Maybe we’re just terrible people.

Published July 21, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m dragging my feet through the last few days of my summer break, trying to cram in all of the things I meant to do in June, except I  worked most of June and am still trying to catch up on my rest, so I’m way behind on the to do list.

Batbeard got me hooked on Apple TV. (I started to say, “Hooked up” but realized that I watch entirely too much television and it’s JUST SO DAMN EASY to link my Apple devices and, you know the first hit is free and then suddenly you’re watching a marathon of Disappeared and I sure hope I wake up in time to switch over to Dr.Phil on my iPad and now it’s a serious addiction.)

I’m trying to pace myself by having a safe mix of TV, cleaning and gathering school supplies. I’m trying to mix up my TV watching with some fun stuff, new stuff and, of course, crime drama.  With that in mind, I decided to watch something that the Netflix said might enjoy.

I watched Friends from College.   I was trepidatious. I’m not a big fan of  Cobie Smulders. (It’s not her fault. I tend to make snap judgements about beautiful people who make an ass load of money largely in part because they are beautiful people.Seriously. I’m sure she’s charming)  But I am fan of Fred Savage and truly love Billy Eichner. There is not enough Billy and Fred in this show. I was not familiar with the rest of the cast but now that I’ve seen a diminutive Asian female play Stanley Kowalski, I’m not sure I want to see the character played any other way.

I almost divorced the show after the first episode, because (This will not spoil anything) one of the major conflicts in the show is the affair that two of the main characters have been carrying on for twenty years despite being married to other people.  The one friend in the know remarks that the affair has been going on for longer than their marriages.

Maybe it’s just me, but I am not amused by casual infidelity and matter-of-fact lying.   The female half of this liar-team, Sam, played by Annie Parisse made me tense. Mostly because I felt a little sorry for her because she seemed legitimately tense about her lies.   The male half of the team, played by Keegan Michael Key, made me want to punch something. I gave the show another watch while I was cleaning toilets.

This seemed a fitting metaphor for what I understand was a grim one in human history. The fleeting news clips that I caught indicated that the one John McCain, possibly the last sane Republican, has brain cancer, and our President doesn’t know if he’s wants to apologize for his recent trashing of McCain’s military career.  Anytime the President opens his mouth the entire country winces.

A Bazillion years ago when I first started teaching, I defined the word “culture” as “what is left behind to represent a society at a given time.” This was to give my students some perspective on words, word choice and art as a whole.

I wonder what the future will think of us, what with our Friends from College and President of Today.

Could we be terrible people?


Well, there you go, Part I

Published July 17, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

When I was in high school, the Drill Team had a chant they would do with the Cheerleaders. It was called “Gigolo.” (Yes, the perfect thing for spirit girls from a Catholic school to be chanting about.) It went like this, “Gig-o-looo. Hands up high, feet down low, that’s the way we Gigolo.”

I was in the band and even then I didn’t suffer fools gladly. I remember thinking as I shifted uncomfortably in my oh so flattering band uniform,  (White jeans and oversized polyester top designed to look like a pirate tunic. God knows why. We were the Vikings. They actually measured us for the uniforms but could only afford the tops, so they ordered everyone’s two sizes too big so they could be used in perpetuity. )  “Is there any other way to order one’s hands and feet?

If everyone has their hands above their feet, shouldn’t they know where to go? One would think.

Except I’m not dead sure if anyone is really thinking anymore.  I hear a lot of reacting, but not a lot of thinking.

Last week, on Facebook,  I reposted an article by Leonard Pitts, JR. The article originally appeared in the Miami Herald. You can read the article here. It’s a commentary on we, the people, six months into the Trump presidency.

It’s a thought provoking article. Give it a read. I posted the article, but only prefaced it with, “That’s a great question.”  I didn’t say anything else for two reasons: I wanted to see what response the re-post would get. I am a teacher and I know better than to post actual opinion in a public forum.

This re-post blew up with comments, mostly from people I don’t know. All foisting their own agenda on the public.  One comment said that the article used  highly flawed broad generalizations. Another comment said that if “Someone” made statements about Obama, they would be considered racist, or if “Someone” made statements about Hilary, they would be considered sexist.

First of all, who  is “Someone?” Mr. Pitts, Jr. makes it very clear that he is author of the statements within the article, and nowhere does he say anything that has not been documented.   His article is not a court document.

His article assembles words to make the reader think. Some people chose to react, without thinking.  All I said in my repost was, “That’s a great question? ”

Another great question is, “Why do we have to be told which way to go?”   Our hands are above our feet. Shouldn’t we know which way to go?

Well, there you go, part II

Published July 17, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Before anyone goes ber-bonkers looking for part I, I won’t be posting that until tomorrow. But the follow up is fresh in my crowded head so I’m going to put that one up first.  I can explain my process if you want, but I don’t think it’s very interesting.

Today I was meandering through my errands because it’s beastly hot and I didn’t really want to get anything done. As I walked from one place to the next, a woman called out to me and said, “Did you teach at Metro?”

My first teaching gig was teaching a theatre class at an alternative high school. I wasn’t a classroom teacher, but I was part of the curriculum for a psychology/health class. I taught basic acting and playwriting.  My students ranged from an emancipated sixteen year old who was trying to graduate as quickly as possible to go to college to a lesbian couple who was bullied out of their high school. Some students were former gang members and/or returning after dropping out.  Many of my students used the class as a way to process the bizarre events of their lives.

The woman who called out to me was a student of mine about twenty years ago.  We talked for awhile; she has raised four kids, three of her own, one adopted from a family member. She has finished court reporting school and is working and investing in her future.

She told me a little about her kids and the things she tells them about education. As I listened to her, I realized that I had heard some of things before; they were things I recall saying to different classes.

I told her I remember every student I have ever taught.  (I do, I’m just terrible with names.) I do remember her. I remember wondering how she would turn out and if she would survive high school.

She did. She graduated from high school and faced some challenges and is working very hard to instill the value of education in her children.

So there you go.

I don’t know where to start or where to begin, man.

Published July 12, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Strange days indeed.  One the one hand, we have the Donald, Jr. possibly raking for muck with the Russians, and, really, are we Red Scaring again? Really?  Isn’t it time we just hang our heads and decide that half the country laid back and let the other half run amok. As Dr. Phil says, “You can’t change if you don’t acknowledge it.”

I watch entirely too much television. I acknowledge that

A Gimongus chunk of Iceberg, somewhere around the size of Delaware, snapped off of Antarctica and is floating loose in the Weddell Sea. Before you say,”Don’t freak out WriterChick, Delaware is not that big, this is how large that is: 2,200 square-mile, trillion metric-ton.   And I do  realize that in relation to the the rest of the universe that’s just a tiny bit.  It is, but it’s a tiny bit of ice that broke off of a huge piece. And that huge piece has been there for a long time, so when pieces break off and begin to float loose, that is, perhaps a cause for concern.

Imagine you are enjoying a tasty beverage with ice.  During the course of your consumption, the ice shifts and gloms together (Glom is a the term for ice wadding. I learned this in Grad School) Now your drink is coming to the end and you would like to enjoy the delicious droplets off of ice. Now it’s not a huge clump of ice, and you should be able to accomplish this task without too much danger.  You lightly tap the glass en route to your mouth,  an ice piece breaks off and nails you right in the face.

Not a big piece, no, but it did some damage.

Now what?

With so much talk about ice and Russians, I think I need a Vodka Cocktail.

That will give me someplace to start.






I had no idea they were interchangeable.

Published July 11, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I got an email saying that my Glow in the Dark T-Rex was out of stock.  The email was very apologetic, as I guess one would have to be when stating the obvious, after all, the actual T-Rex is permanently out of stock (although to be honest, I would not at all be surprised to see one totally dominating the Starbucks drive-thru.)  I was offered the option of waiting for it’s eventual return, or selecting another creature in exchange.

I think waiting for the return of the T-Rex is too spot on a metaphor for most of my life, so I selected a Blue Kangaroo (How could you not? It just sounds delightful)

Before someone alerts the nut-wagon to come and shake me out of my tree, I am referring to a prize that I won playing Total Trivia. Yes, yes, I did get bored enough to click on a Facebook link (an enterprise akin to picking up a bottle that says, ” Drink Me.” and taking a big glug.) and have subsequently played. To date, I have won a bracelet, a necklace, a laptop sleeve, two tote bags and the aforementioned T-Rex.

Why?  Well, I have jewelry, I have tote bags, but I don’t have a glow in the dark creature. I don’t need anymore of the above, but my new classroom will definitely be enhanced by a blue kangaroo.  It will fit right in with atmosphere of acceptance and  creativity.

As I prepare myself for a complete shift in methodology, (I’m ever so smart!) as I will be teaching a fourth grade in  self-contained environment, I am reading and researching a lot. I know my weakest area is Classroom Management and I am most comfortable teaching three of the four core subjects. I want to be effective in all areas so I do have a lot of prep work to do. (This will also be the first time in 26 years that I haven’t taught Theatre.)

Something I have run across is that the first impression to students and parents is what they will carry through for the rest of the year.  I know I need to appear professional and pulled together, especially since I’m don’t look my age. (I have actually had more than one person look at my resume (Twenty plus years teaching, five endorsements on my certificate, two Master’s Degrees, etc.) and say, “I thought you would be an older teacher.”  I AM an older teacher.  The polite thing is not to mention it. At least no one has said to me what they said to Laurie Notaro, “I thought you would be prettier.”

So what impression will a Blue Kangaroo make?  Maybe I should get him a coat and tie for the first day of school.

Floopy is a totally cromulent word

Published July 9, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have an odd feeling, kind of a disturbance in the force, if you will.  I have twenty bazillion things to do and I am pacing myself.  I have been tidying up and going through my teacher supplies and sharing my lap with one, sometimes both cats.  There is nothing really wrong, per se,  I just feel that there is a gap in my thoughts and in my space (Stop giggling, you perve!)

I feel floopy.  I guess that’s  cross between goofy and floppy.  Even my goof seems a bit off today.   I may have an impacted funny bone.

Or it may be that I caught up on the news via the Daily Show. While some may see that whole prospect as problematic (BatBeard, for one, thinks that I shouldn’t watch the news because it will just crank me up. Other folk may think that I shouldn’t get my news from a comedy channel.  To be honest, hasn’t the whole thing turned into some kind of circus? I can only absorb information if it is delivered with a tongue-in-cheek zingy tone.

This may be  old news but apparently the President does indeed have the power to just go hog wild and bomb countries at will. This is because the president may bomb without congressional approval. This power emerged post 9-11. President Obama tried to introduce some checks and balances put into control that, but it wasn’t approved.

I feel informed, but I also feel a bit more panicked.   But here’s why.  The tail is wagging the dog.  Right now there is a lot of wagging as our current president is making it even easier for the whole world to hate the US.   I’m not even going to complain about Ivanka being his seat filler, at least she can sit calm and still for a few  moments.

I’m not even planning a huge freak out over the sheer absurdity of Putin and Trump meeting about Cybersecurity.  I wonder if cake would help. Probably. I just don’t want to leave the house today.

I’m a bit off. I’m wondering if my words today will be part of my backstory.  I just thought I would have more to say.


If that’s a wagon, I just might have a band to jump on.

Published July 9, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m not just writing about this to be trendy, but #buttholegate, the supertrending story that sprang from the loins of a google plus restaurant view of a Vegan Restaurant in Memphis, TN.  (I know! I, too, was shocked and amazed to find that there are function Vegans in that part of the south.)

I ran across this article on the Facebook. It was a reposting of an article on  wonkette.  

I have to say I put my glass of bubble water down and laughed. (If you are picturing me in lounging pajamas glancing at the headlines on my tablet, my outstretched hand gracefully holding a goblet of chilled Perrier, you are sadly mistaken. I was wearing sweatpants, juggling two cats and swilling Black Cherry Flavored Walmart brand sparkling water.)

I laughed for several reasons

  1. Vegans.
  2. Enough vegans in the world to necessitate restaurants in Memphis. (I know many vegans, they are charming people. I just don’t understand why you would want to live a life without the possibility of grilled cheese sandwiches or chocolate ice cream.)
  3. The type of people who own vegan restaurants
  4. People who bring their kids to work
  5. People who let their toddlers run around in just a diaper

With that tone of whimsy I delved into the article.  The restaurant owners completely lost their diaper contents. (Metaphorically speaking.) They did not handle criticism well. They completely lost their cool all over the intrawebs.  The person leaving the review did post a very nicely worded reaction. Chelsea Bartley’s response is at the bottom.

Now, I am not responsible for keeping a child clothed, and I’m sure I would react differently if Actor Boy were to lose the run of himself and decided to prance (clothed) on a table top. I would want the honor and pleasure of pulling him down before he was publicly ridiculed ( I would actually like to privately ridicule him first.)   But I have worked for (Twice) people who firmly believe that children should be allowed to roam freely and explore the world around them. Yes, that is important, but some structure or at the very least, clothing and proper footwear should be a consideration.

I had lunch with my Amanda Friend and TallBoy today. We went to get hamburgers.  I was pleased to notice that all of the children present were clothed and remained seated the whole time.

Maybe it has something to do with Amino Acids in the meat.

Either that or it could be the active presence of parents.