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A Trip to la Tienda

I had a hankering the other day for a delicious quesidilla. Luckily my sister had seen an advertisement earlier that day for 30 corn tortillas all for the low, low price of 88 cents. So we got in the car and headed to this place…

We made our way in and spied delicious fajita meat, penguinos, and pelotas, but managed to find the tortillas before we got too side tracked. These trips always give me motivation to learn Spanish because the majority of time when workers talk to me in those stores I just have to smile and use words like, “bien, gracias, and si.” Well, apparently at Rancho Markets you have to spend at least five dollars to use your card so I also got to purchase these…

Worth every penny.

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Speedy Gonzales

On a trip to Vegas this weekend I came across this little statue of Speedy Gonzales and realized something for the first time. Speedy is a complete Mexican stereotype! He’s a rat with a sombrero and has the catchphrase “¡Ándale, Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!” But I guess he can also be seen as someone to look up to. He runs very fast and likes to dance to music at fiestas, which I definitely can approve and relate to. No worries Loony Tunes, you will forever have a place in my heart thanks to Space Jam.

Me Hablo English

For all the returned missionaries in the world…

I know that you spent the best two years of your life serving a mission in areas with high Hispanic population. I know that you’re excited to brush up on your Spanish skills and that you’re comfortable walking up to a complete stranger and started up a conversation. I know that I (somewhat) resemble the humble Latin people of your mission so you assume that I will embrace the opportunity to talk to a nice gringo boy who wants to show his love for Hispanic people.

But there is something that you should know… I don’t speak Spanish.

So when you come up to me and start talking to me about the last futbol game that the Chivas played in I will have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m sorry to disappoint, but we live in America. That means that you should talk to people in English first and Spanish second. An exception to this rule would be a Mexican restaurant where you can feel free to order your plate of enchiladas with as much tongue rolling as possible.

A Step In The Right Direction (Sort of)

Starting the week off with one of my all-time favorite Internet finds. I think it is perfectly indicative of America’s approach to the road of progress. It reminds me of all the T.V. shows designed for children where each kid was a different race (i.e. Captain Planet, The Puzzle Place, Magic School Bus, etc.) complete with appropriate accents.

Summertime Woes

One of my favorite summer activities is tanning. What other way can you spend hours sitting in one spot and not be perceived as a lazy slob? But the other day my Halvsie friend (Half-polynesian, a couple steps up from Mexican in the food chain) brought up a good point. Because our cocoa brown skin soaks up the sun with ease, we have to be extra careful. I’m not talking about possible skin cancer, I’m talking about looking too ethnic. While white people can lay out and get as brown as possible and look great – for halvsies there is a very fine line between having a sunkissed glow and looking like your fashion store of choice is Gen-X. I didn’t know that it was possible but white people have managed to take being brown away from Mexicans, the one (slight) advantage that we hold.

Don’t Tell Rosa Parks

Props go out to Ethan Parker for finding this little gem while on a trip to Chicago. Not sure of the background for this picture but I gotta say I love it. 2011 and segregation is still alive baby!

The Wisdom of Selena

Selena, arguably the most influential Hispanic-American woman of our generation (It’s a tie between her and Jennifer Lopez who ironically plays Selena), had her life cut short much too soon. But we are still able to learn through the wisdom of the hit movie Selena, basically a how-to guide on being Mexican.

Here’s a powerhouse quote from Abraham Quintanilla Jr. that perfectly describes the difficulties of the balancing act Mexican-Americans face. It’s so true because often times as a halvsie (Urban Dictionary slang for someone of a mixed race, usually one-half Caucasian) people expect you to be both equal shares of your parents. But as a halvsie who grew up complete immersed in “White” American culture when you don’t live up to the stereotype of what you’re supposed to be you will get flack from both sides and end up not really fitting into either.

“Being Mexican American is tough … We got to be twice as perfect as everybody else! … Our family has been here for centuries, and yet they treat us as if we just swam across the Rio Grande. I mean we got to know about John Wayne and Pedro Infante. We got to know about Frank Sinatra and Agustín Lara. We got to know about Oprah and Cristina! … Japanese Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans: their homeland is on the other side of the ocean. Ours is right next door…and we have to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are, we got to prove to the Americans how American we are. We got to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans. Both at the same time! It’s exhausting! Damn, nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexican American!”

If you would like to view it in all the Latin passion it deserves, which I obviously suggest, do so here.