life and heat

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Exercise for schlubs

Published July 21, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’be been on this self-care roller coaster for the summer. I know, I should probably be caring about myself all of the time , but it’s been a rough year. There are some days that feeding myself and staying hydrated is all of the care I can handle. I am still valiantly hanging on to the weight loss regimen that at the very least is keeping me from getting fatter, but I know I need to work on the fat that is between my ears. (Maybe I should get a Q-tip?).

I do a lot of negative self-talk, which I’m certain came from that window of time in that late 80’s when I wanted to be an actress. That dream came to a screeching halt when I decided I wanted to eat regular meals and enjoy my life at the same time.

If you have ever compared yourself to someone else as far as looks go, you’ve heard the self-talk, or if you are in the professional acting world, you’ve had the negative self-talk introduced to you.

So on my journey of self-care, I decided that the best way to ignore my self-talk by exhausting it various exercise classes. To that end, I got myself a free ClassPass. This is a virtual punch card with a set number of credits. These credits are exchanged for various classes.

The first class I took was a sunset yoga class in a place that was really hard to get to and the parking was non-existent. I parked in a spot that said “Princess Parking Only.” I figured they couldn’t prove I’m not a princess, and at the end of the day, in the blazing heat, I just dared them to try. The folk inside were very nice and friendly as most yoga folk are. I have my own mat. When I unrolled it, I realized that it had been so long so I had actually used the mat, that there was a small line of spider eggs gracefully festooning the edge. I quickly scooped them up and gave them a quick burial at sea. Reliqua pax araneae. The class itself was pretty uneventful but it was not the gently stretchy, wind down the day kind of yoga. It was more of a take your leg and pull it over your head so you are nice and limber for the pub crawl you might be taking later.  (That may have just been the guy next to me.)

The next class I took was barre class. Now, my Amanda Friend regularly goes to barre class and loves it, so I thought I would be ok. I took the lunchtime express class, because I figured that it would be over quickly. The staff was very kind and welcoming. They even offered me a pair of loaner socks. I didn’t think my regular socks were up to lessons. They get embarrassed in the laundry room.

I put on my borrowed socks and the minute I got into the first exercise, one of the socks sproinged right off of my foot and onto the empty mat next to me. Still and all everything went ok. I did cut my eye on my contact lens but there was at least one other person who was as flustered by the routine as I was.  I did not put my eye out with the resistance band.

To be continued.

I promise I will still schlub you tomorrow.

So this . . . .

Published July 2, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It is the beginning of the first full week of July and it is also the second week of my summer break.  I spent most of last week with BatBeard. It wasn’t enough time.  But as I said in regards to teaching, is there every enough? Have you ever spent weeks with a loved one and thought, “Well, that’s about enough time.”


I am very lucky to love and be loved by good, kind people. I don’t think I get enough of them.  But I’m also pretty sure I don’t get enough of me.

What, pray tell, do I mean by that?  Well, at the risk of sounding like a complete and total intellectual, elitist snob (although if you live in a house with a leaky roof and only have transportation because you have a very loving and giving mother can you really be called elitist?), William Wordsworth said it well, “The World is too much with us.” Poem is here.

A lot is being said about mindfulness and how we, as a society, should be practicing it. When did we get so damn busy and distracted that we have to practice paying attention? I certainly am guilty of losing track of the point (It’s a huge shock, I know. If I needed any more proof, not even an hour ago I was watching a movie while trying to walk across the room and stepped in the handle of a suitcase and fell, face first, into the bookcase.  Fortunately, I have a lot of practice with klutzing around, so I didn’t hurt myself, the books or the suitcase.  The cats were most entertained.

I have a month until my next teaching contract starts, so I have this time to take care of myself.  I plan to relax, organize, work out, read, relax, watch tv, relax, plan lessons, and relax (you may have noticed a theme; a recurring pattern is called a motif.)

As I focus on my health, mental and physical, I am reminded to free myself of distractions. What am I supposed to do if my mind, itself, is the distraction?

There is a lot going on in my head both physiologically and metaphorically (Are thoughts considered metaphors, they CAN weigh heavy but they are figurative. Maybe I should send my brain to a weight loss seminar.)  Even before my head blew up, my brain had a mind of its own, but it has gotten worse since my brain has healed. (There are those who say that I have just put  dab of Krazy glue on the unravelling knot of insanity)

Years ago I asked my Neurologist what I could do about my brain taking three separate sides in an argument. All he said was, “It sounds like you’re in tune with your Id, Ego and Super Ego.” That was not at all helpful.

Its nice to know, but how do I relax when my inner child is constantly in search of something new to distract her?



Meanwhile, back on the ranch . . . .

Published May 18, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So in addition to the muddle, muck and mire that makes up the end of the school year, I’m trying to see if I can write/create a new genre of fiction.

I have always been peripherally attracted to Southern Gothic {not in the Romantic Vein, (world’s worst adult toy shop.) Isn’t my use of internal bracketing amazing (speaking of bad adult toys)? }

I enjoy Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor; I realize that these two are more Southern Grim than Southern Gothic.  Still, both types make me think of Humidity and Bourbon (I think that’s a new drink at a Hipster bar)

At any rate, one of they key features of Southern Gothic is an element of the supernatural whilst the protagonist, antagonist and others languish in the heat and stupidity of the South.

My second novel (in process when I’m not shepherding sixth graders, apparently for the love of the game and not any fiduciary recompense. Don’t I have a great vocabulary?I’m ever so smart; still a chump, but smart.) The novel is told in bits and pieces from different, fictional secondary prose, such as police reports, recordings etc, is about the aftermath of four adult children of abusive parents wreaking their final revenge.

I’m considering turning it into Gothic via a Deus ex Machina in the guise of a Latina psychic. It’s just a thought. It’s probably transference of my hope for divine intervention to get out of my current set of trials and tribulations. (I wish I could sing the song from  Jesus Christ Superstar, but that musical gives Batman a pyschotic episode, which leads me to another tangent: Why I’m frustrated by the TV show, This is Us,

First and foremost is that fact that I have a blind spot of rage for actor Milo Ventimiglia. It’s because of his character in Gilmore Girls. He was the selfish, slightly oily, Jess, who Rory should never have picked over Dean.

I digress. (What shock!) While This is Us is a good series, it makes me flurb a bit because the whole show is all peaks; it’s all about Grand Gestures, there are precious few valleys and it’s hard to keep a pace like that. Or maybe it’s because I don’t think I will ever get a grand gesture for myself.

I’m not sure what kind of gesture that would be, exactly, but I do know that I may be at that age where most of the people I am close to are just exhausted by life and the grand gestures they performed have kind of fizzled away.

Unless, of course, BatCat, Frances in all of her relentless affection may wander in here to my classroom and throw herself at me; all of her ginger catly glory forcing me to the ground.

Of course how could a cat get 20 miles south, without a car or drivers license, not to mention open three sets of doors. Those are just details.

But wouldn’t it be grand?

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.