iphone be gone

yesterday, tuesday, 4pm, the early hours of halloween, i found myself stumped,

due to my lack of focus.

it all started when i had hauled all my teaching gear to my crossover vehicle.

– well, the reading manual, so that i could figure out my next plan for the students, and a big fat AVID book, where i would find info to help me conduct a productive note-taking lesson with the kids –

anyway… i put those two texts onto the back floor of my car,

along with my white jansport backpack, a round fluffy Rugrat (Tommy specific) knapsack, the one i recently reclaimed, one that once belonged roberto, long ago, when he was a rugrat himself, and next to my macbook air,

i’m floundering, unfocused…

this is about my iphone; not my afterwork, parking lot life.

well, actually, the parking lot plays a big role here.

before i sat in the driver’s seat, i realized my phone wasn’t with me.

which, honestly, it isn’t unusual that i didn’t have it because i really don’t carry it with me much… whereby on the other hand, it’s actually amazing that i even noticed i had forgotten it… because i really don’t carry it with me much.

you get what i mean?

well now, after noticing the missing phone, i trekked back to classroom, hunted around for it, but couldn’t find anything remotely resembling my 2 1/2 year old white iphone.


i walked back to the car, sifted through my stuff, again, only to note that the phone was definitely not there.

once again, i unlocked both gates, walked back to class, lifted every paper and book, and found nothing except more papers and books. i stood there, near my desk and wondered.


and then i remembered that i had been cutting artwork out to hang up in the window so that the sun’s shine made the oily bones of the kids finger prints glow – which was actually pretty cool, a fun project for sure…

i was cutting the hand shapes, letting the fallen pieces of paper gather on top of my desk and when done i threw the paper in the trash.

no! i thought. no way. i did not throw my iphone away.

did i?

back at the car, i texted brad from my computer – thank goodness the internet was available out in the parking lot – then i walked to the trash can.

this is what i texted him, literally:

can you call my phone… i can’t find it… call a few times… i am outside by the trash then i need to go in the class…. keep calling until i answer it… if i call you good… if i don’t bad… i will message on my computer if i can’t find it… or my phone if i do…

he messaged back, OK.

i lifted out what i knew was my plastic bag of debris. the sprinkles of colored paper gave it away. then i walked back towards my vehicle and i placed the trash bag into the back of my car thinking that maybe i was overlooking the phone. something told me i was on the right track, but my thinking wasn’t concise. so, i decided i’d take the trash home and investigate there, just in case. i surely didn’t want to make a mess right there, at my place of employment.

that’d look odd. right?

seriously, though, no regrets.

that’s my motto, you see.

i heard no Old Phone ringing.

in the meantime, i assumed brad was continuously calling me because i hadn’t called or texted him back.

i walked back to class.


i walked back to the car.


opened the rover’s hatchback.

rifled through the bag of papers.

and then i heard it. ever so faint. my phone, ringing. coming from the trash bag. i stuck my hand inside. swirled it around. and found ‘the missing link’.


i answered brad’s call as i was walking the semi-heavy ladened trash to the large receptacle in the school’s parking lot.


the life and times of owning pets, and the reason i renamed my cats


long ago, probably about five, six, maybe seven, eight years ago brad announced he knew someone, or talked to them in passing, or something, and mentioned that the person had told him about a cute, little, itty-bitty, barely-born, newly-arrived kitten.

he wondered if he could have it.


i have forever been opposed to pets because kids tend to think all they have to do is pretty much nothing. just occasionally (operative word here) engage with their newly obtained hobby. goldfish died due to an overload of food. while on the other hand, hamsters starved to death.

for me, it was too much to handle. little kids running around asking mommy this, mommy that, mommy, mommy mommy, which caused me to forget there was a pet in the house. i had tunnel vision. hence, supervised kids. unsupervised critters.

which meant no more pets. no. never. not on my watch.

until brad showed me, and roberto (a huge pet advocate), an adorable photo of the kitten he had mentioned. he caught me off guard. sly kid. the kitten’s big green eyes and fluffy fur was hard to resist, for all of us, apparently. please, please, please they both whispered, hands clasped into steeples, prayer-mode.

ok, i said.

say what? what did i say? i asked myself.

really?! they both screamed.

really, i mumbled.

as they were walking out the front door, i said, bring home two. (again, what the heck was going on with me?)

two? you sure?

yeah, you know, to play together.

within the hour they brought home Cassandra and Skyler (named later that afternoon by the boys). fraternal twins. one black, one multicolored. both with green eyes.

i was smitten.

still am.

roberto recently moved out and brad is a busy 17 year old. both engaged elsewhere, most of the time. so, aside from brad allowing them to sleep in his room, the girls belong to me. i tend to them 99% of the time, and i even renamed them. (the kids don’t know this, they’d probably think i’ve gone bonkers, but oh well, a caretaker’s got to do what a caretaker’s got to do, right?)

cassandra’s now-name is chicka-chicka-boom-boom (which, ironically, is the title of an adorable kid’s book about the lower case letters of the alphabet climbing a tree, thinking they know what’s what) because of her diva personality and i refer to skyler as skitter. so sweet, yet so nervous. she has never been able to fully relax.

ah, there she is. I can hear chicka-chicka-boom-boom’s deep guttural mew call me.  she wants in the house for a quick nibble of chow and a full-on vigorous back rub. she likes her cheeks gently caressed as well.

spoiled. i know.


Humor From The Backseat

Years and years ago, I was driving down the freeway with 12 year old Liz and three of her friends, Britney, Alison, and Jessica under a bright blue, sunshiny day. I am sure Roberto was in the car, also, due to the fact he would have been very young, and still completely dependent on me.

Anyway, I am speeding along, heading towards our destination when I mention that when I was a young kid, about their age, I remember driving with my mom and my sis, returning from a mini vacation. I detailed the story explaining that it was a dark evening, aside from the brake and head lights bouncing off all the other traveling cars. Suddenly, not too far ahead of us, a small car tumbled, bursting into flames. We gasped, completely taken back by that strange, unexpected, and horrible, occurrence.

“Oh, my gosh!” one of the girls said, after I finished my story. And then a discussion ensued. Freeway memories of their own.

“I remember once when I was driving with my dad, we saw a mattress fall out the back of a truck,” Alison commented, “right in the path of speeding cars.”

Another discussion picked up. About the consequences of a rather large piece of bedding blocking travelers. What chaos it would cause.

And just as serious, just as concerned, Britney spoke. “Well, once, my dad’s hat flew out of our car!” she exclaimed.

For a second. Just a slight second. Everyone was quiet. Trying to grasp what Britney just said. Then suddenly, we all busted out laughing. Laughing about how funny her comment sounded within the context of the conversation, and even more so about how serious she was.


Rudy arrived early to work, as usual, and sat at his desk, going over the day’s expectations. As he quietly nibbled on a light breakfast, while checking emails, he overheard a nearby conversation.

“Oh. You’re early this morning!” an employee exclaimed, speaking to her manager.

The employee was decorating her manager’s cubicle with balloons, hoping to surprise the higher up for her birthday; a tradition throughout the department, to celebrate people’s special day. The employee had just inflated one of the several balloons, and was pinching it so that the air would not escape.

In the meantime, Rudy continued to work while eavesdropping on their banter.

“So, how does it feel to be 50?” the employee asked her manager.
“I’m not 50, I am only 43!” the manager responded firmly, with attitude; yet, embarrassed.

Just then, the balloon the employee was holding left her grasp, deflating, making a slow blub-blub-blub sound, as it spun towards the floor.

“Oh, I thought…,” the employee tried to redeem herself.
“I guess!” the manager responded.

Rudy slapped his hand over his mouth, holding in the laughter that was trying to escape. His body began to shake as he tilted his head back, opened his eyes wide, and continued to press his now-fisted hand onto his pursed lips. He lowered his right elbow onto his desk, then the left one, and slowly lowered his face into both hands, sucking in air, then slowly exhaling.

“Awkward!” he thought as he slowly shook his head to and fro, while the manager stomped off.

The Turd

There’s this girl. A sixth grader to be exact. My former student. Her name is Cassandra. She has short wavy hair and wears glasses. She’s tall and thin. Quirky and confident. She’s awesome. The perfect description of a character in a book.

Anyway, she walked into my classroom – just as she alway does, every day after school, to say

Hello, how’re you doing?”


“How do you like my haircut?”


“Do you like your class this year?”


“Oh, the state report, I remember doing those!” 

Things like that.

So, like I said, she came into my classroom and plopped herself onto the floor, her face buried between her knees. She was next to my desk, which is next to my chair, in which I was sitting and said,

“Do I look like a turwal?

I didn’t understand what she said.

“What?” I asked.

“Do I look like a turwal?”

“Do you look like a turd?”

Cassandra’s lump of a body quivered with laughter. She laughed and laughed.

“Okay, yeah, you definitely look like a turd lying there on the carpeted floor.” I stated.

Still laughing, she unrolled herself and looked at me with a smirk on her face and said,

“I asked, do I look like a tur-tle? Turtle.” I cracked-up

The next day, she repeated her pose, positioning herself into a lump on the floor and said, “The turd is back.”

I’m a teacher because kids are so great. They roll with the punches and are simply looking for fun, pure and simple.