Lotería Chicana at the ¡Lotería! Grill


Did you know that I write for blogging.la? Well, sort of. I haven’t written anything in a couple of weeks mainly because it is hard for me to come up with a topic at times.

However, if you want to keep track of what I write there, you can subscribe to posts I write with this RSS feed.

Also, for those of you who are in LA, perhaps you have time to come out tonight to the 3rd Annual LA Bloggers (and blog readers) get together thingy.

Place: The Farmers Market (on 3rd and Fairfax). Blogging.la folks will be near the southwest corner by the ¡Lotería! Grill, a lemonade stand and Starbucks.
Time: 6 pm ’til closing

Why? I’ll be there! Plus blogging.la will be buying beer and lemonade for folks, if you get there earlier. If you’re interested in going and want to meet up comment or send me an email. Maybe I’ll find my cell phone by then. (Gee, this is not a good week for me and technology, huh?)


Mil palabras: I miss my LifeBook

The best I could do

My Fujitsu LifeBook is gone.

This weekend while I was in Davis, something happened to input jack for the AC adapter. Even if the adapter was plugged in to the computer and in to a socket, my computer didn’t recognize that it was there. To make matters worse, my battery has a very short life and dies in about 45 minutes.

I took my laptop back to Fry’s for service. I got all chillona and stressed because the guys told me they would have to send it back to the manufacturer for service. This could take anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks. They also couldn’t just add a new battery from a LifeBook in the store because they no longer carry my model. Oh and did I mention that there are several things on my hard drive — like a lot of music, hundreds of photos and lots of school work — that I haven’t backed up in a while?

This made me stressed, and it made me feel dumb for putting off buying an external hard drive to backup everything. When I get stressed and I feel stupid, I cry. And that’s what I did at the Fry’s service counter.

I guess the middle aged man and his 20 something supervisor (who was cute and looked like he belonged in the band Inspector) felt sorry for me, especially when it was clear that I was a student and needed things on my laptop. Rather than charge me about $70 to backup my data, they did it free of charge. I also have a loaner Sony Vaio. I’m not sure I like it, mainly because of the size and because I find the keys funny.

I miss my little LifeBook. And all my music… there’s only so much you can fit on a DVD that holds 4.7 gigs.


Prefiero el Mundial en español… ¿y qué?

Mexican fans rock

For some strange reason, an editor at the LA Times gave John Ziegler, an AM radio host, space to make poorly written arguments and turn an enjoyable event like the World Cup to discuss the politics of assimilation.

Ziegler tries to draw links between watching World Cup soccer on Univision, as opposed to ABC or ESPN, and immigration from “the South” (but he really just means Mexico). He writes

THE HEART OF the debate over illegal immigration comes down to the problem of assimilation. For many of us who generally oppose the silent invasion from the south, if those who broke the law to come here acted as if their true loyalties were with the United States, then much of the fire in this highly combustible subject would be doused.

While at first glance it may seem an odd place to find enlightenment on the issue, the local TV ratings for games involving Mexico and the United States in the ongoing World Cup may provide some of the best evidence yet of where Spanish-speaking immigrants’ true loyalties lie. (for the rest)

He then goes on to make some rather lame points. First, he compares the LA broadcast ratings for the first few games Mexico and the US played. The total percentage of households that watched Mexico play in either English or Spanish was 28.1 and 19.8 for the US games. Second, the ratings for the Mexico games were much higher than those for the US games on Univision (21.7 to 11.8).

Ziegler reads these numbers and interprets them to mean that Spanish-speaking immigrants (codeword for Mexicans) have divided loyalties. I told Isa this and she said what I was thinking, “Our loyalties are not divided. They’re all for Mexico.”

Sort of. I ardently cheered for Mexico in all their games. My eyes got watery when I heard the national anthem. I was despondent when el Tri tied Angola, sad that they lost to Portugal but relieved that they advanced to the round of 16, even if it was de pansazo. I didn’t watch the US vs. Czech Republic match because I was at work. I didn’t cry when they lost 3-0 but still cringed. I cheered for the US against Italy and was glad that they tied. I watched Ghana beat the US and didn’t feel bad about it. In fact, I was glad Ghana won.

Can Ziegler be right? Does cheering for el Tri make me anti-assimilation? No. If you want to see my views on assimilation, you might want to look at other indicators. I’m definitely acculturated, but I’m wary of assimilation especially if it means giving up my mother tongue and connection to mis raíces. Still, I can’t deny the fact that I read Ziegler’s op/ed piece in an English language newspaper and am writing this post in English.

Did hoping for Ghana to win in their game gainst the US make me un-American? Nope. It just made me want to see the US not come in first in an important international competition. It’s nice to see an underdog win. By advancing to the round of 16, I’m sure the Ghanaian national team made their people much happier than a round of 16 berth would have made the US. Apparently, everything stopped in Ghana for the game, but people here barely care about the World Cup.

Ziegler may have had numbers, but he had no idea how to make sense of them. This is soccer, not a war. Watching games in Spanish is a simple personal preference.

1) Just because you watch the game on Univision does not mean you are an immigrant. Hell, I’ve watched almost every game on Univision and I was born in the US, am bilingual, and an upright citizen. Okay, I don’t know about the upright part, but I do take my civic duties seriously. But serioulsy, a lot of my Flickr buds agree with me.

2) This isn’t about assimilation or whether or not we’re becoming American. The definition of American should not be confined to cheering for the US team and watching the games in English. To me it is about sports, competition, cheering for the underdog and connecting with people. Cheering for el Tri just feels right.

3) As César (El Más Chingón) wrote in reply to CAD’s question, “real soccer fans know it’s Univision all the way.”

Have you actually watched the games in English? I fully understand both Univision and ABC/ESPN and choose Univision. Why? It’s not because I’m anti-assimilation or want to be more Mexican, it’s simply because the English language broadcasters are boring. They talk about the US as two other teams are playing. They also bring io politics which isn’t something you want to hear about when your mind is on soccer. My friends, Yousef and Mohammad, switched to Univision while watching Mexico vs. Iran because they got tired of the commentators talking about invading Iran. They don’t even speak Spanish, but it was better than ABC. I also noticed while watching Italy vs. US on Univision that ABC was delayed a few seconds. Finally, I had to watch Mexico’s games against Angola and Portugal in English because I don’t have cable TV.

Now, for the reasons I prefer Univision. I like to hear the commentators exuberantly call out “¡goooool!” I love the Coca Cola Borghetti/ice cube commercial and the fact that they show all the games. I can’t stand to hear Spanish names mispronounced and watching Mexico play while listening to the announcer speak Spanish just makes more sense.

Ziegler, it’s fútbol. Es la Copa Mundial. It should be enjoyed in whatever language helps to make the experience better. Para mi, esa idioma es español.


Girls (little or big) don’t cry

My mom had a simple way of dealing with six-year-old me whenever I decided to express my frustration and anger through streams of tears.

She would pick me up and place me in front of a mirror. My reflection showed a six-year-old mocosa breathing heavily, eyes red, face flushed and wet with salty tears. My hair looked messy and uncombed as these fits often came in the middle of getting my hair braided or arranged into tight pigtails.

“Mira que fea te ves. Cuando las niñas lloran, no se ven bonitas.”

She was right. The fresh, clean, smiley and peinada me was much cuter than this llorona. Somehow aesthetics were supposed to motivate me to be happy, content and quiet.

My mom’s words echoed this afternoon as I stared at my reflection in the hotel room mirror. A 25-year-old mocosa breathing heavily, eyes red, face flushed and wet with salty tears looked back at me.

Being pretty was the furthest thing from my mind.


Counting Backwards

In search of wild things Four years ago I dated a redhead with more freckles than Oso. We were in no way opposites, and our common music interest was one of the things that brought us together. Even then, I was still introduced to some great new music through him and my love for Prince grew even more.

The Redhead introduced me to the The Velvet Teen, a band from his hometown of Santa Rosa. (Speaking of Santa Rosa, I had a 10-minute radio on the David Glass show about the increasing cost of a UC education.) A few days after we broke up, the Velvet Teen played a show at UCLA. It was bittersweet, but I started liking the band even more.

The Redhead IM’ed me today to ask if I had any of the Velvet Teen’s music as mp3s on my computer. I did. I zipped up The Great Beast February EP & Comasynthesis EP and sent them via YouSendIt.

Four years after breaking up and moving on, I still have the music and now I’m the one sharing it with him… and you too.

The Great Beast February-Comasynthesis EP [Plus Minus Equals] (YouSendIt zip file)