Category Archives: Guys

Dodger Stadium

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On Monday night, I had way too much energy and thought it would be great to go dancing, but couldn’t think of where to go on a Monday night so I went for a walk instead. Well, a walk interspersed with running so I was a hot and sweaty mess by the time I was finished.

Just as I was getting home, my phone rang, “Oye, Cuquita [koo-kee-tah: little paper doll]!! Que bola?!? What are you doing tonight, baby? I just got into town! Let’s go to Floridita!

Damn it. Of course. I had forgotten the best place to go on a Monday night for dancing.
Plus, I hadn’t seen this buddy of mine since he had suggested I get up on stage and represent my Cuban roots so it was a double-bummer.

Being too ridiculously tired to dance (and mildly irritated at being called a pet name), I countered with a suggestion for going dancing on Tuesday. “Ok, Kikita linda, don’t worry. I know the best place! We can go tomorrow no problem!

After church group on Tuesday, I called him and canceled.
5 minutes later, I called back and told him I’d changed my mind.
In those 5 minutes, his ride had left, so if I still wanted to go, I had to pick him up, “But don’t worry, mi Cuquita, I am only 5 minutes away from esteven’s.

Ok, so I got the address, put it into my phone’s GPS and I was off.
Since this was just going dancing with a buddy and Not A Date, I texted another buddy and let him know I’d be there, “Ok, sexy, but I’m leaving at 11 so hurry!” (Apparently, my buddies had not received the message that if you are just an un-interested buddy, you should not be using terms of endearment.)

A buddy from church started sending me lines from a TV Show we both love which was messing with my GPS.
My dad was emailing me about some other thing which was also messing with my GPS.
My buddy who was already dancing was chatty which was ALSO messing with my GPS.

I missed my exit.
I was now lost in some part of Los Angeles that a beautiful blonde should probably not be lost.
I pulled over to get my GPS working.
I got back on the freeway.
People kept texting me.
My GPS crapped out again.
I looked up and I was at the gates of Dodger Stadium.
I’ve never been to Dodger Stadium.

I finally found my Visiting Buddy’s house, and we were off!

Visiting Buddy: I saw your boyfriend the other day! Well, your ex!
Me: Ummm… which one?
Me (to myself): Which of my exs would he even know?
Visiting Buddy: Do you remember Fulano’s dad?
Me: What the … why are you calling him my boyfriend?
Visiting Buddy: Didn’t he take you outside once and …
Me: OH. MAH. GOODNESS. YES!! He pulled out ‘CUBA’ and kept telling me to touch it. Damn, for an old man… Seriously, it was bigger than my forearm!
Visiting Buddy: HAHAHAHAHA!! Ay! Honey, that was the turn back there…

We missed three turns while talking about … “CUBA.”

Finally, we made it to esteven’s and my Dance Buddy bogarted me for two songs. He would have gone for three, but I felt bad double-dancing when I hadn’t seen my Visiting Buddy in so long. Dance Buddy left and I turned my attention back to my Visiting Buddy.
Since the place was pretty empty, people couldn’t help but stare at two Cubans doing their thing.
And I couldn’t believe how much I’d never known about him… like that he’d been a political prisoner, or part of the Cuban military, or that he was a Bounty Hunter in Vegas. UN.REAL.

On the ride back to his house (well, his brother’s house), I mentioned how much I LOVE cigars. His brother just happened to have some and would love to give me one, but “Come here, Cuquita, I want to show you something first.

The something required a hike.
Did I mention I was wearing 5″ platforms?
It turns out I am quite stubborn.
Bounty Hunter: I’ll carry you. Trust me, I can do it.
Me: Hell no. I want to do it myself.
And I did.
When we got to the top of the hill it was a breath-taking view of L.A., particularly … Dodger Stadium.

Bounty Hunter: Look, Kikita! Whenever my brother or I miss Cuba, we come up here and it reminds of being home.
Me: It really is beautiful. And I was just thinking to myself this morning… you know what I want to do tonight? See Dodger Stadium.
Bounty Hunter: Ay, Cuquita! You are too funny! Since we’re Cuban, I knew you would love to see a baseball stadium, but look at the moon! I bet no one has ever shown you the moon before either… isn’t it romaaantic?
Me: You’re right. I have NEVER seen the moon before. It’s SOOOO romantic.
Me (too myself): Cubans. Baseball. The man had a point… Uh oh. This buddy is about to make his move out of the “buddy” zone… shit, shit, SHIT!

Bounty Hunter the Visiting Buddy made his move and now his intentions were clear. Apparently, I had been On a Date and completely missed it.
After a brief interlude (VERY brief because there was no way I was going to let this Bounty Hunter get anywhere at the top of a hill in the middle of the night), I mentioned that it was a school night and I needed to go. Going down a hill in 5″ platforms is even MORE difficult than going up, so I finally gave in and let him carry me down.

When we got to the house, his brother was waiting for us.
Bounty Hunter: Hermano! This is the lovely Kikita, she’s Cuban like us and loves cigars. Can you hook her up?

And he did.

I stayed for another 20 minutes out of sheer politeness. One doesn’t accept such a fine gift without spending time visiting for a while, but once hands started to get a little more handsy, it was my cue.

Bounty Hunter: Can I see you tomorrow? Or when are you coming to Vegas? I can get you a free room, just let me know. Ay, Kikita! Do you have any idea how amazing you are?
Me: Thank you for everything. Especially the cigar… AND for showing me Dodger Stadium.
Me (to myself): Yeah… just a little. 😉

A few days later I would find out I had been given the Best. Cigar. Ever.
Dodger Stadium and a delicious cigar, what more could a girl ask for?

The Dentist

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I was at work translating a benefit summary (the list of medical/dental/vision procedures covered by one’s insurance) and I came across a word that I had NO IDEA how to say in Spanish.

Root Canal.

So I checked a few online translators, but I was fairly certain that “endodoncia” wasn’t quite specific enough for what I wanted.

I asked a Spanish-speaking co-worker. He didn’t know either.
I asked the people in our call center. They didn’t know.

I became determined to find out the word.

I remembered that O.D. Churroman had a cousin who was a dentist so she MUST know. Yet another reason to be bummed that he was still not speaking to me.

LIGHTBULB!

That one Colombian friend of mine that I casually blew off all of last year because I wanted to stay just friends! He was a dentist! Perfect!

I called.

(The following conversation took place in Spanish, but has been translated for the non-Spanish readers.)

The Dentist: Alo?
Me: Hey, chico! How are you?
The Dentist: Hey! Kikita la Cubanita! It’s been a while! Where have you been?
Me: I know! I’ve been working. Speaking of work, I have a question… how do you say “root canal” in Spanish?
The Dentist: Transamiento de conducto.
Me:  Perfect! Thank you so much!
The Dentist: When am I going to see you again?
Me: … soon!
The Dentist: Monday?
Me: I have plans.
The Dentist: Thursday?
Me: I have drums.
The Dentist: 2013?
Me: Sounds great!

When you love what you do, you’ll go that extra mile. 🙂

¿Y Ahora Qué?

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I was dying to go dancing.
I knew where I wanted to go, but it was just far enough that just going and hoping to find people to dance with was not necessarily something I wanted to risk.
On the other hand, I knew there would be a live band and I knew some “friends” (SEE: Exs) would be playing so it’s not exactly like I would be ALONE alone.

I asked a friend, but he couldn’t come.
I asked a buddy I knew was there all the time, but he wasn’t going.

So I went alone.

When I walked in, my attention was immediately captured by a dancer I’d never seen before. And I decided I would dance with him before the night was over.

I found my “friends” and sat down with them. Of course, they were sitting with the Cuban from a few weeks ago who had proposed to me and his girlfriend. She was so quiet and barely looked me in the eye. I wondered if she hated me under pure suspicion of what had transpired a few weeks ago. Shrugging it off, I sat and chatted happily and then my “friends” got up to play, so I got up to dance.

During the next break, I made my way back to the table and … what was this? The dancer I had lost track of was sitting there! PERFECT!

After being introduced, I found out that not only was The Dancer a Cuban, he was the BEST FRIEND of the Cuban with the girlfriend. Awesome.

My “friends” got up to play again, the Cuban got up to dance with his girlfriend and I was left alone with The Dancer.
That was when The Challenge came up:
The Dancer: You drove 45 minutes for this?!?
Me: Sure, why not?
The Dancer: I would never drive 45 minutes for anything. Especially not this.
Me (to myself): Uh huh, we’ll see about that.
Me (to him): Ok, well, let’s dance.
The Dancer: You’re boyfriend won’t get jealous?
Me: First of all, he’s not my boyfriend. Second, even if he was, no… he likes to share.

Half a dance later…
The Dancer: Ok, maybe I would drive 45 minutes for THIS…
Me (to myself): I win.
Me (to him): Good to know, but don’t get any ideas of driving anytime soon…
The Dancer: How soon is soon? What are you doing tomorrow?
Me: I’m busy. And soon is, at least, March.

The night ended with a text informing me that I had no idea what I was missing, but hopefully I’d be willing to find out soon. If I had a nickel …

My plans for Friday night fell through, right along with my Saturday night plans.
I had been dying to go dancing at a Cuban place in Hollywood and had convinced a buddy of mine to be willing to make the drive with me on Saturday night, but he ended up having to work.

I sent The Dancer a message on Friday night saying that I might be available, but would let him know in an hour.
I admit, my intentions had been less than honorable. I really just wanted to win again. I had no intention of going anywhere Friday night.

He won.
He said he was going to a Cuban place in Hollywood and would love for me to meet him there.
Damn it. I hadn’t planned for that one. It was the one thing I couldn’t say no to.

It was another magic evening.
The girlfriend and her Cuban boyfriend were there and she was suddenly my best friend.
I was being introduced to all kinds of people and everyone found me to be the amazing person I am.

The Dancer and I danced and talked and it was great.
And the more we talked, the more amazing it was.
He even said that wonderfully cliché line of: Where have you been hiding all this time?

So I was winning, until he answered his own question and things took a turn for the worse: That’s right, you’ve been behind a cloud of darkness.
Me: Excuse me?
The Dancer: Don’t try to tell me there was nothing going on between you and that negro last night. [Negro as in the Spanish word for “black.”]
Me: Well, not last night, but once upon a time, sure. That was years ago, though.
The Dancer: How could you do that? You are so much better than that. Don’t tell me you’re actually attracted to negros?
Me: Seriously?
The Dancer: I’m sorry, but I don’t eat where a negro has eaten. I’m giving you this one chance because there’s just something about you, but consider yourself SUPER lucky!

I was instructed to text when I got home safely and that he would call me the next day, which surprised me since he didn’t seem to be able to get past my past.

And I guess he didn’t have the guts to tell me that to my face, because he never did call…

I can’t help but go back and forth between feeling irritated at such stupidity and totally ashamed of my choices from 5 years ago.

¿Y ahora qué?
So, now what?

Check Please!

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I was out to lunch with my sister, mami, and mami’s in-laws. Since mom didn’t have cash, she asked me to have the waiter give us a separate check.

Me: Can you give us a separate check?
Him: Only because you’re so beautiful.
Me (to myself): I don’t care about your reasons so long as you’re making it happen.
Me (to him): Thank you!

Later…
Him (to MY MOTHER): Suegra, I just wanted to introduce myself. I actually thought you were her sister.
(For those non-Spanish speakers, “Suegra” means Mother-In-Law.)

And then he brought me Kevin for dessert…

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Terms of Endearment

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Him 1: Hey babes!!
Him 2: Hey sexy!!!! What are you up to?
Him 3: Hola, mi vida!
Him 4: How are you doing, honey?
Him 5: Sorry babe
Him 6: Que haces, mi amor?
Him 7: Hun, can I ask you a question?
Him 8: Good night, love.
Him 9: MAMITAAAA!
Him 10: Corazón…
Him 11: ‘Sup, hot stuff?
Him 12: Hello, Gorgeous!

No, this is not a complete list.

With everyone calling me their honey love babe, you’d think I get around… a LOT. And I don’t! (Although, I’m starting to think maybe I should…)

Each time someone who purports to be my friend calls me something like this, my first thought is: “Since when am I your [insert term of endearment here]?

Then I react to whatever word was and who it’s coming from…

Hot Stuff = What year are we in? Am I required to respond to this?
Gorgeous = True, but is this a Barbra Streisand movie? Or are you suggesting I have a big nose? (I do, but that’s not important right now)
Babes = More than one?
Sexy = I thought gays were the only one who used that when referring to a female they had never been … *ahem* … intimate with?
Mi Vida = Your life? Really? You might want to think about getting a new one…
Honey = Goes in tea and on bread.
Babe = Last time I checked, I was not a talking pig
Mi Amor = Did you fall in love with me during these past months that I hadn’t been talking to you?
Love = I’m sorry, are you British?
MAMITAAAA = No, I don’t have children. (And, NO, I do not want to have yours… and NO, I do not want to practice with you, either.)
Corazón = Why don’t you give your heart to someone who cares?
Hun = As in “Attila the…”?

I have a name. And I have a nickname. And nicknames for the nickname.

Must these fools persist to annoy me with “relationship-y” words when one (or both) of us has no desire for such status?

Granted, it would likely be far less annoying if it was just one or two fools participating in such behavior, but it seems to be a damned epidemic. Even those I did not consider to be so foolish have managed to irritate me with this nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being called any of the aforementioned terms of endearment under the right circumstances (with the exception of “Hot Stuff” which will probably always make me gag in a not good way); however, none of the current examples were presented under the right circumstances.

Look, kids, either we’re just friends or we’re not just friends. If we are not friends, then we should probably have a conversation about that during which I will bluntly explain why we should stick to friends. If we are just friends, then I have compiled a list of acceptable “friendly” terms of endearment for your future use that will not blur The Line:

Sunshine: because yes, I am bright and happy and warm… and it sounds even better when said with a hint of sarcasm
Homeslice: cracks me up every time
Homeskillet:  seriously, cracking up over here
Precious: because I love Lord of the Rings and you would know that if you were my friend

All other suggestions will be submitted to management for review.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

He Dropped Me

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It was a long day.

I had an early meeting. I had projects to finish. I had projects to start. I had Cuban coffee to drink.

Somehow my boss convinced the VP to go to lunch at my new favorite Cuban place (Bella Cuba) and so what is usually lunch at my desk became two hours of not being at work with the added bonus of the VP mentioning how much “Kiki LOOOOOVES chocolate” (and he wasn’t talking about my eating habits – though how he learned about that I’m not sure because all three people I’ve dated since being at the company have been … *ahem* vanilla).

As I was finally leaving the office, LATE, the wind howled and stole the last drops of café that were in my cup… and proceeded to spray them onto my favorite pair of white pants.

I hurried home to change into a pair of less favorite jeans so that I could hurry to the cd release party of an African girlfriend of mine.

I called an old BFF to make sure he was going. He was. We walked in together, but then an ex of his pulled him away just in time for me to see the ex-girlfriend of an ex of mine. She was absolutely thrilled to see me and demanded we take a picture together. Why not? Now there is a permanent record for me to review and wonder how the hell I ever ended up following an act like hers…

After the picture, I turn to greet a few other old friends and then see the pregnant wife of another ex. Of course, she has no idea of my ex status because when she and I met everyone thought I was with my BFF (when, in fact, it was his roommate I was with… ish). She is super sweet and absolutely adorable, but I get the sense that she’s not entirely thrilled to be pregnant and is worried that her mixed baby is going to come out less-than gorgeous. After hugging her and catching up a bit on her and then on everyone else who has had babies lately and everyone who was about to have babies, I found my old BFF again and we went looking for seats.

He had someone he wanted me to meet and started steering me in that direction. Of course, the friend he wanted me to meet was sitting right in front of the pregnant wife and her husband (my ex).

The break-up conversation that led to this ex becoming my ex was simple, to the point (something along the lines of “Kiki, you deserve better than what I have to offer you right now“), and we stayed friends. Since this was several years ago, certain things shouldn’t bother me, right? Of course, right!

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: KIKITA!! It’s wonderful to see you! You’re beautiful! Do you know that? Really! You are so beautiful, and you have a beautiful heart and are just an amazing and beautiful person. Have I told you how beautiful you are?
Me: Not today…
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Come! Sit with us!
Me (to myself): You have GOT to be kidding me right now.

It was a spectacular concert. And the sound was done by the awesome Cuban guy from my church because the world is really that small and my night wasn’t weird enough.

Meanwhile… on my phone…

Dance Buddy: Hey there sexy lady! What are you up to?
Me: At a concert having a weird moment.
Me (to myself): I’m sorry, who gave you permission to call me “sexy lady”?
Dance Buddy: Oh, sorry to hear that baby! Just imagine I’m there dancing with you.
Me: Ha!
Me (to myself): Baby? Seriously? And this whole time I thought he was gay…

After the concert, but before leaving…

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Kikita, you know you need to have a mixed baby.
Me: Yeah, ok. I’ll get right on that.
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: Why not [your old BFF]?
Me: That will never happen. Beyond not being attracted to him, when I turned 25 and freaked out about getting old, I asked him to be my back-up plan. If I turned 30 and didn’t have any prospects, I asked him to have a kid with me. Of course he agreed, but then we spent the next 6 months discussing baby names and were never able to agree on anything. So, even if I WANTED to have a kid with him, which I don’t, we could never name it.
My Ex With The Pregnant Wife: You are too much. Poor guy. He’s really awesome.

A little while later, some other individual came up to introduce himself to me. We ended up having quite a bit in common, including a penchant for learning new languages. My Ex With The Pregnant Wife  overheard us going from Arabic to English to Spanish and was kind of amazed.

My Ex With The Pregnant Wife (to the new guy): Kikita is an amazing woman. She’s really quite brilliant. Kikita! Have you ever tested for your IQ? She likes to pretend she’s not very smart because she’s blond, but really she is brilliant.

I guess the sales pitch worked because when some of the other girls asked if we could all go to a nearby dance place (which just happened to be my Sunday night hang-out), the new guy was happy to come along. And fearless about dancing even though he wasn’t very good.

My old BFF pulled me aside: Kiki! You have to dance! I’ve told everyone what a great dancer you are!

No pressure.

Luckily, one of my Sunday night buddies was there. He’s a bit odd, but fun to dance with so that’s all that really matters. We were dancing, but joking around a lot, too. Somewhere in the middle of the dance, he dipped me. No one ever dips me, which I understand, there’s a lot of me to dip.

Well, this kid dipped me, and then we kept dancing.
And then the song ended.
And he dipped me again.
And I am not sure exactly what happened…

He might have tripped me.
Or I might have lost my balance.
Or he wasn’t supporting me…

Whatever the reason, I found myself on the ground… sort of.

I really don’t even know how it happened. I was on the ground, so I knew I had fallen (or had been dropped).

But the kid hadn’t fallen on top of me.

And then he did.

And I didn’t think it was possible, but I fell MORE.

And I think we sort of rolled…

And I couldn’t stop laughing.

He dropped me.
He dipped me.
And he dropped me.

I’d never been dropped before…. Well, not LITERALLY dropped.

Obviously, all the exs of the evening had dropped me at some point…. figuratively speaking.

The lesson: You are going to get dropped and even if it doesn’t hurt too much at the time, you’ll still find bruises.

 

Happy Chinese New Year 2012!

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Why I love Chinese New Year…

Ok, I have no real good reasons. I hear that Chinese people give money to their co-workers, but  I have never had the occasion to be on the receiving end. Up until recently, I was pretty convinced I didn’t know any Chinese people at all…

However, THIS year, I am excited.

THIS year, I am celebrating (probably by going to Pick-Up Stix for lunch, but that is not important right now).

The reason I am so excited about this particular Chinese New Year actually goes back to October when I went to Mambo’s Cafe to see Cartaya’s Enclave.

I could not wait to go back to Mambo’s and see the group play again in December. I loved the idea of the Toy Drive. I spent an hour in Target looking for the perfect gift. All they had said was “bring an unwrapped toy.” I thought about buying something for a girl, but ultimately decided to pick out a toy for a boy. While walking around the packed boy-toy aisles of Target, I wished I could have borrowed someones son and just said “What toy would you like?” and bought that. Unfortunately, I was on my own. I picked up a Batman. I walked around with the Batman and thought about picking up a some other Batman thing and then, I saw it…

A freaking Ninja Dragon!!

I loved it. wanted to keep it. That’s how I knew that there would be one very happy kid out there.

I could not wait for December 13th. It was going to be a great night. I was so proud of my Ninja Dragon.

This is the part where things get magical…

On December 13th, my gut told me that Mambo’s Cafe was not going to work out that night. So I called and canceled my reservation.
An hour later,  my ride to Mambo’s for that night sent a message saying they could not give me a ride that night. Amazing, right? That before I could say “I don’t need a ride anymore” I was being told the ride wasn’t happening. That worked out perfectly. Magically even.

Except… Now I had a freaking Ninja Dragon on my hands and, as much as I loved it, I decided it was not something I was supposed to keep. But who in the world would I give this thing to? I didn’t know any kids… and I was not going to give this random gift to one of my cousins’ kids just because they had boys. This toy was too cool. This was a special gift. I could feel it.

I thought about giving it to my friend, The Ninja (because I have one of those), but I rarely see him…

Besides, the last time I’d gotten him a small gift for Christmas, I didn’t give it to him until March.
As awesome as it would be to give a Ninja Dragon to my friend, The Ninja, I knew that it wasn’t for him.

I remembered that one night (before December 13th) while talking with the Yellow-Shirted Conundrum, I had told him of my amazingly cool Ninja Dragon. That’s when I thought I should give him the Ninja Dragon. So I did. And he loved it.

It was perfect… I just had no idea HOW perfect until I was talking to my friend, The Ninja.

My friend, The Ninja: A Ninja Dragon. Yeah, that’s pretty cool… You know Chinese New Year is coming up, right?
Me: Yeah, why? How funny would it be if this year is the year of the… OH. NO. WAY!! Don’t tell me! Is it? SHUT UP RIGHT NOW!
My friend, The Ninja: Yes, this year is the Year of the Dragon.
Me: That is so amazing!! What are the odds? I mean, I know I was trusting my gut with everything, but … WOW! So many things had to line up for that to happen that way!
My friend, The Ninja:  You should find out when his birthday is because I bet…
Me: No. Way. Don’t say it. I know where you’re going with this. That would be too much!

I checked… (Facebook rocks.)

My friend, The Ninja, was right; the Yellow-Shirted Conundrum is a Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac.

I gave a freaking Ninja Dragon to a Dragon just before the Year of the Dragon… the Year of the BLACK Dragon.

O_O

AMAZING, right? Freaking MAGICAL!

I can’t wait to see what magical thing happens next!

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!