Tom Petty was probably right(and Tom Waits will never have my number!)

Published July 23, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been trying to right a bit everyday.(Seinfeldianic Guilt.) I’m trying to do something to keep my writing chops fresh.

That is a vivid mental picture I would like to paint for you.Those of you who were born around the time of the original broadcast of the moon landing (If you really want to piss off a bunch of engineers, tell them that the moon landing was faked.) you will remember the many, many terrible commercials for many sketchy products (We remember you diet pills!) Two products come to mind: Fruit Fresh and Accent.

Fruit Fresh was a fine powder (I have no idea what it was, but isn’t it hilarious to think of a bunch grapes freebasing crack and then having a jam session?) that you sprinkled on cut fruit to keep it fresh.

Accent was another powdery product.This dusty magic was to enhance chicken, beef or chops of the pork or veal variety. It came in its own shaker as did Fruit Fresh.

It’s a bit fishy, with or without the Fresh. Why was everything powdery in the 70’s?

So that’s where I am on the chops. I do write serious things sometimes, but day’s like today when I can only stagger through three articles, leaving me to write six tomorrow, because my brain is so scattered that spell check can’t help me. (I’m serious, today I’ve made so many stupid typos that autocorrect did everything but toss up a word balloon that said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”)

What’s wrong with my scattered head you may ask? (And if you didn’t ask that question, you were probably were asking, “What else is new?” ) I may or may not have a new job, but I have to wait for the final word to jump up and down with delight and/or glee. I have no idea what to plan. Despair? Lessons? Descent into madness? Classroom arrangements? It’s amazing how oddly similar all the choices are.

Today’s three things to keep my chops fresh: Made up a terrible popsicle joke, wrote three articles with minimal anecdotal padding, read source articles for a future projects. And as a bonus, made an obscure Tom Petty reference with an even vaguer Tom reference.

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.

It IS precious, Jerry

Published July 20, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

So much is happening, my little dog brain can’t keep up. My fiftieth birthday came and went, and I didn’t write about it.  ActorBoy and BatBeard were both here and I didn’t write about it.  I’ve been on six job interviews and I still haven’t written about it.  I’ve watched almost three full seasons of The Wire, may yet write about it, but haven’t done it.

That is not to say that I have been squatting in a ditch poking berries up my nose. (That would be crazy because of it’s beastly hot outside, not to mention the price of berries.) I have been writing, it’s just the ghostwriting/editing thing that gives me an extra $104 a month.  It’s not thrilling work. Sometimes it’s challenging because I can do it rather quickly if I can stay focused. Some of the articles resonate with what is happening in my life, like the article on long distance relationships. Most of the articles are of the metaphysical variety.

One was about how Jerry Seinfeld harassed his genius and became an expert comedian. I’m pretty sure I went on a rant about that. I couldn’t have been more surprised than if Bradley Cooper had been lurking in my laundry room. (Actually that wouldn’t really surprise me. )  Apparently the whole show business thing isn’t just the crapshoot the rest of the world thinks it is. Now I am in no way saying that success in anything doesn’t require hard work, but I personally know many talented, hard working performers who haven’t made Seinfeld level fame and that’s because, on a certain level, IT’S ALL A CRAP SHOOT.

I mean every skinny girl could be a model if all it took was hard work. It makes me think about an article I read about Megan Fox. The author implied that no one takes Ms. Fox seriously because she has perfect features. Because that’s why no one takes her seriously.

Anyway, the article I edited said that Mr. Seinfeld, (I will call him Jerry after I achieve his level of wealth, although I would never marry someone who is still technically still newly-wedded to someone else. And I would always wonder if someone who married me mere months after their previous wedding had a best-selling cook-book that was created to trick children into eating vegetables only married me to enjoy the fame of my name.  But that’s just me.

I think it takes a great deal of Hubris to use good money to disguise nutrition for American children who have far too many choices and thus won’t just eat a damn vegetable unless it’s cloaked and/or daggered in the guise of brownies or a smoothie or some other subterfuge.

Any way the article said to print out a year long calendar, not a big one, just one that you can get the whole year  on, then you work on your craft every day. (Actually, the article said to try and do three things every day, but it seriously took me  long time to find a suitable calendar and then it took me a minute to distract the cat, because she is entertained by the way the printer makes noise and she always tries to catch the paper, but when you think about it, finding the calendar is one, distracting the cat  is two and writing this is three. So when you do three things, you can mark out the day on the calendar and after a year, I guess you’re a genius?

So there it is.

Bradley Cooper better not be in the laundry room.

Perhaps my need isn’t driving today.

Published June 20, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

At my age, practically fifty, if nine days equals practically, many a cliche has been lobbed my way.  As an editor and sometimes content re-writer of things, I am familiar with the slings and errors of other peoples words. (See what I did there?)  Right now I trying to focus my spinning brain. There is a lot going on and I am trying not to be precious with my words.  I have five more days of summer school to teach and the I will be unemployed. I’m not dead sure what I’m going to do, so I am trying to distract myself.

One of the things I do to distract myself, especially if I am supposed to be doing something else, like writing and editing articles, so I can keep what paltry ducats I do have coming in, or perhaps organizing my living room and for God’s-sake-getting- all-of-the-stuff-out-of-my car-because- Actor Boy and BatBeard are both coming in next week is watch documentaries. Ok, so I mostly scroll through the titles and descriptions of documentaries and decide that watching real life is just going to make me rage, and everyone keeps telling me to calm down and maybe I should consider decaf and would I just try meditating, and everyone knows how I feel about that, what with the whole, Id, Ego and SuperEgo chatting at me and how my neurologist never answered my question about my sanity, so I just stick to reading the description and then take a gander at the movies new, old and those which people keep telling me I NEED to see. (For the record, all I really need to do is drink water, feed the cats and stay mostly sentient for the next several days. )

So on that topic, BatBeard highly recommended that I watch A Star is Born. He also said, “I know you don’t like Bradley Cooper.” I don’ t NOT like Bradley Cooper. I’m just very confused at how he is always lurking somewhere in my To Watch List.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing a Star is Born. In my personal opinion, I think there is too much protesting from Camp Gaga and Camp Cooper for the chemistry thing to be just rumor. And what makes me flurb about that is that even the thinnest sheen of lying and infidelity, but especially the lying and I didn’t suddenly go blind and what makes some of us good directors is that we can see chemistry and you aren’t fooling us with that costume and it’s not just us who notice and the “oh we’re just friends”.

Anyway, on the documentary list, there is one that the documentarian said “they were driven by a need”. I’m not dead sure where my need is driving to, but probably Target because I’m low on cat food.

I should get right on that.

Before I get distracted

Not Bradley Cooper Again!

Published June 7, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The school year has ended and while the madness never truly ends, it has at least, slowed down. I have today off and I’m supposed to be cleaning and writing and otherwise being productive, but, instead I am discovering new (to me) movies and shows, because, as you know that teaching thing has really been getting in the way of my leisure activities.

I have been watching hidden gems on both the Hulu and the Amazon Prime.

Yesterday I watched “Swearing Allegiance” this gem is a renamed, but not at all polished Made for TV movie about the Texas Cadet Murders. No cadets were murdered. On the contrary, David Graham a cadet at the Air Force Academy and Diane Zamora, a cadet and the Naval Academy, murdered Adrianne Jones. But no one every mentions that part. The movie, while in and of itself hamfisted and does no justice to Dee Wallace Stone’s talents and does in fact make Holly Marie Combs look horse nostrilled and shrill, is mostly inaccurate. It also leaves out the part where the Jones family insisted on dropping the death penalty so that the Grahams and Zamoras wouldn’t have to grieve the death of a child. The movie insinuates that Adrianne had sex with David thus prompting the rage of Diane who insisted Lady Macbeth-like, that the only way to win this situation was murder.  They also left out the facts as stated by Graham post trial that he “made up” the brief affair with Jones.

So a child was murdered by two other children over a complete lie.

The other movie I watched was quickly cobbled together simulated reality movie about bullies.  This is what happens when I misplace the remote.

So today, I sat down to work on some articles. I am keeping up with my free lance gig because if someone doesn’t force me to write, I apparently just won’t do it. I absolutely can not work without background noise and I can usually work quite efficiently with the TV on. Today, my heart and mind just weren’t committed to churning  out articles on psychic healing, so I cruised around on the  Amazon Prime app and wandered in to a movie called Case 39. I had never heard of it before and it stars Renee Zellweger who didn’t look too bony in the trailer, so I gave it a look. It is about a social worker who, like many of us who work with children, gets too invested in the life of a client and winds up being terrorized by a child who is not at all what she seems. (I don’t want to spoil it for you.) Imagine my shock and amazement when Bradley Cooper popped in. I think he  plays a psychiatrist. It does not end well for him.

I don’t mean to verbally trounce Cooper, especially since the Buzz feed tells me that he and his lady love, Irina Shayk have split. Judging from the amount of hotness Shayk shows in most pictures, she will be just fine. (Seriously, the pic of her the gold dress, if my boobs looked that good I would just whip them out at the deli counter. well, I still want to teach on this planet, so probably not.)

Anyway, it just seems like once I settle in to a good, suspense filled movie, Bradley Cooper rears his adorably shaggy head and then goofs up the place. I say this from a place of respect and curiosity.

BatBeard and Actor Boy are also goofy and shaggy and I sure would like to see them pop up on the Amazon Prime or the Hulu or the Netflix.

Maybe if I got a gold dress

What? I know.

Published June 2, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I understand Kit Harrington.  No, I’m not a hot young actor with limitless possibilities, but I am someone whose job has ended and is finding themselves at a loss to the point of despair.

A few weeks ago, I was informed that there was not a place for me at the school I was hoping to make my home until retirement.  To be honest, I feel as if I have failed at my mission.

I know I’m a good teacher. I know that I tried my best. And right know, in this moment, I know that I have failed.  I have a sense of grief and loss.

So, now I am rapidly applying for new jobs and trying to find a new place and new students.

I am concerned about money.  I have no idea when my last paycheck will be coming. I am teaching summer school, but that is certainly not going to see  me through the whole summer. I’m hoping I can land somewhere and have a new contract before August so it will be only the summer I have to get through.

I will be fifty in just a few weeks and while I am delighted that Actor Boy and BatBeard will both be here to celebrate. I am currently having that mid-life crisis thinking, that, to be honest, I should have had 15 years ago, but I have been under the delusion that I am still in my late twenties, even though the rings around my eyes clearly tell a different story.

I am afraid that I am running out of the energy to start over again.

This past school year, I would comment to the baby teacher that I did a daily” Is the republic crumbling?” check.

Short answer yes, and.. . .

Long answer no, but . . . .

I am fortunate that I have people in my life with whom I can have intelligent conversations. Today’s topic: what the current changes in the world really mean.

I have quoted the TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”. In the first episode Offred says, “It didn’t happen overnight.”

So now that current political climate is wagging the dog over women’s rights.

I think that the abortion bans slowly creeping across the country are a way to distract from the fact that it’s not about abortions. It’s about the reductions of women’s rights and it’s not going to be recognized until it’s far too late.

It’s almost as terrifying as having to trudge back to square one. Because it is the same. It’s depressing and it is like having your whole life pushed back to default because it’s like watching winter come and arrive and leave you empty handed and alone.

And it didn’t happen overnight.

Having some fun now

Published April 28, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I really would like to have a day without weirdness. I just don’t think I’m wired that way. (Interesting how wired is an anagram of weird.) Today was the farewell performance of the one act that I have been working on with my hearty band of sixth graders. Due to the generosity of a friend from college, who is currently teaching at my Alma Mater, we were able to perform on a real stage with real lights and also some real loud noise coming from the construction crew working on the front of the building. (Hey, the course of, well, anything never did/does run smooth(ly).

I am having a rough night. I have them from time to time, usually when I am stressed and have been overstimulated through a day long workshop combined with a lack of quality nutrition,unless you could a protein drink, a skinny latte, two diet cokes a slice of cheese pizza and a bowl of popcorn quality nutrition. So that may be why I’m having such a weird night. I’m having body aches and I’m too tired and pent up to sleep. I’m having feelings and thoughts.

I feel guilty because I am spending my day tomorrow writing articles and prepping for a class (same topic, new kids.) that will take four days to cover. Next week will be a whirlwind of angst and nerves, not just because I have to teach an entire chapter of Math next month so that their teacher for the next year won’t be gunny sacked by having too much catch up work. Why the guilt? Because I was with my theatre kids all day today, I didn’t have a chance to do any of my freelance for work or even my lesson plans, I can’t help my mother out tomorrow by sitting with my grandmother.

I feel guilty because I am so desperately in love with a man I can’t see (He’s not on another plane of existence, just in Myrtle Beach. I miss him terribly ever single day. It’s getting to be the time of year whereI remember the day I lost my best good friend Steve, He Died on May 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm. So I’m feeling deep sadness.

I am also feeling stress because I have to be teaching a Math component or a reading and writing component every single minute my kids are in the classroom.

I am also feeling pain because now that I am nigh on to 50 (two months nigh) There is a slow ache in most of my bones. It’s tension inducing. The only person who I can have this conversation with is long ago asleep and her life is packed with enough tension without me providing the glittery sprinkles and nonpareils to fancy it up.

I should probably get to sleep and see what happens . I once had a dream that I gave Abe Vigoda a bag of frozen chicken.