if you can’t laugh at yourself

In a couple of hours I’m off to the OB-GYN. There’s no better way to start your weekend than with a visit to the nether regions doctor, right girls?? My prediction: She’ll try to push some sort of pills on me. Because doctors always do. I still remember the look of shock on my former doctor’s face when I told him that I didn’t want to take birth control pills, thankyouverymuch.

This new doctor is a woman. I’ve never had a female OB-GYN, so it’ll be interesting to see the differences in bedside manner. My former doctor was also my mom’s doctor, and he actually brought me into the world (well, my mom did the pushing, he did the catching).

I haven’t had a check-up in three years (gasp!), so I wonder if there will be cobwebs in there! 😀


The West magazine photo shoot went well (as far as I know, but I didn’t get to see the final pictures, so right now the photographer could be pulling out his hair and wondering how in the world he was going to fix those shots of the god-awful cooking teacher with the crooked apron and maniacal smile… And I would never know).

I realized something very important from this experience: I could NEVER become a model.

I was standing there, slicing a peach, and the photographer barked, “Now, look up and smile as if we had just entered the kitchen.” I did my best Martha Stewart ‘oh, it’s you!’ impression. “OK, now smile a little less,” the photographer suggested. I turned down the voltage, and he said, “You don’t look genuine, relax your features.” So I relaxed my features, and he said, “But now you’re not smiling.” No, but I am holding a very large knife, and I’m not afraid to use it.

“Now turn your body.” So I did, but it’s kind of hard to turn your body while you’re holding on to a big chef’s knife and a freshly cut peach, dripping with juice. “Not too much,” cried the photographer. So I turned back. “Now your apron is crooked,” cried the art director, jumping up to re-adjust it.

“Now, close your eyes for a second and open them,” called the photographer. I did, and as I was trying to focus, a huge flash exploded in my face. You know that deer-in-headlights look? Not very flattering. “Now try a relaxed pose,” he suggested. I put my hands on the table and leaned forward. “No, that’s too far forward, try something else,” he demanded. Something like what? Should I straddle the prep table? I’m a culinary teacher, not a model, for Pete’s sake!

I wonder if Tyra Banks could make a Peachy Ceviche as yummy as mine…


When I moved to the U.S., I realized something very odd: People don’t like talking about how much money they make. In Mexico, it’s very natural to discuss your salary and compare it to those of your friends. In the U.S., however, salaries are a hush-hush topic. Sure, it’s acceptable to show off your money, but it’s not acceptable to talk about figures. Go figure.

When I was growing up, my mother never had any money of her own. My parents had a family business and all the money was ‘theirs’. She didn’t have problems with this because she managed the money and paid the bills. My dad never knew how much money was in the bank, and he didn’t care.

This arrangement followed me into my marriage, with the slight difference being that my husband controlled all the money. I had a bank account, but it had my husband’s money in it and he controlled what went in and out. I worked with him, and instead of earning a salary, he gave me a credit card that was closely monitored for ‘superfluous’ expenses each month.

I finally got myself out of this pickle when I opened my business. However, I still feel guilty when I balance my books and evaluate my net worth. I picture myself as a Gringott’s goblin, hunched over my calculator, crunching numbers and giggling gleefully as I scribble figures with a quill. I have to force the guilt aside and push those images out of my head. When I do, and I look at the financial results of three years of hard work, I am filled with so much happiness and pride!!!

Again, I know people feel uncomfortable talking about how much they make… But let’s just say that if I wanted to, I could take a year off from work! Not a bad way to end a week, huh?


Mr. T has a pair of friends (a couple) who are really flaky. Take today, for example. Mr. T called me while I was making dinner, to tell me that they wanted to go walk the dogs at the beach and would we like to join them. I sighed, because I was wearing nice clothes and didn’t feel like changing, plus I was making dinner and didn’t feel like having to reheat everything. However, I agreed to go because they’re his friends and the dogs needed a walk.

I turned off the stove, schlepped upstairs to change into short and running shoes, pulled up my hair in a ponytail, and went downstairs to wait for Mr. T. Ten minutes later I got a call from him again: His friends bailed out on the plans THEY had proposed.

I am a compulsive planner… DO NOT mess with my schedule, if you know what’s good for you. That’s just not nice, people.

Oh, did I mention I have PMS? Can you tell? Really? What gave it away??

In other news, today I had lunch with a good friend who’s a few days away from delivering a baby boy. Her husband is out of town, so our group of friends is taking turns “watching” her. We went to the mall, waddled around for 30 minutes, and had lunch.

While we were finishing lunch, she groaned and grabbed her huge belly. Oh shit, I thought. This is it! Dear God, why on my watch?? WHY???

I must have looked terrified, because she laughed and said, “Don’t worry, he just kicked.”

I sighed and thanked my lucky stars, because honestly, I couldn’t even remember where I had parked the car!

God tells Adam and Eve that he has a special gift to give each of them. He asks, “Who wants the first one?”, without saying what this first gift is. Adam, always the eager beaver, lunges forward and yells, “I do, I do!!”

God gives him the first gift, which is the ability to pee standing up. Adam is delighted and runs around the Garden of Eden, peeing on everything and writing his name in urine on the dirt.

Eve watches Adam, rolls her eyes, and calmly asks God, “What’s the other gift?” God smiles and gives Eve a knowing wink, as he replies, “Multiple orgasms.”

We came back home after our trip to find that insects had moved into our respective dwellings.  Mr. T has a beehive on his upstairs patio and my apartment is overrun by ants.  I can’t leave a single crumb on the counter, or the tiniest speck of dog food on the floor, because within minutes ants will swarm around the tasty morsel like Italians around a gelato store during a record-breaking heat wave.

In other news… Mr. T got sued by his insane next-door neighbor, who claims it’s his fault that the entire row of townhouses had to be tented for termites.  Mind you, had it not been for Mr. T actually discovering the termites, every home would’ve collapsed during the next earthquake.  Now he’s trying to counter-sue, but she conveniently skipped town and is returning the day of the trial.  This is the same neighbor who threatened to call Child Protective Services because another neighbor’s two-year old fell, bumped his head, and was crying.  Did I mention she walks her cat on a leash?  Some people should go live on a deserted island…

As if this weren’t enough drama for my poor man, Alitalia lost his suitcase somewhere between Naples and Milan.  Sadly, two beautiful brand-new Italian linen shirts were in the bag.  Luckily, so were many of his old, ratty shirts, which I had been wanting to get rid of for a while now… I finally get to go shopping for new clothes for my man!!  (I’m doing the shopping dance in my chair!)

And speaking of clothes, my closet is bursting at the seams (haha, get it?!) with all the new fashions I bought.  An entire post must be dedicated to the intricacies of shopping in Italy.  It’s not a sport for the shy or faint-of-heart (or for those who aren’t fluent in Italian, either!).

Did I mention I was a victim of a “butt-grab and run” incident in Naples?  I guess there are pathetic losers everywhere.  Mr. T made it all better, though.  But that, my friends, is the topic of yet another post.

I must conclude this exercise in procrastination by announcing that I am now the proud holder of a student visa!  And it only took me eight hours of sitting in a 90-degree American consulate to get it!  I start school on September 7, so enjoy my brilliant (haha) posts while they last, because once school starts, I’ll be lucky if I can remember to walk the dog!

Gotta go, the ants are climbing up my arms!!!  GAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

The wedding from hell is upon me.  I have spent a year cursing the day that I accepted this couple’s business.  Why, oh why did I not see that they were going to be such a nightmare to work with?  Fortunately, I only have to see them today and tomorrow and NEVER AGAIN!   They, on the other hand, have to put up with their unfortunate selves the rest of their lives.

Here’s a little tidbit I found amusing (but apparently, they didn’t):

Me: So, we’ll base the final guest count for the bar vendor on 160 guests.

Bride (with mom on three-way): Well, I was thinking 165 because of the photographers, videographer, DJ and you.

Me: Oh, don’t worry about me.  I’ll be so busy that I’ll be lucky if I can finish a bottle of water.  Although, by the time I’m done with this wedding, I might need a tequila shot. Hahaha!

Bride and mom: *crickets*

Some people have no sense of humor…

But I’ve been babysitting Mr. T’s nieces and trying to catch up on work.  Who knew two kids, two dogs, and ten brides would be the death of me?  I can’t wait to catch up on your blogs, but in the meantime I wanted to share with you this charming tidbit from our vacation:

Tour guide: So you’re mexican and your boyfriend’s american?

Me: Yes.

Tour guide: Great, so you have a North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. T: Trust me, man… It’s NOT free. 

Have you ever had days when you feel your brain is on fast-forward?  As I was driving towards Mr. T’s house I was reviewing what I had to do that day: answer wedding e-mails, call my florist, finish my Master’s application, get passport pictures, call the immigration attorney, sweep the downstairs, pick up the new puppy at the airport, make dinner for friends who were coming over to meet said puppy, finish doing laundry, take Morena for a walk, make my mom’s website, decide what I was taking to San Francisco… The list seemed endless.

My cell phone rang as I was pulling into the parking lot.  I looked at the caller ID to make sure it wasn’t some foaming-at-the-mouth bride, and when I saw it was Mr. T I happily answered.

“Hey honey bunny, I need you to do me a favor,” he said after we had greeted each other.  “I’m about to go into a meeting, but could you call the vet and arrange a ‘new puppy’ appointment for Checkers?”

“Yeah, sure… Just hold on a second,” I answered, holding the cell phone to my ear with my shoulder and rummaging through my purse.   “Damn it,” I exclaimed, growing more and more frustrated with my ineffective search.

“What’s wrong?” Mr. T asked.

“Nothing… Stupid purse, full of crap.”  I unzipped the purse all the way, rolled up my sleeves, and dove in full force.  I pulled out my wallet, PDA, Kleenex, a bunch of receipts, a hairbrush, two sets of keys, a digital camera, three checkbooks, five pens, my passport, an iPod, a box of Altoids and a bottle of water, but I still couldn’t find what I was looking for.  “You know, I really need to clean out my purse.  I can never find anything in there!”

“What are you looking for?” he asked.

“My cell phone,” I exclaimed.  “I can’t find my cell phone!”

Mr. T snorted.  Then he started to chuckle.

“What’s so funny?”  He was laughing and couldn’t answer.  “What’s. So. Funny.” I demanded.

“Check your ear.”

“What’s wrong with my… Oh, fuck.”

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