Monthly Archives: October 2011

He Googled Me


We’ve been dancing together for maybe 5 years.

We’ve known each other’s names for maybe 3 years.

We’ve been Facebook friends for at least a year.

We’re friends.

And one night (in front of a group of our friends) he asked, “What does Kikita mean?” because he hadn’t been able to find that answer. Hehehe.

So I told him (and the rest of the group) the story.

And then someone asked if I was Cuban and I said yes.

He corrected them by asking, “Only HALF, right?”

Look, buddy, technically speaking, YES, but that’s not important right now and had you asked that any other way I could have let everyone believe I was just Cuban, but now you’ve pointed out that I’m just HALF and while I appreciate that you’ve been paying enough attention to know that, I’m more irritated that you outed me than I am impressed that you knew it.

(BUT… this does not detract from the part where he Googled me.)


Toma Chocolate, Paga lo que Debes


I grew up whistling to the flute of Orquesta Aragon.

I do it without even thinking about it.

I’m sure just about every Cuban does.

In fact, I specifically remember one moment where Mami and I were both whistling distractedly and my Dad suddenly asked, “MUST you whistle?!?” And I think the best part was when we both answered in the affirmative explaining that it was the only way to make the flute sound.

Poor Dad.

When I heard Orquesta Aragon was going to be playing at a popular club in L.A., I knew I had to go. Going alone to that kind of thing is something I’m definitely used to, but I thought I’d check and see if Mami wanted to come. She did. I told her we’d get seats, but that I might have to jump up and go dance from time to time.

It was all going quite well. I even knew a couple of people there, so I knew I’d get the chance to dance.

At one point, I was across the room standing with a dance buddy of mine and I mentioned that I was going to go and sit down, but that he could come find me later. For him to know where I was sitting, I pointed to Mami and then waved. Then he waved. Then she waved back. When I got back to my seat the first thing she asked me was, “Y quien es ese negrito?”

Ummm… well… he’s my dance buddy, Mami. I have seen him all over the place for years now… he’s fun to dance with.


I danced with another friend of mine and when I got back to my seat Mami asked, “Who was the midget?”

Oh… that’s just another guy I know from dancing… he’s a Marielito. Straight up Escoria.

I ran into my buddy, Ricardo Lemvo, and introduced him to Mami. He mentioned how he was a Bleeding Heart Liberal. Later, Mami asked how I knew “that communist idiot.”

It was definitely not the ideal way to introduce Mami into my dance world, pero I’m sure it left her no doubt that I still love chocolate just as much as I enjoy vanilla.

Y Aragon? They sound exactly the same as they have my whole life. It was so worth it.

Oye, Rumberito!


My buddy, Adonis Puentes, was playing at this cool little Cuban restaurant (called Mambos Cafe) in Glendale last night.

Aside from it being in Glendale and tiny, it is the best place ever. The food is amazing. The service is great. Everyone is super friendly.

I love it.

If it weren’t so far away from me, I’d go there every Tuesday. (Because every Tuesday they have a live Latin jazz band playing and it is a total party.)

And that is why my buddy Adonis Puentes was there.

His voice can melt ice.

And everyone that plays in his band is so accomplished!

If you ever get the chance to see him play, don’t hesitate. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Be friends with him on Facebook.

Listen to his stuff.

I hear he has a new cd coming out in January or February and I already know it’s going to be fantastic.

Cartaya’s Enclave is playing at Mambo’s Cafe in a couple of weeks. I hear they do an amazing show, too so I’ve already got a table reserved.

Mambo’s Cafe. Get into it.

I had so much fun and was in such a great mood that, on my way home, I stopped by Tia Juana’s in Irvine and caught Johnny Polanco’s last set. (Why not?)

I made it just in time and he ended with one of my favorite songs.

It was nearly the perfect night. The only thing missing was someone to dance with, but that didn’t stop me from kikitiando to my heart’s content.

Ok, ok. And a good Cuban cigar. 😉

I Needed a Change


Way back in March I had been wanting to dye my hair red. I didn’t at the time because summer was coming and I didn’t want to pay good money for something that would wash out so quickly and get bleached by the sun. I made a deal with myself and said that I could dye my hair in the fall. It was a good time to go darker with my hair.

It’s officially Fall now, but I don’t have that deep desire to change my hair. In fact, I’m kind of happy with it.

The driving need today was to change my room.

I just couldn’t take it one more second!

Today I walked in and could just see what needed to happen, so I made it happen.

It took me a good part of the day, but I did it.

I Just Did It.

At one point, though, I DID have to call for help. There is this chair that I absolutely adore.

It really is the best chair. It is a little too big and awkward to move by myself, though. And since my room was still considerably messy, I didn’t want to ask one of my neighbors to help.

Besides, I am extremely selective about who I allow in my room. Even if neighbors are just being neighborly, I felt uncomfortable having them in my room. So I called my brother and sister, they came over, moved the chair, offered me a lamp they weren’t using, and left.

I’m sitting in my chair now.

It’s delicious.

Seriously, it’s like I have created my happy place.

I still have to figure out what to put on the walls, though; they’re looking kind of bare.

Even so, my room makes me smile. It just feels nicer in here.


Horseback Riding 101


I have a memory of being about 8 or 9 and my dad had taken me to some big park where there were horses. He paid the man and they put me on top of the horse. After the horse took two steps I was done and demanded to be let off. I was terrified. My father was furious.

It’s 20 years later and suddenly I have a bug in me that I won’t be able to shake until I get back on a horse and get over the terror.

Groupon connected me with Cherylin Von Aldenbruck and she was amazing. After she learned I was terrified and wanting to get over it, she took me to me Leia, a beautiful white … horse. (I am not so great that I remember what kind of horse she was.) So I was petting Leia and brushing her and then Cherylin said that when Leia did “that thing with her lips” it meant she liked me. Well, that’s good.

So I walked Leia over to a ramp that would make getting onto her back easier for me. And then I was in the saddle. And sqeaking.

So Cherylin explained how to sit and let me just sit there for a couple of minutes before walking Leia (with me on her back) over to the training ring. Leia started walking and I started squeaking again, quietly because I didn’t want to scare her.

Cherylin was just talking and talking and explaining where to put my hands and feet and how the reins worked and she told me that, “The best remedy for fear is boredom. Are you bored yet?”

Yeah, I was getting kind of bored. So we tried a trot, but I was given strict instructions to not squeak or scream or make a sound that might scare the horse. Leia did a trot for all of 4 steps. I didn’t squeak, but I desperately wanted to.

Leia trotted again. I forgot about squeaking.

I learned how to do a posting trot (that sitting and standing thing). AND practiced keeping my balance and sitting while Leia trotted.

Before I knew it, my lesson was over and so was my fear of horses. (!!!)

My next lesson is in two weeks. I can’t wait!

The Wrong Choice


Last night was Saturday night.

I needed a change.

I was SO SICK of dancing at the same place with the same people.

I made a last minute decision to drive to LA for the Eddie Santiago concert at the Conga Room.

After deciding what I wanted to do, I called a dance buddy and asked if he wanted to go, too. Of course he did. So I met him there.

I was not there 10 minutes and I was ready to go. I didn’t like the crowd and could tell I wouldn’t be dancing much.

Had I been by myself I would have left and gone around the corner to where I knew my friends were playing that night. For the first time in a long time, though, I wasn’t out by myself. I had my dance buddy. And I couldn’t ask him to give up the price of admission just because I was bored and unhappy.

The salt came pouring into my wound when a girlfriend I hadn’t been out dancing with in forever told me she was at my same place with my same people AND was running into old friends of ours. The place I was SO SICK of was now exactly where I wanted to be.

How can you learn from that mistake? Because I didn’t just make the wrong choice. I made the wrong choice twice over. There were TWO other places I could have had more fun at.

I learned I prefer going places alone because I like having the freedom to leave and relocate whenever I want. It is the Kiki way.

I also learned that sometimes you just have to be in the moment, embrace it, and not go to some random concert with a buddy just because you want a change of scenery.