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Black Velvet
December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Reina del Sur is Real y Chancla del Dia

Submitted by on April 1, 2011 – 1:00 amOne Comment

la Reina de SurLa Reina del Sur Reigns

I would like like 5 hours of my life back. Why? Because I have watched The Real Housewives of Miami. Que paquete! I should have been watching La Reina del Sur novela on Telemundo.

It has gotten great reviews and mucho buzz, even from people who don’t normally watch Spanish-language television or telenovelas. It has beat out all the major networks since it started running earlier this month!

It stars the totally talented Kate del Castillo as Teresa Mendoza, who rises from humble beginnings to head a Mexican drug empire. Kate, totally famous in Mexico, is the actress who got the deadly konk to the head on Weeds. (Remember that?)

The production is based on the work of best-selling author Arturo Perez-Reverte, a popular Spanish author. La Reina del Sur has been translated into 30 languages and published in 50 countries.

Wuh, that sounds so much better than “She spoiled my dinner party’’ repeated 50 times.

It ends soon, but with luck, it will be run again, or end up on Netvibes. You can see video recaps here.

The official trailer:


Helping Mexican Children

Want to help? A new nonprofit worth checking out: Little Steps of Light, or Pasitos de LUZ, which donates shoes to children in low-income families in the Los Cabos area of Baja, California. The first donation was of approximately 200 pairs of shoes last December.

“We, at Little Steps of Light, believe that steps in the right direction should always begin with a feet in a decent pair of shoes,’’ the site says.

To read more visit Little Steps of Light.

Cuba la Bella

I ran across from amazing photos of Cuba on a Facebook page. It belongs to photographer Hemley Gonzalez. He calls his album The Real Cuba. Beautiful.

What Color are You?

The latest Census results show more than half the growth in America came from Hispanics. A story on NPR showcases how confusing race and ethnicity can be — and how the meaning of race and ethnicity changes over time.

The story focuses on University of California professor Ruben Rumbaut, who has interviewed immigrants and their children to find interesting results.

Some findings: Ninety-three percent of Cuban parents thought they were white, but only 41% percent of their children thought they were white. Plus, 69 percent of Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemala immigrants thought they were white, but only 19% of their own children thought they were white.

Rumbaut, a native of Cuba, says he calls race “a pigment of our imagination’’ and says he fills in the word “human” on the Census.

Y ya.

Y tu?

Chancla Time

This week’s Chancletazo goes to two media publications.

D Magazine in Dallas, who listed “Hire a Day Laborer” as must-dos in Dallas. Iit wasn’t about being helpful to anyone. More like making fun.

“Look for the vacant lot with mustachioed men sitting on stumps by the cyclone fence of wind-trapped Funyuns bags.”

Guanabee called them out on it.

And the second clancla: Me da pena, but in my own hometown, the Nashville Scene “accidentally” published an online review so sick and sad and ridiculous about the musical In The Heights that they got ripped all over the country, on blogs, on Twitter on Facebook and even on a respected journalism site, Poynter, where you can read all the hub bub.

This is what got “accidentally” (yeah, right published and then taken down):

“In other words, an excuse to employ dynamic youthful minority performers who dance and sing and holler to a lot of salsa music and groove on lyrics about Latin loving and partying. Oh yeah, and also about fulfilling their hopes and dreams in the Promised Land of America (specifically, New York City, where the L train plays a lullaby).”

The writer, Martin Brady, said it was a first draft. One, I say never, ever should have even been written.

Martin, we huddled salsa-dancing masses, send you a Golden Chancleta.

Music to Start el Weekend

OK, moving on from the negative, take a listen to Austria, a Latin alternative band from Rosario, Argentina. Their music is decribed as honest with a touch of melancholy. The new album, NADA, was just released last month. Check them out on Reverb Nation, a great site for discovering new music and acts local to your area.

I wouldn’t have otherwise found Dave Damage, a local college kid with some cool sounds, or my former guitar teacher, who plays beautiful classic Spanish music. FYI: There’s also a radio option that streams music within a radius of your area by genre, or from where ever and whatever you want. Super cool. Y free!


OK, happy weekend! And don’t do anything to merit the Chancla.

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