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All posts for the month March, 2016

You don’t say . . .

Published March 28, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Two years ago I spent the bulk of my time freelance writing. I wrote for nine hours a day and got a lot done. The downside to this is that there were whole days when I didn’t even look in the mirror and once went three days without talking to another person in real life. (That was an adventure, I wasn’t quite sure how loud my actual voice would be when I used it.  Those people at Starbucks don’t even blink, not even when a crazed looking woman with a very slow netbook stirs herself to get coffee. Someone did admire my rubber ducky pajamas.)

Now I have an equal but opposite experience.  I do leave the house a lot. This week I am working at four different locations on three different jobs.  This is pretty normal for me this school year, and I am starting to notice that either people aren’t looking directly at me or are so dazzled by my brilliant personality that they don’t notice that my hair is doing something either askew or stupid and that one of my shoes is scuffed because I rolled my ankle getting out of the car and I had to leap to save my glasses/coffee/phone/ notebook.

Today I am grateful for this cloaking device that I apparently have because in addition to the stupid things  that I usually do, my skin is starting to rebel. I feel terrible for complaining because I have won the genetic lottery, skin wise, and I have very few wrinkles.

That being said, my eyes have been rejecting all make-up and flinging it on to my glasses.

And I have a clogged pore thing on the corner of my lip.  It kind of looks like a cold sore, but its not (No really it’s not.)

I can not tell you the joy I feel when I glance in the mirror and have Walk-Of-Shame-Eyes and what looks like Whore-Lip.

Did I mention that I looked in the mirror AFTER I finished teaching at a Christian School.

No one said anything.

I’m not sure if people are very nice or acting like they can’t see the obvious because they are a) nice or b) terrified that today may be the day when I completely snap and they want to have a bit of a head start.

It may actually be the latter.

I have had the opportunity to have actual conversations with adults. During these conversations, I have paused mid-conversation and said, “Yes, I know, I can hear myself.” This is usually prompted by look that is a blend of amazement, confusion and mild terror.

Things I have heard myself say include

“I’m not made of scripts.”

“I’m only going to ask about the face not the flipper.”

“It’s a hard old world on the pandas.”

“There’s a kitty in my way that I need to move, thus move, cat, get out the way.”

“Did that used to be cheese?”

And it’s only Monday.

And, that’s ok . . . Maybe

Published March 27, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It has been an interesting week/several days. As I sit here, I feel a bit like I did when I went to confession. I went to Catholic school K-12, and while I would like to think that I am still perfectly normal, we can all see the actual result and it’s far stretch away from normal.

Part of the Catholic school ritual is the monthly sacrament of Reconciliation, the rest of the world knows this as Confession.  It was my generation that was first introduced to the face to face confession as opposed to the old fashioned, cubicle of shadow ceremony.

Regardless of the type of confession you chose, you were encouraged to reflect on your transgressions before you confessed to the priest of your choice.  Most of the sins of the middle schooler fall under the category of Venial sin, which is bad, but not the terrible wicked Mortal sin.   Venial you can be absolved by praying a few decades of the Rosary or if you were really in trouble, several Rosaries with all of trimmings, including litanies, killing chickens and lighting candles, not necessarily in that order.  (Non Catholics, guess which one of those I added to see if you were paying attention.)

I always kind of liked going to confession when Father Martin was officiating. Father Martin was an ancient Spanish priest. He celebrated his 50th year in the priesthood when I was in the Eighth Grade, so he was about a million.

He usually presided over the traditional, cloak of darkness confessional which I always found comforting.  However, Father Martin was hard of hearing, so no matter what you said, he would respond with a loud, “WHAAAT?! WHATT DID YOU DO?”

Anyway the preamble of your confession would always include the amount of time it had been since your last confession and what you had done in that time.  I feel a bit like that. (I do feel like at least one person out the in the cyber world is now screaming at their computer, “WHAAT?! WHATT DID YOU DO?”)

I have being doing a lot. I am now tutoring three days a week in addition to my two days of after school teaching. I’m starting to feel a bit crazed.  I love working with my students and I think my superpower is my ability to turn into a goofball in a matter of seconds. (I started a tutoring session with a reluctant,teary fourth grader that ended with him giggling and running around the room.  I think it’s because I had an involved conversation with his Fabricated American, a Panda who unfortunately was missing his face. The polite thing is not to mention it.) I think my goofery impressed and frightened the other adults. It’s a blessing and a curse.

The truly awesome thing that happened is that I got to reconnect with my pal, Lamar Wilson,who I featured in my Watershed Moment lesson plan.  Here’s a link to  Lamar’s Blog.   It was interesting catching up with someone who has bought a ticket to ride on a similar roller coaster.  Each weirdo story I have he could counter with an equally bizarre but twisty in a different way story.

And he’s Batman.

But I’m The Undisputed Queen of Goofery.

And that’s okay.

 

 

What’s the story?

Published March 22, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Thanks to the Facebook and other networking mechanisms, I am reconnecting with people from my past.

That sounded a whole lot creepier than I wanted it to.

My last blog reconnected me with a friend from college and I have my thirty year high school reunion coming up and I’m finding it hard to wrap up what’s been happening in my world for the last three decades.

I know people’s lives move on and everyone has a story that is important to them. I have had some extraordinary events in my life that have been challenging and I have distanced myself/recovered to the point that most of them seem to have happened to someone else.

I just don’t know how to relay the information without sounding too horrified by my own existence.

Because to be honest, there are some things that do, indeed horrify me about my existence.  Like the epic way my plumbing backed up into the front yard causing me to have to find an emergency plumber. I was able to console myself with wine.

And the pool in the back yard is still swamp-like, so the EH sent a new pump.  I have not installed it because my schedule is so crammed right now I am likely to have a nervous breakdown should I have to flail around in the wind hoping my house doesn’t explode when I connect everything.

Connected to that hope is the hope that there is not any dead rodentia basting along the pool floor. Because I KNOW that will push me over the edge.

And all of that  happened in two days last week.

I know not everyone wants to hear about the epic eccentricities of my life, but what bullet points should I include?

Better still, how much is this going to matter in the face of all that is stupid. I don’t want to get into politics, but . . . .

Where is the real story?

 

Water Sheds what?

Published March 16, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I particularly enjoy teaching at a local Catholic School, not just because the kids are well behaved and are held to a level of academic rigor that is not often seen, well, anywhere, but because I do get the chance to experience the school day from a different perspective,

Each class starts with a prayer. The group I have been working with most often says a prayer to St. Michael the Arc Angel.

The last day I taught this group all of the classes  were 22 minutes long, and I did not have a lesson plan. Because I know what happens when you add a group of students on an irregular schedule with no specific plan to a generous scoop of impending Spring Break.  I decided I would introduce the students to some creative writing brainstorming.

I whipped through a quick definition of Watershed moments with examples from  world wide catastrophes and instructed them to think about their own Watershed moment and list five specific things about it.  I gave a few personal examples, like the fact that I’m still mad at Gonzalo Cervantes for something he said about me when I was in the Seventh Grade.  I also illustrated the lesson by speaking about my friend Lamar Wilson

Lamar Wilson and I attended college together, and I didn’t know him well. It was a small department at a small school, so we knew of each other and after we graduated I got to know his unique performance style.Over the last year Lamar has fallen on hard times.

I don’t mean he got a bummer of a performance review or got a flat tire on the freeway. I mean life knocked him down and then spit on him once he was there.  Lamar is definitely too nice of a guy for a fate like that to befall him.

Then Lamar asked his friends for help.

Within hours, several of his friends made contributions to give him a leg back up. This includes me.

Now I’m not much in a position to help many people out, but years ago, when I was in college and going through a dark and difficult time, Lamar said something that I really needed to hear. He said it at a party that I didn’t even attend. I’m fairly certain that a lot of people were helped out by Lamar in a similar way.

He paid me a kindness that he didn’t have to, so I paid him one right back.

My hopes are that he will get blessings a thousandfold back for those he distributed to the world

 

Well, there’s that

Published March 14, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I didn’t get hit by a train today.  And I had pancakes with my Amanda Friend.

I have spent the rest of the day noodling around trying not to stress eat because my genuine concern over the national state of affairs is making me twitchy.

I know it’s because I have time to think and breathe at the same time this week and because I don’t especially feel like being productive. I have been researching a few things for a project in which I will have to keep my writing voice and tone upbeat and encouraging.  And I like to stay informed so I cruised over to a news site and looked at the education tab. I couldn’t help but notice that a large percentage of the headlines are Trump related.  One of the larger subsets of the Trump business is the violence that is now breaking out in relation to his campaign. I am in no way saying that Trump is responsible for all racism and racial violence, but his incendiary remarks are certainly shaking the nuts out of their tree.

There is an allegation under investigation in Kansas where a Hispanic and  Muslim man were both beaten by an assailant who shouted “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

I would laugh it weren’t so tragic.

I am trying to keep my mind off of things because I have many others things about which to stress, not the least of which is my finances and the fact that I may be meeting The BF’s Kids this week.

This in and of  itself is a mind blowing concept because

a) I have a BF, which also means that I am someone’s GF. (I guess since no one has appointed me queen, that title will have to do.)

b) Since I haven’t dated anyone in over two decades (I don’t really count the guy I told I thought I was dead inside or the guy who turned out to be stupid.)  so I’ve never met anyone’s kids.

c) I might actually have to keep a smile on my face in the awkward and uncomfortable.

I know, I know, I’ve taught Public School; I can handle anything.

I need to do a bunch of creative writing in the next few days, because I have the time. My subconscious creates best in an environment where my attention is divided, so I have been searching out documentaries, etc to keep that brain beast entertained.  I have come across one that examines genocide.

Because that will certainly keep me from getting worried.

 

Oh Calamity!

Published March 13, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

 

Apparently my computer didn’t think I needed to keep the first draft of this blog, so I hope this draft is worthy.

My afternoon has been interesting, to say the least. (I know, Quelle Surprise)  I ran my errands, easy to do today because I can’t do any serious food shopping until mid week after I get paid, so I went to the dollar tree for cleaning products, and then went to get a delicious hamburger and golden french fries.  As I was waiting, I glanced at the Huffington Post.

Yes, I thought I would pleasantly distract myself while standing amidst families enjoying a lunch while I notice that there is indeed a bleach stain on my t-shirt. Nil Desperandum (Latin for Don’t Freak Out)

So what did the old Huff Post have to tell me? Well, the Huff Po introduced me to an article by Daniel Marans(Article can be read here)

The article wasn’t entirely news to me, but it was, indeed disturbing to read how Trump is inspiring a whole slew of racist idiots to rush out and proclaim their rights to their supremacy.  Now, as apolitical as I strive to be, I am still aware of the riots and protestor abuse that is happening at the Trump rallies. Protestor’s are being pepper sprayed and Trump supporters are giving what looks suspiciously like a traditional “Seig Heil”.

I’m truly frightened. In spite of the utter transparency of the Trump campaign, this madness continues.  A student who is both female and Hispanic proclaimed that she really didn’t mind a Trump presidency, because it would be better than Hillary winning.

I didn’t want to point out that she would eventually might have to choose which side of the wall she wants to be on, I just encouraged her to find out a little more about the whole business.

I think the problem is, especially with the younger generation, is that we as a society are so far removed from the Holocaust and the nightmare that Hitler wreaked, that we can’t even fathom of such a disaster happening ever again even when it’s combed over, bloated orange face is right in front of us.

I ate my delicious hamburger as if it would be my last free choice of my life.

On the way home, as I crossed the train tracks, there was a malfunction in the track alert thingy so I was nearly crunched by the lowering arm of the barrier. As I scootched out of the way I noticed the train approaching. I was caught on the track between the barrier and the car in front of me waiting for the light to change.  The light did change and I  started to drive home. In the six blocks between the intersection and my house, two different land behemoths driven by distracted drivers lurched in front of me causing me to have to slalom out of the way. I have since decided that I am not going to leave the house again today.

Again, a hamburger may be the last free choice of your life.  Enjoy it!