Suicide Blonde

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Doesn't Fidel Just Die and Be Done With It?

At the very real risk of not having other exiled Cubans speak to me for the rest of my life, including my mother and other members of my family, I have to admit several things about our recently retired "Comandante," Fidel.

The guy had balls: At least at first, he had a good game, wanted to bring social justice to the island (which is not a bad thing), wanted Cuba to be completely independent from the US (much more difficult than it sounds but again not a bad thing), wanted to shake the foundations of decades of corrupt governments (not a bad th-, ok you get my drift), etc. How many heads of state have thumbed their noses at the US and maintained their stranglehold on their country? For almost five decades? Not too many. I do believe he beat Franco, didn't he? How about Duvalier?

Fidel stayed the course through thick and thin, never swayed from his views or beliefs. He did drastically raise the literacy rate in Cuba which was dismal before Castro, to say the least. He did open scores of rural schools and gave everyone access to health care. But that's about it for the list of good things he achieved.

On the other hand, he took a bustling economy and drove it to the ground. He nationalized everything, and destroyed the concept of private property for Cubans. Keep in mind that there are huge foreign conglomerates that own hotels, stores, businesses in Cuba, but Cubans are not allowed to own anything. There are even beaches to which Cubans are not allowed because they are open to tourism. They probably don't want vacationing foreigners to be approached and harassed by ragged, tattered, native Cuban people who would probably beg for handouts or try to hook up with one of the vacationers as a ticket out of their misery. How can a Cuban person not be allowed onto a Cuban beach? That to me is just illogical and stupid. And sad.

He leveled all salaries and possibilities for the Cuban people. I already admitted in the first paragraph that some of the things he did were not totally negative, but as anyone knows, if people work without an incentive such as a salary increase, a bonus, a promotion, something to look forward to, they will stop caring about their work. It's just human nature. Working for a cause will work for a while but then people get hungry and don't have money to buy food, or their car breaks down and they cannot afford another one (notice I didn't say a new one). Or they became a neurosurgeon because they are really smart but make the same salary as the guy who makes bricks in a factory. This is what happened to the Cuban people and I don't blame them.

He improved health care in the sense that everyone in Cuba can walk into a clinic and get treatment. But, guess what? You can get diagnosed but there is no medicine available for the Cuban people. Foreigners come to Cuba to have treatments or surgeries because we have some of the best doctors in the world, and health care is cheap there. The Cuban government makes money off them. But there are no medicines for Cuban people. Frequently there are shortages of toothpaste or soap or detergent, which is inconceivable.

I could go on and on about the stupidities of Castro's government. One of the worst is that no one can run for office if they are not members of the Communist Party. You can also be a brainiac and have perfect grades all through your schooling, but if you or your parents don't belong to the CP, you will not become a brain surgeon, EVER.

When I was 19 and living in Argentina, my parents and I took a flight back to Miami for a little vacation. We were traveling in first class along with four or five attaches or whatever you call them from the Cuban Embassy in Buenos Aires. They were getting off in Mexico City. While we were getting frantic letters from our relatives in Cuba that they needed vitamins, eyeglasses, razor blades, blood pressure medication, etc, these Cuban men were decked out in very expensive suits with gorgeous calfskin boots and Rolex watches, traveling first class. It made us sick and I will never forget that experience.

So, in effect, Fidel, what you did was crap. Just go ahead and die already.

On a positive note (I feel much better now, thank you), look at the beautiful island that is my birthplace. A friend sent me this satellite picture and I have always treasured it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

File under "Illogical Crap"

2007 was a tough year. Or should I say another tough year, since I've had tougher. But I got to thinking that maybe I should see what is delicately called a "counselor." Ok, people, we're talking about a therapist, a psychologist. someone who will listen, be objective, tell me that I worry too much or don't relax enough or that I need to give myself permission to send mean people to hell, that sort of thing. I don't like psychiatrists because I know that the first thing they will do is put me on Prozac or on a combination of Ritalin and Wellbutrin and ask me to smoke pot if I can find it. That would put me in the loony bin faster than I'm headed there on my own. I distrust the FDA when it comes to three things: Food, Drugs, and Administration. So the strongest thing I ever take is Extra-Strength Excedrin coupled with two cups of strong coffee. Does the work for me.

Oh yeah, I like Vick's VaporRub too, it works on asthma AND arthritis.

I asked around to see if anyone had any recommendations. I think that word-of-mouth is extremely important in making a decision of this kind. If I needed a surgeon, or a dentist, or a contractor, or a lawyer, the last thing I would do is to blindly pick one from the yellow pages. I have always been careful that way to get referrals, recommendations, etc before choosing any kind of professional or non-professional.

One of my friends suggested a practitioner in the pseudo-science of human behavior that she had frequented a few years back. My friend said that this practitioner, a female, had been an excellent therapist. She did not go for the lengthy "You lay on the couch blabbing and I will sit on the chair pretending to take note for eons until you come to some answers on your own" style of therapy. Instead, she asked a few questions and got to the point quickly, making recommendations and cutting to the quick. I thought to myself that this kind of psychologist would be a good thing, since I'm in my early fifties and don't want to be in my 90's before I attain psychological enlightenment. So I took her name and number and resolved to call to make an appointment.

But before I could call, the following happened: This recommended psychologist has a very uncommon last name and I asked one of my coworkers at the Thanksgiving Day Parade fame department store if she knew her since they shared the same last name. It turned out to be my coworker's sister! My coworker told me that her sister was indeed a brilliant psychologist, had her Ph.D. and had worked very hard to get her degree. And then my coworker went on to tell me that she (the psychologist) had had a lot of trouble in her life as well. First, she had gotten married about 15 years ago to her sweetheart of many years. After 5 years of marriage she caught her sweetheart, now her husband, in their bed with another guy. OK...Then she had divorced this person but they had remained good friends. A few years later she met another gentleman, dated for a couple of years, then married him and had two kids. Just recently, they had divorced because she (the psychologist) had discovered that her husband had a parallel family (wife and two kids) who lived about ten blocks away. OK...

I ask you: Would it be a good idea to put my convoluted little life in this person's hands? Would you not expect someone who is going to help you unravel issues in your life to be, well, um, more aware of stuff in her own life? More, I don't know, help me here, "normal?" Or maybe this stuff happens to everyone but what she would be helping me with would be more coping skills for dealing with stuff like this in my life? Well, yeah, I guess she would be great in that sense.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Yet Again

Loyal readers, I thought you would all (all three of you) get a kick out of this picture. It is part of my face under the influence of three "Blanc Zinfandels." I plan to look like this again by 8 pm tonight. Luckily, I only drink to get buzzed, not drunk or anything like that. I think I was 18 or so when I figured that drinking till you pass out or puke your guts out is not really that much fun but to my amazement there are people my age (and older, alas) that have still not gotten to that advanced level of knowledge. But that is not what this post is about, this is just a rambling preamble.

So why was I gone all this time? I was gone because I only can blog at work. I have a computer at home that has so many viruses, and is so old and obsolete, that I can actually hear it sneezing and wheezing every now and then, so I can't blog there. My office has become, to my dismay, very busy and I have become (also to my dismay) very productive and hands on. Those days of sweet irresponsibility are gone because nowadays I have to work darn hard to get all my stuff done. Sigh. That is the price of success. Allow me to snicker self-deprecatingly at that last statement, but it sounded good.

Also, I need to keep this job in order to continue paying my rent and the long list of creditors that are lined up every month to get their share of my blood, sweat and tears. So if I get caught blogging, my throat would be slashed in a millisecond. Unless they liked my writing (said in a little, hopeful voice). This last thing is a very strong factor in my current blogging status.

So just lately I have found a little time off from my busy workday to come in and try to blog. The following is a weird analogy but blogging is a little like certain bodily functions on which I will not expound but let me just say that some days the words just flow and I type out paragraph after paragraph of what seems to me to be witty and insightful commentary but is probably just a whole buncha blabber. Other days, I have "writer's block" (as if I were anywhere near being a writer, but give me a little leeway here - no laughing), and I'm lucky if I squeeze out a paragraph or two of awkward and disorganized thoughts.

Do any of you go back and read your posts and think "Did I write that? What meds was I on that day?" or is it just me?

But be assured that I think of all of you and miss reading your posts. When I have a little time I will catch up on everything that has happened lo these long months of absence.

State of the Union

My two sons are fine, they are both in school and doing well. Several girlfriends have come and gone like unimportant chapters in a novel. Several incidents have also occurred then vanished into thin air. Luckily.

I have been just living my life and trying to make it better (sounds like a Stevie Wonder song). I am in a boyfriendful state right now with the boyfriend I met after my former boyfriend dumped me last year.

Bittersweetly, my old boyfriend tried to patch things up with me a few months ago and even took me to lunch and told me he missed "those days when we were together."

Then I asked him, "But don't you have a girlfriend? My friends have seen you with her."

To which he replied, "I can't lie to you. Yes, I do have a girlfriend and we moved in together last week." HUH?

So I said (keep up with this, it will eventually get interesting), "Wait, you are trying to get back to me when you just moved in with your girlfriend last week?" I thought I hadn't heard well, but my hearing is tip-top.

His reply was (and I kid you not) "I will be out of this relationship in two months time." Not only will I never, ever go back with this guy but I wouldn't even buy a used car from him.

Well, mes amis, I will leave you now and get back to so-called work for a while. I'm still here, and I'm well. Talk to you soon. My love and good wishes to all of you, and you know who you are...