All posts for the month April, 2016

I’m not sure if this is on the vision board

Published April 27, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have oft been told that visualizing something is the way to make sure your hopes/dreams/mania will manifest themselves. Some even go so far as to create vision boards.(Virtual or real world collages of their wants and desires.)

I get as far as going on Pinterest before I realize that half of my day is gone and that I really want a churro ice cream bowl.

I do understand the power of visualization. I have a moment in time that I desperately want. I have visualized it and I have seen it in real time but not on this plane of existence. I realize the vagueness of that statement, but as I said to my Amanda Friend, swoon.

Lots of things are happening in Writer Chick Land. There’s lots of energy swirling around and it feels like the vortex might actually spit out something that is not a mismatched sock or dessicated cockroach husk. (I know!)

I’m afraid to speak its name because I don’t want to jinx it. And the last time I asked for something from the universe (a simpler,easier paced life.) I got a brain hemorrhage and a seven month detour. I realize now I should have been more specific with my request.

Well, now I am specific and even have film footage should the universe need a frame to reference.

I can’t wait to see what destiny manifests itself.

That being said, I totally realize that if I am teaching Social Studies next year, I will have to deal with the Oregon Trail and other shenanigans of the whole Manifest Destiny thing. The idea makes me bitey and stabby both at the same time.

Why is it please that every time politicos tell the populace that God wants us to do something it involves invasion or blight or just plain rudeness?

I would love to hear that God really wants us to sit down for a few minutes and have a pudding cup with Cool Whip while we enjoy a story.

Now that’s something I can get on board for, visually.

And we’re back.

It will be in the last place you look.

Published April 25, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

One of the best people I know is aptly named Joy. She is wonderful and full of humor and sunshine. I am also friends with someone named Sunny (actually two someones named Sunny).

It made me think about how labels fit or don’t, which also makes me think of various Barfly’s with whom I am familiar (I ain’t going to name no names, but if you really want to know, message me and I will happily, nay, gleefully tell you) will peel the condensation soaked labels off of their long necks with their much longer talons.  I’m not dead sure what kind of signal this is supposed to be, perhaps they are  willing to bare themselves as they do their drinks, perhaps after being soaked with atmosphere?

(Some of you can keep your rude comments to yourself. You know who you are!)

I am lucky. My thin veneer of gloom and disgust has been lifted, it slips sometime, like when I have to deal with the swamp out in my back yard or there is yet another complication with my house. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to have a roof over my head and I know it is my own fault if looks like a Fraternity decided to have a yard sale at a crime scene. I just can’t seem to give a teeny-tiny little rat’s behind about organizing things just to have shift them one step ahead of a new and fun home improvement “opportunity”.

The Mom, Batman and my Amanda Friend  (world’s worst after school special) have contributed hugely to helping me get past a lot of my own angst.   I have been very lucky over the past little while to have enough wiggle room to find my joy and happiness. 

This time last year I though my heart was breaking, literally, because  I was having stress induced chest pains while I was teaching. My legitimate fear was that there wouldn’t be one student who would go for help if I actually dropped dead in the middle of class.

Three years ago I thought my heart was metaphorically breaking because my now Ex-Husband had an affair that he wanted to turn into a new life. My mother took me to Lourdes for a miracle. I got one and I survived.

Six years ago my dear friend Steve Garrett was slowly running out the clock of his life.  I thought my soul was breaking. I still miss him every single day and even though on some of those days all I can do is breathe in and out, I’m mostly ok.

After all of this time and the luxury to squeak by I think I have finally found my joy.  I see it when I make faces with a second grader as we take a break in an extended tutoring session. I feel it when I discuss theatre and literature with other alleged grown-ups.  I hear it when a student who was literally growling like a feral cat as we were working on social studies turns around and smiles and says “Thank You Ms. Lynda.”

And I feel it when I get to spend my Saturday afternoons building a cardboard train with Batman.

Joy is easy to find. It may be under the couch and covered with cat hair, but it can be fished out and dusted off. 

To all Intensive Porpoises

Published April 22, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Like Dot Bunny, I grow weary of stating the obvious.

One of the things I love about working with kids is that no matter how much your own personal nonsense wears you down, a child can usually get you out of it because they simply do not care about anything but the now.

Like Ms. Dot Bunny. She is the protagonist of the story “Wolfie the Bunny”. In the story, Dot’s family finds a wolf cub on their doorstep. Mama and Papa Bunny are charmed by everything Wolfie does. Dot, the voice of reason, keeps saying, “But he’s going to eat us all up!”  This is a recurring theme throughout the story.

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but I have to say that I sympathize with Dot.

A child came up to me today and said, “Do you have any missing bookmarks?” Before that could entirely snap my head off, I asked if she needed a bookmark. This was an easily solved problem.

As I have mentioned, I am not entirely sure that I didn’t die on July 27, 2003, and am simply working my way out of purgatory. It would explain a lot. I pushed forward this theory in a previous posting, citing the factoid that anyone who has ever been in a coma can’t ever, that’s right EVER be entirely certain what reality is framing their existence.  That also explains a lot.

The last couple of days I worked with a woman who was in a coma for five days and made a complete recovery. I found a gracious way to say, “Oh Yeah? Me, too!”  Our conversation drifted around this whole structured reality business and somehow we meandered to the topic of the Berenstain Bears (Oh, don’t act like you’re so surprised.)

I asked her if she remembered them as the Berenstein Bears. She did, as did I. Then we both looked at the cover of one of the books. It’s Berenstain. There is a school of thought that says the reason that some of us remember Berenstein, vs Berenstain is that on some strain of reality the bears were Stein.

Now here’s the quandry, if the two coma survivors have the same shared reality in which the Bears were Berenstein, are we occupying the same circles of purgatory? And then I think of my youngest niece who would simply point out that Papa Bear is kind of a Jack Ass.

On a related note, as I was processing this information I had an revelation, an epiphany if you will. Time and again I have expressed gratitude for my recovery, but likened it to receiving a Ronco Tato Twister.  It’s a nice gift, but what am I supposed to do with it.  While I don’t know the specifications for the big picture, I do know what my purpose is for the tiny part of the picture that is the now. But, shh. It’s a secret.

No one is named Panda Sanchez.

Published April 21, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I probably don’t need to mention that most of my days border on the absurd.  It’s my own fault. Apparently I just ask for weirdness when I insist on trying to sprinkle the world with a light coating of happy.  (No, I’m not being sarcastic.  I do make an actual attempt to greet people with a smile and genuine remark. Imagine how Public Education reacted to me. Here’s a hint, I am now working for three private schools and a tutoring company.)

My descent into madness is indeed paved with good intentions.  This is one of those crazy weeks where I work all three jobs in rapid succession. I need weeks like this to help me make it through the summer slump while I wait longingly for a contract to appear.

This week I am working at the school that is my top choice for employment.  I am working in the library.  I love books. I love reading and I love this school, so what’s the problem, Writer Chick?

It’s the pacing of this particular job, especially since yesterday, Tuesday is the busiest of all of the library days. It is also the day that there is no volunteer or anyone especially inclined to help me out.

It all started out ok, even when I had to get up fifteen minutes earlier than usual. I had a key to get in and I was all aquiver with hope and responsibility (World’s worst reality show.) Not bad. It was rainy and gloomy outside so I was able to wear boots. With said boots I was wearing a pair of pants from the Thrift Store Outlet. These pants are from a very expensive brand and I paid a mere two dollars for them.

So I took my happy, booted self into the library where I was met with a full to bursting book drop and a concerned looking maintenance man. Apparently every child in the school returned books the previous day and the roof started leaking so checking books in was low priority as the staff rescued the books by moving them to other shelves. Once again, no problem.

The absolute second children were allowed in the building , 7:30 and thirty seconds, about four wee ones materialized clutching dimes because they wanted to pay fines so they could check out books later.  I actually knew how to do this and got this taken care of. Then one tiny child brought it to my attention that a book had fallen between the wall and the book drop, so I leaned over to retrieve it at the exact same time as another child reached to put another book in the drop, causing it to plonk on my head and make a coconut-like sound.

Still, no problem. (I once had three different kids at two different schools throw up on me in the same day. And then I went out with my boyfriend who dumped me. Really.)

Everything went well into the first hour of the day.  I looked at the schedule and realized there was no real lull until lunchtime. Still no problem. Then the used pants decided they didn’t like me. The waist band was slipping, and not being one who likes to moon Catholic School Children, I went to the restroom to see what was happening. As I adjusted my pants, the thread holding the top button on decided to completely unravel. I placed the  button on the edge of the sink (Bad idea) while I investigated the situation. Being me, I knocked the button into the sink, and when I tried to retrieve it, it plopped down the drain. I heard it actually clink on the pipe. (Sigh)

Now this would not usually bother me except yesterday I  was scheduled to be at the school until 3:30, go tutor student 1 from 4-5:30, then head out to tutor student 2 from 6-7:30.  No time for new pants (World’s worst children’s movie.)

There is more to the story than that, especially since a kindergartner came back to the library specifically to give me a hug because, “You’re funny.”

That’s great kid, because today I’m wearing a dress.

platitude adjustment

Published April 18, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I spend a lot of time acting like a grown-up. (It is kind of a requirement when you are shaping and molding young minds.) I am spending the next few days working in a school library. This means that I will be interacting with children AND adults all day.  This is not usually a big challenge for me, but I have been feeling a little floopy lately and I think I just may experience some of the all too frequent moments where I can actually hear the crazy come out of my mouth, past my brain and over my ears and on to the very impressionable ears of small children.

I don’t know why I suddenly care about this. I usually don’t let my personality get in the way of my philosophy of education. (In fact, my madness is the method upon which I based said philosophy.)  What I do care about is that I seem to be spending a lot of time translating information from kid-friendly tidbits into the kind of grown up speak worthy of my diplomas, credentials and experience.

The by-product of that is the words coming out of my mouth make no sense to anyone at all, even me. So I find myself recycling words, quips and anecdotes that are only vaguely related to the topic. Which makes me look even loopier.

And then today, on the way to Target, I saw a flock of turkeys.  Really. I did.

I was not surprised, after all, an elephant once patted the roof of my car at a busy intersection.

A German Shepherd once hid my checkbook.

A quail threw its body in front of my car.

And a cat often stands on my head.

With all of the crazy around me, of course I have to rely on hackneyed stock phrases.

Of course, since I can recite entire sections of Fox in Socks and Clic Clac Muu Vacas Escritoras 

without looking at the book, I may have upped the ante on default phrases.

Great, now I’m picturing ants climbing up stairs. (Upping the antes?)

And the school where I will be is having a Teddy Bear drive. Three guesses what that makes me think of.

Maybe I need a nap.



What’s in her name?

Published April 16, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Name game, Moniker with hooked on Phoniker (couldn’t resist) What exactly is in a name?

When I teach theatre or creative writing, or ramble on in public for anyone who will listen I suggest that the writer/actor start the character first and then see what name suits them.  I deconstruct this lesson by asking the students or actor to discuss how their own names have shaped their lives.

I usually get the kind of look that suggests that I must have started snorting pencil shavings, but that couldn’t possibly be true, because I never have a working pencil sharpener. That is one of the few constants of my universe, that and the fact that I can’t see a straight line on a page and that no matter what I think my hair looks like, it will be doing something completely different when I check it in the mirror.

I know that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but would the hottest guy in the world still be yummy if the word “suck” appeared somewhere in his name?

I do know that anytime something truly stupid has happened in my life a woman named Lisa has been in the vicinity.  I don’t think it’s some karmic fix on the name or anything, it’s just a coincidence.

Then there are the nicknames. The good people at Wikipedia define this  as “a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place, or thing, for affection or ridicule.”

All of Actor Boy’s childhood friends have nicknames that are so removed from their actual names that one would wonder if they are in some kind of federal program.

I didn’t think I had a nickname, per se. But then I thought about it.

My brother George has had at least five nicknames that I know about. He has called me, in no particular order: Punk, Kid, Space Alien Baby, The Face, and Dorcas Mallorcas.

The Mom  has called me Punkin, little girl, and a couple of other things, but she may have been talking to the dog.

My Merritt Friend calls me Stands on Porches, Annette, Hank, Maddie and St. End.

Most recently I have been called, Miss Lynda, Teacher, Drama lady, Sunshine and Puddin’ Cup.

I can’t wait to hear the next one.

two posts, two posts in one

Published April 14, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I try to contain my madness. I really do.

Today I am failing miserably. I have a bazillion things to do before I go tutor and my head is already pounding.  (I guess the gnome in a snow suit is back) I’m pretty sure it’s stress or allergies or I’m allergic to stress. I’m fairly certain that it’s not serious.  (I can just hear The Mom asking what combination of my degrees qualifies me to make a diagnosis.)

I just returned from hunting and gathering the supplies to build some of my props.  That in and of itself is always an adventure, because I tend to need bizarre things (like the rooster I borrowed.) But I was able to get enough arty and crafty stuff to make a serious dent in the prop list.  So far, everything looked good, but then it was Walmart so that already threw a wrench at the monkey. I was in line behind a woman who had an almost completely empty cart except for two watermelon.  A small boy was resting comfortably atop the watermelons.  I’m not sure how many of those items she actually purchased but it was entertaining.  I finally got through the check and was cautiously optimistic  as I pulled slowly into traffic, taking care to quadruple check my blind spot because I have giant poster board in my car.  I had to slam on my breaks, narrowly avoiding the rear end of a low rider because an old woman eating a taco had tried to swing into my lane.

Process for a moment: Wrench, Monkey, left over Time Weasels from yesterday, (They said Cocktail Pigeons, which I guess is a harbinger of things to come.) Watermelon boy, taco lady and lowrider.

Now I have to sweep and tidy up. Not too bad, but if it rains I will have to move all of my supplies into another room because they skylights leak.

Because of course they do.

Next time I will pay more attention to the time weasels.