All posts for the month April, 2017

That’s awfully formal for ice cream

Published April 21, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As you may have noticed, my brain comes up with some pretty interesting thing when left to its own devices. (Just now, as I was writing that sentence, my brain said,”What do you know about the device?”)

Another example of my brain’s chicanery, (world’s worst boutique restaurant.) happened during my most recent MRI. I am very familiar with the procedure and did not have the opportunity to sedate myself, so I tried to relax and breathe deeply.  When you are having  crazy loud MRI, you are supposed to lie still like broccoli, not rowdy like radishes. If you move, you have to start the process all over again, so one strategy I have learned is to close my eyes and recite the alphabet backwards as I breathe slowly in and out.

This worked well for a little while, that is, until my brain decided it didn’t want to do that anymore and suddenly the letter i decided to leap down the alphabet and pick poor unsuspecting z and use it to clothesline every letter in it’s path. Then a scooped up b and challenged i to a duel, z got pushed aside and q got in on the act.

Well, how am I supposed to lie still for that?

So it is with this brain that I try to function in a world where I am supposed to be a grown up. As I was reading my newsletter from The Line Up ( true crime and mysteries, because reality is too much for me most of the time.)  I read about the Ice Cream killer, who may or may not be the Zodiac, as investigated by the son he abandoned, and the fact that the killer met his baby-mama in an Ice Cream Parlor. I started thinking that contemporary society hardly ever uses the word “parlor” unless it’s preceded by “Massage” or “Tattoo” or of course “Ice Cream”.

I think our Victorian Ancestors would be scandalized by our use  of the word.

Come to think of it, “Tattoo rat-hole” or “Questionable massage strip mall” or “Ice Cream hole ” wouldn’t encourage a lot of foot traffic.

My world is interesting and rarely boring.


It can’t be Armageddon; I’m wearing the wrong shoes

Published April 20, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Batman says I drive myself to distraction and I tend to get myself all wrapped up around the axel. (I don’t know why I expect non-automotive metaphors.)   I am trying to reduce my anxiety.

I am! I really am! Who says I’m not?!

One of things I do to amuse myself when I get extra stressed because of my job and my elderly cat possibly dying while I’m at work and wondering if our Cheeto- in Chief is going to do away with funding, peace on earth and safety for all humanity is watch various reality suspending TV shows. I’ve been re-watching The Walking Dead from the beginning. Sometimes I root for the Zombies. (I have also noticed, not for the first time, that Lori and Andrea are just the worst, and overall, everyone would have been better off if they had made their exits earlier in the series.)  One of the major things I have noticed is that everyone on the series is wearing sturdy, and I’m assuming, comfortable shoes.  It makes me wonder if on the day they had to flee they put actual thought into what shoes they needed to wear.

Seriously, if you a had to get up and run, literally run, for your life, would you be satisfied with your choice of footwear?  Especially if you didn’t know when you would get to change shoes, and who knows if there will be the Cobbler of the Apocalypse? (World’s worst extreme dessert.)

I have actually picked out the shoes I want to be the last shoes I every own. They are $350 Frye Harness Boots in white. (I have a white boot fetish, and yes, I have done a lot of thinking about this.)

I was at school the other day and reviewed the news headlines, and, like always, I had pre-anxiety tremors thinking about how our current administration is quickly buffooning us towards doom. As I turned to put my phone away, I stepped out of the shoes I apparently bought a size too big.

I find that reassuring.

It can’t be the Apocalypse, I’m wearing the wrong shoes .

Finally! Circumstance is here!

Published April 10, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

After many, many moons the novel (well Novella) is here . Circumstance the novel! is now available on Amazon. If you have Kindle select you can read it free of charge.

This has been a long journey.  It began with a small notebook and large salad at Fuzzy’s. As I ate my salad I observed a couple who was clearly at having an awkward second date or possibly morning after the first date experience.

The girl kept leaving to go to the restroom. She was either in the yakking stage of a hangover or trying to call someone to rescue her. I kept watching them and a story about how she was leaving because she had an eating disorder and the guy didn’t want to break up with her because she was emotionally fragile, but he was kind of seeing someone on the side, spun out.

The side girl, who he thought was a random rocker chick from the club next door, was actually a homeless runaway. The homeless runaway turned into a character, Vanessa Riley.

The story then became hers. She had the life of an entitled teenager from a wealthy family in Baltimore. She was in love with her best friend’s brother, Charlie.  This from this came the story of Charlie’s whole family. Eventually the story turned into a crime novel, with Vanessa’s murder making her the last victim of a serial killer.

After many, many drafts with many tangential side stories, including Vanessa’s mother drowning her sorrows in too many martinis and falling into the welcoming arms of Charlie’s 19 year old best friend, it became clear to me that the real story was between Charlie and the killer, Robert Stephen Nichols.

Nichols has his own series of tangents and back stories.   He was a pure sociopath who freely admitted his guilt when the game was clearly finished.

The novella has been finished and edited for quite some time; I was just waiting to hear the results of a writing contest before I published.

Please check it out and if you love it, review it. In fact if you loathe it, review it!

Are we not entertained?

Published April 10, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

If you see what appears to be a fully function human staggering around drooling and clutching an empty coffee cup murmuring, “Four hour test. . .. So tired.” It’s because it’s STAAR time in Texas.

Yes, folks, it’s that time that is feared more than tornadoes. It’s proof that evil walks among us. It’s the Standardized Test that is supposed to measure students abilities in the areas of Math, Reading and Writing. I say “supposed to” because all it’s just an endurance test for both teachers and students.

Each student is given four hours to take each test. The teachers/proctors must actively monitor each session. (Active monitoring means no sitting, reading excessive movement and responding with scripted answers only. )  Students are allowed restroom breaks but only after signing in and out.

Oh, and if you are a high school student, your graduation depends on it.  Schools can lose funding and/or teachers over this diabolical test.

It’s so bad that  poet can’t answer questions   on her own poem.

Then, there is the grim specter that is Bill 610, but I’m on a different rant right now.

The test (and eighth grade girls) are proof of demonic forces at work.

The test doesn’t address what is actually taught in the classroom and it certainly doesn’t test the way American   students have begun to think of education.  Education has been a right for so long and society overall has devalued education to the point that students have become entitled because they don’t really care.

Education is as taken for granted as clean water, and don’t even get me started on pencils.  It has taken me four days to get back to this article because I have been trying to find time to sit down because of the whole education thing.

I listen to podcasts on my way to work in the morning and I got good and cranked up about inequities and opportunities based on location and familial wealth.  (Look at my big vocabulary! Look! Look! )  and then I came to school.

Most of the teachers in my school have Master’s Degrees. (I’m the only one who has two!) We are all enthusiastic about education and we all genuinely care about the students.  It is rapidly turning into a pearls before swine affair. (And not the hilarious comic)

I started working on this a week ago and haven’t been able to finish due to many circumstances beyond my control.

Many years ago I was the producer for a community theatre. We had one whole season where every single show had an understudy go on for a cast member. Quite often, it was the director.

We would preface these performances with a speech saying, ” Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have to shove some poor schmoe on to the stage with a script for your amusement and pleasure.”

The circumstances are rapidly moving beyond the control. Suffice it to say that too many of my students think they are here to be entertained. As a trained professional, I get paid to perform.

I think I may have shared too much