JFK: The anniversary we don’t forget.

Fifty years ago, and it still evokes sadness and haunts us a little bit.

This important anniversary of the assasination of President John F. Kennedy has sparked a renovated interest in the history of this tragic day. Fifty years seems like a long time ago, but in the timeline and scheme of things, of world history, it’s quite recent. It’s still a vivid memory for everyone who lived through it.

All week long there have been countless documentaries on TV, print articles and interviews remembering JFK. It’s like a history lesson from the USA. We are revisiting Camelot, analyzing the Kennedys, Jackie, the Civil Rights movement, the time the world came to the brink of nuclear war, and the legacy of JFK.

I wasn’t born yet in 1963, but as a kid I remember all the LIFE Magazines my grandfather kept around the house and how I was enamored of the images of Jackie Kennedy. Such grace, such class and such perfection, all her stylish outfits from over the years. They were my favorite pictures and she was “kind of” my idol. (Nevermind that I always believed she would be my suegra one day, because I was convinced I would marry JFK Jr., but I digress.)

Here are a few things to share.

This week I'm reading Time Magazine's special issue: "The Moment That Changed America" and a few letters from "Letters to Jackie, Condolences from a Grieving Nation" by Ellen Fitzpatrick.

This week I’m reading Time Magazine’s special issue: “The Moment That Changed America” and a few letters from “Letters to Jackie, Condolences from a Grieving Nation” by Ellen Fitzpatrick.

A couple of years ago, a book called “Letters to Jackie” was featured in the New York Times. It’s a book of letters of condolences to the First Lady, from people all over the world, compiled by Ellen Fitzpatrick. Needless to say, some of the letters are so eloquent and simple, that they make you quite emotional. (Here is the link to the article in the NYT). I got a copy of it last year and read a few letter this week. It is unimaginable to understand the grief and confusion people felt at the time. “Y así se puso el día triste cuando se murió,” se acuerda mi abuela. “Lo quería mucho toda la gente.” (She’s been watching and remembering too.)

CBS Sunday Morning (my favorite TV show) devoted an entire 90 minutes to JFK last week. It’s been their highest rated episode in the last few years! Here are 2 videos from this show. In one of them Jackie even speaks Spanish:

PBS also has a wonderful two-part documentary on JFK that is not to be missed. It’s a couple of hours long but it is simply amazing, with all the early footage and archives they include. I had never seen as much of young JFK’s life in video, and for the first time I understood the power of his charisma and allure.

He was a charming man on camera, a great study on the effects of his wit and grace. Even after all the flaws we know about him today, he was definitely a unique human being, truly something else. This is a documentary not to be missed and is part of the American Experience series.  Click on the link here: JFK

From the American Experience series, "JFK."

From the American Experience series, “JFK.”

Loving the Early Beatles Photos @Leica Store

Long live The Beatles!

Who doesn’t love The Beatles? They are ageless, timeless, wonderful, beautiful, and after all these years (50+) they are still lo máximo.

Beatlemania took off in 1963 in the US, and it has never really left us. By the way, Sir Paul just released a new album this week, titled NEW, and he sounds really, really happy. You need to hear it.

I stumbled upon an amazing photo exhibit at the recently inaugurated Leica Camera Store in West Hollywood, and had a chance to admire an exhibit by Astrid Kirchherr. She was only 22 when she started following around and photographing The Beatles, before they became famous. Most of her images were shot with a Leica, which she borrowed from a friend. The story is amazing. Here’s an excerpt from the exhibit notes:

At age 22 Astrid Kirchherr, a fashion and art school graduate, accompanied her bohemian friends to the Kaiserkeller Club in Hamburg, Germany, to hear some new rock and roll played by a young group of musicians from Liverpool, England. Kirchherr was overwhelmed by what she saw and what she heard.

“It was like a merry go round in my head. They looked absolutely astonishing…My whole life changed in a couple of minutes. All I wanted was to be with them and to know them.”- Astrid Kirchherr.

The images were on sale, so you could definitely own a piece of Beatles history if you’re in the market for some cool artwork.

By the way, who is your favorite Beatle? I think for me it’s John…maybe Paul, sometimes George, but Ringo is the coolest.

Here are a few pictures from the exhibit, which I’m sorry to say is ending on Sunday Oct. 20. But if you’re in LA, the Leica store is a beautiful place, with an almost museum like quality and a fantastic gallery on the second floor. It’s definitely worth a visit.

The Leica Store in West Hollywood opened recently and is a must visit for photographers.

The Leica Store in West Hollywood opened recently and is a must visit for photographers.

Exhibit wall on the first floor.

Exhibit wall on the first floor.

A girl and her (borrowed) Leica, Astrid Kirchherr when she began taking pictures of The Beatles in the early 1960's.

A girl and her (borrowed) Leica, Astrid Kirchherr when she began taking pictures of The Beatles in the early 1960’s.

Collection of photos on view and for sale.

Collection of photos on view and for sale.

Another angle of the exhibit.

Another angle of the exhibit.

A very young John Lennon.

A very young John Lennon.

John and Ringo on the train.

John and Ringo on the train.

George Harrison, "the quiet" Beatle.

George Harrison, “the quiet” Beatle.

Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney.

Those eyes. Paul McCartney.

Those eyes. Paul McCartney.

A pensive John Lennon.

A pensive John Lennon.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr

Early, early Beatle years. John and Paul (insert from larger pic.)

Early, early Beatle years. John and Paul (insert from larger pic.)

The original Beatles, before they were the Fab Four.

The original Beatles, before they were the Fab Four.

Fell in live with this M camera from Leica. It'll set me back about 13K bucks. But it's on my wish list, on my vision board and desktop screensaver. I DECLARE I will own this Leica in my lifetime. He dicho.

The amazing staff at Leica lets you play with the cameras. I fell in love with this M camera model. It’ll set me back about 13K bucks. But it’s already on my wish list, on my vision board and desktop screensaver. I DECLARE I will own this Leica in my lifetime. He dicho.

La Gwyneth here, la Gwyneth there, la Gwyneth everywhere.

She's everywhere these days.

She’s everywhere these days.

Bueno, it had to happen sooner or later.

My dysfunctional love/hate relationship con la Gwyneth Paltrow has reached new heights. I really don’t know how to help myself…Somebody stop me from buying/consuming all the magazines and books where my nemesis slash bff Gwyneth is on the cover, por favor.

This month was particularly bad. She was voted the World’s Most Beautiful Woman on the cover of People so there I go and ahí te van 5 dólares. I wouldn’t go THAT far as to say she is the world’s most beautiful woman, pero who cares I bought it anyway. She had another cover this May for Harper’s Bazaar, so there go another 5 pesitos. And I finally found her new book at Costco and succumbed to it. Lo veia en el Barnes & Noble pero me dolía el codo pagar los 32 bucks, so I just waited for the $17.69 deal at Costco.

I’ve subscribed to her goop.com ever since she started it, I think she’s the celebrity I’ve mentioned most on this blog, I follow her on Twitter, la veo en el Hola, me sé toda su vida, o sea, in a nutshell, soy su groupie.

And yet, when I see her on TV, when she’s giving an interview with her snobby upscale vocabulary, cuando parece que she’s perfect and makes you feel somewhat inadequate for not being all perfect all the time, or when she’s wearing those weird see through dresses like at the recent premier for IronMan, de veras que my inner voice says, Urgh! No te aguanto. Ya bájale Gwyneth. No manches.

A dichotomy indeed.

Pero no me considero de los multiples haters que tiene en la vida (hay muchos que la detestan), ni tampoco me atrevería a dejarle un negative comment en su blog.

Most of the time, I’ll admit that she does inspire me, she does make me want to be a better cook and a healthier person. Like the time she said that the Vitamix would change your life and I believed her. (Yes, I bought it, and yes it has, and now I can’t live without it.)

Her new cookbook is a beautiful set of photos and recipes that I’m reading (and enjoying) cover to cover. Just by looking at the pictures I feel good, like I want to try them all and host a party or something. Tiene muy buen gusto, I’ll give her that. All the images are gorgeous, the fonts and the design are simple, the colors are bright. Está muy padre el libro. 

I can’t post any of the images from the book because of her very clearly written copyright notice de que pobre de nosotros si hacemos upload anything in the book without her permission. No quería poner ninguna receta sin permiso, of course. I do have a queja, though: hay una receta que le llama EASY POSOLE. With an S.  

Ahi si me dieron ganas de escribirle y decirle que where I come from, el POZOLE se escribe con Z. It’s POZOLE! Y que lleva some sort of meat. (She does a meatless easy “posole” with hominy y dice que le puedes poner rabanitos y aguacate to garnish it.)

So if you want to check the book out, vayan a la Costco to get a better deal. And if you’re like me, on Thursday you’ll be reading her latest installment on goop.com, a ver con que nos sale ahora. I’m not even a Mommy blogger and I want to get everything she recommends for the kids! I don’t have a superstar budget and I’m browsing through all her exclusive Goop fashion designer selections as if I were going to buy. Te digo, no tengo remedio.

Read my past posts mentioning La Gwyneth aquí en los links.

La Gwyneth ya bloggea en español (11 June 2009)

Cookbooks Galore (13 April 2010)

Joining the Vitamix Lovers of America (27 Sept 2012)

Spring Cleaning part 1: The editing process (18 April 2013)

OSCAR’s 2013 chisme and favorite moments

After the marathon show that was the 2013 Oscars, I think I’m gonna miss all the award shows that we were getting used to every weekend.

Personally, the Oscar show is a annual ritual for me, almost like an obsession where I sit in front of my tv and don’t move until it’s over. It’s been like that toda mi vida. What can I say, I’m a sucker for celebrities and Hollywood stuff. Yo hablo de los artistas como si fueran mis compas…

This year all the award shows seemed more exciting, with plenty of good movies to see and root for. It was a chance to see my two favorite men, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper again and again.

I’m glad Argo won and Ben Affleck got his Oscar for best picture (although my sentimiental favorite was Silver Linings Playbook which I saw 3 TIMES!) and made a wonderful, messed up speech que me hizo llorar un poquito. I saw it when he won with Matt Damon 15 years ago for writing Good Will Hunting, and it made me think of all those years in between when we thought we’d lost him, como decia mi amigo Alex. But he made it through!

Tambien me da gusto por la Jennifer Lawrence, although she definitely needs to work on her finesse for delivering speeches (never mind all those mishaps as she walks on stage, more on that later). But she looked beautiful nevertheless.

I was very upset that Robert De Niro didn’t win supporting actor, but I have yet to see Django Unchained, so maybe Waltz deserved it. And I can definitely say I am not a fan of Seth McFarland (really, Academy, you need to find SOMEBODY to host this thing with the grace and sophistication the show deserves.)

Other than that, me declaro fan oficial de Bradley Cooper y mi suegra, Gloria Cooper, with her feathered do and her sneakers on the red carpet, and frankly I’m a little jealous of JLaw and all the chivalrous gestures she receives from him in person and all the times he raved about her in interviews every chance he got.  Además, not only did Hugh Jackman rush to help her get up when she fell on her way up the stage, a few gifs on the internet show Bradley also running to help her. True gentlemen indeed!

Here are a few of my favorite images from the evening, taken from the Twittersphere and beyond.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are always happy to see each other. Here they are arriving at the Oscars. (photo from US Magazine Twittter)

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are always happy to see each other. Here they are arriving at the Oscars. (photo from US Magazine Twitter feed)

They have chemistry, these two. (Photo from Twitter)

They have chemistry, these two. (Photo from Twitter)

Saludando a la suegra, la mamá de Bradley Cooper, Mrs. Gloria Cooper.

Saludando a la suegra, la mamá de Bradley Cooper, Mrs. Gloria Cooper.

Like a good Italian-Irish Mama's boy, Bradley Cooper took his mom to the Oscars.

Like the good Italian-Irish Mama’s boy that he is, Bradley Cooper took his Mom to the Oscars.

¡Y que se cae la Jennifer Lawrence!

¡Y que se cae la Jennifer Lawrence!

But her two Knights in (black) shining armor went to her rescue: Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper. Suertuda!

But her two Knights in (black) shining armor went to her rescue: Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper. Suertuda!

From Ben Affleck;s Twitter: getting his Oscar engraved. Very happy for him.

From Ben Affleck;s Twitter: getting his Oscar engraved. Very happy for him.

Wordless Wednesday: Weird chocolate combos

Tortilla+Lime+Salt+Chocolate= weird combo. Found these at the REI store, $4 bucks each.

This is what the "fusion" foodie trend has come to. Chocolate + RamenNoodles = Not. A. Fan.

But they seemed so happy…

Forgive me for indulging in a little mid week chisme, but the recent celebrity breakups have me doing all sorts of mindless reflections. One could argue it’s a waste of time, but I figure since they’re practically everyone’s guilty pleasure, why not address it here?

Maybe they all got together and planned out the month (or at least their publicists did) but two very high profile famous couples called it quits this July, in a very quick succession.

You all heard of J-Lo and Marc Anthony’s parting of the ways during Carmageddon weekend , almost entirely wiping out all the other news. Ya salieron in every talk show, magazine, news outlet you can think of, and it’s interesting how mostly everybody is taking HER side while painting an unflattering portrait of Marc Anthony. Dicen que he was an insecure, controlling husband who also happened to have a few flings. Call me jaded, but I don’t think la J-Lo es una santa and she very well must have her own little issues as well. (Y’all know I’m not a big fan, but I digress.) I’m just saying it’s kind of unfair to him.

Sell more issues! Sell, sell, sell!

El único beneficiado fue el William Levy, who got plenty of air time and mentions on all the shows as the possible leitmotif of all this drama, after he shot that music video on the beach with her. (Hey Wills, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?)

Otros que nos dieron la sorpresa fue La Reina del Sur herself, Ms. Kate del Castillo,  who very casually announced, over Twitter, that she and her husband of 2 years, Aaron Diaz, are separating. It was one of those vague messages that don’t say anything and still meet with the pc codes of the industry. Según esto, se quieren tanto que se tienen que separarSay what?

Kate's Tweet.

I know it’s none of my business, but since I just saw La Reina del Sur (only like the best drama series en español ever) I can imagine it was uncomfortable for him to watch the love scenes with El Guero, El Gallego, and El Teo,  even with the ugly panzón character (I forget his name) and have to deal with her traveling all over the place to work and promote the series. Her dear old Dad, the wonderful actor Eric del Castillo, didn’t do her any favors by saying to People en Español they did not have “un matrimonio normal” just last week. Not only that, but the recent premiere of her new movie “Without Men”  in which she has a lesbian scene with Eva Longoria, has ignited more fuel to that rumor that has been going around ever since she ended her last marriage to the soccer player.

So who knows the real motives, and really who cares? The magazines/websites  will keep adding rumors and spin this just to sell more issues, get us all hooked until the next big chisme del corazón comes along.  All I know is, como decía mi amigo Alex Munguía, qepd, “En Hollywood, hasta el amor es falso.”

Here’s a link to Kate and Aaron’s happier days in a photogallery from Quien.com.

Esta noche me desvelo con William and Kate.

Bring out the Royal Doulton china, the English Breakfast tea, the scones and the cucumber sandwiches. I am staying up all night to watch the Wedding of the Year.

Call me frivolous and old fashioned, I am not embarrassed to admit I love “royal chismes” and revistas del corazón. It’s my (non) guilty pleasure and fix. Yes, I buy “Hola” magazine at 6 bucks a pop, and browse through it taking my own sweet time.  “El chisme también es cultura,” como alguna otra revista del corazón decía, así como para justificar esos intereses vacíos que tenemos. And frankly, I have been in social situations where my “chisme fix/cultura general” actually came to the rescue. It makes for good small talk, you know.  (Another time the chisme-paparazzi in me generated an embarassing moment, a run in with a Mexican political “celebrity” family who happened to be shopping at Loehman’s, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, I’m excited about it because 30 years ago I watched Diana and Charles’ wedding at my grandmother’s house. I remember when Lady Di got out of the car with her father and the excitement we all felt when we saw the dress. This time, GRACIAS A DIOS, I will again share the experience with my Mama Lilia, as she has told me she wants to get up to see it with me.  And that makes me very happy!

(And I know my friend Alex will sneak a bird’s eye view at Westminster, wearing his most dashing suit. He’ll probably be eavesdropping and get the scoop. He used to prepare the best teas for me, the British way, with whole milk and honey. God I miss him.)

So good luck to the couple, William and Catherine. Hope they put on a good show, hope the dress is fabulous and everybody’s happy in the end. We need happy stories. As Newsweek magazine said recently on their cover, “In a world gone mad, thank God for a wedding.”

William and Catherine, Guillermo y Catalina, Wills and Kate, Memo y Cata... call them what you will, they make a beautiful couple. (Photo by Mario Testino.)