mexican

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

Maybe I’m not a Millennial

Maybe I'm not a Millennial

Until this past Monday I was convinced I was a Millennial.  And I had the factual data to prove it!  Now, after the premiere of Fusion, I’m not so sure anymore.

No.  That’s not a direct attack on the new cable network.  Only that after all the hype of how the network was created for Millennials, all about Millennials, based on precisely what Millennials like and want to see… I kind of found myself second-guessing whether my barely-within-the-age-group 34 years of life were even a good single measure of what it means to be a Millennial.

What the hell does “being a Millennial” even mean? I found myself asking.

That’s pretty typical of me though.  I am always overanalyzing everything.  Especially stuff like this.  There wasn’t really anything wrong with the little of Fusion I did get to watch per se.  We don’t have cable at home on purpose, and I certainly wasn’t going to go out and purchase a subscription just to get this new channel.  Sorry Univision and ABC, this Mexican is too cheap for that.  ¡Sorri for you! 

But since Monday was their first day on air, the new news network for Latino Millennials did make their first morning show episode available online. I couldn’t resist.  I had to watch.  The truth is it was funny, it was quirky, it was kind of appealing… but then it was also kind of, off-putting.  After about 10 minutes of the programming telling me what it means to be a Latino in the US, and how different Millennials see themselves as Latino Millennials, and some other stuff about Millennials, and Millennials, and Millennials… I kind of stopped paying attention.

I made myself focus once again, and managed to tune in for another 40 minutes.  That’s when I decided that hey, you know what… maybe I am not a Millennial after all?  I mean I wasn’t as excited about this Millennial channel for Latinos as much as I thought I should have been, and that kind of made me feel guilty.  It’s great that we are becoming such an integral part of mainstream America!

But am I the only one still wondering why it doesn’t feel like we are really an integral part of mainstream American culture?  Especially mainstream pop culture (the entertainment industry)?  There still hasn’t been that show that I could stop and point at and say “hey, that’s me!, or that was me at one point in my life!”).

In all fairness, I should also say those roughly 60 minutes have been the only 60 minutes worth of programming on Fusion that I have seen so far.  Again, no cable.  Not going to get it anytime soon.  I’m probably not even the right demographic for this new network anyway.  I’m right at the cutoff age remember.  And I should also know better than to criticize a new network (or an established one for that matter too) by this stage in my blogging career, if I don’t expect to suffer any consequences.

I have all but been blacklisted by a couple of them already for sharing my humble little opinion about their programming.

Oh well.  ¡Así son estas cosas! 

Then as I was telling my story to Anjelica about how maybe I am not a Millennial, Edgar chimed in: “You sure do look like one!”

Well.. we all laughed… maybe I do!

Is Pozole Mainstream Now?

Is Pozole Mainstream Now?

My sister’s rico pozole.

Have you ever been to eat at Sweet Tomatoes?  Anjelica introduced this soup and salad style restaurant to me a couple of years ago, and ever since we have been regular customers, every couple of months.  We usually go when we are feeling especially healthy, or when a lighter meal is in order.  Not all that often to be quite honest.  Pero when we do go, I like the variety of soups they serve and all of the other fixings that aren’t really all that healthy at all.

Think baked potatoes, pasta, lots of desserts, bread, bread, and more bread, and of course ice cream!  I usually try my best to not eat too much salad and soup so that I can have a hefty serving of chocolate ice cream afterwards.

In the fall and winter I love their tomato basil soup!

This past weekend, though, we stopped in at Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and got a little more than what we bargained for.  We made our way through the salad line.  I chose a Caesar salad and added egg whites, chickpeas, banana peppers, and an assortment of other colorful flavors.  Anjelica, on the other hand, was much more conservative with her additions.  When she looked over at my plate, which was pretty topped off by this point, she said “we really do have different taste in food.”

We really do.  I like to tell her she likes bland and I like spicy and tasty.

So while I sat down to stuff my face she walked off to go find a soup to accompany her meal.  When she came back she was all excited.

Anjelica:  They have pozole!

Me:  What?

Anjelica:  They have pozole!

Me:  Like Mexican pozole?!

Anjelica:  Yeah!  Pozole!

Of course, I had to go check.  I ran up and served myself a bowl of pozole.  It was good, but everyone had already served themselves all of the hominy and pork, so it was more like pozole water.  Still, I drank the whole thing and went back for seconds.  This was the first time we have ever seen pozole served at a non-Mexican restaurant as a regular soup.  Judging from the constant crowd of people in line to serve themselves another serving, I’d say it was a pretty smart move on Sweet Tomatoes’ part.

I was well into dessert when Anjelica noticed they had put out a fresh pot of pozole.  Me and about a half dozen other patrons (not all Latinos) ran up at the same time to get a fresh bowl of pozole.  As I was stuffing spoonfuls of hominy and pork into my mouth, I stopped and contemplated for a moment.

Wait!  Is pozole mainstream now?!

And then I continued eating.

Just How Latino are Your Birthday Celebrations?

Just How Latino are Your Birthday Celebrations?

Chocolate by Javier Poclava

As a mother of three I’ve had my share of kid’s birthday parties over the years, from planning them to attending them.  I’ve handcrafted personalized invitations, and now even use networking sites like Facebook to send out virtual invitations to my guests.  What I hadn’t done until recently was take a closer look at just how Latino even my children’s birthday parties have been.

A few days ago, however, I had kind of an “aha” moment at my toddler’s birthday party that got me thinking.  I don’t normally let my kids invite their friends or classmates to their birthday parties.  Not because they are not welcome, pero porque just within our immediate and close famililies, I already have 20-plus people on my hands!

Still, now that the kids are getting older, they are beginning to make it quite obvious to us that they have best friends and classmates who they would like to have at their celebrations as well.  I guess I understand.

This year, while organizing my toddler’s 2nd birthday party I conceded and allowed my kids to invite one friend each to our home.  They were very excited.  Unfortunately, due to the bad weather forecast, at the last minute I had to cancel the big shindig.  Which in it of itself wouldn’t have been so bad, only that I was not able to notify all of my children’s friends’ parents.  Out of the two, I was only able to reach one family.

The other family showed up at my doorstep the day of the party and dropped off my daughter’s good friend.  Since the weather wasn’t as bad as they had forecasted, we went ahead and gathered some of our immediate family for an impromptu celebration.  However, this definitely wasn’t the same party I had been planning for my children and their friends.

As the fiesta continued, I couldn’t help but notice how different my Latino celebrations are from my non-Latino friends’ birthday parties.  When planning a birthday party (especially a kid’s party), we hispanos pull out all the stops!  We not only get a cake and a piñata, we also make certain our compadres are entertained and taken care of at all times.  También, we make sure the food is being served correctly pa que alcanzen todos.  We’re not big fans of pizza or chicken nuggets as full meals for children.  Instead, we opt for more authentic Mexican dishes like fajitas y frijoles a la charra.  These dishes are usually for the adult guests on our list… not really for the kiddos.  And of course, you already know our parties don’t last an hour or two… they can be all-nighters!

Non-Latino celebrations, on the contrary, as I have discovered, are mainly for the children.  Parents have the option of dropping off the kids and coming back for them later.  The parties usually consist of crafts and activities, followed by finger foods for the little ones, and then cake.  An hour or two later, the party is over, people are waving goodbye, and you are stuck with the cleaning.

It seems like a very painless process anyway.

While I do like the idea of hosting my children’s birthday parties at the zoo or at a local Jump World, I just can’t commit to doing something like that instead.  I’m afraid my guest list will go over the limit for those places, or that it won’t feel like a real party if everyone leaves so soon.

Mejor me aguanto las ganas and I plan another birthday fiesta at the house.

The truth is, right now, while my kids are still very young I can’t imagine not having the big pachanga.  I enjoy those celebrations way too much!  But, you never know, I think the tide might be turning.  The kids are getting older, they are starting to have ideas of their own and friends whom they just HAVE to hang out with!  I might have to start adapting and embracing new sorts of birthday parties… for them.

The good thing is I still have my birthday party to plan as well, and ahí, sí que ¡todo se vale! 

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