Category Archives: positive thinking
It’s official – I’m a Latin Guru.
This is a shirt from a company called SPƎNGLISH. I really like the company’s mission statement. Here it is, in part:
“Just like love + happiness = peace, Spanish + English = SPƎNGLISH. The union of two amazing forces results in the creation of a unique identity. To coexist while being able to nurture and accept ones roots, is SPƎNGLISH‘s ultimate purpose. To live a mindful life and practice being fully present, is SPƎNGLISH’s ultimate path.”
The shirt description:
Know that You are a Latin Guru and live by that awareness. Know and never underestimate the power that you possess. Be mindful of the words you choose when they are coming out of your mouth, and be even more conscious about the ones that are already inside your head. In SPƎNGLISH we believe that everyone is a Latin Guru, and everyone holds the powers to change in any direction at any time. We chose “Pele” to represent our Latin Guru because we want to show the world how such a simple man could change the world with his bare feet. He made a sport so popular that would ultimately become a very powerful tool to promote Paz e Amor all over the world.
Disclosure: This shirt was given to me by SPƎNGLISH. All opinions are my own.
[English Translation below]
Hay un arbusto en nuestra yarda – mi mamá me lo dio unos años atras. El arbusto, por la mayoría del año, no es nada especial – lo ignoramos… hasta que esta época del año cuando salen los capullos bien redonditos. Ahora lo observamos con anticipación porque sabemos que unas flores bien grandes y lindas con un olor fuerte y dulce van a salir muy pronto.
Recientemente, yo estaba tan ocupada, tan apresurada y distraída, que olvidé completamente de mi arbustito y los capullos que estaban abriendo poco a poco.
Ayer por la tarde, cuando yo estaba lavando los platos de la cena, mi mente ya corría con millones de cosas que tengo que hacer, mi hijito entraba la cocina con una flor en la mano.
Mi primer pensamiento fue: ¿Y qué es esto? ¿Cómo floricían tan rapido? ¿Estaba yo realmente tan ocupada que se me había olvidado de tomar un momentito por chequearlas?
Mi segundo pensamiento fue: ¡Ay! Y mira este niño travieso ya ha arruinado el arbusto! Ni la cortó bien! Casi no hay nada de tronco en esta flor!
Mi hijo me dio la flor a mí. “La corté para tí”, dijo, mirándome con sus grandes ojos cafes y una sonrisa nerviosa.
Tomé una respiración profunda, le dí un abrazo y pusé la flor en un vaso pequeño. Estoy agradecida que no lo castigue. Después de todo, me hubiera perdido de ver las flores en absoluto si él no me hubiera recordado de ellas.
Supone que debo ser la que debo criar y enseñar a mis hijos, pero a veces son ellos los que me enseñan a mí.
There’s a bush in our yard – my mother gave it to me years ago. The bush, for most of the year – is nothing special – we ignore it… until this time of year when perfect little round buds emerge. Now we observe the bush with anticipation because we know the bush will soon give forth big, beautiful flowers with a sweet perfume.
Recently, I’ve been so busy, so hurried and distracted, that I forgot completely about my little bush and the buds that have been opening little by little.
Yesterday evening, while I was washing the dinner plates, my mind already running with a million things I need to do, my youngest son came into the kitchen with a flower in his hand.
My first thought was: And what is this? How did they bloom so quickly? Was I really that busy that I forgot to take even a small moment to check on them?
My second thought was: Oh! Look at this naughty child – he’s already ruined the bush! He didn’t even cut it well! There’s almost no stem on this flower!
My son handed me the flower. “I picked it for you,” he said, looking at me with his big brown eyes and a nervous smile.
I took a deep breath, gave him a hug and put the flower in a small vase. I’m thankful I didn’t chastise him. In the end, I would have completely lost my chance to see the flowers if he hadn’t reminded me of them.
It’s supposed to be me who is raising and teaching my children, but sometimes it is they who teach me.
I lack self-discipline, I’m a complete hedonist, I become intensely passionate about the things I love, and I’m impulsive. This spells trouble not just for my eating habits but it makes many aspects of my life challenging. Carlos, who is the complete opposite, has reformed me to some extent, and being a mother has forced me to change my ways, but it’s a daily fight.
Recently when I decided to get serious about my health, I reached out to mi amiga, Barbara to ask for guidance. She gave me a lot of encouragement and was also kind enough to send me a copy of her book, “…Barbara por Atras: A Latin Woman’s Guide to Fitness.”
I’ve read a lot of books about health but this one connected in a way that other books couldn’t. With mentions of Celia Cruz, nalgas, and piropos as well as healthful ways to prepare arroz con frijoles, tostones con mojo, and flan – I feel like finally someone “gets” me! This book is the jump start I needed. I’m taking steps in the right direction – poco a poco, I’ll make it. Gracias, Barbara.
Disclosure: The book was provided to me at no cost. I did not receive any compensation for talking about the book. All opinions are my own.
Carlos arrived in Miami a few hours after I did. When I kissed him hello he asked if I’d been drinking. “Just one Cuba Libre with Carrie,” I said. He sat down. He stared out the window. “You’ve only been here a few hours and already you’re drinking? … That’s not good,” he said.
We weren’t off to a very good start. I took his photo while telling him, “Cheer up! We’re in Miami, trick!” … That didn’t help. I promised no more drinking unless he was with me. He stopped pouting and we went for a walk.
The first order of business was to buy the boys a post card. I wanted to send it right away so it would arrive home before we did – We found a CVS and I bought one. (I later wrote the message, addressed it, put postage on it, and sent it… To this day, it has not arrived.) … While Carlos paid for the post card, I wandered outside. This dog was tied to the bike rack. I thought he was cute.
Both of us were starving so we continued to walk, in search of lunch. Carlos was looking for familiar fast food. I was looking for something new and exciting. This is a metaphor for our relationship in general. Carlos wants the comfort of the predictable. He wants things to stay the same – he wants to know what to expect. I, on the other hand, want to explore and discover. I want to try anything and everything. I think that frightens Carlos sometimes.
Eventually, Carlos relented and let me have my way, again, pretty typical for us… I think I’m just more willing to “argue to the death” as he says, and he gives up.
I was on a mission to find Cuban food. Every time someone who seemed “local” would walk by, I’d nudge Carlos and say, “Ask them!” and he’d say, “No, you ask!” … This happened a few times. When I finally got up the nerve to ask an elderly Cuban guy hobbling by with a cane, (I assume Cuban only because he was wearing a straw fedora, but I could be wrong), I realized we were standing in front of a place called “Bernie’s L.A. Café.” I saw some Cuban food on the menu in the window so we went in. The bilingual waitress was super nice, the prices were decent and the meal was simply amazing – very fresh, high quality food.
We both got the Cuban sandwich, (and tostones just because.) They served these really tasty pieces of toasted bread with a basket of different hot sauces. Mango habanero, (judging from the amount left in the bottles), is the most popular, and it was certainly my favorite.
The tostones came with “mojito dipping sauce” … I don’t know what it was made of but I need to find out. It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had. The sandwich portion was so big that we both only ate half and brought the leftovers to our room for a second meal later.
By the way, another must visit place – InStyle Cupcakes. Last time I went to Miami, Carrie introduced me to them. I like cupcakes to begin with, but with varieties like Dulce de Leche and Churro, I became a little obsessed. Since I knew we’d be back in Miami, I took to Twitter stalking them. If we’d have been given more free time, I was more than willing to invest the money in taking a taxi to visit them, but thankfully InStyle delivered a box to Carrie’s room.
Surprisingly, though I’m not crazy about fruit-flavored things most of the time, guava is my favorite. Next time I’m in Miami and don’t have such a full schedule, hopefully they’ll agree to a taste-testing tour of their actual location… for journalistic purposes of course.
Anyway, after lunch we stopped at Whole Foods which was like a block from our hotel, to buy bottled water and some snacks, etc. for our hotel room. We don’t usually shop Whole Foods cause we’re too poor, but it was a good experience. (And their sushi is awesome.)
After dropping our things off at the hotel, we went back out to make the most of our day. We met with Dean of Surropa.com, who I’ve been in touch with via E-mail, Facebook and Twitter for over a year now, but had never met in person. We had a nice chat and he gave us a lot of tips about where we should go for fun before dropping us off on Lincoln Road.
I could have walked around hand-in-hand with Carlos all night, but I had a busy two days ahead. During those busy two days, Carlos began to feel some discontent growing inside him. At first he couldn’t sort out just what he was feeling and why. I became frustrated with his negative attitude, chalked it up to simple macho jealousy issues – so we argued, (apologies to whoever slept in the room next to 307 that night.) …Once we calmed down, we talked and talked until we unraveled the problem.
It turns out, Carlos is feeling “stuck.” He see’s me following my passions and he’s proud of me, but he doesn’t feel like he’s growing or achieving anything himself – and he doesn’t know what to do about it.
I told him he needs to mix it up, try new things, and see what happens. He was resistant at first, but then he made the brave decision, against his natural tendencies, to see what possibilities are out there. I’m happy for him because I know what he’s capable of despite what he was told growing up – despite what he came to believe about himself, and despite the challenges of living in this country as an immigrant. He’s the only one whose been holding himself back.
All these years he’s supported me while I follow my passions – now I will be there for him.
Disclosure: I went to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. I have not been paid by any companies or restaurants mentioned. All opinions are my own.
Penquear – (origin Caliche) To spank/hit/slap, golpear
We had finished eating and our youngest son had already run off to play. Carlos, our older son, Suegra and I sat around the table, our plates pushed away, and talked for awhile as we usually do.
Carlos had a small argument with one of the guys at work and was telling us about what happened. The fact that the co-worker was Mexican really didn’t have anything to do with the conversation except to identify which guy Carlos was talking about – but you can’t say “mexicano” around Suegra without her getting started. Like many older people, she has some “preconceived notions” which aren’t malicious so much as misinformed. Of course she pipes up with the usual, “Así son los mexicanos, pues.”
Carlos gives me a look that means I should bite my tongue, but I can’t keep quiet.
“No puedes juzgar a todos los mexicanos así. Tengo un montón de amigos mexicanos y son muy buena gente.” I say.
Suegra shakes her head. We go back and forth a few times. Things are getting a little heated.
“Los hombres mexicanos son muy penqueadores!” she says, as if that settles it.
I start to tell her it’s not true of all Mexican men, and that Salvadoran men have their own reputation as well, but she interrupts, as is her way.
“Y si yo estuviera una joven, jamás me voy a salir con un mexicano!”
This conversation is going no where, so I decide to tease her.
“Y si está bien meloso?”
“De eso miel, no voy a comer!” she says.
“Y si está bien guapo?” I ask.
She looks at me as if I’m an idiot.
“Los mexicanos no son guapos, vos!” she says as if it’s common sense. (Forgetting that I know for a fact she has a crush on Vicente Fernandez.)
I catch Carlos’s eye and decide not to push it further. Insisting that there are plenty of mexicanos guapos will only make him celoso and cause problems for me. The table falls quiet since I fail to return fire, and then our twelve year old, who we had forgotten was sitting there, speaks up.
“Huh,” he says, “I didn’t know Mexicans like to spank people… that’s weird.”
Because he says this in English, Suegra has no idea what’s going on when I start laughing. Carlos also isn’t sure what’s so funny until I explain. Our son managed to pick up on the word “penquear” within the word “penqueadores” – but his only reference for this word is the threat of a spanking, as in, “Te voy a penquear.” Because he doesn’t know the word out of this context, he didn’t realize it could mean “hit” or “slap.”
Of course I set him straight. I explain the word “penquear” and I also tell him you can’t judge people based on stereotypes. My son says, “Of course. I already know that!” …and I knew he did, but I just wanted to make sure. Maybe I won’t convince Suegra, but my children will know better.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Eva Linares, the only female soccer commentator in El Salvador, (probably the only female soccer commentator in Latin America, possibly even the world.) Our interview was in Spanish, but I’ve translated my questions and her answers to English as well so no one is left out of the fun!
Durante el fin de semana tuve el placer y honor de entrevisar a Eva Linars, la única comentadora de fútbol en El Salvador, (probalemente la única comentadora de fútbol en América Latina, posiblemente la única en el mundo.) Nuestra entrevista fue en español, pero he traducido mis preguntas y sus repuestas a inglés para que nadie quede fuera de la diversión.
Interview with Eva Linars
Entrevista con Eva Linares
Latinaish.com: Mi primer pregunta es cómo fue que metiste en el mundo de fútbol? Cúando supiste que tú querías ser una comentadora?
Eva Linares: En el 2000 cuando tenía 18 años de edad ingrese a Radio Milenio 92.1 fm (emisora comunitaria que transmite en Santa Ana), comencé siendo presentadora de noticias y en el 2001 el Director de la radio, Julio César González (quien es periodista deportivo y narrador de fútbol de MILENIO y de CADENA MONUMENTAL 101.3 FM) fue quien planteo la opción de involucrarme en los deportes, en un principio era sólo reportera y Julio me propuso enseñarme a narrar, comenzamos las clases, hasta que hice mi primera narración en el 2001. Siempre me ha gustado hacer cosas diferentes, aprender y superarme, gracias a Dios que en mi camino han aparecido personas importantes que han compartido sus conocimientos.
Latinaish.com: My first question is, how is it that you got involved in the world of soccer? When did you realize that you wanted to be a commentator?
Eva Linares: In the year 2000, when I was 18 years old, I started at Radio Milenio 92.1 FM, (community radio station broadcasting from Santa Ana.) I started out as a news reporter and in 2001 the Director of the radio, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, (who is a sports journalist and football commentator from Milenio and Cadena Monumental 101.3 FM), was the one who brought up the option to involve me in sports. At first I was only a reporter but Julio proposed the idea of teaching me to commentate, I started the classes, until I did my first commentating in 2001. I’ve always liked doing different things, learning and overcoming. Thanks to God, important people always appeared in my path and those people share their knowledge with me.
Latinaish.com: ¿Qué ha sido lo más difícil y cómo lo has superado?
Eva Linares: Lo más difícil ha sido superar en mí temores, temores al qué dirán, ¿se me escuchará bien? – Tantas cuestionantes que surgen cuando emprendemos algo nuevo, esas incertidumbres las he ido superando preparando, haciendo mi trabajo con pasión y con la ayuda de amigos y amigas, de mi esposo, mi familia que siempre me empujan a seguir.
Latinaish.com: What has been the most difficult and how did you overcome?
Eva Linares: The hardest thing has been overcoming fears, fears that say, ‘can they hear me well?’ So many questions arise when we try something new, these insecurities have been overcome by preparing, doing my job with passion and with the help of friends, my husband, and my family always pushing me forward.
Latinaish.com: ¿Tienes algún memoria favorita de fútbol?
Eva Linares: En primer partido tenía muchos nervios, me preocupaba si podría gritar el gol, práctique mucho, llego el partido y los primeros 15 a 20 minutos de mi narración fue un desastre, me enrede, confundí nombres, totalmente UN DESASTRE, termino el partido y el marcador fue 0 x 0 , en el primer partido NO HUBO GOLES, así que mi tensión por cantarlos tuvo que aguantarse hasta el siguiente partido donde sí cante mi primer gol.
Latinaish.com: Do you have a favorite soccer memory?
Eva Linares: The first game I was so nervous – I worried if I could yell “goal!” – I had practiced a lot, and then the day of the game came. The first 15-20 minutes, my commentating was a disaster – I got tongue tied, I confused names, It was a complete DISASTER. I finished the game and the score was 0 to 0 – in that first game there were no goals, so my tension to yell that first “goal” had to wait until the next game, where I got to do it.
Latinaish.com: ¿Tienes un equipo o jugador favorito?
Eva Linares: “La Selecta” , Club Deportivo FAS y por solidaridad con mi esposo (Alexis Triviño), quien es chileno “La Roja” y “Colo Colo”.
Latinaish.com: Do you have a favorite team or player?
Eva Linares: La Selecta, Club Deportivo FAS [Salvadoran teams], and for solidarity with my husband, (Alexis Triviño, who is Chilean), “La Roja” and “Colo Colo”.
Latinaish.com: Si tú podría dar algunos consejos a las niñas de El Salvador, o en realidad, las niñas de todo el mundo, ¿cuáles serían? ¿Qué deben hacer si quieren ser o hacer algo que tradicionalmente las mujeres no lo hacen?
Eva Linares: Creer , creer amigas en ustedes mismas, somos maravillosas, tenemos tantos talentos y habilidades que tenemos la obligación de explotarlos al máximo, venzan sus propios temores, los pretextos sobran para no hacer las cosas pero son más las razones por las cuales debemos lanzarnos, ponganle mucho amor a sus sueños y piensen ahora en lo que desean y vivanlo como parte de la realidad. Bendiciones a tod@s!!!!!
Latinaish.com: If you could give some advice to the girls of El Salvador, or really, all the girls in the world, what would they be? What should they do if they want to be or do something that traditionally women do not do?
Eva Linares: Believe, believe friends that you are amazing – we have so many talents and abilities and we have the obligation to use them to the maximum. Defeat your own fears. There are too many excuses for not doing things but there are more reasons why we should go for it. Put a lot of love into your dreams and think now what you want then live it as part of reality. Blessings to all!!!
Muchísimas gracias, Eva. Fue un placer y un honor. Espero que eres una inspiración a niñas y mujeres en todas partes. Ya has demostrado que nada es imposible. ¡Muy buena suerte!
Much thanks to you, Eva. It was a pleasure and an honor. I hope that you’re an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. You have already demonstrated that nothing is impossible. Wishing you lots of luck!
(Images provided by Eva Linares. Interview and images not to be reprinted without permission. Thank you.)
(Imágenes proporcionadas por Eva Linares. La entrevista y las fotos no deben ser utilizados sin permiso. Gracias.)
Siento que el año 2010 paso muy rapido, ¿verdad? Casi tenemos que pensar en el año nuevo – qué nos trae, cómo vamos a sacar el máximo provecho de el, y si vamos a lograr más en el año nuevo de lo que hicimos en el año pasado. Este tiempo traiga un impulso para hacer resoluciones, una esperanza que podemos cambiar, y el sentido de un nuevo comienzo.
Cada año oigo un voz en mi mente diciendome tantas cosas que me dan algo de ansiedad. Me diga:
Ya paso otro año, y qué has hecho? Mira a los niños – cómo han crecido. Cuántos años más vas a tener tu familia así bajo el mismo techo – antes que los niños empiezen a volar? Y tú – Cuántos libros leiste? Cuánto tiempo usaste bien, escribiendo, estando productiva, o al menos haciendo memorias con tus amados? Cuántos horas gastaste en la internet? Hay que cambiar, muchacha. Si ahora no, cuándo, pues?
Esa voz siempre me vuelve loca hasta que hago promesas a mí misma – promesas que siempre están quebradas antes del fin de enero. El cambio es duro, hermano! No te dije! A ver si un año los cambios van a pegar. Tal vez, este año es. Ojalá.
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“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” – Jon Stewart
The history of Thanksgiving we’ve come to know growing up in American public schools is little more than a fairy tale. The true history is muddled in uncertainty, contradiction, controversy and outright lies.
While I’m certainly not a historian and therefore not qualified to delve into this with any voice of authority, I can say one thing for certain – If it weren’t for the kindness and generosity of the Native Americans to the new immigrants to this land, they would not have survived.
Many tribes reached out to these new people and taught them how to fertilize, grow, harvest and preserve crops. They showed them which foods were safe to eat, instructed them on methods of hunting and fishing, and gave them many gifts.
What did they receive in return? Lies. Broken promises. Treaties that could never be trusted. Being forced into small parcels of land. Loss of their freedom, culture, language, way of life… Death.
Even today the indigenous people who cared for this land, in a way we do not today, are suffering the consequences of past generations.
This isn’t a guilt trip for white people, or others who were born here in the United States. Is it your fault? Did you personally steal, rape and pillage? No. And I don’t think we can hold people accountable for the sins of their ancestors. We’re all individuals responsible for our own behavior. But there is a lesson to be learned.
What we can do, is to live in harmony with those around us and teach our children to do the same – To be thankful for what we have and to share with others, including new immigrants from all over the world that come here to the U.S. – To live the example of those tribes who reached out to a people from an entirely different culture, race and language – To be thankful for what we have, and when we have an abundance, give to those who are not as fortunate.
After all, today’s “undocumented immigrants” are just modern day Pilgrims.
“Great spirit, grant me vision
that I may not go wrong
and find myself in prison
of things I have not done
Teach me the secret
that I might see
fill my heart with compassion
to love my enemy.”
-Robby Romero/Prayer Song
This is dedicated to a dear friend who recently E-mailed me lamenting having not taken good photos of an important event in her family. When I responded, I reminded her that the special events are not what make up the best part of life, it is the little things – and in doing so, reminded myself of the same.
It’s a cold rainy day, and I have a pot of beans simmering on the stove. This morning my oldest son almost missed the bus and my youngest is here by my side, either home sick or pretending to be sick – I still haven’t figured it out.
My husband is at work, just another day in an endless stretch towards a retirement in the unknown future, something that is uncertain at best, and definitely not promised in this unpredictable life. I vaguely remember his lips on my cheek as I slept, but Carlos was out the door before the sun stretched its sleepy fingers above the horizon. My husband texts me after he clocks in, while I am still warm in the blankets of our bed, his side of the sheets chilly in his absence. Every morning he writes the same, “Buenos dias mi princesa. Dormiste bien?”
And every morning I blindly reach for the phone that I know sits in the darkness on my desk beside the bed, the screen blurry to my still sleepy eyes, smile and reply, “Buenas mi rey, bien y tu?” (Regrettably my phone does not allow Spanish accents, so you will have to forgive the grammar mistakes.)
I will spend the day doing anything I can find to delay writing even though writing is what I want to do most, and then, having visited and re-visited every distraction possible, I will eventually open up a document and write. Once I begin, I won’t want to stop. I’ll kick myself for not having started first thing in the morning. I will feverishly try to get just one more sentence onto the page before I hear the sound of my husband’s keys in the door, or the rumble and screech of the bus bringing the children home.
Evenings are spent squaring away homework, adding today’s mail to the stack of unpaid bills, the voices of noticias en español from the living room mixed with the simmering and sizzling of cooking in the kitchen – these familiar sounds of home, I imagine, are being sewn into the very fabric of my children’s souls.
If it isn’t too chilly or wet I may force the kids outside to kick the fútbol around before the sun goes down. If I can leave something safely cooking without direct supervision needed, I may sit in the hammock and watch them. Sometimes my youngest son will pick me a flower, sometimes Carlos will turn off the television and join us for awhile, but eventually the chill in the air and hunger in our stomachs can no longer be ignored, and we go back inside.
Dinner is eaten, stories about our day are shared, books are read, teeth are brushed, children are put into bed asking to stay up just a little bit longer – but the day is almost done, and Carlos and I have yet to spend a minute alone, (besides a stolen kiss which was interrupted by someone asking for help with their Algebra.)
The night gets darker, the streets get quiet. We stay up an hour or two later than when we actually could have easily fallen asleep and promise ourselves to get into bed earlier tomorrow. Lights are turned off, and we fall asleep – sometimes feeling like we should have done more somehow, or that something is missing … Other times we realize that days like these make up the best part of life. Some nights we fall asleep knowing that, should we be so blessed and lucky, these are the days that we will close our eyes and want to savor one last time in our final years – if only our memories remain intact.
Maybe it’s a sign that I’m eating too much Mexican candy, but when I go into the Latino Market, the guy who runs the register laughs and reaches for the Bubu Lubus on the counter in the same way a bartender starts to pour a regular’s drink as soon as he walks in the door.
There is just one thing I can’t figure out. There are two cashiers who are there on different days. Both are muy amables – one is a man, the other is a woman – but somehow it seems the price comes out different depending on who checks me out. Either the hombre is giving me a “cute gringa discount” or the mujer is charging me a “stupid gringa tax”.
I’ve never asked either of them. I figure it all balances out.