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All posts for the month July, 2016

Wasn’t yesterday also the first day . . ..

Published July 28, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I meant to write and post this yesterday, but I got sidetracked by my own sloth. (I’m picturing a giant sloth actually blocking the path between me and the computer. Except the sloth doesn’t need to work very hard; there are many, many obstacles of my own making between me and productivity.

So back to the adventures of Batman and Writer Chick in the Four Corners.

The second day in the Durango area we went into Farmington. For those of you who are new to my brand of tirade, I lived in Farmington for four years. I wanted to go back to show someone else (Batman) that my descriptions of the place were not overly inflated. (Apparently I have a tendency to embellish.) Since Actor Boy still lives in Farmington, it was not much of a stretch to meet him there for lunch. There was also a car show in downtown Farmington, so this was a way to show Batman the local color and do some people watching.

We started at the Library. The Farmington Library is an exceptional building. It is a regional library and serves the city of Farmington as well as a good percentage of the Navajo Nation. The facility is impressive. It is even more impressive when you compare it to the rest of the city.

While we wended our way through Farmington and I told tales of how I came to the area and the various and sundry things that I did and/or were done to me, it occurred to me that I don’t have many truly terrific memories of Farmington.

In fact I have just one outstanding memory that brings a smile to my face.

Merritt Glover, a gifted actress of the stage an screen,and I were rehearsing a production of Parallel Lives. (Why yes, this is the show that actually caused my head to melt.) I do not think of myself as an actor and I was delighted to have this opportunity to work with Merritt. I have seen this show performed before by two actresses who were similar types, meaning they could be in direct competition for the same roles. Merritt is fifteen years younger and five inches taller than I. She also is fair skinned with angular features and I am sort of rounded and bunny-like. There is no way we would ever be in direct competition for anything,anywhere.  This allowed us to just play and have fun and not nudge each other out of the spotlight.

So in spite of the iffy direction by The Absence of All That is Good and Holy, we managed to have some very good moments.  One of my favorite scenes is one called Hank and Karen Sue. I played a very drunk cowboy and she played an overworked, overwrought single mom who is very tired of everything, especially Hank.

During one of our last rehearsals, we were both giddy with excitement and the scene moved along like the ball in a pinball machine.  At one point I delivered a line and had an expression that made Merritt break character and just start laughing hysterically.

That one moment true happy with Merritt is the best memory I have of Farmington.

 

And in other news . . .

Published July 25, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I slept far too late today.  I really intended to get up and mow a path through my house. It is seriously a pit  (All of the other times that I have complained about my house, it was actual Home and Garden photo worthy compared to what it looks like today.) Did I leap out of bed and take on the world?  No, I did not.

I woke up mostly on time and glanced at the headlines.  There was another shooting. This time at the teen night held at a night club.  There were a few other headlines on the old Huff Post that were reprints of previous editions and it took me a minute to realize that it is actually July 25, 2106.

So instead of jumping out of bed and shoring up some of the potential landslides in my house and possibly putting things away, I decided I would much rather build a blanket fort and cuddle with Batman.

The world’s problems didn’t go away but I did recover enough to get some errands done.  I also listened to a podcast about H.H. Holmes.  I did not know that after he left Chicago, he had every intention of building a second murder castle located in my home town.  If it hadn’t been for a horse swindle gone awry, he would have built one here in Panther City.

Now my world is crazy enough without having a murder castle somewhere within driving distance.

Speaking about driving distance, I had a fantastic adventure last week. The driving part went ok, Batman kept the remarks about my driving to a minimum and we arrived at our Airbnb with perfect timing.  We slept like the dead and wandered out to meet Actor Boy for an early lunch. I was thrilled and delighted to hear my kid’s voice come out of the radio and I actually squealed with delight.

Actor Boy looks healthy and mostly happy. He’s working really hard but loves his job.  He and Batman are both smokers so they had that at least to talk about. Although you can smoke Marijuana in Durango, you cannot smoke a cigarette within 10 feet of any business entrance.  This made the two of them a little growly. I have to say a ruckus was created.

Fortunately, no arrests were made and there were no injuries.  Actor Boy got such a kick out of it, he invited Batman to do a feature called Liar Liar on the radio show.

After making arrangements for the taping, Batman and I took a stroll through downtown Durango and found ourselves at an Ice Cream Parlor. (Note to self, investigate why Ice Cream is considered company formal.)

We walked in and approached the counter. While I was noting that they were almost out of an almond blend with chocolate chips, the two clerks, both of whom were about high school age, making them thirty years younger than both Batman and I, perked up and locked their gaze on Batman. They offered him a taste of the fresh apricot ice cream . The more nubile of the two bopped around prepping the ice cream and asked if he would like a double scoop. (I definitely heard the entendre.) Batman, remarkably clueless for a superhero, said that he would like his second scoop to be vanilla. The nubile bopper asked which he wanted on top.

Meanwhile I am still standing there waiting to order. No one seemed particularly interested in what I would like and if I would be interested in a taste of fresh anything. I ordered quickly and when I got my ice cream I fished out some money to pay.

Neither cutie even made eye contact with me and if Batman hadn’t taken the money out of my hand to give to the cashier, I would probably still be standing at the counter, ice cream dripping down my hand. I have never eaten an ice cream cone before it was paid for (That is another story.)

This was the beginning of our adventure.

The Ice Cream was really good.

I don’t know

Published July 24, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am not sleeping well. My insomnia is a by product of that time my head blew up. The chemical changes to my brain goo has made it damn near impossible to have a relaxing nights sleep.

I hate to whinge and whine because I do have a lot to be grateful for. The disruption of my schedule, and chronic insomniacs must keep to a very strict schedule, is due to my trip to Durango, Colorado to see Actor Boy.

Actor Boy has a new job that he truly loves and he is happy and healthy, albeit it busy, and since I have the time, I went up to Durango to see him (There are many, many fun stories about the trip, but I will get those down for public consumption when I’m not feeling so stabby.)

I have gotten less than six hours of sleep per night since I have been back.  It’s starting to take its toll. I am exceptionally crabby and anyone who knows me is aware that I can indeed be a mean, vile Gorgon. Fortunately I have medication that helps.

Last night was one of those nights and I took a nap today. Well, I tried to take a nap, but my nap was fitful and I woke up freaking out; a little like the dog in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoon, you know when he gets paddled awake? Actually if I saw Leghorn strolling by right now I would blow his face off, or get in my car and run him down, because really? I’m just trying to get some rest.

I realize this sounds like my crazy manifesto. I am really tired and I woke up hot, vexed and melting down. The melting down may be due to the fact that it is 101 degrees outside and I got up for water and noticed that there were two cats looking at me forlornly. My sweet kitty Samantha and her archnemisis Frances were completely out of food and water.

This set me off slightly because I am not the only person who lives here and I have been mostly trying to sleep, so I haven’t taken an active cruise through the house, partially because I don’t want to have to look at my back yard and the crumbling back porch area; in my current state I may just break off a hunk of porch, drive over to EH’s home and stand next to his intact home and bonk the wall at low speed but steady intervals, just loud enough to interrupt his house’s regular rhythms. He now has three little boys, all under the age of three.  (I know,I can’t handle the karmic blow from fighting insomnia with insomnia.)

So back to the cats. Frances and Samantha and I have the same question. Why, on the hottest day of the year do they not have water or food? They don’t have thumbs and I know they have interacted with the Tall Boy and Batman today.  Why did they wait to show their sad kitty faces to me, adding another factor to my meltdown?

I guess they figured, “She’s already cranked up, we might as well take advantage of the momentum.”

So now we know.

A trip highlight. Batman is my boyfriend. I am pretty excited about that. Now if he only had cat food in his utility belt.

 

 

 

 

Dis(associative)

Published July 10, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Have I mentioned lately that I am not a big fan of being told what to do?  Well, I am not. It is in that spirit that I approach teaching the legions of  balky, high spirited and clinically quirky children who have made up most of my classes and tutoring clients.

(I realize that being a resident of North Texas I might be ignoring a band wagon and/ or soap box by not speaking about the horrifying  events that happened last week leaving scores of people terrorized and five Dallas Police Officers dead, but I am numb and I am trying not to think about it so, instead I’m going to focus on the good parts of last week.)

I am back to tutoring the same two children I worked with last spring.  I am reading the Phantom Tollbooth with one and A Little Princess with the other.

What I am enjoying is introducing both children to a whole different universe. A world that makes sense in itself and a sensibility long gone.

I am, however, finding it challenging to help a modern child understand the concepts and historical significance laid out in A Little Princess.  How to you tell a child who is a very literal thinker and whose most challenging literature to date includes the books in the Dork Diaries series? (I am in no way slamming that series, Rachel Renee Russell has hit  upon a very clever, and may I say addictive thread of fiction.)  The inciting incident in A Little Princess involves the British occupation of India. The school Sara Crewe attends does have a similar social stratta to that of Nikki Maxwell, but no one in at Nikki’s prep school gets their ears boxed for being slow to perform a task.

A Little Princess is on the summer reading list for the school Child A will be attending in the fall. She is also supposed to read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  I have no idea how to begin to approach the concepts with her over this one.

The challenge I face is directly related to the information that is accessible to children 8-12. I have been boning up on my middle grade fiction so that I may be better informed when I load books into the reading pit that I plan to have in my classroom next year.  I do enjoy the Dork Diaries, probably more than I should, but the other books in this particular genre of first person narrative fiction that also includes The Judy Moody series, Junie B. Jones and the I Funny series tend to dumb things down, IMHO for the reader.  (I will freely admit that I do not like Judy or Junie and I might actually jump out a window if either of these children popped into my classroom.  I would warmly embrace Ramona and Beezus and even Susan of the Boing Boing Hair. I have not read the I Funny series, mainly because I don’t think James Patterson needs my money.)

The other child I teach is not a reader, which is why I am reading to him.  He is very bright, kind and sensitive child, but he’s not that great about listening for detail. I am reading him The Phantom Tollbooth two chapters at a time and it is a book best heard. We discuss the figurative language as we go along and we are going to do a fun, comprehensive activity when we finish the book.

Now he understands complicated concepts and ideas, so much so that I think it hurts his perspective.

Speaking of perspective, having to speedy-quick adjust my comprehension and attitude to work with these two students has helped me put a wedge between the pointless cruelty that abounds in the “real” world.  And who wouldn’t choose to jump in the car with Milo and Tock and perhaps ask Sara and Becky if they would like to rescue Rhyme and Reason.

The choice is, as Child A would say, Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s nature, right human?

Published July 4, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My forty-seventh year got off to an odd start (Not as odd as last year which involved my friend Choir Boy accidentally hitting me with his car and causing me to sprain my ankle. Of course the twist-jump-fall move that  cause the hurt ankle also cured fixed my aching back. I hurt my back dancing the previous day. What a drag it is getting old.)

I taught a writing class every day last week and got precious little writing done myself.  I do have some notes that I can ponder for future inspiration. I ate entirely too much sugar and slama-jammed too much coffee last week thus throwing off my sleep cycle.  So now here I am with the only things I really have to do besides die and stay Mexican (That was for you Actor Boy.) is try and stay on top of Mount Crapmore, as I am fondly calling my house, and study for the Texes Core Subjects test.  This is another endorsement that I need to add to my Certification so that I can teach Sixth Grade Science (The polite thing is not to laugh like a donkey at the very idea)

My theory on how to keep from completely melting down over this process is to simply handle five things at a time. Five pieces or crap picked up and tidied away, five practice questions for the science test.

I do have a few other things on my agenda, mostly because I can’t keep my head from engaging in the rest of the world.

As the universe knows (Universal Nose?) I have had my share of bad luck when it comes to relationships. But haven’t we all? Something I have noticed is that when someone we once trusted betrays us we immediately blame ourselves. Especially when that someone (Succubus, rat fink , Hell Spawn, Arkansas White Trash, The Absence of All That is good and Holy, it goes my many names) seems to have escaped Scot free. (Why the hell won’t Scot step up and do his job?!!)

Case in point: I am a nice person albeit not very rational and I try to do kind things and be nice to people. I love kids and I love watching kids learn. This is why I have left the glamour of show biz for the equally lucrative field of education.

About four years ago I had a procedure that would make a future pregnancy highly unlikely (because in my family, we don’t say impossible.) At the time I mentioned to EH that if we wanted to have kids the ship was about to sail. He said,” If we really wanted kids we would have had them twenty years ago.”

Fast forward to now when he is the father of three little boys, all of whom are adorable and will probably inherit their mother’s terrible teeth.  Meanwhile here I sit with a slight overbite and no kids.

When I found out that AWT was in labor with the current batch of children, twins, I ate two pieces of cake and I mountain of Cheetos.

It is human nature to blame ourselves for other people’s bad behavior.  It is not my fault that my Ex-husband decided to be adulterous. It is Actor Boy’s fault that little girls think its fun to lie, especially since his heart is so genuine he can’t imagine a world where someone he loves would be devious.

Trusting someone you love should be a given.  But sometimes you have to take it back.