Cante y cante con @CafeTacvba en DTLA

6 Sep

Hace una semana exactamente, you would’ve found me singing my heart out con el repertorio de Cafe Tacvba en concierto en el Nokia Theater de Downtown LA. Tenía rato que no los veía en persona, y ahora, I’m obsessed.

I don’t say this lightly: este fue uno de los mejores conciertos a los que he ido en mi vida. Y más gusto fue darme cuenta que sigue siendo lo máximo verlos en vivo. Rubén, Meme, Joselo y Quique, son otra cosa…¿cómo le hacen? De dónde sacan esa creatividad, esa música? Son completamente originales y super cool, but without even trying too hard. En vivo le echan muchas ganas, le ponen mucho feeling, y las canciones traen buen rollo para hacerte pensar. Mucho “emotional juju” going on in every song if you ask me.

Ya tienen más de 20 años cantando, pero our favorite Chilanga Banda proved they have no fear mixing it up, getting dark, getting serious, getting jazzy, getting techno and getting jiggy with it.  En una de esas, los 4 muestran sus mejores “dance moves” y una coreografía para una de sus canciones mas intensas, la de “Déjate Caer”, y bailan bastante bien, por cierto.

Cantaron sus crowd pleasers y grandes éxitos, esos que te sabes de memoria, pero también aprovecharon para darle a las nuevas canciones de su último disco, “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco”…  Yo que era fan desde hace tiempo pero que no había escuchado este disco, me enganché de las canciones.

(Claro que cuando fui a buscar el CD a las tiendas esta semana, me cayó el 20 del título. YA NO HAY DISCOS!! Por ende, the wordplay. Había puros empty shelves en la Target, en el Best Buy y hasta en la Walmart. Lo tuve que hacer special order por Barnes and Noble porque ahi me dieron free shipping. Quiero mi CD tangible, para llevarmelo en mi carro, para prestarlo if I have to. Pero más que nada, quiero mi disco porque parece que muy pronto será un collector’s item. But I digress…)

Esta experiencia la debo gracias a mi amiga, the lovely Lucia Peraza, quien me hizo la invitación. Lucia estaba celebrando su concierto #40 de Cafe Tacvba, a Guiness World Record if you ask me, proving she is the ultimate “Chica Banda”… And she still gets excited with every song.  Además, nos tocó estar en el pit, standing room only, y los vimos muy cerca. It was awesome, and let me tell you, once you go to the pit, you never want to go back.

So I can’t say this enough, GO SEE THEM on tour. Si les gusta alguna canción de su repertorio, la que sea, I highly recommend you experience the music in person. Check out their USA tour sked here on their webpage. Todavía quedan algunas fechas.

Por ahora, mi nueva canción favorita de ellos (aparte de Eres, aparte de Como Te Extraño, aparte de Puntos Cardinales, aparte de Volver a Comenzar) se llama “Olita de Altamar” y es algo mágico escucharla en persona. 

Aquí les pongo el link al video, a mi me pone de muy buen humor.

Y aqui les pongo unas fotitos con el iPhone del concierto el 30 de agosto en LA. 


El concierto de Cafe Tacvba en el Nokia el 30 de agosto estuvo sold out.

Un árbol gigante de repente se levantó sobre el escenario, very cool!

Un árbol gigante de repente se levantó sobre el escenario, very cool!

Joselo Rangel es lo máximo.

Joselo Rangel es lo máximo.

Backstage con Cafe Tacvba, pura gente cool.

Backstage con Cafe Tacvba.

Otro angulo

El director de cine Sergio Arau en plena plática con Rubén, aka "Zopilote".

El director de cine Sergio Arau en plena plática con Rubén, aka “Zopilote”.

Puro genio y creatividad, Rubén Albarrán y Gustavo Santolalla, uno de los productores de "El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco".

Puro genio y creatividad, Rubén Albarrán y Gustavo Santolalla, uno de los productores de “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco” de Cafe Tacvba.

El Meme tiene su pegue. Ladies Like Meme...

El Meme tiene su pegue. Ladies love Meme!

Must See Documentary Discovery: Reportero

23 Aug
A documentary by Bernardo Ruiz.

A documentary by Bernardo Ruiz.

Here is a documentary that I found online through PBS and that has hit close to home.

“Reportero” follows the experience of Sergio Haro Cordero, a reporter in Tijuana, and the editorial team of the independent “Zeta” newspaper in recent years. It is an excellent film directed and produced by Bernardo Ruiz, and from now until September 20, 2013 you can watch it online at PBS for free with this link:

Or you can go to the POV page from PBS and click on the selection:

This is not a particularly “feel good movie” nor an easy story to watch, but it’s important to see it. 

Journalism is a tough profession, especially when your life is at risk for pursuing the truth and writing it.  As we know, Mexico does not have a good track record in protecting its journalists nor its citizens- far from it- and this documentary is an eye opener to all the things they are exposed to in this day and age. It has definitely made me aware of how valuable their work is, and I admire them even more.  

About 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of being a colleague of Mr. Sergio Haro Cordero at my local newspaper. I wasn’t even done with college, I wasn’t even pursuing a serious career in journalism (me tocaba la seccion de Sociales, for crying out loud!) but I was impressed by his work ethic, integrity, professionalism (exactly what you see in the film) and generosity in teaching a “rookie” the ropes.

One time, I tagged along for an interview with the state governor (Ernesto Ruffo) and Sergio let me ask a few questions (and even took a picture of me doing so, for my scrapbook.) I remember him working nonstop, always on the beat, always had a camera in hand. It’s so amazing to see that time has not changed him one bit (maybe for a few extra canas en el pelo) and even more inspiring is to see his wife and son supporting him even with all the risks they face (¡que valientes!)… I am in awe of his story and the film. Además, I’m proud to still have the photos he took of my muy breve, pero divertido paso por el periodismo de Baja California. Espero poderlo saludar un día de estos para darle las gracias pues son de mis fotos favoritas.

On another note, Jesus Blancornelas, the founding editor of Zeta and one of the main characters in the film, also has a personal connection to my family. Era vecino y amigo de mis abuelos y hasta sirvio de testigo en la boda civil de mis padres, en los 70′s. Small world. Mi abuela se emociona mucho cuando los recuerda a él y a su esposa, Beba.

So if you have an hour, if you have the interest, please watch. I only regret not having seen it in the movie theater when it came out, but grateful to PBS for airing it now. Bernardo Ruiz y compañia, soy tu fan. 

No se lo pierdan.

Corazoncito de Cherry

6 Jun

My horoscope for the month of June (June, ALREADY, geez!) said that this month I was going to experience RESPONSIBILITY in different ways, shapes and forms.

I guess that’s one way of putting it, but really, these past 2 weeks have been kind of estresantes.  No estoy yo para contarlo, but sometimes I feel I’m not equipped to deal with life’s curve balls that are pitched without warning.

I admit I’m challenged in the “Actitud Mental Positiva” department, although I try to visualize good things and confess reading self-help books to get me out of my slumps. No me da pena decirlo. But these past few days, I’ve had to make extra efforts to improve my mood and energy, and hold on to all my santitos and mantras.

And then there’s moments, like today for example, when the small things suddenly have a big impact. Like when I walked into the 7 Eleven this morning, and Danny at the checkout counter had saved me a copy of the newspaper en español before it sold out. “Ya sabía que iba a venir a buscarlo.”  Made me smile and be grateful. Thanks Danny! I don’t know you but I appreciate the thoughtfulness. (I buy La Opinion for mi abuelita everyday,  but it’s frustrating sometimes because after 8 a.m. all the plomeros y constructores buy every copy in town and I have to drive around to find it. Really, La Opinion, can’t you provide subscription service in the South Bay?)

Or this afternoon when I went to Whole Foods and bought cherries on sale. The guy acomodando la fruta y la verdura said, “Here I picked these just for you.” Why thank you, nice guy.

I get home and wash them, put them in a bowl, proceed to eat them all as I’m watching the nightly news. All the way at the bottom, just as I was finishing them, a heart shaped cherry pops up. Un corazoncito. What are the odds? Así como para recordarme to practice an attitude of gratitude. 

So…not to read anything specific into it, but I’m taking it as a good sign. Better days ahead, people. Better days ahead. And more cherries.


3 songs for your Summer 2013 Soundtrack

29 May

Did someone all of a sudden decide to do a rewind with the disco/dance and electronic musical references for Summer 2013?

Of course I’m not complaining, since I love to dance to anything that makes me move, but these songs I’ve been hearing lately take me back in time.

Here are 3 songs that I’ve downloaded/purchased just now, all because I kept hearing them on the radio. So of course they had to be “Shazammed” to find out who the heck they were.

By the way, thanks KCRW and KISS FM, for playing them. Yes, subscriber supported radio and commercial radio happily coexist on my dashboard. (I support public radio and you should too.)

These songs, I predict, will become part of your Summer Playlist. No me crean, but I do happen to have fairly decent musical tastes… modestia aparte.

Daft Punk: Get Lucky

They’ve been interviewed on NPR, they just topped the Billboard charts this week. Here’s Daft Punk with their extremely disco-techno influenced “Get Lucky.”

Listen closely and I swear they say “We up all Mexican Lucky” somwhere intertwined in the chorus. This song is from their new album “Random Access Memories” which is topping the charts. (Love the album name too.)

Click on the image for the music from YouTube. Y luego me dicen si suena a Mexican o no.

Empire of the Sun: Alive

Otros que me ponen a bailar in the seat of my car son los de Empire of the Sun, with their extremely  catchy “Alive” song. I think this is a song that can put anybody in a happy mood, even if you’re stuck in traffic on the 405.

Hace cuánto que no van clubbing? Maybe this is what those Millennials are dancing to these days.

Thank you @JasonBentley for playing it on KCRW’s MBE, the first place I heard it on. My previous purchases of Empire of the Sun songs on my iPod are also there because of MBE.

Capital Cities: Safe and Sound

This song came on the radio and I had to whip out the Shazam on my phone to see who it was. I’d never heard of Capital Cities before so I was intrigued.

On the video, they kind of look like the coffee baristas at Intelligentsia, with a weird retro bearded look. The song is cool, though, so I didn’t mind paying the $1.29 on iTunes.

Here’s the vid for “Safe and Sound” (NOT to be confused with la Taylor Swift’s song for the Hunger Games.)

Las Jacarandas están in bloom in Los Angeles

22 May

It’s the last week in May, where does the time go?

Seems all the Jacaranda trees in L.A. got the memo recently that it was time to burst into full color. A beautiful, intense, rich lavender meets happy purple kind of color. A full bloom all over the place. How do the flowers know it’s time to shine?

It’s easy to spot them when driving, even on the freeway. But they’re especially powerful in downtown LA and Pasadena.

Sometimes you just need to take a break, stand still on the street and admire them. Because like Ferris Bueller said, “Blink, and you miss it.” Ya sabemos que cuando llegue el late summer, las jacarandas se despiden hasta el año que entra.

En eso estaba yo, muy “enjoying the moment” en el Central Park de Pasadena, cuando pasa un pájaro volando and he poops a bit on my hair. Eww! How’s that for “disfrutando el momento”?

Pasadena Jacarandas on Del Mar blvd.

Pasadena Jacarandas on Del Mar blvd.


"Central Park" on Fair Oaks in Pasadena, with a central jacaranda.

“Central Park” on Fair Oaks in Pasadena, with a central Jacaranda.


Pops of color everywhere you go. Fits in nicely with our nice weather we've been having.

Pops of color everywhere you go. Fits in nicely with the weather we’ve been having.


Bam! A street filled with Jacarandas. (Pasadena, Del Mar blvd.)

Bam! A street filled with Jacarandas as far as the eye can see. (Pasadena, Del Mar blvd.)


Out for a run, surrounded by purple violet.

Out for a run, surrounded by purple violet.


Just chillin' in DTLA.

Just chillin’ in DTLA.


On 8th street in DTLA, the Jacaranda becomes part of the cityscape.

On 8th street in DTLA, the Jacaranda becomes part of the cityscape.


This intense blue lavender violet is now my favorite color. I love Jacarandas!

This intense blue lavender violet is now my favorite color. I love Jacarandas!

Juventud Divino Tesoro, or finding anti-age products that work

20 May

The woman approaching the mirror just meant to do a quick scan, de esos que haces first thing in the morning, and never saw coming the disbelief that followed, a major introduction to the panic of the A-word.

But there it happened on a Sunday morning, yesterday to be exact, when THIS woman faced the moment of truth: AGE on my face is now a major concern. As I looked at the mirror, recién levantada, there was this realization that my face is not what it used to be. (“Juventud divino tesoro,” dice mi Tia Gilda, obviamente citando a Rubén Darío.)

Yes, I’m talking wrinkles and sun spots and an uneven complexion. Yes, I’m going to be perfectly candid and say that they’ve arrived, and I don’t like them, and I need to do something about them!

The funny thing is that I thought I was already doing it, all these years, staying out of the sun most of my adult life. I always use SPF, moisturize, never go to bed with makeup on, and invest in “good” creams and treatments from all price points.

I am a sunscreen worshipper, never leave home without the SPF in my face and most of my skin. I NEVER sunbathe, I swim in an indoor pool, and wear long sleeves when it’s too hot outside. During the summer, you’ll see me wearing weird big-ass hats. De hecho, I’ve heard my vecinos say about me, “Que extraña mujer,” when they see me leaving the house all covered up en el calorón

But desperate times call for desperate measures and obviously the SPF 60 is not doing the trick. So off I went to the drugstore and to Costco in search of new products.

There were 3 that seemed appropriate for my anti-aging mission: Age Shield face SPF 110 by Neutrogena. (Yeah pump it up to SPF 110 baby, the more the merrier); Oil of Olay Regenerist Cream (after seeing all those ads that claim they work just as well as the $700 dollar creams, worth a try); and a Dark Spot Eraser Clinical Strength Cream by Bremenn Clinical, that is supposed to borrarme las manchas del sol.

So now the experiment begins. The improvements the creams claim to do don’t happen overnight, so I’ll have to be patient. The SPF is already on and I feel it’s working, because it’s a bit heavier than the other stuff. It’s been quite sunny in LA for the past few days, and summer is practically here, so this one is not leaving my bolsita de indispensables any time soon.

Ahi luego les platico si sirvieron… o no.

Disclosure: I bought these products on my own and none of these brands nor companies have sponsored this post, nor supplied me with any products nor compensation. Lo puse porque quise, porque lo estoy usando, y porque I’m really looking for something that works.

AntiAging Creams

La belleza cuesta: Oil of Olay Regenerist MicroSculpting Cream (around $36 for two 1.7 ounce jars at Costco- a good deal considering it’s around $24 for one at other places); Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 110 (around $11 for 3 ounces at the drugstore); Bremenn Clinical Dark Spot Eraser (around $36 for 1 ounce at Costco).

All in the name of good health: Angelina Jolie and my friend Marisol, plus Runwalk 2013

17 May

This week we all heard of Angelina Jolie’s difficult medical decision, and subsequently, all the opinions surrounding her double mastectomy, as a preventive measure against breast cancer. Although I had never been a fan, I must now confess that I have newfound respect for her and for sharing her story.

The first person I thought about, almost immediately after reading her op-ed for the NYT, was my dear friend Marisol Rosas, who made the same decision and underwent the same surgery a few years ago.

Angelina Jolie and Marisol have things in common: the experience of losing their mother at a young age, the family history, the genes, and a young family of their own to think of. I can not imagine being in the position of having to make that choice, but since Marisol is such a brave and beautiful soul, it does not surprise anybody that knows her that she overcame the fear and went through with the experience with courage and grace.

Marisol is now volunteering to educate other women in a similar situation to learn about their choices, as part of an organization called FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, where she volunteers as their National Help Line Coordinator. I am very proud of my friend, who has my total admiration for overcoming this difficult situation and now deciding to help others. She has a fundraising page for FORCE where you can make a donation, in any amount, towards this cause. Please take a look at her story, it’s both in English and Spanish and written by her sister Gaby. The page link is here:

Click on the image to read Marisol's story and donate.

Click on the image to read Marisol’s story and donate.

You can imagine that after the Angelina Jolie story came out, there was a lot of interest in all of this, and Marisol was on television the next morning on Univision San Diego.

Click on the link to watch the video (en español) and see how great she did on TV. The link to the interview is here:

Bravo Marisol, we’re so proud of you!


On a related note, last Saturday May 11 was the 20th annual Revlon RunWalk at the LA Coliseum, and -Full Disclosure- I was invited to take pictures and walk with Team Macy’s, who was one of the major sponsors.

The event always draws tens of thousands of people, women, men, entire families who have al been affected by breast cancer and other women’s cancers, and who all want to put an end to it.

There was joy and optimism in the air, even as you read the signs and the reasons why people were walking and participating. It always gets to me, reading those signs, with names and pictures of the people who’ve passed and the survivors who’ve beat it. We are all affected, we all must do what we can’t to support the fight against it.

Here are a few pictures of a wonderful event.

She's there EVERY year. The beautiful Ms. Halle Berry at the starting line.

She’s there EVERY year. The beautiful Ms. Halle Berry at the starting line.

Lilly Tartikoff, founder and organizer for RunWalk, and Andy Garcia, who came out to support and cheer everybody on.

Lilly Tartikoff, founder and organizer for RunWalk, and Andy Garcia, who came out to support and cheer everybody on.

All those signs you read, all the names, they are powerful reasons to walk and fight for a cure.

All those signs you read, all the names, they are powerful reasons to walk and fight for a cure.

Such a great group of people, getting up super early on a Saturday morning to walk: Team Macy's.

Such a great group of people, getting up super early on a Saturday morning to walk: Team Macy’s.

Walking into the LA Coliseum is such a great feeling. Here approaching the finish line.

Walking into the LA Coliseum is such a great feeling. Here approaching the finish line.


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