Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Let's Talk About My Feet

Perhaps, I've never mentioned this but not only have I got super cute feet : ) I've also got super sensitive feet - almost any new shoe I wear will hurt me, cut me and leave me chaffed, battered and bruised.

Now, I bruise easily to begin with but somehow my feet are even more delicate - ironic, huh? I guess I'm not the barefoot kind, I must come from a long line of dainty, pampered slipper-wearers.

Every Spring without fail - you will find me in the drugstore buying all sorts of shoe stickies, petals and what have you - to stick to my shoes so they don't cut my tender footsies to no avail.

Even 'comfort' shoes have done their damage and nothing looks worse than funky, tore-up, beat up feet. Hence, why I find this blog ever so engrossing (pun totally intended):
http://uglyoutfitsnyc.com/?p=266 & http://uglyoutfitsnyc.com/?p=210 or worse, long toenails: http://diarrheaofthemouth74.blogspot.com/2007/08/omg.html

I take pride in my feet. I've received some strange but flattering compliments on them.

One much older man told me my feet should be featured in modeling ads (seeing as how I'm 5'2'' I wasn't offended that he forgot to add the rest of me) while a weirdo on the subway once said to me I had such pretty feet that he wondered if he could pay ME to massage them. I just giggled at that one - I dunno, he looked normal at first.

Anyway, I broke down and went shoe shopping recently (so much for saving money) - in fact, I sorta shoe binged, which got me thinking about my feet and new shoes and then the idea for this post. I love shoes - but new shoes hurt my feet.

I need to check out this foot lube, Bodyglide Anti-Blister & Chafing Stick, and see if it helps any.

I'm also psyched because I found some great deals on Summery shoes, check out what I bought:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

La Casa Azul Bookstore Debut in E. Harlem

Today Thursday, April 24, 2008 @ 6:00 pm at 206 East 116th Street near 3rd Avenue @ Net Plaza New York, NY 10029

From www.shelf-awareness.com

In a reversal of the usual order, Aurora Anaya-Cerda is opening her new store, La Casa Azul Bookstore, online first and later this year in bricks-and-mortar form in the East Harlem section of New York City. Online and in "reality," La Casa Azul (meaning blue house and named after artist Frida Kahlo's home in Mexico City) will offer "a wide range of books and music from the United States, México, Latin America and the Caribbean," reflecting "the international Latino communities shaping the United States and many parts of the world."

The books will be in Spanish and English and include works by Junot Diaz, Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Esmeralda Santiago and Oscar Hijuelos, among many others. The storefront will feature organic coffee, live performances, recorded music, art and other Latino-inspired products.This evening in East Harlem, La Casa Azul is celebrating the website launch. The store's address online is lacasaazulbookstore.com.

Anaya-Cerda describes herself as a "Latina social entrepreneur" and has worked at several independent bookstores and as a teacher and community organizer. She may be reached at 646-413-5251 or
lacasaazulbookstore@gmail.com. The store's My Space listing is at www.myspace.com/lacasaazulbookstore.

Obama Q&A on Hispanic Trending

Sen. Barack Obama: We cannot ignore the fact that Hispanics have contributed greatly to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of America. From the Hispanic community's deep-rooted history of service in the U.S. military to the battles of leaders like César Chávez for workers’ rights, Hispanic Americans have helped make this nation a great one. But despite all of the progress we’ve made, we know that there is more work to do.

I believe the greatest contribution we’ve seen from the Latino community is their belief in the future and their belief in this country. It is a belief that inspires all Americans to remember what this country is about – people putting in the hard work required to make sure that the next generation is able to achieve its dreams.

Read the rest

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coming in May: Latino Books Month

The association of American Publishers (AAP) announced its recommended reading list for May 2008, the fifth annual Latino Books Month!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nuyorican in the House!

The other day, I was upset with my brother and he called me really early in the morning and recited a poem on my voicemail - one of his own. Of course, I couldn't stay angry with him after that - my little brother, the budding poet.

I advised him to go check out my old haunt the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and today while checking out the website I was really delighted to discover that there's going to be a huge Nuyorican Poets Cafe 3rd Millenium Celebration at Townhall. I got us tickets immediately.

In my email today, I got one from the Strand and there are some can't be missed events coming up:

Tuesday, April 29 7:00PM
Sherman Alexie and Peter Cameron in Discussion

Elizabeth Devereaux, the Children's Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly, will moderate a discussion, between Sherman Alexie, author of
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Peter Cameron, author of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, focusing on the experience of writing for both young adult and trade audiences.

Wednesday, April 30 7:00PM
Jhumpa Lahiri
Unaccustomed Earth

From the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, eight dazzling stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand as they explore the secrets at the heart of family life. Jhumpa Lahiri's debut collection of stories,
Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year. Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly. Ms. Lahiri will read and discuss her latest work with us. This event is co-hosted by the South Asian Journalists Association.

Even though the weather today was on fire, I unfortunately felt really ill - a combo of sinuses, fever, new diet, not enough caffeine and who knows what else. My coworker offered to show me a new sushi spot to cheer me up or perhaps bribe me to leave the office, miso soup sounded like the perfect remedy so I went and I'm so glad I did! I'm not lying when I say - I was really impressed by Yushi Bento Bar.

The food was fresh, delicious and arranged really adorably and cutely packaged, while a bit on the expensive side (I can't really complain because cheap sushi doesn't sound safe)! I'm such a dork I even took a pic of my bento box, the soy sauce and salad dressing came in vials (too cute).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Consumption Gumption - Who you calling overweight?

I decided today to start a diet, just in time for summer. My goal is to be tan and about 30 lbs lighter by then. It seems that lately I've become tired of over consumption, on so many levels - too much materialism, pressure to buys 'things' and follow trends and look good and as my chico likes to kid - eat too well.

So yet another leaf turns...

Next I'm cleaning out the closet! And just when I declare this - Coach comes along and sticks it to me. I've been secretly coveting this hat:

For weeks, now I've walked by the Madison Avenue store and looked at it and thought - that hat would look so fabulous on me! But I didn't even have to look to know it would be outrageously priced and today I did, and of course it was. I have never really been a tag hag, especially Coach, which has become so cliche and ghetto fab that even the company has tried to make them just not worthy.

To top it off, today my best friend send me this set of Flickr pics Say Flickr
- that makes you stop as ask literally what's wrong with us. Some of the girls that are categorized as obese look like normal girls to me, healthy, a bit of the hefty side, but obese? NO!

So I'm trying to stop - no more living large for me (pun intended!)

* I also wanted to put this out there for those of you who remember the delight with which you discovered Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez' The Dirty Girls Social Club: A Novel. Was it just me or did she put ChicaLit on the map?

Anyway, she's come up with a creative way to promote her new book, Dirty Girls on Top. She is rounding up book lovers to host book parties across the nation and has gotten sponsors to donate goodies to the Dirty Girls Book Parties. Cute & fun, I think it will work, it's very similar in concept to Houseparty, who are currently promoting another party event catering to Hispanic community: Kraft De Mamá a Mamá.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ah, the 80's!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Miscellany

On Thursday I attended Min Jin Lee Upstairs at the Square BN.com event and has such a good time. It was even covered at Galleycat.

Min Jin Lee brilliantly discussed how her main character's last name, Hong, in her native Korean tongue speaks to the concept of anguish while Mike Doughty made the hair on my arm stand when he sung Fort Hood.

- Rafaela G. Castro, retired librarian and author of
Provocaciones: Letters from the Prettiest Girl in Arvin wrote to me and let me know the book was reviewed at Tucsonweekly last year. I'm sharing the review with everyone and reminding you to check the book out.

- Latina magazine got a revamped website and now has a book club: Latina.com/community Coincidently, they are reading
Paula by Isabel Allende.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Speaking of Borders

No, not that kind (although I really do want to see
Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) & check out the great thing Tommy Lee Jones had to say about the fence or as he calls it the 'complete disaster'), actually I'm referring to the really cool Borders Media site.

I was never into big chain book stores. As a kid all my books were second hand buys from flea markets or hand me downs from my sister and cousin, or library loans. In fact, for most of my childhood in Spanish Harlem, the only big bookstore was about a two mile radius away, downtown on 86th Street. It wasn't until I was a teen that I ventured that far and then later discovered the smaller bookstores tucked away in Harlem and the Columbia University area. I happily spent the money I earned babysitting my way through college on 'brand new' books.

At my last gig, I discovered Borders, since there was one located right downstairs. With its weekly coupons, deals & sales and a newly revamped site - all shiny and Web2.dope, I couldn't pass it up.

Today, I noticed some cool, new, rich multimedia content that's right up this blog's alley:

- Watch Junot Díazat Borders Live at 01-The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Debut novel pulses with the language of the Dominican ghetto

- LATEST EPISODE! Marisa de los Santos to discuss Love Walked In and Belong to Me

The Borders Book Club welcomed Marisa de los Santos to discuss both her enchanting bestselling debut, Love Walked In, and her new novel, Belong to Me. Like its predecessor, Belong to Me boasts unforgettable characters in a compassionate, funny look at the ups and downs of life's most important relationships. And don't worry—no spoilers. Watch now.

- All 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winners and more!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In Full Bloom

Spring is here, I saw a bouquet of Lavender for $10 today at lunch and almost, almost picked it up.

Pink, purple, yellow - I love it. I've totally caught the fever & speaking of the Fever. .. Criticas Magazine takes a look at the fervor over Carlos Ruiz Zafon's prequel to The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game. The book will be released on the other side of the pond in Barcelona later this month. I can't wait for the English version!
Some other good things to check out before you head out to feel that sweet Spring breeze:
And, lastly is it 'wrong' or unAmerican of me, to think this Mexican Absolut Ad is funny?
* pic via scribalterror

Friday, April 04, 2008

MLK - In Honor of your Life and Your Vision

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal."

Make the Dream a reality!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Do Ethnic Writers Write for Everyone?

Very serendipitously, I just came upon a post at GalleyCat that mentions how during and interview:

"Wall Street Journal, Robert Hughes comes right out and asks [Jhumpa Lapiri], "Have you ever
thought of writing about non-Indians?
" To which her answer is, actually, "I
don't think that way when I'm writing stories. I just write from the point of
view of some individual, trying to form a character who happens to be those

Wow, no way, seriously? I'm offended and I wasn't there and don't even have nothing to do with it.

This question would never come up if the author wasn't a person of color and a woman at that.

Can you imagine - asking any of the "DWEM" who they wrote for? Of course not - because by default they wrote for everyone, while any one else - woman or other minority - write for 'their people' - indicating the persistence of the idea that this sort of lit. cannot transcend marginalization and thereby doesn't speak to everyone - like a darn good book should.

I know better, I can't be the only one.


Latina Spice, Served Hot

I was having lunch with one of my new colleagues yesterday and we were discussing books, specifically those of Hispanic interests. It seems clear that a paradox exists in the industry, that while many authors don't want their books to be culturally labeled and pigeonholed - if they aren't marketed to some degree as Latino, Asian, African American or what have you - then that particular audience is in fact ignored and just perpetuates the marginalization that already exists even though the intent was to avoid it. IMO ignoring it just perpetuates the invisibility of that group.

Good fiction, classic fiction transcends categorization but that doesn't mean that the story does not have sub themes that can be examined and used to aid readers in their quests for topics of personal interests.

No one would argue that Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt isn't an Irish, Catholic and also an American immigrant tale while at the same time it's not marginalized like Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas, which I don't think ever reached the same mainstream success even though it deals with coming of age in poverty on the other side of the pond, from the eyes of a dark skinned, Puerto Rican son of emigrant parents - similar issues.

While on the topic, we broached how Latina works' in particular are labeled with the same kind of language usually reserved for food. It took me back to my anthropology classes, issues of Other and reminded me of the Hottentot Venus effect.

When was the last time you came upon something "Latino" and saw or heard the words "caliente," "hot tamale," "flavor," "rich," "spicy," "coconut," "mango," etc.,

Here's some academic reading for you, if you want to examine the issue a bit further:
From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture
by Myra Mendible or "how the world see us!"

There's some food for thought for ya! ; )

Also, don't forget that authors Junot Díaz and Francisco Goldman will be partaking in “Conversations in the Humanities” at the Graduate Center, Thursday, April 3rd,
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