Ok Salma, you win.

She’s a beautiful, powerful A-list Hollywood actress and producer, married to a French billionaire who can give her all the designer clothes she wants. Don’t you just loooove to hate Salma Hayek-Pinault? (OK, yes, maybe that’s my green eyed monster talking…bueno es envidia de la buena.)

As if this weren’t enough, we now have to admit that Salma is actually quite a good singer and great dancer, as she recently demonstrated in front of a French television audience filled with beautiful people, including Zidane! Just look at her: She sings! She dips! She swirls!

Here’s the clip below. Maybe you’ll agree. OMG, Mis respetos Salma. No cantas mal las rancheras. I resisted…but you won me over. Ahora sí, soy tu fan!


Hace mucho que no veía un “Thing”

Look at what I ran into at the gas station. Last time I saw this Thing was in 1996, when my Dad bought a “Safari” in Querétaro, México just for the fun of it. But in the US they call them “the VW Thing”. Like any good old VW, it seems like they’ll run forever. (Yes, I am a VW lover, if you really want to know.)

VW people are cool people!

Guilty pleasures

Friday to kick off the Long Weekend. Official end of summer 2010. Time for a light post…

I love working in Pasadena. There’s a dessert bar across the street from my office, so happy hour was in order after a hard day’s night. My friends Martha and Olivia were already there saving me a seat.

Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar serves all sorts of exotic desserts but I went directly for the Churros, estilo Mexico DF. They serve them with cajeta, chocolate and some sort of cinnamon spread. Quite nice! We also ordered a few gelatos to share, pero los flavors estaban muy raros. I guess that’s part of the appeal. Pedimos el Basil Lemon, Tamarindo with a twist of pepper and the honey goat cheese. Ni decirles que este de goat cheese estaba muy feo, con un sabor que te recordaba el olor de queso muy apestoso. El de tamarindo parecia dulce de Pulparindo, pero aguado, so I’m not going to recommend that either. To top it off, we had the coconut macaroon soufflé, which took 20 minutes, but it was worth it.  In brief, we really liked this place. It’s very girly and vintage art deco meets brick walls and dark tones. Sat at the bar and made new friends. We met a couple that is from Puerto Rico by way of Guadalajara, so we definitely practiced our Spanglish.

Friday 9/3/10. Clockwise from left: Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar in Pasadena; a vintage clock ticks slowly; our coconut macarroon soufflé that took 20 minutes with Nathanial in the background; goat cheese honey gelato and tamarind pepper gelato (sound better than they taste, definitely not a fan); our new friends Juan Morales and his wife Susan, who told us they were from Puerto Rico, pero vivieron en Guadalajara; M & O planning their next trip to Paris on a beautiful vintage map.

Understanding the bilingual mind

Psychology Today magazine (yes I read it) has a great article on the bilingual brain and how we process language and information. The new issue, which should be hitting stands right now, interviews 4 bilingual brilliant minds (puros nerds), some of them mastering more than 2 languages. Pero les faltó el Spanglish speaker. (Que onda con el Spanglish representation pues!)

Heres an excerpt of the article. “A Sharper Mind, The Bilingual Advantage” on the cover. You can eventually find it in full at their website http://www.psychologytoday.com when they update for the month, or get the mag at your local newstand for $4.99. This is the issue cover:

Weird cover of Psychology Today, but the article "A Sharper Mind" is quite interesting.

Double Talk

By Carlin Flora

Psychology Today

September/October 2010 issue

Some are children of enterprising immigrants or embattled refugees. Others live along borders or are part of a minority that keeps its heritage while blending into the mainstream. Still others have spend years memorizing vocabulary lists and parsing sentences. All told, half of the world’s population conducts life in multiple languages.

Bilingualism doesn’t just apply to the small percentage of people who are perfectly fluent in two tongues. Bilinguals might speak beautifully in one language without being able to read or write it. And they may have acquired their second tongue as a child, a teen, or an adult.

People who are bilingual are often asked which language they think in, but when people are walking down the street, riding a bus, or jogging in the woods, their thoughts may not be in a particular language, points out Francois Grosjean, author of the research based Bilingual Life and Reality. “Thought can be visual-spatial and nonlinguistic. It is only when planning to speak that individual languages actually intervene,” Grosjean says.

While they do repress words in one tongue in order to speak another, bilinguals don’t completely lose access to the first. For example, bilingual subjects reading sentences with cognates- example would be “bleu” in French and “blue” in English- take less time to process them than other words, hinting at how they are always dipping into their total language knowledge. And they often intermingle their languages (Spanglish, Chinglish), not out of laziness or lack of ability, but in a natural quest for optimal self expression and understanding.**

(** Well if Psych Today says so, then it must be true! My mind is complex, not lazy y a veces le pono y le quito palabras to express myself better. But only in the spirit of peace, love and understanding.)

Just make a decision

Got myself a decision to make.

Funny. The cool people from Knock Knock Who’s There Inc. always make me laugh with their irreverent notes, cards and memos. Their timing is ON! No están ustedes para saberlo ni yo para contarlo, pero a veces me gana la indecisión cuando tengo que tomar important decisions. I am a procrastinator, sometimes, I think…

Anywho..esta libretita me cayó como anillo al dedo. Thought I’d snap a quick pic and share, should you be caught up in a cloud of undecisiveness yourself. Some key phrases come to mind, like Nike’s good advice, Just Do It.

O cómo olvidar la frase de aquel presidente que tuvimos hace poco, you know the one who went by “W”.  A pesar de ser medio menso, tenía sus witty comebacks y one liners, como “I’m the Decider!”

Ok, so now: Make a Decision!

Dilemma:

Date:

Decision Needed By:

Decision Importance: (Trivial/NonLethal/Worthwhile/Weighty/Life Changing)

Indecisiveness Level: (Wishy/Washy/Neutral/Partisan/Mind Made Up)

Best Case Scenario: (Fill in) ___ Pipe Dream

Worst Case Scenario: (Fill in) ___ Apocalypse

Gut Feeling:        Intuitive Conclusion:

Plus(+) and Minuses(-):      Rational Conclusion

Decision:

Next Steps:    ___For Today

“Or you could always flip a coin.”

Un paseo por el Hollywood Walk of Fame

As I was reading the LA Times this weekend, I came across an interesting article about a man who polishes the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He does this for a living, every day, even with an amputated leg.

Read the story  here.

And see photos here.

I thought about contacting him to request he work his magic on the star of our beloved Cantinflas, which looks a little under the weather. About a week ago, my cousin Mariana and I went on a photo outing and mini-staycation to Hollywood and we saw it. We lamented the state of the star and the fact that it looks medio abandonada, ahi nomás fue a quedar en frente de un kinky negligé shop. Cantinflas would not be happy, chatos!

The star for Cantinflas on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is lacking a little shine.

We walked around a little more and found a mural I really had been wanting to shoot. It’s the famous “all star” mural that has the greatest stars from back in the day, from James Dean, John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Judy Garland, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, even Woody Allen. But we were so disappointed to see somebody had messed it up by adding graffiti to Marylin Monroe. So sad! Parece que ya nadie respeta nada.

El mural de los famosos en Hollywood. Marylin fue víctima del graffiti.

How can they do this to Marylin?

La Liz and Richard Burton, from their Cleopatra days.

James Dean and Sophia Loren in all their youth and beauty.

Then we walked around to the Kodak Theater and shot some more images. But I think the sun and the heat (over 100 degrees that day!) got to us. Not to mention the crowds of turists and weirdos jamming the Hollywood Strip. So we had to stop for a bit. Para no deshidratarnos llegamos por unas margaritas a La LoteriaGrill (super recomendable) y para no errarle también nos echamos un delicioso ice-cream de Chongos Zamoranos. You have to try it if you can before summer ends. It’s simply delicious.

Here are a few shots of a great day. Saludos a mi prima M., que es además una excelente fotografa. I think it runs in the family. See her blog here.

At the entrance of a legendary theater, the Egyptian.

Another beautiful mural, a total suprise. Honor a Dolores del Rio y todas sus películas. Para muchos, ella es la más famosa actriz mexicana. Lástima que también le rayaron su mural.

Turists and locals taking a little breather from the heat at the Kodak Theater outskirts.

A larger view from the Kodak Theater, facing Hollywood Blvd.

Get yourself over to La Loteria Grill (on Hollywood or Studio City) and ask for el helado de Chongos Zamoranos. The best and most authentic chongos this side of the Rio Grande. You will love it!

La reunión de Garibaldi: bad idea

TGIF! Time for the meaningless video of the week.

Resulta que a los Garibaldi, the mexican musical group that sang all those catchy, empty calorie, guilty pleasure party songs back in the 90’s, decided to reunite… and it doesn’t feel so good.

Who thought of this? Why?

Bueeeeno ahora que se prestan al tijereo, llegamos a la conclusión que es cierto lo que dicen nuestras abuelitas, “Juventud Divino Tesoro.” Los que somos, ya no somos los de antes… Ya no tienen tanta agilidad para bailar, todos están más gorditos (ok… aren’t we all?) y siguen teniendo super mal gusto para vestirse. Did they borrow their outfits from the Village People or what?

Y luego…que no se divorciaron la Paty Manterola y el Javier? Aqui como que no les gustó que los pusieran a bailar juntos. Y OMG ¿qué le paso a la Luisa Fernanda? El cae-me-bien del Sergio Mayer tiene cara de “Uuuttts, prefiero estar bailando con mis Mexican Chippendales.”

Anyway, very awkward reunion with a lame choreography. Televisa casi siempre acierta con sus refritos, but I think this is one that should have stayed in the vault.