There You Have It.

Yesterday, I heard one of the most disturbing things in my life.

Here it is. In a nutshell, I was told why some of my high school students just WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME. As if I needed more proof after last month when one of my students was HITTING ON ME before he knew I was the teacher.

Exact quote from yesterday’s class (and Jesse was there, so he can collaborate if need be):

LA: I just have a hard time respecting you.

Kelly: So I’ve noticed.

LA: It’s just because…ohnevermind.

Kelly: What? (shouldn’t have asked this)

LA: For, personal reasons.

Kelly: Personal?

LA: Well, I hook up with chicks older than you!

And there you have it. Now I am going to crawl into an aging machine and not come back out until I actually look older than 16.


So here we are at our little “Homeplace Inn + Suite”. What a lovely name. There were some major selling points in choosing this place, like the abundance of ants, the grubby neighbors knocking on the door at ungodly hours of the night, the low-on-juice smoke alarm that keeps beeping in a random manner, the room deodorizer that can’t decide whether wants to cover up the moldy smell or one-up it, their lack of tolerance for pets of any kind, oh, and the lowest price on the market.

One of their biggest selling points is that their rooms include a “kitchen-ette”. Such a lovely word. Like a dinnette, for instance, is a nice word for a nice thing- a small, cute, European trademark. Or Paulette. Reminds you of that sweet diner waitress who served your first Georgia waffles and called you “Hun”. Adding ette onto the end of a word should automatically imply that it’s fancy or wonderful in a modern way. It’s referring to the fact that precious things come in smaller packages. Things that have “ette” on the end should have unrealized, undiscovered potential.

Let’s look at the suffix “ette”. Here are the definitions that I found.



1. Small; diminutive

2. Female

3. An imitation or inferior kind of cloth

I would have to say that our “kitchenette”(let’s just call it this for lack of a worser name) takes after #3, minus the cloth part. Our kitchenette is just enough of an imitation that it feels like a joke, like it’s mocking us with its semblance of potential without any of the usual perks, like convenience or usefulness. We have just enough cupboard space to make me want to put stuff away, only to realize that none of it fits. There’s also enough counter space on which to rest a teaspoon, but of course, that would be exaggerating.

Basically, this kitchenette is like camping without the trees. Like a slip-n-slide with just a belly flop. Like Oreos without the lard.

But all in all, it will get us by for five days. As long as we can hide Mirabelle and keep her from sitting on our windowsill (THAT would be a dead giveaway). Perhaps we need to see the potential as it lies in the future- the promise of our nice, luxury apt. awaiting us on Friday. Perhaps all of this is meant to be dissatisfying to make sure that we appreciate what is to come.

And so, until then, we will continue to stuff all the food we can into our refrigerator. Or should I say, “refriger-ette” .

The Texas Conspiracy

Once upon a time, there was girl who had never had a full time job in her life. One day, she moved to Texas, and suddenly , without warning, she found herself amongst TWO jobs which were violently pulling on her all-encompassing sense of duty and exploiting her unquenchable affinity for getting lost on random lonely highways.

Yes, this is the tragic, yet strangely resolved tale of Kelly Marie, who thought she knew exactly what her job was going to be when she got to Texas, but found herself with more than she bargained for.

Her first day of work- roughly only 24 hrs. after arriving in the fair city of Dallas, was one of the worst in history. Mostly because, well, in Texas they like to play cat and mouse with their drivers by fluctuating between two extremes- not enough information signs, or OH-MY-GOSH-WHAT-DOES-ALL-THAT-MEAN–signs. It really isn’t very fair, because most Californians are used to helpful road signs. And Calfornians usually assume that the rest of the world plays nice.


It has to be a mass conspiracy. I mean, why else are there completely inaccurate signs all over the highways? Why else are there four different highways with the EXACT SAME NAME?? Why else would they tell the driver: “Exit to Denton Lane- 45 mi.” and then conveniently forget to ever remind him again?

You probably know where this is going. On her first day of work, Kelly left at7am, with the hopes of arriving at Castle Hills Montessori by 8am. Things weren’t supposed to start until 8:30, but hey, she figured it would be good to double Google Maps estimated travel time, just in case of traffic. Of course, there’s never any of that in Texas! (this is obviously a lie- EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas).

But Kelly could not find I-121 anywhere! She kept looking at the map going, “It says it’s right here! Where’s the sign? When do I enter?”. She drove around like this for 1/2 hr. before buying a map and asking the nice gas station man a few pointed questions, such as “Where am I?”. He responded by saying that the I-121 is actually called the I-183 for the first 4 miles. For no explained reason.

Obviously Kelly is stupid and doesn’t understand conspiracies.

So, she went about 20 miles, clipping along at a good pace on the “I-121-which-is-actually-called-the-183” until she reached the fork in the road. Or rather, the 4 1/2 forks in the road. The 1/2 is for the extra fork that they want you to take so that you crash. The other 4 went exactly like this (and I kid you not!): 121 N, 121 N, 121 N, 121 N.

Kelly took a 1 in 4 chance, since Google Maps obviously wasn’t in enough on the Texas Conspiracy to specify. She was on her own. And she chose wrong.

Now, since it was already 8:15, Kelly called the school to ask them which one of the remaining 121Ns she should take. The secretary took a 1 in 3 chance (the odds were getting better!) and guessed. Only, it was again wrong.

You’d think in a cat and mouse game that the cat would actually give the mouse a little room to fight back or run away, right? Well, not so with the Texas Conspiracy. For Kelly to get back to this particular hellish junction meant fighting her way through 4 lanes worth of traffic funneled into 1 measly frontage road with stoplights. So, to go 1 mi. back to the junction took a little less than forever.

When Kelly finally arrived at the school (at 9:30!!), they had to combine three 1/2 hr. classes into 1 giant 1/2 hr. class to make up for missed time. At first she thought that 25 kids wouldn’t be that bad- all that was planned for the day was learning names and teaching the “hello song”. It wasn’t until they were ushered in that she saw the horrendous truth- they were all 3-4 yr. olds. And roughly half of them were crying the only word they had learned thus far: “WAHH!”.

Somehow Kelly made it through. The rest of the week wasn’t so bad, only a few other minor mishaps. She thought that if I could just make it through one more Castle Hills Montessori Tuesday morning, all would be well. Unfortunately, the next Tuesday ushered in an accident right in the middle of the 121.

So, once more, she arrived at 9:30. And of course, the 3-4 yrs olds decided to break all of her crayons.

On top of that, like yarn unraveling, Friday arrived and she drove to the wrong “Carrollton Montessori”. How could that be? Well, the good ole boys of Texas decided to give 2 schools in the same city the EXACT SAME NAME! Go figure!

That night saw a lot of tears and frustration of the part of poor Kelly Marie. What was she doing trying to defeat the huge Texas Conspiracy? What if she got lost and wound up in Oklahoma? Maybe she should quit her job and find an 8 to 5 knitting.

Then, the strangest thing happened! On Saturday morning, she received a phone call from a Medical Office that had received her application a month prior. Their original response to her resume back in July was, “Well, we actually hope to have the position filled before you can move here, so sorry!!”. But now the phone call went something like this: “Our other employee didn’t work out, and we would like you to come in for an interview as soon as possible. The position is for our Front Office Manager, and we pay 40k/year with excellent benefits.”

True to form, Kelly can never resist the prospect of money. So there she was at 9am Monday morning, in the heart of Dallas, standing in front of the large Dallas Presbyterian Hospital.

Of course it was pouring rain. And also true to form, Kelly had forgotten her umbrella.

What does Kelly decide to do? Which job does she take? Will her tortured heart survive this Texas sized dilemma? Tune in for Part 2 of “The Texas Conspiracy!”