Friday, May 27, 2011

Moscas Muertas

The English translation follows, below. | La traducción en inglés sigue abajo.
: )

"Mami! Mami!" dijo mi niño. Acababa de regresar de la peluquería con su papa." Jamás te morderán los zancudos. Este mata-moscas los quema." Agitaba en el aire una objeto qué parecía raqueta de tenis. 

"¿Qué-qué? Como qué los quema?" Pensaba que se burlaba de mi.

"Mira." Se oía todo entusiasmado. Con la ayuda de su papa, le metío una pila a la empuñadura de la raqueta y los dos comenzaron a atacar un zancudito qué volaba en la sala.


Se me enchino el cuero con el ruido.

Hicieron chicharrón del zancudo.

No mentira, esta curiosidad qué solo cuesta cinco dolares en BIG LOTS sirve comó un sueño. Solo tiene uno qué acostumbrarse al olor de insecto asado.

p.s. No mata arañas. Eso lo descubrí yo.

Hay invención para todo. | There's an invention for everything.

Mientras escribía este post, no podía dejar de pensar de un dicho que mi mama siempre nos decía cuando tratábamos de esconder las averías que hacíamos ... "Son unas moscas muertas."

Dead Flies

"Mom! Mom!" my son said. He'd just returned from the barber shop with his father. "Mosquitos will never bite you, again. This fly-swatter burns them."

He waved an object resembling a tennis racket in the air.

"Whut? What do you mean it burns them?" I thought he was fooling with me.

"Look." He sounded all excited. With the help of his father, he put a battery in the handle and immediately attacked a mosquito flying in the living room.


My skin crawled with the sound.

They fried him [direct translation: They made a pork rind out of him].

No lie, this object that only costs five dollars works like a dream. You just have to get used to the smell of roasting insects.

p.s. It doesn't kill spiders. That I discovered, myself.

As I wrote this post, I couldn't stop thinking of a saying my mother used to say to us whenever we tried to hide our mischiefs ... "You're a bunch of dead flies." (Translation: Flies playing dead, waiting for you to walk away. : )

Monday, May 23, 2011

Multicultural Familia Launches Monday, May 30th

"The ideal of the melting pot symbolized the process of blending many strains into a single nationality, and we have come to realize in modern times that melting pot need not mean the end of particular ethnic identities or traditions." John F. Kennedy, A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS

I love to read and learn about other people's experiences. Always have. This is why I spend so much of my free time reading stories about characters who struggle to find their place in a multicultural society. The reading allows me to see "my" world (my experience) through another's eyes, teaching me not only about what makes us different, but, also, similar.

So when Chantilly Patiño, the founder of Bicultural Mom, asked me to be a contributor to her new blogzine Multicultural Familia™, that's slated to launch Monday, May 30th, I was honored that she asked. I couldn't think of a better place to call home. : ) Culture, identity, raising bicultural and biracial children are all issues that are important to me.

One of my responsibilities as a contributor will be to post twice a month. Many of my posts will be about books that portray, in their unique way, what it means to be a member of our culturally diverse American society. We not only have challenges to overcome, but also opportunities to learn and enrich our understanding of each other.

Chantilly has assembled an impressive group of diverse bloggers, who I'm sure are going to surprise a lot readers. In the coming days, a blogroll will appear in my sidebar to all the contributors blogs.

If you'd like to know more, or are interested in finding out how you can get involved, please read the full press release included at the end of this post.

You're also invited to participate in the group's first tweetchat, tonight at 7 p.m. ET. #multicultralchat

Come share with us what it means to you to be part of a modern family. : )

Contact: Chantilly Patiño
Phone: (605) 413-7948

URL:™ Online Magazine to Launch on May 30th invites us all to join a community of diverse voices and discover the issues that matter to modern families.
Sioux Falls, SD – May 20, 2011 – A new online magazine will launch on May 30th to provide multicultural resources and articles geared towards modern families.  The magazine will address multicultural and multiracial lifestyle with special emphasis on topics such as racial and cultural identity, ethnic heritage, language acquisition, interracial relationships and multiracial parenting; with an overall focus on cultural awareness and racial unity.  The aim of the magazine is to bring people together and create a strengthened multicultural community online where individuals and families can discover similar perspectives, connect with diverse voices and find helpful resources.
Multicultural Familia™ was founded in April 2011 by Chantilly Patiño, the blogger behind Bicultural Mom, in an effort to provide an arena for discussing the unique blessings and challenges associated with modern families.  Multicultural Familia™ consists of a diverse community of writers and bloggers from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds who share common interest in multiculturalism and diversity.  Multicultural Familia™ is a place where individuals from all backgrounds can come together to learn about new cultures, understand each other’s’ challenges and discover the beauty of a multicultural lifestyle.  Through America’s growing diversity, we are moving more and more toward multiculturalism, and becoming less of a cultural ‘melting pot’.  Today’s modern families are discovering that they are not limited to embracing only one cultural identity, but instead, can choose to cultivate a broader heritage.  Join us and add your voice to the discussion!
Connect with us: Twitter  Facebook  YouTube
Upcoming event: Tweet Chat on Monday, May 23rd from 7-8pm est, via the hashtag #multiculturalchat
Learn more at

Sunday, May 22, 2011

JUST FOR FUN: A Little Hip-Hop Shakespeare

What a great way to reinforce writing concepts and storyline. I would've loved these back in the day. Love it! I hope you enjoy. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Perros Sin Pelo -- Ratas Con Copete

La traducción en inglés sigue, abajo. | The English translation follows, below.

Participo en SPANISH FRIDAY para mejorar mi español.

I participate in SPANISH FRIDAY to improve my Spanish.

Chinese Crested Hairless                   ©
Se lo qué estan pensando ... Que perro tan espantoso. No se asusten. Les prometo qué este perrito tembloroso no muerde.

Hace dos semanas durante una cena con dos otras parejas, una de las esposas nos dijo qué acaba de comprarle un perro sin pelo a sus niños. Lo que descubri es qué este tipo de perro es ideal para la gente que tiene alergias.

Se qué no es el perro mas bello del mundo. No lo juzguen solo por su apariencia ... todo lo que quiere es un poco de cariño.

Para mi hijo que esta alergico a todo, se le hará [this verb tense does not look right to me?] un sueño ser el dueño de une perro que no esta hecho de peluche.

Pelo, o no.

Hairless Dogs -- Rats With Bangs 

I know what you're thinking ... What a scary looking dog. Don't be frightened. I promise this little trembling dog doesn't bite. 

Two weeks ago while out to dinner with two other couples, one of the wives told us she'd just purchased a hairless dog for her kids. What I discovered is that this kind of dog is ideal for people who have allergies.

I know it isn't the prettiest dog in the world. Don't judge him solely on his appearance ... all he wants is a little bit of affection.

For my son, who's allergic to everything, it would be his dream to have a dog that's not a stuffed animal. 

Hair, or not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Sister and Best Friend


This post has been in my head for a couple of weeks, now. When I first came across Flor Olivio's "Friends and Their Many Talents" link party at Florecity Growing Up, I thought, "What a great idea!" I wanted to participate but didn't know where to start or if my friends would give me permission to use their pictures. : )

I figured I'd worry about getting "permission" later and immediately attacked the dusty box of photographs under my bed (photographs that pre-date digital photography). In my search I came across a few surprises and found the perfect picture for this post.

It's one that was taken on the day of my wedding, of my baby sister, Alma, with my best-friend, Kayo. These two women I'm honored and blessed to call sister and friend. My sister for her fierce, but charming manner (that comes in handy in her line of work), and my friend, for being like a sister to me, these last thirty years. I love them both.

When I think of them, I'm flooded with memories: a homemade teddy bear with its arms sewn on backwards, an Isuzu Trooper backing into my car, dizzy spells one sweltering Fourth of July on the Esplanade in Cambridge, drive-bys, my first trip to Big Bear, several to Vegas, break-ups, showers, weddings, tears, laughter, failures, love ... forgiveness.

I honestly don't know how might've survived my twenties and thirties without their support and guidance. To be a sister is to be a friend, and to be a friend a sister. Thank you, Flor, for giving me the chance to talk about these two wonderful women.

[This is an edited repost. The original and comments were deleted during Blogger's hiccup last week.]

Steampunk Indian

Visit other Wordless Wednesday contributors, here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mami en Mexico

The English translation follows, below. : )

Tengo dos semanas planeando un post sobre los perros sin pelo (no broma). Cambié mi modo de pensar, cuando al buscar fotos para otro post (el qué mis amigos de Blogger se acaban de comer) encontre estas de mi mama.

Me da no se que verla tan jovencita, con sus parientes, amigas y mi hermano, Francisco, cuando el era bebe (el es el nino en el balde de agua).

A ver estas fotos, todas borosas y de blanco y negro, me encuentro en un mundo lejano y desconocido. Las examino y me pregunto ¿Si ella se podia haber imaginado qué un día iba venir a vivir tan lejos de su país? A un lugar donde nieva? Y donde las ojas combian de verde a colores de manzanas, calabasas y del sol?

Elle se inmigro en el año 1960, cuando el proceso era mucho mas fácil. Es por ella qué tuve la oportunidad de estudiar aquí. Es por ella qué soy Americana.

Los perros sin pelo, se los aguardo hasta la proxima semana.


Mom in Mexico

I've been planning for two weeks to chat a little about hairless dogs (no joke). I changed my mind, when while looking for some pictures for another post (the one that Blogger ate!), I found these of my mother.

I can't explain the feeling I get to see her so young and in the company of her relatives, friends and my brother Frank, when he was a baby (he's the one in the tub of water).

To look upon these blurry black and white photographs, I find myself in a distant and unknown world. I examine them and ask myself, "Could she have ever imagined that one day she'd come to live so far away from her country?" To a place where it snows? And where the leaves turn the color of apples, pumpkins and the sun. Probably, not.

She immigrated, here, in 1960, when was much easier. It's because of her that I had the opportunity to study in this country. It's because of her that I'm an American.

I'll save the hairless dogs for the coming week.


Friday, May 6, 2011

¡Veros Mangos y Veros Elotes: Dulces de los Dioses!

The English translation follows, below : )
Quería tanto tomarle una foto a una paleta fuera del papel.
¡Pero parecía un tiburon, me las comi todas tan rapido!
Sabía que debía de haber comprado mas.

I so wanted to take a picture of an unwrapped lollipop.
But I was like a shark, I ate them so quickly.
I knew I should've bought more.
¡Qué suerte tuve la semana pasada! Despues de un poco de investigación, descubri una tienda Latina que queda solo una media hora de mi casa. La tienda no es muy grande, pero vende algunos productos esenciales: chorizo de puerco, queso fresco, Jarritos de Tamarindo de litro ... y ... Vero Mangos y Vero Elotes!

Como me fascinan los dulces bañados de chile. Son tan sabrosos. Pero como todo, se deben de consumir con moderación.

Me comi tres en una media hora, algo que no les consejo qué hagen. o_O

Photo Source: Dimex
¿A verlo, no se te hace agua la boca?
Hasta ahorita quiero otra ... a las seis de la mañana.

Isn't your mouth watering just looking at it?
I want one now ... at six in the morning.

Hablando de chile ... le echo chile a todo ... hasta a la fruta fresca ...

Mi comida (como se dice "snack?") mas favorita del verano --
sandía cubierta de chile con limón. : D

Y sí, la tienda también vendía pan dulce (¿se acuerdan de mis conchitas?) qué mas bien parecía pan del año prehistórico: petrificada.

Que lastima.

Encontré algo chistoso buscando "snack" en SpanishDict ...

Vero Mangos and Vero Corn: Candies of the Gods!

I got lucky last week! After a little bit of investigation, I discovered a store that sells Latin products not more than a half hour from my house. The store isn't very big, but it sells some essentials: pork chorizo, fresh cheese, litre-sized tamarind-flavored Jarritos soft drink ... and ... Vero Mango y Vero Corn Lollipops.

I'm fascinated by candies smothered in chili-powder. They're so delicious. But like anything, they need to be consumed in moderation. I ate three in a half-hour, something I don't advise you do. o_O

I throw chili-powder on everything. Even on my fresh fruit. My favorite summer food is watermelon covered in chili-lemon powder. Mmmmmmm.

And yes, the store sold Mexican sweet bread (remember my conchitas) that was more like bread from prehistoric times: petrified.

So sad!

I found something funny looking for "snack" in SpanishDict ...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

HUNGER OF MEMORY: The Education of Richard Rodriguez

"A primary reason for my success in the classroom was that I couldn't forget that schooling was changing me and separating me from the life I enjoyed before becoming a student."

Hunger of Memory Resonated With This Reader

I could not take my eyes off this book when I first saw it, with its romantic sepia-toned image of a mestizo young man, staring off into a dream. It captured my imagination. What were his thoughts? I wondered. What did it mean to "hunger of memory?"

Nothing could've prepared me for it.

I read Richard Rodriguez's autobiography, a collection of six essays, with a constant churning in my stomach, feeling all-the-while, as though I'd stolen the man's diary and invaded his deepest, darkest thoughts.

Rodriguez's story is one threaded with guilt, regret, and longing for his Mexican culture, language, his private (home) life. The one he had no choice, but to give-up, in order to assume his place in public society. 
"For the first time I realized that there were other students like me, and so I was able to frame the meaning of my academic success, its consequent price -- the loss." 
Reading HUNGER OF MEMORY, I came across three central issues that have left my brain in knots (still):

  1. Private identity vs. Public identity -- what have we (who've assimilated) given up of our private identities (culture and language) to assume our place in public society?
  2. Bilingual education -- does bilingual education do more harm than good? Does it take away a child's right to assume their place in public society by teaching them in their "private" language?
  3. Affirmative action -- is there a point at which affirmative action in education gives an unfair advantage to somebody who may be a "numerical" minority, but not a "cultural" minority, someone who's already assimilated?

I don't think I could've picked a more provocative book to read for the Multicultural Awareness Blog Carnival. I'm afraid that instead of finding answers for myself, I've dug up more questions.

So I have to ask...

Whoever said we couldn't hold onto our individual ancestry, culture, language, and be members of public society? Does it have to be all-or-nothing? I certainly don't, nor will I accept it.

Video: Richard Rodriguez on Books Learning

In this hour-long video, Richard Rodriguez explains why he does not consider himself a cultural "minority." He also addresses "multiculturalism" from the perspective of groups who silo themselves at the expense of having an expanded world-view.

Be sure to stay for the Q&A. In it he talks about the beauty of Octavio Paz's poetry, how he believes that U.S. television will feature "brown-skinned" actors who look like him, mestizo (this video is dated 1999), long before Latin America does, and his views on justice in America.

Richard Rodrigez is a complex thinker. He identifies himself as a Mexican-American, while at the same time acknowledging that he has a little bit of everybody else in him, too.

Listening to him is definitely a mind-bender. And although I don't agree with everything he says, I do appreciate his perspective.

"Once upon a time, I was a 'socially disadvantaged' child.
An enchantedly happy child.
Mine was a childhood of intense family closeness.
And extreme public alienation.
Thirty years later I write this book as a middle-class American man.

JUST FOR FUN: Video -- I'm Reading a Book

Stumbled across this hysterical video over at author Medeia Sharif's blog this a.m. I've been humming it ever since I watched it (now half-a-dozen times). In case you've not met Medeia, she has a YA debut coming out this summer titled BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER.

Thanks for sharing the video and the status of your debut, Medeia. : D

You can read her original post here.