This Ain’t Your Typical Abuelita Breakfast

This week McDonald’s triumphantly announced the launch of a half-pound, culturally-relevant burrito: the McSkillet, which the media is tauting as as the McLatinization of the breakfast menu, mainly due to its “Mexican influence.”

I beg to differ. I am as Mexican as it gets, and though my mother sometimes fed us with some weird concoctions, I don’t ever recall having a rolled flour tortilla stuffed with Jack cheese, red, green peppers and onions mixed with scrambled eggs and hash browns for breakfast (I don’t even think my mom or my abuela know what the hell hash browns are.)

According to Advertising Age, the sausage McSkillet has 610 calories and 36 grams of fat, making it McDonald’s third-most-fattening breakfast, behind the Big Breakfast and the Big Breakfast Deluxe.

William Lamar, CMO McDonald’s USA, told AdAge that “it was important for McDonald’s to have more burrito-based options as Mexican food becomes increasingly popular and schedules get tighter.”

Yeah, right. People are getting fatter and time-pressed, so blame it on the Mexicans!

Oh No! Gringos Use Our Lotería to Teach us English


Some woman called Deborah Frisch has come up with an English language method weirdly named ¡Binglés! La lotería para aprender inglés. And it’s no joke. According to a company’s press release, this “revolutionary and cost-effective method” uses our beloved juego de lotería to teach us, monolingual Latinos, how to pronounce things in English with lots and lots of accents: Watermelon, for instance, is Guá-ter-mélon; La Sirena is the mér-med; The musician is the myu-zí-shan, and so on. You get the picture (and it’s not pretty!)

In her Web site, Ms. Frisch tells us about her career as an accomplished language teacher, but most importantly informs us about the importance of the lotería in the daily lives of us, lazy Mexicans.

Wherever there are Mexicans and people of Mexican descent, while the parents take siestas after dinner, the kids find shady spots to play la Lotería.

And I thought I had seen it all… Good Lord!

Why did They Shut Up?

I’d like to thank my friend Diego for sending this bizarre, yet fascinating, story about my home country. It turns out that the indigenous zoque language (one of 350 native languages spoken in Mexico) is about to disappear simply because its last two speakers have stopped talking to one another.

According to the Mexico-based Instituto Nacional Indigenista, two men in their 70s are the only fluent speakers of the language, but they just “drifted apart” and just won’t talk to eachother.

“We know they are not to say enemies, but we know they are apart. We know they are two people with little in common,” the head of the agency told the BBC. Damn! If they only were to mimic Mr. Chávez and start blabbering about something, whatever… maybe we’ll be able to keep zoque around for a longer while.

¡¡¿Por qué se callaron?!!!

Viagra Ice-Cream, Anyone?

You can say -and think- whatever you want about Venezuela and its president, but one thing is undeniable: Venezuelans are truly creative people. Take Coromoto, an ice-cream vendor in the province of Merida, which is pitching a ‘Viagra’ ice-cream for the sexually challenged.

Coromoto, who has even made it to the Guiness World Records, offers 840 flavors, including garlic, beer, corn, black beans and… Viagra. But don’t get too excited (pun is intended): Coromoto’s Viagra ice-cream is not made with the famous blue pill, but is a mysterious mix of honey and plants. Oh… if we only knew the recipe!

How I Learned to Loath Mexican Wine

After the three-day food and wine smogasbord a.k.a. Thanksgiving, we were too broke to keep spending precious dollars in fine Bordeaux and Burgundy so decided to finish the weekend supporting the patria with this 2005 Jubileo Meritage, from the wine-rich area of Ensenada, Baja California.

Despite its creative tagline —¡Viva el Vino! ¡Viva México!— Jubileo looks better in the bottle than feels in the stomach. However, we tip our hats to the wine’s creators for the festive logo and the jubilant, barefoot Mexican dancer who raises to the jubileo occasion in pure emotion. ¡Ajúa!

An Immigrant-Themed Thanksgiving

To celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving, some 150 Hispanics in Morristown, N.J. are getting together to cook. But instead of the traditional stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce, they are cooking up something much more interesting: an immigrant-themed full menu.

According to New York City’s El Diario La Prensa, this year’s delicious menu includes pasta “visa-da” de chorizo; “La Hazaña” [de cruzar la frontera], arroz mixto “fronterizo,” papás chorriados por la Migra and sangría de-portada. (Sorry, you gotta be positively bilingual to get the joke!)

So in the spirit of the holidays, I decided to join the residents of Morristown and share with them my own menu for Thursday night:

Para empezar: Muros con Cristianos

Main course: Tortas ahogadas en el Río Grande

De postre: Pay de Nuez … legal

¡Feliz ‘Sansgivin’!

Forget Spanglish! The New Wave is the ‘Japoñol’

I love, love these guys.

Peruvian reggaetón trio Los Kalibre is making the Japanese shake their butts with catchy songs and lyrics mixing Spanish and Japanese in what the media is already calling Japoñol. The Peru-born recent Japan immigrants are convinced the Japanese will embrace their music and dump the salsa rhythms, simply because reggaetón it’s easier to dance… and to sing. (Really, how difficult is it to learn the lyrics of Gasolina?)

According to Lando, Dando and Nani, their music gets an inspiration from Rafael, Celia Cruz, Nino Bravo and José Feliciano; the trick, they say, is to mix both languages (Spanish and Japanese) and inventing new forms and verbs. ¡Que Viva el Japoñol!

Texas Man Seeks Faithful Latina. Reward: $5 Million

How much would you offer a Colombian young, beautiful woman in exchange for fidelity?

Well, a 76-year-old Texan man is putting down $5 million on the table for “a young woman, with three or more small children, if she is faithful until my death.”

The unusual ad was placed in the Sunday edition of El País, a daily in Cali, Colombia, a city known -among other things- for its beautiful women (though we’re not sure about their faithfulness, yet). Oh, and you have to be 1.60 meters, at least.

Here is, verbatim, the old man’s wishful ad:

“Hombre americano de 76 años busca una joven mujer de 1,60 de estatura o más alta, con tres o más niños pequeños, que quiera casarse y estar bien ella y sus hijos. Si me es sincera le puedo asegurar 5 millones de dólares después de mi muerte.”

The ad then includes a phone number in Houston, Texas, where you can even call collect!

Damn! I’m no Colombian beauty, nor I have two or three young children, but for $5 million I’d get a face-lift and find myself a couple of kids somewhere. Only problem will be the fidelity thing, but I’ll think of something.

Mexican-Speaking Mexicans Not Wanted Here


Apparently, some Mexicans around Seattle’s Lewis County are really pissed at the above sign, property of a fellow called Mike Hamilton, who has used this very billboard to make all kinds of statements in the past. The sign, which is located along Interstate 5 at Exit 72, has taken issue against Clinton, Gore, sex, gays, taxes, etc. (You get the picture).

Quite frankly, I’m not so much offended by the sign as by the distortion of a joke that originated in Mexico and that we, Mexicans, find quite funny… What really cracked me up though was a video posted by the Hamilton Chronicle in which a local citizen, Mrs. Margaret Shields, 86, makes her point about immigration very, very clear:

“If they want to come here, they have to learn English… if we were to go to Mexico, we will have to learn Mexican….”

Oh dear…

Making Martínez a Chart Topper

Little did people notice a recent New York Times story showing that 2 Hispanic surnames are now, and for the first time, among the top 10 most common names in the nation:

Smith remains the most common surname in the United States, according to a new analysis released yesterday by the Census Bureau. But for the first time, two Hispanic surnames — Garcia and Rodriguez — are among the top 10 most common in the nation…

I’m certainly happy for the Garcías and Rodriguezes, but I tell you, I couldn’t be more thrilled myself: according to the very same data, Martínez “nearly edged out Wilson for 10th place!”

Man, this is some challenge! so starting today I am launching my own campaign aimed at making us, Martínez, to the Top 5 beating if not the Garcías or the Rodríguez, at least the Smiths, Andersons and Taylors. As we say in my country, ¡Sí se puede, sí se puede!