Archives

All posts for the month March, 2018

The thighs the limit

Published March 31, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

My inner thighs caused the first argument between me and BatBeard. (I know, we are both volatile performer types and it took almost 2 years for us to have a harsh word match.)

I don’t know which of the preceding statements concerns me more. Clearly, my thighs have overwhelmed me to the point of hysteria. I have no idea why it suddenly flabbed a harsh response from me; my thighs have always been a problem. Every time I took them anywhere they would misbehave by causing discomfort in the leg crossing arena and were ridiculous when wedged into tights for some of the many productions I was cast in along with smaller thighed people.

One of my favorite productions, Godspell, was sullied by the presence of my thighs. I had lost a considerable amount of weight the semester before and was not happy when the production designer kept nixing my costume choices. My thighs refused to behave in tights or cotton bike shorts, but were subdued in black leggings.  (I still maintain that my thighs were not nearly as focus pulling as another actor’s super round tummy on display in a black unitard or the rotund buns of still another actor whose wrap skirt let her globes peek out.

So suffice it to say, I have been annoyed with my thighs since 1990.  I rarely think about them, but from time to time they pop up. I know my problem isn’t unique; there are a number of products aimed at the amply thighed. Many of us know the shame and stigma of Chub Rub (yes, this is a thing, and if you live in the South, it’s actually a nightmare.)

I don’t think about it often, but from time to time something just pushes me over the edge. This last week was tense. I have been especially overwhelmed, not just because of my job, but I am facing another long year of long distance romance and at the same time I am facing another spring in my leaky, foundation shifty house.  (I am planning to get out of the house by October, so at least I will be slightly more comfortable in my long distance relationship.)

Anyway, my thighs were a bit chafy from a poor wardrobe choice and I was angry at my years of ignoring the fat and feeling less than attractive.

I let my negative thinking and my fat tell me I am unworthy and because of that I got into an argument about the wifi.

I can’t think which part of that is the most insane.

I’m not even sure why my thighs took over my brain to write this blog.

I’m sure there’s an answer, because after all, the thighs the limit.

 

Perpetual Audition

Published March 28, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I watch entirely too much television. There is an episode of the Simpsons where Lisa unmasks town founder Jebediah Springfeld as a fraud.  Over the course of the episode, auditions are being held for Town Idiot.

An actor presents his resume for Panicky Idiot #4.

I feel like I am constantly in the running for this role.

This is a particularly trying week. It is Holy Week and my class is presenting the Living Stations of the Cross on my favorite day, Maundy Thursday.

The whole concept is a big adventure for me; I have seven boys and two girls. All of my boys came back from Spring Break obsessed with farts and other inappropriateness. Still, I have faced worse. On Monday, Jesus was absent and Mary, the mother of God went home with Pink Eye.  While Jesus is back, Mary is not. So I am now doing the 15 stations of the cross with 8 students.

Not only that, I have morning duty this week, which means I get to stand out on the curb from 8:30-8:50 in the morning. It rained yesterday, and today,  a bunch of ants crawled up my pant leg and now I am covered with itchy pink welts.  I don’t get a free period for another hour, so I can’t get any benadryl, which, of course, will zombify me. Right now, Zombie is better than Panicky Idiot.

Both of these things are keeping me from focusing on a large section of my big picture. I am incredibly lonely, and I may have made a mistake that will perpetuate the lonely.  I know I can do a lot of stuff by myself.  That doesn’t mean I necessarily want to.

I probably can function without coffee.

No one wants to see me try.

I don’t mean to have a woe is me tone,mostly a Job is me.

 

 

 

I call it interesting.

Published March 23, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am reluctantly resuming my “normal”life after Spring Break. I read a lot and got to spend time with BatBeard. (It’s never enough time, but I’m not going to jump down that rabbit hole; my day is weird enough without the bunnies of regret, remorse and resentment dragging me away.)

I have been trying to moosh my brain cells together to do something productive, but I can’t seem to do anything but feed cats, herd children and give myself stress induced angina over the Stations of the Cross.

As much fun as that sounds, it has left me feeling a bit out of touch with the rest of the world, so I opened up CNN to do a spot check on the news.  I always wince a bit when I look at the news feeds because I would not at all be surprised if I saw a picture of a cyborg taking a selfie with a security camera at the Pentagon as the evil robot lizards take over.   I was not surprised, but deeply saddened when I saw the following:

  1. There was another school shooting. Three students were involved and the latest news is that the shooter is dead. It is unknown at this time if he was shot by the Student Resource Officer on campus.
  2. There is a rash of package bombings in and around Austin, Texas
  3. The last male white rhino has died; this will probably be the end of this species.
  4. A Polish priest has allegedly wished for the death of the Pope because of the Pope’s views on refugees and other religions.

I know there is nothing I can do about any of this global information, but I can’t bury my head in the sand; mainly because the cats who let me live in their house would consider new sand a personal convenience.

What I find interesting is the tone the news as a whole is taking. The tone is that someone is to blame for everything.

It has been a few days since I sat down to write this, and in that time, the student who was in critical condition in the Maryland shooting has died and the suspect in the Austin Bombings has also died.

It has also been revealed that the Maryland shooter was indeed shot by the School Resource Officer, and, as I suspected, this incident is being lauded as just and righteous shooting, because it prevented the shooter from running amok.

No one seems to be saying that the loss of any life is tragic.

Isn’t that interesting?

 

I’m not sure I needed to know that.

Published March 12, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

According to what’s trending.com, there is a litany of things I need to know about Suge Knight.

It took me a moment to actually remember who Suge Knight is, but then I remember I heard of him on a WatchMojo list of famous people who are in prison.  Or course, that thought led to another wondering if perhaps it’s the un-famous people in prison we need to know.

Before I jump down the rabbit hole on that, there are a few more things on the trending site of note (the things are of note, not necessarily the site.  My head is thrumming off beat to my thoughts so I’m having a bit of a challenging putting together the correct grammarage. There may be some fusion jazz thing happening in my head.)

Illinois junior Senator Mark Kirk got called out for being a racist .  To be fair why should he watch what he says when the President does not.  This led me to CNN, which, quite frankly, disappointed me. (This a plus, since it usually enrages me.)  My other source of new-like information, Cracked.com. It’s amusing and amasses items in chronological order by date of publication. Since it’s content is largely written by free-lancers, I lend a lot of credence to the writing; free-lancers have to maintain a level of integrity so they can continue to work.

There is some interesting information on the site, including the one about Benjamin Franklin and the kite experiment.  Apparently Franklin freely admitted that he made the whole story up, which, at least makes him more honest than the current newsmakers. Thus goeth the propaganda machine.

Meanwhile, as reported by CBS news, a sixth grade student in Alabama has written a will “just in case something happens”.

Just in case? Why does an 12 year old have to make a will? (I bet you all were wondering when I was going to hop on the soapbox.)  I know the answers, but those are all followed up by more questions, like why is it please, that our  Secretary of Education can’t explain her own policies and why our President won’t (fill in the blank with your choice of words)

What do I think would help?

I think Betsy De Vos should have to live for a year on a teacher’s salary. According to TEA, having a Bachelor’s Degree and no teaching experience, her minimum salary would be at least $28, 080. Now if she taught in a private school, her minimum salary would be $31,000.  Her children are grown, but for the sake of argument, let’s say she has two children to support on that salary.

A first year teacher usually has to meet with a mentor teacher at least once a week. This is one top of a full school day where she has taught at least five classes of 15-20 students. This includes grading papers and planning lessons for these 145 students. The school day requires a teacher to be on campus for at least 8, but usually 9 hours a day. All teachers, new or otherwise are required to accrue a minimum number of professional development hours to maintain their license.   Now, since Betsy doesn’t have a teaching certificate she would have to go through an internship program where she would have to clock some time online with a coach for her initial certificate.

If even one of those 145 students misbehaves, she will have to document the incident in the computer, follow up with the principal or counselor and/or talk to a the student’s parent.  To tally- 9 hours on campus +1 hour per day for meetings, etc +1 hour for planning and grading (this is a very kind estimate.)   That is an 11 hour day for at least 200 days a year. 11x 200= that’s 22,000 hours. That’s about 14 dollars an hour, not bad you say?

Well child care runs, on average any where from 11-14 dollars an hour, if you want a qualified person watching your child during your 11 hour day.

So now you have about 3 dollars an hour x 22,000 an hour for lodging. That gives you 66,000 per year for housing and everything else. That works out to about $ 5,000 a month. My mortgage just went up to 1,200 a month.  I do not live in a particularly palatial abode. My bills run about 800. But I don’t have 2 kids. I’m sure Betsy would want to eat and wear clothes and maybe go somewhere besides school and the babysitter. Plus I bet Betsy’s school has a dress code, and professional clothes are expensive, plus I’m pretty sure all three of them want to eat once in a while.

I’m fairly certain I made a math error in there somewhere, but you get my point. Teachers are underpaid. And the person in charge of education has no idea what we are really dealing with. I am on Spring Break and I am spending at least half a day looking for a side gig so I can afford to take less help from my parents, who are great and are, indeed helping me out.   I will also spend at least one and half days getting things ready for the next week of school.  So I lose two days of my seven day break doing a job I am already doing 50 hours a week.

That’s why I don’t need to know Suge Knight

Strange Days Indeed

Published March 11, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

“Just how does one become a professional blockhead?”-Fox Mulder

I find it strangely synchronotic (I think I just made that word up.) that as I am writing this particular bit I should hear that snippet of dialogue. You see, and how could you not, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you. There are strange doing afoot. I am officially on Spring Break and my head is fraught with worry.

I am worried about finances. Quite simply, I am not making enough money to cover expenses, and this time it is not entirely the fault of the vicious whomping my savings took last year when I worked for a school that had a shaky understanding of how the business world works.

I, and my fellow teachers, are quite frankly grotesquely underpaid and there is not a thing we can do about it.  Exacerbating this situation is the fact that my mortgage has gone up to the equivalent of exactly one half of my paycheck.  (Why yes, this is the same house that had sparks shooting out of the floor this time last year and had similar sparks shooting out of the ceiling two years ago.  For some insane reason, the property has been appraised at about $20,000 more than it was last year.)

Clearly it is time to get out of the house.  Like my fellow teachers there is not much I can do for the immediate fix, with the exception of getting a second job or selling plasma.  I already work approximately 10 hours a day, and if I sell plasma The Mom will reach into my chest and pull out my still beating heart. Plus the plasma alone won’t cover the already stretched bare spots in the budget.

I know the problem: teachers are simply not paid enough.  It is the second most senseless thing in Education, the first being that we, as a country, can not find away to keep our children safe in our schools and BTW, have you noticed that in wake of the far too many school tragedies you haven’t heard a single story of a TEACHER fleeing the scene. No, teachers understand that their first responsibility is to their students, which is why we put up with the low pay and terrible hours.

In a mostly related note, I just finished reading the book,A matter of days by Amber Kizer. I generally stay away from the “This is how the world ends” genre, mainly because I think Stephen King did it best with The Stand.

This book was a great read, kind of a The Stand, light.  It pushed forward the idea that when it does end it will be as sly and fast as an OkCupid date. You won’t see the horror coming until you are trying to get away from it. (If you reuse this phrase, please direct people to my books on Kindle which are still free through the 13th! )

Now why, you may ask, did I leap to this book review and shameless plug?

Because I have genuine anxiety about the daily circus that is our current administration.  If any of my students ran off at the mouth like that (Just go to CNN.com and check out the latest) they would miss recess for the next few weeks, possibly the rest of the school year.

And now the President plans to meet with Kim Jong-un.  I think the problem of underpaid teachers might just go away, along with the rest of us.

Because I see the horror coming.

And I’m just an amateur blockhead

 

St. Joseph lost his head and it was all downhill from there.

Published March 9, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have very strange days. I am constantly reminding little boys that it is in no way appropriate to sumo wrestle in front of the prayer altar and trying quash squeals of delight from three students of which only two are girls.  In my last blog, I was a bit spent from unpacking fifteen years of emotional baggage into one confessional onto a very surprised but remarkably hip priest.

My students rallied, perhaps sensing my level of tension and spent on entire morning working! Silently! Productively! Three days before Spring Break! I took a picture to prove it happened.

Unbeknownst to me, a statue of St. Joseph fell off of a shelf causing the patron saint of foster parents to lose his head.  (He’s fine now, someone was dispatched to the hardware store for some Gorilla Glue so St. Joe is back together again). This is when the day took a turn for the worse. Some of my students had presentations that day and for the most part they were very good. One of my students went to the library (!) and asked a librarian for help (!). I have two students who have yet to turn theirs in. Tomorrow is the last day. I suspect I will be seeing some amazing feats of diorama and poster making.

Today was a blur because I only got five hours of sleep last night. BatCat  thudded out of the window and knocked the power cord going to the TV askew (I have to sleep with the TV on, otherwise I have dreams about Evil Robert Lizards and Aliens who want Egg Recipes.) causing a series of strobe like flashes to come out of the TV. I did not want to have a seizure at 3 in the morning so I had to get out of bed and fix it. I did not get back to sleep.

It’s not all bad, I will probably sleep great tonight and probably real soon, but first:

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: Tomorrow through March 13, all of my Ebooks will be FREE on Kindle!

Read them!

Rate Them!

Review Them! (Even if you hate them!)

St. Joseph will love you for it.

FREE EBOOKS

 

What seems a dim image ( or something like that.)

Published March 5, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been assigned the task of reading I Corinthians 13:1-13. I am to read it critically and reflect.

There are many reasons why this hit me like a gut punch, not the least of which is that I wonder if the

Corinthians ever sent anything back to St. Paul ( the person, not the city.) requesting that he let up on the correspondence until they had a chance to process and write back.

This passage is about how good works are meaningless if one’s heart is unclean. I’m going to let that simmer while I examine my patience while my students jump around and seem utterly baffled that I won’t let them draw tanks and pictures of Logan Paul in their prayer journals. ( I know, they are only ten, but at what point an they hold themselves responsible?)

I’m trying to be hopeful. I’ll let you know how that goes.