Thursday, February 23, 2006

Go Ahead. Axe Me. Axe Me.

My bro sent me a fantastic article from today's LA Times about Gustavo Arellano's Ask A Mexican column in the OC Weekly.

I think that Gustavo is on to something here because, homeboy touches on some very interesting questions that would make anyone wonder. The first question is particularly near and dear to my heart considering that I come from a tiny town of 18,000 people and there are no less than 5 chinese restaurants. Shout out to my girls at the Tea Garden, what up chinas?! My dad is particulary convinced that all Mexican's are, in fact, half Chinese because of our affinity for the crispy noodles and chow main. yum!

Or, did you know that Mexican women don't walk out the door without looking bien fufuruffu? It's a violation of a cultural rule. eeee, what would people think of you?

The things that you learn, gente. The things that you learn. Visit Gustavo's column. Ask him a question. The answers might suprise you.

Here are some of the highlights:

Dear Mexican, My boyfriend is Mexican, and when we’re trying to decide where to go to eat, he almost always wants Chinese. Same with his family: when we recently visited some friends from Guadalajara, I was looking forward to some tortas ahogadas, but instead was served mu shu pork. Why do Mexicans like Chinese food so much?
Cuisine Confused in the I.E.
Dear Gabacha, Mexicans are eternally fascinated with Chinese, as this column has previously noted. Nothing piques our interest as much as the food. They eat what we eat: beans, pork, goat, turtles, rice, even dogs! But our interest in comida china boils down to economics, Cuisine Confused. Like Mexican food, Chinese is an ethnic cuisine where you can feast like a king on a day laborer’s salary. I can go to Hot Wok in Fullerton and order the three-item combo with fried rice, chow mein and a drink for about six bucks; not surprisingly, Mexicans fill up most of Hot Wok’s tables every time I visit. The value of Chinese food explains the popularity amongst Mexicans of instant ramen. According to the International Ramen Manufacturers Association, Mexicans consumed an average of 9.4 ramen servings in 2004, tops in Latin America and behind only the United States and Russia amongst non-Asian countries. Even the Mexican government distributes ramen to its poor . . . what’s that you say? Ramen is a Japanese dish? Don’t tell that to a Mexican, who believes anything Asian is chino even when it’s Japanese—right, Vietnamese readers?

* * * *

Dear Mexican, [some female readers asked]

Why do Mexican women dress up to go to the swap meet? …. Why do Mexicans put on their Sunday best to shop at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, etc.?

Dear Pochas,

… You gotta love our moms and aunts, ¿quĂ© no? Despite living in abject conditions, never having enough money to purchase vaccines for the kids — let alone save up for a Prada this or Manolo that — Mexican women always primp themselves for something as simple as buying tortillas."

* * * *
Dear Mexican,

As an Asian person, would I be considered a gabacho? Or do I fall into the yellow bucket labeled chinito, even though I'm not Chinese?

Dear Chino,
Like Americans assume all Latinos are Mexican, Mexicans think all Asians are chinos — Chinese. When I used to go out with a Vietnamese woman, my aunts would speak highly of mi chinita bonita — my cute little Chinese ruca…. Chinese were the Mexicans of the world before there even was a Mexico, migrating to Latin America a couple of decades after the fall of Tenochtitlán.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Everyone Needs an Arlene

Everyone needs a little help in their lives and when you're a Hollywood star you need it even more. But in this world of selling sex tapes and writing tell all books, it just makes you wonder who you can really trust anymore. That's why celebs entrust their assistant duties to their friends. I mean, what a great fucking way to hang out and get on payroll. That shit is genius. It's kind of like when your uncle would employ all your unemployable cousins in his mechanic shop or something. The Godmother of hiring your bff is J. Lo. She has her trusted friend from the block, Arlene follow her around and they get mani/pedi's together and J.Lo buys her things and she gets a salary. Arlene is brilliant. Other celebs like Jessica Simpson have followed suit. She has even flown CaCee (corn) Cobb out from Texas, y'all. Britney Spears has that feita Felicia follow her around everywhere tambien. Felicia also has really big ears so she can hear gossip and the click of the telephoto cameras from really far away. Tres helpful. All these assistants get the fancy treatment, get to be in magazines as "friend" or "guest" and yet they benefit from all the perks without having to be tabloid fodder. Who wouldn't want the left overs of someone's shwag bag from the Oscars? I mean come on now. Smart women. Smart women.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Just Like You and Me

I know this is a little late, but I just saw Eva Longoria on Oprah. Let me pause and make an observation. Say what you will about Eva being at the wrong place at the wrong time with everyone from Mario Lopez to J.C. Chasez in the press, this appearance really erased all those nagging questions I had about her. Eva Longoria is a class act, because she did something truly gelat...and she did it on national television. Oprah helped Eva redecorate the new home that she bought for her mom and dad.

Eva had no problem showing us the little ranchito that she grew up in. Eva's dad fed the chickens. Her mom cleaned their humble little kitchen. They even showed us their "pool", a 2 foot deep metal basin that the cows drank out of. Oh, how I related.

Eva told Oprah that she wanted her parents to be touched by the things that she got to experience in her everyday life. Oprah was happy to oblige. In the end, she was so greatful that Eva sponsored a Katrina house. How cool is that?

So props to you Eva for keeping it real. My parents have had multiple Betta Fish Vases in their home too, so I feel you girl. I feel you.

Note to Salma Hayek: The bar has been raised comadre. When are we going to see the humble little home (aka the giant hacienda) in your pueblito in Mexico that you love talking about? We're waiting. Tick tock.