Learn Spanish “pronto” with these Spanish 101 books

Traveling to Mexico soon? Don’t speak a word of Spanish but need to communicate and get your point across? Or maybe you just want to brush up on a few basic phrases?

Never fear, there’s always a handy dictionary/guide/ “tumbaburros” (dummy rescue) ready for your language needs.

I found these books browsing at the Kitson store in Santa Monica, but I’m sure you could find them on amazon.com or online. Leave it to a practical gringo (that’s a term of endearment my friends, I mean no disrespect) to come up with Spanish on the go  booklets to get you through your next trip.

“Mexican Spanish” is not to be confused with Spanish Spanish…Here’s a book to get you through Mexico without having to spend hours learning the important stuff like grammar and pronounciation.

Learn basic Spanish with your Spanish Flash Cards… or have your kids use these to not feel ridiculous when asking “Donday Es-tah el Bain-nio?”

A VERY CLEVER take on learning to pronounce Spanish correctly with graphics and smart icon references . “Cone Goose Toe” Spanish Slanguage by Mike Ellis.

“Cone Lee Moan: With Lemon”… “Poe-Yo: Chicken”… but of course you have to know who Edgar Allen Poe was, so it takes a little bit of smarts to read this. Me Gusta! (May Goose-Tah: I like it)

Sarape Style Files: A case of the Mondays

Bueno pues… my weekend plans of attending the LA Times Festival of books were thwarted last minute. Plan B was not much fun at all, ¿pero qué le hacemos? Health comes first.

This is officially the second worst cold/flu of my life*. 10 days and counting, sigo afónica con un sore throat  to the point of answering a business call and having the guy identify me as “Cristina with the hoarse voice” (Ouch!)

Note to self: I will no longer try speaking today. Ya fue mucho “güiri-güiri”… I’ll try sign language.

(* The worst cold of my life was not actually a cold but pneumonia at the age of 9, which knocked me out of school for 2 weeks and forever left me scared of salir de la casa con el pelo mojado, but I digress.)

Today I had a case of the Mondays. It is raining in LA and I am trying to get back into the groove of things. This morning I got up like Linus from Peanuts, dragging my blanket, my bed calling out to me still. Does this ever happen to you?

Funny thing, on my way to lunch I saw this woman who was wearing a blanket as a raincoat. Well it’s not exactly a blanket, but a Mexican Sarape, the likes of which I had not seen for a while. Practical and warm? Yes. Stylish and pleasing on the eyes? Not exactly.

But it made me laugh. That is exactly what I felt like wearing.

Gripa, sal de este cuerpo ¡pero YA!!!!

Have a good week my friends.

Maybe it's not the best look in the world, but today I would've happily worn this outfit. Don't think it will make "The Sartorialist" any time soon!




Wordless Wednesday: Spanglish in action en el 562 area code

¡Eso señores! Nothing like tooting your own horn to get you noticed. Here's "La Mera Mera" at your service.

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Chato! Cantinflas cumple 100 años

Uno de los mexicanos más brillantes, talentosos y famosos de la historia, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” cumple 100 años de nacimiento el 12 de Agosto. Happy Birthday Cantinflas!!

Cantinflas cumple 100 años y lo festejarán desde hoy hasta el 11 de agosto en la Cineteca Nacional, México D.F. (Foto via revista Chilango.com) Las funciones empiezan a las 7Pm en la Sala 3.

Para celebrar, la Cineteca Nacional (el mejor cine en México, D.F., si me preguntan) está organizando festejos y screenings de sus mejores películas a partir de hoy, 4 de agosto, para conmemorar el nacimiento de Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes (su nombre completo, via el IMDB)

Si están en el DF esta semana, no se pierdan la oportunidad de irse a disfrutar de estas funciones en la Cineteca y de irse a cantinflear.

La portada del DVD "El Bolero de Raquel."

Cantinflas era único y basta con ver algunos minutos de cualquiera de sus películas para empezar a reir a carcajadas. Aquí está un clip de “El Bolero de Raquel” con la famosa escena de baile. Es un poquito largo pero está fabuloso.

A pesar de que pasó a mejor vida en 1993, la gente todavía le tiene muchísimo cariño. Aqui en Hollywood hizo “Around the World in 80 days” con mucho éxito en 1955 y en su momento fue reconocido también por Charlie Chaplin como “the world’s greatest comedian.” (That’s a wonderful endorsement!) Alguna vez me tocó ver una entrevista en que le preguntaron a Dustin Hoffman quien es su actor favorito y respondió, “Cantinflas! I don’t understand a word he’s saying, but I know it’s fabulous acting.”

Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" en "Si yo fuera diputado" (1952)

Orbits gum translates “el lenguaje del amor”

Just saw this commercial on mun2 recently. You gotta love the creative geniuses that thought of this. We’ve been hearing this tag line for Orbits gum for a while – “Sensación Limpia, no matter what“- but now they’ve elevated marketing in Spanglish to a new level. Enjoy!

Mina Olivera is a “Latina on the Loose!”

Let’s go to the theater this weekend, yes?

Mina Olivera, actress, writer of "LOL Latina on the Loose!" (Photo provided by the show and Mina Olvera.)

Mina Olivera is the writer, creator and star of “LOL, Latina on the Loose!” and it sounds like a great show. Here’s the synopsis from the show’s website.

Mina Olivera’s LOL Latina on the Loose is a comedy on a journey from Brazil to Switzerland to El Salvador to America, and straight to your heart. You’ll laugh and cry as you experience the challenges she faces coming to America by herself as a teenager, and the tests she confronts in retaining her larger than life grandmother’s biggest teaching: Show them your worth.”

Latina on the Loose! Writer, director, producers.

The show is playing at the LATC in downtown this Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13, and next weekend Friday and Saturday November 19 and 20. Address is 514 S. Spring Street, LA, CA 90013. Click here to get your tickets: $25 general seating, $40 VIP seats.

Vámonos al teatro pues!

He’s Back!! Woohoo Conando!

Hey Team Coco, the wait is over! In case you didn’t know, the new Conan O’Brien Show premieres mañana, Monday Nov. 8, 11pm. TBS. (Mr. George Lopez was gracious enough to give him his time slot, esperemos que no se haga el ardido después.)

Doesn’t it seem like ages ago when NBC and that Zuckerberg dude threw Conan under the bus and all the late night tv wars happened? Hopefully he’ll get great ratings from the beginning and we won’t have to go through that again.

By the way, great promos for the new show. Here’s one of the best- and yes, it looks really expensive. I just hope he keeps the Conando name and can do more sketches en español. Hopefully esos no se quedaron en el vault de NBC.