Elastic Basket for my Peaches

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Secret World of Mexican Snow Cones

Today I went back to the school that I worked at for the last two years. To work?, you ask. No, I went for the same reason I went to school as a teen, to see my friends. Today was a teacher work day and I went up to the school to help out where I could but also to catch up with my teacher friends. It ended up being a lot more fun than I thought. I've always enjoyed joking and socializing with my co-workers and this time I didn't have to spoil it by constantly thinking of the work I should have been doing in my classroom. I don't have a classroom!

Despite the freedom it provided, the fact that I didn't have a classroom made me a little sad. As much as I am excited for my next steps, I am still mourning the loss of things like school supplies, co-workers and funny comments from my students. It was a little weird to see someone new in my classroom. To combat the weirdness, I decided to avoid going past the room or talking to the "new me." Denial has always worked for me in the past.

All day I helped with random things like putting up bulletin board paper, setting up desks and chairs and hooking up my friends' computers. For a girl, I am better than average at the techie stuff so I was glad to be of service. It was also a lot easier to do the before school tasks knowing that I really only had to do what I felt like doing and there wasn't a huge list of things I needed to accomplish.

My old principal asked me why I wasn't helping the new teachers. I laughed her off and said it paid to be my friend. Seriously, though. Why would I help teachers I didn't know? I am certainly no saint and my primary purpose was not to lend a hand. My main reason for being there was to hang out with my friends and help them out a little bit. Let the new teachers fend for themselves. I know I had to.

After work, I went for snowcones with a couple of my co-workers. I was introduced to this particular snowcone place by my friend, Belinda. It felt a bit like the episode of Seinfeld where George goes to the club with all the models and gets in only because he's with one. Belinda's Mexican so she took me to a Mexican snow one place. I felt like I was only allowed to go because I was with Mexican people. This was a different snowcone place than I was used to.

After living in Austin, I felt confident in calling myself a snowcone connoisseur. Snow Beach, formerly located on Lamar near Barton Springs was the standard by which I measured all other snowcones. (You know you are at the right place if you see a white trailer with a fake purple snowcone wearing sunglasses on top.) The red rasberry with cream is to die for. The place is so popular that they furnish umbrellas for the people in line to hold to shield themselves from the sun. You feel stupid but it works. A snowcone there costs between $2.50-$5.00 depending on size and amount of cream.

I'd lamented that Houston did not have a Snow Beach equivalent. Finally this summer, some people put up a snowcone stand in my neighborhood. The ice is not as finely shaved as Snow Beach's but it decent and similar in price. It's also about 179 miles closer. And because my neighborhood is trendy, they even have a snowcone for dogs. Who buys their dog a snowcone? It's probably the same people buying the dog appetizers I saw advertised on TV.

Now back to my Mexican snowcone experience. This place was pretty big and pink with a little covered patio area with ceiling fans. (Note to snowcone place, in 100 degree weather like today, ceiling fans do not work.) Belinda said the place is hopping at nights and on the weekends with a long line of cars at the drive-thru. Yes, there is a drive-thru! I was shocked when I saw the price. Their snow cones ranged in price from 75 cents for a small (that's less than a dollar) to 2.50 for a giant one. This means I could get three small snowcones at this place for the price of one at the honky snow cone places. I was getting ripped off! The quality of the snow cone was good though the pointy top was disconcerting to someone who is used to a rounded top. I quickly adjusted, though. At 75 cents, I felt I was getting the deal of the century. Apparently I need to spend more time in the Mexican parts of town. I knew from the Wal-Mart parking lot that they had cheap puppies, tamales and fake Gucci purses, but cheap snowcones...that's something I could really get into.

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