Better Together (Mejor Juntos)

nescafe-coffeemate

This post is sponsored by Nescafé. Product for review has been received as well as compensation for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.

Some things are just better together – pupusas and curtido, churros and chocolate, arroz con pollo – and Carlos feels the same way about creamer and coffee.

Carlos wakes up before the sun rises to go to work each morning and he doesn’t always have time to make his coffee the way he likes it, with plenty of vanilla creamer and a few spoons of sugar. Problem solved with Nescafé’s new 2-in-1 product which combines their instant coffee with Nestlé Coffee-mate!

You just mix 2 tablespoons of the powder with hot water and ¡Ya está! – Carlos’s perfect cup of coffee.

I used to drink my coffee like Carlos but over a year or two ago I made the transition to black coffee. Nevertheless I gave the Nescafé with Coffee-mate a try and it was really creamy with the perfect amount of sweetness. The French Vanilla is the favorite at our house – Carlos, our teenage boys and I all unanimously agreed it’s the best, but the Hazelnut is a close second. If you prefer unflavored creamer there’s a third option called “Original.”

Want to give it a try? Check out the giveaway below!

—-Giveaway closed. Congratulations, Angela.—-

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a two week supply of the new Nescafé & Coffee-mate products.

How to enter: Just head over to Twitter and tweet about other foods that go “better together” (peanut butter and jelly, for example!) using the #NescaféCoffeemate hashtag. Once you have tweeted, come back here and leave the direct URL link to your tweet in comments below. (Please read official rules below before entering.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the PR agency responsible for prize fulfillment for that purpose. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid email address in the email address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between September 29th, 2014 through October 1st, 2014. Entries received after October 1st, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte / Good luck!

Silbar La Vieja

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Mirando “Domingo Para Todos” Carlos empezó a reír cuando gente en la audiencia estaban silbando. El silbido fue muy distino y de tres latidos – dos cortos y uno un poco más largo. Como “¡Fi-Fi Ffuuu!”

“¿Qué significa este silbido?” pregunté yo.

Carlos me explicó que este silbido se llama “la vieja” y en El Salvador es igual a decir “tu madre.” (O sea, es un insulto.) El silbido es muy utilizado en los estadios por insultar al árbitro cuando él hace una mala decisión, o si tienes la necesidad de insultar a alguien que está lejos. Si uno está manejando un carro y quiere utilizar el silbido con otro conductor, también se puede hacer “la vieja” con la bocina.

Carlos aceptó gentilmente a dar una demostración.

Parece una habilidad útil. Tal vez debería empezar a usar el silbido con gente que me enojan si no son salvadoreños. Silbar “la vieja” me ofrece la oportunidad de expresar lo que estoy pensando y la otra persona sólo pensará que estoy loca. Ningún daño hecho!

(Image source: Steven Depolo)

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

While watching “Domingo Para Todos” Carlos started to laugh when people in the audience were whistling. The whistle was very distinctive and had three beats – two short beats, followed by one a little bit longer. Like, “Sss-Sss Srrr!”

“What does that whistle mean?” I asked.

Carlos explained to me that the whistle is called “la vieja” [the old lady] and in El Salvador it’s the same as saying “tu madre” [your mother/yo mama]… In other words, it’s an insult. The whistle is very useful in soccer stadiums to insult the referee when he makes a bad call, or if you need to insult someone from a distance. If you’re driving in a car and want to make use of the whistle when angry with another driver, you can even imitate the sound with your car horn.

Carlos graciously agreed to give a demonstration.

Seems like a useful skill. Maybe I should start using the whistle with non-Salvadorans who make me angry. Whistling “la vieja” offers me the opportunity to express what I’m thinking and the other person will only think that I’m crazy. No harm done!

(Image source: Steven Depolo)

Bilingual Brain Freeze

bilingualbrain

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Anteayer mi hijo menor me dijo que hay una nueva estudiante en su escuela que sólo habla español y está en un programa especial para los niños que no hablan inglés. En el pasillo entre clases una compañera bilingüe le presentó mi hijo a la nueva chica y le dijo a la chica, “Si necesitas ayuda, también puedes hablar con él porque habla español.” Bueno, mi hijo estaba feliz de ayudar pero me dijo que desafortunadamente su cerebro se congeló y le costaba recordar palabras que quiso decir, aunque entendió todo lo que estaban diciendo. La nueva chica estaba buscando la clase de un maestro que se llama Mr. Cooper.

En vez de decir, “La clase del Sr. Cooper no está en la planta baja. Tienes que ir arriba” – mi hijo tuvo que decir, “La clase de Mr. Cooper no aquí. Mr. Cooper allá,” y señaló con el dedo.

Cuando mi hijo me contó lo que pasó, me sentí como un fracaso. Hablamos demasiado inglés en casa. Es mi culpa su español no es mejor, y es culpa de Carlos también.

Por otra parte, estoy orgullosa de él porque encontró una manera de comunicarse aunque no era perfecta, y más orgullosa porque me dijo que “Fue un poco vergonzoso pero yo quería ayudar.” Cuando uno no habla un idioma con fluidez, es mucho más fácil sucumbir al miedo y no decir nada que buscar el coraje de hablar.

Lo que le falta en la fluidez, lo compensa con una buena actitud y corazón.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

The day before yesterday my younger son told me that there was a new student in his school who only speaks Spanish and is in a special program at school for kids who don’t speak English. In the hallway a bilingual classmate introduced my son to the new girl and said to the girl, “If you need help, you can also talk to him because he speaks Spanish.” Well, my son was happy to help but he told me unfortunately his brain froze up and it was really difficult for him to remember the words he wanted to say, even though he understood everything they were saying. The new girl was looking for the classroom of a teacher named Mr. Cooper.

Instead of saying, “Mr. Cooper’s class isn’t on the ground floor. You have to go upstairs” – my son had to say, “Mr. Cooper’s class no here. Mr. Cooper there,” and pointed his finger.

When my son told me what happened, I felt like a failure. We speak too much English at home. It’s my fault his Spanish isn’t better, and it’s Carlos’s fault too.

On the other hand, I’m proud of him because he found a way to communicate even though it wasn’t perfect, and I’m even prouder because he told me “It was a little embarrassing but I wanted to help.” When one doesn’t speak a language fluently, it’s much easier to succumb to fear and say nothing rather than find the courage to speak.

What he lacks in fluency, he more than makes up for in a good attitude and heart.

SUN BELT EXPRESS – immigration, humor and corazón

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 4.31.07 PM

When I was contacted two years ago by producer Evan Buxbaum about his script for SUN BELT EXPRESS, I was hesitant. He wanted to make a film about undocumented immigrants that “could find some of the humor and light, in what is typically a very dark subject.” I asked myself, is that possible? Can one mix humor and such a serious topic?

In the end I agreed to be a beta-reader because Evan seemed very sincere and I thought it was wise of him to verify authenticity in the dialogue and seek opinions of those close to the topic at hand.

I read his script in its entirety and ended up loving it. Evan thanked me for the feedback and I hadn’t really thought much about his project since then, but this week Evan contacted me again – the film has been completed and will be premiering in the U.S. this October. (Check www.sunbeltexpressmovie.com for locations and dates.)

Today I had the opportunity to watch the full-length finished film and found it very much worth sharing with all of you. My review is below, but in short, I encourage you all to support the film and go see it if you’re able to. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

(Full disclosure: As stated, I was a beta-reader for the SUN BELT EXPRESS script and as such you can see my name in the film credits under general “thanks”, however this review reflects only my honest opinion.)

Review – SUN BELT EXPRESS

Allen King (Tate Donovan) is a divorced Ethics professor in southern Arizona who, accused of plagiarism and fired, is forced to commute daily to his new teaching job across the border in Mexico. The money he makes isn’t enough to keep up with his own bills or car maintenance, let alone meet the financial demands of his ex-wife (Rachel Harris) or pay his teenage daughter’s private school tuition. To supplement his income, Allen gets wrapped up in smuggling Mexican immigrants across the border in the trunk of his beat up 1972 Volvo.

Things get complicated when his teenage daughter (India Ennenga) mistakenly thinks her father is doing something altruistic and unexpectedly tags along for the ride. Add in a pregnant ex-girlfriend (Ana de la Reguera), three Mexican men in the trunk, two corrupt U.S. Border Patrol agents, and an overheated car that breaks down at the worst possible moment, and you have a situation that would seem to be no laughing matter – but that’s where you’d be wrong.

Mexicans have a dicho – “Al mal tiempo, buena cara” – which means put on a good face during bad times. Be positive; it’s an attitude shared by many Latin Americans. And while most films on immigration show the heartbreaking reality, the difficult choices made, the perilous journey – SUN BELT EXPRESS is a rare exploration into the humor of this mostly solemn situation.

Talk long enough to a person who immigrated illegally to the United States – more often than not, they will have a funny story or two to tell about their journey. My own husband has told me stories about a guy who accompanied him and carried a bottle of Pepto-Bismol like a hip flask which he regularly took sips from “to help with his nerves.” During another part of his journey, he wasn’t able to turn off a broken sink in a motel bathroom and chaos ensued.

For me, the brilliance of the film SUN BELT EXPRESS is found in moments like this. The dialogue between “passengers” Rafi and Miguel in the trunk is the main highlight. Rafi (Oscar Avila), who is somewhat fat, makes a stressful situation even more stressful for Miguel (Arturo Castro), who happens to be claustrophobic. If lack of space wasn’t enough of a problem, Rafi is quite generous with stories about all the adventures he’s had trying to cross the border before, although he’s only been caught “cinco, seis veces…o lo mucho siete.” The chemistry between these two actors is fantastic, and the friendship that blooms between them on screen made me smile as much as the well-acted humorous lines which are never crass but full of corazón.

SUN BELT EXPRESS contains plenty of entertainment in the form of humor, but it’s well-balanced by a bigger message. Serious themes including morality and political corruption are an essential part of the plot but the film never comes across as preachy. In the end, the deeply flawed protagonist redeems himself and the film succeeds at traversing the difficult border between heartfelt humor and hurtful ridicule when dealing with extremely sensitive subject matter. SUN BELT EXPRESS is a daring, fresh take on the immigration journey which is just as likely to spark important conversation as it is laughter.

Similitudes Inesperadas

carlos-tracy-kinder

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Cuando uno se casa con alguien que nacio en otro país hay un millón de cosas que no tienen en común, pero descubriendo las similitudes inesperadas es muy divertido. Aquí hay 10 cosas Carlos y yo tuvimos en común aunque él nació y se crió en El Salvador y mi niñez fue aquí en los Estados Unidos.

Similitudes Inesperadas Entre Carlos y Yo

1. Ambos intentamos (sin éxito) aprender a tocar la guitarra.

2. Nosotros dos tenemos una hermana mayor que es mayor por varios años.

3. Ambos tuvimos un perro mascota.

4. Ambos tenemos las letras “CAR” en nuestro nombre: CARlos e invertido en mi nombre: TRACy.

5. Nuestros padres jugaron fútbol. (Mi padre jugó en la universidad. El padre de Carlos jugó y más tarde fue el director de un equipo.)

6. Garbage Pail Kids. Nos gustaban mucho las tarjetas, pero sólo pudimos admirar las tarjetas de nuestros amigos. Carlos no podía comprarlas por falta de dinero y yo no podía comprarlas porque mi mamá dijo que eran asquerosas. (Pero tal vez yo tenía algunas escondidas en mi escritorio en la escuela.)

7. Champú Prell. Sentí nostalgia un día y compré champú Prell – un producto que era a menudo en mi ducha cuando yo era niña. Cuando Carlos lo olió, lo reconoció inmediatamente como el champú también había utilizado a menudo cuando era niño.

8. Arroz con Leche.

9. Nos gustaba mucho los ThunderCats, Knight Rider, Los Picapiedras, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, y varios otros programas de televisión.

10. Cada domingo pasabamos la mañana en la iglesia. Imagínese, yo en mi vestido y zapatos oxford, él en su trajecito. Aunque estuvimos sentados en bancos de madera a miles de kilómetros de distancia, estabamos destinados a encontrarnos un día.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

When one marries with someone from another country there are a million things they won’t have in common, but discovering the unexpected similarities is really fun. Here are 10 things Carlos and I had in common even though he was born and raised in El Salvador and my childhood was here in the United States.

Unexpected Similarities Between Carlos and Myself

1. We both tried (unsuccessfully) to try to learn to play the guitar at one point or another.

2. We both have an older sister who is older by several years.

3. We both had a pet dog.

4. We both have the letters “CAR” in our names: CARlos and reversed in my name: TRACy.

5. Our fathers both played soccer. (My dad played in college. Carlos’s father played and was later the manager of a team.)

6. Garbage Pail Kids. We both loved the cards but could only admire the cards of our friends. Carlos couldn’t afford them and I wasn’t allowed to have them because my mom said they were disgusting. (I may or may not have had a few hidden in my desk at school though.)

7. Prell shampoo. I felt nostalgic one day and bought some Prell shampoo – a product that was often in my shower growing up. When Carlos smelled it, he recognized it immediately as the shampoo he had also often used as a child.

8. Arroz con Leche.

9. We both loved ThunderCats, Knight Rider, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, and several other TV shows.

10. We spent each Sunday morning in church. Imagine, me in my dress and saddle shoes, him in his little suit. Seated on wooden pews thousands of miles away, but destined to meet one day.

Real Amas de Casa de Soyapango (y otros programas que quiero ver)

Image adapted from photo by Christian Dory/Wikipedia

Image adapted from photo by Christian Dory/Wikipedia

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Cuando compartí en Facebook la noticia de que va a salir un programa que se llama “Acapulco Shore” (basado en el famoso programa “Jersey Shore”), un amigo mío que se llama Jaime me dijo, sería mejor si hicieran un programa “Real Amas de Casa de Soyapango” (basado en el programa “Real Housewives of Orange County.”)

No soy fan de muchos programas de televisión, pero si tuvieran un “toque” salvadoreño, yo estaría mucho más interesada en verlos, entonces, se me occurió la idea de hacer esta lista.

Programas Populares (si los hubieran realizado en El Salvador)

En vez de Real Housewives of Orange County – Real Amas de Casa de Soyapango
En vez de Jersey Shore – La Libertad Shore
En vez de Law & Order: SVU – Ley & Orden: PNC
En vez de Iron Chef – La Mejor Pupusera
En vez de American Idol – Idol Salvadoreño (con jueces Álvaro Torres, Mr. Pelón 503 y Allison Iraheta)
En vez de America’s Got Talent – El Salvador Tiene Talento (con jueces Cocolito, La Tenchis, y Cipitío)
En vez de Keeping Up with the Kardashians – Mantenerse al Tanto con Los Pomas
En vez de Deadliest Catch – Los Pescadores Futbolistas
En vez de 19 Kids and Counting – 19 Primos y Contando
En vez de Pawn Stars – Mercado Central
En vez de Pit Bulls and Parolees – Chuchos Aguacateros y Mareros
En vez de Mad Money – Locas Remesas
En vez de America’s Secret Slang – Caliche
En vez de What Would You Do? – ¿Qué Harías Vos?
En vez de Ice Road Truckers – Microbúseros

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

When I shared on Facebook that a T.V. show called “Acapulco Shore” (based on the famous “Jersey Shore”) would be coming out, a friend of mine named Jaime commented that it would be better if they made a show called “Real Amas de Casa de Soyapango” (based on the show “Real Housewives of Orange County.”)

I’m not a fan of many T.V. shows but if they had a Salvadoran “twist”, I would be much more interested in watching them, so it occurred to me to make this list.

Popular T.V. programs (if they had been made in El Salvador)

Instead of Real Housewives of Orange County – Real Amas de Casa de Soyapango
Instead of Jersey Shore – La Libertad Shore
Instead of Law & Order: SVU – Ley & Orden: PNC
Instead of Iron Chef – La Mejor Pupusera
Instead of American Idol – Idol Salvadoreño (with judges Álvaro Torres, Mr. Pelón 503 y Allison Iraheta)
Instead of America’s Got Talent – El Salvador Tiene Talento (with judges Cocolito, La Tenchis, y Cipitío)
Instead of Keeping Up with the Kardashians – Mantenerse al Tanto con Los Pomas
Instead of Deadliest Catch – Los Pescadores Futbolistas
Instead of 19 Kids and Counting – 19 Primos y Contando
Instead of Pawn Stars – Mercado Central
Instead of Pit Bulls and Parolees – Chuchos Aguacateros y Mareros
Instead of Mad Money – Locas Remesas
Instead of America’s Secret Slang – Caliche
Instead of What Would You Do? – ¿Qué Harías Vos?
Instead of Ice Road Truckers – Microbúseros

La Vida Puede Ser Simple

Monica-Giraldo

Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with Cricket Wireless as a 2014 Blog Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Perhaps it’s a normal progression, but I find that as I’m getting older the “get the party started” type of songs just sound… loud. There are still days when that’s the sort of mood I’m in and those songs are appropriate, but more and more often I’m seeking quiet yet happy songs, and when I find an entire album that is suitably quiet yet happy, I get really excited.

On the unlimited music service called Muve Music, which I have with my Cricket Wireless plan, I’ve been fortunate to find some new music I may never otherwise have discovered, which includes my new favorite quiet yet happy album at the moment by a Colombian singer named Mónica Giraldo. If I had to describe her music, the vocal qualities are a mix of Shakira and Sarah McLaughlin, while the sound reminds me very much of quieter songs by Brazilian group Kid Abelha. Sound perfect? Check out Mónica Giraldo’s album, Todo Da Vueltas on Muve Music. Here’s my favorite song on the album, “La Vida Puede Ser Simple.” I really love the lyrics.

If you love it, you can check out her other albums on her website, including her newest, Que Venga la Vida.

For more from Cricket Wireless ambassadors, follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter. Note: If you are not currently a Cricket Wireless customer and wish to sign up with Cricket, due to the AT&T buyout Muve Music may not come with your device. You can read more about that here. When I have more information about what music options new Cricket customers will have, I’ll be sure to let you all know!