Everybody wins with Love Bravery

LoveBraveryItems

There is something to be said for the people that stand up for others and promote kindness in this crazy world of ours. Especially now, especially with everything that goes on, with what you see in the news every single day.

We need more doses of inspiration, people who practice decency and kindness, as opposed those who feel superior, who want to tell the world how to behave and act and love, those who judge and want to control in the name of “traditional values” and spiritual righteousness. I’m really over those people! Enough already. ¿Pues que se creen?

So on this note I was excited to hear about Love Bravery, a new collection of clothing and accessories that inspires compassion and combats prejudice, designed by none other than than the fabulous Lady Gaga and Elton John. They teamed up to create a limited edition line of clothing, accessories and novelty items, all exclusively at Macy’s and macys.com.

I recently had a chance to try out a sample of items. Among their accessories, I really liked a few pieces for daily use. The black backpack and water bottle is something I can easily carry throughout the day. It’s a good size and fit, not too heavy, just the right size, especially for the water bottle which is very practical. I also liked one of their scarves in black and white.

My favorite item however was the throwback vintage cassette tape portable battery charger. If you’re like me,  there’s never enough juice for my cell phone. I need more battery life! With this, you charge it at home and then use as needed. Keeps your phone alive for hours. I grew up in the 80’s and cassettes were a staple of my youth. So to be reminded me of all those mixed tapes I used to make – aww… it made me smile. The cassette tape lives on in Gaga’s and Sir Elton’s world, even if it’s disguised as a battery pack.

With your purchase of any of these and the full line of items, 25% of the price goes back to benefit the Born This Way Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation- so you’re doing good and looking stylish. And spreading the Love Bravery.

Yay for Love Bravery! A cool collection and a great cause. Go get it now. And be kind to people, even if they’re different than you. For Goodness Sake!

(*This is not a paid post. Macy’s provided items for photos and all opinions here are my own. Por su atención, ¡muchas gracias!)

 

LoveBraveryBottle

Love Bravery water bottle. Love the graffiti colors. Stay hydrated, people!

LoveBraveryBackpack

Love Bravery nylon backpack. A perfect size bag for on the go. Added the scarf just for fun.

LoveBraveryCharger

It looks like your cassette tapes from the 80’s, complete with the clear plastic case. But it’s totally necessary for your 2016 lifestyle and cell phone juice. Don’t leave home without your battery charger by Love Bravery.

LoveBraveryScarf

Black and white is my favorite color combo.

WaystoWear

You can wear your Love Bravery scarf different ways and they all look fabulous.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.27.34 AM

Lady Gaga during the launch of Love Bravery at Macy’s Herald Square New York on May 4th. Love Lady Gaga!! Photo credit by @Macys on Instagram.

 

 

 

¿Qué le regalo a mi Mamá?

Justo a tiempo para el Día de las Madres, my friend Martha Gil de Montes from Macy’s has presented some excellent ideas for getting a nice gift para la mujer más importante en nuestras vidas, Mamá.

Aunque yo conozco los gustos de mi Mamá, siempre es bueno tener más opciones. I like everything on that tabletop! Me gustaron especialmente los relojes, las bolsas y joyería. Pero aquí lo importante es mi Mamá. Así que  Mom, ¿qué te gusta?

Mi Mamá se merece todo, todo, todo. Un día al año no es suficiente para agradecerle tanto amor. Pero bueno, empecemos con un regalito y esperemos que lo disfrute. I love you Mom!

Feliz Dia de las Madres a mi Mamá, a mi Abuelita, a mi Comadre, a mis Sisters, y a todas mis amigas/lectoras que son Mamás. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Full disclosure: Participé en la producción de este video behind the scenes, y quedó tan bonito, que quise compartirlo aqui en el blog. 

 

Cante y cante con @CafeTacvba en DTLA

Hace una semana exactamente, you would’ve found me singing my heart out con el repertorio de Cafe Tacvba en concierto en el Nokia Theater de Downtown LA. Tenía rato que no los veía en persona, y ahora, I’m obsessed.

I don’t say this lightly: este fue uno de los mejores conciertos a los que he ido en mi vida. Y más gusto fue darme cuenta que sigue siendo lo máximo verlos en vivo. Rubén, Meme, Joselo y Quique, son otra cosa…¿cómo le hacen? De dónde sacan esa creatividad, esa música? Son completamente originales y super cool, but without even trying too hard. En vivo le echan muchas ganas, le ponen mucho feeling, y las canciones traen buen rollo para hacerte pensar. Mucho “emotional juju” going on in every song if you ask me.

Ya tienen más de 20 años cantando, pero our favorite Chilanga Banda proved they have no fear mixing it up, getting dark, getting serious, getting jazzy, getting techno and getting jiggy with it.  En una de esas, los 4 muestran sus mejores “dance moves” y una coreografía para una de sus canciones mas intensas, la de “Déjate Caer”, y bailan bastante bien, por cierto.

Cantaron sus crowd pleasers y grandes éxitos, esos que te sabes de memoria, pero también aprovecharon para darle a las nuevas canciones de su último disco, “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco”…  Yo que era fan desde hace tiempo pero que no había escuchado este disco, me enganché de las canciones.

(Claro que cuando fui a buscar el CD a las tiendas esta semana, me cayó el 20 del título. YA NO HAY DISCOS!! Por ende, the wordplay. Había puros empty shelves en la Target, en el Best Buy y hasta en la Walmart. Lo tuve que hacer special order por Barnes and Noble porque ahi me dieron free shipping. Quiero mi CD tangible, para llevarmelo en mi carro, para prestarlo if I have to. Pero más que nada, quiero mi disco porque parece que muy pronto será un collector’s item. But I digress…)

Esta experiencia la debo gracias a mi amiga, the lovely Lucia Peraza, quien me hizo la invitación. Lucia estaba celebrando su concierto #40 de Cafe Tacvba, a Guiness World Record if you ask me, proving she is the ultimate “Chica Banda”… And she still gets excited with every song.  Además, nos tocó estar en el pit, standing room only, y los vimos muy cerca. It was awesome, and let me tell you, once you go to the pit, you never want to go back.

So I can’t say this enough, GO SEE THEM on tour. Si les gusta alguna canción de su repertorio, la que sea, I highly recommend you experience the music in person. Check out their USA tour sked here on their webpage. Todavía quedan algunas fechas.

Por ahora, mi nueva canción favorita de ellos (aparte de Eres, aparte de Como Te Extraño, aparte de Puntos Cardinales, aparte de Volver a Comenzar) se llama “Olita de Altamar” y es algo mágico escucharla en persona. 

Aquí les pongo el link al video, a mi me pone de muy buen humor.

Y aqui les pongo unas fotitos con el iPhone del concierto el 30 de agosto en LA. 

Tacvba1

El concierto de Cafe Tacvba en el Nokia el 30 de agosto estuvo sold out.

Un árbol gigante de repente se levantó sobre el escenario, very cool!

Un árbol gigante de repente se levantó sobre el escenario, very cool!

Joselo Rangel es lo máximo.

Joselo Rangel es lo máximo.

Backstage con Cafe Tacvba, pura gente cool.

Backstage con Cafe Tacvba.

Otro angulo

El director de cine Sergio Arau en plena plática con Rubén, aka "Zopilote".

El director de cine Sergio Arau en plena plática con Rubén, aka “Zopilote”.

Puro genio y creatividad, Rubén Albarrán y Gustavo Santolalla, uno de los productores de "El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco".

Puro genio y creatividad, Rubén Albarrán y Gustavo Santolalla, uno de los productores de “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco” de Cafe Tacvba.

El Meme tiene su pegue. Ladies Like Meme...

El Meme tiene su pegue. Ladies love Meme!

Corazoncito de Cherry

My horoscope for the month of June (June, ALREADY, geez!) said that this month I was going to experience RESPONSIBILITY in different ways, shapes and forms.

I guess that’s one way of putting it, but really, these past 2 weeks have been kind of estresantes.  No estoy yo para contarlo, but sometimes I feel I’m not equipped to deal with life’s curve balls that are pitched without warning.

I admit I’m challenged in the “Actitud Mental Positiva” department, although I try to visualize good things and confess reading self-help books to get me out of my slumps. No me da pena decirlo. But these past few days, I’ve had to make extra efforts to improve my mood and energy, and hold on to all my santitos and mantras.

And then there’s moments, like today for example, when the small things suddenly have a big impact. Like when I walked into the 7 Eleven this morning, and Danny at the checkout counter had saved me a copy of the newspaper en español before it sold out. “Ya sabía que iba a venir a buscarlo.”  Made me smile and be grateful. Thanks Danny! I don’t know you but I appreciate the thoughtfulness. (I buy La Opinion for mi abuelita everyday,  but it’s frustrating sometimes because after 8 a.m. all the plomeros y constructores buy every copy in town and I have to drive around to find it. Really, La Opinion, can’t you provide subscription service in the South Bay?)

Or this afternoon when I went to Whole Foods and bought cherries on sale. The guy acomodando la fruta y la verdura said, “Here I picked these just for you.” Why thank you, nice guy.

I get home and wash them, put them in a bowl, proceed to eat them all as I’m watching the nightly news. All the way at the bottom, just as I was finishing them, a heart shaped cherry pops up. Un corazoncito. What are the odds? Así como para recordarme to practice an attitude of gratitude. 

So…not to read anything specific into it, but I’m taking it as a good sign. Better days ahead, people. Better days ahead. And more cherries.

cherry-1

Remembering two late, great musical talents

César Portillo de la Luz was my favorite bolero composer I never knew about, until this Monday when I heard a report on Public Radio International’s (PRI) “The World.”

The Cuban musician passed away last week, at 90, but leaves behind beautiful work, including my favorite romantic ballad “Contigo en la Distancia,” among others, which I did not know he composed.

¿Se acuerdan cuando back in the 90’s Luis Miguel came out with his “Romances” CD? We all thought nobody could sing a romantic tune like he could. Pues little did I know that César Portillo de la Luz had a wonderful original recording of Contigo en la Distancia that totally mesmerizes just as you hear it. It was recorded back in the 1940’s; he plays the guitar and sings it beautifully. ¡Que Luismi ni que Luismi! No le llega ni a los talones.

Betto Arcos, who was the reporter of this radio piece/appreciation on The World, mentioned that Mr. Portillo de la Luz was part of a musical style from Cuba called “Feeling,” which was inspired by American jazz and composers like George and Ira Gershwin. Y sí que eran puro “feeling” en todo lo que hacían. All you hear is the passion behind the music and lyrics. 

Please take a listen to this fabulous radio piece, it won’t even take 5 minutes of your time and you’ll really enjoy it. The song Contigo a la Distancia is included. ¡Creo que ya me enamoré!

The link is here: http://www.theworld.org/2013/05/cesar-portillo-de-la-luz/

Listen to this radio piece on Cesar Portillo de la Luz on The World, originally aired May 13, 2013. Reporter is Betto Arcos.

Listen to this radio piece on Cesar Portillo de la Luz on The World, originally aired May 13, 2013. Reporter is Betto Arcos. Click on the link or on the image to go to the site.

Another musical talent that we probably won’t see the likes of anytime soon passed away 15 years ago today on May 14th, 1998.

His name was...Frank Sinatra.

Ol' Blue Eyes. A stamp honoring Mr Frank Sinatra.

Ol’ Blue Eyes. A stamp honoring Mr Frank Sinatra.

How can I describe what I feel when I hear “New York, New York” every single time it is played? Or “I Got You Under My Skin,” or “Fly Me to the Moon,” or you name it! Joy, bliss, happiness…that voice, that music. He was something else, an entertainer con todos los talents: he could sing, act, make you laugh, and make you cry.

Por eso decían por ahí, “It’s Frank’s world, we just live in it.”

The LA Times had a little note about him today, which I’ve added below. It was originally published in 1998.

Read until the very end, how his Grandmother saved his life on the day he was born. I guess the world was not meant to be deprived of his music and Frank Sinatra was meant to be.

Frank Sinatra

Born Francis Albert Sinatra on Dec. 12, 1915 inHoboken, NJ

Frank Sinatra was a talented and temperamental balladeer who dominated popular music longer than any entertainer before him and clung to his legendary life as tenaciously as he had stuck with the audiences he loved.

Sinatra’s masterful interpretation and flawless execution of some of America’s most beloved songs earned his reputation as the most influential popular singer of the 20th century. His accomplishments broadened to include film, with such roles as his Academy Award-winning performance in “From Here to Eternity.”

For more than three generations, his name was synonymous with talent and taste. In the late 1930s, his fragile frame and painfully shy expressions made swooning, shrieking fools of the normally normal teenage girls standing by the bandstands where he first earned his living at $75 a week. In the 1960s he gathered in millions as both partner and star in the clubs of Las Vegas.

Sinatra had good cause to be angry from the moment he entered the world Dec. 12, 1915. He was a 13-pound baby, and birth was difficult. He was to bear on his neck the rest of his life the scars of the doctor’s forceps.

The doctor concluded that the baby was lost and concentrated on saving the mother, Natalie “Dolly” Sinatra, a nurse and midwife. But the grandmother, Rosa Garavanti, picked up the newborn child and held him under a cold water tap until he began to choke and cry — and breathe.

— Burt A. Folkart in the Los Angeles Times May 16, 1998

An instagram pic by yours truly: Frank Sinatra painted on an aluminum rolling door int he middle of Hollywood Blvd. (Photo CBGRAPHY 2011)

An instagram pic by yours truly: Frank Sinatra painted on an aluminum rolling door on the Hollywood Blvd. walk of fame. (Photo CBGRAPHY 2011)

Happy Birthday George Clooney!

Reason enough to be happy on this Monday morning, one of all my favorite men in the whole wide world y todo el universo universal, Mr. George Clooney celebrates a birthday today, May 6th.

Yes, I’m not shy in wishing him a feliz cumpleaños con muchos besos y abrazos. Our guy turns 52 today. Happy Birthday, baby! 

Son of Nick and Nina, nephew of Rosemary Clooney, award winning film and television actor, director, producer (Academy Award Winner this year for producing the Best Picture “Argo”), activist for humanitarian causes around the world committed enough that he got arrested recently, basketball enthusiast, Italian villa owner, dog lover, weird pet lover (he had a pet pig once) and eterno soltero extraordinaire slash chick magnet, YES this man is one of a kind.

Like my grandma Mamá Lilia declares every time she sees him: “Qué hombre tan guapo…” y suspira.

Behold some images from George Clooney throughout the years. Proof that some people just get better with age.

(Been watching you since Sisters and ER, Mr. Clooney. We go way back!)

Believe it or not, this kid would become the World's Sexiest Man Alive twice. (Photo from people.com "Before they were stars")

Believe it or not, this kid would become the World’s Sexiest Man Alive twice. (Photo from people.com “Before they were stars”)

Remember him? George from back in the 80's and early 90's when he tried becoming a household name on television, with small roles on The Facts of Life and Sisters. (Photo from xfinity.comcast.net)

Remember him? George from back in the 80’s and early 90’s when he tried becoming a household name on television, with small roles on The Facts of Life and Sisters. (Photo from xfinity.comcast.net)

The entire world took notice when George Clooney starred in ER, as the most handsome doctor you could ever imagine, Dr. Doug Ross.

The entire world took notice when George Clooney starred in ER, as the most handsome doctor you could ever imagine, Dr. Doug Ross. (Photo from Los Angeles Times)

George Clooney LA Times Mag cover

A more recent image, from the cover of LA Times. (CB Photo 2011 via iPhone.)

A commercial all ladies can dream about, George finally gets married! (But only in Norway and in your dreams!) Oh hey there…

Still from a commercial aired in Norway, for DnBNor Bank. The ultimate fantasy, getting George Clooney married.

Still shot from a commercial aired in Norway, for DnBNor Bank. The ultimate fantasy, getting George Clooney married. Click here to see the video. Why don’t they make commercials like this here in America?

¡Feliz Cumpleaños #100 querido Toto!

El 22 de febrero de 1913 nació mi abuelo materno, Eustolio Rodriguez Bustamante. Today would’ve been my Toto’s one hundredth birthday.

It kind of blows my mind a little, when I start wondering how life was back in the early 20th century. Somehow just having a birthday this week myself I think time is so fleeting, moving so fast, ¿a dónde se va el tiempo tan rápido? Hace cien años nació en La Colorada, Sonora, México, vivió hasta recién cumplidos los 84. He had a good, decent, happy life and today I want to honor that.

Mi Toto was a lovely man, with a strong personality, quiet, reserved, but a humorous man with common sense one liners. We have quite a few anecdotes in the family where we can quote a his “sabias palabras” with quick thinking and responses that would leave you kind of speechless and admitting he was always right. He didn’t say much, but that’s all he needed to say.

He married my grandmother Lilia, and had two daughters, my Mom Cristina and mi Tia Silvia. He was the person that gave them a bilingual education, sending them off to school across the border, and I guess this started a trend, porque ya todas fuimos bilingües después.

He was always very artistic, very curious, very stylish, con muy buen gusto para vestirse. He loved to paint, he loved to travel, he loved music, he loved to read. He had subscriptions to Life Magazine back in the 60’s and 70’s delivered to Mexicali (my Mom y mi Tia tell me his collection was amazing, which unfortunately we didn’t keep) and he had a TV Guide subscription back when we had open cable TV across the order in the 80’s and 90’s. He and I used to watch Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News and Dick Clark on Saturday’s with American Bandstand. He LOVED chocolate, I mean LOVED it, and his favorites were See’s Candies and the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. We could eat a whole bag together of the mini cups in one sitting.

The one thing I didn’t think he liked too much was his name, because for the subscriptions tabs I would always read “Ernesto Rodriguez”…but everybody called him Don Eus and after I started calling him Toto (being the oldest of four granddaughters) the nickname stuck.

I just found these pictures archived and thought I’d share a few of his life in Sonora, before he married my Grandma and when he was a young man just starting out. I suddenly find myself wondering what was life for him back then, and makes me want to build a family tree, a ver cuántos parientes Rodriguez encontramos.

But for now, Happy Birthday Toto! I know you must be having a great birthday party with your buddies up in Heaven. Siempre me acuerdo de ti y te quiero mucho Toto!

No tengo fecha exacta. Creo que aquí tendria unos 18 años, around 1931 in Sonora, Mexico.

No tengo fecha exacta. Creo que aquí tendria unos 18 años, around 1931 in Sonora, Mexico.

TotoconsuPerrito

Playing with one of his dogs. Le encantaban los perros.

TotoJovenAmigos

Muy joven, se retrató con sus amigos. (He is the one on the left.)

TotoPiramide

De viaje en las pirámides de Teotihuacán en Mexico DF. Circa 1944.

TotoOnTheStreet

A handsome man, my grandfather walking down the street in Mexico City.

TotoconAmigos

Another picture with his friends. My Grandfather is the very last one to the right.

TotoconFam1

With my Grandmother, Mama Lilia (cream dress) and her sisters. Las cuñadas andaban de chaperonas yo creo. From left: Tia Delia, Mama Lilia, Toto, y Tia Consuelo.

TotoConFam2

Otra foto con Mi Mama Lilia, mi Toto, mi Tia Consuelo y mi Tio Tin.