mexican

On Culture, Music & Fashion, La Santa Cecilia

Two years ago – in Miami during Hispanicize – Anjelica and I walked into the elevator of the hotel we were staying at to go back downstairs to the lobby. We had just stepped into the elevator when immediately we glanced at each other and gave each other that grin from ear to ear that usually means we’re about to do something unusual. You see, La Santa Cecilia happened to be in the elevator with us and we recognized them as soon as we saw them. I could tell Anjelica was thinking about how she was going to introduce us when immediately I uttered, kind of loud too, “you’re La Santa Cecilia!”

They looked amused, but also a little scared at the flood of words that came afterwards from both of us. By the time the doors opened in the lobby we were taking selfies and telling La Marisoul how awesome we think she is, and her band too. They were very good sports, and I’m taking the fact that they still speak to us when we run into them at their shows as a sign that they were more amused than scared during that, our first encounter.

This month, La Santa Cecilia was in Houston for a performance. Los fuimos a saladar otra vez, and this time we were able to interview them about cultural identity, their music, and La Marisoul’s unique and always “on fleek” sense of style.

We still think they’re awesome!

Is Sofia Vergara headed for movie magic?

It’s worked for Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy. Turning female lead comedy flicks into multimillion dollar hits at the box office. And now Sofia Vergara is hoping to capitalize on her Modern Family fame to rake in the mula as well with her first feature film in the popular genre. If Hot Pursuit is as funny as its trailer, Vergara could very well be on her way to movie magic.

Reese Witherspoon costars in the movie, which is slated to open nationwide on May 8.

Here’s the trailer.

Té Para Tres in Houston

This month we were invited to attend the Vida Lexus Té Para Tres concert series during its stop here in Houston at the House of Deréon. EMMY award nominated TV host, actress, producer and social media expert, Pili Montilla, hosted the event which featured an exclusive concert by La Santa Cecilia. We love this up and coming band and have actually met them in person a couple of times now, so that was pretty cool. We’ll share our interview with La Marisoul (the group’s lead singer) in a later post, but for now here are some of the pictures of the night.

The Té Para Tres Live Concert Series showcases the most representative and leading alternative Latin music bands in North America, including Kinky, Afrobeta, La Santa Cecilia and La Mecánica Popular.

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Snail Mail: Here’s our P.O. Box

It’s fair to say we’re kind of old fashioned. We have a certain appreciation for the worn and vintage things in life. As it turns out, that also includes everyday mundane little gestures like handwritten notes, personal detallitos, and anything else that you might want to mail to one another just because. Yes, I said mail as in snail mail. We had been talking about getting a P.O. Box to share with everyone, in case you did want to send us any old fashioned correspondence, for quite some time. And this week, well, Anjelica went and got one for us.

So here it is. This is our official P.O. Box address. Consider yourself at liberty to send us any snail mail any time your corazoncito desires. We’ll certainly appreciate it muchisimo with all of ours!

P.O. Box 15833
Houston, TX  77220 

Snail Mail: Here’s our P.O. Box

Test Driving the Nokia Lumia 635, Powered by Microsoft

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Microsoft for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every year it’s the same. We spend most of the end of the previous year contemplating about our life. What we could have done differently; what we want to plan ahead for in the New Year; and how we can make substantial changes towards those goals. Inevitably, by the end of it all we somehow manage to commit to a new resolution for the next 12 months of our life.

The drama comes in when we struggle to actually honor those commitments throughout the rest of the year. If your resolution is to in fact “Make it Happen” for yourself this year, then a new device might just make your goal that much more attainable. For me, my resolution the last couple of years has been the same – to get better organized. Better organized in all aspects of my life really. I’d say I’m doing pretty good so far, in all honesty, but we could all use a little extra help.

This month, when I was asked to review the Nokia Lumia 635, Powered by Microsoft, I was pretty eager to say yes. I had never used a Microsoft-powered device before, but I had heard a lot of great things about these devices. The Nokia Lumia 635 in particular comes with an advanced quad core processor, a 4.5” display, and a 5.0 megapixel camera that makes it very easy to enjoy. It’s made my life easier since it arrived in the mail a few days ago.

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Some of the apps that I have especially enjoyed are OneNote, OneDrive and Cortana. Cortana was definitely my favorite. Not only does she come with a lot of character, but this personal assistant app can be personalized to your unique preferences and she’ll respond to you based on those customizations. I had a lot of fun going back and forth with Cortana after telling her a little bit about myself. On a more practical note, personalizing this app made online searches much more seamless. OneDrive, on the other hand, has allowed me to share and access Office Online documents from anywhere, from the Nokia Lumia 635. Editable PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents on my phone have been true lifesavers.

The last app that’s pretty awesome is OneNote. OneNote lets you save all your notes in one central place that makes it super easy to access them on the go. You can even clip items from the web and access them later online or offline. If you choose to share your notes with others, you can do that too.

Presentado por Microsoft

With the Nokia Lumia 635 on my side, I’m confident by this time next year I will be much more organized!

#ad #HazTodoPosible #MSOneNote #Lumia

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Work Ethic: How getting fired helped me understand my own potential

That summer I was determined to find a job. A real one. I had already had a taste of making my own money and even though the earnings my heart had determined would be mine were not exactly destined for frivolous spending money, they were in fact leading to a mild case of obsession on my part. Every business we visited or saw from a distance, whether by foot or otherwise, would send my imagination racing into how cool it would be to work there. How nice it would be to have a uniform to wear. I would imagine myself walking in the door of that establishment, making my way to the back where the customers couldn’t see me, punching my time card in, and then after a week or two, driving to the bank to deposit my check. En esos días I couldn’t imagine doing anything else more productive.

Who cared if I wasn’t 16 yet and couldn’t actually work legally in the state of Texas yet? I didn’t. And that hadn’t stopped me from working before.

Now granted, selling faux perfumes to family members and spending Saturdays and Sundays outside of local grocery stores offering the Houston Post to anyone who would look my way did not constitute much earnings, but it was more than I had in those days, and that was more than enough. Todo lo que vale, cuesta. En esta vida hay que trabajar para salir adelante. Those words I constantly repeated to myself, so how could I not begin planning for my future now.

My parents worked. My sisters worked. Everyone I knew who was old enough to work did. It was my rite of passage, and it was mine for the taking. I wanted to prove to the world that I was growing up and not a child anymore. Hell, if I could find an employer who would give me the chance and pay me $4.25 an hour to trabajar decentemente my life would be made. I would be accomplished and happy at 14.

Work Ethic: How getting fired helped me understand my own potential

Only no one ever did want to give me that chance. Every time it seemed I was about to land that “dream” job there it was, that two digit number, two years shy of 16, that would make employers tell me things like “oh, sorry… you’re not old enough to work here,” “come back in two years,” or any other lame excuse to get me out the door. What made me even angrier in those days was that I did not look 14. I was a stocky boy – okay, more than a little stocky… estaba bien grodito, and I could easily pass for 16 or 17, I thought. But there it was. No matter how many times I rode my bicycle up and down the streets, filling out one application after another, the result was always the same.

Por eso me decidi un buen día that this taco joint over by the freeway was going to be the place I would work. Everyday I would call and ask to speak to the manager. At first it was to actually speak to him and tell him that I had filled out an application and that I was really interested, but after he turned me down in usual fashion I began calling only to find out if he was actually there. If he would come to the phone on the other end I would hang up and ride my bicycle over there immediately. Most of the time by the time I would get there the other employees in the front, who after a couple of times already knew who I was and what I was there for, would just tell me he wasn’t there before I could even ask. Then they’d smirk at each other and pretend I wasn’t there.

No matter, my perseverancia would convince him eventually, I would tell myself. At least that’s the way it worked in the telenovelas. When the lovesick good guy in those stories would refuse to take no for an answer from his kindhearted, albeit confused, love interest that would give me more hope. No matter how many times he was rejected, time always had a way of giving him what he wanted, and eventually he and the beautiful leading lady would be smacking lips atop a church alter in the presence of all who had witnessed their long struggle to be together. Whatever it took, me and this taco joint were going to end up in each other’s lives, at least for a little while too.

And so it came to be, finally one day when the manager had no choice but to see me because I had shown up unannounced and refused to take his rejection for an answer. “No, it’s okay you can pay me cash.” “I have worked before even though I am not 16.” “I have no problem at all washing dishes.” “Yes, I can close… I can sweep too.” And so the poor guy just broke down and said “okay, go ahead and get started on the dishes.”

I was ecstatic. I had done it! My relentless efforts had finally paid off. Those telenovela life lessons were true. Perseverancia really did pay off!

I couldn’t wash those dishes fast enough, I was so excited. Finally, after so many days and nights of dreaming about earning a living, this taco joint was going to put money in my pockets. Enough to bring a little home and help with the family expenses. What else could a boy this determined want?

Only a few minutes later, the owner called me over and reneged on his offer. Despite having given me his word, he changed his mind and asked me to leave that taco joint that only less than an hour earlier had made me the happiest boy in the world.

I couldn’t fight back the tears as I slowly rode my bike back home. All I could think was how disillusioned and embarrassed I was. I was pathetic, I imagined in my own head. How could I not ride down the side of the road with my head down in shame?

Of all the jobs I’ve had and not had, to this day, that is the one that has impacted me the most. I learned a lot about myself on that bike ride home. I learned that telenovela scripts were simply that. Telenovela scripts made for the perfect world of television. I learned that sometimes, no matter how bad we want something to happen, we can’t force it to take place. I learned that the best of intentions can lead to the most painful heartache. I learned that despite the incredible will inside me to just break down and quit, I kept peddling slow and steady until I made it back home. I learned eventually that experiences like these would only make me stronger, and that perseverance indeed, would remain one of my most characterizing traits.

I have had many jobs since then, and many right after that experience too. With each one I have learned to trust myself more and to value and understand my own strengths and weaknesses. Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is that work does not define me. It is a constant in my battle to salir adelante, but it is no longer the definition of my own success. I measure that instead against my own happiness.

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