mexican lifestyle

Cantinflas, the movie

Words can’t begin to express how excited we are about the upcoming Cantinflas movie. It actually looks really good, and we’re hoping that this will be one Hollywood film that won’t disappoint. Like really hoping y’all! We’ve both grown up with Cantinflas all of our lives, and like many Hispanic families across the globe, we always remember the Mexican entertainer known for his larger than life personality and career with a bit of nostalgia.

For me, the mere mention of his name evokes a lot of great memories of watching his films with my parents and laughing at his singular way of bringing our Mexican sense of humor to life on the silver screen. People sometimes say that to really make it in the world of entertainment you have to have a certain je ne sais qua that only a certain number of human beings possess. If you’re lucky enough to have it, chances are your legacy will live on for many generations to come. There’s certainly no doubt Mario Moreno Cantinflas was born with that charisma.

I hope this film will leave us with a clearer picture of who the man behind the legend was.

The movie hits theaters August 29. We’ll certainly be there to watch.

Social Media Rehab

Social Media Rehab

I’ve been forgetting my phone a lot lately. In my car. In the restroom. At my desk. On the bed. Even in the house all together, literally driving away without it and not remembering until I’m halfway down the block. That never used to happen before. It was as if we were one in the past. Everywhere I went my phone was always in my hand. Through heat, hail and high water, we were always together. You know, just in case someone decided to call me, or text me, or tweet me, or Facebook me… you get where I’m going, right?

Nothing could have been more important than a couple of beeps or a vibration in my pocket. Everything stopped when that happened. There I went to see who it was and what they wanted. In all honesty, most of the time it was never anything all that important. You know, the usual “what are you doing?” “where are you?” “hey…” And even still, it was important enough to deserve my complete and utter attention.

Not to say that it is or ever was bad, but these days I find myself looking at my phone very seldomly. It takes some really good chisme to really get me paying attention.

I thought about that this week when I went outside to get my phone from the car for the umpteenth time. And then the next thought that came to mind was this. It’s been a hell of a couple of years in my life. I’ve seen and felt a lot of shit; I’ve grown in ways I never imagined; I’ve seen the people I love deal with some very difficult things; I’ve pushed myself harder than ever before; and at the end of the day, I realize I’m only human, and not being “on” all of the time is more than just okay. It’s healthy. Por eso ahora sí me doy permiso de huevonear :-) 

That may not make any sense, pero yo me entiendo. 

Now go and give yourself a break too!

Quinceañera

This weekend we were invited to a quinceañera. Well, to a sweet 16 really. Except for all intents and purposes it was really a quinceañera. There was the mass, chamberlanes and damas, the surprise dance, the father-daughter dance, el regalo sorpresa, and Juan’s sister was even the madrina de corona. 

It was a really nice event, sweet 16 or quince.

The night also had us reminiscing about the times we stood in fifteens as younger kids. I think that’s also a rite of passage of sorts. Even if you never had a quinceañera of your own, chances are you probably stood in someone else’s at some point in your teenage life. If you didn’t, well maybe you wanted to.

I managed to capture some footage from that night for this video. You would have had to have been there to truly appreciate the intimacy of this quinceañera, but I do hope you can appreciate what we thought were the nicest moments.

Gracias, and hey, why not subscribe? Here’s the link to do so: youtube.com/Juanofwords

Dinner and a rather unfortunate show

Dinner and a rather unfortunate show

Disclosure: I have partnered with Cricket Wireless as a 2014 Blog Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

I have so much to say, I’m just going to get started. This post will be quite scattered and off in so many different directions, so… I hope you stay until the end because I promise I have something to say. Maybe.

I went out to have dinner last week with my husband and a good friend. Juan and I were in the car when she parked her truck. We had been in the car for most of the evening actually. Juan was trying to wrap up a conference call that seemed to be lasting forever so I decided to join our friend inside for dinner while he finished. To be realistic, I don’t think my presence in the car was actually helping anyone. As a matter of fact, I was being quite annoying. My eyes still hurt from all the eye rolling I was doing while he sat in the passenger seat trying to pay attention to what was being said.

The call kept going, and going, and going… so we settled on having dinner at a cute, semi-hidden Greek restaurant located in Houston’s Montrose/Westheimer area. This area of town is well known for being a pretty creative place, a lot of free thinkers, hippies if you will, or as Juan likes to say sometimes, “all these bicyclists that are just in my way.” You can’t really tell whether the area is thriving or declining most of the time. It seems to be one of the few communities in Houston that always stays the same. Or maybe that’s just Houston in a nut shell? A city that’s always changing, and always staying the same.

Nonetheless, I was enjoying my conversation with our friend (about 30 minutes later) when Juan walked in looking all flushed and ready to change what we were talking about completely. We had ordered for him since he was taking a while to come inside. Just as our dinner was being brought to the table the waiter walked over and tapped Juan on the shoulder. He looked very distraught and asked Juan “what do you drive?” It was an odd question, so naturally we all looked confused. Juan pointed in the direction of the parking lot, and before he could finish his sentence the waiter was waving him to get up and walk to the entrance of the restaurant.

“Is that your car?,” the waiter asked.

It was.

To our surprise it was hanging off the backend of a tow truck.

What the hell?!?

We dashed outside and quickly confronted the wrecker driver. He was really quite rude. Or in my honest opinion, long story short, he was an idiot. Here I was, yelling at him, arguing that we were eating inside and not parked illegally, while he just continued to rant about how Juan had walked off the property before going inside to join us. Apparently, that’s reason enough to tow your car in that parking lot. I stepped outside to call the wrecking company and express my dissatisfaction.

By this point I was nearly foaming at the mouth from my anger, yelling into the telephone, while the person on the other end just dismissed everything I had to say. As it turns out, the person on the other end was actually the same tow truck driver who had argued with me in the parking lot and picked up our vehicle erroneously from the beginning. He just happened to be using an Indian accent to act like he was someone else. Really. I’m serious.

And yes, I was “that” woman. Standing in my heels in the parking lot of this restaurant, ready to devour, chew and spit this guy out, over the phone. Hell, anyone in my way really. The only human being brave enough to try and tame this rabid panther was my husband. I have to give him credit for trying to calm me down. He stood there looking at me, asking me if I was coming back inside. Finally, I found my way back to the table, but all I could do was glare at my food. I no longer had an appetite. When my phone rang, I quickly answered. It was my best friend calling and I knew a quick rant away from the table would help me move past my frustration.

Success! I told her about what had just happened, and almost instantly my ears were no longer raging hot. I was ready to move past the incident. I could now enjoy what was left of my food. I still have no idea how some of that dinner actually tasted, but I did manage to rejoin the conversation and eat my dinner so as to not be rude. Our friend was a very good sport while this all played out. She knows me quite well now.

So now here’s my crazy segue to what our initial conversation was about to begin with.

We were talking about women in coding, the new programs out to help women learn and practice computer coding, and how at younger ages women and girls are now being engaged by these opportunities. That’s when we were interrupted by Juan when he finally joined us for dinner.

Coincidentally, did you know there are coding classes being taught by women for women? The simple notion of that reality makes me giddy. I myself will need a terminology book just to begin to even understand coding, but I am definitely excited. I may just have to teach myself the basics.

Still, I can’t believe I almost allowed that one person driving the tow truck to ruin a great dinner and conversation. I almost missed out on learning about something I could potentially be passionate about.

In fact, my goal now is to learn and build an app of my own. I haven’t come up with a genius idea just yet, but if I ever do I hope you will all download it and share it far and wide. Even if it is just an app of a cat sitting in a cute basket licking her paw every time you swipe the screen, I will put something together.

I am quite an app fanatic, so for making it to the end of this post, I am rewarding you with this app for coding. According to the reviews, this is the must-have app if you are interested in getting started in this industry.

#VidaConCricket Juan of Words - Anjelica Cazares

Follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter.

Married people problems

You know you’ve been married for quite a while when you start picking up on each other’s quirks, and then you start to poke fun at each other for all the craziness between you. No, pos quien sabe, in all honesty. We were just having fun with the video camera again, and this is what we captured. Esperamos que lo disfruten… and hey, if you’re interested in subscribing, here’s the channel where you can do that youtube.com/Juanofwords.

For brown little boys and girls

For brown little boys and girls

Photo by Anjelica Cazares

We have a responsibility to remember who we are, where we’ve been, and where we come from! I may be going off on a tangent here in a second, so consider this your warning. Tonight, I was reminded once again why having a voice, for me, was ever even important. Not to say that I think I have a huge voice, or that I’m even reaching tens of thousands of people, or anything like that. You all know that as of late I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I used to. I’m not going to make excuses for myself.

I’ve been busy.

I’ve been working long hours.

And most days when I get home I just want to veg out and do absolutely nothing.

Just sit in front of the television set and watch my novela, have dinner with Edgar and Anjelica, and spend time with them doing absolutely nothing… or at least nothing that eventful. Our life, in truth, has become pretty comfortable. We’re always trying to make the most of our time together, and before you know it we’re laying in bed, waking up again the next morning, to get going all over again.

But tonight. Tonight, I was reminded again that somewhere inside of me is still that young little lost boy who never dreamt of going farther than his circumstances would have allowed him to go. It never once would have dawned on me back then that my words could have an impact, even on a single person. I was a different human being back then. A more humble one. A simpler one. A more innocent one. A more naive one. A boy whose circumstances could have defeated him. A boy who could have chosen not to dream.

But for whatever reason, I chose to dream.

Tonight, when I was face to face with myself as that young boy again, I couldn’t help but getting a little choked up at how defenseless I must have been. I was a boy wanting to take on a world that didn’t even make sense to me. There weren’t any role models for me back then. At least not people that looked like me or were doing the things I wanted to do. And yet that didn’t stop me. I honestly don’t know why?

Y no es que le quiera echar mucha crema a mis tacos, but something inside me told me I had to keep pushing myself. I had to make something of myself. I had to make my life mean something.

En realidad, I don’t know that I’ve done that yet. Actually, I know I haven’t. The point of this post, though, is to say to those little brown boys and girls out there, like me, that it is always okay to dream and reach for the impossible.

Coming from nothing is not an excuse to say “I can’t” or “I never will.”

You can. And you will.

I believe in you.

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