Archive for January, 2008

This is how behind in blogging I am: I’m still talking about New Years Eve!

Dochechka: How does this look?

[Spins around to demonstrate a brown, sparkly, backless shirt that could best be described as one part hippie, one part Saturday Night Fever.]

La Cubana Gringa: Well, if your aim is to look like Shakira, then your hips don’t lie, yo!

Dochechka: What if I’m not trying to look like Shakira and I’m just trying to look sexy on New Years Eve?

La Cubana Gringa: Then…yeah, NO.

Dochechka: Well…[genuinely pensive]…then, when am I ever going to wear this top?

La Cubana Gringa: How about next Halloween? When you dress up as Shakira?


This is how behind in blogging I am: I’m still talking about Christmas!

Please don’t hold it against me. (Though if you do, could you hold it against my temples and rub in a slow, circular, soothing motion?) Because I can’t really talk about current January happenings without my head exploding into a searing tension headache. Then, naturally, I would subsequently need to take a nap. Which is just another way to waste time! (Were you aware of this? Also in this category? Long, hot showers! Who knew?) So much to do. Which reminds me of these cute napkins we had at our Christmas Party…they had a quote on them: “So many boys, so little mistletoe.” Oh, how I wish January were about trivial things like boys and mistletoe. Really, there should be an 8th day of the week. (Just in January, though.) Bear with me dear readers reader1, I promise February will be much, much better. I think.

Til I can manage to sneak away from the Things Of January That Occupy All Of My Time, I leave you with a Christmas story that still makes me chuckle. (And it kinda makes me want to watch X-Men 3 again…except I HAVE NO TIME FOR SUCH FANTASTICAL THEATRICAL CRAP! I’ve mentioned that, right?)


One afternoon in Oregon over Christmas, Mamacusa walked into the living room three-quarters of the way through the movie we were watching and she paused, squinting at the TV, trying her best to ascertain what the storyline was. (Squinting has been scientifically proven to help with this. Brow furrowing has too.) It was at that part in X-Men 3 when what’s-his-name is engaging in a mind-over-mutant battle of cosmic proportions with what’s-her-name. You know the part.2

With a quizzically furrowed brow, she said, “So…hang on. Is this…like…Good fighting Evil or something?”

Without looking away from the TV, Homeslice answered, “No Ma, it’s just two neutral forces duking it out over who gets the employee of the month parking spot.”

1. Let’s be honest, we’re talking about my mother here.
2. And if you don’t, I won’t think any less of you…I’ve SEEN the movie and I don’t even remember that part.

Sound marriage advice from an expert

Yesterday was my Abuelito’s 82nd birthday. So I gave him a call and accidentally interrupted his dinner. Or, alternatively, I saved my Aunt and Uncle (who’d taken him to a Japanese Restaurant for “something new”) the embarrassment of having Abuelito demand that the waiter take his sashimi back to the kitchen to be either cooked or made into ceviche. You can’t teach an old Cuban to eat proper Japanese.

In our conversation, he confirmed that he’d received the Christmas card that The Brit and I sent him. We sent out an obnoxious (go figure) photocard this year. In it, there was an image of The Brit and I decorating our Christmas tree…The Brit leaning over the top to put the star on (with a speech bubble photoshopped into the photo near his ass saying “PFFFFFT!!”) and me, standing next to the tree looking more than a little alarmed (and with a thought bubble photoshopped in near my head, reading: “Do you hear what I hear?”)

“Yes, I got it,” he said in Spanish, “but one word of advice…if you plan on marrying and STAYING married to this man.”

“Yes, Abuelito?”

“Stand BY your man.  Not behind him.”

The secret active ingredient: their innocence

Mamacusa called me the other morning to check in on how I’m recovering from having temporarily become one large booger.

“I’m beginning to resemble myself again,” I told her, “and I can breathe…somewhat.”

“Good, glad to hear it. Everyone at work’s been sick lately, so I’ve been trying to avoid it by taking that Newborn stuff.”


“OH! I mean the airborne stuff…THE AIRBORNE STUFF! HA HA!!”

“Ahhh…that makes better sense. Though, now that I think of it, I have heard that a healthy little newborn, when crushed with a mortar and pestle and pressed into tablet form, does wonders for cold prevention!”

That and some pretty spectacular snot!

January is routinely a giant pain in my giant behind. Seriously. Every morning of every January we go through this whole routine where I have to muster up the will to scrape myself out of bed and go out into the big, grey, blustery outside to do Things.1 I normally like doing Things. Honestly…me and Things? We’re tight. But in January, Things just seem like a big, steaming load of Not Fun wrapped in a winter coat and scarf. And don’t forget the umbrella, otherwise it would all be a big, WET, steaming load of Not Fun. Which, for the record, is considerably less fun.

It’s not just the weather that colors everything so many shades of poopie2 for me, it’s also that every year, on the last Saturday of January, I (along with all the other general surgical residents in the US) have to take a surgical board prep exam. A little sum-m sum-m the American Board of Surgery dreamed up to simulate the experience of sitting for four hours in a room and having your fingernails ripped out of their nail beds with pliers…by an extremely technically gifted surgeon, of course. An exaggeration, perhaps, but it’s about that much fun. So, yay, about that.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that apparently, quite a few decades ago, the maternal and paternal sides of my family held a conference with my stepfamily as well as with the family of The Brit. And in this conference, they came to the consensus that everyone should hump their friggin’ brains out in, say, April…so that EVERYONE would have January babies. Maybe they all liked Garnet as a birthstone, I don’t know. But the end result is that my grandfather, stepfather, father, brother and The Brit all have birthdays in January. I hope they all like handouts of surgical board prep test questions, cuz THAT’S ALL I’M GOOD FOR RIGHT NOW!

  1. Things like Work. And Stuff.
  2. Shades like Blahhh. And Urghhh.

Yeah, so…so far, 2008 is TOTALLY going my way

In the last couple days I have devolved into a semi-gelatinous glob of mucousy viral contagions which, I guess, is the cosmos trying to tell me that breathing through one’s nose is a privilege, not a right. Dually noted, Cosmos!! DUALLY NOTED!!

Considering my time of late has become vastly consumed by sneezing and obligate mouth breathing, the last thing I’ve been in the mood for is writing two medical journal manuscripts for a Jan 4th deadline. And yet that’s what I’ve been doing. So, needless to say, there hasn’t been a whole lot of recreational fun going on around here…and, in turn, there’ve been considerably fewer cocktails than I was hoping for as well. Happy New Year to me! Wheeeee!! (Achoo!) He Who Established Such A Ridiculous Circa-Holiday Deadline should be happy that he is not within my breathing range. There would be carnage. (Or at least the passing on of a pretty unpleasant cold.)

And. Just a side note. This morning, I thought that a cute outfit might cheer me up, so I decided to don these cute little wide-legged, dark brown sailor pants with a GAZILLION buttons in the front. Note to self: Do not wait til the last moment to go pee when wearing these, for the unbuttoning process is noticeably more lengthy than that which is required of the usual zipper contraption. I’m glad I had the bathroom to myself to do the Snotty-Nosed Pee Pee Unbuttoning The Pants Dance earlier today at work because I know for sure it wasn’t my best choreography ever. Not even top 5, let’s be honest.

To top it all off, I’ve got a righteous zit in the center of my forehead and my winter coat (which I’m still wearing because it’s sub-arctic in our house at the moment…YOU HEAR THAT, HEATER? WTF?) seems to have increased it’s affinity for my shedding hair. Perhaps I’m turning into a unicorn, after all! It’s about damn time…I made that wish, like, DECADES AGO!


The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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