I Missed National Tortilla Chip Day. I’m Now Officially Ashamed of Myself

I guess I’ve been in this country far too long… So long, that I spent the whole day yesterday (Feb. 24) worrying about the whole re-design of the hot-dog thing, and failed to acknowledge it was National Tortilla Chip Day.

This holiday, so they tell me, is honored by millions of Mexicans -and Mexican food-lovers- nationwide, and calls for a day-long visit to your favorite Mexican eatery looking for the best dips and salsas around.

Alas, I totally missed it.

I just hope my dozens thousands of readers will forgive this blogger for the oversight. I can only promise to pay better attention in the future to such matters concerning my heritage.

[In the meantime, I’m off to my weekly meeting to discuss the upcoming -and inevitable- re-design of the torta de tamal.]

José José Becomes Latest Hispanic Famous Person to Launch Fragrance

Mexican legendary singer José-José has joined the throngs of Latino celebrities pitching a fragrance of their own. But unlike other Latino-themed aromas, the proceeds from José-José’s eau de parfum (should there be any) are expected to help the fight against HIV.

Other Latin luminaries flaunting their own aroma and whose sales might -or might not- go to a charitable cause- include Paulina Rubio, who launched Oro in 2009; Rafa Márquez, with RM, la Esencia del Triunfo; Antonio Banderas, with “masculine’ scents Spirit, Diavolo and Mediterraneo (Ay, ay, ay!) Niurka Marcos’ con feromonas thing, Alejandro Sanz, David Bisbal and, of course, Jennifer Lopez’ Glow.

Green with envy, this blogger has started working on her own smelly concoction: “My Smell is Your Smell,” available soon in your nearest bodega.

Tired of Waiting for Your U.S. Residency Papers? Try Becoming Miss Universe First

If you have been waiting, like, forever for your U.S. residency -or citizenship- papers, worry no more. Immigration lawyer and former Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey Michael Wildes can help… as long as you are, ahem, a Miss Universe.

A press release sent out this week by Wildes & Weinberg informs us that:

“Michael Wildes has been hired to serve as legal counsel to Miss Universe 2009, Stefania Fernandez. The appointment marks the third Miss Universe that Wildes & Weinberg has represented. In addition to Fernandez, the firm serves as counsel to Miss Universe 2009, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, and assisted Miss Universe 1976, Rita Messinger of Israel, in obtaining U.S. citizenship.”

So now you know it: If you are like most of us who have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more for the INS to make things happen, I’m sure you’ll appreciate knowing there might be other some alternatives out there.

Of course, you will need to spend some time -and money- on your costume.

Shakira, World Bank Launch $300M Initiative. Socks for Former Chief Not in the Agenda

Attention Shakira lovers -and World Bank haters: The Colombian singer is expected to announce today (Monday, Feb. 22) a $300 million joint initiative with the World Bank aimed “at expanding development programs for young children in Latin America.”

According to the World Bank:

The Early Childhood Initiative: An Investment for Life seeks to mobilize policy makers, public opinion and resources towards the adoption of Early Childhood programs in the region, which have proven to be critical in helping kids achieve their full potential in life.”

Shakira will join World Bank’s president, Robert B. Zoellick, at an event in Washington D.C on Monday, February 22 at 1pm EST.
No word yet if any of these resources will be pumped into Shakira’s own Pies Descalzos Foundation, but perhaps Zoellick will want to set some money aside to help colleague and former World Bank prez Paul “He Wolf” get a new pair of socks.


Fiscally conservative Paul Wolfowitz entering the Selimiye Mosque in Turkey (2007)

Hispanic Members of the CSPCNMAL Inch Closer to Potential Museum Possibility

latino-museum__1255470839_3443.jpgAre you clueless about Latino culture?

Worry no more. The Nobel-prize-winning Obama administration this week got a step closer to the creation of a National Latino Museum in Washington.

A dedicated commission, aptly named “The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino,” (from now on referred to as the CSPCNMAL) has retained two companies -Balsera Communications and República — to outline a work schedule aimed at completing the report and submitting it to Congress before the end of the year.

Spearheaded by Spanish tortilla empresaria Eva Longoria (aka La prieta fea) and Emilio “Lord of Miami” Estefan, the commission is working in determining how this national museum would best serve in portraying the history and culture of Latinos in the U.S.

It is yet to be seen how the CSPCNMAL will manage to raise the estimated $300 million needed for the thing. But I’m confident this will happen: aren’t Latinos the trillion-dollar opportunity?

[The group should feel free to contact this blogger, who is willing -an able- to lend a hand. Nothing would make me happier than becoming a member of CSPCNMAL.)

Washington Hispanics Excel at Spanish. I Want to Move There to Excel at Something

Of all the shocking revelations I’ve been exposed to lately, this one takes the cake: Hispanics and Chinese students are packing college-level Spanish and Chinese language classes and acing their AP tests at rates far higher than their English-speaking peers.

According to the Washington Examiner:

In Maryland, Virginia and D.C., public school students identified as Mexican-American, Puerto Rican or “other Hispanic” passed Advanced Placement Spanish language and literature exams at a rate of nearly 80 percent, compared with less than 60 percent of their white peers and less than 30 percent of black students.

This state of affairs has some native, U.S.-born English speakers kind of upset, because not only we are taking their jobs but we are beating them to language proficiency. [It also has made me kind of jealous since I’ve never really excelled at anything.]

Hat tip: F. Benitez

Slipped on Banana Peel? ‘Meta un Sú’ and Don’t Let a Douchebag Ruin Your Life

If you ever need to sue somebody in “Cuban” and –more specifically– in Miami, you’d be better off hiring a professional lawyer and, more importantly, stay away from the douchebags (mequetrefes).

By using the wonderful, un-translatable and cubanísimo concept of meter un sú (to sue somebody) a company in Bloca Raton, Fla. urges U.S. Hispanics to look for the best legal counsel instead of letting some mequetrefe (incompetent fool?) ruin your life as a consequence of an accident.

According to Metounsu.com, theirs is the place to go online when one seeks to meter un sú, whether you’ve been bitten by a dog, being involved in a car accident or -as their logo suggests- slipped on banana peel.

Do You Think This is Too White? Try Watching Some Spanish-Language Television

Once again, Vanity Fair magazine is under fire for portraying what critics describe as a very narrow -and white- face of America. At stake is the magazine’s Hollywood 2010 issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 9 and features a group of carefully coiffed, pretty young girls… all of them white.

But before you burn your VF past issues, cancel your subscription or join the growing ranks of Vanity Fair detractors, let me fill you in on a little secret: Not even the supposedly more diverse Hispanic media wants to portray anything other than Swedish-looking Latin Americans.

Have you ever watched a Univision or a Telemundo telenovela? Do you know what the networks’ main news anchors look like? When was the last time you saw a black-skinned Latino on television? (no, not the ones being caught in Cops).


Univision’s ‘El Show de Cristina’ (left) and Grupo Televisa’s ‘Querida Enemiga’

Mexico Urges UNESCO to Protect Its Food Before it Looks Like This

Not content with having Teotihuacán and Chichen Itzá among UNESCO’s protected cultural sites, Mexican officials are lobbying the organization to consider something even more worthy of recognition: Mexican cuisine.

Despite undergoing the country’s worst political and economic crisis in decades (and having organized crime virtually running the country,) Mexican cultural buffs, are urging U.N. officials to decide whether to add Mexico’s food to UNESCO’s list of cultural patrimony.

Such decision is of utmost importance, especially when one looks at the progress made in the Mexican culinary area by the likes of McDonald’s, Old El Paso and Chipotle.

So, please, U.N. officials: Show some respect to our tamales!

You Can’t Have Your Tits and Name Them Too

If you are remotely familiar with Spanish-language television, you might have noticed that scantily-clad muchachas are never in short supply, whether they are stars of a telenovela, hosts of family game show or simply just delivering the news.

But one thing is to show feminine attributes all day long on television and another is to call those attributes by their name. And that is why Telemundo has chosen to go with the image of a brassiere instead of the actual word to promote the upcoming premiere of Sin tetas no hay paraíso (Literally: Without Tits There is No Paradise.)

Reporting on the story for Multichannel News, this is what the network had to say about the name change:

“We think this compelling telenovela from Colombia conveys important messages of interest to our U.S. audiences,” a Telemundo spokesperson said via e-mail. “However, based on our network standards and our understanding of the expectation of our viewers, we have made certain adjustments including the treatment of the name.”

Which basically means: You cannot have your tetas and name them too!

Good Lord, Jean Paul Gaultier Takes Mexican Fashion Cue from Mel Gibson

Parisian haut couture has never been this fun.

Mixing images of mariachi hats, agave plants, palm trees and vaquero pants, Parisian designer Jean Paul Gaultier this week introduced the world to his spring-summer 2010 collection, totally inspired in the “sounds and sights” of Mexico.

Asked when he’s last visited Mexico, Gaultier told the press it was well over 30 years ago, but that it was Mel Gibson’s 2006 Mayan epic Apocalypto what put him into a tropical state of mind.

Oh, now I get it!