The Stand

All posts tagged The Stand

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 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


Casting a reflection

Published September 10, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The day is half over and I’ve only done two things on my list. (The dishes had to be first; there was an unidentified odor wafting through the kitchen.)  I am easily distracted (Quelle Surprise!) and to stay on schedule, I have to finish a short story today. So, of course, I had to reshelve some books. I decided I would give the books that have special meaning to me should have their own spot.

I have heard (and I think I may have mentioned?) that you can tell a lot about a person by knowing what they read.   Here are the books on my featured shelf and my reflections.

Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn I have to say I read this book before it hit the best sellers. I enjoyed Flynn’s other two books and the premise intrigued me.  I won’t give anything away, but it taught me that surprises are always possible. (In retrospect, I should have remembered that.)

The Glass Castle-Jeanette Walls Flinchingly awesome. It made me angry on the author’s behalf and amazed me that she has been able to move past the nightmare of her selfish parents.

A prayer for Owen Meany-John Irving.  Every word is carefully chosen to lead to the true meaning of the title character’s life. And a damn good story.

The Stand-Stephen King.  I’m sure that I have raved about this many, many times. I know these characters better than I know members of my own family.  I am scared to see if there is any fan fiction for this book, on the grounds that it would cause me to incite riot and mayhem (world’s worst puppet show.)

The Talisman- Stephen King. Appealed to my inner geek who wants to believe that there is meaning to everything on all plains of existence.

Rain of Gold-Victor Villasenor I haven’t re-read this one in a while because it makes me want to become a freedom fighter for my people. Yes, I know how douchey it sounds to refer to my people. I love that the Texas Commission on the Arts funded the research that went into this book. Families are art. Love it.

Click Clack Moo Cows that Type- Betsy Lewin  Seriously fun. I first read this when I was working as a Children’s Librarian. It was the first thing I read aloud after my head blew up. I read it to sick children. Moving experience for all. The Spanish translation made me laugh iced coffee out of my nose Sinceremente las vacas.

It was nice taking a break to remind myself that words are fun and don’t always have to make me ranty. That’s a good thing, too.

The Who that I Am

Published August 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am going to take the SAT again (a vast, ye scurvy gnomes! I know enough not to shout that as I take the test, although that would come really close to creating a more comfortable work environment.) I really, really need the extra bucks that the test prep job will pay me, plus I have the innate urge to respond to any and all thrown gauntlets. (Gauntlets, gnomes, I detect a pattern emerging.)

My biggest problem that I am having with this test thing as I prepare for the re-test is that I am having a difficult time staying focused.

That big blank space was provided for you to fill with hooting, uproarious laughter, or hoot-roarious if you will.

My whole head is parenthetical, which I guess would mean that my ears are parentheses. (The time weasels just suggested that there might be son or daughter-theses; there would have to be, since there are parent-theses.)  Most of the errors I am making are due to my tendency to skim instead of critically read.   I know, big deal, don’t we teach kids to read for context? Yes, but we also want them to notice what is wrong so take a closer look, will you?  That was my head arguing with itself while I was trying to write a sentence. This is why I am having trouble.

This revelation comes to me as I realize that I am not working as hard as I could be.  So I should definitely get on top of things, as the gnome flies.

One of the meander thoughts that I had that may actually lead to something productive is from a documentary, I don’t remember specifically which one it was, but the gist of it was that you can tell a lot about a person by what they read or if they read.

I completely understand, particularly in light of the given example. If a politician reveals that his favorite book is Mein Kampf that would  definitely say lot about his mind and his personal philosophy.   It’s a toss-up whether that would bother more or less than a leader who doesn’t read at all.

It makes me wonder what can be told about my favorite books.

My all time favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King.  I know the characters better than I know some blood relatives.   It is a dystopian book and in its Dystopacracy, (I just made that up.  I like it.) The characters reveal themselves to be either good or evil.  This is more or less what Dystopia does it sort of an accent crisis in that it brings out the best or worst feature of a person.

What I like about The Stand is that not only do you get to see who the crisis made the characters become, you also get to see how the characters got there. The back story makes the characters Boss, as Mr. King would say.

My current crisis, while not global in nature, is starting to become an accent crisis.  It’s going to bring out the Who that I Am.  I’m starting to figure out that I’m not paying someone else’s Karmic Debt.

I often kid that I am the reincarnation of Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan. This would account for a lot of the weird crap that happens to me.  I realize now that the Reprehensible are not invited back.

This is about to get real interesting.