Here comes Valentine’s Day. Cupido acuérdate de mi…

Today I realized Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday.

Y luego, all of a sudden, without any explanation, como que se me antojo mandar Valentine’s Day cards, like the ones you used to get in 3rd grade. Remember how you used to fill out one for everyone in your class? Me entro un poquito de nostalgia. Yo siempre escogía las de Snoopy.

Será que I’ve been running into all these little knick knacks all over the place. Made me want to buy corazoncitos de chocolates y artsy Valentine’s Day cards. Maybe if my new online dating sites prove any luck, the story will change by next Tuesday. (I am thisclose to rejoining eharmony and give them another chance, although you all remember my past experiences when they kept “matching me” with Lupillos and all the paisanos from Pico Rivera…NOT that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s a little ways out of my area code.)

On another note, for the last 2 years I’ve made a couple of recommendations on Love Songs based on my current state of mind, which probably (sin querer queriendo) says a lot about me and my relationship statuses.

The first year it was KEB-MO and “You Can Love Yourself” which I still love to hear all the time and says that “if nobody loves you and you’re feeling like dust on an empty shelf …just remember you can love yourself!” In 2011 it was C-Lo,  topping the charts with his “F-U” song, or “Forget You”  for radio friendly audiences, and I thought it was THE Valentine’s Day pick for the rest of us, los del club de corazones solitarios. You know who you are!

This year, however, I have not picked a song yet, maybe because I haven’t had a moment to think about it or because Lana del Rey has been all over the place with her weird and addictive songs and Valley of the Dolls like personna…more on that on a later post.

Oh well. I still have a few days to pick and choose, but in the meantime I ran into this cutesy-tootsie art card at the LAPL Gift Shop and I think it will do:

Pick your poison people: El Cancionero del Amor, according to a Valentine's day card which I found at the LAPL Gift Shop in downtown.

Y bueno, si alguien me quiere mandar chocolates, me encantan los de See’s Candies. Absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, no question about it, my all time favorites. Hint Hint:

See's Candies please!

Found! A Spanish newsstand in LA.

I was driving along the heart of Boyle Heights today when -lo and behold- que se me aparece este letrero.

ALL kinds of Spanish magazines? Surely you must be joking.

This magazine stand has been around for years on 1st and Soto, but this new sign- no, this STATEMENT- was beckoning for an investigation. So naturally I had to turn the corner and park the car.

Zoom out from across the street, on the corner of 1st and Soto in Boyle Heights (LA).

After approaching the newsstand, I did see a few periódicos from my fronterizo home state in México (BC).  They had a few critical-left wing political publications, like Proceso magazine, and the more central (but boring) Contenido. So that aspect is covered. There’s the frívolos-upscale-primer mundo en México examples, like Caras and Hola (México), but no Quien magazine, which was  surprise. Then there’s the comic strips en español de todos colores y temas. They still make them, but I wonder who reads them?

And of course there’s the typical churro reading entertainment junk, like TV Notas y TV y Novelas, not to be confused (although sí se pueden hacer mix up) with the pornographic stuff. It’s very hard to tell from these covers, since everyone is practically naked, and it’s mostly women. (Que novedad…)

Oy vey! Can you believe Playboy next to Brides en Español, next to libritos de historia next to knitting and hobby books, next to libros Cristianos.

Culture for the masses. Looks like something for everybody.

El Vanidades nunca falla, está en todos los puestos de revistas, al lado de las TV Notas con mujeres en poses sugestivas en la portada.

Material de lectura para el fresa-pseudo intelectual: Proceso 35 años de imágenes, Revista Caras y OK Mag en Español. Además un anuncio para tomar clases de "Naturismo" en LA.

So when they say “ALL KINDS” of Spanish magazines, they really mean it.

There was no Vanity Fair en español in site, however. You may remember I raved about it last week. This was a little disappointing.  But I’m quite pleased with the fact that this puesto de revistas exists and that it provides lecturas en español, a little something for everybody who craves reading material that you may not find at Barnes and Noble. Who am I to judge if you feel like reading Condorito? More power to you, amiguito.

The “All Kinds of Spanish Magazines” newsstand is open from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday and 8 to 4 on the weekends, at 1st and Soto in Boyle Heights. There’s a Metro station next to it, fyi.

Pedro Almodóvar Forever! A night @Taschen Beverly Hills

This week, gracias a mis amigas Lucia y Martha, fuimos al book signing de Pedro Almodóvar’s book “The Almodóvar Archives” at the beautiful Taschen Book Store in Beverly Hills.

A few lucky fans got a chance to meet and greet the film maestro, and he is a lovely, funny and charming man. Se me hace que es una persona que se ha de divertir mucho con sus ideas y su creatividad. Imagine what his mind looks like! All those colors popping all over the place, all those stories and visuals of the movies he creates.

As an added treat, también estuvo Antonio Banderas, one of his first actor discoveries all the way back in the late 1980’s, and apparently still a beloved friend after all these years. They had a brief Q&A session which was initially done in English, but as Mr. Almodovar got more animated, he asked for a translator, para poderse expresar agusto. Banderas is currently starring in the latest film, the dramatic thriller “La Piel que Habito” (The Skin I Live In) which is getting rave reviews.

Here’s a few pictures from the event. Truly a memorable evening I shall never forget.

Even after all these years, they still love each other. Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas had an animated and funny Q&A session for the fans who attended the book signing.

The man, the film genius! Almodóvar was happy to sign copies of his book for his fans.

Two of his biggest fans, Martha Coronel and Lucia Peraza pose with their friend, Pedro Almodóvar.

Here it is, a book signed for a Very Important Person!

Lucia admires the book as they specially package it. The book weighs all of 12 pounds and has all sorts of pictures and memorabilia from all of Almodóvar's films.

The actor Carlos Leal starred in the Almodóvar movie "Abrazos Rotos" with Penelope Cruz. ¡Es muy guapo! Además saludó a Almodóvar muy efusivamente y compró su libro.

This is the carrying box of the book. Only 1,250 copies were made of this special edition.

Charlotte Taschen, one of the Taschen family daughters, flew in from London to present the book.

Todos queriamos "say hello." The Taschen bookstore in Beverly Hills, California. Almodóvar fans crowd the store for a chance to meet him.

At Taschen they have the most beautiful and original books on art, lifestyle, travel, and photography.

My kind of place.

Arte en el techo. One of the many fabulous art collages hanging from the ceiling.

Vanity Fair España, lo máximo

If you’re looking for a smart pop culture magazine for these times, may I recommend Vanity Fair en Español, published en España by Conde Nast and sold here in the US at Barnes and Noble.

Ever since I found out it existed en español, I’ve been kind of obsessed with it. And I came late to the game, because it has been published since 2008 but just started reading it recently.  I’ve read the English version since 1989 (era una bebita leyéndola, hehe) but now I’ve transferred my affections to the Spanish version. No offense, Mr. Graydon Carter.

Yes, it may be trivial, a little fanciful, and out of my reality, but it is so addictive to read about interesting people in the arts, entertainment and cultural/political realms. Some of the articles are translated from the English sister mag, but mostly they do their own features and photoshoots.

Recent covers have had the Carolina Herreras (mother and daughter), Antonio and Melanie, la Reina Noor, y la Duquesa Cayetana de Alba que se acaba de volver a casar a los 85 años, so there’s definitely an aire de chisme to it as well. However, this is not your typical chisme from the  revistas en español that you find all over the place, like the overly public relations infused People en Español and the naquisima for the nac0-masses TV Notas. Nooooo, este es el chisme for the rest of us. (Yes, I’m a snob!)

You can find Vanity Fair at some of the Barnes and Nobles around town (it will set you back $10 bucks so you just may want to read it at the store) or in my case I’ve been lucky because my sisters and Mom buy it for me across the border where it costs 65 pesos.

Or you may want to browse their fabulous online version at http://www.revistavanityfair.es/ and read it for free. But you should try to support good magazines if you can and buy one every so often.

Here’s a great article on Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most fabulous and gifted writers there is, and a recent Nobel laureate. He was voted as the “Personaje del Año” by Vanity Fair just this month:

“Mario Vargas Llosa, el hombre que nunca se rinde”  (Click for the link.)

¡Felices Lecturas!

Four recent Vanity Fair en Español covers from 2011.

¡Esa mi Cayetana! La Duquesa de Alba on the cover, when she confirmed she was getting married again at the age of 85. Why not?

The editorial work is lovely and the photos are cool. Here's a recent photo with Ewan McGregor.

Ahi va mi colección de este año. Las cuido como oro molido!

Que buena foto!! Foto de Mario Vargas Llosa tomada del artículo online de http://www.revistavanityfair.es

Must See Documentary on OWN: “Miss Representation” and the ways women are portrayed by the media

Thank God somebody finally made a documentary about the  sexist, manipulative, and derogatory ways women are featured in the Media in this day and age.

On Thursday night, OWN TV (Oprah’s Network) will premiere the film “Miss Representation” at 8 pm. It was directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom. I took one look at the trailer and I’m hooked and telling everyone I know to see it.

Tengo años quejándome  de cómo mujeres como la Kim Kardashian and her clan, or any of the “real housewives”, or any number of latinas on Hispanic Television who love to show cleavage as they read the news, are portrayed or portray themselves as mere objects of desire. They’re abusing their physical appearance to get ahead. “It’s all about the body, not about the brains,” like one of the testimonials says in the film. Look at all the “encueratrices” on b-list magazine covers that adorn the newsstand. Look at how the magazines antagonize women against each other. Frankly I’m tired of it and that’s why I’m so excited to see this.

Take a look at the trailer and I think you’ll be hooked as well.

I went so far as to take a pledge on their website to tell everyone I know about this.

So here’s my part: Mujeres, VEAMOS ESTE DOCUMENTAL. Apoyemos esta causa, let’s support each other and the younger girls coming to age so they won’t be affected by this messed up view of women and female roles.

I went online at www.missrepresentation.org to sign up. Here’s the response I got from the team behind this film:

Thanks for joining our movement to end sexism!

Now that you’ve taken the MissRepresentation.org pledge, here are some actions you can take immediately to make a difference:

1. Tell 5 people about the film and share one thing you learned from watching it.

 2. Parents- watch TV and films with your children.  Raise questions like “What if that character had been a girl instead?”

 3. Remember your actions influence others. Mothers, aunts and loved ones- don’t downgrade or judge yourself by your looks. Fathers, uncles and loved ones—treat women around you with respect.  Remember children in your life are watching and learning from you.

 4. Use your consumer power. Stop buying tabloid magazines and watching shows that degrade women. Go see movies that are written and directed by women (especially on opening weekend to boost the box office ratings). Avoid products that resort to sexism in their advertising.

5. Mentor others! It’s as easy as taking a young woman to lunch. Start by having open and honest conversations with a young person in your life.

You are now dialed into a national movement to stand up to sexism and challenge the media’s limiting portrayals of gender. Together we will make a huge impact on contemporary society.

 So COUNT ME IN! Ya era hora. About time we all did something about this. Arriba las mujeres!


Bye Summer! Getting ready for Missoni for Target on September 13th.

So it’s already September 1st and Summer 2011 is practically gone after this long holiday weekend. (Unless of course you live in Mexicali, B.C. My peeps from Mexicali would love to hear that summer is over, pero aguanten un poquito más cachanillas, ya falta menos para que pase el calorón termonuclear del verano mexicalense.)

I’m actually looking forward to fall for one reason. Call me frivolous, but I can’t wait for September 13th, when Target (Tar-jay, Targé or “La Target”) launches their exclusive Missoni for Target line.  And of course I’m not the only one. Twitter and facebook are abuzz with people commenting on the beautiful stuff they have coming out. You better believe I’m going to be in line during the wee small hours of the morning, waiting for the store to open, armed with my coffee mug.

Here’s a few of the items on my wish list.You can check out their complete line at www.target.com

This bike is going to be a best seller, van a ver.

Have your laptop travel in style.

New flats are in my future.

Fancy an Italian latte? Love this set.

Too much Missoni? I don't think so.

For your home office, stationary with the iconic stripes.

Sympton Recital by Dorothy Parker

I do not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn’s recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I’m disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I’d be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men….
I’m due to fall in love again.

-Dorothy Parker

(Photo taken @Dwell on Design, Summer 2011. LA Convention Center.)