Save Thanksgiving!!! Target opening at 9pm. Is nothing sacred anymore?

Every year, parece que los Holidays llegan way to soon. This year it wasn’t even mid-October when Target was running their “Holidays are Here” spot on tv.

And today I’m reading that Target is opening their stores in advance of Black Friday on Thanksgiving Night (Thursday) at 9pm.

Hey, Target: WTF???

Is nothing sacred anymore? Not even THE one night in which our founding fathers dedicated a meal to being GRATEFUL and coming together? This has me very upset, and I don’ even work at Target. Imagine how the employees must feel to have their free time with family cut back every year: First they started with a 4 am opening, then earlier to 12 am, now they’re opening the night of…just very disappointing. (Last year I wrote a similar post on the subject, although maybe it was a little more eloquent. Right now I’m just pissed off that Turkey Day is evaporating even as we speak.)

You can call me a grinch or a party pooper, but I will not be participating in the Black Friday mad house and over the top hoopla that marketers and retailers are hell bent on pushing over us. I’m done with it. 

Good thing someone had the good sense to put up a petition on where you can kindly ask Target to cease and desist from this madness and Save Thanksgiving.

You can sign it here: (I just did and there were almost 193 thousand petitions signed already. Keep ’em coming!) 

I’ll tell you one thing: I am a loyal Target shopper, but will be very disappointed if they go through with this and will probably end up boycotting them altogether this Holiday Season. Ya me cayeron gordos.

He dicho.

Holiday madness: Shop till you drop! But Target is going way too far by opening at 9pm on Thanksgiving.

Algunos “piensos” al cruzar la frontera.

El regreso a USA via un puente forterizo siempre es un reto: un reto a la paciencia individual; al performance del A/C de tu automóvil y su sistema “anti-freeze“; a la creatividad para pasar el tiempo; a la mente para tratar de borrar todo lo que ve en 2 horas plus de larga espera, mientras hay 10 filas de running cars en estado “idle” consumiendo gasolina inútilmente y contaminando no sé cuántas toneladas de carbono que atacan al planeta. Yes, I feel like venting. And yet, I continue to participate in this mindless but necessary to and fro that crossing the border entails. No hay de otra.

Ayer, en mi análisis del tiempo as I waited to cross, me percaté de las nuevas modalidades en el comercio fronterizo. Piracy is the most common thing in the world. Fácilmente conté 15 vendedores con the newest releases, no sólo en dvd, sino películas que a penas se estrenaron este fin de semana. Por ejemplo, Rango, the #1 movie in America this past weekend, was already on sale for 40 pesos at the border…complete with nice artwork cover and hard plastic case.

Otro ejemplo: “Presunto Culpable”, un recién estrenado documental del sistema judicial mexicano, del que todo el mundo habla en México en estos momentos, y que hoy nadie puede ver en las salas de cine porque fue suspendido (censurado) por algún juez de tribunal, está disponible en versión pirata. Es la primera vez que un documental en México tiene este éxito, y no dudo que los productores y realizadores emplearon todos sus recursos, todo lo que tenían para poder contar esta historia… y dos semanas después alguien la está comprando chueco. Ni hablar de cd’s de música y juegos para los xbox, wii, etc.

Tal vez ustedes conocen a alguien que compra estas cosas, que no piensa dos veces en el daño o en el robo que está cometiendo y no le afecta en lo más mínimo aprovecharse de estas tranzas. En el ratito que estuve en la fila, me tocó ser testigo de varias “transacciones” de gente que de plano se llevaba 3 o 4 cosas. Y me dio coraje y me dio tristeza, que cada vez hay menos respeto por el trabajo y por los derechos de autor. Parece una lucha que no tiene fin.  Yo sé que un simple blog post no contribuye mucho…Pero si lo hacen ustedes mismos, piénsen si les gustaría que alguien les robara su trabajo y su esfuerzo, que se ganara algunos centavos a sus costillas, sin que ustedes pudieran hacer algo al respecto.

Les dejo las fotos de los hechos y algunas de uno que otro comerciante que aguantó sol y calor, fumes and contamination, a Sunday at the border bridge in no man’s land, between Mexico and the US.

Por el retrovisor, una vendedora con "Rango" y "Presunto Culpable" en las manos, y una mochila llena de dvd's piratas.

Vender dvd's y cd's piratas en la frontera es cosa de todos los días.

21st century commerce along the border.

These movies are not even in theaters yet, and here they look like the real thing.

If you're thirsty or hungry, this guy sells water and fruit snacks. Imagine he's been there all day long, inhaling the car fumes.

Need some artwork? There's plenty of posters to choose from. No falta Pedro Infante ni la Virgencita de Guadalupe.

Religious stuff is always available: a "pop" version of the Last Supper, also for sale.

Cat’s out of the bag. Ay Meg Whitman!

Desde ayer sale todo el día, all over the news, que Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee for governor of California, employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper for 9 years. And then Meg fired her when the housekeeper asked for help in obtaining legal status in the US. I’ve never been a fan of Whitman, even though I do like eBay, but this was a surprise. Just goes to show that everybody in politics has skeletons in the closet.

Pero here we go again.  Immigration in the news,  the finger pointing and mad rants from both camps, and once more the hypocrisy of these politicians comes to light. Because if someone works for you as a housekeeper for 9 years, you trust her enough to know she is essentially a good person to be in your home and around your family. You just can’t make her disappear with a “From now on, you don’t know me and I don’t know you” when she comes to you for help. How convenient!

Read about it here, “Meg Whitman’s Latino Trouble” from Shushannah Walshe on The Daily Beast.

Go Sofia! Gordon Ramsay se merece una cachetada

Sometimes you wish you could physically strangle people on TV.

The lovely and funny Sofia Vergara (que es a todo dar en persona) was on Jay Leno last week. She brought him a sample of Arequipe, a Colombian dulce de leche product, and Jay seemed to like it.  However, it was unfortunate that the idiotic, ignorant (un verdadero imbécil) Gordon Ramsay, the so called British chef, was a guest there as well and ruined the whole thing. 

Sofia tried to make the best of it, but you can tell she wanted to kill him on the spot. I was offended and upset, and I am not Colombian, but I really felt it was an insult to Latinos in general and Sofia in particular. Anyway, at least she had a witty comeback and managed a few words in Spanish, para no quedarse con las ganas. Jay could have been more attentive, though.

What do you think? Here’s the video. (Courtesy of

“Somebody do something!” A Salma no le gustan los snakes…

The good/evil people at always have a beef with Salma Hayek. It’s a love hate relationship. Siempre le tiran, pero bien que la sacan. I guess it’s the price you pay for being the most famous Mexican actress and a billionaire’s wife.

Today they did not wait to post this video of a scary and funny incident involving (the newly changed her name) Mrs. Pinault.  This will surely go viral asap, with mentions already all over the web-social mediums- ect etc. “Salma pierde el glamour que le caracteriza…” dice la revista. OHMAYGOUD! “Someboudy Du Someding!” (hasta en los casos de emergencia Salma no pierde el mexican accent.)

Leánlo Aqui. en Quien

OK. La verdad sí está chistoso. Not one to miss an opportunity to provoke a few smiles your way, here’s the video from youtube. Quién sabe de donde salió ese reptil in the middle of a press junket. Pobre Salma, y pobre Maya Rudolph. A ella le tocó que Salma se le encaramara encima. Por poco se cae para atrás!

And I thought Salma had a thing for snakes… didn’t she dance with a python once on a movie?

You can see it here I think:

Arizona reminds me of 1930’s Germany


Artwork by the brilliant Lalo Alcaraz. See more of his comics at

It’s been a few days since the SB1070 Immigration bill was signed into law by the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (La Brew-Ha como le dicen en facebook.) Y aunque este no es un blog político, si es un blog de la vida en spanglish, so it’s about time I voice my opinion. 

Before the hate comments come in (how interesting that when I post something that is immigration related I get a few hate emails which are never published) let me start off by saying there is no easy way out of this immigration mess, no easy single solution that will make everyone happy when it comes to undocumented workers in the US. There are too many obstacles (money, power, race, pride) and too many people (12 million and counting) to solve this in one step. 

The debate heats up every year, around the month of May curiously enough, and everybody gets all worked up and passionate abut the subject. But nothing has changed in years and meanwhile people are divided into camps: Pro-Immigration Reform and the “Send them All Back ” groups como los MinuteMen. 

But we’ve never seen anything like this. Not even back in the days of 187 in California were people so split on this issue.

The extremist and racist profiling tactics and measures that will now take place legally in Arizona are shocking. I don’t exaggerate when I say it reminds me of Germany, Pre World War II., circa 1930. Back then Jews were blamed for everything from diseases to unemployment to taking away from “rightful” citizens to being a threat to the community. Sound familiar?

It seems the people of Arizona took a note out of history and came up with a law that basically would give a law enforcement official, cualquier policía de la calle, the right to ask anybody that doesn’t look “gringo” enough for proof of residencyor legal status and put you in jail or deport you if you don’t have it with you. I suppose they wouldn’t be looking for Chinese, or European, or Canadians, or African Americans, right? This is a law that is aimed at Hispanics and anyone who “looks” Hispanic. What that means is left up entirely to the law officers judgement.

Everyday I come across different opinions on the subject of immigration. Yes there are way too many people who are here without “legal staus”. Yes the system is broken, yes there are crimes and misdemeanors.  However, we are not all criminals, nor thugs, nor abusive “disease ridden illegal aliens who bring lice and diseases across the border” as someone on CNN said recently, imagine that.

What about the millions of hardworking, decent, HUMAN BEINGS that come to work here and grow this country’s economy? What about the people that cook for you in restaurants, wait at your table, clean your office building, park your car, help you out when your car is stranded on the road (it happened to me!), clean your hotel room? What about the construction worker, the janitor, the cook, the nurse, the student with good grades, the nanny, the gardener, the person who helps you carry your groceries, the dishwasher? Don’t they deserve a chance to work/live here legally? Everyday they prove they are worthy of the American Dream. They work hard and provide for their families. I have met people and know stories that inspire, esta gente lo ha sufrido y lo ha vivido. Salen con miedo todos los dias de ser deportados, y aun así se arriesgan. Merecen tener el derecho a trabajar y quedarse aqui. He dicho. 

Jan Brew-ha can say this won’t affect Arizona’s economy. Allá ella. We’ll see. For the moment, I won’t so much as spend a cent in AZ, nor drive through there. “I won’t even drink Arizona Tea,” says my friend Mickey Vega. Lo siento por los residentes de su estado, but that’s the way it is. 

So that’s my humilde opinión. I have a feeling this time things will be a little different. People are more informed. More vocal.And we now have the power of Facebook!  Social Media is a great tool for defending your point of view (either for or against Immigration Reform) and it’s not going anywhere soon. Here’s a few groups that have formed since last week: 

1 Million Strong Against Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070. 

Possible Illegal Immigrants 

Si un policia me dice papeles y yo digo tijeras gano yo 

And other links to (a great group credited with bringing down Lou Dobbs)

Shame on Arizona 

And here’s a cool video link my friend Marisol Rosas sent me (Gracias!) from the Colbert Report: (Click below to watch) 

No Problemo

Theres’ still plenty to mention, but for now, here we are.  ¡Animo amigos!

“Provecho”: never going back.

Big thumbs down to Provecho, a “Mexican fusion” restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, which opened about a year ago.

Don’t get me wrong, the place is beautiful, the food is acceptable, our waiter Bryan was very pleasant, but the dinner experience that was going superbly turned into a big disappointment. Let me explain.

My dear friends had invited me to drinks and dinner to celebrate my birthday- again, yes still celebrating!- and they chose this spot on Wilshire and Flower in LA.

Never coming back here.

The evening started nicely at the bar. The cocktails were tangy, well served and original and we were excited about the place. Perfect spanish was spoken, con acento mexicano, y había buenos elementos para el “people watching”.

Two little cocktails sitting at the bar...

Once we were seated at our table, we were informed that there would be a private party at 10pm and we would have to leave by 9:50pm. It was already 8thirtyish…

This did not go over well. My friends had made a reservation two weeks in advance. They did not so much as get a call or confirmation email 24 hours before the reservation, as is typically the case with well run restaurants or establishments.

Obviously we were irritated by this, but since we were already seated, we proceeded to go over the menu. I mean, you’re NOT going to throw us out during dinner, right? Especially if we are ordering appetizers and several big item entreés to share “family style”.

Provecho has a varied menu, seafood ceviche, lamb, prime rib, and a good pork belly appetizer which was one of the highlights. But little did we know that after our main course was hastily served, our waiter had been commissioned to ask us to leave. We were not even halfway into the meal. We then asked for his manager and the chef Gabriel Morales. Only the manager came in, so we voiced our displeasure, stated their poor manners in trying to throw us out and politely requested more time to finish our meal, even at the bar if we had to! It didn’t work, and we didn’t even get compensated for this!

I mean, we were in the $250 plus range  for dinner, one of our friends had brought in two bottles of beautiful wine (A Concha y Toro Terrunya from Chile, thank you very much!) and we didn’t plan on taking a doggie bag home. But they only offered a lame apology: they were sorry that they could not diss the party coming in, which turned out to be a bunch of frat boys from USC (which only made us angrier!) If they thought we were going to be OK in leaving a good meal so a bunch of sorority brats can enjoy this space, then they have another thing coming.

I only have this blog to rant, so here it goes: we will NEVER ever return to Provecho and we will tell everyone we know. Don’t go there! It’s overpriced, adds too much “chilito TAJIN” to spice up the seafood and serves undercooked prime rib. It was pratically served raw by the chef so we could get out of there sooner. This combined with poor courtesy and manners by the managing staff means Provecho LA has a big TACHA (no-no) in our books. And we have big books! And Twitter accounts, and facebook profiles, and friends in HIGH places. (No por ser presumida, pero si es cierto eh!)

Alas they practically threw us out. However, the evening ended on a high note (which will be added later to this blog) when we proceeded to Rivera. But more on that coming soon.

Here are 2 shots from our dinner, previous to our exit:

Some of our appetizers included: ceviche, sashimi and pork belly. They added too much Tajin chile en polvo if you ask me.

Would you leave this meal unfinished? Concha y Toro Terrunya Carmenere, lamb, scallops and prime rib. Practically untouched!