I love Miguel Bosé y su PAPITWO

El nuevo disco de Miguel Bosé, PAPITWO. (Warner Music Latina)

Time to start a new and very busy week with fresh music.

Estoy super emocionada con el nuevo CD de Miguel Bosé, “PAPITWO” que es la segunda parte de los duetos de sus greatest hits. What a clever title! Y en Spanglish para que mas nos guste.

Ustedes no saben la emoción que me dió encontrarmelo el otro día en el Barnes and Noble, como tampoco sabrían que es uno de mis artistas favoritos. Lo amo a él y a su música con pasión desde que salía en la televisión bailando y cantando, disfrazado de Don Diablo con los then baby-Timbiriches way back in the 80’s, cuando hacian sus especiales musicales en México y lo veia en casa mi bff, la Ale. He was a hottie (lo sigue siendo a sus 50+) y todas sus canciones son lo máximo. Miguel Bosé is pretty much the author of the soundtrack of my youth en español.

En este disco hace dueto con Juanes, Alejandro Sanz, Juan Luis Guerra, Jovanotti, Ximena Sariñana y Penélope Cruz, entre otros. Yes, people, Penélope Cruz sings, and she is a great singer if you really must know. (O sea, no contenta con todos sus talentos también canta la mujer, and she does a lovely job too.)

Me dió mucho gusto leer los “liner notes” del librito en donde escribe una cartita muy bonita, que cuando la leí pensé que me la habia escrito a mi (isn’t every fan kind of egocentric?)

Dice Miguel Bosé:

Gracias a Penélope, Ximena, Bimba, Helen y Malú por sus voces de sirena y su tremendo cariño. Gracias a Alejandro, Juanes, Joaquin, Dani, JuanLuis, Pablo, Lore, Tiziano y Aleks por su lealtad guerrera y entusiasmo.

Gracias a todos y a cada uno de los que han hecho posible la segunda parte de esta saga, por su creatividad, técnica y paciencia. Gracias a mi nueva familia por las puertas que cada día me abre a nuevas emociones y sensaciones.

Pero sonre todo gracias a la gente en general que ha construido mi carrera año tras año y ha hecho grandes cada una de estas canciones. Vuestras son y a todas y todos vosotros va especialmente dedicado este nuevo trabajo.

Gracias y salud! Nos seguimos viendo…Besos y abrazos.

-Miguel.

Aww. I love you Miguel!

Nice little interview que le hicieron en la revista InStyle México en octubre 2012.

Time for Argo. But more importantly, Ben Affleck habla Spanglish!

Happy Friday everybody. It’s time for a good movie.

I’m looking forward to ARGO, a new film out this weekend by the multi talented and multi guapísimo Ben Affleck, who acts and directs. It’s about a real life event that you may (or may not) remember from the Iranian hostage situation back in 1979. (Yo sí me acuerdo un poco but I have to spruce up on my history lessons.) It looks like a  smart movie, with a great story and good actors in it. It also was shot by the wonderful Rodrigo Garcia who is one of the best cinematographers around y además es mexicano.

¿Pero qué creen? Resulta que el Ben habla español muy bien! This makes me happy, I don’t know why, but whan I saw this video I was very pleased to learn that he can handle his Spanglish beautifully and that he’s friends with el Chivo Lubezki (another wonderful mexican cinematographer) and is not afraid to say Alejandro González Iñárritu out loud, among other things.

Here is the link to the interview and please be patient because it loads up pretty slow… but I promise you a nice Taco de Ojo con and a very smart guy. Who knew Ben Affleck lived in Mexico when he was 13 years old and that his favorite word in Spanish is “Sacapuntas“?… Awww! So funny! Take a few minutes to watch it.

My film recommendation is to go see ARGO and support al Señor Affleck. He keeps making good movies so it’s worth a trip to the theater.

Here’s the link from Warner Brothers: Ben Afffleck Interview en español.

El Ben Affleck habla español muy bien! Pero también sabe un poquito de Spanglish. His new movie “Argo” is out today.

And here’s the trailer for ARGO:

A must read: Andrew McCarthy’s new book “The Longest Way Home”

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus, humanist and scholar

Fall is here  (or so the calendar says) and it’s time to get new reading material.

I really love to get my hands on a fabulous new book, but most of all, I love discovering a great writer…Little did I know THIS ONE and I have a history that goes way back to 1986.

His name is Andrew McCarthy. His book is called “The Longest Way Home” and let me just say, it is excellent. 

My new favorite book.

Oh, he’s also an actor who you may remember from Pretty in Pink and all the other movies from the late 80’s/early 90’s.

 YES, THAT Andrew McCarthy. ¡Es el “Blane” y el de Mannequin!

 (And if you were not alive back then, then I feel sorry for you kids. You missed out! De veras amiguitos… those movies were something else. Y la canción de OMD “If You Leave” is permanently engraved in my life soundtrack. But I digress…)

I went to a book signing last weekend and met him in person. So you can imagine the teenager in me was kind of excited, but since I’m already a grown up, I honestly went to get my booked signed and meet the author, ok?

 Andrew McCarthy listens to his introduction at Vroman’s. He is an accomplished actor, director, travel writer and National Geographic Editor at Large. He’s got a pretty impressive resumé.

As it turns out, Andrew McCarthy has been traveling the world for the last decade, in addition to the show business- acting and directing, and has also become an award winning travel writer and editor at large for National Geographic. How cool is that! And how did he go from one thing to another? We’ll, you’ll just have to read the book.

I came across the title on a Sunday morning, reading the NY Times Sunday Book Review two weekends ago (The New York Times REALLY loves himclick here to read it) and also their Travel Magazine, where they had an excerpt back in August, and I was intrigued.

During the presentation there were funny moments and great stories about his life and travels.

How random is it then, that I should be in Pasadena the day he came for a book signing? Serendipity, I tell you! It’s not often that your teenage crush turned accomplished writer visits your favorite bookstore in town, the lovely Vroman’s on Colorado boulevard. But there he was.

He’s still super taquillero…. It was a full house, and not just all of us ladies, the “groupies” (You know who you are!) Había gente from every age group: men and women,  a bit older, wiser folks who appreciate a good book and author when they see one.

The crowd at Vroman’s, and this was before it started.

Andrew said someone described his book “The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down”  as Eat, Pray, Love for men, and then he joked that he wanted Julia Roberts to play him in the movie. Yet in the NY Times book review, Cheryl Strayed writes “It’s a good book about a good man who’s trying good and hard to figure himself out.”

So it was wonderful to see him in person, listen to him read from the book, talk about his life, his family, a few of the movies and acting, the travel experiences, what traveling does for your soul and how it’s made him a better person, a bit of everything that leads up to the memoir.  He is a funny, smart and articulate person, and had us laughing and hooked throughout.

 Además… sigue estando super cute, no se le quita. ¡Esa sonrisa!

Yes, he’s still got it. Tan lindo él!

 We all got our books signed and he even took pictures with everyone, and there were over a hundred people. A few even brought their Pretty in Pink memorabilia and he signed everything. Such a cool guy!

 So yes, please read his book. You’ll enjoy it.

He was so gracious and signed everyone’s book until we all went home.

(In the meantime you can also read his piece for the LA Times Travel section on Ireland, published this past Sunday. It’s quite good!)

Yeah, I did a little swoon…

That evening I followed Erasmus’ advice and got a few other books.  Turns out my teenage idol, Molly Ringwald,  TAMBIEN has a new book out recently! This one is fiction and it’s called “When it Happens to You.” It’s a novel told in short stories, I’m also looking forward to it. So it’s kind of a reunion of sorts.

Together again. Both Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald both came out with new books this year. And I’m going to read them both.

But it blows my mind a little bit. Imagine watching their movie in 1986 a hundred times, and now in 2012 both of them have become writers with new books and new careers.  It’s like they now live in this wonderful parallel literary universe.  Goes to show you, true talent will take you far indeed!

Bravo Dreamers! Bravo President Obama!

Today is a good day if you are a young undocumented student in the USA and you were fighting for a chance to stay legally in the country you love, and the only country you know. Breaking news this morning! This is a bit from the New York Times:

U.S. to Stop Deporting Some Illegal Immigrants

By 

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration

The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently under 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, remained in school or served in the military.

See the complete article here.

Congratulations to the Dreamers, and we realize that there is still so much more to do for them. Here’s how you can participate and support, through one of the major organizations fighting for them, Presente.org. I just received an email from one of its founders, Gaby Pacheco, and it urged us to keep fighting. This is from her email:

It would be easy to stop here and celebrate the President’s words, but we’re 1.2 million deportations past words at this point. We have to send the country a message that while we appreciate the President’s announcement today, we won’t stop fighting for change until we see it.

That’s why I need you to tell the President, Congress and other leaders in this nation that you stand with me, and millions of undocumented people who have become Americans, even if we don’t have papers that recognize us as such. If you tell them that you stand with us, you’ll be sending a message, and that you’ll continue to fight against every deportation. Tell them, now, and tell all your friends to do the same:

http://act.presente.org/sign/withdreamers

Go to Presente.org for more information.

So on that note, let’s keep up the fight for these kids. I personally know of several exemplary, smart, hard working, decent, and best all around kids who would love a chance at citizenship and who love this country just like any citizen born here. You would do anything to help them because they are the best of us, really.  As TIME Magazine said this week (bravo Time Magazine! This is the 2nd cover in 3 months dedicated to Immigration issues) “WE ARE AMERICANS…. Just not legally.”

It’s about time to make it happen for them and for the rest of the hard working, respectful immigrants who want to do things right and stay here legally.

Amazing cover by Time Magazine for the week of June 15, 2012. They probably just increased their Latino readership ten fold with all their new readers!!

A Teacher, Oprah and the power of Twitter

Here’s a story that proves things can happen in an instant when you put your intention out there and have a little faith. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…” (Matthew 7:7)

Cen’Cere Cooks is a high school teacher in South Central Los Angeles who, like every year, was on a mission of helping her students get ready for their prom. She is also one smart lady who knows the power of Twitter. (You can follow her on Twitter @cencerecooks.)

Every year she helps girls in her class get their prom dress, but this year had been a little tough. So a few weeks ago in May she sent out tweets to very important people who could help her get 25 dresses for her girls. It was a very sincere and direct request trying to make something happen.

Little did she know that THE person who would respond to her almost immediately was the one and only Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) offering to help out…Can you imagine the excitement?!

Here are the tweets that tell the story:

Cen’Cere can be found on Twitter @CencereCooks. “High School educator in South Central Los Angeles, committed to changing this generation one student at a time!”

Here is one of the responses from Oprah! Good to go!

By then, things are in motion. Oprah made a call to her friends at Macy’s (you gotta love @Macy’s) and they got on board. Pretty soon they were confirming that they were donating 25 prom dresses for the girls in Ms. Cooks’ class! Isn’t this amazing? Sometimes all it takes is a call, or a tweet, and the goodwill of someone who makes things happen.

Fast forward to this week, when 25 lovely ladies, along with Ms. Cooks and chaperones Loretta, Misha, Sivonney and Gabrielle, went to Macy’s South Coast Plaza to choose a prom dress. There was an expert styling team to help them, and the girls enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the store as well.

Here are some pictures of the exciting day. Thank you Macy’s for the opportunity to photograph this event. There was so much joy all around, it was contagious!

These beautiful ladies are ready for their prom thanks to their teacher, Oprah and Macy’s.

Bravo Ms. Cooks! You made it happen.

The girls choose their prom dress from a selection at Macy’s.

So many to choose from, the girls had fun trying on all the dresses.

Susan Koziak and her fabulous styling team did a great job helping the girls choose their dress.

Team Effort: Loretta Cotton, Raegan Gall from Macy’s, Misha, Amanda Dobernic from Macy’s, and Cen’Cere Cooks.

Sivoney Gomez and Gabrielle Ramirez, chaperones on the field trip to Macy’s South Coast Plaza.

The girls and their prom dresses.

All the girls received a Macy’s goody bag.

And, if I may, on a personal note: tonight I saw on Twitter that Ms. Winfrey herself had seen the photos and tweeted one of the photos I took. Needless to say…This made my day and my year. Thank you Oprah!! Your generosity provides so much happiness. 

Nice try, William Levy

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4 shots taken with the iPhone from the Season Finale of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. William Levy came in 3rd place.

Pues he didn’t win the disco ball trophy de Dancing With the Stars, pero como dicen por ahí: No gano pero como me divierto. Call me “wishy washy” pero…in the end, despite my earlier criticism, I ended up rooting for William Levy. So it was kind of disappointing to see him in 3rd place. Pero reconozco que le echó muchas ganas.

(De veras que sometimes ni yo me entiendo!)

Anywhoo, it’s just another reality show coming to and end. Which means, ahi vienen los Summer reruns.

Calle 13, I’m your fan!

Do you ever have the feeling of being a little late in discovering music that other people love? I had the chance to see Calle 13 last Sunday night at the Nokia Theater in downtown LA and I was blown away by their live music y la manera como se presentaron. Gracias a Rocío Gutiérrez (on twitter at @digitalgirl_inc) por la invitación.

An adoring crowd was obviously smitten from the get go, and they knew the words to every song… aunque créanme que saberse las words to every song de Calle 13  requires clever tongue twister skills to keep up with the lyrics!

Calle 13 is made up by René Perez, Eduardo José Cabra, and Ileana, all half brothers and sister, según me acabo de enterar por Wikipedia. They’ve got one fabulous show with a full blown band, great production (lighting, awesome graphics and video) and really meaningful music, a mix of hip hop, jazz, regaetton, salsa y cumbia.

Yo confieso que soy muy pop en mis gustos musicales, even though I am a KCRW addict and get my musical influences mostly from this station. And yet it’s been a while since anybody played Calle 13 on any radio station in LA, which even René (the lead singer) acknowledged on stage.

Estas son las canciones que no tocan en la cabrona radio…,” he said, and other pretty bold statements such as “Dejen de ver esos estúpidos programas de chismes en la televisión que sirven para un carajo!”

Plus he also requested everybody read books, in English, in Spanish, and educate themselves. This is not your typical musical act. They add lines to their songs that reference Gabriel García Márquez, so that should tell you something.

Here are a few pictures from the event (they don’t let you bring in cameras inside the Nokia Theater, so I had to use the iPhone) and a video song I believe everybody should sing to themselves just to remind yourself que “No Hay Nadie Como Tú.”   (It comes in after the advertising.)

Cántatela a ti mismo out loud and feel it’s magical empowerment…¡Arriba Calle 13!

En el concierto de Calle 13 at the Nokia Theater in LA.

¡Que Viva Puerto Rico y su talento! René Pérez from Calle 13,  from the video screen at the concert.

This girl!! Ileana has a voice that kills you. Canta padrísimo.

Y que se quita la camisa… Nice bod, Mr. Calle 13.

A captive crowd listens to the message in the lyrics.

And here is “No Hay Nadie Como Tú”