Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moving on

I saw Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls last night at the McSweeney's Party tonight (part of Book Expo America tonight). It was absolutely great. One particular performance especially stuck with me (I keep thinking a poem was brought forth by it...)

Here's the song (starts about 2:40)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Griot's Power

My African grandfather taught me
that the storyteller is
the most powerful person
in the world
after God.

from Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

by Sister Souljah

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rep. Loretta Sanchez's on Sotomayor Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) today issued the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Justice:

“Judge Sotomayor is an inspiring individual with an exemplary judicial record and history of public service. “As a fellow Latina, I am proud of her accomplishments and the positive example she has set for young people in our community.

She is living proof that all Americans, no matter their background, can achieve great things through hard work, persistence, and a commitment to excellence. “I look forward to following Judge Sotomayor’s nomination process as it moves through the Senate.”

To learn more about Congresswoman Sanchez, read: Dream in Color: How the Sánchez Sisters Are Making History in Congress By Linda Sánchez , Loretta Sánchez , Richard Buskin, with Foreword by Nancy Pelosi.

And just a quick note to the Associated Press: It's Nuyorican, not "Newyorkrican"

On Wonder Woman

When I was little I thought Linda Jean Córdova Carter (aka Linda Carter) was the most beautiful woman in the world. I proudly told my preschool teacher that she resembled my mom. tiffdjones over has dedicated a post to Linda (very apropos), no wonder i loved wonder woman, and speaks to her (our) biracialness and the reverse racism of being a fair skinned Latina with a non-Hispanic last name.

Linda deserves to be honored for being a such a great role model, especially for young women.

Groundbreaking Moment: Obama Nominates Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Just a few hours ago, President Obama nominated federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Supreme Court justice of Hispanic (Puerto Rican) descent and only the third woman ever to sit on the panel. She grew up in a Bronx housing project, went on to Princeton University and Yale Law School.

I watched this morning and felt as proud and teary-eyed as day Obama was sworn in. This is a major moment for Latinas in this country!

Origins: "El Cuco"

We all know of El Cuco, the mythological monster, our parents all warned us about and sometimes even utilized to put the fear of God into us and make us do their will. The other day I was thinking about El Cuco and wondering if perhaps its origins came to us from our Yoruba ancestors since the term sounds African. I was surprised to learn: (it was originally an European pumpkinhead!)

The Cuco (Coco, coca, or cuca) is a mythical monster, a ghost, witch; equivalent to the boogeyman found in many Hispanic and Lusophone [Portuguese-speaking] countries.

The myth of the Coco originated in Portugal and Galicia. According to the Real Academia Española the word "coco" derives from the Portuguese language, and referred a ghost with a pumpkin head.

Traditionally, the coco, or its feminine counterpart "coca", is represented by a carved vegetable lantern made from a pumpkin with two eyes and a mouth, that is left in dark places with a light inside to scare people. The vegetable lantern is similar to the Jack o' lantern. Coca the dragon is another representation of this scary being and is present in the folklore of Portugal and Galicia.

The name of the "coconut" derived from "coco" and was given to the fruit by the sailors of Vasco da Gama because it reminded this mythical creature.

The legend of the Cuco began to be spread to Latin America by the Portuguese and Spanish colonizers.

There is no general description of the Cuco, as far as facial or body descriptions.

The legend of the Cuco is widely used by parents in Spain and Latin America in order to make their children go to sleep. Parents usually tell small kids that the Cuco will take them away if they don't fall asleep early. This method has been in use for decades now.

Popularity and other names
The Cuco method is very popular among parents from Dominican Republic to Argentina. In many countries, the character has different meanings: in Mexico, for example, parents prefer to call Cuco the similar name "Calaca", which also means skeleton there.

In Brazil Cuco appears as a female, 'Cuca'. Cuca appears as the villain in some children books by Monteiro Lobato. Artists illustrating these books depicted the Cuca as an anthropomorphic alligator.

In Northern New Mexico, where there is a large Hispanic population, El Cuco is referred to in its Spanglish name, the Coco Man. His image is construed with Brazil's sack man; he carries a bag to take naughty children around Christmas time, and demands repentance in the form of Catholic prayers.

The Bogeyman (or boogeyman) could be considered an English equivalent of the Cuco, since both monsters attack children who misbehave.

POPULAR SONG FOR THE CUCO: duermete niño, duermete ya...que viene el cuco y te comera (sleep child, sleep now...or else comes the coco to eat you)

* Photo credit: Self-portrait by Jamie Wyeth

Monday, May 25, 2009

NYC Latin Events Summer Guide

Download it here: Remezcla 2009 Latin Summer Events Guide in NYC

Music Monday - Madcon: Beggin

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day News: 1 Million Living Latino Veterans

To all the men and women who sacrificed and fallen and put their life on the line for us - We salute you and thank you.

This weekend, I want to highlight all the Latinos who have served on behalf on the United States.

"The federal government states there are 1 million [living] Latino veterans, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and now Iraq wars."

More info:

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: Latino Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Hector P. Garcia, a 1940 graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, joined the Army during World War II. He earned the Bronze Star Medal with six battle stars in Italy.

via World War II Latino and Latina Oral History Project

Center for Minority Veterans

Perfect Movie pick for this weekend - in case it rains:(I highly-recommend it)

"Miracle at St. Anna is a 2008 war film directed by Spike Lee and written by James McBride, based on McBride's novel of the same name. The film was released on September 26, 2008, and is set during World War II, in fall of 1944 in Tuscany and in the winter of 1983 in New York City and Rome.

Miracle at St. Anna follows four black soldiers of the all-black 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped near a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of World War II after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

The group is made up of: The idealistic Staff Sergeant Stamps, who believes fighting in World War II will help American Negroes to win the same rights as whites; the world-wise Sergeant Bishop, whose ambitions are much more prosaic and personal: survival, economic gain, female company, etc.; Corporal Negron, a Puerto Rican, whose perception of ethnic issues is somewhat different due to his Latino upbringing; and the hulking, but naive, Private First Class Train, whose childlike attitude bridges the gap with the rescued Italian child, himself suffering from the after effects of a terrible trauma."


Literanista is now at

I finally had the time to sit down and actually get the blog parked at the domain I bought ages ago. I'm proud to say I figured it out - it was a lot easier than I had thought (which is usually the case) and took me just a few minutes.

Anyhow, Literanista is now parked at and there is no need to change your bookmarks or anything - the site automatically redirects.

Cemi Cultural Expo, Thursday, May 28, 7:00pm

Cemi Cultural Expo, Thursday, May 28, 7:00pm

@ The Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center,

1690 Lexington Avenue

After two years Cemi Underground, East Harlem's only Puerto Rican bookstore, art, and cultural center closed its door at the end of April. The Cemí team will continue to promote Boricua identity and heritage through events such as "Cemi Cultural Expo," featuring performances by Mariposa, La Bruja, Bobby Gonzalez, Arnold Acevedo’s El Boogie Down Comedy Show and feature performers, Los Pleneros de la 21!

Nonfiction Tweets: 70+ Authors to Follow on Twitter

I love these lists: via Mashable

Saturday, May 23, 2009

World's Oldest Bloggers Dies: Spanish great-grandmother

"Maria Amelia Lopez, a Spanish great-grandmother who called herself "the world's oldest blogger," died today [yesterday]in her home at the age of 97, leaving more than 1.5 million readers from around the world mourning her passing."

Via Que descanse en paz!

Women in Mexico Continue to Disappear Off the Face of The Earth

I bring you this riveting post Femicide in Baja via because a. you need to read it and b. women continue to disappear and never be heard from again. This epidemic gets little attention and needs spotlighting.

"Two years ago the documentary On the Edge: Femicide in Cuidad Juarez took on the horrific examples and sheer numbers of women disappearing in Juarez. The whole thing is up on youtube (in ten parts) and I strongly recommend watching it."

Are Mexicans the New Racial Scapegoats?

Listen to Ed Asner, actor/activist, in Conversation with Tavis Smiley - from May 21, 2009
Listen to the mp3 podcast of the show

(via @tavissmiley)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Outdoor Film Event: Truth About Immigrants: Mosaic of Stories & Voices

East Harlem Against Deportation

Follow Friday

I came across several new blogs this week that I need to recommend: - Intellectual and gritty at the same time, plus I love the moniker.

Darknaked - My best friend has begun her own blog, please show her some blogger love. - NY Latina with lots of cost-saving and cool posts.

Free & Fee Yoga in Spanish Harlem

Three to check out:

FREE Yoga!

Bliss yoga classes in Marcus Garvey Park

Get your bliss on every Thursday night in June: 6/4,11,18,25 from 7-8:30pm where we will find our bliss beneath the billowing trees and the golden sunsets! Meet us in the park near the entrance of 124th St & Mt. Morris Park West Classes are open to all levels, are totally free and totally fun, register now!
Beth Tascione 212-712-8715

Fitness Fridays

Friday May 1, 8, 15, and 29, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Target Community Garden

931-933 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

Target East Harlem Community Garden
415-417 East 117th Street, Manhattan

Get your mind and body right with NYRP! Join NYRP as we offer various fitness sessions in two of our community gardens during the month of May. Please bring your own yoga mat and/or towel and water. Space is limited. For more information, please call 212-333-2552.


Harlem has just gotten a whole lot HOTTER with the arrival of Bikram Yoga - East Harlem!

Bikram Yoga East Harlem

They offer affordable class rates, free babysitting and free workshops.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Road (movie based on novel) Trailer

Will it do this book justice? It's one my favorite books, it's going to be hard to see it done badly.

News? Latinos And Black Men Hit Hardest By Recession

Not surprisingly those on the lower rungs of "the ladder" are being hit the hardest. If this doesn't express how much Latinos and African American are in this struggle together - I don't know what does:

"Surveys show young Latino and black men have been hardest hit by this economic recession:

“The jobless rate for black men reached a Depression-like 26 percent in the first quarter for those between ages 20 and 24, and 20 percent for those between 25 and 34. For Hispanic men, the corresponding rates were 16 percent and 13 percent. Generally, those levels were the highest since the deep recession of the early 1980s.”

It seems women are doing better than men but "What hasn't changed is that disparities based on factors such as race are still evident. So while white men ages 45 to 54 are seeing a record high unemployment rate of 8 percent, the rate for African-American men in that age range is 13 percent, which isn't a record.""

Full article here: via

Sorry Google Followers is having some issues and making IE crash when you came to my site (see Blogger real status) so I removed my Google followers from my sidebar. I will bring it back when the problem is fixed.

If you are having similar problems, try this fix.

Free Pedicab Rides in Harlem - Next Month

"Bicytaxi will offer free pedicab rides within 20 blocks of 125th Street beginning next month.

Amir Chizic, owner of BicyTaxi NYC, is sending 10 pedicabs uptown to offer the free trips supported – at least for the first three months – by advertising."

Via Uptownflavor

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Castle for Sale in Harlem

I saw this post Harlem's Historic Bailey Castle Now $6.5M and it reminded of the days when I walked to school past Pleasant Ave amid abandoned and run-down brownstones and dreamed of one day owning and honoring one of these little narrow casitas. I vividly imagined a top floor bedroom and working space with skylights and a beautiful garden in the back, lush with flowers. Ah, if only I were rich!

Apparently, I've always have had a treasure seeker's eyes (ojos de aguila, my mom would say) because I couple of years ago while on the bus (and this was during the time, W and I were thinking about buying a home in the city) I spotted this beautiful but falling apart house, it was picturesque with turrets and everything but smackdab in the middle of Bronx.

I begged and cajoiled to go find this 'house.' I had visions of us owning this beauty, of restoring it together and making it new again. I told friends and family but eventually I forgot about it, forgot the name of the street I had seen it on...only to one day to see the news online in the The NY Times about how a family had bought this 16-room mansion in the Bronx for less than what some 3 bedrooms houses go for - when I saw the great slideshow of the mansion, my jaw dropped. They had bought MY house!

Another place, I have always wanted to live is at 455 Central Park West, a former Victorian cancer hospital that has open terraces along Central Park West and also has turrets.

well, I guess it wasn't meant to be but some people have all the luck. A girl can dream though can't she?

NYC Book Events

Book reading and signing of:
Hungry Woman in Paris

Wednesday May 27, 2009

6:30pm - 8:30pm East Harlem Café

1651 Lexington Ave (104th St.)

New York, NY 10029

About Hungry Woman in Paris

A journalist and activist, Canela believes passion is essential to life; but lately passion seems to be in short supply. It has disappeared from her relationship with her fiancé, who is more interested in controlling her than encouraging her. It's absent from her work, where censorship and politics keep important stories from being published. And while her family is full of outspoken individuals, the only one Canela can truly call passionate is her cousin and best friend Luna, who just took her own life. Canela breaks off her engagement and uses her now un-necessary honeymoon ticket, to escape to Paris. Impulsively, she sublets a small apartment and enrolls at Le Coq Rouge, Paris's most prestigious culinary institute. Cooking school is a sensual and spiritual reawakening that brings back Canela's hunger for life. With a series of new friends and lovers, she learns to once again savor the world around her. Finally able to cope with Luna's death, Canela returns home to her family, and to the kind of life she thought she had lost forever.

About Josefina Lopez:

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1969, Josefina López was five years old when she and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in East Los Angeles. Best known for co-authoring the film Real Women Have Curves, Josefina is the recipient of a number of awards and accolades, including formal recognition from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's 7th Annual "Women Making History" banquet in 1998 and a screenwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council in 2001. She, along with Real Women Have Curves co-author George La Voo, won the Humanitas Prize for Screenwriting in 2002, The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Award from L.A. Mayor in 2003, and the Artist-in-Residency grant from the NEA/TCG for 2007.

RSVP to meet Josefina Lopez:


Thursday, May 21, 7 PM

McNally Jackson Forum:

The Life and Work of Roberto Bolaño Carmen Boullosa, author of La virgen y el violin (Editorial Siruela)Javier Calvo, author of Wonderful World (Harper Collins) Jonathan Lethem, author of Fortress of Solitude (Doubleday)

The McNally Jackson Forum Series brings together New York City's creators and thinkers to discuss issues of cultural significance. Chilean novelist and poet Roberto Bolaño has had a posthumous explosion in popularity int he United States with such msterful novels as The Savage Detectives and 2666, and his work raises questions about where life ends and fiction begins.

Discussing Bolaño's life and work are Carmen Boullosa (La virgen y el violin), a Mexican novelist, poet and playwright who knew Bolaño until his death; Spanish novelist Javier Calvo (Wonderful World), who know Bolaño late in the author's career; and novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude), who has written extensively about Bolaño's work. The panel is moderated by Latin American scholar and translator Eduardo Kaplan. RSVP to


Friday, May 22, 7 PM

La Micro Theater presents Bolaño's Women / Las Mujeres de Bolaño

Directed by Berioska Ipinza and Pietro González With Laura Gomez, Elka Rodríguez, and Mónica Risi

Please note: this is a bilingual presentation in Spanish and English. As part of its "Latino Plays on the Road" reading series (and as the perfect follow up to Thursday's discussion of Bolaño), New York theater company La Micro Theater presents a dramatic reading of excerpts from three texts by Bolaño: Putas Asesinas, Joanna Silvestri, and 2666. The first two readings will be in Spanish, and the last in English.

Director Berioska Ipinza writes, "It seemed attractive to us to investigate these women, to follow the track of these diverse feminine personas of Bolano's imagination, where there are whores, murderers, visionaries, intellectuals, and also murdered women. These are women outside the community and therefore very strong, even dangerous."

* They will be accepting RSVPs up until 5 PM on thursday. Please email to reserve your place.

You don't need to RSVP for the bilingual dramatic reading Bolaño's Women / Las Mujeres de Bolaño on Friday - it's a perfect way to experience the writer's work from a new perspective.

Well Deserved Congrats to Charlaine Harris

"“Dead and Gone,” [made it's] debut on the New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list this Sunday in the No. 1 spot. It was a first for Ms. Harris, who has published 26 novels in nearly three decades and sold the original book in the Sookie series, “Dead Until Dark,” for just $5,000 nine years ago." via

How awesome is that!

Note: I love to see pictures of authors at their desk - so very personal and insightful.

On a very sad note, I learned yesterday that Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and long-time teacher at Stuyvesant HS is critically ill and battling cancer via They have a lovely photo gallery of his work and life that always served to remind me that no matter where you are from - an immigrant's story is universal.

And the sad news doesn't end there either: Mario Benedetti, A Writer Revered in Latin America, Dies at 88 via

My heart goes out to both.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Will Be @Book Expo America Next Week

I'm really surprised to discover that I am the first and only person who signed up at for BEA but perhaps I just need to share the conference community with everyone attending.

You can learn more about the conference itself at

For those of you on twitter, you can follow via #BEA and @BookExpoAmerica, on, and on

If you sign up on Confabb, there's a nifty badge that you can add to your site.

This year some of the bookish fun includes meeting some of your favorite book bloggers:
Followthereader and also a BEAtweetup

Are you going?

Ida: Extreme Mammal

Today the small, preserved fossil of Ida was unveiled at the AMNH. Ida is a lemur-like primate, approximately 9 months old at the time of her death, which occurred 47 million years ago. It's mind-blowing to say the least!

"Bloomberg called the finding an "astonishing breakthrough." The unveiling today coincides not only with the publication of a scientific paper, but also with the release of a new book about the fossil — "The Link," (Little Brown and Company, 2009) — and a documentary also called "The Link" and set to premiere on the History Channel May 25. " via

More information here:

Readernaut Awaits Blast-Off

Check out my lastest post at the Go2web20 blog:

Readernaut: The Latest Member Of the Bookish Social Network

Monday, May 18, 2009

25 Intriguing Facts About GGM from Gabriel García Márquez: A Life by Gerald Martin

Spotted on Catalog

1. He did not “know” his mother until he was 7 years old.

2. His mother had 11 children and his father 15 (four out of wedlock).

3. He said that after his grandfather died when he was a boy, “nothing else of importance ever happened to me.”

4. He was born in Aracataca because his grandfather killed a man in a gunfight and fled to this new town, taking his daughter, García Márquez's mother, with him.

5. He was reared in a world of spirits, constructed by his grandmother, which conflicted in his mind with the rationalism of his grandfather.

6. He showed early talent as painter, singer, and writer; could probably have made a career as any of these.

7. He was a scholarship boy and shone in every school he studied in; yet always wanted to escape from school and be a writer.

8. He regularly traveled to school on a river steamer up the great Magdalena river to the capital Bogotá.

9. When the Colombian capital Bogotá was sacked in 1948 both he and his future friend Fidel Castro were present and witnessed the events.

10. Even on the tropical Colombian coast he was famous for his wildly colored shirts and yellow socks; he dressed in a garish fashion to conceal his poverty.

11. In Barranquilla he worked as a journalist and in order to save money lived for a year in a brothel nicknamed the “Skyscraper.” In Paris he was for a time reduced to eating scraps.

12. His mother declared, after he won the Nobel Prize, that her greatest source of pride was “having a daughter who is a nun.” When he won the prize she was quoted as saying, “Maybe now I'll get my telephone fixed.”

13. In his early years as a writer Faulkner and Hemingway were his two favorites.

14. He always seemed to know how to coincide with where things were happening: Bogotá during the Bogotazo, Caracas when the dictator Pérez Jiménez was overthrown, Paris during the Algerian crisis, Havana during the first days of the Revolution, New York during the Bay of Pigs invasion, etc.

15. Like Dante, he decided to marry his future wife Mercedes when she was nine, “a little girl with ducks on her dress,” and proposed when she was fourteen; eventually he married her when she was 26 and he was 31 and they are still married today.

16. He won the Nobel Prize in 1982 and received it from the King of Sweden in a Latin American peasant outfit called a liquiliqui; his great moment was accompanied by 60 Colombian dancers and singers in the Stockholm town hall.

17. He has managed to maintain the friendship and esteem of the King of Spain, Bill Clinton, Big Businessmen, and Fidel Castro.

18. He has 7 houses in 4 countries.

19. He has founded major institutes of film (in Havana) and journalism (in Cartagena, Colombia).

20. He has a yellow rose or tulip on his writing desk each day.

21. He is intensely superstitious and never wears gold.

22. He smoked 60 cigarettes a day until he was almost 50 and has survived two cancers.

23. One of his sons is a successful graphic artist and the other is a highly respected film maker in Los Angeles who has worked on the Sopranos, Six Feet Under and many other TV shows and movies.

24. Most of his novels have been filmed but he has always refused to let One Hundred Years of Solitude be turned into a movie. “They would cast someone like Robert Redford and most of us do not have relatives who look like Robert Redford.”

25. He says he prefers women to men, saying: “I feel safer with women.”

What's on Your Summer Reading List?

Tell me what you are toting around to the beach this Summer?

Here are some recent Summer lists for '09:
NY Magazine: What to Read This Summer

USA Today: Summer books: Readers can turn the pages and escape

Entertainment Weekly's Horror list Top 5: 2009 Summer Reading Picks For Guys El Barrio Book Club Summer Picks

The Indie Next Spring/Summer Reading Group List

Friday, May 15, 2009

On the ereader front

Celeb Geeks: Stars Who Love the Kindle (with slideshow) & Bookish & Sexy: skins for your Kindle via

Also a cuter, smaller cheaper ereader but can it read blogs?

Check out the Cool Reader

Books: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

I can't recall where I saw it but I recently read that Asian literature is the most under read. I find that really appalling because it terms of diversity and being marginalized I find it so very important that we ALL read multicultural books. This month we celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage. There are blogs all over the net hosting giveaways of Asian literature and in that same vein, I wanted to point out some of my own personal favorites:

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Bonesetter's Daughter: A Novel by Amy Tan
Blu's Hanging by Lois-ann Yamanaka
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles By Jennifer 8 Lee
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See
The White Tiger: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) by Aravind Adiga
Free Food for Millionaires By Min Jin Lee
The God of Small Things: A Novel by Arundhati Roy
Trail of Crumbs By Kim Sunée
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Transparency By Frances Hwang
Strangers from a Different Shore By Ronald Takaki
Waiting: A Novel by Ha Jin

I'm sure there are more I'm leaving out...

Here's a video of Jennifer 8 Lee and I love how she refers to being "ethnically ambigous, people should think twice about what it means to be American, and how it has shifted to people from places where people are browner, yellower, redder."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Precious: Based on the Book: Push

If you have never read the book Push by Sapphire, you should because I have never read a book more powerfully raw and potent than this one. It will break your heart, make you cry, make you angry and change you. That's something that cannot be said very often.

Lionsgate has debuted the trailer for Lee Daniels' Precious, which is due out in theaters in November. This is a must see, must-read. Read the book now before you go see the movie.

The movie features Mo'Nique, Lenny Kravitz, and Mariah Carey.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dr Pepper Offers Bicultural Vida23 Campaign

"Dr Pepper has launched the Vida23 program, a celebration of living "la Vida23" - a flavorful, bicultural life to the "23rd power." The campaign kicks off with Club23 - a Dr Pepper-themed mobile dance club and gaming arcade, as well as a song written especially for the program. Free downloads and ringtones are available at the site.

"In short, it's about flavor at a higher level. It was written, produced and performedby CuCu Diamantes, and Grammy Award winner Andrés Levin, founders of theband Yerba Buena. The song, ringtones, and a chance to re-mix it any way you wantare only available at"

The Future is Now! Microsoft's Future Vision

I remembered being floored when I first saw the video for the Microsoft Surface a couple of years ago and now Microsoft has done it again. Here's a jaw dropping video of their current research projects that reminds us that the future is not that far away. Like I say often at the office, get with it or get left behind.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Reading Programs - Reward Children for Reading

Freebies4Mom compiled a great list of Summer Reading Programs that will encourage and promote reading all through the Summer.

From Pan's Labyrinth to New Vampire Novels: The Strain

“Pan’s Labyrinth” director Guillermo del Toro, who was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, has collaborated with crime author Chuck Hogan on a trilogy of vampire novels, promised to be "epic in scope." Due out June 2nd.

Can't wait to read the first one! Anne Rice fans, are you with me? The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Literary Tweets: 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter

Literary Tweets: 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter

Great post offers a listing of more than 100 authors active on Twitter. Categories include: Children’s and Young Adult, General Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, and Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Speculative Fiction and Miscellaneous. If you are author, you can add your twitter name in the comments.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Go See Star Trek!

Saw it on Saturday and it was so good, I want to go see it again!

Live long and prosper!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Latina Bloggers Community - Come join!

I thought it was exciting enough that I get to see Star Trek this weekend! But no, I received an invite to join a community exclusively for Latina Bloggers!

If you are one too, I hope you sign up!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Danzy Senna is Back With Another One

I was first introduced to Danzy Senna's work by a coworker at Thomson Reuters, who was reading Caucasia. If you have ever pondered the parodoxes of your multi-hued family, or your ancestry, or even your "race," you should read some of Senna's work.

Now she's back with Where Did You Sleep Last Night? What a great title, which completely speaks to issues of family, love and abandonment.

She will be in NY this month:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
In conversation with Rebecca Walker
New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
Fifth Ave. and 42nd St.

Tickets for this event can be purchased online:

Don't Miss Open Book - TV

Open Book is a new show about books, which focuses on a single spot on Earth in each episode to introduce you to the writers and other storytellers--musicians, actors, poets and more--whose work reminds us that we're all connected through the stories we have to tell and the communities we inhabit.

In the premiere episode, they visit Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with a rich cultural heritage, to meet some of the writers and artists who live there including former child soldier Ishmael Beah , award-winning novelist Jennifer Egan , legendary jazz musician Bill Lee, Walt Whitman devotee Daryl Blaine Ford, creative genius Carl Hancock Rux, Def Jam poet Suheir Hammad, singer Nucomme, and star of stage and screen, actor Jeffrey Wright.

The pilot will premiere nationally on LinkTV (DirectTV channel 375, Dish Network channel 9014) on May 13th at 11:30pm EST. A special sneak preview will be broadcast on Monday, May 11th at 8:30pm EST on LinkTV, as well as on New York City's Time Warner Cable channel 34 at 11pm EST. For additional local cable channels carrying LinkTV, see:

For more information visit

More Mother's Day Ideas

- If you hurry, you can still create a customized cookbook with all of Mami's recetas favoritas at You can add family photos, stories, and organize all her recipes. Not only that but you create a timeless keepsake that will inspire and touch everyone.
If you are in NYC, you can take Mami to a fabulous obra: Doña Flor Y Sus Dos Maridos

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On Moms & Vamps

I saw this Taylor Swift video last night and while it's a bit sappy I think it's a beautiful, touching dedication to her mother and family. They must be so proud of her!

Last week, I had dinner with my best friend, Z, and we discussed The Twilight Saga Collection (she's yet to read them) and HBO's True Blood and the whole vampire madness. She convinced me to read Vamped: A Novel by David Sosnowski and Little Deaths by Ellen Datlow. She also sent me a notice to be an extra on the show (woo hoo! I hope they call me).

In the spirit of that conversation, I am going to post a Q&A with contemporary fiction writer, Marta Acosta, author of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, Midnight Brunch (Casa Dracula Series, Book 2) and The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3). If you have any questions for her, you would like me to ask please email them to me.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

New Books from Latino Authors:

For Sci-Fi fans: Monster By A. Martinez

Into the Beautiful North By Luis Urrea & Rumbo al Hermoso Norte By Luis Urrea

And coming in June:

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos By Margaret Mascarenhas

When the Spirits Dance Mambo

When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El Barrio by Marta Moreno Vega is the May pick from the Barrio Book Club:

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Ave, at 104th Street
El Taller, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10029
La Casa Azul Bookstore

I love this title and although it was published in 2004, it sounds right up my alley:

From Publishers Weekly:
In this vivid work, which shares its title with a 2002 documentary Vega produced, two tales flawlessly merge: one recalls an Afro–Puerto Rican girl's upbringing in 1950s Spanish Harlem; the other explains the background for the author's eventual status as a priestess of the Santeria/Lucumi religion.

What could have been a familiar coming-of-age story is made fresh with Vega's painterly detail and use of background music (Celia Cruz, Machito and Tito Puente's sounds are present throughout). The sorrows of early school ("the classroom was a joyless cell") give way to double-dutch jumping, puberty, Vega's first crush and her emerging interest in preserving her family's traditions. "Music," her grandmother Abuela, an espiritista (a sort of spiritual psychic), tells her, "is the food of the soul, and the right music calls the spirits."

At Abuela's apartment, Vega learns of the orishas (gods and goddesses) and observes Abuela's bóveda (altar); together, they visit the botánica for healing oils. Lovelorn at 14, Vega confides in Abuela, who summons a spirit named Juango to command her body. "Trying to understand Juango was difficult enough, but talking about sex with a spirit possessing my grandmother's body was startling." And thus the author's future path begins.

The spiritual and musical journey Vega takes readers on is informative and inspiring, even for the uninitiated.
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