Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Sometimes the 'small' things in a doctor-patient relationship make a big difference. Jordi has been seeing a GI, Dr. Sable, for a few months now. After yet another test I called the doctor, even though he wasn't the doctor that performed the surgery, and he called me back. I didn't call him once, I called him three or four times, and each time he called me back. And the time of the call-back was within an hour. Now that's a doctor I can trust! Thank you Dr. Sable.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Ugh, spent the good part of last night at Baptist Hospital with Jordi. Poor guy had an 'attack'. Turns out he has TWO kidney stones and an infection. I finally left around 1:00 AM, when they were wheeling him in for another test. He called at 5:00 AM and I picked him up and drove him home. He said the emergency room was a "nightmare". There was an old man, who had been taken into the hospital by his grandson. They were having at it. The grandson kept telling his grandfather to "drink the water" or he'd be there for "a month". The grandfather kept saying, "f--k you" other lovely expletives thrown at him. When he ran out of expletives he threw his full glass of water. Grandson kept his cool. Jordi told me later that when the father arrived (or son of grandpa) more shouting ensued. In the next 'room' over (not really rooms because the only separation are curtains) there was a "party". An entire family decided to escort a woman to the emergency room and never stopped laughing and talking. So poor Jordi couldn't even sleep. He could have for the amount of pain killers they pumped into him. We'd all really like to get to the bottom of this. What is causing these kidney stones and attacks of his pancreas? Tomorrow he has an endoscopy procedure. Hopefully sticking a camera down inside will give us some answers?!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dailrag - Cleaning

I hate cleaning. I have tried being meditative as I clean, being "in the moment", turning it into a positive experience, but it doesn't work. I'd rather be doing anything, ANYTHING, but cleaning. And when it's done, one has just a short moment of satisfaction and then it all starts over again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Morakami Museum

Went with some friends to visit the Morakami Museum and gardens in Boca Raton today. What gorgeous gardens; filled with native plants, Bonsai, Coy ponds and Zen gardens. It was wonderful, although a bit hot and humid (in the 90's) so the walk was a bit schfitzy. We ate in the cafe, which according to a friend is the "third best museum cafe in the country". The museum is filled with oddities, like models of plastoid animals and creatures that were used in animated cartoons, in Japan. The creatures were varied: one eyed green, pink and purple people eaters and there were several models of the Godzilla. Great day and we ended at the Sandy Beach bar, in Miami Beach, where we watched Ghana defeat the USA, in the World Cup. Sad day for the US but I'm happy for Ghana.

Monday, June 21, 2010

'Eye Candy'

World Cup 2010. Apart from the gamesmanship and talent of the players watching the world cup has been pleasurable, because the men are so damn handsome! I mean it's a veritable 'candy store' and I'm the kid that can't make up her mind which piece to 'pick'??!! Ronaldo is adorable but so is Kaka and so are many of the African teams players.

I do get quite excited and don't have a favorite team (although being married to a Spaniard I know where my allegiance should be). I find myself always rooting for the underdog, the 'dark horse' and the little guy. I even found myself shouting for the North Korean team, this morning, when they played Portugal (Ronaldo pant pant). I am really enjoying the fact that it's being televised, daily and because it's a virtual inferno outside, to be able to sit inside, with a cold beer (sometimes) and shout at the 'boob tube' is a lot of fun! And it doesn't cost a dime.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Christopher Hitchins

Going to a house of worship to see Christopher Hitchens is a bit like going to a house of ill repute to see a bishop. So naturally I drove to Temple Judea in Coral Gables last night to catch the literary journalist.

And I saw something I'd never seen before: Hitchens smile. It was before he took the podium, while standing next to Dave Barry - who introduced him and then led him in conversation (noting, at one point, that both their mothers committed suicide).

Hitchens was his usual curmudgeonly self, complaining about horoscopes in the Washington Post("astrology in a journal of record") and suggesting that Ayn Rand's novels "are more difficult to read than they were to write." He answered the first question about his (anti) religious views - the questioner surprisingly compared him to Malcolm Muggeridge - but when more came he brushed them aside with a phrase that became a mantra: "Wrong book."

Even talking about himself (he was plugging his new memoir) he gave the impression of not just a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but the rare individual with the mental capacity to accurately calculate that weight. At the same time, he was, occasionally, almost playful, and he ended the evening in a way that I imagine few evenings at the temple have ever ended: with a recitation of limericks.


I get a kick out of you! Sophie makes me laugh! She has an extremely hard time making up her mind about shoes, she picks the onions out of her fried rice and she ONLY eats the chocolate chips in the vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips. She likes life and is willing to try new things. She's taking a photography class and had no idea who would be in the class with her yet has made one new friend in two days. She's conscientious and a hell of a tennis player.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Recipe for cold sweet pepper and asparagus soup

I made this up bc it's so so hot in Miami and there's nothing like a chilled soup to 'ease' some of that heat. So here's the recipe:

2 red sweet peppers (or you can use the roasted ones from a jar)
2 cups cooked (slightly asparagus)
3 potatoes peeled and cooked
3 tbs. butter
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup white onions (or two leeks)
s & p
2 cups buttermilk

Saute onions in the butter (don't burn them) add peppers, asparagus and potatoes and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring so as not to burn vegetables. Add two cups of chicken stock and let simmer for 10 minutes. Take the mixture and put into a Cuisinart, blender or use a hand-held mixer. Puree until all lumps are out. Add buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for six hours. May be served with croutons.

Serves 6

Friday, June 11, 2010


Editor's note: Imagine being a father and finding out you were going to die. Who would be there for your kids? Hear from one man who thought only of his daughters when he was faced with the news. Watch "Dad's for my Daughters," a special Dr. Sanjay Gupta documentary to air June 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

(CNN) -- When Sanjay Gupta came to our home in Brooklyn, New York, recently to begin work on a documentary about "The Council of Dads," I was instantly struck that we had a number of things in common. We've both spent a lot of time on the road, including Iraq. We both have strong connections to Georgia. I was raised in Savannah; he lives in Atlanta.

But most of all, we're both dads. Between us we had five daughters under 5.

Inevitably our conversations turned to what wisdom we'd like our girls to know. In 2008, I reached out to six friends and asked them to form a "Council of Dads" to be present in the lives of my twin daughters. I then asked each friend for one piece of advice he would convey to my girls.

Their answers surprised and moved me. They made me a better father.

And they inspired me to write "The Council of Dads," which contains life lessons from these dads, my own dad, and various father figures in my life.

Here, with a little help from these men, are Ten Lessons for My Daughters.

1. Be a traveler, not a tourist

A tourist takes the easy road. A traveler seeks out the challenging path. A tourist stays on the bus. A traveler jumps in the mud.

2. Always pack your flip-flops

In college, a friend and I backpacked across Asia and got kicked out of many locations because he refused to wear anything but tank tops and flip-flops. Twenty years later he still wears flip-flops! It became his motto. Whatever you do, be true to yourself. Wherever you go, always pack your flip-flops.

3. Don't see the wall, dream big

When you encounter a wall, find a way to get over it, around it, or under it. Whatever you do, don't succumb to it. Don't give into the wall.

4. Tend your tadpoles

When I was a boy I caught tadpoles with a friend. Like those tadpoles, we grew legs and hopped off into the world. I had little in common with that friend. Later, when I needed help, my friend was suddenly back. Tend your tadpoles. You never know when you might need a pal.

5. Live the questions

Have patience with the unknown. No matter where you find yourself, if you ask questions, you'll find your way. Don't only seek the answers. Try to love the questions.

6. Harvest miracles

Life is full of everyday miracles. Sometimes it just takes a bad situation to help appreciate them. Even when it's cloudy, keep looking for the rainbow.

7. Use your words

When you were toddlers, we begged you, "Use your words." Yet sometimes we forgot to take our own advice. Even when you're older, don't hide behind silence. When you face a problem, talk it through.

8. Always learn to juggle on the side of the hill

When I was 12, I learned to juggle on the side of a gravel hill with oranges. Every time I dropped an orange it would hit the ground, pulpify, and role to the bottom of the incline. It was a fool's errand. But it worked! If you're going to try something, try it. Don't half commit.

9. Take a walk with a turtle

In Paris, France, years ago, a new type of pedestrian appeared. He was called a flaneur, one who strolled the arcades. Flaneurs liked to take turtles for walks and let the reptile set the pace. I love this ode to slow-moving. Don't be in a hurry. Behold the world in pause.

10. Hug the monster

Pilots learn that when they face a life-defining challenge, they should not run from their fear. They should embrace it. Hug the monster. Wrestle your fear into submission. Redirect it into a source of resilience and purpose.

Take trips, girls. Take chances. Take off.

This piece is adapted from "The Council of Dads," by New York Times best-selling author Bruce Feiler. For more information, or to contact Bruce, please visit

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Why why why is it so difficult to find a really good pizza in Miami?! Yesterday, Sophie had a 'few' friends come to the house (actually five guys) and we had no food. So I thought I'd order a pizza. It was a huge disappointment. We normally don't have pizza for dinner (except maybe on a weekend) and I now know why. The anticipation of a thin-crusted, cheese-laden, fresh tomato sauce splattered, delectable pie is usually met with sadness. I understand that to consistently put out something 'outstanding' might be a challenge but you'd think someone, somewhere, might have met that challenge in a city as large as Miami? But no, I've tried every possible pizza parlor: Papa John's (bad), Dominos (worse), Miami's Best (not great), Carzolis (okay but the crust is too thick) and even Sir Pizza ($40 bucks for two pizzas and definitely not worth the cost). So I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The Torrents family has been smitten! We are all in 'love' with Cleo. She has provided enormous joy for our family, like having another child, and we have become focused on her growth. Yesterday we went to the dog park and made some new friends. It's like discovering a new 'place' in Miami.


Feeling vastly relieved that Jordi is 'okay'. He needs more tests but the doctor seemed to think that with some enzymes and watching his "diet" he can live a long and healthy life....phew!!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

High Museum

A VTS training in Atlanta took me and twelve teachers (APS) to the High Museum for two of the four days. It's a beautiful building; a lot of windows, a lot of light and a combination of objects of design and artworks. Although there aren't a lot of artworks to choose from we managed to find paintings, sculpture and photographs, that spanned different time periods and different cultures.
What I liked most about the training was the bonding that went on among the teachers. There were several art teachers, elementary, middle and high school as well as a science/math teacher and a Spanish teacher. And in spite of the differences in areas of specialties none had problems finding meaning in the works. And I think there were a few that are hell-bent on getting VTS into their schools.

I do enjoy doing the trainings but it really is exhausting. It requires full concentration for about six hours straight. And it was the first time I had ever done a four day training.