22 julio 2010


Dos chiquillas con mamis colombianas. Photo evidence that Latin@s come in all shapes & shades!

I can't tell you how annoying it is to read these stereotypical 'You know you are Latin@ when...' lists that I know are meant to be in good fun, initially, but also come from the same source as the generic advice we are given for our individual problems. The assumption that we cannot bring in vegetarian partners to our relationships because our family would not accept them, as though all Latin@s were eating carnitas every night. Actually, my friend pictured had been a pescatarian for quite some time & while I do eat poultry, my intake of it is very limited & I am mostly a pescatarian myself. I don't think that this is any more a target for criticism in our family than anything else (hair colour, dress style, tattoos, etc).

Then there is the issue of religion. We are both from Catholic families but I believe that both our fathers really couldn't care and our mothers have some superstitions but that does not mean that everything has transferred to us. After all, if all Latin@s were religious in the Christian sense, there would be no room for the queer population & guess what, we really do exist!

I get so tired of being told what it means to be Latin@, because I am fully aware of my heritage, but I do not need to be a walking minstrel show acting out every stereotype to celebrate my background.

In fact, right now I am enjoying a glass of wine, a tofu sandwich and an episode of Pretty Little Liars while squealing at the budding relationship between Emily & Maya.

07 julio 2010


Over the course of the Independence Day weekend, I started thinking about how my good friend has at various points comments on my hispanidad. At points it seems that people assume that pride in one's background is in direct conflict with any positive feelings one might have while being from or living in the States. It's true that while living in the Mid-West my feelings of pride grew as a result of the animosity my mother faced, but I think it's also true that in developing close bonds with people from all over the Americas - and all over the world, really - that I would really appreciate feelings of community in the States. I had to word that careful & emphasize community, because to say that I learned to appreciate living in the US might give one the impression that I was making a comment about the quality of life in my friends' countries, which is just not the case. In fact, most of my friends from Spain seemed to very much love their area of origin & looked to return when finished with graduate school or their post-doc.

But what does stand out to me - especially when we talk about the Americas - is that we each have the experience of living in post-colonial nations. The notion of independence is so important here, & that really stood out to me whenever I hear about Bolivar. It's a bond that the north & the south share that I wish would come to the mind of those who think so negatively about our Latin American neighbours, because if our ancestors have fought for anything it was for the right to be represented. This sounds corny, I know, but even countries that have an imperial history have had something to celebrate. My mind goes immediately to Spain's civil war for a republic (yes, the republicans lost), to the French Revolution...

I've done a lot of incoherent rambling, I know. My point is that being Latina doesn't make me dislike being an American - if anything, I'm more interested in reading about the history of the US & the history of other countries.

04 julio 2010

independence weekend

We decided to save the grilling for tomorrow rather than on the 4th today. While we are grilling hot dogs (well, veggie dogs in my case), which is pretty common across the States, I thought I'd tie in a little bit of my family's background into the cooking. It will be a nice way to mix it up & to celebrate the idea of las Américas because we do not need to alienate ourselves from one another or fight amongst ourselves. Is there anything more communal than mealtime? When I lived in the Mid-West I remember getting together & having dinners with my friends who came from all over the world. It was just amazing to be with so many people who had so many different histories & we all loved each other deeply. I still love them so much no matter where they are now or where I am or where we will go.

This got a little too inspirational-speak for an entry that was initially meant to just list what we are eating tomorrow!

Hot dogs
Peppered potato wedges
Plátano frito y arroz
Maíz asado con mantequilla (chipotle y con lima)
Grilled asparagus in a Torrontés wine sauce

I'm excited to eat!

4 de julio

4 de julio 2010

Felicidades a mi país natal que celebra hoy el aniversario de su independencia del poder colonizador inglés. Ojalá que todos en el mundo puedan vivir libres de aquellos poders, que puedan experimentar la libertad de la colonización, del imperialismo, y de los poderes empresariales que hoy día tienen más control que las naciones en que vivimos.


Congratulations to my birth country that today celebrates the anniversary of its independence from the English colonial power. God willing everyone in the world can live free of those powers, can experience freedom from colonization, from imperialism, and from the corporate power which today has more control than the nations in which we live.

03 julio 2010

ok, the Cup is my weakness

Viva Mexico
¡Viva México cabrones!

I took this when Mexico was moments away from playing against France & hoped desperately that they would win. I can't say that I was a lucky fan because it had little to do with luck and everything to do with the fact that Mexico just plain outplayed France. Then again, who didn't outplay France this Cup? It was a wasted time in the tournament and a spot that should have gone to Ireland. Ireland isn't my team & it's long since passed so I should by no right have reason to be bitter, but I really really dislike Henry for the same reason I dislike Ronaldo. They dirty up the game with constant diving & Henry is constantly offsides and yet rarely gets called for it. Maybe I wouldn't be so crabby if he were constantly called on his BS, so my anger is also in part with the poor officiating. The truth is for hearing about Henry's playing so much, I just can't understand why he gets the publicity he does because I see less playing and more diving - the same with Ronaldo. They could be amazing players but I just haven't seen it & suspect that it's more a rumoured greatness than actual skill.

I feel the same way about John Mayer's guitar playing. I once said that on Twitter and greatly upset a fan who said I obviously didn't have taste & didn't know what good music was. Nice attempt at an argument.

Anyway, back to futbol because that's clearly what matters to me this summer. On the subject of handballs & bad playing, I wanted to write an entry in defense of Uruguay. Maybe this seems hypocritical because of my comments about Henry, but hear me out. My problem with Henry is that these acts are constant and he is not penalized for them. Suarez made a decision and it was a decision of which I don't approve meaning I think that he was rightfully penalized. That was obvious, I don't think anyone could argue against that.

However, what's got me is the fact that people are having conversations about this handball. Does it really merit a conversation? A debate? Where is the debate? I've heard Uruguay been called cheaters after the game & that their win was disgraceful. I want to know what people want. It was a handball, it saved Uruguay's behind, and Suarez was red carded and sent out of the game & will be out in the subsequent game against Nederland. What more do you want? The entire team is disgraceful? Really? Did you want FIFA to disqualify them for Suarez's handball? It's never happened & it never will.

Everything that happened was well within the rules of the game. Player commits an obvious & deliberate penalty to help the team (and remember, many penalties that are committed such as tackling are deliberate and with their own team in mind), & he was punished as is part of the game. Additionally, with such a penalty, Ghana was awarded a PK. They didn't get a goal. End of story.

But that's not satisfying for people, because they want to say 'Yes but if not for that handball, Ghana would have won.' The handball happened, you can't erase it but you can penalize it. Again, that's exactly what happened.

On a positive note, ESPN recently showed a special interviewing people who scored goals in the World Cup finals of the past. It's interesting to see both the footage and hear them talk about how they felt or how they communicated with other players before & after the match. Seeing Brasil win in Mexico was the greatest clip though.

obligatory World Cup post

Picture 136

I thought that because I spent the evening changing the layout of this blog that I would use it with a bit more regularity though I don't think it will ever compare to my usage for LiveJournal or even Twitter.

Ni modo, what's important for the purpose of this post is the World Cup. I just finished watching the last game of the quarter finals, Spain beat out Paraguay 1-0 & though I'm generally cheering on the teams of the Americas, I love Spain so much. I would love to see them win a Cup - it would make me so happy.

But I am also realistic. Though Torres has improved steadily over the course of the Cup, his knee surgery & missed time practicing has made a visible difference in his playing. He's not yet fit to play - at least at the level to which he & his team are accustomed, that level that was so explosive it made everyone turn their heads. But it's not simply on Torres, Iniesta's playing has left much to be desired; he refuses to take chances and push it through. In these last Spanish games, the team has been overly cautious, rarely pushing the ball forward, playing the hot potato passing game in the mid-field. Iker Casillas is amazing, as always. He's unquestionably one of the best goalkeepers out there, but San Iker cannot hold off the German team alone and that team is dangerously good. What I would like to see is Llorente placed up there on the pitch and given a chance to score a goal because there just hasn't been enough offense in these last games.

At the moment, the people really holding their own have been: Casillas (obviously), Puyol's worked hard at defending, Ramos who has been really aggressive in the mid-field and who has been one of the few people to rush it forward, and Villa who has popped in for the goal. That's a very small handful of players who cannot hold their own, alone, against Germany.

I can't say with confidence that they really stand a great chance against Germany. I love them, I'm optimistic, I'm almost religiously hopeful (aka praying for a miracle), but what they can do so as not to get slaughtered like Argentina did today is to make sure that they really push it forward and make more attempts to strike rather than waiting for all of the German defense to make it to the box and close up any possible openings. What does work in Spain's favour, that ESPN has just called to my attention, is that Mueller has earned a 2nd yellow card causing him to be benched for the game against Spain.