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Happy 4th Blogging Anniversary to Life in Spanglish!

23 Apr
Thanks WordPress for remindin me of my 4th Blogging Anniversary.

Thanks WordPress for reminding me of my 4th Blogging Anniversary.

It’s been 4 years since the launch of Life in Spanglish. Where does the time go? 

Thank you to my loyal readers who stay with me, read me and keep coming back, despite my awkward silences and occasional MIA’s. I am extremely grateful you choose to spend a few minutes here and there reading and commenting, it means the world to me. Muy agradecida, muy agradecida, muy agradecida!

Another note of thanks to WordPress for providing a free outlet for my Spanglish. Special emphasis on the word GRATIS.

I looked up the traditional gifts for 4th anniversaries and they are fruit and flowers. Pero me pueden dejar un comment in lieu of the fruit basket or flower arrangement (hint hint!) asi que dejénme una florecita de comentario si gustan.

To commemorate this happy occasion, I’ve rounded up a few of my greatest hits and favorite blog posts. Take a look at my history, hope you enjoy. 

Top hits and faves from the Archive over the years:

De cuando anduve en el DF, todo el mundo on the street showing their Public Displays of Affection: Bésame, Bésame Mucho.

De cuando fui al Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico and I discovered my new favorite artist/painter: Abel Quezada: Revisiting Códice AQ de Abel Quezada

The time I spent my birthday in New York: New York City Bites or how I ate my way around Manhattan.

De cuando la Kate del Castillo kind of “lost it” on Twitter: Ooops! I think La Reina del Sur lost it.

De cuando la Jenni Rivera (rip) was so generous to a local group of cheerleaders: Random Acts of Kindness by Jenni Rivera.

De cuando la Salma Hayek brincó en una silla por miedo a las víboras: “Somebody do something!” A Salma no le gustan los snakes.

Ay si, Ay si… de cuando me entrevistaron de la BBC London (yeah, I’m still bragging about it): Hey, Life in Spanglish is on the BBC!

De cuando fui a la 99 Cents Store toda unemployed in the middle of the recession pero me sentí lo máximo porque me alcanzó el dinero, tanto that I even wrote a poem about it: Ode to the 99 Cents Store.

De cuando se fue Alex: (I miss him every day.) OK, 2009, la última y nos vamos.

Thanks for reading. God Bless!

Look forward to more blogging and keeping el Spanglish alive. Besos y Abrazos.

Pastel for breakfast? Don't mind if I do. Photo via my very own Instagram. CB2013

Pastel for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do. Photo via my very own Instagram. CB2013

Yo quiero mis Sound Machine Headphones

11 Apr

Emilio Estefan is a name that stirs up good memories, admiration and a sense that Hispanics somos bien representados wherever he goes. Soy su fan!

I remember dancing to Miami Sound Machine and the Conga en las primeras fiestas que iba de la escuela back in the mid 80’s, and believe me when I tell you I can also lip sync to all of Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits. It’s nice to see los Estefan are always doing all sorts of creative things and trying out new ventures. 

Which leads me to this very cool product, the Sound Machine headphones,  just introduced yesterday at Hispanicize 2013 in Miami, the annual event for Latino Trendsetters and Newsmakers. Yes, even as we speak all sorts of blogueros y blogueras, social media mavens, brands, marketing folks, music peeps and film companies are converging for a week long party slash conference to discuss why los Latinos somos lo máximo. (Ni crean que no me quedé con las ganas de ir! Well, maybe next year.)

Mr. Estefan collaborated with Target and Monster headphones to develop these premium “high-performance, sonically superior” headphones which are available as of April 14th in two presentations: On Ear ($149.99) and Over Ear ($249.99). It seems they are a fabulous way to connect to your music, films and gadgets. Además, they come in a glossy purple color which I immediately loved. Purple lovers, you know who you are.

The lucky people attending Hispanicize had a chance to check them out at the launch party held by Target on Wednesday, over at the pool area of the Eden Roc hotel. They even had synchronized swimmers performing to Reik’s “Peligro” song (which I love, yay for los Reik de Mexicali!) and I hear it was a lot of fun.

So I’m intrigued and will probably stop by Target to test them soon and see if they’re worthy of a Miami Sound Machine Conga percussion, a ver si es cierto que ComeonshakeitbabydotheConga….

I’m also curious to see this other collaboration Mr. Estefan has with Target, called Emilio Estefan Picks, a selection of his favorite movies, music and books. Siempre me llama la atención saber lo que leen y ven la gente que es muy successful.

Les comparto estas fotos que me mandaron los de Target para compartir acerca del evento y de los headphones. Let’s check them out and see what we think.

Maybe it’ll finally replace my rinky dinky $10 cheap shots that I bought over at Big Lots, nomás para salir de apuros. I’m due for a nice pair of headphones soon.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 10:  Emilio Estefan and Target celebrate the launch of Sound Machine by Monster headphones at Hispanicize 2013 on April 10, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

MIAMI BEACH, FL – APRIL 10: Emilio Estefan and Target celebrate the launch of Sound Machine by Monster headphones at Hispanicize 2013 on April 10, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

MIAMI BEACH, FL - APRIL 10:  Guests celebrate the launch of Sound Machine by Monster Headphones with Emilio Estefan & Target  at Hispanicize 2013 on April 10, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target) Second from left, the fabulous Debbie Deras from

MIAMI BEACH, FL – APRIL 10: Guests celebrate the launch of Sound Machine by Monster Headphones with Emilio Estefan & Target at Hispanicize 2013 on April 10, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target) Second from left, the fabulous Debbie Deras from (Hi Debbie!)

Having fun at Hispanicize 2013 at the Eden Roc hotel in Miami, during the party to launch Sound Machine headphones.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

Having fun at Hispanicize 2013 at the Eden Roc hotel in Miami, during the party to launch Sound Machine headphones. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

Se ven super Esther Williams las synchronized swimmers que presentaron los Sound Machine headphones, aqui con Emilio Estefan.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

Se ven super “Esther Williams” las synchronized swimmers que presentaron los Sound Machine headphones, aqui con Emilio Estefan. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Target)

These are the Over Ear model I liked, retail for $249.99 at Target and avialble from April 14th.

These are the Over Ear model I liked, retail for $249.99 at Target and avialble from April 14th.

Time for Argo. But more importantly, Ben Affleck habla Spanglish!

12 Oct

Happy Friday everybody. It’s time for a good movie.

I’m looking forward to ARGO, a new film out this weekend by the multi talented and multi guapísimo Ben Affleck, who acts and directs. It’s about a real life event that you may (or may not) remember from the Iranian hostage situation back in 1979. (Yo sí me acuerdo un poco but I have to spruce up on my history lessons.) It looks like a  smart movie, with a great story and good actors in it. It also was shot by the wonderful Rodrigo Garcia who is one of the best cinematographers around y además es mexicano.

¿Pero qué creen? Resulta que el Ben habla español muy bien! This makes me happy, I don’t know why, but whan I saw this video I was very pleased to learn that he can handle his Spanglish beautifully and that he’s friends with el Chivo Lubezki (another wonderful mexican cinematographer) and is not afraid to say Alejandro González Iñárritu out loud, among other things.

Here is the link to the interview and please be patient because it loads up pretty slow… but I promise you a nice Taco de Ojo con and a very smart guy. Who knew Ben Affleck lived in Mexico when he was 13 years old and that his favorite word in Spanish is “Sacapuntas“?… Awww! So funny! Take a few minutes to watch it.

My film recommendation is to go see ARGO and support al Señor Affleck. He keeps making good movies so it’s worth a trip to the theater.

Here’s the link from Warner Brothers: Ben Afffleck Interview en español.

El Ben Affleck habla español muy bien! Pero también sabe un poquito de Spanglish. His new movie “Argo” is out today.

And here’s the trailer for ARGO:

Wordless Wednesday: Spanglish in action en el 562 area code

1 Feb

¡Eso señores! Nothing like tooting your own horn to get you noticed. Here's "La Mera Mera" at your service.

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

Saludos Bill! Keep the funny posts coming.

Cookbooks Galore

13 Apr

Cookbooks para todos en el Barnes and Noble.

Spring is here, Easter is coming up, and just from browsing at my local Barnes and Noble, it seems everybody is coming out with a new cookbook.

I don’t know about you but every time I see a shiny cookbook, it makes me want to just go out and cook something new. It does inspire me. I guess that’s the whole point behind the marketing strategy. You can cook like these chefs, so called chefs, and celebrities (so they say) but am I a regular cook? Not by a long shot. Who has the time nowadays?

So I was surprised to see a new cookbook by Eva Longoria, the Desperate Housewife, globe-trotting, UCLA student (she’s getting a master’s degree in Chicano studies, thank you very much) and Latino activist who supports mental health issues, children’s health, among a bunch of other causes.  Apparently this multi-tasker still has time to prepare home cooked meals for her familia. Or so the book implies, as there’s plenty of pictures of Eva peeling veggies, in the kitchen, con su mamá y sus tías, moviendo el sartén. Hmmm, I have a feeling it’s more her mom and tías that do the cooking. Just saying!  Anyway, it’s called “Eva’s Kitchen” and has the typical “latina” or mexican-latino fusion inspired recipes, with glossy, colorful pictures.

Eva Longoria's new cookbook is called "Eva's Kitchen."

Otra que no se queda atrás es la Gwyneth Paltrow, the overachiever everybody loves to hate. I am currently on “la-gwyneth-otra-vez -me-está- cayendo-gorda mode” but it is always shifting. (I have a love-hate relationship with her, which is more than I can say for the blogging community, which loves to hate her… but I digress.)

Goop's book. "My Father's Daughter" (Photo from

La Goop herself  just came out with a cookbook called “My Father’s Daughter” and everybody on the online foodie blogs came out to bash her, yet again, for her snobby, better than thou, life is perfect attitude. She can really annoy the hell out of people. But truth be told, she’s very talented, she can sing, hablar español, has good style and good genes. Enough said.

One of the tweets I follow on Twitter, Ruth Bourdain (fictional account that mashes Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain’s point of view, you should follow it!) had a funny tweet the other day regarding the book:

So I was surprised when I happened to like the book, after browsing through it, and thinking, I really want to get it. Dammit! I loved the look and feel of the book, it has beautiful photos, the recipes look delicious, and achievable. Pero es de la Gwyneth, así que…I’ll admit:

Si tuviera an extra $30 bucks I might consider purchasing it. But since I don’t, right now I’ll just admire it at the bookstore and wait till it goes on sale, eventually.

Lo que me llamó la atención es que nowhere in the book, and I mean nowhere, is it mentioned that she is married to Chris Martin. Not in the acknowledgements to everybody who is important in her life, not in the thank you’s, not even in the back flap bio. Hmmm. That sounds weird to me.


UPDATE: So I was mistaken: looks like they are still together. Chris Martin was at her NYC book presentation-private dinner this week.

Here’s the link to the NYT photogallery. (Click here) Nice party! Ah the beautiful people.

And here’s the link to the companion article, Click:   She acts, she sings, she cooks?

Is Gwyneth trying to be the new Martha? (Photo from

Lunchtime special…

8 Feb

Not my lunch, but the torta special has a following in Pasadena.

More Spanglish in action

28 Sep

Here, there and everywhere. 2 little examples of Spanglish out on the town.

Hmm. Pan conhuevo anybody?

Weya is loved. Or is it Guey-A?

Understanding the bilingual mind

1 Sep

Psychology Today magazine (yes I read it) has a great article on the bilingual brain and how we process language and information. The new issue, which should be hitting stands right now, interviews 4 bilingual brilliant minds (puros nerds), some of them mastering more than 2 languages. Pero les faltó el Spanglish speaker. (Que onda con el Spanglish representation pues!)

Heres an excerpt of the article. “A Sharper Mind, The Bilingual Advantage” on the cover. You can eventually find it in full at their website when they update for the month, or get the mag at your local newstand for $4.99. This is the issue cover:

Weird cover of Psychology Today, but the article "A Sharper Mind" is quite interesting.

Double Talk

By Carlin Flora

Psychology Today

September/October 2010 issue

Some are children of enterprising immigrants or embattled refugees. Others live along borders or are part of a minority that keeps its heritage while blending into the mainstream. Still others have spend years memorizing vocabulary lists and parsing sentences. All told, half of the world’s population conducts life in multiple languages.

Bilingualism doesn’t just apply to the small percentage of people who are perfectly fluent in two tongues. Bilinguals might speak beautifully in one language without being able to read or write it. And they may have acquired their second tongue as a child, a teen, or an adult.

People who are bilingual are often asked which language they think in, but when people are walking down the street, riding a bus, or jogging in the woods, their thoughts may not be in a particular language, points out Francois Grosjean, author of the research based Bilingual Life and Reality. “Thought can be visual-spatial and nonlinguistic. It is only when planning to speak that individual languages actually intervene,” Grosjean says.

While they do repress words in one tongue in order to speak another, bilinguals don’t completely lose access to the first. For example, bilingual subjects reading sentences with cognates- example would be “bleu” in French and “blue” in English- take less time to process them than other words, hinting at how they are always dipping into their total language knowledge. And they often intermingle their languages (Spanglish, Chinglish), not out of laziness or lack of ability, but in a natural quest for optimal self expression and understanding.**

(** Well if Psych Today says so, then it must be true! My mind is complex, not lazy y a veces le pono y le quito palabras to express myself better. But only in the spirit of peace, love and understanding.)

Nuevos Amigos

21 Nov

It’s funny how sometimes great things happen when you least plan for them. Last Thursday my friend Karla B. and I went to the Improv in Hollywood for a Tonight Show showcase where Bill Santiago and other comedians were performing.

The show lasted about 90 minutes and there were some great laughs. Yo digo que Bill fue el mejor de todos.  After the show ended, we thought we were calling it a night…until somehow, people were introduced, plans were made, location was set and transportation was underway to Barney’s Beanery.

We had a blast! Dinner, drinks, laughs and at the end of the night, new friends. Who knew?

Karla, Bill, Dan, Danny and José…thanks for a lovely time. I’m still laughing!

At Barney's Beanery, what a great night!


Este Jueves Vamos al Improv Comedy Lab!

17 Nov

Dear LA Amigos and readers, want to catch a free comedy show on Thursday at The Melrose Improv Comedy Lab?

Pues resulta que va a haber un “Tonight Show Showcase” del show del Conan O’Brian and our friend Bill Santiago (see post below) is going to be there. Let’s go! Here’s the info:

The Tonight Show Showcase: This Thursday, November 19, 8:30 PM @ the Melrose Improv Comedy Lab.  Hosted by Jimmy Pardo with Rob Delaney, Erin Foley, Chris D’Elia, Christina Paszitsky,  Freddy Lockhart,  Melinda Hill, Dov Davidoff, Julius Sharpe, Dwayne Perkins, & Bill Santiago.

Melrose Improv Comedy Lab

Street or valet parking.  Entrance is in the parking lot just east of the main entrance.
Vamos a echarle porras al Bill! See you there!

Improv Comedy Lab on Melrose. Photo from

Bill Santiago is my new favorite comedian and linguistics professor.

16 Nov

Bill Santiago es lo máximo en Spanglish. Read this book

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting al Rey del Spanglish himself, Mr. Bill Santiago.  Bill had a great comedy set at the  Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, y después lo fui a saludar. I recently bought this excellent book called “Pardon My Spanglish, One Man’s Guide to Speaking The Habla,” which he wrote, and was intrigued to meet him.

Bill is the first person to accurately define what it means to be a Spanglish speaker. He describes, in very funny and clever terms, what it’s like to think and speak in 2 languages al mismo tiempo, all while conjugating verbs, mixing idioms, cultural references and even our little idiosyncracies. And the title says “Pardon..” pero no creo que sea muy apologetic al respecto. ¡Lo promueve con mucho gusto! So I was very happy he signed my book and gave me a copy of his dvd from his special on Comedy Central, clips you can also see here.

So here’s my recommendation to all of my Spanglish speaking amiguitos and visitors to this blog: Go get this book on Amazon. You will be laughing out loud with every page. It’s great writing. Very funny stuff!

This morning on the Gold Line Metro to Pasadena on my way to work, people were looking over probably thinking “¿Y pues ésta que lee?” Es que me moría de la risa, está super chistoso.


Back cover text menciona a Ponce de Leon, Ricky Martin, Cesar Chavez y Dora la Exploradora.

Here’s the link to Amazon so you can get the book.

You can also find it on  his website: plus see his calendar and next locations for his standup.

bill santiago

Foto con mi nuevo amigo, Bill Santiago.


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