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.

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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.

 

 

 

Rooting for Iñárritu, Leo and “The Revenant”

Oscar season is my favorite time to go to the movies. Oscar Sunday is my favorite TV viewing day of the entire year, donde me instalo en frente de la tele at noon for all the pre-shows and don’t move until the credits for the Oscars stop. I am, and always will be, an Oscars junkie.

For the second year in a row, I am extremely excited for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and the fact that he could win back to back Oscars for Best Movie and Best Director. I may need to recheck my Academy Awards facts, but that may be the first time ever. (Emanuel “Chivo” Lubezki could win 3 years in a row for cinematography- imagine that!)

So while many folks are upset about the #OscarsSoWhite for the acting categories, at least we can say that the Academy recognizes a los mexicanos detrás de las cámaras. There’s a whole lot of love there.

Last weekend AGI won the Director’s Guild of America award and he was especially sentimental during his speech. Se le salieron las lagrimas.

His speeches always pack a punch, like the beautiful and eloquent one he delivered at LACMA last November or when he was brave enough to speak his mind during his “Birdman” Best Movie winning acceptance speech at last year’s Oscar ceremony, dedicating his award to Mexicans in Mexico, and Mexicans in the US. He makes me so proud every time he speaks. He blows my mind every time I see one of his movies. And I’ve seen them ALL. Even his commercials are out of this world.

(When Amores Perros came out here in LA, the year 2000, I bought 15 tickets and took all my friends to go see it at an arthouse movie theater in Santa Monica, opening weekend. I had just seen it in Mexico, so I told everybody we absolutely had to see it. That it would change their lives….Nobody believed me but we all went. Afterwards, everyone had an intense reaction and they were quite speechless, and I remember my best friend Alex Munguía said as we were leaving the theater, “Oh my God! Cristina tuvo un crisis existencial y nos trajo a todos a compartirla.”)

So take a look at his DGA speech and feel the love as well. This is a genius filmmaker in his prime, a powerful and influential Mexican who doesn’t hesitate to defend us, to voice his opinion against the idiot (who shall remain nameless) running for president and speaking up every chance he gets.

Click on the link here and watch all the way to the end: “LEO, LEO… I LOVE YOU, Cabrón!” (Which is EXACTLY what I would say to Leonardo Di Caprio if I ever should run into him in person.)

It’s on youtube on the DGA page.

And root for him and the movie on Feb. 28th, and definitely, definitely root for Leo, because that man DESERVES an Oscar already. Please give Leo an Oscar!!! Ya estoy prendiendo veladoras.

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Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu wins the DGA Award for the the second year in a row, for “The Revenant”. Video link here

 

 

 

Bravo Mario Molina, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2013

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was handed out today to 16 exceptional Americans, civilians that have made important contributions to this country. It is the highest civil honor anyone can receive in the US. I’m always impressed by this ceremony and the range of all the people who receive this recognition.

As I watched the evening news recap, where they kept focusing on the 2 most famous recipients of the group, la Oprah Winfrey and Mr. William Jefferson Clinton, aka the best president in my humilde opinión, I noticed that in the back row right behind President Obama was a familiar face. Why yes! It was Mario Molina, who also received this award today.

President Obama awards Mario Molina the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2013.

President Obama awards Mario Molina the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2013.

This amazing scientist and chemist happens to have won a Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry (1995) and is the person who alerted everybody in the world that the ozone layer was going to be kaput if we didn’t do something about the environment asap. But also important to note, Mr. Molina was born in Mexico (México, DF, 1943 to be exact) and he came to the US in 1968 to continue his graduate studies in chemical engineering at Berkeley. ¡Es de los nuestros!

He studied how chlorofluorocarbons are depleting the ozone layer (I guess we need to read more about it.) He continues to study how the environment is affected by all the messed up things que los seres humanos do to this planet of ours. President Obama said, “Today, inspired by his example, we’re working to leave our planet safer and cleaner for future generations.”

So I’m very proud. Even though he didn’t get air time on TV como Oprah, it was nice to see him get this recognition and see him among the group.

Muchas Felicidades, Mr. Molina. Qué honor tan grandeY muchas gracias for all the important work you do.

(The group also included musician Arturo Sandoval, the fearless Gloria Steinem, the talented Loretta Lynn, the first female astronaut Sally Ride (+) and the editor Ben Bradley, among others. A most admirable group of individuals.)

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Must See Documentary Discovery: Reportero

A documentary by Bernardo Ruiz.

A documentary by Bernardo Ruiz.

Here is a documentary that I found online through PBS and that has hit close to home.

“Reportero” follows the experience of Sergio Haro Cordero, a reporter in Tijuana, and the editorial team of the independent “Zeta” newspaper in recent years. It is an excellent film directed and produced by Bernardo Ruiz, and from now until September 20, 2013 you can watch it online at PBS for free with this link:

http://www.pbs.org/pov/reportero/full.php#.UhcH_q79XYs

Or you can go to the POV page from PBS and click on the selection: http://www.pbs.org/pov/

This is not a particularly “feel good movie” nor an easy story to watch, but it’s important to see it. 

Journalism is a tough profession, especially when your life is at risk for pursuing the truth and writing it.  As we know, Mexico does not have a good track record in protecting its journalists nor its citizens- far from it- and this documentary is an eye opener to all the things they are exposed to in this day and age. It has definitely made me aware of how valuable their work is, and I admire them even more.  

About 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of being a colleague of Mr. Sergio Haro Cordero at my local newspaper. I wasn’t even done with college, I wasn’t even pursuing a serious career in journalism (me tocaba la seccion de Sociales, for crying out loud!) but I was impressed by his work ethic, integrity, professionalism (exactly what you see in the film) and generosity in teaching a “rookie” the ropes.

One time, I tagged along for an interview with the state governor (Ernesto Ruffo) and Sergio let me ask a few questions (and even took a picture of me doing so, for my scrapbook.) I remember him working nonstop, always on the beat, always had a camera in hand. It’s so amazing to see that time has not changed him one bit (maybe for a few extra canas en el pelo) and even more inspiring is to see his wife and son supporting him even with all the risks they face (¡que valientes!)… I am in awe of his story and the film. Además, I’m proud to still have the photos he took of my muy breve, pero divertido paso por el periodismo de Baja California. Espero poderlo saludar un día de estos para darle las gracias pues son de mis fotos favoritas.

On another note, Jesus Blancornelas, the founding editor of Zeta and one of the main characters in the film, also has a personal connection to my family. Era vecino y amigo de mis abuelos y hasta sirvio de testigo en la boda civil de mis padres, en los 70’s. Small world. Mi abuela se emociona mucho cuando los recuerda a él y a su esposa, Beba.

So if you have an hour, if you have the interest, please watch. I only regret not having seen it in the movie theater when it came out, but grateful to PBS for airing it now. Bernardo Ruiz y compañia, soy tu fan. 

No se lo pierdan.

All in the name of good health: Angelina Jolie and my friend Marisol, plus Runwalk 2013

This week we all heard of Angelina Jolie’s difficult medical decision, and subsequently, all the opinions surrounding her double mastectomy, as a preventive measure against breast cancer. Although I had never been a fan, I must now confess that I have newfound respect for her and for sharing her story.

The first person I thought about, almost immediately after reading her op-ed for the NYT, was my dear friend Marisol Rosas, who made the same decision and underwent the same surgery a few years ago.

Angelina Jolie and Marisol have things in common: the experience of losing their mother at a young age, the family history, the genes, and a young family of their own to think of. I can not imagine being in the position of having to make that choice, but since Marisol is such a brave and beautiful soul, it does not surprise anybody that knows her that she overcame the fear and went through with the experience with courage and grace.

Marisol is now volunteering to educate other women in a similar situation to learn about their choices, as part of an organization called FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, where she volunteers as their National Help Line Coordinator. I am very proud of my friend, who has my total admiration for overcoming this difficult situation and now deciding to help others. She has a fundraising page for FORCE where you can make a donation, in any amount, towards this cause. Please take a look at her story, it’s both in English and Spanish and written by her sister Gaby. The page link is here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/MarisolRosas/heroes

Click on the image to read Marisol's story and donate.

Click on the image to read Marisol’s story and donate.

You can imagine that after the Angelina Jolie story came out, there was a lot of interest in all of this, and Marisol was on television the next morning on Univision San Diego.

Click on the link to watch the video (en español) and see how great she did on TV. The link to the interview is here: http://www.univisionsandiego.com/videos/?pl_id=21522&va_id=4058199

Bravo Marisol, we’re so proud of you!

♥♥♥

On a related note, last Saturday May 11 was the 20th annual Revlon RunWalk at the LA Coliseum, and –Full Disclosure– I was invited to take pictures and walk with Team Macy’s, who was one of the major sponsors.

The event always draws tens of thousands of people, women, men, entire families who have al been affected by breast cancer and other women’s cancers, and who all want to put an end to it.

There was joy and optimism in the air, even as you read the signs and the reasons why people were walking and participating. It always gets to me, reading those signs, with names and pictures of the people who’ve passed and the survivors who’ve beat it. We are all affected, we all must do what we can’t to support the fight against it.

Here are a few pictures of a wonderful event.

She's there EVERY year. The beautiful Ms. Halle Berry at the starting line.

She’s there EVERY year. The beautiful Ms. Halle Berry at the starting line.

Lilly Tartikoff, founder and organizer for RunWalk, and Andy Garcia, who came out to support and cheer everybody on.

Lilly Tartikoff, founder and organizer for RunWalk, and Andy Garcia, who came out to support and cheer everybody on.

All those signs you read, all the names, they are powerful reasons to walk and fight for a cure.

All those signs you read, all the names, they are powerful reasons to walk and fight for a cure.

Such a great group of people, getting up super early on a Saturday morning to walk: Team Macy's.

Such a great group of people, getting up super early on a Saturday morning to walk: Team Macy’s.

Walking into the LA Coliseum is such a great feeling. Here approaching the finish line.

Walking into the LA Coliseum is such a great feeling. Here approaching the finish line.

Jimmy Fallon + Mariah Carey + The Roots = A New Christmas Classic

Here’s a great new rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, plus a few cute kids.
Click on the link to the video. I guarantee you’ll like it.


Needless to say, it got me, the official Grinch de mi familia, in a festive mood.

Could it be? Am I actually looking forward to this? Hmmm, ese Jimmy Fallon es LO MAXIMO.
Enjoy!

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From Jimmy’s Instagram. What a cool way to update a classic.

A “Taste of México” in Los Angeles

You know it’s going to be a great evening when the top Mexican restaurants from Los Angeles get together under one roof for one night and bring out the best of la cocina mexicana.

And indeed it was such a night on Friday, when the second annual “A Taste of México”  event was held at the St. Vibiana venue in downtown LA, pulling all the foodies and foodie wannabes who packed the place to capacity. Add a little tequila, mezcal and a mariachi band, plus dos que tres famous celebrities, and you have yourself a fabulous party.

The line to get in was ridiculously long. It went around the block, even with the threat of rain y el “chipi-chipi”, but once inside there was food and fun to be enjoyed by all. Also worth noting, tickets were $50 dollars, so you know these people were really looking forward to the food.

Among the founders of this event are Bricia López from Guelaguetza restaurant,  who was the belle of the ball, a true hostess with the mostess, making sure everybody was well taken care of and promoting the new and amazing lines of their auténtico Mole Oaxaqueño Guelaguetza, among other delicacies and an amazing Michelada Mix. Bravo Bricia!!

We also had a chance to sample food from La Casita Mexicana, with owners Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu a todo lo que daban pero super contentos como siempre, with a great menu to share and a long line at their station; los de Frida restaurant lead by Vicente del Río tenian unos tacos deliciosos, de carnitas, de mole y de pescado en chile colorado, y ademas ceviche, so yummy; y para no olvidar el postre, there was a desert paradise in the form of mini tres leches bites, strawberry shortcake and pan dulce mexicano, cortesía de Ricardo Cervantes and the famous La Monarca Bakery. All good stuff in generous quantities. Nadie se quedó sin probar. Plus not to be outdone, brands like Goya, Tapatio, Guerrero and several cervezas made sure to sample their products.

Made me feel happy and lucky to know there are great Mexican food restaurants and good options all over LA. I’ll make it a point to support authentic Mexican food by visiting these amazing restaurants. ¡Que me esperen en la mesa!

Crowds gather to listen to the ariachi band at Taste of Mexico, held at St. Vibiana's in DTLA

Crowds gather to listen to the Mariachi band at Taste of Mexico, held at St. Vibiana’s in DTLA.

Authentic Mole Oaxaqueño from Guelaguetza restaurant. Delish!

Authentic Mole Oaxaqueño from Guelaguetza restaurant. Delish!

From Bricia Lopez' twitter feed (@bricialopez): You know it's good when La Reina del Sur herself, Kate del Castillo, stops by for a taste of Mexico.

You know it’s good food when La Reina del Sur herself, Kate del Castillo, stops by for a taste of Mexico. (Photo from @BriciaLopez on Twitter.)

Jaime Martin del Campo, from La Casita Mexicana, doing his thing. (Delicioso el pavo en achiote!)

Jaime Martin del Campo, from La Casita Mexicana, doing his thing. (Delicioso el pavo en achiote!)

The food station at La Casita...

The food station at La Casita…

Una probadita de Chilitos en Nogada.

Una probadita de Chilitos en Nogada.

Great food, great service, y de buen ambiente, el equipo de los restaurantes Frida y La Casa Azúl.

Great food, great service, y de buen ambiente, el equipo de los restaurantes Frida y La Casa Azúl.

Everybody's favorite: Tapatío was giving out mini hot sauce botellitas to take on the go.

Everybody’s favorite: Tapatío was giving out mini hot sauce botellitas to take on the go.

El Eugenio Siller se echó unos taquitos ( y nosotros un taco de ojo.)

El Eugenio Siller se echó unos taquitos ( y nosotros un taco de ojo.)

Not only does he do a Rock of Ages, now Diego Boneta is with the Mariachi band!

Not only does he do a Rock of Ages, now Diego Boneta plays with a Mariachi band!

For the sweet tooth que todos llevamos dentro, pastries and pan dulce from La Monarca Bakery.

For the sweet tooth que todos llevamos dentro, pastries and pan dulce from La Monarca Bakery.