The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Labor Day" Edition

Hello all...are we ready for the weekend?

I am soooooooooooo ready for the weekend!

Let's see if Lola can give us some "end of summer" (unless you're in beautiful Miami) tunes...

  1. Mexicali Blues - Grateful Dead (Awesome! Let's drive down for some tequila - and mariachi music - that's a holiday weekend for you! This is a really fun song...)
  2. I Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie and The Blowfish
  3. Mary's Place - Bruce Springsteen (Appropriate for Labor Day...)
  4. Tabu - Desi Arnaz
  5. She's Got A Way - Billy Joel
  6. Seven Bridges Road - The Eagles
  7. Check On It - Beyonce & Slim Thug
  8. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
  9. Last Time I Saw Him - Diana Ross (Now, there's an entry from the way-back machine! This is a great song...)
  10. Makin' Whoopee - Ella Fitzgerald (Oh my goddess - she was so young in this recording - her voice is pure velvet!)

Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend everybody!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Book Review - "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides

This was an excellent book. It combined a wonderful story with the history of the Greek-Turkish wars, the Greek immigrant experience, the Detroit riots, and everything in between.

The story is told in a unique voice - I guess it would be called first person omniscient. The protagonist Calliope/Cal Stephanides begins the narrative with the story of Lucky and Desdemona in Turkish ruled Greece and winds through the family's unique history.

A complicated tale that has the potential to be dark, disturbing and tragic is rendered humorous at times by the wonderful characters that inhabit the story's world. The last third of the book however gets sadder as the main character has to face the reality of her genetics.

The character development is fantastic as you see the characters evolve themselves and with each other. Greek traditions add humor and charm, while science provides the intensity and drama.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get engrossed in a great story and learn about history and culture - all in an extremely accessible writing style.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Mind Wobbles' First Blogiversary!

Yes boys and girls, I've been doing this for a year! Not quite daily, but almost always at least weekly I've come here and pretty much written whatever was on my mind. Sometimes it has some semblance of order, sometimes it's a mind dump, sometimes (hopefully) funny, sometimes (woefully) sad.

I have absolutely no idea how many people are reading - I can't seem to master the whole Blog metrics thing - I'll just say it's math and let it go at that.

My intention a year ago today was to use this exercise to restart my non-work writing, and I've done that. I've also made new friends, found old friends, and convinced a couple of *real life* friends to give the whole Blogging thing a whirl. I've shared great times and awful times, written about joys, pains and frustrations and everything else that spills out of my brain. I can sincerely say Blogging has helped me in many ways.

It's been a great year and I look forward to my Sophomore year of Blogging.

Thanks for those who have come along with me for this magical mystery tour...


Food Meme

Troy over at Pheasantly Fascinating tagged me with this...hmmm, food and meme...this should be easier than it is.

  • Favorite Gourmet Item: Caviar
  • Favorite Snack at Home: Wheat Thin Chips and Caponata
  • Favorite Fast Food item: I can't eat it any more but hands down, no question it's the Big Mac
  • Favorite Food When Driving: I'll change that to favorite food when being driven - McDonald's French Fries and Coke; unless it's a road trip, if it's a road trip then it's Slim Jims and Yoo Hoo
  • Favorite Food With a Beer (or other libation - please specify): Today I'll say Seafood Lo Mein with a crisp Riesling
  • Favorite Food for Invoking Romantic Intentions: Raw oysters, sushi, caviar - light foods with texture accompanied by champagne
  • Least Favorite Food: Veal
  • Food that Conjures a Childhood Memory: Fried egg sandwich
  • Food that Conjures a Sad Memory: None
  • Food that Conjures a Happy Memory: Traditional Cuban Noche Buena food

I'm not tagging anyone - grab it if you like it - just let me know in my comment s section please.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

And now, yet another installment in the "Another One Bites the Dust" Series

Adios Gonzales

From arguably the most famous Tango in the world: (Translation by me)

"Adiós muchachos, compañeros de mi vida,barra querida de aquellos tiempos. Me toca a mí hoy emprender la retirada,debo alejarme de mi buena muchachada. Adiós muchachos. Ya me voy y me resigno...Contra el destino nadie la talla..."

(Goodbye boys, companions of my lifetime, beloved bar of all those happy times. It is my turn today to take my my leave, I must depart from my happy youth. Goodbye boys. Now I'm leaving and resign myself...Against destiny no one can fight...)

Again - it's probably wrong at some deep spiritual level, but this just makes me happy.

Come on...sing along with me!

Na, na, na,, na, na, na...hey hey hey...goodbyyyye! Na, na, na,, na, na, na...hey hey hey...goodbyyyye!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Music Meme

I got this from Pheasantly Fascinating. I won't tag anyone, but if you answer, please let me know in comments.

1. What's your favorite song?
Right now I'm in an "American Idiot" by Green Day state of mind

2. If your life were a sitcom, what would the intro song be?

"Passionate Kisses" by Mary Chapin-Carpenter

3. When you think of high school, what song comes to mind first?

"My Sharona" by The Knack

4. If you could ban the existence and erase all knowledge of any song, which would you choose?

"Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin

5. You've just been granted the gift of a beautiful voice, and an amphitheater full of cheering fans - what song do you sing?

"Me and Bobby McGee"

6. What was the first song you learned all the words to?

Other than children's songs - "Downtown" by Petula Clark - I was about 4 years old

7. What song surprised you when you found out what they were really singing?

"I Am the Walrus" - The Beatles

8. What song plays when your cell phone rings?

"Dancing Queen" - ABBA

9. What song is a must have for any road trip?

"Born to Run" - Bruce Springsteen

10. What song would best describe your day?

Today? "Bitch" - Meredith Brooks

11. What's your favorite "sing out loud like a goofball" song?

"Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin or "Conga" by Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine

12. What song has made you cry?

A lot of them - I'm a big, sentimental weenie. Lately "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong

13. What song do you want played at your funeral?

"I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack and "Soy" by Willy Chirino

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The Lola Shuffle - The "15th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's Onslaught" Edition was 15 years ago today we got hit by Hurricane Andrew. My family was very lucky - we were staying, purley by coincidence, at my godmother's house in Broward County (north of Miami) and we actually lived in Miami Beach, which was barely affected. We had power, we could see the devastation that those who were living through it couldn't. The survivor's guilt was brutal.

Anyway...I don't want to think about that anymore...come on Lola, shuffle me out of this!
  1. When God Fearin' Women get the Blues - Martina McBride
  2. Too Much Heaven - The Bee Gees
  3. Black Magic Woman - Santana
  4. Let It Be - The Beatles
  5. Walking in the Rain - Erasure (Awesome version of this song)
  6. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen (appropriate)
  7. Party for Two - Shania Twain featuring Mark McGrath
  8. All Day and All of the Night - The Kinks
  9. Blue Velvet - Barry Manilow
  10. Pon de Replay - Rihanna (get up and dance!)

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Book Meme! Book Meme!

Two of my favorite things - Books and Memes! YAY!

I got this from
Observations of a Librarian .

Here we go:

What are you reading right now?

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?

Persepolis 1 and 2 by Marjane Satrapi

What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?

Chiquita’s Cocoon by Bettina Flores. There simply are no words to describe this mess.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about anyone?

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don't they?

Sadly, no.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?

Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I thought it was a wonderful, very readable book. I really think if her detractors read it, even if they wouldn't vote for her or wouldn't share her political beliefs, it would allow them to see her in a very different light.

Do you read books while you eat? Yes

While you bathe? No

While you watch movies or TV? No

While you listen to music? Yes

While you’re on the computer? No

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?


What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

That's easy - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

There's no tagging, but if you answer, please let me know in my comments.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Meme

I found this at Skittles’ Place and it sounded like fun.

Here are the instructions as Skittles presents them:

  1. Go to Google.
  2. Click on Google images.
  3. Type in your name and search.
  4. Re post (w/ a link) the picture of the oddest, craziest, strangest, coolest, oldest, etc. person that shares your name. Post multiples if you find a few you like.
  5. Pass it on to at least 5 other people.

It isn't clear whether it's first name only, or first and last, so I did both! I'm not going to tag anyone. If you want to do it, just let me know in my comments.

First and last name result (the first image I found - isn't it pretty?):

First name result (again, the first image I found):


Sunday, August 19, 2007

What's the Deal With Toys?

I don't have children of my own, but I do have three nieces - ages 7, 5 and almost 2 - and my job (which I take very seriously) is to be the cool aunt who gives good toys and books and never, ever anything practical like nightgowns. Therefore I'm always on the look out for stuff to buy them for birthdays and holidays.

Lately I'm noticing an explosion in what I would call tie-in toys. In one catalog that I've always liked for good variety and prices practically *every* toy or book set is tied in with Dora the Explorer, the Disney Princesses or the movie "Cars" or Spiderman!

Now, I think kids are exposed to enough advertising as it is, I don't feel comfortable encouraging them to play with toys that are basically commercials. One of the girls is into the whole princess thing, and I'll happily buy her generic princess stuff, but I don't want to buy her Disney princess stuff. Another one has Mexican ancestry and her mom wants me to help her include learning Spanish in toys in books - but I don't want it to be Dora the Explorer.

Mind you I don't take issue with Dora the Explorer, Or the Disney Princesses (Since when they were all clumped together though?), etc. I just don't like submerging kids into advertising when they should just be playing.

Am I wrong? Is this just part of a changing world?

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Friday, August 17, 2007

A veritable embarrassment of riches! Two in the same day - Another installment in the "Another One Bites the Dust" Series

Bye bye baby, baby goodbye *

I can't blame Tony Snow really. Can you imagine being the spokesperson for this debacle of an administration? I actually kinda liked Tony.

Buh bye...(wave)

* Gratuitous, but always welcome, Bay City Rollers reference

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The Lola Shuffle - The "It's Too Damned Hot" Edition

Hello people! It's hot in Miami! And sticky. And hot.

Did I mention it was hot?

Go for it cool baby!

  1. Heavenly Day - Patty Griffin
  2. If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow
  3. Black Betty - Tom Jones
  4. Please Come to Boston - Joan Baez
  5. Head Over Feet - Alanis Morissette
  6. Whiskey Girl - Toby Keith
  7. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen (BWAHAHAHAHA! I *SWEAR* this came up randomly! What can I say? Lola picks up on the zeitgeist! )
  8. Toss the Feathers - The Corrs
  9. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
  10. Dirty Little Secret - The All-American Rejects (Shhhhh...)

Nice job Lola! Everyone have a great weekend and stay cool!


And now, another installment in the "Another One Bites the Dust" Series (aka Rats Jumping from a Sinking Ship)

I'm sorry but this amuses me...:)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The 7 Ps Meme

I swiped this meme from Second Effort because it's a meme and I like memes.

So, here's the deal as described by Curmudgeon:
"You take these seven "P" words and sort of fill in the implied blanks about yourself." These are the 7 words:


OK, so here goes:
  • Passion - It's vital. It fuels what I do - both good and not so good; I fear the day I lose my passion.
  • Purpose - I'm not sure right now. I guess to be happy and encourage happiness for those I love.
  • Pursuit - of happiness.
  • Position - sitting down is nice
  • Pummeling - This word doesn't really apply to my life right now.
  • Progress - Again, I'm in a bit of a standstill right now, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I guess my biggest concern regarding progress is to make progress in improving my health.
  • Personality - I can't describe or comment on my personality - I have to leave that to others.

I won't tag anyone - if you want it take it. And if you do this meme, please let me know in my Comments area.


Favorite Kids Books

I contribute to Reading is Fundamental (RIF) because, well because I think reading *is* fundamental.

Anyway, because of this they periodically send me information and ask me for more money…:) I just received a notice about the results of their "Best Books Ballot" for children's books, and these were the top ten favorites (from 1 to 10):

  1. The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
  2. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
  3. Curious George - H.A. Rey
  4. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
  5. Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter
  6. Madeline - Ludwig Bemelmans
  7. The Velveteen Rabbit - Marjorie Williams
  8. Make Way for the Ducklings - Robert McCloskey
  9. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein
  10. Clifford the Big Red Dog - Norman Bridwell

I haven't read all of the books listed, but some of my favorites - some of which I read as an adult - aren't there:

  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Are You There God? It's Me Margaret - Judy Blume
  • The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
  • A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote

Do you have any favorite children's books not listed?


Monday, August 13, 2007

Wonderful entertainer and by all accounts a wonderful man.
I used to watch him and Mike Douglas when I was a kid - he was a class act.
He will be missed...


Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy!

Na, na, na,, na, na, na...hey hey hey...goodbyyyye!
Na, na, na,, na, na, na...hey hey hey...goodbyyyye!

Pararampampam pshh, another one bites the dust...Pararampampam pshh uh, another one bites the dust. And another one's gone, and another one's gone, another one bites the dust!

OK, sorry - I'll regain my composure. Once again I have dusted off my office chair happy dance, which involves spinning around, waving my arms in the air and doing Rockette style kicks!

So - the most telling part of the CNN article about the resignation:

"Rove said the first thing he plans to do after
leaving the White House is go dove hunting in West Texas...

source: Rove Resigns

How apropo - the first thing he's going to do is slaughter the world-wide symbol of peace. Lovely.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "I Can't Come Up with a Good Edition Name" Edition


I'm too scattered right now to write much but Lola wants to shuffle, so a'shufflin' we go...

  1. It's My Life - Bon Jovi (my absolute favorite Bon Jovi song)
  2. Witchcraft - Frank Sinatra (two *Joisey* boys in a row!)
  3. I Am the Walrus - The Beatles (I don't get this song, I guess I'm not sufficiently chemically enhanced. If anyone can explain these lyrics I will be wildly impressed.)
  4. Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw? - Jimmy Buffett (See? These lyrics I fully understand!)
  5. Near You - Marlene Dietrich (So now that they've made a movie about Edith Piaf's life, do you think a movie about Marlene Dietrich's incredibly interesting life is next? Wouldn't that be cool?)
  6. Oh Boy - Buddy Holly (A rock and roll classic - simple as that)
  7. I'm In You - Peter Frampton (I think this is one of the defining songs of my generation)
  8. Pata Pata - Miriam Makeba (she totally rocks)
  9. La Vie en Rose - Edith Piaf (Speaking of "the little sparrow"...this was my parent's' song...they would have celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary earlier this month)
  10. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac (I love the Dixie Chicks' version of this song but this is the definitive version, IMO)

Have a great weekend everyone - watch out for those landslides.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm Coming Out... a Diabetic.

Yes ladies and gentlemen I am one of the six million people in the US who are afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes. Finally my lifestyle has caught up with me!

I've been taking Metformin (the generic Glucophage) for over a year to see if my numbers would come under control, but in early July I was referred to an endocrinologist and I was issued a glucose meter, assigned to diabetic training classes, given a meal plan, etc. Because the change in diet and subsequent weight loss has not lowered and/or stabilized the numbers, according to the nurse with whom I've been working the endocrinologist will probably adjust my meds and possibly put me on some kind of insulin, at least for a while. According to her I'm definitely producing insulin it's just not working effectively.

To give you an idea, I've been doing at least twice daily reading for almost a month and haven't gone below 150, including the first reading of the morning which should be between 70 and 100. I'm just too damned sweet for my own good. No seriously, it's messed up.

I was surprised at how relatively easy the change in diet has been. Luckily I don't crave sweets, carbs are more of my problem. As long as I plan my meals I can more or less keep them under control. I'm also lucky that I really like veggies and fruit and fish and *the good stuff*, so eating veggies instead of starches is not a major trauma for me.

My biggest problems are portion control and absolute lack of exercise - I'm working on both. Really, I promise!

Up to now only 2 or 3 people knew. Mainly because I don't like - well intentioned as I know it is - people monitoring me. You know, reminding me I shouldn't eat something, etc. I know it seems ungrateful but it just bugs the crap out of me.

I'm *going public* because clearly this is a major lifestyle change and will be a significant part of my life. This isn't turning into a "Diabetic's Life" blog - there are several very good ones out there - because I prefer this to be a more stream-of-consciousness-whatever-is-on-my-mind blog. But at some point I'm bound to write about it.

I don't plan to stop my monthly girls' coffee night at Starbucks or my monthly Culinarily Adventurous Girls Club dinners. I'll just work the rest of my day's meals around them. For example at the last coffee night - I was already on the new meal plan - I knew my Venti Low Fat Orange Mocha was going to be high in carbs, so for dinner I had a can of asparagus and a small steak - practically no carbs. So the coffee hit wasn't so bad. And sure enough, my bedtime reading was what it would have been if I had eaten the usual dinner.

So, this is just another curve in the long and winding road that is life. Wish me luck!


Friday, August 3, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "I STILL Don't Feel Well" Edition

I might as well just tell you up front, I am in a crabby mood this morning. I just am, sorry. So if you - justifiably so - don't want to deal with my bitching and moaning, as Dionne Warwick sang: just walk on by.

Why am I in a crabby mood? OK, since you asked so nicely I'll tell you.
  • As the cartoon above (by Jim Morin, the Miami Herald's Pulitzer award winning cartoonist) depicts - I am appalled that Rupert F'n Murdoch will now control what many - at least until now - considered to be *the* non-plus-ultra financial paper of record. I know I shouldn't let this stuff get to me, but it does. I can't help it.
  • This cold I've got. Enough is enough. I've complied, I've cooperated: I stayed home sleeping and resting for a total of 4 days, I've been taking my cold pills regularly, I've been a good cold patient. Now, like an annoying visiting relative, the damned thing won't go away! I've been sick since last frickin' frackin' Saturday - tomorrow is Saturday again and I still have this damned cold! GO AWAY!
  • This morning when Hubby was dropping me off at work, a Bio-hazard Waste collection man who was picking up the garbage from the medical building across from my office, tossed a big wad of tissue in the middle of the street. Just like that - toss! When I got out of the car I semi-shouted across the street that he shouldn't throw garbage in the street like that. He looked at me like I had grown antlers, but he picked up the tissue and threw it in his truck. I waved and said thank you. He looked confused. Dumbazz!
  • And lastly, but certainly the most serious. You remember my cousin Patty who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and had the double-mastectomy and just finished her (hopefully) final chemo treatment? Well, yesterday her mother - my godmother - was told that a tumor that had grown around her removed last week thyroid gland was cancerous! What the hell? The prognosis however is good, and according to her the doctor said that in a few weeks she'll take one radiation pill and that should be the end of it. I am very close to my godmother and this news felt like a punch in the gut. Hopefully the prognosis is correct and the family can finally catch a break.

Anyway - despite my crappy mood Lola shuffles on...

  1. Round Here - Counting Crows
  2. Passionate Kisses - Mary Chapin Carpenter
  3. She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel
  4. Just a Girl - No Doubt (nice combo with the previous song)
  5. Come Dancing - The Kinks (OK this song makes me smile)
  6. If I Ever Lose My Faith - Sting (appropriate)
  7. Cry! Cry! Cry! - Johnny Cash (God love him, Johnny almost always makes your problems seem trivial because so many of his songs are so damned tragic)
  8. Juanita - Shania Twain (Don't snicker. This is actually a really good song, very woman empowering)
  9. Smile - Lily Allen (deliciously bitchy - I'm liking this little girl)
  10. Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman (phenomenal voice)

Not bad Lola...rock on.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll certainly try to do the same.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cuban Medical Terminology

I received this via e-mail today and thought I'd share it with you all.

My grandmother believed and espoused all of these and I can attest that I have actually suffered from some of them. Really.

Maybe this will help explain why I am the way I am...I can't help it!

  • Aire: Any pain in the body is probably "trapped air."
  • Destemplanza: Mysterious body temperature, not high enough to be considered fever, but serious enough to miss school and work. Illness is unknown by the American Medical Association and understood only by doctors of Cuban origin.
  • Patatú: Attack of obscure origin that can strike at any time. Could be serious enough to require hospitalization, yet is undetected by medical technology. Victims tend to be males and females over the age of 50.
  • Sirimba: Attack with similar symptoms as the Patatú but not as serious and with shorter duration. Can be alleviated by lying on a bed with a wash cloth soaked in alcohol on the forehead.
  • Sereno: Occurs when someone steps outdoors suddenly at night and is sprinkled by a mysterious substance. There are no physical symptoms and can only be detected by the Cuban elderly. The effect of having this disease is unknown: children must not be taken out at night without proper head gear or risk of contamination is certain.
  • Empacho: Digestive disorder which occurs after the consumption of a large Cuban meal, ( i.e. Noche Buena or Christmas Eve). The only known cure for this disease is "Sal de Fruta ENO", (Alka-Seltzer is completely ineffective).
  • Mollera: Soft cranial spot found on new born babies of Cuban origin. Much more sensitive than that of Americans. The slightest touch to that area can lead to irreparable brain damage.
  • Pasmo: (Ovarian Induced Dementia): A strange phenomena that occurs when a woman proceeds to wash her hair while menstruating. Can also strike if a woman takes a shower (as opposed to a bath) in the 40 days immediately following childbirth. Symptoms include inappropriate behavior requiring the sufferer to be committed. Every Cuban family has at least one case.
  • Chochera: Syndrome affecting all Cuban senior citizens to different degrees. Characterized by all around bitchiness and irritating behavior. Treatment: Permanent stay at nearest nursing home.
  • Punzada de Guajiro (Brain Freeze): Sharp pain of short duration in the head occurring after a particularly cold beverage. First reported by "guajiros" (rural Cuban farmers) upon first experiencing refrigerated liquids. Although bothersome, it doesn't have long-term effects.
  • Cuerpo Cortado: (Cut Body): Frequent and mild condition of unknown ethnology. Symptoms include but are not limited to: Fatigue lack of energy and chronic whining.
  • Moño Virado: (Twisted Bonnet): Psychological imbalance of short duration that causes strange mood swings, violent irritating behavior as well as general unpleasantness. Extremely common. Can strike anyone regardless of age or sex.
  • Rabadilla: Skeletal region located at the end of a Cuban's spinal cord. Has absolutely no equivalent in the American anatomy.
  • Luz de Luna (Moonlight) - If the moonlight shines upon you while you sleep you will catch a cold.
  • Cafe con Mango - If you drink Cuban coffee after eating a mango you'll have a Patatú (see above).