26 November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just a note to wish you a
Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias.

Esta festividad originó cuando los primeros conolizadores ingleses se reunieron para agradecerle a dios que habían sobrevidido un duro invierno. Actualmente el Día de Acción de Gracias en Estados Unidos se celebra el cuarto jueves de noviembre. La familia se reune y se dispone a disfrutar platillos tradicionales para esta fecha. Los platillos varían un poco de regíón a región pero en general se come pavo, jamón, puré de papas, ejotes, camotes, slasa de arándanos. Los postres incluyen pay de manzana, pay de nuez, pay de camote, pay de calabaza. Lo más importante es que la familia y amigos se reunan.



Otras tradicones para este día es ver el desfile de Macy's que se transmite en la tele e Internet desde Nueva York y ver los partidos de fútbol americano tanto colegial como profesional.



El Día de Gracias marca el inicio de la temporada de Navidad. Al día siguiente, el viernes, las tiendas abren temprano y ponen en oferta muchos productos. A este día se le conoce como Vienes Negro (Black Friday). Las tiendas sacan volantes anunciando las ofertas unos 4 o 5 días antes, generalmente los precios de algunas cosas son bajísimos y la gente aprovecha para comprar regalos para Navidad. No es raro escuchar que una tienda abra a las 4 o 5 de la madrugada. Las tiendas están atiborradas de gente, así que cuidado.



Muchas gracias a todos ustedes
y que pasen un buen
Día de Acción de Gracias.


18 September, 2009

Women's Revenge



'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.

A
s she fumbled for her wallet , I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.

'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.


'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

15 September, 2009

Patrick Swayze



I was on the road travelling to Baton Rouge today. I listened to NPR but missed the announcement of Patrick Swayze's death. I've just leaned about it a little while ago.

I remember so many movies in which he stared. One of the oldest is Red Dawn, where a group of teenagers fend off the Soviets (or something like that, I've not watched it in a while).

Of course Dirty Dancing was the movie that made him famous, just to outdo himself in Ghost.
I was pleasantly surprised to see him in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Oh, boy!!! Still hot.

These last couple of years were hard for him as he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and went through treatment. On his last TV series, The Beast, you could tell he was much thinner from undergoing chemo.






Un verdadero taco de ojo ( a real eye candy).

Here are som samples of his work:

As a singer:


As an actor:


Rest in peace.

September 14, 2009


11 September, 2009

Remembering 9-11




Today is the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. A day that marked our lives. On my way to work this morning I was listening to NPR (just like every morning) when they aired a piece on a father talking about the two sons he lost that morning. He was calm and you could hear the love and longing. It gave me chills and it made me cry, it was moving. NPR has the audio clip on their website (here) if you would like to listen. A minute of silence for the firefighters, the officers, the first responders and the victims of the attack.


30 August, 2009

It's been four years...


Today, four years ago, my neighbors, my friends and I woke up in a place we did not know. Sure it was the same town but we all had gone through a traumatic experience the day before: Katrina. Hattiesburg is located 70 miles north of the coast and about 90 miles northeast of where it made its third landfall in Waveland-Bay St. Louis area. It was still a category 3 hurricane when it reached our town.


Tall pine trees were scattered all around blocking the streets, branches and limbs landed on carports, homes and vehicles. Some trees landed on homes. Shingles and roof decking lay on yards and driveways. Electricity had been cut off by the power company on the early hours of the 29th to avoid tragedies, however cables and some poles were on the ground. Water had also been cut off by the city. It was hot, so very hot, hardy a cloud in the sky. My friend Benny came on his bicycle to check on me. I was fine, just the damage caused by a branch that came in through the roof. He pull it out, put a board (left over from one of my DIY projects) and then cover it with a tarp. Just a temporary fix as we did not know when it would be properly repaired.


My cell had a weak signal and I could only make long distance calls. I called a friend in MD who made a few calls for me and also called my parents in Mexico. Land lines were down. Some cells had signals, many could only receive calls.

I have some friends that live about half a mile away. I went to check on them to see how they were. I had to climb over fallen pines to get to their house. A tree had fallen on top of Ann's house. She was across the street at her mom's where both had stayed during the storm. There was a lot of debris on the yard but that was all. On the way back I saw the mayor on one of the streets surveying the damage, I suppose. It was so hard to get a grasp of things. So unreal to see the destruction after the storm, grateful to be alive, but at the same time realizing that there are so many affected at so many levels.


I ventured into town and checked on Brenda. Due to the change of pressure in the air, the back windshield of her car cracked into pieces. A couple of trees uprooted, one of them fell slowly and was now resting on roof of the apartment complex behind the house. We went to check on Lucy on the next town. She, her husband and the kids were okay. Her house had minor damage. Her father's house, on the other hand, had lots of damage so him and his wife were staying at Lucy's. There was no power but there was water. Brenda I went back home to grab a change of clothes and headed back to Lucy's for a shower.


Seeing the Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicles on the highway a couple dozen at a time gave me the chills. I knew they were headed to an area that was hit harder than our town. Police officers were posted at major intersections. The same officer I'd seen earlier on the day at the highway intersection near my house was still at her post hours later, now she had a partner. When we drove by again, we gave them bottles of water and some candy (as that was the only food item we had). We got back to Lucy's before curfew. Got a shower and crashed.


It's been four years. There are no blue tarps over people's homes or fallen trees blocking the streets. For the most part the city has recovered. However there are places along the Mississippi coast that have not healed completely.


Here is a clip of Katrina damage in Laurel, 30 miles north of Hattiesburg.

27 August, 2009

Monk




I was watching an episode of Monk, the one called Mr. Monk and the U.F.O. I found this dialogue very clever and interesting. I thought I'd share with y'all.





Sheriff Fletcher: You saw a UFO?

Monk: No. No, I didn't say that.
Sheriff Fletcher: Oh. So, uh, was it an object?
Monk: Yes.

Sheriff Fletcher: Uh, could you identify it?
Monk: No, no.
Sheriff Fletcher: And it was flying.
Monk: Yes.

Sheriff Fletcher: You add that all up, Mr. Monk, you've got yourself a UFO.



You will enjoy the scenery of the show. Many outside scenes were filmed at the Vazquez Mountains in California.


10 May, 2009

Feliz Día De la Madre



MUCHAS FELICDADES A LAS MAMÁS EN SU DÍA.

En homenaje, las sabias palabras de Mafalda.


Un abrazo,
La Mexicana



March for Babies

Thank you to all my friends that either donated or walked or both.  
It was a beautiful day to have the walk.  As usual, I had my handy camera with me and took pictures and a bit of footage.  I've put it together for you to enjoy.

Again a big 
THANK YOU.


video


06 May, 2009

Mexican touch

I've just received an e-mail with one of the funniest videos I've seen in a while. The title of the message was: If Mexicans ran Disneyland...
My curiosity was piqued....
Without any further ado...


video

05 May, 2009

Cinco de Mayo


Let's take a moment to see the portrayal of the Cinco de Mayo celebration though the eyes of the average U. S. citizen. Some other day I'll take this serious subject. Not today. Just enjoy.

22 April, 2009

March of Dimes 3-mile walk


The upcoming Hattiesburg’s
March of Dimes walk
will be in honor of my friends
Lauree & Jerry’s daughter
Mallory Maycee


Mallory Maycee was born in November of 2007, thirteen weeks too soon.

Lauree’s pregnancy was a gift. After 15 years of marriage and being told she wouldn't have children AND being knee-deep in an adoption process, she found out they were pregnant. At 35 years young, Lauree’s age was deemed to be old when considering birthing children, and therefore labeling her pregnancy as high-risk.

She developed a condition known as HELLP Syndrome (a placenta disorder) that nearly claimed her life and unfortunately STILL causes her problems. As a matter of fact, she is technically in heart failure even today...a year and a half later.

Mallory Maycee Mooney (pictured above) was born on November 8th, 2007 due to an emergency c-section. She weighed 1 lb. 4 ozs. Mallory Maycee was a beautiful baby and looked so perfect...except she was tiny! Hearing all the risks and challenges she faced, Lauree and Jerry remained optimistic and happy, which should have been a good thing. However, when she was 3 weeks old (having spent her entire life in an incubator on feeding and breathing tubes), her lack of an immune system resulted in her inability to fight an infection. She lost her battle, Lauree and Jerry lost their daughter, and Lauree lost her will to live. All that has changed. As she continues to recover, she has have made it her mission to help others... PLEASE HELP US to raise awareness and money for the March of Dimes.

Our team has joined thousands of compassionate teams across the country that support March for Babies. Won't you please help us in this worthy cause?

The Coast Division Chapter of March of Dimes will hold a 3-mile walk on May 9, 2009 in Mallory’s memory. Meet us at:
The Bottling Company
126 Mobile Street
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Walk Distance: 3 miles
Registration Time: 9:45AM
Start Time: 10:15 AM

Team Mallory Maycee needs your help!!! Nothing will bring Jerry and Lauree ’s angel back, but it is my hope and prayer that donations collected in Mallory's name and honor will save the life of some other precious baby and salvage the hope of another family. If you would like to make your donation online, please click on the badge on the left.

If you can, I hope to see you downtown Hattiesburg on May 9th. Let’s walk together for Mallory Maycee.

18 April, 2009

¡Cuerpo a tierra!


In one of the language forums I frequent someone asked for a translation for ¡Cuerpo a tierra! This is an expression used in the military or when there is a dangerous situation. Loosely translated it means body on the ground a.k.a. on the ground face down taking cover.

Since I was not sure of the translation, I explained the context and the situations where one would use this expression to my English-native-speaker fiancé. "Is "duck" used in this context?" And what do I get as a confirmation? He starts singing: duck and cover, duck and cover, you know Bert the turtle. Of course I am looking at him confused. I have no idea who Bert is, nor that it is a turtle. A few seconds later I am watching this video:





It seems that this video was shown at schools to teach children about the possibilities of an imminent attack on the U. S. back in the fifties and sixties, during the peak of the cold war. One learns something everyday...
¡Cuerpo a tierra! = Duck and cover.

26 March, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Do not forget to turn off your lights this Saturday night, March 28th, 2009 at 8:30 local time. No matter what time zone you live in, 8:30 PM.


If you want more information on Earth Hour, visit the World Wildlife Fund's website.

By turn off the lights for one hour to show your support for action on climate change. Other actions you may want to consider include: installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are more efficient and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, choosing energy efficient appliances, making sure their car tires are properly inflated and unplugging electronics when they are not in use.



video


No olvides apagar la luz la noche del sábado 28 de marzo, 2009 a las 8:30. No importa en qué zona horaria vivas, ocho y media de la noche.




08 March, 2009

Día Internacional de la Mujer/ Women's Day



Un abrazo a todas mis lectoras en su día. Les dejo este bello ramo de flores y una serenata con Ricado Arjona.

A big hug for all my women-readers on their day. Here are some flowers for you and a Ricardo Arjona brings a song for you.

I was really surprised not to find any articles on the cover of the NYT or CNN about today. I had to do a specific search on Google News to find articles in English. On the other hand, I easily found several stories in Mexican newspapers. El Universal has a slide show on women around the world and a video interview with the head of the anti-crime unit, a woman. Reforma has a story and interviews (unfortunately Reforma does not have public access to its stories). Even smaller Mexican newspapers had stories related to women.

From the United Nations website:

History

International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

1909: The first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

1910: The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

1911: As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women's rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

1913-1914: International Women's Day also became a mechanism for protesting World War I. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.

1917: Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for "Bread and Peace" on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.



24 February, 2009

Carnival/Madri Gras/Fat Tuesday

The carnivals usually take place the weekend before Ash Wednesday. There are many cities that are famous for their carnivals: Veracruz (Mexico), Mazatlan (Mexico), Venice (Italy), Barranquilla (Colombia) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), to name a few. Each city has its own traditions and manifestations.

Brazilians spend months preparing and choreographing their dances as each group gets graded by judges during the parade at the sambódromo (samba stadium). The samba schools are graded on originality, their live music, floats, costumes and samba dancing.

Venice's carnival is known for the artistic masks. People gather at St. Mark's square to show off their masks.

The carnival in Veracruz begins with the burning down of the "Bad Humor" which is represented by a character or current event such as kidnapper, war, a former president, etc. The carnival queen and king are crowned. There are several parades in the days preceding the main carnival day.

In the United States, the carnival festivities are very common in the south-east states. The Mardi Gras festivities of Mobile, Alabama "the original Mardi Gras city", holds several balls as well as many parades. They are famous for throwing carnival beads, candy and Moon Pies during the parade.
However, New Orleans is the most popular and most famous of the Mardi Gras festivities in the U. S. The streets of the French Quarter become a big open air cantina, several parades go down Canal Street, the floats are decorated colorfully and famous celebrities usually head the parade.


This past weekend we went to Natchez, Mississippi and by chance we got to see the Mardi Gras parade. The theme was Black History. The parade was headed by the police cars, firetrucks, followed by bands from the local high schools, floats, and even people on horseback.



Happy Carnival
Mardi Gras
Fat Tuesday!!

08 February, 2009

Tupperware

As you might have noticed by the banner on the side of the blog, I became a Tupperware consultant. I started about a couple of months ago  and gave catalogs to many of my friends. But with the holidays it was not possible to hold a party. I had my first Tupperware party two weeks ago at a co-worker's home.  It went well and my friend told me her guests had lots of fun.  I was so nervous, but apparently they did not see it that way.  
We closed the party and the items arrived a couple of days ago.  I'll be delivering the orders on Monday.  
I went to one of the local Mexican stores yesterday and dropped off some sales flyers in Spanish. It occured to me to  ask the owner if it would be possible to come one day and set a table and talk to his customers.  "Oh, yes, no problem.  We get a lot of people on Sunday, so why don't you come tomorrow" he said.  So in a few seconds I had  scheduled a party.  I came home and looked for something so I could make a sign. I found some poster board and made a hand written sign.  I went back to the store to post it and found the co-owner, his sister, and she told me she was excited to see the products.  

Of course I am nervous and excited again!!  I'll have to come back and tell you how it went.  I'm off now to "La Veracruzana #2" for my first Tupperware Party in Spanish.  

Here is a little video on hosting a Tupperware party.   




01 February, 2009

Super Bowl



I was in favor of the Cardinals, as a while ago I lived in Arizona for two years. I did not watch the grame, just saw highlights on the internet. I do not have local channels and only NBC carried the game (I have Dish Network which more than makes up for the three times of the year that I miss out on a show aired on basic networks). I am sure that for the next few days everyone will be talking about the game, so I'll get all the insights just as if I had watched.


Cardinals => Cardenales / / Steelers => Acereros





28 January, 2009

Men...

I received this video from one of my friends. The file was named "Why women stay single."


You draw your own conclusions...
video

18 January, 2009

La Temenda Corte



– Luz Maria Nananina
– Aquííí como too los días
– Jose Candelario Tres Patines
– Aaaaa la reaaaaa!!!

La Tremenda Corte
[The Great Court] was a Cuban radio show
that began transmitting in the 1940's. The show was off the air for a little while and then began transmitting again from Miami, it was broadcast internationally. The show became very popular throughout Latin America. When I was a kid there was a radio station in Mexico City that aired the show. Many times we would be in the car going places and my mom would tune to the station so we listened to the show. It did not matter if it was an episode we had heard before, it was still funny. Nowadays there are many Latin American cities that still broadcast it. For a while they also did a TV show. I have not seen the show, nor do I want to. Listening to the radio show gave me the opportunity to imagine the characters and the scene. I have a very specific way the court looked and what the characters looked like and what they wore. I do not want to spoil it by watching the TV version.



The show was about different cases that came to court. The main characters were the great judge "El tremendo Juez"; the court clerk "el secreatrio"; the plaintiffs and/or witnesses Luz María Nananina and Rudecindo Caldeiro y Escobiña; and the defendant José Candelario better known as Tres Patines. There were some other actors that would come on the air and play secondary characters. Of course Tres Patines would rob or run a con on Nananina and Rudencindo who would get mad and bring charges against him.


A very peculiar thing about this show was that every show would be centered around a crime. If Tres Patines would have stolen a bicycle, then the crime would be a bikecide. If he had taken Nananina's wallet, then it would be a walletcide. Some of the crimes that took place included: a firefighercide, a goaticide, a bakericide, etc., you get the idea. The play on words was first class and entertaining. As far as I know, there are no English translations of the show. Comedy is difficult to translate, what is funny in one culture/language is not funny in a different culture/language.

The show is still very popular today. Besides the radio stations, one can listen to the show by visiting websites that have collected the show (links below). Esparta Palma in his blog wrote: ...either there are a lot of older people on line or people in general LOVE Tres Patines. [This page] gets sooo many hits...

If you would you like to listen to the radio shows visit:
La Tremenda Corte 1
La Tremenda Corte 2
La Tremenda Corte 3
La Tremenda Corte 4 (2o chapters available for download)


15 January, 2009

Aerial Photos of Mexico City - Part 1


For this entry I'd thought I'd do something different: how about a tour of Mexico City.

This one is of the Torres de Satélite. They are located at one end of Satélite city on the main parkway that comes from Mexico City. In the old days Satélite was a suburb of Mexico City. If you lived there and worked in Mexico City, you were considered brave for doing ALL that LONG commute. Thirty years later, one would say that Satélite has been absorbed by the urban sprawl. Satélite is where I grew up, located on the north side of the city limits of Mexico City.



This a place in Mexico City that I like a lot. It is called the Three Cultures Plaza as it has the legacy of three stages of Mexico: Pre-Columbian buildings and small pyramids, a colonial church built by the Spaniards and modern buildings. This Plaza has been witness to many events throughout history.






On very clear days, a rare event, one would be able to see the volcanoes. The Ajusco is the volcano that is on the south side of the city. Once in a while it gets snow.


On rarer occasions, one could see the volcanoes further south of the city. These volcanoes are called the Iztaccíhuatl and the Popocatepetl.
Iztaccíhuatl in the Nahuatl language means "itztac" white; and "cihuatl" woman, thus white woman. However its better known as the sleeping woman based on a Nahuatl legend: a princess was in loved with a warrior, she is told he had died in war and dies of grief, upon his return he dies of grief on learning of her death. Popocateptl comes from the Nahuatl "popoa", smoke; and "tepetl" mount or mountain, or the mountain that smokes. The Popocatepetl is an active volcano. Once in a while the residents of that area have to evacuate.






If you would like to see more pictures of Mexico City from the air, make sure to visit this website. Enjoy your trip.


06 January, 2009

Feliz Día de Reyes/The End of The Twelve Days of Christmas



January 6th, the day after the end of the Twelve Days Of Christmas, is called the Epiphany. The period between Christmas and Epiphany is the twelve tide. On this day the Wise men or Magi arrived to  Bethlehem to pay their respects and to honor Baby Jesus. They come bearing gifts: frankincense, gold,and myrrh. This tradition is very popular in Catholic countries. 

Nowadays, the arrival of the Wise men to the manger is also remembered by having Rosca de Reyes (king cake) and hot chocolate.  Just be careful when eating the Rosca de Reyes, you may get a surprise, a "baby". The Mexican tradition says that if you get the baby, you provide the tamales on February 2nd, on the Calendaria Day.

Another tradition in Mexico  is for kids to leave their polished shoe by the window on the eve of January 6 (on the night of 12th day of Christmas). If you have been good, the Magi will leave behind presents for the kids, usually toys. If you are lucky you may get a gift from each one of the kings: Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar. 
This day marks the end of the Christmas season, people take down Christmas decorations after this day.

If you are interested in learning more about the Día de Reyes, visit these sites:
Epiphany: 1, 2.
Twelve Days of Christmas 1, 2.


If you are not too busy today, don't hesitate to stop by mi casa and have some rosca and chocolate with me.  
Feliz Día de Reyes

Make sure to read Part 2 here

03 January, 2009

2009


Los mejores deseos para ustedes este Año Nuevo.

You will shine in 2009. Happy New Year.