Archive | August, 2011

Newest Twitter Obession: @ElBloombito

31 Aug

Ahhh! Can I just share I fell in love with this Twitter feed? It was born during Hurricane Irene and inspired by Mayor Bloomberg’s communications and media alerts before the storm in NYC. What a brilliant writer/blogger, Rachel Figueroa-Levin is! Amazing Spanglish, but inverted, al revés volteado.

For example: “Esta un beautifonito day en el outside! Go to un parko! No smokingo!”

Even  the New York Times takes notice today. You know you really made it when you’re in the New York Times. Click HERE for the link to the article.

Follow “El Bloombito” on Twitter at @elbloombito and Rachel’s feed at @jewyorican. Funny stuff!

@elbloombito feed on Weds., August 31st.

The Dog Days of Summer

26 Aug

Que días estos…time for a nice weekend.

Hope you enjoy yours.

La Sophie knows when to take a break.

Salió desde el alma…un manifiesto por México

25 Aug

Hoy 25 de Agosto 2011, mi comadre y soulmate Alexandra Uro Villardaga escribió estos tweets desde lo más profundo de su conciencia. (Follow her on twitter at: @AlexandraUro)…

Hoy fue uno de esos días en que las noticias desmoralizan en el DF, ciudad en donde vive. Esto fue lo que escribió en un momento de desesperación que yo también comprendo, y son palabras que me han conmovido muchísimo. Además me ha puesto a pensar en qué tengo que hacer yo como mexicana para poder contribuír a la solución.

Lo comparto, pues a pesar de que este blog sea de Spanglish y pueda ser trivial y ligero, los que estamos fuera igual sentimos una profunda tristeza y añoranza por México, al que recordamos y queremos.

————-

Ya ni la radio puedo oír sin sentir una profunda tristeza por el momento que nos esta tocando vivir…espero que sea el momento y no…

…una horrible transformación que está sufriendo nuestra sociedad…que dolor tan grande!!

No me pesa no estar informada, no me da pena no saber de qué hablan los ‘informados’…esta es una realidad a la cual no deseo pertenecer…

…Sé que existe todo lo que sucede, PERO NO QUIERO SABER LOS DETALLES, mi alma y mi mente no pueden cargar con todas esas imágenes…

…de lo que está pasando en mi país, en la ciudad donde vivo ahora y mucho menos en la ciudad donde nací…no quiero a mis hijos expuestos

a esto! no quiero que sepan de que SON CAPACES SUS COMPATRIOTAS, que estas barbaridades están pasando justo por donde ellos caminan…

…y quien lee esto puede pensar: Pues sal de tu zona de confort y haz algo!! y yo diría YA ESTOY HACIENDO ALGO desde mi zona de confort..

…estoy siendo fuerte e inteligente y criando hijos sanos que no siembren un árbol para contrarrestar todos lo talados por unos tarados…

…mis hijos sembrarán un árbol porque reconocen el valor de este en el ciclo de la vida; tendrán valores cívicos por convicción…

…y no porque ven que los demás se pasan las leyes, los derechos y las obligaciones por el arco del triunfo… mis hijos no saldrán…

…a remediar los errores y omisiones de otros, saldrán a hacer las cosas bien porque sólo así saben hacerlas…eso ESTOY HACIENDO DESDE…

…MI ZONA DE CONFORT.

It’s Google Appreciation Day. Love the Google-doodle in honor of Jorge Luis Borges

24 Aug

Oh Google! How I love thee today. You just keep us inspired and ever so curious with each Google-doodle you come up with, like the recent Frida Kahlo one and the electric guitar honoring Les Paul.

Today, August 24th, would have been Jorge Luis Borges’ 112th birthday. What a clever and beautiful way to honor one of the best- and most complicated- Latin American writers of the 20th century.

It’s been a while since I read Ficciones (1944) and other works of his, but this little reminder makes me want to take a closer look at the life of a genius man who pushed the limits of imagination.

Here’s a link to the video with the doodle. Nice going Google!

A new must see movie: “A Better Life”

22 Aug

Happy Monday….

These are the dog days of summer, where you start pondering how it all went by so fast, right?

I did not watch many movies these summer, but the ones I did had a profound effect.  I have still to catch up on so many of them, but for right now, let me tell you about this one that has received wonderful reviews and has hit close to home.

We've seen him in novelas, theater, tv series and now more frequently in films in the US. Demian Bichir is an amazing actor. Photo from the NY Times.

“A Better Life” stars Demian Bichir, yes the same Demian we all grew up with from Mexico, in a powerful role as a character we all see here in Los Angeles everyday: the honest day worker, gardener and immigrant who wants a chance at “a better life.” It is a beautiful character and performance, directed by Chris Weitz (director of About a Boy, which is another great film.) Even though immigration is a complicated political subject these days, they’ve presented a story that’s all about humanity, family, and heart.

Here’s an interesting fact: Chris Weitz is the grandson of Lupita Tovar, the famous Mexican actress who came to Hollywood in the 1930′s. No wonder he gets the sensibilities right, you can see there’s a certain honor and respect for immigrants and the culture. He was on NPR recently, speaking of his movie and his experience researching the subject with actual illegal immigrants in LA. (This interview is totally worth 20 minutes of your time: Click here to listen: Chris Weitz, from New Moon to A Better Life.

Here’s the the link to the New York Times article just published this weekend on Demian “The Devil and Demian Bichir” – a great profile on a great actor you’ll be seeing more of.

And here’s the trailer for “A Better Life” which played in theaters briefly. Check your listings and go support it if you can.

Mi favorite Spanglish professor Bill Santiago is in the Huffington Post.

12 Aug

Read all about it! Bill Santiago, Spanglish genius, comedian and fabulous writer has a great column today over at HuffPo. Get over there and take a look.

Click here to go to the link.

Great writing, funny stuff! Bill Santiago's "Harry The Dirty" post from HuffPo.

I promise you, promise you you’re going to LOVE his writing. In fact,  I’m going to re-read it just about now. He also has a brilliant way of explaining Spanglish to people like me who can’t describe it any better than just a mesh of 2 languages in my brain, going on “al mismo tiempo”.

But here’s an excerpt:

…See, this is the way a properly wired Spanglish mind processes information — constantly analyzing English and Spanish in terms of each other, scrutinizing translations, combinations, confabulations. Your brain is in a constant loop between the two operating systems, your two cultures, your two realities. Granted, most of the time it’s unconscious. Uno ni se da cuenta, really, that you’re doing it. It’s just that cuando you have both languages inside you, vives en los dos a la vez. It’s very quantum, como quien dice.

It can be a little dizzying to always be filtering the world in a Spanglish default mode. Pero, would I want it any other way? ¡Jamás! Which by the way is one of my favorite Spanish words, meaning “never” or “never again” or “when el infierno freezes over.”

There’s a lot of passion in the word jamás; you can feel it when you say it, spewing up like magma from way inside your gut. It’s pronounced with a soft ‘j’ (like an ‘h’ in English), not with the jelly ‘j’ in pajamas. You can hold that soft ‘j’ sound as long as you like, depending how much you are feeling it in the moment, and then nail the sentiment with a dramatic accented stress on the last syllable. It’s very cathartic. ‘Never’ can also be translated into Spanish as ‘nunca,’ of course. But ‘nunca,’ isn’t nearly as strong a word. It only means never. Whereas ‘jamás’ means never ever ever ever ever. So never say ‘nunca’ when you mean ‘jamás.’ Not to be confused with Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, by the way.

See what I mean? Es la única persona que me puede explicar lo que pasa en mi cabeza con los dos idiomas. And with comedy!

You can also get Bill’s book, “Pardon My Spanglish” over at Amazon and catch his stand-up around the country. His website is on my blog roll to the left.

Este, señores, es el Spanglish Bible. Leanlo please. "Pardon My Spanglish" by Bill Santiago is available on Amazon.com

Saludos Bill! Keep the funny posts coming.

What to do this weekend? Visit DTLA.

11 Aug

Aren’t you just in awe of how time flies? Already the weekend of August 12, the dog days of Summer 2011. Where does time go? (Insisto en mi teoria de que somewhere in a galaxy far far away, someone is speeding up the clocks, making time go faster… so we can just catch up. But I digress...)

Como seguimos en el presente, gracias a Dios, aquí les pongo unas fotos que tomé en un field trip con mi amiguita Robin cuando hicimos un viaje a DTLA (her new hood!) where we discovered some unconventional photo opps which had a few film references. (Thank you my friend for an amazing day.)

Downtown LA is the most interesting place in LA right now. It’s all happening down there. But don’t take my word for it. Plan a little trip and see for yourself. Come to think of it, take some time off this weekend and enjoy the scenery, will you? Aprovechemos las 48 horas que tenemos este fin.

He dicho.

At the Los Angeles Central Market. Chinese food sounds good!

25 cents will take you up Angel's Flight and make you relive a little bit of LA history.

Then you can admire the green view above Angels Knoll Park. It was the scene for the movie 500 Days of Summer.

Fancy a spot for meditation? This bench will do the trick.

One of the underground scenes in downtown. The movie "The Soloist" was shot here.

This is a thing of beauty, if only because an LA street is completely empty. Very uncommon.

A really tall woman was standing next to a really tall building. (It's The Bonaventure hotel, where the Clint Eastwood movie "In the Line of Fire" was made.)

Lopez Tonight is cancelled. There goes the only Latino on late nite.

11 Aug

Pues qué lastima. Maybe you heard of the surprise cancellation of George Lopez’  late night show “Lopez Tonight” on TBS. Maybe you care or maybe you don’t (most people I know don’t care and didn’t really watch it) but today people are talking about it online, on the radio and on the news.

As an occasional viewer, I was sometimes turned off by his sense of humor (not my cup of tea, es muy “pesado” para mis gustos) and the midnight hour/schedule…too late for me. But I was pleased that he had the airtime and the show going, if only because of the ego, el orgullo de que un mexicano from the San Fernando Valley could make it to the big leagues. I guess what I’m trying to say is I did not really like his show as a viewer, but I’m sad it will no longer be on TV every night. (Does this make any sense?)

I went to a show taping once and let me tell you, George and his staff were true professionals. Those people work their butts off non-stop during the live taping. He is actually a very cool guy in person, chistoso, simpático y decente. But on tv he creates this persona that has to be constantly pushing the limits and can turn offensive (just ask Kirstie Alley about the piggy jokes!) Yet he was gracious enough to move over his time slot so Conan O’Brien could come to TBS with his new show last year, after his exit drama at NBC…So I’m sure this cancellation has got to hurt.

From his Twitter feed @georgelopez, getting all sorts of messages from fans and other comedians. He also tweeted to thank everyone for the support..

Here’s a link from the LA Times that describes his monologue from last night’s show, taped just after the cancellation was announced. Vamos a ver que dice hoy en la noche, a lo mejor se le ve un poquito más ardido, or maybe he decides to keep taking the high road and not speak against the guys who cancelled him…for this we’ll be tuning in.  The last show airs tonight at midnight on TBS.

Looks like we’re getting a new stadium in LA. But where’s the NFL Team?

10 Aug

Big changes are in the air for downtown LA, as anyone driving through the 11o freeway can tell you.  Construction, road improvements, street cleanups, and new developments abound. And this week we heard the city has approved a deal to give AEG (the massive sports and entertainment company) the rights to construct a stadium right next to Staples Center.

Never mind the city of Los Angeles has yet to find a football team to bring to LA-LA-Land. The new stadium is happening! It will be called “Farmer’s Field.” And we’re already getting excited.

This news made me think of the phrase: “If you build it they will come.”

(This is actually a line from the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, although it was written “If you build it, he will come.” According to Wikipedia.)

Here is a link to the report from the LA Times with interesting data on the stadium. Apparently this is a very big boost to jobs creation and the economy in this cash strapped town of ours. Esperemos que sí!!

The stats from the LA Times are very positive. Image from latimes.com, August 10, 2011.

And as for the NFL Team, somehow I don’t envision the Chargers of LA or the Oakland Raiders coming back to their original ‘hood. But that’s just me, I’m no experta.  I say we start promoting the sport with all the latinos who have yet to become fans and we give the new team a cool new name in Spanglish. “Los Fielderos” perhaps? OK, too much, but I’m just throwing it out there. Then we can all embrace the new team.

Check out the report on blogdowntown.com, it has great info.

Here's a rendering of the new downtown LA landscape. Looking good on paper! (Photo credit: blogdowntown.com)

Giving the bloggey a mini- facelift

9 Aug

Did you notice? Mi blog has a new look.

Please bear with me as I try new design templates and see which one fits best.

(Ahorita este fue el que mas o menos quedó mejor con todos los sidebars y widgets, pero no me convence.)

I am now kind of missing my previous version with the banner/header, but don’t know how to go back to it.

(Update: OK I played around with it and found a similar version, let’s see if this works.)

Oh well, there will be more changes to come and in the meantime thanks for reading.

Sunday afternoon at the Getty. Amazing photo exhibit!

8 Aug

Mi querida familia me visita de México, y cuando vienen los parientes, hay que pasearlos.

On Sunday afternoon we had a magnificent visit to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. High above the 405 freeway, nestled on a hill overlooking LA from downtown to the Pacific Ocean, it’s the sort of place that really makes you appreciate living in Los Angeles.

If you have some free time this summer and are looking for a nice place to take the kids (or a date!) then this is highly recommended. There’s beautiful gardens, wide open spaces, and great architecture.

Of course, there’s always the artwork to admire. We had a chance to look at lovely photographs by Walker Evans (circa 1933 in Havana) and other photographers in the “Cuba” exhibit, a very powerful set of images with a lot of history and cultural perspective. No se la pierdan.

But get there early! The Getty closes at 5:30pm.

Amazing lighting and people watching at the Getty Museum, on a Sunday afternoon.

The view is beautiful. Here is an angle looking east towards Century City and downtown.

Surprise! I don't know if she was modeling or showing off but she looked picture perfect.

The Cuba photography exhibit is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Que guapo CHE! The only snapshot I could snap before they asked me to put my phone away. (No pictures allowed inside the exhibit.)

Go for the architecture, go for the art, go for the fun of it. The Getty is a very unique place in LA.

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Chato! Cantinflas cumple 100 años

4 Aug

Uno de los mexicanos más brillantes, talentosos y famosos de la historia, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” cumple 100 años de nacimiento el 12 de Agosto. Happy Birthday Cantinflas!!

Cantinflas cumple 100 años y lo festejarán desde hoy hasta el 11 de agosto en la Cineteca Nacional, México D.F. (Foto via revista Chilango.com) Las funciones empiezan a las 7Pm en la Sala 3.

Para celebrar, la Cineteca Nacional (el mejor cine en México, D.F., si me preguntan) está organizando festejos y screenings de sus mejores películas a partir de hoy, 4 de agosto, para conmemorar el nacimiento de Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes (su nombre completo, via el IMDB)

Si están en el DF esta semana, no se pierdan la oportunidad de irse a disfrutar de estas funciones en la Cineteca y de irse a cantinflear.

La portada del DVD "El Bolero de Raquel."

Cantinflas era único y basta con ver algunos minutos de cualquiera de sus películas para empezar a reir a carcajadas. Aquí está un clip de “El Bolero de Raquel” con la famosa escena de baile. Es un poquito largo pero está fabuloso.

A pesar de que pasó a mejor vida en 1993, la gente todavía le tiene muchísimo cariño. Aqui en Hollywood hizo “Around the World in 80 days” con mucho éxito en 1955 y en su momento fue reconocido también por Charlie Chaplin como “the world’s greatest comedian.” (That’s a wonderful endorsement!) Alguna vez me tocó ver una entrevista en que le preguntaron a Dustin Hoffman quien es su actor favorito y respondió, “Cantinflas! I don’t understand a word he’s saying, but I know it’s fabulous acting.”

Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" en "Si yo fuera diputado" (1952)

Oaxaca community thrives in Madera, California. (By way of the NYTimes)

3 Aug

It’s always nice when you see positive things being said about Mexican immigrants in the US, even though it’s also also a bit of a rarity these days.

So it’s very interesting to read that the New York Times published a feature article today that mentions, in an enthusiastic tone, some of the contributions of a community of Mexican people living in the US. In this case, it’s Oaxacan immigrants in the city of Madera, California.

This Oaxacan community has established itself right in the “mero ombligo de California” all the while keeping their strong working values and ethics, love of their culture and capacity to farm and produce healthy, organic crops.

So,  Muchas Gracias New York Times for alerting us about it. Sounds like a little field trip for me. Just reading it makes me want to go grocery shopping to this place.

You can read the article “Markets Evoke Memories of Mexico” by Patricia Leigh Brown HERE and see the fabulous photogallery by Jim Wilson HERE.

The NY Times story was published today, August 3, 2011.

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