All posts tagged Family

It is, but I’m not

Published May 18, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have been actively trying NOT to beat myself up about things I can’t control. You wouldn’t think this would be a difficult task for someone is a reasonably sound, mostly functional adult.  (While I am an adult, I’m not going to commit to being a grown-up til the last possible moment. )  However, in addition to my tendency towards parenthetical hyperbole (Newest Hipster Bar) I also have the unerring ability to blame myself for just about everything.   (There is that recurring dream I have where my teeth inexplicably fall out. I have had this dream so many times, I have actually added the solution to this problem to my subconscious. You put the teeth in a glass of milk until you can get to a dentist. Also, the tooth loss dream means you’ve either said or eaten something you shouldn’t have. This should tell you what kind of shape my subconscious is in.)

There has been a lot going on in my world. The school year is ending and with it are coming a lot of changes that I didn’t see coming. I have a lot of stress in my life that is new but and not one bit improved. Into the usual blame spiral, I can now toss in a major family crisis.

Because I come from a large family, there is always something going on. My cousin Cindy said the reason every event in my family is usually accompanied by another event of equal or larger proportion of angst, food and anxiety is because there are so many of us and and there is a finite number of days in a year.  Her husband died and her sister got married within a few weeks of each other. (During that time, I also had a brain thing, so there’s that)

My Amanda Friend and AOG celebrated their wedding today. One of my aunts is in a coma. And my grandmother died today.

All of this has happened within the last two hours.  People are offering me condolences and I have been knee jerk responding “It’s ok.”  I talked to my principal and told him of my plans to come in until I have a specific family task. He told me to not worry about it and be with my family. A few minutes later I picked up my phone to call my friend Steve.

Steve Garrett, my good friend who died five years ago last Thursday.

So it’s ok.

But clearly, I am not.

It’s just a phrase.

Published May 4, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Something I kind of enjoy about myself, is my constant amazement at the Human Comedy. (Not the book or the inspired by movie authored by  William Saroyan. I read that book years ago and was grievously disappointed. Although, to be fair to the book, I was 12 at the time, so maybe I didn’t really give it much of a chance.) The Human Comedy of which I speak is the daily circus that happens out around me.

This amazement, coupled with my love of words and general knowledge, tends to make me a bit giggly in the presence of weird phrasing.  I rarely have time to sit back and just enjoy it. Considering that I spend most of my day with exhausted teachers and children under the age of 15, I have plenty of fodder for hilarity.  (If you knew some of the environment surrounding me, okay, my fifth period, you would see why I don’t find much of my daily struggle funny.)

No, the best place for funny is large family function. (And BOY, do I have a large family.)

Yesterday we celebrated my Grandmother’s 85th birthday. This is my mother’s side of the family, and her mother’s side of the family.

Now, my father’s family is made up of slightly bonkers and mule stubborn people. My mother’s family consists of possibly certifiable and moderately dangerous professional grudge holders.

(So you see, my personality did not have much of a chance.)

A few of the things that transpired yesterday that I find noteworthy:

One of my first cousins has colored her hair in such a startling fashion that I didn’t recognize her.

One of my distant cousins was dressed just like Mrs. Wiggins  from and old Carol Burnett and Tim Conway bit. Apparently no one noticed but me.

My cousin, who used to think he was Wonder Woman, no apparently thinks he’s Johnny Cash.

I almost lost control of a trolley of tortillas. I was able to stop it before it rained Mexican Food on my mother’s car.

There was plenty of cheese on the table. This is fortunate because at a previous party for this family, my aunt and uncle almost came to blows over cheese. Strangely enough, this aunt made a scarring remark to me when I was about 10 years old over a cheese incident.

My favorite moment was during the blessing, given by someone who I don’t think is either a member of my family or the clergy. I’m sure someone knows him, people just don’t wander in to family parties just to bless things, do they?

Anyway, he said we should all be grateful for the blessings that have been done to us.

I found the phrasing interesting, if not inspiring.

Some times that’s all it takes.


Guess what day it is?

Published August 15, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

According to the information I got a the job fair, I shouldn’t panic until August 14, because most schools will be hiring up to and including that day. I gave the system an extra day. Can I panic now?

I am a bit afraid that if I commence to panicking about one thing, the flood gates will open and it will end up with an ugly scene where I kick the trash cans around the street because Waste Management throws them wherever the hell they feel like.

Then I get a reality check hits me, like there is an actual PSA in India to keep people from pooping in the street.

So maybe the trash cans all higgledy piggledy is not that big of a deal.

I was at a family function last night, a birthday party for two of my cousins. They are 8. I have the kind of family where everyone gets invited to everything. One of my cousins brought her boyfriend. It takes a very brave person to meet my family, just in general. This guy met most of us in bathing suits. (It was a pool party.) Earlier when I was quizzing my family members on possible teaching positions they may know of, (There’s a lot of us and it doesn’t hurt to network.) One of cousins remarked, “Oh, I thought you needed to have someone beaten up. Amy will do it.”
Amy is the one who brought her boyfriend and when she got there I told her what our cousin had said. She put her purse down and said, “Sure, who is it?”

My family is awesome.

Where IS Uncle Mike?

Published August 14, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Many, many moons ago, there was band called Muffinhead. They were a North Texas Band, a trio looking for a fourth. The drummer was still in High School, the Bass Player was recently divorced software engineer with two cats, the Lead Guitarist was a suave travel agent. This band gained some popularity and were part of the very lively music scene of 1992. One of their best songs is called, “Uncle Mike”. It was inspired by the Drummer’s actual uncle.

That song is on my itunes and it has been shuffling in and out of my head/computer/ipod for the last two days as I finish and begin projects.

While I am glad to have finished a project that I began six years ago, I have the post-project-frenzy fall-out (World’s worst punk band.)
My brain is all confuzled and I am amazed at the flurry of things that have been left to drift about in my wake.

Elle has a new beta reader who requested a hard copy of her project. The printer is out of ink and the emergency pack didn’t work, so it was the Mom to the rescue (fortunately, the Mom rescues all in need.) The flurry of flash driving and gathering and the getting up and getting out (a song by Bindle that I sure wish I had copy of.) was just exacerbated by the usual crap pile in the house.
The hard copy got sent off. I returned with the usual afternoon tension headache.

On to the next thing: I got a free-lance gig adapting a graphic novel for the stage. That’s pretty cool, but there’s still all of this crap to clean up and wade through.
I have misplaced my active link (It’s a fit-bit kind of thing that clips on and calculates my activity.) I don’t know where or when I lost it; it probably leaped off sometime last night. So the need to clean may just have to turn into an actual urge and desire.
But first: My eight year old cousins have invited me to their birthday party this evening. My extended family always makes me feel better.
Especially if there’s cake.
I don’t think I have an Uncle Mike, but if one shows up, I’ll let you know.

What Family is

Published July 9, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Last week was pretty horrible.(I would say dreadful, but that’s the punchline to a terrible joke I told last week and the word doesn’t quite cover it.) There is the never ending horror of home repair. I think the house is on the verge of imploding and disappearing into another dimension. I hope I have time to grab the cat and some of my stuff before that happens.  (I invested a lot of cash into that cat and I hope to get some more mileage out of her. )

The week wrapped up with a vigil service for my recently deceased uncle. My cousin’s husband said that he didn’t know the meaning of the word “family” until he married my cousin. One glance around the room was all it took to show that he was right. Only a  third of my family was represented and the room was packed. I saw several of my cousins and caught up with a few of them.

Family rallies around you when  things go kerfluey. As they all did last week. One of my cousins is an elementary school teacher and as I was catching her up on the insanity that is my life, up to and including the EH and the Adulteress and the Fantastic Fun-filled Fracas that is my home, she just started laughing.  Her laughter was contagious so I laughed, too. I know she wasn’t laughing to be cruel; she was laughing because it is so unbelievable that it was hilarious. (Just so you know the three rules of funny: things that are unexpected, things that are absurd, and things that disappear.) Every single thing that is happening around me fits the mold. As an elementary school teacher, she knows that laughter can diffuse a freak-out.

Family will do that for you. They make you laugh to calm you down.

Family will also hug you and help you understand that you are part of something bigger than yourself.

Family also reminds you that no matter what you did when you were a small child, they will always stand by you and bring forth a fiery vengeance on all of your enemies large or small.

My uncle was a Korean War Veteran. The Army says they have no record of him serving, so he didn’t get all of the veteran hoopla that he should have. I have a cousin who is an Army captain.

My cousin came in full uniform with an American flag to present to my aunt so that my uncle could have the salute and reward that he deserved.

Family fills in the gaps. It was amazing to me that Na-Na grew up to become an Army Captain and outclassed us all.

(Ok, the joke to which I referred: Have you heard about the shampoo shortage in Jamaica? It’s dreadful)


Published May 9, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

What I don’t understand today is actually a holdover from yesterday.

I don’t sleep well. This is partially due to that time my head blew up, and if you really want a thorough breakdown of that event in a humorous vein

So I don’t sleep well.  I underwent a sleep study over a few nights this week.  If you haven’t done that, it’s not as fun as it sounds, but it sure beats having a brain hemorrhage because of a burst blood vessel.

For the purposes of the study, I was required to go sleep at 9PM and wake up at 5AM.  (Once again, not as much fun as you would think, which is, of course, not at all.)

This sleep blip has thrown me off a  bit for this week, so my What may be a simple misunderstanding on my part.

In last night’s episode of Criminal Minds, Nanny Dearest, the actor who played the concerned father bore a very strong resemblance to the UNSUB.  It really bugged me because I was getting drowsy and I got very confused.   In the opening set up both parents were kind of jerks about the nanny, who was “part of the family” yet, they seemed very eager to verify that while the nannies were almost always found tortured and dead, the children were usually found unharmed.

So I went to sleep thinking “What?”

Over the day it has turned into “For What?”  as in what motivates us towards an objective is it truth? Are we motivated to the truth or by the truth? Does it matter?

Reading the statistics in Girls Like Us  forces the realization that Family, either the lack of , or the need for motivates the situations that creates and perpetuates drug  and sex crimes.

It does make my brain shriek to a halt. All of this what and what not (World’s worst Bogie and Bacall remake)   makes me ask myself what I really want.

What? Now?

Gestalt and pepper

Published May 2, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Yesterday at lunch I had an interesting conversation with a visual art teacher.  He asked what I was working on these days, writing wise. I didn’t want to say, “Not nearly as much as I should, because I’m basically a slacker and just about everything in my world is giving me a headache and/or a panic attack, ” so I mentioned this series of blogs. (I refer to it as the Es Verdad series, or that time I went all blind dog in a meat locker at the library.)

I told him how I was meandering through books trying to put together some thread or concept of truth. He nodded appreciatively and said, “Oh, Gestalt.”

gestalt – a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts

I did not respond, “Bless you.”

I told him that I have no idea where this is all taking me, but that a pattern was beginning to emerge. My Amanda Friend and I were discussing the same thing. I realize that it makes me sound crazy (But why stop now? ) but I do feel some sense of urgency to finish this quest for truth (I should get a sword or a neat costume.) I don’t know what the big hurry is, maybe there will be some huge payoff.

Now, back to the heap of books that is looking at me and judging me because I won’t stick to the mode of progress.

Helen Epstein discovered as she began pulling the threads of her families history that she comes from a long line of women who would read anything they could get their hands on, even though tenets of their religion stated that girls and women should be kept from literature so they would not get a sense of shame.

My thoughts on this:

1) Have things changed so much? What kind of literature instills a sense of shame? If you will recall, I have been on a number of rants about people being fat shamed because they don’t fit whatever the norm is on that particular day.

2) I am fascinated by the author’s discovery of her mother’s background as she sorts out the layers of her family in their place in history.

3) I don’t know why I’m so surprised, I know that writers and artists and people have no choice but to exist in the place they are, however they arrived there.

That gave me a “Whoa,” and a tiny twinge in the spot where the tumor that my Amanda friend seeded will be.