1. I was born early in the morning after a day and a half of labor, and to this day, my mother calls me every year on my birthday at the exact time of my birth to remind me of this.
  2. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of how deeply obnoxious my family truly is.
  3. Nor how much I love them for it.
  4. I met my first cherished friend when I was 5. We tried scraping our knees on my driveway so that we could become blood sisters, but we chickened out and settled for splitting a jellybean. So we’re jellybean sisters. She is still one of my best friends.
  5. Twenty years later, we got our belly buttons pierced together. So now we’re belly button sisters as well. (But jellybean sisters first and foremost.)
  6. My dad was in the US Military during my adolescence, so we moved around a lot. My parents feared this constant change would foster in me an unstable sense of self…but the fact that there was cheese at every place we moved to helped prevent this possibility from becoming a reality. (And thus my sense of self is firmly rooted in dairy.)
  7. I graduated from high school in Panama where the minimum drinking age of 18 was strictly enforced. Unless, of course, you and your other teenage friends were cute girls, in which case it was strictly uninforced. (We drank a lot of piña coladas.)
  8. While I was down there, along with three of my friends, I participated in the Annual Ocean to Ocean Cayuco race in which we paddled 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal.
  9. Our Cayuco [boat] was made of native Panamanian wood and was called “Se Hunde.” (Spanish for: “It sinks”)
  10. Needless to say, we didn’t win the race. But we became very well acquainted with the most technologically advanced technique for bailing water. (This involved a gallon jug with the top cut off and a lot of screaming.)
  11. I’d never admit it if I was a cheerleader in high school. Not that I was.
  12. Fine. I was a cheerleader in high school. But I was also in the National Honor Society and the Biological Honor Society…so I was a nerdy cheerleader. (Surely those two cancel each other out?)
  13. Some part of me always thought I’d be a writer when I grew up.
  14. But in college, I majored in Biology and minored in Dance.
  15. I was never destined to be a ballet dancer.
  16. The size of my ass made sure of that.
  17. Immediately after I performed my modern dance piece for the senior recital in college, the very ballet teacher that used to tell me that I “should be happy I wasn’t a centipede because I could barely do with the two feet I had” came backstage to tell me that my choreography was truly remarkable and that I should consider a career in Modern Dance.
  18. I still consider this one of the greatest compliments anyone’s ever given me. (Though, honestly, looking back, she was like 300 years old and had really bad cataracts, so I’m fairly certain she didn’t know what the hell she was saying.)
  19. I didn’t end up pursuing a career in writing or in dance but I still consider myself both a writer and a dancer…and I do both whenever I get the chance. Mostly in the shower. (Which can be dangerous depending on how many pirouettes you try to do in there. Or how many run-on sentences you try to edit.)
  20. I was traveling through Paris by myself in the Summer of 99 when I phoned home and found out that I’d gotten into med school.
  21. That moment is still one of my most favorite moments ever.
  22. One of my other all time favorite moments was the hot air balloon ride The Brit and I took over the Namib Desert…
  23. africa-air-balloon.jpg


  24. My biggest heartbreak in life thus far was when I had to leave my great aunt in Cuba after only just meeting her and seeing the horrible conditions that she, and my other family members, lived in. I wanted to bring her back home with me.
  25. My consolation is that she has since passed away and no matter where her spirit is, I’m sure it’s a better place than the Cuba she lived in.
  26. I’m not a big fan of Fidel Castro.
  27. I have a younger brother who thrived despite my constant torture growing up. And a sister who I acquired while in med school. I’ve kept her around this long because the olive tones in her skin bring out the green in my hazel eyes. Plus, when we’re shopping together, I only seem to find jackets that fit her. We’re compatible like that. Dochechka’s my favorite bacon-eating Jew and always will be.
  28. I am a surgeon and thankfully, I was raised drinking café con leche, so my hands are steady even when I’m heavily caffeinated.
  29. I have my Abuelita to thank for this. She made great coffee. And she taught me how to sew, both by hand and on her sewing machine, in the basement of her house when I was 8 years old.
  30. I have thoroughly enjoyed my twenties.
  31. I suppose that at this age, I should be considering having kids before my ovaries shrivel up into currants, but I’m just not ready yet. Here’s to hoping I’ve got extended release estrogen! Woo hoo!
  32. I am now contractually obligated to one penis for the rest of my life.  (Which will make #30 more or less likely depending on what you believe about sex after marriage.)
  33. I’ve traveled to 6 out of the 7 continents.  Now I just need to find an excuse to go to Australia…hmm, wonder if there’s anything to do down there.
  34. [I’m still thinking.  Don’t rush me.]


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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