Friday, December 21, 2007

What would life be like if no one read?

New Yorker: What will life be like if people stop reading?

If that perchance, spurs some to read feel free to check out The Best Adult Books and Videos of 2007 from Criticas

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hibernation is for Bears

What's left of them that is... I need to remind myself of that constantly. I have a tendency to isolate and hibernate, I've come to realize.

There's very little that's more comforting to me than my bed and a pile of books, or a cozy spot and any reading material be it Digg or print.

And, so, another birthday has gone by and I wish I were elsewhere - a sunny beach where no frigid air blows, running on the sand with crystal tepid water licking at my toes that's what I wish for...

Instead as a Xmas baby, I get rude, frustrated shoppers knocking me this way and that way with their bags, long lines in stores, apologies instead of thoughtful tokens ("I'll get you something for Xmas, I promise") uh huh... (well, I won't lie - a certain someone did get me a pair of diamond earrings), a Noreasterner on my birthday weekend making the only movie I wanted to see (I am Legend) sold out everywhere...

Bah humbug! The pressure and consumerism of Christmas has really got me down this year. I've made a real effort to downsize on the shopping especially in regards to just being more green. Inherently, I just feel guilty that I won't be able to deliver and then on the other hand, that I keep upping the ante and that my family just can't keep up and then I'm just wiping myself out and end up dissapointed anyway. Uhhh! Do you feel me?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Culture in El Bronx

It always amazes me how some people, especially those who've migrated to NYC, have never ever set foot in the Bronx, well, except for a Yankees game.

One hand, I understand it the Bronx has gotten a bad historical rap, the South Bronx, most of all.

But for those who are sleeping on the Bronx, wake up and smell the fresh Bustelo brewing. The Boogie Down is on the up and up!

This northern borough's African American & Puerto Ricans residents birthed hip hop and rap, grafitti and breakdancing. All cultural rich art forms that revolutionized urban culture and influenced almost everthing that came afterwards, from music, to clothes, to visual arts, to language, to MTV, poetry and more but enough of the history lesson.

Those who venture northwards will find that the South Bronx has been revitalized, just over the bridge is a span of antiques shops and artists lofts, known as SoBro (or South Bronx). There are poetry reading such as at the Bruckner Bar & Grill and a large poetry/writing comunity.

There are First Nights events:

First Friday at The Bronx Museum of the Arts

"Join The Bronx Museum of the Arts for its free First Friday program, From Salsa & Bachata to Merengue & Son: The Popular Music of Two Islands, featuring live band performances and DJs covering popular musical genres from Cuba and Dominican Republic. A new series launched in September, First Fridays offers film screenings, art performances, music and other special events the first Friday of every month. In conjunction with the festivity, the Museum will offer tours guided by student docents from the Bronx High School of the Visual Arts of Quisqueya Henriquez: The World Outside, a collection of works by the Cuban-Dominican artist currently on display." More info on the site.

And, forget the windows on Fifth, in the Bronx, the Bronx Zoo's Holiday Light show will take your breath away. For those who miss the suburbs and the pretty decorated homes, just drive up Pelham Parkway....

"For three decades, the Garabedian family has decorated their home and yard at 1605 Pelham Parkway North with a handcrafted holiday extravaganza that includes more than 50,000 small lights, religious figures, ballroom dancers, Victorian-era characters, and pop-culture icons. The family, which runs a dressmaking business, crafts the dolls, their costumes, and the stages and props all by hand, only the lights and Christmas tree are bought in a store.

Powered by 37,000 volts, the Christmas House can be seen from blocks away and is a yearly attraction for Bronx residents and others who come to enjoy home-spun Holiday cheer."

Via The Municipal Art Society of New York.

The Bronx has experienced a rebirth and been a home to likes of Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, Edgar Allan Poe, Chaim Potok, Mark Twain, Danny Aiello, Woody Allen, Anne Bancroft, Joey Bishop, Red Buttons, James Caan, George Carlin, Tony Curtis, Stacey Dash, Chazz Palminteri, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Stanley Kubrick, Linda Lovelace, Sonia Manzano, Garry Marshall, Carroll O'Connor, Jerry Orbach, Al Pacino Regis Philbin, Rob Reiner, Neil Simon Mary J. Blige,Diahann Carroll, Grandmaster Caz, Willie Colón Grandmaster Flash, Kool DJ Herc, Fat Joe, Billy Joel, Héctor Lavoe, Jennifer Lopez, KRS-One, Tito Puente, Big Pun, Carly Simon, Regina Spektor, Luther Vandross, Mario Vazquez, Veronica Vazquez, Howard Dean, Ed Koch, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Colin Powell, Theodore Roosevelt, Eliot Spitzer, Lou Gehrig, Jake LaMotta, and Ralph Lauren just to mention a few.

The apartments buildings on Grand Concourse once again are luxury co-op homes to those smart enough to snatch them up just as did families did once the art deco apts were built.

Those who think the Bronx has nothing to offer them, out to think again, this brimming with culture borough has got it all, class, wit and soul.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lit Gift Guide

Oh the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful, And since we've no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Gifts for the young or kids 8-92:

Do Not Open
by John Farndon

Any of the "ologies Books:

Egyptology by Emily Sands, Nick Harris, Helen Ward, and Ian Andrew
Mythology (Ologies) by Lady Hestia Evans, Dugald A. Steer, and Various
Wizardology: The Book of the Secrets of Merlin (Ologies) by Master Merlin, Dugald A. Steer, and Dugald Steer
Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies) by Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer


The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden

Plain-old, New Good Books: Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat, Flight: A Novel by Sherman Alexie

Reference and Non Fiction (Booklover's delight):

The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life ,
Literary Genius: 25 Classic Writers Who Define English and American Literature,
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die & 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die, Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned But Probably Didn't,
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Gray Lady's Notable Books of '07

100 notable books of 2007

and check this new movie out:
The year my parents went on vacation

Isn't this amazing: Digital library project boasts more than 1.5 million books

From Pubs' Lunch:

NBCC: Books Critics Recommend and Love

The National Book Critics Circle has started a monthly Best Recommended list, polling their nearly 800 members plus their prize winners and finalists to find out what recently read books they "have truly loved." With votes from about 300 critics and 200 writers, they are starting with a list covering all of 2007. The picks include:


1. Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

2. Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

3. Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman's Union

4. Philip Roth, Exit Ghost

5. Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses


1. Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying

2. Alan Weisman, The World Without Us

3. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

4. David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts

5. Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes

Click through for poetry picks and more on their methodology.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Sometimes it's really as easy as that except that is when you do everything else but get around to putting your thoughts down on 'paper.'

I've been writing this post in my head now for several days and, well, shame on me for not doing anything about it.

My holidays were nice and sort of anticlimatic, maybe I was just expecting too much or maybe my standards are just too damn high?

I recently read at Guanabee that some Hispanics don't celebrate Thanksgiving, really? No, really? Because all the Puerto Ricans, I know sure do, I mean we do it Spanish style - no yucky cranberry sauce and our stuffing has Sazon and Chayote in it but still, a turkey by any other name, no?

And, how once again Ms. Puerto Rico has taken the Ms. Universe title even as haters maced her dress and tried to take her down? Damn, ladies, really - is it that serious? Reuters

Also, now you can really hear what your favorite authors have to say as debuts.

Lastly, Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but there are news reports of Green Monday, supposedly next week and there are plenty of book deals out there to grab!

Barnes & Noble:

25% off highest priced item: T4N3B6W

Expires December 10, 2007

$5 off $50+ when you pay with paypal L9H7N4X
10% on entire purchase B9R3D4A

expires 12/9/07

Combine these coupons with 20% Paypal cash back

Borders: 40% off any book, minimum $20 good at Borders on 11/26 and 11/27.

You have to be a member, but it's free.

Dover Classics:

The Dover Holiday Discount: $10 Off

Dear Reader, I'm happy to say that the Dover Holiday Discount is here—and I'm only sharing this holly jolly news with friends like you.

From now until December 2, 2007, you can save $10 on orders of $40 or more. Your Holiday Discount is good on our entire collection of over 9,000 titles so it won't take you long to find something special for everyone on your shopping list.

Just use Coupon Code CM88 during checkout to take advantage of this outstanding offer. Scroll down for more information or use this link to start saving $10 now

—Save $10 on Thousands of Great Gifts for Children & Adults!

Dover books and gift sets already boast the lowest possible prices, so any extra savings are a cause for celebration. Since your Dover Holiday Discount can be applied to our complete collection of titles, you can even save $10 on our most recent releases, including Fun Kits, Pocket Puzzles, Stained Glass Coloring Kits, and more.

Of course, you can also choose brilliant books from all of the categories that have made Dover famous: Children's Books, Clip Art on CD-ROM, our Thrift Editions of the world's most famous literature, Mathematics, Crafts, History, and much more.

Coupon Code CM88 expires on Sunday, December 2, 2007. Use this link to start browsing our books now—

It's Easy to Save $10 with Your Dover Holiday Discount!

1. Fill your Shopping Cart with at least $40 in merchandise and click Check Out

2. Enter Coupon Code CM88 and your shipping information

3. Complete check out—your $10 discount will be automatically deducted from your total


The Scholastic Store takes up to 60% off toys and books during its latest sal e with free shipping via coupon code SSBF07. Over 240 items are available, with prices starting at $3.57

Strand Bookstore: Click here to redeem your earth friendly gift from the Strand.

Limit one per customer. Offer expires January 15, 2008.

Hearst Magazines - $5 subscriptions

Check this out too: SavvySource, an online parenting site that reviews toys, preschools, camps, and books, and lets parents share activity ideas, will launch a creative way to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. In partnership with a non-profit organization that deals with early childhood education, the web site has put together a quiz that helps parents assess and track the development of their child (aged 2 to 6), and receive a personalized list of recommendations for age appropriate educational toys, books, and activities -- all cleverly linked to Amazon via an affiliate code. Via readwriteweb

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sometimes it Does Come Down to Just 1 Person

or two. How crazy is this?

Two Brothers Feuding May Result in the End of an Entire Ancient Language — An indigenous language in southern Mexico is in danger of disappearing because its last two speakers have stopped talking to one another. The two elderly men in the village of Ayapan, Tabasco, have drifted apart, said Fernando Nava, head of the Mexican Institute for Indigenous Languages.The men are the only fluent speakers of their native language. More…

Monday, November 19, 2007

Life is a Party!

I saw Celia (the show) last night. It was poignant, electric and absolutely me made me cry, Mami absolutely loved it too!

I decided this song will be my new motto: La Vida es Una Carnaval!

Unfortunately, by the end of the show a terrible migraine had come on and I woke up after having the most horrid nightmare this morning. I dreamt that something had gone awry in the world and at nightfall these monsters that looked like something out of Lord of the Rings or Eragon came out and tried to capture people and tear them limb to limb, eating them alive. Imagine awaking to that...

I do feel burned out somewhat and perhaps being consumed alive is just another metaphor of being sucked dry emotionally and spiritually. I need to start refueling myself.

I'm looking forward to some family time on Thursday and the holiday weekend. I'm not one to go shopping amongst the mobs on Black Friday so I look forward to the sweet respite from work. I also want to go see Beowulf in Imax.

I don't know why but there is something magical and incredibly comfortable about going out with your loved ones on the holidays, the nippy air, cuddling and coming back home to the warm coziness of your hearth and bed.

If you're in the city, here are some great things for you to do and see:

- 2 nd EDITION -

November 27th - December 1st, 2007
Presented by Columbia University and Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with The Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Curated by Marcela Goglio and Claudio Iván Remeseira

Tuesday, November 27th, 6-8pm
Dir Leon Ichaso, 2007, 116m
Instituto Cervantes, 211 East 49th St. (and 3rd Ave)
*Filmmaker Leon Ichaso will be present

El Cantante is the dramatic-biography of Puerto Rican salsa pioneer
HectorLavoe. The film follows Lavoe's (Marc Anthony) passionate relationship with Puchi (Jennifer Lopez) and his skyrocket to international fame. But,even when he has it all, Lavoe is unable to escape the allure of drugs and his personal pain.

The rest of the screenings will take place at:
Davis Auditorium
Columbia University, 500 West 120th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave)
For further direction, please visit Columbia Unversity's website.

Wednesday, November 28th, 8-10pm
Dir Judith Escalona, 2004, 29m.
*Filmmaker Judith Escalona will be present

The Krutch is a surreal narrative about a Puerto Rican psychoanalyst with a long-suppressed identity problem that erupts with some dire consequences. The film is unique in exploring the mental anguish and shame associated with racism. Stylistically akin to Buñuel with an eye towards Godard, it occupies an absurdist space that keeps it from descending into the maudlin clichés of realism. With Jaime Sánchez as the mysterious Dr. Gúzman and Cathy Haase as his unsuspecting patient Mrs. Kleist.

preceded by:

Dir Yolanda Pividal, 2006, 17m
*Filmmaker Yolanda Pividal will be present

Every weekend, hundreds of Latino immigrants pack the dance clubs of
Jackson Heights, Queens. There, they meet women who will be their dance floor partners for two dollars a song. Through the eyes of Victor, a patron, and Liz, one of the ballerinas, this film dives into the solitude and expectations of men and women who leave their families and countries behind to work in the United States.


Dir Felix Rodriguez, 2005, 50m.
*Filmmaker Felix Rodriguez will be present

Art, labor and family blend in this intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz, better know as 'La Bruja'. Born and raised in the Bronx, this daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants takes the number 6 train to downtown Manhattan where she performs at popular New York City venues. She reads her poetry in Joe's Pub, stages her one-woman show in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and performs at Def Poetry Jam. But opportunities are scarce and she struggles to make ends meet in an industry where 'to keep it real' often means to work for free.

Thursday, November 29th, 8-10pm
Dir. Mitch Teplitsky, 2007, 67m
*Filmmaker Mitch Teplitsky will be present

After 15 years in New York, Nélida Silva returns to her birthplace in the Andes to fulfill a lifelong dream of hosting the Fiesta Patronal--a week of dance, music, and ritual honoring the town's patron saint. But Neli's changed, and so has the village. At the same time, Cynthia, a dancer raised in Queens by her Peruvian mother, embarks on her own journey, determined to know the real Peru. A cross-cultural road trip, propelled by traditional music and dance rarely seen outside of Peru, but with a universal core story: the yearning for roots and connection in a globalized world.

Friday, November 30th, 8-10pm
Dir Henry Chalfant, 2006, 55m
*Filmmakers Henry Chalfant and Elena Martinez will be present

The film is a portrait of the South Bronx, the beleaguered New York community that was infamously destroyed by urban renewal, arson, gangs, drugs and violence. Yet at the same time, this borough contributed enormously to the popular culture of the world and has had an impact way beyond its size. In the 1950's, the streets pulsated with the rhythms of Cuba and the hot new urban sounds of Latin Jazz, Mambo and later Salsa. On these same streets in the 1970's, a new generation spun records, rapped and danced to the funky beats of Hip Hop. From Mambo to Hip Hop is the story of how an oppressed community can survive and thrive through cultural expression.

Saturday, December 1st, 8-10pm
Dir Alfredo De Villa, 2002, 89m
*Filmmaker Alfredo De Villa will be present

Washington Heights tells the story of Carlos Ramirez, a young illustrator burning to escape the neighborhood and make a splash in downtown's commercial comic-book scene. When his father, a bodega owner, is shot in a burglary attempt, Carlos is forced to put his dream on hold and run the store. In the process, he comes to the realization that if he is to make it as a comic artist, he must first engage with his own community.

Photo ID may be required at door. To make a reservation and further information, email or call (212) 854-6698.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Now Playing: Love in the Time of Cholera & Bella


I'm going to be busy seeing Celia-on-Broadway, so if anyone sees these movies this weekend, please leave me your comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez & Racial Controversy of her Book's Movie


In a letter to EUR, Valdes-Rodriguez said she was disappointed with some of
the negative comments in the feedback section directed at Martin Chase for
taking on a Hispanic-helmed project. The author wrote:

When The Hollywood Reporter this week announced my deal with legendary film producer Debra Martin Chase to turn my bestselling novel The Dirty Girls Social Club into a movie, along with producer Nely Galan, I was overjoyed.

It marked not just my book making it to the big screen, and my first foray into the world of screenwriting. It was also a landmark collaboration between a seasoned African-American woman producer (Martin Chase) and two newcomer Hispanic women producers (me and Galan) in the white, male-dominated world of American film.

While Galan (former head of Telemundo Entertainment and creator of reality hit The Swan) has plenty of experience in TV, Martin Chase (the award-winning producer of The Princess Diaries and its sequel; Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel; and The Cheetah Girls movies) generously took us under her wing in a way no non-minority or male producer would have, and showed us how to get a movie made.

In short, she believed in us. It made me realize that a key to Latino success in all sectors of American business would likely come in the form of mentorship from successful African-Americans.

What I did not expect was the nasty backlash Martin Chase is getting from some people in the black community who seem to think she ought to stick to telling only those stories they believe are "theirs." These comments are running rampant on black entertainment web sites, such as Eurweb.

The hostility against Latinos among some blacks who assume Latinos have nothing in common with them is startling, but not altogether surprising, given the way the U.S. media neglects to mention our shared African roots, with nonsensical headlines like "Hispanics Outnumber Blacks," which is as absurd as "Fruit Outnumbers Oranges."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Amazon's Best of '07

Discover the Best Books of 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Book Recommendation Service

If you've ever wandered about books that are similar to your favorite picks, here's service, I spotted on lifehacker that does that allows you to discover them easily and even keeps a booklist for you! Sweet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Who Says Teens are Reading Less? I do

"As the content of young adult literature matures, libraries are experiencing a boom in enthusiastic teen readers. Teens say they're attracted to the printed word because today's literature honestly reflects their lives..."

So says this interesting article, however, while it sounds like good news I wonder if this is true accross all socio-economic strata and in inner cities where libraries are closing due to funding and poorer families don't frequent bookstores.

Also as usual, I see that the majority of teen readers spoken of this article are female, which leads me to wonder once again "where are the books geared at our young men?" Are there really niche books out there for all as is claimed by the article? You tell me.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Congrats, Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz won the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize for THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO.

Díaz Wins Sargent First Novel Prize -Book Standard, NY

Halloween Glitter Graphics

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Spirit (Dia de los Muertos)

In honor of what happens to be my most favorite holiday, right up there with Xmas and my birthday I'm posting a round-up of my all time favorite horror flicks.

For those of you who don't believe girls are into scary movies, wake up and smell the Bustelo! I love all things scary and spine tingling.

1. The Sentinel (1977) - My older sister and I, we never had curfew and so we would stay up late and watch the ABC late night movie often. This happened to be one we caught every so often and it terrified me as it will you.

2. The Exorcist (1973) - This movie scared me off ouija boards for years for fear of demonic possesion and even as a full grown adult sometimes the line "the power of Christ compels you" runs through my head for no reason.

3. Rosemary's Baby (1968) - I was very little when we saw this and never understood why these horrible people wanted her baby and how her husband was part of the scheme. I found it less scary though than other scary movies.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Zombie movies scarred the living daylights out of me when I was little and my sister still made me sit through them with her, even though I made her sleep with me those nights.

5. The Ring (2002) - This movie was not as scary as it was haunting. Samarra has to be one of the most beautiful spirits ever except for when she comes out of the TV.

6. Carrie (1976) - "They're gonna laugh at you." I always wished I had a little ESP and secretly was please that Carrie lit all those jerks on fire.

7. The Amityville Horror (1979) - Just the music scares me, and I will never be able to live in a house that has those windows.

8. Poltergeist (1982) - The reason I would never move into a cookie cutter community.

9. Shining, The (1980) - RED RUM, how writers go crazy.

10. Espinazo del diablo, El (2001) aka "The Devil's Backbone" - My mom always swore I would end up in the orfanato if I was a bad girl...This movie will send you there via a haunting Spanish tale.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Color Purple

Last night, I went to see The Color Purple, now for the most part I find musicals idiodic but benign. So with a tad of trepidation I went, I mean it's based on one of my all time favorite novels (the one that made me rethink God) and produced by Oprah so how bad could it be?

Well, to start off Fantasia who was supposed to play Celie, was not there and two other understudies were also filling in two of the key roles, which might explain the subpar perfomance but we paid almost $200 for those tickets. While the costumes were great, the drama just lacked power, punch and poignancy but honestly I was just happy to be out.

If you haven't read the book, skip the movie, skip the play and read the book: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men who shout. Alice Walker

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FamilySearch Needs La Raza

Genealogical record site FamilySearch is looking for 10,000 volunteers who can read both English and Spanish for a massive indexing project of Mexican, Argentine, and other Latin American records.

The first project will be the Mexican census of 1930. When completed (the current estimate is a year), the index of the census will be freely available online and linked to the original census images at The census contains a variety of information including birth year, religion, birthplace, and occupation.

Volunteering does not take up a huge amount of time — volunteers can spend as little as 30 minutes a week doing indexing. To get more information about volunteering, visit In addition to registering to volunteer you can also check out a list of upcoming projects which includes US census states as well as Latin American projects.


Friday, October 19, 2007

BOPE: Tropa de Elite, Heard of it?

Apparently, this movie is making one hell of a debut in Brazil and reportedly has been leaked on the net too.

It's about super violent cops in Brazil. You can read more here: bopeblog

Have you seen it?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Punctuation Snob

If other's people lack of punctuation or proper grammar sometimes make you wonder a bit about them, you'll enjoy this blog I just discovered at geeksugar

The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My soul is tired

After a depressing and dismal day yesterday, I went home only to get a fitful night's sleep.

I've been buying and reading books like crazy, I've mastered the art of finishing a book in 2-3 days. I've also added Nobel Prize winning author, Doris Lessing's powerful feminist classic, The Golden Notebook to my wishlist.

I'm excited about a new discounted event group I joined, so far I've gotten tickets for an Autumn cruise, Celia and Wintuk tickets at better than half price.

You can join here:

Last but not least...

- Latino/a with diabetes? Check this out: Novo Nordisk Provides 35,000 Free Spanish-Translated Copies of Mike Huckabee’s Book ‘Quit Digging your Grave with a Knife and Fork’
Book can be ordered free of charge on newly launched Spanish patient education Web site

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You learn something new everyday

Buy Books on a Thursday to Grab a Bargain

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Step Backward for Women

The other day I read that a new fashion magazine for women launched, this new magazine is geared toward modest fashion and features models wearing long sleeved tops and long skirts.

Excuse me, but this doesn't seem very fashion foward to me. It reeks of oppressive anti feminism.

On the Web Eliza:

Then I saw this article, which coincidently came at the same time my friend introduced to the term "Menergy." Menergy is anti metrosexual, it's what a man's man exudes.

Um, okay but then I read the article below about how women need to get back in the kitchen and I thought to myself what is going on in our society...

From The NY Daily News:

What makes a man a man BY DOLORES PRIDA

A machismo makeover conspiracy is afoot.

An overt salvo was fired last year with the publication of an article titled "In Search of Machismo" in Latina magazine.

The author, Conchita Cortez, bemoaned the fact that too many Latinos were becoming softies and that women had just about had it with men who plucked their eyebrows and had better complexions than them.

The so-called "metrosexuals" were becoming a bore and women were ready to welcome back a "new machismo."

The latest effort to rehabilitate this much-maligned male behavior, is the book "Huevos y la Mujer Latina: The De-masculinization of the Macho" (Floricanto Press, $19.95) by Julián Camacho Segura.

It's the kind of book that makes you scream, "Why am I reading this?" every few pages. This Macho Camacho calls for women to get back into the kitchen so men can watch Sunday night football with their amigos then go out to drink and chase other women.

He blames white women for the current state of affairs — including the "abominable" sexual harassment laws — and decries that young Latinas have followed suit and become too independent and assertive.

This "emasculation" is responsible, along with racism, for the enormous high school dropout rate of young Latino males. Men must get back in touch with their huevos to make the world right again, he concludes.

For him the world began to crumble one evening in the late 1970s when, as a 10-year-old kid, he watched an episode of "Charlie's Angels" in which one of the Angels, wearing high heels, kicked a man.

"Even if they were criminals, I could not tolerate visually these women assaulting the male species," he writes.

It makes you wonder why, in our culture, men do not fear being gored by a bull at the plaza de toros, but tremble at the mere thought of being kicked in the groin by a woman wearing stilettos.

This poorly written Huevos monologue could easily be dismissed as a tirade born of too-many-Tecates if it weren't for Floricanto Press issuing it as part of its La Mujer Latina Series. What were they thinking?

Are Latinas being bamboozled back to the old ways, to aid and abet in the preservation and protection of the fragile macho ego? To feel guilty about their success?

Perhaps the confusion is all a matter of semantics. Huevos means eggs. A fragile metaphor, indeed. It is a mystery why men use it at all to refer to the perceived repository of their manliness.

"Macho man" is just the theme of a tacky song. Cojones is really the equivalent of chutzpah. And there's nothing good about machismo, whether "new" or old. It's unadulterated male chauvinism and it has nothing to do with masculinity.

In Spanish we have another word that is just right: hombría. It means not just manliness but also courage, integrity, honesty and uprightness.

To have hombría, to be un verdadero hombre, is the best compliment a man can receive. Un verdadero hombre is a true hero who overcomes adversity and always does that right thing.

And that's what young Latinos should be taught:

That it takes hombría to finish high school.
That un verdadero hombre doesn't impregnate and run,
but is a real father to the children he brings into the world.
That un verdadero hombre is sensitive
but emotionally strong and
his masculinity is not threatened by cooking and
helping with the dishes.

That's what women want. As for huevos, they know they gotta break some to make an omelet ... preferably while wearing tacones.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Good News!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Celia Debuts on Broadway

I think I might take my mami to see this! AZZZZUCAR! RIP: Celia, we love you!

Broadway Show review

Who is Celia? Celia's biography

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mi gente, what up?

I'm so busy with so much work I've been neglecting my Lit. duties I'm afraid.


READING Junot Díaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoTue 10.2 (6pm) Instituto Cervantes (211-215 E 49th St, 212.308.7720) map
Event Info

The quiet decade that followed Junot Díaz's leap into the limelight heaped the author with awards, but left readers anxious. Enter 2007's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which has garnered almost universal praise for its tender portrayal of a Dominican dweeb. * Note: Look for a feature on Junot Díaz in an issue of the publication, Boldtype, publishing Wed 10.31.

- Sign up for Goldstar Events to get e-mail updates and access to first-rate live entertainment tickets at half-price or better in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Orange County, San Jose and more!

and check out: Rosie Perez Starringin Terrence McNally's The Ritz at Studio 54

Title:The Ritz
Venue:Studio 54 (New York City, NY)
Full Price: $96.25 Goldstar Price: $48.75

Rated 3.5 by 13 members who went. This hysterical farce stars Academy Award nominee Rosie Perez as Googie Gomez and Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin as Gaetano Proclo, a gay man hiding out from his homicidal brother-in-law who inadvertently finds himself in a gay bathhouse. Slamming doors, mistaken identities and advances—both wanted and unwanted—all build to a crazy conclusion that leaves everyone in hot water!

- and have both been revamped, Web2.0 stylo, go look...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Latino Heritage Month


This weekend in NYC:


Open-Air Book Fair

What: Thousands of reads, $20 grab bags, Nolita House mac ’n’ cheese, and dessert from Pies-n-Thighs.
Why: Sounds like a page-turner.
When: Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: In front of Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby St., b/t Houston & Prince Sts. (212-334-3324).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Women Read More

Why Women Read More Than Men

Does that we aren't just prettier but smarter too?

Bodega How-to

Bodega - Amazing videos are here

Funny & sad!

New Books on the Horizon

From Irete Lazo comes THE ACCIDENTAL SANTERA, the story of a Latina scientist's unlikely journey into Santeria, the ancient and often-misunderstood religion brought to the New World by Yoruba slaves.

From Leila Cobo comes Querida Gabriella, set in Cali, an American born woman discovers that when she when was four her Columbian mother had an affair just before dying in a plane crash, told through the woman's experience and her mother's journal entries.

Via Publisher's Lunch

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rebel Yell

I found this post on digg and can't stop reading these great quotes:

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.~ Napoleon

You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do. ~ [Usenet]

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.~ Bertrand Russell

The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.~ Prophet Muhammad

The same people that wrote the bible thought the world was flat.~ Unknown - (disputed)

Git yer guns, the liberal folks are gonna let the coloreds vote!~ Unknown

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.~ Susan B. Anthony

More here: vagabox

Friday, September 21, 2007

The 1, 2, 3, 4 Apple Ipod Song

This song by Feist sealed the deal, now I so want a new Ipod Nano

Friday Round-up

- Book Review: 'Windows Into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives'

- What describes Latino identity?

- Book traces Latinos' rich influence

- Learn a 'new' language for free: Con Mango

- United we stand, divided we fall: Justice for the Jena 6l

- Che Guevara´s widow to launch Book of Memories

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Online Detective at Your Service

I simply can't believe I'm this good.

For years, I've been thinking about this perfume my mom had when I was a little girl. All I could remember was the way the bottle looked, that it was French and expensive and that I loved the way it smelled. For years, I have been searching in stores and online trying to see if I could find it and suprise my mom with it.

Well, last night I was bored and got on eBay and went through all the vintage perfumes and spotted a similarly designed bottle so I googled the perfume maker and BINGO! I was able to find it. Originally launched in 1962, BAL A VERSAILLES by JEAN DESPREZ. I'm so delighted I just had to share, it's gonna blow her mind when she gets it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Free Event: Ana Castillo 9/21

NYU Emerging Writers Reading Series: Ana Castillo
when: Fri 9.21 (7-9pm)
where: KGB Bar (85 E 4th St, 212.505.3360) map
price: Gratis
links: Event Info

NYU gets a bad rap here: huge tuition, freshmen with no sidewalk etiquette, moving-day traffic congestion, etc. It goes without saying, though, that NYU has also shaped some of New York's finest gray matter, and plenty is on display tonight at KGB Bar's Emerging Writers Reading Series, where creative-writing grad students read alongside established authors. This week: self-proclaimed Chicana-feminist, playwright, poet, and novelist Ana Castillo, whose novel So Far from God tackles everything from cultural assimilation and politics to existential identity crises, in lush magical-realism.

From: Flavorpill

Borders Bookstores Shiny Web2.0 New Site Launch - Go check it out!

A Day Late...or Two

My apologies for the lack of posts. I've been really boggled down at work, house hunting and feeling anxious and restless about graduate school and my unfinished novel.

Anyhow, let's move on...

- The Gray Lady is now free and open to all:

- "In honor of this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, explores Louis Castro's contribution to Major League Baseball, examines the private life of the great Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who so profoundly influenced American art, and offers a list of festivals, concerts and lectures at the Smithsonian Institution and throughout the country."
Explore Hispanic Heritage Month on >>

- Visit Thirteen online for the full CANTOS LATINOS schedule

- New book on the publishing horizon:
"Journalist Luisita Lopez Torregrosa's A NEW AMERICAN FAMILY SAGA, chronicling the life of a multigenerational Latino family in America -- grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, grandchildren -- telling the story of the family's various paths to this country, their fortunes and misfortunes, the conflicts among and within families (including between the working class and the middle class), and their struggle to take a seat at the American table."

- New Stamp Honors 60th Anniversary of Landmark Desegregation Case, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al.

- Hispanic roots? Family Tree Site Aids Hispanic Research

- Brown is the new green, Movie tries to demystify Latinos, you know because we are so mindboggling.

- Congrats to "America Ferrera [who] captured her first-ever Emmy Award for best actress in a comedy for her role as Betty in the Golden-Globe winning series "Ugly Betty." Her win marks the first time a Latina has won an Emmy Award for best actress."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nestle Rolls Out Sexist Chocolate Bars

Every so often, I fall off the diet bandwagon and give in to the temptation of a morning egg, bacon and cheese on a roll. The few times I have been in this particular Korean deli, I've noticed that they carry a lot of items and brands totally unfamiliar to me.

One time I got some Chinese gummie candy for a coworker. The other day I noticed a chocolate bar named Yorkie in front of me.

Clearly written along its side was "Not for girls!"

Now, I totally get marketing gimmicks but as a feminist and a chocolate lover I am deeply offended by this sexist play by Nestle UK.

I did a little research and found that Norwegians and the US complained about the branding the most, while the bar has done quite well in UK since its debut in 2002.

Apparently, they ran a special batch once with pink wrappers, especially for 'girls." :rolleyes:

We will never forget.
Please feel free to click on the link and post your memories too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Orphanage - Movie to go see

Update (via Hollywood Reporter): "Director Guillermo del Toro is gearing up to produce a remake of the Spanish-language film The Orphanage. According to Variety, New Line is in advanced negotiations to produce this new American version.

Del Toro was a creative supervisor on the original film, which marked the directorial debut of Juan Antonio Bayona. The film's plot revolves around a woman who returns to run the orphanage where she was raised. She is terrified to find her own child playing with the imaginary friend that used to torture her when she was a child.

Warner Brothers is releasing the original film in Spain on October 11th. The American version does not have a set start date at this time."

I loved Pan's Labyrinth and since I love spooky films more than anything. I wan't wait to check out this Guillermo Del Toro production:

Reuter's review here

Friday, September 07, 2007

‘Wrinkle in Time’ author L'Engle dies at 88

I was lucky enough to meet Madeleine L’Engle several years ago at a booksigning. I loved her books so much as a child that even though I was well into my twenties I went just to meet her.

Her passing brings me such sadness. Her joyful mix of religion and science and supernatural made her books treasured classics among many. She wrote over 60 books in her lifetime and won many awards including the National Humanities Medal.

Thank you, Mrs. L'Engle! Your books will live on and the legacy you left behind will be enjoyed by our children as well.

Her official website

Some teen reviews:

Selected Madeleine L'Engle Quotations (from

• Our truest responsibility to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find the truth.

• You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.

• Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.

• We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.

• Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling.

• A book comes and says, "Write me." My job is to try to serve it to the best of my ability, which is never good enough, but all I can do is listen to it, do what it tells me and collaborate.

• That's the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along.

• We tend to think things are new because we've just discovered them.

• We tend to defend vigorously things that in our deepest hearts we are not quite certain about. If we are certain of something we know, it doesn't need defending.

• I share Einstein's affirmation that anyone who is not lost on the rapturous awe at the power and glory of the mind behind the universe "is as good as a burnt out candle."

• Infinity is present in each part. A loving smile contains all art. The motes of starlight spark and dart. A grain of sand holds power and might.

• The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being.

• Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.

• Conversion for me was not a Damascus Road experience. I slowly moved into an intellectual acceptance of what my intuition had always known.

• I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, "This is what I believe. Finished." What I believe is alive ... and open to growth.

• If it can be verified, we don't need faith.... Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.

• What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God's love, a love we don't even have to earn.

• We have much to be judged on when he comes, slums and battlefields and insane asylums, but these are the symptoms of our illness and the result of our failures in love.

• In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.

• Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.

• Deepest communion with God is beyond words, on the other side of silence.

• I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.

• So I go to church, not because of any legalistic or moralistic reasons, but because I am a hungry sheep who needs to be fed; and for the same reason that I wear a wedding ring: a public witness of a private commitment.

• When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.... To be alive is to be vulnerable.

• We're afraid to be human because if we're human we might get hurt.

• Are anybody's parents typical?

• It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.

• The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

• I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect.

• A life lived in chaos is an impossibility.

• Because you're not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.

Elsewhere on the Web: Resources for Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle Collection - Wheaton College

Whoopi Equates Vick's Animal Cruelty to Puerto Rican Cockfighting

Is she serious?

"So much for the sedate alternative to Rosie O'Donnell on "The View." Whoopi Goldberg used her first day on the daytime chat show Tuesday to defend football star Michael Vick in his dogfighting case. Goldberg said that "from where he comes from" in the South, dogfighting isn't that unusual.

"It's like cockfighting in Puerto Rico," she said. "There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country.""

Um, no it's not! First off, most Puerto Ricans (on mainland US) do not engage in cockfighting and as someone with a degree in anthropology and a background in cultural studies - I have never come across one mention of dogfighting or cruelly drowning dogs and bashing their heads in as part of a deep South/African American cultural study.

Secondly, while it's no argument that it's savage, in Puerto Rico cockfighting has been a legalized sport since 1933. There is no relevant comparison between what Vick's was doing in his mansion to the Puerto Ricans and cockfighting.

People who don't know what their talking about need to shut up, for real!
Don't perpetuate your own ignorant biases, please.

On to other news:

Scholastic wouldn't save Libreria Lectorum! They suck, if you ask me...
Read more here

NYC Events:

1. NYWIFT @ International Film Festivals in New York

A Brunch and A Day of Films by Latin American Filmmakers
@ Latinbeat Film Festival, 2007

The growing success of Latin American filmmaking is more evident than ever in this year's Latinbeat Film Festival. The festival presents 20 recent films from 11 Latin American countries, including outstanding works from countries with emerging industries that have never been represented in the festival before. It's proof that this year's festival is as diverse as Latin America itself.

For a fourth year, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and NYWIFT celebrate the work of Latina filmmakers with a brunch reception at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater.

Join us as we welcome Patricia Riggen (Mexico), Maryse Sistach (Mexico), Paula Heredia (El Salvador), Paz Fabrega (Costa Rica), Paz Encina (Paraguay), Tania Hermida (Ecuador), Tania Cypriano (Brazil) and Sandra Kogut (Brazil).

1:30 program:

Pinta The Bird / La Pajara Pinta
Paula Heredia, El Salvador, 2006, 10 min.
A book opens to reveal a magical legend set in a village in the smallest country of the American continent, where Pinta the Bird beckons a boy and a girl and makes their dreams come true.

Paz Fabrega, Costa Rica, 2006, 22 min.
In a small village on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Tanya and Laura are the only two high school students who stay behind after school closes. The two girls become close as they dream of the future.

My Grandmother Has a Video Camera
Tania Cypriano, Brazil/U.S., 2007. 60 min.
For over 20 years, a family of Brazilian immigrants in the United States used their home video camera to record first-hand how they saw their new world and struggled to establish themselves.

4:00 pm
How Much Further/Que tan lejos.
Tania Hermida, Ecuador, 2006, 92 min.
Esperanza arrives in the Andean country from her native Spain and runs into Tristeza, a cynical, mistrustful Ecuadorian university student. They soon embark together on a journey where, along the way, their exchanges with strangers and the companionship they find in each other result in surprising revelations.

Under the Same Moon/La misma luna
Patricia Riggen, Mexico, 2007, 190 min.
This is the story of nine year old Carlitos and his mother Rosario, who illegally crossed over to the United States to offer a better life for her son. Carlitos is raised by his grandmother in Mexico, until unexpected circumstances lead him and his mother to embark on separate journeys, in a desperate attempt to reunite.

Don't miss other films by Latina filmmakers showing at the festival:

Paraguayan Hammock/Hamaca paraguaya. Paz Encina, Paraguay
Mutum. Sandra Kogut, Brazil
Violet Perfume/Perfume de Violetas. Maryse Sistach, Mexico

All film are presented in their original languages with English subtitles
For more information about the films visit

Sunday, Sept 9th
Brunch reception @ 12:00 noon
Screening @ 1:30 pm
Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
165 West 65th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, Plaza Level

NYWIFT and Film Society members $7. Non-members $11 (brunch included)
Tickets are available at The Walter Reade Theater box office,
and by prepayment at Please select affiliate price.

To RSVP for the brunch, please copy and paste the link below into your browser



For more information:

2. Fort Greene Festival feat. Talib Kweli
Sat 9.8 (12-10pm) Fort Greene Park (Dekalb Ave & Washington Park, Bklyn, 347.529.4171) map Event Info

Coming strong off his excellent new Eardrum release, BK son Talib Kweli joins local jazz, reggae, and hip-hop acts, as well as two feature films (including Rosie Perez's Yo Soy Boricua) and offerings from scores of restaurants, to celebrate this historically creative community.
Note: The fest runs all day, but musical acts take the stage starting at 2pm.

3. Celebrate México Now
when: Wed 9.5 - Sun 9.16 (schedule)
where: Various locations
price: Various
links: Event Info

Forget mariachis and margaritas, Celebrate México Now explores a culture ripe with diversity, all across town, over 11 days. Enjoy gourmet meals at Maya — featuring traditional Purépecha cuisine and native wine (Mon 9.10 - Thur 9.13) — and Papatzul (Sun 9.16), championing the traditional Sunday feast. Sample Mexico's recent cinematic explosion with shorts from the 2006 Morelia International Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Elisa Miller and Gustavo Gamou (Fri 9.7).

South-of-the-border music abounds, ranging from experimental cumbia sonidero to Veracruz sounds with Afro-Latin rhythms and indie rock. Since it's not a festival without a parade, on Saturday, 9.15, the stilt-walking Brooklyn Jumbies take to Chelsea with a street performance created by Laura Anderson Barbata.

--- Hispanic Heritage Month:

Gale Thomson has some great resources come and get 'em

- Grow your brain!
20 simple ways become bookworm

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Introducing the Apple Touch, AKA the fat Nano

17 and a CEO

This cute 17 year old is my new hero:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 3log Day '07

Blog Day 2007

"What is BlogDay?

BlogDay was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. On that day Bloggers will recommend other blogs to their blog visitors.

With the goal in mind, on this day every blogger will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs. This way, all blog readers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, previously unknown blogs."

Literanista's fave five blogs:

1. go2web2
- A blog about the web 2.0 world written by Isreali techie and cyber phenom. Orli Yakuel.

- If they're not talking about it at this infamous Manhattan and Media outlet it's almost not worth talking about.

- Everything that happens in New York daily.

4. clicked
- Well written blog about web news and pop culture.

5. Hispanic Trending
- This Hispanic advertising and marketing blog brings all the latest bicultural news to the forefront for the masses of bilingual Hispanics out there and the people who love to sell them stuff.

Bonus blogs: (Because I have so many favorites it's hard to choose just five)

- BoingBoing - Intelligent science/tech blog focuses on weird news
- core77 - Ultracool design blog
- Guanabee - Hispanic Media Gossip site
- Ririan Project - Motivational blog
- Princess Melissa - the blog of MTVs Real World New Orleans alumni, Melissa Howard. I've been reading her blog for over 5 years!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Un Poquito de Todo

I'm so glad I subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine! This morning I took the latest issue with me on my commute and found much to my delight articles on Edwidge Dandicat, Junot Diaz and Cormac Mccarthy. Check it out here:

I was also inspired. Lately, I've been pondering how will I ever be able to follow my dreams and finish my anthopological graduate studies. The program I want to get into at NYU will cost me about 25K a year!

So I decided that maybe I should get a MFA at a city college and then rethink the NYU thing... I'll keep you guys updated.

So more news:

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