Archive for the 'me gusta' Category

And then, when it was all over, we went back to the hotel for Story Time and Cookies

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about primary school teachers…apparently the academic rigors of teaching phonics for hours on end to a group of miniature people who would rather be picking their noses is enough justification to really let their hair down when they are off-duty. Actually, more like let their hair down, have a big ol’ glass (or several) of wine, and then dry hump a pleather seat inside a limo to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. Or at least that’s the general impression I got when I went wine tasting in Napa this weekend with a limo full of Little B’s teacher friends.

All I can say is THESE ARE THE PEOPLE SHAPING THE IMPRESSIONABLE MINDS OF OUR YOUTH!! And we should be very thankful for that, for these crazy bitches can DANCE! And I’m sure that, if pressed to do so, they’d be able to simultaneously give a great addition/subtraction lesson as well…I don’t know why I think that…something about the way they were able to gyrate their hips while chugging sparkling wine implied multitasking capabilities.

Yeah, so. Wine tasting! With teachers! FUN! We went to several different wineries, the first of which was Mumm. And, apparently, my whole life was leading up to that moment when I tasted the Blanc de Blanc because I was suddenly overcome with cosmic certainty that I was led to Mumm to become a Member…to pay a small fee to receive reasonably priced shipments of champagne every two months…and then to coerce Little B to sign up for membership as well (there was only a minimal amount of arm twisting involved, for, though she is hard as nails when sober, she is quite docile when quaffing The Bubbly) so that I could get a 50% discount on a case of champagne at a later, as yet to be determined, time. All this means is that The Brit and I are going to have lots of Bubbly around the house…so much that we will now be able to celebrate even life’s wee moments. Hey, look, I’m home from work! Let’s have some champagne! Dude, check this OUT! I just blinked! Like TEN TIMES IN A ROW! Bust out the champagne flutes! Oh, you just made a poo Dear Brit?! YES! CHAMPAGNE IS IN ORDER!!!

Celebrate life’s small moments, people, that’s all I’m driving at.

So, anyway, it was a grand and debaucherous time. Though I did think the pop quizzes were a bit much…

“Ok, ladies, who here can name one of the organic greens that the lovely winery docent mentioned they plant in between the vines as cover crops to maintain a healthy microbiotic environment in the soil during the off-season?” one of the teachers in attendance prompted after the docent mistook our inebriated inability to stand up straight for “not listening” and left us to our own devices out by the oak barrels.

And, of course, there I was, jumping up and down, with my hand thrust impatiently in the air…all while speaking out of turn, “Oooh, oooh! Mustard greens!!  MUSTARD GREEEEENS!!!!”


At least he remembered the coyote repellent!

On Friday night, about half an hour before we got into the car to drive allllllll the way down to Joshua Tree for a weekend of camping and climbing, The Brit checked in with me about what to bring…

“Do you want me to bring the tent or do you want to sleep under the stars?”

This was a no-brainer for me…I mean, seriously, with all the coyotes and the bunnies out there? I hadn’t researched it yet, but surely there had been reports of careless campers sleeping out under the great blue sky and, in the dead of the night, being eaten by rabid coyotes in the California dessert!?! And if not, perhaps being nibbled to death by a pack of serial killing bandito rabbits? And if not, dude, it gets COLD down there at night!

“Bring the tent!” Duh!

So, fast forward five hours and there we were in the car. Driving. Still. With several hours behind us, and several more ahead. And while I was busily concentrating on forming deep venous thromboses from the lack of leg mobility (note to self: don’t bring the Mini Cooper on long road trips), The Brit startled me by exclaiming, “SHIT!”

“WHAT???” If he was gonna scream, I sure as hell was gonna scream! It’s fun! Try it!

“I forgot the tent!”

“Wha…but you…how could you…WHAT?”

“I just forgot! Shit! Sorry!”

I took a couple of deep breaths and decided that I shouldn’t make him feel too bad about it. After all, if I got eaten by a coyote, HE would be the one who would have to explain that to my mother, and that would be punishment enough.

But, alas, as I live and breathe and type…I am proof that we survived the great outdoors sans tent. And not only did we survive it, but we had a fabulous time. But who wouldn’t when your campsite, which you are sharing with some of your favorite friends, looks like this in the light of the half moon…


Or when you roll over in your sleeping bag to see the sun start to creep out over the horizon…


Or when you get to climb great rocks like this…


That’s me, climbing a 5.9, which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the difficulty ratings for climbs, may sound advanced. But I can assure you, it’s not! Considering the scale goes from 5.2 to 5.15, this climb was about the level at which my grandmother could do it. On a full stomach. And without a harness or a top rope. But still, it was fun!!

* All photos taken by The Brit.

In which I exhibit the decision making capacity of a “Grown-Up”

I was recently in the market for a new pair of black heels…ones that didn’t make my calves look like hamhocks strapped snuggly into a car seat. This, I concluded, is the effect that all of the black strappy shoes currently in my possession have on my legs.1 And while, in certain circles, looking edible is a good thing, I don’t particularly care to conjure images of pork in the minds of those who decide to check out my lower extremities.

Hence, I went shopping. The good news is, I found two pairs of shoes that I loved for very different reasons. The bad news is, they were so similar that I knew it didn’t make sense to buy them both. Oh, but the Shoe Gods can be so CRUEL!! So, naturally, I did the mature thing.

I bought them both. And took them home to have a drink with them, maybe even dinner, and then decide which pair I wanted to sleep with at the end of the night.

I joke. (I’d never sleep with them on the first date. Probably.) Really though, what it came down to was deciding what message I really wanted my shoes to convey about me as a person. And after a glass or three of wine, I arrived at the following:


These say:

Hello lovelies! Look at me, I’m responsible and practical…kinda bringin’ the sexy back but not so much that I’m draggin’ the slutty along with it…comfortable but not tooooo comfortable….And if you’re not buying it, well, at least you can’t accuse me of stealing these from Aunt Myrtle’s closet while she was out playing bingo.

* * * *


While these say:

Hola bitches! Sorry I am so late! I have good reasons though: One…I’m too sexy. B…I’ve lost the sensation and proprioception in my toes. And tres…my milkshake suddenly brought all these boys to the yard and they were like “It’s better than yours!” and I was all, “Damn right, it’s better than yours! I could teach you, but I’d have to charge.” Yeah, so, that took a while.

* * * *

So naturally I’ve decided to keep the first pair.2

1. A conclusion I came to after I saw a recent picture of me in a dress with black shoes that had straps across the ankle. Did NOTHING flattering for my meaty calves. NADA.
2. And exchange the second pair for the very same shoe but in red.

Oh, how I heart NY

I’ve just returned from a weekend of fun and debauchery in NYC with a bunch of college friends. This was completely different from any given weekend of fun and debauchery we had in college in that, this time around, we were all at least financially stable enough to leave the pizza guy more than a one cent tip. Otherwise, it was pretty much as obnoxious a time as I can remember having in college.1

Ever since my first of many encounters with NYC, I’ve loved it. Something about the pace…the energy…the vibe…the potential for a cat-sized rat to saddle up next to me on the subway and rummage through my purse for a snack with its new and improved opposable thumbs…so EXCITING!

And just when I thought NYC had revealed to me the full and overwhelming extent of her charms…just when I thought she couldn’t possibly feed me a better slice of pizza or lead me to a better boutique sale in soho…she shepards us to a bar that not only has a respectable local beer selection but skee ball as well. SKEE BALL!! (The moment I laid eyes on the skee ball machines I was immediately transported back to the flat-chested days of my awkward and ill-fashion-sensed youth…these were the days when wet dreams were filled with images of trips to Chuck E Cheese’s just to play skee ball. Well, that and, let’s be honest, to crawl around in that slab of fake swiss cheese big enough for King Kong.2) It was a good thing that we left that bar when we did (after just a few games) because I’d just run out of one dollar bills (skee ball ain’t free, baby!) and I was fixin’ to do some pretty shameful things for the chance to play just one more game.

THEN, when I didn’t think things could get any better than hurling balls into concentrically larger rings for points while under the influence of alcohol, NYC takes us to yet another great bar. And then goes and challenges my dear friend, El Pepino, to an impromptu dance off. A perfect stranger vs El Pepino, lots of improvisational gyrating, a full circle of an audience on a make-shift dance floor cheering and clapping the two of them on, and a victory for El Pepino. I thought that kind of shit only happened in the movies. But no. That kinda shit goes down in the East Village, yo.

Oh, NYC, you sly mynx, you. You spin me right ‘round, baby, RIGHT ‘ROUND!!!

1. Though, to be truthful, between the Margarita Mondays and the Forty Fridays we had back then, I don’t remember much.
2. What can I say, my love of dairy runs deep.

The best head fake ever

You know how they say that everyone in the world is only 5 to 7 degrees of separation away? Well, my former roommate, Mr. Wonderful, was one of Randy Pausch’s ETC Masters students almost a decade ago…which, on a spectrum of degrees of separation, is essentially as good as Randy being the long lost half brother (presumably fathered by the milkman…or…Kevin Bacon?? Jeez! We really ARE all related to him!) that I never knew I had. And never before have I been more simultaneously heartwarmed and heartbroken to be metaphorically half-related to a complete stranger than I am today.

Randy, a 47 year old father of 3 kids (all under the age of 5) and a beloved computer science professor, has terminal pancreatic cancer. And with an estimated “few months left to live”, he gave his very last lecture at CMU a few days ago. Mr. Wonderful was wonderful enough to send me the link. It’s a bittersweet gift to receive a lecture from a dying man who feels compelled to use his last lecture ever to tell you how to achieve your childhood dreams…but it’s a gift well worth the 90 minutes he takes to give it to you.

Fast forward through the introductory stuff at the beginning, skip the honorary stuff at the end if you want, but watch Randy’s lecture. All the way to the end. It’s funny. It’s nerdy. And it gets you in the balls (testes or ovaries, your choice!) at all the right moments. (If there ever ARE right moments for that sort of thing.) And the twist at the very end is worth the whole thing. Promise.

The embedding thingamajiggy stuff doesn’t seem to want to work at the moment, so click here for the link: Dying 47 year old Professor gives exuberant “last lecture.”


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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