XO Jane

All posts tagged XO Jane

treatment bound (aries)

Published December 2, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

There is a truly great Replacements song called Treatment Bound.  The first line is “we’re getting nowhere, as fast as we can. . . .”

That lyric danced through my head as I glanced over an article on XOJane “7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Had Slept with My College Professor. ” I read the article; it was interesting, but it was the title that drew me in.

I am in no way defending the professor for abusing their power, but I do want to know why we as educators and human beings not empowering our children to have faith in their instincts and absolutely say No if they are faced with a situation that sends up red flags. The blame falls on all of us in society.

It also makes me angry that these predators and jerkozoids are getting teaching jobs when I am still subbing and side-gigging. (I am actually doing well on that front.) Shouldn’t we be more grateful for the opportunity to encourage and nurture students in a field that we enjoy?

There is another article on XOjane called” Teachers Shouldn’t Have to Be Politically Neutral”. I have not read this article, mostly because I’m afraid my comments would come back to haunt me when I seek full-time employment.  (So I guess that tells you a little about me.)

Teachers walk a fine line everyday. We are scrutinized by our administrators and parents.  I, for one, welcome that, because the alternative is much worse.  There have been stories of teachers abusing their power by mistreating their students. There is also the other end of that spectrum. Teachers are also being assaulted by their students.

I have to say I have had a few moments in my teaching career that was I terrified. (Mostly because I was afraid that I would say something that couldn’t be unsaid. Something that would definitely ruin my career and integrity.)

Teachers are constantly performing a balancing act between what is right and fair and what they actually can do.  Their 60 +hour work week is under appreciated. Their job will soon become even more difficult when the new standards and new textbooks arrive. ( I have no inside scoop on new state standards; my state has a history of changing standards based on test scores. I can not graciously comment on the text book issue.)

Teachers do so much and some d-bag has to go mess it up by crossing boundaries. And yet, teachers are not allowed to publicly give an honest opinion about something, like how Donald Trump is a harbinger of Doom and that a new hellmouth will probably rip right open should he be elected President. (Don’t say it can’t happen. All it will take is enough people not giving enough of a crap to actually do something to stop him.)  I can venture a pretty good guess where said hell mouth will be. (I amazed that my kid is in more danger now than he was when he was in NYC. Amazed, but not surprised.)

I know I sound like a crazy person (Yeah, sound like.) But after so many years in education, are you surprised?

Interesting (But probably not popular)

Published September 28, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

If you haven’t noticed, I clearly like the parenthetical.

I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing every day and I’m having trouble finding interesting and intriguing topics.  I know I could just crank out some sort of springboard realted treacle, God knows that I have enough story starters and improv resounrces to make that happen. I just don’t want to be the kind of writer who is “well, she’s a good writer but who gives a crap.”

So I dragged myself away from Death Row Stories and thumbed around the various and sundry documentaries that have piled up on my Netflix list (I have some lined up on YouTube but I didn’t want to sign out of Netflix until I have watched my daily allotment of The Walking Dead.)

HH Holmes came up as the big winner.  It is playing in the background as I write and realize that I know more about HH Holmes than an allegedly theatre teacher should.

I did take a glance at XO Jane to see if there was any pertinient news that needed my rare brand of social commentary.

There is, and it is a bit more appealing than HH Holmes, the first documented serial killer.  (Apparently he was just fine until he changed his name from Mudgett, which we know is not nearly as aurally exciting as Holmes.)

The newsbit via XO JAne: California has started distributing condoms to it’s prisoners.(http://www.xojane.com/issues/prison-condom-distribution)  I know we all would like to pretend that sex in prison doesn’t happen. (If you’ve ever seen Sons of Anarchy, it’s REALLY hard to pretend.) Sex behind bars is illegal, but we all know it happens.  And if it’s happening, condoms should be made available to prevent disease.  I know some sayers of nay who aren’t horses may think that those behind bars deserve whatever happens to them. To those nayers (unless you are actually a horse, in which case, snaps to you for computing without thumbs!)  I say, regardless of what prisoners deserve or don’t deserve, rapidly spreading disease costs the taxpayers money. I bet everyone wants to prevent that.

Education  is  a preventative measure: People have sex. Some people are jerks and intentionally spread disease. Some just don’t know.  The concepts are uncomfortable but they are still there. Just like the drawerful of old underwear with the wongo elastic and saggy butts and leg holes (world’s worst bluegrass band.)

Both at the same time

Published May 25, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

As strange and bizarre as my life is (Imagine, I know you find that hard to believe) sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about. (I’m waiting to see what else happens to the state of Juan Diego on my grandmother’s front lawn. I only have half of the story right now.)

Whenever I get stuck for ideas, I usally cruise the Xo Jane site or Jezebel, because I just love those snarky babes. (That is meant as a huge compliment. There are whole days when I long for someone to call me a snarky babe. I also go out with these snarky babe dreams and come back with crazy bitch reality.) Anyway, I looked at XO Jane but just felt guilty that I’m not quite up on actual news enough to comment with the right edge, or intelligent snark that XO deserves.

Jezebel got me. They had a while new angle on the Duggar horror (I’m speaking of the child molestation, not the fact that one woman who is basically a baby factory is allowed to be quoted on actual decisions and makes  statements that have an impact on her children and possibly the misinformed at large, when we know that pregnant and post pregnancy women are in a kerfuffle of hormones and if you do the math, how much of her life has she spent being pregnant? (Really, do the math, I’m terrible at math.)

Of course, I’m talking about the Josh Duggar child molestation thing. If you have been living in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears (Move over, I’ll join you!) follow the link http://jezebel.com/

And while you’re there, check out the story the new French Law that states grocery stores will be fined if they waste unsold food.  I’m glad someone is thinking about this. I went on a rant about wasted water at school the other day. Just the number of almost full water bottles that get throw away at the end of the day is embarrassing.

Check it out. There’s some fun stuff.

I’ll get back to you on Juan Diego and his mysterious plight.

Ok, Jane, I will take your challenge

Published March 30, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This week, XO Jane Editor-in-Chief and Goddess Supreme has left an open thread for folk to talk/comment/write about. I took the ” First song that comes up when you press shuffle”.  I am too lazy to get up and walk the ten feet to my ipod  so I hit shuffle on itunes. (Well, after I waited for itunes to open and tell me that there is yet another new version of itunes available.) The first thing played was how to pronounce the question “Where is the bank?” in French.  The next was a bit from a Million Little Pieces by James Frey.

Now, I’m not  freaked out by the fact that music is not the first thing to play on itunes. I have always thought outside the box. I’m just a little slow on the uptake. (A week later, I just now realized the metaphor in Divergent.  Go see it; Shailene Woodley kicks ass. )

What did freak me out is the fact that James Frey made money and continues to make money when he bald faced lied to Oprah. He got a her book club endorsement and made a bazillion dollars, then after being exposed as the gentleman with his trousers aflame, made more money on a book that is still considered a memoir. (I didn’t pay for it; I got it from the Public Library. )

It truly tweaks me that liar-heads make money.

Now VC Andrews makes a kajilion dollars, a pretty amazing feet considering  that she had been dead for almost three decades.  What is even more amazing is that her publishers and ghostwriters ARE NOT LYING TO ANYONE. She has ghostwriters. She is dead. That’s true.

And even though she has never been touted by Oprah. She has sold a bunch of books that are pulpy and have shiny peek-a-boo covers so that everyone will know you are reading a Gothic Bodice Ripper that is a little ooky because the bodice is being rended by a close relative of the protagonist.

I would rather read some honest ook than lies masquerading as grim reality.

 

What prompted that?

Published February 18, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I may have an attitude problem. This comes as a huge shock to no one. I have been reevaluating my overall demeanor and outlook because, Job-like, I have decided to embrace the glaring reality that I am the pawn between good and evil and just make the best of what I can with the tools available. I am not at all saying that I am happy about it, I’m just not going to let it make me bitey.(Well, any more bitey than usual)

The first thing I did in the proactive so I don’t murder anyone or possible have a stress-induced stroke or rage-based incident, is to get to slow down a little.  That means I needed to get rid of one onerous task. So I cut the least lucrative: ghost writing the romance stories. I’m kind of afraid that I’m going to lose my writing stamina. At my most productive, I was writing nine hours a day.

While all that is well and good, it’s a hard pace to keep, especially since I have two other jobs that are more lucrative. (Plus I think I was suffering from extreme burnout. In the last two stories I used a flatulent dog as a deus ex machina and made a vibrator joke. There was also another dog, non-gasseous, named Reymundo who made a guest appearance. It was time to stop.)

Anyway, I have been looking around my horrifyingly filthy house to see what might inspire me to write, as always I turn to XO Jane for comfort, support and inspiration. I saw the headline

AND THEY SAY CHIVALRY IS DEAD: THAT TIME A GUY CALLED ME A “FAT BITCH” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

That made me think of Jen Lancaster’s book, Such a pretty fat which was inspired by the fact that a guy called Jen a fat bitch and she was upset because it didn’t offend her as much as it should.

A stranger calling me a fat bitch wouldn’t slow me down either and I wish I could get a book deal from my subsequent behavior.

I think they would call that a prison memoir.

Shameful

Published September 13, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am such a nerd in my real life (as opposed to the kind of life where I am a non-nerd half-elf level five cleric) that I love independent research. To this end, I am completely incapable of passing up memoirs and the like when they are on the clearance rack. (Hey, I’m a nerd with a tight budget.)

One of these books has waited for me, unreadm for a while. I picked this book, Slut! By Leora Tanenbaum, and took it with me to the doctor’s office because I knew I would probably have a long wait.

When I started reading and noticed that the other people in the waiting room were staring at me, I realized that sometimes I actually invite the weird to happen to me.

I was reading a book with a bright green cover emblazoned with shocking pink letters.  I was reading “Slut!:” in the gynecologist’s office.

All of that said, it’s very interesting. The introduction alone garnered three tape-flags for future reference. Only one flag is for something that I’m going to just quote in a non-judgy way.

Draw your own conclusions, and vent your own rage. I’m just going to put it out there.

From an unnamed source in 1730’s

“ He that doth get a wench with child and marries he afterward is as if a man who would shit in his hat and put it upon his head.”

Use it how you will.

Other tape flaggery sums up the truth that slut-shaming is proof that sexism and the double standard are alive and well.  The worst part is that too often it’s women who do the shaming.

Here is a direct lift from an article By A Woman.

“It was almost a weekly ritual for my friends and me when we were 18-year-old college freshmen — we’d get dressed up in the slutty dress code dictated by the boys (almost always boys; girls didn’t invite other girls to their parties) throwing the most rollicking soiree, put on our highest shoes, push our boobs up so they sat neatly under our chins like a pectoral butt, and totter over to the party in a group, like herd of slutty newborn deer. What any of us actually did at the party was inconsequential to our status as “sluts.” We could go there and recite Bible verses or drunkenly lecture members of the football team about the inherent sexism of commenting on a girl’s ass as she stood right in front of you in line for beer — or we could go home with some random junior who you saw once in line for stir fry at the dining hall. Either way, we were sluts, because we went to the party dressed in a way that acknowledged our buying into the notion that all of the “fun” women are sluts. I slut, therefore I am. And this was at a Catholic school. Lord knows what was happening at those terrifyingly Bacchanalian secular universities my parents warned me about.

http://www.xojane.com/issues/slut-dropping-and-other-ways-college-teaches-kids-to-be-sexist-assholes

Now the title makes it sound like she’s not going to whip right around and play the old, “look at the way she/we are dressed.

Now the whole Catholic college thing leads me to this Jezebel thing

http://jezebel.com/creepy-catholic-website-explains-why-women-shouldnt-go-1297432590

It’s definitely worth a look. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from Kindergarten straight through High School. (That’s 13 years in a plaid jumper.)  The high quality education didn’t instantly turn girls into independent thinking slatterns.  This whole article essential says that educated women who have intellectual curiosity may just wander their way into a sexual assault. (Of course she was, did you see how inquiring her mind looks?)

A good way to wrap this up is to go back to La Miley. I’m still processing this for a number of reasons (The main reason is that the damn song is stuck in my head.)  A good percentage of the public is slut-shaming La Miley for no other reason than she dancing and singing in the exact same way that twenty year olds are dancing in clubs all over the world.

We are not affording a pretty young woman the same slack  for behaving the same way that male performers are. (I admit, I enjoy “ Hoochie Mama” by 2Live Crew. I don’t bash this song for being racist and sexist.  I think it’s amusing. It’s a song. No one has to listen to it if they don’t want to.

“So, in 2013 in America, while we celebrate a young man from Seattle for having the courage to make a song out of exploring his thoughts on sexuality as a child, and eventually coming to the conclusion that hate is stupid, Miley doesn’t get such a luxury. Even though all she’s doing is precisely what we’re celebrating everyone else for: being herself.”

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-26/entertainment/41447063_1_cyrus-is-miley-cyrus-diplo

But we don’t want to stop slamming because she’s asking for it. Just look at the way she’s dressed. (Robin Thicke deserves public mockery for the Beetlejuice suit.)

Crushing, crunching and loving.

Published June 21, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have a massive crush on Lesley Kinzel. I am totally crunching on Ryan Gosling. I am deeply in love with Aisha Tyler.

I know that was an odd way to open what I was hoping would be some sort of literary respite from the other stuff I’m writing today.

I tried to calm myself by taking an extended coffee break. I enjoyed a lovely iced latte with extra shot.  (Why, yes, yes I do know how coffee works SO KEEP THE SNIDE REMARKS TO YOURSELF!!!!)

I am having some abject panic moments  today because I have ten days to crank out five stories. I also have to get my verbal act together for the next rapidly approaching deadline. I also have to vacuum, change the sheets, do the dishes, teach some children and try to be a hard ass because they really need it. I’m finding it very difficult to make sense and stay focused.

So what do I do to try to regain my will to create?

That’s right, friends and neighbors, I go to XO JANE!

Lesley Kinzel is responsible for some of my very favorite articles. I strongly suspect that my internal monologue is the Greek Chorus for hers.   My new favorite thing that La Kinzel has said, “If obesity is a disease, can I call in fat?” as in, “Oh,Mr. Boss, I can’t come to work today, I’m too fat.”

I don’t think I really need to explain why I’m crunching on Ryan Gosling.  I’ve always thought he was pretty in that slightly awkward, secretly cool boy next door.  And even though he’s let the rest of the world in on his secret coolness, you just know he’d much rather be curled up on the couch watching a movie with you.

And Aisha Tyler.

I’ve always adored her from afar. She was a grounding influence on the first season of Ghost Whisperer. (Yes, I did just read that sentence. Don’t  judge me. Try spending a day walking around in my brain and see what sticks to you.)  Her stand-up comedy is hilarious. Her voice over work on Archer is inspiring. (I’m heartbroken that there is absolutely no way that I can afford to go see Archer live this weekend. I can’t spend the cash, or the time.Thanks, AWT!)

I have now stumbled on her podcast, Girl on Guy. It’s very interesting and her interview with Joe Manganiello is very informative, especially for the young actor, or possibly, the manager/assistant/ mom of a young actor.

So that was about four hundred words to answer the question that nobody asked,  “What’s on your mind?”

I think the planet knows better than to ask .