grouchy Marx look alike contests, or anything, but the new shape changed deprived me of a small section of hair that grows vertically. The rest of the eyebrow curves horizontally, as eyebrows are wont to do.  I never thought much of it, until I saw a picture of one of my great uncles on my father’s side of the family. I noticed that his eyebrows had the same growth pattern.

By shaping my eyebrows, for whatever reason, I was yanking away pieces of my family history.

I know, I know, I’m putting kind of fine point on the whole grooming thing. But if the European Wax center is pushing their smoothy agenda on the world, I want to start a revolution. I am taking back my vertical eyebrow hair!

I will, however, continue to tweeze the lip and chin when needed.

What? All revolutions start off slow.